Page 1


Woodland Hills, California

Volume 132 - Issue 3


Wednesday, March 11, 2020

One copy free, each additional copy $1.00

Baseball coach goes global Latest information

COVID-19 update on Coronavirus BY PAOLA CASTILLO


ince its first diagnosis in November, COVID-19 (coronavirus) has trickled its way into other countries causing school and business closures. Pierce College, along with other scholastic institutions and universities in California, are discussing the possibility of temporarily closing and moving classes online. Pierce College President Alexis Montevirgen announced that the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) created plans in case a closure is needed but despite preplanning, nothing has been decided. “Everything is changing and evolving, and so is what I'm telling you now,” said Montevirgen. "I may get a call during the evening and we may need to change. That's the nature of the situation.”


Dept. chairs demand action

President to be given list of complaints and deadline to make changes BY ARIELLE ZOLEZZI After Tuesdays special meeting by the Academic Policy Committee (APC) regarding a vote of no confidence on Pierce College’s three vice presidents, a call of action for President Alexis Montevirgen has been drafted. Department chairs came to a consensus that there isn’t much confidence in Sheri Berger, Rolf Schleicher and Earic Dixon-Peters, but there wasn’t an agreement on how to handle the matter. Led by First Vice President of Academic Policy Michael Gend, the APC voted to refocus on developing a plan that addresses the concerns of the APC members. “We are working on making campus a place where you can disagree with your administration in a collegiate way and not face retaliation as some have,” Gend said. Due to time constraints, the only vice president that was reviewed in the meeting was Berger. The room was divided between those who didn’t believe it was their place to decide whether or not someone loses their job and those who said they want action now. The general agreement in the meeting was that the concerns of faculty and students needs to be addressed. “The biggest thing that I would like to see is an open communication between administration and faculty for our students because we are here to work for our students,” Math Department Chair Edouard Tchertchian said. “It is important that everyone is on the same page during these tough times.” The members at the meeting concluded that they need to come together as faculty leaders to put pressure on administration to make the changes they want to see in the vice presidents via Montevirgen, and if their concerns are not addressed they will take further action.

From Pierce to the Philippines: coaching an international team BY FELIPE GAMINO


ierce College baseball may only be known locally, but it’s head coach is about to stand on the world stage of America’s pastime. That’s because Bill Picketts will have the opportunity to coach Team Philippines in the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. Picketts learned about the job through his son. “My son wanted to play for the national team in the Southeast Asian Games,” Picketts said.” So he asked me to contact someone I knew. His name is Oscar Marcelino. “I've never met him in person, so we talked because my son is eligible to play for them, and then the WBC came up and they had struggles qualifying last time in Australia.” Pierce College President Alexis Montevirgen, who's from the Philippines, is excited for Picketts. “It’s a great honor to have our baseball coach being sought out to coach the national team for the Philippines. So, I’m wishing him the best of luck,” Montevirgen said. Montevirgen said there was a possibility for the national team to practice with the current Pierce baseball roster. “It would have been a great opportunity for our athletes to interact with international athletes, but I’m not sure it will come to fruition. One of the challenges we have is the current state of the field,” Montevirgen said. Picketts said his wife is also from the Philippines, so that opened a door for him. He said the team didn't have much discipline in the last qualifiers, which is something he wants to fix. At first, Picketts doubted taking the opportunity because he didn't know how the trip was going to be funded. Once Major League Baseball cleared him to go, he traveled to Manila in January to see the team practice.

File photo by Benjamin Hanson / Roundup Baseball head coach Bill Picketts in the dugout during a game against the Moorpark College Raiders in Moorpark, Calif., on Feb. 27, 2020. Picketts said one of the problems is that they don't play enough baseball in the Philippines. “The college schedule is only 12 games while here we have 40, plus we play summer ball,” Picketts said. “They are right there, but are a couple of years behind so we need to get them back on track.” Picketts said the association wants him to be more involved with developing baseball in the country. He won't be traveling all the time to the Philippines and said it won't conflict with his schedule at Pierce. Interim Athletic Director Susan Armenta said this is a great

opportunity for Picketts. “Whenever a coach or a player can go and get exposure in an international competition, they should take advantage of it,” Armenta said. “It also brings positive publicity to the college and athletics.” Philippines are in Pool Two with Panama, Czech Republic, Spain, New Zealand and Great Britain. Next year's World Baseball Classic had a change in format. In total, 20 teams will now participate in the competition. There are 16 teams that have automatically qualified, and the

remaining four will come out of the two pools competing in the qualifiers. The roster includes Brady and Riley Conlan, Andrew Magno, Yuki Takayama, Chase D’ Arnaud and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow. Picketts said he wasn't too optimistic about getting Tebow involved with the team. “I got his number from a close friend of his, so I texted him,” Picketts said. “After 15 minutes, I said it was a good try, however, he responded and was available to talk. After our conversation, everything

fell into place and he committed to joining us. I am really excited for what he can do, especially helping out the younger players.” The Philippines start their participation in the qualifiers against the Czech Republic. Winner of the game will face Panama, who has a bye in the first round. All games will be live for free on MLB’s YouTube channel. The qualifiers start Friday, but the Philippines begin on March 20 against the Czechs.


