Rats in Language Arts Building
Student-Run Newspaper of Fresno City College
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February 24, 2016
‘Mulan’ Brings China to FCC
BY AMRITA ALAUKH
(Top) Adam Zakaria and Thuy Duong perform a scene from “Mulan and The Battle of Black Mountain”; (Bottom) K.P. Phagnasay and Thuy Duong in another scene from “Mulan and The Battle of Black Mountain” in the Fresno City College Theater, on Monday, Feb. 22, 2016. Photos/ Larry Valenzuela
he untold and true story of Chinese folk heroine Hua Mulan is making its grand debut at the Fresno City College Theatre with “Mulan and the Battle on Black Mountain.” Professor Debra Erven, director and costume designer for the play, said she is thrilled that “Mulan” was chosen as the year’s first theatre production as well as the opportunities it provided to collaborate with other faculty. This production will most likely serve
as Debra Erven’s last venture in the director’s seat. “This is a simple story of a young girl who experiences war and grows to be a woman,” Erven said. “Thuy Duong [playing the main character] is doing a beautiful job of creating the character of Mulan.” The epic tale of Hua Mulan is wellknown in China, and nearly everyone in the U.S. is familiar with Disney’s Mulan which was released in 1998 and became an instant classic.
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District to add 60 parking stalls BY GEORGE GARNICA
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Sophomore Robert Vega methodically drives down the long rows of parked vehicles in lot E at Fresno City College, looking for a parking spot. Twenty minutes later, he is still in his car, waiting, hoping space opens up so he can show up for his math class. He is already late for class and just can’t catch a break. He finally sees a stall, parks, walks into class; he is 40 minutes late. “Parking is something that I really dislike about coming to school here,” Vega said. “I can’t get here any earlier because I work, so what can I do?”
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The State Center Community College District Board of Trustees approved the site for an extension of parking lot E (yellow) which will add 60 new parking stalls, according to Christine Miktarian, associate vice chancellor of business and operations for the district. Photo courtesy/Christine Miktarian.
District Says ‘No’ to Releasing Investigator’s Report on Monica Cuevas l SEE STORY ON PAGE 4
‘Rites of Passage’ Provides AfricanAmerican Students Transition into Adulthood
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 Rampage Adviser/Instructor Dympna Ugwu-Oju firstname.lastname@example.org Contact Us Tip Line: 559.442.8262 Send Questions or Letters to the Editor to: email@example.com
A group of women gather in the Old Aministration Building room 250 for the Rites of Passage event on Feb. 16, 2016. Photo/Destinee Lopez. BY TAMMI NOTT
The students enrolled in SYMBAA and IDILE programs discussed their challenges on and off campus and how to overcowme them, during the annual Rites of Passage ceremony in OAB 251 on Feb. 16 Sponsored by the Black Faculty and Staff Association, the Rites of Passage ceremony mimics an African tradition during which young men and women transition into adulthood and become productive members of their community. For the students at Fresno City College, it was much more; it was about honoring their ancestors and their sacrifices as well as about developing a valuable understanding of their African roots. “There is a structure that we have to restore in our own communities because our own communities are in disarray,” said Kehinde Solwazi, the founder of the African American studies program who firmly believes in bringing this culturally historical ritual to the students. “There are five point of passage in everyone’s life, birth, adolescence, young adult, true adult and ancestor or death.” The Feb. 16 ceremony at the college symbolizes the students’ passage from one stage of life to a more responsible stage -- from adolescence to young adult and taking on more responsibilities. The transition from high school to college requires students to embrace self sufficiency. The students who participated in the rites of passage are in the IDILE and SYMBAA programs which provide African American students a close-knit supportive groups that help them achieve their college educational goals successfully. IDILE is an academic based community-mentoring program for African American students. Program participants take basic English, math, and African American studies courses together. The goal is to help students transfer into four-year colleges. IDILE students say they feel that this program is invaluable. “I would be lost without IDILE,” Jordann Johnson, an IDILE student, said. “I love my IDILE sisters.” SYMBAA, Strengthening Young Men by Academic Achievement, focuses on the needs of African American male students. The program builds on basic reading and writing skills academically and offers counseling, career planning, campus tours, and
transfer assistance. Students benefit from opportunities to help each other, and peer mentors influence one another. IDILE and SYMBAA students facilitated the rite of passage event, introduced speakers and helped with other organization. Karla Kirk, instructor of African American studies, explained the significance of symbols used in the ritual. Fire is the element that helps people stay focused and on track, burning away any undesirable things. Water represents peace and togetherness, bringing focus, harmony and reconciliation. A rock is symbolic of minerals which represent memory and helps people communicate and listen. Professor Kirk led students through libations to honor their ancestors before the rites of passage ceremony could begin. Mentors Kehinde Solwazi and Tate Hill, president and CEO of the Fresno Black Chamber of Commerce in Fresno, told students about the importance of being connected as a community. Participants underestimated the number of African American businesses in the Fresno area. When asked, students estimated that there were only 20 to 100 businesses, and the crowd cheered when Tate Hill told them, “there are 3,000 black owned business in Fresno, Madera, and Clovis areas.” Hill said he was grateful for the multitude of African American role models that helped establish his successful mindset. “Part of my rite of passage is remembering the legacy and the investment that so many other people made into my life,” Hill said. During the final segment of the ceremony known as the Porch, participants were split into two groups --males and females -- and encouraged to share their experiences and offer words of encouragement to members of their group. When students met again a few days later as part of their IDILE and SYMBAA programs, “Students felt they were able to understand that we are all going through some of the same things,” said Karla Kirk Keantae Carter, a peer mentor for SYMBAA, recalls the impact a mentor had on him. “My favorite part is when my mentor Trevor brought us out of our shells like a hermit crab and taught us to work together, to touch another, and be able to have a real conversation,” he said.
