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extended coverage at

volume 106 issue 1 • september 4, 2013 • santa monica college


New security measures in place in shooting aftermath pg: 3 Enrollment at SMC fluctuates pg: 3

Meet SMC’s new athletic director pg: 12

E-CIGS create cloud of confusion pg:5

Arlene Karno Corsair

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2 contents

volume 106 issue 1 • September 4, 2013 • santa monica college

E D I T O R I A L S TA F F Amber Antonopoulos···· Editor-in-Chief c o rs a i r. e d i t o r i n c h i e f @ g m a i l . c o m Muna Cosic··············Managing Editor c o rs a i r. m a n a g i n g @ g m a i l . c o m Vanessa Barajas········ Health & Lifestyle c o rs a i r. l i f e s t y l e p a g e @ g m a i l . c o m Elizabeth Moss··············· News Editor Allie Silvas···················· News Editor c o rs a i r. n e w s p a g e @ g m a i l . c o m Jasmin Huynh····· Arts & Entertainment c o rs a i r. c a l e n d a r p a g e @ g m a i l . c o m Henry Crumblish·········Opinion Editor c o rs a i r. o p i n i o n p a g e @ g m a i l . c o m David Yapkowitz············ Sports Editor c o rs a i r. s p o r t s p a g e @ g m a i l . c o m Sam Herron··················Photo Editor David J. Hawkins·············Photo Editor c o rs a i r p h o t o e d i t o r @ g m a i l . c o m Jhosef Hern······················ Illustrator c o rs a i r c a r t o o n @ g m a i l . c o m Allie Silvas····················· Web Editor c o rs a i r. w e b e d i t o r @ g m a i l . c o m Cocoa Dixon················ Design Team Mikaela Osterlund·········· Design Team c o rs a i r. d e s i g n t e a m @ g m a i l . c o m c o r s a i r s ta f f Rubens Almeida Jr., Paul Alvarez Jr., Albert Andrade, Trevor Angone, Fabian Avellaneda, Lorentious Barry, Nathan Berookhim, Colette Blonigan, Crislin Christian, Jenna Crowley, Aurelia Dumont, Tina Eady, Paulina Eriksson, Jon Falcone, Khalid Felix, Lorena Garcia, Vanessa Oliveira Gomes, Heather Hart, Jimmy Janszen, Ludwig Jonsson, Arlene Karno, Michelle Kreel, Michael Lee, Josefin Lindstrom, Sumaya Malin, Simon Luca Manili, Reyna Mares, Toni Marshall, Jillian Montgomery, Lauren Narvaez, Wayne Neal, Daniela Orihuela, Belle Owen, Demetrius Palmer, Mark Popovich, Jessica Quintero, Rachel Porter, Jonathan Ramos, Alci Rengifo, Tristan Reyes, Jonathan Riley, Cassandra Rubio, Emilio Sedeno, Dion To, Gintare Urbutyte, Mark Williams, David Lloyd Wilson, Lyan Wong FA C U LT Y A D V I S e R S S a u l Ru b i n & Gerard Burkhart A d I n q uiries : co rsai r. admana g e r@g m ai l . co m (3 1 0 ) 4 3 4 - 4 0 3 3

Brad Lemonds Corsair Contributor Emergency personnel responds to the scene of the fire that was set to a bulletin board in the Liberal Arts Building on the main campus of Santa Monica College on Friday.

SMC community!

if you have photos, feelings or opinions on what we publish, we want to hear from you! email, tweet, or facebook us. ON THE COVER: Alberto “Berto” Archila, 25, sales rep at Vapor Delight in Santa Monica, Calif., enjoys his favorite vapor blend called “Midnight Apple,” a flavor blend of sour apple and smoky whiskey. “I can vape a wide variety of flavors with e-cigs, as opposed to the one ashtray flavor.” A onetime pack-and-a-half-a-day smoker, Archila quit three months ago when he became an employee of the local vapor vendor. “There’s not a chance I’d ever go back to smoking cigarettes. I enjoy being able to run again, to smell and taste and feel better in general.”

If you would like to get involved and can take on the responsibilities of a Director, we have 3 vacant positions waiting to be filled! This is a great opportunity to make a difference for the students of SMC and to have a lasting impact on the campus we call home. The available positions are: Apply at Under “Forms and Documents” fill out number 3 from the first section

And if you’re not sure you want to commit to being a director, there are also COMMISSIONER positions available! A Commissioner acts as the right hand of the director, helping be a conduit for change and innovation. for extended coverage visit us at •

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We are here to help! Michael Greenberg, Director of Publicity (310) 434-4965

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news 3

volume 106 issue 1 • September 4, 2013 • santa monica college

College increases security in rampage shooting aftermath Elizabeth Moss News Editor

Among the new security measures, the Board of Trustees approves a $500,000 phone system for the campus The vigils still stand. Months after the shooting rampage that left six dead, traces of the tragedy that ended on campus are virtually gone, except for the candles and flowers that still stand where victims died. Since the shooting, school administrators have pushed the revamping of Santa Monica College’s security to the top of their priority list, taking time and money to inform students and faculty of procedures in the event of an emergency. Part of these changes include a halfmillion-dollar phone system that doubles as a public address system. Phones will be installed in every existing room on campus where, by just hitting a button, police can send auto-recorded alerts across campus. The system can also send warnings to select sections of the campus, for instance the Letters and Science Building, in case of an emergency. The new security changes are meant to “make the campus have the whole feeling of safety,” said Santa Monica College Police Department Chief Albert Vasquez. “This way, at least everybody will be on the same page as to what we are going to be doing as the police department,” Vasquez said. SMC President and Superintendent Chui L. Tsang created an Emergency Preparedness Taskforce following the events of the shooting rampage, made up of different constituents, including Vasquez, to discuss the improvement of campus security. On the table are discussions about adding more video cameras around

