THE AWARD-WINNING, STUDENT-RUN NEWSPAPER PROUDLY SERVING FRESNO CITY COLLEGE AND ITS COMMUNITY SINCE 1949.
Volume CXXIV Issue 3
STUDENTS STRIKE BALANCE BETWEEN MILITARY AND COLLEGE LIFE BY KEVYNN GOMEZ
Transfer process made easier
FEBRUARY 27, 2013
Many on Fresno City College Campus juggle military life and college. FCC is home to many students juggling military service and college classes simultaneously. Those students are obligated to meet their responsibilities to the U.S. Armed Forces and complete their college assignments at the same time. Like other students, they must worry
about earning good grades and completing their programs of study. Veteran Tobias Johnston enrolled at FCC this semester after seven months of deployment as an infantry Marine in Afghanistan. He was as a Special Operations Reconnaissance Marine and returned in June 2012. His experiences in Afghanistan stand in stark contrast to his life as a civilian college student. But Johnston says being at FCC
is helping him to gain knowledge in areas outside of his skills in weapons, tactics and special operations. “It was a good experience. Getting good grades is easier -- way easier -- because I’m actually focused on what I’m here for,” Johnston said. “However, the work is a little bit harder just because it has been so long since I’ve been out of school.” He is majoring in chemistry and l SEE MILITARY ON PAGE 2
BY KAITLIN REGAN
Do you know that a new transfer program allows you easier and faster access to California State Universities? Yes, the SB 1440, also known as the Transfer Achievement Reform Act, which has been in effect since 20112012 school year, expedites transfer from a community college to a CSU. The bill, written by Sen. Alex Padilla was approved on Sept.29, 2010 and is now being implemented throughout the 112 community colleges across California. The bill requires that students who have earned a transfer degree will have guaranteed admission to a CSU. However, that admission is not guaranteed for any particular campus. The admission is contingent upon certain criteria, including the degree being similar to one offered at the admitting institution. According to the SB 1440 legislation, students will not be guaranteed “for specific majors or campuses, but would require the California State University to grant a student priority admission to his or her local California State University Campus and to a program or major that is similar to his or her community college major or area of emphasis, as determined by the California State University campus to which the student is admitted.” While streamlining the transfer process for students, the program is aimed at saving time and money. It decreases the number of courses that a student takes for a given major and is designed to grant a student who has completed only 120 college units a bachelor’s degree. The student earns 60 units in a community college and 60 in a CSU. “The program now has 22 AA-T and AS-T pathways approved, with anthropology and computer science pathways joining the list last week. More degrees will be added each term with Spanish and philosophy expected to be approved within the week. Engineering, biology, chemistry and sociology are scheduled to be approved soon,” said Erik Skinner, Deputy Chancellor for California Community Colleges during a press conference on Wednesday With more degrees being approved in the coming weeks, students will have better access to the transfer programs in their community colleges. Skinner said that the aim of this program is to have transfer degrees l SEE CSU ON PAGE 4
Photos Illustration by Kevynn Gomez, Michael Monroy and Karen West. After five years as an infantry Marine, Sgt. Tobias Johnston enrolled at Fresno City College to pursue a degree in chemistry.
Drug use impacts academic achievement BY TOMAS KASSAHUN
not have problems with it. Abuse is when a person uses a chemical substance and they begin to have negative physical, social and emotional functioning. With addiction, there is use of the chemical which leads to negative affective functioning as well as tolerance of the drug,” said Kirby. The students in Kirby’s classes are mostly recovering drug abusers in their late 20s and early 30s. We have a lot of students who come for the Alcohol and Drug Studies classes. The recovering are between their late 20s and early 30s. They tend to be more responsible than 18-yearolds coming in. The 18-25 years old have more problems,” said Kirby. He adds that alcohol and drugs are especially damaging for people under the age of 25 because at that age, the brain is still developing. Not just alcohol, marijuana, meth
or cocaine but any chemical has an impact on their brain development,” said Kirby. Many of the recovering students have the challenge of overcoming withdrawal, also known as the rebound effect. Kirby says withdrawals vary from drug to drug, but the general rule is that they have the opposite effects of the drug. Withdrawals are a physical reaction to the chemical. If a person takes a depressant drug, they will be stimulated. “When they go through withdrawals, they’re hyperactive,” said Kirby. They may not be able to sleep, generally feeling lethargic. Somebody who takes a stimulant will have a depressant effect. They want to sleep a lot and they have a loss of appetite. When they wake up, they have a big appetite. l SEE DRUGS ON PAGE 3
Rogue Festival Returns Page 6
Rampage Staff Editor-in-Chief Troy Pope Managing Editor Sydney Excinia Production Manager News Editor Kaitlin Regan Opinion Editor Olga Verkhotina
Arts & Entertainment Editor Matthew Elliott Sports Editor Tomas Kassahun Graphics Manager Photo Editor Karen West Art Director Lauren Baker C.G. Editor Adan De la Cerda Copy Chief Jordan Russell Copy Editors Pabel Lopez Heather Jamieson-Brown Kevynn Gomez Akeem Spearman Business Manager Sydney Excinia Reporters Victor Aparicio Keaundrey Clark Alyce Diaz Patrick Forrest Darryl Jones Daisy Martinez Danielle Mehas August Promnitz Colby Tibbet
Faculty Adviser Dr. Dympna Ugwu-Oju Tip Line: 559.442.8263 Twitter.com/FCCRampage Facebook.com/FCCRampage Instagram.com/FCCRampage YouTube.com/RampageNewsroom Send Questions or Letters to the Editor to:
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l CONTINUED FROM PAGE1 minoring in botany and hopes to transfer to Humboldt State University in the fall. Another student who is combining military service with college is Michael Olague, the executive vice president of the FCC Associated Student Government. Olague is on a reserve status with the National Guard as well as a chemical operations specialist for a company in Turlock, Calif. Although his unit is non-deployable due to their task of dealing with the decontamination of hazardous materials throughout the state, Olague is keeping busy with trainings for the National Guard as well as his responsibilities to ASG and his own education. He said his involvement with ASG serves as a form of service to the FCC community. “I guess the military instilled a code of selfless service in me to where I was proud to contribute towards the greatness of society,” Olague said. His role in ASG also ensures his cooperation with others in a climate of teamwork and mutual respect. “It was nice to be part of a team again. You miss the camaraderie,” he said. “That’s the one thing that’s kept
“It’s something to keep you busy still, something that gives you a little bit [of] extra cash in the pocket,” he added. Programs such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill provide veterans who have served on active duty after Sept. 10, 2011, access to financial assistance for housing and education. The bill is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and may cover tuition, housing costs, books and supplies, and even tuition for trade schools, apprenticeships and much more. This program can provide benefits for up to 36 months, according to the information on the VA website. Another program for military students is the Yellow Ribbon Program which helps fund the unmet costs for an individual’s education. Benefits can count toward tuition at expensive private schools or out-of-state colleges. The degree-granting institution must agree to pay for a portion of the unmet need. The VA will then match the amount for the student’s education and pay it directly to the institution. Military professionals not only dedicate themselves to service in specific trades and ranks, they must also survive in the civilian world upon return from deployment or after training. For individuals in this circumstance, a chance to earn a college degree is a first step in their return to “normal” life. l TWITTER.COM/FCCRAMPAGE
UPCOMING EVENTS Feb. 27: 10-2 Club Rush College Mall
ch 1: 7:30 p.m M ar .
