Human Trafficking

Rape culture is defined as, “a society or environment whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse,” by Oxford dictionary. Documentaries like “Surviving International Boulevard” highlight the all too real problem of human trafficking, including the trafficking of children for sex in the Bay Area, in particular, Oakland, is a hub.

Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills says, “It’s the new crack cocaine.” The FBI identifies the San Francisco Bay Area as one of the highest-intensity child sex trafficking areas in the country. “84 minors were recovered, and 120 traffickers were arrested as part of Operation Cross Country XI, a nationwide effort focusing on underage human trafficking that ran from October 12-15, 2017,” according to FBI officials in the San Francisco media office.

Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting & Serving Sexually Exploited Youth, or MISSY, “has devoted its energy to the heartbreaking epidemic of commercial sexual exploitation by supporting and advocating for youth who are victims of child sex trafficking.”

Survivors Healing, Advising and Dedicated to Empowerment, or the S.H.A.D.E. project is, “an organization that’s all about survivors who are against gender violence, social injustice, and sexual exploitation. S.H.A.D.E is a survivor run consulting project coming together to speak out for survivors and to work with other community groups, agencies, and governmental offices about survivor issues.

Heather Monasky says, “People in prostitution lack basic freedom: freedom over their bodies, freedom to manage their own lives, and freedom to live without fear.” Ashleigh M. Kline, the writer of “The Fallacy of Free Will in Prostitution: Encouraging Prostitution Reform to Prevent the Repeated Victimization of Vulnerable Persons,” explains, “there is no free will or choice in prostitution, and a prostitute is always an object and a victim.”

Resources are available, and survivors are out there looking to provide information and assistance. If you see something, say something.

Resources are available. People, survivors invite anyone looking for information or assistance.

We offer specialized expertise, advice to public sector education, health, human services, and other state, county, and municipal governments business. We provide research, focus groups, training, public speaking, awareness events, peer counseling, program development, advocacy and skill building, survivor leadership.

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Board of Trustees Meets at LPC

November 14 the CLPCCD Board of Trustees met for the sixth open session meeting since the three senates of Chabot formally expressed the need to become a sanctuary campus. Las Positas’ response to their solidarity with Chabot came in the form of a resolution of their own. “We started with Chabot Colleges’ resolution…Then we made adjustments to it to fit our needs here at Las Positas,” said Ashley Young, an LPC faculty member involved in drafting their resolution. Students and faculty from both campuses were present, expressing support for a sanctuary district.

Among other agenda items and concerns from both colleges, Chabot faculty members like Carolyn Arnold came to speak, “in support of the vote of no confidence,” for Chancellor Jackson and her office. Directly addressing Chancellor Jackson and Vice Chancellor Johns, Arnold continues, “you’ve brought in a top-down approach to our district that does not fit the culture of our colleges. This management style doesn’t respect the will or the wisdom of our colleges, and instead seeks to control our direction by overriding our decision about our budgets, our programs, our hiring, and in many other areas.”

As Arnold wraps up, going just over the three-minute time limit set by the board, in the middle of her sentence, the microphone suddenly cuts off. Referring to a police officer overseeing the security of the meeting, a member of the public shouts, “he said to turn it off after three minutes.” As members of the public begin to lash out, board chair, President Hal G. Chin states, “keep it on at all times. Don’t turn it off.”

“Some things don’t change,” says longtime Chabot faculty member Adolf Oliver. “I would hope that someday the district can hire administrators who pull us together and don’t tear us apart,” says Oliver.

Referring to the LPC sanctuary resolution, Young says, “Is it perfect? No. We could spend another thousand hours working on this, and still not have it be perfect … it says everything we want it to say in a way that we’re happy with, and more importantly, it doesn’t inadvertently say something that we don’t want it to say. I really want to urge you to act quickly, not rashly, but quickly, as it is better to say almost exactly what you wanted to say at the right time than to say exactly what you want to say when it’s too late.”

Districtwide support for a sanctuary status is undeniable. Las Positas Student Kirsty Burges says, “I’m here in support of the passing of the sanctuary campus resolution … Some people think of this campus as a home … everyone should feel safe at their home.

