Libation recipes to find your merriment
Local organization provides masks to homeless
The Collegian FEATURES, PAGE 4
ENTERTAINMENT, PAGE 6
Issue 6 • Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 •
HOLIDAYS OF A DIFFERENT HUE With COVID-19 cases spiking across the region, California is preparing for a season under restrictions BY DAVID VICTOR Senior Staff Writer
With a recent spike in cases of COVID-19 across the state, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have implemented stricter guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus — and more may be on the way. “Reducing movement and mixing of individual Californians is critical to decreasing transmission, hospitalizations and deaths,” said State Public Health Officer Erica Pan in a Nov. 19 press release from the CDPH addressing the importance of slowing the disease’s spread. The agency implemented a curfew and issued new guidelines for gatherings and travel in response to the rising rate of transmission in the state. The C D P H repor ted a new
MORE ON COVID RESTRICTIONS The California Department of Public Health recommends the following for social distancing for the holiday season: • Don’t attend gatherings if feeling sick • Limit gatherings to a maximum of two hours • People in high-risk group discouraged from attending gatherings • Singing, chanting and shouting discouraged at gatherings For more information on the new guidelines from the CDPH, visit the webpage at https://bit.ly/2VVq56M.
record of 18,350 daily cases on Nov. 25, later shattered by another new record of 20,759 daily cases reported on Dec. 2. The CDPH announced a limited stay-at-home order in an effort to reduce non-essential activities. This order took MORE ONLINE effect on Nov. 21 and Read stories about holiday implements a curfew travel and gatherings at from 10 p.m. to 5 p.m. deltacollegian.net. for counties currently in the purple tier, including San Joaquin, which returned to this tier on Nov. 17. During the curfew, activities outside the household must cease unless they are considered essential, according to the press release. The CDPH argues that activities taking place during these hours are mostly non-essential. “In particular, activities conducted during 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. are often non-essential and more likely related to social activities and gatherings that have a higher likelihood of leading to reduced inhibition and reduced likelihood to adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures,” said Pan in a Nov. 19 press release from the CDPH. This curfew will remain in effect for counties in the purple tier until Dec. 21., but there’s a possibility this order may be extended if the rate of infection doesn’t slow. In a press release from the Governor’s Office of California, Newsom addressed the importance of acting quickly to stop the rapid spread of the virus. “The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic and the next several days and weeks will be crucial to stop the surge. We are sounding the alarm,” said Newsom. “It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and hospitalizations before the death count surges. We’ve done it before and we must do it again.” The CDPH announced on Dec. 4 that
GRAPHIC FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
See PURPLE, page 8
Students dissatisfied with counseling experiences BY HANNAH WORKMAN Editor in Chief
Over the course of the Fall 2020 semester, Delta College students reported having a difficult time receiving assistance from the Counseling Center, errors made by counselors on education plans and trouble getting in contact with department personnel. While some believe difficulties getting in touch with counseling personnel could be due to the center’s struggle to transition to providing remote services, student Samantha Brigance said her issues with counseling predated the pandemic. Brigance said she has made several attempts to book
counseling appointments for the past year and a half, but has had no success. “Trying to get in to see a counselor is crazy,” Brigance said. “I don’t even contact Delta counselors anymore.” Brigance said when she would call the center before the pandemic, she was told she either needed to book an appointment online or walk-in. “My counselor wasn’t even listed as an option online,” Brigance said. She said the lack of assistance prompted her to reach out to the counseling office at University of the Pacific, the institution she intends to transfer to. Brigance said the Pacific
counselor who evaluated her transcript found flaws within her original education plan. “They couldn’t believe they were making me take the classes I was taking,” Brigance said. “They said a lot of classes were redundant because no matter if I took them at Delta or Pacific, I would still have to repeat them.” Brigance said the Pacific counselor was also able to cross off a couple of Delta classes she didn’t need to take. She now follows the education plan Pacific provided her to ensure she can successfully transfer. “I have gotten more support from Pacific than I have at Delta,” Brigance said. “They have always gotten me in
within a couple days after calling and asking questions.” Dr. Angela Tos, dean of Student Enrollment Services and Development, said Delta has a committee comprised of faculty and staff that meets regularly to discuss how appointments are made and screened to make sure students are scheduled to see the counselor who is going to be able to serve them best based upon their needs. Tos said the committee was formed this semester to troubleshoot any issues regarding remote services that arise as a result of the pandemic and to improve student experience. “We care about students
and want to ensure they have a positive experience and receive accurate information in all of their interactions with student services,” Tos said. “If students have an unsatisfactory experience, we want them to let us know so that we can try to make things right.” Student Alyson Gregg has had a similar experience as Brigance. “I met with a Delta counselor at the beginning of the semester and got an education plan, then a month later met with a counselor at the university I’m intending on transferring to, and that counselor threw out the entire education
See COUNSELING, page 8
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2 OPINION 121120
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DON’T LET GUARD DOWN FOR HOLIDAYS BY ROBYN JONES
s the weather gets colder and the houses get warmer friendly faces begin to show around. Buying gifts and going out is a joyous time for everyone, even criminals. With the holidays settled in this winter all types of criminals are on high alert. More scams, kidnapping, and theft are coming and we need to be aware of it. “Personal larcenies are the crime that’s about 22 percent higher in December than on average… those do have a bit of a peak in December,” said Dr. Janet Laurenstein, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri, in an interview with Vice, a Canadian-American news and lifestyle magazine. Personal larcenies consist of, “unlawful taking of property, other than cars, from the possession of another person by stealth, without force or deceit, [including] pick-pocketing, theft from motor vehicles, non-forcible purse snatching,” Laurenstein continued. In most circumstances crimes are committed when you are at your most vulnerable. Looking down at your phone in the parking lot, looking for your keys after you leave a populated area, and having headphones in; not paying attention to the surrounding area. So how do we stay safe during the holidays, when there’s so much to watch out for? Think smarter not harder. If you feel unsafe walking to your car at night most public establishments will have a security escort you out at your request, invest in personal secu-
rity items that can help you at any time of need, and always share your location with family and friends. With the amount of scam related occurrences the Northern Territory Government has released a few recent scams you should watch out for: • COVID-19 scams • False billings • Investment scams • Pyramid schemes • Threats and extortion In order to protect yourself from these scams the NTG has recommended that you stay suspicious of unexpected phone calls, and text messages. Remember banks will never ask for personal information through email, and never give out money to suspicious emails or people.
