El Vaquero: Issue 5, May 22

Page 1

G C C E lV a q u e r o www.elvaq.com

G CC_ElVaq e l .va q u e r o . g c c e lva q . g c c

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 Glendale Community College Student Newspaper

Volume 113 | Issue 5

Sleeping Under

Tobias Graves-Morris Graphic Designer

The truth behind the growing problem of housing and food insecurity among college students By Marian Sahakyan Editor-in-Chief With a strong presence, she walks across campus, a motorcycle helmet under her arm, backpack in her hand and a smile to conceal her reality. Like a chameleon, she fits right in in any given situation and any environment. It takes a little “getting to know” you, however, to understand that her daily experiences are nothing ordinary. While her optimism prompts her to call it “sleeping under the stars,” standard dictionaries and people would define her situation differently. She is homeless. Her name is Leah Valdivia Bloomfield, a STEAM student at Glendale College. As a first-generation Nicaraguan-American, she falls into just about any societal statistic related to Latin women and their struggle for survival in this country. Her story is marked with toxic familial conditions and unsuccessful romantic relationships, and at one point needing to step it up and support her mother financially and physically. She describes, in harrowing detail, sexual abuse in the workplace. She has seen it all. Two heavy traffic collisions in the short span of two years have left her with nearly $100,000 in medical debt, causing a drop in credit scores, which in its turn strains her already-complicated path. She says that these experiences have

contributed to the reality that she no longer has a place to call home. The 20-something-year-old explains that at some point “personal responsibility” led her to leaving these mentally draining situations and enabled her to choose to live “independently,” at least for a while. “You have to pick your battles and for me, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was hungry for more for myself,” she says. “I knew I can do this.” Leah says that a lot of her experiences and survival would not have been possible without the kindness of others. She says that although situations get tough, “really tough,” she stresses, the most important thing that one can do is to stay grounded and to be okay with talking about it. That’s the only way to break the stigma, she opines. “It felt hopeless for a while, but you can’t blame the world for your problems forever,” she says with a laugh. A study by Temple University and Wisconsin HOPE Lab states that more than a third of college students don’t have enough to eat. At least 36% say they are “housing insecure,” while another 9% of students report being homeless. Although we have many statistics indicating the student homeless population nationwide or event statewide, community colleges don’t have this information. It’s hard to aggregate and legal issues may factor into the why. One GCC professor, who asked for anonymity for herself and her students, explains that she has

had students step up to explain their dire circumstances. “In a given academic year, I will encounter at least two students who confide in me that they don’t have a home,” according to the instructor. “Some of them don’t even understand that living in a motel and then alternating back to a car means that they are homeless. It’s really amplifies the importance of resources on campus, like the Food Pantry, and awareness campaigns that we do with CalFresh and SNAP. We have so many students who are struggling and they are here to try to better their lives.”

for homeless individuals? Oftentimes, these accommodations don’t meet basic sanitary standards, even for those who are in desperate need. Leah says that she chooses not to use these facilities, as she is too afraid to catch foot fungus and other diseases that are common in these places. The consequences of not having a permanent residency and therefore a home address, can also affect simple things like holding a library card, or signing up for credit cards and paying cell phone bills. In such circumstances, a post office box is simply not enough.

Access Denied

Resources? Though the State of California provides its residents in need with multiple food and cash assistance programs. These programs have requirements of eligibility that can be confusing and burdening for most. Being over the age of 25, Leah is

Homelessness isn’t just a threat to safety or health. It comes with a much larger scope of what one cannot do. Things like taking a daily shower, consuming fresh and healthy foods, and sleeping in a clean, comfortable setting are some of the things that homeless individuals struggle with. Leah says that taking care of her personal hygiene is one of her top priorities.It’s part of her “female identity” to feel and look good and presentable. As a result, she often has to sign up for free trials at gyms and yoga studios, which enables her to use their showers. “I have to be cautious to not sweat, because I never know if I’ll be able to shower that day or the next,” Leah says. What about showering facilities

[continued on page 2]

In This Issue News. . . . . . . . . . . . 1-3 Features . . . . . . . . . 4-5 Editorial. . . . . . . . . . 5 Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Sports. . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Entertainment.......8


Wednesday, May 22, 2019 NEWS

[“Under the Stars,” continued from Page 1] only eligible for CalFresh, the state’s food assistance program, which requires that the recipient is either a full-time student, currently enrolled in 12 units at a college, or works a minimum of 20 hours a week, none of which are her circumstances. Having to commute to Glendale from Los Angeles’ inner city everyday, Leah spends much of her time on the road, which results in an unstable schedule. As a result, she doesn’t work too many shifts. For the same reason, she doesn’t have a full-time position at school. With the lack of financial resources and the state of ‘being stuck,’ Leah uses her very-little financial aid from school to pay for living expenses. With the most recent financial aid check, she purchased an old van. It’s the closest thing to a roof over her head that she has. With Glendale not being a sanction city, which means that the city does not support homelessness, Leah cannot park her van near the college. She even says that city busses collect homeless people from the streets of Glendale to transport them to Los Angeles, which is a ‘sanction’ for those without shelter. Van life? Not so hip In the recent years, the idea of ‘van life’ has become an unconventional dream of the younger generations, causing a lot of conversation and debate.

