Page 1

RAMPAGE

22

2017

ISSUE

03

Spring 2017

February

Monica Lopez with her daughter, Ruby, looks onto the crowd of protesters at Fresno City Hall after marching in the “Sanctuary for All Solidarity March” that went through downtown Fresno on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Photo/Ram Reyes

FIGHT FOR SANCTUARY BY LARRY VALENZUELA

Broadcast Editor lvalenzuela@therampageonline.com

A mass of protesters banned together on Feb. 18 outside Fresno City Hall to take part in the “Sanctuary for All Solidarity March,” armed with signs to show support for their immigrant neighbors after Mayor Lee Brand’s refusal to make Fresno into a sanctuary city. Protesters were met by a lone

counter-protester donning a “Make America Great Again” hat and waving a flag with President Trump’s face. As the march continued, protesters were met with honks from passing cars showing their support for their cause. The march began outside of Fresno City Hall and spanned through downtown Fresno, stopping briefly in front of the Fresno County Jail then making its way past the police

headquarters down M Street and passing by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement holding center. Arianna Martinez Lott, one of the organizers, says the route was specifically picked out to pass by crucial places they wanted to send their message to. “We purposely chose to pass through the county jail,” Lott said. “Because Sheriff Mims still continues to collaborate with ICE, so we

SEE MARCH, PAGE 4

NO STUDENT TRUSTEE ON BOARD Neither FCC nor Reedley college has representation BY LARRY VALENZUELA

Broadcast Editor lvalenzuela@therampageonline.com

The board of trustees for the State Center Community College District has had no student trustee or representation since the fall of 2016, according to the president of the Associated Student Government at Reedley College as well as the Fresno City College student who has been acting as the unofficial trustee. Scott Chapman [ASG president at Reedley] and Kaura Lopez, [acting trustee for FCC] say that this violates Education Code and should be remedied. The student trustee acts as

The RAMPAGE

the representative between the students of the campus and the district’s board of trustees. Policies are still being passed by the board of trustees at the district offices but without any student representation. This goes against board code. According to the California Education Code Article 3 Organization of District Boards, [72022-72036.5], “The governing board of each community college district shall order the inclusion within the membership of the governing board, in addition to the number of members otherwise prescribed, of one or more non voting students.”

@FCCRAMPAGE

The code explains that “these students shall have the right to attend each and all meetings of the governing board, except that student members shall not have the right, or be afforded the opportunity, to attend executive sessions of the governing board.” Lopez, acting trustee for FCC, said the problems started because she is not recognized by the board of trustees because of how she gained the position. “I did not run last semester,” she said. “So I am in an appointed position by the senate.”

SEE TRUSTEE, PAGE 4

Celebrating a Poet Remembering the Life of Former FCC STUDENT Mia Barraza MARTINEZ

Back PAGE

SOFTBALL MAKEs A COMEBACK Rams win after 10-point deficit Page 10

@RAMPAGENEWS www.therampageonline.Com The Student-run newspaper of Fresno City College


2

RAMPAGE 2.22.2017

WoMan DIES NEAR campus BY ASHLEIGH PANOO

Editor-in-Chief apanoo@therampageonline.com

A woman died after she was severely injured near Fresno City College in the early morning hours of Feb. 17, said Sgt. Andre Benson with the Fresno Police Department. The unidentified woman was found around 3 a.m. near the intersection of Blackstone and McKinley avenues. Although medical help was rendered, she succumbed to her injuries, Benson said. The woman was believed to be homeless and lived near the area. Anyone with information on the woman’s identity or how she died is asked to call Detective Daniel Messick at 559-621-2451 or to report anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 559-498-STOP.

Pitch Competition offers chance to win $1,500 BY ASHLEIGH PANOO

Editor-in-Chief apanoo@therampageonline.com

Fresno City College’s first online pitch competition is now accepting online submissions, according the entrepreneurship club. The competition, named Disrupt, will give high school and college students the chance to win up to $1,500 and go on to the regional competition in April. To enter, participants must create a two-minute YouTube video pitch and post it to the FCC entrepreneurship club’s Facebook page before midnight on Feb. 28. Voting will open to the public March 1 through 14, and the 14 finalists will make their pitches in person on April 1 from 10 a.m. to noon in OAB 188.

District Gets $1.5 million for Central Valley Promise BY ASHLEIGH PANOO

Editor-in-Chief apanoo@therampageonline.com

The Central Valley Promise program received a $1.5 million grant to jumpstart its pledge of making the first semester of college free to incoming high school students, Lucy Ruiz, spokeswoman for the State Center Community College District, announced on Feb. 15. The district will use the grant, awarded by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, to launch the program. The Central Valley Promise, announced in 2016, aims to create a change in college attendance by high school students by removing the barriers teens face when they graduate from high school. In addition to making the first semester of college free for students who maintain good grades, the program will provide supportive services and informational out-

Free Dental Care for Kids at FCC BY ASHLEIGH PANOO

Editor-in-Chief apanoo@therampageonline.com

The Fresno City College dental hygiene clinic is expecting to provide free dental services to about 300 children on March 4 from 9 a.m. to noon at the FCC dental hygiene clinic. Dental hygiene and dental assistant students, faculty, local dentists and health providers are volunteering for the Seal and Save our Smiles program, providing exams, screenings, fluoride treatments and hygiene and

RAMPAGE Staff Editorial Board Reporters Editor in Chief Ashleigh Panoo News/Copy Editor Edward Smith Sports Editor Michael Mendez Opinion Editor Frank Lopez Asst. Layout/Photo Editor Ram Reyes Broadcast Editor Larry Valenzuela

Elias Cardenas Armando Carreno Christopher Del Castillo Samantha Domingo Corina Duran Julease Graham Javier Hernandez Eric Jaramishian Adrianna Johnson Makinna Malady Ethan McNeely Melody Olivas Terada Phengphong Jorge Rodriguez Marco Rosas Desire Stevenson Cheyenne Tex Lindsey Thornton Noah Villaverde

Layout Editor Lukas Newcomb

Rampage Adviser/Instructor Dympna Ugwu-Oju dympna.ugwu-oju@fresnocitycollege.edu

reach to students, using technology like phone apps. Although the Central Valley Promise is fashioned after similar national programs, Ruiz says it is unique because it encompasses a university, (Fresno State), two community college districts (SCCCD and West Hills) and several unified school districts (Fresno, Kings Canyon, Sanger, Firebaugh-Las Deltas and Mendota). The Fresno County Office of Education and the Central Valley Community Foundation are also partners of this initiative. Paul Parnell, Chancellor of the SCCCD, said the grant is evidence of the strong partnerships between the community and its schools. “This grant will act as a springboard for change in the Central Valley,” he said. “[It will] help eradicate unemployment within the region we serve.”

