THURSDAY FEBRUARY 27, 2014 Vol. XLVII No. 2 The Ohlone College men’s and women’s basketball teams qualify for postseason play. See story on page 7
FREMONT, CA OHLONEMONITOR.COM
New parking situation gets mixed reviews
Commission to visit Ohlone in March Team to meet with groups, individuals as part of six-year review LOUIS LAVENTURE Editor-in-chief
TAM DUONG JR. / MONITOR
Construction workers dig up an area adjacent to the site of the former Parking Lot C on the Fremont campus.
LOUIS LAVENTURE Editor-in-chief With construction of the South Parking Structure under way, students and staff are giving mixed reviews to the new parking situation on the Fremont campus. Anybody attending Ohlone this semester will notice the longer walks to classes, and the challenge of finding a parking spot. With lots M, N, O and P closed for the parking structure construction, and lots B and C closed to
make way for portable buildings, things can get congested, especially during peak class times. “Parking sucks,” student Jackie Kim said. “I paid for a parking pass and I pretty much park on Mission Boulevard every day. Literally feet away. Sucks.” Continued on Page 3 Have an opinion about the parking situation? Leave a comment or question on our website at www.ohlonemonitor.com
The Accrediting Commision of Community and Junior Colleges is scheduled to visit Ohlone College in March as part of the accrediting process that all California community colleges go through every six years. The team, led by Kim Perry, president of Butte College in Oroville, will visit the campus March 10 to 13, meeting with committees, groups and individuals to confirm information in the college’s accreditation self-evaluation report. Students and staff can expect visits to classrooms during the team’s time here on campus as well as possible questions for staff about their classes. The team also will be allowed administrative access to all online classes in order to make sure that all recommendations are being met. In 2008, despite a mostly favorable report, the commission warned Ohlone that its Board of Trustees must work together and stop trying to micro-manage the college. The warning required a progress report and follow-up visits. “Board members often act as individuals, which has led to micromanagement of the president and other college staff,” according to the report. “There is significant dysfunctionality within the Board of Trustees that is perceived to have a negative impact on student learning and the quality of the institution.” ACCJC President Barbara Beno, in a letContinued on Page 3
Newark campus closes parking lot SHANNON SORGE News editor Parking Lot A on the Newark campus closed last week to make way for temporary portable buildings during construction. The closure will provide room for 15,000 square feet of portable buildings to house temporary classrooms, labs and office areas. About 15 percent of classes will be moved from the Fremont campus to Newark during the demolition of Buildings 1, 2 and 8 in Fremont, followed by the construction of new buildings at the center of campus.
On the Fremont campus, parking lots B and C were closed this month to make room for another 40,000 square feet of portable space during construction. In all, nearly 40 percent of classes will be held in this “swing space,” which is expected to be fully occupied by Spring 2015, when demolition will begin. The projects are among those paid for through the $349 million 2010 Measure G bond approved by voters in November 2010. In Newark, a temporary overflow lot of 300 spaces has been added, leaving the Continued on Page 3
ERIKA HEREDIA / MONITOR
A parking structure on the Newark campus is covered with new solar panels, installed last semester.
MONITOR FEBRUARY 27, 2014
On the Road with MITCHELL WALTHER
High school counselors gather at Ohlone
Palm Bosque traffic changes The Palm Bosque area, which many drivers have been using to cross campus, now will be closed to all through traffic except disabled access and emergency service vehicles, campus police Chief Steve Osawa said. Vehicles have not been stopping or slowing for the increased foot traffic due to the parking lot closures, Osawa said. The gates on Olive Lane are now unlocked so people can drive from one side of campus to the other without having to leave the campus.