campus, systematically locking down the campus, and issuing campus keys to all staff. On June 7, John Zawahri began his deadly trail on the 2000 block of Yorkshire Avenue in Santa Monica, where he set fire to the house his father and brother were occupying. Next he took hostage of a driver, who he instructed to drive toward Cloverfield and Pico Boulevard, the intersection where he shot at a Big Blue Bus and injured a female passenger. Zawahri then told the driver to take him to SMC. On Pearl Street, he began firing at random, where he shot through the car of Carlos Navarro Franco, killing Franco and his daughter, Marcela, who died after being transported to a hospital. Zawahri proceeded through the Liberal Arts Building, where in front he shot down Margarita Gomez. He then entered the library, firing shots before ultimately being brought down by members of the SMCPD and Santa Monica Police Department. The shooter carried with him a handgun and a .233 assault rifle with as many as 1,300 rounds of ammunition. “Because of the type of situation that it was, it really brought home that we are probably not as well staffed as we should be,” said Vasquez. “This really just put it on the front burner that we really need more staff.” The SMCPD is currently in the process of recruiting more officers and increasing the number of its cadets to 20. Sixty-seven hours after Zawahri’s rampage, campus re-opened and finals

Arlene Karno Corsair A Santa Monica College Police Department vehicle is parked on the SMC main campus on Tuesday.

week continued. On the day of the shooting, Brenda Benson, dean of counseling and retention, was asked to organize crisis counseling. The college contracted the Crisis Care Network, an organization that helps people cope with tragedy, and began counseling on the Bundy campus by 6 p.m. that night. “Everyone had different needs,” said Benson in an email to The Corsair. “All the standard rules were off the table. Counselors were instructed to use their judgment and work with individuals as long as they needed to.” Sessions lasted from 20 minutes to up to three hours, Benson said. SMC students and faculty were allowed as many sessions as needed. Benson estimated that as many as 800 people sought counseling in various

forms in the weeks following the event. “It could have been much worse, just with the firepower this guy had,” Vasquez said. A presentation on the new campus security measures will be available for the next seven Fridays, in Room 205 of the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, to any student, faculty or community member who would like to know more. “We always believe that [SMC] is this little island where nothing is going to come up, but were an open campus,” said Vasquez. “It’s wide open.” Students still troubled by the shooting can make an appointment at Psychological Services in the Liberal Arts Building on campus. Faculty and staff can also contact EASE, an employee assistance program.

Summer campaign increases SMC enrollment Lauren Narvaez Staff Writer

The college cites shrinking unemployment as the need to launch its enrollment-increasing ad campaign Toward the end of the spring semester, as some 30,000 students prepared to take finals, the Board of Trustees announced plans for a campaign that would increase enrollment at Santa Monica College. “It’s already hard enough to get the classes I need,” said Jackie Cole, an SMC student. “I can only imagine what it’s going to be like in semesters to come.” College enrollment is up 1.5 percent, said Teresita Rodriguez, dean of enrollment development, at Tuesday night’s Board of Trustees meeting. Even though the enrollment is up, however, “actual headcount is down, but students are taking more units,” said Rodriguez. The campaign included ads on Big Blue Buses, which listed reasons students should sign up at SMC. Television and radio commercials were also aired. Chui L. Tsang, superintendent and president at the college, said the plan to up enrollment was not meant to be negative, but to increase the possibility of more classes. The college proceeded with the campaign to tell students, who had been

discouraged by not being able to enroll in needed classes and going elsewhere, that space was available at SMC. On the first day of school, there was a 91.5 percent seat-fill rate in core classes, which include English, math and the social sciences. Over 4,700 students added classes on the first day of school, and continue to do so, meaning that exact enrollment numbers will fluctuate for the next few weeks. “I don’t know what the increase means for me personally, but I hope it makes more classes available,” said Hannah Rodriguez, a sophomore at SMC. According to college data found on SMC’s website, enrollment was down from over 34,000 students in the fall of 2012 to over 33,000 in the spring. Louise Jaffe, a member of the BOT, said that the goal of the college was to “restore enrollment and confidence with the students.” The advertisements on buses and in the media were in response to the previous drop in enrollment. “Since the economy is slowly improving, more people are trying to get jobs instead

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Crislin Christian Corsair Santa Monica College students wait in line outside the financial aid office on Thursday.

of schooling,” Jaffe said. Jaffe mentioned the enrollment-based funding that drives the school to encourage students to sign up for classes. The more people the college has enrolled, ideally, the more money there is for classes, Jaffe said. “The college is committed to regrowth, and although we have been at capacity for many terms, the increase is due to being

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able to offer more classes that the students need,” said Kiersten Elliott, dean of admissions and records. “After the passing of Prop. 30 last November, more funds were given to the school making it possible for growth.” Even though classes have, as she put it, a “supply and demand” idea, SMC seeks to make enrollment a priority with this philosophy, Elliott said.