ILLUSTRATION BY ROBYN JONES
Winter blues that flew in a little too soon Staying home, news COVID-19 restrictions becoming harder during cold months BY KIMBERLY BENAVIDES Senior Staff Writer
inter has never been colder than it is now COVID-19 has brought disappointment to everything typically linked to the holidays, including community gatherings, traveling to see family, and socializing. White House advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Americans should brace for fall and winter when the coronavirus is expected to surge due to cold weather and increased time indoors. In California, new stay-at-home orders have gone into effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19, with the San Joaquin Valley region dipping below the 15 percent threshold as of late last week, enacting the most recent order locally. The COVID-19 pandemic is requiring families to adjust the way they celebrate, as public health experts warn that small household gatherings may be a key reason cases have recently surged nationally. The Dec. 3 regional stay at home order prohibits “all gatherings with members of other households.” This global pandemic was “easy” during the spring and summer months. Outdoor gatherings were recommended, as they were considered safer than indoor ones. As it got colder, most of the country has had to contend with the reality that colder tempera-
tures will make getting together even harder. Juan Chavez, a former Delta College student, said he likes to go out during winter. “Winter wonderland, Six Flags, amusement parks with rides, and we can’t go out as often as we used to. This winter is different, and we are limited in our lives,” said Chavez. We’re now adjusting, at least in most of the U.S. The basics of COVID-19 are the more we have contact with each other, the more transmission we are going to see. So, we need to think creatively and be diligent about trying to maintain social distance and mask-wearing as much as we can to minimize the spread. Many of us were hoping that once lockdown eased a little that things would continue to return to normal gradually until a vaccine and or better treatments were widely available. It was always very likely that there would be an increase in cases of coronavirus in the winter and with seasonal flu. Now that this is happening, we must get used to some lockdown restrictions again. That includes a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew set in place by Gov. Gavin Newsom in late November, and the new regional orders prohibiting gatherings, and reducing “congestion” in retailers by allowing the only operation at “no more than 20 percent capacity.” Non-essential travel is also impacted as “no hotel or
The Collegian The Collegian is the student newspaper of San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Calif. The paper is published six times a semester. As a First Amendment newspaper we pride ourselves on a commitment to the students of Delta College while maintaining independence. We reinvigorate the credo that the newspaper speaks for the students, checks abuses of power and stands vigilant in the protection of democracy and free speech.
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lodging entity in California shall accept or honor out of state reservations for non-essential travel” unless quarantine is involved. The holiday season is a happy, magical time. The anticipation of celebrations and family gatherings gives many people, especially children, a warm and happy excitement that they look forward to each year. Maintaining this tradition is important. This pandemic in the winter has caused us to be more cautious. There are families who will continue to celebrate despite the pandemic health advice. “As long as I know family is alright, I don’t see why we cannot celebrate in a smaller group together. It is the only season where the family and kids are most excited about. What is Christmas without kids opening their presents and jumping from excitement?” said Alberto Galarza, who was shopping for Christmas presents at Costco in Manteca. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. Grocery shop online with delivery and curbside pickup options if possible and consider delivering holiday food to older relatives. If you need to shop in-person, try to go at a time when stores are not as busy. These new changes might just be the key to staying safe this season.
