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RUONLINE? /theroundupnews @roundupnews @roundupnews @roundupnews


Volume 131 - Issue 11

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Christopher Torres/ Roundup Pierce College President Alexis Montevirgen looks out his office window in the Office of the President located in the Alder building at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Sept. 5, 2019. Montevirgen will be finishing his first semester as college president.

An executive reflection New president prepares to finish first semester at Pierce

CHRISTOPHER TORRES Editor-in-Chief @chris_t_torres


xperiences can be one of life's greatest teachers. In the first five months of Pierce College President Alexis Montevirgen’s tenure, he experienced a faculty external investigation, a student body president impeachment and his campus turned into an emergency animal evacuation center. The life of a college president may seem daunting, but for Montevirgen, staying true to his morals throughout the problems he faced helped him power through his first semester. “I think for me it helps to be grounded by what I shared with the campus community from the very beginning of my commitment in terms of transparency, collegiality and respect and using that as a foundation for the college,” Montevirgen said. Despite the challenges, Montevirgen said he fully understood

what he signed up for when he accepted the position. “The college operates and so we have things that come up and I think that anyone that fills a role as a college president just knows and expects that you can't foresee everything that’s going to happen,” Montevirgen said. “But then you are aware that these things can happen and you just have to roll with it and address it the best you can.” As his first semester at Pierce comes to a close, Montevirgen said it’s hard to believe that it’s now been five months at the helm. He said his biggest challenge so far has been dealing with the investigation of Head Football Coach Carlos Woods and the failed hiring of an athletic director. Although these were tough circumstances to deal with early in his presidency, Montevirgen said it gave him a chance to show the campus how he can resolve problems in a professional manner. “I think to be able to have addressed something like that at that

point which was only two or three months into the position was definitely not the most ideal,” Montevirgen said. “But I think looking through the silver lining in everything and having to work through a situation like that

actually helped show the campus how I approach these types of things that can and will happen in the future.” Montevirgen’s first move was to put Coach Woods on temporary leave and then went to speak with

Sept. 2019:

Oct. 2019

ASO President Angel Orellana impeached.

the football team at their practice about the severity of the situation. He said players were disgruntled about the impact of the investigation on their personal goals, such as getting scholarship offers and transfer opportunities. “I view my role as college president is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students,” Montevirgen said. “For me, it was important to at least not hide behind the office walls and to make sure that I made that time to speak to them directly.” Within days of launching the investigation of Woods, the Saddle Ridge Fire in Porter Ranch sparked evacuations for some Pierce students and faculty. Los Angeles County officials turned the Equestrian Center into an emergency large animal evacuation center overnight, housing more than 100 horses and other large animals. Montevirgen closed the campus on Oct. 11 and visited the Equestrian Center to ensure everything was running smooth while the college acted as a shelter. Montevirgen said what impacted him the most was seeing the response and the appreciation from the members of the community who were able to utilize the resources and drop off their animals. “What would they have done if Pierce wasn't here?” Montevirgen said. “I think that's part of that community engagement aspect that I want to focus on more.” Los Angeles Community College District Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez praised Montevirgen for his influence on the community and the work he has done so far as president. [For the full story visit]

Directing a new plan President intends on hiring an acting athletic director FELIPE GAMINO Sports Editor @fgamino13 After former athletic director Moriah Van Norman decided to step down in May, the process to bring a new AD began. Five months after the job was open, they have been unable to fill the position. Pierce College President Alexis Montevirgen said he plans to appoint an acting athletic director for the remainder of the school term. “I've heard that there are three faculty members in kinesiology that have expressed interest to serve in that interim capacity, at least just for the rest of the academic year," Montevirgen said. "And then that way what we can do is I can name an acting athletic director that can start as early as the spring semester. And we can spend the spring semester to do another search to try and identify a permanent person that would come in July 1.” The faculty hiring committee met last week to start the process of reviewing applications, according to acting AD and Dean of Athletics Genice Sarcedo-Magruder. “They decided that we would postpone because it didn’t match with what we posted. It said it was for a full-time faculty member and we were trying to bring someone who wasn’t,” Sarcedo-Magruder said. She said to avoid doing that they are going to push back and essentially go back to the drawing board. Barbara Anderson, member of the hiring committee said that having an athletic director is crucial as it is a key element to the college. “I hope that when we open the position again there is more interest and we have more applicants going for the job,” Anderson said. Sarcedo-Magruder said that there is a technical problem in the system where people can apply for jobs within the district. [For the full story visit]