March 5 Kids Day Fresno, Calif.
March 7: 8 p.m. Strange Vine Fulton 55
rch 13: 7:30 p.m a M .
Clifford Ward Mending Wall Art Space Gallery
Rogue Festival Begins Tower District Area
March 2: 10-3 Chinese New Year Parade F Street, Between Kern and Tulare
March 4 March in March Sacramento, Calif.
Feb. 28: 5-8
“Why Marry?” Premiere FCC Theater
FCC Concert Band FCC Theater
Journalism Association of Community Colleges
me going for as long as I have been.” For a veteran, adjusting to life as a college student can be daunting. However, there are several programs and opportunities available to student veterans that aim to help them navigate the college landscape more easily. The Veterans Office is located downstairs in the Student Services building. There, veterans can find help with a multitude of problems including identifying the GI Bill chapter applicable to their military branch and creating educational plans. The Office also hosts workshops for filling out financial aid forms and job fairs created specifically for veterans. The work study program is one other way that FCC provides opportunities to veterans and enlisted military students alike. Most of the students employed by FCC to work in the Veterans Office for work study are veterans themselves. Such is the case for Tristan Riordan, a Marine Corps veteran. Riordan returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2010. After spending time in San Diego, Riordan enrolled at FCC to finish his education. He is now enrolled at Fresno Pacific University. “We can pretty much make our own hours which is really nice especially if you’re going to Fresno City College, so you can go to a class for two hours, come back, [then] work for two or three hours,” Riordan said.
ch 2: 3 & 7: MarThe Deafhood 30 Monologues Crest Theatre
March 5: 5 p.m. Choral World Music Concert OAB Auditorium
Photojournalists Joshua Blocher Michael Monroy Taze Raney Taylor Rodriguez Felisha Sanchez David Semsem Darlene Wendels
FCC Student Photography Exibit Fresno City Hall
9: 7 p.m.
Renaissance Feast for Scholars FCC Library
March 17 St. Patrick’s Day
March 6: 5 p.m. Tiesto Concert Save Mart Center
rch 12: 7:30 p.m . Jazz Singers FCC Theater
h 20: 6 p.m .
FCC’s Got Talent FCC Theater
Fresno City College
Designed by Troy Pope
l CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, marijuana was the illicit drug that had the highest levels of abuse (4.5 million) followed by pain relievers (1.9 million) and cocaine (1 million). The survey estimated that nine percent of people who use marijuana become addicted. The number increases to about 17 percent among those who first try marijuana at a younger age and up to 25 to 30 percent among those who are daily marijuana users. In addition to the Alcohol and Drug studies classes, FCC students who may be struggling with alcohol and drug abuse can get help from the Psychological department or Social Work services. Community resource centers are also available nearby. When it comes to the psychological terms of it, abuse is a series of factors that contributes to someone’s overall functioning. We look at the effects it has on someone’s life,said Jason Johnson, Psychological Intern at FCC. “Are they spending a lot of time engaging in the activity? Is it affecting their work, their academics, their social life? Is it causing significant distress in their life? Are they spending a lot of time working towards drinking or using substance?” Like Kirby, Johnson has seen family members who struggled with alcohol and drug abuse. Johnson said that a person who may be abusing drugs and alcohol normally shows change in behavior, withdrawal from normal social groups, declining grades and changes in mood. There is a major shift in their life because they are focused on using the drug more than anything else,”said Johnson. “If you’re spending a lot of
time drinking or using drugs, you’re taking time away from when you should be studying. You neglect your responsibilities, so the higher the substance abuse, the lower the GPA.” Having worked with substance abuse for ten years, Johnson has seen a variety of causes for drug abuse. The cause may be a chemical imbalance, something that is biologically based. It can also be childhood abuse or family history. Every once in a while we see people that just suddenly start using and typically that may be because they are experiencing anxiety or stress,” said Johnson They start using to reduce that and it becomes a habit. They continue to use because they are feeling guilty that the substance abuse is impacting their life or they feel anxious and the substance reduces that anxiety. Treatments for alcohol and drug abuse vary depending on the drug, the individual and the severity of the addiction. Johnson has seen 18-yearolds who had a harder time quitting Photo Illustration by Adan De la Cerda. than someone who has been abusing for 20 years. therapy. Moving forward at FCC, what Alcohol is easier to get a hold of Marty Castanon, program super- Kirby would like to see is an Alcoholic than meth so we’re more likely to see visor at Family and Youth Alternative, Anonymous program on campus. young people abuse alcohol and not says drug abuse is a huge problem in “We haven’t had those on camrealize they’re having an issue with it Fresno because it leads to criminal be- pus in a while. It’s hard to get someas opposed to somebody who may use havior, gang activity and poor grades. body to come in on regular basis to meth at 18 years old and realize it’s an Ninety-nine percent of the kids [coordinate] them,” said Kirby issue. If someone goes out and drinks in this program are on probation. They He adds that for some adolesa six-pack a night, comes to school have been ordered by the court to get cents, abusing drugs is a way of rethe next day hungover, people might treatment. One percent come in volun- belling. not see it as abnormal,” said Johnson. tarily or schools send them or parents Because we made drugs taboo, Family and Youth Alternative: send them,” said Castanon. “They are the rebellious teenager will try to A Program of Mental Health Services drug tested six to eight times a month. break taboos and that’s why see a lot is one of the many substance abuse They learn relapse prevention, drug of drug use today,” said Kirby. “If we service providers in Fresno. They spe- education and quitting marijuana. standardized drugs and made them lecialize in helping adolescents through They are also taught anger manage- gal, kids will find other ways to rebel.” group therapy or cognitive behavior ment, coping skills and recovery tools.” l TWITTER.COM/THERAMPAGEGUY
Retention rates on the rise at FCC BY DARRYL JONES
An environmental scan of Fresno City College revealed that retention rates are climbing. Dr. Lijuan Zhai, director of institutional research for FCC, said the 2012 retention rate at is 90 percent for fall and spring semesters. This has been improving every year since 2006. The rate for the 2012 summer semester was 92 percent, a decrease from 93 percent in 2011. Before the summer of 2012, the summer semester retention rate had been improving every year since 2006.
