Category Archives: News

From Spider-Man to Sushi, Chabot Students Rank Their Favorite Pop Culture/Campus Moments of 2023

As 2024 comes to a close, a survey of Chabot College students highlights their favorite campus and pop culture moments of the year. Students were asked to nominate the best movie, TV show, food trend, and tour of the year. For campus moments, students were asked to nominate the best parking lot, cafeteria food, study spot, and professor. The Spectator News team came together to decide the majority winners.

Starting with the best movie, it seems that Chabot students were fans of a particular Marvel superhero. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won the majority of nominations for best movie. Coming in at a close second was everyone’s favorite doll, Barbie.

While many hit series came out in 2023, it seemed that most agreed that The Bear and The Last of Us were the best. The results were almost neck and neck with these two shows. Students can look forward to watching these storylines continue as both shows have been renewed for new seasons.

Many food trends break the internet, but none this year had the same impact as Girl Dinner. The trend began when women shared their Girl Dinner, which usually consisted of multiple snacks in one meal. This became so popular that multiple fast food restaurants added limited edition Girl Dinner meals to their menus which usually consisted of all side dishes.

For the music lovers of the world, 2023 was an amazing year for touring. With big artists like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, SZA, and Drake on tour simultaneously, this year was one for the books. Out of all these big names, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé shined the brightest to Chabot students as the Eras Tour and Renaissance tour was nominated the most for best tour of the year. 

With yet another win for Beyoncé, students agree that she was the best musical artist of the year. She broke records with her 2022 Renaissance album, which led to a massively successful tour in 2023. She made history this year, becoming the most Grammy award-winning artist of all time with 32 awards to her name. 

As for best campus moments, students almost unanimously nominated parking Lot B as the best parking lot on campus. With its proximity to the cafeteria, the decision only makes sense for the foodies of Chabot.

The foodies also agree that sushi was the best cafeteria food this year. Hopefully, students will continue to see this dish on Chabot’s menu.

For the best studying spot, yet another almost unanimous decision was made. The library was nominated for being the prime place for a good study session.

Lastly, students voted for the best instructor on campus, and Thomas DeWitt came out as the champion. His commitment to improving student’s literary skills is admirable and students appreciate him for it. 

The results are in, and the students have spoken. The Spectator wishes everyone at Chabot a happy holiday season and good luck next semester. 

Silicon Valley Unsung Hero: Roy L Clay Sr.

Roy L Clay Sr.

Photographed by: Onyx Truth

 Silicon Valley is the hub of technological innovation, home to hundreds of companies. Roy L. Clay Sr., also known as The Godfather of Silicon Valley, is responsible for its success. He was a founding member of Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) first computer division, which put Silicon Valley on the map. This, and his many other technological ventures,  played a crucial role in establishing several enterprises to increase the representation of African Americans in the city of technology. Yet his legacy is not known to the general public. One of his sons, Rodney Clay, stated that “if you ask a kid now, who created Silicon Valley? They’ll probably say Mark Zuckerberg. They might even go back and say…Bill Gates. But they can’t go much farther than that.” 

Despite facing the barriers of segregation, Clay’s determination and hard work earned him a scholarship to study mathematics at Saint Louis University. While he had a passion for baseball, he chose to focus on his academic goals and was among the first African Americans to graduate from SLU.

After spending some time working as a teacher, Clay eventually landed an interview for McDonnell Aircraft Corporation. But despite his qualifications, he was told, “I’m very sorry, we don’t hire professional Negroes.” While he would eventually reapply and land a job with the corporation, it was at his next job and his move to Palo Alto, California, in 1962, that marked the beginning of a journey that would lead him to greatness.

In 1958, Clay ended up working at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he would write software for the U.S. Department of Energy. This software would display how radiation particles would spread after a nuclear explosion. As word spread about the work he was doing at the lab, it would eventually be caught by David Packard, who would personally recruit Clay to Hewlett-Packard (HP).

Joining HP in 1965 was another step toward his goal. With his unwavering determination and leadership skills, Clay helped launch and lead the computer science division in 1965, leaving a lasting impact on the world of technology. The creation of the HP 2116A minicomputer launched the company into the world of computers. This launch was viewed as a negative by HP’s co-founder Bill Hewlett, who was paraphrased by Clay’s son Rodney, as saying “you’ve [Clay] done us a disservice. You’ve gotten us into the computer industry. I [Hewlett] want you to get us out of it.” 