Contact Us: Tip Line: 559.442.8262 Letters to the Editor to: editorial@therampageonline.com

nutritional counseling to children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Participating kids will get X-rays, white and silver fillings, crowns, baby root canals and space maintainers at no cost. A health fair will offer screenings and information about other available programs. The event is open to the public on a first come first served basis. For more information, contact Luisa Bransford at 559-3047870 or at luisa.bransford@ fresnocitycollege.edu.

ONLINE WATCH what our reporters think are the best places to eat off campus. WATCH family and friends remember Mia Barazza Martinez’ impact on their lives.

NEWS

Wall of Honor AWARDS THREE NEW INDUCTEES BY EDWARD SMITH Copy/News Editor

esmith@therampageonline.com

In its 20th year, the State Center Community College District will celebrate the contributions of three individuals in their communities for the annual Wall of Honor Ceremony on Feb. 24. The event will be held in Room 251 of the Old Administration Building and will commemorate Tamara Epperson, Marshall Kelley and Joe H. Lee. Tamara Epperson currently teaches accounting and business administration at Madera Community College Center. She also campaigned for Measure C, which provided $485 million in bonds for district facilities. Epperson leads the Volunteer Income Tax Association, which offers free tax advice to people with learning disabilities, limited English and the elderly. Epperson earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University Fresno and her master’s in public administration from National University. Her volunteer credits include Hearts and Flowers Sickle Cell, Blue Star Mom’s Socks for Soldiers Drive, Ebony Magazine Show, Fresno Convoy of Hope, Christmas at the Hinton Center Toy Drive and Poverello House. The Wall of Honor will also commemorate the accomplishments of Marshall Kelley, one of the first African Americans in the Fresno area to become a Certified Public Accountant. He attended Fresno City College and opened his own CPA firm in Fresno in 1989. At the Family Community Church, Kelley mentors those interested in the accounting profession. Kelley also helped start the Association for the Improvement of Minorities, which runs in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service. Kelley graduated from Fowler High School, Fresno City College and Fresno State. Joe H. Lee was the first African American associate superintendent and deputy superintendent of Fresno Unified School District. Lee developed programs across the valley, including the Career Opportunity Program for Minorities, which recruits and trains teachers, and Restart, which works with drop outs from FUSD. Lee graduated from Washington Union High School, got his associates from FCC and also attended California State Universities Hayward and Fresno, as well as the University of Southern California.

Corrections? Email media@therampageonline.com Any correction needed for an article should be brought to the attention of the staff of The Rampage. The Rampage is committed to accuracy and should be made aware of any mistake in an article that appears in this paper. Views expressed in the opinion pages are those of the individiual writer and not of the newspaper. The Rampage is produced by students of the Journalism 11 A, B, C, D class.


3

RAMPAGE 2.22.2017

NEWS Students gather around the Wiley College table at the “Historically Black Colleges and Universities Caravan” event in the FCC gym on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. Photo/Ram Reyes

HBCU Caravan stops at FCC BY CORINA DURAN

Reporter cduran@therampageonline.com

Representatives from 28 historically black colleges and universities from all over the country arrived to Fresno City College on Feb. 14 to recruit students and inform them about the scholarships and programs they offer. This was the second year this event took place. It was organized by Rodney Murphy, a student ser-

vice counselor and member of the IDILE/SYMBAA program. “We did it last year and we got $270,000 worth of scholarships given out and we are bringing it back this year to give more students the opportunity,” Murphy said. IDILE/SYMBAA organized the event to inform the students about black colleges and universities. The California Community Colleges Transfer Office Programs make the process of transferring easier for the students of different community

colleges to a HBCU. There were colleges and universities from all over the country that participated with the CCC Transfer Office Program, like the Florida Memorial University and Wiley College in Texas, and also colleges and universities that do not form part of the program, like Harris-Stowe State University in Missouri. Historically Black Colleges and Universities are schools that were founded by African-Americans, but the diversity varies in their schools.

These schools are known for having amazing academic programs, as well as athletic and music programs. “We are going to look into bringing them in twice a year,” Murphy said. “So students that cannot make it in the fall can make it in the spring.” Around 150 Fresno City College students, and even some high school students, attended the event this year, and more students are expected to join them the following year.

Resources Abound to Aid Veteran Success BY JORGE RODRIGUEZ

Reporter jrodriguez@therampageonline.com

The veterans resource center is planning a trip to the Capitol in Sacramento on March 8 to have students “tell their stories” and encourage legislators to keep funding the California community college veterans resource centers. The Sacramento trip will have student veterans representation from all 113 community colleges in the state. More student veterans receive benefits in the state of California than in any other state. More than 80,000 veterans use their benefits in the state, according to a 2012 study by the department of Veterans Affairs. At Fresno City College, the veterans resource center provides information that helps make veterans’ college experience easier. Mario Reposo, counselor at the veterans center, said that about 70 percent of the veteran students at FCC are not fully aware of the

extent of the benefits available to them. In community colleges, they can use the veterans resource centers to become better students and achieve their career goals. Veterans use their educational benefits or GI Bill to pay for their tuition and books, and depending on which type of benefit a veteran is eligible for, they can also receive an allowance for housing and other supplies. Sometimes, though, even with the GI Bill, veterans find themselves needing a little more help to find success in their education, and that’s when they should turn to the Veterans Resource Center. “For the most part, their success rate is higher than the regular student,” Reposo said. “They are older and sometimes have families--student veterans want to do well, and they take things very seriously.” Most veterans go on to use their basic educational benefits without exploring all the other options available to help them. “Only until I contacted the re-

source center and talked to one of the attendants did I realize about all the benefits,” veteran student, Joseph Rangel, business administration major, said. “The resource center has been one of the key factors

The resource center has been one of the key factors in my success as a student.” -Joseph Rangel Veteran

in my success as a student.” Frank Mathews, another veteran student, said getting the benefits “was not that hard once you go through the proper channels; it opens the door to a long list of individuals that can help.” The veteran resource center is not run by the college or the State Center Community College District, but by the Veterans Administrations. Many veterans are sometimes not referred to the resource center and could go for a long time without knowing about their eligibility to receive benefits. Francisco Ramirez, a veteran majoring in dental hygiene, said, “I didn’t know a lot about the variety of benefits because I didn’t come in here first and talk to the resource center.” He also said that vocational rehab benefits can help pay for school supplies. Ramirez said, “I could talk to vocational rehab and they were able to purchase me a laptop and printer for my studies.”


4

RAMPAGE 2.22.2017 MARCH FROM PAGE 1 can not say our families can feel protected if there is still so much collaboration with customs enforcement. We also passed by the [ICE] holding center, so it was important for us to make sure we passed by symbolic places that are really affecting our communities.” Lott also talked about how crucial it is for the community to speak up now. “There is a lot of ongoing threats to our community,” Lott says. “And we don’t want

to wait to see what happens at a national level. We want to continue to support our undocumented community.” Alexandria Ramos-O’Casey, a student at Fresno City College, came out to show her support for her friends and neighbors of her community. “I know I have people in my life that were too afraid to come out today,” O’Casey says.” So we wanted to show them that this community is here for you and we care about you. That’s why we’re out here today: to show love to those who are too scared to come out today from our neighbors and friend circles.”