Language Arts Building Infested with Rats BY DAVID CHAVEZ
Managing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
The college’s maintenance crew may need a Pied Piper to resolve the rat problems in the Language Arts Building. The two-story building at Fresno City College is infested with rats, according to an email from the dean of instruction for humanities to department chairs on Tuesday. Jennifer Johnson’s email acknowledged that the division was aware of the problem and was taking steps to address it. She said that the campus and the State Center
Community College District have been notified, that they are limited in terms of what they can do at this time because classes are in session. “In case faculty ask you about rats in [LA], let them know I am aware of it and I am taking steps to resolve the problem,” Johnson said in an email. Johnson said the buildings cannot be fumigated now, and the only remedy is to set up rat traps around the building. In a response to the dean’s email, Jean Carroll, English as a second language instructor, suggested that a more immediate action needs to be taken before it becomes a bigger problem. Carroll’s email listed health risks as well as safety and psychological hazards that can come with the presence of rats. She said, “The faculty is up in arms.”
NEWS 3 Parking: Extension of Parking Lot E Adds 60 Stalls ASG Fills Two Vacant Positions As Election Nears
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School administrators are very much aware of the parking problem at FCC. If anything, it has dominated not only the college’s agenda, but the planning of the State Center Community College District. Christine Miktarian, associate vice chancellor of business and operations for SCCCD, said that a parking evaluation study done during the 2012 facilities master plan found the FCC campus parking situation is inadequate. “It is obvious we don’t and we are very low in parking stalls,” Miktarian said. “In that study they identified that we have a need of about 3,000 additional parking stalls at FCC.” Miktarian also said that in September 2015, the SCCCD board of trustees approved funding for the Parking Lot M Project which was set to be located north of the gym. The parking space would have added 84 new parking stalls. But after the district notified neighbors about the proposed parking lot project, they received a lot of opposition. According to the SCCCD board of trustees agenda from the Feb. 2 board meeting, the neighbors’ primary concerns centered around losing the green space within the neighborhood and increased traffic flow in the area. Additionally, the neighbors also did not want the parking project to impact Ram Camp (a popular program that uses the green space in the community), or the expected increase in noise and lighting. Miktarian said the board re-evaluated the location and on Feb. 2 approved an extension of Parking Lot E. The added parking stalls will be at the abandoned ponding basin, by the rail-
BY EDWARD SMITH
Associate Vice Chancellor of Business and Operations Christine Miktarian identifies the designated area for the extension of parking lot E which is set to open during the fall semester of 2016. Photo/George Garnica road tracks and McKinley, on Lot E. The Lot E extension project adds 60 new parking stalls, 24 fewer spaces than the ill-fated proposal for Lot M. “I don’t think adding a parking lot will make much of a difference,” said Jonathan Luna, third year criminology major. “I think they should invest in something like Fresno state did with the free FAX bus for students. I think that would be a better idea.” Annissa Stith, second year nursing student, said adding extra parking spaces would be better for students, but doesn’t believe it “is enough.” Alexis Cobby, first year Auto body collision repair major, agrees that adding the parking lot is “a great idea since it will get the commotion out of fight-
ing for one parking spot.” Colby, however, questions how much relief the proposed lot would bring. “It is pretty crowded all the time, and I hardly ever see an empty parking stall,” he said. Miktarian wants to remind students of parking space usually pretty empty -- Lot Q by the police academy and Ratcliffe stadium. Miktarian said there are other places available on campus for anyone who does not mind walking. “We are doing the best we can to get the students more space for them to park,” Miktarian said. For video go to: www.therampageonline.com
Author of ‘How Jesus Became God’ Draws Hundreds to College Auditorium BY TAMMI NOTT
A story of how Bart D. Ehrman went from being a born-again Christian to an agnostic, attracted more than 300 students and community members to the Fresno City College auditorium on Feb. 18. The event, hosted by the college’s Speaker Forum, surrounded the New York Times best-selling author’s book, “How Jesus Became God.” “How Jesus Became God” began as Ehrman’s realization of Jesus’s importance in the creation of western civilization. “I came to realize that if the early followers of Jesus had never decided that he had been raised from the dead and never thought that he was god, obviously they would have never converted anybody,” Ehrman said. “Christianity wouldn’t have started, and the entire history of western civilization would be different.” Ehrman, a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has written more than 30 books -- he developed an interest in the Bible and wanted to know more about the content. His born-again experience came in high school where Ehrman says he developed an interest in conservative Christian evangelism. He attended a fundamentalist Bible college where he studied the New Testament in Greek and the Old Testament in Hebrew. “The more I read it, the more I realized that there are mistakes in it, discrepancies, contradictions, and hysterical errors,” Ehrman said. “Once
I admitted there could be mistakes, I started finding them everywhere. Ehrman said he left his evangelical roots and continued on as a liberal Christian for another 15 years before converting to an agnostic. As an agnostic, he still feels that the study of the history of religion is incredibly important. James Allen Peck, a retired FCC professor, and two additional members of the Stanislaw Humanist Group drove from Modesto to listen to and speak with Professor Ehrman about his book. “I have read many of his [Bart Ehrman] books.,” Peck said. “I appreciate his point of view, so when I found out that he was going to be at FCC, I couldn’t resist coming back here.” Vincent Eisman, another member of the Stanislaus Humanists, attended the same school as Professor Ehrman. He appreciates Bart Ehrman’s extensive studies of religious documentation. “Pastors are not really communicating to the people in the pews a lot of the information that’s important -- like the background on these ancient documents and translations, mistranslations,” Eisman said. “I think it is really important to provide that to people.” Ehrman said he wants people to know about the history of religion. He has developed The Bart Ehrman Blog which is devoted to issues in the New Testament and early Christianity. In his blog, he writes about the historical Jesus, about scribes who copied the manuscripts, the apostle Paul, the books that didn’t make it into the New Testament, and everything involved in the development of
Bart Ehrman giving his speech, “How Jesus became God” at the Old Adminstration Building on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. Photo/Larry Valenzuela. Christianity. “A year’s subscription costs $24.95 per year,” the author said. “I do this as a way of raising money for charity. I give every dime to charities dealing with hunger and homelessness. Last year I raised $117,000.” The author’s followers are enthusiastically supportive. Steven Carrisalez, a Fresno State classics major who is taking a history class at FCC, said he would like to emulate Bart Ehrman’s career path. Carrisalez said, “He’s [Bart Ehrman] the rock star of this field.” For video go to: www.therampageonline.com
Members of the Associated Students Government occupied two high level positions -- Executive Vice President and Elections Commissioner -- not by votes of the student body, but by emergency appointment by the student senate itself. ASG rules mandate that both positions be filled at all times. Philip Dailey, business administration major, and Danny Yang will serve in these positions until the next elections in April. The positions became vacant in January of this year after the members were removed. In his new position as EVP, Daily reviews and signs all requests for funding, including activities and club funding, before submitting them to the executive board and the student senate. He said that one of the biggest obstacles he faces is freeing up available funds, the kind of funds that would push for greater turnout at student events. The lack of student involvement presents problems for the ASG and has done so for years. According to Yang, there were so many vacancies in the student government last August, that the organization was struggling to effectively help the student body. “Sometimes students don’t want to speak up,” Yang said. “But with senators holding positions in each of the different departments, they are able to voice some opinions for those who have concerns.” Overseeing the election process falls in the hands of the ASG. Yang who is election commissioner says ASG’s election committee represents “neutral ground, because we have to be in a fair game to be able to see that across the board, it is equal and fair for everyone.” He said that even though he’s just starting in the new position, he already has several ideas to change the way students view politics here at FCC. His ideas include driving promotions with the student senate, making students aware of their petitioning powers and advertising vacant offices. One year ago, Yang said, an estimate of seven candidates for ASG offices, including the candidate for president, ran unopposed, and student voter turnout was very low. He wants to get more students to participate. “Students are one of the most underrepresented demographics,” Dailey said. “There is a certain apathy towards getting involved.” Dailey said student involvement is important because students can actually influence a lot of decisions not just at the statewide level but at the local level. “In theory, students are the most important ones on campus because the school cannot have accreditation without student representation,” Dailey said. He said he doesn’t mind if they [students] “bust down their doors” in an effort to get involved and make their voices heard. The ASG is currently supervised by Maile Martin and Janice Wong, College Assistants at the Student Activities Office.