STAFF SERGIO CUBA ITZEL ESPINOZA JESUS HERNANDEZ YESENIA ORTEGA
HANNAH WORKMAN Editor in Chief/News
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PHOTOJOURNALISM JAGBIR SIDHU ANDREA TIPTON MICAHELA VINDIOLA
ADVISER TARA CUSLIDGE-STAIANO
SENIOR STAFF KIMBERLY BENAVIDES ESPERANZA HERNANDEZ-MUNOZ DAVID VICTOR
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3 OPINION 121120
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BY COLLEGIAN STAFF
2020 IN GENERAL
WEARING A MASK
BEING WITH FAMILY
FINANCIAL AID NOT RESPONDING TO EMAILS SEXUALIZING WILLY WONKA TAKING COVID LEAVE WITHOUT CAUSE SHOPS OPEN IN SECRET COVID BABIES SECRET GATHERINGS MISSING ZOOM CALLS BRATTY ROOMMATES
TIME OFF FROM WORK CUTTING OFF TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES WORKING IN PAJAMAS HAVING OFFICAL TRANSCRIPTS ANIMAL CROSSING NEW HORIZONS NOT FIGHTING FOR PARKING ON CAMPUS
Setting limits on holiday gift-giving essential during pandemic times BY DOMINIQUE WILLIAMS Photo Editor
auging which family members and friends to buy Christmas gifts for is hard every year, but this year’s decisions are proving extra difficult. The pandemic has caused layoffs and reduced hours, resulting in tighter budgets this holiday season. With less money to spend, consumers are having to consider who they’re going to prioritize buying for and what they can afford. Budgets have become essential to spreading holiday cheer. Ripon resident Mark Mitchell said he usually gets his parents, his siblings, his niece and nephew and his friends gifts for Christmas but he’s had to limit his giving to only his parents and his niece and nephew to reduce spending. “COVID impacted my budget for Christmas because I came in contact with someone who tested positive and even though I haven’t tested positive I had been taken off work right before the holiday,” said Mitchell. First holidays for new families are an especially hard time to hold back. Anika Anaya has a one-year old daughter. Anaya said she believes her daughter is finally old enough to enjoy the holiday. Anaya said it’s easy to see something her daughter will want and automatically buy it because she wants to give her the world. But Anaya has been laid off since March because of the pandemic and said she’s had to let the responsible side of her overpower the mom side. “I’ve learned to take a step back and realize the cliche of ‘it’s not about the gifts, it’s about being together’ is very true. I could wrap up toys she already has and she’d be just as excited,” said Anaya. Stretching yourself and your wallet thin can be avoided with a little creativity. Instead of buying your child a monster truck whose wheels will fall off in a month or a Barbie playhouse whose pieces will go missing, print out some “Admit One” tickets and create a living room movie theater complete with snacks that don’t cost $10 each. Skip giving mom a bath basket filled with salts and scrubs she’ll never use and set up a YouTube paint night. Gifts get broken, lost, and forgotten but memories last forever. Other tips to cut costs for the holidays: If you must buy everything for everyone, cutting spending in other areas can loosen your budget for gifts. Don’t buy 100 holiday cards to send to people you only talk to once a year. If your holiday card list is long, perhaps an email message or electronic greeting is a better option for 2020. Don’t worry about taking expensive photos, iPhone pictures in front of the tree, Christmas or maple, are perfectly acceptable. Since gatherings aren’t recommended, this is the year to skip the prime rib, whatever meat you’ve had vacuum sealed in the freezer will do just fine for the main holiday meal. Holidays may not be the same this year, but they can still be enjoyable.
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Help for victims of domestic violence BY ITZEL ESPINOZA Staff Writer
Over the past few years domestic violence has been on the rise in Stockton at an alarming rate. “Of the 876 domestic violence cases that the District attorney office handled in 2018, 4,483, or 76 percent, had originated from Stockton as stated by Chief Deputy District Attorney Ken Pucket. 2018 is the most recent year where numbers are available. On average women are more likely to fall victim to domestic violence, However, men too experience domestic violence. “1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime,” according to the Women’s Center Youth & Family Services website. In more recent years the numbers of domestic violence have been skyrocketing. ABC10 reported that over the past year, of the 40 reported cases of homicide in Stockton,11 were connected to domestic violence. Compared to the previous year the homicide rate at the time was 29, which is a drastic increase. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 has been a difficult year and has presented new challenges and hardships for many. Over the course of the pandemic people have found themselves stuck at home for a major part of the day as
lockdown continues in efforts to lower cases of COVID-19. Being in lockdown at home with significant others for longer than usual periods of time has been thought to be a contributing factor to domestic violence cases. Although the pandemic is not the one to blame for the domestic violence that occurs among partners it has been a contributing factor to seeing more cases, and has also affected victims’ ability to access helpful resources.