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+ Lifestyle 4 HEalth

volume 106 issue 1 • September 4, 2013 • santa monica college

Santa Monica still wants GE foods labeled Fabian Avellaneda Staff Writer

Although the initiative to label genetically engineered foods, Proposition 37, was defeated by California voters last November, the debate over whether to make these labels mandatory rages on as organizations continue to rally in the midst of a changing public opinion. The cafeteria at Santa Monica College is always a busy environment where you can find students socializing with their friends, working on homework assignments, and, of course, eating. It is rife with people trying to satisfy hunger during every part of the day, and the labeling of food is something that is still an interest to some students. Though Prop. 37 failed, there are some, including many SMC students, who still want the right to know what they are consuming. "I'm interested in foods being labeled if they have been genetically modified," said SMC student Julie Rivas. "I like to know what's going on in my body so I have a choice of eating or not eating modified foods." "Genetically Engineered foods means that the DNA of the plant has been altered so that the plant will have some new trait that will make it more resistant to disease, weather, handling, transportation damage, shelf life, et cetera," said SMC nutrition professor and registered dietitian Dona Richwine, in an email. These "GE" foods are also known as Genetically Modified Organisms, or "GMOs." A recent poll conducted by The New York Times revealed that about three-quarters of Americans had some worries over GE foods, and that 93 percent of the poll respondents stated that the ingredients in these types of foods should be made known. Just Label It, an organization with a belief that people have the right to know what exactly is in the foods they consume, has campaigned vigorously to garner support and have their voices heard by the Food and Drug Administration. "Without labeling of GE foods, we cannot make informed choices about our food," according to the Just Label It website. Currently in his fourth term, Santa Monica Councilmember Kevin McKeown successfully proposed a ban in 2005 on all genetically modified products in the Santa Monica community gardens. "The labeling I believe consumers must

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Arlene Karno Corsair Heirloom seeds are used for planting at the Organic Learning Garden at Santa Monica College. These seeds are over fifty years old and are not genetically engineered.

have to make informed decisions cannot be implemented at the local level. State or national action is needed," said McKeown in an email. The organization Just Label It has drawn up a legal petition aimed toward the FDA, "on the premise that people have a right to know what is in their food, and to give consumers not only a voice, but a choice in how they can take action." Other students at SMC have different views. "I personally don't care, but at the same time I understand why people would want to know what's being done to their food," said Joshua Barrientos. "At my work, I sometimes get customers who ask what kinds of ingredients are in the foods they order. A lot of people care." Despite the changes that these engineered foods go through, research has not yielded data showing that these foods are any less safe than foods grown by traditional

methods. "The U.S. Department of Agriculture has deemed GMOs safe, whereas Europe, Australia and Japan do not allow them," said Richwine. "There is no concrete evidence that there is any nutritional difference in a GMO." But the debate over this topic is far from over. While labeling is not mandatory at this time, there are options for students to reduce their consumption of modified foods if they feel unsure about their safety. One option is choosing organic foods and buying fruits and vegetables from a local farmers market. Last October, Santa Monica City Council joined other cities throughout California in support of Prop. 37. Since then the city has continued its move toward a more sustainable lifestyle. “The City of Santa Monica is committed to supporting sustainable, local, and organic food through its own purchasing, and by helping to make sustainable food

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more accessible to its residents,” according to the Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment’s website. It also provides a wide array of information and resources on sustainable foods such as growing produce, and workshops and classes on gardening and buying food on a budget. "Most small farmers grow organically even if they are not certified," said Richwine. "The GMOs are more common in large agricultural farms." The drawback of choosing organic foods, however, is that they are often more expensive. While this labeling issue continues to see coverage, what it ultimately comes down to is good nutrition. "Eating fewer animal foods and sweetened beverages and eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is the gold standard in good nutrition and will likely offset risks of GMOs eaten in moderation," said Richwine.


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Health + Lifestyle 5

volume 106 issue 1 • September 4, 2013 • santa monica college

Students skipping meals can lead to fatigue Lyan wong Staff Writer With numerous classes, work commitments, and extracurricular activities, compounded by the notorious Los Angeles traffic, some college students find it hard to fit a meal — notably breakfast or lunch — into their busy schedules. “I leave my house extra early and all I eat is a yogurt, and then I have a chewy bar after one of my classes,” says Santa Monica College student Keana Garcia. Garcia adds that she does not eat again until she returns home in the evening. Then, if she feels hungry, she says she will drink water. “If you keep drinking liquids, it won’t get you hungry,” says Garcia. This theory goes in line with a recent study published by USA Today, which showed a three percent decrease in school lunch participation, down from 31.9 million students, during the 2011-12 school year, to 30.9 million during the 2012-13 school year. Concurrently, participation in school breakfast increased by about two-and-ahalf percent, from 12.81 million students during the 2011-12 school year to 13.5 million in 2012-13. So, is skipping lunch in favor of breakfast a healthy habit for a student to follow? “It is good to start the day with a big breakfast,” says Yvonne Ortega, a registered dietitian and nutrition professor at Santa Monica College. “Ideally, we would like to see you not skip any meal.”

Ortega says that skipping a meal will lead to a drop in your blood glucose levels, eventually making you extremely tired and lethargic. “Being a student, you definitely need energy so your brain can think and you can concentrate,” she adds. According to a study published on in the medical journal “Metabolism,” it was found that people who skip meals have “elevated fasting glucose levels and a delayed insulin response,” which could result in diabetes if continued in the long-term. The goal, Ortega says, is to eat a balanced meal of carbohydrates, fat and protein so that your glucose level remains steady. “If a person skips lunch, they will go to something for energy, like an energy drink which is full of sugar, and which causes their blood glucose levels to rise rapidly,” she says. “They are going to go to vending machines for snacks, which are probably going to be high in sugar and fat. They are not going to make good choices when they are starving.” Ortega recommends that a person eats three meals a day with one to two snacks consisting of fruits, trail mix or granola bars. These snacks are full of heart-healthy good fats, carbohydrates and fiber, which will curb hunger pangs and fuel the brain. Mohammad Alathari, a psychology major at SMC, agrees that skipping meals is not conducive for effective learning. He says that he feels really tired and is in a bad mood whenever he skips a meal. Nevertheless, skipping breakfast or lunch seems to be more of an exception than the

Jimmy Janszen Corsair Jake Leger, a second-year film student at Santa Monica College, skips most lunches on campus to save money for other expenses. Leger is able to stay full throughout the day by eating a healthy yet filling breakfast each morning before classes.

norm among SMC students. Of the 10 students randomly interviewed, only two students said they skip a meal, or go for long periods of time without food. Most of

them agree that skipping lunch or breakfast would affect their ability to concentrate and learn.