District Refuses to Release Investigator’s Report on Cuevas Matter BY CRESENCIO RODRIGUEZ DELGADO Editor-in-Chief email@example.com
Six months after hiring a special investigator to look into a student’s charges that the Fresno City College dean of counseling discriminated her, the State Center Community College District is denying Rampage requests for a copy of the findings. In an official letter from the State Center Community College District, Vice-Chancellor of Finance and Education, Edwin Eng, declared any release of the records of the investigator’s report “an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” Eng maintained that any documents related to the investigation would not be made public. A student, Carolina Ramirez, had filed a discrimination complaint against Monica Cuevas, dean of counseling, at the State Chancellor’s office. Ramirez circulated copies to the interim chancellor, members of the board of trustees and Cynthia Azari, the interim president of FCC. In its Sept. 9, 2015 issue, the Rampage had reported that the district was preparing an investigation of Cuevas. The story included Ramirez’s allegations that Cuevas refused to repay approximately $700 she had borrowed and was instead threatening to report her to immigration authorities. Cuevas refused several requests of an in-depth interview with the Rampage. She had initially stated in a brief interview that she was unaware of any complaint that was submitted to the district, much less an investigation.
Students Urged to take Advantage of Clubs BY ASHLEIGH PANOO
Monica Cuevas. Photo/Daisy Rodriguez But there were telltale signs that Cuevas may have actually had knowledge of the investigation. On one occasion, she stated that she did not want to meet the Rampage reporter without her lawyer’s presence. Later, it became clear that Cuevas did not want to speak about the matter at all. After repeated requests for interviews following the initial meeting, Cuevas sent an email declining to make a public comment about the district’s investigation. Cuevas email stated, “Just know that I can not respond until after the investigation is over.”
From Anime Club to Phi Theta Kappa, Fresno City College has more than 35 clubs available to students. The first Club Rush of the spring semester was Jan. 27 in front of the library, and many students came out to get information. Club members were on site to recruit new members, give demonstrations and even hand out treats. Carolyn De Anda, advisor for the New Media club, said her club, which focuses on video production for YouTube, is always recruiting members for new projects. De Anda said there are many benefits to joining a club, including, “networking and resume building for future jobs or college transfer, [and] showing extra-curricular activities.” Paul Gilmore, History Club advisor, and history instructor at FCC, agrees that students have much to benefit from joining a club, including meeting new friends. “Much of what students learn in college is not learned in the classroom,” he said. “The kind of informal learning that happens in a club is sometimes more meaningful.” Gilmore also believes students should take advantage of the campus. “We’re lucky to have a real, beautiful campus at FCC,” he said, and added that the diversity found at Fresno City College is something that not every college campus has. De Anda believes that timing club meetings so they don’t interfere with classes is the biggest problem that’s
“The kind of informal learning that happens in a club is sometimes more meaningful.” -Paul Gilmore History Club Advisor keeping more students from signing up. Gilmore is also aware of the obstacles that students face in trying to join clubs. “It’s difficult for many students with work, family, and other obligations to participate in campus life outside of class,” he said. “I think everyone should have the great gift I was given --four years of school without the hassles of full-time work and everyday life -- but that’s not the situation we have.” Club members are always actively recruiting by participating in Club Rush, handing out fliers, and even by word of mouth. “Come see me, email me, call me, or come to the meeting,” Gilmore said about anyone interested in joining the History Club. This is [students’] chance to talk about and participate in stuff that matters to them.” For anyone interested in joining a club, there is a list of clubs and their contact information available in the student lounge. Students that are interested in starting up a club can contact the Student Activities Office at (559) 443-8688 for more information.