Voice actress and YouTuber shares industry advice BY BENJAMIN HANSON


Benjamin Hanson / Roundup Voiceover actress, YouTuber and cosplayer Madison Brunoehler gets behind the mic in the sound booth in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 9, 2020.

n the drive home from watching “Lilo and Stitch” in theaters with her father, Madison Brunoehler spent the ride to imitate the recognizable voice of the blue, cartoon alien Stitch. Her practice must’ve paid off. Brunoehler has since become a professional voice-over actress, a cosplayer and a Youtuber. "It allows me to be the silly, creative, funny voices that I've always liked doing," Brunoehler said. Brunoehler offered life and career advice at the Media Arts Speakers Series in the Great Hall on Monday morning. Brunoehler has lent her voice talents to video games such as “Five Nights at Freddy's,” “Warhammer 40,000” and “Dread Nautical.” She’s also starred in the web-series “Chasing Shadows” as Princess Ellianna. As a child, Brunoehler dressed up in wigs and costumes she made, and later discovered that other people shared the same creative hobby as her, known as cosplay. "I'm just going to make these characters. I'm going to dress up in all these silly costumes,” Brunoehler said. “Now it's my favorite thing." Her self-run YouTube channel, Madi2theMax, has more than 28.4 thousand subscribers and 300 videos that have generated more than 7 million views. It features live-action impressions of animated characters, cosplay impressions and "Pun-

Pressions," where she reads viewer submitted puns in the voices of cartoon characters. Brunoehler said that while she feels it's okay for others to compromise their ethics, she has lost jobs due to not wanting to lose her morality. "Many times in this industry, the great big scary industry, you will be told that you need to compromise your ethics and personal integrity," Brunoehler said. Media Arts Assistant Professor Ken Windrum, who invited Brunoehler to speak, said she showed students one of the many different paths they could follow after college. "Anybody like [Brunoehler] who can make a living in the media industry is a good example for our students to give them a sense of what careers they might have," Windrum said. Student Sofia Sandoval said she could relate well to Brunoehler. "[Brunoehler] got that opportunity of getting into it and experiencing the whole thing,” Sandoval said. “She found the passion in doing that." In each of her YouTube and TikTok videos, Bruhnoeler doesn’t shy away from her bubbly and enthusiastic personality, which was on full display during her speech. "Hold true to yourself,” Brunoehler said. “Try and figure out who you are and hold true to that, even when everyone else is telling you not to."


For the full story visit


2 Opinions STREET BEAT


I'm Puerto Rican and my favorite thing is our music like reggeton dembow and little bit of everything , including the food." -Rico Roman Sociology

My favorite thing about my culture is the unity factor, how we re all supporting each other and uplifting each other. - Justice Harkness Pyschology

I come from a Mexican background and my favorite thing would definetly be the music for sure." -Jose Rubio Sociology

From the desk of the Roundup: Editorial

Mental health days are valid

- Cheyanne Gibbs Architectural Engineering Quotes gathered by: Maya Garibay Photos by: Benjamin Hanson and Adam Baron

6201 Winnetka Ave. Woodland Hills, CA 91371 Room: Pierce College Village 8211 Phone: (818) 710-4115 Phone: (818) 710-4117 Website: E-mail: newsroom.roundupnews@

-CorrectionsVolume 132, Issue 2:

The amount of people living with mental health issues rises; it's time to accomodate them


hen someone is sick with a cold, they call out from work or email their professors in advance concerning their upcoming absence. It’s widely acceptable to take a couple days off to recuperate one’s physical health, but why is it unacceptable to take a couple days off to care for one's mental health? Colleges should accept when students and faculty take mental health days off as a valid absence, because it’s a justifiable reason. According to a survey published in 2019 by the American Psychological Association, depressive episodes among young adults aged 18-25 increased by 63% between 2009 and 2017. In that same study, an increase in “suicidal ideation, plans, attempts and deaths by suicide” increased by 71% between 2009 and 2017 within young adults of the same age range. With the staggering rise of people experiencing mental health issues, it’s imperative to accommodate college students because they are the demographic that’s being highly affected. To have a healthy life, people need a balance between work and downtime, but college students tend to prioritize work. Professors oftentime tell students that for each hour a class lasts, they should study the material for two to three hours on their own. However, work doesn’t end after leaving a campus because many college students are also employed at paying jobs. According to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics published in 2019, 43% of undergraduate full-time students worked while 81% of part-time students worked in 2017.

It’s natural that students become mentally and physically tired, but it’s outlandish to expect students to function after

experiencing a burnout. Some days it seems impossible to get out of bed. By taking the day off to practice self-care, people get the opportunity to overcome that negative headspace. Although some could take

advantage of allowing mental health days off, in the long run it actually benefits students who need it. Don’t collectively punish students and faculty who need days off simply because of “what if” situations.

Illustration by: Kevin Lendio Instead, take the risk and support those that colleges are meant to serve. Professors should take a mandatory seminar in the beginning of the fall semester that educates them on the

Pro: Daylight F


rom getting an extra hour of sleep to being able to get home before the sun goes down, there’s definitely more to celebrate than to frown upon when it comes to daylight saving. One of those perks in particular is the increased safety on campus due to the longer daylight hours. It’s no coincidence that warnings like “don’t wear your headphones in your ears”, “keep your eyes off your phone and stay alert,” and “keep your car keys ready and in-hand while you walk” are more often said to our loved ones at night than during the day. According to Security Magazine, ‘Larceny/theft, drug violations, simple assaults, and property crimes were slightly more likely to happen while the sun was out, but more violent crimes such as driving while impaired, murder, rape/sexual assault, and robbery were are frequently reported at night.’

The reasons for students leaving campus late can vary. Some classes are dismissed late, some students stay late to study, eat, relax or get off work if they happen to have a job on campus. Regardless of the reason for being at school after hours, it seems that once the sun goes down, and the masses begin to clear out, our guards must go up and our suspicions for our surroundings tend to arise as we make our way to our cars to leave for the night. In 2014, according to an article written on ABC7, a Pierce student reported being attacked on campus by the person she called to help charge her car battery between 8:00pm and 8:30pm! The longer the sun stays out, the safer it’s proven to be on campus at later times. The clocks giving us a couple more hours of daytime to handle our business and get home safely is a good thing.