Fall 2019 Finals Schedule

Equestrian Center transforms into emergency large animal evacuation shelter due to the Saddle Ridge Fire

Oct. 2019

Nov. 2019

Pierce student Cesar Perez and brother Louis die in car accident

Football head coach Carlos Woods placed under investigation

Photo by Cecilia Parada

One copy free, each additional copy $1.00

Cecilia Parada/ Roundup (Left to Right) President Alexis Montevirgen talks to Officer Hugh from Los Angeles County's Animal Care and Control at Pierce College's Large Animal Evacuation Center at the Equestrian Center in Woodland Hills, Calif., due to the Saddleridge Fire on Oct. 11, 2019.

Semester Timeline


Photo by Benjamin Hanson

Photo by Kevin Lendio

Photo by Cecilia Parada

Photo Essay

Campus Life


Highlighting the best moments from fall 2019

The automotive department races into the holiday season with Motor4Toys event

The best student athletes of the semester

Pages 4 & 5

Page 7

Page 8

2 Opinions

ROUNDUP: Dec. 4, 2019

From the desk of the Roundup: Editorial

Schoolin' around the Christmas tree


hen it comes to the holidays, tired and overworked Americans look forward to quality time with family and friends to eat and drink. Many colleges and universities offer community events, concerts, campus lightings and parties that are often free and can add to the joy of the season. Pierce should have more of these events on campus so students and faculty can dabble in the holiday season before the fall semester is over. The Pierce choir and band have concerts planned and the Automotive Department hosted a toy drive during their SuperCar Sunday event on Dec. 1. The Pierce CalWORKs/CARE program is also allowing staff to purchase a gift for children of low-income students. Despite these events, Pierce can do more. The Cal State University Northridge (CSUN) University Student Union is hosting a Winter Pop Up event where students can decorate ornaments, skate with friends in the ice skating rink and take photos in a photo booth all while enjoying a warm cup of hot chocolate, according to the CSUN website. The Associated Students Organization (ASO) could host a similar event with decoration stations for ornaments, christmas cards and stockings. There could also be workshops for gift wrapping and gingerbread house building. According to, Seton Hall University kicks off the holiday season with a Tree Lighting Ceremony during the first week of December. Throughout the weeks following, there is Christmas carol singing, a pancake breakfast with Santa and a Winter Ball. Pierce could also have a Christmas tree lighting ceremony where students and staff could gather around while the choir sings Christmas carols. For students and staff who do not celebrate Christmas, Pierce could hold events for other holidays such as Hanukkah. Last year, Southwestern College had their first-ever Festival of Lights event where they spun dreidels, served babka and taught Hanukkah lessons, according to the Southwestern College News Center. The Chabad club at Pierce could host a similar event where they could have a Menorah lighting ceremony and fun activities for the whole campus to enjoy. The holiday season brings joy to many and Pierce should embrace the season of giving by having more of these events on campus.


Illustration by Jesse Bertel

Should students take classes during the summer and winter?

Volume 131, Issue 10: Front Page: In "Pierce student dies in car crash," Cesar Perez was not a member of MEChA, however he was heavily involved in the program.

