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CUESTONIAN Cougar video gamers kick back at Student Center...p.5

Volume 45, Issue 7

24-year-old supermom and daughter...p.4

The Student Voice of Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, California

April 8, 2009

Rebellious Relief

Medical cannabis debate blazes through By Nick Lakey

Photo Illustration by Spencer Wright/Cuestonian

Staff Writer

Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour and Job Fair come to SLO campus

Explore career options By Barbara Rosenblatt Staff Writer

Cuesta will host two free events where students can gain valuable career information, meet business leaders and pursue job opportunities. The Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour will be held Friday, April 24 from 3 to 7 p.m. Presented by young entrepreneurs who were highly successful before the age of 25, the tour will provide practical advice and inspiration for an entrepreneurial mindset. Designed for both emerging entrepreneurs and students of all disciplines, the tour includes keynote speakers, a workshop, a structured networking event and a panel discussion. Speakers will discuss building a personal brand, expanding a

network, defining a life vision and getting started on goals even with limited resources. “ T he pu r pos e of t he Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour is to establish a mindset of entrepreneurship and educate participants about what that means,” said Israel Dominguez, director of the Business Assistance Center. “What students don’t realize is that almost everyone will be an entrepreneur,” he said. "Auto mechanics, artists, graphic designers and electricians are all frequently in business for themselves. Whatever your interest, starting your own business is a viable career path.” The Spring 2009 Job Fair will be held Wednesday, April 29 from 10 to 2 p.m. in Room 5401. Local employers will

provide information about possible job openings, internships and career opportunities. For the first time, 45 minute workshops will be offered at the fair. Topics will include resume writing, procedures for applying for state jobs, and interview skills. Students are encouraged to bring a current resume and dress for success. Free pizza will be available for students. “In the current economy, we are finding more students losing their jobs in the community,” said Hunter Perry of the Career Connections’ office. “The Job Fair will be an opportunity to meet with local employers who have jobs available.” During t he E xtreme Entrepreneurship Tour, local Please see Explore, page 4

The silence of our meeting was broken with a knock at the door. The man standing there was tall, with a pony tail, and cleanly shaven. “That’ll be $18.75, please,” the pizza delivery man says as the smell of fresh pizza filled the air. To the delivery boy, it was just another stop but to Sarah, who has suffered from Crohn’s disease for a majority of her life, eating what she wants when she wants is a rare and celebrated occasion. Crohn’s disease is chronic inflammation along the digestive tract, typically the intestines, which makes it painful and difficult for her body to process food. Approximately 500,000 Americans have the disease according to A 20-year-old Cuesta student, Sarah, has a laundry list of side effects that started when she was a teenager. Sarah’s symptoms range from loss of appetite, to intense cramping and vomiting. Sarah has been on strong anti-inflammatory and antibiotic medications since she was 14. Many side effects from her medications, such as stunted growth, increased risk of infection, stomach ache, and fatigue, led her to explore alternative treatments. “A year ago a family member suggested I use [cannabis] to stimulate my appetite, and it worked very well,” Sarah said. Her doctor authorized the use

A novel opportunity for Cuesta students By Nick Powell Staff Writer

Julie Otsuka, author of Cuesta’s book of the year "W hen t he Emperor was Divine," will lecture on campus April 21. The event, sponsored by Cuesta Friends of the Library, will also include a reception and opportunity to meet and speak with the successful author. “I’ll be discussing the writing process as well as my family’s history,” said Otsuka, whose mother, grandmother and uncle were interned during World War II. Her novel revolves around that unique moment in American history, following an unnamed family through their ordeal in a desert internment camp. The choice to leave the characters nameless arose from

Otsuka’s desire to highlight the universal emotions fueled by injustice. “I happened to be writing about JapaneseAmericans in 1942, but it could be about any group of people,” said Otsuka. Clarina Love, a librarian and member of the academic senate, helped chose this year’s book of the year. “[The book] gives us an opportunity to learn about history and think about our current political environment,” said Love. “How do we balance individuals’ rights with the need for national security?” “We ca n’t lock people up because they scare us. It’s extremely racist,” said Otsuka. “There wasn’t a shred of evidence to link Japanese Americans to any espionage.” Her lecture won’t focus solely on history. Much of it

Julie Otsuka

will be on the writing process. She advises aspiring writers to read obsessively. “I go to my favorite café everyday to read and let things percolate before I even think about writing,” she said. Her process is twofold. First she methodically researches her subject, “then I put that in the back of my mind and focus on

the characters. I just let them tell the story.” A workshop with the author is in the works. Paul Portugese, the advising faculty member to Cuesta’s creative writing club, is pushing for an opportunity for students to meet directly with the author to discuss their own works and the business of getting published. Several book of the year events have already taken place including an origami demo, a lecture on the history of Japanese/ American baseball, and a faculty book talk. “Attendance for previous events has been outstanding,” said Love, “and people are really excited that she’s actually coming.” For more on the internment, visit

of cannabis for the treatment of her condition with promising results. “I remember dreading Thanksgiving every year, the thought of that much food made me nauseous. To me, last year was the first Thanksgiving I’ve ever had,” she said. Her mom had reservations that quickly faded when Sarah started eating more. "I want the best for my daughter, so for Sarah’s pains and worries to be over and for her to find something that works is phenomenal. My personal beliefs don’t matter if she is healthy,” she said. Although California passed a law in 1996 legalizing cannabis to treat various ailments, the Drug Enforcement Agency has prosecuted the medicinal dispensaries and the patients who benefit. Critics say shutting down dispensaries siphons government taxes on the cannabis into the bank accounts of drug dealers. As long as federal law supersedes those of the State, the legal enigma in California will continue to grow more complicated. Sarah has quarterly checkups with her doctor monitoring her condition and treatment progress. The doctor told Sarah he is happy she is getting proper nutrients through a balanced diet. Cannabis has been an integral part of Sarah maintaining her health and quality of life in the midst of a debilitating disease. Certain identifying details have been changed in the story due to the personal content reported.