Editor-in-Chief ......................Katya Castillo Managing Editor ..................Angelica Lopez Photo Editor ...........................Cecilia Parada Photo Editor ............................Kevin Lendio Opinions Editor .....................Samantha Neff News Editor ............................Paola Castillo News Editor ...........................Arielle Zolezzi Features Editor ......................Peter Villafane Features Editor ....................Eduardo Garcia Campus Life Editor........................Nate McGehee Campus Life Editor...................Ale Aguilera Sports Editor ..........................Felipe Gamino Sports Editor .....................Benjamin Hanson Copy Editor........................Chelsea Westman Social Media Editor ...............Isadora Gardia Social Media Editor ............Kamryn Bouyett Multimedia Editor ...................Atena Naghi

Reporters: Andrea Pena Giselle Ormeno Hannah Green Joey Farriola Jonathan Eaton Joshua Bleiweiss Maya Garibay Nani Welbeck Pablo Orihuela Reza Rastegarrazi Shehreen Karim Taleen Keuroghalian Victor Bretado Elizabeth Dowell

Photographers: Adam Baron Ali Sokhansano Arsalan Rahbari Ashley Shellmire Bethany Lopez Yunes Raha Jordan Erickson Jose Samour Joshua Price Karla Avalos Marley Williams Natalie Sanchez Nathan George Yamin Rashid Race Davis

stigmas of mental healtwh. This way they understand how to properly respond to students whose mental health can affect how they perform in class. Educational institutions should follow the lead of states such as Utah. The state passed a legislative bill in 2018 authorizing students to take mental health days off similarly to how they would take off a sick day. When someone gets a cold, they stay at home to recover by resting, taking medicine and eating chicken noodle soup. When someone needs to take a mental health break, they can heal through creative outlets, explore during a minivacation or anything else that helps them recharge. By allowing mental health days off, students and faculty have one less thing to stress about. Professors should take a mandatory seminar in the beginning of the fall semester that educates them on the stigmas of mental health. This way they understand how to properly respond to students whose mental health can affect how they perform in class. Educational institutions should follow the lead of states such as Utah. The state passed a legislative bill in 2018 authorizing students to take mental health days off similarly to how they would take off a sick day. When someone gets a cold, they stay at home to recover by resting, taking medicine and eating chicken noodle soup. When someone needs to take a mental health break, they can heal through creative outlets, explore during a mini-vacation or anything else that helps them recharge. By allowing mental health days off, students and faculty have one less thing to stress about.

Con: Daylight


Helpf u l to all

We have a really rich ancestry and so much to offer to the community.

ROUNDUP: March 11, 2020




aylight saving poses a number of problems to health, sleep patterns and students. A study in 2014 found that the number of heart attacks the first week of daylight saving jumps by 25%, according to In that same study, the end of daylight saving was followed by a 21% drop in heart attacks. It’s likely that a rise in heart attacks and daylight saving are connected because of disrupted sleep patterns and stress, especially for those with pre-existing heart conditions. The Journal of Applied Psychology has found a higher rate of “cyberloafing” when daylight Cyberloafing is especially present in the workplace, where employees struggling to adjust to daylight saving time often use the internet at work for personal matters instead of doing work. An increase in entertainmentbased internet searches also rises at night, resulting in a harder time trying to get to sleep. Science Daily found that sleep

rhythms and circadian cycles are disrupted, even in people with flexible sleep patterns. Children with autism are more susceptible to the change in time and the transition takes weeks or months of adjustment. Students attending classes in the mornings are also likely to see their academics suffer because of shorter attention spans, because of disrupted sleep schedules. With sleep patterns disrupted, focus also is harder to maintain and it becomes harder to perform at full potential because of lack of energy, motivation, and sleep. Daylight saving isn’t practiced by all 50 states either. Hawaii and Arizona are the two states that don’t follow the rest of the country in practicing Daylight Savings and perhaps the rest of the country should follow their example. With Spring on the horizon, daylight saving should be reconsidered to help physical and mental health, students’ academic performance and safety and sleep patterns.

Harmful to all

Advisers: Jill Connelly Jeff Favre Tracie Savage Advertising Manager: Sean Collins-Smith

*For advertising call Sean at (818) 710-2960

Front Page: Fernando Oleas is a modern language instructor, not the chair. Photo Essay, Page 4: There are six deaf instructors who teach ASL at Pierce.

See any errors we missed? Email us at:


Not sick, just Asian BY PETER VILLAFANE


on't cough, or people will think you have it.” My mother thinks people will assume I have COVID-19 just because I'm Asian. But I can't look any less Asian. The problem isn't with my facial features, it's with the racists using COVID-19 as an excuse to discriminate against Asian people. The virus originated from the city of Wuhan in China, but that doesn't mean anyone who looks vaguely Asian is infected. The news coverage surrounding COVID-19 and the panicked global response to it have brought out the worst in people. Racist attacks against the Asian community have increased since information about the disease has spread, according to CNN. A viral video on Twitter depicted a woman covering her face as soon as she saw an Asian passenger enter the train. Another viral video showed a man accusing an Asian person of having the virus on the New York City subway. And another showed an Asian woman getting attacked for wearing a face mask. The New York Times posted a story about COVID-19 and accompanied it with a photo of a Chinese man riding the Hong Kong subway while wearing a mask. The man had nothing to do with the story. He just happened to be both Asian-looking and wearing a mask. Chinese people especially are being targeted. Chinese restaurants are losing customers, reported CNN. Some people are even avoiding ordering goods from China. My family is no exception to the prejudice, and we’re not even Chinese. My sister-in-law, a nurse, has advised us against wearing masks because she doesn't want people to think we're sick. There is never an excuse for racism, and a deadly virus definitely isn’t one. I don’t want to be scared of being attacked for coughing, or for looking the way I do. I’m not sick. I’m just Asian.

unacceptable letters. The Pierce College Roundup Letters towillrevise not publish, as letters, literary publicity releases, poetry to the Editor endeavors, or other such materials as the Editorial 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

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.