EDUARDO GARCIA Reporter @egarcia_023


hile many see winter and summer as vacation time, others see it as an opportunity to get ahead. The short five week sessions give students the chance to continue taking classes after the semester is over. Although it's true that they’re more intensive, taking them allows them to solely focus on one course compared to the multiple they have to take in the fall and spring. Instead of simply meeting two times, they’re able to retain the material they learned better because they have the class every day of the week. Not only is it beneficial for understanding the lessons, the relationship between the students and the professor becomes stronger. Students who need to retake a class or find out that the class they need isn't offered in a certain semester can potentially take that in the summer or winter amid availability to save time. Considering not a lot of people want to be at school during the break, the race to

get a spot in a class wouldn’t be as difficult because enrollment would be less than usual. Although people who go to community colleges are predicted to transfer in two years, many don’t. According to an article by, the estimate isn’t accurate because, “data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that only 13% of community college students graduate in two years. Within three years, approximately 22% of students graduate, and within four years, the rate stands at 28%.” Those who take classes in the shorter sessions also do it so they can graduate sooner and save money. While it’s acceptable to only take classes during the fall and spring, taking four to five classes each semester might prolong their stay. If students plan out their schedule accordingly, it’s possible to finish both general education and degree requirements in less than two years when they take classes every winter and summer.

Skate ahead

See any errors we missed? Email us at: newsroom.roundupnews@

6201 Winnetka Ave. Woodland Hills, CA 91371 Room: Pierce College Village 8211 Editor's Desk: (818) 710-3397 Newsroom: (818) 710-4117

Con: Don't take classes

Pro: Take classes

Editor-in-Chief .........................Chris Torres Managing Editor ......................Blake Williams Photo Editor .............................Katya Castillo Photo Editor .... Navodya Dharmasiriwardena Opinions Editor .....................Angelica Lopez News Editor...........................Jackson Hayano News Editor....................................Jesse Bertel Features Editor .........................Devin Malone Features Editor ....................Belen Hernandez Campus Life Editor......................Chelsea Westman Sports Editor............................Felipe Gamino Sports Editor ..........................Arielle Zolezzi

Reporters: Aaron Estrada Alejandra Aguilera Eduardo Garcia Joey Farriola Maja Losinska Marc Blais Paola Castillo Peter Villafane Samantha Neff

Photographers: Ben Hanson Cecilia Parada Kamryn Bouyett Kevin Lendio Pablo Orihuela Sergio Torres Sophia Gomez Taylor Watson

MAJA LOSINSKA Reporter @RoundupNews


o you know that feeling of relief after finals are over? Now imagine having a couple days off and then having to do it all over again. It is simply exhausting. Summer and winter breaks are crucial for students to take time and catch a breath. According to Harvard Health Publishing, stress associated with school may affect mood, anxiety and memory. The break increases a students’ productivity and provides them with opportunities to develop social skills and creativity. Students deserve their vacations. The summer and winter months often is the only time for them to explore different parts of the world and meet new people. The biggest advantage is simply relaxation without school responsibilities. Summer or winter classes may also affect a student’s financial situation. Although the class sessions are about five weeks long,

Advisers: Jill Connelly Jeff Favre Tracie Savage

*For advertising call (818) 710-2960

enrollment fees cost the same amount as a regular semester and new textbooks have to be bought as well. Instead of enrolling in short sessions, they can use this time to make some extra money with a part-time job or learn new skills doing internships. In addition, winter and summer sessions don’t offer that wide of a selection of classes. Often times, the core classes that people need aren’t available. The intersession is typically shorter and yet the amount of material is the same. Students have to be more disciplined and dedicate their break time to study because they are expected to complete their work in half the time. Assignments are usually due backto-back every week and then finals are next. For some, it is a lot to take on. Vacation is an important time for students. Not only can they take a break from the hardships of learning, but they can also change their surroundings by going on trips or spending quality time with family. There’s nothing better than starting a new semester with a clear mind.

Wrap it up

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR POLICY: Letters and guest columns for or against any position are invited. Letters should be kept as brief as possible (300 words or less) and are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms or initials will not be used, but names may be withheld upon request and approval of the Editorial Board. The Roundup publishes “Letters to the Editor” that are not obscene or libelous and do not contain racial denigration.

