Veteran’s Resource Center opens
Students plan for March walk out
Sacramento City College defeats Bulldogs
See page 2
See page 4
See page 7
San Matean THE
Volume 176, Number 2
College of San Mateo • www.sanmatean.com
Feb. 21, 2012
‘On target’ for fiscal year Varsha Ranjit The San Matean
Photo by Ryan Patterson of The San Matean
Energy flows through movement
Tony Wong, Tai chi instructor, displays the proper form of a pose for his class at a community education evening course. His class follows the movements of the traditional Chinese art form.
CSM administrators, faculty, and student representatives attended a budget planning meeting held on Feb. 6 in the City View Conference room in the College Center. A budget update was presented at the meeting, along with discussion regarding CSM’s Basic Aid status, and the newly implemented student payment plan. The proposal of new smoking shelters was an addition to the meeting’s agenda and also discussed. CSM is in good shape regarding the current budget, said President Michael Claire at the meeting. 50.8 percent of the school’s budget has been expended for the current academic year. “50 percent expended means that we are halfway through the the fiscal year, we’ve expended half our money,” said James Carranza, CSM Academic Senate President. “This suggests that we are neither underspending or overspending, but that we are managing and aligning programs and resources well.”
The year-to-date budget for 2011 to 2012, according to a document distributed at the meeting, is $14,391,776. The 2010 to 2011 budget was $28,325,307. “The budget is right on target, as Claire outlined,” said Carranza. “There are some slight adjustments we’ll need to consider, but overall I’m very happy to see that we are right on our mid-year target.” The district has fallen into basic aid status this spring because “the sum of local property taxes and student fees is expected to exceed our basic revenue level,”said Laura Demsetz, a math and science professor. Basic Aid status “changes the game in a positive way,” said Claire at the meeting. “Our base revenue level has decreased due to reduced overall state funding,” said Demsetz. Basic Aid is determined by year. While CSM is in Basic Aid status spring of 2012, it is possible the status may be regained in the 2012 to 2013 or 2013 to 2014 school year as well.
Broadcasters continue to vie over KCSM TV Jeffrey Gonzalez The San Matean When everyone else was opening Valentine’s Day cards, KCSM TV was opening bid letters. Six public entities officially submitted bids for the KCSM TV sale on Feb. 14. In a public meeting held in the district board room, submitted bids were opened by Director of General Services, Jan Roecks. The purpose of the meeting was to collect all bids for deadline and to verify that all
the bidders had submitted the proper paper work, said Roecks. Bids came from the following six public broadcasting entities; KAXT LLC; Community Educators TV of Orange County; KMPT-TV; Locus Point Networks; FM Media Incorporated; and San Mateo Community TV Corporation. Notably excluded from the list of bidders are Daystar Television and Public Media Corporation, two potential bidders attacked as a threat to local broadcasting by community organization Media-Alliance.
Under federal regulations, public broadcasting companies are required to be controlled locally, said Booker Wade, station manager of KMPT. “It’s curious how outsiders believe they qualify. They’re probably not eligible,” he said. KMPT is a 20 year old public broadcasting company that operates on channel 33 in the Bay Area. Its programming consists of multicultural and multilingual content, such as news, art and documentary shows, said Wade. KMPT is looking to buy the
Ali was a liar and a killer who dragged his victim down a slope “like yesterday’s garbage,” after strangling her, not once, but twice, manually and with a knotted T-shirt, Wagstaffe said in his opening statement on Jan. 25. He held up the black shirt for the jury of nine men and three women. Peter Goldscheider, a Palo Alto appellate attorney, countered by saying that Wagstaffe’s account was a “one-sided, distorted, inaccurate account of the story. Everywhere he went, Ali saw Tracey’s face, that’s why he came back.” Ali returned (from Mexico)
because he didn’t speak Spanish and ran out of money, said Wagstaffe. Family Testimony Atik Sharif, Ali’s nephew, was a CSM student in 1999 and worked the graveyard shift at Target. He lived in South San Francisco, but was staying with relatives, the Mohammed Khan’s, at their San Mateo home on the night of Feb. 15, 1999. He was interviewed by sheriff’s detectives on Feb. 16, 1999, but didn’t tell the truth because he didn’t want to get involved. His statement was read into the court record on Thursday, Feb. 9, under a grant of immunity. The witness was
KCSM TV broadcasting license and assets to expand their mission, which is to promote cultural diversity, said Wade. If chosen, bidder Locus Point Networks, plans to take over KCSM-TV, said Bill deKay, company representative. Essentially, the network will maintain and allow KCSM-TV to run the way it is, programming and jobs conserved. “Our investment group will cover the losses,” said deKay. There is a spectrum beyond the FCC requirements for bandwidth
use that Locus Point Networks plans to tap into, said deKay. Locus Point Networks was founded by individuals who know the industry and have experience working in telecommunications for companies such AT&T. The company runs in “stealth mode,” said deKay. The network’s website provides very little information. It displays two emails as contact information and one sentence in the “about us” section. See “KCSM TV” on page 6
Nineties murder: trial goes to appelate court John Servatius The San Matean District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, reprising his role as prosecutor, was San Mateo County’s Chief Criminal Deputy during the first trial of former CSM student and recovering addict Mohammed Haroon Ali in 2001. Ali is accused of strangling Tracey Biletnikoff, daughter of Fred Biletnikoff, the Oakland Raiders’ Hall-of-Famer, on Feb., 15, 1999, dumping her body on the Canada College campus, and fleeing to Mexico. Selected Testimony
unavailable, according to Sheriff’s Det. Sgt. James Tanner. Sharif saw Ali at the Mohammed Khan’s San Mateo home on Feb. 15, 1999 at about 9 p.m. and again at 11 p.m. at the Crystal Springs Shopping Center, in San Mateo. Ali told Sharif that he had an accident with the victim in the Friendship Hall office; that Biletnikoff was behind him and he hit her with his hand. Sharif inquired where she was, to which Ali responded, “she’s here”. “I know him well, he’s scared, frightened,” Sharif said. That is when Ali asked for money.When Mohammed Haroon Ali
See “Court Case” on page 6
Page 2 •The SAN MATEAN
by Kenneth La
If there is an event that readers would like listed in Campus Briefs, please submit it to The San Matean at Bldg. 10, Room 180, or email@example.com, or call 5746330. Submissions should be typed neatly. Academy of Art University Campus Visit Tuesday, Feb. 21, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Building 10, Dining Area Menlo College Campus Visit Tuesday, Feb. 21, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Building 10, Dining Area Barcelona Study Abroad Information Meeting Tuesday, Feb. 21, 6 to 7:30 p.m. SMCCD District Office, Board Room Cal State East Bay Campus Visit Wednesday, Feb. 22, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Building 10, Dining Area Black History Month Workshop and Everything Connects Workshop Wednesday, Feb. 22, 11:10 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. Building 10, Room 194 San Francisco State University Campus Visit Thursday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Building 10, Room 340C Tax Preparation at CSM - VITA site Saturday, Feb. 25, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Building 14, Room 104 University of California Berkeley Campus Visit Monday, Feb. 27, 10:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Building 10, Room 340C Black History Month Karamu (Feast) Celebration Wednesday, Feb. 29, 11 to 1 p.m. Building 17, Room 112, Student Life Lounge Learning Center Grand Opening Reception Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Building 10, Room 220, Learning Center New and Returning Student Orientation and Advising Workshop Wednesday, Feb. 29, 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. Building 10, Room 191 Last day to apply for Spring 2012 A.A./A.S. Degree or Program Certificate Friday, March 2.