Instructors Collaborate on Original Play
Adam Zakaria, Thuy Duong (left and top), Christopher Moyorga (bottom), and K. P. Phagnasay (right) are starring in “Mulan and the Battle on Black Mountain. Monday, Feb. 22, 2016. Photo/Larry Valenzuela
l CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 “It [the story] comes from a short poem, and depending on which province of China you are from, the story changes slightly,” Debra Erven said. “The fable about the ‘Woman Warrior’ has developed into folklore, literature and, of course, the Disney movie.” The production results from a collaboration of three FCC instructors in the theater and dance department: Jimmy Hao, Debra Erven and Chuck Erven. “I have wanted to work with faculty member, Jimmy Hao, for some time,” Erven said. “He is such a good dance instructor and resource on Asian performance that it seemed a shame not to collaborate on a project.” To get started, the department created a Special Studies class that Hao is teaching in which students are learning the Chinese language, culture,
movement, and choreography. “Each day is a new adventure for the students in the cast,” Erven said. Award winning playwright and theater instructor, Chuck Erven, developed and wrote the script for “Mulan”. A public reading of the play took place in November, and since then, it has gone through some rewrites and revisions. “Through his extensive research at the San Francisco Asian Museum, the Musee Guimet in Paris and other Chinese literature resources, Chuck Erven was able to write a beautiful play that expresses the story of Mulan,” Debra Erven said. It is this timely collaboration with Hao and Chuck Erven that has launched the production of Mulan – and these very collaborations have be-
Campus Events 2/24-3/8/2016
- Black History Month Meet the Artist: Nicole Monae 12 p.m.- 2 p.m. OAB 251 -Black History Month African Dance 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Gym 101
-Mulan and the Battle BlackMountain 7:30 p.m. FCC Main Stage Theatre
-Black History Month Gospelfest 5 p.m. Auditorium -Mulan and the Battle on Black Mountain 7:30 p.m. FCC Main Stage Theatre on
-Mulan and the Battle on Black Mountain 2 p.m. FCC Main Stage Theatre
come Director Debra Erven’s favorite aspect of the play. She said she has enjoyed working with every crew member, and everyone, from the choreographer of the fight scenes to the stage managers, has been fantastic Along with directing the play, Erven also serves as the production’s costume designer. “The costumes are based on photos, drawings and inspirations of literature of the time period,” Debra Erven said. “We have a large inspiration wall that is used by everyone involved in the project.” She added that because she is directing the play, “Everyone in the costume shop is pulling extra duty to make sure that it all come together.” Erven teaches costume design. “We have a few rentals from South
-FCC Community Orchestra 7:30 p.m. OAB Auditorium
-Mulan and the Battle on Black Mountain 1:30 p.m. FCC Main Stage Theatre
-Speakers ForumMike Martin: Be Smart with Body Art 12 p.m.- 1 p.m. OAB Auditorium -Mulan and the Battle on Black Mountain 7:30 p.m. FCC Main Stage Theatre
Coast Repertory, a generous donation from the ‘Shen Yu’ dance company that was just in Fresno, as well as a few items from China,” she added. “Mulan” features stunning costumes, a thrilling tale of adventure, and a hardworking set of cast and crew. It’s an event that will awe, inspire and spark an interest in future productions. Debra Erven said that the “technical elements should be gorgeous.” “Mulan and the Battle on Black Mountain” debuts at FCC Theatre on Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. and will run from Feb. 26 – 28 and Mar. 3 – 5. Mulan is a family friendly performance. Mrs. Erven said, “I am hoping this production inspires students to attend other FCC Fine and Performing Arts productions.”
-“Cycles and Sets” Advanced Voice Recital 7:30 p.m. FCC Recital Hall -Mulan and the Battle on Black Mountain 7:30 p.m. FCC Main Stage Theatre
-Mulan and the Battle on Black Mountain 2 p.m. FCC Main Stage Theatre -Mulan and the Battle on Black Mountain 7:30 p.m. FCC Main Stage Theatre
What Are 2016’s Hottest Video Games?
favorite video games, FCC?
Cristina Perez Art/Animation
BY JORGE ALAMO
2015 brought a lot of new potential into the gaming industry with engineers and developers pushing the limits, thanks to the next generation consoles like PS4 and Xbox One which provide gamers with crystal clear pictures and major studio releases like “Fallout 4,” “Batman Arkham Knight” and “Halo 5.” 2016 is on the way to be a bigger and better year for the industry. “Street Fighter 5,” recognized as one of the best fighting games of all times, released their fourth installment of the series in 2014. They did not disappoint their audience and received scores of 9 out of 10 from most major reviewers. The newest installment is set to be released in February and will introduce a new array of characters with new mechanics and a possible story mode element, according to rumors. “Ratchet & Clank” is scheduled to be released in April of this year; the series was one of the biggest video games in the early 2000’s. It takes place in a sci-fi setting following Ratchet, a Lombax, and Clank, a robot. Well known for over-the-top weapons and gadgets, Ratchet, a Lombax, and Clank, a robot. Ratchet and Clank travel throughout different universes to prevent evil from taking over. This is an anticipated game because of all the eyes that are going to be watching and hoping it garners the same high
7 A&E Campus Voices: What are your
praise it did over a decade ago. “No Man’s Sky” from developers Hello Games is set for release in June, exclusively for PS4. It is a game about exploration and survival in an infinite procedurally generated galaxy. Your journey will be charged with danger, forcing you to fight for survival by upgrading your suit and weapons. No matter what route you decide to take in this game, it will have a consequence, adding to the depth and realism. The release of “Mass Effect Andromeda” is scheduled for the holidays but is still surrounded by uncertainties. It has been more than three years since the release of “Mass Effect 3” so it is well overdue. Finally the15th part to the legendary gaming series “Final Fantasy” is scheduled to be released later this year exclusively for PS4. It is creating an excitement within its community, as the 14th part to this series was released just over six years. The setting for this game will be in a modern era but it will still have a medieval feel to it, focusing on the prince of the town that has control over the last crystal. According to IGN, “It looks similar to the upcoming “Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII” battle system or “Kingdom Hearts” with the world map being an open environment.
New Tong Vue Criminology
“‘Gears of War’ because when we are at home, we can play together. It’s very cooperative.”
“I would have to say ‘Pokemon’ [because] it’s the only game I still play from when I was a kid.”
George Saldana Philosophy
Michelle Cardenas RN
“‘Fallout 4’ because the story is really interesting; [taking] perspective of how it’s like after [nuclear annihilation]. The way you have to survive and gather what you can to survive is pretty interesting.”
“‘Call of Duty’, I like playing Zombies. I hate playing online because the popups would scare me and I’d throw the remote.”
