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VOLUME 103 ISSUE 10 MAY 2, 2012 first copy of the corsair is free. each copy after is 25¢

Photos by Michael Price Corsair The Santa Monica College Board of Trustees listen to a speaker from the audience at their meetings in the SMC Theater on Tuesday night. The trustees are under fire for proposing a two tier approach to provide more classes to SMC students.

Trustees hold meeting on May Day to discuss Contract Ed Santa Monica College Trustee, Margaret Quinones-Perez speaks during the Board of Trustees meeting. QuinonesPerez spoke on the contract ed issue.

Santa Monica College Trustee, David Finkel speaks to the need to make more classes available to California Community College Students.

Nathan Gawronsky & Chavi Gourarie Editor-in-Chief & Staff Writer Researchers at Santa Monica College have recently released a stark report underlying the dialogue. outlining the loss of two thirds of classes at 15 local community colleges in Los Eric Oifer, who is a professor of political science who sits on the Academic Angeles, including SMC. Senate, said candidly, “We each have our own narrative that we want to tell The report comes at a time when the controversial Contract Ed program, which from the facts.” He suggested that the Academic Senate targets some of the would offer an additional 50 courses over the summer and winter sessions, has existing misinformation. “There’s no fact sheet that we can provide that would been both cancelled and postponed due to intense political opposition from give someone a comprehensive understanding of the issue,” Oifer said. students, faculty, and workers’ union groups. The special report was also discussed at a Board of Trustees meeting, which Critics described the report as a political move to illustrate the district’s need occurred yesterday. The meeting, which included over two hours of public for the Contract Ed program, which was sent to numerous residents of Santa comments, students, faculty members, and prominent union leaders, voiced a Monica, as well as all faculty and staff members of SMC in a mass email on nearly unanimous opposition and trepidation over the Contract Ed pilot program. Tuesday, May 1. Trustee Rob Rader expressed a deep disappointment at the attempts to The program, which has been postponed for the upcoming summer session, demonize both the supporters and the opponents of Contract Ed that he’s seen is now to be vetted by the District Planning and Advisory Council (DPAC), the during the past month. advisory committee made up of various campus interest groups. “I’ve seen the caricatures,” he said, referring to posters disseminated around The special report outlines some of the dismal numbers regarding the negative campus of greedy bankers holding bags of money in front of downtrodden, trends occurring at local community colleges in Los Angeles and surrounding defenseless students. “And I weep inside,” he said. districts like Santa Monica. The number of summer classes provided has been Trustee David Finkel also spoke passionately at the meeting, at one point using slashed by two thirds since 2008, according to the report. That translates into a language that cannot be printed in this newspaper. “I used to be a civil rights loss of 168,000 classroom seats across the 15 colleges, according to the report. attorney, an old radical — I know what it is to fight.” Laughs were heard from For students, this means waiting longer to transfer, waiting longer for certification the audience. to enter the work force. “I see higher education as a lifeboat,” said Rader during his comments. “And we DPAC met for their scheduled meeting on Wednesday, April 25, to attempt to can try to either make the lifeboat bigger, or smaller.” find a new answer to the same question that prompted the Contract Ed pilot The Student Organizing Community, a small group of vocal student activists program. committed to their opposition of Contract Ed, continued to organize protests The meeting ended with a resolution to publish a fact sheet, upon which on campus, including a “camp-out” on Monday, and a rally before Tuesday’s alternative solutions to the ‘pain point’ of the course deficit will then be generated. Board of Trustees meeting. They want Contract Education officially removed as The fact sheet would include a timeline of the budget cuts and resulting class cuts a possible solution, as they believe it would cause a divide between poorer and over the last few years, and the average time for students to graduate or transfer wealthier students. compared to past years. Randall Lawson, executive vice president of SMC, said that the April 3 incident At the meeting were representatives from the Faculty Association, the Associated in which 30 student protesters were pepper sprayed “put a spotlight on the plight Students, and the Academic Senate, each representing the interests of their own of the California Community Colleges,” which he said is a good thing, but it does constituency. make things more “difficult” for SMC. He expects the fact sheet to be ready in The atmosphere at the meeting was cordial, despite the political tensions time for the next meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, May 9.

SMC Celebrates Earth Week Swimmers break five records at state Pg.6 Pg. 7

Play Me, I'm Yours Pg.12





Nathan Gawronsky···············Editor-in-Chief Nathalyd Meza··················· Managing Editor Andy Riesmeyer························ News Editor Amber Antonopoulos ··Health + Life Editor Jacob Blackoff·························· A & E Editor Mia Shilpi······························· Opinion Editor Roger Morante·························Sports Editor Paul Alvarez····················· Multimedia Editor Michael Yanow·························· Photo Editor Anisa El-Khouri························ Photo Editor David J. Hawkins·························Web Editor Nathalyd Meza························ Design Editor Alfredo Avila······························ Design Staff Elham Sagharchi························Design Staff Jhosef Hern··································Illustration S T A F F W R I T E R S Yair Avila, Vanessa Barajas, Christian Carrillo, Peter Cheng, Chelsea Cobbs, Faye Crosswhite, Henry Crumblish, Sarkis Ekmekian, Melina Flores, Dylan Futrell, Chavi Gourarie, Erica Gunn, Robert Gutierrez, Justin Hinton, Tea Jovanovic, Luana Kasahara, Brigette Martinez, Zoryana Melesh, Samantha Perez, Mai Sims, Susanna Svensson, Christinia Sziatinszsky, Cinthia Vera, Israel Villacota, Sophia Villegas, Nadine Weiland

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Marine Gaste Corsair Because of the rain, the members of Santa Monica College's Ballroom Dance Club had to practice salsa in the hall of the Letters & Science building. Professional dancer and dance professor Sarit Messinger teaches salsa to her students on Tuesday.