Additionally, Clay held the highest-ranking position of any African-American member or staff at HP until he left in 1971 to pursue his dream of starting a consulting business. His expertise and dedication helped Kleiner Perkins, a venture capital firm, identify investments that became some of the biggest names in tech, such as Tandem Computers. Yet Clay was not finished when it came to how many accomplishments one could achieve. 

He would make another mark on history when he became the first African American to be elected to Palo Alto City Council in 1973. A white friend of Clay had been the one to encourage him into running for local politics. This venture would eventually lead to him becoming vice mayor for two years (1976-77).

In 1977, Clay started ROD-L Electronics. One of his sons, Rodney, explained, “Safety testing is what ROD Electronics is about. We started selling our equipment to companies manufacturing all kinds of electrical things, from printers to copy machines and computers. Our goal was to sell to every company that was building electrical products so that they would use our tester to verify the safety of their test. They could put an underwriter laboratory sticker on their product, put it in a box, and know they’ll be okay. And that’s what Rod Electronics is all about, so we built the equipment that allowed other manufacturers to do that test.”

It is an undeniable fact that Clay had to confront racism even after becoming the first African-American member of the Olympic Club of San Francisco in 1989. It is worth noting that this club has a long history, established in 1860, but until 1989, no minorities or women were permitted to become members.

Rodney Clay said how the members felt after his father became a member, “The Olympic Club used to have a policy of not allowing black people to become members. The club’s bylaws stated that only white Anglo-Saxon males could join. However, my father, the first black member, broke this barrier and paved the way for people of all ethnicities to join the club. He even went on to become a board member and eventually the club’s president, which was a remarkable feat considering the racism and anger he faced from some members who had been there for generations. Some people were so upset by his inclusion that they took his picture off the wall. A white friend of his said to Roy, ‘I’m taking all the pictures off the wall. He went and tore all the pictures off the wall.’”

Clay, a prominent figure in the technology industry, was recognized by the African American Museum and Library at Oakland in 2002 as one of the most significant African-Americans working in technology. Furthermore, ROD-L Electronics, a company in San Mateo County, was honored with the Dads Count Family Friendly Employer Award. Clay’s contributions to the technology industry were also acknowledged in 2003 when he was inducted into the Silicon Valley Hall of Fame. His story serves as an inspiration to all those who face obstacles in achieving their dreams.

This led to the writing and publication of his autobiography “Unstoppable: The Unlikely Story of a Silicon Valley Godfather.” Virginia Clay, the late wife of Mr. Clay had been a huge inspiration to him throughout his life and career. It was her idea for him to write his life story as to not only preserve his legacy, but to also inspire others in pursuing their dreams. His son Rodney said that “…she [Virginia] was the one who said, ‘Roy, you’ve got to write your story as an inspiration to minority kids coming up.’” He goes on to say that “…I think it was more my mom saying…’I want people to know about you…’ My mother was very proud of him. And she was a big reason….for him being who he was…”

In terms of how Clay felt about his book, one of his other sons, Roy Jr., stated that “…he [Roy Sr.] wanted to get some degree of recognition, but really just to get a lot of different things out there. So recognition, being able to help the community, a lot of a lot of reasons all combined together.” He furthers this by saying that “… that was his kind of mantra. And that’s primarily why he wanted to write the book was to be inspirational.” His son Chris, added to this by saying “… whether it be in technology, whether it be in other disciplines, whatever it is…don’t let anything slow you down.”

While Roy Clay Sr. may not be able to do press for his book and life story as a whole, his sons do that job for him. Chris Clay was able to talk at Stanford last year to minority engineering students. He also stated that he had the ability to do another talk with 80 engineers from the company he currently works at. He believes that the book “…has become a big vessel for us to go out and do these sorts of talks and really start to spread the message to other groups. Without a book, then we’re just kind of talking and especially without him there, we don’t quite have the reach and quite have the credibility, but with the book in hand…we are getting a lot and a lot of attention, and a lot of momentum, a lot of visibility to the audience that we want to reach a global audience of all makes increase in interest.”