E-Cigarettes not allowed where you would expect paulina eriksson Staff Writer

Arlene Karno Corsair This battery charger, the largest component of an electronic cigarette, is a rechargeable lithium ion battery. “E-liquids” derived from extracts are used to flavor the vapor, and come in an endless variety, which can be custom blended. Other technology for e-cigarettes includes cartridges atomizers and cartomizers.

Smoke-free environments are becoming more common around town, which is one of the reasons why electronic cigarettes have become popular since the rules on the e-cigarettes’ restrictive areas have not been established. Does this mean students are allowed to use them on campus or in the cafeteria? According to Sgt. Raymond L. Bottenfield of the Santa Monica College Police Department, the same rules apply to e-cigarettes as any other tobacco products at this time. Many people who smoke e-cigarettes assume that they are allowed to use them on campus in the nonsmoking areas, but that is not the case. “We direct people using e-cigarettes to the same areas as people smoking traditional cigarettes,” Bottenfield said. Smarter, cheaper and much healthier seem to be the new advertising strategy for the new electronic cigarettes. When talking to people who smoke the electronic way, the e-cigarettes are portrayed as a better alternative to regular cigarettes. However, the health risks that e-cigarettes may pose are still unknown. E-cigarettes work a bit differently than traditional cigarettes, where the nicotine is released by burning. With e-cigarettes, heating and vaporization release the nicotine. Since the rules regarding e-cigarettes have not yet been announced to the public, and as a result of information published on retailers’ websites, e-smokers may have the impression that they have the right to use it in places where traditional cigarettes are not allowed. Mesoud Taniwal, an SMC student, is one of many who experienced this false impression, as he was asked by the police to move further away from campus while smoking his e-cigarette. “Usually I smoke here outside the campus on Pearl Street, but I have been using it on campus as well,” Taniwal said. He said that students have not reacted to it, even though it is not allowed.

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Although the risks with e-cigarettes have not been determined yet, Taniwai claimed that e-cigarettes are still healthier than traditional cigarettes because they contain less chemicals. The alternative to the burning nicotine cigarettes has allowed anti-smokers to become more accepting of e-cigarettes. Mikaela Hagstrom is a nonsmoking SMC student, who tries to keep as far away as possible from smoking areas in general. “I have always been against smokers, mostly because of the smell,” said Hagstrom. “If someone walked past me on campus, smoking a regular cigarette I would actually be bothered but if it was an e-cigarette I would think it was more OK.” The different reasons for choosing electronic before traditional differ, but the fact that they do not emit the same smoky smell as typical cigarettes is a reason for some. Oliver Gomme, a student at SMC, has been smoking for 10 years, but decided to jump on this new trend because his girlfriend dislikes the smell of smoke, and also due to health reasons. However, not everybody has become hooked on this innovation. SMC student Rosco Rolandell tried them for three months, but said it felt like smoking air. “I want the hard thing, the real deal,” Rolandell said. Another SMC student, Janisse Briseno, also gave e-cigarettes a chance but since they do not contain as much nicotine as cigarettes, she decided to go back and smoke the traditional way. Briseno said she believes that many people use e-cigarettes at the smoking areas around campus, but that regular cigarettes are still more common among SMC students. The number of people who are using e-cigarettes has notably increased recently, but not just at SMC. “It appears that e-cigarettes are more popular everywhere,” said Bottenfield.

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6 photostory

volume 104 issue 14 • DECEMBER 5, 2012 • santa monica college

A student parks her bicycle as others walk p Emilio Sedeno Corsair Students make their way to classes on Tuesday.

Fall into the new se

Arlene Karno Corsair SMC student and EcoAction Club member Ryan Duncans gives a presentation at the Organic Learning Garden at Santa Monica College on Tuesday.

Emilio Sedeno Corsair Santa Monica College students gather around the quad area to socialize before going to different classes.

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David J. Hawkins Corsair Students walk on the quad toward the library on the Santa Monica College main campus.

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volume 104 issue 14 • december 5, 2012 • santa monica college

photostory 7

David J. Hawkins Corsair past the bicycle rack on the Santa Monica College main campus on Tuesday.

emester Arlene Karno Corsair Carl Turner, 27, a physics major at Santa Monica College, participates in the free weekly folk dance classes in front of the clock tower. He partners with Sunny Moore to learn an Israeli Tango taught by SMC alumnus and dance historian James Zimmer.

David J. Hawkins Corsair Students board the Big Blue Bus at the Santa Monica College bus stop on Pico Boulevard on Tuesday.