NEWS

Pavin Johnson, a student at Fresno City College, says that these protests are important to support American ideals. “There’s a kind of identity battle between people who claim they are American and people who are American. We are America because we are the people, we’re not a particular ideology, not one particular group; we’re not one particular type of a political structure. We represent all Americans and all future Americans.” A town hall meeting regarding immigrant rights is scheduled to take place on March 16 at Fresno City Hall.

Group of young protestors lead the “Sanctuary for All Solidarity March” holding a banner outside of Fresno City Hall on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Photo/Larry Valenzuela

TRUSTEE FROM PAGE 1 Lopez said she had personal issues which caused her to not run for the trustee position last semester. But she was asked to fill the position as student trustee when the candidate who ran for it failed to get enough votes to qualify to run for the position. “According to board policy, apparently I am unofficial because I am in an appointed position instead of an elected position,” she said. “So I am not allowed to sit on the board of trustees.” Kou Xiong, former president of the ASG at FCC said that this issue had stemmed from last semester and that Paul Parnell, the SCCCD chancellor had known about the vacancy and had not done anything to hold a special election which only he can authorize. “From the information I got,” Xiong said, “Brandon Mclaughlin [ASG vice president] emailed the chancellor and got a response from

the chancellor that he knew about the vacancy.” Xiong said that the problems experienced by Lopez, the interim trustee, had never happened in the past. “From information I got from Interim Dean Sean Henderson, when there was a vacancy within the student trustee position, we appointed the student trustee and the board usually recognized that student trustee,” he said. “But this year it was different.” With FCC’s student trustee seat vacant, the responsibility would have fallen on the Reedley College student trustee, according Reedley’s ASG President, Scott Chapman. The only problem is that Reedley College’s trustee was recalled last semester. “Our previous trustee, Brenda Fuentes, had a car accident and she was no longer able fulfill the role,” Chapman said. The Reedley College ASG couldn’t wait any longer for Fuentes’ recovery, and with no way to contact her, the organization held a

recall in December, Chapman said. “It was recorded in this last board meeting,” Chapman said. “We now have a vacancy on the board of trustees.” John Leal, president of the board

I wasn’t aware of the fact that it would be impossible for her to come back and act in that seat.” -John Leal Trustee President

Fish Fry Raises Scholarship funds BY ETHAN MCNEELY

Reporter emcneely@therampageonline.com

The African American Faculty and Staff Association held a fish fry and concert on Feb. 15 around noon in the Free Speech area of Fresno City College’s campus as part of Black History Month events at FCC. The AAFSA set up a tent where they sold fish and chips as well as sodas as a scholarship fundraiser. ASG representative Wyconda Hopkins said, “this is a fundraiser for scholarships that the AAFSA provides to African American students.” A scholarship is awarded to two students with a GPA of 3.0 to 3.49 and another to students with a 3.5 and higher. On the amphitheater stage, two men performed a short reggae concert. The two men, Jah Wise and Ras Heed, sang about love within their community and not letting politics destroy it. With their reggae music, they promoted black culture. In one song, the lyrics went, “Forward to Africa, not backwards,” and “a politician ain’t nothin, our love is something.” An alumnus of FCC, Wise was proud to have studied the history of many different cultures when he was a student. Wise said, “I believe there is no better time than now to expand love in our community, whether that is on campus, in Fresno, California or our country.

of trustees, said he was unaware of the lack of student representatives. “I didn’t know that the positions were vacant at the time,” Leal said, adding that he was operating under the assumption that Fuentes was still the acting Trustee of Reedley College “We welcomed her back; we didn’t know anything about a recall,” Leal said. “I wasn’t aware of the fact that it would be impossible for her to come back and act in that seat.” But Xiong said he was concerned that the members of the board had not noticed the vacancy in the position. “I don’t know [how they did not know]; turn your head to left and see that there is a vacancy there,” he said. Xiong said the problem is significant and should addressed. “At this point that there is no student involved with the board,” Xiong said. Chapman said a special election is taking place at Reedley College this week to fill the student trustee position to represent both colleges.


NEWS

RAMPAGE 2.22.2017

5


6

RAMPAGE 2.22.2017

THE WALL FALLS SHORT OF EXPECTATIONS

‘THE GREAT WALL’ Fails to entertain

A LOCAL HEALTHCARE PLAN

that won’t disrupt yours.

#YOLO

With a local healthcare plan at no cost to you, you can keep planning. No deducible. No copay. And nothing holding you back.

See if You Qualify for No Cost Coverage

C A LV I V A H E A LT H . O R G

BY SAMANTHA DOMINGO

Reporter sdomingo@therampageonline.com

An unfulfilling plot, mediocre acting, and decent overall visuals made “The Great Wall” a painfully OK film. Universal Pictures’ “The Great Wall” is a fiction action-adventure monster film directed by Zhang Yimou, starring Matt Damon as China’s White Savior. The film takes place in China during the Song Dynasty, with Damon and Pedro Pascal being the lone survivors of a mercenary group slaughtered by an unknown monster whilst searching for a powerful black powder. The two are then taken prisoner by a secret Chinese military group called The Nameless Order, led by Zhang Hanyu, Jing Tian, and Andy Lau. The purpose of The Nameless Order is to fend off alien monsters called Tao Tei that resurface every 60 years to terrorize China. Now, Damon and Pascal must fight alongside the soldiers if they want to live. A friendly Willem Dafoe plays a minor role within the army, but ends up being “da foe.” The basis for this movie failed to make any logical sense. Why was a random white man the only person who could slay these monsters with any accuracy, despite this entire Chinese army

ENTERTAINMENT having prepared for centuries? And what are the odds that the commander of the army just so happens to know perfect English? What the plot of the movie lacked in sustenance was somewhat made up for in visuals. The costume design was the real hero of the movie; armor worn by the army and its leaders was intricately detailed with traditional Chinese design, yet had a vibrant modern twist. However, the CGI for various action shots and for the monsters seemed clunky and unrealistic. This, combined with stiff acting, made most of the movie particularly bland. The stern tone of the film was easily lightened by Pascal’s performance, with his character being the essence of comedic relief for an otherwise monotonous movie. One thing that the movie did right was that it did not make a love interest out of Tian’s character for Damon, despite many opportunities in the plot where it seemed like a budding romance would begin. The trend of needless romance in action movies is tiresome, so it was refreshing to have an independent woman as one of the leads, uninterrupted and unfazed by a man. This movie went above expectations, but only because the bar was set fairly low. Overall “The Great Wall” was neither as exciting nor ridiculous as one might hope.