Angela Vasquez, “a proud DACA student,” at Los Positas comes from the heart of personal experience telling the board to, “put yourself in their shoes. I was nine when I came to the United States,” pausing for a brief moment trying to gather her emotions tears began to be shed, “not knowing what was going to happen to me next…11 years later, getting an education for myself, not only getting the best grades I can, but also being involved in Las Positas student government, I’m also on the speech team and working really hard with the undocu-allie task force for those students that, just like me, want to feel safe. I want to be that voice of those people that really feel ashamed of where they come from…I am proud of where I came from. I want to be safe in this school because I love this school.”

Valerie Liu

Are you an artist? Most of us are and may not even know or at least acknowledge it. Art is not only drawing or painting, but it has a wide array of creative activities such as music, poetry, literature, dance, graphic design and more. Some may even debate that being a bartender or mixologist, and even making a sandwich can be considered art. I’m not here to argue that, however, I do make some mean sandwiches that would teach your taste buds some creativity.

Oxford dictionary defines art as, “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.” But, what does it mean to be an established or published artist? How do we take our art to the next level? What does it take? Is it practice, patience and putting yourself out there?

I had the privilege of speaking with artist Valerie Liu, a former Chabot student whose artwork has been featured in previous issues of the Spectator. She also, created the logo for the Bullet Cast, a Spectator-featured podcast that highlights the world of professional wrestling.

“Honestly, it was intimidating initially, to have my artwork as the face of a wrestling podcast (since I know nothing about wrestling) but, since doing the artwork and listening to the podcast a couple of times, I am glad I did it! I love the guys from The Bullet Cast, and I really like doing art for them!” said Valerie.

“I’ve been an artist since childhood; art was something that I just had a knack for since I was a kid. It wasn’t until high school that I realized that I wanted to pursue art seriously,” declared Valerie.

Her Instagram account is filled with expressive and impressive drawings. A few of my personal favorites include portraits of President John F Kennedy and Eleven from the Netflix original series, “Stranger Things.”

“I love sharing my artwork, I am seriously so thankful to The Spectator for giving me the opportunity to have my art in the paper, it is really rewarding to see my art on campus,” Valerie humbly stated. Along with her love for art, Valerie also enrolled in classes at Chabot to strengthen her ability, “My favorite piece I have drawn is a self-portrait in graphite for Art 1A, it really pushed me to do more realistic art, and It was fun to see how well I could render my own face.”

It is never too late to start practicing. With such persistence, Valerie expressed, “I post art daily on my Instagram, but I’ve also been trying my hand at comics. Mostly, I am just working on expanding my audience and working on expanding my skill as well.” She is also, working diligently on her portfolio with hopes to transfer to Art School.

Be on the lookout. You may see her work in the near future! For now, you can check out her artistry on her Instagram account @Valerie.Liu. For all artists, don’t be afraid to put your stuff out there. The only person who can deny your art is yourself.

Diversity Day

On November 13 at 1 p.m. in the Ceasar Chavez Plaza, The Spectator had the opportunity to witness KCRH’s first Diversity Day. Students had the opportunity to learn how diverse Chabot College actually is. Diversity Day was also joined by Chabot College’s library, which provided resources such as books about different cultures for students to further educate themselves.
 
The festival offered students not only the chance to become knowledgeable of different cultures on campus but provide a chance to relax between classes. Many students were not aware of the event, but many were intrigued about what was happening. Activities included an interactive drum circle joined by The Spectator’s own Lorenzo Caballero and Sonny Alvarado as well as fresh fruit for snacking courtesy of “Nesions Unite.”
 
Diversity Day brought out students that happened to see the event and join in with the interactive activities. The event gave a platform to showcase developed clubs such as: Nesions Unite. When asked about what exactly is Nesions Unite, Taufa Setefamo, Nesions Unites’ club leader, stated, “Nesions Unite was created so that all Nesions know that there’s a club that has resources, and build a community.” All members of Nesions Unite made sure to enlighten students on their club information, everything down to the three categories of Pacific Islanders
 
Chabot Student Joan Cortez, a Member of the Justice Art Collective Program, explained the Umoja Organization, “An education community that is aimed toward African American students and African American studies.” This raised the question of “What ethnicity do you identify as?” He explained that he identified as a Latino male but specified that his mother was from a region in Mexico where they had more African roots as well.