News 3

ROUNDUP: March 11, 2020

Catching UC Berkeley offers Pierce a roadmap for transfer flights for Transfer program allows students the opportunity to meet with Berkeley representatives advocacy BY PABLO ORIHUELA

ASO headed to Washington D.C. to lobby for community colleges BY ALEJANDRA AGUILERA


n March 13, eight members of the Associated Student Organization (ASO) will be packing their luggage instead of their backpacks to catch a flight to Washington D.C. and attend a community college conference. The American Student Association of Community Colleges (ASACC) hosts the National Student Advocacy Conference yearly and this year, the ASO will attend to advocate an increase in funding for community colleges. From March 14 through March 17, the ASO will attend workshops to learn what issues to lobby for and how to lobby, because on March 16 they will be lobbying to state representatives on Capitol Hill. “Being able to hear all these different colleges and what they’re doing, we’ll be able to take that back to our college and try to make Pierce College a better place,” ASO President Vivian Yee said. Yee is one of the eight ASO members attending alongside Dean of Student Engagement Juan Carlos Astorga and the ASO’s support staff Geremy Mason. Mason filed the paperwork for the conference, made hotel accommodations, booked flight tickets and prepared meal plans, which is paid for by the ASO. “It will be an interesting trip,” Mason said. “We actually have a meeting with one of our senator’s offices, so we’ll be taking the students and they'll be getting to speak with Senator Dianne Feinstein’s representative that handles educational matters.” According to the ASACC website, more than 400 students will be attending but the trip won’t be all business since there will be scheduled times to go sightseeing and go on a walking tour of Washington D.C. For ASO Senator Jenni Severin, speaking up for the students at Pierce is what she is most excited for. “We really get to exchange over the three days with the other community colleges and focus on the issues we’re having here and in other schools and bring it all together,” Severin said.


fter years of requests, the UC Berkeley Transfer Alliance Program (TAP) has arrived. It is now available at the Pierce College Transfer Center, giving Pierce students easier access to their preferred university with assistance in academic advising. Transfer Center Director Sunday Salter said getting the program to Pierce has not been easy. The program was concentrated in Northern California and the only Southern California branch is located at Santa Monica College. “Over the years I would email, call, run into them at events and ask them, ‘When are you guys going to expand? Our students would love to have this opportunity,’” Salter said. UC Berkeley Transfer Specialist [JUMP from COVID-19]

An email sent by Montevirgen on March 9 said five Pierce College students attended the same American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington, D.C., where three confirmed cases were found. He said LACCD has created a four-part task force to monitor the status of COVID-19 in each college. Student Health Center Director Beth Benne is part of the Health and Safety section. She said the group will be meeting again Thursday to finalize their plan. “Hopefully, we have a preliminary approach to how we're going to deal with the COVID as if it comes and knocks on our door,” Benne said. The sections of the task force are Health and Safety, Academics, Communications and Facilities. They are also working to create three levels of urgency. Benne said she is happy with the quick, organized and financial response from the district. “The district is approving overtime, so we can really get down and really wipe down those keyboards and get supplies into the computer labs where students are touching the keyboard in between classes,” Benne said. Associated Student Organization President Vivian Yee said the Student Affairs Committee passed a suggestion to the Board of Trustees to increase custodial staff. Montevirgen said classrooms

and TAP representative Bryan Oldaker said the program will get transfers closer to being admitted than if they were to apply on their own. “Students who participate in the program have about an 80% acceptance rate,” Oldaker said. “Berkeley’s overall transfer rate is closer to 20%.” Berkeley chose to expand the program to diversify its community. UC Berkeley TAP prioritizes certain students but does not limit those who can apply. “It involves low-income groups, you can also be the first in your family to go to college. It involves students who are marginalized based on their race or ethnicity, a disability,” Salter said. The program offers appointments with Berkeley representatives where they assist in guiding students

with their transfer applications and financial aid, answer questions about the college and provide insight on what organizations and clubs to join once admitted. Pierce College counselor and UC Berkeley alumnus Diane Orellana recalled what intrigued her the most about the college when she was a transfer student. “I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and live away from home,” Orellana said. “That’s why I picked the Bay Area. As far as picking Berkeley specifically, the academics. As I would research them more, the rigor and the reputation Berkeley had as a research institution, I was always impressed.” Orellana went on to talk about what she felt was the most rewarding part of attending UC Berkeley. “Having gone to Berkeley opened more opportunities,” Orellana said.

“For graduate school, I went to Harvard for my first masters and Columbia for my second. I think having that Berkeley Degree, really made a difference. Every California student that was at Harvard when I was there, had been a UC Transfer. So for students who are thinking of applying to competitive institutions, it can make a difference to have such a highly regarded school on your resume.” Oldaker reassured students who were interested in participating in the UC Berkeley TAP to make sure they meet with him to verify if they’re qualified for the program. Students can set up a meeting with the representative through the Pierce College Transfer Center website for March 16 and 26, April 15 and 28 and May 13.

won’t be the only focus when it comes to sanitization. Restrooms will also be sanitized to prevent infection. “There have been steps in place that have been documented in terms of our facility staff redoubling and making a committed effort not just in terms of the restrooms but in terms of classrooms,” Montevirgen said. Academic Senate President Barbara Anderson asked for opinions on the resolution that would be presented to the Board of Trustees. The resolution is to temporarily relax the qualifications for distance education. “Level three is where we're moving classes to more of a hybrid status but, of course, that doesn't work for every course. There’s definitely no one-size-fits-all,” Anderson said. Some members said the resolution would cause problems rather than alleviate them. They argued some students or staff don’t get involved with online classes on purpose, others don’t have the technology at home, or some classes can’t be transferred over to an online environment. “We assume students have a device to complete assignments online and they have a reliable network connection at home or at the hospital to complete the courses,” Chair of Modern Languages Margarita Pillado said. Benne confirmed the changes that are taking place are district-wide in order to maintain consistency. California State University, Northridge has ordered 13 of their

