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Volume 78, Issue 11 | www.elaccampusnews.com | Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Race for president comes down to five BY ANDREA CERNA Staff Writer The search for the next East Los Angeles College president was narrowed down from fifty candidates to five. The candidates that Dr. Juan Avalos, Dr. Cynthia Azari, Dr. Robert Frost, Dr. Albert Román and Dr. Christopher Villa. They are expected to reflect leadership, integrity and community engagement.Each candidate will be introduced during a final evaluation on the week of Dec 7. T h e n e x t p r e s i d e n t ’s responsibilities include reporting to the Los Angeles Community College Chancellor. They will lead the college through its current online learning environment and return to in person classes. The president will have to make important decisions such as how to handle student public health given the current COVID-19 pandemic. These responsibilities and decisions directly affect students who are currently enrolled at ELAC. Avalos currently serves as the Vice President for Student Services at Saddleback College and has 27 years of cumulative experience across private and public institutions. He is also serving on the board of directors of the California Community College Athletics

Association. Avalos embraces the importance of education, hard work, pursuing your dreams, and being of service to the community. Azari has 30 years of experience in community colleges. She was formerly the President for Oxnard College. While holding the position, Azari focused on increasing dual enrollment and had classrooms and faculties. She aslo worked on strengthening her partnerships with local K-12 districts. Azari has also held different positions, those being Vice Chancellor, President, Vice President, Dean and faculty. Vasquez worked at Oxnard College for more than a year and took a “paid leave” prior to retiring. Frost has partnered to focus on college accreditation, internal climate and enrollment challenges. His work extends to many years as an international education leader that includes California, Oregon and Midwestern States. He has served as a community college and university professor, dean, vice president of both academic affairs and student services, and college president. Román has 19 years of collective experience through different roles. He has been a public school employee, faculty member, director of resources, and assistant superintendent. Román


FIFTY APPLIED—The remaining five candidates Dr. Juan Avalos

(top left), Dr. Cynthia Azari (top center), Dr. Robert Frost (top left), Dr. Alberto J. Roman (bottom left), Dr. Christopher Villa (bottom right). held a position as Vice Chancellor of Human Resources at the Los Angeles Community College District and currently serves as the Interim President at ELAC. He wants to achieve equity between students that are at a disadvantage during these challenging times. Villa recently served as Campus President at Portland Community College-Rock Creek and played a role in advancing partnerships

with community representatives from business, community-based organization, k-12 partners, and universities. He is one of the founders of Colegas which is a college network that addresses racial equity and social issues within California Community Colleges. The Board of Trustees is expected to formally announce the new ELAC President on Dec 16.

Students prepare for transfer BY ALMA LIZARRAGA Staff Writer The Center for Community College Partnerships at UCLA held Zoom meetings during the last four days to help students who are transferring and extended their hours Sunday. A UC PIQ (Personal Insight Questions) Café was held Sunday Nov. 29 offering their services to East Los Angeles College. Students joined through Zoom to communicate with counselors. The hours Sunday were extended longer than usual, to reach out to more students before the end of the week. The CCCP helps community college students with transferring to four-year universities, offering information and resources as well as feedback on UC applications. Students were allowed to seek any help relating to transferring and were not limited to only the specific PIQ cafè sessions as students were allowed to ask any questions relating to transferring. Participants were required to wait before being attended, but had a counselor in the main room who offered assistance to those with questions. Due to the hours of the café being opened for a few hours, many joined the meeting at their own time. The Zoom link was advertised to students for anyone to join at ELAC. Students met with counselors and peer mentors in breakout rooms to receive one-on-one

help. In the break room, ELAC students communicated freely what they needed to focus on and receive an amount of time to talk with a mentor. There was a time limit and mentors were shuffled to receive all the students attending the Zoom meeting. Though the mentors at the CCCP were actual staff, some were former students who had experience transferring who offered personal insight into the application process. This allowed the CCCP to offer a student’s perspective. Through screen sharing, members of the CCCP shared direct websites and necessary resources by going over and explaining what is required to transfer. Several websites such as assist. org gave insight to transfer students about the college requirements that are needed. The PIQ Café presented some of the most asked questions in applications, which students must prepare for. Students are able to share their answers and receive insight into what colleges are looking for. They may also choose to ask about any of their specific concerns about their applications. The program has continued despite COVID- restrictions to reach out to students offering their services. The CCCP attempts to have other sessions like the PIQ café that will help community college students often, and attempt to meet students to help themnavigate for their future.

ASU meeting introduces new clubs BY PAUL MEDINA Staff Writer Five new clubs were chartered during Friday’s East Los Angeles Student Union meeting. One of the newly chartered clubs, the ISA will serve with the purpose to help international students adapt to a new lifestyle in America. It will serve to enhance their chances of being accepted to Cal States, UCs, and other universities. ISA plans on meeting Friday afternoons. College wide events are a staple of the Associated Student Union. They operate a budget of $294,000 for the fiscal year of 2020-2021. Those funds are derived from the optional student services fee, paid by countless students every semester. The budget is used to

plan and fund events throughout the academic year. The meeting was chaired by ASU President Yuxuan Bai and overseen by adviser Sonia Lopez, current Dean of Student Services. The student-led meeting, which took place on Wednesday Nov. 25, instead of its normal time slot was held via Zoom, consisting of executive officers, and senators. The meeting served as the central organization of student led activities and affairs at ELAC. Bai oversaw many actions in the meeting including the chartering of many clubs such as: International Student Association (ISA), Math and Science, Puente, Roots of Stem and Vietnamese Club. During a traditional year, you can find ASU activities throughout campus. ASU conducts events and

activities directly, in collaboration with other clubs and departments. They also fund various events on campus.

“faculty have suggested wanting an in person meeting and recptive with limited guests” During the COVID-19 pandemic, ASU has been forced to shift many of its events online. Vincent Bagabaldo, ASU Senator, said a Christmas sweater contest will be held. Entries for the event will end on December 13 with the winner to be announced on December 22 via

ASU’s Instagram page. The ASU government is comprehensive. Members attend student, faculty, and administration run committee meetings such as the ELAC Shared Governance Council and South Gate College Council. South Gate campus ASU Vice President Wendy G. Aguilar spoke about attending the latest South Gate College Council meeting. She said ASU’s task on the South Gate campus is to identify South Gate and provide them promotional items at an upcoming giveaway. There was mention of the hotspot policy which will soon be implemented allowing students the ability to use Wi-Fi on campus at designated locations. Parking lot 4 at main campus appears to be a tentative location for the hotspot usage, while the

South Gate Campus’ main parking lot will be the location. The hours of operation and logistics for the hotspot are still in the planning stage.Senator Polly Ren debriefed on the recent graduation committee meeting in which students and faculty have suggested wanting an in-person meeting and reception with limited guests, but students are still waiting to hear back from the district to hear what will happen. An update was made on the district’s selection of the future ELAC President, currently occupied by an interim President. The five finalists were announced during the ESGC meeting. A town hall forum is scheduled on Dec. 3 at 12:30 p.m. where students can ask questions and provide input on the selection of the finalists.

This past Monday’s meeting, Bai said that ELAC will continue to seek membership with the Umoja Community. The community serves as a resource to improve the experience for African American students which currently exists in many campuses throughout the district. Former ASU board member Pedro Flores encourages students to become active on campus and highly encourages them to join ASU. He was drawn to student government by having the ability to combine the two things he really liked: education and the passion to help others. Students looking to become involved in clubs, organizations, or in campus involvement the next ASU meeting is scheduled for Dec. 11 via Zoom.

