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FEBRUARY 13, 2013

AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH

SPECIAL EDITION SEE PAGES 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 14

SCCCD CHANCELLOR EMBRACES PURPOSE Bike theft Deborah Blue seeks to inspire

BY TOMAS KASSHUN

tkasshun@therampageonline.com

The town of Decatur lies in the heart of Illinois about two and half hours south of Chicago, forming a triangle with nearby Springfield and Champaign-Urbana. With manufacturing and agriculture as the primary employment, Decatur is known as the soybean capital of the world. In this small town atmosphere, State Center Community College District chancellor Deborah Blue grew up with her grandmother and step grandfather. Blue’s mother, who had her when she was only 17, also lived nearby in Decatur while her father lived in Richmond, Calif. On Feb. 28, when Deborah Blue is inducted to the State Center of Community College District’s Wall of Fame at the African-American museum on Fulton Street, she will join tens of other African-Americans who have distinguished themselves in various ways. Blue will take her place as the first African-American woman to lead one of the largest college districts in California – a long way from her humble beginnings. But

it is more than the position for Deborah Blue. It is, she said, about inspiring others – to pursue their dreams and persevere, regardless of obstacles. Early Influences Blue learned the meaning of hard work early, thanks to her grandfather, who owned a janitorial business and her grandmother, who cleaned houses in the evening. She said Decatur suited her. It was a safe place; she could walk to school and back home safely. But even in the small town environment, Deborah Blue could not escape the reality of life in the 1960s. Blue was only 7 years old when she realized for the first time that she was different; that when people looked at her, they saw her race first. She had gone over to introduce herself to her new neighbors, a white family which moved into a house down the street. Instead of a neighborly visit, Blue was shocked by the way the mother in that household treated her. The woman had not allowed her to enter the house and told her [Blue] she was not allowed to play with

her daughter. “In school we had a lot of diversity. Black children and white children played together for the most part. When it happened in the neighborhood, it was a shock,” said Blue. Blue left Decatur for the first time at the age of 10. She wanted to live with her father and rode in a Greyhound bus with her paternal grandfather all the way to Richmond, Calif. She went on to attend Richmond High School, hoping to start her college education at Contra Costa Community College. But she was terribly homesick and returned to Decatur without graduating from Richmond. Blue returned to Decatur and was named homecoming queen of her high school class. She said no one anticipated the outrage that this caused in her community. “People called the radio stations. They said, ‘who is this black girl that has been named homecoming queen?’” Blue said. “I was hurt. I didn’t understand why that was an issue. I learned that the difference between l SEE CHANCELLOR ON PAGE 5

still a concern BY PABEL LOPEZ

plopez@therampageonline.com

In the first three weeks of the spring semester, six incidents of theft at bike racks were recorded in the crime logs of the State Center Community College District police department. According to the SCCCD police department call log, in the fall semester of 2012 15 bikes were reported stolen at various areas around the FCC campus. Bike theft continues to be a major problem on the FCC campus and surrounding neighborhoods. Students, faculty members and local business owners complain that very little is done to combat the stealing of bicycles at FCC. “It’s not just prevalent here, it’s prevalent everywhere,” said Officer Chris Caldwell of the SCCCD police. “If you talk to somebody from Fresno [police department], they have a lot of problems with bike thefts within the city too.” Many FCC students and staff say they are concerned

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about the high numbers and the frequency of bike theft on this campus. The Associated Student Government has formed a Bike Theft Committee which meets at noon every Wednesday to explore different ways to combat the problem as well as to seek solutions. Bike Theft Committee member Felix Figueroa is a victim of bike theft. “I just had a wire or a cable as a lock and I was very careless with it. It was only a matter of time before my bike was stolen,” Figueroa said. Chris Tobey, a graphic communication major, is also a victim of bike theft. His bike was stolen from the Math and Science building last year. He had only been away from his bike for an hour. Tobey filed a police report but never received a response. He said the police officer handled the situation “very casually, like it’s an everyday happening.” Caldwell says it’s difficult to catch a thief on an open campus like FCC. “[Bike thieves] look like students, and they walk to a bike rack and pull a short-cutter and make it look like they’re taking their lock off, and instead they cut it and ride off,” Caldwell said. “It’s been getting worse, especially in the l SEE THEFT ON PAGE 2

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NEWS

Rampage Staff

02.13.2013

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Editor-in-Chief Troy Pope Managing Editor Sydney Excinia Production Managers Ramiro Gudino Kaitlin Regan News Editor Kaitlin Regan Opinion Editor Olga Verkhotina Arts & Entertainment Editor Matthew Elliott Sports Editor Tomas Kassahun Graphics Manager Photo Editor Ramiro Gudino Assistant Photo Editor Karen West Art Director Lauren Baker C.G. Editor Adan De la Cerda Copy Chief Jordan Russell Copy Editors Pabel Lopez Heather Jamieson-Brown Kevynn Gomez Business Manager Sydney Excinia Reporters Victor Aparicio Joshua Blocher Keaundrey Clark Alyce Diaz Daisy Martinez Danielle Mehas Alex Rodriguez Taylor Rodriguez Felisha Sanchez David Semsem Akeem Spearman Colby Tibbet Darlene Wendels

Photo by Karen West. Chris Eacock, owner of Towervelo, demonstrates how to properly put a lock on a bicycle. weeks after Christmas,” said Chris Eacock, owner of Tower Velo, a bike shop in the Tower District. “Each bike is not worth much economically, but it’s devastating to the bike rider,” Eacock added. Brian Calhoun, instructor and member of the academic senate rides his bike to school. Calhoun said he too is concerned about the frequency of bike thefts on campus. He suggests that cyclists keep an eye on their bikes at all times. He also said that the student government should do more, including exploring options that would offer FCC students additional protection from bike theft. “Students who really want their bikes protected would be willing to pay a fee that would allow you to take your bike to a bike kiosk,” Calhoun said. “You would still lock your bike up and have someone watching it.” He added the plan could be discontinued if “students don’t take advantage of it.” The ASG committee favors using one storage location for all of the bikes on campus. ASG member and Bike Committee chair, Emily Rivera

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said, “We looked at corrals, which are outdoors, but they are enclosed areas. There are some around Fresno at elementary schools.”   Rivera said the committee is also looking at other options. “It’s a long term project and I know it looks like we haven’t gotten anything done, but these things take time.” The committee’s main concern is that those who ride their bikes to FCC “feel safe that they can go to class and walk out and their bike will still be there.” Rivera also cautions, “There is no guarantee that it is going to work 100 percent but the goal is to just reduce it.” Chris Tobey also said he now avoids using certain bike racks because the areas lack security cameras. The National Bike Registry website states “The victims of bicycle theft tend to be people who use their bicycles: students, commuters, hobbyists, hard-core riders, and children” and that “most bikes are stolen from places owners assume are safe.” The wide scope of crime means bikes of all prices are targets. Bikes

have different price ranges starting from low-end bikes that cost $100 to higher-end bikes that cost thousands of dollars. It is also difficult to keep statistics. The National Bike Registry website reports that “most information about bike theft comes from journalists and is anecdotal at best.” Caldwell said, “We have had all kinds of people do that [steal bikes], from older guys to student-aged people.” The best piece of advice from the SCCCD police and the Bike Theft Committee is for bike owners to make sure the lock their bikes as securely as possible. Rivera and Caldwell both advise bicyclists to use two U-locks to fasten the bike to the racks. Caldwell said, “We like to tell people to buy those tempered u-shaped locks or a ‘New York chain’ the heavily tempered big link chains wrapped in canvas.” He said the SCCCD is working hard to prevent bike theft on campus. “We’ve identified some people as potential bike thieves,” he said. “And we are on the lookout for them.” l TWITTER.COM/PABELLOPEZ

Scholarship Workshop 2/13/13 11-12 p.m.

Do you want to learn more about how to apply for scholarships at FCC? Attend this free workshop in LI-142 to get more information.

KIDmunity Music 2/13/13 6-7:15 p.m.

KIDmunity and FCC are working together to provide after-school music for K-6 kids. The cost is $60 and the event will be held in the Recital Hall MS-132. It is recommended to register in advance but there will be open registration during the first session

Campus Closed The FCC campus will be closed Feb. 15 through Feb. 18 in observance of Lincoln Day and 2/15-2/18 Washington Day.


