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Aramark’s contract with Los Rios Community College District’s food service provider ends in 2020. Many people across campuses want to prevent the district from entering into a new contract with the company, which contracts with over 500 prisons across the U.S., as well as allegedly with ICE detention centers.
ARC community urges district to cut ties with controversial food service vendor By Oden Taylor & Jennah Booth firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com In a move that could reshape each Los Rios Community College District campus’s food services offerings, students, clubs and faculty have banded together in an effort to advocate against the district’s contract with its current food service provider, Aramark. Many believe the 10.5 billion dollar company has the district, its faculty and student population in an expensive chokehold that limits their food options and fundraising. Students also claim
Aramark goes against the district’s values by supporting a company allegedly associated with ICE detention centers and the prison industrial complex, among other controversies. At ARC, Aramark oversees the campus cafeteria, Starbucks and the Subway. According to Mario Rodriguez, vice chancellor of finance and administration at LRCCD, the district has had its current contract with Aramark for the last five years, but has been contracted with the company since 2003. Rodriguez, along with other sources, would not confirm how much Aramark charges the district.
LRCCD’s contract with Aramark ends in August 2020, opening up the bid for a new food-service providers, as well as the chance for Aramark to rebid and enter into a new contract with the district. On Oct. 9, the student Aramark Committee, a branch of the Associated Student Body, made up of multiple ASB representatives from all four campuses, as well as several club leaders and students, held its first meeting to discuss grievances with Aramark and potentially prevent the district from re-entering into another contract with the company. According to several members of ARC’s Aramark Committee, as well as students and faculty
outside of the committee, the district’s contract with Aramark restricts clubs’ fundraising, lacks a variety of food options and doesn’t value the campuses’ efforts against climate change. Many say they also believe the company goes against the political and social values of many students and faculty, in addition to ARC’s mission statement. Aramark, which is contracted with many college campuses across the United States, provides meal services to over 500 prisons in the United States, according to its website. In recent years, the company has faced complaints about maggots in its food along with other
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food-sanitation issues, drug trafficking and other employee misconduct, according to a 2017 PBS article documenting prison strikes. In 2014, inmates at the Charles Egeler Reception & Guidance Center, a state prison in Jackson, Michigan allegedly found maggots while peeling potatoes, according to Michigan Radio. “Aramark has had a number of serious issues since it took over as the prison system’s food service provider,” Michigan Radio reported. “The company was cited for food shortages, under-staffing, and employees’ smuggling contraband into prisons, among other things.” This year, New York University did not renew its 35-year-plus contract with Aramark following a failed New York City Department of Health inspection “which found evidence of mice, filth, flies and hot food held at less than 140 degrees Fahrenheit,” according to the Washington Square News, NYU’s independent student newspaper. “[NYU’s] decision followed an incident in which a racially insensitive menu featuring “watermelon water” was offered during Black History Month and months of student activists protesting Aramark’s connections to private prisons,” the Observer, Fordham University’s student newspaper, reported in October, citing the school’s own grievances with Aramark. In 2017, a Fordham student allegedly found a dead mouse in a salad container, which had been prepared by Aramark employees, according to the Observer. Aramark has also been criticized for its alleged involvement with ICE detention centers, a connection which Karen Cutler, the company’s vice president of communications and public affairs, denies, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer article that reported on protests against ICE in May.
Aramark | Page 3
ESL professors fight for placement tool By Jack Harris firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Jack Harris | Staff Writer
American River College ESL professors (from left to right) Sanda Valcu, Allyson Joye and Oranit Limmaneeprasert addressed the lack of a current placement tool for ESL students at the Board of Governors meeting on Nov. 18, 2019.
“Most of our students are immigrants and refugees who have gone through hell to get here, and I think the least they can have is some kind of accurate placement, so that they can be successful.” That’s what Oranit Limmaneeprasert had to say at the Los Rios Community College Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 16 as fellow American River College English as a Second Language professors Sanda Valcu and Allyson Joye stood alongside her. Limmaneeprasert, Valcu and Joye attended the meeting to
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speak to trustee Pamela Haynes, but not for her position on the Board of Trustees. Haynes is also the vice president of the Board of Governors, which regulates student placement measures for community colleges. The three ESL professors said they feel that California State Assembly Bill 705 presented new challenges for placing ESL students, and are turning to the Board of Governors for a solution. AB 705 took effect in 2018 and sought to reform many aspects of the California community college system, according to the bill. The bill states that AB 705 ”would require a community col-
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lege district or college to maximize the probability that the student will enter and complete transfer-level coursework in English and mathematics within a one-year time frame.” AB 705 also gives power to the Board of Governors to regulate the measures community colleges take to place students. In practice, AB 705 eliminated placement tests for English and math and instead let incoming students report their high school
ESL Placement | Page 2
Nov. 20, 2019
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ASB APPROVES $6,000 FOR ARC’S MODEL UNITED NATIONS CLUB By Brandon Zamora b14Zamora@gmail.com The American River College Associated Student Body Senate met Nov. 15, to vote on the ARC Model United Nations Finding Bill. This was the main, and for the most part only, topic that ASB discussed in their meeting. The bill allows the senate to grant ARC’s Model United Nations Club $6,000 to cover its five day conference trip in San Francisco from April 17 to 21, 2020. The money would be used by the club to cover its stay at the Hyatt Hotel. The club has 15 students and one faculty member, and they plan to book nine rooms total. Out of the 10 ASB senate members who voted, nine approved to give the club funds for the trip. The senate member who voted against was Ramses Galvez.
Photo by Brandon Zamora | Staff Writer
ASB Senate President Aesha Abduljabbar (left) met with the board met on Nov. 15 to pass a bill the allows funding for ARC’s Model United Nations Club’s conference trip.
According to Galvez, ARC’s Model United Nations comes to the senate every year for this conference and asks for money. However, Galvez said this time around they asked for
more money than they have in the past. “I feel they asked for too much money this year,” Galvez said. “We want to support them, but I don’t
see how giving them this much money benefits us or makes an impact for the campus.” Despite Galvez’s feelings towards the bill, the majority voted yes and the bill was passed to give the club its fundings for its conference. ASB President Aesha Abduljabbar said supporting clubs going to conferences is important enough to spend money on. However, Abduljabbar said ASB also “demands” that clubs bring back proof of how these conferences will benefit the campus. “These clubs are going to these conferences to represent ARC,” Abduljabbar said. “Due to how many students are going, I feel $6,000 is an appropriate amount to give for the trip.” The next ASB senate meeting is on Nov. 22 at 10:30 a.m. in the Student Center Boardroom.
URRENT An American River College student-run publication. Editor-in-Chief Jennah Booth Managing Editor Ariel Caspar Photo Editor Emily Mello Opinion & Social Media Editor Alexis Warren Sports Editor Thomas Cathey Staff Colin Bar tley Marquala Brown Josh Ghiorso Jack Harris Bram Mar tinez Oden Taylor Brandon Zamora Faculty Adviser Rachel Leibrock
Photo by Jack Harris | Staff Writer
ARC ESL professors Sanda Valcu, Oranit Limmaneeprasert, Allyson Joye and Caterina Falli (left to right) discussed ESL placement at the Board of Governors meeting on Nov. 18.