Film based on historic tragedy paints a new perspective BY ANNETTE LESURE Staff Writer East Los Angeles College held a screening of “For Rosa,” a film inspired by the Madrigal Ten, a group of women unknowingly castrated during childbirth on Nov. 18. Boyd-Batstone is a Masters of Fine Arts graduate from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. She said she wanted to share this film to honor the Madrigal Ten and the many other women whose voices were never heard. ELAC’s 75th Anniversary Committee, along with Student Services, hosted the short film’s screening with a question and answer session. The storyline follows a fictional character and is based on true events that happened to Latina women while giving birth at Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center in the 1970s. The film’s writer and director, Kathryn Boyd-Batstone, 27,

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was inspired to write her thesis film about the Madrigal Ten after watching a PBS documentary called “No Más Bebés.” She was shocked to learn that she was born and raised in Southern California and had never heard of the case. The Madrigal Ten filed a federal class-action lawsuit in Los Angeles after being sterilized without knowledge or proper consent. The case known as “Madrigal v. Quilligan” came out when one key witness, Karen Benker, a medical student at USC, testified against Doctor James Quilligan and his barbaric practices. Boyd-Batstone said eugenics played a role in these sterilizations and that the women experienced medical racism. She said the idea of population control and war on poverty were both factors in sterilizing these Mexican American women. The eugenics movement in California was created to sterilize women that were not deemed as fit for procreating. From the start of 1909, federal agencies began funding states

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based on the amount of castration procedures performed. California was responsible for two-thirds of the illegal operations. While many people believe these illegal practices no longer exist, Boyd-Batstone disagrees. After interviewing various doctors at local county hospitals. “They’ve told me that they’ve had a few patients come in and tell them I don’t know why I haven’t had my period in three or four months and then the doctor has done a checkup on them and found that their uterus is not there. And that’s in Watts, in LA. And that’s in the past couple of years,” Bastone said. Boyd-Batstone said although the “Madrigal v. Quilligan” was ruled in favor of the doctors, changes were made going forward. Such changes include better-informed consent forms for women and bilingual paperwork for nonnative English speakers. The judge who tried the case passed away, and President Nixon appointed a new judge who refused the woman

Town hall for students

any reparations. “I chose to write about a fictional character in this true story to bring attention to the topic,” BoydBatsone said. She feels people watch documentaries that they are already passionate about and interested in. Therefore, giving the audience a fictional version with a loving family is an opportunity to gain a wider audience and empathy towards the topic. Boyd-Batstone said that the hospital now keeps the consent document in a master database to show all of their staff. She said they are currently demolishing the ward and are rebuilding it in attempts to reach out to the community and repair the mistrust. Dora Gonzalez, a clerk at the Women’s Clinic at LAC + USC Hospital, said that a woman would never be castrated without her knowledge at their clinic. While Gonzalez avoided The Madrigal Ten topic, she insisted that these practices no longer exist and that all medical staff is well trained in the procedures.

Administration will host a Town Hall for Students on.Thursday, at 12:30pm- 1:30pm. ELAC VP Ruben Arenas and other administrators will be available to answer their questions.


A SILENCED HISTORY— Main character Eva captured with a sorrowful stare in the movie poster.

Univision Hosts Health Fair Drive-Thru

Health Fair Drive-Thru Univision is hosting a Drive-Thru Health Fair providing a full day of information, health screenings, raffles and more. The event will be on Saturday from 9am-2pm. For more information: https://www.eventbrite. com/e/univision-health-fair-drive-through-2020-tickets-125958977693




Safe shopping habits needed BY IVAN AREVALO Staff Writer No matter the circumstances Angeleno’s will always find a way to turn the situation into a positive. The shopping experience has changed because of COVID 19. As a business worker in the midst of this holiday season, I’ve seen many crazy things come underway with these dramatic changes. To prevent that, here are four tips to take on the season safely, while still being able to enjoy yourself. We can still shop ‘til we drop for our Secret Santa and also, let’s be honest, ourselves. COVID-19 has hit ELAC hard. Midway through the Spring 2020 session students were forced to transition from in person classes to online courses. First generation, non traditional, and other students suffered from the loss of educational resources and a hub for educational escape. Now with the holiday season underway, students are coming to the realization that COVID19 is now out to get “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Because of the surge in COVID 19 cases the City of Angels is adjusting restaurant protocols.and cracking down the capacity at the malls. Now more than ever, the city needs to be vigilant in order to keep our residents and businesses safe. First tip, do your research. Those

less Grinch-like and more in the holiday spirit. Moving on to the third, reduce the amount of people going. We all love to shop with our family and friends, and in normal circumstances this would be ideal and encouraged. Unfortunately, with the city facing 1.12 million COVID-19 cases, we have to think of not only ourselves, but our loved ones as well. If you absolutely must have someone help you carry all those presents, take one happy helper. If you can manage on your own however, I encourage you to. We can all do our part by making smart decisions that are safe and efficient. The last tip is to make it clear that you are fully committed to following proper safety guidelines. Keep your 6 feet distance at all times, sanitize often, and address others to wear a mask politely if you see them without one. When people notice you are actively taking precautions, it serves as a reminder that simple cleaning steps can go a long way. Make sure to ask the workers where they have their wipes, complimentary masks, and hand sanitizing stations, just in case you run out of your Bath and Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar travel size. By making the message loud and clear, people will listen. Follow these tips to ensure you have a safe and positive shopping experience that will benefit not only you, but others around you as well.

hoodies and pants may be buy one get one 50% off, but buy one get one free at another store. Do you have to purchase that fancy display laptop right now, or can you get it for cheaper later online? When it comes down to it, shopping is a science. If you take the proper precautions, you can make the most out of your trip and ensure you walk away with everything you wanted. No one wants to make a second trip back to the mall only to return or exchange something you weren’t satisfied with. Look up all the deals of your favorite stores beforehand and call to see what’s available first. If you don’t like what they got, there’s always Cyber Monday. The second tip is to go at non-peak times. That means those Tuesday nights, Wednesday afternoons, and sadly yes, Monday mornings. For everyone who enjoys the comfort of solitude when you walk into an empty store, these are the best days to go shopping. Peak days are full of screaming kids, shoppers that push and shove like they’re practicing for their football team tryouts, and other people who walk at 0.005 mph who make it impossible to get around. If you want to avoid all of these inconveniences, go to the stores when no one else is. This does not guarantee you’ll be alone, but you can enjoy a spacious store with freshly stocked, untouched merchandise, and workers that are

Police presence not essential on empty campus BY JESUS ZESATI Staff Writer Police presence is not essential or vital on an empty campus. On November 13, the Los Angeles Community College District announced it is seeking new security services after concluding their 19 year contract with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department due to the current COVID-19 pandemic we are experiencing. The LASD and LACCD have failed to reach an agreement on an extended contract providing campus safety, “In light of the current COVID-19 environment” stated LACCD Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez. The sheriff’s department services

run the LACCD in excess of over $25 million dollars to have them patrol all nine campuses efficiently. This will come to an end effective December 31. The sheriff ’s deputies who were part of the security services at the community colleges will now be reassigned to fill in vacant spots within their department. The pandemic has forced online classes upon students. The LACCD is the largest community college district in the United States. It is one of the largest in the world, with nine different colleges within the district offering educational opportunities to students in Los Angeles. A sheriff station is located within each community college in