RATING:


ENTERTAINMENT

7

RAMPAGE 2.22.2017

ArtHop Co-Founder owns Gallery in Fresno BY FRANK LOPEZ

Opinion Editor flopez@therampageonline.com

As one of the founders of ArtHop, Chris Sorensen has unintentionally helped make the Fresno art scene what it is today. After managing Weco Supply Co., a welding company he started, his son got him interested in art and they started to practice metalwork together. In 1990, Sorenson opened up a small studio so artists could show off their work cheaply. The studio has expanded in the last 26 years and it is the largest art gallery in Fresno. There is work displayed by local artists and artists from all over California. The art displayed comes in many different mediums such as glass, photography, painting, drawing and many different types of sculpture. The studio sees about 1,000 visitors a night on the first ArtHop of the month, and is open Monday through Saturday. The Chris M. Sorensen Art Studio and Gallery is located at 2223 S. Van Ness Ave.

Art pieces displayed in the gallery located at 2223 S. Van Ness Ave. in Fresno. Top right: Chris Sorensen, founder of the Chris M. Sorensen Art Studio and Gallery. Photos/Larry Valenzuela

Cheap Clothing has its Cost BY CHEYENNE TEX

Retailers located in Fresno such as H&M produce clothing in other countries such as Bangladesh and sell them for as little as $3 in the U.S. Photo/ Cheyenne Tex

Reporter ctex@therampageonline.com

After making more than $600 million in annual sales during its peak, the assets and intellectual property of American Apparel have been sold to Gildan Activewear Inc., according to “American Apparel Bankruptcy Deal Leaves Retail Future in Doubt”published by Bloomberg News. Although American Apparel’s motto was “Made in USA,” Gary Bell, spokesman for Gildan, could not confirm whether or not American Apparel’s products would continue to be produced in the U.S. or specifically in the Los Angeles facilities, according to “American Apparel Seeks Bankruptcy Protection a Second Time.” With most of America’s clothes already being made in other countries, it’s not abnormal to see this retailer looking to other countries for production, Aaron Pankratz, FCC professor in the economics department said. This may not mean the end of American-produced clothing, but outsourcing is a reoccurring trend for retailers. So, why use other countries? Labor is cheaper, which means clothing can be cheaper. From a business standpoint, countries determine who would give up the least to make the most. Other countries pay workers less, which means they put less money into labor. So, the benefit is cheaper clothes, and America can focus on

producing other products in, perhaps, agriculture. Cheaper labor, nonetheless, doesn’t mean there are no other costs. Workers in some clothing factories are underpaid, overworked and injured. Retailers like H&M produce clothes in such factories including ones in Bangladesh, according to Rachel Abrams in the New York Times article, “Retailers Like H&M and Walmart Fall Short of Pledges to Overseas Workers.” The Rana plaza factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh incurred a loss of more than 1,100 workers when a factory collapsed three years ago, and the fight for safer working conditions continues. Forever 21 is another retailer known to underpay workers in their Los Angeles factories, according to

Natalie Kitroeff in the LA Times article, “Factories that made clothes for Forever 21, Ross paid workers $4 an hour, Labor Department says.” Yet, some FCC students said H&M and Forever 21 are places they shop. Many of the students said that they don’t consider where their clothes were made. “We don’t really think about it on a day-to-day basis,” Jessica Santiago, early education major, said, adding that she would consider changing where she shops. For others, these factories are places where people go to make a living and the cheap prices are convenient. “H&M’s plain tees are cheap and convenient financially,” Juanita Placido, freshman, said. So, cheaper labor means cheaper clothing. People can buy more, which increases living standards.

But is more really better? Do the benefits outweigh the human cost? At the time of bankruptcy in November 2016, American Apparel employed about 4,700 people, according to the Bloomberg News article. The job loss is apparent, but that just means that America loses jobs in the garment industry, Pankratz said. America may begin producing other products like the machines used for other countries to make the clothes, but we shouldn’t ignore the poor working conditions. Our living standard is higher, but it is at the cost of human lives. Consumers should consider where they shop. Ultimately, it’s consumers’ money that supports these retailers’ irresponsible practices.


8

RAMPAGE 2.22.2017

Swearing off Stress for Good Why is it BY CHRISTOPHER DEL CASTILLO Important to Celebrate Black History Month? Reporter cdelcastillo@therampageonline.com

BY JORGE RODRIGUEZ PHOTOS BY MARCO ROSAS

Brandon Guzman Nursing

“It’s really important to get a feel for what they (African Americans) have been through.”

Have you ever had a really bad day at school or bashed your finger in the door, and just wanted to curse? It’s OK, there’s science to back up that cursing is good for you. It is one of those things that helps with stress relief and simplifies your life. According to an article in Scientific American,“Why the #$%! Do We Swear? For Pain Relief”, a new study finds that bad language could be good for you. For the first time, psychologists have found that swearing may serve an important function in relieving pain. There is evidence that shows that cursing or swearing is controlled by the limbic system, a part of the brain that processes different emotions. People seem to swear all the time. According to Bustle magazine, most of us will use a curse word about 80 times over a course of a day, and say at least three cuss words per hour. Humans have been using dirty words for centuries. It was the ancient Romans who were the first to have a form of cursing. The Romans gave us a model for the obscene

words. Swearing was similarly based on sexual taboo, and their form of cursing described the genitals in the human body. Swearing is one of those things that is an emotional pain reliever that brings out the best in us. There’s not single day that most people don’t use a cuss word. To some, swearing is considered bad manners and rightfully so. Also, it is in poor taste to swear in front of children and it makes you look uneducated to the public eye. Swear words makeup only six percent of our language, according to the website Cosmos. We use over 16,000 words daily and 95 of those words are profanities. Cursing lets you express exactly how you really feel whether it is with homework, bills or stress. It’s hard to hold frustration in for so long, and cursing makes people sound honest. Swearing is a form of relief, a way to express ourselves and it makes us feel better. Plus, it is not that big of a deal in the human language because we use it all time. So next time you are angry or just want to let off steam, go ahead and cuss, science shows it can help.

Seven Great Things About Growing Up In A Small Town BY MAKINNA MALADY

Reporter mmalady@therampageonline.com

Cassie Contrera Biology

“I think is important to celebrate Black History Month because if you don’t know your history, you’re not reminded of what you can accomplish.”