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+ entertainment 8 arts

volume 106 issue 1 • September 4, 2013 • santa monica college

The Annual Broad Fest attracts with art and entertainment Reyna Mares Staff Writer Despite last week’s high temperatures, Saturday’s slightly overcast, breezy weather was the perfect setting for the Second Annual Broad Fest at Santa Monica College’s Performing Arts Center. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Broad Stage invited festival attendees to take part in various family-friendly activities, watch free performances, and try different food vendors. According to Eric Bloom, Broad Stage associate producer, the now traditional festival began in 2012, and was initially organized to bring attention to SMC’s new Broad Stage with an array of local performers and businesses, different genres of music and theater, projects, and organizations. “The festival went so well last year that we wanted to do it again and create a tradition for years to come,” Bloom said. This year’s performances ranged from Bollywood-styled dances by the Santa Monica-based dance company Blue13 to ensembles of eclectic marimbas. SMC’s own dance groups Global Motion and Synapse performed and promoted their upcoming shows, which will be presented the first two weeks of November at the Broad Stage. Other future events planned for the SMC

Performing Arts Center were advertised and special ticket sales were offered to festival visitors. In addition to performances on the main stage in the Plaza, the small, intimate Edye Theater was specifically for the festival revamped into a lounge to showcase jazz performers, such as the Santa Monica High School Jazz Ensemble and SMC’s own jazz band. “The Edye Theater was my favorite because I could take a break from all the exciting activities and dance performances that were going on outside in the Plaza and go to the Jazz lounge and chill,” SMC student Brianna Felhaber said. Interactive and family-friendly booths were set up around the main stage so that guests could both participate in activities and listen to performances. Airbrush and face painting were provided, as well as “real-life adventure games” such as brain teasers and puzzles, hats and other souvenirs. Guests could cool down with free locallymade snacks from Beachy Cream Organic Ice Cream and La Monarca Bakery & Cafe. Water Resources Division of the City of Santa Monica helped attendees stay hydrated with their free water stations and

Paul Alvarez Jr. Corsair Children gather around the table at the Broad Stage Second Annual Broad Fest on Sunday, playing “Stuart’s Game of Little Things,” where a blindfolded player has to try to figure out the shape drawn on his hand.

shaded areas. Among the fun activities and performances were community organizations and services such as Vision to Learn, which offered free eye exams, and the Los Angeles Library Store on Wheels, which sold books of

"The festival went so well last year that we wanted to do it again and create a tradition for years to come." –Eric Bloom different genres. For the second time at the Broad Fest, artist Erika Eiko showcased her project “The Green Heart.” Her artwork has been exhibited nationwide and internationally with the motto, “The world is listening,” and the

Santa Monica Pier continues its concert tradition

Aurelia Dumont Corsair Swing dancers Lily Matini and Chris Stewart dance together during the 29th Annual Twilight Concert Series at the Santa Monica Pier on Thursday. “I’m turning 32 today, so it’s a great way to celebrate,” said Matini.

Jeanette Zhukov Staff Writer As the hot summer nights are winding down and classes are picking up, the Santa Monica Pier continues to hold free concerts on Thursday nights.

Even in its 29th year, the Twilight Concerts at the Pier still manage to attract crowds that make their way to the weekly event. Santa Monica’s traditional concert series started on July 11 and showcases contemporary and classic music by local and national musicians every Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m.

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mission to increase more tolerance among people around the world. Members of “The Green Heart” encouraged the festival’s visitors to “write what’s in [their] heart” and posted the notes on a large canvas that was displayed

@t h e _ c o r s a i r •

in the Plaza. Eiko plans an exhibition for the stories she collected during the Broad Fest. “I came up with The Green Heart project so that others could tell their stories,” she said.

With the stage up on the Pier, audience members have the option of sitting near the stage or below on the beach, with a jumbo screen showing all of the action. The lower seating portion of the concert hosts hundreds of people bringing blankets, chairs, food and friends. But the chatter and conversations on the beach can be drowning, making the music barely audible. On the Pier, where the stage music is blaring, some attendees sing along to the lyrics while dancing. The area is scattered with vendors like Cotton On and other concert sponsors, as well as nearby eateries. But the audience is not limited to either the beach or the stage to listen to the music, as Santa Monica College student Nagar Pashmforoush discovered. “We can go on rides during the performance and still hear the music,” she said. While the talents of others are mainly what attracts Pashmforoush to the concert, the music is not the only component that brings in people of all ages. “It’s a Santa Monica event,” said SMC nursing student Justin Steinberg at the concert. “I like to show pride in my community.” The atmosphere of a community coming together also hit local Manhattan Beach lawyer and habitual concertgoer Valerie Golodnitska, who said she “likes coming here with friends after a long week of working.” The particular night of August 29 held up to the theme of Jazz and Blues as the concert took the audience through a musical trip to New Orleans. The night started off with the Venice-based bluegrass group Dustbowl Revival, then ended the night with Grammy nominee Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. While arriving early is a must in order to be anywhere near the musicians during their performances, arriving there may still take half the effort, as the concert begins during rush-hour traffic in Santa Monica. Yet there are sustainable ways of transportation for the event, such as the free bicycle parking or the various public buses that run in the Santa Monica area. With only two more concerts remaining this summer, the 29th Annual Twilight Concerts will end this year’s series on Sept. 12. /thecorsairnews •


arts + entertainment 9

volume 106 issue 1 • September 4, 2013 • santa monica college

California Open Yuval Ron Ensemble promotes peace for the Exhibition back at TAG Gallery Middle East Gintare Urbutyte Staff Writer

Nathan Berookhim Corsair A belly dancer moves to the music of the Yuval Ron Ensemble at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica on Sunday.