INSIDE THIS EDITION Opinion & Editorial p.2

Features p.6

Features p.7

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April 8, 2009


Cougar Comments

What was your craziest spring break moment?

“I went to a party in Arizona and saw fire dancers. It got pretty crazy.”

Tristan Strong

“I got food poisoning at [a “Sitting on a bus to Humboldt “I went to Santa Barbara with “My friends and I got stranded restaurant] in San Francisco.” with a bunch of babbling a bunch of friends for in Lake San Antonio because Floatopia.” we couldn’t figure out how to hippies.” turn the boat back on.”

Miriam Gill

Age 26, Music 3rd Semester

Age 22, Theater 8th Semester

EDITORIAL As many of you are aware, our March issue featured a controversial editorial and cartoon regarding Emotional Support Dogs on campus. T he pie c e in s pired a healthy and lively debate on the Cuestonian website (, which we encourage you to view and contribute to. A number of readers have called for an apology or a retraction. While I sympathize with those of you who may have been offended, I stand behind our staff writers and defend their First Amendment right to express their views. On behalf of the Cuestonian, I thank you for your interest and opinions. Travis Bland, Editor

Cafeteria woes You may want to think twice before grabbing lunch in Cuesta’s cafeteria. In addition to too much unhealthy, dissatisfying food, the caf does not meet the health code requirements of San Luis Obispo’s Health services. Let’s begin by saying that the cafeteria does not actually have a copy of their food inspection report or a health permit posted anywhere, as the law requires.

After many phone calls, we obtained a copy from the county. The latest report stated mold and rust were found on the shelves and in the refrigerator, deli meats and cheeses weren’t cold enough, the floor tiles were in disrepair, there was no valid health permit, and thermometers were not provided for food. The cafeteria is also a pretty tough place to find food if you are vegan, vegetarian, or if you just like clear arteries and healthy teeth. Recently, the cafeteria has implemented a new rule – no backpacks allowed. So where do you put it while waiting for your sandwich? On the floor outside. This new rule was created because there were supposedly too many thefts occurring inside the cafeteria. If there are thieves among us, what is going to keep them from stealing stuff out of our backpacks that are hanging out on the floor unsupervised? As if we weren’t broke enough already, this lovely recession has left us really hurting for cash and the cafeteria’s high prices definitely aren’t helping our wallets. Here’s the solution. Save yourself some cash and a stomach ache and bring your lunch.

Cuesta College

CUESTONIAN Editorial Staff Travis Bland, Editor Dylan Baumann, Managing Editor Emily Devine, Copy Editor Spencer Wright, Photo Editor Jeremiah Lee, Online Editor Sam Nunn, Sports Editor Writing Staff Sarah Clifford, Scott Duka, Libby Engles, Clare Geraghty, Jenna Gularte, Gina Lagunas, Nick Lakey, Matt Maltbie, Tyler Moskovitz, Nick Powell, Barbara Rosenblatt, Lauren Stewart, Rebecca Wolfe Photographer Natasha Weldon

Opinions expressed in the Cuestonian are those of the newspaper staff and students and are not necessarily shared by the college staff or faculty. The Cuestonian welcomes correspondence and opinions from its readers. Letters should be neatly written or typed, and addressed “To the Editor.” Letters must also be signed. The Cuestonian reserves the right to edit submissions to fit available space. Comments? Please e-mail us at The first copy of this paper is free, and costs $1 per copy thereafter. Letters may be left at the campus mail room, or mailed to: The Cuestonian Cuesta College, P.O. Box 8106 San Luis Obispo, CA 93403-8106

Mary Dodder McCorkle, Adviser BeJae Blake, Publications’ Mgr. Jayne Poulos, Production Asst. Member Associated Collegiate Press, All-American Honors Journalism Association of Community Colleges, General Excellence California Newspaper Publishers Association

Rocky Sheffler Age 20, Accounting 5th Semester

Kim Reed Age 20, Wine/Viticulture 6th Semester

James Wagner Age 18, Drama 2nd Semester

Are tenured teachers too secure? By Nick Powell Staff Writer

Nothing ruins a good class like a bad teacher. They’re annoying, at best, and can potentially hurt GPAs and devastate self esteem. Every student asked agreed that the majority of Cuesta instructors are great, but each also had at least one horror story. Addison Grant, 18, had two. “One teacher was way too easy, and she made me buy an expensive book that I never had to open.” He accused another instructor of completely ignoring his syllabus and just making up random assignments. is a website that allows students to rank and review their teacher’s performance. As of March 25, 93 of the 351 rated teachers received a grade of only two apples out of a possible five. Those numbers are by no means scientific, but they don’t paint a pretty picture. So why aren’t bad teachers fired? After teaching for at least four years and passing a critical evaluation, instructors receive a protected status known as tenure, said Allison Merzon, president of the Cuesta College Federation of Teachers (CCFT). “Tenure developed to protect controversial publishing,” said philosophy instructor Peter Dill. Without that safety, powerful lobbyists could control the education system forcing outspoken teachers out of the classroom, said Dill.