Spices of happiness I’ve lived here in the Bay Area all of my life, and it is definitely all right. Fremont is the Camelot of the suburbs, and San Francisco is a gorgeous hub on the West Coast. San Jose is a fun and great place to walk around for the sights and smells. But it is home, and home can get boring. Every road trip you take, a little bit of sparkle is put back in your eyes. Every vacation can be an inspiration. So is traveling really the key? When we finish moving around and seeing sights, do we simply return home to what we knew and carry on? I guess in a sense this entire planet is our home. The places we never see are just corners of our backyard we haven’t made it to yet. Maybe, with that mindset, traveling is just more of a settling in. We’re getting used to the world around us and learning what other people love. That little cafe in France I’ve never been to may be the Sujus for a Frenchman. He goes there every day after class and opens up his laptop to do his homework. They bring him a bitter cup of coffee and he snacks on a stale fruit bar while selecting the same A, B, C and D’s we get to see every day. It’s not all that different, but it’s definitely not all that similar. Same dish, different seasoning. I guess what I’m getting at is that happiness is more of spice. It dances around and spikes your day when you least expect it. The person sitting next to you may be tasting the same little joys that you are, though – it’s all one big effort. Your happiness is connected to the Frenchman’s happiness in Le Sujus, as it is the same. To keep the spice fresh, we just need to keep it moving around. No one likes getting all the salt of the meal in one bite. Be sure to stir up the spices when they come to you, and maybe the people around you will get a little taste of it too.
LOUIS LAVENTURE / MONITOR
Nadia Dadgar, an Ohlone associate professor and counselor, talks to high school counselors from different districts at the Fremont campus on Feb. 20. Nearly 50 counselors and career specialists, as well as 30 Ohlone College faculty members, attended the event to improve the working relationship between high school and college counselors. Dadgar believes this will help make the transition from high school to college much easier for incoming students.
Pleas entered in fraud case MONITOR STAFF
Three men have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit financial aid fraud and wire fraud for their part in a scheme to obtain federal student aid fraudulently at Ohlone and other area community colleges, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag announced last week. Kyle Edward Moore, of Hayward, Cortio Detrice Wade, of Arizona and Marcel Devon Bridges, of San Lorenzo, pleaded guilty Feb. 14 in federal court in Oakland to conspiring to obtain federal student aid funds by preparing and transmitting fraudulent Free Applications for Federal Student Aid
to the U.S. Department of Education, said Haag, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California. From 2007 to 2011, the defendants recruited “straw students” and helped them prepare, sign and transmit fraudulent applications for community colleges including Ohlone, Chabot and City College of San Francisco, defrauding the Department of Education of more than $1 million, Haag said. The straw students had not obtained high school diplomas and had no intention of attending school or using the money for educational purposes. The defendants shared the funds among them-
selves and sometimes with the straw students, Haag said. The trio was arrested in September. Moore pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud; Bridges pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud; and Wade pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and four counts of wire fraud. Sentencing is scheduled Aug. 22 for Moore and Bridges, and Sept. 19 for Wade. The case against a fourth defendant, Derricka Lynn Fluker, of Oakland, has been delayed until April pending a possible plea agreement, according to court records obtained by the Monitor.
Club Days provide information LOUIS LAVENTURE Editor-in-chief Ohlone College welcomed all of the college’s clubs to the cafeteria on the Fremont campus on Tuesday and Wednesday. Clubs were able to set up tables for prospective members and hand out information about their organization. The Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native American Scientists or SACNAS was represented by
ERIKA HEREDIA / MONITOR
Club members hand out information in the cafeteria on Tuesday.
Nicole Payton and Patricia Paredes. “We really want to pro-
mote science to minorities,” Payton said. “This is a good way to get the word out.”
Workshop to discuss diversity The Lunch and Learn workshop returns to Ohlone and will be focusing on valuing diversity for employees. Several topics will be covered at the workshop, including dimensions of diversity, benefits and challenges of a diverse workplace, and scenarios that will help prepare employees for diverse situations that arise while in the workplace. The workshops will be from noon to 1 p.m. March 5 in Room 7101 on the Fremont campus, and from noon to 1 p.m. March 10 in Room NC 1317 on the Newark campus. To RSVP, go to www. s u r v e y m o n k e y. c o m / s/8HXQVS5.
