ELAC Campus News Fall 2021 Issue #9

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Volume 76, Issue 13 | www.elaccampusnews.com | Fall 2021 | Single copy free - additional copies 50 cents

ELAC celebrates 75 years of public service BY PAUL MEDINA Staff Writer East Los Angeles College hosted its 75th year anniversary celebration and concert at Ingalls Auditorium. The Nov. 6 event highlighted ELAC’s years of academic success and honored two distinguished individuals and their impact to society. The event concluded with musical performances by Hip Street and Tierra. The event brought together an array of alumni, members of the community and civic and government leaders. One honoree was Julie Benavides who retired this spring semester after a 20-plus year career as a Child Development faculty member, dean and Vice President of Student Services. The second honoree was California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, who aside from serving as the highest ranking member of the California State Assembly, previously served in a career with nonprofit management and academia. ELAC President Alberto Román praised ELAC for being a “bastion of education” for 75 years. “Our campus takes pride in providing opportunities to those who lack educational access. We will continue to serve all who strive to achieve their academic goals in

higher education,” Román said. California State Senator Susan Rubio, whose district represents ELAC, spoke about her experiences while at the college and its impact on her during tough times. Rubio talked about ELAC being her salvation, taking her in during tough times. She said now she is representing ELAC as the state senate representative. Rubio said it is hard for students to succeed in the area. It was a struggle for her growing up and attending Belmont High school. Rubio presented a proclamation certificate honoring ELAC in its 75th year anniversary. Román introduced Benavides who began teaching at ELAC in 1996 and showcased her work with many marginalized students. Benavides was a department chair, then a dean. In 2015 she became the first female vice president of student services. Benavides helped develop and shape programs from cultural development to safe zones and helped the formerly incarcerated individuals become rising scholars. “Julie was a catalyst for change,’’ Román said. Román also applauded Benavides for recently receiving her doctorate in leadership education. Benavides said she felt awkward acknowledging that she had just told her family recently that she was going to get this recognition. Benavides accepted the


75 MORE YEARS—ELAC administration celebrates its 75 year anniversary with alumni speaking about their achievements. recognition for everyone who created the movements from the students, to faculty and community. Benavides talked about how she learned that education was key for success. Her parents came with hope that her family of 11 can “do better to

serve the community,” Bendavides said. The ELAC Foundation was lauded for its many programs and achievements. The programs include a business incubator, which is the only one to be in a predominantly minority area

benefiting, immigrants, LGBTQ+ and marginalized communities. The ELAC Foundation introduced Anthony Rendon who is the current California Assembly Speaker. In a pre-recorded session, Rendon thanked the foundation for its work benefiting many students who are

within his constituency. Rendon was not in attendance due to being in Glasgow, Scotland for the COP 26 climate conference. “We aren’t just here for memories, 75 years of history. We want to salute our present and our incredible bright future,” Román said.

Campus improved throughout history BY LEONARDO CERVANTES Staff Writer


MAYOR OF EAST LA—Gilbert “Gil” Gerakos is awarded with the Legacy Memorial Scholarship fund in his honor by the East Los Angeles College Foundation, aimed at continuing the work that Gerakos dedicated his life to.

Scholarship honors outstanding citizen BY STEVEN ADAMO Staff Writer Known to many as the honorary “Mayor of East LA,” the late Gilbert “Gil” Gerakos received a Legacy Memorial Scholarship in his honor last month. The East Los Angeles College Foundation will award a student who keeps the spirit of the title “Mayor of East LA.” “All he ever did was help out the community, help out students, help out senior citizens,” George Pla, founder and CEO of the Cordoba Corporation and a long-time friend of Gerakos, said. “Even though East LA is not incorporated, we gave him the title of “Mayor of East LA,” which is quite an honor, given the history of the area.” Pla is one of the people who initiated the scholarship in Gerakos’ name. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a student who, along with their studies, plays an active role in the community.

“That generation was all about civil rights,” Pla said. “People of our age, that is what we grew up with. When Gil and I were at ELAC, it was the days of the Vietnam War, Bobby Kennedy, Dr. King and Cesar Chavez. It was really the height of activism.” Pla always admired the dedication of Gerakos and they collaberated on projects including some for the ELAC Foundation as well as the new Metro eastern extension. “He’s like my brother, we worked on all these things together,” Pla said. According to Pla, Gerakos believed ELAC to be “the” institution of East Los Angeles. “He considered ELAC the entry-

point to education because a lot of us didn’t have opportunities to go anywhere else,” Pla said. The new scholarship a aimed at the student who continues the work that Gerakos dedicated his life to. “I really treasure what he did, and I want to extend his memory to everyone,” Pla said. “ We w a n t to reach the average student who has three jobs, commutes to work, goes to class and then back to work,” Pla said. Though much of Gerakos’ work involved youth, he also worked with a number of local non-profits that focused on needs for the elderly. “He listened to their needs, whether it was energy-efficiency in

The scholarship will be rewarded annually to a student who, along with their studies, plays an active role in the community.

their homes, making sure they got their checks from Department of Public Social Services and seniorcitizen checks that they require,” Pla said. Gerakos worked as the Chief of Staff to the City of Los Angeles Councilman Richard Alatorre. From the 1970s to the 1990s, the Assistant Chief Deputy to Supervisor Ed Edelman. Prior to that, he was the Development Associate for the United Way and the Director of Latin American Affairs Department for the City of Los Angeles. Along with his work with the United Way, Gerakos was also on the Board of Directors for the East Los Angeles Boy’s and Girl’s Club and founded the East Los Angeles Big Brothers. For more information on the requirements for the application or for more information on how to donate to the scholarship fund, visit the ELAC Foundation website at elacfoundation.com.