“When abused, tenure can be a barrier to quality performance.” – Bill Snider But with tenure protected jobs, teachers don’t have much motivation to perform beyond basic standards. They must pass a three-part evaluation every three years, said Merzon, but the process has potential for manipulation. The self-evaluation portion asks teachers to name their own accomplishments and strengths, said Merzon. The second portion is a peer review in which another tenured teacher watches the evaluated one. According to article 7.4 of the faculty contract, a one week period is “scheduled for drop-in observation.” Teachers are only observed for one week every three years, and they know which week ahead of time. The third component is the anonymous student reviews. “We take student concerns very seriously and compile reoccurring complaints, unedited, for the teacher to read,” said Merzon. A peer review board analyzes the results of the entire evaluation and gives the teacher a grade. If it is “Unsatisfactory” or “Needs Improvement,” the board offers stern advice and the whole process is repeated the next semester.

“It’s meant to be supportive and instructional, not punitive,” said Merzon. Cathleen Greiner, vice president of Student Learning, was unsure how many strikes teachers get before they’re out. Article of the contract states only that “a complete evaluation cycle will be utilized until it is determined that satisfactory resolution has been achieved or an action pursuant to education code section 87660 et seq. (dismissing faculty) is instituted.” There is no concrete number of failures that warrants dismissal. The only real motivation for a teacher to do well is pride and embarrassment. “A teacher’s performance is a reflection of the mentoring process,” said Greiner. Unlike other jobs, teachers don’t receive bonuses for quality work. “There is no merit pay at Cuesta,” said Merzon. If a teacher is content with mediocrity, there’s not much that can be done. “When abused, tenure can be a barrier to quality performance,” said Snider. Discontented st udent s should meet with their teachers to address any concerns in a respectful way, said Snider. “Teachers teach because t hey love students,” sa id Merzon. “They are always trying to improve their methods and would love to get a student’s honest opinion.”



Grow green and stay lean By Dylan Baumann

Eat healthy and keep your wallet stacked with cash

Managing Editor

Propelling students to success, the transfer center has a service for everyone Staff Writer

Natasha Weldon examining new growth in an organic vegetable garden.

use for making vegetable beds because they last the longest and they don’t leech the soil with toxic chemicals that take away from organic gardening like pressure treated wood does.” Vegetable gardens are grown all year round in California. If you don’t want to do the initial physical labor yourself, there are many local landscaping businesses that offer vegetable bed services. “By paying for someone to put vegetable gardens in my yard, it stimulates the economy. Plus I benefit by having fresh vegetables for my family,” said local nurse Sue McMillan. “We can exchange vegetables with friends that have gardens if we have something they want and they have something we want.” Some popular publications that have had recent articles on growing your own veg-

etables include: USA Today, AARP, Mother Jones and Yes Magazine. According to USA Today, a non-profit organization known as the National Gardening Association, projected that the number of homes growing vegetables will jump more than 40 percent this year compared with two years ago. The article also stated that claims that with a $10 seed packet, $650 worth of vegetables can be grown under the right conditions. “Keep it organic and stay away from the sprays. When you spray you’re killing the beneficial insects,” said Marinelly. By growing organic food, you can have the satisfaction of watching it grow, eating healthier, saving money and helping the environment. Weblinks: and


Life after Cuesta By Nick Lakey

Dylan Baumann/Cuestonian

Conserve your wealth and eat fresh food for your health by growing a vegetable garden. You can eat healthy organic vegetables grown in your yard and save money by investing in vegetable beds. “There is a giant movement right now for people to self-sustain and grow their own food,” said local landscaper Christina Delekta of Earth Tenders. Vegetable gardens can be planted in the ground or in raised beds. “What you mostly see locally is raised beds because you can control the soil the best. I grow strawberries, blueberries, lettuce, spinach, garlic, basil, cilantro, parsley, sage, tomatoes, squash, beans, peas and watermelon,” said Cuesta Groundskeeper Steve Marinelly. The supplies necessary to put together a raised vegetable bed include wood, screws, soil, bird netting and seeds. The initial investment is all that is needed to have a sustainable garden that will quickly pay for itself. “With raised beds, the soil absorbs water better, they’re easier to maintain, soil quality is better, less watering is needed and there are fewer weeds. If you grow your vegetables out of the ground, you will have to use more soil amendments over time,” said Delekta. “Redwood and cedar are the best woods to