Series presents two speeches The Ohlone Speech and Communications Department will have two installments of the Communication Colloquium Series at the Fremont campus on Friday. The first, “How to Critique a Performance of Oral Interpretation,” will be from 1 to 2 p.m. in Room 3102 with speakers Nicole Sandoval and Phillip Enguancho. Afterward, from 2 to 3 p.m., speaker Ed Drummond will deliver his speech on “Come Hear from an Expert on the Importance of Securing Your Online Communication.” Both are open to all Ohlone College students and faculty. –Compiled by Louis LaVenture
MONITOR STAFF: Editor-in-Chief: Louis LaVenture News editor: Shannon Sorge Features editor: Louis LaVenture Sports editor: Louis LaVenture Opinions editor: Louis LaVenture Photo editor: Tam Duong Jr. Online editor: Shannon Sorge Advertising coordinator: Sujin Park Monitor Staff: Erika Heredia Magdalena Jurys Sruthie Kondamoori Alizaib Lodhi Hung Ngyuen Ryan Parcher Adviser: Rob Dennis Printer: FP Press
MONITOR FEBRUARY 27, 2014
College preparing for ACCJC visit Continued from Page 1 -ter to then-college President Douglas Treadway, wrote: “The team recommends that the Board of Trustees ceases involvement in college operations and delegate all non-policy implementation at the college level to the president.” Ohlone has addressed this recommendation and others in hopes that this visit will have a better result, and five of the seven trustees from 2008 no longer are
serving on the board. College President Gari Browning spoke about the accreditation process at length in her State of the College address on Jan. 24. “The commission has several actions on our accredited status that it may take,” Browning said. “A warning with progress report and visit, this is the one we received last time. We do not want it. It usually entails a couple of rounds of reports and visits, really shakes up the community
and affects enrollment.” The City College of San Francisco is experiencing this to the fullest after receiving one of the worst outcomes possible following an accreditation visit. The commission announced last year that it would revoke CCSF’s accreditation in July for failing to follow commission recommendations. In response, the city of San Francisco sued the commission. Despite the importance of
the accreditation process to the college, many students remain unaware of it. “I don’t know what that word even means to be completely honest with you,” student Li Cho said. “Ohlone is a great school – I can’t picture that being taken away.” The Ohlone College accreditation self-evaluation report was finalized in January and is available to view on the college’s website at www.ohlone.edu/org/accreditation/.
Parking lot closures receive varying opinions Continued from Page 1 In addition, the temporary lots that were included in original planning were nixed after a three-week study to determine the peak need of total parking spaces. “It was determined that the temporary lots are not necessary,” Ohlone College President Gari Browning said. Many students now have a longer walk to class, since they no longer have the op-
tion of parking in a higher lot. Still, not everybody minds. “The parking situation is a lot better than I thought it would be,” English faculty member Robert Mitchell said. “My classroom attendance has not dropped, so it seems that students are finding the parking spaces. I know they are having to walk longer distances, but the spaces seem to be there.” Student Ashly Chambers agreed.
“I need to walk more anyway so I really don’t mind,” she said. “Yes, I have to get to school a little earlier now, but it is all for the greater good. Hopefully I am not still here when it is all done, but it will be great for everybody.” Chambers was referring to the series of construction projects paid for by the $349 million Measure G bond measure. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Feb. 12 for
the first major one, the South Parking Structure. “I think the school has gotten the word out well,” Mitchell said. “We’ve had signs on campus, and I know a lot of instructors alerted their students to the new parking situation. … I think that the period during construction will be difficult, and the portable buildings will give us a different environment, but when it’s all over, I think it will be worth it.”
Parking shifts at Ohlone Newark campus Continued from Page 1
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campus with 750 spaces and a peak need of 722, providing 28 surplus spots. “It sucks just as bad as the Fremont campus,’” student Thomas Rebelo said when asked about the Newark parking situation. Another student, though, had the opposite view. “The parking lot isn’t bad at all,” Amanda Dieffenbach said. “I always find a spot before my classes, but since Parking Lot A is closed a lot more people are parking in the back dirt lot now.” Another overflow lot of
ERIKA HEREDIA / MONITOR
A parking lot on the Newark campus is covered with new solar panels, installed last semester.