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BLACK HISTORY 3

AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN LEADERS: MENTORING IS KEY give them the opportunity that she her true calling, as she enjoys mak- developed a strong sense of identity ing a difference and helping to be a that fostered her willingness to face was given. Black History month is allo“Education and building rela- part of people’s dreams. whatever obstacles came her way. cated to commemorate the many tionships are how you combat racLike many black women, Blackwood learned to possess confiachievements and contributions ism,” said Dr. Drake. though, she is no stranger to over- dence in herself and pride in being a that African-Americans have made Dr. Drake said she often re- coming racism to get where she is black woman. to society. minds herself of the National Asso- today. She was surrounded by middleIt is a time to celebrate leaders ciation for Colored Women’s adage: In 1992, while studying for the class black professionals who served in the black community as well as the “Lift as We Climb.” She believes this CPA exam with a group hardships that were faced. Out of ap- motto sets the tone for what is nec- of black students, Kelley proximately 22,669 students on the essary to accomplish success in the was refused service at a Fresno City College campus, about community, and signifies that black Columbus, Ga. Denny’s. 8 percent of those students identify women could not rise without the This eventually led to a as being African-American. As such, improvement of the entire race. discrimination lawsuit it is vital that students understand She lives her life in accordance against Denny’s. the pioneering achievements made with the motto and works with the “Choose your batto give them the opportunities they Black Nurses Association to help tles. You can’t change currently have. Professional and recruit, retain and enrich others people,” said Kelly. “If you driven women are a vital part of our to nurture success in the commu- fight every time you’re campus; women who transcended nity. Additionally, she engages in discriminated against, barriers to achieve success. interviews, seminars and serves on you’d be fighting all the Dr. Carolyn Drake, Dean of boards to inspire younger blacks time. You’ll know in your Health Sciences that it is possible to rise above racial gut when it is time to act.” Dr. Carolyn Drake has been a obstacles. Kelley advises trailblazer for most of her life. Aside She attributes much of her suc- young black students to from being one of the first black cess to the mentors who guided her seek black professionals women to be a nursing aide at a hos- and helped her settle into her role. as a support system. She She advises students to find said that students should mentors, stating that guidance learn to motivate themselves, but to remember Photo by David Semsem. Dr. Jothany is key to much success. “It is difficult, but not that it is alright to depend Blackwood. insurmountable,” said Drake. on others. She said, “Do your best and let to instill strength and determination “Your strength is in your menGod take care of the rest.” tors, colleagues and family.” within her. This determination led Dr. Jothany Blackwood, Dean her through dropping out of SpelMonquie Kelley, Business of Fine, Performing and Communi- man College, waitressing and singInstructor Monique Kelley is a sin- cation Arts ing blues in Chicago, to becoming Dr. Jothany Blackwood doesn’t the dean of the fine, performing gle mother of two children, an accounting instructor at allow race to define her, but she re- and communication arts division in FCC, and a participant in the mains aware of the pressures and 2006. National Association of Black struggles that accompany it. It hasn’t necessarily been an A third-generation college easy road for her as she worked her Accountants. In 2010, she also served as the interim dean for dean with a passion for English, way up to success. She said she has Blackwood received her education faced both overt and subtle racism the business department. Kelley graduated from at Tennessee State University and throughout her life. However, she the historically black Morris California State University, Fresno. has noticed more during her time in She eventually California. Brown ColPhoto to the Rampage courtesy of held adminlege where She recounted interactions Carolyn Drake. istrative and with a previous co-worker that was a she earned pital in Orrville, Ohio in the 1960s, her bachelor’s deteaching posi- member of the Ku Klux Klan. Instead Drake is also the first and only black gree in accounttions at sev- of engaging the blatantly racist rewoman to be featured on Fresno ing. She went on eral colleges marks of her co-worker, she found a State’s Honor Wall thus far. including the point of connection: their southern to Georgia State Growing up, Drake grew to University where h i s t o r i c a l l y roots. In doing so, both parties revalue and respect other black pro- she earned her black Fisk Uni- alized that a bond could be formed fessionals and sought their counsel. Masters of Proversity, Fresno over a similarity that they shared. Their advice motivated her to con- fessional AccounPacific and Blackwood advises students tinue on the path of success. She re- tancy. San Joaquin to find a mentor that they can learn ceived her bachelor’s degree in nursValley College, from. She also encourages students K e l l e y ing and a master’s degree in nursing worked for Pricebefore becom- to resist feelings of failure, because supervision at California State Uni- waterhouseCooing dean at the beauty of life is that you get to versity, Fresno. FCC. pers - one of the start again. She then went on to receive a largest accountThe Ten“You have the ability to write doctorate in organizational leader- ing firms in the nessee native your own story. You have everything ship from the University of South- country - before was raised in you need to succeed and do what you ern California and became the dean becoming an ina primarily want,” said Dr. Blackwood. “If people of the health sciences division at structor at FCC. black commu- could survive slavery, then you could Fresno City College in 1994. She now She discovered Photo by David Semsem. Monique nity where she survive midterms.” seeks to mentor younger students to that teaching was Kelley. BY AKEEM SPEARMAN

aspearman@therampageonline.com

BY PABEL LOPEZ

plopez@therampageonline.com

Academic success can be a daunting goal but every student has the chance to succeed. Learn how today.

Illustration by Lauren Baker

Illustration by Lauren Baker

Are you out of ideas for Valentine’s Day? Pabel’s Pitch includes insightful tips on how to make your special day a hit.

BY LAUREN BAKER

lbaker@therampageonline.com

Photo by Felisha Sanchez

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BY KEVYNN GOMEZ

kgomez@therampageonline.com

BEYOND THE PRINT THERAMPAGEONLINE.COM

Fresno City College’s rendition of “Why Marry?”, a commentary of love, marriage and money, premiers March 1 in the FCC Theater.


4 BLACK HISTORY

02.13.2013

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African-American History BLACK CAUCUS TO MEET AT FRESNO CITY COLLEGE Month Calendar of Events BY TOMAS KASSAHUN & OLGA VERKHOTINA

Film and Discussions “Remember the Film Discussion 2/15 Titans” with coach Herman Boone. The 5 p.m. event will be held at CSUF Peters Education Center Auditorium

Black Caucus Conference 2/15-2/17 8 a.m.

12th Annual Black Caucus of California Community Colleges Leadership Converence. This event will be held at Fresno City College.

The Ancient African Scholars Conference Ancient Africa will be held in FCC OAB 251. The time is to be Scholars Conference announced at a later time. 2/21

Afrikan Tent Activities 2/20-2/21 10-2 p.m.

The Afrikan Tent Activities will be held in the Fresno City College Free Speech Area.

Africana Culture Night Africana Culture Night will be held at CSUF 2/22 Satellite Student Union. 7 p.m. Gospel Concert 2/24 5 p.m.

The Gospel Concert will be held in the FCC OAB Auditorium.

Film Discussion Film and Discussion “Red Tails” Sponsored 2/26 by PASU. This event will be held in FCC OAB 2-5:30 p.m. 251. Poetry Jam 2/27 7-9 p.m.

This Poetry Jam will be held at CSUF’s The Bucket dining hall located in the center of the CSUF campus.

SCCCD Wall of Honor 2/28 6-8 p.m.

The State Center Community College District Wall of Honor Ceremony will be held in the African-American Historical and Cultural Museum.

tkassahun@therampageonline.com overkhotina@therampageonline.com

Students, alumni, faculty, legislative leaders, educators and community organizations will gather at Fresno City College from Feb. 15-17 for the 12th annual Black Caucus Leadership Conference. The conference will be a weekend of panels, workshops, career and college fairs as well as vendor tents. The Black Caucus of the California Community Colleges is a statewide collaboration of students and organizations representing students of African descent. The caucus is governed by a nine-member executive board. Every February, the caucus brings together more than 150 community college students, primarily African-American students, to discuss and take action on issues locally, regionally or statewide. This year’s conference is titled “A Call To Commitment: Uniting the People, Shaping a New and Lasting Legacy for African-American Students in California Community Colleges.” “The primary goal [among many] of the Black Caucus of the California Community Colleges is to be the voice of voiceless students of African descent at the table of leadership and governance in the California Community College shared [participatory] governance structure,” said Black Caucus communication officer Nehasi Lee. The conference rotates between Northern, Central and Southern California. Local students and faculty work with the Black Caucus to make it a successful event. The Associated Student Government at FCC is planning to get the word out by giving out flyers, contacting clubs on campus and contacting African-American Studies classes. ASG is also responsible for accommodating the members with facilities and getting them in touch with hotels. The conference is also open to high school students and students who may not be part of the Black Caucus. “What they preach all the time is just academic success, student leadership and building the leaders of tomorrow,” said ASG Legislative Vice President Edward James. “We’re [going to] bring some high