SPORTS CSM Baseball vs. College of Marin Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2 p.m. CSM Baseball Field CSM Softball vs. Siskiyous Friday, Feb. 24, 1 p.m. CSM Softball Field CSM Baseball vs. Feather River College Saturday, Feb. 25, 1 p.m. CSM Baseball Field CSM Softball vs. Fresno Saturday, Feb. 25, 2 p.m. CSM Softball Field Triathlon: Pre Season Burn Series Sunday, Feb. 26, 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. CSM Health & Wellness Building 05, Swimming Pool CSM Baseball vs. De Anza College Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2 p.m. CSM Baseball Field CSM Softball vs. Feather River Saturday, March 3, 12 p.m. CSM Softball Field
— Compiled by Kasia Pierog Correspondent for The San Matean
Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/TheSanMatean and www.twitter.com/SanMateanSports
Feb. 21, 2012
Veteran center opens
‘A place for veterans to connect’ Shaun Carmody The San Matean The much anticipated Veteran’s Resource Center opened Wednesday, Feb. 15 in Building 16 to a crowd of about 50 people. The center comes as a welcome addition to CSM and its veterans, many of whom are active in campus student government and club activities. “It’s awesome to have something devoted to us veterans,” said naval veteran and CSM student Waael Abuhijab, 28, “It shows support and appreciation for us.” Former CSM Veteran’s Programs Coordinator and current Canada College employee Mario Mihelcic played a major role in the center’s development and hosted a preview in the fall before the center’s official opening. “The idea was to create a place for veterans to connect with each other and receive services from on and off campus providers,” said Mihelcic. The center includes a study area, complete with multiple new model desktops and a printer, a lounge area, and a “Zen” room that is sound proof with a mattress for veterans who want to rest. On the wall hangs a flag flown at Forward Operating Base Justice, donated by a student veteran in 2009. In the back sits a table with a guest book for veterans to leave a message for any of their fallen comrades. “A (veteran’s) center of this size is the first of its kind,” said Marine veteran and CSM student James Howard, 28. “Some places just have a cubicle and a computer.” The center’s opening has been a long time coming due to campus constructing limiting the available space for the center, said Mihelcic. “It’s something we had thought about for a long time,” said Mihelcic, “Recently the State of California had been making a big push for veteran’s centers at colleges.” Mihelcic and other members of staff applied for a grant to open a veteran’s center, but did not receive a full grant, only a supplement which included training for working
Oct. 3, 2011
Photos by Greg Marshall of The San Matean
From top: US Military student veteran and Veteran’s Resource Center employee Shamariah Jointer, 29 attending the grand opening of the VROC. A crowd gathered at the ribbon-cutting ceremony reception. with veterans. “From there it started to build momentum,” said Mihelcic. The opening of the Veteran’s Resource Center comes just after major cuts have been made to the GI bill and left some veterans anxious about their future. “What I love about community colleges is that everyone is from a different background,” said CSM President Michael Claire, “and when we can identify a special needs group that needs help, es-
pecially our veterans who have sacrificed so much, and provide for them, it speaks volumes about our community here.” Anthony Petrini, 27, who is president of the Veteran’s Alliance Club, plans to use the clubs resources to help raise funds to maintain the center. “I want to pull together veterans on and off campus to help give back because so much has been given to us,” said Petrini. “It keeps up the cycle of helping the community.”
Campus Blotter Wednesday, Jan. 18 11 a.m. — A student was in parking lot 6B standing in a spot to hold it for his girlfriend. As he was waiting, a car pulled up to the spot and tried pulling in. The student alleged that when the driver of the car realized he was not moving they struck him with the car on the right knee. The student then displayed difficulty walking but did not want any medical attention. The case was turned over to the San Mateo Police Department because it was considered an injury collision. Tuesday, Jan. 24 10:50 a.m. — Bookstore employee found a new textbook sitting on an empty shelf with the “course access code” missing. The employee and security looked over the surveillance footage and saw a female student remove the code from the book and placed the code in her purse. She then set the textbook down on a shelf and walked away. Security found out when the course met and surveyed the class until the suspect was identified. The student admitted to the crime and was referred to the Vice President of Student Services. Tuesday, Jan. 31 2 p.m. — A citizen flagged down officers, and reported that someone was lying face down on a trail near Building 7. The officer approached the man and asked if he was OK. The man said he was lying on the trail looking up at the clouds and trying to calm down from a stressful morning. Tuesday, Jan. 31 3 p.m. — An officer was in Building 10 and heard shouting in the Bayview dining hall. The officer made contact with the student and realized that he was under the influence of alcohol. He agreed to leave campus, and was escorted to the bus stop. About 10 minutes later the student reappeared on campus and started another disturbance. San Mateo Police Department was called and they took him into custody for disruptive conduct and being intoxicated in public. This information was provided by John Wells, Chief of CSM Public Safety.