Former East Los Angeles College president Ernest Moreno, who served from 1994-2011, was the first person who helped advance the modernization process of the campus we know today. ELAC’s campus has gone through beautiful transformations throughout its 75-year history in order to look as good as it does today. While there have been growing pains, ELAC’s campus has continued to evolve and it continues to tread in the right direction. ELAC was established in June 1945 by the Los Angeles City Board of Education. The college opened for classes in September 1945 on the campus of James A. Garfield High School with an enrollment of 380 students and a faculty of 19. The college was moved to its present site in February 1948. Today, it is the largest college by enrollment in the largest community college district in the world. When Moreno arrived as vice president in 1991, the first major building in decades was being built thanks to state funding. The William Palmer Automotive Technology building was in the process of being planned, and Moreno worked with Department Chair Palmer, whom the building is named after. “ELAC was the lost campus of the district when Ernest Moreno came as president,” Maria Yepes, former Writing Center Director, said. Eighteen years later when he retired in 2011, enrollment had increased to 40,000. Under his direction, the campus went from having the lowest enrollment in the district, to being number one. Many of the buildings on the original campus were former World War II bungalows. The campus had buildings that were unkempt, unclean and in complete decay. This is in deep contrast to the buildings ELAC houses today. The E3 Building finished construction in 2016 and was titled the Ernest H. Moreno Language Arts and Humanities Building. The building stands at 135,000 square feet, making it the largest building in the California Community College System.

At the time the E3 building was built, it was the biggest and only five-story community college building in the state. “The biggest change from how the college looked in the 1970s and 1980s is that there are multi-story buildings all over the place. It’s as if ELAC has turned into Downtown ELAC,” Jeffrey Hernandez, current academic senate president, said. The Aquaponics Garden is a new weather monitoring system that was installed on campus in 2019. The weather station is capable of reading wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity, rainfall and can even identify specific types of pollution. “Aquaponics gardening combines hydroponics and aquaculture where fish waste fertilizes plants and vegetables in an organically controlled system,” Lou Hughes, an internal evaluator for the STEM Department, said. “From a science standpoint, there’s a lot more you can do with it than with an ordinary garden.” The weather station was the first of its kind within the Los Angeles Community College District. In 2019, the first job center on campus became available for students and the community. It is a collaborative effort between East Los Angeles College and Los Angeles County. The center is called America’s Job Center of California. The programs are meant to provide training for students. The county has committed to helping with the placement. In 2019, Out of more than 250 colleges and universities in California, East Los Angeles College was ranked as having the lowest violent crime rates in the state. Compared to other schools in California, ELAC made the list for having the lowest incidents of violent crime per 1,000 students, according to Safehome.org, an organization that researches, reviews and compares the latest security trends. Many students and faculty complained throughout the years of the constant construction. Construction caused a multitude of inconveniences like relocating centers and blocking pathways. However, in the long run, the construction paid off. Students, faculty and staff have a campus that looks modern and in an overall improvement from past buildings.


75th Anniversary



EDITORS IN CHIEF Daniella Molina Zasha Hayes MANAGING EDITOR Erica Cortes FRONT EDITOR Annette Qiujada OPINION EDITORS Teresa Acosta Cynthia Solis FEATURE EDITOR Gabriela Gutierrez NEWS EDITORS Jonathan Bermudez Ivana Amaral ARTS EDITORS Breanna Fierro Alma Lizarraga SPORTS EDITOR Miguel Dominguez ONLINE EDITORS Grace Rodriguez Raymond Nava COPY EDITORS Juan Calvillo Luis Castilla Ivan Cazares STAFF WRITERS Leonardo Cervantes Ricardo Martir PHOTOGRAPHERS Paul Medina Natalia Angeles ART DIRECTOR Steven Adamo SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR Brenda De La Cruz CARTOONIST Max Miranda ADVERTISING Stefanie De la Torre ADVISER Jean Stapleton Campus News encourages letters to the editor relating to campus issues. Letters must be typed and double spaced. Submitted material becomes the property of Campus News and cannot be returned. Letters should be limited to 300 words or less. Campus News reserves the right to edit letters for grammatical errors or libelous content. Anonymous letters will not be printed. Writers must sign submissions and print their names and a phone number where they can be reached. Letters should be addressed to the editor of Campus News. Submissions can be made at the mailroom in building E1 or the Journalism department office in the Technology Center in E7-303. East Los Angeles College Campus News 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez E7-303 Monterey Park, CA 91754 (323) 265-8819, Ads (323) 265-8821 Fax (323) 415-4910 The East Los Angeles College Campus News is published as a learning experience, offered under the East Los Angeles College Journalism program. The editorial and advertising materials are free from prior restraint by virtue of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The opinions expressed are exclusively those of the writer. Accordingly, materials published herein, including any opinions expressed, should not be interpreted as the position of the Los Angeles Community College District, East Los Angeles College, or any officer or employee thereof.




75th anniversary



ELAC’s longest standing professor tells her story BY DANIELLA MOLINA AND STEVEN ADAMO Staff Writers

