Spring 2016 Issue 2

Page 1

Rampage Student-Run Newspaper of Fresno City College

February 10, 2016 The Rampage





State FCC STUDENTS OFFERED ADMISSION, AID ofInterim Fresno City College

BY CRESENCIO RODRIGUEZ-DELGADO Editor-in-Chief crodriguezdelgado@therampageonline.com

A Historically Black Colleges and Universities representative hands information to a student at an event in the main gym. Students were given admission and scholarships on Tuesday Feb. 9, 2016. Photo/Larry Valenzuela


Promise Scholars Program Provides Specialized Services for Foster Youth BY TAMMI NOTT

Reporter tnott@therampageonline.com

At the age of 11, Antwan Davis and his six brothers and sisters were removed from their home, and into the foster care system. He moved between foster homes and group homes 12 times before he turned 18. “I was confused and angry. I thought we would go in the system and then get back out. I didn’t know we would be in the system for eight years,” Antwan said. “I missed my brothers and sisters. I am developing those relationships now.” Davis attempted college directly out of high school but left halfway through his first semester due to familial and financial complications. The only evidence of that rough first start at Fresno City College in 2009, is an article he wrote as a reporter for the Rampage. Today, because of the New Promise Scholars Program, Davis is back, and determined to complete his degree in business administration and pursue his dreams. “I have three kids, so I want to get a degree so I can get a better job and provided for my kids,” Davis said. “Really, I am doing this for them.” Presently, there are more than 2,000 youths in the foster care system in Fresno County, according to the Fresno County Office of Education. Foster students face substantial obstacles to their education, and their path to adulthood can be rocky. A little ex-


Fresno City College expanded the list of positions currently occupied on temporary basis after the State Center Community College District’s board of trustees approved the promotion of two current employees to interim deans at its monthly meeting on Feb. 2. Sean Henderson, former student activities director, is now the interim dean of student services while Lydia Anderson, formerly an instructor in the business division, is the interim dean of the business division. These provisional appointments are anything but unusual at the college or the district, and at the moment, five administrative positions at FCC are interim. The position of the president of the college, vice president of instruction, vice president of student services, dean



President VP of Instruction Dean of Instruction (Business) VP Student Services Dean of Student Services

Campus Lockdown Order Averted BY CRESENCIO RODRIGUEZ-DELGADO Editor-in-Chief crodriguezdelgado@therampageonline.com

Adjunct EOPS counselor, Ryan Preciado and Thom Gaxiola-Rowles, the director of EOPS & CARE welcome funding for a Fresno City College foster youth program. Photo/ Daisy Rodriguez tra guidance can make the difference between success and failure. The Promise Scholars Program was established under the umbrella of Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth Educational Support and signed into legislation by Gov. Brown in September 2014. Though the legislation was passed in 2014, the supplemental funding did not come through until May 2015 when $15 million was dedicated for this program. Fresno City College is one of 10 California community colleges selected to provide services to foster youth. State

Center Community College District, the only community college district approved in the central valley, was awarded $1,984,584 million to be dispersed over the next three years. The college received $1.1 million of that beginning in the spring 2016 semester, and the Promise Scholars Program has found a home in the Extended Opportunity Program & Services office in the Student Services building Room 101. This first year, 40 students will


Fresno City College came close to issuing a lockdown of the campus after the Fresno Police Department apprehended an armed suspect near the college. According to a bulletin from the State Center Community College District police department, at approximately 1 p.m. on Tuesday, the armed suspect was located at Olive and College avenues. That didn’t stop an elementary school near that area from issuing a lockdown of their campus. The FCC child Development Center also issued a lockdown before police determined whether or not to lock down FCC. In a bulletin released to the college, district police confirmed there was no further threat to the FCC area.





Rampage Staff


Students Offered Admission, Scholarships by HBCU

Editor-in-Chief Cresencio Rodriguez Delgado Managing Editor/Copy Chief David Chavez News Editor Andrea Briseno Arts & Entertainment Editor Jasmine Yoro Bowles Opinion Editor Alexa Leyva Martinez Sports Editors Keaundrey Clark Michael Ford Photo Editor Daisy Rodriguez Multimedia Editor George Garnica Broadcast Editor Larry Valenzuela Reporters Caleb Owens-Garrett Michael Mendez Rudy Perez Ryan Holquin Destinee Lopez Ashleigh Panoo Amrita Aulakh Aedan Juvet Trevor Graham Travis McDonald Edward Smith Christopher Del Castillo Connor Linville Jorge Alamo Bineet Kaur Ram Reyes Tammi Nott Courtney Hufragle Rampage Adviser/Instructor Dympna Ugwu-Oju dympna.ugwu-oju@fresnocitycollege.edu Contact Us Tip Line: 559.442.8262 Send Questions or Letters to the Editor to: editorial@therampageonline.com

Historical Black College Universities representatives speak to Fresno City students about future colloege choices and scholarships at the gym on Tuesday Feb. 9, 2016. Photo/Larry Valenzuela BY ANDREA BRISENO

News Editor abriseno@therampageonline.com

African American students received admission and scholarship offers from Historically Black Colleges and Universities [HBCU] during an event at the Fresno City College gym on Tuesday. Twenty-two HBCU participated and gave away $80,000 worth of scholarships to prospective students. “Being able to talk to colleges like Missouri, Louisiana and Florida, places that they would’ve never even considered,” said Natalie Culver-Dockins, director of counseling and special programs at FCC. “Maybe they considered Fresno State. Maybe they thought of Stanislaus in Turlock, but they never thought of leaving the state and now they have an opportunity.” These colleges were targeting students who have a minimum of 3.5 GPA and are ready to transfer as well as for cheerleaders, soccer players and band members. “It’s amazing, the turnout already,” CulverDockins said. “We have students that wouldn’t ever get the exposure to these kinds of colleges, especially because they are outside of California.” Coordinators for programs for African American students such as IDILE and SYMBAA [Strengthening Young Men By Academic Achievement] coordinated the event, the first of its kind. “My role is to support the fact that we can bring this to our students,” Culver-Dockins said. “Can you imagine going to school in New Orleans coming from Fresno?” “We [IDILE and SYMBA] take young men and we move them through college as a core and the goal is to get them to transfer to a four-year university,” said Rodney Murphy, IDILE and SYMBAA coordinator.

Foster Youth l CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 benefit from $165,258. During the 2016-2017 school year, the program will serve 80 students with $381,331. The remaining $560,623 will assist 120 foster youth in their 2017-2018 educational journey. “The reason the numbers are so low [for this first year] is that it’s really tough to recruit this particular population,” Thom Gaxiola, EOPS Director, said. “In order to get 40, we have to identify 200.” According to Thom, the funds will enable foster youth to receive enhanced levels of service including tutoring, counseling, employment, and financial benefits. Tutoring will include developing effective study and test taking skills, one-on-one assistance in math and English, help finding a tutor for other subjects, and printing privileges. Valentina Flores was in the foster care system for the majority of her life. She was adopted and then put back into foster care because “[The adoption] just didn’t work out.” Valentina was removed from “the [adoptive] mom,” and developed a strong connection with one of her subsequent foster moms. Flores’ life was once again turned upside down when her foster mom passed away following an overdose of prescription pain medication. She is now receiving counseling and appreciates the camaraderie of her fellow foster students.

Granville Redmond, IDILE counselor and instructor, said programs such as IDILE and SYMBAA usually take students to visit HBCU campuses during spring break. However, Murphy said the board of trustees agreed with the idea of bringing the colleges to FCC. “It was that idea that sort of kick started that idea,” Murphy said. “We think we’ve got everything here and we don’t,” Culver-Dockins said. “These colleges have hundreds of years of collective experience.” Redmond, who attended a HBCU, said going to a black colleges gives, “cultural experience, especially if you are a person of color.” He said many people such as Martin Luther King have attended these prestigious schools. “We don’t have to try and just keep them local,” Culver-Dockins said. “Because a lot of these students will leave and come right back and get right back into the communities they came from.” Benjamin Davis, a social science major, was among one of the many people that was admitted into a college and received a scholarship. Davis was accepted into Bethune-Cookman University [BCU] in Florida and will be attending the university in fall 2017. “I feel like it’s a great opportunity,” Davis said. “I’m ready. I feel like I’m ready.” Keontay Carter, a psychology major, was also accepted into BCU. He was able to obtain a $8,000 scholarship. “It’s a blessing to be able to go to one [HBCU],” Carter said. Carter will also be attending the university this fall. He said he is ready to leave Fresno and is trying to get into the psychology program. Culver-Dockins said, “It’s an amazing experience for them to be able to do that.”