ESL struggles to place students
Cont. from page 1
GPAs and the grades they got in their highest English and math classes, according to the “What is the Law” page of the website “AB 705: The Law & Your Rights.” Limmneeprasert said that for students coming straight out of high school, especially those looking to transfer in a timely manner, this proved quite effective, but that not everyone finds the bill ideal. Many ESL students don’t speak enough English to know what self-placement is asking of them, or come from countries whose education systems operate differently than the four-point US GPA system, according to Limmaneeprasert. “Please at least give them a chance to be placed in the right class. They don’t have GPAs from high schools, they don’t even have documents because some of them just fled their countries,” Limmaneeprasert said at the meeting. The ESL portion of AB 705 is different from the rest of the bill in that community colleges are given three years to get ESL students to transfer-level, when it is otherwise one year, according to Limmaneeprasert. “We wanted to say ESL should be exempt, period. [AB 705] is not about ESL students, but we were not able to, so we were able to get to ESL students [to] have three
years,” Limmaneeprasert said. Assessments have been the linchpin of ESL placement for some time. At ARC, the ESL department has used a combination of a placement test called ACCUPLACER, and a writing sample written by all ESL students, which are then are reviewed by ESL faculty, according to Limmaneeprasert and Valcu. Their permission to use this method expires spring 2020, and they must be in full compliance with AB 705 by fall 2020. Joye has been put in charge of determining the future of assessments and placements for the ESL department at ARC. Joye is pushing for a different assessment, as their permission to use ACCUPLACER is going to expire next year. She says she’s been met with support within the Los Rios Community College District. “[ARC President] Thomas Greene has been very supportive, so for our department at our college, we feel like they’re behind us in the idea that we want to have an assessment test,” Joye said. “The ESL departments at the other colleges in our district are also supportive of that idea.” The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO), which plays an essential role in the execution of AB 705 has recently indicated an openness to using an assessment in the future. In a Sept. 26 memorandum from the CCCCO titled “Credit Eng-
lish as a Second Language Guidance,” the CCCCO said it will look into assessments as an element of ESL placement. The memorandum states that “the AB 705 ESL Advisory Committee will work with the Chancellor’s Office to examine placement options for ESL programs, including the use of assessment instruments as a multiple measure.” The memorandum also says that any changes made to current assessment services must not inhibit a college’s ability to place ESL students. Despite the fact that the CCCCO is open to the idea of ESL placement tests and ARC administration supports the ESL department’s push for an assessment, the road to getting one approved is still unclear, according to Limmaneeprasert and Joye. Joyer said she sees a solution with an assessment committee at the CCCCO. “They were responsible for approving and revalidating different assessments,” Joyer said. “They haven’t met in five years, and so until we can get that committee up and convening and actually putting together some sort of approval process, we’re still a little bit in the dark of how this can all work.” Joyer said that she, Limmaneeprasert and Valcu were at the Board of Trustees meeting to call Hayne’s attention to this very committee, but that given the nature of when and how they were allowed to speak, Joyer said she is unsure of Hayne’s opinion on the matter. Haynes told the Current that the ESL subcommittee will pres-
ent new guidelines at either the Nov. 16 Board of Governors meeting, or the meeting next January, and that she is waiting to hear the subcommittee’s opinion. “I don’t want to presuppose what their recommendations are,” Haynes said. Limmaneeprasert, who attended the Nov. 18 meeting, says that the ESL subcommittee did not speak. Five members of the ARC ESL department spoke during the public forum at the Nov. 18 Board of Governors meeting, according to Limmaneeprasert. Some presented letters from their students. “All of our students said the same thing, that they think that an assessment helps them succeed faster and not waste their time,” Limmaneeprasert said. Other professors presented facts. Limmaneeprasert said she even read some excerpts from the CCCCO’s own Sept. 26 memorandum, urging the chancellor to follow through with what they said in the memorandum. Due to the format of the public forum, the professors were not able to receive feedback from the board, but Limmaneeprasert says she thinks that they had the board’s attention. Until the ARC ESL department receives more information, Valcu says they will continue to face placement challenges. “An ESL student can be misplaced into English right now, and they are. We have people right now in the ESL lab who are in English 300 yet they can not make an English sentence,” Valcu said. “It’s a really hard time for our students, for our program.”
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POLICY The Current is produced by the students of College Media Production, J410-413. All opinions are signed and not necessarily endorsed by the Current staff. All letters and articles appearing in the Editorial, Opinion or Forum sections are not necessarily representative of the Current staff or American River College policy. All articles are the property of the Current. Letters must be typed and can be submitted by mail, e-mail or in person at the following addresses: The American River Current 4700 College Oak Drive Portable Village 613A Sacramento, CA 95841 Phone: 916-484-8304 Fax: 916-484-8668 E-mail: Current@arc.losrios.edu www.ARCurrent.com
Nov. 20, 2019
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The Los Rios Community College District and Envision Strategies. a food service consulting firm, held a focus group with American River College students and staff on Nov. 14, 2019, to evaluate what the campus wants from a food service provider.
Aramark will be able to rebid for new LRCCD contract Cont. from page 1 “A government website that tracks federal spending shows that, since 2005, Aramark has had 108 contracts with the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees multiple immigration agencies,” the article reported. “The company had multiple agreements with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which supervises legal immigration, but only a few, for small amounts, with ICE or with Customs and Border Patrol.” ARC President Thomas Greene issued a statement in an email to the Current regarding the many grievances against Aramark. In it, Greene said he was encouraged by the amount of involvement the campus had taken in the upcoming bid. “We know that there are a lot of important parts to this conversation, including the quality and cost of the food that is available, the variety of options for students, the source and nutritional quality of food options, as well as, importantly, the type of company that we choose to partner with,” Greene wrote. According to Jamie Ruggles, director of accounting services for Los Rios, when LRCCD entered into the contract with Aramark, which was the only bidder at the time, they did not seek out or receive any community input. In order to better address community concerns regarding the new vendor contract, Rodriguez said LRCCD is working with Envision Strategies, a food service consulting firm, which plans to facilitate focus groups and ultimately aid the Board of Trustees in deciding on a new contract and potential vendor. LRCCD, in collaboration with Envision Strategies, is currently in the process of creating a vendor evaluation committee, made up of faculty from different areas of the district, as well as one student representative from each college campus, Rodriguez said.
On Nov. 14, LRCCD and Envision Strategies held their first focus group at ARC, facilitated by Eric Lenard and Ruggles. During it, ARC staff was invited to express its frustrations with Aramark
“No wonder [the food] tastes horrible to everybody, because it tastes like the prison industrial complex.” Alejandra Fernandez Garcia Pride Center Student Personnel Assistant
and what they would like to see from a new contract and vendor. While students were welcome, the meeting was only advertised to staff through a faculty email. Many attendees brought up concerns regarding the pricing and quality of the food, while others brought up personal and moral grievances with the company. Alejandra Fernandez Garcia, a student personnel assistant for the ARC Pride Center, addressed the ethical concerns of Los Rios contracting with Aramark. “This district, and more specifically our campus, has directly said that they support undocumented students and people, eployees and staff members,” Garcia said. “[H]ow can we say we support these members of our community and then welcome them to campus, and they’re eating the food that is directly part of their oppression … No wonder [the food] tastes horrible to everybody, because it tastes like the prison industrial complex.” According to Maria Elena Sepulveda, an ARC sociology major and member of Latinos Unidos and the student Aramark Committee, ARC has provided its own share of complaints against the Aramark management on campus. Supulveda told the Current that
she had a bad interaction with ARC’s Aramark manager after reaching out to Starbucks corporate. She brought up her concerns with management at the LRCCD Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 16, as well as at the focus group meeting on Nov. 14. “I would say my biggest concerns are the infringements on the students, their clubs as well as the exploitation of the student employees … as well as the management,” Supulveda said at the meeting. “The management is very rude and seriously needs to be replaced on this campus.” One former Starbucks employee and ARC student, who wished to remain anonymous because they were concerned about retaliation, filed a formal complaint with the college in 2016 after experiencing what they described as discrimination from Aramark managment, which led to the termination of their employment with the company. The former employee said their counselor encouraged them to follow through with a complaint to an ARC vice president, who then facilitated a meeting with the Aramark district manager but to no avail. “No one told me that I had other resources … It didn’t make sense … It was the first time that I was basically taken out of my job for something that has nothing to do with the actual job,” the former employee said. “Los Rios didn’t do anything. ARC followed through with the emails, but after that, nothing else. Nothing happened.” The former employee said they didn’t follow up on their complaints and avoided the Student Center because the experience was so emotionally damaging to them, it would trigger panic attacks. “I felt that there were no options. I felt that the school couldn’t do anything about it,” they said. “Everybody from Los Rios that I spoke with said, ‘Well it’s not us. It’s Aramark. I can not do anything about it; it’s the contract.”