The drop in summer retention rates may have had something to do with the limited amount of classes and the increase in shorter term summer courses. The environmental scan contains information from internal and external sources that examine statistics including which ethnic groups have higher graduation rates, success rates between men and women, which groups have a higher GPA and the number of full-time students compared to part-time students. The information is then used to track and plan for the future trends for students.
After all the information is gathered, it’s processed and put into an informational PDF file which is accurate, easy to understand and available for download on the FCC website. However, not all statistical information is easy to understand, especially when used incorrectly to show a rise or decline is progress. Upon completing the 2013-2014 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), students are taken to a confirmation page. Towards the bottom of that page is a school retention percentages for FCC prepared by The National Center for Educational Sta-
tistics. Their statistics show that FCC has a graduation rate of 14 percent, a retention rate of 65 percent and a transfer rate of 11 percent, directly contradicting information on the Institutional Research website. The retention, graduation and transfer rates listed by the NCES were for first-time college students only. These statistics do not include thousands of students who had returned to college after an absence of various times. NCES’ numbers are from a subcategory that unintentionally could be misread as the overall percentage rate.
BY AUGUST PROMNITZ
BY VICTOR APARICIO
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. has learned from the previous generation of PlayStation and the growth of social networks.
Learn about how to avoid uncivilized and uncouth behavior in this lesson in the art of social graces.
Illustration by Lauren Baker
Illustration by Ramiro Gudino
Earl Watson spoke at Willow International and awed his audience with his life story.
Illustration by Adan De la Cerda
BY AKEEM SPEARMAN
BEYOND THE PRINT THERAMPAGEONLINE.COM
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available in all community colleges. “The goal by fall 2013 is to have each of our 112 community colleges have AA-T and AS-T degrees approved in 80 percent of the majors they offer. We want to have 100 percent by fall 2014,” said Skinner. To make this a reality, academic senates throughout California are working together to make the transition smooth and efficient and “to create more pathways because they realize how important this Associate Degree for Transfer program is, not only to our students to our state’s system of higher education,” said Ephraim Smith, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer for CSU. “The program is all about efficiency and making a highly educated workforce a reality in California.” With efficiency being the focus not only for students but for the institutions of higher learning as well, costs come into consideration. This program, according to Skinner, will introduce $160 million in annual savings that will be used to generate more seats for students. The estimated impact would be 40,000 additional community college student seats and an additional 14,000 CSU student seats. A student who completes a Transfer Model Curriculum (TMC) and is accepted into the university will have junior standing. This means that students would not need to take lower division courses or repeat courses that they’ve already taken at the community college. Legislative bill SB 1440 prohibits “the California State University from requiring a transfer student to repeat
courses that are similar to those taken at the community college that counted towards the units required for the associate degree for transfer.” Kerry Ybarra, curriculum committee chair at Fresno City College, has been involved in every step needed to get the college up to par with the new program. Ybarra describes the process of discipline input groups and how they help get the disciplines ready for the TMC level. “So we have, I think, 22 approved disciplines. At Photo Illustration by Adan De la Cerda. Fresno City College I believe we put through 15 TMCs,” Ybarra said. “We don’t have all the ma- students with TMC degrees. jors, but most of our majors that have “Another benefit that I have seen a TMC in place, we’ve put through.” is that the UC system will guarantee a Ybarra said that when it comes to what careful review,” said Ybarra. degrees look like, it is up to the facTony Cantu, FCC president, is ulty to get together and decide. For optimistic about the program. He says example, for a philosophy degree, she that while it is new, it has the potential would get together with other faculty to accomplish its goal. throughout the state to come to some “I think it’ll work,” said Cantu. consensus on to what that discipline’s “I think part of it, like anything else degree should entail. that’s new, is getting the word out to “They call them discipline input students. The intent, I think, is very groups and they had one in Southern good.” California and one in Northern CaliCantu said that the new transfornia,” Ybarra said. “We got together fer program will remove unnecessary with California State University faculty repetition of classes. and other community college faculty.” “Very often our students who This program has also caught have transferred in a variety of differthe attention of the University of Cali- ent majors transferred to the CSUs,” fornia system. While it is not enacting Cantu said. “Oftentimes students were the same program as the CSUs, the told that they needed to take addiUCs will give some consideration to tional units extending their stay at the
N atioN a l UNi v er sit y
CSUs. This in particular was designed to curtail that.” Future students will benefit from this program, but current students who are already in a major or degree program should weigh their options. “For students that are currently here, I think what they may want to do is take a look at which ones [degrees] we already have, which ones are in the works and then kind of even take a look at what the requirements are,” said Cantu. The thought of wasting units is what inspired this program and in this economy, students cannot afford to take classes they don’t need. “ The whole idea is you’re not wasting units,” Cantu said. “To me, any course that you’re taking and learning in is not wasted.” l TWITTER.COM/K_C_REGAN
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STRANGE VINE OFFERS UNIQUE STYLE BY COLBY TIBBET
