CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW B
Track, field see makeover
sports ◆ page 6
campus beat ◆ page 4
campus beat ◆ page 5
Candidates eye open positions
Health program connects workers
VOL. 93, NO. 1
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 26, 2009 ACCENTADVOCATE.COM
THE WEEKLY STUDENT VOICE OF CONTRA COSTA COLLEGE, SAN PABLO, CALIF.
6 PAGES, ONE COPY FREE
Student murdered in shooting Woman killed while driving with fiancé
was hurt. Sure enough, the Richmond Police came to his SPOTLIGHT EDITOR home at 1 a.m., informing him of the incident. As he thanked her for the Leticia Enriquez, 28, of ride and stepped out of her car Richmond had apparently into the night air, little did Sean picked up her fiancé, Juan VillaDesrek Moore know that he Zarco, 25, also of Richmond would be seeing his best friend and Moore from their place of Leticia Enriquez for the last employment at a pizza restautime. Minutes later, he heard rant in Albany. She dropped off gunfire and something inside Moore and was driving northof him told him that his friend bound, coming to a stoplight at By Cassandra Juniel
South 47th Street and Carlson Boulevard at approximately 10:55 p.m. on July 27, according to police investigators. “An unknown number of individuals opened fire, shooting multiple rounds at her car, hitting both Enriquez and VillaZarco. The car was driven a short distance after the incident, however, subsequently crashed into a parked vehicle,” police Detective Augustine Vegas said.
“Villa-Zarco was pronounced at the scene and Enriquez was taken to Doctor’s Hospital where she was pronounced.” Vegas said an officer happened to be near the area, heard the shots and called it in to the Richmond Police dispatch. A number of units immediately responded, Vegas said. Investigators have not determined a motive or have made any arrests.
“It did not appear that the couple was involved in any illegal activity,” police Sgt. Bisa French said. The investigation is still pending, and a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of person or persons responsible is offered. The public is encouraged to leave information anonymously (especially firsthand information) on the ■ SEE INVESTIGATION: Page 3
Athletics figurehead dies at 85 Former professor Farris left legacy By Sam Attal ASSOCIATE EDITOR
ISAAC THOMAS / THE ADVOCATE
Busy streets — A sea of students fills the quad and pathway to the Liberal Arts Building Monday. Crowded walkways, along with crowded classrooms and full waitlists, are just some of the effects of the rise in enrollment for the fall semester.
By Asia Camagong ASSOCIATE EDITOR
When Louis Lagrand set foot in his Statistics class half an hour early on Monday afternoon, he could not predict how many feet would follow his same steps. Gradually, students began to flood the room, taking all the empty seats and leaving others with the option of leaning against the wall or standing outside the door waiting for class to start. “(The class) was very overwhelming (because of) the crowdedness and behavior of people in the crowded environment,” Lagrand said. Overcrowded classes are only one of the many outcomes resulting from the increase in student enrollment at
sections than its previous year, Dr. Clow said. “We’re really juggling classroom space to accommodate these large classes,” Floyd said. “We’re canceling classes with lower enrollment.” During the first week of school, all of the departments were impacted, Clow said. Health and human services, social sciences, biological sciences, English and foreign language departments have all seen an increase in student enrollment, he said. A noticeable trend is the number of students enrolling in general education courses versus academic skills classes, Clow said. As a result, Clow said that a possible cause of the influx might rest in the number of students looking to transfer to four-year colleges. With the economy in its current state and several adjustments made to the education system, many students have been turned away from the California State University and ■ SEE ENROLLMENT: Page 3
Approved 2009-10 budget calls for large reductions Colleges fight to keep funding for programs
the pressure of the unprecedented budget crisis that has slashed billions of dollars in public education funding. “This state is in very dire straits financially, and we are on the receiving end of this fiscal disaster,” college Vice President By Holly Pablo Carol Maga said. “They’re asking EDITOR-IN-CHEIF us to serve less students. But we’re Limited enrollment capacity, serving students less well.” The state’s three-tiered sysreduced course sections, crowded classrooms, fewer campus servic- tem, including the 23-campus es and higher fees have students California State University, 10and educators in California feeling campus University of California
and 110 community college campuses, is forced to limit enrollment at a time when more students than ever are seeking admission. The budget, approved and finalized by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature in July for the 200910 fiscal year, includes approximately $840 million worth of cuts to and deferred apportionments from community colleges, Director of Fiscal Policy of the Community College League of ■ SEE BUDGET: Page 3
Retired CCC professor Paul Farris, 85, died of cardiac arrest on June 22 at the Austen Gardens senior center in Lodi. Farris taught physical education at the college for 30 years.
■ SEE FARRIS: Page 3
Padilla case sees verdict Defendant given 8 years By Alec Surmani ASSOCIATE EDITOR
After a nearly 10-month waiting period of court dates, a verdict has been reached in the case involving the death of Contra Costa College evening and program monitor Martin Padilla. Michael Jason Moore, Padilla’s accused killer,
pleaded no contest to all five counts against him, including gross vehicular manslaughter, at a June 17 hearing at the Martinez courthouse, Deputy District Attorney Melissa Smith said. He was sentenced to 8 years and 4 months in prison and 3 to 5 years on parole after he is released from prison, depending on behavior, Smith said. When a deputy sheriff who spotted the suspect driving a stolen car gave chase ■ SEE PADILLA: Page 3
Cuts by numbers $840 million in cuts to California community colleges
Community colleges receive 30% fee increase
$130 million in cuts to EOPS DSPS and CalWORKs
Over 30 sections cut at Contra Costa College
UC budget deficit falls to $450 million
CSU budget deficit falls to $584 million
Source: district, Community College League of California INFOGRAPHIC BY ISAAC THOMAS/THE ADVOCATE
Administrators struggle to meet enrollment needs
Contra Costa College. In addition to a number of sections being cut, the school may look into turning students away as the enrollments begin to near the maximum amount that the state will fund, Senior Dean of Instruction Donna Floyd said. “We’re in a very vulnerable spot,” she said. “If we go over (the maximum), we don’t know where the money will come from and there’s no room.” The maximum amount is determined by the number of full-time equivalent students (FTES), which is measured by every 15 units being taken rather than an individual headcount, Dr. Floyd said. In comparison with the numbers from last year, there has been a 25 percent boost in FTES and an 18 percent headcount increase accumulated from the first week of school, Senior Dean of Research and Planning Tim Clow said. While there have been course sections cancelled, the school has provided 5 percent more active course
Paul Farris, a retired Contra Costa College physical education professor, track and field coach and athletic director, died on June 22 at the age of 85. Farris had a cardiac arrest around 9 p.m. at the Austin Gardens senior center in Lodi where he had been residing for the final two months of his life. He faced heart issues since 2006, as well as several health problems unrelated to his death. As an employee of the college for 30 years, Farris is remembered in the athletics department for his strict guidelines and toughness. “As a person, he was a very serious individual,” retired men’s basketball coach Ed Greene said. “Of all the peo-
CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW B