Professor Jean Stapleton has worked at East Los Angeles College’s longer than any other professor. Her career has spanned 50 years within the Los Angeles Community College District. 48 of those years with ELAC. Stapleton is a native of Albuquerque, New-Mexico and earned a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. She spent the first two years of her career as an adjunct at West Los Angeles College, first teaching a semester of English 101. She taught journalism classes for the remainder of her time there. However, due to low enrollment rates, Stapleton was told that there were no classes available for her in the coming semester. Administrators told Stapleton that there was an opening over at East Los Angeles College and she would be given a high recommendation if she applied. “So that’s how I got to East L.A,” Stapleton said. ELAC has grown tremendously since the first day Stapleton set foot on ELAC campus in September of 1973. At that time, ELAC was the fourth largest College in the district. Today, ELAC is the largest college in the district. Stapleton has witnessed all the phases of ELAC’s transformation; a campus that went from a small

single-story building and shabby run-down bungalows, to the now exceptional campus with multistory buildings. Stapleton recalls the days when her classroom was in one of the bungalows. There was no heat, a broken, boarded up window and stairs that were barely connected to the building. Today, however, the Journalism Department and her classroom are located on the third floor of the E7 Building. Air conditioning is still an issue. This time it makes the classroom extremely cold. However, the Vicky Chang Technology building holds up-to-date amenities for all of the students and staff. It was not just the aesthetics of the campus that Stapleton saw change. There were also no unions that protected the rights of staff, faculty and employees of the district. “It was a real nose to the grindstone,” Stapleton said. Some teachers were required to perform 22 hours of teaching hours per week, which resulted in putting in overtime hours that went unpaid. It was not until the American Federation of Teachers Foundation was formed in 1977 that working environments changed for the better. The Los Angeles College Faculty Guild Local 1521, which ELAC is a part of, provides representation to full time and adjunct faculty working in the nine community colleges within the district. “They were just forming the Union. There were two unions. One was the NEA and the other was the AFT. They were both courting

all the brand-new teachers. They would tell you all the reasons why you should join this union instead of that union. One day, a person from the NEA came in and told me ‘You don’t want to join the AFT! Those are a bunch of women's libbers!’ and I went, ‘Oh, now I know which union I want to join.’I immediately joined the AFT,” Stapleton said. Since the beginning of Stapleton’s journalism career, she has had to learn a lot of the evolving technology necessary to create the news. This changing technology took its time to reach ELAC. It wasn’t until 1975 when ELAC Campus News received an electric typewriter. It would be another two decades before receiving their first computer and a few years after that to obtain the software. “We were using MacWrite to layout the paper,” Stapleton said. Though the technology has improved the ease of laying out the newspaper, Stapleton believes that it adds more pressure to the students. “All the responsibility is on the students. Yes, it’s easier, but the students also have a great deal of responsibility for laying it out,” Stapleton said. Now that there are many advanced methods of consuming news in the digital age, Stapleton said that she is looking forward to printing the newspaper once again in Spring 2022. “I’m going to be very happy when we go back to paper because I think students really need to publish on paper. This is like, ‘whoa, you have to actually have everything perfect before you put it out there,” Stapleton said. However, even with protected rights, better pay standards, and new technology, Stapleton also experienced turbulent times. In

1990 she was transferred from ELAC to Pierce College, due to false accusations against her and the ELAC Campus newspaper staff. The accusations claimed that Stapleton was only stirring up trouble with the stories that were being published in the campus newspaper. However, after a hearing, Stapleton was vindicated and cleared to return to ELAC as the adviser of the Journalism department. It was a loss to a group of faculty members, who had long plotted against Stapleton. On February 5, 1990, Stapleton was reinstated and the administration was ordered to destroy any unsatisfactory documentation on her. “In reality, I love East L.A College. I hated it there (Pierce College) and just wanted to come back,” Stapleton said. Stapleton has held the positions as professor, adviser and chair of the journalism department for over four decades. The only time she is away from her students is when she travels. A personal love of Stapleton’s, she has travelled to more than 70 countries. From China to Brazil, and right up to before the pandemic hit, she had spent time in Colombia and Bolivia. She has also visited Japan, England and Germany several times. Russia, Mongolia and Antartica are others on the list. Her office is like a small museum with photos and memories from the countries she has visited. She also likes to acquire newspapers from all over to read what is happening in the world. But here in the states, ELAC Campus Newspaper and LA Times are the papers she has read every week for 48 years. Campus News staff has won


FLASHBACK—Jean Stapleton, adviser and chair of the journalism department at ELAC in the 1970s. several awards over the many years both for print and online editions. Stapleton strongly encourages her students to participate in journalism conferences and competitions. The most current one being at the Journalism Association of

Community Colleges State Conference November 2021, where several of her students won awards. As for her legacy at ELAC, Stapleton said, “I don’t think my legacy is ELAC. I think my legacy is my students.”

ELAC’s history continues through its alumni BY PAUL MEDINA Staff Writer In 76 years of operation, East Los Angeles College has transformed itself and created a legacy reflected in its alumni. Throughout the decades, the campus has increased its size, its programs offered and the number of its services to the communities it serves. ELAC’s initial batch of students consisted of 380 and a faculty of 19 according to the ELAC Foundation’s website. Initially, many educators were brought in from other assignments. Among those was ELAC’s first President, Roscoe C. Ingalls, the namesake of ELAC’s large auditorium located in the middle of campus. Ingalls previously served as the Principal of James A. Garfield High School and Director of Los Angeles City College. Throughout its history, ELAC students have graduated and returned to serve their alma matter in some capacity. Among them was Roger Holguin who graduated in the 1960s and returned to ELAC as a Business professor, before retiring with a 40+ year career of teaching at ELAC. Throughout the decades ELAC

has had many additional alumni return to campus. Among them ELAC Alumni Association President Maria Elena Yepes, Professor Emeritus of English and later Learning Technology Center director. Frank Lozano also returned and is the current student life activities director, a Child Development instructor and a board of directors member of the ELAC Alumni association. In the Political Science department Al Rios returned not only as an instructor, but as a current ELAC Dean and Mayor of South Gate. Jeffrey Hernandez returned to ELAC to teach Political Science and currently serves as the Academic Senate President. ELAC currently has an alumni association with members who have returned to ELAC not only to serve, but also to teach at their alma matter. Felipe Agredano, Political Science instructor, served as the alumni association's former Vice President. Its current Vice President Ana Osio, is an ELAC Child Development instructor. Many alumni have also returned to promote the spirit and camaraderie of ELAC. English Professor Dennis Sanchez retired after a 30-year career of teaching and impacting students. During Sanchez’s time as an ELAC instructor he founded the