Trump’s Twitter

On Thursday, November 2, the President’s Twitter account was deleted by a rogue employee at the company causing President Trump’s account to be down for over 11 minutes.

In a scramble that very night the account was eventually recovered and brought back. The initial thinking was that it might have been a mistake, but it was found that a contract employee on the last day of his job had caused the deletion. This made it even more difficult for the company who regularly relies on contract employees to fill in positions.

The President later tweeted out that day, “My Twitter account was taken down for 11 minutes by a rogue employee. I guess the word must finally be getting out- and having an impact.”

Twitter plans on increasing security and putting more scrutiny on its employees after the incident. In a tweet by Twitter’s government account on the 2nd of November, they conducted a full internal review.

According to The New York Times, often the deletion of accounts are “an easy two- or three-step process, according to current and former Twitter employees. Certain teams at the company — including trust and safety, and operations — have access to all accounts including the highest levels.”

However, “Twitter customer support does not have any access to the accounts of people, nor can they tweet on behalf of other users,” citing that there is very limited access to accounts according to The New York Times.

“I think it’s pretty funny how his account just disappeared like that, it’s almost as if your words have real-world consequences,” says Rico Rodolfo, Chabot Student. “He gets away with saying a lot of things online, but when it catches up to him, I think it’s hilarious.”

It remains unclear as to how the rogue employee was able to delete the president’s account.

Net Neutrality

The internet acts as a utility that connects millions of people. Each internet user is connected through the system which is provided by one’s internet service provider. As it stands, the data flows around and moves freely, and there is no one entity in the United States who controls this massive information current. By paying a fee to internet service providers, (ISPs) such as Comcast, Verizon, or AT&T, users get access to this network. The current system runs off the principle of net neutrality, the idea that ISPs must provide fair access to all the internet at consistent speeds, no matter the content or business ties they may have.

Currently, net neutrality is threatened. On Dec. 14, the FCC will vote on whether or not the Obama Administration rules on the protection of net neutrality should be overturned. There is a high likelihood that the FCC will end net neutrality, because of heavy lobbying from the three major ISPs. Comcast alone spent $1.7 million from 2016-2017 for lobbying on Capitol Hill against net neutrality. Back when the rules protecting net neutrality were put into place, the FCC was controlled by Democrats, but that has since changed with the Trump presidency, which is generally against keeping the internet free.

Without net neutrality, broadband companies would be able to influence their customers’ access to websites by having the right to completely block them, because they are a competitor, or slowing down the streaming speeds of websites so that that company would have to pay more to access higher bandwidth speeds. If companies were allowed to interfere with internet access, they would be able to monetize both the user trying to access the internet and the companies trying to get people to use their service. The Big Three ISPs believe that they should be able to do this because the internet content creator companies, such as Netflix, take up to 30% of the total internet bandwidth and should, therefore, be forced to pay for the upkeep of the infrastructure. This is thought to be fair since the companies are participating in the free market, and the cost of upgrading the system to expand the bandwidth should not be left on the users.

The internet is a massive social and cultural achievement that allows humans unprecedented access to information. Besides giving a small number of companies the power to freely expand the maturing internet system, no net neutrality would also mean that these certain companies could also put speed bumps or roadblocks to the internet where they deem necessary. Allowing private companies that are only interested in increasing their profits to act as gatekeepers, would destroy the current level of freedom that the internet has. With no net neutrality, big ISPs could favor websites they have business ties with, and slow their competitors down. Competition is what keeps any market healthy.

Most Americans don’t have any choice but to deal with these slowed down speeds since the majority of people have access to only one high-speed internet provider. If Comcast or Verizon were able to deter competition, there wouldn’t be anything stopping them from blocking content or messages that they don’t support. The internet would be shaped in a way that is solely beneficial to them. Websites would not be the only thing affected either. In 2012, AT&T slowed bandwidth speeds to people using Apple’s FaceTime. There would be nothing from stopping AT&T from doing something similar again. Such a powerful invention should not be turned into a business model.