students, who also attended the AIPAC conference in Washington, D.C., to self-quarantine until March 17. Various universities in California have decided to close to prevent any infections. As of March 9, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and San Jose State have closed their campuses. UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ released a statement regarding their status. “There are no confirmed cases on our campus at this time,” she said, “However, as local, national, and global public health recommendations shift to include mitigation of transmission, the campus is proactively taking steps that will help to protect the community.” Several of the universities have shifted to online classes in response to the closures. They were all motivated by the guidance released by the California Department of Public Health. According to a statement released by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, there are now 17 confirmed cases in the county excluding Pasadena and Long Beach. One of the new cases has been deemed the first instance of community transmission. “This is our first case of community transmission in LA County and we will continue to see more cases of COVID- 19,” Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said. “With more cases, we are urging people with underlying health

conditions, pregnant women and the elderly to practice social distancing by avoiding non- essential travel, public events, community gatherings, and indoor venues.” The entire state of California has confirmed 133 cases with one death from the virus. California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency and asked citizens to prepare in the case of closures. "It's a question of when — not if — some California public schools will face closure because of COVID-19," Newsom said. According to an email sent on Tuesday by Director of Communications and External Relations William H. Boyer, the five Pierce students who attended the AIPAC conference reported feeling healthy. The Chancellor, Deputy Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, College Presidents, District Senior Staff and College Deans are also restricted from travelling that is nonessential. Information regarding updates within the LACCD district can be found at Reports or questions could be directed to the information hotline (213) 2215112 or by email at coronavirusinfo@ To report anything related to Pierce, call the Office of the President at (818) 719-6408. For more information, call the LA County: 211.



BLOTTER Reported by: Paola Castillo

These incidents were reported between March 1 - March 7 03/04 5:25 P.. EMPLOYEE INCIDENT

An instructor was upset about a Shepard Stadium gate not being open before class 03/04 12:50 A.M. TRESPASSING

A non-student was caught sleeping in the baseball field dugout 03/05 12:10 P.M. STUDENT ILL

A student was sent to a hospital after reporting being ill during class

Pierce College Sheriff’s Station General Information: Emergency: (818) 710 - 4311

Catching flights for advocacy

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Photo Essay

ROUNDUP: March 11, 2020



B (A) Sandwiches at the cafeteria at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 5, 2020. Photo by Jose Samour.


(D) Meatless chicken and veggie with rice prepared at the Brahma Cafe at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 7, 2020. Photo by Kevin Lendio.


(B) Camila Rivera orders breakfast from the food truck in front of the South Gym at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Feb 24th, 2020. Photo by Benjamin Hanson.

(C) French Dip Au Jus prepared at the Brahma Cafe at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 7, 2020. Photo by Kevin Lendio.

(E) Snacks and fruits at the cafeteria at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 5, 2020. Photo by Jose Samour.

(F) Chicken Tender Plate prepared at the Brahma Cafe at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 7, 2020. Photo by Kevin Lendio.

(G) Original Nacho plate prepared at the Brahma Cafe at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 7, 2020. Photo by Kevin Lendio.

(H) Mechanical engineering major Mara Pham eats a burger on at the cafeteria at Pierce Collegein Woodland Hills, Calif., March 10, 2020. Photo by Kevin Lendio. (I) Chicken-Penne Florentine prepared at the Brahma Cafe at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 7, 2020. Photo by Kevin Lendio.

(J) Food options at the cafeteria at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 5, 2020. Photo by Jose Samour.


Photo Essay

ROUNDUP: March 11, 2020


TASTE OF PIERCE Copy by Cecilia Parada Photos by Kevin Lendio, Jose Samour and Benjamin Hanson



ith everything students have on their plate, Pierce College makes it easier for them to have options available to feed their bodies and minds. Pierce offers three primary places to eat for the hungry students who roam campus every day. The Brahma CafĂŠ has grab-and-go meals for students in a hurry. The cafeteria has food made to order with a variety of different cuisines such as pasta, sandwiches and tacos. The Los Angeles Mobile Catering truck offers Latin-American cuisine on their menu.







ROUNDUP: March 11, 2020

Ashley Shellmire / Roundup Assistant professor of English Mickey Harrison showcases his office full of “Harry Potter” collectibles while wearing a Gryffindor cloak at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 2, 2020.

Bringing magic into the classroom English professor transports students to the literary world of ‘Harry Potter’ BY JOEY FARRIOLA


he wrinkled brown Sorting Hat sits at the top of a student’s head. “Gryffindor!” shouts the professor, assigning the student into their house. With a wave of his wand, he sparks his students’ imaginations and opens their minds to the world of “Harry Potter.” This is not Hogwarts. It’s just another day in English professor Mickey Harrison’s class. Harrison teaches The Literature of Harry Potter on campus. He said that he thinks “Harry Potter” is equal in educational value to the works of Mark Twain because of the series’ universal appeal. “The power of Mark Twain’s writing can embrace the imagination and the creativity of an 8-year-old as much as an 80-yearold,” Harrison said. “That’s how much depth there is. I think the ‘Harry Potter’ series from Rowling does the same.” Harrison created the class to interest students with books from their childhood. “I realized I don’t want to teach what my peers think I should teach,” Harrison said. “I think education should be fun. So why stop teaching from the things that [professors] think are important? Let’s teach what the students like.” To bring the “Harry Potter” series to life, Harrison dresses up in Hogwarts-themed clothing and handwrites official Hogwarts acceptance letters for students. He also categorizes and places students into their “Harry Potter” houses using a replica of the sorting hat depicted in the books. “I didn’t want to just teach a literature class about a subject,” Harrison said. “I wanted it to be a fully immersed experience.” Harrison said students feel like they are a part of the Wizarding World when they join his class. “They’re telling me about the same sort of excitement that we see Harry experience, where they kind of feel like a witch or a wizard,” Harrison said. “They really feel like they’re part of that.” While the young adult series isn’t the usual course material for literature classes, it contains important themes that can be fully analyzed, according to Harrison. “You can see different elements of slavery, racism, blood purity, government corruption and media influence,” Harrison said. After high school, Harrison spent 12 years pursuing a career as a rockstar and skateboarder. During this time, he attended El Camino College for a brief period before being put on academic probation. “I was such a good student that they asked me not to come back for a couple of semesters,” Harrison said. At 30, Harrison said he decided to go back to school because he