Interviews and Photos/Destinee Lopez
Black History Month Inpires Library Art Display BY DESTINEE LOPEZ
Vargas-Santiago’s “Serenity” is on display in the FCC Library. Photo/Destinee Lopez
Nicole Monae Vargas-Santiago, whose work is on display in the Fresno City College Library, says art has always been her favorite pastime. “I grew up without television,” Vargas-Santiago said. “So most of my pastime included drawing, coloring and creating in many different forms.” In her artwork, “Moon Dancer” charcoal; “Prima” mixed medium; “Serenity” mixed medium and “Miles” acrylic, Vargas-Santiago displays her many talents -- from her favorite medium charcoal to one of her lesser favorite’s paint. “I enjoy working with [charcoal] the most, and I can nearly get away with working with it anywhere,” Vargas-Santiago said. “It’s a lot easier to pull out a piece of charcoal to work with than a bunch of paints.” Vargas-Santiago is passionate about and committed to her art. The art pieces displayed in the library clearly demonstrates her love for creating art that can touch others’ emotions. She wants her art pieces to display a certain beauty and grace, hoping to encourage those who viewed her artwork to see the depth of who African-Americans and people of color are,
so that their beauty is not forgotten. “I wanted to enrich and empower the beauty and history,” Vargas-Santiago said. “A lot of work went into creating the body of artwork that is displayed.The technicality [correctness of drawing or painting] was not even the most important part of the creation process.” “The thought process, the idea, how do I portray what I want the viewer to understand, how do I go about the aesthetics, and what’s the most important part of what I’m creating?” Vargas-Santiago said. All the inspiration that Vargas-Santiago needed to create her work was Black History Month, soul and natural beauty. She wants the viewers to take away more than what was done in the past, so she presents the now and the growth that has happened. Santiago showed the aftermath of the fight for the cause. “I wanted to capture the value and the beauty of who we are today. The outcome of what was fought for,” Vargas-Santiago said. “To bring people of color out from the shadows” and for the hope of where we can be if we continue to fight for a better and equal tomorrow.
TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT YOUR CANDIDATE BEFORE CHOOSING BY RAMPAGE EDITORIAL BOARD firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2016 presidential election cycle is one for the history books. The once-thought frontrunner candidate Jeb Bush, brother and son of the two former presidents, dropped out of the race after dismal showings at the South Carolina primary and after running a very unsuccessful campaign for president. The suspension of Bush’s campaign leaves the left-leaning candidates with much greater hope for success. On the republican side, an extraordinary 16 candidates had thrown their hats in the ring, embarking on a grueling cycle, knowing that only one candidate would win the pageant, so one by one, they have started to drop. On the democrat side, there are two. Over the course of a much-controversial total of six debates, only Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders caught on. This year, some candidates have exhibited questionable’ character more than others. Several months in, republican presidential hopeful and real estate mogul, Donald Trump, who leads in most of the polls, is known for his lavish and luxurious lifestyle. This probably has much to do with why he has been a notable 2016 presidential candidate. Hillary Clinton, the wife of a former president, turned New York senator and then the U.S. secretary of state -is challenged in her second run for the White House by another senator --, a 74-year-old self-described democratic socialist. Bernie Sanders, the Independent senator from Vermont, who jumped into the race in mid-April, is the longest-serving Independent in Congress and is known for never running a negative ad against any opponent since the start of his political career in the 1970s. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that voters go to the polls and choose a leader who shows true understanding of the issues that matter to the American people.
Simply being a billionaire doesn’t mean one is fit to be president; likewise, being a woman with an impressive resume doesn’t guarantee success in the oval office. The myriad issues of in this country are not going to go away by electing someone based on how many casinos they own, who they are married to or how positively they can run their campaigns. The American people, more than any group of people in the world, have an obligation to elect their next president based on their history and standing on the countless issues that plague this great nation. It is tragic when the mainstream media choose not to challenge the politicians vying for the highest office in the country. On the debate stage, the republican candidates prattle about how many countries they would bomb if they become president and how many social programs would be cut if they were
chosen. The democrats, on the other hand, have exchanged blows on several debate stages in attempts to appear as the most viable, caring candidate for the presidency, taking on issues like immigration, money in politics, healthcare and foreign policy. The truth is, as each day goes by, the people in this country witness greater wealth inequality, greater child poverty, a widening wage gap, an increasingly escalating healthcare cost and a planet that is deteriorating. Take a closer look at the frontrunners and ask yourself questions before you settle for them. Deciding to vote for Trump because he appeared on a television reality show and has no regard for “political correctness” is not responsible voting. A man with such a great amount of hypocrisy and minimal regard for the established policies of this country can only lead us further into peril. Similarly, voting for someone based
only on their gender is also not responsible voting; this election cycle, much controversy has surrounded the idea of voting for Clinton simply because she is female. Electing a woman with a questionable history and links to dubious entities shows how little we care about the progress of this nation. If Clinton were male but with similar ties, the same argument could be made. 2016 is a pivotal moment in American history. The person elected president this year could decide whether this country continues to enslave its people with greed, debt and intolerance of others or guide this great country to greater glory, while taking care of the most needy, marginalized and sick. The least we can do is demand that our candidates give us answers. But it is up to each and every voter to do their research. It is your choice; choose wisely.
What Issues Matter to You?
Aaron Breeze, Education, 26 “The lack of good candidacy. What I’m looking for in a candidate? I would say, I want to see someone who’s honest and has a track record to back that.”
Lyzelle Zamudio, Radiology, 20 “Education. How they would help us financially, students that want to go to school but can’t because they can’t afford it.”
Kayla Welcher, Communications, 21 “I’m really big with guns. I’m a big proponent of the second amendment. Aside from that, the drought in California is also really important to me.”
Skate Life: My love of boards and wheels
Am I a parent? Am I a student?
The struggle of being both
BY JORGE ALAMO
Skateboarding is in my heart; it is in my blood. To the ordinary person, skateboarders are just people who do not care about rules. A skateboard is a way of life that no one understands unless you are a part of the community. The board on the four wheels has been around since the late ‘50s. It allows you to make friends even if you do not speak the same language, bringing people of all backgrounds together. In a way, many skaters view skateboarding as an escape from the world and feeling free in an artform that lets you express yourself. I love skateboarding because it allows me to release stress. As skateboarders, we do not really need language--we have skateboarding. Coming from someone who skateboards, taking a slam is very common; people usually only see the outcome but learning a new trick or landing a difficult trick takes hours, days, even weeks, but once you finally land it, there literally is no feeling like it. You receive such an adrenaline rush, wanting to scream out of pure joy, going to everyone who was there with you, thanking them for motivating you and spreading the love. All the hard work and dedication you put into learning the moves teach you about life in a way that nothing else can. Everyday kids have their dreams crushed with all of the negativity going on in this world, whether it is from their peers, television, or even parents. Learning a new trick connected with riding a skateboard,teaches you that anything is possible because you achieved something not many people could do. You even defined the laws of gravity. For me, skateboarding lets me be myself and learn at my own pace, creating a stress free environment and through which I can escape the world. It instills something in your brain that tells you that while trying to achieve your goal is not always easy, investing the time and practice empowers you to belief you can accomplish anything. All of the falling also teaches you that it will not be easy, and there will be more times than not when you fail on your way to getting to where you want to be in life. I have only been skating for about a year and a half, but I first got introduced to it about eight years ago through my older cousins. I really did not know anything about the culture back then and was not good at all. I only lasted a couple months before stopping, but after high school, I moved out to Fresno and did not have any friends here. I decided to pick up the board again stuck to it this time. I am glad I did because it has helped me in more ways than I can describe. And I have met some new people along the way.