Students! if you have photos, feelings or opinions on what we publish, we want to hear from you. e-mail, tweet, or facebook us. we're listening! @the_corsair





SOC spends night on campus despite manure and sprinklers Andy Riesmeyer News Editor

About 20 protesters from the Student Organizing Committee spent the night on Santa Monica College’s quad Monday while a small group of campus police watched from benches nearby. Earlier in the day, Santa Monica College Police removed a tent pitched by protesters in the quad amid wet grass and freshly laid manure. “I just walked by; the sprinklers have been going off for the past few hours and there’s manure everywhere, getting soaked,” said a commenter on the public SOC Facebook page. A call to the facilities office confirmed that the manure was new. “We didn’t have any idea that they were protesting; it was a coincidence,” said Director of Facilities J.C. Saunders-Kerujian. Many student protesters, including Associated Students President Harrison Wills, didn’t accept the explanation given by groundskeepers. “People are going to start seeing what is really going on here,” Wills says. “The administration is showing that they don’t care about the student’s voices.” “I would like to ask them why we are running the sprinklers all night when it rained two days ago. It’s not good fiscal or environmental policy,” Wills. Later that night, the protesters danced

and exchanged ideas under lamplight, and wrote slogans on the concrete with chalk. One writing was accompanied by an arrow pointing to the police, and said, “Your fees go to their bacon, those pigs have been getting paid to intimidate us.” Camping in certain places in Santa Monica is prohibited by a municipal code that names SMC specifically. College police say they didn’t interfere with the overnight stay because the students didn’t actually set up tents.. AS Presidential candidate Parker Jean also stayed with protesters Monday night and spoke about his campaign slate, “Paradigm Shift.” Jean says he hopes his campaign can capture some of the momentum from the protests. The students have been protesting Contract Ed, a measure that was to add 50 self-funded classes to the school’s 700 state-funded summer classes. Members of the SOC have said that it creates “an inequity” in the community college system that favors students with means. The Board of Trustees voted to postpone the program after pressure from an incident April 4 where campus police pepper-sprayed about 30 students who were trying to gain entry to a Trustee meeting.

Staff Writer





AS Candidates continue to campaign

Environmental, Finance, Broadcasters among groups looking for SMC interns Mai Simms Staff Writer

Karen Hernandez, a nursing student at Santa Monica College, tries to organize her stack of papers and fliers from various companies to keep them from taking off in the wind. Hernandez is on the lookout for an internship, and with a variety of businesses offering limited spaces at Tuesday’s Internship Fair on the SMC quad, getting selected could be a challenging process. “I’m in the nursing program, but I’m not even 100 percent sure on that,” Hernandez said, adding that she’s taking a career counseling class to help her affirm her choice. Whether they were looking for opportunities in television, finance, insurance, or environmental cleanup, students had wide array of companies to choose from. Some company representatives say that even if the internship isn’t a paid one, it may lead to full-time employment. “Our DJ interned before he was hired here,” Khellie Braxton at 97.1 AMP Radio said. “If you work well with us as an intern you essentially would be doing everything that you would be doing if you were a traditional employee.” According to Braxton, interns at the station are put to work immediately. During last year’s inaugural internship program, the interns were treated to many of the benefits from working at a radio station. “The day the interns got hired they got to go work the Usher concert,” Braxton said. Santa Monica environmental group Heal the Bay offers two different types of internships for students. One is at their headquarters, and the other at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. “We have a wide variety whether you

want to work with kids, the public or if you want to focus on the science and biology,” said Jackie Cannata, a representative from Heal the Bay. Cannata said that a major in Biology or a related field is a beneficial when applying for Heal the Bay, but not required. “If you have a passion for either teaching or for the environment, especially the ocean, we would love to have you,” Cannata explained. SMC internship coordinator Judy White is responsible for inviting contacts to the fair. “Some of them come here over and over and they know they get really good candidates here,” White said. “They’re rewarded, they have two, three or four pages of names of people.” White even recognized a few people sitting at the tables. “Some of the people who were interns come back and work on the internship fair,” White said, adding that internships can lead to jobs and full careers. Some companies who were invited didn’t appear at Tuesday’s fair including a local ABC television affiliate. White said that students who wanted to talk to these companies shouldn’t worry about their absence. While she says that a personal introduction is often preferred, she adds that an intership booklet distributed to attendees explains what kind of internship is being offered and how to apply to each company. Despite external elements, such as the rain and the wind, White says she was pleased with this year’s internship fair. “Last year it was so hot that this year people brought umbrellas for shade,” White said, laughing. “But this year they ended up using them for the water.”

Andy Riesmeyer Staff Writer

Candidates for Associated Students leadership positions continue to campaign vigorously during election week at Santa Monica College, despite low voter turnout and internal AS organizational issues. Hopefuls have been active on campus all week. Some carried signs as they met and shook hands with potential voters. Others have taken to social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to promote various election slates. AS President Harrison Wills restated his endorsement for presidential candidate Parker Jean this week and appeared with him at Monday’s camp out. In previous years, Wills would have been restricted from campaigning on behalf of a candidate by election rules set by the AS. This year, however, the rules were omitted from the election according to Dean of Student Life & Judicial Affairs, Deyna Hearn. “I don’t know how and I don’t know when that was taken out or why, but it’s out this year,” she said Monday. Hearn said that as of Monday afternoon, about 190 students had voted. With over 3750 votes cast, last year’s election had the largest voter turnout ever according to the the AS office. Confusion about fliers made by AS were addressed at the group’s weekly meeting Monday. Hearn said that the fliers couldn’t be displayed this week because of an error that incorrectly

stated that voting would occur from “May 30 - April 3.” Vice President Jasmine Delgado publicly expressed concern about what she says is a lack of publicity for this year’s election. Presidential candidate Marjohnny Torres-Nativi of “The Mango” slate appeared on the quad Tuesday in a suit before joining members of the SOC to speak at demonstrations later in the day. Candidate Ernie Sevilla was optimistic about the outcome of the campaign he is running and says he is committed to avoiding “low tactics.” He says his “Experience, Strength & Hope” slate is focused on tackling the issues of budget cuts and economic conditions like “adults.” Presidential Candidate Parker Jean stayed on the quad until around 10 p.m. Monday with Student Organizing Committee members who stayed overnight protesting Contract Ed and other issues. Jean said he is also optimistic about this week’s election. “I’ve been getting a great response. We’re really trying to focus on the grassroots movement and getting students involved in shared governance,” he said. Jean says the switch from public to privately funded AS elections this year has made it more difficult for candidates to get their messages to the public. “We used to have AS’s help with the fliers and posters. They used to do the advertising, but not this year.” Students are able to cast votes for candidates through Corsair Connect.