California Congressman Eric Swalwell, who represents the majority of Alameda County, is outraged that the FCC wants to, “.. tip the internet’s scales toward the wealthy & powerful.” The protection of net neutrality keeps the playing field fair for both businesses and everyday users. If losing your current internet access outrages you, contact your representative by phone, email, letter, in person, on social media, or through a pigeon messenger. Every single voice does make a difference. Congress cannot make decisions with the FCC, but it can pass bills to intervene with the FCC’s decision.

The freedom to watch as much cat videos as one wants at 3 a.m. is what makes the internet great. Having only a small handful of companies controlling a massive part of data just because they act as the middlemen to the access of this data, does not make sense. The internet has been in control of the masses for all of its existence, and it has grown up just fine without interference. Gatekeeping the internet should never be profit-driven, and whoever does control it, should always have the interests of the people who expand its content in mind.

A packed main floor when opened to the public

Day of the Devs 2017

A packed main floor when opened to the public

Packed Main Floor

Day of the Devs is an annual gathering of independent developers and the gaming public to try out Independent games that are yet to be released. Independent developer Double Fine has been hosting Day of the Devs since 2012. Developers come from around the world to show their games to the public, to share their vision with hundreds of people.
 
In a small building in the Warehouse district of San Francisco, people stand in lines to try out games they’ve been waiting for, with developers on standby waiting to answer questions and see how people play their game. Among these many games, there will be ones that stand out, such as Harry Halibut, a game created entirely out of clay figures and settings scanned from actual 3D models.
 
Game Designer and composer, Onat Hekimoglu spoke with us about his game. “Our inspirations come from a lot of places. If you ask us, it came from many 1990s adventure games, but also stop-motion films that inspired us to go for this style. When we started, we experimented with various techniques including real stop motion animation. It was one of the biggest obstacles, but from that point on once we had all that set up everything went well.”
Main Hallway

Main Hallway

 
 
Another game teaches people that it is OK to be shy, to take a look inside themselves. Developer Pale Room looks to explore more of this concept.
 
Gabrielle told us about her inspiration for Small Talk, a surreal game that deals with exploring and understanding your inner self. “I was reading a lot of David Foster Wallace books, and I loved that idea of making games that are a part of you, and you can actually see yourself, and you’re actually changed a bit by it. Games don’t make themselves, you have to make them, and it’s putting enough time aside to get through it. I lucked out because you have to find people that are really dedicated to a specific vision. I want people to see a little bit more inside of themselves.”
 
Friendship and cooperation are another important theme. Pode is one such game. Based in Norway, developer Henchmen and Goon set out to make a likable cooperative game that can be played by anyone.
 
Game Designer Yngvill Hopen talked about her inspiration for Pode. “I wanted to make a game to play with my three-year-old son. You could have one person do all the difficult puzzles while the other explores. The setting of the game is based on Norwegian folk art, just Norwegian nature. Our obstacle was being able to balance the game for a single player and cooperation and making everything work and making a game fun for a three-year-old child as well as an adult. It’s been a lot of work to make everything look right. I want to teach people to work together and be friends. It’s very focused on emphasizing positive actions.”
 
Games like Pode can teach others about friendship and fun for all ages. The people at Sunset Division say otherwise, by creating a game isolating the player on an abandoned mining rig on an unknown planet leaving you to your own devices. The Rig is a virtual reality experience which puts players in the shoes of a travel agent in search of his lost sister-in-law. This haunting experience will keep them on their toes. Local San Francisco developer Sunset Division wanted to make a virtual reality game that was like the old adventure games of the 90s.
 
Artist and Filmmaker Abe Deekman detailed why making virtual reality games are so difficult. “The biggest obstacle was virtual reality, that’s all brand-new for us, and it’s very different in ways I never expected from making a traditional 2D game. Things you would think that would normally work no longer work at all. For example, moving around, you want to lessen the impact and how it plays. It’s hard to move really quickly because people will get sick really quickly. We have teleporting to solve that.”

From left to right: Planet Alpha, Runner3, Hello Neighbor

Bit Trip Runner 3, by Choice Provisions, has the wacky fun people are looking for. Weird imagery, a bouncy soundtrack, and a challenge. Game designer Dant Rambo and his team had a love for the older Classic Atari games as well as rhythm games. They made the first Bit Trip Runner game out of passion and kept with it, making sequels. He hopes to teach people that games can be more than just shooters and gritty adventure games. The games industry is dominated by a wide range of individuals looking to express their visions to the world, and this is just the start.