Alci Rengifo Staff Writer National and ethnic boundaries disappeared Sunday night at the Broad Stage when the Yuval Ron Ensemble set it alight with music that celebrated the diversity of Middle Eastern culture, while at the same time promoting a message of peace for a darkened world. The Yuval Ron Ensemble, which was featured in PBS “Holiday Celebration” and honored with the Los Angeles Treasurer’s Award, is led by award-winning composer Yuval Ron, who wrote the songs for the 2007 Oscar-winning short film, “West Bank Story.” For the Broad Stage, Ron and his ensemble brought a unique selection of music and dance that weaved together the histories of Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

tribal beats, celebrating the legendary romance between King Solomon and Queen Sheeba. “We are really this beautiful group of people that comes together for the purpose of showing that it’s possible to collaborate and create together despite all the differences,” said Karasso. From Pakistan came Sukhawat Ali Khan, a master of harmonium, vocalist and dancer, who descends from a line of musicians 700 years old. Throughout the whole performance, the music always emphasized one key message, peace and the unity of all faiths and cultures. This theme came to life when Ron called on the audience like a shaman to dance during one number. Soon the Broad turned into a temple of joyful and energetic audience members

For the eighth time, TAG Gallery hosted the annual California Open Exhibition at Bergamot Station Arts Center from Aug. 14 through Aug. 19. The competition, which is curated by a different juror each year, was founded by Valeries Mendez in 2005 and was originally limited to Californian artists, but is now a nationwide exhibition, according to Laura Korman, director of TAG Gallery. “It gives an opportunity to artists all over the U.S. to exhibit their finest work at Bergamot station,” said Korman. This year, 55 art works by 39 artists were selected for the exhibition from more than 1,400 pieces of art submitted by 508 artists. The first three winners receive cash awards of up to $1,000 for the first place, $500 for the second, and $250 for the third. This year’s juror Edward Goldman, an art critic for KCRW, NPR affiliate station and The Huffington Post, decided against the traditional ranking from first to third place. He announced two pieces “Out From the Shadows” and “Tradition’s Ghost” by Dorothy Megallon as first place, two second place winners, June Kim and Irina Daylene, and no third place. “He just loved Dorothy Magallon’s two pieces,” said Korman. “He decided that there are two second place winners; he didn’t feel one was superior to the other, so he wanted them to be tied for the second place.” Two of the three winners shared their

thoughts on their pieces. Kim’s work “Knots, Red Thread Sculpture I” follows the theme of human connection and network, which was inspired by the Chinese ancient belief that a baby is already connected to their family members by an invisible thread. The other second place, Daylene, won with her artwork “Sumo on Vacation,” which is part of Daylene’s collection of more than 14 sumo sculptures inspired by her trip to Japan, and will be showcased in Moscow in November. In addition to the three winners, Goldman announced the Valerie Mendez Memorial Award to Nicholas Fedak II for his work “Dissolving Dreamgirl” and honorable mentions to Michael Kelly for his paintings “Another Grand Bargain” and “The Speaker Has the Floor,” and to Janis Lanyi for “Industrial Revolution.” The 2013 California Open Exhibition can be viewed online on

Josefin Lindstrom Corsair The first-place art piece “Tradition’s Ghost” by Dorothy Megallon is displayed at the California Open Exhibition on Friday.





“There is always a play between darkness and light in life. We are trying to create the light; we are not fighting darkness with darkness.” –Yuval Ron Like a delicate, beautiful siren call from the depths of the earth, Ron’s music and the impressive group of eight musicians and dancers that accompany him came like a mixture of all that is spiritual, mystical and achingly romantic. Part meditation, part performance, the ensemble presented a vast canvas that included sounds from the Golden Age of Spain, Pakistan, ancient Armenia and more. Onstage, Ron reminded audience members of a time in medieval Spain when Jews and Muslims were fascinated by each other’s mysticism, while Christians became hungry for the knowledge of both cultures. The audience sat mesmerized as the whirling dervish dancer Aziz performed to an intense crescendo, or when Ron began a piece by narrating the story of an artist knocking at his beloved’s door and receiving no answer. Equally impressive was dancer Maya G. Karasso, who brought a fiery sensuality to the stage with a fervent traditional eastern dance performed to energetic music with

dancing down the aisles, in the balconies or from their seats, young and old, Arab and Jewish. For a brief moment, any cultural or ethnic lines were erased as everyone moved to the Mediterranean rhythm of the music on stage. With the Middle East being shaken by revolutions and civil wars, Ron is very clear of what artists like his ensemble have to offer. “We are the antidote; we are in darkness,” said Ron. “There is always a play between darkness and light in life. We are trying to create the light; we are not fighting the darkness with darkness.” “We bring people together, emphasize the beauty in each culture, and show respect,” he said. “We are trying to create hope.” Ron encourages the students of Santa Monica College, and youths everywhere, to become involved in bettering the world and making positive changes. “Get involved in doing good, in doing something that brings light to the world,” Ron said.

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TOGETHER WE INNOVATE L to R: Darius Riggins, Admissions & Recruitment; Patrick Tafoya, Facilities Services; Ellie Tayag, John Spoor Broome Library; Jill Leafstedt, Associate Professor of Education; Carmen Gutierrez, ‘13 Early Childhood Studies, future Credential Program student; Monica Rivas, Academic Advising; Ryan Garcia, Academic Technology Services; Lt. Mike Morris, University Police.

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10 opinion

volume 106 issue 1 • September 4, 2013 • santa monica college

Safe and sound in Santa Monica Michelle Kreel Staff Writer Santa Monica College’s reputation is under the microscope after the numerous threats and tragedies that transpired on campus this year. Within a span of a few months, talk of pepper spray evolved into a semiautomatic rifle attack, leaving five people dead. The words bomb, suicide, guns and death still ring in students’ ears. So, the question then arises, is the campus safe? First of all, no place is ever completely safe and free from threat. A cellphone can easily be stolen if left unaccompanied, a fight can break out because some guy hit on another guy’s girlfriend, or a car back into your car because the driver was tying his shoelaces instead of focusing on the road. SMC has responded quickly whenever an issue has occurred. The Santa Monica College Police Department was first on the scene when a student committed suicide.