2 THE ADVOCATE Quotable “We must know that the truth can only be reached by the expression of our free opinions, without fear and without rancor.” Wendell Willkie politician 1940 Holly Pablo editor-in-chief Sam Attal associate editor Asia Camagong associate editor Alec Surmani associate editor Cassandra Juniel spotlight editor Dariush Azmoudeh sports editor Lamar James news editor Brent Bainto scene editor Jack Anderson special projects editor Isaac Thomas photo editor Erik Verduzco assistant photo editor Paul DeBolt faculty adviser Staff writers Natalie Estrada Anthony Farr Chad Garcia Malcolm Lastra Maria Martinez Jon Pinlac Kristina Plaza Diana Reyes Yaochiem Saechao Alexandra Waite Staff photographers Crystal Joy Bis George Morin Adam Oliver Desmond Sylva Brian Young Roman Young Staff illustrators James Heck Cody McFarland Joel Ode Honors ACP National Newspaper Pacemaker Award 1990, 1994, 1997,1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 CNPA Better Newspaper Contest 1st Place Award 1970, 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 JACC Pacesetter Award 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Member Associated Collegiate Press California Newspaper Publishers Association Journalism Association of Community Colleges How to reach us Phone: 510.235.7800 ext. 4315 Fax: 510.235.NEWS E-mail: advocate@ contracosta.edu or letters@ accentadvocate.com Editorial policy Columns and editorial cartoons are the opinion of individual writers and artists and not that of The Advocate. Editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, which is
l WEDNESDAY, AUG. 26, 2009
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 26, 2009 VOL. 93, NO. 1 ●
Editorials Cuts slow recovery Neglecting education impedes state’s growth
ith the recently passed state budget, California’s community college education system is staring down $840 million of cuts. Students facing a bleak job market and a competitive four-year university system are rushing back to classes in community colleges, as shown by the sharp increases in enrollment. Meanwhile, the cuts are forcing places such as Contra Costa College to offer fewer classes and fewer services. Along with class sections for this growing number of students, categorical programs like Disabled Student Programs and Services, EOPS and financial aid have been reduced statewide by $193 million. At CCC matriculation money used for counseling hours, assessment testing and other needs has decreased from $417,000 to $159,000 in one year. Meanwhile, the students face a 30 percent fee increase across the state. Community colleges have been a launching point for middle/lower class citizens to advance to higher education and job training for years, as demonstrated in the Silicon Valley technological explosion. Academic Senate President Richard Akers said, “The outgrowth of California’s free education was the Silicon Valley. The entire world benefited. The outgrowth of cutting education is a declining economy.” The California Legislative Analyst’s Office claims that for every $1 the state invests in a community college student who later earns a bachelor’s degree, the state receives $2 in return. A well-educated work force in tune with the needs of the job market generates spending and raises the standard of living for the common man. The increased income resulting from specialized training additionally creates higher income tax rates for the states. Although the record-setting budget crisis challenged our state to find creative solutions under pressing conditions, the result did not serve the needs of the work force. This solution put in place continues to undermine economic recovery by inhibiting accessible education, which is the path to sustainable economic growth. The Advocate understands that there are many factors in making up a budget and that reducing expenses to get out of debt is a necessary evil. Yet, education must be made a priority. Cutting from our education system will cost more than we think in the long term. As Director of Fiscal Policy of the Community College League of California Theresa Tena said, “(The plan) goes against the very notion that in order to enjoy a well-functioning economy, you want to have a well-educated work force.”
CODY MCFARLAND/ THE ADVOCATE
Classic comic teaches lesson in acceptance
hen I was younger I could not go a day without watching cartoons. I was really obsessed with the characters and the progressing plot. I could not wait to see what happened on the next week’s show. As I got older, I never grew out of watching them and one of my favorites was “X-Men.” Even today, I record episodes of “X-Men: Evolution,” a new and improved version of the original show, with more characters from the hit movies. Watching “X-Men” has taught me some very important life lessons. One is you cannot judge people by the way they look, their differences of opinions or who they want to be. In the show, the mutants are fighting to be free from mutant registration. The humans ultimately want to register all the mutants so that they can control them and their supernatural powers. One mutant, Magneto, thinks there is a war between the mutants and the humans. Magneto’s long-time friend Charles Xavier believes that mutants and humans can live together in peace without war. This is a familiar concept, one we all may recognize. Intolerance for other races can be traced back to one of the most infamous genocides in history, the Holocaust. We live in a world where everyone is different and if we cannot fit in we may be ostracized or isolated from
know that I will fight against the norm. I will not be constricted to that which is normal or to what is different. I believe if I find out about everyone and educate myself, I will live a life being those who are normal. anyone’s friend regardless of But what is normal? race, creed or color. According to Webster’s Intolerance for others is Dictionary, normal is cona trait learned through our forming to a type or stanculture. dard. But, unconscious biases No one really lives up to can be wiped away by pursuing higher education and that definition. through diverse experiences. Although we all may I see differences as a style, appear to be normal, we are and people best adopt styles not. that they feel comfortable There is a difference between all of us and, in real- with. If you do not like a cerity, no one is the Webster’s tain style, you do not have to definition of normal. adapt to it, but you may want That does not mean we to consider learning about must wage war against each it so that prejudices will not other, but that we should linger. come together to realize our Despite all of the difficuldifferences and commonalities that Magneto has put ties. We must get to know one the X-Men through, Charles Xavier still has hope that another and see that we are one day the mutants and the more alike than anything. humans will live in peace. We are all one race of Sometimes, I wonder why people with different “mutahis hope is greater than his tions” and variations. Just because some people doubt in the coexistence of humans and mutants. are culturally different does He knows with hard work not mean they will have difand dedication he can teach ferent life experiences than the world that mutants are me or you; it might just not all bad and all humans mean they have a different are not good. way of doing things. If we It is what is inside people take the time to learn, then that makes them who they maybe there would be a greater respect for mankind. are and affects how they see “X-Men” has brought a lot the world. of questions and answers to Lamar James is news edithe table. tor of The Advocate. Contact Some of the questions him at ljames.advocate will never be answered and @gmail.com. some of the answers I may not fully understand, but I do
How have the section cuts and larger class sizes affected your learning?
“It doesn’t concern me, because I have a fee waiver.”
“Larger class sizes make it more difficult to focus.”
“It really hasn’t affected me at all, just there’s no parking.”
“The teachers don’t give you as much attention as they would in a smaller class size.”
“It is difficult to get into classes and harder to select preferred teachers.”
“There are people waiting outside, and there are not enough chairs for the students.”
CRYSTAL JOY BIS, GEORGE MORIN, NATALIE ESTRADA, BRIAN YOUNG, MARIA MARTINEZ/ THE ADVOCATE
Newsline ■ ORIENTATION
Sections axed for funds
Honor society Cancellations hosts event spurred by The Alpha Gamma Sigma low resources honor society is holding an orientation on Monday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Associated Student Union Chambers. Benefits include scholarship opportunities, enhancing one’s resume and transfer applications and access to employment and volunteer opportunities.