Moving away to a big city where beautiful people crowd the streets with lavish style was a dream of mine when I was a kid. However, there are so many lessons I have learned from my hometown that have laid foundations for my life. 1) Small town hospitality. If you have ever been to New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco, you would know that people are in

a go-go-go mentality. Life in a small town is a little different. Although life can get busy, we still get to enjoy little acts of kindness, such as people opening doors for us or having your local barista remember your order. 2) You have had the same friends since you were babies. Even if you go weeks or months without catching up on each other’s lives, you know you will always be there for each other. Growing apart is not possible when you have

OPINION gone through grade school, middle school and high school together. 3) Your support system is incredible. When you accomplish something, you can almost bet you will be in the local newspaper. And when something tragic happens, you have a whole town standing behind you helping you get back on your feet. When you are from a small town, your local hairdresser, grocery store baggers, coaches and teachers all become family. When options are minimal, it forces you to create relationships with the people around you. 4) Back roads. It takes 10 minutes to go 10 miles, because only five of those minutes is actually in town. The rest are country roads, which means no traffic and no cops to stop you from speeding. Also, the view of open fields and orchards is much better than the view of other people’s bumpers. 5) You can actually see the stars at night. There is nothing better than an open sky and a billion stars lighting up the night. You can not get that in the city. 6) Dating was simple because you knew everyone’s past. And even if you did not, you could count on your best friend to find out. Living in a small town means everyone knows everyone’s business. Yes, I agree that that is not always a good thing, but in this case, I would argue it is. 7) You have to face your problems head on. When there is an uncomfortable situation going on between you and a close friend, employee, boyfriend, etc., you have to tackle the issue head on. Chances are, you are going to see them often. There is no hiding away in a small town.

TRUMP DECLARES WAR ON MEDIA BY RAMPAGE EDITORIAL BOARD editorial@therampageonline.com

Janae Quarles Political Science

“It is important that Black people have a month to themselves to see what exactly we are appreciating.”

Jonathan Estrada Undeclared

“Its always good to go over the past of our ancestors and know what everyone went through as a race because we all have our own history.”

If the matter weren’t so serious, one could say that it is funny that the president of the United States is at war with the media, the very institution that helped him get elected. From very early in his campaign, Trump made his disdain for the media quite apparent. He attacked the “the failing ‘New York Times’” and ejected Univision’s Jorge Ramos from a Trump event -- early signs of what was to come in his self-proclaimed “running war with the media.” Coverage of Trump from major media outlets has been relentless, and it seems that with each passing day, the media unveil some new revelation about the administration. Coverage of Trump’s policies have been extremely critical in their reporting of the stream of leaks from the Trump White House. However, is this not the same media that helped get Donald Trump elected? Trump started his campaign with inflammatory, racial, bigoted rhetoric, and the media ate it up and blasted it into the national

consciousness. There was more focus on Trump’s antics and populist hyperbole, and there was virtually no attention paid to major political, economic, and social issues. According to the Associated PressNORC xxxxCenter for Public Affairs Research, two-thirds of Americans say that the 2016 presidential campaign focused too much on candidates’ personal characteristics, and not enough on their qualifications or the issues that matter most. The media paid more attention to the celebrity billionaire running for president than to Bernie Sanders, a senator who built his platform on restructuring the power for the people, instead of for the few hands on Wall Street. In defense of media companies, Trump sells more newspapers and is a better clickbait. On the very first day of Trump’s presidency, Sean Spicer, his press secretary, insisted that Trump’s inauguration crowd was the biggest in U.S. history, “perio.d” White House counselor, KellyAnne Conway was put on a “no-call” list with various media groups because of fabricating events such as the “Bowling Green Massacre”.

The White House political strategist, Stephen Bannon, has called the media “the opposition party” and says it “should keep its mouth shut.” Bannon who was executive chairman of Breitbart News, an “alt-right” and “anti-establishment” organization is now guiding the political thinking of the man in the most powerful seat in the world. Authoritarian figures attacking the media is nothing new. Trump’s accusations of “Fake News” bear semblance to the attacks on the “Lügenpresse” (lying press) in Nazi Germany or the “disinformation” news stories in the Soviet Union. The freedom of the press is guaranteed under the first amendment, and Trump is attacking any organization that criticizes him, or even informs people of what he and his administration are doing. The public must keep focused on what the Trump presidency is doing and also be critical of the way the media crafts and presents stories. Everyone, especially student journalists, must focus on how the media is operating under a presidency that sees it as an enemy. It is our duty to learn how to keep this government more transparent.


OPINION

9

RAMPAGE 2.22.2017

Are eSports real sports? players play up to 12 hours a day, practicing by improving their handeye coordination and increasing their key typing speed almost to the point of injury. From a corporate standpoint, there is money to be made in eSports. Similar to traditional sports, their revenue is earned through Illustration by Frank Lopez sponsors. Like the San Francisco 49ers is sponsored by Nike, Levi’s jeans, Budweiser and Campbell’s, professional gaming team Cloud 9 is sponsored by Alienware, Logitech and Nvidia, who ensure that each team has the best equipment they need to win. It also shows in their tournament events. The 2016 League of Legends world championships sold out the Staples Center in Los Angeles and had a prize pool of $5 million. At the end of the day, every sport is a form of entertainment. It’s a pastime that brings people together to root for something that is bigger them themselves. It’s a way of making a connection with their audience, introducing them to the world of gaming while providing the easy accessibility that traditional sports already has.

Pro

BY MICHAEL MENDEZ

Sports Editor mmendez@therampageonline.com

Electronic sports is a gaming trend on the rise. It may not be as well known as the NBA, MLB or NFL, but it is recognized by governments around the world as well as corporate sponsors and the gaming community as a professional sport. ESports is a professional sport dedicated to video games that features some of the best players in the world, competing for million-dollar prizes, as well as the right to call themselves world champions. Video games that are commonly played in eSports are multiplayer online battle arenas, such as “Dota,” “Smite,” “Counter Strike” and “League of Legends.” ESports is a sport because their players are recognized as professional athletes, as eSports promotes . In 2013, the U.S. government recognized esport players as professional athletes with the same privileges that olympic athletes get. The law grants visas to athletes from foreign countries who come to participate in esport international tournaments with corporate sponsorships and living and traveling expenses covered. ESports started to earn sport recognition with ESPN covering their league championship tournaments. In 2013, ESPN aired a preview to the 2013 DOTA world championship on ESPN 2 and later aired the event live on ESPN3. Saying that eSports is not a sport because it’s not physical is untrue. If physicality determines what a sport is, than golf, one of the world’s oldest sports, would never be one. There is a physical element in eSports that one may not consider:

Reporter ctex@therampageonline.com

My hair and my ethnicity have been segues for absurd questions and phrases like, “what are you?,” “you’re so exotic,” and “can I touch your hair?” I concluded that these questions seem to stem from lack of exposure to or conversation about different cultures. Social media, advertisements, magazines and the like bombard us with images of women every day. These images serve, in a way, as a beauty standard. But what is beauty? As a multiracial woman, it is difficult to find people who look like me in these images. There is a lack of diversity and representation in industries in-

Con

Do you even Wii lift, brah?