schoolers. And we’ve allocated $450 so we’re giving them one-day passes. They’re [going to] come on Saturday, which is a long day.” James added that members of the Black Caucus have been gathered from different groups. “A few of the campuses already have Black student unions, things like that. So they already have groups that would be interested. That’s where a lot of the people that participate [come from],” said James. Although there is a fee to enter the conference, people who volunteer and work for the registration get their fee waived according to James. Previous keynote speakers at the conference have included U.S. congresswoman Barbara Lee, U.S. congresswoman Maxine Waters, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and Black Caucus Presidents Reginald James and Latoria Williams. State Center Community College District chancellor Deborah Blue is expected to speak at this year’s conference. Additional speakers will include Rich Copenhagen, president of the Student Senate California Community Colleges and Juanita Price, former California Community College statewide president and Black Caucus leadership conference founder. The Black Caucus of the California Student Association of Community Colleges was chartered as a caucus of the California Student Association of Community Colleges in 1998. Previously, the group existed as a social network of Black Students. The students chartered the caucus feeling that the issues of black students were not being represented at the state level. The first Leadership Conference was held at El Camino College in 1999. Last year, the caucus was officially recognized by the Student Senate for California Community Colleges. According to James, the Black Caucus is the first caucus recognized by the SSCCC. James says having the conference in Fresno this year is beneficial for the Central Valley. “We’re very diverse here in the Central Valley, especially in Fresno. And reaching out to the college students, I think it’s great. I think it’s good just to give young people a visual of minorities that are succeeding,” said James. l TWITTER.COM/FCCRAMPAGE


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Chancellor

people wasn’t just something I see teaching and doing research. My But her husband would relo- planning and educational services on television during the Civil Rights second year, my adviser said you cate to the Bay Area and Blue would for the Contra Costa Community movements. It was still alive and well need to finish this degree.” once again follow, this time, taking College District. in my hometown.” “I was happy to be back. I loved And so Blue woke up at 3 a.m. a position as vice president of assisBlue also recalls the assassina- every day, worked on her disserta- tant superintendent for educational being part of the community collegtion of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 tion, went to work, then came home programs and services at Sierra Col- es again,” said Blue. and how it impacted her life. Before long, yet another winto work late, all in addition to raising lege in Rocklin. “I experienced it all on televi- a child and running her household. Six years into her career at Si- dow opened. As usual, Blue did not sion and it was announced in school,” Blue’s teaching career at Michi- erra, Blue had yet another ambition; hesitate to take a peek. said Blue. “Those were eyeMadame Chancellor opening experiences for me This time she had a because I didn’t have the chance to go back to Fressame experience. But I realno as Chancellor of the ized I was as much a part of State Center Community this as anybody else in any College District, a position state. We weren’t immune she assumed in 2010. just because we were in the It hasn’t been the Midwest.” easiest of times for Blue, As a child, Blue says she thanks in large part to the absolutely loved learning. budget crisis. But she said One of her favorite books her mission all along has came from her grandfather, been to stay positive and who bought her two books serve the students. with a description of differ“We’re trying to stay ent career choices. focused on the positive Career Choices and trying to support stu“First I wanted to be a dents as much as possible nurse. Then I wanted to be and not be so focused on an attorney,” Blue said. “But the budget that we forget by the time I was a senior in our true focus, which is to high school, I decided I want inspire and support stuto be a speech therapist.” dents,” said Blue. She went on to Illinois “It’s a hard balance to State University to pursue strike between what takes her dream. At the end of up so much of our time and her first semester, however, what our attention should she transferred to Western be focused on. It has been Michigan University where extremely stressful,” she she earned a bachelor’s desaid. gree in speech pathology Moving forward, Blue and ideology as well as a says the goal is to refocus minor in elementary educa- Photo by Karen West. SCCCD Chancellor Deborah Blue speaks at the African-American Hison enhancing what has tion. From there, it was on tory Month Opening Day Ceremony on Feb. 4. been pulled back. to the University of Illinois, “We need to go back to where she earned her master’s de- gan came to an end three years later she wanted to be a college president. restoring the things that we had to gree and began the course work for when she moved back to California And so in the year 2000, she was take away. We need to increase class a Ph.D. in speech and hearing science to work at the Sonoma County Of- hired as president of Laney College. offerings, increase access for stuin 1978. fice of Education as a program spe“I had experienced so many dents to programs. It’s all about getThe next step for Blue was to cialist. Though she loved her job as opportunities to grow and advance ting back to that feeling of growth,” finish her dissertation, but destiny program specialist, what she wanted from the beginning of being a stu- said Blue. had a different plan. Her professor even more was to work as a commu- dent through my teaching career at Sitting in the position of chanfrom Western Michigan University nity college administrator. community colleges,” said Blue. “I fi- cellor as the first African-American suggested she meet a psychologist She found the answer in a nally reached a point where I needed to hold that position, Blue sees how at the osteopathic medical school of newspaper advertisement for a com- to step back and reevaluate my ca- far she has come. She hopes to see Michigan State University. She did, munity college job fair. At the job reer.” the district experience leadership and ended up being hired to replace fair, Blue received two offers for an To achieve that, she would from future chancellors of different an instructor who had just resigned. assistant dean position. One was at leave the presidency at Laney Col- ethnic and racial backgrounds. “It was my dream. I wanted Contra Costa College and the other lege and pursue something differ“I got this opportunity to be to be a university professor. It hap- was at Chabot College. She took the ent, “to have time to think about among the African-Americans who pened a lot faster than I thought it offer from Contra Costa, wanting to where I was heading,” she said. Blue lead this district, and I won’t be the would happen,” Blue said. stay close to where she lived. went to the Accrediting Commission last. I hope women and other people While it was a dream come of color will continue to lead this disLater during her time as com- of Junior Colleges. true, it would also be one of the most munity college administrator, Blue But after one year, Blue said trict in the future,” said Blue. challenging times for Blue. “There is some purpose in my met her husband, who was president she started to feel she belonged on “I loved teaching but I had a of West-Hills College in Lemoore. a campus. Nevertheless, she stayed life that is bigger than myself,” she child and I was married,” said Blue. Needing to stay close to her husband, with the accreditation committee said. “For some reason, I was given “I taught full time and the first year, Blue applied at FCC and became as- for three-and-a-half years. the opportunity to have this experiI didn’t get anything done on my sociate dean of the humanities diviShe then returned to campus ence.” dissertation. I was getting used to sion in 1991. as vice chancellor for district-wide

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Keith Snell offers insight BY KEVYNN GOMEZ

kgomez@therampageonline.com

At professional pianist Keith Snell’s Feb. 10 recital at Fresno City College, the beauty and simplicity of the piano flooded the Old Administration Building’s auditorium. Snell visited FCC for the second time to perform in a solo performance as well as to lead a master class for FCC piano students the following day. Snell’s piano recital was a popular event composed of three distinct sessions. Beginning with Snell’s own transcriptions of Johann Sebastian Bach’s violin and cello “Prelude” compositions, the performance progressed to a twelve-piece composition titled “Verbs, Book One” created especially for Snell by fellow pianist Kathleen Ryan. The program ended with pieces by composers such as Felix Blumenfeld and Moritz Moszkowski. Snell had mostly positive thoughts on his performance . “Like any concert there were things that I thought went really well and things I wish had gone better,” he stated. Although Snell made his way through more than twenty diverse compositions, one would never guess that he did so performing solely with his left hand. After being diagnosed with the repetitive motion injury focal dystonia in his right hand in 1986, Snell transitioned from a busy professional career to a life dedicated to teach-

ing others through master classes, as well as through composing and recording piano music for students. At his master class the following day, Snell worked alongside four FCC students to instruct them on sharpening their skills at the piano. “I love working with the students. There was a wonderful variety of music today so I hope that everybody got something out of it, not just the students who played but the people who listened as well,” the performer said. For both the instructor and the students, it was an opportunity to delve deeper into a form of creativity. “I think the thing about music is that it’s a form of self-expression,” Snell said. “Every piece of music is a unique expression of some aspect of the composer’s feelings and then the expression of the performer’s feelings. And that’s the thing that has to come across more important than anything.” Snell’s visit was part of a collection of FCC piano events in February. Still to come is a lecture by piano technician Franz Mohr, who has spent his 30-year career tuning the piano of famed pianist Vladimir Horowitz on Feb. 20, as well as a concert of piano duos performed by FCC piano instructor Olga Querica and staff accompanist Matt Horton on Feb. 22. l TWITTER.COM/FCCRAMPAGE

Photo by Joshua Blocher. Keith Snell, professional pianist and educator, gives feedback to student, Naomi Gamez.