Chris C. goes on to say that “…we are absolutely getting a lot of reach into…primarily underrepresented people…looking to achieve whatever they want to be, in engineering or other fields of study.” Roy Jr. follows this sentiment when he brings up his father’s start in technology, “…he dealt with a lot of things when he was growing up…he had to deal with a lot, a lot of racism, a lot of…rejection from mainstream society. And in the process of climbing up out of all of that, I think he started to realize that, really, there’s a lot of pathways that need to be created…for the black community to be able to…advance itself in any way.”

After decades in the making, the book was released in July of 2022. His sons are currently in the process of finishing a children’s version which is slated for release in 2024.

Battling Drought: Californians Embrace Change for Water Conservation

Climate change is happening rapidly, and for Californians, this can mean expecting more frequent and intense droughts. In the past, California has seen extreme droughts such as the notorious 2014 drought which caused a state of emergency. Fortunately, there are possible changes that we can implement in our everyday routine to reduce our contribution to climate change. 

After reading David Pogue’s book, “How to Prepare for Climate Change,” I shared his suggestions for water conservation with local Bay Area residents. These residents also shared their current efforts towards conserving water and what they can do better.

In Pogue’s chapter, “Preparing for Drought,” he listed many potential changes that can be made to conserve water at home. One of the first suggestions from Pogue for conserving water is to limit how much you water your lawn. Most lawns are made of grass which is why in his book he describes lawns as “water hogs.” He highlights alternative furnishings besides grass for your lawn such as clover, moss or ornamental grasses. These alternatives require significantly less maintenance and can conserve water on a massive scale.

When speaking with Makayla Marshall, a resident of Pittsburg, she gave a testament to the low maintenance saying, “My family doesn’t really water the lawn much. It wastes a lot of water and it just seems like a lot of work anyways.”

Another suggestion that Pogue offered was to not leave the water running. This is a common fault that many make. Oftentimes we don’t realize how much water can be wasted by common habits like letting the water run while brushing your teeth or rinsing the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. 

The EPA states that when you leave the water running while brushing your teeth, you waste about four gallons of water. If you follow your dentist’s recommendations and brush twice a day, that’s eight gallons of water being wasted per day.

Oakland resident Tui Chitekwe shared, “I’ll leave the water running when I’m brushing my teeth sometimes. When I catch myself doing it I immediately turn it off.”  

Hermes Ramos, an Alameda resident also spoke on the efforts his household is making to limit the amount of time water is running. He shared that “some of the most impactful ways to conserve water are at times some of the most obvious. My household became notorious for long showers. Recently we’ve developed a system to minimize our water usage which includes limiting our shower to 10 minutes per person and only using water when necessary to rinse the soap off. ”

While I was lucky to speak with residents who were already following Pogue’s suggestions, there are still many who aren’t. The rapid pace of climate change could have drastic effects on a place like California. Droughts in particular would affect the state the most. Some of the consequences of droughts that Pogue listed were restricted food supply, more wildfires, blockaded cargo, unemployment, crime, disruption and civil unrest.

It may seem unrealistic to expect everyone to make big changes to their everyday routines. However, climate change will create obstructive consequences if more efforts aren’t made by everyone. 

For Californians, this means residents should try to conserve water as much as possible. Making small changes like not letting the water run, watering your grass less, or limiting the amount of times you flush, could have a big impact on slowing the effects of climate change. 

“I think back to the wildfires we had at the beginning of the pandemic. It was scary and even though that was caused by something else, one day it could be caused by a drought,” Marshall said.

She continued to say, “Conserving water is important because I don’t want to live somewhere with food shortages and a bunch of wildfires. I hope everyone does their part to conserve what they can.”

Unlocking Student Satisfaction: Insights from Chabot College’s Learning Communities

Chabot College recently completed its Student Satisfaction Survey for the Spring 2023 semester. The results raise concerns about students’ access to academic resources and support.

Of 1084 students surveyed, 45% felt neutral or dissatisfied with the convenience of getting academic counseling appointments and 42% stated they were neutral or dissatisfied with preparation for transfer to a four-year college or university.  

Another concerning result from the Student Satisfaction Survey was that only 19% of the 1000 students surveyed utilized the learning communities at Chabot. Of that 19% of students, 91% were satisfied with the services provided by those programs. 

I decided to survey a smaller sample of 100 students. Of these students, 50 were in a learning community (LC) and 50 were not in a learning community (NLC). The purpose of this survey was to gain insight into the link between student satisfaction and being in a learning community. Students also had the opportunity to provide feedback on how they think the college can raise awareness about learning communities and improve access to academic support.