Those who volunteer to put money into living a simplistic lifestyle in their vans may have great things to say about the lifestyle. However, those like Leah, who do this out of despair, have more ‘real’ issues with it. “It gets very cold or very hot in the van, [as] it has no working air conditioning or heat. I battle the elements,” Leah comments. “I have no insurance on the van, which is illegal since it’s not registered ‘in-operational.’” In the state of California, in order to obtain registration on a vehicle, one must provide a proof of insurance, but Leah cannot do either, as she has yet to register the vehicle under her name. In the case that her van gets broken into or impounded, Leah will lose it all, until she gets it registered and insured under her own name. Then there are simple things like daily street sweeps and making sure that she is parked on the right side of the street, to avoid being cited. Though it provides the most basic needs of this student, it seems that the van life is not so dreamy anymore. What’s being done? Marc Berman, who is a California State Assemblyman representing the 24th district, wrote and introduced AB-302. The bill aims to “authorize the governing board of a community college district to grant the use of college facilities or grounds for specified purposes. Existing law requires a community college campus that has shower facilities for student use to grant access, as specified, to those facilities


HELPING HANDS: GCC professor Paul Mayer and support staff/volunteer Arevik Sarsyan help unload food for the GCC Food for Thought Pantry in the early Spring 2019 semester.

to any homeless student who is enrolled in coursework, has paid enrollment fees, and is in good standing with the community college district, and requires the community college to determine a plan of action to implement this requirement.” If the bill is passed into a law, this will help easen many of the problems of many students like Leah. Showering facilities, overnight parking and other advantages will be granted to these individuals. That, with other existing campus resources, like the Health Center, the Food for Thought Pantry and easy access to academic and personal counseling offered by the school,

FEATURES EDITOR Samantha Decker OPINION EDITOR Hayk Martirosyan


SPORTS EDITOR Michael Dumansky

FACULTY ADVISER Rory Cohen rcohen@glendale.edu (818) 240-1000 ext. 5214

COPY EDITORS Yesenia Thomson Elena Jacobson

SPORTS REPORTERS Jonathan Vargas Elone Safaryan

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Tobias Graves-Morris


PHOTO EDITOR Dylan A. Bryant

ENTERTAINMENT REPORTERS Saryana Nazarian Eduardo Carreno


will make the educational goals of the less fortunate students on campus a little more bearable. Given that there is only a 13mile distance between Skid Row and Rodeo Drive, one can only say that the city entails chaotic financial instability and “chronic homelessness.” Leah embodies a student population that is often overlooked and ignored, simply due to lack of representation and stories to tell. Her perseverance and tenacity have helped her form a positive outlook for the future. She hopes to complete college debt-free, after which she will go on to become a botanist and a nutritionist. Leah’s case is of better nature

STAFF WRITERS Allazhar Duisenbek Jake Denne Gabby Duga Afroditi Kontos Tatiana Pak Lilit Sedrakyan Eisho Shiroma Martha Topete


WEB EDITOR Alin Pasokhian


Alin Pasokhian Web Editor




than most, though many homeless students, however, have yet to find a platform to share their stories about this. She thought long and hard about using her name in this piece. In fact, just a few hours before sending out our pages to the printer, Leah stopped by. She decided to share her story, bravely, name and all. Lovely. In her 20’s. And doesn’t fit the traditional notion of what we think being homeless entails just by looking at her. Indeed, just because we don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Marian Sahakyan can be reached at manehsahakyan@gmail.com.

Member of the Journalism Asssociation of Community Colleges

Letters to the Editors El Vaquero accepts story ideas in news, features, profiles, sports and entertainment from the public. Send an idea or article to the editor at elvaquero@glendale.edu or call (818) 240-1000, ext. 3211.

Letters may be reproduced in full or in part and represent only the point of view of the writer, not the opinion of El Vaquero or Glendale Community College and its district. All letters must include the full name, address and phone number of the writer. You will be contacted before publication. El Vaquero is a First Amendment publication.

Member of the California Newspaper Publishers Association


1500 N. Verdugo Road Glendale, CA 91208 (818) 240-1000, ext. 5349 First copy free Additional copies $.25

www.elvaq.com NEWS

Wednesday, May 22, 2019


Survivor of 12 Concentration Camps Speaks to Glendale College Joseph Alexander, 96-years-old, talks about his experiences in an open dialogue with students and staff By Elone Safaryan Sports Reporter The room was filled with students and adults, young and old, who came to hear the story of one of the last survivors of perhaps the world’s most disgusting atrocity, the Holocaust. It’s an event that saw 6 million Jews massacred, yet today’s youth is unaware of the magnitude of it, as study after study shows. Joseph “Joe” Alexander, a Holocaust survivor, told his story in which he witnessed the worst in humanity and was forced to go through 12 concentration camps. Alexander was separated from everyone he ever knew and was the only survivor from his immediate family. In the winter of 1943, Alexander arrived to Auschwitz, a well-known concentration camp for being a place to go die during the Holocaust. Immediately he was put to the test. He made a decision that directly saved his life. Having just gotten out of the train car, Alexander and the remaining prisoners who managed