— Ariana Anderberg The San Matean
Feb. 21, 2012
The SAN MATEAN • Page 3
‘A life unfinished’ Jeffrey Gonzalez The San Matean Theodore Rankin, founding father of the CSM Administration of Justice Department, died on Jan. 1, 2012, at the age of 88. Described as the greatest friend in the world by some, a thinker ahead of his time by others, and a lover of life by all who knew him, the legacy of Mr. Rankin will be perpetuated, not only in the memories of his friends and family, but by the ripples he made in his community. Mr. Rankin was born on Oct. 28, 1924. And in his lifetime, Mr. Rankin became a decorated soldier, a top rank police officer, an accomplished artist, and a gold medal skier. Mr. Rankin grew up in San Francisco. At the age of 16, he managed to enlist in the Coast Guard. He was shipped off to the Pacific Theater of WWII where he saw combat at sea. While in Guadalcanal, his ship was sunken and he was forced to swim for two days until he managed to wash ashore on an abandoned island. He survived alone on the island for 89 days, eating nothing but what he found and the raw fish that he caught. “He never liked sushi after that,” said his wife, Lisa Pantaleoni. After his tour of duty in WWII, Mr. Rankin spent some time in the veteran’s hospital of Livermore, CA. There, he began to
paint in his free time. Painting memories of the Pacific, battleships and setting suns, and later on in his life, landscapes and seascapes, Mr. Rankin adopted painting as a lifelong hobby. It was even at his easel that he closed his eyes for the last time, said Pantaleoni. His paintings were donated to public institutions, hospitals, local restaurants and friends. When Mr. Rankin was returned from war, he became a policeman in Los Angeles during the ‘50s and ‘60s to earn money to put himself through school. He went on to receive a doctorate from USC in Public Administration. Mr. Rankin was involved in a 1966 shootout between organized crime members and the LAPD. He was shot in the exchange of bullets and was immediately retired from the line of duty. He was then assigned to teach in what was at the time a “revolutionary new concept” that would later become the police academy, and even later, Administration of Justice programs in California colleges, said Pantaleoni. In the 1970s, the only requirement to become a policeman was a high school diploma, said William Curley, current faculty of the CSM administration of justice department. Recruits were put into uniforms and sent to learn in the field. Mr. Rankin developed a Police Officer Standards of Training academy to be implemented at junior
colleges statewide. He standardized police training so that public education in law enforcement could be perpetuated, said Pantaleoni. “(The police academy) didn’t have the military set up it does today,” said Curley. Mr. Rankin’s teachings of policing methods were very much community oriented. He understood the importance of police presence and interaction with the community to bridge the gap between police officer and citizen, said Curley. The police academy, under Mr. Rankin, spawned police officers that are now lieutenants and managers of San Mateo County police departments, according to Pantaleoni. He retired from a faculty position at CSM in 1988. During his retirement, Mr. Rankin became an avid and adventurous traveler. He traveled to 50 countries in his life; he visited every continent in the world, said Pantaleoni. Not only would he go back to the seas where his warship was sunk, but he would also dive to the depths of the South Pacific to see the wreckage of Japanese ships and of his own campaign. He, along with his friends among the CSM faculty, would use his sailboat to venture to the Caribbean every year. Mr. Rankin was also a venerated skier, winning over 60 gold medals in his skiing career. He was even sent to ski in Europe with the U.S.
Photo courtesy of Lisa Pantaleoni
The WWII Coast Guard unit Theodore Rankin was a member of agreed to award a handsome bottle of alcohol to the “last man standing.” Mr. Rankin outlived the rest of his squad. members. senior ski team from Park City, Utah, in 1992 to represent the U.S. for the Olympic committee to consider the U.S. to host the Winter Olympics. Utah later went on to win the bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Mr. Rankin competed in many skiing contests around the world, and had to build a cabin to house all of his trophies and awards. “He conquered the tops of the
earth, the bottoms of the sea and everything in between...” said Pantaleoni. Mr. Rankin is survived by his wife of 40 years, Lisa Pantaleoni, and his son Daniel Francis Rankin, 62. “This was a life unfinished, a life well lived,” said Pantaleoni. “I was in the presence of greatness with this man.”
The search for new Earth
Barbara Martin The San Matean Daily, the quest for earth-sized planets in habitable zones, are closer and closer to a dream come true, which was an integral part of the “Hunt for Another Earth” lecture. “Earth size planets have become just as easy to find as grains of sand on the beach,” said Dr. Geoff Marcy, UC Berkeley professor, astrophysicist and exoplanet expert.
Approximately 400 members of the CSM Astronomy Club, consisting of students and guests gathered on a Friday night, Feb. 3 in the campus theatre to listen to Marcy. Marcy’s take-home message was to encourage students interested in the discovery of Earth-like planets to continue the search, as technology is allowing for acceleration of discovery of objects of interests. “Just look up and you will discover something each time, perhaps a constellation, double rainbow, or the moon in a different light,” said event organizer and tenured CSM instructor, Darryl Stanford. Discoveries are occurring so fre-
quently that an amateur astronomer recently emailed Marcy’s team to suggest that a recently categorized star, was in-fact wrongly categorized, and is actually a red dwarf. This minor suggestion from the amateur had huge implications. The planets orbiting the red dwarf are actually much smaller than originally calculated. In fact, the planets are smaller than our earth and are in a possibly habitable zone. Time Magazine featured Marcy 16 years ago, promoting Marcy as a star in his own right for his rare exploratory discoveries. Using the Kepler space-born telescope and the Keck ground-based telescope, Marcy’s team of astrophysicists have identified thousands of possible Earth-like planets in the last few years alone. The Kepler is in an orbit trailing earth around our sun, and the Keck is located in
Hawaii. Both can be operated remotely, from the Bay Area. Kepler has specifically focused on over 300 multiple planetary systems with up to six planets in orbit. Popularly known as the Goldilocks planet, of mild temperature, gaseousness and density, scientists are searching for a planet with perfect conditions that are suitable for intelligent life. Marcy specified that the greatest challenge is that “technology must have hard surfaces to develop, thus a water-world planet could not suffice for intelligent life,” said Marcy. Once an object of interest is identified, to learn what the planet is made of, “the gravitational pull on a host star by a planet can be measured, just like the force caused by pulling on the leash of a dog,” said Marcy. Recent announcements by the Obama Administration have dis-
Photo courtesy of http://astro.berkeley.edu/~gmarcy/
UC Berkley professor Geoff Marcy
closed cuts to the NASA AMES budget. The cuts can actually be seen in a positive light as it will drive funds historically earmarked for manned space missions, towards more time and money on planetary probes, added Stanford.