East Side Spirit and Pride which began to promote the college during a time in which camaraderie wasn’t as strong. According to its mission statement online, “The mission of The East Side Spirit and Pride Club is to assist students to realize their full potential in transferring to a fouryear college or university of their choice.” ESSP impacted thousands of students through mentorship, scholarships and in helping to make ELAC a more memorable experience. The college has also welcomed back leaders in the athletics department. Instructors such as Kinesiology Professor Marilyn Ladd and Orlando Brenes, who was a part of the 1974 State Championship winning Soccer team, would return in 1990 as a coach and help ELAC then also win the state championship in soccer. Other alumni have returned to ELAC in the athletics department are Rick Gamboa, who played football during his time as an ELAC student. He then returned to ELAC as its football coach. Former NFL running back Lynn Cain, who was instrumental in ELAC’s 1974 football State Championship, later returned for a brief stint as ELAC’s Football head coach.


ELAC ALUMNI—Maria Elena Yepes (left) with Ana Osio, former ELAC students active with the Alumni association. www.ELACCampusNews.com

75th Anniversary Dedicated alumnus shares personal Husky journey 4

This group helped raise thousands of dollars from many avenues. Staff Writer This gave him valuable experience. East Los Angeles College has It also lead to the beginnings been around for 75 years and Ray of another program which still Mireles, 92, has lived through most stands today, Project USTED of the college’s time open as a (United Students and Teachers for professor and alum. Educational Development). Project Mireles attended ELAC USTED helps where he majored in life raise Chicano science and graduated in students’ “I wasn’t leading s e l f - e s t e e m 1956. During his time as a student, Mireles noticed and views the marches the many differences in on attending or speeches, opportunities allotted c o l l e g e . to students of color, U S T E D but I was still particularly Chicano provides the helping Chicano help Chicano students. Mireles said he managed to turn his anger students need in students.” about these disparities order to thrive into passion. This mindset in college. enabled him to pursue his Mireles said bachelors and master’s he was chosen degrees, along with his to lead a Title RAY MIRELES doctorate. He began his Former Elac Professor III program teaching career at ELAC in 1968 to in 1962, becoming the first help colleges Chicano faculty member. assist Chicano graduates. Mireles He was a professor for almost 40 was affected by typical barriers years. and setbacks while creating and Mireles remembers starting managing these helpful programs, groups at ELAC such as the but it was his time in the Air Force Mexican-American Business and that he credits with teaching him Professional Men’s Scholarship how to deal with bureaucracy. Association in order to help This helped him deal with these motivate and finance young barriers and the push- back he got Chicanos’ futures. on campus.




COLLEAGUES WORKING TOGETHER—Ray Mireles (second from left) with his colleagues who together designed “The Community Outreach and Continuing Education Program” in 1970. Mireles taught at ELAC full-time from 1962-1995, then transitioned to part-time until 2001. He was also appointed dean at ELAC. He recalls witnessing the first ethnic/MexicanAmerican studies program signed

into existence at ELAC. All of his thoughts and memories will be available in his personal memoirs. He is currently working on his book titled “My journey: Si Se Puede.”

What Mireles accomplished helped not only him and his fellow classmates, but it helped shape future programs to continue helping students of color at ELAC. This was especially needed in the late ‘60s when the Civil Rights and

Chicano movement were on the rise in Los Angeles. “I wasn’t leading the marches or speeches, but I was still helping Chicano students,” Mireles said.

Health Center continues to service Huskies BY LUIS CASTILLA Staff Writer


SERVICE WITH A SMLE—Julia Lomeli (left), Michelle Quo and Jessica Olivas serve East Los Angeles College students with medical care at the Student Health Center.

East Los Angeles College students have long been able to rely on the services of the Student Health Center to fulfill many different basic medical needs. The Student Health Center offers medical services like blood pressure screening, glucose testing, first-aid care and pregnancy testing. The center also offers a wide variety of vaccinations along with free condoms and tampons. Most of the services offered are covered by the health fee students are required to pay every semester. Services offered at the center change depending on its provider. Right now, the center’s provider is ViaCare. Carlos Guerrero of Student Services said every time a provider’s contract with the center is up, a new contract is made. The new contract maybe with the same health provider or a new one. The provider then bids on the services the center wants to include

in its new contract. The Student Health Center is currently located on the third floor of the F5 building. Carla Juarez, of the Student Health Center, said she remembers when the center was located in a bungalow in 2006 when she was a student at ELAC and a member of the now defunct Students For Equal Rights club. “There were so many trees. It was beautiful,” Juarez said. Recently, the Student Health Center started offering COVID-19 testing and vaccinations in response to the global pandemic that took hold in 2020. Guerrero said one thing the center has focused more on recently is mental health. “It’s something that’s affecting us a lot,” Guerrero said. New therapy sessions have been added to the center’s list of services. Michelle Quon, family nurse practitioner with ViaCare, said the center also offers birth control and tests for sexually transmitted diseases. Society has become more open to mental health awareness and support. ELAC partnered with University of California, Los Angeles for

its Screening and Treatment for Anxiety and Depression (STAND) program. STAND works by having students take a mental health evaluation test . It then places them in categories based on the results. From there, they are given support options. Although the Student Health Center has evolved over the years, it continues to expand its services to better serve ELAC. Guerrero said the Student Health Center is currently working to upgrade its food pantry. Currently the Associated Student Union’s food pantry consists mostly of snacks for students. Guerrero said the Student Health Center is hoping to open an actual food pantry where students will be able to find groceries. Guerrero said this version of the food pantry is likely to come sometime next year. With an ever-evolving list of services, only time will tell what the health center may provide in the next 75 years.