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THE CIVIL RIGHTS LEGACY OF BLACK MUSICIANS BY MATTHEW ELLIOTT

melliott@therampageonline.com

American heritage and culture are inseparable from the contributions of black musicians. From segregation to integration to becoming a dominant force, the black music scene transformed popular music and civil movements. While a twenty-volume encyclopedia could only scratch the surface of the social impacts of gifted and impassioned black musicians, this article will focus on the historical impacts of three musicians in particular. Paul Robeson was a prominent singer with a deep and powerful baritone. “Paul Robeson was probably the most famous African-American singer in the ‘30s and ‘40s,” said history professor Paul Gilmore. He was a performer in “Show Boat,” portraying a slave, and is best known for his performance of “Ol Man River.” “He did this his whole career,” said Gilmore. “And the early versions of the song, when he was not a famous singer, he of course sung it as the author wrote the song.” The original lyrics were produced by Oscar Hammerstein II, a white man, in 1927. The lyrics glorified the complacency of a slave. The composition’s original opening is as follows, “Dere’s an ol’ man called de Mississippi; dat’s de ol’ man dat I’d like to be!” The original closing is as follows, “Git a little drunk, an’ you land in jail/ ah gits weary/ an’ sick of tryin’/ ah’m tired of livin’/ an skeered of dyin’, but Ol’ Man River/ he jes’ keeps rollin’ along.” “The original lyrics are written by, you know, these white guys for this white audience,” said Gilmore. “And they’re presenting a black man who knows he’s down trodden … who knows he’s the one who has to do the work. But also has a kind of, you know, ‘well it’s just my fate’ kind of attitude, which excuses the whole system, the white power structure. And then he just subtly changes it.”

Robeson sang his revised version in 1938 before a large gathering. His revised opening is as follows, “There’s an ol’ man called de Mississippi/ that’s the ol’ man I don’t like to be!” His revised closing is as follows, “You show a little grit, and you lands in jail/ but I keeps laffin’ instead of cyrin’/ I must keep fightin’/ until I’m dyin’/ and Ol’ Man River, he just keeps rollin’ along.” “He became a really famous actor and a really famous singer. Then he was blacklisted in the 1950s because he was a communist,” said Gilmore. “He had been an all-American football player for Rutgers and has the great claim to fame of having had his all-American status taken away from him like 40 years later.” Marian Anderson was another historically impactful figure for civil rights. As a contralto singer, was inadvertently placed at the forefront of one of the earliest acts of the civil rights movement on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939. “[She] was invited to sing for the Daughters of the American Revolution. The invitation was rescinded because they didn’t realize that she was black,” said Gilmore. “So, Eleanor Roosevelt arranged for her to sing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial instead.” A 1939 News of the Day broadcast stated, “75,000 massed before Lincoln memorial to hear Marian Anderson, colored contralto, make her capitol debut at the great emancipator’s shrine…acclaimed by many as the finest in a century.” Speaking just prior her rendition of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” political figures including the Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes praised her talent and openly challenged the notion of segregation and inequality. The courage demonstrated by these actions, alongside those of countless others remembered or forgotten by history directly attributed to the nurturing of civil rights and social change. Let us honor their courageous deeds timelessly. l TWITTER.COM/PATH_OF_LOTUS

The next generation of gaming consoles BY VICTOR APARICIO

vaparicio@therampageonline.com

Leaks and rumors about the next generation of home gaming consoles are appearing on every corner of the Internet. After shuffling through many, many articles, I have found what is likely to be expected from Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox 720. Gaming websites VGLeaks, VG247 and Edge all reported massive amounts of leaked reports that not only revealed the PS4’s nearly done computing architecture, but also the Xbox 720’s. Currently, the PS3’s successor boasts an AMD’s latest 1.6 GHz eightcore CPU and 4GB GDDR5 RAM. GDDR5 is more expensive than common desktop RAM and is traditionally used solely for graphics. The system is also said to include an AMD R10XX GPU alongside a “Liverpool” system-on-chip. Meanwhile, the next Xbox also has a similar CPU, 8GB of desktop DDR3 RAM along with 32MB ESRAM. The system also said to include a D3D11.x GPU and a Blu-ray drive like the PS3. Both consoles are running on

pretty high-end custom hardware that is much more powerful than that of their predecessors. When compared, Edge says the PS4 will be “slightly more powerful” than the Xbox 720, although previously it was said the PS4 was “50% more powerful in raw power.” This may be due to the Xbox having 8GB of RAM with about 3GB dedicated to the OS and 4 - 5 GB to run games. Sony is looking into the possibility of using 8GB of RAM as well to rival the Xbox. More recently, Kotaku spoke with a source named SuperDaE that knows that Microsoft is looking into making the included new Kinect sensor mandatory to be “plugged in and calibrated for the console to even function.” Also, the console is designed to install game data on the hard drive in the background as you play the game. Plus a multi-task system similar to smartphones that run more than one game or application by “suspending” them. On the PS4, the long running DualShock controller will also see a heavy redesign while roughly keeping the same size and shape. A touchpad will be replacing the Select, Start

Graphic By Adan De la Cerda. and PS Button. There is also a new “Share” button that will allow you to take a screenshot and even edit the previous 15 minutes of action to publish online. According to The Wall Street Journal, a source said that the PlayStation Meeting Sony announced for

February 20th will definitely be the unveiling of the Next PlayStation. Rumors point to a late 2013 release for the US along with a $400 price point. Microsoft is expected to reveal their console in the spring. l TWITTER.COM/VICTORKID


8

A&E

02.13.2013

THERAMPAGEONLINE.COM

Oscar shorts return to Tower Theatre

Photo by Michael Monroy. Jefferson Beavers and Byron Russell at Tower Theatre moderating a discussion about the animation short films on Feb. 9. BY COLBY TIBBET

ctibbet@therampageonline.com

Fresno Filmworks presented its 8th annual Oscar-nominated short film showcase for 2013 held at Fresno’s Tower Theatre. Twoevening shows were available for the animated and live action films, while the Oscar-nominated documentary shorts were held Saturday afternoon. The animation feature displayed a wide variety of creative techniques, from traditional animation, clay animation, and also stopmotion and digital animated works. Other than technical differences, the five nominees had a wide breadth of unique styles. The first nominee shown was a

short-based off the long-running animated series, “The Simpsons,” “The Longest Daycare” starring Maggie Simpson, managed to capture the essence of the show, its satire of American life and irreverent humor, within a brief timeframe. This followed by the short “Adam and Dog,” a different take on the story of Adam and Eve, within the eyes of man’s best friend, a lonely dog. Without using any dialogue, it told a familiar story using only vivid images of beautiful landscapes and effective body language. The standout of the animated nominees “Fresh Guacamole,” was also the shortest. Under only two minutes, using clever stop-motion

animation, a cook uses unlikely objects and materials to make a bowl of guacamole. Some works even featured a medley of creative techniques to combine animation styles, such as Disney-Pixar’s animated short “Paperman”. A blend of 2D animated characters featured in a fully realized 3D world, was a seamless integration of technique and is stunning to see in motion. A Discussion Circle was placed after the animated short films, lead by Fresno Filmwork’s communication director Jefferson Beavers and FCC graphic communications instructor Byron Russell. Russell answered questions regarding the technical intricacies involved with contemporary animation, and the balance of keeping traditional animation and computer graphics within a single film. Russell mentioned that “digital technologies streamline the process of animation,” in regards to the critique and credibility of new technical tools mixing with traditional, handdrawn films. The discussion helped ground the imaginative works of animators for the audience, and displayed the amount of work and artistic freedom that the artists can have. The live action shorts managed to keep the same narrative hooks as any full-length feature film, and left the audience captivated within the brevity of the format. All of the five nominated films used unique and

interesting plot devices to convey simple, humanistic conflict. In “Death of a Shadow,” a young World War I soldier strikes a deal with death (by taking photos of people’s shadows, moments before their death) to return to the woman he fell in love with, moments before he died himself. “Henry,” is a story about a retired pianist viewing and reliving memories of his life. The film shows what it could be like to lose the ability to remember, due to old age complications such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. It is an intense, emotional story that depicts both ends of this situation; to lose your concept of memory, to who watch loved ones forget who they are. All of the live action shorts were effective in creating a concise and creative setting for their stories, and conveying stories from interesting perspectives from around the world. Both the animated and live action shorts showed that great storytelling in film doesn’t always have to come from intense two hour dramas or summer blockbuster epics. The craft in creating these narratives, within the microcosm of the short film space, is something that should be celebrated. Fresno Filmworks and the Tower Theatre honor these nominees, by showing the features on the big screen where they belong. l TWITTER.COM/ROBOTMILK


THERAMPAGEONLINE.COM 02.13.2013

OPINION

9

SEXPLORATION WITH TROY AND MATTHEW “Is it acceptable to have sex on the first date?”