“Definitely right now it is huge it is rising up but it is also not being recorded, so data won’t be reflective of that because it is not being recorded as much but it is increasing right now due to the pandemic,” said Gauri Sanchez, program administrator for Stockton Trauma Recovery Center. The St. Mary’s Dining Room partnered up with the Women’s Center Youth & Family Services to create a support group for domestic violence vic-
tims. Up until recently this group would meet every Friday since it was first created in 2018, but was affected by the pandemic and has been unable to meet since. According to Moreno the group was created after several ladies would come in to speak about their domestic violence they were experiencing. “Because of COVID, we had it closed so we are waiting as soon as this blows over to reopen. ur goal is to open hopefully as soon as next year, our goal is to open as soon as possible, “ said Mercedes Moreno, director of social services for the St. Mary’s Dining Room. Realistically not all victims come forward and report their abuse to authorities, but many do seek out support groups. These support groups are important to giving victims the courage but also the tools to report their abusers. “They didn’t want to report, they wanted to talk to someone initially, that’s why we made the contact and wanted to start the group. Most of them didn’t report they didn’t want to get their partner in trouble, they just wanted to get the help for themselves,” said Moreno. If you are experiencing domestic violence and need help, call Women’s Center Youth & Family services Domestic Violence 24-hour helpline (209) 465-4878, National Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) Stockton Trauma Recovery Center (209) 941-0701, or the District Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Unit (209) 468-8979.
College student helps out ‘One Mask at a Time’ Nonprofit organization provides masks to homeless, underserved communities shape. Afzal started the process of estabCollege student and Ripon resident lishing One Mask at a Time through Shaista Afzal is on a mission to make the California Association of NonprofSan Joaquin County a safer place, one its. “Once it got established, we started mask at a time. This summer, the second-year UC finding board members, people in the Merced student founded One Mask at community we knew were passionate a Time, a nonprofit organization ded- about being involved and would be icated to donating masks to homeless willing to give their time,” Afzal said. Alexia Wasson, a second-year stushelters and underserved communities dent at UC Merced, was among the during the COVID-19 pandemic. She and the organization’s vice pres- people Afzal reached out to. “When Shaista asked me to be a part ident, Gurneet Somal, a second-year Saint Mary’s College student, decided of One Mask at a Time, I did not hesitate and immediately said yes because I to start learning how to sew. “Over the summer, we had more knew this was something great,” Wasfree time on our hands and we want- son said. “I believed we would be able ed to start doing projects,” Afzal said. to bring some joy in the midst of this “With the extra fabric, we really wanted pandemic.” While finding board members was to make masks because there were diseasy, Afzal and Somal experienced othparities in the community, especially in er difficulties. the valley.” “There were times in the beginning According to San Joaquin Continuum of Care’s 2019 homeless census sur- when we weren’t getting any mask dovey, there are more than 1,500 unshel- nations and I wanted to give up, but tered residents in San Joaquin County. Shaista pushed us to keep doing what “Growing up in the valley, I saw we’re doing,” Somal said. Afzal attributed her “never give up” many homeless people around Stockton spirit to Laura Ochoa, her former Enand Modesto,” Somal said. “I always felt as if I could do more to help, but didn’t glish teacher and multicultural club adviser at Ripon High School. know exactly how to do so.” “She was super involved in commuSomal said this was her chance to act. nity outreach,” Afzal said. Afzal and Somal faced challenges Afzal said Ochoa made it possible when starting their organization. “Since we were beginning sewers, for her and the club to travel to Los we couldn’t really make masks, but we Angeles to participate in We Day, a knew we still wanted to donate them,” large youth empowerment event that celebrates the impact students have Afzal said. The next best idea was to donate dis- made on local and global issues. “We were one of the smaller schools posable masks and donations received who participated, but we were able to from the public, she added. In August, the idea began to take donate over 2,000 cans to the food BY HANNAH WORKMAN Editor in Chief
At their first distribution event on Sept. 30, One Mask at a Time donated 200 masks to Stockton Rescue Center. Pictured are President Shaista Afzal (left) and outreach coordinator Ana Perez (right). COURTESY PHOTO
bank,” Afzal said. “Ms. Ochoa always knew that even though we were small in numbers, we could make an impact.” A popular figure who has recognized Afzal’s impact on the community is Kevin Lincoln, Stockton Mayor-Elect. Lincoln recently took to Facebook to shout-out One Mask at a Time and encourage his followers to support the nonprofit. “When we saw his post, we were so excited that he recognized our efforts,” Afzal said. She added that Lincoln’s post came on the day of One Mask at a Time’s first visit to a homeless shelter. “It made us feel like what we were doing was already getting noticed,” Afzal said. “We thought if we contin-
ued, we could get more recognition and more donations. That was definitely a boost and a happy moment for our organization.” Afzal said One Mask at a Time’s current goal is to distribute over 1,000 masks they already have packaged to local homeless shelters. In addition, Afzal is looking for the organization to grow beyond the Central Valley. “We hope to extend to the Bay Area and the Los Angeles area,” Afzal said. “We’re hoping as we receive more donations, we’ll be able to serve other areas of California.” Those who are interested in donating face masks can find more information at onemaskatatime.square.site.