Writers are given the opportunity to revise unacceptable letters. The Pierce College Roundup will not publish, as letters, literary endeavors, publicity releases, poetry or other such materials as the Editorial Board deems not to be a letter. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. the Sunday prior to the issue date. EDITORIAL POLICY: The Pierce College Roundup position is presented only in the editorials. Cartoons and photos, unless run under the editorial masthead, and columns are the opinions of the creators and not necessarily that of the Roundup. The college newspaper is

published as a learning experience under the college journalism instructional program. The editorial and advertising materials published herein, including any opinions expressed, are the responsibility of the student newspaper staff. Under appropriate state and federal court decisions, these materials are free from prior restraint by the virtue of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Accordingly, materials published herein, including any opinions expressed, should not be interpreted as the position of the L.A. Community College District, the college or any officer or employee thereof.

ROUNDUP: Dec. 4, 2019

UC and CSU Brief: Sign-ing off still accepting Prominent campus marquee applications remains inoperative Deadlines extended

BLAKE WILLIAMS Managing Editor @BlakeMWilliams_


riginally designed as a way for the Associated Students Organization (ASO) to inform people of events and other information, the marquee in front of the Great Hall has been off for nearly four years. It was built in 2011 and cost

the college more than $5,000 to build, according to a previous report from the Roundup in 2018. However, the last time it was used was in the spring 2016 semester. The Roundup also reported the sign was displaying outdated information before it was completely shut off. Information Technology Manager Mark Henderson said it is not working properly because a physical connectivity to the marquee was severed. “There is a bond project that will

re-route the connection to a closer point. That project has not begun yet,” Henderson said in an email. “Then the software will be loaded onto the desktop of whichever functional group will be responsible for the sign.” A request to have it fixed was previously submitted but other projects took priority over it, according to the Roundup’s story. Alexis Montevirgen, who took over as Pierce’s president in July 2019, said he was unaware the marquee didn’t work. bwilliams.roundupnews@gmail.comw

Photo by Pablo Orihuela/Roundup Students walk by a inactive marquee on the Mall at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Dec., 2, 2019.

CalWORKS joins the season of giving Winter Celebration for college students KATYA CASTILLO Photo Editor @PhotosByKatya College can be difficult for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for students with children. CalWORKS is a state-funded program that provides financial assistance and services to eligible students with children to help pay for housing, food, medical care and other necessary expenses. Claudia Velasco, the director of CalWORKS, hopes to help parents with their academic careers. “No one student's challenges are more important than others. But when you come to school and you are struggling with food and housing, it is harder for a parent, especially if you're a single parent, to be raising a child,” Velasco said. On Dec. 4, CalWORKS is hosting Winter Celebration, an event that collects toys from community members to give to CalWORKS participants for their children. “I’m overwhelmed with how

the campus has responded because this is the first time we’ve tried this, and we currently are serving 136 participants,” Velasco said. “I know Pierce is a giving community, but they surpassed our expectations.” The Winter Celebration will be held in Building 600 and include a breakfast for the students and the distribution of toys for the families. To be eligible for CalWORKS, parents must first get approval from Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN), a county program that provides employment-related services. Pierce CalWORKS counselors help with the application process. Paola Beaver, an office assistant at CalWORKS and previous CalWORKS participant, now helps students get started with the program. “When you're first starting and setting it up, it's a lot of work,” Beaver said. “Just like when you first sign up for college, it's so much work. So here I can share my experience with them and say, ‘that's how this is, don't worry about it.’ And then just calmly

walk them through it and reassure them.” CalWORKS offers many support services including academic counseling, work-study opportunities, informative workshops, skills development, advocacy for child care and individualized students education plans. Leticia Conley, a student services assistant case manager, also was a CalWORKS participant in her college years. Her background and life experiences inspired her to work for the program. “When I was younger, I was a foster kid and I had a lot of people who really helped me to progress in my life, so I decided I wanted to do the same thing,” Conley said. “That's the reason why I decided to work for LACCD to help other students progress in their lives.” According to Velasco, the program helps over 100 students each semester. “Even though it's not a huge population, it's a population in need,” Velasco said.

