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INQUIRER S tudent V oi ce

Volume 79 No. 1


D iablo Val le y C ol le g e

Copyright © 2012 The Inquirer - Diablo Valley College Thursday, February 9, - Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Prop 8 Repealed File Photo / The Inquirer

Former ASDVC President Katerina Schreck

ASDVC leaders quit Inquirer Staff

MIKE ALFIERI / The Inquirer

Supporters celebrate after hearing the official announcement of proposition 8 being repealed outside of the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco, on tuesday morning Feb.7.

Same-sex marriage ban discriminates illegally; appeal expected MIKE ALFIERI Photo editor DANIELLE BARCENA News editor

Gay marriage supporters around the Bay Area and state rejoiced in the news of Prop 8 renounced and stripped of its power. “Our Family is now included in the American dream…it’s amazing,” said Frank Capley-Alfana, who was accompanied by his partner Joe CapleyAlfana. “The courts have upheld equality and freedom in our nation.” Today at 10 a.m. the U.S 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco released its ruling on samesex marriage in California, finding it to be unconstitutional and an infringement on the rights of citizens. The ruling came as no surprise to those gathered outside of the courthouse in San Francisco to hear the ruling. “Who wants to get married now!” the crowd shouted in celebration. Students on campus echoed some of the elation.

“Finally! We can strike Need to Know a black mark from CaliforMary had a little nia’s record,” lamb it’s fleece was said Brenan as white as snow L. Peterand everywhere man 19, culinary that Mary went the arts. lamb was sure to After hearing go. arguments a year ago, Mary had a little today’s ruling lamb it’s fleece was was handed as white as snow down by a and everywhere panel comthat Mary went the posed of lamb was sure to three judges go. to determine whether a state ban on same-sex marriage was constitutional. In 2010, U.S Judge Vaughn Walker declared proposition 8 to be unconstitutional and a violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of

the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Same-sex marriage has been a hot topic on the tips of the tongues for Californian’s ever since it was first made a voting issue after the turn of the millennium. In March of 2000 voters passed proposition 22 defining marital union as, “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California.” Proposition 22 set the stage for the first of many legal battles as the California Supreme Court ruled the ban was unconstitutional and a violation of equal rights protections. The following day more than 18,000 same sex couples got married. Yet only six months later voters turned out to support proposition 8 on Nov. 4 2008, when voters narrowly passed the ban with 52 percent in favor and 48 percent against. “It just kinda broke my spirit, ” recalled DVC English teacher, Heidi Goen-Salter after hearing the news. “I haven’t been that depressed since that day.” Proposition 8 allowed for a unique type of diProp 8, Page 2

ASDVC President Katerina Schreck has formally resigned from her position. According to ASDVC Counseling Faculty Member Yvonne Canada, “according to the Constitution, [Katerina] will serve as ASDVC President until an election can be held.” “Ms. Schreck’s resignation will not have any impact on the regular elections process for the 2012-2013 Executive Team.” Canada said. A number of other ASDVC officials have also resigned from their posts for undisclosed reasons. Daija Cornelious, ASDVC Diversity Affairs Officer, was one of the individuals who formally resigned from her position. Informational meetings for ASDVC elections have been held so that new members will know how they can join. ASDVC meets every Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. in the Student Union Building. Meetings are open to all Diablo Valley College students.

Federal Government to the Rescue DANIELLE BARCENA News editor MIKE ALFIERI Photo editor

The Federal Government may be California’s only saving grace for education as the state faces the possibility of another round of drastic cuts and increased tuition across the board. ‘If you don’t have money, then you don’t get to study,” said DVC student Rosario Garcia about the state of edu-

cation in California.” They are basically telling us to not go to school right now.” Interest from the Federal government in education has increased in the past few years in what appears to be a continuing shift from the state to federal level in funding. Local universities such as UC Berkeley and UCSF are garnering a majority of their funding from the national level. On January 21, 2012, Evergreen Community College in San Jose hosted the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispan-

ics, where officials from the Obama Administration met with the Hispanic Community in a long day of workshops. The White House Initiative on Education Excellence was established by President George H. W. Bush in 1990 and renewed by President Obama in October 2009. The series is a part of direct interaction that the Obama Administration has tried to initiate with the people that they serve. “People are getting impatient with the fact that we don’t have a system that

works.” Felicia Escobar, Senior Policy Advisor, said. “Some states are passing their own laws, but it needs to happen at a federal level.” Governor Jerry Brown has taken the initiative to make his own changes at a state level with his numerous cuts to education. “What I don’t like is the Governor threatening to cut education when he can find other forms of revenue such as cutting prison funding and reanalyzing employee Hope, Page 2

MIKE ALFIERI / The Inquirer

Obama Administration officials gather to take questions from the press during the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics on January 21, 2012




Thursday, February 9 - March 7, 2012

The Inquirer - Diablo Valley College



From Page 1


Friday, February 10, 2012 Open Garden Morning and Valentine’s Day Plant Sale 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM ASDVC Petition Deadline 12:00 PM

Saturday, February 11, 2012 ASDVC Board Member Spring Retreat

MIKE ALFIERI / The Inquirer

Frank and Joe Capley-Alfana listen to officials talk at San Francisco City Hall, Tuesday Feb.7

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Sunday February 12, 2012 Drama event: The Skriker 2:30 PM

Monday, February 13, 2012 College Rep: Sacramento State University 9:40 AM - 1:00 PM

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 First ASDVC Board Meeting 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

College Success Workshop Note Taking and Study Skills 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Last Day to Drop without ‘W’ All Day

MIKE ALFIERI / The Inquirer

Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco, and city attorney Dennis Herrara give their support to the repeal of prop 8 in city hall on tuesday Feb.7.