“[It’s] cool to see that there’s not as few foster kids as I thought,” Flores said. “You don’t feel as much of an outcast. They are more understanding about your troubles and your hard times.” Counselors, Mark McNiff and Ryan Preciado, explained that counseling provides specialized assistance to identify unique challenges, both personal and educational, faced by this specific student demographic. Foster youth frequently fall through the cracks of the system. They lack parental support and often feel like outsiders. Flores is now a mother, juggling her home life with her school life. She started school as a psychology major in the summer of 2015, and is also a Promise Scholar. Her favorite part of the program is, “the guys [Mark and Ryan] because they are really helpful.” Promise scholars can get financial assistance in the form of meals cards, books grants, bus tokens and gas cards. “The book voucher is one of the most important things,” Davis said. “A lot of kids stop going to school because they do not have their books. I was one of those [kids].” “With the assistance and collaboration of the [foster] community,” Gaxiola said, “we were able to pull together what we feel will be a good program for our foster youth.” Mark McNiff, educational counselor for EOPS and the Promise Scholars, said he is very excited about the new services that the district is able to provide. “I am inspired by the students who show up every single day ready to do it. It’s fun to watch them [foster students] catch fire.”



l CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 of student services, dean of business, director of technology, director of college activities are all held temporarily. The recent spike in temporarily held positions was ushered in by the sudden 2015 Easter weekend death of former president Tony Cantu. Cynthia Azari who was president from 2009 to 2011, returned as Cantu’s replacement on an interim basis. Her appointment extends to March 31, but the district’s slow process of getting the position permanently filled has led her to believe that she may have to continue her role as interim president longer than expected. “I probably will stay on,” Azari said in a Jan. 15 interview. “I don’t think [the district] will have a president selected by then.” Two out of three vice presidents are filled on interim contracts. Tim Woods, former vice president of instruction, suddenly asked to be reassigned to the Career and Technology Center in the fall of 2015, according to official statements.. A couple of months later, Chris Villa, FCC vice-president of student services since Aug. 24, 2009, accepted a similar position at East Los Angeles College. “Our president recently died,” Wendell Stephenson, philosophy instructor and academic senate president, said. “It shows nothing wrong with this college that we therefore

have an interim president.” Stephenson assessed the recent hike in interim positions and said the situation may not be as bad as it seems, even saying that possible repercussions from this “could all be good.” He added that there doesn’t seem to be any signs that an extreme case of temporary positions are likely at the college. “If faculty were leaving right and left,” Wendell said, “students, their parents, the taxpayers, everyone should worry about the state and the fate of [FCC].” Stephenson said that FCC faculty maintain a high quality, no matter the situation. “My impression of the faculty at FCC, for example, is that they are competent, dedicated, effective and they enjoy their work and are glad to be teaching at FCC,” Stephenson said. Stephenson acknowledged that even faculty could face circumstances which could result in life or career altering changes. “Faculty will sometimes take a position at another college, whether faculty or administrative; faculty will sometimes move into administration here; faculty retire; some faculty become too sick to work,” Stephenson said. He adds that this is “the price of allowing individuals freedom to stay or move in accordance with their judgements.”



Fresno City College presently has five interims in its top positions. From left to right: Cynthia Azari, interim president, Don Lopez, interim vice-president of instruction, Rojelio Vasquez, interim vicepresident of student services, Sean Henderson, interim dean of student services and Lydia Anderson, interim dean of business. Courtesy/Public Information Office. Stephenson said that if FCC falls “short” on its ideals, it is “inevitable for any institution anywhere.” Stephenson says that he does not see this as a stain on FCC’s reputation or a reason to do badly with an accreditation committee. “As far as I can tell, and this is verified by public surveys, the reputation and image of FCC is very high in the community and is not affected by the numerous interims we currently have.” At the district level, several positions are also held on interim basis. According to Rampage archives, a similar situation in 2012 had FCC barely staying afloat when a vast majority of administrative positions sat vacant, all while a budget crisis loomed over the district. In that year, Cantu had barely stepped in and even he found himself in an interim position as president. Just as it did this time around, in 2012, the position of vice president of instruction also sat vacant while the crucial positions of admission and records manager, vice president of administrative services and the dean of library and student learning support services all faced their own vacancies. Four years later, similar circumstances have resurfaced with some new examples of district employees who couldn’t seem to find their future here. In a sudden announcement in the fall of 2015, it was revealed that former SCCCD police chief, Bruce Hartman would step down from his position due to medical reasons. As a result, Lt. Richard Gaines stepped in as interim police chief.

There is still no information available about the timeline or process for a permanent replacement. The chancellor position which was held on an interim basis has been filled after Dale Paul Parnell, president of Norco College, was selected by the board of trustees. Parnell will step in on Apr. 1, 2016 and his contract would expire on June 30, 2019. Former chancellor, Bill Stewart’s contract started in spring 2014 and will expire as Parnell steps in. According to Cody Sedano, Associated Student Government trustee, the board of trustees has expressed their concerns about the number of interim positions the college has been appointed. Sedano says one trustee calls it “interim chairs”. But Sedano says he is not too concerned about the recently appointed interims. “If you look at all these people [who] are becoming interims, you can see that they were chosen because [of] their experience and knowledge,” Sedano said. He added that what he hears from students is satisfaction even with the interim-filled positions. “I don’t think there has been a position that students have not been happy with,” Sedano said. “We’ve been happy with all the positions.” Does Stephenson think the college is operating effectively even with the interim positions? “Absolutely,” he said. “When you have eminently qualified and talented people,” Stephenson said, “you’re in good shape, despite any appearance to the contrary.”

Fresno City College marks Black History Month

Participants at the Black History Month event observe a moment of silence in honor of the young African-American lives lost. Later, JePahl White gave a presentation on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. Photo/ Ram Reyes BY ANDREA BRISENO

News Editor abriseno@therampageonline.com

Black History Month was kicked off at Fresno City College with a celebration in the Old Administration Building auditorium on Feb. 1. An audience of approximately 35 people listened to a number of speakers on various topics, including the challenges African-Americans face today, Black Lives Matter and the contributions African-Americans have

made throughout history. Jepahl White, a keynote speaker at the event, touched on the significance of Black Lives Matter. The hashtag “#BlackLivesMatter” has been a trending topic on social media. However, White says, “It doesn’t mean this has not been a struggle in this country.” As a result of this hashtag, outrage

was started on social media because many felt the movement isolated and depreciated other lives. “Why is it that if I say I like red you automatically think I dislike white. Why is that? Because of our own biases. Because of our own prejudices,” said Genean Bolen, English instructor and president of Black Faculty and Staff Association. White compared the two trending hashtags, “#BlackLivesMatter” and “#AllLivesMatter” to houses. “If your house was on fire, do all houses matter?” White said. White says he understands that all the houses are important, yet you would not panic and try to save a house that is not on fire. Although the popular hashtag “#BlackLivesMatter” has been a recent movement, White says the issues behind it have been a boiling matter in America for many years. This year, as in previous years, the opening ceremony was sparsely attended. Bolen said that the low attendance does not define the importance of Black History Month. “We can’t judge the quality of an event by the quantity of attendance,” Bolen said. “A meal is not nutritious just because you don’t eat it.” Bolen extolled the importance of celebrating Black History Month because of the opportunity to educate the larger society on the plight of

African-Americans. “When we think about blacks, we think about them sometimes in negative stereotypes and perceptions, right?” Bolen said. “But if we had a different knowledge base, might we think differently?” Bolen says America excludes African-Americans as if they were not a part of the success of American history. “You use an ironing board all the time, you didn’t know that a black person created it,” Bolen said. “When you know what it took to prepare a meal, aren’t you a little bit more appreciative of it?” Dale Paul Parnell, Jr., new chancellor of the State Center Community College District, agrees. “Celebrating those kinds of events are super important because that’s who our students are, that’s where we come from, and if we don’t share culturally with each other, then we’re not going to grow.” To those who do not take advantage of learning about the roots of America, Bolen said, “You short changed yourself.” She encourages all constituencies of the college to participate in the month-long celebrations. “It’s a part of their history, it’s a part of their legacy.” “We need to learn more about each other so people can feel comfortable no matter where they come,” Parnell added.



Youthbuild Movement Gives Second Chances


New Curator Hopes to Inspire with Art BY DESTINEE LOPEZ


Reporter dlopez@therampageonline.com

Youthbuild Fresno is giving students a second chance to get their high school diploma and take college courses. The program, which is run under the auspices of the Local Conservation Corps., focuses on giving young adults, ages 18-25, the resources they need to get an education and a job. There are currently 15 YouthBuild students attending Fresno City College, according to YouthBuild program manager, Caroline Garcia, who has been with YouthBuild Fresno for 10 years. Garcia said that Fresno has a need for programs such as YouthBuild and the Local Conservation Corps. “Fresno has a history, unfortunately, of disconnected youth that don’t fit into the traditional educational setting,” Garcia said. “This gives them a foundation for them to be reached so that they can re engage.” YouthBuild, which just celebrated its 20th year in Fresno in October 2015 offers its members campus tours of FCC a few times a year as well as the college’s placement tests and counseling at the Local Conservation Corps building in Southwest Fresno. Participants are also encouraged to take part in projects, such as housing construction for Habitat for Humanity and a water well project. In addition, the YouthBuild program offers a charter high school for students ages 18-25 as well as two on-site college courses. Brian Nelson, an instructor at FCC, teaches DC Fundamentals of Electronics at the YouthBuild site as well as other electrical wiring courses on the FCC campus. Nationally, the rate of YouthBuild enrollees without a high school education is 92 percent, with 81 percent earning their degree after completing the program, according to statistics from youthbuild.org. “Many feel like they don’t even belong in college,” said Garcia. “It’s not just about the classes, it’s [about] getting them familiar with college.”

The sun pressed on her skin. Looking at the circular flat topped pyramids, she was thrown back in time, imagining what the world must have been like all those years ago in pre-Columbian archeological site of Guachimontones, Mexico. “The site was on the foothills of the Tequila volcano, a holy location, overlooking the most geographically diverse valley I had ever seen,” said Teresa Diaz, new curator of the Art Space Gallery. “I think I reverted to a past life – it was a magical experience.” As a young child growing up in Mexico City, Diaz had always wanted to be an artist. She had many influences. Her father was an artist and she frequented museum exhibitions of pre-Columbian art, portraits and landscapes and knew then that art will forever be her passion. From her earliest years, Diaz learned to draw and paint. She applied herself and by the age of 11, she was in an art academy. By the time she graduated from high school, she was certain that art was the career path for her. Diaz, who describes herself as an ambitious Latina, keeps herself busy, juggling her jobs -- as curator for the Art Space Gallery, professor of two classes at Fresno State and an instructor of yoga for beginner and intermediate classes. Being an artist, Diaz wishes to share the way she views the world. She says the greatest inspiration for her art is the reflection of present consciousness and using art to bring unity within a community. She hopes to bring this to Fresno City College. “Exhibitions are made to open horizons, minds and conversations. This is how we can all learn from the world around us and from each other,” she said. “As we learn from each other, we will be able to live more comfortably with our differences and make our community a better place to live.” Already, Diaz has brought interesting artists to the campuses art community. “Innerds” by Arthur Gonzalez is the first exhibition of the spring semester. “His current work was sitting on his tables ready to be finished, and his past work was hung on the wall as if they were all having conversations between each other,” Diaz said. “I felt I was part of these conversations. I didn’t want to interrupt, so I just watched and learned.” She said that was her inspiration for installing

Reporter apanoo@therampageonline.com

Teresa Diaz is the new curator for the art space gallery at Fresno City College. Photo/Destinee Lopez the “Innerds” exhibition – “conversations happening while you are watching them unfold, touching your senses at every moment, making your heart beat faster as provocative thoughts enter and leave your mind.” Like all artists, Diaz hopes to inspire people in the community; she wants the works of art to speak to them on a deep level of consciousness. Diaz spends her time with each art piece in the gallery, forming a connection she hopes to share with the rest of the FCC community. “The more I spend time in the gallery,” Diaz said. “The more I feel a connection with each piece.” She said students who have a passion for art should give it their all. “If you really want to be an artist, as a career, you must do everything possible to search for the best of the best schools, positions, mediums, responsibilities,” Diaz said. “Regardless of any obstacles that you face always accomplish your goals.”

Selma Superintendent Urges Students to Seek ‘a Seat at the Table’ BY EDWARD SMITH

Reporter esmith@therampageonline.com

The superintendent of Selma Unified School District told Fresno City College students on Feb. 2 that they should make choices to guarantee themselves a “seat at the table.” In her speech, “The ABC’s of Success”, Tanya Fisher stressed the merits of planning and education because “Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” She used the story of her family to illustrate the “ABC’s of success” and about their journey from Selma to Central California in pursuit of a better life. Fisher said her grandparents and uncle put in long hours of work and made huge sacrifices to get their family where they are today. They came with a willingness to work, and her uncle built up a savings as a migrant worker, later becoming a leading member of the California Teacher’s Association. She describes this kind of work ethic as a necessary ingredient in success. Dr. Fisher would attribute preparedness to academic success. She used the story of her two sons [one son is a medical doctor while the other rejected the traditional models of success and pursued

his dream in music and a CEO of a recording industry] to illustrate that students may follow different routes to their goal and that educators should be accommodating of students’ dreams. Before a room full of students, faculty and other staff, Fisher used her podium to urge her audience to “broaden the perspectives of our teachers and students,” in an effort to reach out and understand different learning styles for students. For Valerie Jean-Pierre, an instructor of African-American Studies, that approach rang all too true. “Being a black in America, you don’t know what he [black student] feels,” she said about the diverse needs of people in search of education. “Education is to wisdom as knowledge is to schooling,” Fischer explained, trying to demonstrate that education is something one does for oneself while schooling is something someone does for you. Dr. Fisher plans to apply the advice she gave to FCC students at Selma Unified by “focusing on the social well-being of students, and not just the academic side.”

“They’re my boys, but to the streets, I don’t know what they look like,” Jean-Pierre explains, “I don’t know what people perceive you as because you have your hoody on.” Fisher said she wants to push for a broader appreciation of learning, including the arts and music to help break the cycle of the prison pipeline that African American youth are trapped in. Dr. Fischer acknowledges dire situation that many black youth find themselves and stressed the importance of “understanding how to navigate a system that wasn’t designed to benefit [black people].” Adam Talib, a student ambassador, said he will always remember Fisher’s advice to seek “a seat at the table.”. A business administration major, Talib finds it difficult at times to be included where everyone else may already be, but now, he knows he must plan for his future. Fisher reminded her audience to strive for their dreams regardless of their background. She said, “DNA does not determine your destiny.”



Boxing Studio Offers Scholarship, Seminars on Self Defense


For video go to: www.therampageonline.com


Reporter bkaur@therampageonline.com

Heartbeat Boxing, a Fresno boxing studio, will offer a scholarship to an athletic female enrolled at Fresno City College, most likely by the end of the semester. The scholarship should cover for academic expenses such as tuition and books, but could also cover living expenses. The project manager for Heartbeat Boxing, Angielee Soto, said that the recipient of the scholarship would meet many requirements, but that factors such as extracurricular involvement and grade point average would be considered. Lourdes Ruiz, the owner of Heartbeat Boxing, said that although the current focus is on females, eventually, men and children will be considered as well. Heartbeat Boxing is a gym located on Van Ness Ave. near downtown Fresno which offers free self defense classes for women. The classes teach women how to defend themselves in instances of domestic violence. The classes focus less on fighting back and more on learning how to get out of a dangerous situation. Ruiz said the reason for the self defense classes are personal. Her sister-in-law Ruby Ruiz had suffered tremendous abuse from her husband and died at the age of 21. Ruby Ruiz had served in the Marines, and her husband also served in the armed forces “We don’t need another Ruby. We already lost Ruby,” Ruiz said. “We don’t know what everybody else is going through,” said Ruiz. “But we want to let them know that our doors are open.” Vianey Cobian, one of the faces of Heartbeat Boxing, said that she would like to hold seminars on

preventing domestic abuse at Fresno City College to empower women. Cobian hopes that these seminars start in March. Eventually, she would like to hold them at the studio itself. Free self defense classes for all women are offered at 6:30 p.m. in the studio on Wednesday evenings. There is no limit to how many of these classes

one can attend. Fresno City College students are encouraged to come and welcomed. Cobian encourages interested students to visit Heartbeat Boxing’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, both titled “Heartbeat Boxing” and their Twitter page, @heartbeatboxing and their Instagram account is @fresnoheartbeatboxing.

Fresno City College student Vianey Cobian spars with Eddie Montenegro at the new Heartbeat Boxing gym in downtown Fresno on Feb. 8. Cobian hopes to encourage other students to take the free self-defense classes offered at the gym, and eventually would like to hold seminars at FCC. Photo/George Garnica





New Chancellor Discusses District Goals issues are having more of our students complete and more of our students come prepared to college.

Q. A.

What changes are you committed to making?

Dr. Dale Paul Parnell Photo/Daisy Rodriguez BY ANDREA BRISENO

News Editor abriseno@therampageonline.com

Q. A.

When is your official start date as chancellor for SCCCD? I’m becoming the State Center Community College District chancellor on March 18.


What are some of the most pressing issues facing college students today and how would address them as chancellor?


Some of the most pressing

I want to get to know everyone first before I start making any swifting changes. People are doing a great job. This is a great district. We are serving about 50,000 students in an area that is the size of the state of Connecticut -5,500 square miles. And so there are a lot of challenges. We have a lot of students who are not coming to college. And we have to build more capacity and better buildings. Is it crowded at Fresno City College? I know it is. And we have to deal with that overcrowding, and we need to serve more people with the great education that we have and do that, not only do we need better facilities, but we need to hire more staff and faculty to do that. . Fresno remains within the top 10 least educated cities in California; how can you contribute to improving this statistic?

Q. A.

It takes a whole team to do that. It takes a whole community committed to that. And that is what we are doing today. That’s why I drove up from Norco College to be with this good group of people to really start talking about those things. And the thing that I’m hearing from everyone here is that they don’t want to just talk. They want to take action. So one of the first things that we’re going to try to do is pass a bond. And if the board approves of that, then in the

next couple of months, we are going to be working vigorously to get a bond that will build those new facilities that will house all the new faculty we hire to take care of all those students who are not getting the education they need right now.


Given that you are aware of the many disadvantages of an adjunct instructors which is an issue because of their lack of benefits; what do you plan to do about improving employment conditions for adjunct teachers?


Well adjunct teachers are really important. It’s kind of a plus and a minus, a ying and a yang. The reason community colleges cost can be so low is because of adjunct teachers, but it is not fair to them. We try to offer the highest pay that we can, but still, this is more of a legislative decision more than it is a local issue because right now, we’re not getting paid the same as our friends at Cal state universities or UC Riverside. And so that’s why they have more fulltime faculty ratios to part time ratios and why our pay is lower. But we are always concerned about our adjunct faculty because they teach a lot of our courses for our students, so we want the best, and it’s something that I would carry forward to our state legislators actually more than local. Because locally, you only have so much money and you use it as wisely as you can. You try to pay people as much as you can but it’s a limited budget.


Parking remains a top issue at FCC. What actions are you going to take in order for FCC to finally have a parking garage?


I don’t know all the answers to all these questions. I’ve driven onto campus and as a visitor, parking is a challenge. I think that probably one of the best ways to address this issue is if students turn out and vote for this bond. I think there is going to be some changes that we can use that bond to do some things about parking and about the impacted situation that we have, especially at Fresno City College.


Anything else you would like to say to FCC or the district about yourself?


I really am honored to be the chancellor of State Center Community College District, and people have been so gracious so far, and I’m not even here yet, but people have welcomed me. They want to talk to me, and I want to meet as many people as I can. I was just brainstorming with some of our staff about how I can get out to the campuses and meet the students and staff and faculty and on small groups level and try to meet people, see what their concerns are. And I don’t have great promises. I try not to over promise, but we can do a lot if we work together and if we try to talk about the issues. I’m excited. My wife and I are going to be moving up here and we’re looking for a house and have two boys in college and I expect they come and visit every once in a while. I look forward to getting on the campuses and seeing all the activities and seeing what’s going on.

For video go to: www.therampageonline.com





#OscarsSoWhite Movement Disregards Nominees’ Hard Work and Talent Illustration/Bobby Brown


Reporter aaulakh@therampageonline.com

The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite has been splashed across Facebook and Twitter for a good week or two. The main question is why? Why are the Oscar awards facing such a severe backlash this year? Let’s turn back the clock to Jan. 14 – the day the Oscar nominees were announced. Many people expressed joy at Leonardo DiCaprio receiving a wellearned nomination for his riveting role in “The Revenant”, but the air of joy was short-lived as one big fact set in -- a lack of diversity in this year’s nominees. “Straight Outta Compton” was shut out along with actor Michael B. Jordan in his role in the critically acclaimed film “Creed” and Idris Elba in his powerful performance in “Beasts of No Nation.” Each category featured only white folks, giving birth to the #OscarsSoWhite movement. Joining the uproar were celebrities such as Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee, both of whom spoke out against the Academy and vowed to boycott the ceremony. Even President Obama has joined the discussion. “I think when everybody’s story is told, then that makes for better art. That makes for better entertainment,” Obama said. “It makes everybody feel part of one American family. The industry should do what every other industry should do -- to look for talent, provide opportuni-

“The air of joy was short-lived as one

big fact set in -- a lack of diversity in this year’s nominees.”

ty to everybody.” The Academy is not ignorant of the backlash it is receiving. Hot on the heels of criticism, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced changes, including doubling the numbers of women and minorities by 2020. Not all responses to the backlash have produced positive results. Some view the harsh comments against the Academy as unfair while others believe that the truly talented have been nominated. In other words: race should not be a key factor, only your talent should be. Many celebrities, such as Stacey Dash, Ice Cube and Whoopi Goldberg, disagree with the boycott against the Academy. I share Ice Cube’s sentiments expressed in his interview with the U.K. talk show “The Graham Norton Show.” “We don’t do movies for the industry; we do movies for the fans, for the people,” said Cube. “And the industry, if they give you a trophy or not, or pat you on the back or not, it’s nice, but it’s not something you should dwell on.” He continued, “We got so much praise for the movie [“Straight Outta Compton”], and it’s like, how could you be mad ‘cause one other Academy, or Guild, or anybody didn’t say it was [No. 1]. It’s crying about not having enough icing on your cake. It’s just ridiculous.” “Clueless”star Stacey Dash stirred up the most controversy. “I think it’s ludicrous,” Dash said in an interview on “Fox and

Friends”. “Either we want to have segregation or integration, and if we don’t want segregation, then we have to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black. If it were the other way round, we

“Either we want to have segregation or integration, and if we don’t want segregation, then we have to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black. ”


would be in up arms. It’s a double standard.” Stacey Dash remains unapologetic for her remarks despite receiving such a strong backlash. Whether the boycott is just or not, clearly there’s a lack of diversity in the Film industry that needs to be addressed. Actor Sir Ian McKellen acknowledges this fact while assessing and criticizing the current Academy voting members. “The voting members of the Academy are predominantly white, predominantly male and predominantly middle aged and old,” McKellen said. “They’re not representative. If you feel excluded because you’re black or Hispanic or a woman or gay, you’re going to look at that institution and say it doesn’t represent me. No, it doesn’t, that’s a fact. But do you expect it to represent you? It’s just a middle aged, white, male organization.” With so many people divided over a matter regarding diversity and talent, one has to ask: is there really a right answer to this dilemma? The recognition of a diverse individual during awards season has been an issue in the film industry with an even bigger issue being diverse casting. The Oscar nominations have sparked a fight for “diversity” and yet this fight has come back down to Black vs White - as if no other races exist besides the two. Let’s not even get started on the lack LGBTQ members in the industry. Instead of blaming the Academy, casting directors for films and television shows alike should broaden their horizons - look for diverse individuals to portray numerous roles. In the end, whoever gets the role, gets the role, but it wouldn’t hurt to extend the casting net by a larger group. Yes, there is a huge lack of diversity amongst the nominees – there is no questioning that. But does that make it ok to disregard and disrespect the talent currently nominated? Absolutely not. The Academy is changing its ways and must now focus on casting as well. So as we wait for these changes to take place, let us acknowledge and honor the brilliant actors, directors, cinematographers, musicians and screenplay writers who were nominated for this year’s Academy Awards hosted by Chris Rock.

City Art House Film Program Honors the Apu Trilogy BY AMRITA AULAKH

Reporter aaulakh@therampageonline.com

The City Art House Film Program, a newly funded series of classic movies presented by the Fresno City College Film Program and the Fine, Performing and Communications Arts Division, is making its spring debut with Satyajit Ray’s “Apu Trilogy.” “We began with three screenings in the fall semester--one a month, from September through November,” said John Moses, professor of English and Film who is also the host of the event, “This semester there will be two weekend festivals--one this month, Feb. 1920, and the second the first weekend in April.” Moses added that the purpose of the series is to “showcase film

art and to educate interested students and the larger community about significant movies of the past.” Satyajit Ray’s “Apu Trilogy” is a coming-of-age story that follows a singular protagonist in many points of his life. From his days as a free-spirited Bengali child to a mature man in the big city. The trilogy was shot over the span of five years. Ray’s trilogy ushered India into the Golden Age of international art-house fame which has at last received a 4k restoration after the initial negatives were lost in a fire. “Not only is their restoration long overdue, but the films are the epitome of classic art-house fare

-Stacey Dash

and a milestone in world cinema,” Moses said. “Each can be appreciated individually, but I hope some attendees can take in the whole trilogy,” Moses added. “Ray was inspired by the profoundly humanist films of Italian Neorealism and perhaps surpassed them in the beauty of his cinematography and the poignancy of his themes.” “Pather Panchali” (1955) is the first film of the trilogy that will be screened on Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. “Aparajito” (1956) and “Apur Sansar” (1959) will be screened on Feb. 20 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. All screenings will be held in the Recital Hall (MS-132) and are free to the public.

Valentine’s Singers BY JASMINE YORO BOWLES

Arts & Entertainment Editor jyorobowles@therampageonline.com

This week, the Fresno City Singers will be offering a service to send your valentine a song! Organized by Julie Dana, director of choral activities and voice, the Fresno City Singers will have the sender choose from a variety of eight songs; “Ain’t He/She Sweet,” “I Will,” Happy Together,” “Once in Love with (insert name),” “Come Go with Me,” “In My Life,” “My Funny Valentine,” and “Your Smiling Face.” For a small fee, the choices of delivery are $25 for live/in person, $15 for a YouTube link and $10 for a phonegram. To order your valentine a song and for more information, contact Julie Dana via phone on (559) 442-4600, x-8465, via email at julie.dana@ fresnocitycollege.edu or through the Fresno City Singers’ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ FCCCitySingers

8 A&E


2016's Anticipated Movies BY AEDAN JUVET

Reporter ajuvet@therampageonline.com

We are barely through the first month of 2016, and it looks like it is going to be a year filled with massive box-office potential. With the recent trend in films returning for a nostalgia factor, some of this year’s movies are already garnering buzz with little

information available to the general moviegoers. Upcoming films include hyped up superhero tales, intergalactic adventures and a postapocalyptic world sure to provide entertainment for even the pickiest of film lovers. Instead of deciding on one film to watch out for in 2016, here are a few movies that have fans of all genres excited to flock to theaters in the coming months.

Get a maximum effort load of Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, when Marvel Universe’s popular anti-hero hits the big screen on Feb. 12, 2016. Photo courtesy/www.cinemaz.com

Feb. 12


Marvel has quite a few films in the works for 2016, but none seem as exciting as the return of fan favorite comic book character Deadpool. Deadpool is often seen as an unpredictable anti-hero, and it definitely won’t equate to your average family-friendly Marvel film. The film has earned an ‘R’ rating unlike most other comic book films, but is surely an attempt to stay true to the crude humor of Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds. Originally, the film had been planned for years until fan support helped push the movie forward, and ensured that there are plenty of individuals ready for a standalone Deadpool film.

“The Conjuring 2”

June 10

Yes, this is a risky decision as many film buffs note that sequels are rarely as successful as their predecessors. The first film depicted the controversial claims of supernatural specialists Ed and Lorraine Warren dealing with a property exorcism, and the second returns with a new case involving a young girl on the brink of possession. There aren’t too many horror films in the works for 2016, so there is an added pressure for “The Conjuring” sequel to entertain the niche genre fans. The newly released trailer provides

“Star Wars: Rogue One”

Dec. 16

When “Star Wars The Force Awakens” hit theaters worldwide, the “Star Wars” craze hit an alltime high. While becoming evident that fans are still under the “Star Wars” thrall, “Rogue One” will take us back to the rebel team responsible for obtaining the coveted plans of the Death Star. The cast features a variety of talented actors such as Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk, but the world can’t help but wonder if this is our chance to witness an on-screen return of Darth Vader. Most importantly, this is the stepping stone to other “Star Wars” spin-off films, which will indicate if the formula is a success for future installments to the expanded universe. ture installments to the expanded universe.

(Left to right) 10 Cloverfield Lane. Photo courtesy/ pcworld.hu Iron Man. Photo courtesy/ bonddiary.jp Captain America. Photo courtesy/ disneyinfinity.wikia.com Superman. Photo courtesy/ superherohype.com

“10 Cloverfield Lane”

March 11

If you had stated a month ago that 2016 would include a sequel to the 2008 found-footage monster film “Cloverfield”, nobody would have believed it. Producer J.J. Abrams successfully dropped a trailer for the top-secret film project in early January, originally known as “Valencia.” The film stars John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead who have hunkered down in a bomb shelter, spending a majority of the time as a thriller that leaves ambiguity to the outside world. Instances such as the ground above shaking, and a biohazard barrel suggest that the characters are in a post “Cloverfield” world. Much like the original “Cloverfield”, the sequel already embraces a unique marketing plan that ties together with multiple websites, products and message boards that reveal more about the origin of the J.J. Abrams cult-classic masterpiece. The film was made on a smaller budget as opposed to “Cloverfield”, but the suspense and secrecy of the sequel so far has made it a must-see movie.

“Captain America: Civil War”

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”

One of Marvel’s newest projects is fast approaching, while bringing many heroes together for an adaptation of the critically acclaimed comic book series, “Civil War.” For those of you who haven’t read the comics, it is centered on a hero registration act that was enforced to reveal the identities of masked crusaders. The new law created a massive divide between the Marvel characters, either falling on the pro-registration act with Iron Man, or the anti-registration act with Captain America. The film is a concluding chapter to the “Capitan America” trilogy, and takes a small-scale approach by cutting out a significant portion of characters pivotal to the original story. Despite changes from the must-read comic, fans are still rabidly awaiting the debut of Black Panther and the newest Spider-Man incarnation. “Captain America: Civil War” stars Marvel veterans Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. among a cast of new and returning actors.

For the first time, the most iconic DC superheroes will share the silver screen in a clash of heroes. The plot revolves around a world coming to terms with the presence of superpowered beings, which is a point of contention between the dark knight and the man of steel. Sure, the fight hardly seems fair, but the different stances between these two influential characters is what adds an air of intrigue to the film. If the presence of those two isn’t enough, equality influencer Wonder Woman will also make her film debut and set up for the forthcoming “Justice League” film directed by Zack Snyder and set to be released in 2017. The immensely publicized movie will include the return of Henry Cavill as Superman, with Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot featured in the all-important roles of Batman and Wonder Woman. “Batman v Superman” is definitely a kickstarter for the expansive DC film slate, and is rightfully regarded as the most anticipated film of 2016.

May 6

March 25

A&E 9 FCC Alumna Opens Photo Studio in Downtown Fresno



Guest Writer pforrest@therampageonline.com

Isabel Orduno and Shaun Gonzales stand in front of Orduno’s new photo studio, Isabel Orduno Photography located in Downtown Fresno on Thursday Feb. 4, 2016. Photo/Larry Valenzuela

Fresno City College alumna celebrated the opening of her new in-home photo studio in downtown Fresno. Isabel Orduno, who had children while being a student at FCC, said she wants her story of single-mother-turned-entrepreneur to inspire others. As a photography major, Orduno sat through multiple years of classes to complete her degree and begin her work the community. “Anyone can do this kind of thing,” Orduno said. “Just got to find what you love and work hard for it.” Photography was not always Orduno’s goal however. When she was younger, she looked forward to becoming an actress. “I got a job at Sears, in the photo studio, at 17. Found I liked doing it, decided to go to school for it,” Orduno said. Orduno’s new downtown home location isn’t the first stop for her “O Portraits.” She had started off located in Old Town Clovis, where she began work with the Clovis Chamber

of Commerce. “Obviously, as one of our old members, we want to make sure that we continue to extend our support,” said Clovis chamber of commerce ambassador Kurt Sieve. “But even on top of that, the idea of an in home photo studio intrigued me.” Even with the moves that Orduno has made, her plans for her business are even bigger. “Hopefully I can make this into a large corporation,” Orduno said. “I want to compete with the Sears of the world.” And in her attempts to make an expansion, she will soon be needing to recruit more photographers and videographers for her the studio. “Really, all I look for is a work ethic and personality,” Orduno said. “If you can work and be able to get along and have fun, then this can work.” Isabel Orduno Photography is currently located at 1702 L St. Appointments are needed for service.

Second Annnual “Love and Comedy Jam” in Tower Theatre Promises Laughter and Love BY AMRITA AULAKH

Reporter aaulakh@therampageonline.com

Second Annual Love and Comedy Jam in Tower Theater Promises Laughter and Love Prepare to fill your Valentine’s Day with love and laughter with Tower Theatre’s Second Annual Love and Comedy Jam – a night of love, comedy and poetry. The engaging and versatile comic Eric Blake, who has performed on NBC’s “The Last Comic Standing” will be the headlining act for the night, but he certainly won’t be the only act. Other comedians sharing the stage with Blake will be John Jones, Lonnie Pelly, John Creel, Mariah Alexis and Derek Burns with Ralphy Ralph Sanchez on-board as a special guest comedian. Keith Caldwell and more will provide the poetry while singer and songwriter Kinzie Rose will be on stage for a special musical performance. The host of the event, Weezy the P, said this is an adult only event filled with love and laughter aka the recipes to happiness. After all, everyone deserves happiness. “I’m looking forward to every one performing,” Weezy said. “Everyone [on Feb. 14] will bring their all and leave it on the stage.” The performers aren’t the only people you should look forward to seeing. Weezy the P himself will brighten your night as well. “For those who have never seen the host “WEEZY THE P” perform live just know: he is original, creative and electrifying!” Weezy added. Comedian Tony Martins is looking forward to performing with local per-

Weezy the P (left) will be hosting and comedians CEO Hot ROD (center) and John Jones (right) will be performing in the second annual Love and Comedy Jam at the Tower Theatre on Feb. 14, 2016.. Photo/ Destinee Lopez formers as well as performing with his friends. He also hopes to impress comedic heavy hitters such as Phil Medina and Eric Blake. While Martins is unaware of the demographic of the crowd, he’s bound to impress them with his unique brand of humor. “I start my show by downing 32 to 40 ounces of beer and then proceed

to deliver my take on the whole idea of love and the ridiculous things that have happened to me in the pursuit of it,” Martins said. “It’s a symphony for the insane and dark minded. And I have to cram it into only 10 minutes.” On the themes of the show -- about love and laughter – Martins said, “Laughter and true love might be the purest emotions that humans are ca-

pable of, laughter more so than love, because love, when done wrong, can lead to hate and a whole myriad of negative things.” The Second Annual Valentine’s Day Love and Comedy Jam will take place at Tower Theatre, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. with the doors and lounge opening at 6 p.m. It’s a night filled with performances you simply can’t miss.





Remember your high school days when your student government or administration arranged “spirit” week or “spirit” days? How we wish for those spirit days now. We could certainly use spirit days here at Fresno City College. We have no school spirit here, and it is getting worse. Over the course of the last semesters, we have seen the spirit of FCC diminish in several ways. We see great events taking place in a largely empty auditorium. We are not coming out to support other students involved in the activities. We are not taking advantage of being part of this great campus. It might be that students are focusing on those difficult math classes or that biology class they are struggling in or the load of essays in your English classes. But wouldn’t it be nice to be part of a campus that promotes student involvement in extracurricular activities? Wouldn’t it be better if students themselves were at the center of this involvement in campus events? The fact is that we already do study at such a campus, however, students are not willing to put enough time into college activities. Many times each semester, the college activities office organizes club rushes on campus to provide students opportunities to join new clubs and meet others with similar interests. Sadly, many club meetings feature a few enthusiastic students with much information to share but largely empty meeting rooms. Students are not attending scheduled meetings of clubs they sign up for. This is troubling. Clubs obtain signatures from people who often never ever set foot at their meeting. The clubs get these signatures just to meet a quota and stay

eligible to continue as a recognized club on campus. The Students Without Borders club, a club that provides a space for undocumented students, report that no one showed up at a recently scheduled meeting. The Art Club has seen its own share of disappointments even though a good number of students showed interest during the club rush. The pagefull of signatures yielded very few in real attendance at their first post club rush meeting. Rampage sports writers also report that they have seen a decrease in the boisterousness at sporting events. What a shame. Our sports teams give their all to win and bring glory to FCC and we can’t cheer them on? Or we do so reluctantly? As if our hearts are not in it? That is not the college spirit that FCC should have. In fact, that is not spirit at all. The Associated Student Government also saw the disinterest from students in both student government elections and participations in issues that should matter to them. Do we not care about our college? Do we not want to continue in the good work of those who came before us? Do we not care about the future? About those who will come to the great college in the future? Our college is rich in diversity of race, ethnicity, age, experience and interests. Would it be wonderful if this variety is exhibited for a richer, more spirited community college. What is stopping us? We can study and still manage a few hours being part of building a fun-filled environment to ensure that anyone who looks at our college would think to themselves, “I want to go there. I want to be part of that.”

Does Fresno City College Have Spirit?

Cody Watts Kinesiology

Adilene Lozano Microbiology

“I am on the school football team, and I really don’t think so because the games aren’t packed. But to a certain extent, we do [have school spirit]. Have more pep rallies.”

“This is my second year, so from what I’ve seen here, I don’t think so. Show it off more; show off school colors and the mascot.”

Sean Thull Biology “I think FCC has a decent amount of school spirit. I see a lot of students wearing FCC sweaters and a lot of other gear, but maybe bump up some more.”

Azziza DeGraff Navy “Yeah, we have a lot of school spirit; they do a lot of things to get involved.”

Photos/Destinee Lopez

A Phoneless Existence: 24 hours without my smartphone


Position Reporter rreyes@therampageonline.com

I went a whole day without my smartphone. This may seem like a life or social death emergency to some, but others might shrug it off as no big deal. Almost everyone I know has a smartphone, and it is impossible to find anyone these days whose face is not glued to a glowing screen -- the magical looking glass into the digital world. To answer the question “Are Smartphones bad???” with a simple yes or no answer is too simplistic and oblivious to the truth of the matter. To arrive at an unbiased, fair and balanced, nuanced opinion on the matter, I decided to go a day without my iPhone 5s. On Feb. 1, 2016, I embarked on a 24-hour journey of a phoneless existence. When I woke up, I immediately, out of habit, reached for my phone, hoping to check Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. But before I unlocked it, I

remembered I was doing this article and felt a sharp pang in my heart. I thought to myself, “Oh God, I can’t check Twitter.” “What if Kanye is tweeting some epic memes right now??? I’M GONNA MISS OUT ON IT!!!” But I resisted the urge. I turned off my phone and left it on my desk. When I got into my car, I instinctively tried to grab my phone and plug in my music. But I didn’t have it, so I had to listen to this thing called the “radio.” It’s kind of like Spotify but there’s no way to choose what music you want and you can’t even skip songs! Throughout the day, I would, out of habit, reach into my right hand pocket to check my phone only to remember it was not there. I noticed that I was more conscious of my surroundings and people who, I must add, were on their phones. I told my journalism professor what I was doing and was immediately shamed for it. I felt like an outcast and unconnected to information, people and the world. The caveat to my phoneless existence was that I was now forced to either stand in awkward silence when I was in a conversation with someone or

actually try to say something. I usually chose to quietly stand there and reflect while observing people hunched over their phones. The buzzes and beeps of others’ Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram notifications around heightened my isolation. Here I was confined to my physical form, only able to interact with the people around me. Not that I don’t like interacting with people around me, it’s just that there are people that I’d rather be chatting with right now. Ours is the generation of choice. We have the ultimate control over whom we interact with. And this is the greatest source of anxiety. People have the choice to either willfully ignore or interact with you, and the concept of time and place is completely distorted now. People of past generations didn’t have this luxury, so it is easy to understand why they might think we are antisocial. I likewise recognize our inability to learn how to communicate effectively. You can be in a room full of people but choose to interact with people from the other side of the world, just because you can. Or you can choose to ignore messages and

spend time in the moment with people you may or may not care about. It may simply be that the people of this generation just communicate much differently, even if the form is weird and foreign-sounding to older people, it doesn’t mean they don’t know how to. The interface has evolved so much that now you have more of a choice in when, how and where to talk to people. It’s not even just a choice of interaction but a choice of doing whatever we want at that present moment with our phone. It’s the power to escape into the Internet and learn, watch, do, tweet, instagram, snap or facebook whatever. When my day was up and I came back to my phone to reflect on the original purpose for giving up my phone. I am still left with a question -Are smartphones really bad or good? It really depends on the person and that person’s choices and priorities. You can use the tool to create, interact or escape. It is simply up to you to decide on what to do. So, I grabbed my phone, turned it on, went on Twitter and posted a meme. Life is normal again.




The Blind Leading The Blind: Dating Advice in 2016


Position Opinion Editor aleyvamartinez@therampageonline.com

I’m here to be honest with you. I’m not going to fluff this up. Dating is the worst. I could think of hundreds of things I would rather do than to get to know someone only for it to go nowhere. Thank you for the experience, but what about my precious time? That is something I can not get back so I’ll be taking a loss. I don’t get along well with losing. I’m the type of person who believes the ultimate tool in dating is waiting til you find someone who is going to be worth it to you. Relationships take a lot of work. You’re practically building Rome. Dating requires you to consider someone else’s feelings constantly. It’s so much better if you wait till you come across someone you’re willing to put the work in for. If you’re not at the point in your life where you are able to ada-

mantly care for a relationship then it’s not time for you to be in one. There is hardly anything more self deprecating than being “half-in” a relationship. It’s not only unfair to yourself, but it’s completely unfair to your partner. On the other hand, if you are completely ready and eager to be in a relationship, your best friend potentially could be patience. Love happens at first sight but not as often as we all hope. Unfortunately most of the time, it takes time to find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Then even more time to find out if they want the same thing. I’ve learned recently that in any kind of relationship, there will be someone who loves the other more. That’s just the way it works out. If you can come to accept that than you’ll have an easier time dating. Maybe you’re into horoscopes, maybe you’re not. However, if you are, sticking with your most compatible will work in your favor. It’s written in the stars. I know people think astrology is all bull, but it can really help when it comes to dating. It’s almost like a permanent guide. Again, it’s only if you’re into it. What it is you’re looking for exactly is really going to determine where you should be looking. If you’re into casual dating, kind of just going through people hoping you crash into “the one”, your best bet is to stick to the bar and club scene. Even though you could potentially run into your future significant other there, majority of the time you’ll find a two-week

“boo”. Casual dating really is fun too! You get to experience different types of people and you start figuring out what you do and do not want from someone. After a while though, the casual dating scene becomes redundant. You run into the same people. You get the same empty, shallow and pretentious routines. Anything worth keeping is going to be hard to obtain, that’s why dating comes with so many obstacles. Most of the time what you want isn’t going to be handed to you. It takes a lot of learning to get what you want out of dating. It takes a lot of unc o m for table experiences, a w k ward encounters and regret. Just keep your chin up and take everything with a grain of salt. Dating is tough, it does add stress to your life. Although I


wouldn’t deny it of its helpfulness. I wouldn’t deny it of its inspiration either. Dating will help you become the person you were meant to be for the person you want to be with. Whatever you do, don’t try to be something you aren’t. Always stay true to who you are. I know that sounds cheesy! It gets really difficult upkeeping two different personalities while trying to make a relationship grow. It should be a priority to you to be able to be yourself with someone. Even though my connotation of dating is negative, I’m still open to it. I still want to date and I’m still interested in meeting people. I refuse to give up on love. I feel like such a square writing all these corny things but I truly do believe in what I’m saying. I truly believe that there is someone out there for everyone.

Valentine’s Day For Everyone! BY BINEET KAUR

Reporter bkaur@therampageonline.com

It’s almost Valentine’s Day. I’m single and I feel great about life. I know, one part of that sentence sounds like it doesn’t belong. People might expect me to be bitter about this holiday because I have no one with whom to show my love. But that’s not true. There are plenty of people in my life that I love. I love my family. I love my friends. I love Kanye. I have a lot of love to give. For Valentine’s Day this year, I’m burning music onto CDs and giving them to my friends as presents. I’m excited to give them presents, and I think they’ll be happy to have some new music in their lives. Also, there is something cool and old fashioned about a CD. I think moping around about being single on Valentine’s Day is a bit overdone at this point. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not being in a relationship. It isn’t a reflection

of you as a person. If you’re single, it means that you’re single. That’s it. Why be sad when you could spread some positivity instead? Being single isn’t always a choice, but being a downer is. I think creativity is the key for anyone who is single on Valentine’s Day. Bake for your friends. Knit for your mother. Do you have a pet? If so, then congratulations - you have a valentine now. Even better, you have a valentine that you don’t have to share food with. The television show “Parks and Recreation” got a lot of things right, one of them being Galentine’s Day. This made-up holiday that originated on the show entails women gathering on Feb. 13 to spend time together. That’s not a bad idea, honestly. Some might see this suggestion as a joke. They might laugh because I’m trying to forget about the premise of Valentine’s Day. But honestly, I have too much positivity to care about what anyone thinks.

Rampage Valentine’s Twitter Poll




Lets Get Political Is it me or is the 2-party system a complete joke?

BY CHRISTOPHER DEL CASTILLO Reporter cdelcastillo@therampageonline.com

cial interests, political ideology and military. The modern political party system in the U.S. is a two-party system dominated by the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. It has been far too long since we had a third party president and maybe it’s time for other parties to rise. The last non-Democratic or non-Republican president was Millard Fillmore of the Whig Party. Millard Fillmore was the 13th President of the United States, the last Whig president, and the last president not to be affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties.

For years the American people have seen the political corruption We as Americans can do without within our government continually worsen. The 2016 presidential elec- the two party system. I mean, come tion is on its way and many Republi- on, there are other parties we can cans and Democrats are fighting for vote for such as the Green party, SoAmerica’s votes--but also for politi- cialist Workers party and the Indecal power. Both parties claim to have pendent party just to name a few. There was a time in American the right answers but in reality, they history when there there wasn’t just don’t. For a person like myself, who is a 2-party system but many parties not a supporter to any Republican or that represented the American peoDemocrat and who doesn’t like the ple. Americans are already angry two parties, it’s time for a change. with the government and the people Hello? Wake up Americans! We have who are trying to run it. Is it bad enough we’re in a war we other parties, so why still vote for the same people from both parties are not going to win? Is it not enough that we don’t have who don’t care jobs for the Amerfor the American ican people that people? “Hello? Wake up the government There’s so Americans! We have has given to othmuch evidence that the govother parties, so why er countries for cheap labor? And ernment and its still vote for the same is it not enough elected officials people from both par- that the media fawho we vote for lie, cheat the ties who don’t care for vors both parties and not the othAmerican people the American people?” ers? out of their taxThere’s evies and they care dence that shows nothing of the the front-runners troubles of the of both parties are the worst. One is others. According to the Asia-Pacific a wealthy, not very bright European Economic Blog, “Corruption is one immigrant and the other one, well, of the issues that is often encoun- sorry Mrs.Clinton, but she is not tered by a bunch of countries today. right for the job. Bernie Sanders, the One of the reasons why the rate of other Democratic-Socialist hopeful, corruption is increasing is due to he’s OK. To further prove my point about the two party system.” the system itself, Deloria said “If One of my favorite books that de- America has done to us as its wishes scribes the two parties is Vine Delo- others to do to her, then the future ria’s Indian manifesto “Custer Died will not be bright. America is runFor Your Sins”. In the book he states ning up a great debt. It may somethat “one party stands for less gov- day see the wholesale despoliation ernment and the other is the party of its lands and people by a foreign nation.” of the people.” So America, let’s grow up and When you listen to the two parties, what are they really saying? One stop living in our past glories and is overly religious; they are against begin a new golden age for Amereverything that doesn’t agree with ica. America can be great again. Let them. The other represents the spe- us just vote for the right people for the job and become a Republic again.

Don’t Blame Me, or My Parents for America’s Immigration Problem

BY CRESENCIO RODRIGUEZ DELGADO Editor-in-Chief crodriguezdelgado@therampageonline.com

My family arrived to this country from Mexico on my fifth birthday in 2000 and settled in a small rural town of about 1,000 or so. My parents immediately enrolled my siblings and me in the local school. Somehow, we were immunized, had clothes to wear and embarked on our very own American journey. I don’t remember English being a struggle for me; If anything, I communicated very well with my peers and teachers. I spent nine years at the same school -- the only one in town. But unbeknownst to me, my parents toiled, from early hours in the day till darkness in freezing temperature and broiling heat, pruning or harvesting crops in many Central Valley farms while I sat in a warm or refreshingly cool classroom every day. We were let out of school everyday at 2:30 p.m., and the walk home was the usual -- children filling the sidewalks and empty roads -- free of cars and adults. We made it home to empty homes, for yet a long wait before our parents could fulfill their obligations before they could come home to their families. Fridays were the best. It was payday and at 5 p.m., we enjoyed the chips, soda and much candy when our parents came home and served us our weekly dose of love. But what I loved was not the money, or candies or what money could buy. What I loved was that my parents were able to provide just enough for my family to get by -- enough food, clothing and had enough to pay our rent and bills. I just wanted to know that my parents were satisfied with what little money they were able to reel into our household, because they had honestly earned it. I never thought of our family as being less deserving than any other. We worked twice as much for everything we had and made immense sacrifices.

There are people out there who want me to point my finger at my mom and dad and blame them or my undocumented status. Those same people believe that only undocumented immigrants who are in school or have tons of degrees deserve to live in this country. They are wrong, and I will never blame my parents for the blunder of an imperialist American nation. On Dec. 8, 1993, former president Bill Clinton signed into law a disastrous bill -- the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA]. That piece of multinational legislation fell short of placing any kind of human value; this decision ruined so many lives. Many Mexican teachers, farmers, small-business owners and women and children who were displaced by the capitalist machine that is the U.S. government are the very people who, like my parents, have been working hard in this country to make a living. So I will not look at my parents, who continue to work tirelessly in the vast Central Valley fruit fields and blame them because I -- and they also -- are in a situation of 12 million others living in the U.S. with no documentation or a paper that says I am a citizen of this nation. That is divisive rhetoric and anyone who chooses to live by it is unfit for much of everything. This country has too many uneducated politicians who sit around composing anti-immigrant policies that benefit nobody, and not a single mention of the fact that people like them are responsible for the post-NAFTA havoc. Yes, we live here. It is safe to say that living here was not our first choice but simply because we are displaced. It does not mean that we should be criminalized and prioritized for hate. As I study in college, my parents continue to work every single day. Every morning, my family wakes up, knowing well that three brothers are now living in the very country we were displaced from; they were taken away by the evil and toxic force that is Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE], which has shamelessly let innocent people into prisons and county jails. My family, like millions of displaced families will not be criminalized; I will not accept that the very people who are instilling fear and criminalizing immigrant communities continue to ignore their own mistakes. This beastly government has grotesquely immense power on a global scale and they sometimes use it to perpetuate family separation, devaluing human dignity.





Softball Team Cruising Along BY CONNOR LINVILLE

Reporter clinville@therampageonline.com

The Women’s softball team continued cruising right along, splitting a doubleheader against Delta, and Ohlone College on Saturday afternoon. They entered the day 3-0, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 27-8, earning a huge win over No.4 ranked Sierra College on Jan. 30. The Rams were unable to string any hits together in the first game, losing to Delta (Sacramento) 4-3 in a nail-biter. Sophomore Sarah Santana pitched a gutty four and two thirds innings, surrendering four runs on eight hits.

She struggled a bit with her command, hitting three batters, but her defense picked her up and kept the team in the game. “Defense is huge, all the time,” Coach Rhonda Williams said. “If the pitcher is getting ground balls and fly balls, we have to make the outs.” Sophomore outfielder Aubrey Blankenburg didn’t miss a step at the plate, belting two home runs and accounting for all three of the Rams’ runs. “We pulled her up to that two spot and she took advantage of it,” Williams said. “She did a great job.” Freshman Heather Helm shut the door in the fifth inning, and finished strong surrendering only three hits in three innings pitched. The Rams came out hungry in the second game against preseason top 15 Ohlone College as their bats came back to life, toppling the Renegades 6-3. Santana returned to the mound and showed amazing poise, earning the victory while helping herself out at the plate. Blankenburg continued her offensive tear picking up four more hits, with another RBI and run scored. Freshmen Karen Zamora and Adri Martinez joined the hit party, collecting RBIs as well. The softball team travels to Monterey, California on Valentine’s Day Weekend for two more double headers, and their next home game is against Bakersfield on Feb. 18.

Top: Outfielder Adri Martinez and infielder Paige Reichle disperse from their huddle at the beginning of their game against San Joaquin Delta College. Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. Photo/Daisy Rodriguez Left: Outfielder Aubrey Blankenburrg celebrates her second homerun during the fifth inning against San Joaquin Delta College at the Fresno City College softball field. Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. Photo/Daisy Rodriguez

Raiders Should Consider Fans Ahead of Financial Interest BY MICHAEL FORD

Sports Editor mford@therampageonline.com

The Raiders have always been my favorite team growing up. I have so many fond memories of the team, not just when they were winning, but also when they have been down in the dumps. I am a die-hard fan, not one of those bandwagon followers who claim to be fans of a team just because they are good. Mark Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, who has

Illustration by Bobby Brown

been rumored for a few years to be looking to relocate the team, and Alex Spanos, the owner of the San Diego Chargers as well as Stan Kroenke, owner of the Rams filed for relocation to Los Angeles in January. According to multiple reports, including from ESPN, NFL owners voted during a meeting on Jan. 12 to approve the Rams relocation to LA but denied the requests made by the Raiders and the Chargers. As a result, Davis and the owners of the Oakland Coli-

seum recently finalized a oneyear lease for the team to stay in Oakland for the 2016 season, according to reports by the NFL’s official website, but that hasn’t prevented Davis from continuing to search for other places to relocate the team. He has said in the past that he would prefer to stay in Oakland, but only if he could get the financing. The problem is that he wants the financing done by the taxpayers of Oakland, and he is threatening to move the team if he doesn’t

get it. Think about how absurd it is for the fans to have to shoulder the burden of a new stadium. Other types of businesses, like car dealerships or grocery stores for example, do not ask the city to pay for their facilities where they conduct business, so why should fans have to pay for a new sports stadium? I really would love to have the team stay in Oakland permanently, but I also understand that professional sports is a business, and business in-

volves negotiations, and with that comes different negotiation tactics. Threatening to take away a team from its loyal fans is going too far. Oakland Raiders fans have been through very much over the last 12 years. Ever since the Raiders lost Super Bowl 37 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team has been a moribund franchise. They haven’t registered a single winning season since that Super Bowl loss, their best finish being two 8-8 seasons in 2010 and 2011. Yet the fans have supported the Raiders as if they were a very good team. Owners can’t cry financial hardship as a reason for not being able to finance their own stadium. CNN Money reports that the NFL generated over $12 billion dollars in revenue during the 2014-15 season, and that revenue is shared amongst all owners in the league. Despite state-of-the-art sports complexes costing exorbitant amounts of money, there is no doubt that any NFL team could build their own stadium. That is very unlikely to happen because there are precedents where cities have been threatened into building stadiums, but there has to be a fair middle ground between Oakland and the Raiders. If that doesn’t happen, it will lead to more teams filing for relocation and doing it more often, and that is bad for the fans. After all, the fans are what make the game; they are the ones who put support the teams.




Tennis Team Determined to Win State Championship BY MICHAEL MENDEZ

Reporter mmendez@therampageonline.com

The Women’s tennis team is setting very high goals this season as it prepares for its most highly anticipated season yet. The team is hoping to win the Big Eight conference as well as a state championship. The Rams are coming off an amazing playoff run, getting as far as Northern California regional semi-finals before falling to Modesto, which begs the question: can the Rams do it again? The Rams have made it one round deeper into the playoffs the past three seasons. Chantel Wiggins, head coach for both men’s and women’s tennis teams, holds the same coaching standard for each team and has players work out and practice together, giving them strong team building and challenging each other to the best of their ability. “It can be a challenge,” Wiggins said. “There are 20 athletes to handle rather than 12 on one team, but with good assistants, it makes the process much easier.” The Rams know that they have a tough season ahead of them, and in order for them to play to their maximum potential, they have to strength-

en their game. Practicing during the offseason helped them identify and analyze their weaknesses so they could improve them before the season starts. “It would have to be my serves. Sometimes I have a hard time keeping them in play and even falling down in the process,” said Maria Ochoa, second year player. “I feel the more I work at it, the better I will be at it.” The Rams are considered to be the heavy favorite to not only win the Big Eight Conference, but to have a deep run in the postseason.They are hoping to get as far as they can while avenging their postseason loss to Modesto last season. “I don’t know what the other teams we will face look like, but based off of our game and how we are playing, I would say that we are the team to beat,” said Milah Ryland, first year player. The Rams players and coaches say they know what they want out of this season -- bring home a state championship. “That is our ultimate goal,” Wiggins said. “Anything short is not reaching it.”

“ I would say that we are the team to beat.”

-Freshman Milan Ryland

German student Jana Misirli having one on one practice with Women’s Tennis assistant coach, Roneva Monreal. Feb. 8 2016. Photo/Ryan Holquin

Track and Field Readying for Impressive Season BY MICHAEL MENDEZ

Reporter mmendez@therampageonline.com

The Fresno City College men’s and women’s track and field teams are gearing up to make an impressive run this season like they did last season. Both the athletes and coaching staff are measuring the success of the season by more than just their winloss record. The Rams have a long history of excellence in track and field. The program has racked up a combined 39 conference championships and eight individual state titles between both the men’s and women’s rosters. In the past three seasons, both have finished in the top 10 of the state finals, with

Moesha Davidson bringing home an individual state title last year. Head coach Jesus Reyes has been at the helm of the team for five years. Reyes has a different approach to coaching and says he doesn’t coach for the sake of winning and the prestige behind it. Reyes says coaching is an honor and a chance to shape his athletes to be great human beings on and off the field. Reyes incorporates this approach into the team goals for the athletes this season. “My goal is for them to be great human beings,” Reyes said. “To exhibit character on and off the field, and have them hold the things we are trying to teach them; being both better athletes and students.” While Reyes may not set goals for

his teams to win team championships or individual titles, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have any. The goals are set by the athletes themselves and what they personally would like to achieve this season. Davidson is a three-event athlete and is the current 100 meter hurdles state champion. “I feel that I am pretty close physically to where I was last year and I am looking forward to improve my game in all of my events like the long jump and high jump,” Davidson said. The teams are getting near the start of the season and each athlete is doing what they can to try sharpen their tools to perform well when it comes to in-season track meets. Second year four-event athlete Ily Lopez is known for his performances in the javelin event. Lopez has slightly

changed his style from a three step release process to a five step, giving him more momentum and thrust on every throw. “I think I will do fine, I just want to work on the new five step process, and I hope to get it down well,” Lopez said. With the experience of 15 returning athletes on this year’s teams, with the blend of new additions to their teams they certainly have a good opportunity to do it. “It would be great. It shows how dedicated and hardworking we are,” Lopez said. “So it would be nice to have that kind of payoff, but if it doesn’t, I will take pride that I did my best and made friends on this team in the process.”

Ainger-Schulte to Coach Fresno Pacific Sunbirds Rams Coach leaves with 205 career wins and 9 CVC Titles. BY KEAUNDREY CLARK

Sports Edotor kclark@therampageonline.com

Fresno City College will be looking for a new volleyball coach as Tracy Ainger-Schulte just signed on to coach the Sunbirds of Fresno Pacific University. Ainger-Schulte a graduate of FPU in 1996 will be taking over the head

coach position. “In the last couple of weeks, it all came together,” said Ainger-Schulte. “Seemed like the right time, the right moment, and here we are.” She has coached at FCC for

“Seemed like the right time, the right moment, and here we are.” -Ainger-Schulte

nine years and says that college feels like home in many ways, but says she feels like the time to make changes is now. It wasn’t a hard decision, yet she realizes the pressure that goes along with the new job. Ainger-Schulte turned FCC volleyball into a junior college powerhouse, winning conference titles each year and making a pair of state final four appearances. The Rams are 20545 overall and 124-2 in Central Valley Conference matches. She says she is familiar with the Sunbirds programs, having been the 1996 NAIA National Player of the year. She is also in the NAIA and the Fresno Pacific Athletics Hall of Fame.

Her No.11 is the only jersey number to be retired in FPU sports history. Ainger-Schulte gives all the credit to her former players and coaches who have supported her on this decision. “The extra five years here at FCC gave me confidence for this,” she said. Ainger-Schulte said her legacy at FCC is that she turned the program into a family environment and that the players she has coached have found success in life. she hopes she can transfer these successes to FPU. “I’m happy to be back in that campus and the community.” said Ainger-Schulte. “The environment feels like home.”





Baseball Spring Training Brings Hope and Excitement BY MICHAEL FORD

Sports Editor mford@therampageonline.com

With just a week before major league pitchers and catchers report to their teams’ camps, spring training is well on the horizon. With spring training comes a sense of optimism for teams and fans alike. California is fortunate with the quality of their baseball franchises. The state has five teams: Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants. The Athletics and Padres aren’t expected to compete for their respective divisions races in the 2016 season. The Giants head into spring training looking to add to their incredible run of success over the last six years, winning World Series championships in 2010, 2012 and 2014. It is early, but the team looks like they have the core players on their roster to add another banner. Although the core is there, there are still some spots on the roster that aren’t determined. One player that came up to the Giants from the minor leagues is Kelby Tomlinson. He performed well while filling in for the injured Joe Panik at second base for most of the second half of the season. This fact makes it hard for the Giants to justify not keeping him on the major league club to begin the 2016 season. They also need to add another arm in the bullpen due to the retirement of Giants great Jeremy Affeldt. Around The Foghorn, a website dedicated to covering the team, reports that last season’s breakout starting pitcher Chris Heston could be an option for the pen as the starting rotation was filled out during the offseason with the signings of Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. Also mentioned as potential bullpen options include hard throwing right handed pitcher Mike Broadway

along with some of the team’s pitching prospects like Kyle Crick, Clayton Blackburn and Ray Black. Spring will be exceptionally competitive for those players as they try to earn their way onto the club. The Los Angeles Dodgers have won the National League West three consecutive seasons. In order to make it four, they have some roster spots they need to address. One such area, just like the Giants, is the bullpen. The bullpen has been a significant weakness of the Dodgers for the past several seasons, despite them having one of the best closers in the game in Kenley Jansen. LA’s bullpen f in-

ished the 2015 season ranked 19 out of 30 teams in MLB. The problem has been getting the ball to him in the ninth inning with a lead. Many times last season their middle relievers blew games they could and probably should have won. Dodgers Nation, a website that covers the Dodgers, reports that team president Andrew Friedman has listed hard-throwing right hander Frankie Montas, veteran lefty Alex Wood and Cuban right-handed pitcher Yasiel Sierra as potential players that could have a chance to make the bullpen in this upcoming season. T h e Los

Angeles Angels have been a very good ball club over the last few seasons just like their NL counterpart, but they have a glaring weakness that can’t go without being addressed before the season begins; that weakness is left field. The Angels are set in center field and right field with superstar Mike Trout and the promising young Kole Kalhoun in right field. Since the team was unable to recruit big name outfielders such as Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton, they instead made a more low profile signing when they inked Daniel Nava to a one-year deal, according to Halos Heaven, a website that covers the Angels Although spring is just the beginning of the season, many times the decisions made then have lasting effects throughout, including the postseason. That is why spring training means so much.

Kobe: The Michael Jordan of Our Generation BY DAVID CHAVEZ

Managing Editor dchavez@therampageonline.com

1996. I was six years old and was introduced to basketball by my oldest sister Diana. We started playing in our backyard thanks to a makeshift basketball court made by my dad. Now that I started playing basketball, I wanted to watch this new sport I had begun to learn. I remember watching men wearing purple and gold jerseys playing against other men dressed in silver and black jerseys. It was a regular season meeting between the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs. Up to this point, the only name familiar to me in the realm of basketball was Michael Jordan. Something about the Chicago Bulls and winning a lot of trophies. Something interesting about this Lakers vs. Spurs game though was that one of the players looked different. He was young and played in a distinct style compared to the rest of the players. That player was then 17-yearold Kobe Bryant. Bryant was playing against players 10 to 15 years older than him and he was competing with them on the same level, even making it look too easy at times. That would have been like me(a first-grader going into 2nd grade) playing against high schoolers at that time! I watched him and I could see the passion he had for the game. I did not want to be him, I wanted to play like him. Though I do remember witnessing Jordan win titles and MVP tro-

phies, I didn't feel like I was part of the MJ era. I was part and I am part of the Kobe Bryant era. And now that era is coming to an end. In a poem written by Bryant entitled “Dear Basketball” and

posted on the Player’s Tribune, Bryant announced that he will be retiring at the end of the 2015-2016 season. Throughout his 20-year career, Bryant has donned many nicknames.

“Mr. 81”, “Vino” and “The Black Mamba” are among some of the most notorious ones. “Mr. 81” comes from when Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006. “Vino” which translates to “wine”, was given to Bryant as many recognized that his performance seemed to only continue to get refined even as he got to the later stages in his career. And finally “The Black Mamba”, a nickname he gave himself, Bryant says that he got the idea for the nickname from Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill”. The snake, known for its agility and aggressiveness, was used as a code name for a deadly assassin. “I read up on the animal and said, ‘Wow, this is pretty awesome,” Bryant said in an interview with The New Yorker. “This is a perfect description of how I would want my game to be.” Bryant is a 5-time NBA Champion, 2-time Finals MVP, Regular season MVP(2008), and an 18-time All-star just to name a few of his myriad accomplishments. Bryant’s impact on the court is felt all over the world.Year after year, his jersey sits atop of the “Top-selling Jerseys” list. Bryant is a global superstar. His presence alone can draw crowds of thousands wherever he goes. Broken record after broken record, achievement over achievement and milestone over milestone, Bryant will be leaving an everlasting imprint on the game and his legacy will forever be prevalent when talking about the NBA’s greatest players.




Rams football players sign letters of intent for their respective colleges, (Bottom Center) Tajhe Moore to Lincoln University, (Bottom Right) John Weary to Lincoln and Elijah Watkins to Florida A&M. They will be attending their four-year schools in the fall. Photos/Daisy Rodriguez BY TRAVIS MCDONALD

Reporter tmcdonald@therampageonline.com

Six football players signed letters of intent on Tuesday to continue their college athletic careers at various universities. Defensive Back Tajhe Moore and Linebacker John Weary will be attending Lincoln University in Missouri. Linebacker Chris Woolbright signed with the University of Alabama Birmingham in December. Darian Warford signed with Black Hills State and Sammy Madden signed with Humboldt State.

Elijah Watkins, a defensive lineman, has declared he will be attending Florida A&M and looking to make as much of an impact with them as he did with Fresno City College. “I’m really happy when my players transfer to four year colleges, especially if they’re good enough football players, their education is paid for,” said head coach, Tony Caviglia. After a disappointing end to the 2015 season, the Rams will look to improve in 2016, but some players will be preparing to make their impacts on new teams. Watkins finished the season with 15

total tackles and a sack, and looks to improve those numbers with his new team next season. “Being a Rattler and being able to say you attended and graduated from Florida A&M University, plus a chance to go on into the league [NFL],” Watkins said, “it is a great opportunity.” Watkins said the FCC football program and Coach Caviglia have been crucial for him and that he has learned a lot about both football and life in his two years here. Watkins is now looking to take what he learned from Caviglia and apply it to his new home at Florida A&M.

“Coach Caviglia taught me to always be resilient and not to focus on the negatives but on the positives,” Watkins said. “A young boy needs to become a man, and he [Coach Caviglia] helped me understand that.” Even as the Rams lose members with these transfers, the players adjust to their new surroundings, both on and off the field and the head coach focuses on the program’s goals. “The mission of our program is for all our players to get their degrees,” said Caviglia. “And if they play football well, hopefully they can get it paid for.”