California. This enables services to be provided in order to maintain the college campus safe. The result being that policing is no longer crucial on an empty campus. Instead, the money should be used to seek new resources to help students who struggle with online learning and give opportunities to other services that don’t require so much money. Online classes are much more difficult now than usual. Having meetings through zoom and forcingstudents into a newstyle of learning. Asynchronous learning is more self directed or basically an online education. The synchronous style or aspect

is group learning oriented. Although, there are no students or faculty on campus it is important to keep watch of the community colleges to prevent any possible illegal activities. The pandemic has shocked and put many of us in an uncomfortable situation by having to learn online. COVID-19 is an on-going crisis at the moment and it certainly doesn’t appear that it will be coming to a halt anytime soon. In my opinion, during this time if any supervision is needed it would be better to have LACCD cadets to do the job because a lot of money would be saved and it helps them gain some experience of patrolling. Nevertheless, we are in the midst of severe circumstances there are

many restrictions and rules that will need to be followed and adhered to avoid the spread of the virus. Those who will be in charge of providing security services for the community colleges will need to be held to a high standard of accountability and follow all safety protocols. Another possible solution would be to enhance the security camera footage and surveillance. As long as classes are online, there shouldn’t be so much money being spent when there isn’t much going on. Sheriffs are being paid to supervise a whole semester with no students or faculty being present on campus and will not plan on returning until the Spring 2021 semester.

New stay at home order all for show BY GRECIA RODRIGUEZ Staff Writer COVID-19 cases are on the rise and the new “stay at home” order is our government’s call to action. Governor Gavin Newsom's so-called “Stay at Home Order” is far from what the name suggests. The order mandates a curfew from 10 p.m. -5 a.m. This futile attempt to minimize the damage of the pandemic is worrisome. Our government is acting like a business, ready with yellow caution signs, to ensure no lawsuits with the most delicate subject matter they have to deal with- a pandemic. A curfew was previously imposed in the early stages of the spread starting at 8pm. There are several issues with this but here is probably the most important. Why is this new curfew set at a later time? Residents cannot help but question this. Is our safety in mind or is our governor’s reputation more important? It would be much worse for Newsom’s reputation if he simply did nothing about the rising cases- this would not be far off from what this mandate does, close to nothing. The curfew misses many points. Most businesses already close at 10 p.m. Most essential businesses that are open this late have very little customers after 10 p.m. So it begs the question who is this for? If it was put into place to combat bars and clubs, perhaps ask them to shut down and fine them if they do not comply. Or www.ELACCampusNews.com


make any other protocol that can actually be enforced. Another equally important and disappointing point to make is the fact that Newsom received criticism for going to a dinner party just a few weeks before imposing the new order.

FOXLA spotted the governor at the Napa dinner party, not following COVID-19 protocol on November 6. The photo was released on November 19 and can be found on FOXLA’s twitter. To put it into perspective, this

was just one day before our peak in cases on November 20. On this day alone there were 13,727 cases in Los Angeles County. Passing the record peak at 11,877 cases on August 11. The problem is this comes down to the fact that he is not just

someone in government, it is our governor, the man also imposing the new stay at home order. If he undermines his own protocol, what is to stop other people from doing the same. Someone might see this as a sign that the pandemic is to be taken lightly. At the end of the day some people will not take this mandate seriously if our own officials cannot contain themselves from hosting and attending dinner parties. A few working students share their perspectives and agree that the curfew seems useless. They also recount a few stories of instances in their jobs when customers could not be bothered to wear a mask. If we want quarantine to end we have to start taking these things seriously. Lastly, we have to remember that when a new order goes into effect, people panic shop and traffic increases. Would we be in the same place as we would have been had there been a curfew imposed or not? Perhaps. Had the governor followed his own protocol and mandates, I would definitely have sympathy for him. After all it would come across as trying to protect Angelinos. However, when you hypocritically go to a party just one day before your “Stay at Home” order, we can not help but question who the mandate was for. We need protocols that can actually be enforced. Until then, let us remember to wear a mask for those we care about.

EDITOR IN CHIEF Juan Cavillo PUP EDITOR IN CHIEF Erica Cortes FRONT EDITORS Jesus Zesati Andrea Cerna Alma Lizarraga OPINION EDITORS Allison Cooke Natalie Sanchez OPINION EDITORS Breanna Fierro Grecia Rodriguez FEATURE EDITORS Julianna Valdivia Paul Medina ARTS EDITORS Annette Lesure Yaneira Rodriguez SPORTS EDITORS Manuel Alvarado Nick Tercero PHOTO EDITORS Josie Beltran Ivan Arevalo CARTOONISTS Cristian Zambrano Analuisa Alvarez STAFF WRITERS Alexis Moreno Mark Flores Christopher Martinez ONLINE EDITORS Cynthia Solis Tatiana Velazquez SOCIAL MEDIA Alejandro Gonzalez Flores PHOTOGRAPHER Alexandra Ramirez ART DIRECTOR Steven Adamo ADVERTISING Stefanie De La Torre ADVISER Jean Stapleton

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‘Ancestry’ reveals that she was kidnapped at birth BY ANNETTE LESURE Staff Writer A DNA test altered former East Los Angeles College student Frances Felix’s life. She learned at age 40 that she was kidnaped at birth. DNA testing has proven to reunite lost loved ones throughout the world and can be a valuable source to connect with family. Felix was born in Sonora, Mexico, on Aug. 18, 1980. She was brought to Boyle Heights, as a newborn to her adopted mother, Linda Felix. Growing up knowing she was adopted led to curiosities that would later change her life. I n J a n u a r y, Felix decided to join the trend and order an Ancestry DNA kit, in hopes of finding answers. Once receiving her kit, Felix took months to send in a saliva sample. After grappling with the Ancestry password, she finally read the results. Felix matched with one first cousin in Sacramento, Susan Rodriguez. "I sent her an email right away," said Felix. She proceeded to

correspond more with Rodriguez in Spanish, which allowed for better communication. Around 17 years old, Felix approached an adoptive aunt by the name of Rosita Ibarra, the person who brought her from Mexico. Ibarra always refused to give Felix information, but finally offered her two names. Ibarra claimed that "Eva" was a homeless 18-yearold mother who had one-yearold "Lupita" in tow when she "voluntarily" gave Felix up. As Felix communicated with Rodriguez, it quickly became apparent that this was going to be big. DNA results often have a huge impact on estranged f a m i l i e s . Rodriguez confirmed to Felix that her aunt's name was Eva Saucedo, 58, and her sister’s name was Lupe Ramos, 41. " C o u l d this really be happening?" Felix asked herself. The two agreed to have Felix write a letter that Rodriguez would deliver to Saucedo. However, one phone call from Rodriguez quickly spread the word from Sacramento to Mexico, and a family member called Saucedo to tell her.