PROP 8 From Page 1

“It impacts all Californians because it legalizes a form of discrimination. Even more broadly, though, it asks that we think about why we tie so many benefits to the institution of marriage. Why do we deny other forms of kinship the same access to benefits?” Mazzone said. Numerous lawsuits were filed in the state contesting the 2008 ruling. In early January 2010, two couples found themselves at the center of a Federal trial challenging the constitutionality the same-sex marriage ban. This landmark case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, was the nation’s first look into the legal bounds of same-sex marriage. After hearing the arguments for over a year, U.S District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled in favor of Perry that banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. But before any marriages could take place an appeal was filed, requesting a look into whether Judge

Walker should have recused himself out of conflict of interest. That appeal postponed a ruling on the case until today’s announcement. Today’s court’s decision likely won’t be the final word in the fight over marriage equality. Many people anticipate continued appeals and the case making it to the U.S. Supreme Court before gay people in California can marry again. “Those opposed to gay marriage have vowed to take the case to the US Supreme Court, so we’re not out of the woods yet.” Mazzone said. Sean Wilkey and Aidan Herrick contributed to this article. Contact MIKE ALFIERI at malfieri@theinquireronline. com Contact DANIELLE BARCENA Advertisement

pension plans,” said DVC student Marissa

During his State of the Union address, President Obama introduced a “Blueprint for an America Built to Last,” that promised to remediate the struggles that higher education has been facing. This blueprint included proposals such as regaining control over college tuition increases and student loan rates, increasing work-study jobs and making the American Opportunity Tax Credit permanent. The President addressed the University of Michigan Ann Arbor on Jan. 27 in his address on education and riled the crowd up with more promises. “From now on, I’m telling Congress we should steer federal campus based aid to those colleges that keep tuition affordable, provide good value, serve students well.” President Obama said. “We should push colleges to do better, we should hold them accountable if they don’t.” At a local level, on Jan. 27, the FACCC held a policy forum on the DVC campus where they did little else but review their intention to submit legislation. “We know that legislature wants to be on record saying that they support education.” Jeffery Michels, United Faculty of Contra Costa Community College District President said during the meeting. “One of the recommendations is for [a] stronger Chancellor’s office…moving power away from a local to centralized authority.” Michels said about tackling the budget crisis, but he maintained, “education reform needs to come from educators.” If the government fails to act for higher education, Mark Kantrowitz, college finances expert and founder sees a dim future for college students.

“The failure of grants to keep pace with increases in college costs leads to three main potential outcomes: one, students graduate with thousands of dollars of additional debt. Two, students shift their enrollment from higher cost colleges to lower cost colleges, such as from public 4-year to public 2-year colleges, affecting graduation rates. Three, students decide against enrolling in postsecondary education.” Kantrowitz predicted. Jerry Brown presented an ultimatum to California voters in January in his 2012-13 budget stating that if his ballot initiative for a Constitutional Amendment on tax reform is not passed, then he will cut funding toward education. “Funding for schools and community colleges would be reduced by $4.8 billion.” Brown’s budget stated. In a letter to the Senate and the Assembly of the California Legislature that begins his budget, Brown states that his initiative “will ask the voters to approve a temporary tax increase on the wealthy, a modest and temporary increase in the sales tax and to guarantee that the new revenues be spent only on education.” Brown also asked, “that the voters guarantee ongoing funding for local public safety programs. This ballot measure will not solve all of our fiscal problems, but it will stop further cuts to education and public safety and halt the trend of double-digit tuition increases.” Abdul Hakeem Montes contributed to this article. Contact MIKE ALFIERI at Contact DANIELLE BARCENA at

New MOX app techs out campus ANDREW O’CONNOR-WATTS Staff writer

DVC has a new app for smartphones, called the Mox App, designed to make administrative interaction and registration with DVC more accessible. According to Contra Costa Community College District Director of Information Technology, Satish Warrier, the new app will allow users to access important phone numbers, view campus maps, receive notifications, and view their class schedules. The Contacts function allows browsing and searching contact information for student, faculty and staff as well as the numbers for important campus services. While one cannot search specific classrooms, users can

find department buildings using a similar interface to Google Maps with pins indicating where the building is located. The campus map allows new students to easily find their classes and according to Warrier, a “You are Here” feature exclusive to iPhones shows the student’s current location on the map. The Class Schedule feature provides all the information one would receive through WebAdvisor or InSite Portal on a computer. In the class schedule section one can click on a desired class to view more information about the course. Mox App has been available for free on iPad, iPhone, Android OS phones and select BlackBerry phones since late November, 2011

Mox App has been available for free on iPad, iPhone, Android OS phones and select BlackBerry phones since late November, 2011

Thursday, February 9 - Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Taking the PE out of repeatability TOM RIZZA Sports editor

Statewide education budget cuts being enacted this summer may limit the number of time students can repeat PE classes, putting strain on the department and paving the way for change. Physical education’s curriculum, along with other major areas of study including journalism, horticulture, and theater, is under fire from the state to start paring down repeat students. Students used to be able to retake PE classes up to three times. Under the new legislation, the PE department expects students will not be able to repeat courses at all. “Students repeat core study classes often because they got a poor grade in the class,” said Athletic Director Christine Worsley. “The philosophy for repeat classes in PE is to better a student’s skills.” The frustrations felt by this topic have traveled all over campus. PE Department Chair Ralph DePew emotionally stated “to say that a student can master a skill set or movement in a single semester is short sided and foolish. Such a notion comes from people making decisions about things they know nothing about.” All of this is in response to the $400 million in cuts to education that are included in the 2011-2012 state budget. Last year, Chancellor Helen Benjamin appointed a repeat task force to investigate classes productivity. After studying the habits of students, the task force put together a report on how to properly trim the fat on the curriculum. While a decision has yet to be reached, Worsley and the rest of the department are operating on a well informed hunch that the cuts will happen. Ever since the task force was appointed, the PE department has been working hard preparing ways to be able to rework the curriculum, and allow students a chance to progress in their studies. Long board meetings and overtime hours with campus leadership have produced a new and improved system. “We are in the process of making beginner, intermediate and advanced courses,” said Worsley. “We’re completely rewriting the curriculum and the way it will be taught. DVC is ahead of the curve. We’re going to get the classes prepared for when a decision is in line.” Worsley says they plan to implement the changes even if the repeatability clauses stay the same. The department is trying their best to ensure that students will be able to further their studies in physical education no matter what the state of education looks like down the road. Like many predicted, the stress will fall squarely on the shoulders of the college. “In my opinion, we don’t offer enough physical activity on campus,” said Worsley. “Filling PE classes is no problem. It’s a great stress release, source of joy, and time off from a busy schedule. We have a great faculty as well, and we want to provide the best opportunity for everyone who wants to take part.”