“These are very unfortunate events that took place at SMC, but that does not mean the area is not safe.” ­– Maricel Burrios Thousands of students were evacuated when a bomb threat occurred. School was on lockdown when a student claimed he was in possession of a firearm on campus. Police shot down a gunman who went on a shooting rampage in the Santa Monica area ending on our campus. The trauma of these events has not been undermined, and support

groups have invited the community to gather together. A gathering took place on SMC’s Bundy Campus for the community to mourn the victims killed and injured. Counseling services have been readily available to those affected by these tragedies. A 24-hour hotline was set up for faculty and students. Yiwen Yang, a prospective SMC student, said he feels secure visiting campus knowing that the campus police will, as he put it, “improve their security to protect their students.” “SMC is a great college,” Yang said. “I don’t think these events will repel many students.” SMC is often touted as the number one community college in transfers to both UCLA and USC. Yang said he believes that SMC will “do everything they can to maintain the reputation they uphold.” “I believe they have done a great job in responding to the incidents and will take extra precautionary measures to keep students safe in the future,” he said. Maricel Burrios, a new international student at SMC, said that these types of events are not uncommon in her country. Major crimes are committed on a daily basis in Paraguay, and students have to constantly look out for their safety. “America is so much safer than many other countries around the world,” Burrios said. “These are very unfortunate events that took place at SMC, but that does not mean the area is not safe.” In countries like Syria, South Africa and Somalia, homicide occurs more frequently. In 2012, 100 people were killed in Syria on a daily basis, according to a Huffington Post article. Today, over a thousand bodies lie sprawled in the streets after being poisoned by gas. It is easy to fall into the mindset that Santa Monica is unsafe, and that incidents like the shooting will happen again. It is possible. Most things are possible. A hot air balloon could crash into the cafeteria tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean it will.

Staff Editorial

Damned if we do, damned if we don’t The life of the average American has become quite trivial as of late. Your neighbor asks you how your day is going and your preprogrammed response is, “Pretty good, how about yours?” The biggest dilemma most of us face on a daily basis is running late for work or school, or racing home to watch our favorite television shows. It is a rarity nowadays to have to peel yourself away from the countless distractions in society, and take a moment to discuss a global issue that could be a pivotal moment in history. However, the time for the American people to decide their fate is now. It does not matter whether you are informed about current affairs, or if you even care because the President of the United States has made up his mind. President Barack Obama has decided that the use of chemical weaponry in Syria is not acceptable, and as a result has deemed it necessary for the U.S. military to launch a “limited strike.” News of possible American aggression has sparked global controversy, causing the nations of the world to decide whether or not they are for or against the president’s proposed strike. Sen. John Kerry, who has emerged as an advocate for military action, has confirmed the evidence of chemical weapons being used on civilians. According to CNN’s website, Kerry said, “This isn’t Iraq, we’ve got the proof.” This “proof ” includes the current death toll in Syria allegedly from chemical attack, which is projected at more than 100,000 deaths. Most Americans would agree with President Obama that using chemical weapons on an unarmed or civilian population is totally inexcusable and unconscionable, but America is not a planetary protector. We all need to think of the repercussions of any strike on Syria, no matter how limited. Even Great Britain, one of our greatest allies, is not in favor of a military strike and a recent survey found that two-thirds of the British public oppose a strike. Russia, who has also played a prominent role in U.S. foreign affairs, stated there will be consequences if we do launch an attack overseas. After how things played out with Edward Snowden, this could be Russia’s second strike, and in America, it’s three strikes you’re out. According to USA Today, Obama said, “I do not foresee a scenario in which boots on the ground in Syria — American boots on the ground in Syria — would be good for America but would also be good for Syria.” Sounds like fancy politician talk, but what exactly does it mean? If there is not going to be ground personnel deployed by U.S. military, then does that mean that Obama plans to bomb the hell out of Syria? That is something that the largest-funded military in the world is very

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Illustration by Jhosef Hern Corsair

good at. Obama would not even have to leave the Oval Office to launch a couple drones at his latest problem. At the moment, Congress has not approved any military action, so Obama has no legal grounds to move forward. But that has not stopped U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and 10 other ships from sailing into the Red Sea as a preemptive move. The whole situation has turned ugly, and is on the verge of madness. It makes no sense that the leader of the free world would willingly bomb a country that has suffered tremendously at the hands of its own leaders. An eye for an eye makes the world blind, and the United States is not a global police force. I think we can all agree that using chemical weapons is not right, but launching bombs and spreading more death certainly is not the solution.

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SPorts 11

volume 106 issue 1 • September 4, 2013 • santa monica college

Lizzie Armanto: Taking skateboarding by storm David Yapkowitz Sports Editor Just as the Zephyr Team made headlines in Santa Monica decades ago, a new skateboarding sensation is taking over the seaside town. In a city with such a rich history of skateboarding, it seems only natural that it would produce Lizzie Armanto, currently one of the top female skateboarders in the world. A former Santa Monica College student, Armanto made headlines this past May when, as a first time participant, brought home a gold medal in the Women's Skateboard Park competition in the 2013 X Games in Barcelona, Spain. "I'm still taking it all in," Armanto said in a phone interview with The Corsair. "I feel like I didn't change personally at all. I worked for it." Not only was Armanto a newcomer to the X Games, but the competition she participated in was making its debut as well. "It was kind of surreal, to get to go to another country," said Armanto. "It was very cool to be a part of an event this big with media coverage and hype." The Women's Skateboard Park contest is a competition in which skaters blend elements of bowl skating, park skating, and street skating. Armanto finished first with a score of 76 points, edging out fellow American Alana Smith who finished with 70 points. Although she has become quite a celebrity in the skateboarding community, Armanto attributes her rise to good, old-fashioned hard work that began by chance five years ago. "My little brother wanted to try out a local skate park, so I went with him and I've done it ever since," said Armanto. Skateboarding has traditionally been a male-dominated sport, and Armanto is helping break down the gender barriers. She has been described as "revolutionizing" women's skateboarding, a label that she is not overly fond of.