Colleges and students interact Carlos Mesquita The San Matean The 2012 Transfer Pathway Fair, featuring colleges from around the globe was hosted Feb. 7 in the Building 10 dining area. Students were able to meet oneon-one with representatives from 30 to 40 public, private, and international colleges and universities. The Transfer Pathway Fair assisted students by providing personal interaction with representatives from an array of college institutions, said International Ed Development and Recruitment Coordinator Diane
Arguijo. “What we try to do with the Transfer Fair is to provide students with specific information regarding transferring requirements for various universities from public, privates, and as well internationals such as the University of Limerick in Ireland,” said Arguijo. With representatives from different colleges stationed at the tables, students were able to get a feel of each university’s personality. “It is always nice to put a face to the university and have someone you can ask questions regarding the university,” said Christina
Solomon Outreach Representative from San Francisco Academy of Art University. Students are also able to obtain information interactively regarding university programs at the transfer event. “It is extremely helpful. Students can have access to information that comes direct from the university source,” said San Jose State University representative Patricia Gutierrez. Representatives from international universities and study abroad programs also tabled the event. “We, the University of Limer-
Photo by Ariana Anderberg of The San Matean
Students browse and interact with the selection of university representatives.
ick in Ireland, are making a more proactive approach to recruit international students,” said Christine Flanagan, representative for the University of Limerick in Ireland. The turnout of student attendees at the Transfer Pathway Fair, as
it provided insight and in-depth information regarding transferring services. “It helps CSM students with various questions regarding transferring issues” said Jameel Sumraa, 20, advertising major.
Page 4 • The SAN MATEAN
Feb. 21, 2012
Syrian students reflect on turmoil Barbara Martin The San Matean A shift in activism has been made globally in recent months, from bold students to outright government coups, affecting those in the Middle East, and their American relatives, such as students of the district. The Bush Administration declared “Mission Accomplished,” on May 1, 2003. The U.S. involvement in major combat in Iraq had concluded. Yet, more deaths have occurred post celebration than during the acknowledged combat phase, leading many to question the actual status of the ensuing occupation. Occupation is the keyword as the protests have accelerated like tidal waves around the globe, including nearby Oakland and San Francisco. The Bay Area has hosted Occupy Protests, including the fall 2011
protests at CSM and the riots in Oakland. The Arab Spring turbulent eruptions were initiated in Tunisia on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010. Rallies, marches, demonstrations, union strikes, have led to civilian casualties and government overthrows. The process has ignited both militias and international intervention on the grounds of human rights issues, call for political reform, religious differences and economic disasters. Citizens are gaining momentum with civil unrests in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and most prominently in the news as of late, Syria. Local travel agent and husband of CSM’s EOPS employee Nahedh Kadoumi, Imad Kadoumi is a Syrian native. “Mar.15, 2011 marked the Syrian Uprising and as they approach
the one year anniversary,” said Kadoumi. “The necessity for international aid and United States intervention is becoming paramount.” Sammy Soufi, 22, Skyline stu-
The specified demands were the repeal of the Plan Ahead Pay Ahead Program, the protection of the child development Centers at Skyline, the return of full funding to Student Services and Disabled Student Programs and Services, and
also benefit the faculty members. “It’s about respecting the faculty and trying to get them a fair contract,” said Snyder. “We were at the teachers’ union meeting last week and everyone seemed very supporting,” said Snyder. A total of six professors attended the meeting, but Snyder said the number is not indicative of the total amount of faculty members in support of the action. The campaign’s goal is for all three district schools to be a part of the walkout. The Occupy CSM group plans to talk to students and get their input in order to form demands and to grasp the interest of more students. “This is meaningful to me because I want to see change, I want to make a difference, and I’m not afraid to stand up for myself,” said Tricia Gardner, 22, another student from CSM. Gardner is also the vice president of the Save The Garden club. “I think it’s sad that so many people ignore activism or put it down, even though they complain everyday about something,” she said.
“The price for freedom is too high and the sanctions unbearable, there is no going back.” -Imad Kadoumi dent, has a father in Syria who is currently experiencing the tension. In the light of the recent Syrian massacres publicized internationally, Soufi discussed economic sanctions and communication disconnects. “The western influence of divide and conquer has created a rift between what would be a local challenge to international declarations
Walk-out for budget cuts: ‘Education is a human right’ Manuel Orbegozo The San Matean A concerned faculty meeting addressing the planning of the District-Wide Walkout was held at Skyline College on Wednesday, Feb. 15. The Occupy CSM group scheduled a walkout to take place outside of the District building across campus on March 1. This meeting addressed topics such as the planning of the rally, times, logistics, public speakers, publicizing and sorting out demands. Twenty students from CSM as well as Skyline faculty members attended the meeting. “We understand that several cuts are happening to social services here in California and we operate on the principle that education is a human right,” said Míchéal Madden, 20, a Skyline history major student. Madden is also a member of the Skyline Against The Cuts group which focus is directed against budget cuts. The original list of demands had eleven demands, eventually shortened to four demands.
Photo by Alexis Mayadag of The San Matean
the lowering of campus food prices. “We have to take into account how important these issues are and how the demands are going to mobilize people,” said Madden. The district wide walkout will
of war,” said Soufi. Soufi additionally noted the “correlation between the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement stating the same principal of revolution is being implemented from the Arab Nations to Wall Street, animosity is bubbling”. Social media has played a major role to raise awareness, rally support and keep communication channels open. As aggression increases, so does censorship. Making communication with family members is limited in oppressed nations. In Aug. of 2011, BART riders experienced deliberate government communication intervention as cell service was blocked to prevent protest organizers relaying messages to participants. A Canadian activist group “was inspired by the Arab Spring, specifi-
cally the Tahrir Square incident in Egypt,” said Soufi. According to the Associated Press, the Occupy Movement primarily depicting economic and social discontent, is predominately known as a peaceful movement in over 80 countries. As the thread unravels, the unemployment numbers continue to rise, families are losing their homes, retirement accounts have vanished, income inequalities become more evident. “For those people struggling to survive through the Arab uprisings, where freedom is nonexistent and security has dissipated,” said Kadoumi. “The price for freedom is too high and the sanctions unbearable, there is no going back. The dream of the Middle East is now more than ever to immigrate to the US,” said Kadoumi.
Photo by David Sharpe of The San Matean
Value for Valentine’s
Student Katie Mclalan styles Jacki Yahn’s hair for free during cosmetology’s Valentine’s Day services for the CSM community.
In the Mix By Monica Airo and Yasmine Mahmoud
Is Valentine’s Day taken too seriously?
Melanie Chua, 18 Biology, Daly City
Salim Hanhan, 19 Software Eng, S. San Francisco
Portia Freed, 16 Fine Art/Music, Millbrae
Eric LoPrete, 21 Psychobiology, San Carlos
Kelly, 20 Biology, San Francisco
“I don’t think it’s taken too seriously because it’s just a day where you express love.”