April 8, 2009

Since the 70s, the Transfer Center has been helping Cuesta students fulfill their educational goals by assisting with various aspects of the transfer process. “We invite a lot of representatives from UC and state schools to campus,” said Guadalupe Beanway, career transfer assistant. If there ever was a lifeline for students trying to make the most out of their education, the Transfer Center is paramount. There is a service for every student with interests from studying abroad to transferring to a four-year college. Tr a n s f e r A d m i s s i o n A g reement(TA A) a nd Guaranteed Transfer Option (GTO). These are just two of the many services offered by the Transfer Center geared to give Cuesta students the highest chance of educational success. A GTO is an agreement which allows a student to take community college courses with the right to transfer to a four-year once positions or money becomes available. It allows students to complete their general education and major requirements in lieu of waiting for a spot at a four-year. TA As are commitments colleges and universities make to Cuesta students meeting certain GPA and course require-

ments. If the agreed requirements are met, the student is guaranteed admission. These agreements are becoming more crucial as budget constraints force colleges to be increasingly selective about which students they accept. Currently, Cuesta can provide eligible students with agreements to 24 colleges nationwide. Students looking for a little adventure with their education are encouraged to apply for a Study Abroad Program. Imagine putting your foreign language skills to the test while exploring different cultures and societies, all while receiving your college education. Whether just completing general education or transferring to a State or UC, there is a program designed for every student. Flexible academic requirements, as well as financial aid and course transferability, make studying abroad an appealing draw. Students are encouraged to meet early with their counselors as increased applications have created a more competitive environment. Students interested in meeting with a counselor can make an appointment with the Transfer Center by calling 546-3162, or going on the Transfer Center website at carcntr/carsntr.htm.



April 8, 2009

Cuesta parent perseveres By Rebecca Wolfe

Juggling diapers with schoolwork

Staff Writer

Unopposed senator reveals his plans get a better company to bid for the contract. C: How do you plan to take ASCC Senator Josh Cuesta’s “Go Green” motto to Shepherd will be running the bank? unopposed for President on S: When that [motto] first April 22. The Cuestonian sat came out on thousands of catadown with him recently to logs it made me sick. The marfind out his plans to improve keting department came to us the college’s educational exand said, “We’ve got a bunch perience. of T-shirts if you participate Cuestonian: How do you in our ‘go green’ campaign.” I plan to make the student expewas one of the dissenters and rience better? said that being green is not Shepherd: There are a lot of creating more stuff. things that students miss out We need to live with less on at junior colleges because and be electrically efficient. All by their nature they’re not the these lawns take up thousands same as universities – less monof gallons of water. Returning ey, less big programs – so I’m the campus to a more natural trying to compensate for that. environment with natural C: How do you plan to work plants would be a on transportation issues? huge step towards S: Doing things like becoming green. creating a spot for bikElections ers to wash up after w i l l b e he ld they come to school. at t he Nor t h Also, we’ve been lookCounty Campus ing into a carpool on April 21 from program. I’m working 10:30 a.m. to with the RTA to get 6:30 p.m. in the increased coverage of Allied Health Math routes and more frequent and Science building routes. Josh Shepherd and at the SLO camC: W hat about the pus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in cafeteria? front of the High Tech Center. S: I think their contract is To read full statements up this year so I believe they from candidates you can visit will probably be willing to our website at cuestonian.cueswork with us to accommodate For more information better food. We also have, in visit our grasps, the opportunity to By Jeremiah Lee Online Editor

Photo Courtesy of Kimberly Schwab

Balancing a full load of classes while caring for your two-year-old daughter is no easy feat. Yet for Kimberly Schwab, a third-year Cuesta student and the president of the Student Democratic Club, “being a single mom is just fine.” Schwab became pregnant with her daughter, Kylie, at age 21. Two weeks later, the man who fathered her child walked out on her. He has never seen his daughter nor provided any help in supporting her. Schwab met Kylie’s father while attending Western Oregon University. After a year together, he convinced her to leave school and move to Georgia to be with him. Schwab’s parents say they recognized from day one that the young man was a bad match for her. When her father, Patrick Schwab, was offered a job as the director of Academic Support/DSPS at Cuesta, they pleaded with their daughter to move with them to San Luis Obispo. “Once I got the strength to leave him and come to California, I was so proud of myself,” Schwab said. “Well, we made up and I let him move out here to be with me. But once he found out I was pregnant, he left for good.” As someone who had struggled with depression during


Kimberly Schwab, 24, proudly holds her daughter Kylie.

her teenage years, Schwab was at great risk of suffering from severe postpartum depression. Instead, she found that her despondency was lifted with the birth of her daughter. “Kylie makes me smile so much there isn’t any time to be sad when you’re around her,” said Schwab. “[Having a daughter] has made me a more honest and more mature person. I became more comfortable with myself and better able to stand up for myself,” Schwab said. Kimberly is currently living with her parents so that she can attend Cuesta fulltime. She says that without her parents help and support, she would be “a struggling

single mom barely holding onto a minimum wage job.” Schwab eventually plans to transfer to a four-year college in Oregon, where she will double major in Child Development and Psychology. She hopes to become either an elementary or middle school counselor. Handling the joint pressures of school and motherhood has not always been a walk in the park for Schwab. Right after Kylie was born, Schwab failed two semesters in a row and ended up on double dismissal. “Finally two years later, I’m passing each semester and I’m enjoying school again,” Schwab said.