At Chabot, there are seven learning communities. These communities are Umoja, Puente, MOVEMENT, Change It Now (CIN), RISE Program, First Year Experience (FYE), and Accessibility Center for Education (ACE). Each program offers a community for students of similar backgrounds to come together and reach their academic goals. A few of these communities offer specialized courses and counselors for their students.

One Umoja student shared appreciation for their program saying, “I really love Umoja because it helps me know that I am not alone in my space around other students. I feel more welcomed and appreciated in the Black Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) and other spaces with black people.”

The purpose of having these communities at Chabot is to make it easier for students to connect with peers of similar interests and provide extra support for students of more diverse backgrounds. The satisfaction from these programs stems from the fact that students have direct access to academic resources. 

The first thing asked in both the LC and NLC surveys was how satisfied students were with access to academic counseling at Chabot. Out of the 50 LC students, 88% were satisfied with their access to academic counseling. Of the 50 NLC students, 42% were satisfied with their access to academic counseling. 

Next, they were asked to rate how satisfied they were with their access to college transfer support. The NLC students were 38% satisfied, whereas the LC students were 70% satisfied. The majority of NLC students were neutral or dissatisfied with academic support at the college. 

One of the general themes of the NLC survey was that students felt that lack of availability and counselors led to their rating. 

An NLC student wrote that it’s “hard to get an appointment and when I do I never get the same counselor. I have to explain my issue multiple times since it’s harder to get an appointment with a specific counselor.”

In the LC student survey, students were asked how they felt their specific program improved their access to Chabot’s academic resources. 

A Puente student shared a different opinion saying that they had, “lots of academic opportunities” and “plenty of resources for academic and personal care.”

Another student of FYE shared similar thoughts saying, “They are there to always answer my questions.”

This is why the Student Satisfaction Survey stats were concerning. If students in learning communities are sharing an overall higher satisfaction rate, it raises the question as to why only 19% of students are using these programs.

In both the LC and NLC surveys, students shared how they felt Chabot could do a better job of informing students about learning communities. They also shared how they felt Chabot could improve student’s access to academic support. 

One NLC student said they would like to be informed by “professors so they can tell the students what services Chabot provides as well as organize events where students get invited to get all information needed.”

An FYE student who experienced being informed about their community in person shared, “My physio Professor this term spent the first syllabus day going over these programs,” they continued to say that, “it was helpful.”

Many students in both surveys voiced how they would like to learn more about learning communities online. Some stated that they would appreciate receiving more information via email or social media. While many of the learning communities have social media platforms, students shared that they would like the college to help promote them. Others suggested that learning communities should be featured more prominently on Chabot’s website. Online visibility was a recurring theme in the students’ feedback. 

It remains to be seen how Chabot will implement student feedback to improve student satisfaction. By the next survey, students are hoping that these stats will improve. In the meantime, students who would like to learn more about joining a learning community can visit 

Thrifting Shopping, A Sustainable Solution to Fast Fashion Waste and Environmental Impact

Woman holding H&M bag. Photographer/Fernand De Canne

With rampant consumerism of fast fashion ending up in landfills, thrift shopping has become a trendy alternative solution to reduce waste and combat climate change. Minizining the environmental impact of clothing waste is important because it is estimated by the EPA that 11.5 trillion tons of textile waste ends up in landfills. 

Fast fashion is a business model of companies like H&M, Shein, GAP, and many others that mass produce cheap quality clothing at a low cost and charge a high price in retail. Much of the cheap clothing ends up in landfills. It would be more responsible for consumers to benefit from thrift shopping than supporting fast fashion brands. 

“Fast fashion is all about cheap products that could be made as quickly as possible versus quality made to last. So fast fashion often tears quickly, isn’t made to last, and we find people purchase fast fashion to wear it once, maybe twice, then they throw it out,” said Hailey Corum, the ASI Director of Sustainability at Cal State East Bay. 

In a study called “The Phenomenon of Thrifting As An Alternative Solution Related to Reducing Environmental Impact on Fast Fashion” found that “thrifting activities have a very good impact on the environment, because they not only minimize the fast fashion industry, but also reduce chemicals and clothing waste that are very difficult to decompose.” 

With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing worry about climate change, thrift shopping became a trend on social media during the pandemic from Instagram and TikTok. While many teenagers started thrifting because it is trending, many realize it also reduces clothing waste. 