Neither ARC’s Aramark manager Santa Singh, nor Frank Gleason, Aramark’s district-wide manager, responded to requests for comment from the Current. Along with complaints against management, ARC clubs have also struggled with Aramark’s contract because it restricts their ability to fundraise through bake sales, and other food sales. The current Aramark contract states that “the college district hereby grants to Aramark the exclusive right to operate the Food
Services Program at the colleges … Aramark’s exclusive right shall not extend to identified periodic student fund raising activities.” Kuldeep Kaur, ARC’s vice president of administrative services, serves as the liaison between the school and its food service provider, among other things. “My role is to work with the assigned Aramark manager to meet college needs and expectations within the boundaries of the contract,” Kaur said in an email interview with the Current. According to Kaur, it is the precedence between Aramark and the district that clubs are limited to eight events a year for food sales, although the contract does not explicitly list the number of club sale days. On Nov. 14, the Transcendence Club said it decided to break the club fundraiser agreement with Aramark in order to raise money for its club and better serve the transgender community at ARC. They raised money by selling cookies and brownies that had been made by various queer students who are enrolled at ARC. Transcendence Club President, Isidore Manes, said that they feel that the efforts of the club, as well as the Pride Center, to put on the bake sale are necessary for the betterment of LGBTQ+ students on campus. Manes added that they believe that Aramark does not have the interest of students in mind and instead is only concerned with the money. “The student body will not cave to Aramark’s facist and totalitarian demands,” Manes said, “I think that Aramark is absolutely corrupt and evil for what they are trying to do, they are trying to take advantage of students to make as much money as possible.”
Aramark | Page 3
Photo by Jennah Booth | Editor in Chief
ARC English professor Cathy Arellano adds her input on the posters provided by the LRCCD and food service consultant Envision Strategies to gauge the campuses opinions on Aramark.
Nov. 20, 2019
Photo illustration by Emily Mello | Photo Editor
Fraudulent student applications prevent the Los Rios Community College District from accurately observing student enrollment statistics to the college, according to Gabe Ross, the associate vice chancellor for Los Rios media relations.
Los Rios district works to counter fraudulent student applications By Colin Bartley email@example.com The Los Rios Community College District announced it would be taking action, via online resources, to counter fraudulent
student applicants who receive student discounts without enrolling in any classes, according to a faculty-wide email sent by the LRCCD help desk on Oct. 21, 2019. Changes made to the Los Rios application process were effective Oct. 28, 2019.
The LRCCD email noted that the primary concern is with the way the fraudulent applicants directly impact the district’s ability to assess and assist new students in the onboarding process according to the faculty wide email. These changes stemmed from a
developing problem with fraudulent applicants, who are not enrolled in any classes, using the student-issued emails to receive student discounts from various companies, according to Gabe Ross, Associate Vice Chancellor for Los Rios media relations. The primary impact of these changes will be to the LRCCD Gmail system, which includes the use of Google tools like Google Docs and Google Drive. The LRCCD administration has limited who can be contacted via the student issued G-mail to other LRCCD emails so they can not apply for student discounts from companies without actively participating in classes, according to the faculty email. Paula Sarantis, an IT support specialist for LRCCD, explained why fraudulent applications have become a problem for the district in the email sent to Los Rios faculty. “Many vendors and services offer discounts for customers with .edu email addresses, leading to literally thousands of people applying to our colleges each term just to get their wID,” Sarantis wrote. “Additionally, fraudulent applications impact our ability to effectively measure how successful our student onboarding processes are.” In order to counter this issue, the administration decided to place restrictions on student-issued G-mail accounts.The LRCCD administration said it hopes to
tackle this issue effectively while still keeping the application process as accessible as possible for new students, according to Sarantis. Ross explained that this issue is especially problematic for American River College because of the website layout of California Community College Apply, a website for college applicants in California, in an email interview with the Current. “When you go to CCC Apply and select a college to apply for, ARC is among the first listed alphabetically,” Ross wrote. Ross added that the administration is taking steps to confront the issue and is looking into other long-term solutions. “New applicants can still email faculty, staff or other students ...they just can’t use it for other uses until they actually enroll,” Ross wrote. “This will eliminate the ability of those applicants who never intend to enroll in our colleges to verify their email address with the companies providing the discounts.” Some of these changes to the Los Rios G-mail settings were put in place last month, however the administration plans to enact further changes at a later date but wants to make sure any updates made will not affect new students looking to enroll.
Students speak out against Aramark Cont. from page 2 According to the contract Aramark does not only restrict club fundraising but it also requires club and faculty to go through them to cater their events. Aramark brings in no revenue for the district, according to Ruggles, in fact the company actually charges the district to cater events and their prices may not be competitive with off-campus options. For example, for an event catered for 20 people, one option includes an “American Tea” menu that would cost the school more than $10 per person for small sandwiches, scones, and hot tea for a total of $209. The Aramark contract is designed to allow both the Los Rios Culinary Arts Programs to operate outside of Aramark’s exclusive rights as the district’s food service provider, according to Hospitality Management department chair Brian Knirk, who is also a member of the evaluation committee. “Aramark has signed a contract with the district to supply food service to the colleges,” Knirk wrote in an email to the Current. “The educational programs are outside of that contract, the contact has stipulations regarding the culinary programs on the two campuses that have culinary programs.” In addition to the issues presented regarding on and off-campus involvements and restrictions, the student Aramark committee also expressed grievances that Aramark’s policies are largely environmentally unsustainable. Don Reid, chief sustainability officer for ARC, said ARC faculty and students alike have battled against Aramark for years.
“[Aramark has] a very strong sustainability website that talks about how ‘wonderful’ their efforts are around the country … We haven’t had any real movement [at ARC] on any of those efforts,” Reid said. “It doesn’t align with what they say on their website, and it doesn’t align with our goals on this campus.” According to the contract, LRCCD has the right to pass on to Aramark any federal, state or local fees resulting from the event of excessive waste due to Aramark negligence. Still, the contract does not hold Aramark to any environmental waste standards aside from “[urging them] to purchase and promote the use of environmentally friendly post-consumer waste products,” and “[encouraging them] to recycle food, packag-
“I think that Aramark is absolutely corrupt and evil for what they are trying to do, they are trying to take advantage of students to make as much money as possible.” Isidore Manes
Transcendence Club President ing, and other items to the extent that there are available markets and outlets for the products and which meet state and local sanitation and safety regulations.” While Aramark has the option to rebid for the LRCCD contract,
Photo by Ashley Hayes-Stone | Student Worker
The Los Rios Community College District has contracted with Aramark since 2015. In 2020, LRCCD will open up the bid for other food service vendors, and Aramark will have the option to bid again.
which Rodriguez says they most likely will, he said there’s no way to tell the likelihood of Aramark winning the bid again. According to Rodriguez, the district is advertising to the bid to multiple vendors in an effort to bring in more competition, and in turn, more wiggle room to negotiate the prices and terms of its vendor contract. “That’s the power in going to the market,” Rodriguez said. “When we realized that, ‘Hey, look, we’re a big player in this industry. People should respect this and give us a really good deal for how much business we’re going to give them,’ we get substantial discounts.” Still, Rodriguez added, the terms of the contract still have to be appealing enough for vendors to want to bid. “We could load up these bids with as much specification as we
want. One, we either have to pay for it, or two, we don’t get anybody bidding,” he said. “The goal is to make something broadly accessible that people will bid on. And then that way we get the best bang for buck.” Despite community outreach, according to Ruggles, the future evaluation committees meetings will be confidential. Until companies are able to bid and the Board of Trustees reaches a conclusion on who will step into, or continue, the role of food service provider for the LRCCD, Ruggles said the district will continue to do everything it can to receive community input. Rodriguez said it may be difficult to find the district’s ideal fit. “I mean, if I could tell you ... everything’s gonna be free range and organic, there’s going to be nothing but bamboo straws, recycled materials and every em-
ployee of our vendors are all going to get twice the pay they had today, and great benefits. I would love to do that,” Rodriguez said, “At the same time, all of those things are going to come with a cost to our students.”
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Nov. 20, 2019
ARTS & CULTURE
Photo by Ariel Caspar | Managing Editor
Art major Cat Alfstad rocks her thrifted outfit, (sweater from Goodwill, skirt from Nasty Gal, sunglasses from Freestyle Clothing Exchange) in front of a mural on the Fine Arts Building at American River College on Oct. 17, 2019.