Products Products Advertise in the r Roundup o f s Jobs t Jobs n u n o u Discltiple R g u tisin M Advertise r Advertise e v Ad Services Services Housing Housing 818-7 ds collinsc@pi 10-2960 n a s u f f o Events a h t t s , h s c t a e en lty RAdvertsing d u t Advertsing of s & facu

PETER VILLAFANE Reporter @pcavillafane Application deadlines for six University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) campuses have been extended past the Nov. 30 deadline, according to Transfer Center Director Sunday Salter. Salter said these extensions help students who may not have been aware they missed the application deadlines for UCs and CSUs. “Students are relieved to know that there's still some options for them,” Salter said. “They can still apply somewhere.” Deadlines have been extended because these universities receive fewer applicants than other campuses and are less impacted, said Salter. Career Guidance Counseling Assistant James Morris explained why schools have extended their deadlines. “They're just looking for students to check out their amazing campus, so they wanted to keep it open,” Morris said. “They're definitely all great schools to check out.” Despite most of these schools being hours away from Los Angeles, Calif., Morris said he recommends that students give them a chance. “I'd love to see students getting out of their comfort zone and going to Central California, the Bay Area and Northern California,” Morris said. “I don't know if [the extensions] will necessarily ramp up the interest, but I would hope so.” The CSU application system crashed on the Nov. 30 deadline, prompting CSU to push the deadline to the next day, according to Salter. “We have a lot of students who procrastinate across the state,” Salter said. “The system gets overloaded every year. We were grateful to find out they extended it for a day.” Academic Senate President and Communication Studies Professor Barbara Anderson said she has seen students

experience difficulty making time for their college applications since deadlines are around finals week.

"The system gets overloaded every year. We were grateful to find out they extended it for a day" - Sunday Salter

Transfer Center Director

“Students are faced with these challenges of so many things happening and are then expected to drop everything and do these preparations for transfer,” Anderson said. “Unfortunately, it's sort of a nightmare for a student.” Anderson said the CSU application system crash is a warning to students who procrastinate. “It's another word to the wise about trying to take care of these things earlier on,” Anderson said. Some CSUs are still accepting applications for their online programs, Salter said. More information on the campuses and programs that are still open will be available on the Transfer Center’s website. Deadlines have also been extended for three California State Universities. Applications for Sonoma State University are open until Dec. 15. Applications for CSU Bakersfield are open until Jan. 6, 2020, and applications for Humboldt State University are open until Feb. 28, 2020, according to Morris. Applications for UC Merced, UC Riverside and UC Santa Cruz are open until Jan. 3, Salter said.



Brahma Blotter These incidents were reported between 11/19 - 12/2 Reported by: Jackson Hayano

11/19 2:30 a.m.

• Trespassing

Male caught sleeping inside the gender inclusive restroom. He was warned and advised.

11/22 10:20 a.m. • Graffiti

Graffiti on the metal toliet seat cover holder. Report taken.

Answering the call Phone calls from professors to promote student enrollment KATYA CASTILLO Photo Editor @PhotosByKatya Imagine getting a call from one of your professors telling you to enroll in the upcoming semester. That just might happen on Dec. 7, because faculty will be hosting their first ever call-a-thon, where they will be calling students to remind them to enroll in the next semester. Students need 60 units to graduate, so the event targets students with 45 to 59 credits. Pierce College President Alexis Montevirgen believes it’s beneficial for students to feel supported by the Pierce community. “It's important too, for our students to realize that it's not a recorded message. It's not just a text message," Montevirgen said. "These are faculty and these are staff that are really taking time out of their evening to go ahead and reach out to them personally." Monica Ramirez Wee, an art professor, signed-up to volunteer for the call-a-thon. “We’re hoping to get those students who need their final units in order to graduate,” Wee said. “It has been successful in other colleges, so we decided to try it here.” In addition to the call-a-thon, there will be a pop-up on the

mall on Dec. 10. Counselors and professors will be available to answer questions from any student about graduating, transferring or financial aid. They will also have computers with them so students can sit with faculty members and work on the necessary research or paperwork. The goal of the two events is to increase fall to spring enrollment by 5%, according to Instructor of Psychology Angela Belden. She expects to have 30 volunteers spend three hours each calling a total of 1,000 students. “It's a very concrete goal. So at the end of this, a week later, when we pull that data, we'll know if we reached that goal,” Belden said. If successful, Pierce plans to continue the call-a-thon and popup in future semesters. “It is ambitious. But again, the idea is we just want to help students. This is the first time we ever did anything like this, focused on enrollment,” Belden said. “So the idea is if we have this kind of effort every semester, wouldn't it be great to reach out to all students, not just students who have between 45 and 59 units?”