ELAC names library for former instructor, artist BY CYNTHIA SOLIS Staff Writer East Los Angeles College dedicated its library to Helen Miller Bailey who served as chairperson of the Social Science department from 1946 to 1974. The Helen Miller Bailey Library, located at the heart of the East Los Angeles College campus, is approximately 60,000 square feet and is home to more than 100,000 volumes and collections. Bailey donated most of her earnings over the years to MexicanAmericans in need. She was an accomplished artist and writer who created the Armando Castro Scholarship Fund. The royalties she received from her books were donated to the scholarship. Bailey also hosted luncheons and dinners during her 43 years as an educator and even opened her home to students needing a place to stay. The library was first built in 1945 and was initially located in the F5 building. As the student population increased, the need to have the library be its own structure also increased. This laid the path for the library to eventually be moved and

given its own building. The building was two stories tall and only 44,212 square feet. After 25 years, ELAC deemed it necessary to modernize and expand the library. Before construction, the building was old and not equipped to house the library’s growing collection of books. It also could not serve ELAC’s ever-growing student population. Interestingly, before the library underwent construction, many of its books were housed in two other locations. The school had designated six temperature-controlled containers near the C2 bungalows to protect ELAC’s rarer books. The second location was near the South Gate campus. The books from both sites were moved into the Helen Miller Bailey Library. After construction finished, the library increased the number of computers to 240, added book stacks, which refer to the main bookshelves in the library, two library classrooms, 23 study spaces and 23 study rooms. The additional features enabled the librarians to teach students research skills since more technology and library instruction

was available. “Book and database budgets have increased to meet the demands of ELAC students’ research more adequately. Ebooks, databases, and 24/7 research assistance were added to provide online services for distance learning,” Choonhee Rhim, library chair, said. The district will include the library when determining budgets as the student population grows. This is to ensure students have access to a wide range of genres. The library is trying to make headway in ensuring that students have access to books on anti-racism, equity, diversity and inclusion. All of these types of titles further promote social justice. This is a huge step forward in enabling future generations to fight against racial inequalities still present in society. The library is noted as being sustainable. The exterior consists of window walls with solarized glazing and shading devices that allow natural light to flow into the building. The inclusion of natural light coupled with the internal lighting systems allows for overall lower energy consumption. The building also includes low-

flow plumbing fixtures, achieving water savings by having a lower flow rate or using a smaller quantity of water per flush. It is no surprise that the architect who worked on the library, Som A. Iempinyo deemed the library the “Crowning Jewel’ of the campus.” The mural titled “Education Suite: Arte, Ciencia, y Filosofia’’ was first created for the Helen Miller Bailey library in 1981 by the East Los Streetscrapers. The group of artists consisted of David Botello, George Yepes, and Wayne Healy, with assistance from David Morin. The mural consists of panels where the canvas lays and portrays artwork which themes include art, science and philosophy. T h r o u g h o u t t h e l i b r a r y ’s renovation the art piece remained hanging in the library as workers updated the light fixtures and installed a skylight. The mural depicts various important figures in history, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Emiliano Zapata; it also features relevant figures in ELAC history, such as Helen Miller Bailey. Bailey stands firmly in the center of the panel next to images of John Lennon and John F. Kennedy.



READ TO SUCCEED—Students enter the Helen Miller

Bailey Library.

75th anniversary 5 Educational center aims to provide southeast more opportunities, succeeded EAST LOS ANGELES COLLEGE CAMPUS NEWS

BY JUAN CALVILLO Staff Writer In March of 2021, ELAC’s South Gate satellite campus was given the title of “center.” “The state recognizes it as a separate center and gives it its own line item, its own budget and is held accountable to...many of the same outcomes that other state colleges are held accountable to, which is a big deal,” Armida Ornelas, former vice president of Continuing Education & Workforce Development and now the interim president of Los Angeles Mission College, said. East Los Angeles College’s South Gate Educational Center has served the southeast communities of Los Angeles since 1997, bringing access to higher education to those areas. Bringing these opportunities to the areas of South Gate, Huntington Park, Walnut Park and others has been a labor of passion for many involved with the center since its inception. Former interim president Raul Rodriguez approved the application

for “center” status that would make this a reality. Ornelas said the proposal for this application was brought up to each new president and most declined. She said the Board of Governors approved it and granted the request. Ornelas said the center is the first in the Los Angeles Community College District to achieve this milestone and all that it brings with it. Al Rios, South Gate Educational Center dean and current Mayor of South Gate, said Huntington Park Mayor Rick Loya was concerned with the areas lowering education levels and dropout rates in the early ‘90s. Loya gathered with surrounding city mayors to see what could be done about the situation. Rios said the group found a vacant building in Huntington Park and used federal funds to move things forward. Rios said the next step was connecting with ELAC and seeing what could be done. Ornelas said the original building was an old Pacific Bell facility.

Pacific Bell was a telephone company that provided wires and telephone service in Southern California. It became a part of AT&T and its holding became vacant in the Huntington Park area. The building was located on Seville and Saturn Avenues. Daniel Castro, first dean of the educational center, advocated for opening the center there. The project got the support of former ELAC President Ernest Moreno and it became the original center’s site for the southeast communities. Ornelas said Castro was a big part of getting things going for the satellite center. “He (Castro) was very committed to serving underserved communities, first generation immigrant Latino communities,” Ornelas said. Rios said some of the first classes offered were English as a second language courses. Soon, general courses were added to the small center. These courses quickly ballooned and soon a more robust building

needed to be found for the growing student numbers. Rios said in 1997, a new building was found. Castro helped figure out much of the logistics for the new building. This 50,000 square foot building is located at 2340 Firestone Boulevard. Ornelas said over the years, the center has been a symbol for the community. She said despite the location lacking certain resources, the staff and faculty made up for it with love, passion and commitment for the area. The center provides access to schooling and higher education for the communities in the area. “The magic that happened there is just amazing because people wanted to be there. Students wanted to be there. At one point in the late ‘90s, early 2000s, it was packed,” Ornelas said. She said the center became depleted and there was a push to figure out how to help the South Gate Educational Center. Former ELAC President Marvin