■ CULINARY ARTS
Turkey cooks to compete The culinary arts department will be hosting the Turkey Bird Cook-Off on Sept. 2 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Three Seasons Restaurant. Entrance is $5. Bread and salad will be included. Beverages are $1. Attendees will be able to vote for their favorite of five choices of turkey recipes.
■ LA RAZA
Independence to see tribute The La Raza studies department invites everyone to Open Mic! Florycanto. Come and celebrate Mexican Independence Day Sept. 16 from 12-2 p.m. in the Recreation Room. Free food is available for performers.
■ MOVIE NIGHT
Speech team to show film The Speech and Debate Team is hosting a movie night. “The Real Great Debaters” will be shown on Thursday, Sept. 3 in LA-100 at 3 p.m. Admission is free.
■ CAMPUS EVENTS
Transfer Day to hit quad
The Transfer/Career Center is hosting its annual Transfer Day on Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the new quad. Representatives from a variety of four-year colleges and universities will be available to assist students with questions about transferring.
CrimeWatch Friday, Aug. 7 No reports taken. Saturday, Aug. 8 No reports taken.
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 26, 2009 l THE ADVOCATE
By Holly Pablo EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
More than 30 section offerings have been canceled this fall semester as a result of budget cuts, leading to a higher student demand for classes than the college’s current lack of resources can accommodate. “Students are basically competing,” nursing major Chevonte Mitchell said.
“When we’re applying for classes, we have to do it as soon as possible.” Senior Dean of Instruction Donna Floyd said the district advised the college to limit enrollment. The approximate percentage of class cuts is unknown at this point but no further additions or cancellations will be made. “We noted, according to the district, that we were overspending,” Dr. Floyd said. “After slashing $700,000 in the budget, we had to figure out ways to meet that deficit. It’s happening across the state.” College Vice President Carol Maga said that despite
the reductions, the course offerings are still about 5 percent larger than last fall. In the event of a cancellation, Floyd said students were notified via e-mail or letter with options of other section times and related courses available. In some instances, when other courses were not available, they were encouraged to meet with a counselor as soon as possible. “It’s a difficult exercise. We tried to reduce the impact to the smallest number of students,” college President McKinley Williams said. “We wanted to cancel (sections) before classes start-
ed to give students a better chance to register for other classes.” Faculty is trying to add as many students as they can to their rosters, but as class maximums are exceeded, the pressure for space increases. “In my classes, a lot of people are trying to add, but teachers had to turn away a lot of people,” Mitchell said. “There aren’t even enough seats for everyone.” Floyd said faculty accepting more students is a significant help, but sometimes the originally assigned classroom cannot accommodate everyone. “We may be turning away
more students than we have (in the past),” Floyd said. “On top of the students we would normally get, people who are trying to add are at a disadvantage.” Emphasis on retaining college-level courses, such as English 1A and Math 164, was also considered. But these courses are regularly waitlisted, Floyd said, because students need the classes to transfer. It is possible that classes will be reduced in the spring semester. Contact Holly Pablo at hpablo.advocate@gmail. com.
Investigation | Enriquez, 28, mother of three ■ FROM: Page 1
24-hour Crime Tip hotline at 510232-TIPS (8477). One may also contact Vegas or Sgt. Lee Hendricsen, team investigators assigned to the case, at 510620-6612. “People are coming forward with information related to this case, however we do need more credible leads,” Vegas said. Enriquez began attending Contra Costa College in the spring of 2009,
participating in the East Bay Career Advancement Academy program, majoring in automotive technology. She and Moore met just over one year ago at their mutual employer, became very close friends over time and decided to go to school. “In the beginning, she struggled to become acclimated to college, yet as time went on, she began to excel,” Moore said. Moore, who is continuing in the program, is struggling his first
semester after the incident, dropping classes he and Enriquez would have taken together. He hopes, however, to get back on track by next semester. “I just miss my friend and am glad to have been in her life for the short period of time that I was,” Moore said. Classmate Rodney West is enrolled in the same program as Enriquez and Moore and spent time with her as a study partner and friend.
“I had a lot of respect for Enriquez and will miss her,” West said. Although her original plans upon enrolling at CCC were to pursue automotive technology, Moore decided that she wanted to teach young people in Mexico and therefore, changed her major to become a teacher. She enrolled in the classes for that major for the fall of 2009. Contact Cassandra Juniel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farris | Lifelong fisherman Enrollment ■ FROM: Page 1
ple on staff, he was the last one you wanted to challenge physically.” Farris was born on Feb. 27, 1924 in Kansas to Jeff and Carrie Farris. He grew up on California farms for the majority of his youth where he learned to enjoy the “simple pleasures” of life, daughter Gwen Douglas said. At a young age, he also began going on fishing trips with his father and his dog, Tip, where he discovered a deep appreciation for fishing. He would develop this hobby into his older days, when he became heavily associated with the California Striped Bass Association. “It was a lifelong thing for him,” Douglas said. “He loved fishing.” While attending Selma High School in Selma, Farris competed in boxing matches and joined the football team. When he graduated from high school in 1943, Farris had developed a love for sports and physical education, Douglas said. After high school, Farris was stationed in the Philippines as a United States paratrooper during World War II. He later received a Purple Heart and an Oak Leaf Cluster for his service. Shortly after the war ended, Farris began attending San Jose State, where he fell in love his future wife, Winifred
“(Farris) made me understand the importance of physical education.” Ed Greene,
retired men’s basketball coach
degree in physical education from Stanford in 1956 before he moved to Richmond and began attending UC Berkeley. After obtaining his administrative degree in 1958, Farris began teaching physical education courses at CCC in 1960. “He was a hardworking physical educator,” Greene said. “He made me understand the importance of physical education.” During his years at CCC, Farris would teach boxing, wrestling, health education and the campus’s first Tai Kwon Do class. “He could demonstrate and play anything that he taught at the time,” Greene said. Over time, Farris became a looked upon figure in the athletics department. “He was no nonsense,” retired men’s basketball coach Leroy Mims said. “He believed in (dedication to) teaching and being respectful.” When Farris retired in 1990, he kept fishing in his spare time. He also did some woodcrafts and gardening. His background in sports did not end with his retirement. Farris is survived by his wife Winifred; his daughters Douglas, Debbie Vidan and Victoria Farris and his grandchildren Don Douglas and Lacey Douglas.
H. Farris. “I was the biggest thing that ever hit him and he was the biggest thing that ever hit me,” Winifred said. After Farris graduated from college in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education, the couple got married in September of the same year. “Back then, you were to marry the person you were most crazy about,” Winifred said. “So we did.” To begin his teaching career, in 1950, Farris began working at a medium security correctional training facility in Soledad. A year later, he was hired at Los Gatos High School where he taught physical education and conditioning and coached the wrestling team. Douglas said she recalls when her father would try to wrestle his three young daughters for fun. “I wish my mother had a son, because he always tried to wrestle with (his daughters),” Douglas said with a laugh. Contact Sam Attal at satFarris earned a master’s email@example.com.