Challenging Beauty Standards BY CHEYENNE TEX

Video games are a great pastime and it’s fun when you are good at them, but a sport is much more than something you play. Electronic sports have become a sleeping giant in the arena of games. They have built a substantial audience and have even been covered by ESPN. But they lack a few key elements to truly be considered a sport. ESport competitors are sitting back pressing buttons while traditional sport athletes are pushing themselves to their physical limits. A game of chess may be an extraordinary battle of skill, technique and brain muscle, however much like eSports, chess players lack dire physical consequences that professional football players, soccer players, or fighters find prevalent in their sports. Physical consequences give sports a sense of danger and separate athletes much more from the average Joe. It’s hard to argue for eSports when a teenage boy can do the same things a socalled elite competitor can do. Athletes represent an elite group of individuals who have trained

cluding modeling, and I believe the modeling industry needs to put more effort into change. Luckily, when I was scrolling through Instagram some time ago, I found the All Woman Project. Using Instagram and other media outlets, Clémentine Desseaux and Charli Howard, founders of the AWP, created an online community. Instagram serves as a place for the founders and other models to represent different types of beauty in terms of color, age and size with photoshop-free photographs. As a community, this project provides support, appreciation and recognition for all body types. There is support for those that are not comfortable with their bodies. There is appreciation for all bodies.

There is recognition of the lack of representation in the modeling industry. After launching their campaign last year, the founders of the project released a second edition of the project in January in collaboration with the brand Aerie. Aerie has already launched campaigns that use unretouched photographs in their advertisements, so this made it a great reason to collaborate. Seemingly, change in the way we view women and bodies is on its way. Aerie’s efforts are a good place to start spreading the idea of diversity and self-love, but this is only the beginning. It’s clear that industries are aware of the lack of representation in the modeling industry; however, these campaigns haven’t made a huge impact. To battle the lack of diversity in the modeling industry, these campaigns need to start elsewhere, which is exactly what the AWP is doing. The AWP is now reaching out to girls in elementary school and

BY MARCO ROSAS

Reporter mrosas@therampageonline.com

through intense muscle strain and mental fatigue continuously to do things the average person could not fathom. Most people could not go 49-0 in boxing like Floyd Mayweather, but everyone can probably get a 3.65 kill to death ratio in at least one online game of Call of Duty. Traditional sports feature the one percent of one percent athletes who spend their entire lives striving for physical dominance, the key word being physical; eSports ignore this critical factor. Traditional sports build powerful teams through overcoming adversity; adversity that eSports have no real equivalent to match, aside from possible carpal tunnel syndrome. Through struggling during training, tedious drilling and constant criticism, an athlete and their teammates build a bond similar to that of military brothers in arms. At the end of the day, gamers can build strong friendships that can last a lifetime, but the lack of a physical struggle with teammates means a college football team would most likely sacrifice more for each team member. Professional gamers may not even be willing to risk their own comfort. Even Nascar drivers are sweating, moving over 200mph, in a steel box of death. The stakes could not be higher for Nascar drivers, and even Nascar is targeted as not being a real sport. So while eSports may have a vast audience, elite gaming competitors and some physical activity, they are simple lacking in legitimate physical challenges, dire physical consequences and powerful team building. colleges instead of just the industry itself. The AWP’s workshops and events will provide girls with role-models and begin a conversation about body image. This could be what makes the greatest change so far. Conversation is where learning begins. The earlier the conversation about body image starts, perhaps there will be a greater chance of shedding the stigma of different body types in terms of what is displayed in the media. Diversity is important for women all around the world to see, especially young girls. If models are limited to one size or color, young girls are limited to what they are learning about beauty. It’s important they grow up knowing that there are various definitions of beauty. A woman should not feel or be limited by what she looks like. This isn’t about removing the young, small Caucasian girl, it’s about diversity of color, size and age.


RAMPAGE 2.22.2017 SPORTS 10 FCC Comes Back from a 10-Point Deficit to Win BY JORGE RODRIGUEZ

Reporter jrodgriguez@therampageonline.com

After starting the season with a 1-4 record, Fresno City College softball is gaining some momentum with an athome win against Cabrillo College. The Rams found themselves in a 3-3 tie game after the first inning, but then things turned bad for the Rams. In the next two innings, they let Cabrillo College get ahead by 10 runs due to a couple of defensive errors. In the bottom of the fourth inning, with a risk of getting the game called by mercy rule, FCC began a comeback to stay in the game. The team started by loading the bases, thanks to three consecutive walks by Cabrillo College pitcher Raegan Avrit. After that, a wild pitch by the Rams’ outfielder Alicia Torres, and another walked, loading the bases. Another run was brought in when team captain catcher Karen Zamora was walked, keeping the rally going and the bases loaded. Next batter up was freshman infielder Amanda Mets who, after a few pitches, connected the ball with great force, sending it over the left field fence, bringing in four runs with a grand slam. The inning finished with FCC scoring six runs, but Cabrillo did not give up yet. A double by Katrina Herrera of Cabrillo, brought in a run and raised their lead to 14 in the fifth inning. The bottom of the fifth inning saw FCC continue their rally with a combination of good at-bats and taking advantage of fielding errors and wild pitches by Cabrillo. FCC tied the game

at 14 with five runs in the inning. FCC’s pitcher Mayra Mendez continued a strong pitching performance in the last innings of the game and only allowed one run by Cabrillo in the top of the sixth inning. In the bottom of the sixth, FCC was down by one run, but momentum was on their side, and that’s when FCC’s Kourtnee Dillard hit a triple down the middle to put herself in scoring position. In the next at bat, a wild pitch by Cabrillo brought in Dillard and tied the game. A couple of walks and a wild pitch brought FCC into scoring position. That’s when Karen Zamora hit a sac fly and FCC took the lead. In the same inning infielder Amanda Mets hit a double down the middle of the outfield that brought in another run. The inning was capped by Rams’ infielder Maddison Foster, whose hit brought in Mets, adding to a total lead of three runs. Mayra Mendez finished the game strong with help from the defense to get three outs, winning the game 18 to 15 and handing FCC its second victory of the season. “I feel really great about this game,” coach Rhonda Williams said after the game. “We were down 10 runs and we came back and won the game.” Williams added, “we need to continue to battle and believe that we are never out of a game” FCC’s second game of the day against Sacramento City was postponed in the second inning due to rain, but their next home game will be the conference opener against College of the Sequoias at 2 p.m. on Feb. 2

Mayra Mendez pitching four innings against Cabrillo College at the Fresno City College Softball field on Sunday Feb. 19, 2017. Photo/Larry Valenzuela