Performing Arts Center expands, Dept Facilities explains massive hole

Tea Jovanovic Staff Writer

While Santa Monica College has announced a $12.3 million expansion to the Performing Arts Center and the Broad Stage, planned construction of the Student Services building, which began in 2009, remains untouched, leaving a massive hole in the ground on the main campus facing Pico Boulevard.. The new facility at the Performing Arts Center, named the East Wing, is to be built as a part of the Madison building, with the intention of providing more rehearsals, performances, and classroom space for SMC students. Gregory Brown, Facilities Director at SMC, says the East Wing construction is part of the Career and Educational Improvements project. It is funded by Bond Measure AA, which was approved by the Santa Monica and Malibu voters in November 2008. Money from the bond measure can only be allocated to construction. The project was started in order to replace or improve older buildings with more technologically advanced and

sustainable designs that will provide better educational opportunities and reduced operating costs for the school. In addition to the East Wing construction, the plan includes a new Health & Fitness building, and renovations to the Science building and the Academy of Entertainment and Technology campus. Brown says the Facilities office at SMC is having difficulties getting approval from the State for the stalled construction for the Student Services building. Construction on the project stopped a few years ago leaving behind a large hole. “It is an unusual looking building which is why we are having difficulties getting the approval,” said Brown. However, “It will be done by the middle of the 2015,” he continues. The East Wing is expected to be completed by 2015 as well. It is a twostory structure that will include two new state of the art classrooms for voice and piano classes on the second floor. David Goodman, a professor of theory, composition, and music technology at the Music Department at SMC says that the music department is

especially looking forward to this since they are getting “two new facilities for the two most important classes.” SMC student and singer/songwriter, Zana Mesihovic, says that new facilities are always positive for the college. “It will give more time to students to work in a professional stage environment,” she said. The first floor of the East Wing will include a multi-purpose space for larger classes with around 120 students. Currently the music department is sharing the space for rehearsals with the Broad Stage. The new structure will provide more time and space for rehearsals for SMC students in addition to more storage for instruments. SMC music student Andrej Jusufbegovic said, “We will have more concert opportunities for the music department. I am just wondering if it will be as good as the Broad Stage. We don’t want to lose the professional experience that the Broad Stage offers.” SMC has hired the architecture company DLR Group WWCOT to design the building. They represent themselves with a “promise to elevate the human experience throughout


their sustainable design” according to a statement on their website. The Broad Stage will also benefit from this expansion. “The music department doesn’t have enough performance stage, Brown said. “The Broad Stage is getting more successful and the demand is rising.” The organization also announced a collaboration with the LA Opera that will commence once the structure is completed. “The primary reason for the expansion is for the music department and its students, not solely for the Broad Stage use,” said Goodman. He adds that the LA Opera connection will be a great addition to the students’ experiences. “It will expose our students to career and educational opportunities,” he said. “I hope our students will have the possibility to get involved with the LA Opera.”Brown said that the PAC is in need of more parking spaces, though no additional spaces are planned under the project. Brown is aware of this problem. He said, “We are looking for various ways in which we can address this issue. We need a long term solution, but it won’t happen anytime soon.”




Student debt forgiveness a fleeting fix-it

Lissette Gomez Staff Writer

The federal government has recently shown their support for big time bankers and automakers by bailing them out of their retched debt; but they are not the only ones deep in debt. What about recent college graduates - can they see their student debts disappear with a little help from the government? According to Time magazine, Robert Applebaum, a student loan debtor himself, created a petition to do just that. The idea is to provide a one-time

bailout for student loan debt as a way to stimulate the worsening economy. The petition already has upwards of 670,000 signatures and is gaining more every day. Is it possible fix to student debt, valued at $1 trillion? And with the economy the way that it is, should that much money be forked over to the nation’s youth? For generations, student debtors paid for their loans all by themselves with no help, just hard work. This measure would be a last resort for college graduates. “Student loan forgiveness could spark

some arguments, people are going to get angry, but it’s worth it,” said secondyear Santa Monica College student Pablo Montano. “These students are the future of the economy, and with this bailout they will now be able to pay off their other debts, get jobs, and help others to get jobs.” With such a high debt burden, college students are going to be less likely to spend spare cash and stimulate the economy, and in these hard times, that is what the economy needs. But once free of their student debt, will college grads put enough money back into the economy to make the bailout

worth it? Still, one must look at the bigger picture and the underlying repercussions. How are future generations going to look at it? Are they going to be wise when opening up new loans, or are they just going to hope for a bailout from now on? More than that, this impractical bailout adds one more problem: it gives no incentive for students to look toward a reasonable payment plan. The solution to this problem certainly isn’t as “one-time” as Applebaum puts it. Student loan debt is an on-going problem that will not go away with a single petition.

New LAUSD graduation requirements could hurt all students Samantha Perez Staff Writer

It is that time of year when high school students start hearing back from all the universities that they applied to. Some will get letters that say “Congratulations, you’ve been accepted!” while others will get a letter that starts with, “We regret to inform you…” However, there are some who won’t receive either letter because they’ve chosen to attend a community college like Santa Monica College. With all the talk about Contract Ed and fee hikes, those of us who are already enrolled look at new students as further obstacles to getting enough classes. Nevertheless, SMC might experience an influx of new students in years to come. The Los Angeles Unified School District is considering lowering the requirements for graduation.