5 FEATURE 121120
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Celebrations go covert as restrictions tighten in California BY JAELYN MORALES Feature Editor
COVID-19 has affected almost every annual event in 2020. Communities all around the world had to find ways to adapt to the new way of life COVID-19 has brought. At the very beginning of quarantine we have seen how different religious communities have decided to adapt to COVID-19 regulations. In March, the Jewish community tried family dinners over Zoom for Passover, and many Christian families opted for outdoor Easter celebrations in April. Now that we are in the final stretch of the year, many people are getting restless with having to keep distance from their loved ones. The annual Lynn Hahn Memorial Lighted Boat parade is one of the many celebrations the Stockton community looks forward to every year. The boat parade is a fun event for families as they watch boats cruise down the Delta, lit up in many different colors. This year due to the pandemic, the Light Boat parade announced on their Facebook page the postponing of the parade this year till December of 2021. Lynn Hahn was an educator in the community. Lynn Hahn’s son, Roger Hahn coordinates and runs the event every year and spoke out on the event’s Facebook page about the current status of the parade. “With the recent rise in cases and outbreaks throughout the state, I think it is in the best interest of the community to not put anyone at risk even with social distancing and mask requirements,” said Hahn Although officially the parade will not be happening,
there are still talks of an “un-official” gathering in the works for people to still go out and enjoy the Christmas festivities. “For those of you who still want to do lights and have fun, there is an ‘unofficial’ gathering in the works,” said the Stockton Lighted Boat Parade on their Facebook page. With the current state of the country, and people beginning to become tired and overall not wanting to ruin the Christmas spirit, there are many underground or “un-official” events taking place. When hosting or attending un-official or getting together with the family. It is important to follow CDC guidelines of wearing your mask, social distancing and staying within your household. “In-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying levels of risk.” said CDC. Due to the recent spike in COVID cases, California governor Gavin Newsom recently announced a stay-at- home order for certain areas in California. These areas include Northern California, Bay Area, Southern California, San Joaquin Valley, and Greater Sacramento. “The Regional Stay at Home Order would be in effect for 3 weeks after the trigger and instructs Californians to stay at home as much as possible to limit the mixing with other households that can lead to COVID-19 spread,” said CA.gov
Pawn shop, second-hand business booming owners of JLP Jeweler in Stockton, Jose Perez, is also experiencing an increase in customer foot track Businesses across the country are since the beginning of November. struggling to keep up because of “In my many years of being inthis current COVID-19 pandemic. volved in this business, I have never There is not a clear date on when experienced this amount of cuslife could go back to normal, so tomers coming in on the daily to the pawn shops business have been get cash for their gold. Most of my booming ever since. customers are Latinos and I would Pawn shops sales have surely sky- constantly hear that they have gotrocketed since the beginning of the ten laid off, or there is just not much pandemic as customers are looking work because of this pandemic, Deto get rid of personal items in order cember is almost here and my place to keep paying their bills or support is expecting even a higher amount their families. Not only are they of customers because of these hollooking to pawn their items, but idays.” also looking for specific tools and Pawn shops are becoming an electronics to stay busy at home. essential business in our local comTony, who is an appraisal special- munities. As anything jewelry reist for Rio Cash For Gold in Tracy, lated that has passed down some has never seen such an amount of sort of value is becoming a popular customers in years. option in order to get through this “Since the beginning of March, pandemic. In a situation like these, this year we have been receiving everyone is looking for many ways tons of wedding rings and mean- to survive and help their families ingful items that unfortunately cus- pay their bills. tomers have to get rid of because As 2020 is coming to end, noof this pandemic. There are times body knows what to expect as the where customers are crying in front COVID-19 numbers are continuof us but they have no choice but ing to increase around our cities. to get money for their belongings,” Pawn shops in 2021 might become Said Tony. even more essential than ever beLong time pawn specialist and fore. BY SERGIO CUBA Staff Writer
Lincoln Center hosts sock, coat drive BY JAELYN MORALES Feature Editor
From Dec. 1 to Dec. 31, Lincoln Center will host a coat and sock drive. Used or gently used coats and only unused socks are accepted for donations.
All donations go to the Gospel Rescue Center Mission. You can drop of any donations at these locations; American Hearing Aids, Artesian Natural Foods, Best Wishes, Flair Boutique, F&M Bank, Limitless Escape Games, Parkwoods Cleaners, Theadora Boutique, The UPS Store, Shine Cycle + Yoga + Barre and Village Barber Shop.