286 spaces will be added in the fall, by which time there will be a peak need of 1,022 spaces with an availability of
1,036 – dropping the number of surplus spots to 14. For more information, you can visit our website at
www.ohlonemonitor.com or go to http://ohlonebond. com or www.ohlone.edu/ go/construction.
MONITOR FEBRUARY 27, 2014
Former nun worked with Mother Teresa
Mary Johnson shares her experiences working with Missionaries of Charity for more than 20 years LOUIS LAVENTURE Editor-in-chief For two decades, Mary Johnson worked with Mother Teresa to help the poor. She also fell in love twice with a fellow nun and a priest, and eventually left the order. Johnson told her astonishing story – “How I Became a Nun and Disappointed Mother Teresa – An Examination of Commitment Mechanisms by a Former Nun” – to a packed house Thursday in the Smith Center on the Fremont campus, as the Ohlone College Psychology Club’s speaker series made its return to campus with a huge splash. “We are so thrilled to have her here and share this amazing story,” Psychology Club adviser and faculty member Sheldon Helms said as he introduced Johnson. Johnson’s tale is one of intrigue, woe, despair, humility and perseverance. Her personal struggles lend insight into the life these women led, pioneered by Mother Teresa. “I did this really weird thing and joined a convent at the age of 19,” Johnson began her powerful story. FromWashington, D.C., to Winnipeg, Manitoba, to the South Bronx and even Rome, Johnson has seen it all in her travels with the Missionaries of Charity, which was established in 1950 by Mother Teresa primarily to help the poor, sick and impoverished around the whole world. “I was young and great in school – I was even voted
TAM DUONG JR. / MONITOR
Former Missionaries of Charity nun Mary Johnson explains how Mother Teresa hated to be touched during Johnson’s visit to the Smith Center on Friday before a packed house.
most likely to succeed,” Johnson said. “I just didn’t know what I wanted to do.” Johnson capitalized on her intelligence and enrolled in the University of Texas, where she came across an issue of Time magazine with the image of Mother Teresa on the front page. “I sat there and I read that entire thing – I even missed my French class,” Johnson said. “Something about that cover and the prophetic way of doing things really pulled me to the organization.” After several inquires, Johnson was accepted into the organization as an aspirant, and after a six-month process that she described as “boot camp” she was finally a part of something that she had longed for. “There were 12 women in the beginning of my class
and only two of us made it,” Johnson said. “We went to the South Bronx and we were pinned at a ceremony by Mother Teresa with a crucifix. Our hair was also cut and we were given the familiar saris to wear.” For two years Johnson was a novice, learning the ways of the sisters and what the vows she was going to take actually meant. They begged for food, only had two pairs of clothes. Touching was not allowed. Friendship was not allowed. They were allowed to see their family once every 10 years and make a phone call once every two weeks. “Mother (Teresa) was very hardcore in her belief that we should have nothing and live like the poor we were trying to help,” Johnson said. “Mother (Teresa) said our
heart should belong always to Jesus and nobody else.” Requiring that obedience be “cheerful, blind and constant,” Mother Teresa did not make being a sister in the Missionaries of Charity an easy task by any means. These rules were part of the constitution that the Catholic Church requires every organization to have, a constitution written by Mother Teresa and later rewritten by Johnson. “It felt wrong to rewrite them, and I would do it as long as nobody knew who did it,” Johnson said. “The church required this update, so I had to do it since it was assigned to me, but it was hard.” Johnson moved all over the world, serving the poor as well as helping to train and prepare sisters within the
organization, when Mother Teresa’s health began to decline. “As (Mother Teresa’s) health declined, two new sisters guided it very conservatively and it was no longer the prophetic vision it was when I started,” Johnson said. “It didn’t sit well with me and this is when my secret life became an issue.” Johnson explained that she fell in love twice, breaking several covenants, once with a sister and again with a priest. “I began to feel all sorts of things that I never felt before,” Johnson said. “I wanted to live a full life and I felt like I wasn’t as long as I was a sister.” Johnson wrote a letter asking for permission to leave, which was given, but not without some conflict. “Mother (Teresa) asked to speak to me one day and she wanted to know what was going on,” Johnson said. “So I told her I wanted to go home and that she already signed a letter of permission. Mother (Teresa) said, `I can believe this about anyone, but I cannot believe it about you.’ ” So, after 20 years of service, Johnson left the convent in May 1997. Four months later, on Sept. 5, Mother Teresa died at the age of 87 in her native India. The crowd filling the Smith Center was not disappointed in Johnson’s story, rewarding her with a standing ovation at the conclusion of her presentation. “I cried a few times,” attendee Alexis Gavin said. “What she did and what she went through to do it, makes me feel so humble and amazed.”
