Page 1

Volume 58,Issue Issue Volume 59, 4 1

March 29, 2012

Los Rios union leader presents lecture on status and future of community colleges If Gov. Jerry Brown's tax ballot initiative passes...

If Gov. Jerry Brown's tax ballot initiative does not pass...

$92.5 million

$264 million

the amount of revenue that will be generated for community colleges.

the amount of money that will be reduced through statewide mid-year cuts.

$218 million


the amount of sections that will be cut in 2012-2013.

the estimated amount of money that Gov. Jerry Brown will use to buy down community college debt.

$12.4 million

$11.2 million



the remaining deficit of Los Rios salaries and benefits.

the resulting mid-year cut to Los Rios district.

increase in medical insurance fees for Los Rios employees for 2012-2013. By Imran Majid

Los Rios College Federation of Teachers President Dean Murakami held a faculty forum on the current financial status of the Los Rios district amid recent budget cuts on Tuesday. He also provided a future outlook on what mid-year cuts may occur, pending state legislation. The presentation also took place at the three other Los Rios

Ben Levy | The Connection

Dean Murakami explains how budget cuts have affected the Los Rios district. Cosumnes River College professors Hiram Jackson (top right) and James Frazee (bottom right) attended Murakami's presentation.

campuses before being presented at Cosumnes River College. Murakami began his lecture by saying that the current budget status is “pretty bad” and emphasized the severity of the recent cuts. “This type of recession has lasted much longer than any of us had anticipated,” Murakami said. “Much, much worse than what we ever thought could happen. I’ve never seen anything this bad.” Murakami spent the first half of his presentation explaining the

recent cuts to community colleges, which include the unexpected $149 million cuts announced in February, as well as the $102 million trigger cuts that took place on Jan. 1. Murakami related these cuts to the faculty bucket, the main source of salaries and benefits for Los Rios workers. The $149 million shortfall, which results in a $6.9 million cut to Los Rios, is the result of legislators overestimating the amount of students attending community

Harvard cheaper compared to many California state colleges and universities By Carlo Dela Cruz A middle-class California resident might have to pay more at a state university than at many other private colleges in the country such as Yale and Princeton, according to the Contra Costa Times. The rates of California State University and University of California institutions rose due to many budget cuts in recent years. With financial aid, a middleclass freshman attending Harvard will pay $17,000 a year in tuition, books and on-campus housing combined. According to the Contra Costa Times, the total budget for UC Santa Cruz with all services could cost up to $33,000. A student in CSU Sacramento will have to pay about $23,000 according to the college’s website. UC Davis also advertised that their total expenses reach $32,000. “Honestly, education should be something that we really

the amount of class sections that will be cut in 2012-2013.

Honestly, education should be something that we really shouldn't pay for but nothing is for free in this world.

Thomas O'Brien Chemistry Major shouldn’t pay for but nothing is for free in this world,” said 21-year-old chemistry major Thomas O’Brien, who plans to transfer to Sac State. “In the end, I probably would go for financial aid, scholarships or just work full time. Some students who plan to transfer from Cosumnes River College are not worried much due to how much their family earns. “I don’t think I have to worry much since my mom basically pays for my classes,” 19-year-old liberal arts major Candace Reyes said. With plans to go to a UC, Reyes said her mother earns around $100,000 a year. Reyes

followed that she doesn’t want her mother to pay too much if the university is priced high. Due to the constant cuts towards state universities, students are considering alternative solutions if the cuts continue after the November ballot initiative to increase taxes. “I would really consider trying to find colleges out of the state if they are cheaper than what’s over here,” Reyes said. Ceasar Moraaleman, 21-yearold English major, would even go as far as going out of country for colleges. “If I can get an education, it doesn’t matter to me where I go to,” Moraaleman said. If O’Brien’s plan to go to Sac State doesn’t work, he has other alternatives to further his education. “If Sac State gets more expensive, I probably would not go there and probably just go stay in junior colleges, if prices drive me do so,” O’Brien said.

colleges, as well as a failure to anticipate an increased demand for Board of Governors fee waivers, Murakami said. Community colleges are currently lobbying state legislators to help resolve the conflict. If Los Rios does not resolve the $6.9 million cut, it will have a total deficit of $27.9 million this year, Murakami said. The deficit of Los Rios funds would be at $14.25 million. As a result, Murakami said the trombone clause

will be instituted, resulting in a 9 percent decrease in the salaries of Los Rios employees. “The district does not want to institute the Trombone Clause because we think that’s a real detriment to all workers in Los Rios,” Murakami said. Murakami also spoke about Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax proposal, which includes increasing sales taxes by 25 cents, as well as increasing personal income taxes See FACULTY, Page 2