Saucedo immediately asked to FaceTime with Felix. "I needed to see her face. I needed to know if she was mine,” Saucedo said. “I was told that I had had a son who passed away a few hours after giving birth. I never got to see or hold him. I was young and naive, and I believed the nurses when they told me that the hospital would take care of his burial because I had had such a bad experience," said she said. Saucedo never got to see a doctor and almost bled to death, needing a blood transfusion as the nurses who illegally delivered her cut her as they brutally took the baby early. Once she'd given birth, she and her 18-month-old Lupita were dropped off at a bus station with a one-way ticket home to Ensenada, Mexico. Saucedo harbored her traumatic secret because the stigma of losing a baby was shameful, something completely understandable, given her Mexican culture. Felix hysterically cried when she saw Saucedo's face for the first time on FaceTime. Saucedo told her that they needed to remain calm so that they could speak. After comparing notes with what little but profound information the two had, Saucedo confirmed that Felix was, in fact, her daughter. Saucedo needed a few days to talk to everyone, as she told Felix that she has three biological sisters and three nieces that she needed to speak to. The following weekend Felix drove up to Sacramento. Upon arriving at the family's little restaurant, there was a sign welcoming her and a list with all

LIFE ALTERED—A photograph of Frances Felix taken shortly after her kidnapping.

the names of her new, immediate family. “I have all my daughters here, and I want her here, too. But I love her and understand that she has her life in LA, and her partner. It would be unfair of me to ask her to move here,” Saucedo said. It is common for reunited parents and children to want to make up for lost time, particularly when a child has been abducted. As a child, Felix would watch Pinocchio every day then run out

and wish upon a star, hoping that she would find her way back to the family she was sure was out there. Felix's yearning to find her family grew painfully stronger at age ten when searching through paperwork led her to find all of her illegal birth documents. She instantly knew something was wrong because Linda Felix was listed as her birth mother. In 1983, Saucedo left Mexico and made Los Angeles her home.

For 32 years of Felix's life, Saucedo lived within 10 miles of her. For four of those 32 years, Felix and her biological family lived within six blocks of each other. They learned they had grazed elbows at their local Boyle Heights McDonald's on many occasions, when Saucedo identified the sweet adoptive aunt that ultimately raised Felix, in a photo. Felix's adoptive aunt, Bertha “Berty” Murillo, passed away shortly before Saucedo and Felix's reunion. Murillo was unaware of the adoption history and turned out to be the love of Felix's life, as well as her saving grace. "All of my wishes came true. I am just so mad that all of my life I have celebrated my birthday on Aug. 18, and now I have come to find out that I was born on Aug. 2 or 3." She said she is beyond thankful to be spending her first Thanksgiving at home. Felix continues to seek information from Linda Felix, who still refuses to divulge information. Felix plans on legally changing her last name to her mother’s. Saucedo and Felix have ordered a mother-daughter DNA test, although they do not doubt the initial DNA results because all of Saucedo's daughters and granddaughters look alike. The use of technology for finding missing persons has advanced so much that facial image recognition in coordination with DNA testing is now being used by The International Criminal Police Organization, also known as Interpol, and local law enforcement agencies around the world.

Online classes should not Imposter syndrome hits first-gen students continue into Spring 2021 BY YANERIA RODRIGUEZ

BY JULIANNA VALDIVIA Staff Writer Los Angeles Community College district students are not adjusting well to online learning and would rather return to in person classes for Spring 2021. Many students would rather not continue with online classes for the upcoming spring 2021 semester. The pandemic caught everyone by surprise, forcing students to halt future plans they had for the upcoming semesters. Students are not receiving the same amount of attention or feedback that they would be receiving inside a classroom. Studentsare now isolated in their own rooms and teaching themselves a lecture. With the progression of online learning in the spring, many students are dying to go back to normal. Not many of them are getting the same hands-on experience most planned on receiving before the pandemic struck. Thus, creating a crack in people’s workflow. Students at ELAC are having a hard time relying on immediate feedback from their professors through online classes. They must manage on their own when trying to review their assignments. resources

are much since the pandemic started. Adriana Resendiz, who is a sophomore, said that this pandemic affected her because it stopped the in-person appointments that the resource center at ELAC has to offer. There is a difference between talking to an academic counselor in person versus online. Resendiz also said that scheduling an appointment has been much harder than ever. Online classes have not been smooth sailing for both professors and students. Internet access has not been reliable for every student at home. Especially for the students that relied on free access on campus. The pandemic has caused trouble and stress for everyone that is now doing online classes. Everything is much more difficult to keep track of. No one knows when colleges are going to allow in-person classes for the upcoming semesters. There might not be that option if the area around the schools is still high in COVID- 19 cases. Students are unsure if they will be getting the same experience as they would when taking online classes to reach the requirements that are needed for their specific majors. Communication is difficult to obtain with everything online. Many are uncertain if things will ever go back to normal. Angela Sanchez expressed that she began to

feel overwhelmed when everything went under lockdown. She could not understand what was happening and how it got this bad in the first place. Seeing everything disappear was also very scary for her. Feelings of being overwhelmed are at its peak during the pandemic. Students do not know when this will end and are dying to go back to normal. The pandemic has taken a mental toll on students. ELAC students are now at home with their families trying to learn what they would be if they were in a classroom. Going on campus at school is what helped many students stay in their active learning mode. Being at home does not help students at all when they are trying to learn. Sanchez said that being at home while her entire family is also there is very stressful and makes it hard to focus. She said that she is out of motivation for her classwork and wants to have the social interaction that she used to have before the pandemic started. Online classes for the semester are not ideal for every student and are affecting them in different ways. These students need to go back on campus to feel like a real student again. To help them feel like they are actually taking a college course again.

Staff Writer

Imposter syndrome is an extreme form of self-doubt. It is a psychological pattern that causes people to question their success. They feel they may be discovered as a fraud. Research shows that first generation students are more likely to suffer from Imposter Syndrome. Feelings of inadequacy can occur to anyone; Many students have struggled with this. During this life period, students are experiencing a transition from childhood to adulthood. Adding to the overwhelming pressure to succeed, it is common for students to struggle with anxiety and depression as well. Most students endure these feelings in silence. According to research published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, “Firstgeneration college students comprise nearly one third of all college attendees; but they face a number of economic and social obstacles that make succeeding in and completing college more difficult.” First generation students drop out at higher rates because they are not ready, lack financial stability,

or familial support. Parents of first-generation students have a language barrier. This may deter parents from helping their children with school work or school related things. Students not receiving moral support will not be as motivated to continue their education. Having someone guide you through a process always makes any situation easier. At ELAC, 65 percent of students are Hispanic. About 66 percent are first-generation students. It is possible to assume that students at ELAC have at some point struggled with feeling inadequate. Feelings of guilt and self-doubt are present. The pressures are not limited to the classroom. Being low-income can add more pressure at home. Some students need to help provide financially at home. Which requires them to work more and spend less time in school. In Hispanic families, the eldest children are expected to help with younger siblings, leaving less time dedicated to school work. These factors add to pressure and anxiety. With little to no financial help from parents, students rely on financial aid, grants, waivers, and scholarships. Something their parents cannot help them with.

In the Hispanic community, there is a stigma around mental health. This could prevent firstgeneration students from acknowledging and talking about imposter syndrome. Other than the language barrier, there is also a culture barrier. First generation students were born and raised in a completely different country from their parents. Customs are different and parents find that difficult to let go. Factors like these can be overwhelming to first generation students when the education gets higher. The student pool becomes bigger. First-generation students compete against students with parents who have college educations. Students who have significant pull because of their family name. There are steps to helping overcome imposter syndrome. It is important to recognize these feelings and address them. Talking to someone can help validate these feelings. Find a mentor. Remember what you do well. Realize that no one is perfect and no one is expected to be. Being human is being imperfect. Underline strong points and recognize skills. Take solace in knowing you are not alone.