12/2 2:35 p.m. • Employee


Unknown person or people went in classroom 806 smoking marijuana and beer cans over flowing in the trashcans.

Pierce College

Sheriff’s Station Information:

(818) 719-6450 Emergency:

(818) 710 - 4311

4 Photo Essay

ROUNDUP: Dec. 4, 2019


Photo Essay 5

ROUNDUP: Dec. 4, 2019


n the last semester of the decade, Pierce saw student performances, community crises and the youngest ASO president to date. The theater department produced the slasher-comedy “Hookman” and the American classic “Our Town.” They also coordinated the first “Art Walk,” which featured various art programs and activities on campus. Each week, the Applied Music Program (AMP) organized weekly Thursday Concerts featuring AMP professors and students. ASO hosted the semesterly Clothesline Project which spread awareness and support for survivors of abuse. The Pierce community also came together to help those affected by the fires. Pierce saw new leadership with President Alexis Montevirgen and Associated Students Organization (ASO) President Vivian Yee, both of whom are the youngest to assume their respective positions. Yee replaced the previous ASO President who was impeached earlier in the semester. Montevirgen hopes to improve community engagement and bring transparency to the campus in the upcoming semesters. COPY BY Katya Castillo






(Left to right) Alexa Maris, Loida Navas and Sierra Van Der Burg rehearse for the Pierce production of “Hookman” in the Performing Arts Building at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2019. Photo by Katya Castillo.

Eli Jordan walks his horse at the Pierce College Equestrian Center in Woodland Hills, Calif. on Oct. 11, 2019. Jordan evacuated from Porter Ranch along with her wife and their 4 horses due to the Saddleridge Fire. Photo by Kevin Lendio.

Michaela Shumpert sings “Per la gloria d’adorarvi” and “I Could Have Danced All Night” during the Performing Arts department’s AMP Recital #2 in the Performing Arts Building Mainstage at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif. on Nov. 21, 2019.

Vivian Yee, Associated Students Organization (ASO) President, holds the ASO letters in Rocky Young Park at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Nov. 4, 2019. Photo by Katya Castillo.

Barbara Anderson, President of the Academic Senate, looks at the shirts hung up for the Clothesline Project hosted by ASO in Rocky Young Park at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Oct. 16, 2019. Photo by Katya Castillo.



ROUNDUP: Dec. 4th, 2019

Director steps out from behind the curtain

Theater manager brings experience to Pierce College’s stage JOEY FARRIOLA Reporter @roundupnews


n college, Michael Sande never expected he could make a career out of his passion for theater. But Sande would later go on to work with Michael Jackson on Sisterella. Now Sande is currently working at Pierce College as the Theater Manager for Performing Arts. Originally, Sande was studying communications at the University of Washington and as a course requirement he had to take a public relations class. He had a passion for theatre, but he never thought he had the potential to perform. “I always loved theatre and when I first started as a college journalist I did reviews for plays,” Sande said. “My sister was the big star in high school theater, she was older than I was and I never thought of getting into it because I am not a performer.” Sande knew a good friend that was working in a professional theater in Seattle called ACT theater. She was just looking for a public relations intern, but this was the turning point for Sande’s life. “I was interning [at ACT Theater] for a year and it so happened that when my internship was about to end, the public relations director was moving to another job,” Sande said. “ Even though I had a year experience he recommended me for the job and I became the new managing director.” After being at ACT Theater for some time, Sande was offered a job on the east coast from a leading musical theater called the Goodspeed Musical. “I initially rejected it but after some thought, I did take the offer,” Sande said. Later down the line, Sande