BY ASHLEIGH PANOO
As the teen mother to a now 8-year-old, my college experience has been non-traditional in many ways. In my classes, I often overhear classmates whispering about their weekends which differ greatly from mine. While once in awhile I feel a twinge of jealousy for the kind of freedom that I haven’t had since I was 16, I will not trade my present life for anything else. I may not get to stay out late at bars and clubs with friends every weekend, stumbling home and waking up at noon the next day, but the rewards I gain from raising a child outweigh those adventures every single time. Many times, juggling parenthood with full-time studies has been overwhelming. A few times, out of desperation, I have had to bring him to class because a babysitter bails. Then there are the foggy-day school schedules which mean I have to miss class so I can get him to school at a later time, not to bring up the sick days and the uncoordinated holidays when he has a day off but I don’t. Then there is the time I spend doing homework and I’m overcome with guilt because I can’t spend the time with him. Before becoming a parent, I did not understand what it would actually take to get an education.
I didn’t foresee all the struggles I’d endure or the times when I’d feel so hopeless, I’d think of giving up. I didn’t see that for me, I’d have to work harder than some. I never thought I’d have people telling me it was time to quit school and get a job after a while, because I had a kid to support. I didn’t know that there would be sighs and talks about “being in school forever” from the counselors since I have to go slower than full-time because I also have a job. I didn’t see how hard it was going to be to answer “What are your hobbies?” when I can barely breathe between studying, parenting and working. Most of all, I didn’t see how hard it was going to be to raise someone else when
I am not even finished being raised. Successes are different after becoming a parent. Everything I do is not just for me; it’s for him. I hope that if my son can see me in school and working hard, he’ll grow up to want to work that hard too. I can see how every success I have affects him in a positive way. I want him to have a good childhood, and although I don’t want him to know struggle, I do want him to know that it takes effort to be successful. On the other side of it, my failures in school often carry over to motherhood. I know I’m a role model, and when I fail, I feel ashamed. I feel like not only a bad student, but a bad parent. I expect my son to earn high grades in his classes, so when I don’t, I feel like a hypocrite. The only positive spin I can put on these failures is that if you’ve never known failure, you can never know success. I have to be patient with him and teach him that we are only human. Throughout all my struggles, my successes, and my failures, I just try to keep in mind that one day, it will all have been worth it, because we will have a better life. I know that one day, my son will look back on his childhood and know that I tried my best to give him the best.
Standing up for myself is the bravest thing I ever did BY DESTINEE LOPEZ
For many years I struggled with standing up for myself. I would let people bully me, to the point where I would cry myself to sleep. I let them dictate my life -how I spoke, walked and smiled; what clothes I wore, my style of makeup and how I did my hair. I was told to be exactly what they wanted. They sculpted every piece of who I was; nothing was truly me, and I was lost. The idea of telling them, “no” was terrifying. If I objected, I would lose my best friends, thus losing who I was. The bullies I feared most were the bullies that I called friends. If it was not the teasing and name calling, it was the judgement of who I am. When I was with my friends, I acted completely different. It was not noticeable to others around me. To everyone else, I was the same person I had always been. But as I grew older, it got harder to keep up this image that I had built around me. I felt like I was trapped in a glass bubble. Who I was in reality kept trying to burst out. Then I learned to love myself,
and from that moment on, I made friends with people who liked me for the person I am. But I still made friends with people who tried to make me different, people who found it ok to make fun of my quirkiness. I strongly thought that I was going to be able to be friends with some of these people, including a girl, I thought was my best friend. All I ever heard from her was a constant put down. It was an emotional roller coaster with her. The highs were when she would be nice and encouraging. The lows were when she was manipulative and cruel. At the time, I did not realize what was happening. I did not realize that this person who I thought was my best friend was also the source of my unhappiness. The saddest moment was the minute I decided to stand up for myself. I spoke up, expressed myself, and finally told her no. I was not going to be the person that she hurt for her own pleasure. So she disappeared out of my life. I was left wondering what I did to make her stop wanting to be friends with me. The answer is simple. I stopped being her puppet and started being the person I really am. She helped me realize what makes a bad
friend. I learned that the only people that are worthy of the title “best friend” are the people that do not bully you to feel better about themselves. A good friend is a person who holds your hand while you stand up against those that wish to change you. Standing up for myself was one of the most liberating experiences. I felt stronger because I had just done something that I never had the courage to do; happier because I did not have this constant need to please those around me; and free because I realized if I was able to stand up against those who were closest to me, I felt empowered to stand up not only for myself but also for those who are too afraid to speak up. I felt like the lion from the “Wizard of Oz;” finding my courage within myself, seeing that I have had it in me all this time. When you stand up for yourself, you can see the person you are meant to be -- a person who is strong and opinionated. You gain the knowledge that your voice can make a difference, both for yourself and others. Because no matter what people tell you, you should be your own person. You have one of the greatest gifts of all -- your brain and voice.
Rams Clinch Central Valley Conference for 15th Straight Time BY KEAUNDREY CLARK
Sports Editor email@example.com
BY TRAVIS MCDONALD
The Rams Men’s Basketball wrapped up its season with a thriller versus College of Sequoias and a
bench-clearing argument with Porterville as the team continued its dominance in the Central Valley Conference, winning the conference title for the 15th straight time. “We still have a lot of things left to grow and most of it’s mental,” said Head Coach Ed Madec. FCC has rolled through conference play with a 11-1 record securing a Cal-
ifornia State record 15th league title. With the playoffs looming, the Rams look to avoid an early defeat and bring home a state championship for the first time since 2011. BJ Shelton, sophomore guard and Co-CVC player of the Year, led the Rams with a game-high 26 points on 12 of 16 shooting from the field versus Porterville and 20 points versus COS.
