Q NAME CHANGE Is it right or is it wrong? OPINION / PAGE 3
Covering the San Diego City College community since 1945
Volume 63, Number 2
September 9, 2008
Teachers union calls district out over staff cutbacks David McAtee City Times A district-wide conflict erupted this week as allegations broke that the San Diego Community College District has been reorganizing non-faculty in order to terminate hourly employees since mid August. According to the American Federation of Teachers’ Local 1931 President Jim Mahler, a memo outlining district hiring guidelines that violate the Education Code was sent to all district managers and supervisors. The memo, sent Aug. 14, misstates the requirements for “short-term” employees and allows for a situation where a person employed in two consecutive years could be exempt from the classified service and therefore eligible for termination, according to the union. Mahler responded to the memo, sent by district President of Human Resources Kim Myer, on Aug. 26 and outlined the alleged violations in full. In addition to confronting a misstatement outlining hourly employee hiring practices, the response addressed the problem of replacing formerly classified employees with those enrolled in a work experience program, which compensates workers with academic credit, not wage. Classified employees are defined as any hired employees that are not faculty. They perform a number of services on campuses around the district such as secretarial work, technical work and support services. The American Federation of Teachers protects classified employees’ legal rights,
such as collective bargaining agreements, vacation time and sick time. Over the last 50 years, according to Mahler, the district has inappropriately employed hourly employees and, when notified of the AFT’s awareness of the district’s hiring practices, put together a quick-fix solution that has caused more confusion and damage in its wake. The district had not responded as of press time but according to City College President Terrence Burgess, no employees at City College have been terminated. “We’re dealing with this on a case by case basis, and the idea is to keep [temporary hourly employees] employed until we get this all resolved,” Burgess said in an interview. Burgess said the district is in the process of reviewing its hiring practices and stretching the definition of what is considered “continuous work”. As continuous work cannot be assigned to a temporary employee, this stretching will change the employment assignment of short term employees. “We need to create classified positions to accommodate hourly employees that are working on a continuous basis, year round,” he said. The AFT is still worried about the impact between now and the resolution. “As an example of the scope of this,” Mahler said in an interview, “the AFT represents all of the contract staff of the district. There are 700 of those contracted staff members at the moment, but there are over 1,000 hourly staff. That’s how many are at risk.”
Carlos Maia City Times
Faculty piece blends Mayan myths and String Theory Marcela Villasenor stands under her sculpture entitled Mayan Wormhole II at the Sadville Theatre. Villasenor’s conceptual sculpture installation correlates the Mayan calendar and String Theory, with the sand rings on the ground represent different layers of the universe. For more information, visit www.sdcity.edu/savilletheater/
See DISTRICT, page 4
The F word: Student group’s name stirs controversy Nailah Edmondson City Times Shimmery glitter-covered posters with the phrase “the F.A.G.S. are back” have caused a heated topic of discussion amongst City College staff and administration. “If the campus is making a big deal, perhaps it is due to the controversy caused by restrictions of
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our freedom of speech,” President Jason Frye-Kolarik said, “and the fact that someone actually made them think outside the box for 2 seconds.” Last spring semester the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Student Union opted for a name change, now known as the Fellowship of Associated Gay students. Frye-Kolarik. The president of
both City and Mesa’s FAGS introduced the name change to his fellow members during the past spring semester. “By a show of hands we went from alphabet soup to FAGS and experienced some difficulty from upstairs,” Frye-Kolarik said. “After a wonderful meeting with Gerald Ramsey later in the semester we received approval and yet
Take Note Q STREET SCENE Adjacent to Petco Park. Sept. 9th & 20th WWW.STREET-SCENE.COM
again we are having trouble.” What does “the F.A.G.S. are back” mean? “We use humor to attract attention and for the enjoyment of our audience,” the president said there is no ulterior motive in letting people know “the F.A.G.S. are back”. The outcome of the situation is now in the hands of City College’s
Compliance Officer Mary Cole. At this time the club is entitled to keep the name. The question is how the name can be displayed. Many are against the name change all together. “I think the administration that approved this should have recognized that it’s not going to
See NAME, page 3
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September 9, 2008
‘The FAGS are back’ — Are the haters too? used on a daily basis. Our favorite being “bitch!” We don’t mean to offend anyone, and one might gasp at our nonchalance in the use of the word, but as said, it’s used among my circle of friends. I wanted to find out more about the poster and of course the answer to the obvious ques-
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Student Union (LGBTSU) has changed their club name to the Fellowship of Associated Gay Students, the acronym being FAGS. What do you think of the name change?