“Thrifting can help you think about your consumerism patterns by realizing pre-loved items are perfectly good to own, and there are other ways that you can contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle by purchasing second-hand items,” said Corum.

AB 742 will restrict the practice of using police canines for apprehension, arrest, and crowd control. 

Police dog, German Shepherd. Original public domain image from Flickr
Police dog, German Shepherd. Original public domain image from Flickr

In February 2023, Assembly Bill 742 was proposed in California. The bill aimed to ban the use of police dogs for arrest and crowd control if they were deemed racist. However, in July, the bill was turned into a two-year bill and will remain inactive until 2024 for reasons that currently need to be discovered.

In Feb, Assemblymember Corey Jackson, Executive Director of ASIU California Carlos Marquez, and Rev. Jethroe Moore II, President of the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP chapter, held a press conference in front of the state capital supporting Assembly Bill 742. The bill remained inactive until then.

At the press conference, Rev Moore stated, “This seeks to end a deeply racialized traumatic and harmful practice by prohibiting the use of police canines for arrest, apprehension, and crowd control. It’s time for AB 742 to stop passing this issue on to the next generation, and it’s time for California to atone for its violent past.” The press conference was held five months before the bill was announced, and it will remain inactive.

In 2021, the California Department of Justice released statistics that revealed nearly 14% of the serious injuries or deaths resulting from police use of force incidents across the state were caused by police canines. This highlights the significant role police dogs play in law enforcement and raises questions about their appropriate use and training. The statistics also suggest the need for a re-evaluation of the use of police canines in certain situations to minimize harm to civilians.

Assembly Member Jackson said this at the conference: “The use of police canines inflicted brutal violence and lifelong trauma on Black Americans and communities of color. This bill marks a turning point in the fight to end this cruel and inhumane practice and build trust between the police and the communities they served.”

In an article titled “California Bill Would Prohibit Police Dogs from Being Used for Arrest and Crowd Control Due to Racial Controversy,” published in the L.A. Times, it is mentioned that the proposed bill would prohibit the use of canines for arrest and crowd control, but not for other purposes such as explosives detection, search, and rescue, or narcotics detection, which do not involve biting.

Inside Nova Ukraine’s United Victory Event: Ukrainian Culture, Achievements and $83 million in Aid

On December 3rd, Nova Ukraine hosted its much-anticipated United Victory Event.

This celebration of remarkable achievements and the strength of the community’s commitment to supporting Ukraine marked a significant moment for the organization, reflecting on its journey and highlighting key accomplishments over the past two years.

Nova Ukraine is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about Ukraine in the US and throughout the world and providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine. This celebration of remarkable achievements and the strength of the community's commitment to supporting Ukraine marked a significant moment for the organization, reflecting on its journey and highlighting key accomplishments over the past two years.

In a moment of unity and resilience, participants gather at the ‘United for Victory’ event of Nova Ukraine, symbolizing the strength of a community bound together by hope, determination, and the shared pursuit of a brighter future

Nova Ukraine is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about Ukraine in the US and throughout the world and providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

The event welcomed guests to join for a memorable black-tie evening at the historic Green Room at 401 Van Ness Ave in San Francisco. All the guests live music, local artists and artisans, a delicious buffet, and a welcoming community.

At the heart of the celebration the director and a board member of Nova Ukraine Rodion Yaryy announced that the organization had successfully raised over $83 million during the last 2 years, a substantial increase from previous years. This financial support has played a crucial role in assisting more than 4.5 million people across various critical sectors in Ukraine.

“It’s fascinating how far we have come since the beginning of Nova Ukraine now collecting this large amount of money and being able to also report it. So it’s a great achievement for all of us. We also received two different awards from the president signifying how important our work is to help Ukraine. We recently received a number of awards within Ukraine, a lot of them being for our medical initiatives,” – explained Rodion Yaryy, director and a board member of Nova Ukraine. 

All the members of Nova Ukraine expressed gratitude to the audience for their continued support over these years, highlighting their contributions to Ukrainian education, humanitarian aid, evacuation efforts, and providing basic needs to Ukrainians. 