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Right now, high school seniors need 230 credits to graduate, but if the LAUSD’s proposal passes, students would only need 170 credits to graduate — the bare minimum set by the California Department of Education. “By reducing the graduation credits, we are creating the necessary safety net to help students meet the standards,” said Gerardo Loera, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the LAUSD, in a memo from the Internal Communications Department. In addition to lowering the number of credits necessary to graduate, the plan is to allow students to pass their Advanced Placement classes with a ‘D’, even though the CSUs and UCs require a ‘C’ or higher in an AP class. Loera adds that they are “focusing more on the quality of the instruction, in terms of rigor and higher standards,

rather than the quantity of credits in a student’s high school career.” Most students reach the 170-credit mark by their junior year, which means we could see a lot of early graduates come out of the high school system, but are they ready for what lies ahead? Furthermore, if students are able to pass their “advanced” classes with a ‘D’, what sort of graduates is the system churning out? If high schools reduce the number of credits needed to graduate, many prospective college students will be unprepared for the extremely competitive process of applying to four-year universities. Just because high schools are lowering their requirements, does not mean institutions of higher learning are. When these kids aren’t accepted into 4-year school, they will fall back on community college.

Lowering the bar would be doing future students a disservice. Students will be unprepared for the assessment tests they have to take, unprepared for the difficulty of college courses, and they will be unprepared for the real world, where the bar is not lowered for anyone.

high school seniors need 230 credits to graduate. should the LAUSD’s proposal pass, students would only need 170 credits to graduate.


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SMC Celebrates Earth Week Marine Gaste Corsair (L to R) Santa Monica College President Dr. Chui L. Tsang, Director of Sustainability Genevieve Bertone, Santa Monica Councilmember Terry O'Day, SMC Vice President Mike Tuitasi, and Director of Transit Services Edward F. King attend Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould's speech presenting the SMC Big Blue Bus “Any Line, Any Time” program during Earth Week with the theme of bicycles and alternative transportation on April 26. The event featured eco-themed music and art, free food, eco-friendly art tent, and raffle. Jon Falcone Contributor Plastic Free SMC president Belinda Waymouth (left) helps fellow club member Brandi Satterwhite don the plastic "Bag Monster" suit which represents the average number of trash bags consumed by each American annually.

Club Grow President Dana Morgan serves fresh lemonade made from ingredients from the Organic Learning Garden at their Earth Day booth on Thursday, April 26 at the SMC Quad.

Asta Karalis Corsair

Asta Karalis Corsair The EcoAction Club created a Pledge Tree for Earth Week. The tree gave students a chance to voice how they will make a postive impact on the environment.

Carrie Jesenovec Corsair Girl Scout Troop 4252 came all the way from Valencia to participate in the Nothin’ But Sand Cleanup on April 21. The cleanup was in collaboration with Heal the Bay and Whole Foods Market on the “Get Dirty Where You Live, Work & Play” Earth Day 2012 Initiative.





Swimmers Dedicate State Championship Races to Coach “Tuna” Luana Kasahara Staff Writer

“We’re going to swim this for “Tuna,” said the Corsair swim team as they huddled together before the start of the men’s 400yard freestyle relays at the 2012 CCCAA Swimming State Championships. During the three days of exhaustive competition at East L.A. College, starting last Thursday, Apr. 26 and lasting through Saturday Apr. 28, SMC’s top swimmers dedicated each event they swam to Diving Coach Eduard “Tuna” Gorodetsky. “We really miss him and in the last relay we all swam for Tuna,” said Jeff Lum, one of the relay members. Coach “Tuna” had unexpectedly passed during the week of the WSC Championships and the 13 SMC swimmers who qualified for state showed maturity by overcoming their pain to swim their best. Head Swim Coach Steven Contarsy was really proud of the team’s results. “We had a phenomenal meet from the top to the bottom,” said Contarsy. “We only brought six men and seven women and we set five state records and one national community college record. Everybody swam lifetime personal bests.” One of the highlights, and surprises of the meet, was when Juju Allison won the 50-yard backstroke with the time of 27.80. “Allison has never been under 28 seconds for the 50 back [stroke] in her life,” said Contarsy. Newcomer Ahmed Mathlouthi also had an impressive performance as a long distance swimmer, breaking three state records for the 200, 500, and 1650-yard

freestyles with times of 1:35.29, 4:18.90, and 15:07.30 respectively. Mathlouthi also set one national community college record for the 500-yard freestyle. “I was in a training camp in Spain for three weeks and I came back just in time for the meet,” said Mathlouthi. “I’m really happy to be part of the team. We have a great team and an amazing coach.” Mathlouthi will be heading back to Spain this week in order to prepare for the upcoming London Olympics 2012 where he will be representing Tunisia in the 200 and 400-yard freestyle swim events. “I’m trying to do my best now,” said Mathlouthi. “Let’s see what’s going to happen.” Lum didn’t disappoint his coach and brought home three gold medals for the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:49.43, 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 54.48, and the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:59.35. Lum also set two state records for the 100 and 200-yard breaststrokes out of the three individual events that he swam. “Actually it was Steve’s idea to change all my events to breaststroke,” said Lum. “All this successful swim is all about Steve.” According to Lum, it was Coach Contarsy who proposed that he switch to the breaststroke because he believed that he had a good chance of winning. As a challenge after winning the 200yard IM, the 100 and 200-yard freestyles in the CCCAA State Championships last year, Lum and Contarsy focused the training on the breaststroke and had