Contact TOM RIZZA at


The Inquirer - Diablo Valley College

Vikings soar in season opener

ALEX BRENDEL / The Inquirer

Solano Falcons fall to Viking pitching IAN McSHEA Staff writer

‘Mystery foul’ upsets Vikings under bright lights in Santa Rosa GRIFFIN HENNING Staff writer

Last Saturday proved to be the typical barn burner that the Vikings are accustomed to playing in Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa Junior College packed the gymnasium with nearly 2,000 warm bodies that provided a hostile atmosphere for the DVC women’s basketball team. Aside from the droves of adversarial spectators, the Vikings also played under the pressure of live television and radio coverage. “Our coaches like to play in that Santa Rosa Saturday night game because it provides the students with an opportunity to play under the spotlight. They can really embrace all of the excitement of the big crowds and the live coverage,” said DVC Athletic Director Christine Worsely. The Vikings suffered a questionable loss after an ambiguous foul in the final seconds of

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Ace Nicholas Pasquale lunges at the plate. He would help the Vikings get their first win of the season.

day he didn’t have the control we are used to. The Vikings started their season with a re- He had four walks; he normally doesn’t walk sounding 7 to 3 win over Solano. DVC’s ace anyone.” right hander Nicholas Pasquale went six inThe game was capped off with an acronings allowing three hits, walking four and batic defensive play by the shortstop Aaron striking out five. Pasquale had plenty of help Hernandez. With a ball hit into the hole, Herfrom his offense as the Vikings posted six runs nandez went to his right and with a Jeter-esque in the first four innings, including five in the pick got the ball to his throwing hand whilst in bottom of the second. mid-air and threw out the runner just in time. Solano’s starter, Alec Ward said of the play “It was a phenomKenilvort, lasted only an Need to Know enal grab.” inning and a half. After a In the bottom of the eighth, first base1, 2, 3 first inning, KenilFollow the baseball man Cameron Merriwether blasted a vort lost his command of team and others on home run over the left field wall to give the strike zone and walked the Vikings their seventh and final run. Twitter five players while only al@DVC_Athletics The bullpen held their own going three lowing two hits. Those hits innings allowing no runs and keeping proved to be fatal as both Solano at bay. singles accounted for three Next Home Game: All in all a good day for the Viking runs. Walks proved to be Thursday, Feb. 9 offense and although there were three Kenilvort’s downfall as he @ 2:00 p.m. and errors the defense was solid. “We have walked in two runs, and acThursday, Feb 16 good starters, deep bullpen and a defense counting for five total by the ALEX BRENDEL / The Inquirer to back them up, and our offense is more @ 2:00 p.m. end of the inning. promising than last years,” said first First baseman Cameron Merriwether On the other side of the baseman Cameron Merriwether. “I think hits a solo home run to cap off the score board, Pasquale had a sublime outing. we’re pretty set in all aspects of the game.” He would feel some pressure in the top of the When asked how the win set the tone for the Vikings scoring. fifth as two walks and a passed ball set up a So- season, Cameron said “ It’s the right way to With a new coach and new players the Vilano RBI double, a fielders choice that scored start the season off, but that doesn’t mean that kings can go nowhere but up and look forward their second run, and an RBI single to center the next couple of games are going to have the to a fun, competitive season. for their third run of the inning. same outcome. We just have to play our game Coach Steve Ward said of his starter “ He’s and the rest willtake care of itself.” Contact IAN McSHEA at a great player; he’s going to get drafted but to-

the game. With 24 seconds remaining in regulation, Alicia Coulter allegedly committed a mystery foul with no Santa Rosa players in her immediate vicinity. “It’s a shame we had to lose on such a controversial call, I still don’t know how this mystery foul occurred. But when you play in a hostile environment like Santa Rosa with that many supporters in the stands, then these types of calls will sometimes alter the outcome,” said Coach Raumando Vaughn. “I could not be more proud of our girls. They played 40 minutes of strong, intense basketball and they never once took their foot off the gas.” Diane Moore has been playing with that same degree of trepidation and reaping the results of her efforts. Moore is currently averaging 20 points a game with 10 rebounds. If those numbers are not representative of her aptitude, one









wouldn’t have to look far from Viking Gym to see that she is a tremendous story. Diane currently has a 3.9 GPA and will be attending the University of Hawaii on scholarship to pursue her degree in Landscape Architecture. “As coaches, when we get to watch our players develop their game and mature as individuals, that’s the fulfillment we get from this job. It’s why we coach here at DVC. It truly touches us to watch these kids come into their own as adults and refine their game,” said Coach Vaughn The women’s basketball team must win two out of their next four games to qualify for a playoff seed in a conference that all DVC coaches recognize as the most difficult conference in the state of California. Contact GRIFFIN HENNING at




Do you believe that the current education system is working?

VIDA AMANAT, 19 Psychology

“No, as it is set up more towards memorization than the Socratic style.”