Strange Vine, a two-piece outfit from the foothills of the Sierras, showcases their unique medley of blues, Americana, and indie rock, while maintaining a distinctly Fresno vibe. The band’s two members, Ian Bleese and Toby Cordova, take on various roles. Bleese plays drums, Rhodes piano, and sings. Cordova sings and plays a variety of guitars: acoustic, electric, bass, and even a makeshift cigar-box guitar that extends the duo’s “do-it-yourself” mentality. “Songwriting wise, some things are hard, [because] you get stuck, but there are not four or five other people with four or five ideas. It’s either I have one, or [Cordova] has one, and in that regard I think it is a lot easier,” Bleese said. The past three years for this band have been quite interesting. Strange Vine has shared the stage with such acts as The Black Keys (which played the Save Mart Center last October), Jeff the Brotherhood, Cage the Elephant and many other big names in alternative music. They are headed to SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas for the third time as a band. SXSW is a multimedia festival held every spring. It is the largest music festival in the world,
with thousands of performers participating in the week long event. “Its like summer camp for bands,” Cordova said, “but with beer.” This event is highly regarded as the “springboard” for a lot of musicians. It is where bands can catch their big break and gain new exposure. “I think we have played in Austin five or six times, and have established ourselves with the locals. It is an awesome city,” Bleese said. Strange Vine’s sound encompasses a breadth of influences from the heydey of psychedelic rock and Photo by Abel Cortez. (Left) Ian Blesse and Toby Cordova of blues without having the restrictions Strange Vine perorming at Fulton 55. of those genres. Instead, they combine these genres with contemporary indie folk rock. just stumbled upon, by having forcing our paramThe track “Ghosts,” a local favorite, displays eters,” said Bleese. their keen execution. Pounding bass drum accomStrange Vine’s next show will be March 7 at panies strong fuzz guitar and ominous Rhode keys. Fulton 55 at 8 p.m. They will be playing with San It then follows into a bluesy breakdown, in which Francisco’s The Soft White Sixties. It will be their a twangy guitar harmonizes with Cordova’s vocals kickoff show before heading to Austin to play sevand creates a call-and-response with the Rhodes and eral showcases at SXSW later in March. The cost is Bleese. The song is effective in showing the fullness $7 at the door. and technicality that the band can achieve, despite For music and more information about Strange its only having two members. Vine visit, http://www.strangevinemusic.com “There are so many awesome things that we l TWITTER.COM/ROBOTMILK
“Why Marry?” debuts Friday credible strides. They’ve really taken their notes to heart and they understand they’re on a time crunch,” he said. “One of the things that happened is we lost four days of rehearsal to the festival and so, since Monday, we’ve been catching up,” referring to a theater festival that they attended in Los Angeles. Esau Mora plays one of the main characters in “Why Marry?” When on stage, he becomes John, a wealthy and highly conservative man Photo by Felisha Sanchez. “Why Marry?” cast members, (Left) Esau Mora and Tamara more concerned with Veres-Vailant portraying as John and Lucy during rehersal. money and social stamarriage and women’s roles in the tus than his personal relationships. BY KEVYNN GOMEZ email@example.com early 20th century. The personality and morals of James Knudsen and his cast of For Knudsen, directing “Why John may be diametric to Mora’s in Fresno City College students have been Marry?” is a groundbreaking moment- real life, but his dedication to theatre busily rehearsing for the upcoming -it is his first time directing a produc- allows for an effortless melding of premiere on March 1 of “Why Marry?” tion for FCC despite his background these two individuals. written by Jesse Lynch Williams. in the world of theater arts spanning “The audience is there and the For two weeks the FCC instruc- back to his high school days. With con- audience is a huge part of it ... but it tor-turned-director and his small team sideration to the looming premiere, really is about the other actor, the of performers gather in the theater Knudsen looks upon his cast with other person, and getting to experito run through a play which focuses satisfaction. ence something completely new and on the personal and social turmoil of “The cast has made some in- being able to share that at the same
2013 Academy Award Winners Best Picture: Directing: Actor: Actress: Supporting Actor: Supporting Actress: Original Screenplay:
“Argo” Ang Lee for “Life of Pi” Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln” Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook” Christoph Waltz in “Django Unchained” Anne Hathaway in “Les Misérables” Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained”
time,” Mora said. Similarly, Tamara Veres-Vailant brings depth to her character due to her love for acting. Veres-Vailant portrays the epitome of submissive femininity quite at home in 1917 through her character Lucy, the wife and unhappy partner to John. For this actress, who first experienced theatre arts in her homeland of Germany, bringing characters such as Lucy to life is a form of expression. “My personal struggle is that I’m very timid and very shy on stage I feel I can really reveal myself. As a vulnerable individual I pretty much put my soul out there with that character,” Veres-Vailant said. The characteristics Mora and Veres-Vailant explore in their characters on opening night may evolve throughout the performances. “What we open with on Friday will be a much different show than what we close with two weeks later… I see them adding new things, I see them getting more refined,” Knudsen said. For a more personal look at the characters and at “Why Marry?” as a whole, sit down to watch the entire cast of Knudsen’s debut production perform on March 1 through March 9 at the FCC Theatre. Tickets cost $14 for the the general public and $12 for seniors, students and staff. l TWITTER.COM/FCCRAMPAGE
ANNUAL ROGUE FESTIVAL RETURNS TO TOWER
Photo by Taylor Rodriguez. (Left) Russell Noland, Janette Ione and Deric McQueen of Songs 4 Pints are set to perform their final four performances. BY MATTHEW ELLIOTT
The annual Rogue Festival returns to the valley this Friday. This year, patrons can choose from performances by more than 75 entertainers at more than 15 venues throughout the Tower District area. Since 2005, Songs 4 Pints founders Russell Noland and Deric McQueen have captivated the hearts of Fresno’s Rogue faithful. What sets their performances apart from others is their requirement that attendees provide a steady stream of beer in exchange for Irish and Gaelic tunes.