Mental health declines during pandemic BY MANUEL ALVARADO Staff Writer The mental health of college students is negatively affected by COVID-19. Students are suffering from an increase in stress and anxiety due to the virus. COVID-19 is causing students to worry about loved ones and their own well-being rather than focusing on school which is already stressful enough. Students are having to manage time better due to in home distractions and other issues that interfere with getting work done. An interview survey conducted at Texas A&M said out of 195 students, 138 (71%) indicated an increase in stress and anxiety due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Multiple stressors were identified by students as contributors to the increased levels of stress, anxiety and depressive thoughts.

These include difficulty in concentrating due to distractions at home. Others reported disrupted sleep patterns due to staying up late with thoughts running through their head. Depression is another mental health issue that is rising in students due to the virus. Of the 195 students, 168 (86%) reported decreased social interactions due to social distancing. Students are not able to interact with friends and family as much or at all due to stay at home orders. With little interaction, students begin to feel alone affecting them negatively. Some students are limited to home and work, others just to home. A broader survey was done in April 2020 by Activeminds. org where they surveyed 2,086 students. The survey revealed that 80% of the students reported that COVID-

19 affected them negatively,1 in every 5 said their mental health was significantly worsened and 76% of the students have trouble maintaining a routine. 85% said that focusing on school and work despite distractions, is the most difficult thing about the stay-athome orders. Although they are at home and can limit distractions, it is difficult to stay focused on the tasks at hand. Although COVID-19 is affecting students negatively, they are still hopeful towards the future. 79% of the students surveyed by Activeminds.org are still hopeful about achieving their school related goals. We need to find a way to help these students cope with the struggles this virus has brought upon them. Students still believe that they can achieve their ultimate career goals although there are new obstacles to overcome.

There are a few ways we can help students cope with these struggles. One way is to increase academic support. Schools can provide accommodations to students that benefit them in online learning, such as leniency or flexibility, when it comes to assignments and projects. Schools can also provide more opportunities for social connection; such as replacing canceled events, services and counseling with virtual ones. An increase in investment towards counseling as well as coping resources. All of these are examples of ways to help students cope with the mental health burden put on them during COVID-19. We can help to better prepare students in the future if there was another pandemic. We can help stop the negative impact COVID-19 has had on student’s mental health. www.ELACCampusNews.com




Hulu’s new LGBTQIA+ movie does not live up to hype BY YANEIRA RODRIGUEZ Staff Writer Holiday season is the happiest time of the year. Romcoms include a formula that gives viewers a sense of nostalgia. Adding a modern twist to a holiday guilty pleasure, queer Christmas romcom “Happiest Season” follows main characters Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis). Worried about her girlfriend being alone for Christmas, Harper invites Abby to come along with her. Abby quickly learns Harper has not told her family about her relationship with her. With a father in politics, Harper is afraid to let her family know who she really is. Abby plays along, but things get difficult when Harper leaves her feeling like the outsider. Directed by long time LGBTQIA+ favorite Clea DuVall, who directed cult classic “But I’m A Cheerleader,” “Happiest Season” seems aimed to be a relatable and heartwarming love story. Far from the more deeply complicated love stories LGBTQIA+ films portray. The film is filled with a great cast including Aubrey Plaza from “Parks and Recreation,” Alison Brie from “Glow,” and “Schitt’s Creek” creator Dan Levy. The plot is a welcomed change to a classic meet-the-parents. The story has been told before, but adding a


SMILE WIDE—Harper (Mackenzie Davis) and Abby (Kristen Stewart) sharre a laugh, in the movie theater before a film. queer touch makes it a little more original. With such a popular cast, the film's expectation was high. The

elements were there, but the film failed to deliver. Still, the film is everything a cheesy romcom could be.

Stewart and Davis lack chemistry on screen, which makes the romantic interest feel forced. With such a LGBTQIA+ friendly

cast, this feels like it could have been avoided. The film misses the mark here, but it does deliver over all.

The movie is saved by its comedic angle delivered by John (Levy). His lines are quick-witted and noteworthy. Plaza feels like the only normal and relatable character. While Brie takes on the role of the character that we all love to hate. Aside from Stewart and Davis, the rest of the cast has great chemistry. Stewart and Plaza are wellrounded characters, and it comes across when they are on screen together. Davis’s and Brie’s characters are competitive sisters, who have their own troublesome relationship. Meeting a significant other’s parents is difficult no matter the orientation. Being blinded by love is an all too relatable subject. This creates the approachable and inclusive narrative. “Happiest Season” is not the type of movie a person needs to watch more than once, but it is still an enjoyable feature.It is heartwarming and full of the holiday feel. The movie keeps the viewer guessing whether Abby and Harper will end up together. It also touches the difficult subject of coming out to parents. A subject very much relatable to a large community. The movie will hopefully start a new narrative in romcoms that will include more of the LGBTQIA+ community. “Happiest Season” is an easy watch with no difficult plot line to follow. The film is perfect for quarantine days. It is rated PG-13 and was released on Hulu Nov. 26.

‘Run’ predictable, but entertains BY GRECIA RODRIGUEZ Staff Writer


MAGICAL GENIUS—Forest Whitaker showing his versatility and power as Jeronicus in Netflix’s

“Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey.”

“Run” had the potential to be an exciting quarantine movie with a crazy twist. Unfortunately, this thriller was anything but unpredictable. However, with many plot holes and extreme predictability, the acting stands out as spectacular. The movie was directed by Aneesh Chaganti and was released on Nov. 20 on Hulu. Diane Sherman (Sarah Paulson) is the mother of Chloe Sherman (Kierra Allen). The movie takes place primarily in their home where Diane is for the most part confined to due to her disability. Diane is quick in expressing her overprotectiveness of Chloe. The audience is taken to a scene of the loving pair and the story explains why it is reasonable for Diane to be such an overprotective mother. When the dynamic changes and the daughter slowly begins questioning her mother’s actions, the plot takes

a turn for the worst. Sarah Paulson does a stellar job at portraying a crazed overprotective mother alongside co-star Kierra Allen. Paulson and Allen compliment each other’s style of acting well. Given Paulson’s history as an established and successful actress having starred in the majority of seasons in “American Horror Story” as well as “Ratched.” It might be assumed by fanatics of Paulson that young co-star Allen might not be able to keep up but that is far from the truth. Allen plays her role passionately and convincingly. Although the movie has its shortcomings, overall, it is a good pick. For people who are familiar with medicine, this movie is probably not for you. Coming to terms with the fact that the shocking revelation could be messed up by prior knowledge of pharmaceuticals, or even a simple google search, is tough. The amount of clueless characters is concerning throughout the movie. There are several instances in the movie where poor continuity is

showcased, but all of these elements are hard to spot if you are not an avid movie fanatic. While the plot is predictable and not realistic, the cast was chosen perfectly. The acting really carries the plot. This thriller’s marketing team also chose a fitting streaming service to air the movie on. With its target audience evidently being teens based on its rating of PG-13, Hulu was a great choice. It loses points in originality, for a more seasoned audience. However, for its young audience, the twist can make viewers give out an involuntary gasp. Its release on a streaming service does give the movie a good selling point. For people who already have a Hulu account it is relatively free. The film touches on strong subjects such as: suicide, disabilities, kidnapping and manipulation. All in all, to pass the time and simply for entertainment, it is definitely worth a watch. For those stuck at home during quarantine this thriller will not disappoint.