Should Athletes accept White House invitations? BY MICHAEL MENDEZ

Sports Editor mmendez@therampageonline.com

Since 1965, it has been a tradition in American sports that every athlete from that years’ championship

teams have the honor of going to the White House to visit the president. Despite the once in a lifetime opportunity, not every athlete feels that going to the White House is worth the experience. The newly crowned college football national champions, the Clem-

son Tigers, and Super Bowl 51 champions, the New England Patriots are scheduled to have their presidential visit to the White House, but some athletes are electing not to attend the presidential visit. Going against tradition, six members of the New England Patriots roster are electing not to visit the White House. Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett said in an interview for the NFL Network why he is not attending the White House. “Trump has many strong opinions and prejudices, I believe he is not the right person running the country,” said Bennett. “I don’t support

The New England Patriots react after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium on Feb. 5, 2017, in Houston, Texas. Photo/Jamie Squire/Getty Images

the man in the house.” This is not the first time that athletes have refused to meet the president. NFL linebacker James Harrison refused both visits to the White house in 2006 and 2009. This behavior begs the question, should athletes even attend the White House visit? Last season, when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem in response to police brutality and racial discrimination, the discussion of athlete’s involvement in politics began. This spawned the movement of athletes all over the league taking suit and doing the same. As much as meeting the president is one of the biggest opportunities that any U.S. citizen can have, at the end of the day, what is the purpose of it? It serves no purpose other than a public relations move for the president to meet a championship team, while also getting the team’s jersey with his name on the back. The fact is there is no real benefit for the players to meet a person for whom they probably didn’t vote for and with whom they don’t share the same political views. Meeting the president is not the reason why they perform their best in their sport. They perform their best to win league championships and for nothing more. Visiting the White House is nothing more than a perk.


SPORTS

11

RAMPAGE 2.22.2017

Women’s Basketball Rams Win Pitching Wins Final Home Game Battle Against Chabot BY JULEASE GRAHAM

Reporter jgraham@therampageonline.com

At their final home game, Fresno City College women’s basketball brought in their fifth consecutive win Feb. 8. FCC hosted Reedley College and won 110-65. FCC is No. 2 in the Central Valley Conference, sitting one game behind the conference- leading No. 1 Sequoias. At the start of the game, FCC was immediately challenged by Reedley’s pace. The Tigers moved the ball up the court speedily, pressuring the Ram’s full court strategy, but the Rams were able to capitalize on Reedley’s turnovers, keeping them ahead for the first half of the game. After a slow first half, FCC came into the second half with a new level of strength and aggression. Sophomore guard Taylor Martin made 18 of her 22 overall points in the second half of the game. “We stepped it up the second half. I was proud of how we finished,” said Martin. “We changed our energy and effort on defense, and we came together at half time and realized we needed to play better defense.” Martin’s determination was contagious. Freshman forward Jazmin Taylor was quick to match Martin’s intensity on offense, assisting Martin in a four-basket strike. Taylor ended the game with 12 rebounds and 14 overall points. The Rams quickly took control of the game, scoring 39 points in the

third quarter. Head coach Brian Tessler recognized a change in the player. “In the first half of the game, I thought we were sluggish. I felt like they [Reedley] out-hassled us at times,” said Tessler. “What really keyed us in the second half was Taylor Martin. Martin came out and played fantastically and that made everyone play at another level. That is what gave us separation and pushed us ahead in the third quarter.” FCC’s starting five worked hard to change the momentum of the last quarter. Sophomore guard Heaven Holmes had six 3-pointers and a total of twenty points. Guards Madissen Harp and Julia LoCastro had a combined total of 23 points and 13 rebounds. “We came out and played hard despite our player, we only have 9 players and 3 of our starters got into foul trouble pretty early.” Locastro said. “Our press and rebounding really helped us get the win.” The FCC women are now on a 6-game winning streak after defeating Porterville College Feb. 15. They now have one remaining conference game remaining in the season. The Rams will travel to College of the Sequoias Feb.18.

Final Score

110-65

Rams Blowout Coyotes as they Get Ready for Playoff Run BY ARMANDO CARRENO

Reporter acarremp@therampageonline.com

Heading into the final three games of the basketball regular season, the Rams faced off against the Cerro Coso Coyotes on Feb. 11, an opponent who in their last meeting, the Rams blew out 125-76. The result was not much different Saturday night as the Rams won 118-79. The night didn’t start off too well for Cerro Coso - they arrived half an hour late to the game after having car issues, not to mention they were severely under matched, as the team only has two bench players to change. “Most teams we play don’t have only two people on the bench,” assistant coach Thomas Ammon said. “We’re going to try to beat you with the whole team and force you to try to grind it out with your key pieces.” At the start of the game, both the Rams and Coyotes came out strong offensively, trading buckets. The Rams mostly relied on three-pointers while the Coyotes were finding it easy inside. The game was fairly close in the first half than most would have thought. The Rams lacked defensive intensity to start the game. Half way through the first half that quickly changed when guard Cole Morgan had back-to-back steals that would quickly change the

BY MICHAEL MENDEZ

Sports Editor mmendez@therampageonline.com

The Rams started to find the stride at bat, as the Fresno City College baseball team found their offensive groove against the 6-0 winner over Chabot College on Feb 12. The Rams swept Chabot in their two game series out scoring the Gladiators 10-1. This win improved the Rams record to 6-3, moving up into third place in the Central Valley Conference while also continuing their five game winning streak. This loss drops Chabot fifth place in the Coast Golden Gate Conference with a 2-5 record lost for their third straight game. The opening pitches of the game saw the best defensive fronts from both rosters. It featured a pitching duel from Rams starting pitcher Donovan Bertoncini against Chabot’s Grant Mendoza. Both pitchers shut down their opposing batters in the first four innings not allowing earned run. With the pitching game of Bertoncini and talented fielders, the Rams defense put on a defensive showcase only allowing Chabot four earned hits. Bertoncini pitched six strikeouts in six innings. Rams Infielder Adam Munoz attested to their shutout defensive performance and finding their groove in both sides of the ball. “We played really well tonight with great pitches being made on the mount, not allowing much hits, with playable balls and the ones that did we responded quickly to get the easy outs,” said Munoz. “It takes the pressure off of us to try in score runs and when that happens it makes the process much easier.” At the bottom of the fifth inning, the Rams would strike first, scoring the first two runs of the game. Having runner Munoz on third base to set up Levi Zosky RBI sacrificed fly out to advance Munoz home to score the go ahead run. Later in the inning, a series of hits made by Rams’ Bobby Clark

stuck a single to keep the inning alive, followed by Michael Beltran scoring a RBI double to extend their lead to 2-0 to end the inning. The fifth inning was only a small taste of what was to come for the Rams. In the bottom seventh inning they scored four runs. The Rams batters loaded the bases with three straight walks, followed a RBI sacrifice fly out by Christian Funk and three RBI singles scored by Nick Sheehan, Adam Munoz and Eddie Pena. That increased their lead to 6-0. Rams Sophomore infielder Levi Zosky reflected on his team’s four run lead as his team finally found their offensive stride. “Our bats were starting to come alive, hitting the ball really well allowing us to do whatever we wanted to do,” said Zosky. “It feels great that we are finally starting to find what works for us at bat. You know it’s a good thing to retire two of their pitchers inside of one inning of play.” Despite the lead, the Rams didn’t lead up on the Gladiators on defense which brought in their closer Noah Parsons. He made short work of the Chabot batters and closed his first save of the season with six strikeouts sealing the Rams 6-0 victory. After the win, Rams head coach Ron Scott was pleased how his team performed on both sides of the ball during the two game series against Chabot. He reflected on what they will take from this win heading into the season. “This was a good game for us. We played a good team and we were able to pitch well and hit well and we are starting to come around,” said Scott. “It’s a long season; we just got to take the momentum we have and build off of it.”