good results in WSC Championships. “We did really well in the conference and then now I broke two records for 100 and 200yard breaststroke,” said Lum. “I really need to thank Steven because he is the one who gave me a new idea, not only freestyle, but another stroke.” In the women’s division of swimming, Michelle Daniela Berzuini Corsair Liu won the 100-yard Santa Monica College swimmer Jeff Lum (right) and his coach Steven backstroke with the Contarsy pose after winning the 200-yard Breaststroke in the CCCAA time of 58.30, placed State Championships on April 28. Lum just broke the state record in the second in the 100- 200-yard Breaststroke to go along with his state record in the 200 IM. yard IM with a time Christian Saravia placed third in the 200of 58.67, and third in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 53.09. yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:24.29. The Corsair men’s team scored a total Overall, the men’s relays were in the of 249 points and placed 6th in the final top three for the 200, 400, and 800-yard freestyles, but the women’s relays did not ranking for the men, while the women’s th place top three in any of the events they team scored 163 points and placed 9 for the women. With 412 combined points, swam. th The team, called by Contarsy “the SMC ranked 7 overall among the 33 international relay” team, was formed teams participating in the 2012 CCCAA by Mathlouthi from Tunisia, Lum from State Championships. “The coaches have to be proud of the China, Aaron Clements from England, kids,” said Contarsy. and Mike Carden from the USA, and they “The kids should be proud of their placed second in the 400 and 800-yard free accomplishments, and Santa Monica at the finals with the times of 3:03.47 (a College should be proud of this group of new SMC record) and 6:49.51 respectively. young people.” Clements, Carden, Alex Myers and

Corsair Faculty Crushes Santa Monica City Employees

Cinthia Vera Staff Writer

President Chui L. Tsang gasped for breath about an hour after he had ditched his usual suit and tie for a pair of black tennis shoes, blue shorts, and a white tee-shirt. Earlier in the first half, Tsang had fallen multiple times and at one point was even sprawled out on the ground, face-first, after shooting the ball towards the goal. He missed, and The City Knights came back in the second quarter and scored their first goal. ,” said Tsang after a score.“ !” Tsang rallied his team from the sidelines during the second half against the first match up of the Corsair Faculty against the Santa Monica city employees, dubbed The City Knights, and Tsang reminded everyone that this game was purely for fun. The Corsair Faculty won the game 7-2. The SMC Administration and Staff had challenged The City Knights this past Sunday not to discuss work-related subjects, but rather for a friendly match of soccer and The City Knights responded to that challenge. Two years ago Dan Rojas, who is the college’s network services manager and served as captain for the Corsair faculty, had the idea to put together a faculty soccer team. According to Martin Goldstein, a race and gender communications professor, Tsang is “a huge soccer fan” and organized the event with Rojas. Yet there was some tension apparent between the two rival factions. SMC professor of renewable energies Stewart Cooley had initially played for The City Knights against other teams before joining The Faculty Team.

The City Knights city manager Rod Gould was upset and called him a “turn coat.” Luis Jauregui, a staff member from SMC’s continuing education department scored the first goal early on during the match. Jauregui, who has been playing soccer since the age of six, described being part of the team as something “pretty cool” because he was able to, “play along with people you normally would not even work with.” A few minutes later Shannon Herbert, an English professor at SMC, secured the lead for the Corsair Faculty kicking in a goal to make the score 2-0, and the score remained 2-0 at the end of the first quarter. By the end of the third quarter The Corsair Faculty scored three more goals to increase their lead to 5-1. Russell Ackerman SM’s ecological landscape designer and captain of The City Knights , seemed to lose his spirit towards the end of the game. Ackerman pointed a plastic medieval sword towards the goal and yelled, “Guys, kick the ball forward!” Apparently Ackerman believes the plastic medieval sword to be The City Knights, “lucky charm.” A tense moment ensued in the last minute of the game whena and forward for The City Knights, and limped out of the game. According to Tamara Ackerman, wife of Russell Ackerman and in charge of music for the event, “The City Knights,” benefitted from after forming The City Knights’ soccer team even though they lost to the Corsair Faculty. “I definitely think it brings unity, inside and outside the team,” said Ackerman.






Running towards success


Sarkis Ekmekian Staff Writer

19-year-old Santa Monica College track and field star Elia Sanchez has advanced to the Western State Conference Championship finals in the 400m in her first year of track.

Year: Freshman • Major: Photography • Hometown: East L.A. • High School: Roosevelt Senior High School Elia Sanchez wakes up every morning and struggles to get out of bed to go to school; but she knows that waking up at dawn and sitting through the long commute on the bus from East L.A. to Santa Monica College and back at night will be worth the investment. “My favorite class here is Photojournalism 13 with Professor [Gerard] Burkhart,” said Sanchez. “I love that we get to take pictures, learn how to capture a moment, and learn about the laws and rights we have as photojournalists.” Sanchez, a freshman at SMC, has never ran track before, but has always loved sports. “I always watched the Olympics and thought that track is amazing,” said Sanchez, who played soccer at Roosevelt Senior High School in Los Angeles. “Every four years the world comes to watch you, so I feel that it’s powerful. It makes you stronger, both physically and emotionally, because you have to keep pushing, and even though it hurts, you’ve got to keep pushing.” Sanchez has been “pushing” and persevering even before she started track this season. High school was positively difficult, she said; she ultimately needed to take a year off to work and refocus before deciding to go to college. Sanchez was also unable to graduate on time because, she said, of a misunderstanding over credits with one of her teachers. Sanchez felt defeated, but remained determined. She said that her best friend, Beatris Navarro, was a model for motivation at the time. Navarro, who was diagnosed with a heart tumor, had to spend time in and out of hospitals while attending school. “She was a great inspiration,” said Sanchez. “She was in and out of hospitals because of her tumor, and still went to school with a smile on her face, not giving up, and beating the odds. If she could do it, I definitely can.” During that summer Sanchez focused, attended adult school, and made up for her one failing class from high school.