to stay alive on the ride over from the previous concentration camp to Auschwitz were directed to form two lines. German officer and doctor Josef Mengele, also known as the “angel of death,” directed the prisoners into two separate lines. The men formed lines to the left and right. Those in the left, were soon “shipped off” to the crematorium or the gas chamber. Alexander was in that line, placed with the elderly, the very young, and the sick. He noted that in the other line, the men looked healthier and more able-bodied. They were later sent to working camps. As Mengele moved away from that line, Joe bolted to the other line, saving himself from being cremated. Had it not been night, he probably wouldn’t have gotten away with it, he said. While Joe was a prisoner, he was put into hard labor camps being forced to build sewers, dams, airports, and even laying railroad tracks while being threatened with death and being subjected to conditions marked by illness and starvation. He

suffered from skin diseases and blood poisoning, and later on contracted typhus. In 1945, Alexander and the remaining survivors were liberated by U.S. troops. It was shortly after that he learned his cousin, Mark Alexander, also survived. When he immigrated to the U.S., he worked in several tailor shops before settling in Los Angeles and opening his own shop. While in Los Angeles, Alexander married and had two children. He lived. Since then, Alexander has been a leading voice in Holocaust education, speaking to colleges and high schools in the Los Angeles community. Alexander also discussed the sheer insanity of those who deny that the Holocaust ever took place. As one person in the audience pointed out, one cannot help but compare the magnitude of the Holocaust to the atrocities committed against the Armenians in 1915, where the Ottoman Turks exterminated 1.5 million men, women and children. Though

many survivors of the Armenian Genocide spoke out, and educational documents, studies and evidence has been published, the Turkish government remains adamant about denying that such a thing ever happened. Every year, Armenians around the world, gather to march in hopes to get recognition from the American Government as well as the Turkish authorities. Every year, it seems that their efforts are tested over and over again. For those of the Jewish community, it appears that they gather to honor the lives that were lost during this horrific time in history, and yet gross anti-semitism against them rears it ugly head time and time again, from Pittsburgh to San Diego, from Toulouse to Tel Aviv. Joseph Alexander is a living proof of one of the most tragic pages of the world’s history. Unfortunately, he’s one of the last, too.

Raul Roa L.A. Times

SURVIVOR: Nazi concentration camp survivor Joseph Alexander, shows his camp tattoo. He spoke to Glendale Comuunitvy College on Monday, May 13, 2019. Alexander had an open discussion with the students and staff about his experince at a dozen camps. Authentic documents showing his story are on display at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) located in the Grove. Visit www.lamoth.org.

Elone Safaryan can be reached at esafary181@student.glendale.edu.

Beauty 101

GCC hosts a panel of industry leaders as a part of their Business Lecture Series By Alin Pasokhian Web Editor Global business leaders in the beauty industry visited Glendale Community College as a part of GCC’s Business Lecture Series. Hosted by Professor Rafael Cardona, the panel included executives from L’Oreal, Woodbury University, Small Business Administration of Los Angeles, and television personalities from ABC. The event included free professional portraits and meet and greet sessions with the executives before the panel talk began. This allowed the opportunity for students to make connections and network with people who may

help them in the industry, and provide guidance with any issues they may come across. Professor Cardona introduced the Entrepreneurs Alliance, a club on campus created for aspiring students who want to get a headstart in the business industry. The club president Katya Carapetian, and LinkedIn Student Learning Ambassador, Erik Salas, gave a summary of the club, and even a crash course of how to use LinkedIn as both of them are LinkedIn Ambassadors for the GCC campus. The panel began with Anna Manukyan, who is the Assistant Vice President of L’Oreal USA. She delved into global trends and how predicting trends have changed over the years in the

result of social media. Before, trends were decided by the people in the industry who planned the next fad and the masses followed. Nowadays, however, trends have to be predicted because of social media. The masses decide what’s “in” and the industry has to carefully follow that. Fashion marketing chair and trend scientist, Wendy Bendoni from Woodbury University, spoke about trend science and how fashion and computer science now go hand-in-hand. Bendoni uses consumer behavior and incorporating the data collected into designing, branding, and marketing the product directed towards the right people Terri Billups, Assistant District Director of the Small Business

Administration of Los Angeles, gave guidance to many students who have their eyes set on starting a business of their own. Many were not familiar with what the SBA does, but Billups showed just how much help this organization can be. From helping with loans to sessions which teach aspiring business owners how to handle any problem that may arise, and how to have a successful first year. Jaime Monroy, a television host, and comedian with ABC discussed how dressing for success applies to any time of the day. Monroy emphasized that women tend to feel more of a need to look good when the same pressures should apply to men as well. He gave tips on how to dress

down and dress up for casual and formal events. As a host, he also talked about the importance of how to meld and be ready for improvisation, as many random things can happen while at any event. With a full house, gift bags, and exceptional guests for this event, “The Business of Looking Good” seemed to be the most successful event of the GCC Business Lecture Series so far, and from the level of attendance, it’s clear that students not only had fun but learned a lot from this experience.