Gay Straight Alliance aims to educate, inform community Ohlone College Gay Straight Alliance President Charles Barba (right) and Secretary Alayna Harris (left) have some laughs and discuss “The Other Prom” during a GSA meeting on Feb. 20 on the Fremont campus.
RYAN PARCHER Staff writer Ohlone’s Gay Straight Alliance has been active on campus for the past six years. Now, though, the group is trying to raise its profile as it organizes an “other” prom for area youth. GSA President Charles Barba estimates that as many as 1,000 to 1,500 of Ohlone’s students fall under the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) category. “The GSA exists to create safe spaces on campus for students and raise awareness of LGBTQ culture in the community.” Barba said. “It is not the GSA if only gay people come, we need straight allies. It is important for young
RYAN PARCHER / MONITOR
gay people to see they have straight allies.” GSA members held their second meeting of this semester on Thursday. The attendance was less than the potentially hundreds of LGBTQ students on campus.
Alayna Harris, the club’s secretary, described it as a pretty average turnout, but Barba hopes to grow that number. “This is the first year we are actually doing anything,” said Joey Grandov, the GSA vice president. Grandov said
Barba, the new president, has spurred on the club’s efforts. In addition to awarenessspreading T-shirts and pizza socials, the GSA has a bigger vision. Its big project this semester is to support LGBTQ youth in Fremont by hosting
a dance at Ohlone. They call it “The Other Prom.” While details still are being worked out, the excitement about the idea was obvious in the meeting. The GSA has tentative plans to collect voluntary donations at the door. “It’s not going to us,” explained the GSA treasurer, Michelle Ganoung, “It’s going to go to a charity or scholarship fund.” Barba wants to use the dance to convince LGBTQ youth to stay in school. According to Barba, LGBTQ teens are more likely than their straight peers to forego college or to drop out of high school. The Ohlone GSA meets from 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Thursdays in Room 1407 on the Fremont campus.
MONITOR FEBRUARY 27, 2014
ASOC Rep at Large Francis Phiri, a deaf international student from Zambia, reads signs from an interpreter on Friday at Ohlone College’s Fremont campus.
PHOTO BY TAM DUONG JR. and STORY BY LOUIS LAVENTURE
‘A dream that I can’t wake up from’ I used to walk to school with no shoes, and now I have so many shoes that I lose count -Francis Phiri
LOUIS LAVENTURE Editor-in-chief For many people, losing their parents, aunt and hearing would be enough to drive a sane person to the edge of insanity. Yet, for Francis Phiri, these things motivated him to work even harder and become a success story rather than a statistic. An international deaf student who also serves as the rep at large for the Associated Students of Ohlone College, Phiri is making the most of his opportunity in America. Phiri was born in the African country of Zambia, a member of the Nyanja tribe. Both of his parents died of malaria when he was very young, and he was sent to live with an aunt. Then, in a cruel twist of history repeating itself, Phiri contracted the disease at the age of 12. “After I got malaria, I was receiving medicine and it was working,” Phiri said through an Ohlone interpreter. “After about two years, I
stopped taking the medicine and that is when my hearing began to go away.” Phiri’s hearing faded over the next four years until, by the age of 18, he was completely deaf. Phiri’s aunt died when he was in 10th grade, leaving him with nowhere to live when he went to work for the International Labour Organization. “Everything happens for a reason – I believe that,” Phiri said. “If I would not have lost my hearing, I would have never met Frank and come to America.” Phiri is referring to Frank Lester, an American teacher who is also deaf and was in Africa working as a Peace Corps volunteer when he met 16-year-old Phiri. “He was always an outspoken, outstanding, active participant and helpful.