Live and Learn Luis Bahena
tion, why the name change? I can’t really say that I was offended at the use of the word considering I’m not easily offended, but I know that I did question it, and even raised an eyebrow. To change the name of a club to reflect a word that has been used to impact negativity and hate just seemed so wrong to me. Yet I had to applaud the gents that had the balls to make such a change. And such a statement too! To empower a word that has been used to promote hate cer-
tainly has a response of irony for me. How ironic that those who have been called a fag in the past in a context of hate have turned that around and empowered their group by identifying themselves as FAGS. It almost feels as is they’re saying, “Yeah, where here, we’re queer, deal with it.” I do abide by specific morals and ethics and I still have to question, why change the name? In a society where progress is happening, where people are moving forward in various ways, I think use of the word feels like a step back. I have to admit that I am torn. Perhaps it was the poster that did it for me? I mean come on. If you’re going to make a statement, make it worth it. Make it pop. The poster failed. I personally thought that the poster looked like crap. For a club to make such a statement with their new name change, I would’ve thought that they would really make it stand out with a magnificently made poster. I don’t mean to pick on stereotypes, but aren’t the gays usually known for their natural knowledge of style and “fabulousness?” As Nina Garcia from Project Runway often says, “It was poorly executed!”
It’s hard for me to look at a big white poster with the word FAG on it and not get a reaction. Does it matter if it’s in a poorly made poster that looks like it was vandalized? Maybe? Even still, the word resonates in my brain and I have to wonder. I have to take a closer look at the poster and quench my inquisitive mind’s thirst and find out what this is all about. And so after reading a few e-mails and discussing it with my fellow staff workers I figure out what the poster is actually saying. FAGS, or as the former LGBTSU (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Student Union) is now called, I was a little shocked. Of course, they’re not just calling themselves FAGS, it’s an acronym for the newly selected name of the club organization more properly named The Fellowship of Associated Gay Students. Having thought about the name change and acronym, I was perplexed, allured, torn and proud, yet at the same time slightly defensive. Sure, it ‘s a known fact that many words have double standards. Words that can be hurtful are often at times okay with peer groups and circles. Among my friends and in my home, the use of bad, offensive words are
By Michele Suthers
So much to ponder, so many questions to ask. I will definitely be attending the first club meet-
ing. I’ll salute them on this, they sure know how to raise one’s curiosity.
Question by Luis Bahena Photos by Veronica Eissa
Paolo, 27 Anthropology
Angel, 19 Undecided “Oh wow. Um. What do I think of the name change? If they’re ok with it, I’m not gonna bother anybody... But it’s a pretty obscene name I think. If only if it’s abbreviated, if it’s not abbreviated then it’s a great name.”
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Diana, 20 Undecided
“Um... It’s kind of... People are offended by that but um... You know, I mean it’s kind of strange because if you’re offended by it but then you use it. It’s kind of like African Americans, you know and the N word. It’s somewhat the same thing. I think it’s kind of up to them. I don’t think it should be used though.”
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“You know, like FAGS. You get a paper that says FAGS, people are gonna be like, ‘no this I don’t wanna read!’ But probably if it says the longer name you know it’s gonna be like probably people are gonna be more interested in it and they will read it. But how society is now I don’t think people are gonna read it at all.”
Michele Suthers Illustrator Mayumi Kimura Advertising Manager
Claudia, 17 Undecided/Criminology “That’s Mean... When it says FAGS it gives it like a negative look to it. Like it probably gives it a negative look to the whole program, even though it doesn’t... Even though it’s all long and everything (LGBTSU)... It gives it a little bit more of respect to it.
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Michael, 31 A/C, Refrigeration and Environmental Control Technology “I really don’t care about things like that, but somebody just said that to me this morning that saw that (poster). I don’t think it’s right because if you said something like that and you weren’t part of that it would be considered discrimination wouldn’t it? Isn’t that the law?”