Thrifty art student spotlights ARC fashion By Ariel Caspar firstname.lastname@example.org
Between the art buildings at American River College, Caitlin “Cat” Alfstad sits comfortably amongst the in-progress art projects created by other students. She is wearing a worn-in, oversized knit blazer, an old Franz Ferdinand T-shirt stained with paint that she’s claimed to have owned since 2004 and classic Adidas running shoes. Everything she’s wearing, with the exception of her leggings, has been thrifted. In fact, the vast majority of her closet contains thrifted clothing articles that she’s collected since 2012. “Basically my whole closet is thrifted,” Alfstad said. “I started with thrifting because I found it was more creative. The clothes were different and I could really make it my own.” Alfstad, 27, is a second-year art student at ARC, a thrifting expert, a wife and a mother of two daughters. She was also selected at the beginning of the semester to take over the ARC News Today Instagram account to provide studentgenerated posts about student fashion. Somehow she manages to juggle all of her responsibilities while still giving herself room to be creative with her fashion and art. From a very early age, fashion
was Alfstad’s first form of self expression. She said her mother always promoted and demonstrated freedom with clothing and style, and that allowed Alfstad to be unapologetic with her fashion choices as well. “When I grew up, that was my norm, so it was very natural for me to gravitate towards that specific form of self expression,” Alfstad said. “I have a plethora of my own insecurities but what I wear is absolutely not one of them. I just do not care what anyone thinks about my clothes because I like it.” Alfstad also finds inspiration through others, mainly the iconic Gwen Stefani. She said she admires Stefani’s bold fashion choices and was very influenced by her when she was young. “I really absorbed the way she would mix things,” Alfstad said. “She took such unconnected things and mixed them in a way that was so original and cool and I really connected to that.” Alfstad said when she began thrifting she preferred it over purchasing from department and retail stores because it allowed her to pull from a larger pool of clothing options. With more options, she could find specifically what she liked and how she wanted to put it together. As she got older she said it became cost effective as well. She said she appreciates that thrift
stores are rooted in community and social service. As thrifting became her main clothes-shopping habit, she got into very low maintenance upcycling of the older, more worn-in clothing items that she found. “Upcycling is taking something old that kind of looks ugly or dingy on its own and putting it together in a way that brings it back to life,” Alfstad said. Her upcycling or revamping is more of a casual or simple styling hobby than extreme fashion altering. Her alterations are simple, such as cutting the sleeves off a shirt, or removing the shoulder pads from a coat or changing jeans into shorts. According to Alfstad, she was sought out by Scott Crow, ARC’s public information officer, at the beginning of the semester to take over the ARC News Today Instagram account to place a spotlight on student fashion for the first couple weeks of school. According to Crow, who spoke to the Current via email, Alfstad was chosen in order to provide a student voice on the account. “We reached out to Cat as we wanted to offer more studentgenerated content on our channel,” Crow wrote. “Cat has done a great job for us and we appreciate her work! We chose [her] because of the good work she had already done on IG.”
Photo courtesy of Kyoto Animation
California, Berkeley to expand her abilities and eventually get a master’s degree in art therapy. She said colors are her main form of inspiration and expression and they are a great way to express daily moods. “I like to say that I think in color, so a lot of times… I have trouble with thoughts that are a little more emotionally based and getting it into words.” Alfstad said. History major and Alfstad’s husband, Erik Alfstad said watching her creative process gives him confidence that she will succeed at whatever she puts her mind to. “Although I don’t often understand it, I get to see her express herself in more ways than one and to show her talent in the arts,” Erik Alfstad said. Alfstad says she plans to use her desired future career as a teacher and art therapist to benefit disadvantaged communities who do not have access to such rare resources. “That is what is very attractive about her, that she is very determined, very focused, she absolutely knows what her goal is,” Erik Alfstad said. For now, Alfstad says she is focusing on school and being a mom. She says fashion will always be a part of her life and will be her everyday form of expression. “With fashion I found it was a really cool, creative outlet,” Alfstad said. “It’s an expression of who you are and you can change that every day.” Follow Alfstad’s instagram accounts, @thevelvetdaisystyle and @artbycaitlinrose.
Photo by Ariel Caspar | Managing Eidtor
Art major Cat Alfstad sits between the art buildings among her own art (self portrait titled “Cat” (left), “Lucy Rose” (middle) and “But Make it Fashion” (right) at American River College on Oct. 17, 2019.
Animation Club screening honored Kyoto arson attack victims By Thomas Cathey
The Animation Club at American River College hosted a screening of the Japanese-animated film “A Silent Voice”, to raise awareness on the deadly arson attack that occurred at Kyoani Studios in Japan, on Nov. 4, 2019.
Alfstad would find a student wearing an interesting outfit and post a photo of them to highlight students on campus and promote clothing being a form of self expression. “It connects the idea of having room here [at ARC] to be who you are and finding your own little community within this larger community,” Alfstad said. Although she has fun with fashion and styling, she says it is just a form of expression. Her real passion lies in her art, and she plans to transfer to the University of
The American River College Animation Club hosted a special screening of the Japanese-animated film “A Silent Voice” at ARC on Nov. 4 in remembrance of the 36 individuals who lost their lives in an arson attack on Kyoto Studios, Japan in July. Last month, Dyanna Paredes, Animation Club president pitched the idea of screening “A Silent Voice” at a Club and Events Board (CAEB) meeting at ARC. Paredes and her club were granted $200 by CAEB to buy the rights to the film to show it on campus. Eleven Arts—an American film distribution company that spe-
cializes in Japanese animation (or “anime”)—held the rights to the film, so the Animation Club had to contact them in order to obtain the rights to it. They were happy about the intentions of the club and were cooperative throughout the whole process, according to Paredes. “We just wanted to bring awareness [about the Kyoto attack] to our campus and they were completely happy with that,” Paredes said. “The more help we have to spread awareness, the better it is.” Although Paderes was the one who pitched the idea to CAEB, Aristotle Reed—vice president of the Animation Club—brought it to her attention originally. For Reed, bringing “A Silent Voice” to
ARC was a personal matter. “The tragedy [at Kyoto Studios] really affected me,” Reed said. Paredes took the idea and ran with it. She became interested in the moral dilemma carrying on the work of those that perished in the arson attack. “The animation studio burned down and the people who worked on these beautiful movies are gone. So what’s the correct path we take now,” Paredes asked when reflecting on the dilemma. “Do we leave it how it is and respect their works? Or do we continue those works without the people, the animators, the storyboard, the illustrators, etc. What’s the morally correct way to do this? That’s what I was interested in.”
Nov. 20, 2019
ARC students honor fallen members of the trans community By Oden Taylor
email@example.com The air was thick with humidity, the sound of breaking glass and the screams of rioters with lipstick stained lips echoing “Pigs!” through the streets of New York City. In the early hours of June 28, 1969, eight undercover police officers entered the Stonewall Inn. Their mission was simple; identify and arrest anyone not conforming to legally mandated gender stereotypes. At this time, wearing clothing that didn’t match a person’s assigned gender was illegal in many states, including New York. Stonewall was known as a beacon of queer culture in New York City and it welcomed drag queens, as well as trans and gender non-conforming individuals. The police had scoped out the inn for weeks prior and they came prepared to fight. More police officers and police vans, or “paddy wagons,” arrived at the scene and began handcuffing and leading the employees out of the inn. The light glimmered off their badges as a seemingly stargazing crowd watched as they beat and arrested the patrons of Stonewall. The crowd quickly erupted, throwing anything they had and slashing the tires of police cars. The night arguably changed history forever and launched the gay rights movement in America. No one died in the Stonewall Uprising, however that is not the case for many other trans and non-binary individuals, in years since many have been harassed, assaulted or worse. On Nov. 28, 1998, Rita Hester, a transgender woman of color, was brutally stabbed to death in the street in Alabama. Her memory won’t likely be forgotten thanks to her friend, Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender woman and trans rights activist who in 1999 founded Trans Day of Remembrance in honor of all who have died due to gender-based violence or suicide. Trans Day of Remembrance takes place annually on Nov. 20. To many allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community at American River College and beyond, this day holds a deeply personal and sentimental value. The Pride Center and Transcendence Club will honor Trans Day of Remembrance by holding an event featuring an altar, poem and song submissions, as well as guest speaker Yozantli Lagunas Guerrero. Guerrero is a self identified “trans, non-binary, queer, Mexican-American,” and a recent history and political science graduate from California State University, Sacramento. They will be giving an interactive lecture highlight-
Photo by Emily Mello | Photo Editor
An altar, photographed on Nov. 19, 2019, was created by members of the American River College Pride Center to honor members of the transgender community who have lost their lives because of gender-based violence and suicide.