"It's just strange to hear people say stuff like that," said Armanto. "It's flattering, but I just want to be normal. There's a lot of pressure. I feel like I have my own expectations to worry about, let alone other people's." In addition to helping uplift women's skateboarding, Armanto is also working closely with an organization by the name of Step Up, dedicated to developing skateboarding in other countries. "It is a lot of fun going to these countries under these pretenses with embassies," said Armanto. "I've met with

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the local skaters, made a bunch of new friends, and been able to see parts of these countries you normally wouldn't see." One of the countries that Armanto and Step Up plan to visit is Japan, a country where her Japanese class at SMC and three years of Japanese classes in high school will come in handy. While Armanto has not attended SMC in quite some time, she said she does wish to continue with school at some point, but feels that with skateboarding, she needs to strike while the iron is still hot. "Skateboarding's definitely allowed me to do what I want," said Armanto. "I want to make a career while I can. School is a priority, but it can wait to a certain degree. Skateboarding won't hold back; you can only do it for so long."

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12 sports

volume 106 issue 1 • september 4, 2013 • santa monica college

New recruits hope to deliver 3-peat for SMC football


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Ludwig Jonsson Corsair New Corsair linebacker Daveed Carter runs a drill during football practice at Corsair Field on Friday.

Trev Angone Staff Writer The Santa Monica College Corsairs football team is coming off back-to-back conference championships for the first time in decades. As they prepare to defend their title, one benefit their impressive record affords them are standout recruits — even players formerly from Division I programs. "With our recent success, word has spread how we treat guys," said head coach Gifford Lindheim. "Winning back-to-back conference championships, guys going on and doing well, word has spread it’s a good place to go." Among the Corsairs' incoming standouts

are running back Dezden Petty, offensive lineman Dontae Levingston, and linebacker Daveed Carter. Petty is no stranger to Southern California, a former star at Gardena High School. He also played quarterback before departing for the University of Washington. "I loved the University of Washington," said Petty. "While I was there, I got better and tougher as a running back." One reason for Petty’s transfer to SMC has a lot to do with his Southern California roots. "Our offensive coordinator had a lot to do with me coming to SMC," said Petty. "He was my offensive coordinator my freshman year in high school, so there was a lot of familiarity there."

Though having a Division I pedigree does have its advantages, it does not guarantee first-string-roster spots by any means. In this program, all spots are up for grabs. "We have a culture of competition," said Lindheim. "You always have to compete, though our recruits will be prominent in our rotations." Helping shore up the defensive side of the ball is Carter, a former University of Toledo linebacker. Described by his coach as being "very smart" and having a "high motor," Carter’s goals on the season are much bigger than just posting a good record. "We definitely want to win that third [conference] championship, but I really want to be a leader for this team," said Carter. "Other than that, I want to get my grades right, meet some new people and hopefully secure a scholarship." Helping clear out the gaps for the Corsairs' running game will be Levingston, an offensive lineman formerly of Southern

SMC names new athletic director Toni Marshall Staff Writer

Santa Monica College named a new athletic director this summer, Ricardo Hooper, replacing Joe Cascio who accepted a position at Long Beach Community College. Hailing from California State University, San Bernadino, Hooper emphasized how SMC was, "a new environment." "With 3,400 students, I'm really excited," said Hooper. Hooper started out as a football coach at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana. He then went into academic administration at University of Arkansas. After Arkansans, Hooper had a chance to go back to his hometown of Atlanta,

Georgia, to teach high school, but soon found himself back at the higher level. "I didn't really like high school as much as college," said Hooper. After moving around from the University of Clemson, where he served as an academic adviser, to San Jose State University as an assistant athletic director, and then to Delaware State University as a senior associate, Hooper headed back to California for good, settling in at CSUSB before arriving at SMC. Hooper is no stranger to sports, having played football in college at Clemson. "I'm excited about them all [sports], to be honest with you; my passion and purpose is to see the student-athletes compete in what they like, so I get joy from watching them do what they want to do and what they

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enjoy doing," said Hooper. Hooper said that he is thrilled to see the water polo teams perform this season, as it is only the second time in his career he has been around the sport. "At Cal State San Bernadino, it was my first exposure to water polo, and I was amazed about how difficult and how tough a context that really is," said Hooper. This is Hooper's first stint as head athletic director, overseeing all of SMC's sports. "Student athleticism teaches you so much for our community and our young people," he said. "It's a way to discipline yourselves." Hooper said that he has big plans for the athletic program. "I'd like to compete in the upper levels of the Western State Conference, and also the Football Conference Association," said @t h e _ c o r s a i r •

Methodist University. Levingston was a major recruit out of high school, and according to Lindheim, the team is "happy to have him." Levingston is optimistic about what the upcoming season holds. "The Santa Monica offense puts me in a good spot to be seen," said Levingston. "While I’m here, my main goal is to not take any plays off and finish the season as the top offensive lineman." Even though the talent these players bring to the field would seem to be their biggest attribute, Lindheim has a slightly different perspective. He is not just excited for their skills, but also their experience, and hopes for tutelage as well. “We get high level players with good knowledge that hopefully rubs off on the younger guys,” said Lindheim. The Corsairs open their season on the road against Mount San Jacinto College this Saturday at 1 p.m. Hooper. "I'd like to compete in those upper levels of conferences so I'll just have to assess where we are and make a plan about what it takes to move forward."

Mark Williams Corsair Ricardo Hooper is the new athletic director at Santa Monica College.

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