wanted more out of his life. He said he was inspired by his children’s literature professor who told him he was meant to teach English. “That was the first time that anybody saw something in me academically,” Harrison said. “And I was like, that’s what I’m going to be. I’m going to be an English professor.” Harrison eventually got the opportunity to teach a children’s literature class at Pierce College. In his first year he taught “Grimms’ Fairy Tales” and “Cinderella,” along with other classic texts. He said he wasn’t passionate about these books and instead wanted to dedicate an entire course to “Harry Potter.” While some professors argued that “Harry Potter” wasn’t worthy of academic discussion and analysis, Harrison disagreed. “I think that in any good writing you can find deep, important social, political and religious issues that students can relate to,” Harrison said. “We don’t have to just read Chaucer and Shakespeare to get these important messages.” Harrison said students are engaged in the text in The Literature of Harry Potter class. “Students have a deeper connection when it’s something that they want to read,” Harrison said. “And when students want to read it, my job is easy.” Harrison said the former chair of the English department, Donna Accardo, encouraged him to pursue teaching the “Harry Potter” class. “She said, ‘I love that you are going to try something new. Go for it,’” Harrison said. “She was fully supportive, 100%, so I give her the credit of letting me try to do this thing.” Asia Ozor, one of Harrison’s students, said she is taking the class because she loves “Harry Potter.” Ozor said she commutes an hour to take the class. “I think analyzing it from a literary perspective is something that most people would kind of turn their nose up at because it’s children’s lit,” Ozor said. “‘Harry Potter’ is a series that really lends itself to literary analysis. Seeing it at a collegiate level is something I never thought I would see having grown up with the books.” Pierce student Alec Vick said she admires the effort Harrison puts into teaching The Literature of Harry Potter class. “He’s very passionate and he makes it a very fun, enjoyable class to be in,” Vick said. Harrison said people can learn valuable lessons from reading “Harry Potter.” “We can really understand what’s happening in ‘Harry Potter’ and then we can relate it to these world life experiences and make connections to help better understand the world that we’re navigating,” Harrison said.

Ashley Shellmire / Roundup Assistant professor of English Mickey Harrison reads a spell in his office full of Harry Potter collectibles at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 2, 2020.

Ashley Shellmire / Roundup Inside assistant professor of English Mickey Harrison’s office at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 2, 2020.

Campus Life 7

ROUNDUP: March 11, 2020

Quartet seeks to create new music styles

5th Element brought its experimental world jazz fusion to the concert series BY BENJAMIN HANSON


he eclectic quartet 5th Element brought its jazz, world, electronic improvisational music to the Main Stage in the Performing Arts Building on March 5. The group, led by vocalist Uyanga Bold, took the audience on an otherworldly musical journey with progressive pieces that defied the standard song structure. Upright bassist Igor Kogan and sampler Cam Cameron, laid the foundation of each song with driving basslines and drum samples. They led with a composition called "Birds" that set the tone for their set. The rhythms they created felt chaotic and took up a lot of space, but they left plenty of room for clarinetist/saxophonist Leo Chelyapov to breathe with floaty riffs, much like Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell once did for Jimi Hendrix. While Bold sang, it was as if her soul left her body and the bass and saxophone melodies became tangible objects that she could dance with. Bold, like the instrumentalists beside her, didn't use her vvoice in a conventional manner. Instead of lyrics, she harmonized notes with a haunting operatic and cinematic style that played alongside the instrumentals instead of taking the center stage. Kogan was the driving force behind the band; without him, the band would sound jarring, but his soothing and repetitive bass lines grounded the music and allowed everybody else to flourish. Cameron laid the foundation for each song with samples of instruments and drum tracks of his own live recordings. Kogan would keep a steady bass riff going while Cameron played a beat under it. When the drums came in, the songs came alive. Cameron used the Korg Volca Loop Station to play his pre-recorded samples

and drums. "I started using Ableton Live as a compositional tool by playing different audio clips that I've either recorded live or that I've already preloaded," Cameron said. Chelyapov made great use of microphone placement to create different sounds during their piece entitled "Miserlou." At one point he stood two feet away from his mic and began to play the duduk, an ancient Armenian double reed woodwind instrument similar to an orchestral oboe. Chelyapov would inch closer to the microphone to create a volume swell effect, proving that expensive pedals aren't needed to create different sounds. "Djivan Gasparyan was a big inspiration for me to learn [the duduk] because I was so fascinated by its sound," Chelyapov said. Later, Bold would show the same microphone tricks; singing above, below and to the sides of the microphone to move her voice around the space of the song, creating a stereo effect in the auditorium. Bold also showed off her musicianship by making use of a bubul, an Indian stringed instrument. She began "Mongolian Folk Song" with a solo by using a bow to create a violin effect and added another layer for Kogan and Cameron to play with. Their final song, "Improve Composition #1," showed off all of the musicians strengths and it came together in a beautiful climax. Kogan bumped away with his bass and Cameron laid down a drum beat that made the song feel like it changed to a faster tempo. Midway through the composition, Chelyapov and Bold began to trade vocal and saxophone riffs, as if they were battling for melody superiority. It was a wild journey of sounds that audiences wouldn't expect to sound well together, but 5th Element pulled it off.

Cecilia Parada / Roundup Uyanga Bold plays the dilruba during the Thursday Concert Series in the Performing Arts Building at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 5, 2020.