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She earned her diploma by the next fall semester. Sanchez later got a job as an usher at The Staples Center and Club Nokia and continues to work there. Although her parents offered to financially support Sanchez while attending school, she declined their offer, explaining that she preferred to save up for a year before starting at SMC this past fall. “I saw her jogging during P.E., and then I saw her racing another boy in her class. I was impressed when I saw her sprint,” said SMC Track and Field Head Coach Larry Silva. “I approached her, and she was apprehensive, but she finally decided to try it. “Every single week she’ll improve. She’s gotten faster and faster, and I still think she can get faster. When you put together real hard work and good coaching, you’ll get the result Elia is experiencing.” Sanchez described her participation in track as a “nerve wrecking experience,” but added that it was something she had always wanted to do, and that she has had some amazing accomplishments for a first time runner. Sanchez has recently qualified for the Western Conference Championship Finals in the 400 meter. “My favorite memory is at the end of a race earlier this semester. The crowd was cheering,” said Sanchez. “But one of my friends stood out because he was jumping and yelling ‘Flecha.’” “Flecha” is a Spanish word that translates into English as “arrow” and the nickname that her YMCA coach gave her when she was 14. Sanchez’s future plans are to transfer to a four-year university, where she can continue running. She’d like to go to the University of Southern California or University of California Irvine. “I’m on track, finally doing track, and loving it,” said Sanchez. “It’s a sport that I am very passionate about, and I really hope to continue running at a university.”

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SMC Earth Week events encourage activism

Jeff Cote Corsair Van Jones, an environmentalist, activist and lawyer, makes an inspirational speech on April 24 at Santa Monica College during Earth Week.

Christina Sziatinszky Staff Writer Determined to study law at Yale University, Van Jones refused to accept failure, even after scoring a 42 percent on his LSAT. Rather than wallowing in his defeat, he made it his primary goal to keep trying until he passed. Jones is now a globally recognized environmental advocate, whose current missions are to give back to his community, and to help build a cleanenergy economy for the future. Illustrating to a large crowd of Santa Monica College students that it is possible to overcome adversity, Jones gave his “Green Jobs and Beyond” lecture last Tuesday as part of the college's Earth Week celebration. “They make it so hard for you—with all that student debt, and you can’t get the classes you want,” Jones said of the difficulties of obtaining a college degree. However, as a man from a small town, Jones reassured the audience that “anyone can make it if they’re willing to work hard and pay the cost.” “I wasn’t born at Yale Law,” Jones said at the start of his lecture. “In fact, I didn’t see an Ivy League until I was 20.” Before attending Yale, Jones went to college near his hometown of Jackson, Tenn. at the University of Tennessee. Jones has since used his degrees and position in society in an effort to deter troubled youths from being sent to prison. He helped close three youth prisons, and created the Oakland Green Jobs Corps, which seeks to combat poverty by taking young adults off the streets and placing them into training programs for “green” jobs, such as installing solar panels. “Everything good for the environment is a job,” said Jones. “Kids who need second chances are just thrown away.” Jones was not the only community

activist praised during Earth Week at SMC. On Wednesday, SMC grounds supervisor Tom Corpus was honored for his work on campus, including the implementation of “Green Zones.” These zones refer to a new system in which only manpowered or battery-powered equipment can be used, and “organic integrated pest management” is applied, Bruce Smith, SMC's public information officer, explained in an e-mail. Earth Week enabled students to participate in events promoting sustainability, including a beach cleanup with Heal the Bay. “Students should get active in their community,” said Genevieve Bertone, SMC’s director of sustainability and EcoAction Club adviser. “This not only makes a huge difference, but it will also help them make friends, build their resume, and sharpen skills like public speaking, report-writing, and project management.” Though Earth Week is over, its events have left SMC students with strategies for living sustainably. On campus, students can join the EcoAction Club and the Recycling Club. They can also volunteer at the Center for Environmental & Urban Studies, and other non-profit organizations in Santa Monica such as Heal the Bay and Sustainable Works. “Pay attention to the amount of waste that is generated every day,” said Bertone. “When we throw resources away, there really is no ‘away.’ It ends up at the primary Los Angeles Landfill in Puente Hills, which is scheduled to close in 2013.” To help reduce one’s ecological footprint, Bertone suggests eating lower on the food chain, taking alternative transportation at least once a week, and conserving recourses by simply consuming less—less water, less energy, and less chemicals. “Earth Day should be every day,” said Bertone.

Local doctor warns of toxic environmental health risks Henry Crumblish Staff Writer

Another environmental risk to human health, according to Allen, is the widespread nature of toxic heavy metals such as mercury and lead. “A lot of dentists doubt that there is mercury in silver fillings, however, some can be as much as fifty percent mercury,” said Allen, who removed his own silver fillings over the course of three trips to the dentist in one year. Allen also claimed that aspartame, an artificial sweetener found in some diet sodas, may cause memory loss and pulmonary hypertension, and is also linked to Graves’ disease. Trying to remain healthy when so many toxins abound may seem daunting, but Allen’s suggestions are remarkably simple— avoidance, supplementation and cleansing. Allen advises avoiding all chemicals and toxins as much as possible, especially new paint, exhaust fumes and new carpets. To support a healthy immune system, Allen recommends a simple vitamin C supplement and whey protein powder. “It’s necessary to decrease the toxic burden in your body to remain healthy,” said Allen. Allen suggests drinking green tea and consuming B vitamins to cleanse the body. “The constitution says all men and women are created equal, however when it comes to genetics, we know that is not the case,” said Allen. “Some people are naturally more resistant to toxins, and better at detoxifying their body. Part of being healthy is knowing your own body.” “Modern medicine doesn’t fully acknowledge the health threats posed by our environments,” said Allen. “We don’t get sick for no reason.”