■ FROM: Page 1
University of California systems. As more parents and individuals choose to economize and take advantage of the opportunities offered by community colleges, their actions are leading CCC become to a “transfer-oriented college,” Clow said. Unemployment caused by the current fiscal crisis of
the state is another potential blow that has lead individuals to enroll in school. “The horrible economy has shifted people to think about short-term education,” Clow said. “Education is the best safety net during hard times.” Contact Asia Camagong at acamagong. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Padilla | Trial ■ FROM: Page 1
on Aug. 28, 2008 in Pinole, Moore crashed the Nissan he was driving head-on into Padilla’s sport utility wagon, Sheriff’s Office Capt. Daniel Terry told The Advocate in August 2008. Padilla, 51, was pronounced dead from blunt force trauma at the scene, Terry said. As a result, Moore was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, vehicular manslaughter while exhibiting gross negligence for human life, unlawfully driving or taking a stolen vehicle, evading a peace officer with reckless disregard for human life and evading a peace officer by driving on the wrong side of the roadway. Public defender Jean Covington, who was assigned to defend Moore in September 2008, said her
client wrote a letter to the victim’s family showing deep regret for his actions. “He wrote a letter to the family about how remorseful he was and not a day goes by where he doesn’t wake up and think about Mr. Padilla,” Covington said. “He is very distraught about this case and the loss for the Padilla family and the community at Contra Costa College,” she said. Although Covington expects no appeals concerning the sentencing, Smith said Moore might contest the $33,600 restitution he currently owes Padilla’s wife for lost wages. A date to settle the matter has been set for Sept. 4 at the Martinez courthouse. Contact Alec Surmani at asurmani.advocate@gmail. com.
Budget | Community colleges cut $840 million
■ FROM: Page 1 Sunday, Aug. 9 California (CCLC) Theresa A vehicle was towed for expired registration over six Tena said. Tena said there are many months. contributing factors to the rise in enrollment. Monday, Aug. 17 Nationwide unemA subject was stopped for a traffic violation, and it was ployment is at 11.9 perdetermined he was an unli- cent, which is rationale for censed driver. Subject was retraining purposes when the economy is doing poorly and cited and released. returning veterans are taking advantage of their education Tuesday, Aug. 18 benefits. No reports taken. “It’s a shame when the most needy people, the workThursday, Aug. 20 Officers responded to a ing class, that need to return to school to retrain and get disturbance on campus. new skills, are denied,” colA student reported the lege President McKinley theft of her backpack from Williams said. The state has to find a the softball field. way to stop declining revA subject contacted after enues, Senior Dean of a report was received of a Students Frank Hernandez verbal altercation. Suspect said, because the lack of tax was detained for mental revenue from industries such as real estate, entrepreneurevaluation and treatment. ship and corporations is a main contributor to the budFriday, Aug. 21 Officer responded to a get crisis. Community colleges have report of a hit and run. experienced a 30 percent fee —Crystal Joy Bis increase and the UC and
CSU systems have similarly raised fees by 10 percent, all which are being used to mitigate the budget deficit. “Everything is too expensive,” liberal arts major Luis Castillo said. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford it after I transfer.” Along with fee increases, community colleges must also reduce spending, such as through the $193 million cut statewide to categorical programs, which are fundamental student services that are essential to student success statewide. Matriculation and categorical funds, including EOPS, CalWORKs and Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS), have all been cut greatly. DSPS Manager Yasuko Abe said the federally mandated program, which serves more than 1,000 students at CCC, is no longer able to acquire new technologies and teaching methods. Such programs are trying to provide the same quality of services with a minimal
amount of money. If the federally approved stimulus occurs, these moneys, $130 million, should backfill the various deficits by up to half of the losses for the fiscal year, however, that is undetermined if and when it may happen, according to the CCLC Web site, www. ccleague.org Hernandez said, “Much of the revenue of this year is based on hope. Colleges hold their breath around January or February, because there might be mid-year cuts.” Each college district is addressing ways to offset the budget. District Vice Chancellor of Fiscal Policy Kindred Murillo said the district is currently serving 40,000 students, a 9.4 percent, which is increase in comparison to 36,000 students this time last year. Even after taking a 3.39 percent reduction in workload compared to last year, meaning district employees would be required to do less work, there are still far too
many students than the district can possibly serve, she said. “We’re busting at the seams,” Murillo said. The district is using somewhere around $2-4 million of reserve funds to cover the rise in instructional costs, she said. There is a possibility that enrollment will continue to rise at the community college level, especially since, according to www.calstate. edu, a $584 million budget deficit in the CSU system has lead to the campuses closing winter 2010 admissions. Business administration major Veronica Bejarano originally planned on transferring to San Jose State, but will now have to continue her studies at CCC for the time being. “It might be a positive thing, because students will be more willing to do whatever is necessary,” she said. “I wasn’t headstrong before about school but now that everything is competitive,
you have to strive for better.” Similarly, according to www.universityofcalifornia. edu, the UC system’s budget deficit has reached $450 million. Hernandez said that in most cases, transfer students will have more access than freshmen to the UC system. “The very real impact is that it is taking students a much longer time to obtain certification and degrees,” Tena said. “It goes against the very notion that in order to enjoy a well-functioning economy, you want to have a well-educated work force.” Maga said that although the state collected another $4 billion at the end of the fiscal year to balance overspending, it is far too early to determine the impact of the cuts because further cuts may occur. “We have to plan for the worst,” she said. Contact Holly Pablo at hpablo.advocate@gmail. com.