Speaking about homelessness Author Steve Lopez hosts a panel to discuss his book ‘The Soloist’ for One Book, One Campus BY ALEJANDRA AGUILERA


os Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez says he’ll never forget the night that he slept on Skid Row with Nathaniel Ayers, a former Juilliard double bassist who became homeless after experiencing a mental breakdown and schizophrenia. Ayers pulled two sticks out of his shopping cart full of personal items that night. One stick had Beethoven written on it and the other had Brahms. When Lopez asked what they were for, Ayers said that he taps the sticks to make the rats scatter when they come out of the sewers. With that, Ayers said good night and hoped Lopez would rest well. “I haven’t rested well since. I’ve been on a crusade in his name and in your name. In the names of 58,000 people who live on the streets and in their vehicles,” Lopez said. “All of them with a story. They didn’t all go to Juilliard, but they all got a story.” On March 5, Lopez presented his book “The Soloist” and hosted a panel discussion about homelessness in the Great Hall for the event Unlocking Justice Symposium: Voices from the Streets, at no cost. “The Soloist” was published in 2008 and was selected for One Book One Campus. It follows the true story of how Lopez tries to write a column on Ayers and the friendship that forms from those

efforts. “It’s nice to have the book still discussed, it’s not so nice to have the problem [of homelessness] as big as it was at the time,” Lopez said. “It’s been disappointing, all these years later to see that those kinds of conditions still exist all over the place.” Lopez said when he first met Ayers in 2005, there were homeless encampments on Skid Row, Palisades Park and Venice. “Now it’s everywhere. Now it’s in low-income neighborhoods. It’s in-high income neighborhoods,” Lopez said. “The city’s color is blue from all those blue tarps strung out everywhere.” Criminal justice student Kari Koster opened the event by sharing her experience with homelessness after suffering from a medical emergency at the end of July 2017, in front of an audience of about 90 people. “Last year I was here on campus, and unless I said something, no one knew that I was homeless,” Koster said. “We don’t know if the person sitting next to you or the person walking by, if they’re homeless or not; if they’re dealing with food insecurities and mental illness.” Koster said she lived on the streets for a few days before her caseworker placed her in a North Hollywood shelter at LA Family Housing. While she was on the streets, she was insecure about having enough to eat and keeping herself clean. “Safety is always a big issue for people, especially a female, a

woman,” Koster said. Koster lives with major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder which she says have led to difficult times, but that she’s surviving and flourishing despite it. “Two words: homelessness and mental illness,” Koster said. “They are two powerful words and we do have a national crisis with this.” After Lopez shared anecdotes about Ayers meeting cellist YoYo Ma at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and performing at the White House when former President Barack Obama was in office, he then hosted a panel discussion with local agencies that work with homelessness. Charles Johnson from the Pierce Veterans Office, caseworker Blake Clayton from the County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority coordinator Ely Sepúlveda García and adult housing specialist Angel Quintanilla from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health answered questions regarding the circumstances that have lead to the homeless crisis. Pierce alumni Quintanilla originally planned to attend the Los Angeles Homeless Initiative Conference that was scheduled at the same time as Unlocking Justice Symposium: Voices from the Streets, but chose to speak at Pierce. “I think this is more significant because it’s really doing the work, being in front of a crowd in my community,” Quintanilla said. “It’s

more significant to be here to lend a voice and contextualize some of the stigmatized mental illness and homeless related issues.” Librarian Lisa Valdez chose “The Soloist” for One Book One Campus and was excited to have agencies onstage that specifically focus on student issues. “They have agreed to partner with us to create more wrap around services for our students and have those liaisons for us to work with,” Valdez said. D’arcy Corwin from the Brahma Pantry attended the event to help those interested in CalFresh, a nutritional food program that helps low-income households purchase food. Maggi Espada-Hernandez from Dignity Health at the Northridge Hospital Medical Center also had a booth for the Center for Assault Treatment Services. Lopez continues to write about homeless issues at the Los Angeles Times and lectures at Cal State Los Angeles where he often hears students wondering where they’ll get their next meal. “There’s a great need and we just need to bring more awareness to it,” Lopez said. “It’s students living in their cars, it’s students couchsurfing, it’s students not knowing where to go and it shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be this way. We need to talk about it, tell stories of the people who are in this predicament and keep searching for the solutions.”

Karla Avalos / Roundup Steve Lopez speaks at the Unlocking Justice Symposium event in the Great Hall at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Mar. 5, 2020.

8 Sports

ROUNDUP: March 11, 2020

Vikings sail, Brahmas trail

Baseball wins on the road Brahmas beat Oxnard College 10-3

Pierce drops game to Long Beach City College in straight sets BY EDUARDO GARCIA


en’s volleyball was unbeaten at home heading into the game against the Long Beach City College Vikings. However, that would change on Friday night, as they lost in straight sets (25-18, 25-15 and 2521). Brahmas’ volleyball player Elias Ybarra said despite the energy not landing in the team’s favor, they walked away with various good things. “I definitely think in the first set, we started off pretty strong,” Ybarra said. “We got in a little bit of a funk, and it just didn't land in our favor. The second set, I think, we were stuck in a couple of rotations and [the Vikings] took off from there. Starting the third set, I think we came out pretty strong with energy and just talked a lot on and off the court.” Brahmas’ head coach Edison Zhou said the energy will remain high. “Sometimes we'd go high, sometimes we build up,” Zhou said. “But we need to see the average, we just keep all the skills we have. Whatever we learn, we are going to just put on the real game.” Vikings’ head coach Jonathan Charette said Zhou gets people who normally don’t play, and that those players did well in the game. He said he enjoyed the match. “Pierce put up a very good fight against us,” Charette said. “They played hard. It wasn’t the biggest crowd, but they were very engaged.” Vikings player Erik Hernandez said tonight’s game performance was satisfactorily a win. “I think we could've picked

File photo by: Benjamin Hanson Gavin Haimovitz (4) hits a fly ball for a two-base hit during a game against the Moorpark College Raiders in Moorpark, Calif., on Feb. 27. 2020.