“Valentine’s Day is awesome.”
“Not at this school in particular... the schools I’ve been to in the past people really dressed up.”
“I don’t think it’s taken too far. The way it is now you can take what you want from it.”
“I definitely think it is; I saw someone crying because she didn’t have a date.”
Feb. 21, 2012
The SAN MATEAN • Page 5
Art professor’s work ‘breathtaking’ Erasmo Martinez The San Matean An art gallery opening at the John Pence Gallery in San Francisco displayed professor Noah Buchanan’s paintings on Friday, Feb. 10. Residents of San Francisco, family members, and students from CSM and Skyline left no painting from Buchanan overlooked the night of the opening. Buchanan’s art interested many with his ingenuous portrayal of the human body and inanimate objects. The oil paintings and drawings in the gallery are recent works created by Buchanan. Although his art has been displayed in the gallery before, this exhibition, continuing now through Mar. 10, will be the first featuring Buchanan solo. “He’s been a member of our stable for nine years,” said John
milestone” for his career, said Buchanan. “Mainly my inspiration comes from the subject of the human fig-
ure,” he said. “(I depict) the human body as a vehicle which struggles with the human condition.” Many describe his artwork as classical, traditional and contemporary realism, said Buchanan. These words accurately describe Buchanan’s art style. The painting, titled “Voi Che Sapete,” shows pears spread across a piece of paper with musical notes written on it. A piece of string attached to one pear’s stem joins the image as well. Buchanan’s painting “MidWinter’s Dream” was described as his most difficult painting. “Mid-Winter’s Dream” portray s the back of a nude women reclining behind darkness. The painting required several layers to complete,” he said. A variety of other paintings were included. Some paintings showed
doorways with flowers. Others depicted human faces. A majority of the gallery had paintings of the human body drawn in several angles. Raeven Fernandez, 19, a student at Skyline described the art work as “breathtaking.” “I think the pieces are marvelous and eccentric,” he said. “I like the work,” said Skyline student Daniel Sandavol, 20. “Not many emotions evoked (in me), but overall it’s good.” Buchanan received his masters at the New York Academy of Art. He has completed a shrine commission for the church Our Lady of Guadalupe. One of his paintings can be seen in the book “Star Wars: Visions.” Buchanan is teaching lifedrawing classes at CSM and Skyline College.
to submit any form of art pertaining to African-American culture. The groups also organized a reading and interpretation of Langston Hughes’ famous poem “My People” and the Everything Connects workshop, which facilitates dialogue between the community. The events were designed to be upbeat and to display some of the finest arts and bring out the richness of the African and AfricanAmerican culture. Students of the Child Development Center screamed and
jumped as Langston Hughes’ poem was acted out by Krystal Romero, BSU adviser and director of student services. “It’s a time to highlight a culture that has given so much to America, and also to show how African culture really does have an influence on African American culture,” said Romero. BSU worked to increase awareness and knowledge about the African-American culture and what achievements they have made throughout history.
“We were involved in so much, and so much of our history that hasn’t been taught that a lot of students and generations don’t know about and need to become a aware of,” said BSU president Damon Johnson. The groups arranged to end the month long celebrations with a Karamu ceremony, where students will be provided with refreshments and the winner of the Art in Any Form contest will be announced by former Director of EOPS Danita Scott-Taylor.
Photo by Erasmo Martinez of The San Matean
Student Charlie Halon observes a drawing by Noah Buchanan. Pence, owner of the gallery. “This is the first time he got a group of work together.” His first solo show was a “big
African American heritage celebrated Dom Ellis The San Matean The Black Student Union is commemorating Black History month with several events celebrating African American heritage taking place throughout February. The BSU, ASCSM, Diversity in Action Group, the Multicultural Center and the campus bookstore came together to plan events such as the “Any Form of Art” contest, in which students are encouraged
Photo by Dom Ellis of The San Matean
Krystal Romero, BSU adviser reads as one of the presenters at the Child Development Center.
Cañada College offers new degree program Monica Airo The San Matean Cañada is partnering with National University to help students get their bachelors in Allied Studies. Cañada College is adding another Bachelor degree program to the list of already established fouryear programs offered through the University Center at Cañada. The program is a Bachelors of Science in Allied Health Studies and is in partnership with National University in Santa Clara. Allied Health encompasses many different disciplines within the health field yet this program primarily focuses on research and management. “The program would give stu-
dents within the community college district an opportunity to get a four year college degree,” said Lucy Carter, Director of the University Center. Students who are interested in pursuing a career in Lucy Carter health can take instructional courses at Cañada and/or online courses with National University Professors. “Students can go straight from an associates degree to a bachelors degree without having to change their commute or adjust to a new campus,” said Carter.