found a position at Pierce and has been here ever since. “I realized there was an opening here at Pierce, and it’s been sixteen years,” Sande said. “I am still doing what I love, while also being around an environment where students are learning not just a specific part of theater-like acting or building set but also costumes, lighting, and designs.” Grear Valorie, theater of professor at Pierce College admires Sande’s professionalism. “He is great at his job and coming from the professional theater, he is quite knowledgeable in all areas of theater,” Valorie said. Adding onto her statement, Valorie also appreciates his strong work ethic, as well as his understainding of the more technical aspects of production. “He is also really supportive of all faculty members and has a positive attitude. He is helpful in with technical work like putting together the programs,” Valorie said. Shaheen Vaaz, a theater professor at Pierce College said she enjoys having Sande as a colleague and notes his artistic talents. “Michael is incredibly supportive and really knowledgeable about the world of theater. He’s a deep artistic partner and I love bouncing ideas off of him,” Vaaz said. Vaaz also appreciates many of the ideas puts forth to, as well as his way of gather crowds. “I love his suggestions of plays.” Vaaz said. “I love his vision and his ideas. He is a really dynamic person to have around to help us find our goals whether that is how to bring in a bigger audience, how to make something pop, or how to cast more students, he’s a really great collaborator.”

Katya Castillo / Roundup Michael Sande, the theater manager, stands in the Performing Arts Building on the Art Hill at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Nov. 15, 2019.

Our Town comes home

Arrving at the Performing Arts building KATYA CASTILLO Photo Editor @PhotosByKatya A play without scenery and props in which the actors move chairs and stairs around the stage may seem like a simple, bare-bones production, but the play Our Town is much more than what’s shown on the surface. Anthony Cantrell, a theater instructor, is directing the Pierce College production of the American classic Our Town. Set in the early 1900s, the people of the small town of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire live simple lives. The first act explores their daily routines and interactions as the stage manager, Jasmine Curry, addresses the audience and talks about the history of Grover’s Corners and the lives of the residents. The play focuses on the Webb and

Gibbs families. A young Emily Webb, played by Justine Gorry, and her neighbor George Gibbs, played by Norman Thatch, start an innocent romance. In the second act, three years pass and Emily and George prepare for their wedding when the stage manager interrupts the scene and decides to go back in time to show how they fell in love. “It is definitely a night filled with light, with love and appreciation,” Gorry said. Throughout the play, the stage manager offers insightful comments and foreshadows the importance of treasuring the present. “It’s just a simple play that discusses complex ideas,” Cantrell said. “I would hope that the audience’s expectations would just let the play happen in the moment and trying to appreciate each moment.” The last act delves into heavier

topics. Nine years has passed since Emily and George married, and a lot has changed. Connie Miller plays Mrs. Soames in the play. “You should expect a tear-jerker. It’s an old-fashioned sad While the minimal set and lack of props leave actors miming most actions, foley artists create sounds on the side of the stage to better understand what’s happening. The show will run Dec. 6 at 8 p.m., Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for students from any school with a valid student ID. Senior citizens who are 62 years old or older pay $18, and $23 for general admission. “It’s one of those productions that when you leave it, there’s a piece of it with you and you think about it because it’s very impactful,” Gorry said.

Katya Castillo / Roundup (Left to right) Norman Thatch, Teresa Cotton, Wyatt Domine and Justine Gorry rehearse for the Pierce College production of Our Town in the Performing Arts Building at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Dec. 2, 2019.

ROUNDUP: Dec. 4, 2019

Weekly Calendar Wed. 12/04

Thurs. 12/05

Crunch Time 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Student Engagement

Citing Your Sources 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. LLC 5212

Fri. 12/06 Communication Cafe 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. LLC 5130

Sat. 12/07 Library Open 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Sun. 12/08 School is closed

Motor4Toys Copy and photos by Cecilia Parada

(Right) Volunteers collect toys at Motor 4 Toys at Pierce College's Park㏌g Lot 7 ㏌ Woo㎗and Hills, Calif. on Dec. 1, 2019.

(Left) A large display of toy donations at Motor 4 Toys at Pierce College's Parking Lot 7 in Woodland Hills, Calif. on Dec. 1, 2019.