Explore from page 1 companies participating will include Amy Peter Studios, Mustang Village, Absolute Electric and Solar, Central Coast United for Change, and Quixotic Flowers. Registration for the tour is required at www.extremetour. org/cuestacollege. More information is available from Israel Dominguez at 546-3100, 2255 or israel_dominguez@cuesta. edu. Local employers at the Job Fair will include American Genera l Media, Pediatric Services, Atascadero State Hospital, San Luis Personnel Services, City of San Luis Obispo, Campfire USA Central Coast Council, Economic Opportunity Commission of San Luis Obispo County and KPMR/ Univision. More information about the fair is available at 546-3204 or Ariel Moodie, 24, and A.J. Yager, 27, are two of the young entrepreneurs speaking at the tour. Moodie started his first business while in college. He is a lecturer at Binghamton University. He has spoken to over 30,000 students at 180 schools. Yager has been involved in numerous business ventures. Both Business Week and Youngbiz magazines have recognized him as a top young entrepreneur.

Kicking HIV out Discoveries may have HIV on the run By Libby Engles Staff Writer

A 42-year-old man has shown no detectable HIV in his body two years after a stem cell bone marrow transplant performed in Charite Universitatsmedizin Berlin in Germany, according to a published report in the New England Journal of Medicine. The donor was k nown to have a rare genetic mutation that naturally wards off the HIV virus from white bloods cells. According to BBC, roughly one in 1,000 Europeans and Americans have the inherited gene mutation. The American man, living in Germany, after being HIV positive for over a decade, reported that he was not using any antiretroviral medication, and had no symptoms of the virus he previously displayed. However, many doctors realize that this extreme surgery is unlikely to help the vast majority of the HIV/AIDs infected population. Dr. Jay Levy, a professor at the University of California San Francisco, shared his thoughts in an editorial accompanying the study. “About a third of the people die [during such transplants], so it’s just too much of a risk,” he stated. “A more logical,

and potentially safer approach would be to develop some type of CCR5-disabling gene therapy or treatment that could be directly injected into the body.” More recent discoveries include University of Texas’ medical researcher’s use of the “Achilles Heel” of HIV. While many of the virus’ proteins change repeatedly to survive, there is one weakness in a small stretch of amino acids that never adapts, so it can attach to the host cells. Paul Sudhir, Ph.D. of the Univ. of Texas, is heading further research engineering abyzmes, antibodies that can attack the HIV cell in a precise way. “Unlike the changeable regions of its envelope, HIV needs at least one region that must remain constant to attach to cells. If this region changes, HIV cannot infect cells,” Paul explained. Currently the most popular HIV treatment is highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART). These drugs are known to be notoriously expensive, with the risk of side effects because of toxicity. Although many scientists are reluctant to say the word ‘cure’, they are hopeful that they are on the right path to learn HIV’s weakness.



Go get your club on

By Clare Geraghty • Staff Writer Wednesday, April 15, 7 p.m. $18 in adv., $20 at door (18+) Collie Buddz & The New Kingston Band (Reggae) SLO Downtown Brew

Staff Writer

Saturday, April 25 8 p.m. $15 in adv., $17 at door (18+) Afroman (Rap) SLO Downtown Brew Friday, May 1, 7:30 p.m. $7 students, $10 general Altered. Jazz Fusion starring Jeff Miley SLO Campus, Music Building Room 7160 Friday, May 8, 7:30 p.m. $7 students, $10 general Cuesta Choirs St. Timonthy’s Church 962 Piney Way, Morro Boy

Jenna Gularte/Cuestonian

Saturday, May 9, 8 p.m. $8 in adv., $10 at door (21+) Damon Castillo (California Rock/Funk/Soul) SLO Downtown Brew Saturday, May 9, 7:30 p.m. $7 students, $10 general Jazz Ensembles SLO Campus, Student Conference Center, Building 5401

Student Kathleen Smith hopes to start a fashion club.

Corrections: In last monthʼs issue, student fashion designer Kristina Michelle Gonzalezʼs last name was omitted. Also, student Travis Gonzalesʼ last name was spelled incorrectly.

Monday, May 11, 7:30 p.m. $7 students, $10 general Cuesta College Night Band SLO Campus, Student Conference Center, Building 5401

Violence reduced by violence Video gameplay may decrease aggression

By Jayne Poulos Production Assist.

Excelling video game technology may be leading the way to reducing real-life crime among youth. A study conducted in Britain claims that playing violent video games may relax a person and reduce any anger the individual is feeling. Jane Barnett and psychologists at Middlesex University conducted the study with 292 male and female online “World of Warcraft” gamers, between 12 and 83 years old. T he tea m presented their findings at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference in Dublin. “There were actually higher levels of relaxation before and after playing the game as opposed to experiencing anger, but


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Jenna Gularte Cuesta student, Kathleen Smith, hopes to develop a fashion club that will be an educational experience where anyone can walk away and feel empowered as a student. “Throughout the years, I have found a deeper meaning in fashion, visualizing its true art-form and seeing it as a way of expressing oneself like messages without speaking,” Smith said. Smith, an enrichment student at Templeton Independent Studies and part-time student at Cuesta, plans to utilize scholarship opportunities, contests involving illustration, design, visual merchandising, photography, and other aspects of Cuesta’s fashion department. Another facet of the club would be fashion shows as a means for students to showcase their designs. Fashion student, Samantha McDonald, thinks that a fashion club could give the fashion department more recognition. “So many people don’t even know that Cuesta has a fashion program and I would like to help change that,” said McDonald. Before her vision can become a reality, Smith must undergo the club creation process. This requires the club founder to find advisers, club members and officers before the proposal is sent to the Student Senate for approval. Bylaws for the club’s access to ASCC funding have to be made and a sample of the club’s constitution has to be prepared.