SAMANTHA SOLLA, 19 Psychology

“It’s been working out so far for me.”


Thursday, February 9 - Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Inquirer - Diablo Valley College

Editorial Make education a right

In this year’s State of the Union Address, President Obama addressed growing problems with higher education tuition costs, namely that they are too high: “Higher education can’t be a luxury – it is an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford.” Just about everyone can get behind this statement, but how can it become a reality? Obama’s proposal includes urging states to make “higher education a higher priority” and warning colleges with a catchy phrase: “If you can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down.“ However, California Governor Jerry Brown’s budget plan makes higher education a lower priority, decreasing funding by 4.5% compared to last year. In addition, the budget proposes yet another fee increase for community colleges, taking us from $36 per unit to $46 per unit over the summer. We as students have already sustained a $10 increase during the last academic year. Perhaps President Obama’s threat to reduce funding schools with higher tuition rates was in reverse: if the money from tax-

JACK DILLON/ The Inquirer

payers goes down, the tuition goes up. Hopefully President Obama’s pledge to lower tuition becomes more than campaign rhetoric and translates into legislative action. It is stated in the California Master Plan for Higher Education of 1960 that the long established principle for community colleges, state universities and the University of California is to not

charge state residents tuition. In fact, the only time when tuition was mentioned as a requirement was for non-resident students. To circumvent this mandate, our college district refers to tuition as “enrollment fees.” If establishment politicians are genuinely interested in following Obama’s ideals and making “higher education a higher priority” in California, they should

make education affordable. They can start by repealing Ed Code section 76300, which mandates charging student enrollment fees. They can also do themselves a big favor by implementing what has already been outlined in the California Master Plan. If people question the financial feasibility of such actions, consider this: according to the Chancellor of the California

Community Colleges, Jack Scott, for every dollar invested into education, three dollars can be generated. In addition, Governor Brown’s budget plan increases funding to corrections and rehabilitation by 11.4% from last year. In fact, at $8.7 billion, corrections funding just slightly lags behind college funding, which receives $9.4 billion. Housing an inmate costs an average of $47,102 per year according to the Legislative Analyst Office. Imagine spending that amount of money ensuring that students stay behind desks instead of behind prison walls. Education should be a human right granted to people willing to do the work to succeed, not a privilege for those who are affluent or a burden to those many who enter debt as a result for pursuing their ambitions. Education goes beyond the university, beyond the certificate and beyond that job interview. Education is a crucial necessity for human evolution. Without it, we are more likely to re-enact the past out of ignorance rather than move forward into the future.

Letters to the editor

International students: the new minority


“No, as there are a lot of tax cuts towards school and the budget goes to war and prisons.”

Being here for two and half years, I realized that many minority issues are under tremendous attention, such as injustice imposed on African Americans, Latinos, women and gays. But international students are easily ignored. In the 2008-2009 academic year, 671,616 international students came to the U.S. to study. Most of the international students came to the U.S. literally without knowing anybody. Although they have been learning English, they are not fluent at it. On top of that, they need time to adjust to American culture. According to the Bing Dictionary, the definitions of minority is a “smaller socially defined group; a group of people, within a society, whose members have different ethnic, racial, national, religious, sexual, political, linguistic or other characteristics from the rest of society.”


States under this kind of economic condition. In fact, international students contribute an estimated $17.8-billion to the U.S. economy a year. The same with all the other people who first came to the U.S. international students face many challenges and injustice. However, with more international students awakening to the fact that we can be treated better than just ATMs, the issues about international students will come to attention. Only when we see an individual through his or her own characteristics not instead through a stereotype about the group this person belongs to, we are able to have a fair society. - Emma Li, student Note: The Inquirer is republishing this letter from our December 8, 2011 edition in order to properly credit the author.

Genocide bill kills free speech, hurts relations

Two weeks ago, the French senate passed a bill making it a crime -- punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine of $58,000 -- to deny any genocide recognized by the French government. This includes the Holocaust and, more controversially, the Armenian Genocide. Due to overwhelming opposition, the bill has been appealed, and not without good reason. TATYANA OELLRICH, 20 While it seems to be a good gesHealth Sciences ture on France’s part to ensure “No, because I’m fighting the respect of certain cultures, this bill is a blatant obstruction to the bone to get a spot in of the freedom of speech and any science class.” expression the West constantly prides itself in. Genocide is another one of Interviewer: Dalila Abdelhadi, those subjective terms that are often misused and taken out Raneem Taleb-Agha Photographer: Pablo Caballero of context: what may seem like

Editorial Board

documents to the U.S. Embassy. are labeling people. In fact, quite contrary to many I have come to realize that people’s belief that international DVC doesn’t care about interstudents are rich, these students national students’ well being in with middle class family back- general. ground are living All they care “Only when we about is money. a very frugal life in the U. S. see an individual We are only here The rationale to be exploited. behind the no- through his or her The only time tions of African the school ever own characteris- sent an email to Americans being criminals and in- tics not instead international stuternational stuexclusively through a stereo- dents dents being rich is when they deare the same to type about the mand and threatme. en us to pay the When one per- group this person health insurance son or many peo- belongs to, we are on time, or we ple from a group will be dropped does something able to have a fair from our classes or shows one and forced out of society.” quality, we tend the United States. to assume all the There is no people from that group does that surprise that the U. S governthing or has that quality. ment wants more international We don’t even realize that we students to study in the United



“Not lately, as no money for schools kind of sucks.”