Martinez set up a task force to address the situation. Ornelas chaired the task force that prioritized the center. She said they were able to add adult education courses, full time faculty and custodians among other things. Rios said an investment was made in the South Gate Educational Center that was directly tied to the needs of the community. He said the expansion of the current site is in the works. Ornelas said the decision was fueled by the funds from Measure J that were bonds set up for the creation of a more comprehensive college site. She said the original idea was to purchase the site at Firestone and Atlantic Boulevards. Instead, the site that was chosen is directly across the street from the current center. Rios said there has already been some development at the site. The site was previously a Firestone Tire Company manufacturing building. The tire brand used to make its

tires there. Ornelas said extensive cleanup has been done at the site to ensure that there are no lingering chemicals from the manufacturing of Firestone’s tires. Rios said the community has waited for some time for the expansion. The site is 105,000 square feet and will house 32 smart and normal classrooms. Computer labs, science labs and offices will all be a part of the new South Gate Educational Center building. Rios said it will likely open its doors in the Fall or Winter sessions of 2024. He said the southeast area of Los Angeles has a dense population of youth who understand change and needs for school. The South Gate Educational Center is a place for the future of the south east communities. “As a workforce, the landscape changes. We don’t have those labor jobs we used to have, so folks need a little more schooling and training. So I think that’s part of it too, that there is a need for post secondary education,” Rios said.

ELAC improves food options for students BY BREANNA FIERRO Staff Writer Students have encouraged East Los Angeles College’s administration to expand its food selection over many years to include new options: the student store, Grab n’ Go store, a new cafeteria and a variety of food trucks. Throughout ELAC’s history, these stores were made to keep the students on campus interested with a variety of purchasing options. Food, snacks and grocery items became a main priority throughout the years. Since the 1940s, ELAC has experienced a variety of different food and beverage options. One example is a macchiato café in 1997 that was owned and managed by Jonathan Choi. Inspiration for the cafe came to him while he was a student and noticed a lack of cafes on campus at the time. In 1971 ELAC dealt with a labor issue which prevented it from supplying a good amount of lettuce for students on campus. This shortage caused outrage among the student community. The shortage had students viewing the lack of lettuce on burgers as absurd as a meatless burger. Alejandro De La Parra, a student and an employee, said he worked for five years on campus and thought about how his time there reflected on ELAC’s history. De La Parra said there were days when the student store on campus consisted of the bare minimum, providing students with the basic necessities needed for their classes in a bungalow. He said other days, the store would be so full that a line of students would wrap around the building. This created chaos not only for the students waiting to purchase merchandise, but for those

students around the bungalow as well. This went on until the student s t o r e r e l o c a t e d t o d i ff e r e n t bungalows behind the pool in D7, and then again to the final location in the present day, F9. Like the student store, the cafeteria was also relocated from the G-Building to the H-Building near the observatory. This didn’t help, and before long, the whole concept of a cafeteria was canceled altogether during that time. This was until the final permanent location popped up alongside the student store and grab n’ go in the F-building, De La Parra said. De La Parra said he was a cadet from 2005 to 2007 when ELAC had a food cart vendor. The vendor would post up shop across from the pool to sell churros and individual pizza slices to students who were on their way to class. “The cart looked like an ice cream cart with a heating window for the pizza, churros and filled with a bunch of other goodies. He was very popular,” De La Parra said. He said the current construction happening at ELAC’s South Gate campus, is building a brand new student store across the street from its current location. Former food truck vendor Ana I. Garcia said she had a lot of experiences while being with ELAC for a little over three years. Garcia talked about the evolution of both the students and food when she was working on campus. The truck menu had a tendency to change food items consistently, due to her creativeness and because students seemed to enjoy it. Another perk for Garcia working on campus was the student interactions. “If possible in the near future, I would like to work on campus again. The college campus, students and staff were amazing, kind and loving with us all and we would hope to be back soon,” she said.


LOOKING OUT— Former East Los Angeles College President Ernest Moreno directing attention at Weingart Stadium.

Students Ernest Moreno’s main focus BY DANIELLA MOLINA Staff Writer Ernest H. Moreno worked to bring state of the art facilities not only to East Los Angeles College students, but to all students within the Los Angeles Community College District. Moreno served as ELAC president from 1994 through 2011 and was a member of the Los Angeles Community College district for 42 years. He is now a trustee of the LACCD. As a professor, Moreno taught business administration, supervision and management. In addition to those classes, he also taught labor relations all at Los Angeles TradeTechnical College from 1976 to 1986, and political science at West

Los Angeles College from 1986 to 2006. He is a native of Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley. He attended Cal State University, Los Angeles where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree. He then earned a Master’s in public administration from CalState University, Long Beach. What started as a vision in the mind of Moreno is the reality on campuses across the district. “He started with the E7 Building. As more and more people saw what it was like to have a building like E7, more and more people started jumping on the bandwagon that they wanted to get a bond through,” Jean Stapleton, chair of the Journalism department, said. Moreno is responsible for

changes that led ELAC to be one of the largest community colleges in the nation. He saw the rundown classrooms, lack of up-to-date facilities and strived for a better situation for the college. Students from a Journalism 101 class asked Moreno what he had hoped to accomplish during his term. “I want to leave a legacy at this school,” said Moreno. Despite being heavily criticized, Moreno’s efforts are the reason ELAC and other campuses’ look and function as they do today. “He wouldn’t spend all the money. He kept holding back the money. He actually saved the whole district. Because when bad times came, when the recession came

back in 2007, he had saved millions of dollars, which then the district used as their reserve. Otherwise we would have been in deep trouble,” Stapleton said. Today, you look around and see the contributions that have become Moreno’s legacy. The Language, Arts & Humanities E3 building was named in his honor. It is a 135,000 square foot building with five stories and 40 classrooms. “Ernie was out there all the way, started getting the plans out, getting things to be built. The campus would not be what it is without Ernie and he did get the credit, with his name on the E3 building. I think he did something really wonderful. His legacy is the physical plant of ELAC,” Stapleton said.