4 THE ADVOCATE
l WEDNESDAY, AUG. 26, 2009
Life of slain student remembered Mother of three planned a career in education By Cassandra Juniel SPOTLIGHT EDITOR
Leticia Enriquez, a Contra Costa College student, died of multiple gunshot wounds on July 27 in Richmond, according to Richmond Police investigators. She was 28. Her fiancé, Juan Villa-Zarco, 25, also succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds as a passenger in the car Enriquez was driving. Best friend Sean Desrek Moore and Enriquez met over one year ago at their mutual employer, a pizza restaurant, became close friends and decided to go to school together, enrolling in the East Bay Career Advancement Academy program. “In the beginning, Enriquez
struggled to acclimate herself to school and as time went on, she began to excel,” Moore said. Enriquez began CCC in the spring 2009, majoring in automotive technology through the Academy. After successfully getting through her first semester, she changed her major to become an educator. “She decided that she wanted to teach young people in Mexico and changed her major to become a teacher,” Moore said. Leticia started off scared at the beginning of the semester, but it all turned around for her. “She was not confident in the beginning but ended up becoming a ‘shining star,’” English professor Rana Lee Berman said. “She was a good person — the kind of student a teacher likes to have.” Berman also said Enriquez possessed a special inner strength that speaks: “nothing is going to stop me.” While in school, Enriquez began feeling the effects from a
previous illness she had to take chemotherapy treatments for, but continued to strive for her education, Moore said. At the age of 3, Enriquez was baptized into the faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and remained a devout follower throughout her life. She graduated in 2000 from the Mattole Charter School in Yreka. In her spare time, Enriquez enjoyed sewing and spending most of her time with her children, exhusband Gilberto Lopez said. “She was a great mom who loved her kids very much and tried to do her best for them. She wanted to better herself so that she could help them to do the same,” Lopez said. “She will be missed by many.” Enriquez loved basketball and sprinting in track and field. She also participated in the annual Renaissance Pleasure Faire, performing the art of belly dancing. She tried to do the best she
could, in spite of many obstacles in her life from a young age up until the time she died, brother-in-law Darren Dow said. “Enriquez was of a strong mind and once she made up her mind to do something, she would go at it full force,” Dow said. “She went pedal to the metal, full speed ahead.” Chuck Carpenter, director of the Academy, remembers her as a special student. “Enriquez reflected the possibilities of how a project like the East Bay Career Advancement Academy program can change a person’s life and give them the needed tools to make a future,” Carpenter said. “She took advantage of those tools, but her life was cut short before she could continue her plans.” In memory of Enriquez, a celebratory event will be held in October to plant a tree in the Peace Garden near the Student Services Center. Speakers will include Richmond
All College Day event discusses budget gaps By Holly Pablo
Despite the small number of potential candidates, the ASU will still hold its annual elections for the 2009-10 school year. This year’s candidate for president is Kristina Bautista, Henry Parker for vice president of clubs, and Jasmyn Oliver for secretary. All three candidates are running unopposed. Although applications were officially due last Friday, there was a lack of students willing to run for president or vice president positions. Student Life Center Director Jennifer Ounjian said any student or ASU board member who intends to run for a position must meet all ASU requirements and go through a petition process prior to the general election. If no candidates are elected for any of the positions, Ounjian said, the ASU president will appoint ASU senators to the positions endorsed by the major-
Contact Cassandra Juniel at email@example.com.
By Asia Camagong ASSOCIATE EDITOR
SAM ATTAL / THE ADVOCATE
Cutting back — District Chancellor Helen Benjamin discusses the college’s 2009-10 budget concerns during All College Day in the Knox Center Aug. 14. “It’s a fun time. It gives the opportunity, even on a campus that is by some definition, small, to see people you don’t normally see (during the semester),” computer technician Bernadette Green said. William also introduced the faculty theme for this year as “being healthy.” More events will be planned to promote health. Later in the day, faculty attended designated program reviews and division meetings at various locations on campus. Each division has a panel of expertise staff that discusses department budgets and
other important news, Green said. Dr. Benjamin said usually when sister schools Diablo Valley and Los Medanos colleges experience a growth in enrollment, CCC’s enrollment declines. But this past year, that did not happen. Williams said that despite the budget, CCC will remain a “premier community college that changes lives one student at a time. Contact Holly Pablo firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASU looks to fill vacant positions STAFF WRITER
City Council members, representatives from Congressman George Miller’s office and leaders from Families Helping Families, an organization that helps victims’ families of violent crimes. Enriquez is survived by her three children, Ruben, Felicitas and Tiara; her mother, Licha Lara; her father, Vincente Enriquez; one sister, Inez Dow; and her three brothers, Jose, Javier and Fernando. Funeral services were held Aug. 4 at Girdner Funeral Chapel in Yreka.
Tuition hikes trigger greater need for aid
By Diana Reyes
CCC student Leticia Enriquez was shot and killed on July 27 in Richmond.
Increase in prices stresses finances
Faculty addresses cost cuts In response to California’s budget crisis, district administrators, faculty and staff are further focusing on limited spending, hoping to offset detrimental effects to the state educational system. “We have to tighten our belts and be careful on how we spend money,” Contra Costa College President McKinley Williams said. “We don’t have the money to do all that we want to do for the students.” These issues were addressed on Aug. 14 in the Knox Center as part of All College Day, a welcoming program held at the beginning of each semester to reflect on the past year and discuss plans for the future. “We had one year of incredible growth,” district Chancellor Helen Benjamin said. “We grew in 08-09 about 1,700 (full-time equivalent students or FTES). But we have to change methods from growing to limiting.” California community colleges receive funding based on the number of FTES, a measurement of each 15 units registered at the college. The new state imposed limit on district FTES growth for 2009-10 is 29,701, a reduction of 1,137 FTES, accounting to $5.1 million in apportionment revenue, not including potential stimulus backfills. Dr. Benjamin said the change means there will be more than 5,000 students that the district will be unable to serve because of the lack of available funding for courses and student services offerings, such as Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS), financial aid and EOPS. “The sad thing about this is the ones who will be hurt the most: the ones who can’t afford it,” Benjamin said. “We have to say ‘no’ to students. It breaks my heart.” In addition to informing faculty and staff of news and changes needed, the college administration commended its fellow employees for exemplary work, introduced new hires and presented a slideshow featuring photos of the fun activities that the faculty and staff enjoyed this past summer.
ity of votes among the ASU Board. Voting will take place online from Sept. 19-24. The election ballot will be located on the Contra Costa College Web site, which can be found by clicking on the student services link, followed by the Associated Student Union link and then by clicking on “survey.” Each student must have a valid student ID number and they are only allowed one vote. In order to verify that the voter is a registered student and has a valid student ID, the ASU will check the number through Datatel, a program used by the district, to confirm that the student is currently enrolled. There is still an opportunity to fill vacant positions. Potential candidates, however, must go through a screening process, or a 30-day probation period, during which they must attend weekly meetings and participate in ASU events before the screening committee board decides to hold an election, Ounjian said.
Results will be disclosed on Oct. 2. Bautista, who was a senator prior to running for ASU president, has only been in the ASU since last spring. She is a sociology major and has been a student at CCC for three years. “I learned to love this school,” Bautista said. “I also learned to believe in myself and now that I know how to believe in myself, I want to do that for the ASU.” Her plan is to generate more ideas on how to reach out to stu-
Oliver dents in order to build stronger communication. Parker said that upon spending more time on campus, he decided to become an active member and thereafter made the decision to become a member of the ASU. “I want to work in between the college and the city,” Parker said. “I want to bring my resources into CCC.”