When I encountered language or cultural barriers, Francis was there to mediate,” Lester said. “I saw that he loved to learn and had a love for people. That was when I decided to bring him to America.” Phiri graduated high school in Zambia in November 2008, and in August 2009 Lester made good on his promise and brought Phiri to the United States on a student visa. “Frank asked me what I wanted to do after high school, and I told him the truth – that I didn’t know,” Phiri said. “He asked me to come to America with him and I did, taking me in with his family.” A teacher at the California School for the Deaf, Lester specializes in teaching students with special needs.
He has been deaf since birth, so his family is familiar with the culture and sign language, which helped Phiri ease into the transition. Phiri is an American Sign Language Deaf Studies major, but he has his eye on a bachelor’s degree in child development and education, in hopes of one day becoming a teacher like Lester. ASOC adviser Renee Gonzales talked about the resilience and bravery Phiri shows on a day–to-day basis. “It is a miracle that he has survived such hardship and that Frank Lester brought him here for a better life,” Gonzales said. “Francis is such a fighter. He has been blessed with a level of intelligence, determination, resilience and understanding that I think have helped him rise above
many challenges.” Most college students have a difficult enough time trying to maintain good grades, let alone being deaf and in a new country. Phiri’s story is truly inspiring, and he hopes that by telling it others can learn and grow. “I want to encourage and motivate everybody, including the black community,” Phiri said. “In order to be successful, you have to have patience, flexibility and motivation. I try to embody these things so I can break through and be successful.” Phiri hopes to transfer to the University of San Diego or a state school after he is done here at Ohlone College. These days, when he recalls his impoverished childhood, he can scarcely believe how far he has come in such a short time. “I used to walk to school with no shoes, and now I have so many shoes that I lose count,” Phiri said. “Sometimes I feel like this is a dream that I can’t wake up from, when I think about where I came from to now.”
MONITOR FEBRUARY 27, 2014
TAM DUONG JR. / MONITOR
Left to right: The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson and Oprah Winfrey form a Black History Month Mount Rushmore designed by the Monitor staff.
Black History Month is time to reflect, honor ALIZAIB LODHI Staff writer The forerunner to Black History Month was created in 1926 by historian Carter Woodson, who declared the second week of February “Negro History Week.” Later, in 1976, President Gerald Ford expanded the celebration to a month, arguing that America needed “to seize the opportunity to honor the too-oftenneglected accomplishments of black Americans in every
area of endeavor throughout our history.” Now, every February, people around the country – as well as in the United Kingdom and Canada – celebrate triumphs in black history. The History Channel runs dozens of specials about the Civil Rights Movement. Teachers lay the topic on the table in class discussions about significant AfricanAmerican figures and their contributions. While some critics have said it is not enough to pay
nominal homage to the achievements of blacks in America for just a month, others say it is the symbolic recognition of priceless contributions by black people to America that must be remembered. As we end February, it’s important to know the history behind this month and the trials and tribulations of the black experience: The abomination of slavery; the inequality endured by African-Americans; Jim Crow and the horrific ex-
What does Black History Month mean to you?
periences of the South such as lynching, encountering racial prejudices, riding the back of the bus, and not being able to take part in the American process because of skin color. Black History Month is still needed in a country where racism and hatred are still alive – even with a black president. This month serves as a celebration of what black people have accomplished in a short time, people such as the Rev. Martin
Luther King Jr., who led the civil rights movement; Rosa Parks, who triggered the Montgomery bus boycott; and Jackie Robinson, who broke the baseball color barrier. These contributions to world history and civilization form part of our collective consciousness, but it’s quite easy to forget them, forget to honor such prominent leaders and the sacrifices they made so this country can be a better place for people of all colors.