ing trans history in Community Rooms Three and Four, from noon to 2 p.m. Izzy Manes and Isaac Kelly, president and vice president respectively of ARC’s Transcendence Club, shared their personal experiences as trans people and why this day is so important to them. “Trans Day of Remembrance is a day to remember all of the lives that have been lost to bigotry and hate and all the struggles trans people go through to even just be themselves,” Kelly said. Kelly identifies as a trans man and has been involved in Transcendence for the past year. Transcendence is a club for anyone outside of the traditional gender binary or that identifies as transgender. Manes and Kelly say the club strives to be a safe space for the trans and non-binary community on campus. In collaboration with the Pride Center, Transcendence is a resource for anyone questioning their identity as well. “This campus has definitely come a long a long way but with anything there is room for improvement,” Kelly said. Kelly says he thinks it is important for cisgender people, or people who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth, to un-
derstand the struggles that trans people face on a day to day basis. “There’s days that I wake up and I like the way I look. I think I look close to my most authentic self and then there are other days where I spent two hours trying to pick an outfit that I don’t feel like I look like a girl in,” Kelly said. Kelly and Manes both said their biggest hope for their club and
“We are trying to help people understand who we are and what we go through so maybe they will stop killing us ...” Izzy Manes
President of Transcendence Club the Trans Day of Remembrance event is to raise awareness about the trans community on campus and off. ”I think it’s important that we are all coming together to observe this day because I don’t think people understand or take seriously what affects transphobia and the cruel treatment that transgender people really face and what that
leads to; it leads to transgender people getting killed,” Manes said. Manes says that the political climate we live in now has made almost everything controversial. They say they believe that when any minority group asks for help or fair treatment they are challenged and deemed as “special snowflakes” by some who disagree with their ideas or even their existence. “We are trying to help people understand who we are and what we go through so maybe they will stop killing us or maybe someone will stand up when somebody is treated cruelly,” Manes said. Manes says they believe that trans people are marginalized and often forgotten about during social and political conversations and this can be harmful. “The further a trans person ends up being divided from school, work, family, the further they get divided from society the more likely they are to face that type of violence where they could be hurt, beaten or killed,” Manes said, “Many of them also end up committing suicide due to the pressures and we recognize the people who have committed sucide as well.” ARC has honored Trans Day of Remembrance for the past three years. At last year’s event, Manes
read a spoken word poem about how easy it would be to allow trans people and others to use their preferred name on school websites, documents and ID cards. Since then, Los Rios has made changes to its policy. Now, anyone regardless of their legal name status can feel comfortable and supported while attending school. “This change was a result of many conversations over the past several years with students, faculty and staff who had a strong interest – an interest shared by the college and district – to allow for members of our community to personalize their identification wherever possible,” said Scott Crow, ARC’s communications and public information officer. Manes said this was a major change for the trans community on campus that raised awareness about the other LGBTQ+ resources on campus as well. They added that they feel this change was the biggest win for trans students in the Los Rios District. “We made ourselves not invisible anymore,” Manes said. Manes says transgender and gender non-conforming students have enough to worry about without the added stress of not being recognized as themselves. “We have to fight our own bodies and society to shape ourselves, literally and figuratively, into the forms that we feel best suit our identity,” Manes said, “Other [cis] people don’t have to deal with this ongoing existential crisis of just fighting to have any identity to speak of, just fighting to not be invisible.” Manes and Kelly both say they believe that education and understanding about trans people and their daily lives could potentially help reduce the bigotry and violence that many trans people face. This type of information did not exist in the same ways two decades ago when Rita Hester was brutally murdered. Trans Day of Remembrance will live on in her honor and serve as hope for people like Manes and Kelly. Although society has come a long way, violence against LGBTQ+ individuals continues and has been seen recently in the form of mass shootings such as in Orlando, Florida at Pulse nightclub that killed 49 people and injured 53 others. As Smith said at that long-ago first Trans Day of Remembrance vigil in 1999, according to media outlets that originally reported on the event, the journey is ongoing. “With so many seeking to erase transgender people -- sometimes in the most brutal ways possible, it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice,” she said.
Do you shop on Black Friday?
“No, it’s just too busy.”
“Yes, [I usually shop at] Target for clothes and electronics.”
-DAVID LOPEZ Psychology Major
-AALIYAH ABD’ALLAH Engineering Major
“No … I’d rather shop online to avoid all the traffic of people.”
-ELIJAH SILAS Business Administration Major
“Usually on Black Friday I’m working, so I don’t have the time to really shop.”
-JEREMIAH JOHNSON Business Major
Nov. 20, 2019
Photo by Ariel Caspar | Arts & Culture Editor
Attorney and ARC legal assisting professor Asha Wilkerson received the 2019 Attorney of the Year award issued by the Wiley W. Manuel Bar Association.
Legal professor receives attorney of the year By Ariel Caspar firstname.lastname@example.org On a recent afternoon in Davies Hall, Asha Wilkerson gazed thoughtfully at a handwritten poster in her office that read “Long Term Goals.” Poised, confident and certain, she reflected on what it means to enjoy a career that bridges her areas of expertise together. “I always really enjoyed being able to give back to the community; it was important to me,” Wilkerson said. Wilkerson is a legal assisting professor at American River College, coordinator of ARC’s free expungement clinics and an awardwinning attorney. She has spent 10 years practicing law and six years teaching in legal assisting programs. This year, the Wiley W. Manuel Bar Association named Wilkerson the 2019 Attorney of the Year. She was recognized for her service to the community by organizing and coordinating free community expungement workshops available to ARC students and residents of the Sacramento region looking to clear their names. Wilkerson, originally from Portland, Oregon, moved to Santa Clara to attend college where she was introduced to the idea of practicing law. It was at Santa Clara University that Wilkerson was selected to join a Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) program. The program was designed for seniors looking to begin law school the following year and only had 24 spots available. Wilkerson got in and was the youngest in the program. She began studying for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), and although still unconvinced of that career path, decided to apply for University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. “I always say just apply and see what happens, because what is for you will come and what’s not will fall away,” she said.
Over the Thanksgiving break before entering her junior year, Wilkerson said she got a call informing her she was accepted for the following year in the fall. Wilkerson flew through law school, studying abroad in Costa Rica, Cuba and the Netherlands, interning for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Wilkerson had fulfilled her requirements within just two and a half years, and by the spring of 2009 she was walking across the graduation stage. Wilkerson said she always had a strong interest in international human rights and centered her academic focus around that. In March of 2009 she began officially practicing law at a firm and later on became a legal services
“I always really enjoyed being able to give back to the community; it was important to me.” Asha Wilkerson
Legal Assisting Professor coordinator in the Bay Area, running a monthly legal clinic on different subjects in Oakland and the surrounding area. In 2013, she started working as an adjunct professor at California State University, East Bay in Hayward, Calif., Merritt Community College in Oakland, and in 2016, American River College. Wilkerson said when she got the job at ARC, it was not common for paralegal programs to host legal service clinics because paralegals always have to be supervised by an attorney. This inspired her to begin planning a series of free expungement clinics open to the community. After bringing her idea to her colleagues, she said she was encouraged to follow through. According to Wilkerson, ex-
pungement workshops or criminal record clearing clinics, can assist people who have been convicted of a crime, whether that is a felony or misdemeanor, in the process to become eligible to have that crime reduced or removed from their record. “It’s an administrative process which means it requires paperwork to be filled out to be filed with the court,” Wilkerson said. “All misdemeanors can be removed from someone’s record; that’s not up to someone’s discretion, that’s by law.” According to Wilkerson, wobblers are crimes that can be punished as felonies or misdemeanors. A wobbler can be reduced to a misdemeanor, after they’ve served their sentence, paid restitution fines, and have had no further dealings with the court. Wilkerson said criminal law professor Jessie Morris was teaching criminal law students how to complete expungement paperwork at the time. They decided they could get the clinics up and running at ARC in five weeks and make them available for not just ARC students, but anyone from the surrounding area. According to Wilkerson, she had the support of her dean and other professors on campus. She also had hope that her efforts would be seen as a good thing for students on campus and not a scary thing. “Any time something is new, people are really skeptical… the stereotype is that people who have been convicted of a crime are always going to be dangerous, so people don’t want that element around them,” Wilkerson said. Dyanne Marte, the department chair of Fashion and a friend of Wilkerson, said having the expungement clinics on campus is a big deal for people, and what she’s doing is bringing visibility to the program and ARC as a campus. “A lot of people have issues and they may have been guilty of something, and to be able to clear someone’s name and [help them] move on with [their lives]
and making that information not easily available, that makes a huge difference,” Marte said. “She’s really serving the community.” Wilkerson noted her program is serving people on a regular basis, with up to 65 people coming through on a single Saturday. The clinics only run once a month, but are raking in high numbers compared to other clinics in the surrounding area. The other firms in the area that provide similar resources have income requirements, citizen requirements and are receiving federal dollars to run their programs. There are also restrictions on who they can help. ARC expungement clinics are free and income or citizenship status do not prevent people from receiving the service. Keith Staten, a local Sacramento
lawyer and colleague of Wilkerson’s said the biggest incentive to assisting people on a college campus is the cost effectiveness and access to resources such as internet connection, desks, printers and computers to serve large groups. “This is exactly what the Wiley Manuel Bar Association and the community needs. We need a place. An educational institution is the prime place for that to occur,” Staten said. “Our turnout and what we’ve been doing over at the school has been tremendous compared to anything I’ve ever seen.” According to Wilkerson, some of the other groups in the area only have five people come through a month. “I was blown away. I had no idea we were making that big of a difference … the numbers show how big of a need [there] is in the community,” Wilkerson said. Wilkerson said she has always naturally been a teacher and tries to be as thorough as possible with helping her students and her clients understand legal processes. Her main focus has been to teach her students a real world view of the law. Marte, who has known Wilkerson for three years now, validates Wilkerson’s abilities to merge her two professions in a way that highlights her best attributes and benefits her students. “She has an ability to really connect with people easily and quickly,” Marte said. “She’s rethinking the curriculum and improving it in ways that are relevant and timely.” Wilkerson said she encourages critical thinking and challenges her students to bring a global, social justice view to the material. Being a practitioner allows her to bring real world examples to the classroom, and helps her remain on top of new developments in the field to share with her students. “It’s wonderful to think that I’m pushing the boundary on what paralegal education looks like, while also being able to give back, and meeting the needs of requirements of my students,” Wilkerson said. “I’m sort of bridging all of the worlds that I sit in.”