THE GAY PERSPECTIVE BY TROY POPE

tpope@therampageonline.com

The short answer is “no.” A guy takes you on a first date, wines and dines you, and pays $100 by the end of the night. Does that mean you owe him some action? No, and don’t forget it. If you give it up at the end of the night, even if there is intent on progressing the relationship, it doesn’t change that you’re a $100 whore. Many gays claim to be classy and have vast amounts of self respect, but then they jump in bed with a guy on the first encounter. Maybe they should look up what self respect means. Sex is an easy way to mess up your chances in a relationship. Knowing the other guy’s motives is hard. You have no way of knowing whether or not you’re on the same page, or if he’s just in it for the sex. If the other guy is looking for sex, and you’re looking for sex, then I suppose that’s OK and it’s your business. But if we’re talking dates and relationships, the emotions and motives must be evaluated. Is it a legitimate date, or a booty call? A date is not someone you meet while drunk at a bar, nor someone you met on Grindr who decided to come over. It may seem harsh, but if the relationship is going somewhere, then

what’s the rush to jump in the sack? THE STRAIGHT PERSPECTIVE “Whatever happens, happens” wasn’t BY MATTHEW ELLIOTT always a euphemism for sex. Guys melliott@therampageonline.com think they’re being clever when they say it, but if everyone knows that it Sex on a first date depends on means you want to have sex, then the type of personality that students you’re not so clever after all. are comfortable identifying with. Being slutty was never intended For those looking to satisfy to be a fashion trend. Be respectful, bodily urges, keep in mind that there not just to your date, but to yourself. i s no shame in fulfilling If you mutual impulses. are just Having looks a i d ing for that, s e x , it’s imdon’t portant lead the to have p o o r self reg u y spect no on, you matter would be what decithe reasions you son he make. doesn’t beFor those lieve that interested in love truely having sex on exists. the first date, It is there are several important concerns to take to be honest with into account. yourself about what you want. First and foreSay what you mean, listen to most, birth control precautions are what is being said to you. If there is a necessary. Unplanned pregnancies connection, pursue it. are harmful to socioeconomic progIf you sleep with a guy on the ress. Children born to such circumfirst date, you’re no better than the stances are more likely to be raised guys you talk trash about for only in a single-parent home, more likely wanting one thing. to become pregnant teens and more T:10”likely to suffer lower education rates Be the example. l TWITTER.COM/DARKTROY

as compared to mothers who complete their education. In other words, if you are going to do the deed, do society a favor and save lives. Second to this are sexually transmitted infections which can ravage the human body, especially the female reproductive system. Chlamydia, when left untreated, can lead to infertility caused by scarring of the fallopian tubes. Worse yet, most women do not experience symptoms. If you don’t know your partner personally, be especially careful. Assuming that you’re going to sleep with somebody new, use a condom to protect your future partners. Cognitive health is also an important issue. As the saying goes, that which fires together wires together. An overemphasis on passion and sexual experience can be harmful when it is at the expense of developing other characteristics related to healthy and secure attachments. If people overindulge in promiscuous lifestyles, the ability to make lasting connections can be lost. This leads to men and women falling into cycles of brief, unfulfilling relationships. While avoidant attachments are intermittently acceptable, failing to cultivate secure attachments can lead to a lifetime of unattainable dreams of true love. In other words, watch yourself out there no matter the game plan. l TWITTER.COM/PATH_OF_LOTUS

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10 BLACK HISTORY

Campus Voices “What do you think of a month dedicated to black history?”

Andre Horn Football “Helps young AfricanAmerican follow through with their dreams.”

Amy Mazarieqs Cognitive Science “It’s a good month, teaches who we are ethnic-wise. Also, we gotta be equal.”

Chris Rodriguez Fire Technology “It’s good to learn from your past, that we don’t make the same mistake twice.”

Luis Vasquez Undecided “Freedom! (AfricanAmericans) had nothing, no rights, going back through history. Gives them a place in society. ” WRITTEN BY ALYCE DIAZ PHOTOS BY VICTOR APARICIO

02.13.2013

THERAMPAGEONLINE.COM

ACHIEVEMENT GAP MUST BE ADDRESSED NOW BY RAMPAGE EDITORIAL BOARD editorial@therampageonline.com

Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dream and changed the world. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus and ignited the civil rights movement. Barrack Obama rode his “change” vision to the highest office in the world, the president of the United States. Other African-Americans, throughout their history, have forced change when and where it was needed, regardless of the circumstances or the personal sacrifice or even how hopeless their situation seemed to the rest of the world. They did not back away from their determination that all Americans, regardless of race and background have equal access to education. They argued that education is pivotal in all aspects of life. Nearly 50 years after the Civil Rights Act, African-Americans have made huge gains in most areas. But in the area of educational achievement, a gap persists and threatens to undermine advances in other areas. That gap must be addressed by all, parents, students, educators and community leaders, to ensure that African-Americans can live up to the promise of America. Now is the time to close the achievement gap at FCC. Here at Fresno City College, the achievement gap is real. In all areas of academic attainment – grade point average, retention rate and successful completion rate – African-Americans are less likely to completely their classes successfully. Period. According to the State Center Community College’s Institutional Research website, in the spring of 2012, the average grade point average of African-American students was 1.98. The retention rate was 85.72 percent and the successful completion rate was 55.90 percent. The White/non-Hispanic group had an average GPA of 2.72, a retention rate of 90.36 percent and a successful course completion rate of 75.23 percent in the same semester. Hispanics had a GPA of 2.21, a retention rate of 89.79 percent and a successful completion rate of 64.67 percent.

These statistics, placed side by side, are like night and day. African-American students enrolled at Fresno City College have the lowest statistics among the reported ethnicities. What is going on? What is the suppressing the performance of African-American students? More importantly, why is this allowed to persist year after year? The Institutional Research site has statistics going back to the fall of 2005. Every semester, records show the same pattern, African-American students at the bottom. If anything, the achievement gap is not narrow-

ing, it has widened somewhat. The leaders at SCCCD and FCC must first recognize this is a critical issue that must be addressed immediately. They must be able to work with students as well as community leaders to find resolutions. A sustainable solution must first recognize some of the underlying factors that may be impeding academic success of blacks. These may include socio-economic factors such as poverty, unemployment or under employment, poor housing and lack

of opportunities. These can impact a student’s ability to learn. Educators must evaluate the early education of African-Americans, long before they are college bound, to ascertain that young men and women are given necessary background and preparation to tackle advanced learning. The college should make sure that there are adequate programs in place to remediate students as well as support them through their college career. Thirdly, the college needs to recommit to mentoring programs for at-risk college students. There are successful programs throughout the nation that they can emulate. Young African-Americans who choose to enroll at FCC must feel the college will go the extra mile to support them. In this Black History month, change must begin with the new generations of African-American children, students and parents. Hard work and perseverance must continue to be a priority. Adversity needs to become inspiration and treated like an obstacle This community can strive for greater success among its numbers. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had to overcome incredible odds to remind the nation of the promise of being an American. Rosa Parks sat down for what she believed in, showing her oppressors the strength in her resolve to be treated with respect. Barack Obama continues to strive, in spite of unprecedented distractors, to leave his mark. African-American students must rededicate themselves to the cause of their ancestors and persevere, not just for themselves but for their communities. Otherwise the sacrifices of those who preceded them might be in vain. l TWITTER.COM/FCCRAMPAGE