Math students feel pressure from new three-strikes policy By Vince Schwede Christopher Thomas, a 22-year-old neurobiology major, wants to transfer to the University of California, Davis. After graduating, he wants to attend medical school and become a brain surgeon. But the journey hasn’t been easy for him, especially in math. Thomas took intermediate algebra three times before finally passing. He wondered if he would have to keep repeating the process every time he moved on to the next math level. “After that third time, I just felt so defeated, in all honesty, that I didn’t even really want to do it,” Thomas said. “I wanted to stop, but I know I needed to [keep going] if I wanted to succeed in get-

ting my major.” Thomas isn’t alone. A study from EdSource, a nonprofit organization that analyzes issues in public education, revealed that 45 percent of California community college students enrolled in math courses required for a degree didn’t pass their classes. Starting summer 2012, students will only have three chances to pass their classes, according to an email from the Los Rios Community College District sent to students during the fall 2011 semester. The policy is retroactive, and withdrawals will count as a strike, according to the email. Thomas, who is currently taking trigonometry for the second time, said the policy is necessary because it will save money See MATH, Page 2

March 29, 2012 |

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Corrections Issue 3: A news story on the new Sacramento arena misquoted Mike Tavares. He heard about the job, but it was not offered to him. Issue 3: An editorial stated that California community colleges sustained $109 million in trigger cuts on Jan. 1. The actual number is $102 million. Issue 2: A sports opinion story on the proposed arena incorrectly stated that the Power Balance Pavilion and the Maloofs employ 4,000 people. The actual number is 1,100. The projected number for jobs that could be created is 4,000. It is the duty of The Connection to report all news with the highest accuracy, brevity and clarity as possible. All feedback regarding stories and photos should be sent to

Hawk’s Eye The Connection attends journalism conference Eleven Connection staff members attended the Journalism Association of Community Colleges Conference in Burbank on March 22-25. All members competed in a wide range of competitions and three members came back with awards. Imran Majid placed third in News Writing, Vince Schwede placed fourth in Broadcast Writing and Zachary Hannigan received an Honorable Mention for Sports Writing. The Connection also received a General Excellence in online and former staff member Varsha Narayan received an Honorable Mention in the mailin awards for Critical Review. Kaiser Permanente to host new fundraising event Kaiser Permanente Running of the Elk is set to take place on April 1 in Elk Grove. Elk Grove City Council member Gary Davis created the race to benefit the Elk Grove Youth Sports Foundation. The event will have a halfmarathon, half-marathon relay, and a Thrive 5K Fun Run and Walk. All races will begin and end at the Elk Grove Auto Mall. For more information, visit

California State Universities plan to reduce enrollment California State University officials announced a plan to freeze enrollment next spring at most campuses and wait-list all applicants the following fall, according to the Los Angeles Times. The plan will help with $750 million in budget cuts. An additional $200 million will be cut if Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tax initiative is not passed in November. Share your thoughts online at Free medical services available in Sacramento From March 30-April 2, the Remote Area Medical Clinic will visit Sacramento to offer free medical services, such as dental fillings and vision exams. The event will be held at Cal Expo and all services are free. For more information, visit



Carlo Dela Cruz, Cody Durham Demitri Fellines, Mike Hendrickson, Tracy Gilkerson, Ian Graves, Zachary Hannigan, Erik Juarez, Josh Lee, Ben Levy, Alex Mosqueda, Vince Schwede

The Connection is an award-winning newspaper published bi-weekly by the Journalism 400 newspaper production class. Editorials and opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the students, staff or faculty of CRC or Los Rios Community College District. The Connection os a member of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC). Letters to the Editor must be typed, signed and include the first and last name of the author and a phone number. They must be 200 words or less and may be edited for length, clarity or taste. The Connection Cosumnes River College 8401 Center Parkway Sacramento, CA 95823

Faculty: Murakami asks students to get involved in helping colleges Continued from page 1

on those who make $250,000 or more annually. The plan will generate an additional $92.5 million for community colleges. If the initiative fails to pass, trigger cuts, which include a 6 percent rollback in Los Rios faculty salary and an increase in medical insurance fees, will occur

between 2012 and 2014. “The information that we got isn’t anything surprising,” said psychology professor James Frazee, who attended the event. “It’s good to hear from our union leadership on what we have in store for us, about what potentially could happen. Makes us comfortable to weather the

storm.” Murakami emphasized that students need to help convince legislators to restore funding to community colleges, starting with the tax proposal. “Get on out there and start helping us get this initiative passed,” Murakami said. “This is unacceptable to see this happen.”

Math: Professor says new policy forces better planning by teachers Continued from page 1

for the Los Rios colleges. On the other hand, Thomas said the policy will negatively affect students. “I know there’s resources, but if it’s just something they can’t do, I don’t feel they should be penalized by having to do so many or having to only have three chances to do it.” Mary Martin, a mathematics professor at Cosumnes River College, said this new policy will force math professors to carefully plan their courses so students learn as much as possible. “There’s always a bit of a balance that you’re trying to meet to say, ‘I want to be able to give students enough time on what we’re currently covering to master it, but I don’t want to have six things to do in the last three class meetings,’ ” Martin said. “So we can’t push it all to the back end.” Thomas said taking trigonometry with Martin has been a

21-year-old music major, math has always been challenging. Kolesinski, who is taking beginning algebra for the third time, said the new policy has forced him to work harder in his class. “It makes sense,” Kolesinski said. “It’s kind of a bummer that I’m one of the people it’s affecting but it does have its place.” Having a math class from Monday through Thursday is beneficial, Kolesinski said. “No matter how fast we’re Christopher Thomas moving, you still feel like you’re Neurobiology Major learning in good chunks and not drowning,” he said. positive experience. Kolesinski said this is the “In all honesty, I do love math, first time math makes sense to but I just need a little help some- him. He feels confident that he times, and she’s there to help me,” will pass this course and eventuThomas said. “And I think that’s ally transfer to UC Davis. what makes it the most enjoyable Thomas also feels confident because not all professors will that he’ll succeed in Martin’s class take the time out to just sit you and move one step closer to his down and try to help you figure goals. out where you’re going wrong and “I feel I’m doing well,” Thomshe will.” as said. “I feel very confident that For Albert Kolesinski, a I will [pass].”

In all honesty, I do love math, but I just need a little help sometimes, and she's there to help me. And I think that's what makes it the most enjoyable because not all professors will take the time out to just sit you down and try to help you figure out where you're going wrong and she will.

Fundraisers to support student scholarships The Cosumnes River College Gala will be held on April 14 at 6 p.m. and will offer food, wine and entertainment. Tickets are $35 each and profits will go towards scholarships for college students. Students will also be able to enter a raffle for a $500 book scholarship. For more information, visit

The Connection Editor-in-Chief: Imran Majid Campus News Editor: Imran Majid Opinion Editor: Takara Campbell Lifestyle Editor: Ashley Boucher Sports Editor: Jon Wilson Online Editor: Tammi Kolesinski Copy Editor: Stephan Starnes Faculty Adviser: Rubina Gulati

Campus News

Telephone: (916) 691-7471 Fax: (916) 691-7181 Website: E-mail:


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Opinion | March 29, 2012 |


Progress means sacrificing the trees Progress: a word Americans love. Progress spurs colleges, builders and architects to at a glance construct and design better buildings and campuses. The Issue: Meeting students’ Cosumnes advancing educational River College is and environmental needs expanding the campus by buliding is foremost in the minds of the Cosumnes River over many of the College Facility Master tree fields. Planners. Construction crews Our View: CRC is are working everywhere on progressing and the CRC campus. progress requires Most recently crews sacrifices. The torn down trees will be with giant backhoes have cut down the ornamental replaced and will pear tree orchard on the grow back. east side of the school in order to break ground for Agree? Disagree? Send comments to the Winn Center. It will be rated connect@crc.losrios. using the new Leaderedu ship in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, a certification program in the key areas of human and environmental health.

The building is expected to be a “model in green technology,” according to Lionakis Inc., the architecture firm working on the project. The trees that were destroyed will be replaced by 175 new trees. When nature is sacrificed for buildings like this, the Joni Mitchell song that says, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot,” comes to mind. But it’s all in the name of progress, making our school a better place to learn. The building will include space for the architectural and construction programs, as well as design studios and laboratories. There will also be room for the photography and pharmacy technology programs. At the groundbreaking ceremony, Mike Winn, president of Sacramento-

based land development and planning company Michael Winn Associates, said to the Sacramento Press that he hopes "today marks the beginning of Sacramento's next building cycle." The Winn Center will be named after Mike, Tom and Pete Winn, the largest contributors to the project and former owners of Winncrest Homes, now merged with Lennar communities. As builders, they’ve felt the effects of the recession and are looking forward to an upturn in the economy and the prospect of more contractors and architects being educated at the new facility. In March 2004, a facility master plan was released detailing plans for building at CRC through 2015. Many projects on the list have yet to be completed, such as the instructional buildings that would

have been where the Winn Center is going. Plans changed, but there was always a plan. Over the past couple years, many watched the progression of the new and improved cafeteria. The new facilities are roomier and have more to offer students. That’s progress. The many trees on campus were planned out decades ago. They have grown and matured. Without those trees, we wouldn’t have a cool place to relax between classes and the air we breathe wouldn’t be as clean. That’s progress. We have to roll with progress and trust the leaders of our college and the developers to plan intelligently for the future of our beautiful school. They haven’t failed us yet.


Hawk Talk Why would people buy new iPads at $500 to $800?

If you want to spend that much money you can, but I'm pretty much broke.

Michelle Hanick, 19 Pre-Medicine major

to keep up with “theI guess trends. It comes from a materialistic society. ”

Josh Donnelly, 19 Agriculture Business major

It has a fancier keyboard but I don't see the point of paying for an iPad.

Rudy Balatran, 19 Undeclared major

Kony 2012 does not warrant a movement By Mike Hendrickson mhendrickson.connect@gmail A 30-minute YouTube documentary by activist group Invisible Children hit internet stardom when it launched on March 6. It reached 70 million views in its first four days, grabbing the attention social media users. The campaign’s goal is to capture Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony who, along with other atrocities, was responsible for kidnapping around 66,000 Ugandan children in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The story took an unexpected twist when a co-founder of the group, Jason Russell, was detained on March 15 by San Diego Police. He was taken to a medical facility after it was reported that he was running around a San Diego neighborhood in his underwear yelling incoherently. No charges were pressed. The video has elements of a disturbing point of view that has

been around since colonial times. Those colonial powers used the “White Man’s Burden” to excuse their exploitation of Africa with the idea that they were civilizing barbaric people. In that same underlying tone, this is saying that America is the solution, that Ugandans aren’t smart or well-equipped enough to take Kony down on their own. The group was founded by three young white privileged 20-somethings whose video sends the message that America is the Western savior of Africa and that these people are hopeless on their own. Some Ugandans criticize the movement for this reason, like Ugandan journalist Rosebell Kagumire, who posted a response video and blog. She says the founders are “Three boys trying to save Africans instead of playing Angry Birds.” She goes on to say that we have seen these stories in Ethiopia and other countries were ce-

lebrities like Bono come to third world countries to play the savior role. “I think we need to have kind of sound, intelligent campaigns that are geared towards real policy shifts, rather than a very sensationalized story that is out to make one person cry, and at the end of the day, we forget about it,” Kagumire said on the video. The founders seemed to further the idea that of trying to be the colonial savior of Ugandans when they posed for a picture with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army before peace talks in 2008. It gave off an image of three “badass” young men trying to save the world. The Ugandan army didn’t need American intervention to drive Kony’s small group of rebels out of Uganda in the 1990s and into the forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Because he is no longer in Uganda, the video’s focus should not be on military intervention

nor should it be about making him famous. Instead, it should be about diplomatic relations and making his capture a priority for the border countries of Congo, Central African Republic and Sudan. One of those countries is keeping Kony safe considering he has managed to evade capture for People want to spend that two decades. much money because they With policy shifts that favor want the new technology. capturing him in these countries, eventually he is going to capture Victoria Martinez, 19 or kill him without our help. Foreign Language major It’s interesting that when America takes out Saddam or gets involved in Libya, some complain that we are the world’s police. But now it’s popular to advocate for us to be the global force for good. Kony is a bad guy for sure, but this world is full of bad guys Use our QR code to view our so do we go down the internaHawk Talk video at tional community’s wanted list and become the world’s bounty! hunter? It’s not like we don’t have $15 Compiled by Will Bouzeneris. trillion in debt racked up already. Photos by Tracy Gilkerson.

March 29, 2012 |

4 |


Campus talents step into the spotlight By Zachary Hannigan

Ben Levy | The Connection

with Cosumnes River College student Jake Langstaff. The 18-year-old music major is working his way into the Sacramento music scene and beyond. “My absolute dream would be to make a living in music,” Langstaff said. “I can’t see myself being completely happy doing anything else with my life.” Langstaff got into music and began writing songs at a very young age. “They were probably not very good songs, but I was still writing them,” he said. The musician credits his mother for his love of music. “The first person who ever got me into music was actually my mom,” he added. “I went to her shows in her country band that she sang backup for and watched her sing at church. I just kind of always loved it and it came naturally to me.” While Langstaff continues studying for his music degree at CRC, he has started to write songs for his own style of acoustic music. He hopes that he can play a few solo live shows to gain experience and exposure. “Though I have over the years done several live shows with different bands, I am hoping to start doing some solo shows with my acoustic music soon,” he said. Langstaff wants to reach as many people as he can through his music. “I hope it takes me to a place where I can encourage people with my music and give them hope,” he said. “I want the world to hear me.” Updates on Langstaff ’s progress and upcoming shows can be found on his Facebook page at “Jake Langstaff (Music).” To hear some of his music, visit user/Jakejakejakeeemusic.

Cosumnes River College student Christopher Bruton, 22, has always been inspired by the idea of film and cinema. The directing and writing film major enjoys the process that goes into making a film and wants to make people think. “I can’t draw, so the only way of me being creative is through photography,” he said. “I love the idea of creating something that few people will understand.” Bruton got into filmmaking at a young age and credits the movie “Titanic” to his early work. “When I was 8, I saw “Titanic” and I was blown away,” he said. “I didn’t say one word for the entire three hour and 20 minute film. I had never been sucked into a film like that.” Bruton said he likes the fact that film hasn’t been around a long time. He also added that his style ties into existential thought. “I love thinking outside reality and time,” he said. “A lot of what I do is representative of something.” Currently, Bruton is busy writing scripts for films he hopes to complete. However, he noted that filmmaking does not have to always make sense or be of great importance. “Filmmaking is not important, it’s completely meaningless,” he said. “That’s what I love about it, film is what you put into it.” After completing his film studies at CRC, Bruton plans to attend Colorado Film School in the fall. “Perception is all through the lens,” he said. For updates on Bruton’s work, check out his Facebook page at “Christopher James Bruton.”

Artist enjoys drawing connections between different subjects With every stroke of a pen, Cosumnes River College student Afton Kern slowly creates works of art. The 21-year-old anthropology major uses her art to show a new or different perspective on age-old questions or debates. “There is always something new to be found in art,” Kern said. “People become too fixated on copying other artists, why not rediscover something new in things like science, religion or patterns of nature?” “Then you start realizing everything is connected, it’s really interesting,” she said. Kern started her art at a very young age and said she doesn’t even remember when she first started drawing. “It’s always been there for me,” she said. “My mom says when I was around 2 I started drawing all sorts of pictures.” Although Kern’s art is inspired by studying many subjects, she puts an emphasis on science and religion. “Those two are connected,” she said. “I feel like a lot of that stuff has been lost because they have been going on for so long.” Kern’s art has been featured in student art shows and last year’s 75th edition of Imagine FX magazine. “A lot of my art is looking at something and doing something no one has ever done,” she said. Kern continues her studies at CRC and said she hopes her art can lead to a career. “It would be nice to have a career, but who knows?” she said. “It’s something I will always enjoy.” Kern’s art can be seen on her Facebook page at “Afton Kern art page” or at

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Lifestyle | March 29, 2012 |


Virtual pinboard connects millions Sharing interests one pin at a time Post, pin and show your style with helps to relax internet adventurer various photographs on Pinterest By Tammi Kolesinski

esting photos that have given me ideas for decorating my home, what style of clothing I want to buy next, where I would like to If you’re into social media sites, post- travel and what kind of food I want to try ing pictures or just looking at pictures, you cooking. might like the latest social media website, Pinterest. I am one of those people who are always up-to-date with the latest trends, especially when it comes to any social media. So when I heard about Pinterest, I was eager to create an account. However, in order to join Pinterest, I had to wait on a waitlist to get my account activated, which every prospective user has Home-made hurricane lamps on Pin- to go through in order to join Pinterest. Pinterest is similar to the popular blog terest that I pinned to my "things in jars" board. I don't know which would be more website, Tumblr, combined with Apple’s fun: enjoying their glow, making the photo application, Instagram. Pinterest is all about posting up pictures onto your site lamps or drinking the wine. along with a little caption. When new users first start, they are I’m glad I didn’t delete it. given a “Pin It” button that is saved to the I started pinning by uploading some of toolbar. the things I love, at least that’s what I called The “Pin It” button is used when users my first “board.” come across pictures online that they like. Looking around Pinterest is a relaxing When they pin the photo it automatically way to unwind at the end of a busy day. It goes to the users’ website. Users can also reminds me of Tumblr and Stumbleupon, upload their own photos, as well as create just a more grown-up sophisticated version different categories for pictures they post With summer just around the corner, that is more customizable. this picture from Pinterest of a strawor repin. I enjoy blogging and reading blogs, Pinterest is a great way to share photos berry, granola yogurt caught my eye and but I don’t have time to enjoy much more that interest individuals. There are many I just had to repin it to my “Yummy for my than the pictures and captions these days. different categories and users can also add tummy :)” board. I can’t wait to make this Pinterest perfectly fills in the gap. in the summertime. their own categories. It’s not like Twitter or Facebook where Users can post and/or repin pictures of you need friends or followers, and no one things they’re interested in such as clothneeds to “like” what you’re pinning. ing, food, travel, music, and books as well So if you’re into the latest trends, exSince I was a little girl, I’ve loved flip- as post pictures of favorite vacation spots pressing yourself through photos or just ping the pages of catalogs and magazines. and old photos. like looking at what your friends and othPinterest is like finding little photographic My experience with Pinterest has been ers have to share, find an interest in Pinterdreams and pinning them to your wall. interesting. I’ve come across many inter- est. By Josh Lee

On March 5, I submitted my request for an invitation to Pinterest, a relatively new social networking site, and started looking at other people’s “walls” while I waited. The first thing I saw was a picture of healthy taquitos. They looked yummy and I was, quite frankly, hungry, so I clicked the picture. I also saw homemade Hostess-like cupcakes and some comfort food called enchilada lasagna by mogwaisoup.blogspot. com that has two “repins,” whatever that is. I kind of want to repin it, but I’m still waiting for my invite. Truth be told, I really want to eat it and to heck with sharing it. Six minutes after I pinned my interest, I got a message telling me I’m on the waiting list. I guess I won’t be officially pinning anything yet. I heard about this waiting list on Facebook. Speculation is they’ve grown so fast and furious, they can’t handle all the hits. It’s March 7 and I’m still on the waiting list. I’ve learned that many people have been waiting for months. I guess I’ll have to go begging perfect strangers for an invite. It feels a little elitist, like trying to get sponsored into a ritzy country club. Well I want in, so here I go begging. On March 13, I finally got invited to join Pinterest! I feel like a member of an exclusive club. My journalism adviser sent me an invitation that ended up in my spam filter.



Trending Now Comiled by Josh Lee, Cody Durham, Erik Juarez and Tracy Gilkerson. All photos are courtesy photos.


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Spring break

Kony 2012

The campaign is to make the Lord’s Resistance Army leader, Joseph Kony, famous by raising awareness about him and the LRA’s actions. “I feel it’s wrong we aren’t doing more than we are,” said Dayanand Selvaraj, 23, a digital media major. “We could easily take him down.”

The campaign is to make the Lord’s Resistance Army leader, Joseph Kony, famous by raising awareness about him and the LRA’s actions. “I feel it’s wrong we aren’t doing more than we are,” said Dayanand Selvaraj, 23, a digital media major. “We could easily take him down.”

NCAA Final Four


The campaign is to make the Lord’s Resistance Army leader, Joseph Kony, famous by raising awareness about him and the LRA’s actions. “I feel it’s wrong we aren’t doing more than we are,” said Dayanand Selvaraj, 23, a digital media major. “We could easily take him down.”

The campaign is to make the Lord’s Resistance Army leader, Joseph Kony, famous by raising awareness about him and the LRA’s actions. “I feel it’s wrong we aren’t doing more than we are,” said Dayanand Selvaraj, 23, a digital media major. “We could easily take him down.”

March 29, 2012 |

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'The Hunger Games' opens with plot controversy 'The Hunger Games' plot blatantly stolen 'The Hunger Games' stands above the rest By Alex Mosqueda Being a die hard “Battle Royale” fan, it took a lot of effort to go watch the “The Hunger Games” with an open mind. Despite the blatantly obvious similarities between the two stories, many fans insist “The Hunger Games” is a completely original idea. Even though I previously dismissed “The Hunger Games” trilogy as a pathetic knockoff, it was worth a shot seeing the film adaptation of the super popular book series by Suzanne Collins. The first 20 minutes of the movie were an instantaneous face palm. How is it not ripping off its original Japanese predecessor? The film follows the story into the future where a corrupt American government forces the young adult population to participate in a battle to the death called “The Hunger Games," which serves as a cruel reminder of a failed rebellion. It eventually focuses on the prot a g on i s t , K a t n i s s Everdeen, who is thrown into “The Hunger G a m e s ” with 23 other contestants (tributes) and struggles to survive along with her compatriot Peeta Mellark. It sounds like a pretty entertaining story, but when looking at the premise of Koushun Takami’s novel and Kinji Fukasaku’s film adaptation, it’s understandable to be suspicious. “Battle Royale” goes into the future where a corrupt Japanese government forces 15year olds to participate in a battle to the death called the “Battle Royale,” which also serves as a cruel reminder of a failed rebellion. The protagonist is Shuya Nanahara, who is forced to participate in the “Battle Royale” after his class is randomly selected by a lottery as the year’s contestants. Come to think of it, contestants are also randomly selected by lottery in “The Hunger Games.” Sorry, Suzanne Collins, but the odds are not in your favor this time. Honestly, “The Hunger Games” itself is an entertaining movie. It has decent casting choices with Jennifer Lawrence in the lead as Katniss, as well as other prominent actors, such as Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks. Best of all, it has Donald Sutherland. And let’s be honest- when Donald Sutherland is in the cast, it just gives the movie an

element of class. Surprisingly, the actor who delivered quite an impressive performance was Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, the male contestant from Katniss’ own district. Though Peeta’s love for Katniss is unrequited, he doesn’t mope around and flash the screen with looks of smoldering intensity. Instead, he does his best to look out for Katniss, and his male ego isn’t shattered when it’s pretty clear she’s the better contestant of the two. “The Hunger Games” delivers an enjoyable movie, but it’s not enough to hide the fact that it borrows a lot of ideas from “Battle Royale.”Granted, the fightto-death scenario is the basis for many books and movies alike. There are minor details in “The Hunger Games” that are eerily similar to “Battle Royale.” Cato, the sociopath from District 2, is Kazuo Kiriyama minus the machine gun and awesome red hair. Not to mention there are trackers that were implanted into the tributes’ arms which are used to locate their exact location and let the command center know when a contestant was out of the running. What were those shiny pretty necklaces the students from class 3-B were wearing? Trackers that gave their exact location and also let the command center know the time of their death. In “The Hunger Games,” the announcer liked to dampen the spirits a little by updating the tributes with the names of their fallen comrades, which Kinpatsu Sakamochi also did in “Battle Royale.” Before all the Gale and Peeta fangirls start organizing “Battle Royale” book burnings and insulting Tatsuya Fujiwara’s snaggle tooth, let’s make it clear that “The Hunger Games” is a very enthralling series with an impressive film adaption. But saying it’s original is a daring statement because the franchise is many things but original. Let’s be honest and see “The Hunger Games” for what it really is: a nicely done American adaption of “Battle Royale” marketed for teens.

Author’s score is out of five stars.

By Takara Campbell When I saw the long awaited film adaptation of “The Hunger Games,” a young adult novel by Suzanne Collins, I was blown away. The movie was a fastpaced ride of pure action that kept me on the edge of my seat. The movie was released into theaters Friday, earning about $20 million from midnight showings alone, according to Box The movie follows Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a teenage girl who volunteers to take part in a national event called “The Hunger Games.” The event is a televised battle to the death hosted by the Capitol, the reigning body of power, in order to keep the Districts, small citystates, under control. Katniss, along with 23 other teenagers chosen (tributes), must combat the environment, themselves and each other in order to go home heroes. The movie is attentiongrabbing from the very beginning. Vi s u a l l y, the scenery was amazing. From the dirty shacks of District 12 to the slick flamboyant buildings of the Capitol, everything l o o k s beautiful. The colors of the foliage were amazingly vivid and the buildings were realistically detailed. Most of the acting was done to perfection. Josh Hutcherson was perfect as sweet Peeta Mellark, and Lenny Kravitz’s Cinna is swoon worthy. However, it’s not just the scenery and the actors that make a good movie. It’s the story. “The Hunger Games” is an entertaining reflection of social problems in America, and it’s not a copy of anything else, especially not “Battle Royale.” “Battle Royale” is a 1999 novel written by Koushun Takami about 42 students that are forced to kill each other until one remains. The idea is very similar, yet the plot is also unsurprisingly similar to what happens in America today. The wars with Iraq and Afghanistan are the first things to come to mind, but there are places closer to home that are hit by violent acts. Gangs, like the Norteños and Crips, consisting from pre-teens to adults roam the streets causing pain and mayhem in their wake.