Photo by Ariel Caspar | Arts & Culture Editor
ARC professor Asha Wilkerson received the Attorney of the Year award for her work facilitating free expungement clinics at American River College.
Nov. 20, 2019
American River College guard Anthonya Sanchez dribbles the ball downcourt in ARC’s home opener against Napa Valley College on Nov. 14, 2019.
Photo by Jennah Booth | Editor-in-Chief
ARC dominates Napa Valley in season opener
By Alexis Warren email@example.com The American River College women’s basketball team opened their 2019-20 season with a home game against Napa Valley College Storm on the night of Nov. 14. The Beavers washed the Storm out with an ending score of 89-44. The Napa Valley Storm consisted of only eight players total, giving them only three subs the whole game, whereas ARC had an
advantage with a full bench. The Storm won the jump ball, resulting in ARC getting right to its defense. ARC began applying pressure while forcing ball handlers to their weak-hand side, collapsing their opponents into a trap. This high intensity defense resulted in many turnovers by the Storm, along with several timeouts called in the first quarter by Napa’s head coach Paul Debolt. “Starting off with the trap definitely set the tempo. We were ag-
gressive, so it definitely made the other team rowdy and play to our level,” ARC freshman guard Anthonya Sanchez said. The Beavers didn’t back down going into halftime, applying their full-court press on the Storm, capitalizing on turnovers and weak ball handlers. With a 30-point lead well into the third quarter, ARC eventually fell back to a man-to-man defense. When necessary on offense, the team rotated the ball around,
giving each player a touch. “I think today we played a lot of ‘team basketball’ rather than individual,” ARC freshman leading scorer Jordyn Hilliard said. Hilliard ended the game with 30 points, followed by Sanchez as the second leading scorer with 17 points. ARC finished off the game how they started, ultimately resulting in a 45-point victory against Napa Valley. Sanchez says she believes that
the chemistry between the team plays a key role in her confidence for the coming season. “We have great communication on and off the court, and we work together,” she said. “We have mad love for each other and I’m really confident in our performance this year.” The Beavers will face the Folsom Lake Falcons in the first conference game of the season at ARC on Dec. 24 at 1 p.m.
Ballin’ Beavers shoot for victory By Oden Taylor
City College Panthers. “Sac City usually is [our biggest firstname.lastname@example.org competition] because they’re in It’s that time of year again, as our district, they have a really solid team,” Giorgi said. the American River Col“There’s no easy lege men’s basketball By the games,” Giorgi said. team gears up for Numbers: He also said his another season. outlook on this Mark Giorgi, season is conARC’s basketfident, but he’s ball coach for ARC averIn 2018-19, still apprehenthe last 21 aged 81.8 the Beavers sive about the years, said he points per made nearly number of new is excited about game last half of their players. the new season season shots The team has been but the team has unpracticing since the bedergone many changes ginning of the fall semester, with since the last. “It’s an unsure feeling right their first game at home on Nov. now,” Giorgi said regarding his 7th against the College of the predictions for the upcoming sea- Redwoods. According to Giorgi, small forson. Giorgi said last season the team did very well and finished ward Chris Cagle is one of the top 16-11, but they lost in the regional players on the team this season. Cagle says he is excited to be a final competition. This semester, the team consists part of the team and he’s ready to of all new players, which has led to start the new season. “I think we can do really well some uncertainty from Giorgi. “We are kinda scattered be- if everything comes together, I cause we only have one returning mean lord willing,” Cagle said. player, we have a bunch of new “[I’m] looking forward to what the faces, new guys and we are still guys are going to do and I think unsure how they’re going to play we can have a really good season.” Cagle says he will have a better together,” Giorgi said. The only returning player, sense of the team’s ability to play Omari Rock, will redshirt this sea- together and how this season will turn out after the first game. son according to Giorgi. “I think we can go deep, It’s just Giorgi said he feels the team’s biggest rival is actually a team going to be seeing how things go within the Los Rios Community in the season,” Cagle added. “After College District: the Sacramento our first game, we’ll get a gauge of
where we are at. ” Giorgi said his other choice for top player this season is guard Jashon Lewis. Lewis transferred to ARC from Yuba College last year. “I redshirted last season, so this is my second season here, but my first season playing,” Lewis said. “I’m excited [about the new season]. I had to sit out a season last year, so I am coming back with a vengeance.” While the team is full of new players, Cagle and Lewis say they are keeping their outlooks positive about the upcoming season. “We are hoping in preseason [that] we figure out who we are, find out who we are, so by the time we get into league we can at least compete, but we are thinking probably middle of the pack for conference,” Giorgi said.
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Photo by Colin Bartley | Staff Writer
American River College forward Chris Cagle attempts a dunk in a home game against the Redwoods College basketball team on Nov. 7, 2019.
Nov. 20, 2019
Photo by Brandon Zamora | Staff Writer
Running back Chris Osby works his way down the field to gain extra yards and help American River College in its game against Feather River College at Beaver Stadium on Nov. 16, 2019.