International students are usually not considered a minority. Maybe because minority usually associates with disadvantages, but international students are considered rich by many. International students who came to America are definitely privileged compared to their peers in their home country. But the truth is that Americans see one side of the story. Community colleges like DVC charge $230 per unit for international students. But compared to other state universities and private universities, it is still the cheapest. So for many of the middle class families, community college is their first and only choice. When they needed to demonstrate their financial ability to study in America to the U. S. Embassy, many of them borrowed money from friends and relatives and then save money in their bank account and show some


genocide to one group of people is simply war to another. Seeking to create a universally applicable definition, the United Nations defined genocide as the killing or displacement of a group with the “intent to destroy.” As it turns out, it is finding this intent that makes defining genocide so difficult. Unlike Hitler, most leaders do not publish their ethnic cleansing plans. With this intent almost im-

possible to prove, who is France-or any country for that matter-to determine whether or not a conflict is genocide? If a government chooses to recognize and outlaw the denial of a debatable genocide, then it must also recognize any other ethnic conflict that might be considered as such--including the treatment of the Native Americans in early America, the tragic results of 19th century Belgian colonialism in the Free State of Congo, or even ongoing the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. France itself could be accused of genocide after its brutal treatment of Algerians during their independence movement in the fifties and sixties. All of these conflicts have one thing in common with the Armenian Genocide: not ev-

Staff Brian Donovan STAFF WRITERS Gabriel Agurcia, Ruslan Gurvitz, BranHakeem Montes don Kersis, Taylor Lyng, Ian McShea, Andrew O’Connor-Watts, Danielle Barcena Chloe Quinones-Crosby, Kelton Rantz, Yunhee Roh, Lorena John Kesler Rojas, Mona Taleb-Agha, Sean Wilkey Tom Rizza Christa Balingit Mike Alfieri Dalila Abdelhadi INSTRUCTIONAL LAB Tim Khousnoutdinov, COORDINATOR Ann Stenmark Raneem Taleb-Agha Alex Brendel ADVISER Mary Mazzocco Colleen Wallace Pablo Cabellero Emma Li

“While [this bill] seems to be a good gesture on France’s part...[it] is a blatant obstruction of the freedom of speech and expression the West constantly prides itself in.” eryone can agree on whether or not they were actually genocide. According to Rubina Darakjian, a professor at DVC of Armenian descent, this bill could

worsen already-existing tensions between Turks and Armenians. “There has to be a better way of rectifying history, without punishing those who either do not understand Armenian history or choose to falsify it.” While it is important to acknowledge that there were horrendous crimes committed in the past and prevent them from happening again, this intrusive bill limits not only opinions of the people, but the research of historians and scholars. It takes away an important part of history, its only never-changing quality: uncertainty.


THE INQUIRER Diablo Valley College 321 Golf Club Road, H-102 Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 The Inquirer is published Thursday mornings during the school year by the journalism students of Diablo Valley College. All unsigned articles appearing on the opinions page are editorials and relfect a two-thirds majority opinion of the editorial staff. All signed columns and cartoons are the opinions of the writer or artists and not necessarily those of The Inquirer, Diablo Valley College or Contra Costa Community College Disctrict

• Phone: 925.685.1230 ext. 2313 • Fax: 925.681.3045 • Email: • Website: • Printed Every Two Weeks •

Thursday, February 9 - Wednesday, March 7, 2012


The Inquirer - Diablo Valley College

Get serious on Syria

A few weeks ago the Arab League monitors that were sent from the Gulf states to Syria were removed due to heavy criticism by anti-regime protestors, who claim that the monitors were only allowed into the country in order to make the Syrian government look better. Over 5,000 people have been killed in the past 10 months since the protests started. But who cares? Even in the Bay Area, most people can’t point out where Syria is on a map, and many confuse it with Saudi Arabia, Siberia, or Serbia. Even after Libya’s Gaddafi was captured and killed in October 2011, my coworkers weren’t aware of the Libyan Revolution (which our

own country participated in), let alone the Arab Spring. While I suppose I shouldn’t expect college students to be aware of every strife in the Middle East right now, it upsets me that their teachers aren’t discussing current events with them. Now, back to Syria. While it is just slightly larger than North Dakota, it might deter-

MONA TALEB-AGHA Staff writer

mine the stability of the Middle East in the future. Syria’s capital, Damascus, was once the capital of the Ummayad Islamic Empire, and is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. It shares borders with Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, and still has a strong influence in Lebanon, even after Syrian troops withdrew in 2005. Even Bashar Al-Assad, the president of Syria, warned that if war breaks out in Syria, the result would be catastrophic for the entire Middle East. While he obviously is saying this to scare off NATO from intervening like they did in Libya, I agree with his statement to some extent. Dur-

ing Lebanon’s Civil war, which lasted from 1975 to 1990, Syria intervened using 30,000 troops to restore peace to the region. Syria also participated in the Arab-Israeli wars, and it is currently accomodating thousands of Palestinian and Iraqi refugees. See people? A country you’ve probably never heard of is actually of some importance! Interfering in Syria may affect what is later to come in the Middle East, whether it’s a conflict between Israel and Iran, or revolutions occurring in other Arab nations. This is why everybody should keep an eye on the future of Syria. Contact MONA TALEB-AGHA at

Less SOPA, more hope-a The internet is a place with few restrictions. It is the hub of creative content, a place where people from all over the world can connect and express themselves freely. But with the development of file sharing websites and programs it has also become a place where piracy and copyright infringement runs rampant. In response to the MPAA’s demand for tighter control over the internet, bills and acts like SOPA and PIPA were drafted to curb the distribution of copyrighted materials throughout the world wide web. But these proposed bills would also give the government an unsettling amount of control over the internet. According to SOPA, once a foreign website is accused of merely “enabling” the distribution of copyrighted material any U.S. web services that are attached to that domain will be forced by court order to withdraw their services from that site. These servic-


es include domain name servers, advertisers, payment services like Paypal, and even search engines. This withdrawal, which must occur within a time period of only five days, will cripple that site’s business and cut its traffic down drastically. This not only hurts the accused site’s business, but the businesses of the companies that are forced to deny their services to that site. These crackdowns on online businesses would weaken one of the few thriving economic resources we have. Not only that, but web owners aren’t given much room