The 1st Time Theater Arts Has No Main Stage Play

This is the first time ever in all the years since the opening of the Theater department at Chabot College there’ll be no main stage play because of budget cuts.

The college is working to reduce the deficit. According to Dean of Arts, Media and Communication, Deonne Kunkel “I’m working with Vice President of Business Services, Ron Gerhard, also Vice President, Stacy Thompson. The program reviews were just completed. All the different areas put in their request and we are now in the process of compiling all them. We hope that the request for the main stage support will be prioritized high enough.”

Theater Arts Instructor Dov Hassan explained that the main reason we will go without any main stage plays this semester boils down to a lack of funds for technical staff. Technical staff are all those who work behind the scenes. The people who make the costumes and stage sets, who do the lighting, run the box office, publicity, marketing, and who handle and produce the shows.

“There is so much work to be done that we can’t just do this with students alone. We have a class for technical theater, but it’s so intense to build a set for a show that that’s about all they can get done. It’s such a mad dash to get it all done in time, that there’s not much time left for really teaching the subject matter in depth. And there needs to be staff support to direct things. Theater offers all kind of training for other jobs. It helps students learn to work on complicated tasks.” said Theater Arts instructor Dov Hassan

Instructor Hassan explained that a lot of people get the Performing Arts Center (PAC) staff confused with the theater arts program. According to him, the PAC staff is solely dedicated to running the theater for rental use. “They have staff, but we get zero support from them. We are not related to them. It’s a totally separate program.”

The funding has been decreasing slowly and steadily. The theater never had to rely on outside funding like grants. The funding has always been inside the college district budget. The theater program sells a lot of tickets for their shows.

“If we don’t get a certain amount of funding from the district, in addition to not putting on a main stage play we will no longer be able to attend The American College Theater Festival, that we have attended every year. nonetheless, theater arts continues to thrive with tremendous student energy and commitment to new original plays. We need to hire professional people for the whole year, and we don’t have the money for that” says professor Rachel Lepell.

The Deficit is not only affecting the Theater Arts but the whole campus. It’s affecting the theater, music, science, digital media, math, and English department. Every department doesn’t have as much funding for supplies as they did before. The new plan under our new Vice President of Business Services, Ron Gerhard is that the Theater Arts has to rent out Chabot College facilities. Renting out the Facilities also means that the Television station Mass Communications class might have to pay for each student to use Chabot College facilities. When asked about the Theater arts and MCOM classes renting out the facilities Dr. Stacy Thompson was uncertain about it.

The instructors who direct the main stage plays are Joel Mullennix, Margo Hall, and Dov Hassan. Every semester they rotate who’s directing the class and the play. Next semester there’s going to be the main stage play “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare and Professor Mullennix is going to direct it.

Since there’s not going to be a main stage play this semester, emerging works is going to be more ambitious. With six plays, there’s going to be more students in the class that are going to be performing. Emerging works are student’s plays that ran earlier in December.

Vice President of Academic Services Dr. Stacy Thompson added “We had a deficit we’re trying to work out so now the hope is we will be able to fund the performances, and the supplies you need for performances. A proposal was submitted through the program review process we’re hopeful that we are going to have a main stage play next year, and by the end of this fiscal year things would’ve settled down and be put into place. The program will survive, and it will flourish.”

Trash the Ash

For the past ten years Chabot College Nurse Practitioner Tricia Gonsman MSN, FNP has hosted “Trash the Ash.” This event brings awareness to students here on Chabot campus about the effects that tobacco products can have on someone’s body, like cancer. Yes, Tobacco is addictive, but she helps and encourages students to stop using Tobacco.

“What we are trying to get across is that we know that it’s difficult for people to quit, but the goal is we want to be there to support people and our students, yet, try to encourage them to quit smoking and stop using tobacco products. The hazardous effect of smoking is heart repertory C.O.P.D., and breathing problems. They can cause cancers (Lungs, kidney oral and bladder). The fact that it’s expensive and it smells, your fingers can turn yellow also.” Says Nurse Tricia Gonsman.