ARC football makes dominant statement win before playoffs By Brandon Zamora b14Zamora@gmail.com The American River College football team defeated the Feather River College Golden Eagles 5120 in dominant fashion at ARC’s Beaver Stadium on Nov. 16. With this win, ARC’s football finished the season with an 8-2 record and finished 5-0 against conference
opponents. Since the first drive of the game, ARC had full control when it was able to drive down the field in six plays that went for 58 yards and resulted in a touchdown. Quarterback Marco Baldacchino connected with wide reciever Markel Quinney on a 10-yard pass to give ARC an early 7-0 lead. After Feather River’s first drive
resulted in a three and out, ARC would get the ball back and quickly put up seven more points on the scoreboard. This time, Baldacchino would throw another 10-yard pass to wide receiver Naequan Parker, making the score 14-0 only five minutes into the first quarter. If there was ever a “player of the game award” handed out in each game, it’s safe to say Baldacchino
would get that award at the end of this one. In total, he threw four 226 passing yards and six passing touchdowns, with one interception. Yet, despite playing a game that makes his stat sheet look nice, Baldacchino thought he could’ve done better with his performance. “I thought I did all right out there today,” Baldacchino said after the game. “I threw that pick that gave the other team a touchdown, but overall our offense played well and we came away with a big win.” Watching this offense play the way they did was like traveling back in time to watch the 1999 St. Louis Rams play again; back then the team had the nickname “The Greatest Show on Turf” due to its high power scoring offense. Like the Rams did 20 years ago, ARC puts on a great show in the first half where six out of their seven drives on offense resulted in a touchdown. ARC head coach Jon Osterhout said he was very satisfied with how his team performed in the first drive, pointing out that one of the keys to victory going into this game was to start off fast, which was exactly what they did. “We had a really well executed game plan this game,” Osterhout said. “Accredit to our offense and coaching staff for putting us in a position to march down the field on that first drive to really set the tone and tempo to start the game.” At the end of September, the ARC Beavers had a record of 2-2, ending the month with a twogame losing streak that looked like it was going to slow down their momentum. However, now with a six-game winning streak and a dominating win over a conference opponent, it looks like this team has nothing but confidence and momentum heading into the playoffs starting Nov. 25. ARC’s players and coaches said they are feeling good, and they know now that in order to win it all this postseason, they need to keep their winning streak alive. Osterhout feels good about his team’s chances to do just that in the playoffs. “We feel like we have a ton of
the loss to Sierra at the end of the season, ARC is still scheduled to compete in the playoffs. Head coach Carson Lowden said she believes the team has undergone plenty of growth throughout the course of the season, which may have been the key factor to its double-digit win streak. “I think this team has done a ton of growing and coming together over the course of the season, and it has been a really rewarding journey,” Lowden said in early November. “The growth that this group has experienced together has been pretty special and I think that led to the win streak that we are on right now.” Sophomore Allison Linder, who has 222 kills on the season, said she has also noticed the bond the team has formed over the past few months. She acknowledges that getting comfortable with new Photo by Thomas Cathey | Sports Editor teammates can be tricky at first. American River College volleyball team, pictured here, at the CCCAA State Championship tournament on Nov. 30, 2018, “Since community college is only where they took first place. ARC volleyball closed out another successful season and will play their first post-season game two years, there is not very much on Nov. 26, 2019. chemistry in the beginning,” Linder said. “But I think from the beginning [of the season] to now, we’ve grown so much together.” According to Linder, the team’s successful season, ranking fourth streak towards the end of the seaBy Thomas Cathey in California and third in Northern son, before losing to Sierra College roster initially extended to nearly email@example.com California. Their current overall re- on Nov. 15. Before the loss to Sierra, 30 players. With that many players, cord for the season is 21-7. their previous defeat came over it may be difficult for each athlete The volleyball team at American ARC closed out its season strong, two months ago against Folsom to get comfortable with one anRiver College has had yet another embarking on an 18-game win Lake College on Sept. 20. Despite other in such a short period of time.
ARC volleyball team finishes winning season
momentum going at this point, and we’re certainly heading in the right direction,” Osterhout said. “We don’t care who we play, whether it’s at home or on the road, it’s going to take one practice at a time to position ourselves to win a game next Saturday.” Their first playoff game will be on the road against the team that handed ARC their last loss of the regular season: Modesto Junior College Pirates. The game will start at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23 at Modesto.
the ARC beavers have made it to the playoffs!
First Round: November 23 @ Modesto, 6 p.m.
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But Linder and Lowden said they believe that the team has already overcome that hurdle. “We started with 26 girls,” Linder said. “It’s hard to get that comfortable playing with each other at first, but we’ve been together for at least three months now and it’s nice to see that we’re a cohesive unit. We’re able to bond, we know each other and when to give and take.” Improved defense may also be a factor in the team’s success this season, as 15 of ARC’s 23 wins of the season were shut-outs. Starting sophomore Andreia Keane, who’s playing her last season for ARC, said she primarily focused on improving her own defense at the start of the season. “I wanted to work on my defense more,” Keane said. “I wanted to get in the mindset of just going because I kind of hesitated [last season] and hesitating in volleyball is not a good thing.” As a result of its success on the season, the Beavers have clinched a playoff berth. While their seed and opponent for their first postseason game is currently undetermined, the team has a date scheduled for Nov. 26.
Nov. 20, 2019
Outdated homophobic policies on donating blood still plague society By Oden Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org In the early ‘80s, rumors of a “gay disease” spread across America, completely misrepresenting Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) as something only gay people—specifically men—could contract. These rumors were perpetrated by what is now referred to as the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) crisis. The AIDS crisis changed America and the stigma surrounding the LGBTQ community has skyrocketed. Today, more than 30 years later, gay men are still unable to donate blood regardless of their HIV status. This is discriminatory and illogical on multiple levels, and new policies are needed to replace these homophobic ideologies. The FDA’s, “Revised Recommendations for Reducing the Risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission by Blood and Blood Products” guidelines state that all gay men must defer from having sex with another man for 12 months prior to donating blood. Previously, the policy restricted any man who had ever had a sexual experience with another man from donating blood at all. The Red Cross states on its website that, “the FDA’s decision to change the blood donation policy for men who have had sex with other men (MSM) from a lifetime deferral to 12-month deferral is consistent with other selection criteria that are used to safeguard the blood supply from equivalent risks.” Essentially, gay men must still stop the acts that deem them gay and give up part of their identity in order to donate blood. The FDA requires that all blood collection organizations follow this ideology
and its regulations. The regulations also prohibit anyone who has had heterosexual sex with a male who has had sex with another male in the past year from donating as well. Regulations like these are outdated, homophobic and unjust. These organizations are turning away people that just want to help. These same regulations also prohibit anyone that has ever had sex for money or drugs from donating blood as well. The question arises, how can they regulate this system at all, especially with the knowledge that most people lie on medical forms and commonly also lie about their sexual histories? “At present, there are insufficient scientific data available to determine whether it is safe to rely only on individual behavioral risk factors when determining donation eligibility,” the Red Cross says on its website. The Red Cross says it continues to work with the FDA to gather additional scientific risk data to aid in determining if further changes are possible in the future but for now, the regulations stand. “To protect patients, your blood is tested for several types of hepatitis, HIV, syphilis, and other infections. If your blood tests positive, it will not be given to a patient,” according to the Red Cross’ website. The website adds that not every sample is tested, which seems insane considering the risks of blood transferred illnesses are far greater than just contracting HIV. If they have the ability and foresight to test the blood sometimes, they can most definitely test it in all situations. However gay men are specifically targetted as being the highest risk to the blood supply. The FDA classifies every gay man into the highest-risk blood-
As of 2019, gay men are still discriminated against by the FDA when attempting to donate blood.
donor category. This is the same category as IV drug users as well as people who’ve spent more than five years in a country that has had a mad cow disease outbreak after 1980. This means that a gay man, even with a clean bill of health, is still considered to be more of a threat to the blood supply than a straight man treated for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and genital herpes within the past year. This is appalling and should be seen as nothing less than discrimination. HIV can be transmitted through breast milk and vaginal fluids as well as semen and blood. So not only could straight men be carrying the disease, but gay and straight women could be carrying and transmitting it as well. There are no federal regulations preventing lesbians from donating as long as they don’t flag under other potential risk factors. There are also no regulations pre-
venting transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming individuals from donating blood as well. The Red Cross states on its website that they understand there is a difference between gender and biological sex, and that it is up to the donor to self-identify. This is a great thing for the LGBTQ community as a whole but does this policy actually make any sense? Allowing people to self-identify on donor forms means that the people drawing blood could potentially have no idea that they are getting the blood of a biological male who has had sex with other males. While the right to self-identify is fundamental, it completely undermines the authority of the antigay policies in place at blood donation organizations giving even more merit to testing every blood sample. A more appropriate question to ask potential donors would be are they sexually active with mul-
tiple different partners in general. Regardless of the answer to this question and if the person is gay or straight the blood should still be tested to ensure the safety of others. Doctors could communicate the donor’s sexually transmitted disease status to the blood collection organizations prior to blood ever being drawn, eliminating the blind faith that every gay man is a threat and potentially preventing actually infected people of all sexual orientations from donating. Blood donation organizations could also test people for these diseases prior to taking donor blood. The benefits of this would surely outweigh the risks to public health and the blood supply. Gay men are not monsters, they do not inherently carry diseases, and when it comes to donating blood they just want to give back and support their communities.