to defend themselves. If the allegations against the owner of the domain prove to be false, the only way the web owner can receive compensation is if their accuser knowingly provided false information. These and other frightening measures within SOPA and PIPA caused internet users to react. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens held protests and signed petitions against the bill. In the face of such strong public opposition movement on these bills has been postponed until alterations can be made. But the attempts to protect copyright holders and smother the freedom of the internet keep coming. Another proposed bill, H.R. 1981 (also know as Protecting Children From Internet Predators Act of 2011), has become known as a serious threat to internet users. This bill, under the guise of protecting children, requires internet service providers

to collect and store information on their customers for up to a year. This storage of information leaves people vulnerable to black hat hackers and abuse from government officials who will have access to your private information at any time. As originally drafted the proposed bills SOPA, PIPA, and H.R. 1981 threaten our privacy and freedom on the internet. If we don’t remain vigilant powerful social media and creative outlets could be brought down and our private information could be stolen because of powerful companies and organizations like the MPAA. These proposed bills are flawed, but by speaking out the American public can help rectify these flaws and create copyright laws that are effective and fair in this new era of technology. Contact CHLOE QUINONES-CROSBY at


Introverts marginalized Two years ago, I took a test in a psychology class that would determine whether I was an extrovert or an introvert. According to the test, I was the most introverted student in the class by a decent amount. In addition, in a class of about 30 students only five displayed introverted qualities. I wasn’t surprised to discover that I was an introvert, as I have always tended to avoid social situations. For example, I’ve only met a few people at DVC who I would spend time with outside of school and for the most part I’ve stuck to my friends from high school. At the time, however, I was shocked that so many people in my class were extroverted. Upon reflection this isn’t surprising, because college is oriented towards the extrovert: volunteering opinions in seminar, asking questions in math, group study sessions. Because of my social nature, Time Magazine’s recent cover story on introversion caught my eye. The article, written by Bryan Walsh, begins by defining that introversion is not shyness, as shyness is a fear of being socially judged while introversion is just a disinterest in social situations. The article is mostly about the benefits of introverted people.

“I was shocked that so many people in my class were extroverts. Upon reflection this isn’t a surprise, because college is geared towards the extrovert.”

Walsh quotes a study done by Florida State University’s K. Anders Ericsson which notes that introverts are better at training in solitude, which allows for masterful skill at things such as music performance, athleticism, and college exams.

JOHN KESLER Opinions editor

In addition, Susan Cain, the author of the recently released book on introversion named “Quiet” noted in an essay published on Time’s website that introverts are more aware of their environments, which leads to more academic and artistic success: “It’s no accident that introverts [...] win a disproportionate number of [...] National Merit Scholarship finalist positions — even though

their IQ scores are no higher.” According to Walsh,”some estimates” place 30 percent of people as introverts. This means that my psychology classwas below average. While I’m less introverted now that I work at this paper, I still have a message for all the introverts at DVC: While extroverts will get the friends, the lovers and the parties, you’re likely going to get the academic or artistic success, and that’s what matters. My name is John Kesler, I am an introvert, and I am proud. Contact JOHN KESLER at

Russia is on the cusp of a liberal revolution, reform Russia, (a capitalist converted country since the fall of the Soviet Union), has recently joined a handful of states around the world locked in internal political struggle. These populist movements have sprung up to assert the people’s rights against longstanding abusive regimes. Not surprisingly, they were partially fueled by the recent tough global economic times. This specific damage was dealt by lax policies and de-regulation centering on banking centers such as those of the U.S. With no external relief on the way however, these movements began to expand in size and importance until Western media caught on in mid 2011 to grant outsiders a closer look.


Within the Russian Federation, voters for many years have allowed the complete domination and abuse of the political system for small but steady economic growth and social improvements. The current system can be described as a “managed democracy” but increasing numbers of activists are rising up in favor of political reform. This system maintained a silent agreement

between the ruling class and the rest of the populace; however, this arrangement seems to be on its way out. For those in power, the thawing of this “cold pact” seems to spell great troubles over the horizon. The path that lies ahead leads to either greater social unrest and violence or real reform. Despite these developments, President Vladimir Putin―the man who has been in charge since the late nineties―shows no intention of relinquishing his iron hold. However, his reign could be coming to a close. The 2011 parliamentary elections that took place on December 4, 2011, did well to show the falling popularity of his United

“As [Russia] will change, the people will be faced with problems very similar to that of Gorbachev’s “perestroika” during the last days of the Soviet Union. Despite more than a decade having passed in regards to this long emerging struggle, the forces of revolution are really just beginning.” Russia party. They won only 49.32 percent of the seats in

the Duma (lower house), down from 64.30 percent in the 2007 elections. Many domestic and foreign analysts noted that largescale election fraud had occurred to retain this legislative majority. With the stakes as high as they’ve been since the early nineties, the future of Russia is in a state of jeopardy Putin and his myriad of political operators will have some hard decisions to make. The distraught middle class, though a minority and composed of mostly younger people, will become more influential and problematic to deal with. Legitimacy will continue to erode until true liberalism is introduced, and even then, Mr Putin will be forced to deal with

overwhelming unpopularity and criticism. As the country will change, the people will be faced with problems very similar to that of Gorbachev’s “perestroika” during the last days of the Soviet Union. Despite more than a decade having passed in regards to this long emerging struggle, the forces of revolution are really just beginning. All eyes will be on the 2012 presidential election, and the guaranteed increase of disobedience and disorder that is sure to follow when the Tsar takes up his throne again, perhaps for the last time. Contact TIM KHOUSNOUTDINOV at