And what put it back together.” Although she wrote about some personal events that happened to her when she was a child, much of the book (or all) is hugely relatable and reminds you that good always prevails. As soon as the reader gets the book, they may notice how elegant yet straightforward the cover is. It induces a sort of serene feeling from within, similarly to how one may feel when they think of their safe place. Interestingly, Kaur also designed and drew the cover. Once a reader picks up the book, it will be hard to put it down. While reading, it urges the reader to think about their personal experiences and how much the poems relate to their life; it also reassures the reader that things would get better and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. "Home Body" was a quick read and is being raved about by many. There are several unique themes focused on throughout the book, so there is certainly something relatable for everyone. As someone who could have suffered a trauma, she reminds the reader not to let these things consume them, but rather fill up on the good stuff in life-love, having a community, embracing change, and striving to love themselves rather than seeking validation from others. One of the reasons this is such a good book is because of Kaur's writing style. She is very articulate, making all her poems extremely

easy to understand. But how she writes is extremely declamatory; each feeling she discusses is deep and can be felt greatly. Looking at the book as a whole, the illustrations found on most of the pages are just as powerful as the words found on them. Each sketch is minimalistic, but very well done and fits with the poem's message on a much deeper level. For example, Kaur writes, "I want someone who is, Inspired by my brilliance Not threatened by it," and pairs it with two flowers in close proximity, with two of their leaves touching. This simple drawing makes the reader think of so many things that the words alone don't cause one to ponder; the pictures do too. In all three of her poetry books, she pairs her aphoristic poems with drawings, similar to what one may find in an old school book. She also focuses on similar themes. Not surprisingly, as she continues to hone her craft, the poems get better. As an avid fan of Rupi Kaur, "Home Body" will certainly not disappoint, and as a new fan, this poetry book will turn you on to Kaur's other works and dozens of amazing poetry books written by other young Instagram poets. "Home Body" should be on everyone's book wish-list because the artistry and poems are definitely worth the transcending feeling it gives the reader.

New Christmas musical makes mark on Netflix Kaur’s new poetry delights fans BY ANNETTE M. LESURE Staff Writer Netflix's new release "Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey" is the perfect way to head into the holidays. This feel-good Christmas movie is a musical, with a genre mix of steampunk, fantasy and romance. The film follows the life of toy inventor Jeronicus (Forest Whitaker), who after an unforeseen calamity, meets his adventurous granddaughter, Journey (Madalen Mills) who teaches him to believe again. The triple-threat cast may have little fans jumping to their feet without containment. The dancing and singing will put the entire family in the Christmas spirit. Director David E. Talbert of “Almost Christmas” and “El Camino Christmas” tells an original holiday fairytale full of wonder and delight. Academy Award winner Whitaker showcases his versatility and charm in his role as Jeronicus. Whitaker, who had some musical theatre experience early on in his career said playing this character was a big difference and said he was nervous about playing the part. "It was a really www.ELACCampusNews.com

big deal to try to play a character that would be able to break into song. And you say, ‘okay, this is a reality.’ That was special. It was a big challenge for me,” said Whitaker in a Cinemablend interview. Newcomer Mills shows off her talents in her breakout role as Jeronicus' granddaughter, Journey. The vivacious, mature 11-yearold got her start in the Broadway musicals Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical" and "School of Rock.” Mills said she was drawn to the project because of the script's messages and her character. “‘Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey’ has a lot of great themes and messages that audiences might take away. Some of these messages and themes include being yourself, never giving up, the importance of family, love, magic and hope. I think that these messages are especially important with everything going on in the world right now,” said Mills in a Pop-Culturist interview. Toni Award winner Anika Noni Rose gives a strong vocal performance as Jessica, Jeronicus' estranged daughter. Comedian Keegan-Michael Key also sings and dances while playing Jeronicus' foe after an act of treachery against him.

It may surprise the audience to see Phylicia Rashad, who played Clair Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” in what may be one of her sweetest rolls yet. Her on-screen passion and love exude her gusto for the role. Fans will have to watch to find out who she plays in the film. While "Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey" is a little lengthy, it is a beautiful family film that fills the audience's heart with love and may even bring tears to eyes. "Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey’s" melodies will keep everyone on their toes with music by Philip Lawrence songwriter and record producer for music artist Bruno Mars, and legendary artist John Legend, who also serves as an executive producer. The film's visual effects and mystery leaves viewers curious for more in the first few minutes of the film. For adult fans, it will have viewers feeling like a kid at Christmas time. The witty script is filled with excitement as it uses some genius qualities to enhance the film's intrigue, as it lures fans into watching the film. The entire cast is well-versed and does not disappoint viewers in this perfect Christmas experience.


New York Times Bestselling Author Rupi Kaur’s new poetry book, “Home Body,” is a must-read because of the simple, powerful themes it focuses on. "Home Body" is the third collection of poetry and illustrations by Kaur, whose previous works include “Milk and Honey” and “The Sun and Her Flowers” both #1 New York Times and international bestsellers, which have sold more than 8 million copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 40 languages. Published Nov. 17, "Home Body" is essentially a reflective guide that urges readers to look at the past, present and future of the reader's lives in the hope to grow and learn from past experiences to see the potential we all have in ourselves. Kaur looks at all aspects of life: family, mental health, femininity, love and acceptance. Similar to her past poetry books, she follows similar themes of love, loss, trauma, healing and the heroic journey of accepting oneself. When promoting her new book, Kaur posted on Instagram,"' Home Body' is a love letter to the self. I began writing this book at a time I felt completely lost in both my inner and outer world. ‘Home Body’ is about what broke my heart.




Social media helps some small businesses BY YANEIRA RODRIGUEZ Staff Writer

While small businesses have been struggling to keep open because of COVID-19, the younger generation has turned to social media to help their personal business thrive. Stephanie Meza, a student at ELAC, did just that. Meza was laid off in March from her job. She invested $200 in a stencil maker and began a business of custom made decorative tumbler cups. She primarily uses instagram to promote her work. Meza began printing out popular characters, mostly Disney, and putting them on tumbler cups. Using her Instagram handle, she was able to gain a small but respectable following. Social media has been an essential tool in creating and developing her brand. “Different consumers can see what I sell. I am not limited to a space.” Meza said. Social media has been a strong platform for creatives who market themselves. With over 800 million users on Instagram. Many small businesses cannot afford ad space. Despite ad space being more affordable than television, it is still a cost. With a dedicated Instagram strategy, a user can more easily find success. Instagram business profiles are free. Their website states that most viewed stories are from businesses. 60 percent of people discover new

products through Instagram. They also offer tools available when a business creates a page. Buying from Instagram is easy. But some vendors link their Etsy Shops or Big Cartel sites on their profiles. Meza likes to promote a high level of professionalism through her quality of work. She believes that her Instagram page needs to have a certain aesthetic. This helps her brand with potential future customers. Having properly edited pictures with catchy captions gets her likes and shares.

“Different consumers can see what I sell. I am not limited to a space.” STEPHANIE MEZA ELAC Student

Increasing her visibility through hashtags, giveaways, and shares from users has allowed Zoee’s Designs to gain more followers and clinets. These are new tools crucial for marketing. Thus far, while plenty of obstacles in her business have arisen, Meza has not been the only one to have begun a business of products crafted or made at home.