Stressing the potential dangers of environmental toxins and the immediate health threats that they pose, Dr. David Allen, who has over thirty years of experience as a physician, gave a lecture on Wednesday at the Santa Monica Public Library. "I would treat people, but they wouldn't get well,” Allen said. “It’s as if something was blocking the treatment. It wasn't until I started treating the environment my patients were in that I was able to help people." According to Allen, “pollutants are everywhere,” and there has been no clean air anywhere on the planet for at least 25 years. “The first thing that’s affected by a toxic environment is the immune system,” said Allen. “Allergies are an autoimmune disease.” Allen claimed that in recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of chemicals to which people are exposed daily. “Thirty years ago, autoimmune diseases were rare,” Allen said. “Now, they’re the third leading cause of death in the industrialized world, only behind cancer and heart disease.” Allen warned that inhaling omnipresent pollutants, such as major solvents, paint fumes, and gasoline, could weaken the immune system and cause brain damage. Allen also cautioned that those who are sensitive to fragrant soaps, perfumes and cologne might be living in a toxic environment. “The nose is a direct pathway to the brain, and is unique in the fact that it’s always on the lookout for dangerous smells,” said Allen. “The sense of smell can be overloaded, and perceive some chemicals as threats.”


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$10 Tuesdays at Sunny Blue

Karolin Axelsson Staff Writer

There are two other customers in line when we step into Sunny Blue on Main St. The place is tiny, and my group of three makes it crowded, but cozy. The interior has a Japanese touch to it, and consists nearly entirely of a typical sushi counter, where you can see the chefs preparing your food. However, this place is not your typical sushi restaurant, in fact, they don’t serve sushi at all. Sunny Blue specializes in Omusubi, a

traditional Japanese rice ball, with different fillings, and if you want, wrapped in seaweed. On the ceiling of the restaurant, strings are hung up with clothespins, holding different bags of Japanese snacks. The little restaurant does not offer much seating, and can’t fit more than two bar chairs by the window, and two small tables outside on the sidewalk. This is not an issue, as the best way to eat Omusubi is on the go. The rice balls are rather small, but filling. Two portions are about the right amount for lunch, and depending on the filling you

choose, each cost between $2.50 and $4.50. The most popular Omusubi (as well as my favorite) is the Miso Beef. The meat is cooked with caramelized onions in a homemade miso sauce, and the end result is a perfect mix of salty and sweet. For the tuna lover, their Kara Tuna is the perfect choice, filled with albacore tuna and Karashi mustard - a mix of mustard seeds and horseradish, reminiscent of wasabi. Sunny Blue also offers vegan choices, such as their Hijiki - seaweed, shiitake mushrooms, tofu, green peas and carrots, mixed together. Or the Shiso Ume, with Japanese pickled plum paste and fresh shiso leaves.

For beverages, they offer Japanese soda and coffee drinks (in cans), and every meal comes with a complimentary Mugicha, an iced tea made from roasted barley. For a quick and easy lunch or snack, Sunny Blue is the perfect place. Unless very busy, the staff is eager to help choose which fillings you should try. If you haven’t tried Omusubi before, pay a visit to Sunny Blue, their rice balls are rather addictive, so it probably won’t be your last time. Located at 2728 Main Street, in Santa Monica, and there’s street parking outside. Yay! - They have frozen yogurt! Nay! - Limited selection of beverages.


Emeritus College student photo show: pt. II

Part two of SMC’s Emeritus College student produced photo show. Juried by instructors Ken Buckner and Jerry Schneir, winners were awarded in four different categories: people, places, things and Photoshop. May 3 – May 31 (opening reception May 3 @ 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) Emeritus College Art Gallery 1224 Second St., Santa Monica (1st floor) free admission (310) 434-4306 or

Conversation with ROC LA

Restaurant Opportunities Center of Los Angeles will be collaborating with Christina Sanchez’s Break/Pausa project on an evening of art, collaborative performance, and conversation on the current state of the restaurant worker movement. The project is one of five programs presented in the degree exhibition of Otis College of Art and Design’s Graduate Public Practice Program.

May 3 @ 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery (SMC Performing Arts Center) 1310 11 St., Santa Monica

Lucha VaVoom

Cinco de Mayo celebration featuring Mexican masked wrestling, burlesque, comedy performances, food, drinks, ‘folklorico’ dancers, low-riders, and more. Lucha VaVoom is ‘good vs. evil’ played out in quick, exhibition-style Lucha Libre matches. Founded in 2002 by Rita D’Albert and Liz Fairbairn, this is the tenth anniversary celebration. May 4 – 5 @ 7 p.m. (show starts @ 8 p.m.) The Mayan 1038 S. Hill St., Downtown L.A. $45

Synapse Dance Theater

The SMC dance department presents this contemporary dance ensemble on the Broad Stage. The company has offered opportunities to aspiring dancers for more than 35 years, and is directed this year by faculty members, Jae Lee and





Roberta Wolin-Tupas. Performances will feature guest artists, award-winning faculty members, and up-and-coming student choreographers. May 4 @ 7:30 p.m. & May 5 @ 4 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Broad Stage (SMC Performing Arts Center) 1310 11 St., Santa Monica $15 (SMC students) $18 (at the door) 310-434-3467

‘Who Bombed Judi Bari’ documentary

93-minute documentary about the ‘Earth First!’ organizer, Judi Bari. Bari was badly injured in a car bomb in 1990, and the culprit is unknown to this day. SMC film professor Sheila Laffey worked as executive producer on the movie. May 5 @ 7 p.m. Regent Showcase Theater 614 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles $11 (online) $14 (at the door)