“I’m very grateful for your support. You have been with us for many years. You have embraced our priorities of investing in Ukrainian education, humanitarian aid for Ukraine, evacuating people from Ukraine, providing life basic needs to Ukrainians. All of this stuff we do is with your support and with close communication and feedback from all of you. And again, thank you to all of you and thank you for being with us today,” – shared Nick Bilogorskiy, Director and Co-Chairman of Nova Ukraine.

The organization has actively supported Ukrainian manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies, providing essential supplies such as surgical tables and clothing to different regions in Ukraine.

“If it’s springtime, we know that we might need to give seeds to the farmers to grow food, and if it’s winter time, we have to buy generators and worming supplies and we obviously need to continue to provide medical supplies with hospitals and first aid. So I think that’s what makes us good. That’s what people trust us, and yeah, I’m excited to continue the same work next year. I know that with the funds that we raise, we can really make a difference with our medical projects, with our refugee projects, with our humanitarian initiatives,” – shared Rodion Yaryy, director and a board member of Nova Ukraine. 

The event proved the resilience of the Nova Ukraine community, emphasizing its adaptability and strategic responses to the challenges faced in Ukraine. 

“I’m sure that we will win because Russia is the greatest evil of the day. We have a genocidal where in Ukraine we had the genocide in terms of now we have the genocidal war in Ukraine because the third part of territory is totally destroyed in Ukraine. Russia should be denuclearized and weaponized, and it should be isolated for a century in order just to have some time to realize what they’re doing wrong. They have no right to invade any countries, and they don’t have any chance to raise the green from the political map of the world because we have restored our territorial integrity like we have with our independence in 1991, and we’ll do, we’ll survive in this, I stay optimistic,” – shared his opinion one of the guests Volodymyr Goshylyk.

The key factor is the unity of people and the bridge between Americans and Ukrainians that Nova Ukraine has successfully built throughout the years. 

Joyous moments captured at the Nova Ukraine Holiday Party, where laughter echoes through the festive air and the spirit of togetherness fills the room. Glittering decorations, cheerful smiles, and a vibrant atmosphere mark this celebration as a testament to the strength of community and the warmth of shared festivities.

“Well, Nova Ukraine is a fantastic organization, works in the Bay Area, raised millions of dollars founded on awareness of Ukraine, and they’re heavily involved and active in supporting numerous causes. They partner with different organizations within the country of Ukraine to distribute donations and fundings to help humanitarian and all kinds of different outreaches. It’s almost the second year of war and with so much distraction going on in the world, we need to keep a focus on Ukraine and their struggle against invasion and essentially genocide by Russia. And they’re fighting for their lives and for democracy and for freedom, and it’s a fight that we must share with them in support,” – shared George Wesely, American with Ukrainian origin.

As Nova Ukraine approaches its 10th anniversary, the event became an opportunity to look back on the organization’s journey and express excitement about future endeavors.

“I think the primary reason for this event is to make sure that we thank our volunteers, our donors, our partners, people that have been with us throughout the last two years of Freescale War and the previous eight of 2014, and post-Revolution of Dignity. We’ve been with these people for a while, so for us it was a way to say thank you to the community, but also to get people to enjoy Ukrainian music, eat nice food, have Ukrainian artists here and vendors that you can purchase. Very cool items made by them. Yeah. This is our annual event. We are definitely going to have it next year. Next year is going to be probably the biggest one,’ –  

An enchanting tableau of Ukrainian decorations, each piece a testament to rich cultural heritage and artistic craftsmanship. The room comes alive with the warmth of embroidered textiles, wheat sheaves, and symbolic geometric patterns, creating a visual feast that not only celebrates the holiday season but also pays homage to the enduring beauty of Ukrainian heritage

The United Victory Event showed how the community came together with strength, unity, and hope during tough times to get Ukraine closer to the Victory.

Glowing Success: Chabot’s Premiere Diwali Celebration with the South Asian/Punjabi Club

Chabot College South Asian/Punjabi club members pictured under a Happy Diwali sign.

On Nov. 30, one of Chabot College’s newest clubs organized the first-ever Diwali celebration on campus. With a great turnout, free food and a beautiful celebration of South Asian culture, this event proved to be an impressive first for the new South Asian/Punjabi Club. 

The event started with everyone entering to mix and mingle while the club members set up for their presentation. This is when Alex Karan, a prominent figure in the club, introduced himself to everyone and invited us all to enjoy a meal catered by Raja Sweets. 