6 ENTERTAINMENT 121120
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guide to the
Collegian Editor and bartender Dominique Williams offers some drink recipes sure to increase the merriment this holiday season
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• 2 • 1 oz Vod • C /2 oz T ka • W ranber riple Se • F hite C r y Juice c resh r Lim anberr y e Ju A ice Peach J ice. dd all i uice glas Shake ngredie freshs. Garn and p nts to s h cran ish w our into aker wit berr i t h ies. rose mart h mar y anini d
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• C • A hampa • C pple ci gne aram der el Sa uce Mea Rim sure sauc champ ingred e. agne ients Pour flute in fl withto tast c h ute. ampa cara e. Garn gne mel ish w and a ith a pple PHO pple c TOS slice ider BY D . OM I NIQ
7 SPORTS 121120
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Return to campus too soon for one athlete BY ROBYN JONES
s we push through the end of 2020, athletic departments across the state have faced big turnarounds in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving well-versed student-athletes limited to only remote training through Zoom calls with other students and coaches. Delta College, like schools across the country, has been preparing for a Spring 2021 sports season filled with all sports after the California Community College Athletics Association delayed Fall-starting sports into next year. After months of preparing and review, athletes were allowed to return to campus in mid-November, only to have the privilege revoked less than two weeks later as San Joaquin County moved back into the purple tier, indicating “substantive” spread of COVID-19. With our brief return on Oct. 9, San Joaquin County had successfully moved into the red tier allowing sports teams to condition on campus within small groups, according to the SJC Joint Information Center. With the updated news, coaches and staff in the athletic department had to conjure up a return-to-campus process that had to go through approval by the county. While waiting on the green light for practice, the update we received a majority of time was an email or text message saying practice on campus was pending approval from San Joaquin County. Before official face-to-face practice began, all athletes were sent a detailed video explaining the process of what we were going to be dealing with in
regards to our return process. For the return process to begin, all athletes were given a pod number with up to six members that we arrive with, walk into practice with, and leave practice with, all within the pod’s given timeframe, in order to limit the possible exposure to COVID-19. “We are continuing to follow the COVID COMMENTARY guidelines provided by the state...the return plan was always in place, we just had to wait for the conditions to improve in our area and that didn’t happen until mid-semester,” said Tony Espinoza, Delta College’s athletic director. When Nov. 10 rolled around and the first day of practice had arrived, so did the first-day jitters. Before practice had begun we were socially distanced in a circle, and provided instructions by our coach on his expectations for us, while reminded of the rules of social distancing from one another regardless if we were family members or not. As practice ran, all the athletes were excited to be back in person again, but as a student-athlete it felt as if we shouldn’t have been there together just yet, because of the constant updates of the nonstop climbing COVID-19 cases. My biggest concern about practicing in person was: can a small group of young adults carry out the rules pertaining to COVID-19 regulations? It’s sad to say it appeared impossible, because of how hard it is to use proper breath control and practice while wearing a mask. As athletes, breath control is an important factor in regulating the energy we need to exercise accord-
ing to Runner’s World, a monthly online magazine for runners of different skill levels. Practicing in the groups felt claustrophobic when, in reality, it should’ve felt the opposite. There were some questioning actions that occurred looking upon how the athletes gathered themselves according to the COVID-19 rules. Masks were worn for the first 30 minutes to an hour, and disappeared when it was time for our workout for the day. They made it seem like social distancing wasn’t even heard of. You would think student-athletes would take something like a pandemic more seriously if they wanted anything to go back to normal faster. Going off to a four-year college and competing should have been their motivation to adjust to the particular rules of social distancing and staying safe. Yet somehow it didn’t work, making remote workouts from home look real good. For about a week and a half we experienced what life on campus would have been like on the athletic side before we had to close back down due to the county moving back into the purple tier along with another stay at home order. Continuing a sports season was going to be hard, the athletes and coaches knew that. Walking into the unknown with uncertainties about the upcoming year isn’t the ideal situation anyone had coming back in the game. But we should not have returned so soon. I do not believe that risking our health for sports during a pandemic was addressed appropriately, and it should not have been attempted. The major concern should have been planning out the spring 2021 season with athletes conditioning and training from home.
MOVE TO MOST SERIOUS TIER REVOKES ACCESS BY DAVID VICTOR Senior Staff Writer
The return to campus for practice was short-lived for Delta College athletics as COVID-19 cases worsened in San Joaquin County. Delta athletics teams were given approval to return to campus for practice as of Nov. 5, but San Joaquin County moved back into the purple tier on Nov. 17 after a spike in COVID-19 cases, prompting the program to suspend the return. With the return to campus canceled, Delta’s athletics department has opted to return to remote conditioning for all teams and is figuring out how to plan for the spring, when competitions are scheduled to take place. For Delta College Track and Field Head Coach Lauryn Seales, the suspension of the return to campus was a major disappointment. “It sucked,” said Seales. “We were looking forward to finally working towards training and giving the student-athletes a chance to get to the next level.” Director of Athletics Tony Espinoza stated that everyone in the program was feeling great about returning to campus, though returning to remote training due to a spike was also possible. “The athletes, coaches and staff were excited about the return,” said Espinoza. “It was made clear at the beginning of the return — if the numbers got worse in our county — that we would need to return to remote training.” Even when the return to practice on campus was approved, some athletes didn’t get the chance to do any training at all. Student-athletes were required to fill out forms to return to campus, and not all members of the Track and Field team were able to print them out. “With a larger group of athletes, we never got to fully return all of our athletes to practice,” said Seales. “Many of our athletes did not have the ability to print out the paperwork required to return, so this slowed the process tremendously. They are used to Roxanne [Bava-Noble] [Administrative Assistant of Eligibility] giving it to them.” Prior to San Joaquin County moving back into the purple tier, the track and field team was also shut down from practicing after one of its students was exposed to COVID-19. “After the first day of our cross country practice, one of our athletes was exposed to a person who contracted the virus,” said Seales. “Once this was reported, we were shut down for 14 days. We entered into the purple tier before the expiration of the 14 days and were shut down entirely.” Although the announcement was discouraging for some, others saw the suspension coming. Student-athlete Alexis Pagala forms part of the track and field team, and states the announcement for