Focusing on half fill rates drains faculty, hurts students A grade of 16 out of 30 amounts to an F. Students who are currently earning an F can get extra credit, do better on future assignments, or drop the class early. However, for faculty, 16 out of 30 spells danger thanks to the halfway fill rate. The halfway fill rate, which began as a union contract with the DVC administration, requires faculty to adhere each course they precede over to a strict regiment of a half full amount of students or more, otherwise the course faces termination. However, most attendances for courses is relatively high, so fill rates have not been that much of an issue. How did this factor become so significant? In light of the budget cuts that still affect our education at DVC, fill rates appear to have become the end game for most of the faculty. “For most of us, it can become a constant battle,” says Judy Myers, the English department chair, “and we try not to lose focus on our primary concern: educating students.” However one would think with a Fall ’11 census fill rate of 99 percent for the English department, Judy and others in the English department would be hearing nothing but good news. Good news, if good news included a projected 5-10 percent cut to all departments, including

SEAN WILKEY Staff writer

English. “I think by this point,” Judy continues, “the question on administration’s mind is, ‘when does the class pay for itself ?’” Classes obviously can’t pay for themselves, but neither does district. While departments such as the Performing Arts and Culinary departments have suffered massive cuts since the budget decision of 2008, district continues to project future cuts in spending to make education more “affordable.” Affordable how? Raised prices for units haven’t dropped, and extra-curriculars or classes of interest continue to diminish in availability. In terms of the Culinary department, the entire course load could be eliminated by next semester. “Over these last couple of semesters,” Chef Paul Bernhardt explains, “the district has cut the tree down to nothing: We are losing our department.” The Culinary Arts, known for its popularity on campus as one of the biggest majors and AA certificate programs, has been left

with only classes that are required for the AA certificate. Though the course load seems to be significantly more focused, the effect of reducing student choices is a concern for those attending and those teaching. Despite such depressing developments, a positive note remains in the district bond, a call to raise the state tax, in November, which administration and teachers hope will pass. “If the state tax hike doesn’t pass in November,” continues Chef Paul, “Culinary is gone.” While this might seem like an exaggerated statement, consider its message; how many cuts of the pie will they take before it’s gone? We may put our hopes with a legislative solution on the horizon, and fill rates may seem to “fit the bill” as a measurement of when a class is making the required funds to continue its inclusion in course schedules. However, they remain a debilitating practice in educational financing. And Judy Myers agrees that they will continue to be: “The faculty carries the weight of this system, while the school and students are not reaping the rewards.” If we as students wish to reap the rewards of our education, we should demand them and help teachers with fill rates. Contact SEAN WILKEY at

Thursday, February 9- March 7, 2012

Arts & Features. The Inquirer - Diablo Valley College

Expand your taste buds with Naan ‘n’ Curry


BRIAN DONOVAN Editor-in-Chief

Looking for authentic food from a different part of the world that won’t gouge your wallet? If that is the case then go no further because Naan ‘n’ Curry: Pakistani & Indian Cuisine Todos Santos park in downtown Concord is a journey of taste. The restaurant features a cuisine primarily from the Punjab region, which resides in both India and Pakistan. “We represent this region which has strong, flavorful, spicy dishes,” said the restaurant’s manager Mohammed Akbar. As the name suggests, the naan, which is a large, crunchy and round piece of bread is a must for any combination of food you order. A plain naan is only $1 while a garlic and onion naan $2. If you have a hard time eating vegetables, this place may be the solution as they managed to make every vegetarian dish as desirable as their meat dishes. Their $6 Aloo Palak, which is potatoes and spinach, would make Pop eye proud. While the $6 Bhini, which is okra cooked with ginger, garlic, tomatoes and onions has interesting texture with a flavorful kick. “We came 30 miles to eat here,” said customer Vinoy Mereddy who came with his wife and kids from Brentwood. “It’s hard to miss the authenticity if you eat here, everywhere else will seem bland.” Their meat dishes don’t disappoint either. The $7 Lamb/Chicken curry is delicious but if you are going there for the first time, try the $8 Lamb/Chicken in Tikka Masala sauce. “Chicken Tikka Masala is the national dish in the UK because of British influence in the region,” said new customer Uzair Dada who mentioned that the Tikka Masala was, “very authentic, not watered down for western taste” “The food is awesome, like the Chicken biriyani and it’s pretty authentic actually,” said Mereddy’s wife Jyodhsna. “Place is small, the ambience is nice.” The atmosphere is simple with a cafeteria theme to it and a good choice of modern music from the region. “I tell people that this is destiny,” said Akbar when asked why set up shop in Concord when they have two restaurants in San Francisco. “We knew there were customers from here going all the way to San Francisco for our food.” After having one meal at Naan ‘n’ Curry, you’ll understand why people go out of their way to eat here. Its authenticity, simplicity and affordability is a recipe for success. So if you are looking for a place to take your date out to eat or just want good food, give Naan ‘n’ Curry at 2068 Salvio St. a chance as you will be blown away.

Photos by Alex Brendel / The Inquirer

Robin Waisanen plays the magical, mystical Skriker. The play opened Jan. 27 and will run through Feb 12. The play

‘The Skriker’ pushes boundaries of the mind Colleen Wallace Staff writer

self-destruction. She first meets the Skriker in a mental hospital. Finally, she wishes it upon her friend Lily because she can’t take the Skriker’s intimidation anymore. But as soon as she leaves, Josie wishes her to return. Lily is afraid of he Skriker, and doesn’t fully understand her. It often catches her off-guard with its ability to shape-shift, whereas Josie can tell when it has taken a different form. For instance, the Skriker takes the form of a child, and Lily plays with it, but doesn’t believe Josie that it’s really the Skriker until the Skriker admits it’s her. As far as content of the play, it made for a compelling mystery. The entire time I kept wondering: what is the Skriker’s intention? Adella Lott plays the great-great- grandaughter in the What does it want? Does it simply play. want to torment Josie and Lily, the two girls? Or is it something else? keep you from seeing the play. play. It is an interesting, but a very odd, The DVC drama department outAmazing costumes, believable acplay. did themselves, yet again. tors, and an unforgettable plot makes You are almost required to have a The leading three actresses nailed the play unforgettable. taste for the unnatural to enjoy it. their characters. The beginning monologue can be a They were deep into the personaliContact COLLEEN WALLACE bit of a put-off with its length and in- ties of the Skriker, Josie, and Lily, and at cwallace@TheInquirerOnline. ability to make sense, but don’t let that it was easy to immerse myself in the com