The benefits for starting in this program would be that a students can continue to take classes at a school they are already accustomed to without having to find new ways to commute to another campus, she said. Student courses taken at the community college level can transfer into this program. Community college students also get a 10 percent discount on units taken within the Allied Health program at National. National University charges $316 per unit. This would be less than comparative private universities within the area that range anywhere from $400 to $900 per unit. Our goal in the University center is to help community college students receive a 4 year college
education, said Carter. These types of programs partner up with colleges from this area to give an opportunity to students that may be first generation college bound students, students in financial need, or students with difficulties finding transportation, she said. Students that have work commitments only allowing for them to take classes at certain hours of the day can take advantage of night classes supplemented with online coursework. “It is the next step in their career ladder,” said Carter. “This provides an alternative to the nursing program.” Jane Macater, Director of the Nursing Program at CSM has been in communication with Ca-
ñada. “It is difficult to offer an opinion at this time as the program is new and I don’t know whether or not employers would be interested in students holding this type of degree as opposed to a nursing degree,” said Macater. If students are looking to get into nursing, she highly recommends applying for the nursing program, she said. “It sounds like a great opportunity for our students,” said Raymond Hernandez, Interim Dean of Science, Math, and Technology at Skyline College, who recently heard about the program and is looking into it. The BS in Allied Health is in
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Continued from Page 1 Sharif suggested they go in and talk to Khan, Ali said, “I don’t want to go to jail.” Ali and Sharif then went to the bank and “where everything happened.,” Where the murder took place. They parked on the side of Friendship Hall. “I don’t want to know about what happened,” Sharif said. They went into the office to check for money, for his escape to Mexico.“It’s not here,” Ali said in reference to the money. Sharif did not see Biletnikoff’s body, and they both left the facility for the Bank of America branch on Third Avenue in San Mateo. Sharif withdrew $100 from a ATM machine and then returned to the Khan home. Sharif again suggested that they discuss the accident with Khan. “I did not ask (Ali) what he was going to do,” Sharif said. “I was trying to get him to go to my other aunt’s house (in San Leandro). I was trying to get him to go to somebody.” “I went into the house and agreed to meet (Ali) at Safeway in the Crystal Springs Shopping Center when I went to work (at 11 p.m.) My purpose was not to get involved,” Sharif said. He went to Safeway, waited for Ali, and when he arrived, spoke to him car-to-van. Sharif followed Ali as he dropped off the van, and then went to the Third Avenue Bank of America branch where Sharif withdrew another $60 from the ATM. Ali was now in Biletnikoff’s car, “scared and sad,” according to Sharif. “I dropped him off by Tracey’s car at Friendship Hall,” Sharif said. “I thought we would drive to San Leandro together. When you open the door and start car, obviously he has a key.” Sharif followed Ali to San Leandro. “That was an advantage (taking two cars.)” Upon arrival at their aunts’ apartment on 143rd Street, Ali went inside, while Sharif waited in the driveway. He eventually went in. All of the adults, Roshanara and Rauzana Begum, their husbands Satish Prasad and Anub Kumar made plans to go to Khan’s home in San Mateo together with Ali. Plans changed when the families found that Ali was gone. The four instead went to Sharif’s sister’s home in South San Francisco to inform her. Before leaving for his aunt
Yazmeena Sharif’s home in South San Francisco, Atik Sharif gave Ali $140, keeping $20 for himself. Atik Sharif was asleep, and did not hear his San Leandro relatives arrive. Sharif visited Ali in jail after his arrest, but did not discuss his testimony.“But, that’s my family. I was kind of dragged into it,” he said. Victim found Sheriff’s Det. Doug Steiner (retired) was the lead investigator assigned to a murder case with an unidentified victim on Feb. 15, 1999. He and Sgt. James Tanner went to Cañada College Tracey Parking Biletnikoff Lot 3. They repelled down to the body on a rope attached to the push bumper of a Sheriff’s car, and took Polaroid photos to help their memory and to document the steps involved. They did not move the body, saw the jeans at the scene, but did not touch them. Both detectives stayed at the scene from 8 to 11 a.m. to coordinate the actions of the police department crime lab and the San Mateo Police Department. SMPD had received a call about Biletnikoff, and that she might be the deceased. Det. Doug McCool of the South San Francisco Police Department interviewed Atik Sharif, who gave an official statement and named Ali as the defendant. Steiner also said that a Be On The Look Out arrest warrant and vehicle track fliers had been issued to various law enforcement agencies throughout the state. A BOLO and track fliers indicate a homicide. Law enforcement did not know where the defendant was, but family members said that he may have gone to Mexico.Authorities were notified that Ali was in custody at 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 16 at the Mexican border. The following day, Steiner and Tanner flew to San Diego. The victim’s Chevy Nova had been towed to the Stolen Vehicle Task Force lot in East Palo Alto, and its contents inventoried. Steiner and Tanner were at the San Diego County Jail on Feb. 17 and caravanned to the sheriff’s homicide unit with Ali. From 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. the detectives interviewed the defendant. “He was straight forward; some questions were met with silence,”
Continued from Page 1 very little information. It displays two emails as contact info rmation and one sentence in the “about us” section. Locus Point Networks chooses to not reveal the non-commercial stations it owns around the country for
Continued from Page 5 tion and is seeking students to start its first cohort. Carter has been in communication with students from the area who have already received their Health Science AA degrees from Cañada to fill the spots. This program is can start any time of the semester as long as there is a cohort of about 13 students, said Carter. Alternative seekers of a nursing degree, those who are already
competitive reasons, added deKay. In the coming months, the district will be meeting with bidders to review and assess the bids the companies made. The finalists among the offers will be presented to the board of trustees at the April 24 meeting. pursuing an AA degree in Allied Studies, or those who already work in assisting health professionals can obtain a BS in Allied Health studies at National University. “We want students who are pursuing their AA degree to consider getting a Bachelors,” said Dr. Patric Schiltz, Lead Faculty in the Allied Health Program at National University. “This program opens the door to graduate studies.”
Steiner said. “The defendant never acknowledged involvement in the victim’s death. A fact-finding mission established a time line where the defendant was, particularly before the murder, starting with Feb. 12, Friday,” he said. The defendant said Tracey Biletnikoff was his girlfriend throughout the interview and that he was not seeing another woman. On his trip to Mexico, Ali took Highway 880 to 101 South to the Los Angeles area. The gas gage malfunctioned and he had to stop for fuel every 150 miles. The defendant stopped in Oceanside, hoping to contact Biletnikoff’s friends, but that did not happen. Ali crossed the border at Tijuana, walked on Revolution Street, then went to Mexicali. He became increasingly unhappy because he did not speak Spanish, said Steiner. He bought a bus ticket to Mexico City, but decided not to go and got a refund. He went back to Tijuana, and decided that Mexico was not for him because of the language barrier, said Steiner. Customs flagged him down at San Ysidro. Ali thought he was being arrested for a probation violation. “It’s all a mistake,” he told officers. He said he never used drugs or alcohol in Mexico. Up to that point, the interview with Steiner and Tanner had been casual. It would later become more aggressive and accusatory. Steiner showed Ali a photo of the victim’s ankle tattoo taken at the morgue. He accused the defendant of lying about his involvement in the victim’s death.