The group has consistently sold out the Vini Vidi Vici venue for several years running. Unfortunately, this year’s Rogue Festival is scheduled to be Songs 4 Pints’ farewell set of performances. “I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in the past and this year,” co-founder McQueen said. Both Noland and McQueen are ready to take the next steps in their respective lives to pursue other creative and professional avenues. “You know, it’s kind of nice to start new chapters in your life every once in awhile,” McQueen said. The Rogue favorites are sparing
nothing short of a spectacle for their upcoming events. They recently added a third vocalist, Janette Ione, and also invited “The Roving Blades,” a newly formed Irish-inspired instrumental duo. Ione is a Fresno City College music student and comes from a family history rooted in professional fields of music. “I grew up in a musical home,” she said. “My mom works at Bullard Talent and my dad was a bandmaster on a cruise ship. And my stepmom is an accompanist and she has a few CDs out of her own. I suppose you could say that it’s in my blood.” “The Roving Blades” was founded late last year and consists of two instrumentalists who specialize in various forms of Irish-themed music. Neil Cusick performs on guitar, flute and vocals while Mark Patrick Ryan plays the fiddle and also sings. Songs 4 Pints is pleased to have the duo join them on stage. “We’re all Songs 4 Pints, but they have their own identity as performers as well,” Noland said. “We hope to help launch them.” Now in in their eighth appearance at the Rogue Festival, Noland and McQueen have a fond connection to the annual event. “What’s weird about Rogue is that we get to the Rogue Festival, it comes back around, and our audience is just glued in on us,” said McQueen. “And they’re absolutely in love with anything that we do. The energy is
amazing.” Their name is not merely a catchy title, the name is a mandate. The audience buys them beer and they sing their tunes. “We normally tell Vini Vidi Vici to have Guinness ready to go at room temperature if we can get it,” said Noland. McQueen explained Songs 4 Pints’ reasoning behind the unique request. “Brewed British Isle beers tend to be better at room temperature,” he said. Songs 4 Pints is scheduled to perform at Vini Vidi Vici’s on Saturday at 3:45 p.m., on Sunday at 8:45 p.m., Wednesday, March 6 at 8:45 p.m. and Saturday, March 9 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets to the one-of-a-kind Fresno spectacle cost $5 “Rogue bucks.” Patrons are advised to show up early to guarantee entry. Attendees should know that a very specific dress code is in effect. “No clowns are allowed at the show,” said Noland. “Clowns will be forcibly removed.” McQueen clarified and reiterated the restriction. “I really hate clowns,” he said. “They’re adult men who dress flamboyantly and wear lots of makeup in order to attract children. There’s something wrong with that.” For a schedule of performers and for more information about the festival, visit www.roguefestival.com l TWITTER.COM/PATH_OF_LOTUS
SEXPLORATION WITH TROY AND MATTHEW “Are toys appropriate in a relationship?”
THE GAY PERSPECTIVE BY TROY POPE
Are sex toys required to have an enjoyable sex life? No. Do they really enhance your sex life? Maybe. Are they acceptable or appropriate in the bedroom with your partner? Sure. Sex has evolved since your grandma and grandpa were knockin’ boots; not simply in the bedroom, but in our minds as well. The culture surrounding sex exploded in popularity and availability with the birth of the Internet. The availability of pornographic material became so abundant that the mindset of society was numbed by the imagery. With this desensitization came acceptance and curiosity. Sexual dignity and privacy somewhat became a thing of the past, and sex’s acceptability and placement within “polite company” began edging forward. Sex left the bedroom and became industry. Factories now produce plastic objects designed to stimulate your body. There are objects to put your penis into and objects shaped like penises. The modern day play-toy was designed to help you simulate sex and possibly even enhance the real sex in your life. There is nothing wrong with spicing up your sex life with some
accessories, but you should never depend on them as a necessity. Your man is with you for you. He could be single at home alone with his sex toys, so just remember that sex is between you and him, not you and your toys. Don’t let your sex toy become a third partner in the bedroom, otherwise you risk diminishing the intimacy you’ve built with your man. Relationship building is difficult, so explore each others’ interests. Trying
THE STRAIGHT PERSPECTIVE BY MATTHEW ELLIOTT
The era when sex toys like vibrators were sold almost exclusively to lonely women is long gone. Although sex toys exist for men, the market is predominantly geared toward women. Since acceptance is commonplace in our culture for female sex toys like “Hello Touch” and “The Rabbit,” but remains somewhat taboo and hardly marketed to men, with t h e
new e x things is ception of healthy, and you the podcast commerdon’t know what you might be miss- cialized “Fleshlight,” this response is ing until you’ve given it a shot. going to address the use of female toys. Plus there is an added bonus; if Let’s be honest, ladies. If a man you try out what he is into, he is more finds a vibrator in your nightstand likely to try out something you’re into drawer, he is likely to respond positivesince you were so open with him. ly to the discovery. After all, turning If your man is into sex toys but women on is a turn-on. The exception you aren’t, give it a try. Go out and buy to this scenario is if your lover lacks that dildo he keeps making jokes about. the security of his libido. You might find it beneficial to your Reversing the roles, if a woman relationship, and hey, it could be fun.T:10”were to find a man’s sex toy buried l TWITTER.COM/DARKTROY
in his closet, it could understandably
be cause for concern and raise a red flag. Since there’s nothing for women to be ashamed of, what are we even talking about here? The goal is for couples to find a healthy balance. First of all, pairing a partner’s expertise of reading and responding to a woman’s channels of sexuality while using “The Rabbit” is a reciprocal experience. Second, if a loved one is temporarily out of town, longing for them while draining a few AA batteries can strengthen the passion, intimacy and commitment of a relationship. Keeping that in mind, it’s important to appreciate the basics. If an individual keeps ratcheting up the terms of pleasure, like using vibrators on the maximum setting exclusively and frequently, those individuals may become less susceptible to achieving orgasms with a partner during oral sex and intercourse. That prospect is undesirable for either partner. For couples engaged or interested in using sex toys, the underlying point is to incorporate their use in a manner that strengthens bonding between lovers. If dildos, vibrators and other toys are used as an alternative to connecting to or longing for a partner, then there might be a disconnect between superficial concepts of pleasure and cultivating key components of the human experience. l TWITTER.COM/PATH_OF_LOTUS
AIRCRAFT. SUPERCHARGE YOUR CAREER.
As a member of the Air National Guard, you’ll develop the advanced skills you need to compete in today’s economy. And because you serve part-time, you can use your abilities to get ahead in your civilian career. All while receiving generous benefits and the chance to serve your community and country with pride.
Campus TRANSFER DEGREE IS A STEP FORWARD Voices BY RAMPAGE EDITORIAL BOARD firstname.lastname@example.org
“What healthcare services do we need on campus?”
Hipolito Fernandez Culinary Arts “A nurse can only do so much. Have someone on campus that is highly trained for certain things.”