THERAMPAGEONLINE.COM 02.13.2013

PRO

BY KAITLIN REGAN

T

kregan@therampageonline.com

o protect and serve this nation. That is the goal of the United States military and all of its branches. With the ban on women in combat lifted, the military will be able to protect and serve with greater numbers and true equality. Women have been serving in our military for decades but that have been excluded from combat. The reasons are many but are they valid? Think about what might keep commanders hesitant about sending a woman into combat and let yourself see just how far those reasons are stretched. One reason might be that the military might need to come up with new accommodations for female troops. Was that asked for? Women are prepared to share the same facilities that their malecounterparts use as they understand that might be necessary. Obligations might also be on the list of reasons to exclude women. A platoon of soldiers ends up underfire and two soldiers are down. One of them is female. It can be argued that the remaining soldierswould feel obligated to go to the female first even though she may be beyond help or OK. The solutionto that is to treat women as regular soldiers. This is the military, not Medieval Times. Becoming a prisoner of war is another thought provoking concept. Would women be at a higher risk to become prisoners of war? That is a possibility but every soldier has the potential to become a prisoner of war. It is one of the cruelest aspects of war in general. Women understand their roles and obligations when they sign up for the military to begin with. To treat them as if they are porcelain and not worth sending into combat is a slap in the face and an insult to the sacrifice that they are making; the same sacrifice that their male counterparts are making. The sacrifices are the same so why is the treatment different? Valiance knows no gender barrier. In a USA TODAY article, President Barrack Obama discusses how

the lifting of this ban will not only boost the U.S. military but get the country closer to the initial purpose of quality. “Today, every American can be proud that our military will grow even stronger, with our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters playing a greater role in protecting this country we love,” said Obama. Leon Panetta, Defense Secretary, was also quoted in USA TODAY talking about the role that women can and will play in the military. He emphasized that it was not about changing qualifications, but about giving women the chance to do the same job that their male counterparts do. “I’m not talking about reducing qualifications for the job—if they can meet the qualifications for the job, then they should have the right to serve,” said Panetta. CNN writer Chris Lawrence and reporter Barbara Starr quote a senior defense official discussing including women in the specialties of the military. “We should open all specialties to the maximum extent possible to women. We know they can do it,” said the official. Women can do it. During World War II, women flocked to jobs in factories and other areas that were formerly designated to men. At the time, no one thought that they could do it, that they could fill a man’s position. Not only can women fill a man’s position but they can do it just as well. T h e 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment has been opened to women and the Navy has already started having female officers serve on submarines. Let’s not stop here. We need to open up all aspects of the military to women and give them the same chance as any man. They can serve, command and lead just as well as anyone else. It’s time that the past views of women are shrugged off to make room a new understanding. Our country will have met the true meaning of equality when women are serving in the special forces of each branch of the military. The sacrifice is real. The bravery is real. Let’s make the recognition of the efforts of women real. They wish to share the burden of protecting our country and it’s time that we trusted them to do so. l TWITTER.COM/K_C_REGAN

OPINION

11

Should women serve in military combat? CON

BY AUGUST PROMNITZ

W

dpromnitz@therampageonline.com

omen are more than capable of being on an intellectually equal footing with men. And without doubt, there are women who are able to excel and even surpass their male counterparts. But before we send these women to the battlefield, we must ask the following: can the average woman handle it? Should we raise our standards for women in training? And finally, should we take extra precautions to ensure their psychological wellbeing and safety on the front lines? Physically speaking, less is expected from women than from men, even in boot camp. In basic training for all five services of the Armed Forces, a lower bar is set for female recruits. They are expected to do fewer push-ups, for example. The requirement of an 18-year-old male recruit is 35 in the United States Army, while the mandate for a female recruit of the same age is only 15. In the two-mile qualifying run, a male candidate is expected to make the run in no less than 16 minutes and 36 seconds, whereas the female recruit is given 19 minutes and 42 seconds. The disparities do not end there. A 27-year-old male is asked to do 67 sit-ups, while a woman of the same age will only be required to do 36. Women are not trained to perform at the same level as men are, yet when they arrive on the battlefield, the enemy will demand that they fight just as hard as their

male counterparts. Women are also more emotionally sensitive than men. While the male brain and body are fueled by adrenaline and testosterone, the female hormones make women more inclined to be bothered by the horrors of war. When a woman is exposed to comrades dying, people being killed, and blood and body parts spilled on both sides, it may be more than they can handle, especially when we consider the impact this has on men. There is no shame in this matter, but it is a potential and serious risk that we will have to take into account. According to research compiled by the American Psychological Association, women with previous experience in high-stress environments, as well as those who are sufferers of sexual harassment, are more likely to suffer from post -traumatic stress disorder than men are. When this is combined with combat, which is likely the most high-stress environment of all, the odds of women returning with PTSD are greatly multiplied. This will be a cost not only to them, but to the taxpayers and charities that cover the expenses of intense therapy. If they are more likely to suffer from the aftershock of brutal warfare, then it would be cruel to send them in, and additional psychological screening may be necessary to make sure of their fortitude to enter the battlefield beforehand. Finally, we must ponder something not often considered: the psyche of the enemy. The Al Qaeda and Taliban that we are currently facing are fighting for principles based on a radical interpretation of Islamic scriptures. In this fundamentalist mindset, women are treated like second-class citizens, even to the point where they are often banned from going to school or holding down a job. Women in Taliban-held Afghanistan faced stoning for adultery, and could even be beaten for wearing the wrong clothing. The Taliban are not tremendously keen on following the rules of war stated in the Geneva Convention. The tortures that a male prisoner of war will suffer at Al Qaeda hands are bad enough, but what would happen if they found out that a woman has been fighting and killing their comrades? And what would happen to that woman if she is captured? The results of their retaliations on her could be disastrous. She is likely to face rape, horrific torture, and finally execution at the hands of her enemies. Women are more than capable of serving their country, and history has shown time and again their abilities to conquer the odds. But as empowering as it may be for women to serve in combat on the front lines, there are serious and possible consequences we have to consider. l TWITTER.COM/FCCRAMPAGE


12

OPINION

02.13.2013

THERAMPAGEONLINE.COM

Are electronic cigarrettes a healthier option?

BY HEATHER JAMIESON-BROWN

hjamiesonbrown@therampageonline.com

Smoking is a favored pastime among college students who are stressed out studying for exams and juggling family and full-time jobs. But the health risks are well known. Smoking nicotine and tobacco products are a leading cause of heart disease and cancer around the world and, therefore, highly discouraged by the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control; not to mention their friends and family. Relatively new on the market is a device called the e-cigarette. Consisting of three components; a cartridge which serves as a mouthpiece and reservoir for liquid, an atomizer containing a small heating coil that vaporizes the liquid, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the e-cig is an inhaler that vaporizes a liquid solution into an aerosol mist which simulates the act of smoking. Though originally marketed as a smoking cessation device, there really is no evidence that e-cigs can actually help smokers quit and may

even be just as harmful as traditional cigarettes. The popularity of the product comes from the convenience it provides to smokers who are hard-up to find places where smoking is not prohibited. Prohibition of smoking in public spaces began in 1975 and gained momentum during the mid-to-late 1990s. Today smoking in all restaurants, bars, and public facilities is completely banned. E-cigs emit only water vapor so they are perfectly legal in all public spaces. If you’re smoking one of these nifty little devices in the FCC free speech area and a non-smoker walks by and obnoxiously coughs in your general direction, he or she is merely being an attention-seeking drama queen and is in no way being affected by nasty carcinogens. However, this may not be entirely true. According to www.fda.gov, the effects of e-cigs have not fully been investigated. This means that users have no way of knowing if they are safe, how much nicotine or other harmful chemicals they are ingesting, or if there are any benefits from their use. The liquid solution used in ecigs to create the smoke-like vapor is comprised of a mixture of propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin, and/or polyethylene glycol 400 mixed with concentrated flavors and, optionally, a variable percent of nicotine. Polyethylene glycol 400 is a low-molecular-weight grade of polyethylene glycol that is used in a wide variety of pharmaceuticals. Howev-

er, propylene glycol is a component used in newer automotive antifreezes and de-icers used at airports. The FDA has classified propylene glycol “generally recognized as safe,” but Dr. Lowell Dale, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., reminds us that e-cigs are manufactured in China and, therefore, not regulated to U.S. standards. “There is evidence the prod-

tar and ammonia in traditional cigarettes that have been proven to lead to cancer and heart disease or the relatively unstudied and, therefore, potentially dangerous side-effects of e-cigs. Both are poor choices, naturally. I’ve been a nicotine addict for 15 years and have “quit” countless times. I was hopeful that the e-cig would be a happy alternative in my

Graphic by Adan De la Cerda. ucts vary from cartridge to cartridge,” said Dr. Dale. So, to determine which destressing vice would be “better” or “healthier” for you, it would depend on which you consider to be the lesser of two evils: the nicotine, tobacco,

next attempt at quitting. However, not knowing the potential health hazards just gives me the heebeejeebees. At least with traditional cigarettes I know exactly what I’m putting into my body. l TWITTER.COM/FCCRAMPAGE

“I now pronounce you young and divorced”

BY DANIELLE MEHAS

dmehas@therampageonline.com

Society has nearly forgotten what marriage is all about. Today, emphasis is placed on extravagant weddings and “prov-

ing” commitment by getting married at young ages. Marriage is not about these things, though. It is about the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. And theoretically, if one is so “in love” and destined to be with their significant other, why must they get married so young? What’s the rush? Recently, I had a waitress who was surprisingly open about the topic of marriage. She confided her feeling that if she and her ex-husband had not gotten married at such the young age of 20, he would not have cheated on her and their marriage would still be intact. She also explained that she felt pressured to get married, because they had been dating for four years.