Alin Pasokhian can be reached at pasokhian@gmail.com. Tobias Graves-Morris Graphic Designer



Wednesday, May 22, 2019 FEATURES


Hollywood’s Major Haunt Some history about the famous landmark

Glyn Lowe PhotoWorks Creative Commons

HOLLYWOOD SIGN: The Hollywood Sign (formerly the Hollywoodland Sign) is a landmark and American cultural icon located in Los Angeles, California. It is situated on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains.

By Paul Kim Staff Reporter First the sign was Hollywoodland, then it became Hollywood. As the years have passed, the sign has been vandalized and at, one point, became Hollyweed. It’s no stranger to controversy. In the paranormal community, it is known for different controversy. In fact, we know in this community that there is the suicide, which is how it became

the haunted Hollywood sign. It all began with Peg Entwistle, an actress in 1925. Her full name Millicent Lilian “Peg” Entwistle. She was a famous person at that time. Today, she has notoriety for how she committed suicide right at the Hollywood sign on Sept. 16, 1932. She had left a chilling note where she wrote: “I am afraid. I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I

had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain.” - P.E. Over the years, there have been a lot of suicides in landmarks across Southern California. People who have hiked up during the night have experienced paranormal activities, such has voices, apparitions, cold spots, and Peg Entwistle’s signature perfume.

Other landmarks, like the Pasadena Bridge, which can be seen in a Lana del Rey video and shows a suicide scene. The Hollywood sign, however, is clsoed off. There is a real access controversy. Could Peg be haunting the sign? I believe so. Some may say “I don’t believe in ghosts” and others say “I do.” What about you? Do you believe that the Hollywood sign is haunted or do you believe that

it’s all fake and made up stories? Suicide is never the answer. It’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem. If you feel depressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. They are available 24/7 at (800) 273-8255.

Paul Kim can be reached at paulk221@gmail.com.

Outfits For Less Tips for shopping for fashionable clothes on a budget By Eisho Shiroma Staff Writer Some fashion lovers spend too much money on clothing every month. We all know it can cost a lot of money to shop, and some people are struggling with the correct clothes to be stylish, especially for college students. However, if you’re a smart shopper you can get many designer brands for an affordable price. This piece introduces some ways to be fashionable on a budget. Here are the options for shopping wisely. Goodwill finds Thrifting at Goodwill is a great way to get clothes on a budget, not to mention, it’s fun. Goodwill is a thrift store who sells donated clothing, furniture etc. Basically a vintage hunters hangout. If you are looking to shop there, you may even find designer brands under $5. Visiting Goodwill weekly may increase your chance at scoring something really cool. In addition, visiting different locations may broaden your search and expand your

closet as well. These are a few major keys to improve your success at your local Goodwill thrift store. The only thing you should be aware of is checking the quality of pieces and its tag, because sometimes there are fakes. Flea markets Flea markets, on the other hand, are a little higher in price but still worth checking out. There are two major flea markets in the Los Angeles area worth checking out in particular. The Melrose Trading Post and Rose Bowl Flea Market. The Melrose Trading Post occurs every Sunday on the campus of Fairfax High School parking area. There are affordable vintage clothes on display and hand crafted accessories as well. The admission cost is $15. As for the other flea market, known as the Rose Bowl Flea Market, occurs every second Sunday of the month at the Rose Bowl Stadium. There are also vintage clothes and accessories available to purchase, along with food, being known as one of the largest flea markets on the West Coast.

The admission is 15$. Vintage clothing is a trend now, so these flea markets are a good place to find pieces for trendy outfits if your into that kind of vibe. Using apps If you are uncomfortable or too lazy to visit Goodwill and local Flea Markets, you can still thrift online. There are many flea market oriented style apps such as eBay and Mercari. The good thing about using these apps is that you can search and find your specific favorites, not limited to vintage or used clothing, there are new condition clothes for good prices available as well. However don’t assume that the prices you see on those sites are the lowest around. Many resellers price up their items or don’t price them realistically. Therefore, you have to check out the price among other sellers and compare them to each. Do It Yourself If you have the creativity and

Matthew Spencer Illustrator

skills for sewing, it might be a good idea to DIY your own pieces. It can encourage you to recycle while making your own original clothes. If you are struggling about how to do so, you can get inspirations and ideas from Youtube videos or even blogs. There are so many styles

and tips available out there. This can become your new hobby and can give you new ideas to fuel your creativity in fashion.

Eisho Shiroma can be reached at eishoshimora@gmail.com.



Wednesday, May 22, 2019


Over Our Limit

Parents turned activists: infant son’s death inspires a life-saving movement By Samantha Decker Features Editor The value of a moment is not something that can be easily defined. There are moments that give us life and moments where life is given, and sometimes those two happen simultaneously. Then there are the moments we wish was the moment to end all moments. Moments that can rip away life or the very will to live. In this life there is pain that is indescribable. One of those is the burden of burying a child. In a moment, 15-month-old Liam Kowal sustained fatal injuries on a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon in Southern Los Angeles. His tiny body was struck by a drunk driver while his teenage aunt pushed his stroller across a crosswalk. Behind the wheel was a 72-year-old woman who was well over the legal limit. Being no match for an accelerating SUV, the duo were run down leaving the stroller torn in two. The fight for Liam’s life ended after hours of fighting in the hospital, but the fight for the lives of others is just beginning. Now only