Tarrus Johnson Undecided “Free physical for male and female, it will be worth it even if you’re not an athlete. It should be held for any student.”
Michael Raincon Biology “Possibly dental for those that don’t have insurance.”
Brendan Bennett Physical Therapy “A nurse in each building on campus, instead of going into one because it can get all crowded. More assistance for the disabled.” WRITTEN BY ALYCE DIAZ PHOTOS BY VICTOR APARICIO
Transferring on to a four-year college can be one of the most daunting processes for any community college student. Courses need to be mapped out, schedules must be strategically planned and letters of recommendations secured – all consuming time and energy that the student is in short supply of. Well, things just got easier for students wishing to transfer from a community college to a California State University, according to SB 1440, also known as the Transfer Achievement Reform Act. This law, which went into effect in 2011-2012 and will be fully implemented by the 2014-2015 academic year, is a move in the right direction. We applaud this added opportunity for all students in California community colleges, but we need the process to move more rapidly because our future depends on it. A ccordin g SB 1440, a student who h a s a n a s s o c i a te degree for transfer and meets prescribed requirements is eligible for admission into a baccalaureate program at a California State University. With the new transfer rules, students can glide through their AA-T or AS-T and move on to a CSU without wasting units. Both the associate for transfer and the bachelors may be achieved with a total of 120 units – 60 units from a community college and 60 from a CSU. This not only expedites the transfer process, it saves the state $160 million. Why did no one think of this before? It is well known that community college students can get lost in the maze of navigating transfer requirements and often spend too many semesters and a lot of money figuring things out. This resulted in students taking unnecessary classes at great expense to themselves and the colleges. In addition to the f inancial
cost, the present system led to the scarcity of much needed space in community college classrooms. The Transfer Achievement Reform Act means that students can accomplish their educational goals more quickly, making room for new students -approximately 40,000 new seats in community colleges and 14,000 new seats in the CSU system. This will begin of fsetting the losses resulting from recent debilitating cuts and open doors to students whose access have been limited in the last few years. It is important, however, that those charged with implementing
this rule do so with absolute care and thoroughness. Students, especially current enrollees, must be enlightened about how the new regulations apply to them. For the new rules to apply, Fresno City College instructors must create new specially-designated transfer majors which are based on a statewide model. One of the snags in this program would be refitting course identif ications and then preparing courses for the transfer model curriculum. Faculty from the CSU system and community colleges meet to discuss what they think makes an adequate degree. The language of the course identification must be up to par with
the Transfer Model Curriculum or vice versa. Sometimes, the language in a description could hold up the approval process for a major for a long time. Right now at FCC, only five of the 22 state-approved transfer majors have received all the necessary authorizations -- communication studies, early childhood education, psychology, sociology and theater arts. The college’s goal is to complete processing 80 percent by fall of 2013 and to have 100 percent of the approved majors by 2014. Why the slow pace? If the goal is to have students transfer sooner and graduate faster, why does the college show only five completed transfer degrees? Why not a faster process? The students and the community need it, and all are served by it. Every major must become a part of this program. No student should miss the chance to be a part of this transfer revolution. Times are changing, and so are the demands of the workforce. New jobs require a variety of skills and limiting the transfer majors offered here is a hindrance not only to the academic community but also the society. It is understandable that changes of this magnitude take time to implement but, considering the level of need and urgency, the number needs to grow quickly. We need to keep this program going and going strong. There is no time to lose momentum -- students need this to go through now, and so does the community. If we can expedite this process, get students to transfer and complete their education and enter the workforce, the current societal circumstances will change drastically. All constituencies at FCC need to embrace this program with open arms and do what is needed to see it succeed. We applaud those at FCC who are leading the transfer revolution while we urge those who lag behind to increase their pace. l TWITTER.COM/FCCRAMPAGE
BY KAITLIN REGAN
Blogging has become popular in recent years. It is versatile enough to be used as a source of news, as well as an outlet for personal issues. But what is the point of blogging? And more importantly, is it really relevant to our society and current events? When taking credibility into account what can be said of blogs? Trusting something that is used as a news source and gossip mill is not necessarily a good idea. A virtual diary is one thing but thinking that others embrace the same feelings is as pointless as it is ignorant. There are other outlets for news and for personal expression. Speaking as a journalist, I find trying to pass a blog off as news completely distasteful and unethical. When writing news and displaying it for others to see, credibility and ethics are at the forefront of importance. Take a moment to think about it. Should a blog that attempts to deliver news while also expressing opinion sound credible? Having a blog is fine but making it out to be a news source is unacceptable. Journalists operate under a certain code of ethics that is taken seriously. Blogging does not necessarily have such ethical concerns. There is always the option to fall back on the fact that the content is a blog post. It does not matter what someone says because it was just a post on a blog and they may not have to answer for their comments. Journalism is about accruing information via interviews and organizing it in a form that readers both understand and respect. A blog can be viewed as an extension of social media outlets. Facebook, Myspace and Twitter are well-known social media outlets and they are appropriate areas for expressing news-related opinions. Anyone can post news and opinion throughout an account on any of the above outlets. The same standard applies to blogging. The ethics go unchecked and the Internet is plagued with blogs on just about every topic. News, entertainment, opinion and sports are just a few broader topics. Blogs are fine in the sense that they have provide individuals with the opportunity to express their views adequately, but they should not be called reliable.