This ended up being a crowd-pleaser with many attendees sharing with me that this restaurant was one of their favorite places to get Indian food. Hannita, an attendee mentioned how she “was excited about Raja Sweets catering because they have a great reputation.”

After everyone had a chance to dig in and settle down, Karan and club President Sifti Singh dove into their presentation about the origins of Diwali. There are three origins of the holiday which all have different stories and cultural meanings which were very interesting.

 One attendee, Praneel shared with me how he “really appreciated the three versions being shared because it encompasses many different South Asian cultures. It was the highlight of the event for me.”

Another attendee echoed this sentiment saying, “I appreciated them sharing the three origins of the holiday which I found interesting. I was pleasantly surprised to see such a diverse turnout despite this being a South Asian holiday.”

What we all took away from the presentation is that Diwali means “row of lamps” and people light lamps to symbolize “light over darkness”. According to the presentation, “it is the awareness of the inner light and higher knowledge.”

Another takeaway was that people celebrate Diwali in many different ways. Some honor Goddesses invite family members over, give gifts, light fireworks and share food. Many also light small lamps called diyas and line them up by windows to welcome good energy. 

After the presentation, Karan thanked Michael Lai, a counselor from MOVEMENT, Arnold Paguio, Director of Student Life and Kirti Reddy, Executive Assistant who all played a part in helping to put together this event. 

I then had a chance to speak with Karan and Singh to ask them about their experience throwing the club’s first-ever event. 

Karan shared, “I had my doubts but the students showed up and supported us. It’s hard because we’re a new club still getting to know each other which was challenging. In the end, we came together and had a great outcome.”

Singh shared that she found it “really hard because getting everyone together was difficult. Thanks to Mr. Alex, Ms. Kirti and Mr. Michael for their help. It took about a month to put together and I’m proud of the turnout of our first event.”

As the night came to a close, club members handed out diyas for everyone so they could continue to celebrate at home. This night turned out to be a great success for the South Asian/Punjabi Club’s first event. 

If you want to stay up to date with information about future events you can follow them on Instagram @desiclubchabot. 

Chabot College Hosted Successful Seminar on Networking and Career Development

On October 19 Chabot College  organized a highly successful seminar focused on networking and career development. The event was held in collaboration with a networking organization for accounting and financial professionals Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA), emphasizing the importance of networking for career growth and professional development.

“Their goal is to catch students early in the academic pursuits so that they can “groom” them for ultimate job placement in prestigious accounting firms. They were networking, themselves, in hopes of attracting some new members. It worked, too, because a number of attendees said they planned to join the group,” – explained Lynn Klein, Prof. in the Business department of Chabot College and organizer of AFWA event.

The seminar featured key speakers and organizers, including Yelena Melero, Alyssa Bonfilio, and Carolyn Sweeney, who shared their insights and experiences in the field of finance and accounting. The active participation of AFWA members and Chabot students contributed to the enriching and dynamic atmosphere of the event.

“What is a network? It’s creating relationships with people and meeting people that you don’t even know. Coming from Covid, you went from not even wanting to touch someone’s hand or not even wanting to be in person with people,” – declared Yelena Melero, SF Finance Analyst.

The expert says networking is not only learning from others. It is about advertising yourself, and starting to build a personal brand for yourself. The goal of this event is to surround  yourself with like-minded individuals, and also have someone that you can look up to, someone who’s done it before, someone who can give you advice. These are just a few reasons why we need networks. 

During the seminar, various interactive activities were conducted, including a word cloud exercise and a comprehensive worksheet activity, providing engaging discussions on effective networking practices. All the guests were encouraged to dive deeper into the networking strategies and their practical application in real-world life.

“I got to talk with a couple people, so that was cool. Just a quick little networking tip, which I would like to try and do in my own network. But whenever you go work in a coffee shop for work or schoolwork, go to the gym, attend a social event with a friend. You should try to challenge yourself to start a conversation with a stranger every time in this room,” – shared Alyssa Bonfiglio, VP of AFWA with students.

The seminar created an accessible and inclusive environment for students and professionals to engage in meaningful discussions about networking and career advancement. The success of the event was evident through the positive feedback and expressed intentions of the guests to become members of AFWA. 

“The idea to provide value to the students today was just to introduce them to the idea of strategically networking and being thoughtful about what their goals are and who they need to meet to be able to help them reach those goals,” – said Carolyn Sweeney, Managing Director at Century Group.