The detective told Ali that his nephew, Sharif, had given the defendant $140. Ali said Sharif was lying. Steiner told Ali that detectives had taken a statement from Mohammed Khan stating that Tracey Biletnikoff’s body had been dumped at Cañada College. The defendant said that Khan was lying. The detective showed Ali a Polaroid photo of the victim. The defendant was silent. Eventually, he said the victim never hit him. “We made efforts to appeal to his heart, soul, but the approach did not work. Silence,” said Steiner. The defendant was more responsive to questions not related to murder. He denied involvement and said his family was lying. “We had exhausted our efforts for the day,” Steiner said. The trial continues Tuesday, Feb. 21 in Courtroom 8A, 400 Government Center, Redwood City. Background Tracey Biletnikoff and Mohammed Haroon Ali were CSM students and boyfriend-girlfriend in the late 1990s. They met in their respective drug treatment programs; she at the Womens’ Recovery Program and he with Project 90, and both were peer counselors. Monday, Feb. 15, 1999 was a fateful day for the lovers: Biletnikoff would die at Ali’s hand — strangled manually and with a ligature, a knotted T-shirt, and dumped below a parking lot on the Cañada College campus. The fight over the victim’s car keys had occurred in the offices of Friendship Hall, the P-90 facility in downtown San Mateo. Ali had relapsed into drug use
Feb. 21, 2012
with two friends in a crack-fueled odyssey from Redwood City to San Francisco’s Double Rock area in Hunters’ Point, and back, the previous weekend.He was on probation for the 1995 kidnapping at knifepoint of a former girlfriend and faced nine years in prison. Ali also had an appointment with his probation officer the following Tues., Feb. 17, and would undoubtedly be “bottled,” – tested for drugs. A Fijian immigrant, he was subject to deportation, and was desperate to escape using Biletnikoff’s car. She refused, insisting that he return to treatment. That’s when the argument turned deadly. The murder is estimated to have taken place between 8 and 8:50 p.m. by county criminalists. A Narcotics Anonymous meeting was in session in a room adjacent to the crime scene at the time. Ali stopped briefly at his uncle’s San Mateo home, and then proceeded to San Leandro to other relatives before leaving their apartment abruptly and escaping to Mexico. He was arrested returning to the U.S. at San Ysidro on Feb. 16, 1999. He was tried, convicted of firstdegree murder and sentenced to a minimum of 64 years to life on Aug. 11, 2001. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco threw out the conviction on July 7, 2009 because at least one AfricanAmerican had been left off the jury for reasons of racial discrimination. The defendant should be released or retried, the court said. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court’s decision Mar. 29, 2010 and refused to intervene.
Feb. 21, 2012
The SAN MATEAN • Page 7
Bulldogs lose to Sacramento City Shaun Carmody The San Matean Small ball doomed the CSM Bulldog baseball team Saturday at home, as Sacramento City College won the afternoon contest 7-4. The Bulldogs (5-4) dropped both games against the Panthers (4-4) this week, their first home and away series of the season after seven games against seven different non-conference opponents. CSM pitching ace Clay Bauer went 4 innings, walked 4, and gave up 5 runs despite giving up just 2 hits. The only real blemish in Bauer’s game was a 4 run second inning, where he gave up a bases-loaded 2 RBI double and 2 runs off of a two fielders’ choices. “(Sacramento) didn’t hit the ball all that hard,” said Head
Coach Doug Williams, “They put together a couple of runs off of free bases.” “The walks were what killed it,” said Bauer, “It’s easier for them to score when I put runners on.” Sacramento’s Davont Poole was CSM’s biggest thorn in their side, going 2 to 3, with 2 RBI, 2 stolen bases, a walk, and 2 runs scored. “(Sacramento) did a good job of taking pitches,” said Bauer, “I didn’t have my A game so they took advantage.” The Bulldog offense was effectively shut down until the eighth and ninth innings where they finally showed some spark with the bat. Utility player Logan Trowbridge doubled home a couple with the bases loaded, to lessen the deficit to 7-3. In the ninth, Bo
Walter drove in one on a sac fly on the game’s final run of the game. “We need to swing the bat better,” said Williams, “We’re in a bit of a funk right now, and when that happens we need to compete better, which we did today.” Both southpaw Daniel Madigan and Ryan Wood combined for 5 innings of solid relief for CSM, striking out 4, walking 5, giving up 4 hits and two runs. The games only homer was a Patrick Armstrong longball to right for Sacramento in the top of the fifth. Sacramento pitchers walked three and hit three batters, striking out 3 and surrendering 4 runs off of 5 hits. No Bulldog collected more than one hit, individually, however. CSM continues non-conference play until Feb. 28 when they face DeAnza at home.
“(Skyline) was switching everything up defensively in the first half,” said CSM head coach Michelle Warner, “(In the second half) we started learning and adjusting the timing on the rotation and the press.” Fung hit a crucial bucket-and-afoul with 6:58 left in the second half to extend CSM’s slim lead to 39-32 and the Lady Bulldogs never looked back. Just over a minute later shooting guard Nikki McDonald added her own bucketand-a-foul which gave CSM their first double digit lead of the game at 43-33.
“It was a matter of us waking up and wanting it more,” said CSM Forward Hannan Salah, “We started out slow, but we definitely adjusted in the second half.” Vanessa Castillo added two threes in the final five minutes of the game to seal the lead. CSM also stayed out of foul trouble, which had been a recent struggle for the Lady Bulldogs with crucial players fouling out in games against tough opponents. On Wednesday, not a single player fouled out. “We definitely played more disciplined,” said Warner, “Usually
Photo by Shaun Carmody of The San Matean
Davon Poole of Sacramento City scoring against Jarrett Costa.
‘More disciplined’ ‘Dogs defeat Skyline Shaun Carmody The San Matean The Sophomore night bouquets were well-earned for the CSM’s women’s basketball team Wednesday night as the Lady Bulldogs defeated Skyline College 56-40 at home in the 20112012 regular season finale. Shooting guard Kimmie Fung led the team in scoring with 19 points, (14 in the second half) and hit several crucial shots in a bounce-back second half that saw CSM outscore Skyline 35-18 after trailing 22-21 at halftime.