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This waitress isn’t the only person whose marriage has failed, though. According to Divorcerate. org, the approximate divorce rate in the U.S. is 50 percent. The site also states that the younger a couple gets married, the more likely they are to divorce. Money also has a major impact on the likelihood that a marriage will end in divorce. According to Health Guidance, an online database of health and lifestyle articles, “Money is the biggest reason for arguments in marriages and often leads up to divorce.” Society encourages young people to disregard their lack of finances and spend money on an extravagant wedding anyway. And you know what these couples get to do after their wedding? Swim in a personally made pool of debt. Like the unfortunate waitress, too many couples get wrapped up in trying to “prove” how meaningful their relationships are that they disregard their own youth and naivete. Do these people really even know each other? Years later, they aren’t the same people that they were when they got married. Think about yourself a few years ago. What were your goals? What interested you? Who were

your friends? Today, the way you answer these questions will likely be quite different. When you’re young, a lot can change in only a few years’ time. Rob Dobrenski, who holds a doctorate degree in clinical psychology, states in his article“Why marriages fail” that there is too much emphasis on “weddings” rather than “marriage.” Dobrenski asks couples to imagine that they could be married without any of the extravagance of the event. He then challenges them to ask themselves, “Do you still want to be married to this person right now?” In reality, nobody cares if a couple is married in their 20s rather than in their 30s, if they have a big wedding or a civil service. Sure a big wedding with an open bar is nice, but if divorce follows soon after, it is of no importance to your wedding guests. Society gives the impression that marriage is the ultimate symbol of commitment, and young people are buying into it. Does getting married young make a couple feel secure about their relationship? Or is it merely an express ticket to a failed marriage? l TWITTER.COM/ DANIMEHAAAAAS


THERAMPAGEONLINE.COM 02.13.2013

OPINION

13

WOMEN SHOULD BE IN CHARGE OF THEIR SEXUALITY

BY KEVYNN GOMEZ

kgomez@therampageonline.com

Women are sexual objects, put on display for voyeuristic consumption in a society that still finds the ideas of housewives and white picket fences endearing. America is a land of paradoxes where women are expected to achieve unrealistic standards of beauty in order to be desired, yet vilified when they use their sex as a powerful weapon only they can control. It is a duality that the female gender has yet to escape. This contradictory fantasy has evolved into what can be called “slutshaming.” Hardly a new phenomenon, slut-shaming is the act of judging and demeaning women for their sexual choices, or even the assumption of sexual promiscuity. It is a way to attach importance and integrity to a woman’s sexuality; something that is rarely connected to men and their sexual choices.

Slut-shaming tells us that women are defined by their sexuality, regardless of the decisions they make or the personal values they hold. For women who have been judged for having multiple sexual partners, for wearing a low-cut or tight shirt, or for even taking the infamous “walk of shame,” slut-shaming was at work. For Renee Clift, Fresno City College professor of Women’s Studies, this degradation of women is anything but surprising. “A woman’s sexuality is definitely connected to her value. Oh, absolutely. And not so with men,” she said. “I suppose historically a woman’s role was to bear children and to continue producing children. Sexual expression was a part of attracting a mate, but of course that’s been contorted and degraded in our current culture.” Slut-shaming is an aggressive way to demean and oppress women in society: it is a dangerous tool to divide women as a community and establish the female form as nothing more than property we have no right to own. “There’s been a move away from the collective, far more toward the individual.” Clift said. The role of feminism in mainstream society has lost its strength. It has been eroded after decades of media sexualization. Terms like “slut” and “whore” are dangerous because they attack women for doing what they want with their bodies. In essence, slut-

Graphic by Adan De la Cerda.

shaming criticizes women for having authority over their own bodies. So if the misogynistic, objectifying treatment of women is based on a historically patriarchal cultural foundation, what are we supposed to do to counteract this seldom-questioned injustice? Particpation in Slut Walk is one solution. Born in Toronto in 2011 amid anger and discontent, Slut Walk is a social protest in which individuals are urged to dress in “slutty” attire to revolt against the concept that women are responsible for the negativity they endure both physically and socially. Slut Walk is now a worldwide phenomenon, with protests occurring in locations as far and wide as Delhi, India and Berlin, Germany.

As Clift stated in regards to Slut Walk, “For someone to make a speech, to get press attention, and to be able to explain that that is one of the motivations, there’s an aspect of sarcasm to that, and that is one of the most beautiful forms of the social protest.” If Slut Walk is a social protest on a monumental scale, then we can all protest with more subtlety on a daily basis. Think about the words you use, think about the way you view women, and think about the role you play in an exploitative culture. If taking responsibility for what you choose to do with your body makes you a slut, then what does that make me? l TWITTER.COM/FCCRAMPAGE

The ugly truth: Senator Demaree has to go Last semester, Associated Student Government Senator James Demaree was removed from office following a controversial video on YouTube in which he criticized and insulted fellow members of the ASG, including former President Nathan Alonzo. His removal from the senate created a firestorm of controversy on everything from free speech to the competence of the ASG as a whole. Due to a technicality, Demaree

was reinstated at the end of the semester. The ASG removed Demaree because he insulted their pride, and while their authoritarian attack on the rogue senator was unacceptable, his “triumphant” return has clearly brought forth serious repercussions to the student body. James Demaree is at it again, but this time, he went on a nearly 20 minute-long rant against fellow members of the ASG. In it, he called for either their resignation, or for them to commit the Japanese suicide ritual of seppuku. With eyes void of expression or remorse, Demaree gave instructions to “cut yourself open and bleed to death.” “If you are guilty and you choose not to do either one of them,” Demaree said. “I bet someone will do it for you one of these days, because people like you do not last long in this world.” Now that he’s back in his seat, James Demaree has taken off the gloves. He charges the ASG with dishonoring the organization, the school, their last names and their families. He has chosen to do so in a video which dishonors the ASG, the school, his last name and his family. The irony isn’t lost in the slightest. Much in the same way that Don Quixote would attack windPhoto by Abel Cortez. Senator James Demaree at the ASG meeting on Sept.25, 2012. mills and pretend they were his

foes, Demaree attacks the organization of which he is a part, looking for foes that don’t even seem to exist. While these baseless accusations may seem comical, they do call into question the senator’s level of competence. It takes a special brand of narcissism to post a video as absurd as his “Weekly Update,” and it takes a special brand of maniac to suggest seppuku for his colleagues. Justice was served when Demaree was reinstated, having been removed for the wrong reasons. Nonetheless, these updates show a man who clearly is not psychologically fit to serve in the Associated Student Government. The difference this time is that he made threats of violence, threats which are in every sense grounds for removal. Having been elected to represent the student body at Fresno City College, he uses this opportunity to tarnish the appearance of the college to the entire world. Though he envisions himself as a valiant knight on a white horse fighting for justice, his behavior and videos are more like a clown on a soapbox. If he truly

BY AUGUST PROMNITZ

apromnitz@therampageonline.com

wished to aid the ASG and do what is best for those who elected him, he would resign from office immediately. The student body doesn’t need him, and he’s only a hindrance to progress within the student government. l TWITTER.COM/FCCRAMPAGE


14 BLACK HISTORY

02.13.2013

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AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDENT ATHLETES UPHOLD LEGACY BY KEAUNDREY CLARK

kclark@therampageonline.com

Fresno City College has a history of African-American athletes that have excelled on and off the playing field. Four current AfricanAmerican athletes are striving to continue the tradition. They are hoping to finish their career at FCC and move on to major universities to achieve success in their sport as well as their lives.

Thomas Hammock Guard Men’s Basketball

Thomas Hammock started playing basketball at the age 8 when he learned the game from his father and older brother. “Watching my older brother play and playing at Centennial High in Compton is where I learned and playing basketball is something I love to do,” said Hammick. “Competitive spirit, the passion for the game, the way me and my teammates compete on the court, there’s nothing like it.” His main goal is to get his degree in communications. “I’m using basketball as a tool to get my education. I want to get my degree more than anything. It is very important to me and my family,” said Hammock.