his legacy remains. The young child was the first child of professional MMA fighter, Marcus Kowal. In a moving speech about his cause, he stated that the physical pain he was trained to endure in the ring did nothing to prepare him for the emotional pain he experienced when he took his son off of life support. After discovering the shocking drunk-driving fatality statistic their son was now a part of, Kowal and his wife Michele, have dedicated their loss to a non-profit foundation called Liam’s Life. Their mission is to pass a bill that will legally reduce the blood alcohol driving level to 0.05% in California from its current standing of 0.08%. Despite having the potential to save thousands of lives, the bill that has faced rejection from many legislators and lawmakers. How much does it take to be over the limit? It’s more than what most people believe. While tolerance differs for everyone, four drinks in a few hours is the average amount of alcohol to raise a blood alcohol level to 0.08%. At this level the drinker will experience

significant diminishment to coordination, visual perception, accuracy, and reaction time. In many expert opinions, 0.08%, is too intoxicated to drive. This bill seeks to decrease the legal limit by only about one drink. According to the DMV, drunk driving deaths reach about 1,300 per year in California. For perspective, that’s about the same number that are predicted to die when the widely feared 9 magnitude earthquake finally shakes Southern California. It also totals up to about half the firearm related deaths that occur in California per year. This law is not an attack on your Friday night. This is not the awkward lecture from your middle school health teacher that condemns any and all alcohol-induced activities. In no way is this a hidden agenda of conservative or religious views to control your personal life. Nor is it an effort to make California as notoriously dry as Utah. Since the government spends a whooping $4 billion on DUI-related damages as is, this isn’t a ploy to line their pockets. This is solely about keeping drinking in bars and off the roads. It is to encourage

people to think twice about their potentially fatal decisions, if not for their lives or the lives of others, then maybe to avoid legal trouble. Nobody wants to believe they could be responsible for somebody’s untimely death. Nobody wants to believe an exciting night out will suddenly end in tragedy. The undeniable truth is all drunk driving accidents are 100 percent preventable, as well as all the related deaths. Technology has made it easier than ever to seek safe post-bar transportation. In the past are the days when calling expensive cabs, sketchy hitchhiking or a stumblingstroll home were the only nondriving options. Through an app, a reasonably priced ride home will arrive in a matter of minutes. Even with the recent reports of attacks and sexual harassment, taking an Uber or Lyft is still exponentially safer than risking the road solo. Getting home safe is the first line of defense in the fight. The fight continues in Sacramento. In a moving documentary created by the Kowals, the heavy influence the alcohol industry has on the government is exposed. The

film cites big alcohol as a major hinder of the bill and use money, power, lobbyists to persuade for limited government control. Contrary to popular belief, the people have proven historically to have a stronger influence than big business. The win of popular opinion will win the politicians. In order to do this, we as the people, need to change the culture around drinking and driving and make it the unthinkable. Even one death from drunk driving is over the limit. Liam’s and millions of other victim’s realities are non-negotiable. But the reality of the future remains untouched, and lives can be saved. However, if consumed responsibly, there is no need to feel guilted into boycotting alcohol for the cause. In place of that, show support by signing Liam’s petition and voice that the tolerance for these deaths is zero. Keep the good times rolling— off the road, and end up boycotting funeral homes instead.

Samantha Decker can be reached at sdecker458@glendale.student.edu.

Welcome to GCC

Glendale College welcomes the new Senior Coordinator as an essential part of improving the International Student Program By Tatiana Pak Staff Writer It’s refreshing news for staff and students to have one more person they can trust and rely on. After a long and thorough process, the International Student Program at Glendale College had the pleasure of welcoming the new Senior Coordinator, Nusha Shishegar, shortly after this past spring break. Working on the field for the last 17 years, Shishegar started her career path as a student worker at UC Irvine Extensions, where she was in direct contact with international students learning English as second language. In her senior year of college, she was hired as a full-timer in the school as a SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) coordinator, and dedicated herself to her studies while helping international students as well. While Shishegar explained how she landed the job, she shared what

motivates her, “You have to have a love for people” she said with a big smile on her face. “Have an understanding of culture and diversity, and how those things play with each other, so you don’t come from a lens of judgment.” On asking why she chose to work specifically with international students, and what it meant to her, Shishegar said “I actually get a little emotional when talking about international students, because I find them to be among the bravest people on the planet.” By being in this field with people coming from so many different countries, she recognizes that it’s a big leap of faith they take. “To leave everything that you know […] it takes a very innovative strong person to do that,” she explained “I couldn’t do what they do.” There are many international students at GCC, and the US educational system is very different from their countries. There are

laws, rules, and exceptions that apply, and it is easy for students to feel overwhelmed with information and doubts. Besides having to comprehend all of it, they also need to keep their objectives in mind, both academically and in life. “I feel it’s our responsibility to support them for that process. That’s where we the DSO’s (Designated School Official) come in to play. We have to support their goals,” she affirmed. Shishegar also highlighted the importance on receiving feedback from students to develop the international program for better, as she believes in the importance of touching base with students and keeping a connection, preferably face-to-face. That is why her office door is always open, and she even has sweet treats on her desk as a bonus. “Come to us early when there is a problem,” because at the end of the day “an international student’s advisor life is boring without in-