Final Score

6-0

momentum in the Rams’ favor. ‘We need not play down to the level of our opponent,” Morgan said. “First half we kind of started off slow and sluggish. In the second half we picked up and started playing what we actually do.” Morgan would be that spark throughout the entire game as he finished with 10-point, 11-rebound, 14-assist triple double game, not to mention seven steals. The Rams came out in the second half with great intensity and a swarming full-court defense that lead to 23 turnovers by the Coyotes. Freshman forward Zach Savage was also a big reason why the Rams dominated against the Coyotes. Savage finished with 27-point, 8-rebound, 2-assist, 2-steal as the leading scorer in the game. Savage played big in the post putting back offensive rebounds. Leading to him being sent to the free throw line 8 times, making 7 out of 8 attempts. After a sluggish first half, the Rams outscored the Coyotes 61-37 in the second, winning by 39 points and gaining more momentum towards the playoffs. “Our whole focus is the state playoffs and eventually the elite eight,” Ammon said. “Hopefully, [we get to] the championship game, so we got to go in there and get ready for that run.”

Zack Savage fights off the Cerro Coso Coyotes during their game on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017. The Rams won 118-79. Photo/Armando Carreno


12

‘Brown Girl Noise’ Celebrates Life of Mia Barraza Martinez

RAMPAGE 2.22.2017

SPECIAL

BY ASHLEIGH PANOO

Editor-in-Chief apanoo@therampageonline.com

Sage burned on the evening of Feb. 18 among tangerines and brightly colored flowers at the altar created for Mireyda “Mia” Barraza Martinez in the Fres.Co building in downtown Fresno. Succulents -- her favorite plants -- lined the windows. Barraza Martinez’ art and writings were projected onto the wall, providing a glimpse into the life of the poet and former Fresno City College student. Family, friends and the poetry community came together to honor the life of Barraza Martinez, who died in a car accident in November 2016. She would have turned 30 on Feb. 7. Dubbed “Brown Girl Noise,” the party was named after a phrase Barraza Martinez, a Chicana who grew up in the San Joaquin Valley, used and came to identify with, her boyfriend Jairo Lozano said. Barraza Martinez’ “brown girl noise” consisted of speaking out against patriarchy, oppression and racism with pride, power and poetry, said Lozano. Among the many milestones Barraza Martinez would have accomplished in 2017, she was the most excited about turning 30, according to Lozano, a marriage and family therapist. “We were very close,” said Lozano, who is also a hip hop artist. “She was so eager to finish her program and start working in her community and to write and publish work.” Barraza Martinez would have finished her master’s degree in creative writing and poetry in May. And, Lozano added, April would have marked their fourth anniversary together. “She was a huge support for me, not only as my best friend and as my partner but also creatively,” he said. “She was very inspiring; she was very motivational.” Barraza Martinez was a former Rampage reporter and FCC tutor. She had a bachelor’s degree in English from Fresno State and was working on her master’s at the time of her death. In August 2016, Barraza Martinez was the first chosen by U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera to work as a graduate assistant in the new Laureate Lab Visual Word-

A photo of Mireyda “Mia” Barraza Martinez at a celebration of her life in downtown Fresno on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Photo/Larry Valenzuela

list Studio. The studio welcomed students to work on poetry, writing and crafts. Lozano and Barraza Martinez’ family reached out to the community for Saturday’s event, and received a lot of help to honor her. The night started off with music and poetry readings by her friends and colleagues, including Lee Herrick, the Fresno Poet Laureate. Fatty Cakes and the Puff Pastries, an all-woman band and Barraza Martinez’ personal favorite, performed. A DJ played oldies and some of her other favorite music. Lozano said he met Barraza Martinez through mutual friends, and they dated for three and a half years. “She helped me with a lot of my work, not only my art and my music but also my school,” he said. “She

taught me a lot about poetry and literature; about spirituality and connection to community; the passion that is necessary to put behind work that is effective.” Barraza Martinez had a lot to give, not just to him, but to the community, Lozano said. As an activist, student and poet, she was proud to be from the San Joaquin Valley. “She wanted to stay in Fresno for the rest of her life and work here,” he said. In one photo, Barraza Martinez wears a gold “559” necklace, proof, friends say, that she loved Fresno. Although she grew up in Porterville, Lozano says she really blossomed into the person she was after coming to Fresno. “She spent a considerable amount of time at FCC where she learned a lot about her culture and she was

A community altar created by family and friends for Mia Barraza Martinez in downtown Fresno on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Photo/Larry Valenzuela

able to develop her identity and find her voice.” Shortly before her death, Rafael Avitia, a teacher at Mountain Vista Continuation High School in Madera, was having his students read a self-published book of her poetry. He says his students could relate to her writing and were enjoying it. “[It was] the words she used, the experiences she used; her parents working in the fields, and growing up in the neighborhoods where it was rough and just struggling.” When she died, it was actually through Lozano that students learned of Barraza Martinez’ passing. “When she passed, one of the things that was ironic was that the kids were reading her poetry and loving it,” he said. “And I couldn’t tell them what had happened.” Avitia, a member of the Fresno chapter of the Brown Berets, met Barraza Martinez while she was attending FCC as a member of the MECHA Club. He was trying to recruit for the Brown Berets and Barraza Martinez stood out to him. “It’s great to see young Chicanas like herself taking a position and being out there protesting, marching, and then taking time out to write poetry,” he said. Avitia said she was instrumental in helping the Brown Berets form because she knew a lot of the members from her time at FCC. “Although she went on to Fresno State, she remained with us and gave her time to help us raise funds,” he said. When the berets gave out one of their first scholarships to a high school student, Barraza Martinez read her poetry at the event. He praises her for what she inspired in his students. “I think it kind of brought things home to them because everything she was talking about was life in those poems.” Lozano said the celebration, filled with dancing, flowers and laughter, was something Barraza Martinez would have wanted. “[She was] happy and positive and vibrant,” he said. “She meant a lot to me. She meant everything to me.”

Issue 3 Spring 2017  
Issue 3 Spring 2017  
Advertisement