April 8, 2009

this did very much depend on personality type,” said Barnett. Video game violence has not been hard linked to physical aggression said Patrick Kiekegaard from the University of Essex. “Violent crime, particularly among the young, has decreased dramatically since the early 1990s,” said Kiekegaard. While crime has decreased, video game use and popularity has increased dramatically. Most studies conducted previously have claimed to provide a link between violent video games and childhood aggression. Kiekegaard states however that he found inherent biases in many of the research studies he reviewed and in the media as well. Dr. L. Rowell Huesmann, director of t he Resea rch Center for Group Dynamics

at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research said, “Once you’re emotionally numb to violence, it’s much easier to engage in violence.” However, Dr. Cheryl K. Olson, co-director of the Center for Mental Health and the Media at Massachusetts General Hospital disagreed by explaining to CNN, “I think there may well be problems with some kinds of violent video games for some kinds of kids. We may find things we should be worried about, but right now we don’t know enough.” Researchers are conflicted over this controversial subject, but the question remains: do children develop aggressive behavior from playing violent video games or do more aggressive children desire to play the games? The jury is still out.

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Andrew Plourde (left) and Josh Shepherd (right) take a break between classes to kick back and battle to the death.

Natasha Weldon/Cuestonian


April 8, 2009


Celebrate our planet

Courtesy of Monterey Bay Aquarium


Our campus is joining the party along with SLO By Natasha Weldon

Courtesy of Six Flags

Staff Writer

Breaking on a budget Rough economic times call for cheap spring break travel Staff Writer

Make your own backyard your spring break destination. Other people do it, why can’t you? Vacationers from the Bay Area and Los Angeles often use the Central Coast as a regional weekend getaway and for frugal Cuestonians, a local vacation is a spring break solution.

Destination within 15 miles With miles of trails, beautiful beaches, stunning hills and hidden secrets, Montana De Oro State Park is a must see here on the Central Coast. If you have some spare time take a drive, a hike, or just a stroll along the beach. This park has something for everyone and the best part about it is that it won’t cost a penny. Just a short trip from your front door, Montana De Oro State Park is a great cheap place to visit for a fun time in the great outdoors. For more info visit: www.

Destinations within 150 miles

Things to do for under $75

Just over 140 miles away (about a two hour drive) lies Monterey Bay and it can be turned into an afternoon or a weekend adventure depending on your budget. Popular attractions include Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, and whalewatching tours. Monterey can be an expensive place to visit but if you watch your dollars by camping instead of staying in a hotel, using coupons, and taking advantage of free activities like going to the beach, it can be a great semi-local adventure spot. For a list of campgrounds in the area visit: www.explorer1. com/monterey/camping.htm Ask for the student discount when buying tickets or go to this link for a $2 off coupon for visits to the Monterey Bay Aquarium: modules/funsports.aspx.

When thinking of theme parks your mind probably goes straight to Disneyland. But hanging out with Mickey could cost you an arm and a leg. However Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Superman are great characters too and for a limited time only you can spend a day with them at Six Flags Magic Mountain for $39.99. W hat Magic Mountain lacks in Disney mystique and novelty, it makes up for in thrills. Thrilling roller coasters like Goliath and Superman are the big draws. The gas to get you to and from Magic Mountain will run about $30-35(Mapquest estimations) which would make this excursion cost about $75 and if you bring friends along to share the cost of gas, you may be able to get something to eat at the park. For information and tickets visit:

Alice Robertson (left) and Heather Weltner (right) make plans for Earth Day.

Natasha Weldon/Cuestonian

By Matt Maltbie

It is almost time to light the candles on the cake in celebration of life on our planet. Take a few minutes to lie in the grass and gander at the great accomplishments of the world. Citizens of over 100 countries gather on Earth Day to dance upon Earth’s surface. Earth day was born during a time of harsh smog and pollution, to protect the earth from harm. The Env ironmenta l Protection Agency offers helpful advice on where to bring used oil to tips on decreasing the cost of gas bills. San Luis Obispo’s 19th annual Earth Day event will be Saturday, April 18 from 11 to 5 p.m. in the Mission Plaza. The event is free in order to engage everyone and increase awareness. The Earth Day Alliance is inviting green oriented businesses, food vendors, govern-

ment agencies, health practitioners, teachers, students, musicians and volunteers to create a Green Living Expo. In the past, over 1,000 people have come to the Green Living Expo to learn about earth practices, alternative energy sources, earth friendly products, and zero waste solutions. There will be healthy meals and beverages, music and dancing, guest speakers, and free give-a-ways and drawings. The campus will be host to some fun activities as well. For instance, in the courtyard on campus, the Grassroots club will be having trivia games, raising styrofoam awareness, and hosting a raffle. In addition, a two man band is set to play and the Drama club is putting on a skit for students to enjoy. The events take place on April 18. For more information visit



April 8, 2009


Your couch or mine? connects world travelers By Lauren Stewart

Tyler Moskovitz/Cuestonian

Staff Writer

They run for your money The track and field team raises funds for their new speakers and electronics By Tyler Moskovitz Staff Writer