Meza says, There are others selling similar products. Consumers are wary of buying things made from home. She does not let this discourage her and she continues to promote her business, because “people like to buy from small businesses. They appreciate your work,” according to Meza. Social media live streams are also used to sell products. It helps connect with consumers on a personal level. Users can promote themselves in a way that has not primarily been the traditional way. The power of mobility is essential to a student-run business that multitasks activities. The flexibility allows Meza to run her business from anywhere, limiting her contact with others. As much as Instagram has been helpful, a seller should be aware of how harmful it can be. Screenshots of bad comments are easily shared and buying products can be risky. Consumers tend to rely on reviews and comments posted to buy products. Being able to communicate directly with customers is helpful in keeping clients satisfied. Meza hopes to further expand her brand and include different products. As her business platform grows new features are constantly being added. Being relevant and current with products is very important. With the holidays here, this is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to sell more products and capture a good amount of profit.


Psychology professor breaks cultural, social norms BY BREANNA FIERRO Staff Writer The lack of emotional support made Psychology Professor Joey Luna want to be a therapist, so he could be there for others who need help. The stigma toward the LGBTQ community helped Luna aspire to break social norms that plagues the Mexican-American Community. Luna grew up in a Catholic household with strong views against a homosexuality. JOSE “JOEY” LUNA Luna has struggled throughout his early life. The hardships that he faced gave him more insight on it is to conduct your own research,” how to help others with the same Luna said. struggle, and it also drove him to Growing up as a gay Mexicanbecome a therapist. American man did not come He wasn’t able to find work without its challenges. Having because he had to take care of his to cope with the transition from brother with cancer. . Los Angeles to Fresno at 16 years Luna teaches in the East Los old, moving away from family Angeles College Psychology including his father to live with Department. he teaches psychology his mother and to help with his clases at ELAC and practices disabled brother Richie. therapy as well It wasn’t until Luna was 17 “Being a professor and a therapist years old when he decided to has always been one of my dream come out to his family and friends, jobs to have, I which ultimately didn’t think it resulted in his would happen “Being a professor and family not being so soon. I was a therpist has always supportive of his only 30 when life choices. been one of my dream I became a His mother had professor and trouble supporting jobs to have, I didn’t a therapist.” because much think it would happen so of her focus was Luna said. He was on his younger soon.” a former brother, who was student at battling cancer. JOEY LUNA ELAC before Luna’s younger Psychology Professor transferring to brother Richie University of was diagnosed California, Riverside and the with leukemia at three years University of California, Los old, and shortly after went into Angeles and conducted research remission. Because of his brother’s for his master’s program at USC. constant stays and treatments Luna was in the honor program at the hospital, he developed a a n d e n r o l l e d i n D r. C a t h y seizure disorder, and was also Cleveland’s Honor Biopsychology intellectually disabled, said Luna. which entailed conducting He helped his mother care for research. He did a research poster Richie as much as he could, which board with Cleveland that he got ultimately ended up restricting to present, won first place and that Luna from anything on his own, itself is what exposed Luna to the and it became depressing being so realm of psychology. far from family. Richie was always Luna has currently applied to a in special education and had an aid Doctor of Philosophy program at to assist just in case he was to have University of California, Irvine to a seizure. do research on children, attachment His brother Richie died when he styles and how to use different was 27 years old in 2017, after his techniques in understanding second battle with cancer. childhood abandonment issues. Richie impacted his life in a “I teach research methods major way, leading him in wanting because I am passionate about to work with disabled children and it. For me it is important to do children with autism. Luna said his research because there aren’t many ultimate goal will be in leading people of color who do. I believe the LGBTQ youth to learn the we all should learn how necessary resilience they hold as he did.


Campus radio looks to students to power possible comeback O’Brien hopes to get people who have a passion for radio on board. An objective is to get as many students involved. BY ALEXIS MORENO Staff Writer Less than 10 years ago, ELAC's radio station, KELA was shut down, until Dylan O’Brien decided to reopen the station. He is expecting to have the station running again by next semester if the plans run smoothly. The station is currently looking for self-motivated individuals who want to be involved in a groundlevel opportunity of a radio station. The fundamentals of broadcasting can assist in a student achieving a future career. You can get in contact with Dylan O’Brien at his email

obriends@elac.edu O’Brien first started teaching at ELAC four years ago and merely thought about the idea. It took about a year of thinking and planning. He took initiative and decided to officially get everything started again. The first thought of the idea was not taken seriously because the school had no fundings to continue the radio station at the time. Due to the pandemic, the process was even longer.It initially took about four months to make the decisions of getting to where it is now. Setbacks caused the process to take almost a year. Overall, the procedure was pretty

simple. There were no major issues the station had to face. The biggest problem was licensing music, which was not too difficult. H o w e v e r, i t i s s t i l l i n a current testing phase. The main infrastructure is done. The system is running and reliable. All the equipment is prepared. The next stage is to finish the last of the legal actions. For example, being able to play music without getting copyrighted. At the moment it is only O’Brien running the entire station. He hopes to get people who have a passion for the radio on board. An important objective is to get as many students involved who want to become part of something and want to be involved in ELAC. The amount of work primarily relies on the students and the faculty. The amount of effort and time depends on how much they are willing to dedicate their time into the production. Since the voice of KELA is mainly going to be the student’s, it is important to

represent the adherence they have for the station. Before the radio station was shut down, the station had a goal of getting a grant in order to obtain a better studio and equipment for more serious recording content. O’Brien currently has no future plans for the station, although it is known that maybe O’Brien can get the station going and possibly get a television show. The main goal to prioritize is getting students to participate in an available opportunity of radio knowledge and being part of the school's spirit. The other aim is to officially get everything set in order and prepared. O’Brien believes the radio station has a lot of potential to be embraced by the student body. The students involved will be proud of the work they have accomplished. Especially with the pandemic still happening, it can be seen as a good addition to the school. He also thinks it can fill a certain void in ELAC. www.ELACCampusNews.com




Former ELAC president transforms campus BY PAUL MEDINA Staff Writer

As East Los Angeles College enters its 75th year in operation, the campus has undergone a series of major physical transformations. From original World War II bungalows to the beautiful buildings on the campus today, ELAC has gone through a significant journey as it continues to provide educational opportunities for 34,000 students per year. ELAC has gone through significant remodeling and expansion to reach its present state. Today it boasts one of the most beautiful community college campuses around. Former ELAC President (19942011) and current Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees member Ernest Moreno said that was not always the case. “When I arrived there, we had the worst conditions you could possibly imagine. We had buildings that were supposed to be temporary with no heat, no air conditioning,” Moreno said. Many of the buildings on campus were former World War II bungalows. The campus had buildings unkempt, unclean and in completely decay condition. “It was certainly when I arrived the least desirable of all the colleges to attend,” Moreno said. Several buildings were not compliant with the American

with Disabilities Act nor easily accessible. Moreno said he was astonished over the horrible conditions that the students had to endure for many years. 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. That, Moreno said, was the beginning of what would become a g r e a t j o u r n e y i n E L A C ’s transformation. Other state funded tasks followed which included the Child Development Center, a small center located in the middle of the campus at the time. Moreno was able to obtain additional funding which made it the largest Child Development Center in the state of California. It is now located in the southwest part of campus. Moreno thought his legacy was going to be limited to those two buildings and E7, which were funded by the state. E7 was the largest and most up-to-date building the college had planned. Because the state was not willing to completely fund everything with the building, Moreno had to go through extreme lengths to borrow steel and other materials. It took a lot of effort to get those buildings done. Once Proposition A, AA and

Bond J were passed, it became possible to build other buildings on campus. This victory would mean that the buildings that were being built or developed could be part of the master plan. After having fought so hard to make this happen, Moreno could not believe these buildings were going up during his term as president. He feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to replan ELAC with the building projects manager and to have improved almost every building on campus. Many buildings would be fully renovated, including the Helen Miller Bailey, Administration building, E1 building and modifications to the football stadium which was updated with a new field and tracks. New construction began on a Math building, the arts galleries were moved to its current location at the stand-alone Vincent Price Art Museum. Additional construction included the Theater Arts Complex, S building complex, the F7 Social Science building and the F5 Student Center, which was built with a large cafeteria at the bottom. Two multilevel parking lots were also built, and a clock tower was added. Alumni Esther Maurice, who graduated in 1988, recalls taking classes at ELAC during a time that the campus was not as updated as it is today. Noting the new condition of the campus buildings, she reacted to the change when she returned to campus in 2019.