ANTONETTE YBARRA Undeclared
“It paved roads for people and gave them hope to be strong” STEPHANIE JEFFRIES Radiology tech
“To put what it means into words is really difficult, but it is really important” JOHN VINCENT ABALOS English
“It’s a time to remember how a race fought for their freedom and rights” COURTNEY HENDERSON Undeclared
“It is a time to celebrate those who fought and strived for equality”
LANSTON JACQUET Undeclared
“Forgetting is not an option. It is just a time to remember and honor the past”
SPORTS Got Me Feeling Some Type of Way with LOUIS LAVENTURE
MONITOR FEBRUARY 27, 2014
Ohlone hoops teams heading to playoffs
Men host College of the Sequoias, women travel to take on Sierra College
Olympic change So, when I originally sat down to write a column about the 2014 Winter Olympics, I was dead set on nailing it to the wall. More than $51 billion spent on building an infrastructure in Sochi, Russia, best known as a middleclass vacation destination not unlike our very own Jersey Shore. While I must admit I came in to these Olympics ready to tear them apart, they have captivated me, just like the Summer Olympics do every four years. Besides Shaun White and an occasional figure skater or skier, I knew very little about the snowy athletic events, until this year. I mean, the storylines alone are endless and completely mesmerizing, even to the most novice of fans. The Canadian mogul skier Alex Bilodeau became the first athlete ever to win back-to-back gold medals in the moguls event, and the first person he ran to afterward was his brother. Bilodeau’s older brother, Frederic, has cerebral palsy and motivates Alex every day to be the best that he can be. Alex Bilodeau can’t even speak about Frederic on camera without getting emotional. Their embrace after Alex Bilodeau won his second gold medal was beautiful and stamped on my heart eternally. If that wasn’t enough to draw you in, there is a 15-year-old figure skater who’s been perfect in every routine. There is the Korean speed skater who now dons the colors of the host country, Russia, and changed his name from Ahn to Victor. How about American Julia Mancuso, who became the most decorated female skier ever, picking up a bronze medal in the women’s super-combined event? My point is, don’t just ignore these niche sports, because the games of the Olympics are so much more than just the few weeks they are aired on television. Years of hard work and sacrifice culminate so quickly. Take some time to appreciate and embrace the Olympic spirit.
LOUIS LAVENTURE Editor-in-chief The Ohlone College basketball program got a major boost on Monday when the California Community College Athletic Association announced that both teams qualified for the Northern California Regional Tournament. Men’s basketball After finishing 22-6 in the regular season and 8-4 in conference play, the men’s basketball team earned the No. 6 seed and a first-round home game against the College of the Sequoias. College of the Sequoias finished the regular season 15-13 overall with an impressive 10-2 in conference play, earning the 11th seed. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Friday at Epler Gymnasium on the Fremont campus. The Renegades were riding a five-game winning streak before falling in their last game to the visiting City College of San Francisco by a final of 71-63. CCSF is the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament and is the only team to receive a bye in the first round of the Northern California Regional Tournament. Sophomore point guard Casey Norris is the team’s leading scorer, averaging 11.9 points per game while playing an average of 26.1 minutes per game and amassing a 42.7 field-goal percentage. If the Renegades are victorious, they will face the winner of the game between No. 3-ranked Santa Rosa Junior College and the 14 seed Merritt College. Women’s basketball The Lady Renegades locked up the No. 13 seed and will have to go on the road to Rocklin to take on No. 4-seeded Sierra College at 7 p.m. on Friday. Ohlone finished the regular season 19-9 overall and 10-2 in Coast Conference North play. “We just have to work hard and stay focused,” Crystal De Los Reyes said following a 71-50 regular season conference victory over Las Positas College. “This team works hard and has a lot of talent.” Sierra College finished the regular season 21-8, including a 10-4 conference record to secure a first-
RYAN PARCHER / MONITOR
Sophomore Marcelus Clay throws down a slam dunk over Skyline College forward Aaron Brown during a 70-56 triumph at Epler Gymnasium on the Fremont campus on Feb. 19.