Blogs are where many people go to look for spoilers. They are also sources of inaccurate information. I’m not saying that newspapers or newspaper websites are 100 percent accurate at all times. However, the attention to detail and respect for accuracy is more prevalent in journalism. Tabloids do nothing for the image of the general media but the point is that blogs can go off on any tangent. When people hear about a scandal and then discover the source of the information, the response is all too often, “Oh, it was just that blog.” Some blog writers actually feature interviews and credible outside information but those are few and far in between. The writing style of blogs is different than journalistic writing and that is not necessarily a bad thing. However, when that writing is full of grammatical errors and profanity, it cannot be held at the same standard as professional reporting. Today’s society has embraced blogging as a form of expression, news and entertainment. Taking blogging seriously would make the
content credible, but blogging has already created a scenario that is contrary to that goal. Anyone can write a blog post. Anyone can be a source of information but not all sources of information can be credible. The fact that there are entire blogs devoted to celebrities and their fashion is absolutely astonishing. Blogs, often used as web diaries, share too much information at times. Bloggers tend to over share in their writing and thus distance an audience or develop stalkers. It is important to be careful about what is being shared online and blogs are no different. Writing is an art form to be taken seriously and blogs do not accomplish that. Our society has many other avenues for expressing opinions and delivering news. Why do we need blogs? Until a code of ethics and system of determining what goes beyond preference is established, blogs should not be such a big part of our society. l TWITTER.COM/K_C_REGAN
Is blogging an unreliable medium? CON
don’t need to find other ‘average’ people that agree with us because that won’t elevate our views at all. This is just simply not true. No one like that is any better or worse and the exchange of information is what gets us closer to the truth. We need people to disagree with us because that is the only way that we can show just how right we are. The beauty is that you can take stories or opinions that you disagree with and use your blog to contest those ideas. Blogs have finally given us the opportunity to put our views up there with the views of the people we see on television. Take the idea of movies. Why do we take the words of professional BY PATRICK FORREST movie critics as law? Why can’t what I email@example.com think of “Pulp Fiction” be just as valid The Internet is amazing. We as what Roger Ebert thinks of the began to learn this in the 1990s, and it “The Green Mile” or what you think has not stopped amazing us with the of “The Dark Knight”? Blogs have wonders that it has brought into our brought us the exciting opportunity lives. This magnificent system has to put ourselves through a medium allowed for the seamless transfer of which allows us to share our opinions information in a matter of seconds. with the world. It has also allowed for anyone with a In regards to the world of connection to have a voice that the sports, what makes anything that entire world can hear in the form anyone says on ESPN say about the of blogs. NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB seasons anymore relevant or accurate than what you may think? What gives Skip Bayless’ opinions on why LeBron James is no good any more credence than what you may think? What makes Bill Simmons’ guess on who will win the NBA championship any better than mine or yours? In the world of politics, why is Rush Limbaugh’s political analysis any more insightful than anyone else’s analysis? How about Glenn Beck’s? Rachel Maddow’s? Chris Matthews’? What is it that makes anything they think so important? We often say that blogs are less important than other media outlets because any fool can start one. But it’s that fact that makes blogs so incredibly important. Anyone can start one and only the best will continue Graphic by Adan De la Cerda. to get the most readers. It has given us more power to spread incredible ideas or moveNow, others would call this just ments with just the click of a mouse. another way for many narcissistic Blogging increases your connections individuals to put themselves on a and may also allow you to meet pedestal and express their views people with similar views as yours. on every topic, even though no one After that, you can use those contruly cares. But it is more than just nections to help you spread yourself that. Blogging gives people the opeven further. portunity to get their story out in And, when done correctly, the the public eye. views published on a blog can garWhen you really think about it, nish you a lot of respect. the ideas behind blogging have been In addition, the amount of happening even years before the Inviews your blog receives could corternet was even a thought. Whether relate with how many advertisers it is on sports, movies, news, how will attempt to buy space from you pretty your new dog is or how ugly which can be a great way to grab your friend’s cat is, we have been some side cash from the Internet. giving our opinions to anyone who Blogs are just the latest funcwould listen for quite some time. tion to the idea that no voice is more The only problem with blogimportant than another. Once a blogging is that we do not look for any ger has a following, they can actuinformation that even slightly differs ally help bring obscure news stories from our own world view. We only to the forefront. Blogging allows us want the information that coincides all to unlock our potential to affect with how we already think so that we the world. We can finally do it. That feel as though we are right all of the potential is literally right at our fintime. We want the people that have gertips. their name on television, magazines l TWITTER.COM/FORRESTP8 or newspapers to agree with us. We
BASKETBALL PROGRAMS SET FOR PLAYOFFS
Men’s Basketball BY PABEL LOPEZ
The Fresno City College Men’s Basketball team is one step closer to repeating as state champions after winning the Central Valley Conference title. The Rams defeated Columbia College on Saturday by the score of 79-64 to finish with a 12 – 0 record in conference play. The team is riding a 12-game winning streak. Their last loss of the season came against Bakersfield on Dec. 30, 2012. This is the 12th consecutive year the Rams took the CVC title. Three of which ended with FCC as state champions. Sophomore forward Udun Osakue says of the CVC title, “It feels good. All the hard work paid off so now we just need to keep getting better everyday.” The team knew that expectations would be at their highest for the season. Returning guard Thomas Hammock says “I’m just happy we went 12-0. I haven’t lost a conference game since I’ve been here for two years. We’re supposed to go undefeated.” For Madec, the CVC title is always special. “There are some good coaches and good teams in our conference and to go undefeated is a big accomplishment,” said Madec. While the team knows the importance of the CVC title, they are quick to turn the conversation to the upcoming postseason. “There’s the preseason, there’s the conference season and then there
is the postseason,” Madec said. “The postseason is a one game season so the stakes are a lot higher and you just hope you’ve had enough adversity and you’re battle tested and playing your best basketball so it’s not a one game season and ends up being more than that.” The team consists of five returning players including three starters but Madec is quick to clarify that the teams are very different from one another. Madec said “This team has its own identity. It’s a totally different team. It’s a different style. Last year’s team was much more deliberate, much more physical. This team is more of a transition team,” said Madec. He adds that all great teams take on their own identity and what he has to do as a coach is make adjustments to adapt to his team and personnel. This year the Rams have been led by scoring sophomore Alex Perez, who averaged 13.3 points per game as well as sophomores Udun Osakue and Junior Morgan who both averaged 10.9 points per game. Morgan and Osakue also led the team in defensive rebounds with 119 and 100, respectively. Hammock feels that as a returning player, it is his year to win the state championship. “I feel like this year I have to win the state championship for me and the returning sophomores. This year the freshmen have to play for us,” said Hammock. The Rams also clinched the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. They will host either Merritt College or American River on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. in the first round of the playoffs.
N AT I O N A L
Photo by Joshua Blocher. Fresno City basketball team preparing for the first playoff game this Saturday.