With a shape-shifting spirit with evil intentions haunting mental asylums in Britain, and young girls being terrorized by it, The Skriker is definitely a play to be reckoned with. The starting monologue by the Skriker herself is long and involved. The words she speaks make no sense at all, so memorizing the lines must have been quite a chore. The lighting and costumes of the play were amazing, with fairies galore dressed in all different ways. There were fairies with large hands, Contact BRIAN DONOVAN atbdonovan@TheInones with long fingers, gothic ies, and all with elaborate costumes, some scary, some pretty. It is almost worth seeing the play just to see the costumes. The tech team had its work cut out for it with the demands of the play, and they delivered 100 percent. The lighting was amazing, during the Skriker’s opening monologue, the lighting had her casting all kinds of KELTON RANTZ shadows across the stage.The Skriker Staff writer is a comical character in some senses. The overwhelming smell of tobacco flavoring is However, it is sarcasm as opposed the first thing that hits you as you walk into Wicked to jokes. The Skriker is too sadistic to Mirage Hookah Bar. As your vision adjusts to the be humorous. low light and smoke filled room, you are greeted by a Josie is a character on the brink of room packed full from people ranging from younger college students looking to have a good time, to forty-something business types looking to unwind. They don’t serve food, but customers are able to bring in their own. Although Wicked does not serve food, they do serve beverages. They have a variety of different teas, energy drinks, and soda. The wait was no more than a minute and when formed at Warped Tour and CHRISTA BALINGIT the environment was very welcoming.. Arts & Features Editor Metal fest in 2010 and 2011. When we ordered our two hookahs, they came “I’m trying to make my out in only a few minutes. After suffering from two artwork appealing to differThe staff would periodically come around to seizures and a heart attack ent kinds of people,” Pendercheck on customers. They were very welcoming and from anorexia and bulimia, grass said. “People look at art friendly. DVC student Kate Pender- so differently.” Hookahs would sit on low tables surrounded by grass used painting to not She focuses mainly on selfstools or incredibly comfortable couches that are only sort through her own image. She uses expressionperfect to recline on and chat with friends or com- feelings, but to share it with ism, which is a style used in plete strangers. others as well. art when one uses distortion Wicked is comprised of one small main room The 18 year old student to try to evoke feelings from where the couches and hookahs sit. outs her artwork under the the person who sees it. The tables and couches are low, as are the lights, name ‘Kora’, but those close She uses vibrant colors giving the place a feeling of comfort and intimacy. to her know Kate Pender- and abtract images to attract The music inside was an interesting mix of vari- grass. people to her art. ous kinds of electronic and rap, although very difShe began painting seriAfter her struggles, Penferent, it always seemed appropriate for the atmo- ously her senior year in high dergrass found that painting sphere. school. about self-image was a deCustomers can stay until one in the morning and Her work currently hangs stresser for her. never experience a feeling of deadness. in Panama Red, a café lo“I would paint to purge the The whole feel of Wicked was comfortable and cated in Concord; Buffalo way I felt when I felt disgustwelcoming. The staff was very knowledgeable and Exchange in Berkeley, Blying,” Pendergrass said. “I was affable. Wicked is a destinantion for anyone looking myer, which is an engineerable to put the way I looked for a relaxed and tasty way to spend a night with ing company, and is currently and felt down on paper.” some friends. working on a mural for the Another inspiration came Wicked Hookah Bar located from a Psychology class she in Concord. took Psychology 101 with She has created the album professor Mark Akiyama. Contact KELTON RANTZ at KRANTZ@TheInquircover and t-shirts for a band “Psychology inspired a lot Abriel, who recently per- of my artwork,” Pendergrass

A ‘Wicked’ Good Time

Artist’s struggles are an inspiration said. “I began painting more while I was taking the class. I originally took it because of my disorder. We dealt with body image, which I was struggled with. It helped me see things differently.” “People would come back and tell me my paintings were beautiful,” Pendergrass said. “It meant a lot.” Her artwork that hangs in Panama Red also has customers talking. Kimberley Calabass, who has been visiting the café often, takes her time to enjoy the artwork. “Personally, I find her artwork to be very intriguing,” Calabass said. “It’s very different than what I’m used to seeing. You can tell that the pieces are really trying to send a message. They aren’t just there to look pretty.” Another café visitor, Jose Brewer, attends DVC and said he found the artwork impressive. “Honestly, I expected it to be painted by someone so much older. I actually won-

dered how long it took her to make a lot of her pieces. I feel like a lot goes into each piece.” She isn’t new to Courtesy of Kate Pendergrass / The Inquirer critiimage before, she said she cism, feels it is a topic that needs to though. “Today it’s so hard to get be addressed. “I have nothing to hide,” criticism, good or bad,” PenPendergrass said. “It takes dergrass said. “Now I welcourage to say you had these come any comment.” If anything, negative feed- issues. There’s nothing to be back only taught her to be ashamed about.” more patient with people. She acknowledges that she paints about a sensitive Contact CHRISTA BALINGIT at topic, but as someone who cbalingit@TheInquirerOnline. com has struggled with her self-

2012, February 9 Inquirer Publication  

2/9/12 Publication of the Inquirer

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