round home game. The Lady Renegades have been beastly on the boards, ranking first overall in rebound margin, outrebounding teams by an average of 7.7 per game. Ohlone also ranks first overall in field-goal percentage, shooting 42.4 percent from the field. “We have to keep working and always play hard for each other,” Emily Osagiede said after the Las Positas College game. “I can’t allow myself to get frustrated. I just have to stay calm and work hard on every play.” If the Lady Renegades are able to pull off the upset they will face the winner of the game between City College of San Francisco and Contra Costa College. CCSF defeated the Lady Renegades in the final regular-season game of the year by a lopsided final of 65-19. The blowout loss was a rarity for the Lady Renegades who usually keep games close, even if they lose, which speaks volumes about the talent level of the fifth-seeded San Francisco City College.
TAM DUONG JR. / MONITOR
Crystal De Los Reyes converts an acrobatic layup in a 71-50 victory over Las Positas College on Feb. 5 at Epler Gymnasium.
MONITOR FEBRUARY 27, 2014
2014 Ohlone College Lady Renegades Softball Following a disappointing 2013 campaign, the team is relying on youth for a major turnaround
Top: The 2014 Ohlone College softball team celebrates a home run by Jillian Ceccanti in a 10-2 victory over San Francisco City College on Feb. 18 in Fremont. Above-left: Sophomore captain and infielder Savanna Ulloa. Above-center: Freshman captain and pitcher RaeAnn Garza. Above-right: Sophomore captain and infielder Alyssa Raguini. PHOTOS BY TAM DUONG JR. and HUNG NGUYEN
Three sophomores, slew of freshmen ready for return to top LOUIS LAVENTURE Editor-in-chief Winning the conference title nine years in a row is a feat coaches dream of. Yet that has been the reality for the Ohlone College softball team and legendary coach Donna Runyon. Runyon has spoiled the community and college with countless winning seasons and postseason appearances, including capturing the Coast Conference championship from 2003 to 2011. However, despite a
great 2012 season, the Lady Renegades missed the playoffs last year for the first time in more than a decade, making it hard for some of the veterans to take. “Last year was tough, not making the playoffs and just not living up to what we knew we were capable of,” sophomore captain Savanna Ulloa said. “We have a lot of talent on this team. We have the ability to go all the way, win conference and even state, we really do.” Ulloa is solid at first base for Ohlone and is batting .240 on the season with three stolen bases. Fellow sophomore captain Alyssa Raguini is off to a
hot start this season, batting .348 with on-base and slugging percentages over .460. Raguini noted her team’s youth, but did not think it would hinder them at all. “Being a young team is different, but we have more talent and everybody is ready to listen more and learn,” Raguini said. “Everybody on this team is willing to go that extra step. No matter how tired or late it gets, everybody is willing to take that extra grounder or fly ball or whatever it is to help the team get better.” This is also the last year of the field, which will be replaced with new facilities once the Measure G project
is complete. “This is the last year on this field so we have to keep the tradition going and get a circle on the fence,” Raguini said, referring to a Coast Conference championship marker that goes on the fence once the team wins the title. Ohlone’s fence is nearly full because of the team’s huge success. The youth, especially freshman pitcher RaeAnn Garza, is making its presence felt on this team. Garza was a standout at James Logan High School in Union City and has continued to shine here, helping Ohlone improve to 7-3 overall and 2-0 in conference play.
Yet even the young players know the importance of relying on experience and wisdom. “Coach Runyon has been in the game so long that I really try and listen to everything she says so I can take it all in and apply it to my game,” Garza said. “It is really a privilege to play for coach (Runyon) and I just hope we can close out this field the right way for her.” Garza has pitched 49 innings this season, amassing a 6-2 record, striking out 47 batters and boasting a miniscule 1.57 ERA.