Fresno City College Guard Will Dorsey driving to the basket against College of the Sequoias on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. Photo/ Ram Reyes
“Winning this last game, now we can focus on playoffs,” said BJ Shelton. The Rams after starting the season 5-5 went on a 21-1 record. Under Head Coach Ed Madec, the Rams went 24-6 overall on the season. They are ranked seventh in the CCCAA, and have shown off why they are a top tier team in the state throughout the season. Guard Terrance Wienecke shed some light on why they are successful. “The strength is our brotherhood, and how we come together as a whole,” Wienecke said. “We are a family.” The sense of family and brotherhood is an aspect shared by the players and fans alike, especially after the recent controversy surrounding player Nick Hilton for his role in multiple incidents involving rough and illegal play. Hilton was warmly received in his first home game back from suspension, and he scored 14 points and dished out eight assists. Hilton also had two steals in the game. He also scored the game winning basket versus COS. Going forward, the Rams hope to make an impact in the playoffs, and Madec has told his team that they will have to improve their defense in order to do so. The team has the physical presence to accomplish its goals, and every player is giving his fullest on every possession. “With defense like that, we will be out after the first round[of playoffs],” Coach Madec said. Wienecke said the team needs to improve the mental aspect of the game, just as they do physically.“[We need]to get mentally stronger, come together as one and make less mistakes.” The physical prowess of the Rams has never been in doubt, with every player having a different skillset to wreak havoc on opposing teams. But when playoff basketball comes around, the success is truly dictated by a team’s chemistry and ability to play as a unit, rather than a group of individuals. Fresno will focus on the playoffs and the playoffs alone. If the Rams are able to play to their absolute potential, they have the chance to claim the State Championship and bring it home to Fresno. Wienecke added, “If we max out to our strengths, we can go to the highest point, and that’s the state.”
February - March Fresno City College Sports Calendar Feb. 24 Men’s Golf FCC VS MPC @ Copper River CC Feb. 29 Men’s Golf FCC Alumni Match @ Figarden
Mar. 13 FCC Men’s Golf College of the Desert Inv. @ Palm Springs Desert Island CC
March 1 Softball @ COS
March 2 Men’s Golf March 3 Softball @ CVC Tourney @ Merced Figarden GC (Doubleheader)
March 7 Men’s Golf March 8 Baseball vs March 9 Men’s Golf CVC Tourney @ Turlock Int. @ Tur- West Hills Softball vs Porterville Lemoore CC lock CC
March 10 Baseball vs West Hills Softball vs West Hills (Doubleheader)
March 15 Baseball @ COS Softball vs Taft
March 17 Baseball vs COS
Mar. 14 FCC Men’s Golf College of the Desert Inv. @ Palm Springs Desert Island CC
March 22 Softball @ Reedley
Feb. 27 M Basketball vs San Jose City Feb.27 W Basketball vs TBD
Feb. 25 Softball vs Modesto (Doubleheader)
March 23 Baseball vs Cypress
March 5 Softball vs Santa Rosa March 11 M Tennis vs Sac City W Tennis vs Sac City
March 12 Baseball @ West Hills March 19 Baseball @ COS Softball @ West Valley (Doubleheader)
Sac City Makes Weekend Tough for Rams Baseball BY MICHAEL FORD
Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
It was a tough weekend for Rams baseball as the team dropped both games of their home series versus long time rival Sacramento City College Panthers on Feb. 19 and 20. Losing the first 2-1 and the second 7-1, the sweep brought Fresno’s losing streak to four games, and kept the Rams winless at home. The first game of the series was an absolute pitchers’ duel, with Rams’ starter Matt Walker and Sac City starter Polo Partela matching each other pitch for pitch until the game reached the top of the third inning. In the third, the Panthers broke through against Walker, scoring twice on a weak base hit by Panthers second baseman Boston Romero.
We didn’t hit for them. We’ll pick it up, our pitchers have been doing well all year so we’ll pick it up.”” -Center Fielder Evan Steele Despite his poor luck, Walker was able to limit the damage to just two and Rams head coach Ron Scott said Walker’s will to win was a big reason. “He is just a competitor.They had a two-out swinging bunt down the third base line for a cheap hit, and they got two runs,” Scott Said. “But our problem is hitting; we just have to hit.” Fresno was held in check all night by Partela, as he simply dominated, pitching an astounding eight and two-
Fresno City Freshman pitcher Matt Walker prepares for his next pitch against Sacramento City College. Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Photo/Daisy Rodriguez thirds innings and allowed zero runs, striking out 11 Rams batters and only surrendering five hits. Going into the bottom of the ninth, Fresno put forth their best rally of the night; center fielder Evan Steele and right fielder Logan Poisall both reached base, setting it up for desig-
nated hitter Conly Biglione. Biglione promptly ripped a line drive single, allowing Poisall to score and advancing Steele to third base with two outs. He talked about his approach in that clutch spot in the game. “I was just looking for an opposite field hit and I knew I had to stay on top
of it,” Biglione said. “We were all popping up all game.” Rams fans’ hearts were broken as the next batter, Fernando Galindo lined a shot to third but Jorge Perez, third baseman for the Panthers, made a leaping catch to his left to end the game and elicit a collective groan from the crowd as the Panthers celebrated on the field. The second game was a different story as the Panthers rolled over the Rams. Fresno’s starting pitcher JJ Santa Cruz was roughed up when he surrendered four runs in the fourth inning, creating another hole that they needed to dig out of, and just like the first game, they were unable to mount any sort of comeback as the bats stayed quiet. The team failed to score a single run after the first inning, when they scored only one and that run was unearned as an error was committed to allow a Rams batter to reach base. Steele was optimistic about his team’s offensive capabilities and praised his pitchers’ performances. “We didn’t hit for them,” he said. “We’ll pick it up; our pitchers have been doing well all year, so we’ll pick it up.” Fresno will look to pick up the pieces when they begin a two game series at Hartnell on Feb. 25-26, followed by a three game series at Reedley on March 1, 3 and 5. Scott knows what his team has to do in order to turn it around, and he believes that his offense will be key in accomplishing that goal. “We just have to win. We have to be better offensively and try to get something going. We’re a bunch of young hitters facing good pitching.” For video go to: www.therampageonline.com
Rams’ win against Giants pushes team to 4-0 BY MICHAEL MENDEZ
The Fresno City College women’s tennis team had an impressive outing in their 8-1 victory over the College of Sequoias Giants. This victory improves the Rams record to 4-0 while also carrying a two game lead in the Big Eight south division. The beginning matches started off in doubles competition as it showed from the start that the Rams were the better prepared team leading up to this match and would dominate the first two doubles matches, winning them as big as 8-0 set victories.