Six years ago, Jani Johnson, coach for Cuesta College’s Track and Field Team, started a fundraiser that few thought would become what it is today. “Without it, I don’t think we would be able to run the track program,” said Johnson. City to the Sea is a half marathon the track team puts on in October of every year to raise money for their events. For the past two years, the team has been using this fundraiser to pay for new portable speakers and the installation of electricity for the track itself. About $35,000 of fundraising and a $15,000 foundation donation later, the team has

already purchased the speakers and is ready to begin installation for the electricity to the track. “The installation will take three days of labor because they have to run a conduit to the track,” said Terry Reece, head of maintenance and ground operations. “Jani Johnson has been raising money for years to start funding for power out at the track, fixing an issue for both the track team and maintenance,” said Reece. Though the speakers seem minor, the track team is going to make good use of them. “The speakers will allow the track team to be able to effectively produce track meets

by now being able to announce current and upcoming races as well as the results of events,” said Johnson. The team also has events making use of the speakers planned to help raise funds for different charities. The first is a major walkathon May 1 from 2 to 5 p.m. on Cuesta’s track. Ninety percent of the money raised at the walkathon is for the employee wellness program, while the other 10 percent is being raised for the American Cancer Society. One week later, May 8, the track team will help put on the local Special Olympics on the track, again making use of the electricity for refreshments and announcements.

Below, Cuesta student Chris Cornea surfs a couch and catches a nap.

Spencer Wright/Cuestonian

Runners, from left, Charlie Ashley, Luke Snyder and Shane Dougherty practice for their upcoming track meet.

Barren bank accounts have left many students feeling underwhelmed about their spring break possibilities. is out to prove that spending a ton of money is not a prerequisite to feeling well-traveled. “Joining the website made me realize that I can go anywhere and if I can’t, then the world can come to me,” said Cuesta student and couch surfer Bree Elza. Creating a profile on the site opens doors to traveling, hosting or just meeting a traveler up for a drink. “It’s about meeting local people, seeing other cultures and talking to people with other ideas,” said Eveline Langereis, a surfer from Amsterdam visiting San Luis Obispo via CouchSurfing. San Luis Obispo based student Ben Peters wanted to continue to travel but was unable to because of school.

“I thought what’s the closest I can get to traveling without going any where?” said Peters. “It’s hosting people from other countries.” Introducing foreign visitors to your life creates an experience much like traveling. “Traveling is about seeing things in a different way and going outside of my comfort zone. Hosting gives me that,” said David Braun, a San Luis Obispo CouchSurfing member. Members create detailed profiles including pictures, information and references from other surfers. Paying the one time fee of $25 allows a surfer’s name and physical address to be verified. “I only meet people through CS if they have a detailed profile,” said Elza. “That way I can learn about them, their travels and check out their references before I commit.” A free, safe and alternative way to travel exemplifies CouchSurfing’s motto that the world is smaller than we think.



April 8, 2009


Cuesta stays on top of WSC standings

Lauren Vancil makes contact and begins to sprint down the baseline in the recent game against Allan Hancock College.

Softball battles rival By Nick Lakey Staff Writer

Pitching ace Stacie Salazar and the women’s softball team faced off against local rivals the Allan Hancock College Bulldogs at Cuesta Field. The Cougars fell short of the victory 5-2 despite Stacie Salazar’s impressive outing. Salazar came out of the gates sharp, getting ahead in the count with the first two batters. She fell behind 2-1 to Hancock pitcher Jessica Garcia, and Garcia took her over the fence for a solo home run. Alyssa Ray then hit a double off the outfield fence. Salazar had enough at this point, striking out four Bulldogs in a row.

Softball takes on local foe Allan Hancock College Salazar struck out eight Hancock batters in just over five innings and only let up two earned runs before heading back to the bullpen. Once Salazar left the game the Bulldog offense found life, scoring a total of four runs in the sixth inning off the Cougar bullpen. The Cougars got onto the board in the bottom half of the inning with their only two runs of the game. One run off Alyssa Giordanengo RBI double, and

another from a sacrifice fly hit by Lauren Vancil. Closer Chelsea Rodriguez finally quieted the Hancock bats when she came in the game in the late sixth and closed the game. She struck out two, and allowed no runs or hits. The Cougars never really got into offensive rhythm, and the bullpen collapse in the sixth just put the game out of reach despite late efforts to even things up by the Cougars. The Cougars committed 3 errors in the 5-2 loss. The Cougars next host West Hills College for a double header April 18 at Cuesta Field, the first game begins at noon.

Pepsi honors Cuesta teams Basketball, Cross-Country and Track honored for GPA

This week the California Community College Athletic Association and PepsiCola Company announced that Cuesta topped the state with three teams honored as 200708 Pepsi Scholar Teams. Women’s cross country was honored because of its 3.48 GPA. The women’s track and field team posted a team GPA of 3.23 and was also honored for second straight year.

The men’s basketball team was honored for the second year in a row because the team had a 3.04 grade-point average. Cuesta led all schools with three programs being named California Community College Athletic Association/Pepsi Scholar Teams. More than 1,000 teams compete for this honor. Cuesta was one of 107 schools recognized.

SPORTS CALENDAR Baseball Sat. 4/18 Sat. 4/25 Tues. 4/28 Fri. 5/1 Fri. 5/8-9 Fri. 5/15

Santa Barbara City College Oxnard College Allan Hancock College Santa Barbara City College So Cal Play-offs So Cal Super Regionals

2:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. 1 p.m. 2:30 p.m. TBA TBA

Softball Sat. 4/18

West Hills College (DH)

Noon/2:00 p.m.