Struck by the effects of the struggling economy, California community colleges are facing a 30 percent increase in student enrollment fees starting this semester. In order to mitigate the state budget, the price of one unit has increased from $20 to $26. “The real dilemma is that, with the economy down, the increase in student growth is what we strive for,” Senior Dean of Students Frank Hernandez said. “However, we’re into a very unique period right now.” The college has encountered issues where supply is not balancing with the demand and may result in students being turned away, Hernandez said. If the number exceeds the capacity, the school will not be paid for the overflow of students coming in, he said. “We’re at a time where the need is the greatest, (but) we’re able to serve less students.” In an effort to provide efficient services to students, the district has agreed to grant Contra Costa and Los Medanos colleges an early disperser, which awards Pell Grant money two to four weeks earlier for those who qualify, Financial Aid Director Viviane LaMothe said. At the beginning of the week, 900 students were given 25 percent of their Pell Grant money, totaling to $430,000 distributed by Aug. 21. “We’re trying to get the money in their names quicker,” LaMothe said. The Financial Aid Office has also seen a 25 percent increase for requested student loans this semester, she said. “We’re trying to give (students) as much money as we can,” LaMothe said. She said students applying for the Board of Governors fee waiver have increased in numbers. In 2008-09, the waiver served 5,377 students. After only two weeks into this semester, 4,095 students were awarded the fee waiver. The first two weeks of school have been dedicated to informing students the ways to deal with the fee increase, including extended Financial Aid Office hours, workshops in the student services lab and informational presentations made in all classes. “The only way to be effective is to get the word out,” LaMothe said. Since students have the tendency to risk the opportunity for financial assistance by missing deadlines, it is imperative that they apply early, she said. “We’re trying to be (helpful), but it’s a constant battle when students are not responsive,” she said. “It is just $6, but it makes a difference for people without income still taking classes,” English major Julio Guzman said. Despite the adjustments made to the price of units, $26 remains a cheaper fee than any California State University or University of California, Admissions and Records Director Michael Aldaco said. Theresa Tena, director of fiscal policy of the Community College League of California, said it has yet to be determined if the enrollment fee will increase in the upcoming years, but there are expectations that the $26 will remain for 2009-10.
Contact Asia Camagong at lshiraishi. Contact Diana Reyes at email@example.com. firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 26, 2009 l THE ADVOCATE
Trustee aims to be students’ voice Better connections among early goals By Lamar James NEWS EDITOR
Along with starting off a fresh school year, the district’s three colleges will be introduced to their new student trustee, Los Medanos College student Christina Cannon. A district-wide online election was held during the spring semester, but due to undisclosed reasons, Cannon’s opponent, Heidi Meldrum, was disqualified before the results were released. A student trustee acts as a representative for the students during district Governing Board meetings. Governing Board President Sheila
Grilli said the job of the student trustee is not an easy one. She said Cannon has been very active in the meetings, however, and seems to be doing a good job. “Although the Governing Board has had only two meetings, (Cannon) seems like she has good ideas and is very concerned with every student’s well being,” Grilli said. “I am focused on three things,” Cannon said. “One, I am an advocate for students.” “The second thing is to work on communication between the students and the Governing Board,” Cannon said. “The third thing is leadership development.” Cannon said it will not just be her voice that the Governing Board will be hearing, but the voice of all students with real student issues that need to be
addressed. Cannon has asked Governing Board members to sit in at some of the ASU meetings so that they can get a feel for what issues are being discussed and what the most important concerns of the student bodies are. Having never been to an ASU meeting, Grilli said she approved of Cannon’s strategy to get the Governing Board more involved with students. “I think that (attending ASU meetings) will be an important tool in trying to learn what the students need, and I think it will help us to meet those needs so that students are taken care of,” Grilli said. Contra Costa College ASU Senator Jim Gardner said he has confidence that Cannon will rise to the tough challenge of being the student trustee in such trying financial times. Gardner
said Cannon is still very new to the position but seems capable. California’s budget crisis, student Frank Grimsley said, is the most important thing for the new student trustee to work on is trying to make more financial aid available to students. “We are all going through tough times due to the recession and students need much more help,” Grimsley said. “The governor is not doing his best to help students and some people are losing sight of their goals due to hard times, so (there) is a ripple effect that can be found all over California.” Student Janice Dalida said “This is a very difficult time for people, and we need as much help as we can get.” Contact Lamar James at ljames. email@example.com.
Was elected for the academic year of 2009-10. Her goal is to connect students on each of the three campuses.
Dedication to honor late Padilla Building to be renamed after CCC worker By Jon Pinlac STAFF WRITER
ERIK VERDUZCO / THE ADVOCATE
Healthy living — Wendy Gronner, who oversees the Weight Watchers at Work program, passes out information on the first day of the program Thursday in the Early Learning Center.
Program helps workers diet Weight loss lifestyle gains popularity By Lamar James NEWS EDITOR
The college has brought back its Weight Watchers at Work program, which aims to help employees maintain a healthier diet. Wendy Gronner, who has been overseeing the program on this campus for the last three years, began the Weight Watchers program in 1993 and has lost a total of 53 pounds since then. Senior Foundation Director Linda Cherry said
the program has been offered at the college for the last eight years. “This group is very supportive, and the best part about it being at work is that you are with your colleagues, people you know, as opposed to going to a center (and) talking to a complete stranger,” Cherry said. Although the program is called Weight Watchers at Work, students and community members are encouraged to join, Cherry said. Student Carla Matute said, “I think the program is really convenient to have here on campus. It saves me a drive, and it keeps us aware and alert to our goals.” Matute said everyone should take care of himself
or herself and that this is a great way to do so. Gronner said that when people think of Weight Watchers, they automatically think diet. “This is not a diet, it is a lifestyle,” she said, “and if you want to be successful at this program, you must change your lifestyle. It is really about what you put in the program.” Cherry said this program is also based on group support, so one really counts on his or her group members for support, which is very important along the journey to weight loss. The Weight Watchers at Work program runs from Saturday to Sunday, so participants can drop through
any time there is a meeting, Cherry said. Additionally, just because this program is based at the college, members are welcome at any Weight Watchers facility. The program is a little more expensive than the normal Weight Watchers program, Cherry said, because “they come to you and you don’t have to always make the drop-ins.” The whole 12-week series is $144. Matute said, “I am happy that I have joined the course, and this is my choice to become healthy, so I will do my best at the program.” Contact Lamar James at ljames.advocate@gmail. com.
“It had everybody’s support,” said Hernandez, who knew Padilla for more than 20 years and spoke at his service last fall. The proposal was brought to the College Council and its constituencies. “The Classified Senate passed it and sent it to the district board,” co-Classified Senate Council Vice President John Christensen said. Padilla is already being remembered through the creation of the Martin Padilla Memorial Scholarship, people still want to dedicate the SSC after him. Along with the scholarship, Padilla also has had a day honoring him. In 2004, four years before his death, Aug. 18 was declared Martin Padilla Day at CCC by thenpresident Helen Benjamin. So far the exact time frame of when the renaming will be enacted is unknown. “The College Council already passed it and gave it to the district Governing Board,” Classified Senate Council President Mercy Pono said. The College Council has done its part by passing the formal proposal to the district Governing Board, but its status there is now unclear because everyone is waiting to hear from them.