The n-word is not meant for you By Alexis Warren email@example.com It seems like I have the discussion of whether or not the n-word can be said by non-black people far too often. To be real, I’ve had this conversation one too many times and it’s frustrating, to say the least, with the ignorance people demonstrate when discussing this topic. If you have to question whether or not you can use the n-word, here’s some help: you don’t need to be saying it. The n-word should not be said by non-black people at all, in any circumstances. It doesn’t matter if you’re singing a song and the word comes up, it doesn’t matter if your one black friend allows you to say it and it surely does not matter if you’ve grown up in neighborhoods, to which you think relates to black culture. This is not to single out just white people, but includes people of Latinx, Asian, etc. backgrounds. Do not say it.
Now, the arguments I hear often begin with: “Well, why do black people say it if they don’t want other people to say it?” or “Why do rappers and singers normalize the word in their songs?” Black rappers and singers often talk about their struggle and upbringing in their music to share things in common with those who are going through similar situations, and nine times out of 10, their audience is aimed at other black people. Now, this is not to say that black artists don’t welcome non-black listeners of their music, but essentially, their target audience is black people, so when the n-word is used, think of it as two black people in conversation. The n-word ending in “er” was, and still is, used toward black people in a demeaning way, dating back to times of slavery. The nword ending in “a” flips the whole meaning of what the n-word ending in “er” meant, by making it a word of endearment for black people to use toward one another. In a 2011 interview with rapper
Photo illustration by Alexis Warren
The n-word has created an on going controversy about who should be allowed to say it.
Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Oprah asks him to further explain this socalled new meaning of the word. “People give words power,” JayZ said. “For our generation, what we did was, we took the word and we took the power out of that word. We turned a word that was very ugly and hurtful into a term of endearment.” Keeping Jay-Z’s explanation in mind, the counter argument,
“Well, why do black people say it if they don’t want other people to say it?” is answered. Black people say it, because we have changed the meaning of the word as a minority group. If others who are not a part of the black community use the word, they’re reversing and putting power back into the meaning, considering the history. It can’t be that hard to elimi-
nate a word, that’s not meant for you, from your vocabulary, and if it is, that just says a lot about your character. I am black and I don’t say the word for the sake of using myself as an example to non-black people. If I can avoid singing it in songs and not using it in everyday language, so can you.
Nov. 20, 2019
Aramark’s chokehold on Los Rios has expired By Current Editorial Board firstname.lastname@example.org Today, a dollar holds more power than its monetary value. At American River College, your dollar could unknowingly go to a company that contradicts everything the school claims to stand for, despite saying on its website that “observing fiscally sound, efficient, transparent, and accountable practices is essential to achieving [its] mission.” If Los Rios wants to support its diverse group of students and faculty, it needs to stop feeding its population grossly overpriced and culturally limited food that also allegedly aids in the oppression of incarcerated and undocumented people. The Subway sandwich you grabbed from the cafeteria for lunch supported a company that profits off of the prison industrial complex. Your pre-class pumpkin spice latte from the Starbucks on campus is funding a company that fed prisoners maggots, rocks and celebrated Black History Month by offering New York University students a racist menu that included “watermelon water.” Aramark, which feeds inmates in over 500 prisons, has been contracted with the Los Rios Community College District since 2015. Since then, Aramark has faced an onslaught of accusations regarding mismanagement and poor customer service, as well as complaints about prices, too few options and sanitation issues. The company has also been accused of contracting Imigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) detention centers, despite Aramark denying the connection. LRCCD’s contract with Aramark ends in
truck, opened on campus but ARC’s food services still don’t offer kosher or vegan options. Their vegetarian options are suspect at best, as workers have been seen cooking veggie patties on the same grill and with the same utensils as the meat. If ARC and Los Rios claim to care about their students and faculty, why are they feeding them garbage? When the LRCCD entered into its food services contract, Aramark was the only bidder, giving them the potential leverage to negotiate the contract however they pleased. This time around, Los Rios says they’re taking the time to attract multiple bidders and look into the perspective of the people who are actually going to eat the food by forming an evaluation committee. But aside from the fact that only a Emily Mello | Photo Editor single focus group was held on Nov. 14— Aramark does not reflect the values of American River College, or the Los Rios Community Col- and it was only promoted to staff—and lege District, and should not enter into another contract as our food service provider. that only a single student representative from each college currently serves on August 2020. This has opened up the bid ing was done. the LRCCD evaluation committee, there ARC claims in its mission statement hasn’t been any outreach to the student to other food service vendors. This also opens up the bid for Aramark to “[recognize] its leadership role in the body. stewardship of natural resources, ARC is to reapply as well. Representing a quarter of the Los Rios It’s time for Los Rios and ARC to drop committed to reducing its negative im- district population, ARC needs to set an Aramark. Entering into another contract pact on the environment.” In reality, how- example for the other campuses in standwith Aramark would go against every- ever, the college is confined to a contract ing up against a company which doesn’t thing that ARC stands for as an institu- that does not hold Aramark to any envi- care about the people it serves. tion. Students and faculty would con- ronmental standard except to “encourAs the students who entrust the power tinue to be forced to buy into a company age” them to recycle when they can. of our dollar to this campus, we need to The company chokeholds clubs that make it clear that Aramark’s expensive, that does not serve them or their values. The ARC mission statement claims that are fundraising by confining them to a poorly prepared food is not what’s best the college “strives to uphold the dignity mere eight days a year, and forces cam- for our college. and humanity of every student and em- pus organizations to use their catering It’s time for ARC to live up to its own ployee,” but when former ARC Aramark services despite only offering overpriced, mission statement and drop Aramark, a employees and students complained and limited options. company that has clearly put the value of It limits options in other ways, too. Ear- a dollar over the value of human life. to the college about discrimination and mismanagment by the company, noth- lier this year, Tandoori Bites, a halal food
To issue a correction or write a letter to the editor, email us at
Greene responds to Current editorial Re: “Administration responds poorly to controversial flyer” by Current Editorial Staff (Opinion, Oct. 23): On [Oct. 23], the AR Current posted an editorial criticizing the college’s response to the recent incident involving a hurtful flyer posted in the HUB. The concerns expressed in the editorial, and the criticisms of
my and our handling of this situation, were valid. I sincerely apologize that this flyer was ever posted, and that our response wasn’t as direct or unequivocal as it should have been. We made mistakes, and the fact that the intentions of those involved were positive does not negate the hurt and pain caused by this incident. The college has a responsibility to address – and
we are addressing – this issue, and we have already begun working with Los Rios Community College District staff to investigate the circumstances that led to the posting of the flyer. The goal of the investigation is simple: to do everything possible to ensure this type of incident doesn’t happen again. My promise to the students, faculty and staff of American River
College is that I and we will continue to learn from this moving forward so that our everyday actions directly reflect our commitment to social justice and equity. - Thomas G. Greene, President, American River College
Nov. 20, 2019
The Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services is dedicated to assisting those in financial need and also to those looking for educational support. It’s divided into two different campuses: food distribution and family services. The latter campus also helps with clothes distribution and offers English as a Second Language classes. Contact Information: email@example.com
Give back 2 Sac
This holiday season, consider giving back to your community through one of these great volunteer opportunities. At the Front Street Animal Shelter you can bring out your inner animal lover, find a human connection through a volunteer option at Loaves and Fishes, or help others put food on the table this holiday season by volunteering at the Sacramento Food Bank.
Story and photos by Emily Mello, Jack Harris and Oden Taylor
Loaves and Fishes provides services to Sacramento’s homeless population, including meals and veterinarian services. The most common volunteer service at Loaves and Fishes is working in the dining hall, but there are also advocacy services, a library, a kennel, and much more. Loaves and Fishes is non-profit and has no government funding, so volunteers are essential, according to Janet Kuzawa, outreach and volunteer coordinator. Those who would like to be long-term volunteers are asked to come to an orientation which is usually held Thursdays at 10 a.m. Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Front Street Animal Shelter offers a plethora of different volunteer opportunities for every animal lover. There are volunteers who help with maintenance, dog walkers, adoption counselors, foster volunteers, promoters, volunteer-run spay and neuter hotline and a “smart team” that helps reunite lost animals to their families. For those looking for less of a committment, volunteers can come and read to the dogs and help them relax for an hour or two at a time. Volunteers are needed at Front Street year-round. New volunteer orientations are held every month on the first Thursday and the third Wednesday at 5:30 pm. The Front Street Animal Shelter is located at 2127 Front St. Contact Information: cityofsacramento.org.
We are the student-run newspaper of American River College in Sacramento, California.