her was almost expected. “I can say that I was not totally surprised. Since the start of the athletic suspension, we’ve seen and felt the impact of many different and unsuspecting events,” said Pagala. “This suspension was somewhat predicted.” With training once again going remote, Delta College’s athletics program has turned much of its attention to supporting student-athletes with their education. Espinoza also stated that staff is helping guide the students through the pandemic. “The majority of the focus is now on academic success and continuing to work towards a degree and a transfer opportunity,” said Espinoza. “In addition, our coaches and our staff are able to provide support and guidance to individual athletes that may be experiencing person- A sign on display in October near the softball field. COURTESY PHOTO al struggles through these difficult times.” Although the director of athletics sees the suspenSuspension of training on campus has left teams sion of practice as the right thing to do, Seales thought with doubts on how they’ll prepare for competition it was too soon to move away from the return plan. in the spring. “With contending schools still able to practice, we “I’d be lying if I said I’m not anxious about this. will need to figure out how to still train in person to be Online training is not efficient enough to prepare col- on the same playing field. I believe the system we had legiate athletes for competition,” said Seales. “Could in place worked,” said Seales. “Even with someone beyou imagine teaching pole vault or hurdles online? It ing exposed, there was no outbreak amongst my team. simply cannot happen. We usually would be technical I think we probably could have proceeded.” event practices right now but COVID has set us back Delta’s programs aren’t the only ones experiencing tremendously.” shutdowns due to COVID-19. The students haven’t found online training as effecThe University of the Pacific announced in a press tive for them as practicing on campus. release on Dec. 4 that its men’s basketball program Pagala claims that remote conditioning is a chal- will temporarily cease all activities for at least 14 days lenge for her and her teammates. after one of its players tested positive for the virus. “I’d like to think that I’ve been handling this trainWith COVID-19 cases on the rise and the start ing situation well, but training online has been a tough of the spring competitions approaching, it comes into struggle for me and my fellow athletes. Perfecting my question whether or not the California Community form has been at a slower pace since this whole thing College Athletics Association (CCCAA) should al[pandemic] started,” said Pagala. “I’m eager to get back low the sporting events to take place as planned. to normal and do what I enjoy without restrictions.” Keeping students healthy is currently Delta ColEspinoza recognizes how challenging it is for lege’s number one concern and the CCCAA has not coaches and athletes to prepare for the spring this way, shown any signs of holding off on the start of the seayet he states that the decision to suspend the return son. However, the athletics department still supports was the right choice and is for everyone’s safety. the CCCAA on how it is managing the situation. “It definitely makes it difficult, but our focus since “Everything is very fluid at this time. We are very this started in March has been the safety and well-be- confident in the leadership that is being provided by ing of our athletes, coaches and staff,” said Espinoza. the CCCAA and the COVID working group that is “We know we will work through this and be success- constantly evaluating the return plan for the state,” ful on the other side.” said Espinoza. Not everyone in the program agrees.
8 NEWS 121120
The Collegian • deltacollegian.net/news
DELTA DRAMA STAGES FIRST VIRTUAL PRODUCTION
After a successful three-day run of ‘The War of the Worlds,’ the program is preparing to put on a final show before the semester ends BY HANNAH WORKMAN Editor in Chief
Delta Drama staged a virtual production of “The War of the Worlds,” a famous radio play based off of English author H.G. Wells’ 1898 novel Dec. 4 through Dec. 6. “The War of the Worlds” details 12 days in which invaders from Mars attack Earth. The decision to put on a virtual production in favor of a stage production was made after the COVID-19 pandemic forced Delta College to suspend in-person instruction for the Fall 2020 semester. Cast member Navaz Khan transferred to the Pacific Conservatory Theatre after graduating from the Delta Drama program in 2019. However, he found himself back in Stockton after his new school shut down for the semester. Khan auditioned for the role of Professor Pierson in “The War of the Worlds” so he could continue acting while he was home. “We had to send in a self-tape, performing one of the monologues in the play,” Khan said. “It was new for me, but very common for film and certain instances where an in person meeting can’t be arranged for a stage audition.” Khan said being a part of the production was a unique experience as it was “kind of a ‘Frankensteined’ monster mix of a stage play, radio play, and film.” Although the cast and crew couldn’t come together in person, Khan said much of the pre-production process was the same as it normally would’ve been if they were able to convene. “We prepared a lot before we actually started rehearsing by, what we call, table work,” Khan said. “In other words, discussing Cast members performed from remote studios. They were provided with the necessary equipment from the play and dissecting it as a literary piece first and foremost.” the program, including computers, green screens, and microphones. PHOTOS BY ROBYN JONES After table work was complete, rehearsals began via Zoom. “We put this together by going through the play piece-by-piece She sent an email to director Greg Foro, offering to provide music for the and making sure we knew where point A met with point B and so on,” Khan said. interludes. Cast member Megan Silva, who had the role of an announcer, said this was her “I’m really grateful I was given the opportunity to perform music in my first first show with Delta Drama. Prior to “The War of the Worlds,” Silva performed show at Delta,” Silva said. with Kudos Children’s Theatre and the American Musical Dramatic Academy Silva said she even formed friendships with several of the other cast members. (AMDA). “This is my first year at Delta, so I was happy to finally get to know some of the Silva said the biggest challenge for her when working on this production was people I’m going to school with,” Silva said. “I met some really amazing people in adapting to acting on camera, which is something she had never done in her 13- this show that I’ll stay in contact with even though the show has ended.” year acting career. Janice McClellan, a lifelong theater fan who viewed the show, said she watched “Some things were different than acting onstage, for example, knowing where “The War of the Worlds” because she was intrigued to see how it would translate to look,” Silva said. into a virtual performance. Silva said working on this production brought a little bit of light to a year which “With all of the new constraints we are currently experiencing, I’m glad to see presented many hardships. the arts and especially theater continuing to produce creative and enjoyable shows,” “It really alleviated the 2020 loneliness I’ve been dealing with,” Silva said. McClellan said. Silva, who is also a pianist, arranged and performed the music for the show. Delta Drama’s next virtual production will be of “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” “I have a bunch of 1930s sheet music from my great grandma,” she said. “When on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. More information can be found at deltadrama.com. I first read the script, I noticed I had the sheet music for a song mentioned in the script.”