ELAC, Hollywood have lasting connection BY NATALIA ANGELES Staff Writer


TEMPORARY STEBACK— Due to COVID-19 restrictions, ELAC Cafe and Grab n’ Go remains closed off from students and faculty.

Hollywood, California is the epicenter of the film industry and is connected with East Los Angeles College by the campus’ diverse locales for filming. Everyone travels from different areas of the world to visit the famous Walk of Fame. Aspiring actors and actresses make it their goal to shine in the city of stars. The neighboring college in Monterey Park is home to many scenes portrayed on the big Hollywood big screen.

East Los Angeles College’s football stadium, Weingart Stadium, has made multiple appearances across a number of high-end films. One of those films was “Forrest Gump.” Played by Tom Hanks, Gump’s mastery of running allows him to get into the University of Alabama’s football team. As the crowd chants, “Run Forrest, run,” there is a beautiful long shot of Weingart Stadium. Another famous film shot at Weingrant Stadium is “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” The scene showing the stadium is during a football match being

watched through a police TV screen. There is also the horror movie “House of the Dead 2” scene where actress Victoria Pratt and her team are faced with a mob of zombie football players. The scene shows how huge and eerie Weingart Stadium can be. The immense beauty of Weingart Stadium on the big screen is just one thing Hollywood has worked with ELAC on. The Vincent Price Art Museum is famous through its walkthroughs by Huell Howser. Howser’s “California Gold” and “Visiting..with Huell Howser” are important episodes highlighting the

diversity on ELAC’s campus. The Netflix series “Last Chance U: Basketball,” documented ELAC’s basketball team as well as their head coach, John Mosley. The series centered around the struggles ELAC basketball players face as they try to claim the illustrious state title. Every episode is an emotional rollercoaster. The program documents the struggle of being a student-athlete. It also shows the beauty that stems from East Los Angeles College and its athletics programs.


6 75th Anniversary


Black Student Union activist fought for on-campus equality BY STEVEN ADAMO & JUAN CALVILLO Staff Writer

It was a friend named Donald Crump who invited Harold Welton to join the Black Student Union at East Los Angeles College in the Fall of 1969. Welton was already involved in activism prior to enrolling at ELAC in 1969 as a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In April of 1970, President Nixon ordered an extension of the Vietnam War by invading Cambodia, which led to nation-wide strikes and protests on college campuses throughout the nation like Kent State. “We felt that what happened at Kent State and Southern Universities could happen at East LA College,” Welton said. At the time, the Police Science department was one of the largest departments on campus. Students who graduated as officers were allowed to carry weapons on campus. “We cannot expect a free atmosphere on a college campus with students who are police officers, armed,” Welton said. It was out of this police-like environment that the BSU organized a march from the student lounge to THE BLACK GUARD— Harold Welton addresses the newly elected the Police Science department. the door, Welton college education code,’” Welton “When we went into e x p l a i n e d t h a t said. the classroom, the without a felony The resulting trial was dubbed instructor, who was search warrant, “The East LA Five.” Out of the five a sergeant with the “We felt that she didn’t have to involved in the trial, Welton, 20, Sheriff’s Department, what happened allow the police was the only one who served time said ‘All those who in the home. After in the county jail and one of the few are Police Science at Kent State waiting around for people, in part, for cursing. students, who are not and Southern 30 minutes, the In the wake of the strikes, brand police officers, please leave,’” Welton said. Universities could officers eventually new Black and Brown Studies l e f t . D e s p i t e departments were created at ELAC. “All those who are happen at East warnings not to Newspapers La Vida Nueva and The police officers, please return to campus Black Guard were also created. Both put these people out LA College.” the following day, newspapers provided alternative of the class and that’s Welton decided to perspectives not commonly found where the altercation HAROLD WELTON go. in ELAC Campus News. happened.” Former ELAC BSU Member “The next day, During this time, Welton was Once student police b e i n g y o u n g — actively involved with the first free officers removed BSU right? Telling me clinic in the local Black community student members from the classroom, they returned to the not to come to the school, well I as well as the Free Breakfast Program student lounge where a few of the went anyway,” Welton said. Wellton with the Southern California chapter members gave speeches. Among said that the BSU met with ELAC of the Black Panther Party. They President John K. Wells and Dean of would also sell newspapers. these speakers was Welton. “East LA College will always “There was a police officer there Students Bernard Butcher to discuss who was undercover. She filed a the issues of the prior day. “When be a fond memory of organizing complaint against me that I cursed, I came out, man, they arrested me. with people at that time who were which I did,” Welton said. “It was I had five different misdemeanor dedicated. Yes, we were young, but about a week after that, the sheriff’s charges, two distributing the peace that type of dedication of that time department came to my mother’s charges, two charges of using an was something I’ll never forget,” obscenity in a public place, one Welton said. house.” Before Welton’s mother answered disruption of what was called ‘the


ELAC TO CONGRESS—Dolores Huerta, left, with former Psychology professor Judy Chu. Chu taught at East Los Angeles College for 13 years prior to becoming the first Asian-American Representative Congresswoman of the 32nd District. Chu is also Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