Swimming/Diving 4/16-18 4/23-25

WSC Swim Championships State Championships

All Day All Day

Women’s Tennis 4/17-18 4/23-27 4/30-5/2 5/7-9

WSC Championships Ojai Tournament So Cal Championships State Championships

All Day All Day TBA TBA

All events listed are at home. For complete schedules of all sports, check online at

Cuesta’s athletic teams are annually ranked among the best academic programs in the state. This year’s honorees join the dozen teams honored as Pepsi Scholar teams over the past decade. Cuesta can already count on one nomination for next year, women’s cross-country. The women’s cross-country team accumulated a 3.30 GPA for the 2008 season and will be nominated again this spring.

Sports Editor

The baseball team lost and regained their one-game lead in WSC standings this week. The Cougars fell into a tie with local rival, Santa Maria’s Allan Hancock, after falling to them earlier in the week. The two teams combined for 25 hits and 26 runs in a 1511 battle that lead to a Cougar loss. Cuesta relief pitcher Richie Mirowski was awarded the loss. He was one of six pitchers in the Cuesta bullpen dispensed to weather the Allan Hancock offensive storm. The Cougars were on the road for the Thursday game against Moorpark and behind Ace Joey Parsons. Parsons pitched a complete game to pick up his fifth win of the

season in a 10-1 thrashing of the Raiders. The Couga rs beat of f Moorpark to maintain the tie atop the WSC standings. Starter Todd Simko picked up his second consecutive win in a 12-9 victory at home. The Cougars currently sit at 13-10 overall and are leading the WSC with a 6-2 conference record. Cuesta second baseman Ryan Aguayo tops the team hitting statistics with a .514 average in the first eight conference games. Aguayo plays his role to perfection and has scored 15 times in those eight games. He leads the Cougars with 28 runs on the season. He posts a .367 overall batting average and is third on the team in RBIs and slugging percentage with 18 RBI and .533.

Below, Outfielder Austin Cunnigham, 2, hustles through the bag at first.

Natasha Weldon/Cuestonian

Natasha Weldon/Cuestonain

By Sam Nunn

Women’s Tennis is perfect

The women’s tennis team moved to 10-0 overall after taking down Bakersfield in a WSC conference match 7-2. The Cougars are now 9-0 in conference play and are all-alone in first-place. The win was their 21 consecutive conference win. This leaves them hot on the

trail of the Cuesta record of 27 consecutive conference wins, which was set over a three year span from 1996-1999. The Cougars are now in position to make their reservations for the playoffs. One more win will clinch a playoff birth and a chance at the conference title.

Academic student-athletes recognized

Sixty-one athletes have risen to the top of Cuesta College’s 2008 fall scholar-athlete list, including several repeat honorees. The success of Cuesta student athletes is significant,because 48 percent, almost half of Cuesta College athletes, made the honor roll and earned All Western State Conference Academic Team status. Team GPAs W Cross Country 3.301 M Water Polo 2.981 M Cross Country 2.933 W Soccer 2.916 W Water Polo 2.903 M Basketball 2.895 Wrestling 2.713 W Volleyball 2.692 W Basketball 2.684 Fall Semester  Athletic Honor Roll Farida Akbar- CC Spencer Anderson-Wrestling Becca Avila-Soccer

Tammy Barksdale-Water Polo Amanda Borges- Soccer Hannah Buhrmann- CC Jonathan Campbell- CC Eric Cavanaugh-Water Polo Sarah Cummings-Water Polo Patrick Deckel-Water Polo Alex Engel-Basketball Julie English-Volleyball Majida Fazal- CC Valerie Gee-Basketball Erin Gray-Water Polo Kathleen Grey- CC Kari Gunderson-CC Goldie Haddad- Soccer Phillip Jimenez- Basketball Devon Kaneko- Wrestling Kyle Klassen- Water Polo Shelby Komada- Water Polo Ralph Lee- Wrestling Jennifer Love- CC Tim Love- Water Polo Vy Lu- Volleyball Jake Mark- Wrestling Thomas Martin- Water Polo Lauren Maurer- Basketball Kyle Maynes- Cross Country Robbie McDaniel- Basketball Kelsey McDonald- Volleyball

Theresa McKenzie- Soccer Ashley McLachlan- Soccer Emily Miller- CC Jehan Mirzaei- CC Frank Muller- Basketball Esther Neel- Soccer Katie Nellesen- Basketball Lindsay Nichols- CC Casey Page- Volleyball Jackie Perrine- Water Polo Lacey O’ Connor- CC Jordan Peterson- Basketball Janelle Perry- CC Anders Raine- CC Andrew Rapoport- CC Blake Richesin- Water Polo Jordan Ritchie- Basketball Nestor Ruelas- Wrestling Krystine Sargent- Water Polo Corinne Story- Soccer Kevin Tatro- Water Polo Joey Walczuk- Wrestling Miles Wallace- Wrestling Ryan Wallace- Wrestling Karl Weit- Water Polo Brecon Welton- CC Petter Wenehult- Basketball Blake Willard- Wrestling Kelsey Yett- Soccer

Cuestonian Volume 45 Issue 7  
Cuestonian Volume 45 Issue 7  

Cuestonian Volume 45 Issue 7