PURPLE: Residents advised to avoid non-essential travel, stay at home continued from PAGE 1 California will issue regional stay-athome orders based on ICU capacity. For these orders the state is separated into five regions: Northern California, Greater Sacramento, Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. The regional stay-at-home orders take effect when any of these regions
drop below 15 percent in their ICU capacity. According to the CDPH, projections show that California is expected to reach its ICU capacity in mid-December. For traveling, the state of California released information on the CDPH website on Nov. 13 advising residents to avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries.
People entering California from other states or countries, including returning California residents are recommended to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival and limit their interactions with their immediate household, according to the travel advisory. The recommendation comes as the U.S. surpassed 100,000 hospitalizations and recorded 2,400 daily deaths on Dec.
2, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project and Johns Hopkins University. According to agency guidelines, gathering indoors is strongly discouraged for counties in the yellow, orange and red tiers. Gatherings are only permitted outdoors for counties in the purple tier.
COUNSELING: Students say education plans are leading them astray continued from PAGE 1 plan from Delta and essentially told me to go to them, not Delta, for help,” Gregg said. Gregg added she almost dropped a class she needed to transfer based on how she was advised. “My experience at Delta has been a dumpster fire, to the point that I’m considering transferring early just to get out of Delta,” Gregg said. Student Rachel Trevino said she has found herself at Delta for an extra year due to education plan errors. Trevino said it was easy for her to book an appointment with a counselor upon entering Delta in 2018 as she was a new student and believes priority is given to new students. “I told the counselor I wanted to take classes and possibly
transfer in the end,” Trevino said. “I told her I may not transfer, but to set me up with transferable courses so in the event I do want to transfer, I have the opportunity to do so without taking more classes.” Trevino said she liked her counselor and thought they were on the same page. Then a semester later, she couldn’t book an appointment with her counselor “to save [her] life.” “I had ran into another counselor and told him the issue I was having,” Trevino said. “He took the time to squeeze me into his busy schedule to sit down and check my plan.” Trevino said after telling her new counselor about her interest in possibly transferring, he said the plan made by her original counselor didn’t have the option to transfer. He made her a new plan to ensure she
could transfer if she desired. “I would have been done with school this semester had it not been for the original counselor not giving me a plan with transferable units,” Trevino said. “Now I’m stuck even longer because the classes I need to take to transfer are harder classes that I would have taken when we had the option to do so in person.” Former Delta student Tonya Hensley said she transferred to Modesto Junior College (MJC) as she was not pleased with the counseling services offered at Delta. Hensley said her Delta counselor made errors on her education plan “three semesters in a row.” “MJC got me in and out of there and now I’m at [Stanislaus State] in the nursing program,” Hensley said.
According to Tos, counseling faculty meet every Friday to receive updates and training. “These meetings are used to discuss items such as process changes across campus, new technologies that are implemented, or curriculum changes, such as Delta College program requirements in the catalog or updates regarding admissions at the CSUs and UCs.” Not all students have had negative experiences with counseling. Student Silvia Ambriz said she needed to book an appointment at the beginning of the semester. However, she didn’t know how to since Delta has a new registration system in place. “One thing I did remember was the new system has a LiveChat feature so I asked there and I was able to sched-
ule an appointment with a counselor via Zoom within a week or so,” Ambriz said. Ambriz said she was surprised she was able to book an appointment quickly because she’s aware of the struggles other students have had scheduling appointments. “I feel as though many students don’t know they can schedule an appointment through the LiveChat feature,” Ambriz said. To ensure more students have a positive experience like Ambriz, Tos said the institution has recently finished a hiring recruitment to add additional adjunct counselors to the counseling department. “Pending board approval, there will be new counselors coming on board in January,” Tos said.