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September 9, 2008
News / Calendar
Calendar Name September
Lecture: Between Two Worlds The perspective of a Vietnamese Immigrant Man 12:45-2 p.m. D121a/b
n Sept. 16
Lecture: Immigrant rights, Andrea Guerrero, Field & Policy Director ACLU 11:10-12:30 p.m. Saville Theater
n Sept. 17
Spring 2009 Florence, Italy study abroad program information meeting D-121A 3 p.m.- 4 p.m. Contact Marion Froehlich, email@example.com, 619.388.3652
n Sept. 17
Lecture: Constitution of the Divided States Ezekiel E. Cortez, Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law Co-sponsored by the History & Political Science Dept. 9:35-11 a.m. Saville Theatre
n Sept. 18
National Disabled Student Union meeting Thursday 2:30 p.m. A-220
n Sept. 23 Documentary: Maquilapolis Globalization in Mexico 9:30-11 a.m. Saville Theatre
n Sept. 27 & 28
10th Annual Trolley Dances presented by San Diego Dance Theater Begins at Hazard Center Trolley Stop, Green Line 10-3 daily, Tours every hour Event Price: $30, $20 Seniors, $10 students 619.225.1803, www.sandiegodancetheater.org , firstname.lastname@example.org
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promote opennessâ€?, Student Services Asst. Michele Montanez said. Montanez expressed that there are students that have dealt with being victimized for their sexual orientation and now it is happening again with the support of their own campus. The FAGS mission is to promote awareness of gay issues, open minds, promote safer sex, and fight for the equality of marriage rights. As well as dealing with the motions of their recent name change, FAGS is on the search for an advisor. Their former advisor Berta Harrisâ€™s schedule has made it impossible for her to continue the position. â€œShe was an incredible asset to our group and will be missedâ€?, Frye-Kolarik said. Harris was pleased with the club holding an open meeting last Wednesday September 3 for staff and students to express questions and concerns. She also tossed out the idea of having a larger event such as a forum with open dialogue that would discuss the term FAGS and why they are using it. At the open meeting, a City College staff member handed a FAGS member a packet titled In group and out group perspectives in the use of derogatory group labels gay vs. fag and proceeded to say the poster personally attacked her, according to FryeKolarik. â€œThe posters were derogatory and inappropriate for campus,â€? History major Anthony Ramirez said. With Mesa and City College being fairly close, one might think the reception on both campuses are alike. Yet Mesa seems to be embracing the name change. The club is receiving more than enough support from
n Sept. 10
Last spring the Fellowship of Associated Gay Students took part in the National Day of Silence, which brings attention to the bullying and harassment in schools of those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. President Jason Frye-Kolarik and Vice- President Brande Faris of both Mesa and City College clubs were joined by two Mesa College members in efforts to spread the word. faculty, department heads and staff, according to FAGS members at City College. Their are also FAGS clubs at MiraCosta and Miramar College. Mesa College has scheduled events for this fall semester such as a community wide health fair, their second semester drag show and a marriage equality rally.
As soon as the situation at City College is finalized, they will begin to plan for events as well. A huge bonus of the name change is that it has done wonders for new membership. At Mesa alone, their are twenty new members. Prior to the name change growth was slow, according to Frye-Kolarik.
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September 9, 2008
Sports Lineup Compiled by Nailah Edmondson Send items to City Times, 1313 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101, e-mail email@example.com, call (619) 388-3880, or fax (619) 388-3814 Mens Soccer vs. Long Beach TBA September Women’s Volleyball at Irvine Valley 5 p.m.
n September 12 Women’s Soccer vs. Saddleback 3 p.m. Men’s Soccer at East Los Angeles 6 p.m. Men’s Cross Country ,Palomar Invitational at Grajome Park, Palomar 3 p.m. Women’s Cross Country, Palomar Invitational at Grajome Park, Palomar 3 p.m. n September 17 Women’s Soccer vs. Miramar 3:15 p.m. Men’s Soccer at Rio Hondo 4 p.m.
n September 20 Women’s Volleyball at Santa Ana Tournament All day Men’s Cross Country, Orange Coast Invitational at Fairview, Costa Mesa 10 a.m. Men’s Soccer vs. Long Beach TBA n September 21 Men’s Soccer vs. Long Beach TBA n September 24 Women’s Soccer vs.Cuyamaca 3:15 p.m
n September 19 Women’s Soccer at Southwestern 3:15 p.m.
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Mahler said the AFT is uncertain of the extent of the terminations thus far, as the whole district employee base is in a state of confusion regarding their own employment status. The AFT is currently in negotiations with the district over the matter, but not everyone is breathing easy. June Cressy, City College president of the Classified Senate, said that though the Union is in negotiations, Departments need to know if they will be able to function in the future. “I respect the confidentiality of the process, but those staff who are impacted by this need to be kept abreast,” said Cressy
who is deeply concerned about the situation, specifically about the loss of services that classified employees and hourly employees will be able to provide for students on campuses around the district. “I’m concerned that we have waited too long to have an open discussion. I hoped that we would have been included earlier and that the process would have been inclusive. We wouldn’t have to question how much longer services are going to be available.” Burgess said that by October, the district will have sorted out which are considered classified positions and which are temporary. “Personally, I don’t think the district is in violation of the Education Code,” Burgess said. “We’re on the ragged edge maybe, but we want to be squeaky clean, as does the AFT.”
Carlos Maia City Times City College is currently hosting fall club rush in Gorton Quad this week. Amnesty International member Steph Mikkelson informs Psychology student Judy Arel about worldwide humanitarian work and atrocities her club is trying to prevent.