ELAC campus prime political stop BY RAYMOND NAVA Staff Writer With East Los Angeles College’s 75th anniversary, many students may find ELAC’s history in the political sphere interesting. The campus has hosted many political events such as rallies from presidential candidates, some as recent as last year, to debates for local races. ELAC even has a former professor currently serving as an elected United States Representative in Congress, former professor Judy Chu. ELAC has hosted two presidential rallies during the last two election cycles. During the 2020 Democratic Presidential primaries, Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren held an election eve presidential rally before Super Tuesday, the Tuesday when many primary states hold elections. This includes California, during the month of March. Among the speakers were Warren and the first lady of California Jennifer Siebel Newsom. During the 2016 Democratic Presidential primaries, Former Senator and democratic nominee Hillary Clinton held a rally at ELAC on May 5. Clinton’s visit to

the campus drew protests among Hispanic groups as well as from supporters of her opponent, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton, also held a rally at ELAC during his first election for president in October of 1992. Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy held his rally at ELAC in 1984 for the Presidential election at the time he was endorsing former vice president Walter Mondale. ELAC has hosted candidate forums and debates for local races as well. In 2018, ELAC hosted a candidate forum for candidates running for Los Angeles County Sheriff. The event was held before the primary election by the American Civil Liberties Union on April 21. The forum was called “Elect Your Sheriff.” Candidates Robert Lindsey and Alex Villanueva were present at the forum, while incumbent sheriff Jim McDonnell was not present. Villanueva and McDonnell were forced into a runoff after the primary. Another “Elect Your Sheriff” forum was slated to be held at ELAC in October but was cancelled. Villanueva eventually defeated McDonnell in the general election in November.

Perhaps the biggest connection ELAC has to the political sphere is current Representative Chu. Chu was a psychology professor at ELAC for 13 years. Chu taught “Introduction to Psychology and Psychological Aspects of Human Sexuality.” Prior to being elected to Congress in 2009, Chu served on the Monterey Park City council, first being elected in 1998. She continued teaching at ELAC during her term. In fact, during her reelection bid for a second term, Chu stated that she would continue to teach at the campus regardless of whether or not she was reelected. Chu would be elected to the United States House of Representatives in a 2009 special election for the then-numbered 32nd district. Chu currently represents California’s 27th district. ELAC is a part of the 27th district. ELAC has been the site of many big political events in it’s long history. ELAC’s predominantly Hispanic student body makes it a high profile location for political candidates to reach out to the Latino community, especially in Democratic politics.

Associated Students Council at a meeting in March, 1972.


Welton continues activism through filmmaking BY JUAN CALVILLO Staff Writer Harold Welton, former East Los Angeles College student, fashions intense student stories in his documentaries about Black student life in Los Angeles during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. While at ELAC, he was a member of the Black Student Union and the Black Guard Newspaper, a Black student-run paper. Welton’s films are “Jackson: Not Just a Name” and “The Liberation of Fremont High.” While creating good trailers is an art, making documentary trailers intriguing is difficult. Welton’s two trailers accomplish this feat by focusing on the details of these remarkable stories. “Jackson: Not Just a Name” follows events which transpired after an attempt to free George Jackson by his younger brother Jonathan Peter Jackson. This act was done to help liberate The Soledad Brothers, of whom George was a member, who were on trial for the murder of a guard. All this happened while the group was in court. “That was at a court called the Marin County Court. That was near San Quentin prison... So when Jonathan went into the courtroom he was armed. You didn’t have metal detectors, well that’s the reason you have metal detectors now. So he went into the courtroom and he told the judge ‘All right gentlemen, I’m taking over now’,” Welton said. This event was later referred to as the August 7th Courthouse


PROUDJECTS— Still frame from the film Jackson: Not Just a Name by Harold Welton. Rebellion. The movie talks about a group that formed of former ELAC and Fremont High School students. That went on to work alongside the Black Guard Newspaper and other groups to continue to organize revolutionary black liberation in their community, which was renamed the “Proudjects.” The documentary follows the work of the group. The group was made up of ELAC and Fremont High students that worked in helping their community despite the growing gang influences. In “The Liberation of Fremont High” Welton shows members of the high school’s Black Student Union, students and teachers from Fremont High demanding that shortcomings in the school’s

programs be addressed. The film uses rare news footage, old newspapers and interviews with members of the revolt to explain the causes that were asked to be fulfilled by the protesting students. The demands were for the removal of racist teachers, the appointing of a Black principal and teachers of color. There was also a demand for a reading program that focused on Black history. These two films follow the struggles of Black students as well as other students of color. Welton’s two films are intended as tools to better show the errors of inequality from the past, and to show how people of color have overcome these trying situations.

QUOTES FROM PROFESSORS AND STUDENTS “I remember when I’d have to run around campus to gather all the signatures needed to take ELAC Anthropology Club students on a field trip. “ Professor Christine Sepulveda, Anthropology Department

“I remember when just two days after being hired as the ELAC athletic director, and while on vacation in Las Vegas, I got a congratulatory phone call from then President, Ernest Moreno, who, in my opinion, is the best president our college has ever had. Little did I know, I would hold the athletic director position for 18 years, the longest tenured AD in ELAC history”. Al Cone Professor, Health and Kinesiology


“I remember when I was about to start at ELAC, it was the fall of 2010, I was so nervous and scared, but I knew I wanted to major in psychology. I knew it was my calling. I had emailed Dr. Randy Ludwig who was the adviser of the Psych club. I had told him I was a new student and was interested in psychology and that I would like to attend the club meetings. He emailed me back right away with such a welcoming message and was so down to earth. I attended my first meeting a week later and, fast forward now, I’m a professor in psychology and a therapist.” Professor Joey Luna, Psychology Department “I remember when the pandemic started and the Campus News staff came in on the last day the campus was open to stock up on what we would need to continue the newspaper. We could never prepare for what was to come.” Luis Castilla, Former Editor-in-chief

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