Softball strikes out Player shortage and elegibility issues bring abrupt end to season BY FELIPE GAMINO


Benjamin Hanson/ Roundup Elias Ybarra catches his breath during a game against the Long Beach City College Vikings on Ken Stanley Court in Woodland HIlls, Calif., on March 6, 2020.

it up,” Hernandez said. “We did slack a little. We definitely did a little bit better, but a win is a win.” Zhou said next time, the team will probably work on the angle for further improvements. Ybarra said moving forward, there are some improvements he and his team can take to the next game. “I definitely think moving

forward, maybe just for our blocking system,” Ybarra said. “Long Beach ran plays we weren’t really ready for. Our blocking wasn't always there, but that's okay cause it's something we can work on. I think moving forward, probably just watching out for pace.” With the loss, the Brahmas

drop to 2-3 on the season and are on a two-game losing streak. They hope to bounce back in their next game against the El Camino College Warriors. The game against ECC is on Wednesday, March 11 at 6 p.m.

oftball was originally preparing for the season opener at Ventura College, however, the team will not be competing this year. Interim athletic director Susan Armenta said assistant coach Mark Cooley told her they don’t have enough players to field a team. Armenta said she stayed until 8 p.m. on Wednesday making phone calls. “I know this has been an issue in the past,” Armenta said. “I spoke with the conference and all the other school AD’s to inform them about softball. I wanted them to hear from me first.” Armenta said she had a meeting the morning prior to making the decision. She was optimistic the season was going on. Armenta said they must address what led to the program not competing and move forward. In 2018, the team had to cancel their season due to the same issue. Dean of Athletics Genice Sarcedo-

Magruder said it was a tough decision. “We met with facilities to see the current state of both our softball and baseball fields. We are working on remedies so that way we have playable surfaces, looking to shift around some funding from tennis since that is no longer a sport,” Sarcedo-Magruder said. Sarcedo-Magruder said they looked at the eligibility report for the program. “There were only nine students eligible and you need that number to play. So you’re essentially one injury away from canceling a game or a season and realistically it is not fair for the girls who are playing.” Sarcedo-Magruder said with repairs on the field it will be easier to bring in players next season. Kaylee Stevens, who was going to be coaching the team this year, said it is disappointing. “I feel bad for the players. It is unfortunate we are not going to have a season,” Stevens said.

Bringing experience to current roster Swimmer competed at the state championships; aims to qualify again D


octors told Wyatt Feldman that he had to take a mandatory three-month break from swimming because of a rotator cuff injury when he was 15 years old. But that did not stop the now 20-year-old from becoming one of the fastest swimmers on the Pierce swim team. Feldman said he needed to overcome the obstacles and not throw in the towel. “Instead of quitting, I took that as an opportunity to come back because I felt like I'd be disservicing myself,” Feldman said. His rotator cuff injury was because of overuse and doctors advised Feldman to take a break from swimming or else it would cause nerve damage to his shoulder. Despite getting this injury in his sophomore year in high school, Feldman motivated himself to become the best athlete he can be. Feldman explains how most people would see the injury as a setback and just stop swimming all together. However, he saw this as an opportunity to improve and once he started swimming again, Feldman says how shocked he was when his swim times got faster after the injury. Feldman’s love for swimming traces back to when he first learned to swim at the Pierce swimming pool when he was sixyears-old. What got him into competitive swimming was when he joined a team called Seacats that still competes at the Pierce swimming pool. Since that moment when Feldman dipped his toes into the

Cecilia Parada/Roundup Wyatt Feldman swimming the butterfly at Pierce College's Steven E. Schofield Aquatic Center in Woodland Hills, Calif., on March 9, 2020.

water, he continued swimming until high school. In his freshman year at Pierce, Feldman mentioned how he failed a class when he stopped swimming. However, Feldman explains how as soon as he joined Pierce’s swim team, his grades improved. “Swimming has never been a competition for me and it kind of

grounds me,” Feldman said. “There's something about having a [supportive] team behind you that is motivating.” Last year, Feldman and five other Pierce swimmers went to the State Championships in Cupertino and finished in 14th place, which made Pierce history. Feldman said initially he didn't

expect to win any medals and just wanted to do his best. But he says the most memorable part was spending time with the team and getting one medal because of teamwork. “State championships are the highest level you can go to,” head coach Judi Terhar said. “So rarely schools typically just have

a couple of people make it and you have to be top 16 in the State of California and California is the top in the United States. So you're talking about the best community college athletes that there are”. Feldman said he remains hopeful of going to State again because his times are a lot faster this season than last season.

“I couldn't even make the top five last year but just last week I made second place in the 200 breaststroke,” Feldman said. Feldman says how his times are improving because of the training he does for two hours every day. Terhar said the team and Feldman swim 6,000 yards while wearing knee socks to weigh them down. “I've never had someone that works harder than him and he never takes a day off,” Terhar said. On the swim team, Feldman created a close bond with his teammates and impacts those around him. “We‘ve been wvworking really hard in practice and pretty much dying together every day,” said Zacki Katibah, a Freshman on the team. Katibah said he has a friendly “rivalry” with Feldman in trying to beat each other for the fastest times since Feldman is in lane one and Katibah is in lane two. Terhar mentioned how Feldman is known for taking Katibah and the other teammates under his wing. “That’s what a leader does,” Terhar said. “He takes care of everyone around him and shows them the ropes.”. After Pierce, Feldman will transfer to California State University, Northridge in the Fall with a major in Computer Information Technology and says how he will pursue that as a professional career while swimming independently. “I want to shift gears but I’ll never lose touch with swimming,” Feldman said.

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Volume 132 Issue 3  

Volume 132 Issue 3  

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