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Synapse 2012 brings modern movement to SMC Janae' Franklin Staff Writer Santa Monica College’s 2012 Synapse Dance performance grants its audience an abundance of dance outside the boundaries of traditional movement. The performance features several contemporary pieces set to an eclectic variety of music, with interesting titles and subjects. This year, Synapse seems to focus more on modern and contemporary styles of dance, and noticeably avoids classic styles such as ballet and folkloric. ‘Dal Cominciou’ - a piece choreographed by SMC student Joshua Bergeron incorporates sounds, words, and music within staccato and modern movements. ‘Dal Cominciou’ is inspired by the passing of Bergeron’s grandfather this past fall. “It's definitely based on scenes, it's based on memories, it's based on things that we hold important to us – emotions,” said Bergeron. “It's inspired by the times we’ve had with paternal figures in our lives.” Aubrhe Yruretagoyena is the other half of this duo, and is seen in five other acts in this year’s production. Mikala Rae'l Johnson's powerful moves

and strong presence commands the audience’s attention. “This is my first time in Synapse, and I'm very excited,” said Johnson, who is featured in three of the production’s pieces. Not every piece in this year’s Synapse is your typical contemporary dance routine. Acts ‘Oooh Lil' Mama,’ and ‘Hip Hop Symphony’ give the audience a taste of alternative genres of dance. Choreographed by Lauren ThompsonHall, ‘Oh Lil' Mama,’ is a refreshingly mostly-male ensemble, who comedically enter the stage “on the prowl for women.” Dancing temptress, Mawiyah Dowd intrigues men with her leaps, jumps, and extraordinary dance lines. Dowd mixes technicality with sass and sex appeal. The male dancers then show off their incredible athleticism as they battle for her attention. Choreographed by Troy Stephens, ‘Hip-Hop Symphony’ showcases an underground dance movement called ‘Wacking and Voguing,’ which incorporates smooth and coordinated movements of the arms and legs. This year, audience members will enjoy familiar tunes and a refreshing change from classical dance ensembles.

The Synapse Dance Theater Contemporary Dance Ensemble takes the Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center on Friday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m., and on Saturday, May 5 at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are currently on sale at the SMC Box office, or online at





Asta Karalis Corsair Santa Monica College student Mikala Rae’l Johnson performs “Nice Guys Finish Last” at the dance rehearsal for the Synapse Dance Theater on April 19.

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Play Me, I'm Yours Nadine Weiland Staff Writer A little girl sat playing the piano at a train station in England. Her mother, sitting next to her, was crying. She had cleaned houses for four years just to be able to pay for her daughter’s piano lessons, and could not afford to buy a real piano for her. This was the first time she had heard her daughter play. After creating the ‘Play Me, I’m Yours,’ project, British artist Luke Jerram witnessed this scene. Established in 2008, in Birmingham, England, the project has installed more than 500 freestanding public pianos, in 22 cities all over the world. According to Jerram, the pianos were established for anyone who wanted to play, serving as a way for the public to express themselves, share their creativity and reveal hidden musical talents. The Los Angeles ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ project started on April 12, with a kick-off event that featured 30 different musicians around the city playing ‘The Third Movement,’ by Johann Sebastian Bach, in unison. “The response, so far, has been great,” said Rachel Fine, executive director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Fine brought the project to Los Angeles this year, to honor music director and pianist Jeffrey Kahane’s 15 years with the orchestra. According to Fine, Kahane is very community oriented, and LACO wanted to do a project that reflected his personality. “‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ was brought to Los Angeles with the intention of bringing arts into communities, and making classical music more accessible.” The pianos - which were donated by various organizations and individuals - can be found at high-traffic spots, including the Santa Monica Pier, the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica, Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, and outside the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. They are accessible around the clock, and open to anyone who wants to play. Jerram said he got the idea for

the project while visiting his local laundromat in Bristol, England. He saw the same people there every weekend, but nobody talked to each other. “I suddenly realized that within a city, there must be hundreds of these invisible communities, regularly spending time with one another in silence,” said Jerram. “Placing a piano into that space was my solution to this problem, acting as a catalyst for conversation and changing the dynamics of common places.” Jerram went on to create a website for each city, with an extra link for each of the pianos, where people could share pictures and videos of them playing, as well as their own stories. Some of the stories shared on the web included two journalists who met at one of the pianos in Sydney, fell in love, and got married. A young pianist was discovered while playing one of the pianos in London, and a New Yorker was so inspired by the project that he decided to travel across the United States with a piano on wheels. “We really wanted to reflect the community of Los Angeles to the best of our ability, and we did that with the locations, the artists, and the community organizations represented,” said Fine. Artists volunteered to paint the pianos, going through an application process, while others were actually approached by the orchestra. Several community-based organizations were placed in charge of the decorating. On April 26, at the piano placed outside Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, ‘Love Letters to LA: Pianos Live’ was held - a concert featuring various artists, each of whom performed one classical song reflecting what Los Angeles meant to them. “It’s a hard time for society, with unemployment, recession, the California state budget cuts, college tuitions, and all these other things,” said Fine. “I think people need this kind of project to feed their souls.”

Michael Yanow Corsair George Dozal plays a piano associated with the ‘Play Me, I’m Yours' art installation at L.A. Live on March 22.

Daniela Berzuini Corsair Morgan Karr and Shyvonne performs at the Egyptian Theater on April 26.

Michael Yanow Corsair Manendaleo Vasser of Babylon, Long Island in New York, plays a piano associated with the ‘Play Me, I’m Yours' art installation on the Santa Monica Pier on March 22.

Daniela Berzuini Corsair Mariah McManus performs in “Play Me, I’m Yours,” an art installation at the Egyptian Theater, on April 26. The producers of the event promoted a concert: Loved Letters to LA: Piano Live, featuring 12 local musicians who performed songs about the city. “These pianos bring communities together,” said coproducer Morgan Karr in a statement.

For more information on the Los Angeles ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ project, visit .

Michael Yanow Corsair Jennifer Woodard (center) of Bakersfield, California plays a piano associated with the ‘Play Me, I’m Yours' art installation on the Santa Monica Pier on March 22. British artist, Luke Jerram, fostered the idea of having pianos in public places for anyone to play, hoping to create dialogue about urban space.



Volume 103 Issue 10  
Volume 103 Issue 10  

Santa Monica College Campus Newspaper