The renaming of the Student Services Center after a treasured Contra Costa College employee, Martin Padilla, is awaiting final approval from the Governing Board. “When he was killed, there was a lot of angst,” Senior Dean of Students Frank Hernandez said. “During that time, everyone was looking for a way to honor him, and I planted the initial seed of renaming the SSC building after him.” He died at the age of 51 on Aug. 28, 2008 when a parolee crashed a stolen car head-on into Padilla’s sport utility wagon. Padilla would help out the students and his colleagues in any way he could no matter what the task, which is one reason why he was able to touch the lives of so many people, Hernandez said. “He was one of the most caring individuals you could ever meet,” he said. Naming the SSC after Padilla, although a long and entangling process, was a Contact Jon Pinlac at perfect fit because Padilla was committed to serving jpinlac.advocate@gmail. com. others, Hernandez said.
Master plan to continue renovating campus By Holly Pablo EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
The recent seismic retrofitting of one of the college’s oldest buildings and re-roofing of two buildings prone to leaks during rain season are merely the beginning of plans to beautify and modernize the campus. “(The Facilities Master Plan) is making the college more attractive and safer,” Vice President Carol Maga said. “We’re making progress.” The college’s proximity to the Hayward Fault presents seismic concerns. The Liberal Arts Building, a location with many classrooms and staff offices, is the first to receive seismic updating. Psychology professor Mickelle Arnold said that during the summer, cement walls were constructed on the southwest side terrace to strengthen the structure. With the college nearing its 60th anniversary, some of the buildings are 30 or 40 years old. It was something that needed to be done for the safety of the faculty, students and public in general, Arnold said. For the Automotive Technology Center and Applied Arts Building, rain meant gathering enough buckets to catch water leaking through the roof, which potentially may be dangerous to high-voltage vaults. The re-roofing of these buildings, paid through regular scheduled maintenance funds, are 60-day projects and should be completed in October, Maga said. Two capital improvement bonds approved by local residents in 2002 for $120 million and 2006 for $286 million fund the Facilities Master Plan. The 10-year project, which will be completed in 2017, will modernize the col-
lege with new facilities and state-of-the-art technologies, President McKinley Williams said. One major component to improve the provision of services, Williams said, is to rebuild the core of the classroom with new technologies that will enhance teaching methods and student learning. “Smart” classrooms, or classrooms equipped with computers and audiovisual equipment such as hanging projectors, will be the norm and wireless Internet accessibility will be increased throughout the campus. Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said the Biological Sciences Building is also undergoing renovation. The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system’s completion is scheduled for the beginning of the spring semester. Maga said Phase I, an early part of the extensive Facilities Master Plan, includes construction of a new student quad, entrance to the college and two new structures that will be built simultaneously — the Classroom Building in place of the current Humanities Building and the new Student Activities Building, which will be closer to the Library. “Phase I being under way means that we’ve reviewed the space needs for each building, the Classroom Building and the Student Activities Building,” she said. “This involves the square footage needs of the ones who will be housed.” The construction of new buildings will be more environmentally friendly, Williams said. “It will make for a greener campus, in terms of facilities,” he said. “We’ll use less energy with the new buildings, which should reduce our carbon footprint. Our CO2 output will be reduced.”
“It will make for a greener campus, in terms of facilities. We’ll use less energy with the new buildings, which should reduce our carbon footprint. ” McKinley Williams, president
The new Amphitheatre, along with the Computer Technology, Automotive Technology and Student Services centers and Classroom and Student Activities buildings, will form a big circle that will “show our community our good husbandry with the bonds they have given us,” Maga said. That immediate area will house administration, a cafeteria, Middle College High School, culinary arts and the Three Seasons Restaurant, student government, a new Fireside Room and a drop-off and pick-up area among others. This centralization of the campus services will enable CCC to be more user-friendly, King said, since students will be able to complete multiple tasks in one area. There will also be a new entrance to the campus, near the Bus Transfer Center. The focus on infrastructure also lends to repaving roads, such as Campus Drive, and signage throughout campus to make it easier to identify buildings and paths of travel. “We want to make it easier for students finding their way around campus,” Williams said. Computer programming major Eric Pimental said the construction of the new quad and SA Building will be substantial because, instead of going elsewhere between classes and losing track of time, students will have more recreational areas to relax and take a break. The updates will bring the college more character, Pimental said, and will encourage students to come to CCC. Maga said, “Phase I will be a dramatic difference. It’ll be a great face-lift with aesthetically sound facilities.”
Maga said the main concern right now is infrastructure needs and the college is still in the middle of the start. Though the plans are complete and site development work is under way, one thing must be done at a time. “It’s a domino effect,” King said. “Before demolition, the computer server needs to be relocated. It is still in the Humanities Building.” The computer server network connects the college to the District Office in Martinez and services such as data processing software, Datatel and the Internet. Its infrastructure consists of underground fiber optic network cables that are dependent on its headquarters in the H Building, Maga said. By fall 2010, the H Building should be empty enough to address the next steps in this process, Maga said. Keycard access has also been added to the LA Building. Maga said the ability to digitally lock and secure the building, as opposed to physically locking each door, will be a tremendous help in such cases as an emergency. Additionally, she said, a greener Contact Holly Pablo Amphitheatre, with more grass and less firstname.lastname@example.org. crete, will be constructed,
6 THE ADVOCATE
l WEDNESDAY, AUG. 26, 2009
Cutbacks shorten athletic seasons Choice games to be canceled across sports By Dariush Azmoudeh SPORTS EDITOR
Statewide budget cuts will cause all community college athletic teams to reduce the number of games they play this year anywhere from 10 to 20 percent. These cuts, which were approved by the California Community College Athletic Association in February, are projected to save the state’s colleges $1.5 million. “We had to reduce the maximum numbers of contests, games and days of competition,” said Carlyle Carter, CCCAA president. Football only got its scrimmage cut, leaving its regular season games untouched. Other sports like baseball and softball, however, will get eight to 10 games cut and men’s and women’s basketball will each have four games cut. Baseball coach Marvin Webb said that due to the cuts in games, there is not much time for preparation and to develop players into better athletes. He also said the shorter season will affect the team’s chances of getting into the postseason and how
Some colleges went to greater lengths to save money. Los Angeles City College cancelled all its sports, with exception to volleyball, whose season has already begun, in hopes to save $700,000. Carter said that a lot of the proposed methods for budget recovery are based on how the state recovers. Whether the budget will improve next year is based on revenues such as taxes, real estate and how the economy fluctuates. He also said that football is a good way to bring revenue for their schools. UCs and CSUs are also taking a hit from the budget cuts. In addition to having fewer games, they have to reduce traveling out of state and squeeze more people into hotel rooms. Cuts for each college range from a few hundred thousand dollars at junior colleges to $65 million at ISAAC THOMAS / THE ADVOCATE UCs. Training day — The football team practices on Monday at the new Comet Stadium. The team had their “Hopefully everything only scrimmage for the season cut due to lack of funding from the state. will be back to normal,” Webb said. “It’s not the first the team has to make adjust- us to get up in the rankings,” same budget as last year, less money next year. Each time this has happened. Last Athletic Director John Wade sport had games cut for bud- time, they were able to bring ments in the preseason and Webb said. In addition to the game said. get relief,” he said. “We are those games back the folthe regular season. In the past few years, already underfunded. We lowing year. Things might “We need to try to get cuts, the commission is congames with top teams so we sidering freezing officials’ however, the department was have no way to run the pro- not get better next year, but can get a good rating, but pay and moving state cham- able to go over its annual grams the way we want.” maybe in 2011.” Wade also said that he the top teams would want to pionship tournaments to on- budget, but it will not be able play against other top teams campus sites, as opposed to to do that this year, Wade plans to have a meeting with Contact Dariush coaches and staff for their Azmoudeh at dazmoudeh. said. so they can keep their rating off-campus sites. The Contra Costa College “The state had no money; input on how to handle the email@example.com. up, which makes it harder for athletic department has the maybe we will have even situation.