The primary objective of the seminar was to highlight the significance of networking in career development and to provide valuable insights into building strong professional connections. The collaboration between Chabot College and AFWA aimed to improve students’ networking skills and facilitate opportunities for mentorship and internships in prestigious accounting firms.

‘’Networking is such an important skill to have to make connections with people that could possibly know about job opportunities, to get input and feedback on job search strategies, including interviews, and to basically help students achieve their career goals,’’ – added Lynn Klein.

Navigating the Job Market by Experienced HR Professional at Chabot College

In a recent resume workshop, held on October 10 at room 146 at Learning Connection Room, students of Chabot College gained valuable insights into optimizing their resumes and handling the complexities of the job market. The event was organized by instructional assistant Patrick Wwamba featuring a skilled Head of HR with eight years of expertise Jaki Rangel. The main goal was to talk about how to get out into the working world, where you can apply, what you can expect, what those steps might be.

Through Learning Connection Center Chabot students learned how to create a standout resume that will impress employers and land them the job of their dreams. The expert Jaki Rangel guided students through the process and provided personalized feedback to help to craft a winning resume.
Learning Connection Center hold a resume workshop for students to gain the skills and knowledge they need to create a compelling resume.

“It’s part of, we’re just trying to get students ready and I think the first year of college can be really daunting and especially the reality is a lot of our students need to have to work, have to look for work, whether it’s like on campus and outside of campus and as well don’t necessarily have the skills to or know even how to make a resume. So these are part of a series of different resources or skills that we would like our students to get familiar with because that’s kind of what the world expects them to know as well. Patrick Mwamba,  instructional assistant, Collaborative Space.

The speaker Jaki Rangel, known for her comprehensive understanding of human resource operations, offered guidance on creating resumes tailored to specific roles using networking platforms like LinkedIn.

“When I’m looking at resumes and I’m hiring for roles, that’s what I’m looking at as the first line on the hiring process. I’m looking at the humanity of people more than I’m looking at the specifics of the role because I don’t know what an analysis does. I don’t look at that. But I’m going to focus on why you want to work with us. What do you think you can bring to the organization why you’re looking to fill this role for our company?’ – highlighted HR expert.

The importance of adjusting resumes to match job descriptions using relevant keywords was emphasized by the speaker. She explained how to capture the attention of recruiters during the initial review process by specific tricks.

“If you increased sales a lot, that’s great. I’m happy for you, but I need facts and figures. Was it 10 x? Was it a 30% increase? Did you see your team grow by 50%? Those are hard facts and figures that in a 32nd scan of a single page, when that’s all I get to know about you, that I’m able to see whether or not it’s worthwhile to make the next step, which is typically a phone interview,” – explained Jaki.

HR expert also discouraged the inclusion of extra information, reminding guests to maintain a focused resume. One of the essential elements of a successful resume is the format itself. The speaker recommended sending resumes as PDFs rather than Word documents to ensure the preservation of formatting during the review process.

Chabot students transformed their resume with the recent resume workshop at the college.The experts provided valuable insight and tips to help student create standout resumes that will impress potential employers.
Chabot College staff offered great tips and advice to help to create an outstanding resume

Furthermore, the speaker reminded the significance of thorough LinkedIn profiles, highlighting the impact of a clear online presence on potential employers. Professionalism and integrity during the application process are the big rocks according to Jaki.

‘’So my recommendation from scratch would be to find a template. So to go on to Canva, to go on to LinkedIn, to go on to ZipRecruiter, to look at other resumes and to use a template and plug in the information you have available to you ’’ – Jaki

Overall, the workshop encouraged guests to take proactive steps in their career search and requirements of potential employers. As the session came to a close, participants left equipped with confidence in navigating the job market.

‘’I did appreciate the tips in terms of letting us know what to not only put on a resume, but what to emphasize, what to remove and what not to focus on. The page constraint is a huge help. Letting us know insight into what the interviewer or reviewer is going through when they’re reviewing your application was a great help to know what we should embellish on a resume so that we get through at least the first few steps of the interview process. ’’ – Marlene Rolindoro.

The session concluded with a strong power of networking and using available resources. All Chabot members are encouraged to connect with professionals in their desired fields and seek mentorship and guidance from Jaki to boost their understanding of the job market and create a powerful resume. 

You can reach Jaki via email [email protected]