Holiday choir and band mash-up

SAMANTHA NEFF Reporter @sam_neff_


he semester may be ending, but the festivities are just beginning at Pierce College. The choir and symphonic band will be performing their annual festive holiday concerts Thursday, Dec.12 and Saturday, Dec.14 at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Building Mainstage. Students taking the music 501 class along with high school students from El Camino Real Charter High School choir will be singing a variety of holiday songs on Dec.12. The symphonic band holiday concert conducted by Dr. Wendy Mazon on Dec. 14 will be featuring music from both the October and December holidays as students will be playing pieces written by Danny Elfman, Grieg, Berlioz and others. Dr. Garineh Avakian will be conducting the choir show and has put a lot of effort into her choir students’ performance and providing them with the best opportunities. “We have been rehearsing every Monday and Wednesday since the beginning of the semester,” Avakian said. “They do a concert every single semester so the fall concerts are usually holiday concerts and in the spring. I try to switch it up.” Avakian and students of the choir said that this event is where all of their hard work throughout the semester will pay off. Student Shelley Quinn will be performing with the choir and take over conducting while Avakian sings. “I went to Dr. Gaga just asking

her how to conduct because I know basic patterns, but I wanted to expand on that because when you watch live music they're not just conducting patterns,” Quinn said. “There's a lot of expressive hand gestures, so I was asking Gaga and her response to me was, ‘Okay well you're going to conduct this piece and you'll figure that out from there.’” Quinn said that the holiday concert is a big show so shwe’s

“I love choir, it's one of my favorite classes here. It's kind of what got me into the whole music department. It's a great starting point if you're interested in music as well. ” -Hannah Comstock Student

happy to be a part of it and try something new. “I’m definitely excited for this, especially because of the conducting,” Quinn said. “It's always fun to do the winter concert because it’s festive and it's a lot of pieces.” Holiday themed concerts help the campus usher in the season of giving by performing Christmas classics. Avakian said that the concert will also include students playing

various instruments along with the choir. “Since we don't have an orchestra or a string ensemble currently at Pierce College, what I’ve done is [gather] students that know how to play string instruments or any instruments,” Avakian said. “I’ve actually chosen pieces that have a string quartet, a violin soloist and we have a few flute players so I've tried to incorporate them into the concert to highlight their talents.” Student Hannah Comstock said she is in alto within the choir and she will also be performing as part of an acapella arrangement. “There are some classics, some new spins,” Comstock said. “We get a little multicultural but it’s all holiday songs. There’s Christmas, a couple Hanukkah pieces, some jazz pieces but also more traditional carols as well.” Comstock said that getting into choir and performing was the start of her musical journey. She said she did not know how to read music at all until she joined Avakian’s class. “I love choir, it's one of my favorite classes here,” Comstock said. “It's kind of what got me into the whole music department. It's a great starting point if you're interested in music as well.” There is a music majors meeting being held on Thursday, Dec.5 at 2:15 p.m. in room 3422 on campus. This is for students that are music majors or are considering music as a major. The entire faculty will be present as they answer questions and give out pamphlets of information regarding the programs offered at Pierce. Tickets for these shows are $10 and are available online at

Campus Life 7 Mon. 12/09 Library Open 7:30 a.m.- 10 p.m.

Tues. 12/10 ASO Senate Meeting 1 p.m.- 3 p.m. Great Hall

Car enthusiasts gathered for the 16th annual Motor4Toys in the spirit of giving to children in need. The event collected and distributed more than $6 million worth of toys in the past 16 years, according to Motor4Toys founder, Dustin Troyan. The love of new and old cars brings a diverse group of people together to give and to gaze at cars that would otherwise be a rare sighting.

8 Sports

Brahmas of the Semester Fall 2019 MVP's

ROUNDUP: Dec. 4, 2019

The Brahmas of the Semester were the top Pierce players in their respective sports.

They were selected by The Roundup News' sports editors based on their stats.

Photo by: Benjamin Hanson/Roundup

Photo by: Benjamin Hanson/Roundup

Photo by: Cecilia Parada/Roundup

Photo by: Cecilia Parada/Roundup

Profile for Roundup News

Volume 131, Issue 11  

Volume 131, Issue 11  

Profile for roundup

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