Stadium makeover boosts team morale Team steps onto new field prepared to play in upcoming season By Asia Camagong ASSOCIATE EDITOR
After much planning and construction, the track and football field have gone out with the old and in with the new by way of a complete renovation. “This gives a new face to the athletic program,” Contra Costa College quarterback Don Miguel Tutass said. With its many alterations, the stadium has boosted the morale of the athletes and livened the anticipation for the upcoming season. “This football team has a unique opportunity as the first team to play on the new field,” athletic equipment manager Benny Barnes said. “The excitement will draw people to want to come to games.” The adjustments implemented on Comet Stadium aim to ensure students, athletes and members of the community feel safer, comfortable and drawn to the facility, Barnes said. Funded by the Measure A bond passed in 2006, the project took almost a year-and-ahalf to be completed. “This was long overdue,” football coach
Dave Johnson said. “The community wants to see something like this.” Athletic Director John Wade said that areas in need of updating, such as distance markers, hash marks and starting lines, helped determine the changes. Previously layered with Astroturf, the field was reconstructed and replaced with Sprinturf, giving it a “state-of-the-art look,” Wade said. The damage to players caused by the aged Astroturf fueled the rising safety concerns, he said. “The level of injuries were more serious and (the field was) like playing on concrete,” Wade said. The new turf is composed of synthetic rubber tested to work better on impact, Barnes said. It presents a strong resemblance to natural grass, but carries a different maintenance requiring less labor, Wade said. Alongside the changes to the field, the track was replaced with a blue rubberized surface, removing the remnants from the old red track. “(The old track) was ready to get fixed up,” Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said. “There (were) ridges and it wasn’t at level for the players.” Not only did the changes implement new material, but also new coloring to make the track and field both efficient and more aesthetically pleasing. “The stadium is better than we expected,” Barnes said.
ISAAC THOMAS / THE ADVOCATE
Field of dreams — Players gather on the newly built Comet Stadium during drills Monday. The field requires little maintenance and is made for safety. The distance markers were given more color to make them more distinguishable for runners on the track. Alternate panels changing from dark green to light green, a new lettering scheme and blue end zones have been incorporated to give the field its new look. “Aesthetically, (the field) is just totally different,” Wade said. Additional replacements and adjustments were made, such as the installment of a new scoreboard, sound system, landscaping and fencing around the stadium. While it is still open to athletes for practice, the days and times the stadium will be open for the community continue to be uncertain. With the pressure to maintain the new track and field, there is hesitation to leave it
Near-shock electrifies cup finals W
hat defines an exciting game? The rivalry, what is on the line and the score usually determine how electrifying a match is. Whether or not you care about the sport, a thrilling game should keep you glued to it. During the summer, we were able to experience a game like this and it was the FIFA Confederation Cup finals at the end of June. The game had every element to make it one of the most exciting matches in recent history. It had both teams playing their hearts out in a close game that had goals, controversy, a comeback and a near upset, all for the championship. It had one of the soccer giants, Brazil, defeating the tournament’s most surprising team, the United States. The USA was able to get to the finals on what people would call several miracles.
dariushazmoudeh They met eye-to-eye with elimination but were lucky enough to have all the matches involving other teams to be decided in a manner most befitting their own ranking. In addition to this luck, they also defeated then-ranked No. 1 Spain, which was enough to drop the jaws of the entire world. Brazil and the USA already played against each other in the group phase where Brazil won 3-0, but I could tell that this USA team was a different one and the finals would not be an easy win for Brazil. Both teams played strongly throughout the match, and when it looked like Brazil was going to score, the USA surprised
and scored first. The word that immediately came to mind was “luck.” Yet despite the early strike, Brazil continued strong, but once again, the Americans shocked the world with a Landon Donovan goal, putting USA up 2-0. At halftime, it seemed like the soccer world turned upside-down. The underdog was holding a good lead over the favorite. There was no way to tell how the game would go, whether Brazil could come back or if the United States could hold the lead. If the first half was stunning, the second was a nailbiter. As soon as it started, Brazil’s Luis Fabiano scored, which called for the resurgence of the green and yellow. Controversy arose when Brazil scored the gametying goal on the 59th minute, but the referee did not
see the ball go in the goal, and if Brazil had lost that game, it would have been mainly remembered for the goal that did not count. But that was not the case, because Brazil was able to pull off the comeback to get the 3-2 win in a hard fought final 10 minutes of the game where both teams were still fighting out until the final whistle. The United States played very well in the finals despite losing and still had the honor of defeating Spain in the semifinals. Same for Brazil. For, despite trailing by two goals, they kept a good rhythm, did not slow down and kept going. If both teams play like they did, they will go far in the World Cup next year. Dariush Azmoudeh is sports editor of The Advocate. Contact him at dazmoudeh.advocate @gmail.com.
open and unsupervised for the general public because of the possibility of abuse or vandalism, Barnes said. “We’re trying to find other times to open a schedule,” he said. “Nothing is concrete.” Those interested in experiencing the improvements firsthand can enroll in PE268, a one-unit course designed for students to take walking routes around the track and campus on Monday and Wednesday from 10:10 a.m. until 11 a.m. Talks of charging a fee to use the facility may be enforced, Barnes said. “The decisions are brought on by damages in the past,” he said. “A lot of things need to be weighed.” Contact Asia Camagong at acamagong. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Game of the Week Women soccer (scrimmage) Contra Costa College VS.
WCCYSL When: Friday, 3:30 p.m. Where: Soccer field Records: CCC 0-0-0 overall. The Comets women’s soccer team looks to take the pitch with a new team and under new head coach Nikki Ferguson. After having their season canceled last year, the Comets hope to jump back into the game with an exhibition win against the West Contra Costa Youth Soccer League. This game might be a preview of what’s to come in the upcoming season. Contra Costa College’s last complete season was in 2007, when the Comets went 0-17-0, scoring just three goals and giving up 85. — Dariush Azmoudeh