This all led to the third and final doubles match, which was the closest and most competitive match out of the three. The Rams and Giants were sharing sets back and forth making the match come down to the wire, as Rams teammates Bianca Muniz and Maria Misirli were able to get the serves that they needed to close out the match. It was their first win as a doubles pairing, giving the Rams a complete sweep in doubles competition. “It was a slow match. I was trying to kill the ball every time, but we were lucky,” Muniz said. “We waited for the opening to set those kills for us to get the win.”
After the doubles matches, both teams quickly warmed up for their singles matches. The Rams dominated the matches in a quicker process than the doubles matches. Each player on the Rams roster had everything go their way, winning five of the six singles matches. The dominating singles matches for the Rams featured second year athlete Maria Ochoa who had a strong outing in her single march with a combination of having strong powerful serves while also having quick recoveries to keep the ball in play. This resulted in a dominating win despite Ochoa battling through a minor shoul-
der injury. “I feel like I did well especially during my singles match,” Ochoa said. “Even though having a hurt shoulder, I am still able to perform the best I can winning quickly and consistently.” The Rams have two conference matches inside of the next four days. “The big thing that I will take from is this match is the momentum that we built from here on,” head coach Chantel Wiggins said. “Everything that we do is to get better, stronger and more confident, in hopes of heading to state.”
Maria Ochoa prepares to return a serve during her practice at the Fresno City College tennis courts on Friday, Feb. 20, 2016. Photo/Ram Reyes
Local Football Star to Play for Rams in Fall BY MICHAEL MENDEZ
Former Edison football stand out and Fresno State’s grey shirt freshman A.J. Greeley will attend Fresno City College after failing to meet Fresno State’s academic requirements. Greeley hopes to continue his education at FCC and will play football with the Rams in the fall of 2016. Greeley,18, played football for the Edison Tigers as defensive back. During his time there, Greeley was one of the rising stars on his team; In his senior year, he was named in the Fresno Bee’s top 50 football players in the central valley, making him one of the highly recruited prospects to come out of the high school. Greeley got scholarship offers from Arizona State, Washington State, Oregon State and Colorado before he committed to Fresno State. Greeley was set to start his freshman year at Fresno State when it revealed that his grades at Edison fell below the minimum requirement, making him ineligible to enroll in classes. His grades at Edison were average, so his college acceptance depended on his SAT scores. Unfortunately, Greeley fell short of what was required and now has to look at Fresno City Colleges as a secondary option. “I was not doing as well as I should in Edison as I should. I needed to score a 72, and I scored a 68, barely missing the requirement,” Greeley said. “When it came to choosing a community college to transfer to, why choose a school that is out of our district. Fresno City College was the easier choice.”
For an athlete who is hoping to go pro in his sport, most see transferring to a junior college as a bad thing. Greeley, however, does not see things that way. Greeley says he sees the importance of his education more than he did in high school, and that he hopes to do as much as he can to improve his GPA before transferring to a University. He is looking toward the future and what is has to offer him. He is majoring in criminology and become a police officer in case his football career doesn’t work out. “I expect to be here at City for a year and a half to get all of the requirements that I need to transfer to a four year college,” Greeley said. “I see my time here more for education than football as it’s a bigger priority to me than anything else.” As focused as Greeley is on his education during his time here at FCC, he is still looking forward to keeping up his football skills by playing for the Rams in the upcoming season. Greeley said he has been in talks with Rams head coach Tony Caviglia who was in favor of having him on his roster next season, hoping he makes a sudden impact on the team like he did at Edison. Greeley is thinking about his future and which university he would like to attend after his time at FCC is over. Since Greeley did originally chose to enroll at Fresno State, he has not ruled out the idea of returning to there while looking at other schools that spark his interest. The future for Greeley is open and it starts not at FCC. “Going back to Fresno State is still up there,” Greeley said. “But I am looking at other schools, mostly Arizona State or Boise State.”
AJ Greeley knows the importance of his education more then ever, on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. Photo/Michael Mendez
Dave Mirra Lived Life to the Fullest BY JORGE ALAMO
BMX legend Dave Mirra, who once held the title for most gold medals at the X Games, was found dead due to an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on Feb. 4.
Police said 41-year-old Mirra’s body was found in his truck in Greenville, North Carolina. He had a series of traumatic experiences, resulting from a head injury after being struck by a drunk driver; suffering a liver laceration from a bike crash and getting bacterial meningitis. As of date, there have been no re-
ports about Mirra’s mental state and whether he lived with depression or the concussion-related degenerative brain disease CTE. Right before he ended his own life, he posted a picture of him and his wife smiling and having a good time on Instagram. Mirra was a hero to many in the small town of Greenville, North Caro-
FCC Spring Sports State Rankings
lina. John Babits, who runs a local bike shop, said Mirra was always willing to talk with young riders and encourage them in the sport. After the town received word of his death, someone wrote on the window of Babits bike shop that the world lost an icon. Greenville lost a friend, which shows how much of an impact he had on the community. Mirra was born in New York, beginning his BMX career at the age of 13. After graduating from high school in 1992, he turned pro and made a mark in the sport. He became the highest decorated BMX rider with 20 gold medals before retiring in 2011. Those who knew him personally say Mirra lived with a lot of determination and had the will to live a full life and demonstrated over and over again through his riding. I grew up watching the X Games because of how interesting it was to see all the athletes do mind blowing tricks which and it was very different from typical sports like basketball, football and soccer. Watching Mirra go out and competing after taking a slam really stuck with me, showing how determined he was to achieve his goal. Seeing it as a little kid sticks with you throughout your life.