U N I V E R S I T Y
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The Fresno City College women’s basketball team displayed great teamwork and tough defense to close out the regular season at home en route to a 103-38 win against Taft College on Saturday night. The game got off to a slow start for the Rams with multiple turnovers and costly mistakes on the offensive end. With the score 12-9, FCC head coach Brian Tessler called a timeout. “We started a different group tonight because it’s sophomore night. We started five sophomores. I think we got a little out-ofsync. But there’s no excuse. They know how to play,” said Tessler. With the game still close in the first half, second chance points plagued the Rams but the resiliency of guard Keyora Wharry and strong defense from point guard Madison Parrish sparked a 9-3 run to push the Ram’s lead to 23-17 with 7:40 left in the first half. Two back to back 3-pointers from Jenae Alcantar and Toni Anaya
helped the Rams push the lead to 34-17. The Rams pressured on defense and smothered Taft all night with def lections and blocked shots. “That’s always been our style of play. We’re just going to press you for forty minutes and we’re going to trap you and get all over you,” said Tessler. The Rams came out of the second half with a barrage of 3-pointers and offensive execution. They continuously went hard to the basket never letting the game get close. With 10:32 left in the game, Rams led 72-34. Later Wharry came up with a steal and a basket while Chay Coffman and Octavia Burnett made back to back 3-pointers to extend the lead to 98-38 and put the game further out of reach for Taft. “I think we’re playing well into the playoffs,” said Tessler. “I like where we are at.” The Rams will face the winner of De Anza College and Cosumnes River on March 2 at FCC. l TWITTER.COM/COXTHAONE
Track and Field athletes ready to compete with the elite
BY KEAUNDREY CLARK
The Fresno City College Track and Field team kicked off the season on Saturday at the Sacramento City College Opener. Sophomore Anthony Yancey was one of the major contributors for the Rams with an eighth place finish in the 100-meter dash and a fifth place finish in the 200-meter dash. Freshman Cedric Provost also had a strong performance in the 100-meter dash with a fifth place overall finish. The team of Andrew Flewellen, Ryan Colebrook, Claudio Huerta and Devan Howard led the Rams to a third place finish in the men’s 4x400 meter relay. Shamlyn Pinchback, Victoria James, Paris Turner and Alesia Francis led the Rams to a second place finish in the women’s 4x400 meter relay. Turner also finished first overall in the 400-meter hurdles. Freshman Sandra Navarro led the way for the Rams in the long distance as she finished second in the 1500-meter run and first in the 5000-meter run. Sophomore captain and sprinter Devan Howard says the team should be able to take the conference titlewithout a problem. “We have some guys out here who can make it to state and realistically we can compete with anyone,” said Howard. The team is more organized and focused on togetherness. They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and that has helped them become more successful on the track. They hate losing and it shows in workouts as they race against each other in practice as if it’s a meet against another school. “A lot of the runners are freshmen straight out of high school and their biggest adjustment is just figuring out the little things as we go during
the season,” said Howard. Freshman Sprinter Denzel Trotter is one freshman making the adjustment. His coaches and fellow runners have helped him become a more complete runner. His goal for the season is to be competitive with the returning runners by season’s end. “I hope to compare to the returning runners and be able to keep up,” said Trotter. Head coach Jesus Reyes says he never goes into the season with expectations. “Often times, we see that we can’t predict what will happen throughout the season with junior college athletes,” said Reyes. He adds that the improvements he has seen in his team is their focus and the freshmen are taking more of a leadership role. “The strength of this team this year is their willingness to do more. Runners are stepping up and being better at more disciplines. Sprinters are not just running. Some are also jumping and competing at the vaults, a self less act that helps the team out in many ways,” said Reyes. The track and field athletes have been recruiting more students to go out and try their hand in the sport. This has helped increase the number of athletes from 39 to over 120 for fall workouts. As a result, Reyes had to make cuts for the first time since he became coach at FCC. Reyes uses these numbers as a measuring stick to show FCC track and field is getting the notoriety like other sports on campus. Last season the track and field team received recognition when FCC was awarded the Learfield Sports Director Cup, a national award which the college received for its excellence in athletics. l TWITTER.COM/SLOCUM13
Photo by Karen West. Devan Howard, Captain of the FCC Track Team, trains hard for the upcoming season on Feb. 21.
Q & A with pitcher Christian Belleque BY DANIELLE MEHAS
Almost 20 years ago, Christian Belleque picked up a ball and learned from his three older brothers and dad how to play baseball. Belleque attended California State University Fresno where he put in two years of work even though he didn’t get much playing time. He transferred to Fresno City College and found somesuccess. Recently, however, Belleque experienced discomfort in his elbow. An MRI confirmed he needed Tommy John surgery.
What has playing baseball for 20 years taught you?
Photo by Taylor Rodriguez. Christian Belleque.
It is the biggest builder of character. You have to put in the work when nobody is looking if you want results when people are watching. If you are too big for a small job, then you’ll be too small for a big job.
When you were at Fresno State, how did you deal with being treated like you weren’t good enough? I remember I was practicing throwing and a coach told me he didn’t think I was good enough to play Division I baseball. I honestly didn’t say anything because my whole senior year they’ve told me I had the best chance to start. I never had that chance to prove myself but I’m glad things turned out the way they did.
What’s one thing you’ve taken with you from being there?
I learned how to deal with adversity. Before I left FSU, I really started to focus on lifting and realized how unimportant material things are.
When you’re up at the mound, how do you deal with the pressure? I like to feel the pressure. You don’t know how
good you’re going to be until you’re pushed to be that good.
Now that you’re going to be out for at least a year, what are your plans?
I want to get the surgery done as soon as possible and get into therapy right away. My whole life will now be about getting back onto the baseball field as soon as possible.
How do you keep your motivation to get back into the game as soon as possible? Well, nobody is going to be the best forever. You want to see how long you can stay up at the top. For me, it is personal pride.
If your future in baseball doesn’t work, what’s next?
I want to be lawyer. I think it is fun to know what you can and can’t do. I’ve always loved history and political science. l TWITTER.COM/DANIMEHAAAAAS
STATE CENTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT and
ARTE AMERICAS CASA DE LA CULTURA Invite you to celebrate the induction ceremony of the
Muro De Honor Honoring Robert Arroyo Dr. Cynthia Azari Isabel Barreras Date: March 6, 2013
Muro de Honor
Time:6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
recognizes the contributions of dedicated and outstanding members of the Hispanic/Latino community associated with State Center Community College District.
Place: Arte Americas 1630 Van Ness Fresno, CA 93721
For more information call: 559-244-5969
STATE CENTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT