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LOG ON, LEARN, TRANSFER Entirely online community college prepares for fall start

By Michael Santone editor-in-chief

The search for the first CEO of California’s landmark fully online educational institute has begun as its cyber doors prepare to open in the fall of 2019. Wheless Partners Consulting and Executive Search is leading the search for the CEO of the newly established 115th California community college, the California Online College, with an application deadline of Nov. 15. “To be successful, the new online college needs an energetic and innovative CEO,” California Community Colleges Board of Governors Vice President Tom Epstein said in an Oct. 2 press release. “We are seeking candidates from industry and education with the skills and experience to bring the college rapidly from early stage development to scale.” Responsibilities of the CEO will be to hire and develop a team to execute early business and operational plans necessary to launch three inaugural pilot pathways by the end of 2019. These pilot pathways will lead the college’s vision and strategy to respond to California’s economic needs. Contra Costa Community College District Executive Vice Chancellor of Education and Technology Mojdeh Mehdizadeh said it is expected, once the CEO is on board by a January time frame, things will move more quickly in finalizing the details of the online college. “Online offers access to education for working adults, those with transportation challenges and stay-at-home parents taking care of young ones. I believe providing opportunities for online learning is vital,” Mehdizadeh said. “I believe there is a strong need and desire by members of the public to obtain college credit that is transferable.” Proposed by Governor Jerry Brown in the 2018-19 budget plan released in January, the Mehdizadeh California Online College will focus on shortterm credential programs for careers in fields Executive vice including advanced manufacturing, healthcare chancellor of and child development. education and An initial one-time investment of $100 million and a subsequent $20 million of continuous technology funding was allocated for the online community college. The $120 million in funding is a fraction of the $78.3 billion earmarked for public schools and community colleges for 2018-19. At the July California Community Colleges Board of Governors meeting, Brown said, “I think it’s very important that the community colleges of California be in the forefront and are creating this framework that will serve people who are not being served. California is a leader. It will lead in this. And I say, ‘Hallelujah, let’s get going.”’ “Stranded” working adults, who feel displaced due to work and family obligations, transportation issues, emotional barriers or lack of credit from prior institutions is the online college’s target audience. According to the 2017 California Community College data report, there are 2.5 million “stranded” men and women between the ages of 25 and 34 who have a high school diploma but no college degree. Of those 2.5 million, 233,983 reside in San Francisco, 153,878 in Sacramento and 856,471 in Los Angeles. In April, Contra Costa College along with 33 other colleges throughout the state joined the Online Education Initiative — as the demand for online courses grew. The program is purposed with helping close SEE ONLINE COLLEGE, PAGE 3


Cash day spotlights resources Support fair hits Campus Center Plaza to inform By Jackson Stephens staff writer


Helping students get as much money as possible was the purpose of Comet Cash Day Oct. 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Campus Center Plaza. Previously known as Financial Aid Awareness Day, the event’s name was changed this semester to reflect a new purpose. “The goal this year is to help students get as much cash as possible. Not just from financial aid, but from other places as well,” Financial Aid Specialist Patricia Herrera said. This was achieved by co-hosting the fair with EOPS and Outreach. One technique to encourage students to learn about programs and resources represented on campus was a “passport” card. Herrera explained that in order to be eligible for free food and INSTAGRAM: @cccadvocate

raffle tickets, a sticker needed to be given by each of the 15 booths represented. Raffle prizes were a $50 gas card, $50 grocery card, two parking permits and a laptop computer. Other ways to get tickets were by playing games such as ring toss and stepping inside a wind tunnel money machine. A participant survey also needed to be completed, which is used to plan future events and programs that best cater to student’s needs. Priscilla Pina, representing the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) Office, said a key initiative was helping students sign up for FAFSA. During the fair, Fireside Hall was used as a financial aid lab with computers set up so students could apply for FAFSA and/or DREAM Act consideration for the 2019-20 academic year. Communications major Reetman Sandhu discovered the fair while walking by it on campus and was initially drawn in by seeing the Financial Aid Department. “I’ve heard of EOPS, but this is the first time I really got to know SEE COMET CASH, PAGE 3

TWITTER: @accentadvocate


Humanities major Brandon Crawl gathers fake cash inside the money blowing machine during Comet Cash Day on Oct. 3. YOUTUBE: /accentadvocate

SNAPCHAT: @cccadv0cate


Quotable “When television is good, nothing, not theater, not the magazines, newspapers, nothing is better.” Newton Minow former chairman, Federal Communication Commission 1961 Michael Santone editor-in-chief Xavier Johnson web editor Denis Perez creative director Robert Clinton associate editor Jessica Suico news editor Andrew Weedon scene editor Efrain Valdez sports editor Paul DeBolt faculty adviser Staff writers Chris Alfred Jose Arebalo Issac Benavides Kit Duckworth Kyle Grant Dan Hardin Alex Kwasniza Luis Lopez Cindy Pantoja Joshua Poole Gabriel Quiroz Reggie Santini Jackson Stephens Joel Umanzor Honors ACP National Newspaper Pacemaker Award 1990, 1994, 1997,1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2017 CNPA Better Newspaper Contest 1st Place Award 1970, 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2013 JACC Pacesetter Award 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 Member Associated Collegiate Press California Newspaper Publishers Association Journalism Association of Community Colleges How to reach us Phone: 510.215.3852 Fax: 510.235.NEWS Email: accent.advocate@ 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 made up of student editors.


WEDNESDAY, OCT. 10, 2018 VOL. 107, NO. 5



DIGITAL DISCONNECT Governor Brown initiates online community college


s the unwrapping date nears for California’s first fully online community college fast approaches, the divide between who the college is reportedly in place to serve and who it is actually prepared to serve is one that can’t easily be repaired. Governor Jerry Brown touts the state’s new online institution, the California Online College, as a bastion of knowledge for California’s working-class citizens yearning for educational advancement. Well-meaning administrators like Contra Costa Community College District Executive Vice Chancellor of Education and Technology Mojdeh Mehdizadeh said, “Online offers access to education for working adults, those with transportation challenges and stay-at-home parents taking care of young ones. I believe providing opportunities for online learning is vital.” But is the online infrastructure in place to support a community of faceless, numerically arranged e-students. Face-to-face colleges provide hot meals, showers and mental health services specifically tailored to student needs — services that are often used by students who never imagined they would be needing them. An initial one-time investment of $100 million and a subsequent $20 million of continuous funding was allocated for the online community college. Many believe that money would have been better served by supporting the 114 California community colleges that already serve poor and rural communities. On a larger scale, who can fully guarantee these students will have consistent internet access? According to a 2017 Brookings Institute study, less than one-fifth of Americans live in a high subscription neighborhood where at least 80 percent of residents have a broadband subscription. Internet subscriptions are not free and even at discounted prices, connectivity, for some, can still seem like a luxury item. Public libraries close sooner and on more days than in years past and Starbucks isn’t exactly a safe space to sit in peace anymore. Instead of MLA or APA format, will professors accept Metro PCS formatted assignments for students who are trapped in locations with shoddy internet access? California Community Colleges Board of Governors Trustee Geoffrey L. Baum said during a bi-monthly board meeting in November 2017, if the system pursues a statewide online college, California should ensure more low-income workers vying for credentials have access to fast internet so that students “don’t have to stand outside the door of the library in order to try to access (their courses).” Since then, many opponents of the plan have reversed their opposition to the college. Without a concurrent push for free public internet to guarantee equal access to education, a statewide online college reeks of public relations lip service. The program is less for disadvantaged people and more for well-to-do Californians who have the disposable income to take some interesting online courses.




Fan fetishization, fuel ego-driven fall

ans of celebrities are among the most amenable groups of people that tread delicately on the border of becoming fierce cults. These fans have the capability of starting trends online, orchestrating huge gatherings and even causing public chaos simply due to their sheer volume of followers. For the fans of rapper Kanye West, remaining loyal to his clothing brands and music is what keeps West relevant as a celebrity. Ever since he realized that his fans will continue to come back, West knows he can say anything to stay relevant. The hit producer and fashion mogul has mastered the art of fiddling his fans. Sure, it’s recognized that West has some kind of mental health issue (which he’s admitted to), but some of his actions seem tactically fabricated to keep him relevant. Some of his moments can definitely be categorized as authentic mental lapses. Saying the 13th Amendment should be abolished is something you are not supposed to say as a public figure. Or the time he interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards show. The VMA meltdown was a snapshot of fans bolstering his bluntness, rather than backing his ignorant comments about

boosting the sales of his brands. The Sept. 29 “Saturday Night Live” show should have been another moment where West fans should have reconsidered their fandom. This shows, for West, any attention is good attention. slavery. The Trump tweets from West continued to fail earlier in this year did his fan base during a persomething interesting to formance on his 2016 Saint his Yeezy shoe company, Pablo Tour in San Jose. which saw a 25 percent It was then, during his increase in search traffic Nov. 17 performance, after Trump’s tweet. that West Not suspiciously, the spoke about Appar- boost occurred after Yeezy American were down 30 percent politics and ently, for sales from the previous year. stated, “If I Apparently, for West at would have West at least, all publicity really is voted, I would good publicity. least, all have voted for The conclusion is, West’s Trump,” with fans are a group of delupublicity some fans boosional imbeciles that take ing and throwreally is fandom to another level by ing items on believing that he will take stage. good it all back. That conOr, that they know that cert series was publicity. West is a completely unedcanceled preucated, misinformed colmaturely after lege dropout who shows no a health scare remorse to the community and a family he grew up in. emergency. Subsequently West fans could relate West went dark (on social to the sentiment of these media). words from comedian But once he returned to Chris Rock: “I don’t get social media in 2017, he high, but sometimes I wish praised Trump like never I did. That way, when I before. messed up in life I would This is when West realhave an excuse. But as of ized he could be controversial without having any right now, there’s no rehab for stupidity.” financial repercussions affect his brands. This brought him to Efrain Valdez is the sports the conclusion that he can editor for The Advocate. wear MAGA hats, or praise Contact him at evaldez. President Trump, while



Would you take a semester of only online courses? Why or why not?

“I wouldn’t, because I learn better in a classroom setting. I feel it’s less instruction and more collaboration when in a classroom.” Anferne Viduya computer science


“It would be beneficial to people’s time depending on their schedules. Some people can’t make it to campus to go to class.” Jennifer Farias nursing

“I would because if you are a full-time worker it helps with your time and you won’t have to stress about getting to class.” Charanjit Singh undecided

“No, because I am not working at the moment and don’t have kids so coming to school gives me something to work toward.” David Mendez EMT

“No, because I need a professor to explain to me in person what’s going on. I learn better with visual aids.”

“Yes, because it would be more flexible with my time since I am a working student.”

Judy Campost

Rayvie Gutfeld



campus beat





Attend the first Black Student Union meeting of the semester today from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in GE-111. The BSU brings together “motivated and melanated” CCC students to partake in campus and community outreach, activities and acquire educational information that targets those of African descendant. For more information contact co-advisers Manu Ampim at or Carolyn Hodge at


CHOCOLATE, WINE USED FOR FUNDS The culinary arts department will host its 8th annual Chocolate and Champagne scholarship fundraiser Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. in the Aqua Terra Grill. An assortment of chocolates, cookies and cakes paired with a variety of champagnes, wines and non-alcoholic beverages will accompany the afternoon, as will a performance by CCC’s Jazz-ology vocal group. Tickets are $30 at the door and $25 in advance. Proceeds fund the culinary arts department’s study abroad program. For more information call 510215-3878 or email culinary arts department Chairperson Nader Sharkes at nsharkes@contracosta. edu.


FAMILY HAUNT BRINGS SCARES TO RICHMOND Immerse yourself into the frights of LAB 5’s haunted house Friday and Saturday nights from 7 p.m. to midnight throughout the month of October. It is located at 2200 Hilltop Mall Rd. in Richmond. Visitors can explore unknown terrors as they find themselves in the midst of a secret laboratory that erupts with clowns, two-headed monsters and mad scientists. General admission tickets are $15 with a 10 percent discount for military, police and fire officials with valid identification. For more information visit


WORKSHOP PROVIDES WELLNESS ADVICE Fall 2018 student success workshops continue with a “Health and Wellness” seminar on Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the Career/Transfer Center in SA-227. The workshop aims to inform students about ways to manage their self-care with suggestions and ideas on brain-boosting foods and practical tips and techniques for a positive impact on their lives. For more information contact the Career/Transfer Center at 510215-3901.


DIRECTOR DEBUTS SHORT MOVIE FRIDAY Richmond resident Hector Ortiz will debut his short film, “Announcement” at Richmond Bridge Filmscape on Friday at 7 p.m. The film follows an undocumented family after the announcement of the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. To RVSP or more information visit upstanding-immigrants. — The Contra Costa Community College District is committed to equal opportunity in educational programs, employment, and campus life. The District does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, marital status, national origin, parental status, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status in any access to and treatment in College programs, activities, and application for employment.

LEFT: Undecided major Daicy Zurita (right) writes on a piece of paper during Transfer Day in Fireside Hall on Oct. 2. DENIS PEREZ / THE ADVOCATE

DAY PROMOTES TRANSFER University representatives gather to offer enrollment information

By Gabriel Quiroz staff writer

What started off as a rainy, gloomy day was brightened by cheerful students, upbeat music and the transfer hopes harbored by many Contra Costa College students. Transfer Day, held in Campus Center Plaza and Fireside Hall on Oct. 2, gave students the opportunity to talk to representatives from more than 30 public and private colleges and universities from California and beyond, including the University of Hawaii, the University of Idaho and Washington State University. The colleges offer different opportunities for students, like moving to a different state, focusing on a desired major or the availability of financial help. The University of Hawaii offers half-priced tuition to students from western states, the University of the Pacific in Stockton smaller class sizes and William Jessup University in Rocklin emphasizes internship opportunities. Animal science major Julianna Flores said, “I spent a lot of my time with UC Davis representative because they have more resources for my major. I found out they have an animal husbandry program, so I’d be able to work with farm animals.” Other students said they weren’t sure of their major but still got an idea of what different colleges offer them through a list of suggested questions to ask the college reps that was handed out by counselors. Undecided major Bryan Calvo said, “I don’t know what I want to major in yet, but this gave me an opportunity to speak to someone from UC Davis, UC San Francisco and San Francisco State, which are close by. I also found out about

their transfer requirements.” Counselors gave students a flier outlining the best questions to ask representatives. The forms also highlighted different things to consider when narrowing down a list of colleges and filling out applications. Counselor Andrea Phillips, who organized the Transfer Day event, said, “Students should set a deadline for mid-November (to finish applications). We have workshops to help, even some on Saturdays. Students should check the website ( and not wait until the (application) due date.” Phillips said she gave her counseling students an assignment for the event to encourage them to find out about the colleges and what they have to offer. One of her students, psychology major Sagrario Franquez, said, “I talked to reps from San Jose State, Sacramento State and UC Davis. I found out Sacramento State has minors related to my psychology major that I didn’t know about.” This year, the Career/Transfer Center helped with Transfer Day and assigned counselors to speak to students about the process. Career Services Coordinator Natasha DeAlmeida said, “We are fairly new. The center opened in 2017 but we want to encourage students to think about transferring sooner and to work with the resources we have here.” Counselors were on hand to answer questions for students and guide them through the process with the hope it will make their application processes more comfortable. Counselor Lorena Gonzales said, “We’re letting students know about the transfer workshops and questions to ask the colleges. We want to support them through the process so they know what to do when (as they get closer

n “I don’t know what I want to

major in yet, but this gave me an opportunity to speak to someone from UC Davis, UC San Francisco and San Francisco State. — Bryan Calvo, undecided

to transferring).” Transfer Day was originally scheduled to be held in Campus Center Plaza, but rain moved the majority of college representative booths into Fireside Hall. Despite the inclement weather, students crowded Fireside Hall and Campus Center Plaza in order to learn about majors at potential transfer locations, costs and what life is like at a four-year college. The representatives were also enthusiastic. San Francisco State representative Florentino Ubungen said, “We are the greatest university on the planet,” before going into a description of the school. There were many opportunities to speak to college representatives, but there was also an opportunity to check out some colleges by actually registering for a trip to see them. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) is offering 12 students the opportunity to go to seven colleges for its annual “Get On The Plane” college tour. The tour takes students to Howard, Norfolk State, Lincoln State universities and four other colleges. Applications are now being accepted for the tour with the registration process ended Nov. 29.

ONLINE COLLEGE | Web-only school may hinder OEI Continued from Page 1 the state’s growing academic achievement gap by collaborating to ease the process of enrolling in digital classrooms. According to its website, the Online Education Initiative (OEI) is a collaborative effort among California community colleges to ensure more students are able to complete their educational goals. Mehdizadeh said while the online community college is set to open in the fall of 2019, she doesn’t believe it will have any effect on progress OEI has made. “I don’t believe that the Online College will undermine OEI as long as OEI continues to receive the needed state funding to support the ongoing work,” she said. “I believe there is a need for online

education, which we are very successfully delivering already and will improve and expand upon through our partnership in OEI.” The effect on face-to-face courses, however, is something that would need to be looked at over time, Mehdizadeh said. “We will need to see what courses and programs the online college will offer,” she said. “I agree that the existing 114 community colleges would benefit from additional funding and other resources to grow online offerings.” CCC United Faculty Vice President Jeffrey Michels said all faculty groups in the state opposed the California Online College. “Certainly, the reaction of faculty was, and has been, that we don’t understand it,” Michels said. “We think if we want to expand

online education we can do it better and cheaper at our existing community colleges.” Michels said in many ways the community colleges around the state are better equipped with providing distance education. “If there’s a target population that we are not reachBrown ing — if there are what they call ‘stranded’ workers, or workers out there who need short-term certificates that we aren’t providing, there is nothing that would prevent our existing colleges from addressing that need,” he said. “In many ways, we think we are better

situated to address it through our local community colleges rather than with a new centralized statewide community college.” In the future, the likelihood of a new community college that’s totally online competing with existing offerings seems high, Michels said. “You’re duplicating effort with the Online Education Initiative, which is meant to make it easier for students who are attending one college to take an online course offered at colleges throughout the state,” he said. “I think the money invested in the online college could have been better invested in our colleges. As designed, there are a lot of fears that this is one more step toward centralizing authority at the Chancellor’s Office.”

COMET CASH | Financial aid day rebrands, changes Continued from Page 1 who they are and what they do,” she said. A variety of organizations that offer assistance made their presence known during the event. SparkPoint is a non-profit that works on campus to help students achieve financial stability, in part, through workshops on budgeting. The program is free and will not turn away students based on income. Contra Costa College SparkPoint Coordinator Bill Bankhead said the reason for SparkPoint having a booth at the Comet Cash Day event was to encourage students not to drop out due to financial instability and to highlight programs that help to prevent that. Food security and availability is another issue that was addressed by CalFresh. A federal program, CalFresh is dedicated to providing nutritious food to students in order to aid in academic performance. Applications for assistance can be submitted twice a month and if approval is given, a bud-

“I’ve heard of EOPS, but this is the first time I really got to know who they are and what they do.” Reetman Sandhu, communications major

get of $192 a month is allotted for groceries. CalFresh Outreach Coordinator Robert Gama used the fair as an opportunity to tell students about the Contra Costa and Solano Food Bank as well. Food for the event was provided by the Curbside Kitchen food truck. An Air Force Reserve representative talked to students about benefits of enlisting in the service that include vocational training, tuition payment and employment. LUIS LOPEZ / THE ADVOCATE The reason for recruiting at Comet Cash Day was due to the force’s low exposure in A student walks by booths set up during comparison to other military reserve branches, Comet Cash Day in the Campus Center Plaza on Oct. 3. reserve recruiter Lawrence Malm said.

campus beat




Police Services Center upgrades equipment, rooms By Luis Lopez staff writer

Students may have noticed some construction next to the Gymnasium in Lot 4 as a state-ofthe-art police station and emergency operations center goes up. Police Services will get a much-needed upgrade to its facilities at Contra Costa College this November when work on the new center is completed. Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said the new Police Services Center will be a one-floor, 3,430 square foot facility. The project has a budget of $2.25 million. Director of Business Services Mariles Magalong said,” Our sister college, Los Medanos, (in Pittsburg) has already received a new police center. It’s the exact same (type of) building being constructed here.” After the new police center is completed, the old office that consists of portable buildings near the Buildings and Grounds Office on the east side of campus will be torn down and the space used for additional parking spaces. Planning for the new Police Services Center began in March with McKinnon Construction beginning work on the project on May 22. McKinnon Construction foreman Jason Pote said they are just one of the companies helping with the project, but his company will oversee the placement of a portable modular building atop the foundation. “We are helping with the exterior plumbing and construction of the foundation. There are two other companies that will work on the electrical and interior plumbing,” he said. The new center is a big upgrade from the existing office. The current Police Services office is on the edge of campus in the old childcare building and has about half the space of the new one at 1,500 square feet. According to Magalong, what is unique about the construction of the center is that it is being built as a portable modular building in Bakersfield and will be driven over to its CCC destination for final assembly. King said choosing this type of building saves the district money because it is much cheaper to have it constructed elsewhere and shipped here. The new building will bring CCC’s Police Services Center into the 21st century with an array of upgrades. “There are so many reasons to be excited about the new center,” Police Services Lieutenant Tom Holt said. “It will have a host of new features that include an up-to-date modernized dispatch center, updated workstations, a designated interview/witness area, a better fingerprinting area and a better secured evidence storage repository.”

The McKinnon Construction company continues laying the foundation for the new Police Safety Center.


Performance funding formula sparks concern Funding formula crafts incentive for completion By Xavier Johnson web editor

The sweeping change to how California community colleges are funded is set to roll out over the next three years and is being met with widespread criticism. In June, a new budget formula was finalized that will mark a shift away from the typical enrollment-based formula to a threepronged approach that includes enrollment, degree and certificate completion and enrollment of low-income students. The new changes were implemented to align with the goals of the Board of Governor’s Vision for Success initiative. According to a press release in 2017, the Vision for Success’ goals are to increase the number of students transferring to CSUs and UCs, raise completions of career education programs and increase the number of students that complete certificates — all by 2022. According to the Governor’s Budget Summary for 2018-19, the new formula is intended to give colleges incentive to focus more on student success by promoting timely completion and better serving underrepresented students. This is being done in an effort to reduce the achievement gap by

40 percent within 10 years. The achievement gap measures differences in student success between white students and black and Hispanic students. Executive Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services Gene Huff said the new formula has not been well received by California community college leaders and business officers. “The formula was implemented too quickly. Putting together program changes to adjust to the new way of funding is difficult,” Huff said. The funding formula is currently in effect with slight differences compared to how it will look in three years after the rollout is complete. Currently, 70 percent of the budget is funded through FullTime Equivalent Students (FTES). Twenty percent of the formula is based on the enrollment of low-income students. Low-income students include students eligible for the Pell Grant or the California Promise Grant. Ten percent is based on the student success initiative and over three years the number will jump to 20 percent of the budget. Once that kicks in, 60 percent will then be determined by FTES and 20 percent based on the enrollment of low-income students. According to the 2018-19 Funding Formula FAQ, the student success portion of the budget uses a point system that is based on a variety of metrics, including associate degree completion, 18+

unit certificates, transfer, transfer level math and English completion within one year and regional living wage attainment. Each metric is weighted differently and the data used in the calculations is based on the prior academic year’s data. Each metric is weighted with points that are associated with funding with one point translating to $876. Associate degree for transfer has the highest weight with four points. A non-transferable associate degree is weighted at three points. 18+ unit certificates and transfer level math and English completion within the first year are worth two points. 9+ units career technical education completion and regional living wage attainment are worth one point. Built into the formula is a threeyear hold harmless provision for colleges that will have their funding reduced due to the new formula. United Faculty Vice President Jeffrey Michels said colleges and teachers don’t need incentives to help students because they already want to help students. “What are the behaviors they’re trying to incentivize?” Huff and Michels both criticized the student success allocation because it doesn’t address or change the student behaviors that cause the equity gap. Huff said, out of the approximately 50,000 students in the district, many do not take classes to

complete a certificate or finish their certificate within a year. “The formula rewards completions in the year and students that come from an Michels underperforming high school will United take some extra Faculty time,” he said. president Michels said Contra Costa College students face challenges of living in a high cost area that may take them away from school. Also, since the formula is based on completions, if students drop the college doesn’t get funded for their enrollment. “Why do our students drop classes? Is it because teachers aren’t trying to do their jobs? Or because we have students trying to negotiate jobs and families and they come to school and have to drop out then come back,” Michels said. Huff said he is in favor of colleges moving toward helping students complete in a timely manner, but tying a large portion of funding to it is a mistake. Academic Senate President Beth Goehring said the administrators she talked to are fearful that the district will lose a lot of money. Despite the potential for the district to lose money, Huff reassured educators that the district won’t start cutting courses and programs due to the shift.

Nursing moms seek refuge from prying eyes By Cindy Pantoja staff writer

A designated Lactation Room was added to Contra Costa College this fall in an attempt to assist the underserved pregnant and nursing women at this institution. One of the advantages of having a lactation room is that employees and students who breastfeed will miss fewer days of work or instruction because they can express their milk on campus and use it later. Studies have shown it also increases employee productivity and student satisfaction. “Is important to have a Lactation Room on campus,” Nursing Program Director Sandra Castillo said. “We advocate for breastfeeding because it is the most natural way to keep both the mother and baby healthy.” The California Education Code Section 222 states that a school operated by a school district or a county office of education in California shall provide reasonable accommodations to a lactating pupil on a school campus to express breast milk, breastfeed an infant child or address other needs related to breastfeeding. In a college, where according to the National Center for Education Statistics,

about 4,000 of its students and faculty are women, CCC hasn’t made a full effort to assist with breastfeeding needs. Instructional Counseling Assistant Vanessa Johnson said, “The only resources available for pregnant and breastfeeding students right now are the lactation room and baby formula in the Food Pantry.” The Lactation Room is located in SA-124 (in the back of the Student Lounge). The room is only available for CCC students and employees who are nursing mothers. Hours of operation for the space are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. If access to the room is needed at other times, or on Saturday, users should contact Police Services. The room provides a lockable door, work surface and chair, cleaning supplies, paper towels, electrical outlets and a small refrigerator. Mothers are responsible for providing their own personal breast pump and accessories. Repurposing a room for lactation cost about $2,000 and not having more rooms of this kind on college campuses is often a matter of mindset rather than cost. Student Life Coordinator Joel NickelsonShanks said, “There is only one Lactation


Room on campus and there are no plans for more.” Lactation laws were created to ease the task of breastfeeding for students and employees, but the women at CCC still struggling with this task. The Lactation Room is within a five-minute walk from most buildings on campus. However, this walk adds to the 15 minutes it takes to empty both breasts resulting in

almost 30 minutes of missing productivity or instruction. Financial Aid Office assistant Maria Sandoval said, “I had to breastfeed (in public) once and even though my breasts were covered people looked at me weird. Some of them even said, ‘Why are people still breastfeeding?’ That made me feel very uncomfortable.”

campus beat



GENERATOR REPAIRS UNDERWAY Applied Arts Building undergoes emergency readiness operations By Jose Arebalo staff writer


A student enters the sliding doors of the Applied Arts Building Monday guided by emergency LED lights temporarily attached to ceiling tiles.

Confusion set in on Oct. 3 as students were flooded with fire drills, speaker announcements and even presidential alerts, all aimed at easing stress and offering direction in case of an emergency. Contra Costa College is enhancing its safety procedures in response to a generator fire in the Applied Arts building two weeks ago. “Repairs are underway on the burned backup generator and are set to be completed next week as the last parts arrive,” Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said. The campus is shifting its focus away from the small-scale fire, opting instead to prepare for potential disasters of another kind. With concern growing over emergency preparedness on campus, there has been a rapid response from administration to ensure smooth day to day safety operations. Drills were immediately planned to help prepare the campus for emergencies. However, it seemed odd that the Applied Arts Building did not have a fire drill that day while instead other buildings did. Even more odd was the small number of emergency exit route signs throughout the building. Since the generator fire there has been just one new emergency exit map put up in the building placed next to the upstairs elevator doors. Its placement is hard to notice, even by people who regularly traverse the AA Building’s halls. When asked about the number of exit route signs and possible safety concerns,

King said there are no real concerns as the building is in full compliance with safety regulations. Following the fire, Contra Costa College President Katrina VanderWoude said, “I have seen the area where there was a problem and we are confident that we are in a good place for re-opening the building.” In the immediate days after the incident, Police Services officers were posted in and around the AA Building in case of unforeseen power outages. Should the power go out during operating hours, there are two officers on standby, ready to be of assistance. It is a nice reassurance nonetheless, but emergency exit routes should be posted more clearly in the building, especially within its more fragmented hallways. Police Services Lieutenant Tom Holt said fire is not a main concern at the moment, instead the biggest threats are vehicle breakins and earthquake preparedness. Holt said the fire was contained to a small, isolated area of the building and was quickly handled, which minimized the risk of any other area of the building being severely damaged. The fact that the coordinated response to the initial emergency scare was quick and efficient offers a sense of reassurance that while there have been issues in the building, the campus is ready to respond. Holt said what should concern people on campus is the amount of theft that occurs when belongings are left visible in vehicles. He suggested that items should be put away out of sight before leaving a vehicle to decrease the chances of a break in. Looking forward to all possibilities, he also mentioned the importance of understanding the phrase “drop, cover and hold” instead of just trying to stand underneath archways during an earthquake. This is part of the knowledge shared during the shelter-in-place drills that have been received well on campus. During the Safety Committee’s last meeting these drills and other ways to get more training out were discussed.

Service, sacrifice defines initiative Military history taught from black perspective

By Dan Hardin staff writer

On first mention, The Walking Ghost of Black History (TWGOBH) sounds like something from a “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. Since 1989, The Walking Ghost of Black History has been a historical and educational organization dedicated to providing the public with comprehensive, reliable information about the sacrifices of African-Americans in the United States military. This is done through discourse and re-enactment of the actual historical events. “The organization has a two-fold purpose. The first is the reenactment aspect and the second is a veterans’ outreach program, which is focused on helping veterans at Contra Costa

College navigate the education system, monetary compensation, health care and housing,” second-year communications student and military veteran Leon Watkins said. Watkins, the brainchild of the historical program, said, “TWGOBH was inspired by the motion picture ‘Glory’ in which I was cast as a flag bearer for the national colors, for the Massachusetts 54th Regiment — an allblack regiment.” Watkins said he spent about three months on the production set of “Glory” along with nearly 3,000 other re-enactors. His time on the set and the deep well of knowledge around him, created in him and exposed him to a perfect storm of information. All of this history was at his fingertips and so he began to listen and glean

the story of the 54th from his comrades. Watkins said that his involvement with the re-enactors and his own desire to create a re-enactment group, caught the attention of Watkins Freddie Fields. Fields was producMilitary er of the film and he veteran donated 20 Civil Warera uniforms from the movie to the group. “This was a pivotal moment in the creation of the organization TWGOBH.” Watkins, who founded the organization along with co-founder Larry Thompson, for the past 29 years continued to honor the African-American legacy and contribution to the U.S. armed forces. They

do this through an unwavering commitment focused on exposing the truth about the service and sacrifice of African-American soldiers. “Since the inception of TWGOBH, we have received numerous accolades and honors,” Watkins said. Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) Instructional Assistant Richard Stollings said, “Leon (Watkins) has been providing outreach services at the Veterans Resource Center. And what I mean by outreach is that he is making sure that the veterans have water and something to eat.” Former CCC computer science major Gorgon Su said Watkins has been a huge help. “I left to honor my commitment as a military reserve and forgot to register (for classes),” Su said. “Leon put the right people together to make it happen.”

Succulent delectables highlight culinary affair The Chocolate and Champagne event, hosted by the culinary arts department, offers a variety of foods to taste and savor.

By Jessica Suico news editor

The combination of chocolate and champagne have the power to make the average person’s taste buds burst with enthusiasm. Knowing this, the culinary arts department is hosting a Chocolate and Champagne event this Saturday in the Aqua Terra Grill from noon-3 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advanced or $30 at the door to partake in all the chocolate and champagne that can be consumed. Culinary arts major Christine Sanok said, “I am very excited for this event. When I heard chocolate and champagne, that got my creativity flowing. I had to figure out what savory food dishes I can incorporate in with chocolate.” “This event is to raise funds for the study abroad scholarship that culinary arts students use every year for a trip to Italy,” culinary arts instructional assistant Angel Chau said. Culinary arts hosts two major events every year, the Chocolate and Champagne event and the Food and Wine event. It’s all to fundraise for the Italy trip, culinary arts department Chairperson Nader Sharkes said. Sharkes said, “The students are excited and nervous at the same time about this event, because they have to figure out a sweet and savory dish. That can be hard especially when it involves chocolate.” Sanok was a recipient of the Culinary Scholarship last year. She went on the study abroad trip to Italy and she said with enthusiasm how “amazing” it was. The structure of the trip allowed students the opportunity to go into bakeries and restaurants to prepare authentic Italian food. “The wild factor was the simplicity of how they cook over there. They only use salt, pepper, herbs and olive oil,” Sanok said. For the Chocolate and Champagne event, Sanok will be making chili and chocolate for her savory dish. “Every type of age group is in here, so you get to learn


“Chef Nader is amazing. He has taught me a lot and there are many great resources in this department.” Christine Sanok, culinary arts major

from each other. Chef Nader and Chef Elizabeth Schwarz are amazing and have a lot of patience,” Sanok said. Instructors and culinary students came up with the idea of having the theme be chocolate and champagne. Sharkes said, “For the past eight years we have had this event and it’s always been really successful. The students love it as does the entire department.” Culinary arts also has an Empty Bowl event the following week on Oct. 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The ceramics department makes the bowls and culinary fills them with delicious soup.

At Empty Bowls, for just $5, patrons can enjoy a hot, tasty, comforting meal. Upon finishing, diners are welcome to take their empty bowls home. The proceeds for that event go to the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond, Sharkes said. The culinary arts department is also planning a haunted kitchen event on Oct. 21 from 5-8 p.m. For $10 per person attendees can enjoy activities, cookies and culinary student-prepared dishes. “This event is more or a family. We want people to feel welcome and to bring their kids and family to enjoy the activities and cookies,” Sharkes said. Sanok said her best experience as a part of the culinary arts department is learning different ways to prepare meat and vegetables for meals she already cooks at home. She also says her knife skills have improved. “Chef Nader is amazing. He has taught me a lot and there are many great resources in this department,” Sanok said.




Battle Royale

LEFT: Students meet in the Student Lounge in SA-120 to play “Fortnite” against each other with different platforms like PS4 or Nintendo Switch.



JUMP: 99 players ride a floating bus over the island and choose when to jump.


LOOT: Find chests, llama piñatas, supply drops to get equipment.


BUILD: Gather materials from objects they destroy to build walls, bridges and traps.


SURVIVE: Avoid the storm, monsters and other players. The storm condenses the map.

5. WIN: Be the last player alive and be the winner.

Cross platform game excites By Luis Lopez staff writer

“Fortnite,” the free to play battle royale game that has more than 120 million players online at any given time, recently made an update to its game that will change how multiplayer video games are played forever. Epic Games, the development company behind the most popular game in the world (“Fortnite”), has found a way to put its product in the hands of players, no matter the console, by introducing cross-platform play. There is no stopping the momentum of a game like “Fortnite,” and as of Sept. 26, Epic solidified it as the only video game that can be played across all major consoles, PC and mobile phones simultaneously. On Sept. 26, Sony, makers of the PlayStation 4, announced in a blog post that cross-compatible features would be coming to the PS4 and effective immediately. Sony, the console maker with the largest share of the market, was the only company to be against the idea of allowing its console to be used with other consoles. With the success of “Fortnite,” one would think offering cross-platform compatibilities in a video game would be a no brainer for the industry. However, this wasn’t the case. Upon release, players realized they were not able to transfer their Epic Games account information from the Playstation platform to the Switch. After backlash from gamers, including several online petitions, the demand for cross-platform compatibility had reached its boiling point. Sony finally caved and addressed the issue by way of a Sony President and CEO John Kodera blog post on the official Sony website Sept. 26. “Following a comprehensive evaluation process, Sony has identified a path toward supporting cross-platform features for select third party content,” Kodera wrote. “We recognize that PS4 players have been eagerly awaiting an update. The first step will be an open beta beginning today for “Fortnite” that will allow for cross-platform gameplay, progression and commerce across PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows and Mac operating systems.” The allowance of cross-plat-

form gaming between Xbox and Playstation is something gamers have been asking for since the beginning of online gaming. Now that it is here, many gamers are returning to “Fortnite” to play with friends they previously couldn’t join. “Fortnite” players have been given something gamers have wished for since the inception of online console games. Allowing gamers the freedom to play their favorite titles on their console of choice without having to sacrifice the ability to play with their friends or families is a concept bigger than the game itself. “Fortnite” is a third person action adventure game most known for its free to play multiplayer mode known as Battle Royale. Battle Royale is a game mode where 99 players start each match, and when only one player is left that player is declared the winner. During the match, players choose a place on the map to drop in and must GAME collect items and REVIEW material all while “Fortnite” trying to survive. ★★★★★ There is a timer Genre: Battle that counts down Royal Players: 100 in a and makes the map game shrink smaller and MSRP: Free with smaller. microtransactions Players are forced to stay within the boundaries of the shrinking map or they will lose energy. The shrinking boundaries is a mechanic that ends up putting players closer and closer to each other, making combat inevitable. What sets “Fortnite” apart from other Battle Royale games are the building mechanics that are unique to it. In “Fortnite,” players collect different types of materials ranging from wood to bricks or metal. Players then use these materials to build walls, floors, ramps or full combat forts, hence the name, “Fortnite.” The building mechanic adds a new wrinkle to a genre that has quickly become a modern classic. Season 6 of “Fortnite” has arrived and with it comes a whole array of new items, a new battle pass, new weapons and changes to the maps. As always, with a new season comes a new battle pass that can be purchased for $9.99. The battle pass gives players access to 100 new

WEAPONS: Assault rifles -suppressed -scoped -thermal -burst

Sniper rifles -bolt action -semi-auto -heavy -hunting

levels that contain unlockables ranging from cosmetic upgrades to new loading screens and emotes. One of the newest features for “Fortnite” Season 6 is the addition of companions that are essentially pets. Pets can be unlocked or purchased and take the place of backpacks. These critters are exactly what they sound like — animals that hang out in your backpack and react to what’s going on around you. On top of that they’re super adorable. The companion pets range from dogs to goldfish to dragons. Players can also unlock different colors for their furry companions as they level up. Very few additions were made to the weapon and item list this season, but a new item called “shadow stones” are a welcomed addition to “Fortnite.” The shadow stone is an item that is consumable like many other extras in the game. When consumed, the shadow stone will apply a shadow form to the player for 45 seconds turning the character into a ghost-like figure. While in shadow form, players will be unable to use their weapons and will be more visible to enemies. Players who have consumed the stone, leave behind a shadow trail when they move. Characters also gain increased speed, elevated jumping height and fall damage immunity. If the fire button is pressed while in shadow mode the character will pass through objects and launch into their current direction. Players can end the ability early by pressing down on the aim button. “Fortnite” aficionados may notice some of their favorite weapons from Season 5 are missing following the recent update. A significant number of weapons and items have been removed for Season 6. Epic Games says these weapons are in what they call “the vault,” meaning these weapons can still be used in the Playgrounds game mode but are no longer available in Battle Royale. The items removed are Vaulted Impulse Grenade, Suppressed Submachine Gun, Light Machine Gun, Bouncer and Remote Explosives. Although some players may be turned off by that idea it brings a new level of strategy forcing players who relied on the weapons in the vault to use new weapons they aren’t so familiar with.


Pistols -hand cannon -dual -suppressed

Shotguns -double barrel -tactical -heavy -pump

Missiles -grenade launcher -rocket launcher -guided missile




STDs Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) are passed from between people through vaginal, oral or anal sex. The effects of STDs range from mild to fatal, but most are easily identified and treated. n

STD cases in the U.S. exacerbate health crisis

This HPV induced disease grows around the anus and genital areas.

Genital warts

This STD is caused by bacteria. It is very common and has no symptoms, but should be treated quickly.


Bacterial infection that shows no symptoms. It is a common disease and easily treatable.


Rates surge for fourth year in a row, expected to continue

Infection in mouth or genitals causes blistery sores. This STD has no cure, but is treatable.


By Michael Santone editor-in-chief

From the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah to the sexual revolution of the 1960s, sex has been an intoxicating, yet risky, source of pleasure. Naked bodies immersed in fits of passion and ecstasy have long been chronicled in folklore, history books and religious manuscripts as different cultures cultivate their interpretation of sex. Since the dawn of time and mankind’s innate instinct to partake in a bit of the old in-out, in-out, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have lingered in the shadows — spreading indiscriminately. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) 2017 surveillance report, cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia have increased making it the fourth consecutive year that STDs have been on the rise in the U.S. “The United States continues to have the highest STD rates in the industrialized world,” David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), said. “We are in the midst of an absolute STD public health crisis in this country. It’s a crisis that has been in the making for years.” The standard bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STI) include gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia. All attack the male and female reproductive organs in the form of discharge, rashes, burning and pelvic pain. All three venereal diseases can reside in the human body without showing symptoms but can be cured if caught through antibiotic and sulfa drug treatment. Contra Costa College administrative assistant Elizabeth Bremner, who oversees the Student Wellness Program on campus, said it would be great to make resources and information on STDs more readily available to students, even if it happens anonymously. “We would love to have a health clinic on campus. In fact (Dean of Students Dennis) Franco and I have tossed around the idea,” she said. “It comes down to funding and finding a place to house something like that.” Bremner said students are not forthcoming with personal information, but for that rare case the program provides a flier providing information on local free clinics. Other than that Contra Costa County low-cost medical resource flier, there are no other resources or information on STDs for students on campus. Associated Student Union President Alexander WalkerGriffin said it would be beneficial for CCC students if they were offered more health information and resources on health issues like STDs, even at the basic level. “Some people may criticize it, but I think it’s overall important that we do have it, because yes, people are having sex. Let’s just accept the fact, but we need to make sure people are safe,” he said. “Some people may be afraid or don’t know where to go to get STD tests or how to use a condom in general. They need a place to go to learn about it sooner or to get some sort of treatment.” Gonorrhea, also known as “the clap,” is one of the oldest recorded STDs, dating back to an Act in the English Parliament in 1161. “Parliament passed a law to reduce the spread of ‘the perilous infirmity of burning,’” author Lester Bivens writes in his series on basic health care. But sex, in all its lustful glory, had already become a fixation within societies across the globe and was seen as a rite of pas-

HIV, an infection, attacks the immune system to cause AIDS. There is no cure, but it is treatable.

HIV/AIDS Syphilis

A bacterial infection, it can spread easily and may have no symptoms. It is treated with antibiotics.


A harmless and passive STD, although some variations of it can cause cancer. It is very common.

Pubic lice Scabies Trich Mollusc’s contagiosum

Tiny parasitic “crabs” attach to hair and skin around the genitals. Easy to treat. Passed through skin-toskin contact, these little parasites cause itching. It is treatable.

Its full name is Trichomoniasis. It is a prominent cause of vaginitis. Trich is common and treatable. This STD causes an infection leaving small bumps on the skin. The infection goes away by itself. INFOGRAPHIC BY DENIS PEREZ / THE ADVOCATE

sage into the world of adulthood. The first recorded outbreak of syphilis occurred in Europe in 1495 as French troops returning from Italy passed the venereal disease to their wives, girlfriends and prostitutes throughout France. Known as the “French Disease” until 1504, syphilis swept through Europe via Spanish mercenaries serving King Charles of France. “When syphilis was first recorded in Europe in 1495, its pustules often covered the body from the head to the knees, caused flesh to fall from people’s faces, and led to death within a few months,” physiologist Jared Diamond wrote in his 1997 book “Guns, Germs, and Steel.” For centuries gonorrhea and syphilis were thought to be the same disease. It wasn’t until the early 20th century, after advancements in modern medicine, researchers were able to distinguish the two through reliable diagnostic testing. According to the latest data provided by the CDC, syphilis diagnoses in the U.S. increased 76 percent from 17,375 cases in 2013, to 30,664 cases in 2017. Nearly seven in 10 of those infections occurred among men who are gay or bisexual. U.S. cases of gonorrhea also increased 67 percent over

the same time span, rising from 333,004 in 2013 to 555,608 diagnoses in 2017. Infections among men nearly doubled and cases among women increased for the third year in a row. Chlamydia, which is the most common STD in the U.S., was discovered unintentionally when three scientists traveled to the island of Java to study the bacteria that causes syphilis. In 2017 CDC records list more than 1.7 million cases of chlamydia diagnosed in the U.S. — representing a 22 percent increase from 2013. About 45 percent of those cases were among young women age 15 to 24. “After decades of declining STD statistics, in recent years we’ve been sliding backward,” the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention Director Gail Bolan said. “All it takes is a simple STD test and antibiotic treatment to prevent this enormous heartache and help assure a healthy start for the next generation of Americans.” Parasitic STIs, such as trichomoniasis, pubic lice and scabies, which live within the skin and hair, can all be treated with over-the-counter shampoos and ointment such as Malathion (Ovide) and Ivermectin (Stromectol). STDs, on the other hand, have a more long-term effect and are not as easily washed away.




Workshops provide help to undocumented students By Alex Kwasniza staff writer


Nursing students Heidi Alix (left) and Florence Edwards (right) demonstrate the new reclining hospital beds on Aug. 31 in the newly renovated nursing department in the Applied Arts Building.

Applied Arts Building houses new equipment Nursing students, faculty find spacious, updated classrooms

By Joel Umanzor staff writer

The nursing department has received a face lift with new equipment, classrooms and lab facilities in the newly renovated Applied Arts Building. The department that was once housed in the antiquated Health Science Building has a home that contains brand new state-of-theart equipment with features to allow nursing students to excel and gain beneficial hours of practice without the hassle of cramped quarters. The department was still housed inside of the Health Science Building, which has already been torn down, as late as the summer, Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said. “The department had classes going as late as Aug. 14 and had to be completely transitioned from the old building to the Applied Arts Building by Aug. 28, which put a constraint on the move,” King said. “But other than a few cosmetic issues we have done it all with positive responses from faculty and staff.” The new facilities have provided an upgrade to a department that had been housed in one of the oldest buildings on campus.

New observation rooms occupy what was the old Three Seasons cafe allowing for instructors to watch from behind one way glass windows while students practice on life-sized nursing dolls. Students are also able to take advantage of a new hospital area, which gives the feel of an actual hospital room. Nursing student April Lopez said, “I really like it. We haven’t had a chance to fully use all the equipment yet, but the space we have is a lot more than before. Especially in the observation rooms. The changes have been excellent.” Faculty also have been able to enjoy the changes to their day-today activities giving them more space to do their jobs. King said, “The nursing faculty had a small room with cubicles, which looked almost like a maze. But now they have what feels like a (hospital) waiting room.” With staff now in their centralized location, the main issue facing the department is handling having classes split up on opposite sides of campus. “We still have classes during the day in different locations spread out on campus, which provides a bit of an issue for our students going from class to class,” nursing

professor Joan Batiste said. “But with renovated facilities it is a small problem to have.” Lopez also agreed that having nursing classes spread across campus is problematic. She said that it’s a hassle for those students with classes far apart to make it on time with a short amount of time in between those classes. Added space is a common theme in every aspect of the renovation and everyone seems to agree the upgrades have given way to improvements for the quality of nursing education at Contra Costa College. “The (nursing) teachers have always been excellent at this college. It has been a real nice thing to see the improvements happen cosmetically to a crucial department such as nursing,” King said. “Other than the few things that naturally happen during a move of that magnitude, such as misplacing boxed items to other parts of the campus we may not remember, we have received nothing but positivity in regards to these new facilities,” he said. Nursing department assistant Janie Franklin said, “We have enjoyed it,” in regards to the new location for the department.

The Undocumented Student Week of Action is a week of advocacy and activities to support and build awareness for undocumented students and will be observed at Contra Costa College next week from Oct. 15-19. Over the course of the week, CCC will have a special theme for each day highlighting the different challenges of being an undocumented student and giving help and support toward dealing with those issues. Not only that, but during the following week on Oct. 25, there will be a free Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) workshop from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. for all undocumented students on campus or in the community. The event will help students renew their DACA for free and give legal support toward navigating the renewal process. “They don’t have to pay a single penny. All they have to is just bring the paperwork they need,” ASU Activity Coordinator Pavan Johal said. DACA is an immigration policy that allows deferred action against the removal of people who were brought to the United States illegally as a child, according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website. Activities on Oct. 17 will feature a special multicultural night to celebrate and highlight all the different backgrounds and cultures of students attending CCC. Student Life Coordinator Joel Nickelson-Shanks said, “We are a Hispanic serving institution, but also we’re going to highlight that Hispanics aren’t the only population that includes the undocumented. We have a large population of international students and other students who are going through the same things.” Undocumented Student Week of Action will be “extremely important” for undocumented students, he said. Johal said, “Personally, right now I don’t have a lot of faith in the current (U.S.) government so I feel like there is a lot of uncertainty with people who come here to California to do their studying. I think this is an important week and an incredibly important event that everyone should be more aware of and more supportive of.” Monday activities will include the college helping undocumented students learn how to access and pay for higher education. There will also be a scholarship drive hosted by the Financial Aid Office to engage undocumented students in different ways to fund their education. On Tuesday the college will host training and seminars on the legal rights of undocumented students. There will also be a special town hall for CCC students Oct. 18 as well as support groups and training for mental health assistance to aid undocumented students going through difficult times. Oct. 19 will feature an art advocacy event displaying examples of how to creatively express one’s undocumented status.

DRILLS SEND CAMPUS INTO ACTIVE SAFETY PREP Police Services practice shelterin-place procedures

By Gabriel Quiroz staff writer

There have been active shooters on school campuses across the nation and with no sign of gun regulation in sight it seems that colleges, schools and communities must work together on this issue or at least be prepared to face it. Police Services Lieutenant Tom Holt said, “Active shooters will pull the fire alarm as a way of getting people out of classrooms and we want to be prepared for that and teach everyone what do in this situation.” Because of this issue and others, the Contra Costa College campus has begun to hold shelter-in-place drills more frequently. Holt said, “We want people on campus to be listening during a fire alarm for what’s going on and not just evacuate because they hear it.” The buildings set to have the drills in the coming months are the Art and Music buildings on Nov. 7 and the Library, Applied Arts and General Education buildings Dec. 5. Preparation for facing an active shooter is a big reason for these drills, but not the only reason, according to Holt. Other reasons for the drills include chemical and environmental accidents like air quality, gas leaks or fires. The shelter-in-place drills began on

Oct. 3 at roughly 11 a.m. in three buildings on campus via an alarm and alert message sent to students’ phones. The drills were allotted an estimated time of about 45 minutes, but only took about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. The Student Service Center, College Technology Center and Automotive Technology Building were the first buildings to experience the shelter-inplace drill. Undeclared major Yeliesa Chavez was in the SS Center inside the Welcome Center when the drill started. She said the loud beep of the alarm began to fill the room. Chavez said, “The drill shocked me. We found out the day of and the alarms just went off on our phones. We locked the door turned off the lights, went into the back room and locked that door too.” Many of the other people in the Welcome Center referred to the drill as an active shooter drill more so than they did a shelter-in-place drill. Chavez said, “We were waiting for a while for the police to come for us, but I guess one of them lost their key — we just went out on our own eventually.” District Police Services Officer David Sano is in charge of making sure that the drills go smoothly. “We have staff that are building monitors who inform the students what to do during the process. They (stu-



dents) also know what areas to go to much like there are certain areas to go to during a fire drill,” he said. Participants were instructed to turn down cell phones, turn off lights and stay out of sight. The drills began because the campus Safety Committee, chaired by Director of Business Services Mariles Magalong received many requests from people who wanted to have them on campus.

Automated External Defibrillator Evacuation Assembly Area District Police Department Staging Areas Incident Command




LEFT: Clowns surround Jose Arebalo (second from left) as he walks through the haunted house hosted by Nite Terrors at Hilltop Mall on Friday.


Clowns, fiends serve terror Haunted house puts on ghastly production

By Jose Arebalo staff writer


orror rolls into town as a new terrifying attraction has opened up for those brave enough to face it and strong enough to survive it. The haunted house at the Hilltop Mall, hosted by Nite Terrors, aims to have patrons take part in an immersive horror story. The show runs on weekend nights through Oct. 28. More information is available at The show is set in a secret laboratory, Lab 5, which has lost all communication with the outside world and customers join the advance team of scientists as they explore unknown terrors. The location is easy to spot with two jumper slides and a large tent set up outside of the old JCPenney building at the mall. The atmosphere is quite intimidating, and while patrons are waiting to enter, they are surrounded by an interactive posse of horror actors. Once attention is placed towards the haunted house, it is easy to forget any common surroundings as the sight of the haunted dwelling exudes suspense. Made up of striking characters, the production is daunting at first sight. Those without

a steady heart will be instantly scared as they approach the entrance to the laboratory. Creepy clowns and other terrors hover outside of the attraction, scaring any customers choosing to venture further into its horrors. Within its walls, the haunt is constantly filled with surprises at the end of every jagged and uncomfortably long corridor. Endorphins operate on overdrive as adrenaline spikes at each uncertain turn. EVENT Narrow walkways block corREVIEW ner sights forcing blind encoun“Lab 5” ters toward the next horrifying ★★★★★ monster. Each actor is clearly Headliner: Haunted house skilled and times their jumpWhere: Hilltop scares perfectly to catch patrons Mall off guard. The attraction throws beautifully grim set designs at participants from the first room to the last. A mixture of quiet dread and curdling screams await visitors as each room brings a new scene. The production crew makes sure to offer plenty of variety. Moving from run-down laboratories, to bloody operating rooms, the walls are filled with all kinds of surprises. The walls are covered with haunting decor straight out of a cult horror film.

The cast is realistic and engaging in every one of their roles and each actor brings their character to life in the scariest ways possible. Most characters are believable, whether they follow visitors quietly muttering down halls or scream for help drenched in blood. The actors bring the chills directly into the face of startled visitors. Whether it’s chasing patrons down a hall or popping up behind them, no moment is ever calm inside the production. There is no way to avoid getting scared at this haunted house, which makes it a great choice for those who aren’t used to these attractions. Just walking along the path is enough to have a good time and the crew will make sure that everyone gets a good scream or two. Costume designers have certainly done a great job bringing out their best efforts. Each actor looks more terrifying than the previous. Just seeing them is scary enough, then they growl at you. Colorful large props and intense chilling makeup help bring these scenes to life. The characters’ imposing look is backed up by chilling dialogues to skillfully create a memorable nightmare. Thrill-seeker or not, this nightmare is going to be a terrifying and thrilling experience for all.

celebration raises awareness the event bringing children and adults to the park with activities for the entire family. Pony rides, board games and live gospel music were among some of the attractions that were available to attendees. By Joel Umanzor staff writer A small electric train drove children from the entrance of the park to the main stage area OINT PINOLE — ­ Free food and a festive and back while those families in attendance waited their turn atmosphere marked a celebration of the envi- to grab a free meal given out by ronment and Bay Area climate Mario’s Catering, a local catering vendor. justice on the shores of Point All booths organized for the Pinole Saturday. event were from local businessThe North Richmond es that emphasize the environShoreline Festival is an event ment in West Contra Costa sponsored by the North County, informing locals of the Richmond Shoreline Open need to be continually active Space Alliance (NRSOSA) in the fight against a negative which has been held annually environmental footprint. for 15 years to celebrate the Different local groups, such local ecosystem, which sits at as the Contra Costa County the base of the San Pablo Bay. Library Group and supporters It also strives to raise public of Measure FF with East Bay awareness about the imporRegional Parks District worktance of active preservation. “The goal of this festival is to ers, set up canopies and spoke raise awareness and create own- to locals in the park offering information on the different ership of this space with the services at local parks. community,” Lana Martarella, This year a ceremony to who organized the event for the celebrate two local men who NRSOSA, said. impacted climate justice in the “As I have told my students for many years, this is our land Richmond area, Henry Clark and Whitney Dotson, was also and our shoreline. We need to included. be involved not only for the When they received their present but for the future.” The alliance, along with the plaques, both men spoke words efforts of the East Bay Regional encouraging the public to continue their goals of preserving Parks District (EBRPD), held

LEFT: Boy Scout master Fred Stevens helps a mother hold her daughter as she walks across an obstacle course set up by the Boy Scouts of America at the North Richmond Shoreline Festival in Point Pinole on Saturday.

Shoreline festival honors nature’s beauty, relevance



the shoreline for the present and for posterity. “This is the 15th year the festival has been going on and we know we have had a long battle up to this point, but we know time is with us because as some say, ‘You cannot stop an idea that has already come to be’,” Clark said. “This just didn’t happen over night. So to all the young people here, don’t throw in the towel on your dreams — especially if it is for a just cause.” Understanding the significance of the area and its impact in the continued fight for climate justice, is a fact that was not understated by the climate warriors. “God gave us the environ-

ment to protect and restore,” Dotson said. “This shoreline has one of the greatest views in, not just the Bay Area, but the world.” “Climate justice and its roots have a history here in North Richmond,” Clark said. “And if it weren’t for the efforts of those in this area, much of the progress the environmental movement in California has seen would be non-existent.” Both men were instrumental in securing environmental wins for residents of Richmond, specifically the North Richmond and Parchester Village areas. Clark’s impact on the community came in the form of the $1 billion Chevron Richmond Refinery Modernization project

which outlined updates needed for the refinery. Improvements included a solar farm and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the area. Dotson and his father fought for the preservation of the marsh area around Parchester Village and helped establish the fight to preserve the area which is now Point Pinole Regional Park. Martarella said, “These men are local influences who we can use as examples for the local fight for climate justice in our area. “Their examples help us personalize it (environmental issues) and make them our fight as well.”




Setting up for success

Freshman setter takes on big role as leader on court, motivator By Alex Kwasniza staff writer

Every team in any sport needs someone who can be a staple and is willing to put their teammates in a position to succeed. This someone for Contra Costa College’s volleyball team is Kimberly Calip. Calip, 18, was born in San Francisco in 1999 and has grown up most of her life in Hercules. This is her second year attending CCC, but her first year playing volleyball for the Comets, who presently own a 1-12 overall record, 1-6 in the Bay Valley Conference. But she said she has been enjoying every second of it. Calip has many years of experience when it comes to volleyball. “I’ve been playing the game since the eighth grade,” she said. She began playing organized volleyball in a local church youth sports program before playing at Hercules High School. She graduated from Hercules in 2017. A setter is a vital role for any volleyball team, as that person is responsible for putting her teammates in a position to score and succeed. The setter must be a good leader, consistent, a quick decision-maker and have a great understanding of the game. “It’s one of the most important positions on the team and I think I have a really big responsibility carrying the team and trying to help them use their skills to their fullest,” she said. Calip not only serves in the role of setter, but does it extremely well according to her teammates. Comet sophomore libero Delanie Baca said, “She is the absolute staple to our team. Without her hard work and dedication to our team we would not be functional, at all. Not only does she hustle hard on and off the court — she is a real genuine person.” Creating a friendship and a good sense of unity with your teammates is always important, and Calip said she feels as though she has done just that. She said, “Me and my teammates have formed a really strong bond.” When Calip first joined the volleyball team, she didn’t know anyone on the team and was worried about how her relationships would be with her teammates. She also wondered if she would gain any new friendships. “Now I see my team as a family. We’re all sisters,” Calip said. “Before every game we always motivate each other to do our best and play for each other and just have fun on the court. What I really appreciate about them is how we can talk to each other about anything.” The Comet setter is also very fond of the coach of the Comet volleyball team, Christy Tianaro. “She’s been really supportive,” Calip said. She also said coach Tianaro has been open to new ideas and been great at helping


Comet setter Kimberly Calip is ranked seventh in assists in the Bay Valley Conference. She has been playing volleyball since the eighth grade and is a freshman on the Contra Costa College volleyball team.

the Comets perform well as a team. The coach shares a similar sentiment about Calip. Tianaro said, “She’s one of the sweetest players I know. She’s also very smart on and off the court. She’s very supportive.” Calip is a chemistry major and hopes to get her associate degree before transferring to a university. However, being a student-athlete is no easy task as she can find managing everything quite challenging sometimes. “One of the hardest things I have to do is juggle school and volleyball,” Calip said. All participating athletes are required to

be full-time students and they have to manage practice, homework, study hall and game schedules. “Finding the time to study, keep my grades up and find the motivation to work is probably the most challenging part. But I think that with a strong mindset I can do anything.” Calip intended go to a state university after graduating from Hercules, but ultimately decided on CCC and says she does not regret her decision at all. Instead, she said it turned out to be “the best fit for me.” She also said, “I think it’s a really good

college in terms of academics, location, cost and all the classes and professors they have to offer.” One of Calip’s biggest motivations in life is her boyfriend, who also plays volleyball. “He encourages me and inspires me to be a really good volleyball player because he is such a good volleyball player,” she said. This could be Calip’s last years of organized volleyball and she is undecided on whether she will play for CCC again next season. At the moment she does not plan to continue playing at whatever university she transfers to.

Gridders drop Homecoming game Comets manage to keep game tight with defense

“Unfortunately our offense isn’t moving the ball the way we would like them too. We’re not getting the ball in the end zone like we know we can.”

By Efrain Valdez sports editor

During the annual Homecoming game Saturday, the football team (0-6 overall, 0-2 Pacific 7 Conference) lost 23-14 in a tightly contested match against San Jose City College at Comet Stadium. San Jose (1-4 overall, 1-2 American Golden Coast Conference) lost its starting quarterback Joseph Catano on its second offensive possession after Comet linebacker Jovan Kitchen devoured him on a sack. The sack that broke Catano’s collarbone was the moment that changed the approach the Comet defense had to start the contest. The change came because of the Jaguars’ second string quarterback George Landeros’ ability to scramble effectively. CCC defensive line coach Shaun Mullen said, “We had to make sure guys knew that there’s a change of pace quarterback coming in. When we rushed the quarterback, we had to make sure that we rushed under control because at any moment he could put his foot in the ground and get up the field.” On the drive when Landeros took over, the game saw the scoring open in favor of the Jaguars

Pat Henderson,

Comet football coach


San Jose City College quarterback George Landeros escapes pressure exerted by Comet linebacker R.J. Ma’ae during CCC’s 23-14 loss on Saturday at Comet Stadium.

due to CCC’s inability to slow the quarterback outside of the pocket. In what became a battle of second-string quarterbacks, the Comet offense finally broke through at the 5:36 mark of the third quarter. CCC scored on a 12-play drive, which featured a combination of good runs and nice pass completions. The touchdown came on a 1-yard run from Comet running back Samuel Allen and CCC also scored on a 2-point conversion that holder Jaylen Phelps ran in. Comet coach Pat Henderson

said, “Unfortunately our offense isn’t moving the ball the way we would like them too. We’re not getting the ball in the end zone like we know we can. “So, with that, the defense has to pick up the slack and we can’t let people in the end zone. That’s just the reality.” With this loss, the Comets extended their losing streak to 16 games over three seasons. The team will get an opportunity to change its fortunes at Comet Stadium once again. The Comets will look to end De Anza College’s

(4-1 overall, 2-0 American Pacific 7 Conference) four-game winning streak Saturday at 1 p.m. Henderson and Mullen both praised the Comets’ defensive effort on Saturday, even though it was not reflected on the scoreboard. The defense managed to allow CCC to stay in the game until the fourth quarter when a grueling seven-minute drive by the Jaguars pushed the score to 23-8. The Comet defense started the game at peak intensity. From the onset, CCC managed to put pres-

sure on Catano — a traditional in-the-pocket quarterback. Once Landeros came into the game, the play calling of SJCC changed to accommodate his style, which allowed him to scramble whenever he felt pressure. Jaguar coach Jim Winkler said, “We did a better job of picking up the rush in the second half. Our backup quarterback George (Landeros) does a great job of scrambling and making plays out of nothing.” Henderson said that they got to see Landeros on film a couple of times, but for the most part seeing him play every snap was “pretty fresh” to them. Winkler said of Landeros, “The ones and twos (string quarterbacks) get their reps at practice. George (Landeros) has played for us a bit this year as we’ve played him in certain packages. It’s not like he came in cold.” Winkler said that Landeros had played a half against Merced College and Monterey Peninsula College earlier this season.





Photos by: Denis Perez For

more photos, please visit our website:

ABOVE: Contra Costa College linebacker R.J. Ma’ae flexes his biceps before Saturday’s 23-14 Homecoming loss to San Jose City College at Comet Stadium.

LEFT: Comet wide receiver Kyree Jackson returns a punt while his teammates block for him during a kickoff return in Saturday’s 23-14 Homecoming loss to San Jose City College.

RIGHT: CCC backup quarterback Riley Lee throws a pass for a completion during Saturday’s Homecoming game loss to San Jose City College at Comet Stadium. ABOVE: A Comet fan cheers after a CCC sack during Saturday’s Homecoming game. LEFT: The Contra Costa College team encourages each other before Saturday’s Homecoming game against San Jose City College.



focus LEFT: Richmond resident Pablo Bracamontes blows a large bubble during the North Richmond Shoreline Festival held at Point Pinole on Saturday.

Nature, art celebrated

Photos by: Denis Perez For

more photos, please visit our website:

RIGHT: San Pablo resident Evelyn Nunez walks a rope as part of an obstacle course set up by the Boy Scouts of America during the North Richmond Shoreline Festival held at Point Pinole on Saturday.

ABOVE: El Sobrante resident Ayana Dalessio (right) works the pony ride at the North Richmond Shoreline Festival held at Point Pinole Saturday.

LEFT: Volunteer Graciela Hernandez paints Richmond resident Jonathan Torres’ face during the North Richmond Shoreline Festival held at Point Pinole on Saturday. ABOVE: Tents and booths were set up or the North Richmond Shoreline Festival held at Point Pinole on Saturday.

The Advocate 10-10  

The Advocate is published weekly in San Pablo, Calif.

The Advocate 10-10  

The Advocate is published weekly in San Pablo, Calif.