At the “Trash the Ash” event there were two students from Foothill College on a repository program volunteering. The repository program is an organization which raises awareness for lung disease. Their names are Eliza Tram and Pree Thirao.

“Smoking is a big issue. With the money you’re using on tobacco, you can use it on a vacation or something. With everything going on with the natural disasters and air quality, it isn’t good. Think about all the newborn and children breathing in all that smoke in the air” says Eliza Tram.

With states like, California, Arizona, Colorado, New York and another 25 states that have a statewide smoking ban, there are states that don’t. In states like Texas and Wyoming, there are no statewide smoking and no indoor smoking bans.

According to an article in the CBS NEWS called “Smoking Bans Spreading Butts Some States Still Love Smokers” it had stated that “Some other states have less restrictive laws, like requiring smoking areas with separate ventilation. Only seven states have no indoor smoking restrictions, although some of their cities do: Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

Student Ta’mari Vandross says, “I don’t smoke. I don’t like the smell of it. I do think it’s good that you can’t smoke on campus because smoking affects people’s health and that’s not good for us, not only us but our environment.”

Another student Sallison McCullough added. “I’m a Mother, and I don’t smoke. The smell is nasty, and the stuff that they put into the cigarettes isn’t meant for humans at all. It’s very disgusting. I know someone who smokes, and it’s very addictive.”

The things that are put into cigarettes are harmful and nasty. Formaldehyde (a chemical that is used to preserve the dead), Vinyl Chloride (used to make plastics), Arsenic (used for rat poison), Cadmium (used in batteries), Hydrogen Cyanide (was used to kill people in the gas chamber during World War II in Nazi Germany. There are other harmful products in cigarettes.

For those who smoke know that it’s addictive and it’s very hard to quit. The California Smokers’ Helpline is a program that can help smokers quit. They were founded in 1992. The number is 1-800-NO-BUTTS.

Chabot Now Offering Class on Tupac

For the past five years, librarian and Chabot Instructor Kim Morrison has taught a course about the late, famous rapper and actor Tupac Amaru Shakur. This themed course on Tupac is intended to build student’s research skills. The course isn’t about just listening to Tupac’s music, watching his movies, documentaries and learning his life it’s more than that. It’s about students choosing a topic that he raps about or is associated with him.

Kim Morrison says “Students in this course will choose a topic that relates to Tupac or around him. This semester someone is doing their research on his mother (Afeni Shakur) in prison and how she defends herself. Someone is doing a research project on homelessness. Someone is doing one on Ida B. Wells and how she brought attention to the black men that were being lynched in the south. She was a reporter, and the student is writing about how she brought attention to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, then comparing it” to what Ida B. Wells reported on”

In his songs Tupac covers all kinds of subjects, like teen pregnancy in “Brenda Got a Baby”, social justice and police brutality issues in “Trapped”, being raised and loved by a single mother “Dear Mama”, a person being judged by their race in “Only God Can Judge Me”, a young man joining a gang and peer pressure in “Shorty Wanna Be a Thug” and more topics.

Sean Kain, a Chabot College student, says “It’s good that Chabot has this class on and about Pac because he is one of my favorite artists. I was only two-year-old when he was killed, but I was raised on his music, and it had such an impact on my life. His music was about being black and having black pride, not only black pride but pride in ourselves and in every culture.”

Chabot student Damon Laresca added “I’ve never taken the class, but I’m interested in learning about him and what made him as famous as he was before he died. I like his songs it’s like he can do one song about going to the club partying and having fun like “California Love” Then he can also have songs that make you think like “So Many Tears,” and besides Kendrick Lamar we don’t have that type of artist no more for this generation and I think that’s sad.”

Salimah “Mrs. Makaveli” Shabazz says, “It’s awesome taking the Tupac class. I almost know everything there is to know about Pac already, but my career goal is to teach a class like Ms. Kim. I want to bring awareness to social justice issues through Tupac’s music and videos. Tupac had a tremendous impact on me. Everyone calls me Mrs. Makaveli. I have a Tupac tattoo and a 21-year-old son name Shakur. How much more aspiring can he be to me to name my son after him? If you haven’t seen a movie with Tupac in it, I would suggest “Poetic Justice” because that’s one of the most positive black movies that he was in.”