Tatiana Pak Photographer

Nusha Shishegar: Writing new plans for the program.

ternational students,” she said in laughs. Acknowledging that sometimes international students tend to feel more insecure on their way of communicating and going through cultural barriers alone, it’s important for Shishegar that students understand that they’re not being judged, and that it is okay to seek for help. Besides minding the students’

goals, the new senior coordinator has her own as well. Her aim is for the school to become a second home for the students. For her, it’s about witnessing the students’ success, from transferring to achieving different goals in life. “That to me is super impactful. If you can be a part of that student’s success, that’s why you do the job I do.” Tatiana Pak can be rached at tatiipak@gmail.com.


Unconstitutional Abortion Bans

Arkansas passes the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States By El Vaquero Staff On May 14, Alabama passed the strictest abortion laws in the country and clearly designed to challenge the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling The bill, which takes aims at doctors, makes performing an abortion a Class A felony. It comes on the heels of states like Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Utah also passing similar laws in an attempt to make abortion access near impossible. Georgia’s bill, which focuses

on punishing the pregnant party, would make abortions illegal after 6 weeks — quite literally two weeks after missing a period. There would be an exception in the case of a mother’s life being endangered by the pregnancy, and in cases of rape or incest before the 20-week mark, and only if a police report has been filed. Alabama’s legislation, on the other hand, only makes an exception in the event that the health of the mother is at risk, and if the fetus has what is described as “fatal anomalies” that would make living outside of the womb unlikely. Alabama’s bill does not

make exceptions in cases of incest or rape. These “heartbeat” bills have yet to take effect in their prospective states and will likely be challenged as unconstitutional. But, with two new conservative Supreme Court Justices appointed by President Donald Trump, Republicans are hopeful in the possibility of a reversal in Roe v. Wade. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have both made it clear that they will do everything in their power to challenge the new legislation. They also want women of these states to note that these laws haven’t been passed yet,

and both abortion and birth control are still accessible in these states as of now. The core of Roe v. Wade acknowledged privacy rights and the integrity of a woman to choose what to do with her body. Interestingly, with abortion being legal today, we are seeing the lowest rates of abortion that the U.S. government has on record. Indeed, thanks to sexual education and access to birth control, as well as legalized birth control, women have more choices and greater personal autonomy. All the while, abortion rates have declined 26 percent between

2006 and 2015, a point one would miss in the fundamentalist conservative talking points that seem to suggest abortion is a widespread horror. Simply put, the government has no right to tell American women what to do with their bodies, per the most touted document in the U.S., the Constitution. If you are interested in helping the cause, feel free to donate to both the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, and join in the fighting for our rights. Send your opinions and response about this editorial to elvaq.gcc@gmail.com.


www.elvaq.com OPINION

May Day March

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Why do you march?

Basilio Hernandez Because love is necessary in order to restore our humanity. And marching together in solidarity with people from all walks of life and endeavours of different forms of oppression is a display of that love. The agreement, in the truth. The truth that we can only do this together. We can only change and heal our social discord through love. Marching is only an expression of a shared truth. The truth of the oppressed seeking to liberate themselves peacefully.

Melody Klingenfuss We all have 2 weapons: our voices and our bodies. And it’s always so electrifying when you get to use both.

Arely Martinez I march to demand justice. This year was my 3rd annual participation in May Day. It’s a bittersweet moment. Seeing organizations and communities unite and stand as one is beyond words. Bitter because it’s been 3 years and not much has changed since I first marched. People continue to work jobs that drain their life away, for wages that are not sustainable. In addition, exploitation is the main tool businesses use to stay on top. Weather it’s in the form of low wages, hash working conditions, or hostile environments. I want workers to know that not only do they have rights but also a community that is willing to fight alongside them. This calls for immigration reform, where undocumented individuals are empowered to speak up against abuse and not fear getting fired or worst deported.

Maria Sandoval

We are currently living through a moment of history, it’s an unfortunate time because of all the ongoing issues but it’s a beautiful time because you see a whole community fighting for our human rights. We the people have woken up a sleeping giant. A fight for equality and for love. I myself am a part of the this movement. I come from a mixed status home, i’m a proud daughter of immigrants, I am a female minority and I am a proud member of the LGBT community. I believe that one day we will all be equal. While the fight continues we will be strong and march on.

Jairo Aguilar The reason I chose to march was to encourage others to stand up for their rights and beliefs. Only through unifying our communities will we have our voices heard and our demands fulfilled.

Cobby Ascencio

page design by Martha Topete Chieko Kubo

By Martha Topete Staff Writers

I came from a family who migrated to this country on foot, I watched them struggle growing up and seeing how they never gave up really touched me. I’ve seen the struggle first hand and knew that I had to do something to help. From attending marches to spread awareness or offering resources to help with any issues they might have. I hope that in the future I have the power to help beyond. t Martha Topete can be reached at martha.topete11@gmail.com.

www.elvaq.com SPORTS

Wednesday, May 22, 2019


GCC Track Athelete Competes in Special Olympics Paul Kim finds his stride By Michael Dumansky Sports Editor

Getting a quality athlete for any team is common to come by. These athletes could be strong, tall, smart and a great students, which define what a true great athlete means. But what if some of these qualities were challenged by something uncontrollable? Would you still recruit the athlete? In this case, the coaches for the Glendale Community College Men’s Track and Field team took a

chance on him. Everyday is a good day for Paul Kim. He enjoys his classes at Glendale College and might go for a leisurely run if he feels like it now that the season is over for the track and field team. If he happens to pass a mirror, he is reminded yet again about the disease that he lives with but he does not let it define him as a human being. For Paul, establishing friendships was a major priority in his life. He found people that would stick by him through

STRETCHING: Paul Kim warms up for training

Dylan Bryant Photographer

thick and thin but some people decided to make fun of him and hurt him but that didn’t stop him from just living his best life. About 10 years ago, Paul was introduced to track and field with the “FAX” program, at a school with the purpose of providing help for special needs kids. This is where the love of the events came to be as he joined the track and field team at the school. This is where he fell in love with the sport. After graduating from the FAX program, Paul attended Glendale High School. This began his time in the Special Olympics track & field. Unfortunately, he never participated in school track & field again until his senior year of at Glendale High when many of his friends encouraged him to try and compete. This was a big challenge for him but he overcame his fear and persevered and made the team his senior year. His nerves and fears stayed with him throughout his season as he ran against other great athletes in his lone year on the team. “It was tough, like really really tough.” Exclaimed Paul when asked about how competition was in high school track and field. As his senior year came to an end, he found himself only participating in the special olympics. It wasn’t until a

Dylan Bryant Photographer

A TROOPER: Paul Kim representing his school and the Sepcial Olympics

Special Olympics event that one of the GCC Track & Field coaches noticed his ability and talked him into joining the team at GCC. “I was at a Special Olympics practice here at GCC then coach Thomas [Aguirre] saw me run and he said wow that guy is fast. So about two years ago he asked me to join here and I had to think about it for a long time. I was nervous and to think it was harder than Special Olympics and that there were a lot of people that were faster than me and I didn’t really know what to expect.” Stated Paul about his recruitment onto the GCC Track & Field team.

This was the pinnacle of his career as an athlete. He achieved his ultimate goal of being a college athlete despite all the hate, regardless of the doubt, Paul Kim made it. He was able to say he was a college athlete and competed at one of the highest levels. Unfortunately, for Paul this was the end of his time with Track and Field. He put his blood, sweat, and tears into every meet he competed in and he never looked back. Paul had the heart of a champion and he was more than just an athlete. Michael Dumansky can be reached at mdumans011@student.glendale.edu

Update on the Addition to the Verdugo Gym The truth behind Glendale College’s endless constructions

By Jonathan Vargas Sports Reporter

The Glendale College campus is a never-ending story when it comes to new construction or updating and remodeling old ones. The campus had the Sierra Vista building project finished in the Spring of 2018. Shortly after Sierra Vista was completed, a new construction project has begun and the construction workers are in the process of putting an auxiliary gym to the current one. The new addition to the gym is being built with the main goals being; to provide more physical education classrooms along with one large lecture based classroom, more Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) classes, a new state of the art weight room, an expanded athletic training facility (nearly double the size of what it is now), a men’s and women’s locker room, and a better rehabilitation treatment center for injured athletes. “The addition to the gym will free up a lot of space that

is compacted in the current gym,” said Chris Cicuto, Associate Dean of Athletics. With so many improvement projects underway, one may wonder, how does GCC get the funding to afford these projects? In the November 2016 elections voters approved Measure GC, which would issue up to $325,000,000 of the Glendale Community College District’s general obligation bonds. Those funds are to be used strictly to improve the facilities on campus. These funds have already been used for the Sierra Vista building, and for the addition to the Verdugo gym. The new addition to the gym will not only make more of an abundance of opportunities for physical education classes and athletes as previously stated, but it also makes that part of campus more appealing for the students enrolled. This construction project is expected to be completed by May of 2021.

Jonathan Vargas can be reached at j.varg96@gmail.com.

Contruction Continues : The building site since phase one began in October 2017

Dylan Bryant Photographer


www.elvaq.com ENTERTAINMENT

Artist Spotlight:

We Were Liars

SMOOVE By Selena Reyes Entertainment Editor

In recent years new artists have tweaked the style of mainstream music and have created a new wave of hip-hop and rap through over hyped beats and bland lyrics. Rap music, which is an acronym for Rhythm And Poetry, has lost its way in the mainstream scene. Making it not only difficult for artist who have mastered the craft but for the longevity of their career in a generation where they are clearly under appreciated and underrated. Rapper Smoove, whose real name is Peter James Sullivan has mastered the art of combining lyrics that relate to today’s generation while staying true to the roots of old school hip-hop and rap. Sullivan was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and was adopted and welcomed into his family in New York as an infant by mother, Trudy Sullivan. He describes his adoption as something that helped him tune into his emotions at a young age. He shared the hardest part about living in New York, as a child, was constant relocation due to the split of his parents. “At a young age, my mother, brother, and I moved a couple times in Brooklyn ... until we went upstate [which] was probably the toughest transition.” he said. He also recalls being a teenager struggling to find a way to cope. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school, I started to write about these things in forms of poems or verses.” he said. “When I realized I can bring my thoughts to life and express my emotions in writing that’s when I ran with it.” he added. The artist decided music was something worth pursuing seriously the moment he recorded his first track “Drop by” with best friend Anexsy. “Just being in a creative environment and laying down my first verse I knew I had to continue, it was something I instantly fell in love with.” he said. The track describes the importance of connection and stringing said connection with the women they were pursuing. He also shared his favorite released track remains “Regular Dudes” but thinks his best track thus far is “Feeling This Way” which is unreleased and will be on his mixtape soon. “Sometimes when you make a track you can just feel it and that’s something that sat deeply with my emotion and I’m just glad I brought it to life.” he said. Sullivan’s admiration

Book Review

By Elena Jacobson Copy Editor

Vivian Ho Courtesy Photo

for artists Nas, J Cole, and Curren$y is vivid in his smooth delivery on his tracks. He describes these artists as men who took their own path and truly trusted their craft regardless of what others thought. “I admire their work ethic and approach to how they articulate their visions.” he said. When asked what he felt sets him apart from rappers in today’s generation the artist said, “I believe just being able to stay true to myself and not falling into the wave of what everyone else is doing. Being able to be versatile and just the fact that I make music out of my love.” Sullivan has yet to come across or develop any connection with major names in the business but remains very confident about the long term success of his career. “I feel I have the right people around me and a solid support group in my corner.” he said. However, he does recognize the immense amount of patience it will take followed by hard work and exposure. “I feel I’m at an advantage being in New York with he amount of opportunities and people there are within [the] industry around here.” Sullivan’s over all goal with music is to inspire others with their aspirations no matter what crisis is served to them by life. “To inspire people to find a way and if they cant find a way to create a way. My goal is to [provide] hope.” To listen to music by Smoove scan the QR code below:

Selena Reyes can be reached at sreyes401@student.glendale.edu.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Sinclairs family is perfect, they are an old, rich, and beautiful family where “no one is a criminal, no one is an addict and no one is a failure.” The three Sinclair cousins and their friend, Cadence, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat, also known as the Liars, have spent every summer together on the Sinclairs’ private island off the coast of Massachusetts. As the rest of the family fights over inheritance and property, Cadence and the liars just want a peaceful summer vacation. But after a terrible accident on their 15th summer, Cadence loses her memory and has to solve the mystery of what exactly happened to her and where the Liars were. “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart, is a hauntingly beautiful story of guilt, grief, love, and friendship. The reader learns right alongside Cadence, as she discovers each shocking

revelation that leads to an even bigger mystery. With a lot of Shakespearean undertones, Lockhart captures her audience with intense drama and the complication that comes with family ties. She is able to show the uniqueness of the Sinclairs and their situations while still keeping a sense of familiarity that readers can connect to their own family. She has explored and commented in depth on what really makes a family bond. While the book does occasionally get repetitive, especially towards the end, the overall story, plot twists are enough to keep a reader engaged. This is also despite how many times Cadence mentions how much she loves Gat, and she mentions it a lot. What seems like a typical teen romance from the outside, is given a new per-

Amazon Courtsey Photo

spective with the use of the astonishingly unexpended turns. The relationships of love, friendship, and family are all heavily tested after her accident. So while the Sinclairs cover up their faults and Cadence works to uncover them, just remember “If anyone asks you how it ends, just lie.”

Elena Jacobson can be reached at laneyjacobson520@gmail.com.

Avengers Endgame The End-All-Be-All

By Sam Reynolds Production Assistant

The biggest superhero movie of the year is finally here! Premiering last month, the last installment of the blockbuster hit Marvel’s Avengers series has predictably dominated the charts since its release. Fans who have followed the gripping storyline of the team of superheroes from its start in 2012, lined up out the doors of movie theatres all over the country to witness the Avengers final fight. It’s been five years since Thanos single-handedly eliminated half of all life in the universe in search of the perfect balance. Earth still mourns all that was lost while still attempting to recover from the catastrophe. But even in their darkest hour, Captain America, Black Widow and the remaining Avengers move forward with one goal in mind: Finding a way to defeat Thanos and bring

IMDb Courtsey Photo

back all that were lost. While some scatter to find Thanos, Tony Stark, who was rescued from certain death by Captain Marvel, struggles with the choice of staying with his family and living on with the world Thanos left broken, or rescuing everyone with no guarantee that he can. Fortunately, he’s able to team up with Bruce Banner, who has managed to fully tame the Hulk while still maintaining his super genius intellect, and AntMan, who returns from the Quantum Realm unaware

of what has happened to the world he once knew. After reuniting and mapping out one last strategy, the Avengers take the fight to Thanos in an epic battle to decide the fate of not only all they’ve lost, but all that remain. Keep in mind, the film is three hours of pure action-packed entertainment. To avoid missing a major moment, make a run to the restroom beforehand and be sure settle in with enough snacks to satisfy your sweet tooth. Sam Reynolds can be reached at sreynol201@student.glendale.edu.