He chose to play at FCC because of their winning tradition. His decision paid off last year when the Rams took the state championship. This season, Hammick is confident that his team will repeat as state champions. “I’m happy I came here. It has been the right decision for me,” said Hammick. “Like my coach (Madec) says, tradition never graduates, and I want to keep it going.”

Duce Bell Winger Soccer

Bell has been playing soccer since the age of 3 when he came to the U.S. from France. He attended Bullard High School where he was a three-year varsity starter. What motivates him is playing in front of a large crowd. “Scoring goals, the atmosphere, playing with my teammates is what I enjoy the most,” said Bell. He and his teammates have a close relationship with one another. Outside of soccer they’re always hanging out to have team functions and dinners. Bell hopes to move to England and play professional soccer. In the meantime, he is at FCC majoring in kinesiology. His proud-

Photo by Adan De la Cerda. Duce Bell(back), Thomas Hammick(left), Duron Singleton(right), and Octavia Burnett(front) are striving to excel on and off the playing field.

est moment in soccer was being the only sophomore on a Bullard high varsity soccer team full of seniors. Bell helped his team win a valley D-1 championship and advance to the state playoffs. Bell takes pride in the path that he has chosen so far. He feels that attending classes and playing soccer at FCC has turned out to be one of his best choices. As an African-American ath-

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Duron Singleton Safety, Football

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Octavia Burnett Guard Women’s Basketball

Octavia Burnett has been playing basketball for seven years. She was a four-year varsity starter at El-Diamante High School. Being a team player, working together and being a leader on the court is what makes basketball a passion for Burnett. Last season, Burnett helped her team advance to the state tournament with a key steal late in the game. Burnett chose Fresno City College for its winning tradition and because many players from FCC go on to play D-1 basketball. She is majoring in kinesiology, hoping to be an athletic trainer after she is done playing basketball. With a 3.7 GPA coming out of high school, Burnett feels great knowing she is helping lead the next wave of black athletes, and being looked at in the community as a role-model.

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lete following in the footsteps of others who have gone on to have success in their sports careers and education, Bell loves the idea of potentially becoming one the first African-American soccer players turned professional from Fresno City College.

Duron Singleton has been playing football since his freshman year at Helen Cox high school in Harvey, LA. He enjoys football for its contact and physicality. Singleton has made a reputation for being one of the most physical players on the field. He chose to major in sports management because he wants to stay around sports and give back to the sport he loves. Singleton achieved one of his proudest moments in sports when he was part of the 2012 FCC football team that went on to win the conference title He is focused on receiving his AA degree from FCC and moving on to play his college football at the University of Missouri. l TWITTER.COM/SLOCUM13


THERAMPAGEONLINE.COM 02.13.2013

SPORTS

15

De Romas’ move to Fresno paying off BY KEAUNDREY CLARK

kclark@therampageonline.com

Adam De Romas was born in Dubai, but at a young age he moved to Australia, where he became accustomed to the people and atmosphere. He started playing tennis at the age of 8 with help from his father who would teach him the game and take him along to matches and practices. De Romas has only been in Fresno since 2011, but he has adapted well to his new environment as he has created a lot of friends playing the sport he loves. His current coach at FCC, Steve Loop, was coached by his coaches in Australia. De Romas has learned well from Loop who runs a disciplined program and always has his players conditioned for the season. “They really meant business when I got here,” said Adam. He and all his teammates stay in the same house. This has helped them create a bond and brotherhood closer than any other. The 2012 FCC men’s tennis team took the state championship last season and they are looking once again to take the crown. De Romas feels confident that the team

can make another run at the title. “We actually have a strong team, stronger than last years and we’re doing much better than last season. We are pretty confident right now,” said De Romas. For De Romas, the best part of playing with these guys is sharing his love of tennis. “I’m just having fun with my teammates. They love doing what they do and that is play tennis,” said De Romas. De Romas’ favorite tennis player is Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Although De Romas would like to go pro one day, he see’s the importance in education. And so he is at FCC pursuing a degree in psychology. Outside of tennis, De Romas enjoys going out and spending time with the players he’s created a bond with. The University of Montana, Montana State University and Fresno Pacific University are recruiting De Romas at the moment. He wants to stay in California when he transfers, maybe San Diego,but he will wait after the season ends to make a decision. l TWITTER.COM/SLOCUM13

Photo by Kevynn Gomez. Adam De Romas has found success at FCC after moving from Australia .

Football players ready for the next level BY PABEL LOPEZ

plopez@therampageonline.com

Eight Fresno City College football players signed their letters of intent and committed to Division I schools on Feb. 6. The day marked the beginning of the national signing day period for high schools and community colleges to move players to high er division schools. The players making the jump include members of both the defensive and offensive sides of the ball. These players played a major part in helping FCC to an 8-3 record and a No. 2 state ranking during this past season. The event began with a short statement by FCC football head coach Tony Caviglia thanking several members of his staff and a quick introduction by each student athlete and what school they would be attending in the coming year. The FCC secondary which accounted for a Central Valley Conference leading 19 interceptions was well-represented in the group with three defensive backs making the jump to other schools. Cornerbacks Duron Singleton and Trevor Baker will be playing at Missouri and the University of Texas, San Antonio respectively while Clovis standout safety Donnell Vercher decided to attend Wisconsin after also being recruited by Fresno State University and Syracuse University. “I’m so happy for these guys. Duron and Trevor didn’t really play as freshmen too much so to see the progress they have made since the moment they stepped on campus to

signing the letter of intent to play Division I football, I’m extremely proud of them. I know they’re going to go and do great things,” said defensive backs coach Cameron Worrell. He adds that he would have “loved to have Vercher line up at Fresno State”, his alma mater, but understands his decision to attend Wisconsin. Vercher led the team with eight interceptions and returned two for touchdowns. He says it’s a “relief” to have the paperwork finished and now he can focus on school and finish his last semester at FCC. Singleton, who led the team with 62 total tackles and two interceptions last season says “I enjoyed my time here, I cherish the moments I had here and it’s going to be with me forever.” He adds that the coaching staff is a great group of guys and throughout his two years at FCC, he came to see the coaching staff as “father figures.” Fellow cornerback Baker leaves FCC after a 2012 season with three interceptions. He says what he will miss most about FCC is his teammates but looks forward to making connections with new teammates. Defensive lineman Ioane Sagapolu, originally from Hawaii, will remain in the Central Valley as he has committed to play for The Fresno State Bulldogs. He says he is excited to go to CSU Fresno and work hard to earn his spot. “We’re so proud of all our players,” said Cavaglia. “These kids have worked hard. They’ve developed

Photo by Ramiro Gudino. Anthony Yancy, Duron Singleton, Larry Overstreet, Trevor Baker, Ioane Sagapolu, Donnell Vercher, Chongo Kondolo and Jon Pulido on National Signing Day. themselves as students and football players and we’re proud to see them moving on.” The offensive side of the team also announced Wednesday that three players would be moving on to other schools. Receivers Jon Pulido, Larry Overstreet and Anthony Yancy will be playing college ball at University of Mary, Bethune-Cookman, and Angelo St. in Texas. Offensive lineman Chongo Kondolo has committed to Nebraska. Ex-Clovis North High School player Jon Pulido says he feels nervous about the move but wants to train hard and hopefully earn a spot in the starting lineup. Receiver Larry Overstreet who is originally from Lehigh Acres, Fla

sees this as a homecoming of sorts. Overstreet has signed on to attend Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Fla. “I feel great about it because the school is four hours away. So my family can come see me now. Being out here I never got family to come watch me play,” said Overstreet. Even with many departing students, Vercher believes FCC’s football program will continue to prosper. “Fresno City competes every year,” said Vercher. “I feel we have some good guys returning next year and some freshmen coming in next year to replace us.” l TWITTER.COM/PABELLOPEZ


16 BLACK HISTORY

02.13.2013

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PLEASE JOIN US IN HONORING THE 2013   STATE CENTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT   

WALL OF HONOR

INDUCTEES

Deborah G. Blue, Ph.

Thursday,

February 28, 2013

D.

Keith Foster, Psy.D. 

at the

African American Historical & Cultural Museum 1857 Fulton Street Fresno, CA

6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Reception ~

7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Induction Ceremony Evening will include special recognition for William J. Smith, former SCCCD Trustee

Marie Byrd‐Harri

s

Spring 2013 Issue 2  

Fresno City College Rampage Spring 2013 Issue 2

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