Softball hits a dud Despite a brilliant performance by starting pitcher Michele Pilster, the CSM softball team suffered their first loss of the season to San Joaquin Delta College at home Tuesday, Feb. 14, 1-0. The Bulldog offense outhit powerhouse Delta College 5-2, but failed to collect a run. Pilster collected ten strikeouts in a complete game two-hitter, giving up the game’s only run on an RBI grounder that skipped through the legs of first baseman Vika Kafoa into right field. “Delta was second in state last Nicole Borg year,” said Pilster, “tough losses like this help us prepare for tougher in-state competition.” The closest CSM came to scoring was in the fourth inning. After two consecutive bunt singles by Selina Rodriguez and Jamie Navarro and a wild pitch, Lindsay Handy approached the plate with runners on second and third with no outs. Handy attempted a third consecutive drag bunt but Rodriguez was thrown out at the plate. This would be the last time CSM reached scoring position. “We watched too many good pitches,” said CSM head coach Nicole Borg, “Delta is always a tough opponent, but hopefully our approach changes in situations like these.” Prior to Tuesday’s afternoon game against Delta, the normally offensively potent CSM had averaged nearly nine runs per game, collectively outscoring their opponents 78-24 in their previous nine games, reaching the mercy rule twice. In light of the offensive struggles, Borg praised the defensive play of her team. “I thought we were fantastic in the field,” said Borg, “We turned some pretty nice plays.” The loss leaves Pilister, a freshman out of Cappuchino High School, with a 4-1 record on the young season. CSM still has 10 more non-conference games before beginning Coast-North play at home on Feb. 28, against Foothill. — Shaun Carmody The San Matean
Skyline goes to the line 25 times at least, so it was something we worked on all week in practice.” “It was us being really conscious and aware to not foul out because we needed everyone,” said Salah. Post play for the Lady Bulldogs was bolstered significantly by the more frequent presence of 6-foot center Sarah Balling, whose service had been limited by a sprained ankle for the past two weeks. “Having her size helped us out a lot,” said Warner, “We don’t have a big Dwight Howard in there to
rebound everything.” Wednesday night’s contest was also the last regular season home game for sophomores Balling, Salah, McDonald, Castillo, Chesca Roth, Clarissa Mendoza, Jenna David, Kimmie Fung, and Jenna Piccolotti. “I told them before the game that the best present is a win,” said Warner. CSM will find out Monday what seed they will be in the California Community College Athletic Association playoffs, where they will likely host an opening round game Feb. 24 or 25.
Opinion & Public Forum Editorial
Feb. 21, 2012
Last semester an editorial entitled “Respect the Press” appeared in The San Matean. The main premise was that it was abhorrent and counter productive for Occupy Oakland protesters to treat journalists as hostile as had been reported (One TV reporter was reportedly bitten by an Occupier’s dog and others verbally harassed constantly). Now, it seems the disrespect-the-press-bug has spread to the policemen of America. Several instances of unlawful arrests of members of the press, identified clearly by press credentials, have been reported and these same reporters have also been reported to have been subject to mistreatment at the hands of law enforcement while in custody. In a drop, rivaled only by the popularity of Milli Vanilli and Myspace, the United States has now fallen 27 places in the Press Freedom Index (to forty-seventh), a list compiled by free speech-advocates Reporters Without Borders. The drop was directly attributed to the arrests of journalists at ‘Occupy’ protests on RWB’s website. Several outlets, from small time leftist publications to mainstream local TV outlets, have reported police misconduct and excessive force. One journalist, Susan Hagle of Mother Jones, was arrested twice while wearing an official press credential. Police maltreatment of reporters strikes a harsher chord because the police abuse the authority bestowed upon them by the public trust in order to jail them. This is patently draconian, authoritarian, and unconstitutional. As stated in “Respect the Press,” a journalist’s chief duty is to inform the public trust. When any group uses force to silence journalists it is also an attack on the public’s right to be informed. An attack on the public’s right to be informed to should not go unpunished or unnoticed.
The SAN MATEAN • Page 8
Back Talk by Erasmo Martinez and Greg Marshall
Do you consider rank when choosing universities?
Angeli Gomez, 18 Undecided, San Pablo
Eric Cura, 19 Music Production, San Mateo
Hatice Vural, 20 Biology, Turkey
“No, it doesn’t really. It depends on the teacher and college itself.”
“Not in paticular; I haven’t given much thought in it yet.”
“Yes. We have the biggest gap between rich and poor.”
Joel Vazquez, 19 Dentistry, San Mateo
Serena Li, 20 Accounting, China
Veronica Perrault, 21 Fine Art, Fairfield
“I could care less.”
“Yes, because I have to work hard. There are other students to compete with.”
“Doesn’t really matter to the system, but it does to me.”
Letter to the Editor ‘Insufficient’ enforcement I love arriving at school here at CSM everyday. I smell the scent of eucalyptus and evergreen trees, I see lush green forest and, on a clear day, the blue bay with three gorgeous bridges. On a really good day I might even get to breathe air uncontaminated by invasive second hand cigarette smoke. Those days are few. Clearly, CSM’s no smoking policy is insufficient. SF Gate reported this past week that, over the next two years, University of California is banning smoking anywhere on all campuses: “Students and staff alike will be prohibited from smoking anywhere on a UC campus - including outdoor spaces, parking lots and private residences. There won’t be any designated smoking areas.” I fervently hope College of San Mateo will follow suit, and I wonder what we might do to hasten an update of our no-smoking policy……What do you think? –– Joy Marcus, CSM student
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Spin Cycle Spending love or money?
If you are single, you hate it. If you are in a relationship, it’s not so bad. Valentine’s Day has become society’s inside joke. It makes those who are a part of it laugh and those who are not feel like the world is whispering and laughing at them. In elementary school, Valentine’s Day was a “lovely” time when we all got free candy from our friends because the school forced them to show they cared about us. In middle-school it was the day you let someone know you “like-liked” them. In high school, it was your annual opportunity for your popularity to skyrocket. But in college, just as it will be in the real world, Valentine’s Day has separated us into two camps, the Lovers and the Haters. The Lovers are the people who actually have a special someone or a date for Valentine’s Day. If you fall asleep on Feb. 13 looking forward to the next day, you are probably a Lover and you have no complaints about Valentine’s Day. Haters do nothing but complain about every aspect of Valentine’s Day. They spew out the same boring arguments every year as if they were hip and original. It’s become a commercialized holiday created by the Hallmark company. Yes. Of course it has. We live in a capitalist society, everything is commercialized.Why should Valentine’s Day be the only day people show how much they care? It shouldn’t. You should always show you care about someone, no matter what time of the year. But if you are in a relationship where your lover makes you feel like Valentine’s Day is the only day it’s necessary to show love, you should think about putting in your two weeks notice. Valentine’s Day is a fun, light way to express any feelings you have for another; it’s not a definition of your relationship or love life. It’s expensive and unnecessary spending! Correction. Buying Ty beanie babies was unnecessary spending. And how much didn’t America spend on that? Everything is unnecessary spending, unless you’re buying food and water. No, Valentine’s Day paraphernalia such as flowers, chocolates, balloons, are more of a temporary investment. Face it, a nice dinner for two these days takes an average $50 withdrawal from your savings. Sometimes it’s just easier to bite your lip and get the $5 chocolate rose. Valentine’s Day can be a blast. Be original; have fun with it. You do not have to conform to the Hallmark routine. He’s not a fan of fancy dinners? Order him a pizza. She’s a smoker? Get her Febreeze instead of perfume. No one is forcing us to buy anything. It is up to you to get creative and personalize the day next year. —Jeffrey Gonzalez The San Matean
Published on Feb 22, 2012