CHANGING ALL THE TIME—East Los Angeles College has changed since 1945 with the addition of multiple buildings. A concept drawing from 1949 illustrates the the direction. “I saw the change drastically. When I returned, I noticed the library had been renovated. There were newer classrooms. The facilities had changed. Back then the classrooms were older and now they all look new,” Maurice said. The E3 building construction would become the largest of all projects. The building houses disciplines such as English, Chicano Studies and Communication Studies. The building accomplished the task of being environmentally

friendly and provides offices for instructors, classrooms and an open air environment at the center. The open area allows for air to flow inside, which is beneficial to temperature change, making it environmentally friendly. When Moreno first arrived, people couldn’t see much of the college from the 60 Freeway. All one could see was part of the stadium and auditorium, so Moreno insisted that they put a sign on top of the auditorium. Moreno wanted a skyline where

people could look at and see ELAC’s presence. His goal was for “ELAC to be the shining star on the hill,” Moreno said. Moreno said he felt honored that the college named the E3 building after him. He felt it was an honor bestowed to him by the campus, not only for his work with the physical campus transformation, but for all his contributions under his leadership which are now ELAC staples.

DRC coordinator focuses on informing students If granted an AB 540 exemption, students will be charged in-state tuition and fees, and not the supplemental tuition charged to nonresidents.

BY ALLISON COOKE Staff Writer A growing population of undocumented students have found a safe haven at East Los Angeles College. ELAC is offering unprecedented support for its undocumented and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals students.The Dream Resource Center is a safe zone for undocumented prospective students. Laura E. Ramirez, the new DRC Faculty Coordinator, and her staff are ready to assist undocumented prospective students. There are several government programs to help undocumented students, ranging from Financial Aid to citizenship pathways. The DRC collaborates with Central American Resource Center (CARCEN), a nonprofit providing free legal services to undocumented scholars at ELAC. Ramirez and her team strongly encourage students to call the campus with questions without feeling fearful and get the information needed for citizenship and college enrollment.

CARCEN assists students with general consultations, DACA renewals and completing family based petitions and immigration related inquiries. The DRC is an advocate for undocumented students ensuring onboarding support. ELAC’s holistic approach with undocumented students involves the family from the very beginning. Their holistic approach provides a nurturing environment.

They will also assist students with completing the Dream-Act Application. The Dream-Act Application is a requirement for undocumented students. The application will allow them to apply for Financial Aid. According to Dr. Vanessa Ochoa, Dean of Student Services, some prospective undocumented students are hesitant to reach out because of their undocumented status.

For prospective students who do not speak English, the DRC offers Developmental Math, English and job readiness programs. These courses are non-credit courses offered at no charge, and count toward the requirement for AB 540. Under California law AB 540, certain nonresident students are exempt from paying nonresident supplemental tuition.

CARCEN assists students with general consultations, DACA renewals and completing family based petitions and immigration related inquiries. The noncredit courses are taken at a students own pace. All information is safe and secure. Another key benefit to the program is the family presentation. The DRC works in close collaboration with Admissions, Financial Aid and Noncredit.

The DRC takes into account the scholars families and/or caregivers when giving their presentations. This type of presentation helps to drive down the fear that some undocumented scholars feel as they transition to college life in the United States. Additional resources include physical and mental health services, housing support and food banks. The program is set up in such a way that it makes the students feel safe, secure and supported. Every prospective undocumented student can receive some help in a number of ways with lasting benefits. What makes the DRC program elite are the staff members, who have real world understanding of the issues facing the undocumented student population based on years of experience. For more information on enrollment, citizenship and scholarships students can contact the DRC directly either by phone at (213) 394-2897 or online at elac. edu. Once on the site enter DRC in the search bar, click the search box, from there tap on the desired information.

Librarians focus on switching to online BY CRISTIAN ZAMBRANO Staff Writer

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, East Los Angeles College library has found helpful and innovative ways to help its students. The Helen Miller Bailey Library provides a multitude of online resources to help replace the physical access to educational materials students once had. Librarians have given students the ability to use databases that will provide loads of literature and other resources from its website https:// www.elac.edu/Explore/Library. A good portion of the library’s resources, databases and articles had already been published beforehand, and because of that, it made the transition to online smoother. Now students can go to the library’s website and through the search engine “OneSearch” they can receive a digital copy of the majority of any book or article. This accessibility is great, but some don’t know how to navigate the resources digitally well enough to take advantage of the opportunities. The librarians kept this in mind and www.ELACCampusNews.com

set up a way for students to contact them anytime through a 24/7 chat from the website, phone calls or even schedule a 30-minute Zoom meeting if needed. “We put together an announcement letting the students know that even though we are working from home we are still available to help them with whatever they may need,” ELAC librarian Nathasha Alvarez said. The 24/7 chat has been the most helpful to students and librarians in answering any research-based questions. Since there is no safe way to return the books back to the library, workers extended due dates to Feb. 5 and canceled any late fees. This was one of the very first steps they took to help the students. “We wanted to protect everyone’s safety when the epidemic first started and didn’t even bother devising a plan to ask for the books back. The students had enough worries.” Alvarez said. Librarians worked around the clock to move everything online to be easily accessible at home. A variety of online workshops and tutorials were also made available by ELAC librarian Rita Suarez. The Youtube channel “ELAC Libraries” contains tutorials on how


to navigate the library’s databases for the right information and even how to formulate that information into an MLA or APA citation. “By taking the time to review these tutorials students seem

more familiarized with the online resources available in the library,” Alvarez said. Interactive workshops such as how to properly research and cite information are held weekly via

Zoom with a library staff member. With finals coming up, Alvarez and her colleagues are thinking of many ways in which they can better help students. Before COVID-19, the library

would hold relaxing events such as book coloring or having some refreshments as a break from the stressful test-taking. With everyone staying indoors, they are now thinking of more virtual ways they can help the students relieve some studying related stress. “As a facility, we believe it is our job to help the students in whatever way we can. If holding something like a virtual book reading or coloring session can help we are all for it,” Alvarez said. Students like to visit libraries to browse the bookshelves, satisfy their curiosity or study for their classes. It was a quiet place to think for many and an enjoyable place to hang out for others. Because of the pandemic, students can’t fully enjoy what the library has to offer. The library workers are radically working to bring that knowledge to students through online means. This move allows students to enjoy it at home. “Everyone understood how reliant students were on these resources. We brainstormed ways to give them easier access to them, it was a team effort and we will continue to develop our resources for our student’s benefit,” Alvarez said.

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Campus News Fall 2020 Issue 11 - Pup Edition  

Campus News Fall 2020 Issue 11 - Pup Edition