While I find “Battle Royale” an entertaining read, I did not see any similarities between until someone told me that there were similarities. Besides, it’s not like “Battle Royale” has an original premise. The entire novel sounds like a thinly veiled copy of “Lord of the Flies.” “The Hunger Games” has a much more compelling story, a better way of executing it and realistic and endearing characters. Katniss may not be as endearing as Shuya Nanahara, the main character of “Battle Royale,” but there’s something about a strong female lead that draws so many in. While Shuya strives to forgo fighting, Katniss will not hesitate to fight for survival. The good thing about Shuya is that he’s the only dynamic character in a book full of one dimensional characters. The same can’t be said for Katniss because she can be ignored in favor of Peeta, Gale, Rue and even the antagonist, Cato. Despite the movie’s greatness, there were that needed improving. Katniss was too much of a deadpan character with extreme emotional outbursts. A great example is the scene where Katniss volunteers to save her sister from the Hunger Games. She was stoic and collected until she started screaming hysterically with little warning. This characterization was perfect at the beginning of the movie, but towards the middle and the end, Katniss didn’t grow in the movie to the extent as the book. The movie was too fast-paced. Only five minutes is spent in District 12 before Katniss is shipped off to the Capitol. There was barely any interaction with Katniss' family or her hunting partner Gale. In the two hour film, more time should have been spent developing the more memorable characters, such as Rue and Cinna. Despite that, “The Hunger Games” stays very faithful to the books. While watching it, remember, happy Hunger Games and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Author’s score is out of five stars.

Sports | March 29, 2012 |


Injury-plagued Hawks shut out by Fresno City Hawks fall to 3-6 after injuries catch up with the team By Demitri Fellines The Hawks' women’s tennis team fought past multiple injuries as they took on the Fresno City College Rams on March 20. Hawks' head coach Suzanne Stebbins said CRC played better against Fresno prior to injuries. “I think we played them tougher when we went down there [Fresno City] to see them,” Stebbins said. “The team is dealing with a lot of injuries right now. Just about everyone on the team

It's just the end of the “season and everyone is

a little beat up. They just are injured and that's my biggest curse.

Suzanne Stebbins Women’s tennis head coach

has some sort of injury.” Shin splints, a knee injury, a shoulder injury, and several other injuries kept many players from performing at their best. “It is just that kind of year,” Stebbins said. “It’s just the end of the season and everyone is a little beat up. They just are injured and that’s my biggest curse.” Freshman Christina Phillips, 18, had to withdraw from her singles match after re-aggravating a previous knee injury during her doubles match. “I have tendinitis and then certain shots or moves that I do around the court could tear my meniscus.” said Phillips, who is ranked No. 3 for CRC’s team. “I’ve had it since my freshman year in high school.” With Phillips — who was undefeated all season — pulling out of her singles match, CRC would go on to forfeit their sixth-ranked singles match, as everyone would have to move up the ladder to continue the day’s matches. “It was just one of those injuries that played a huge role in our loss to Fresno,” Stebbins said. “It’s not even improvement at this point. It’s just staying healthy and

Demitri Fellines | The Connection

Freshman Taylor Osborne extends her racquet to return a shot out of her reach at CRC on March 20. being able to play.” man Christina Phillips, were the 9-0 sweep of the Hawks. In the first meeting between only ones to walk away from FresThis loss dropped the Hawks these two teams, Fresno City de- no City with wins. to a 3-6 overall team record, a feated CRC 7-2. Top-ranked playThe storyline was different record which will not allow the er sophomore Brianna Schmitgen, in this meeting, but not in a good team to qualify for playoffs this and third-ranked player fresh- way. The Rams left CRC with a season.

Men’s tennis falters as Fresno City wins every set By Demitri Fellines

Demitri Fellines | The Connection

Hawks' sophomore Brandon McCarthy mid-serve against Fresno City on March 20 at CRC. McCarthy is currently top ranked for CRC.

The Hawks' men's tennis team suffered their fourth consecutive loss on March 20 at Cosumnes River College at the hands of the Fresno City Rams. “We performed well on Tuesday vs. Fresno. Fresno is #2 in Nor-Cal and top 5 in the state,” CRC head coach Scott Gradin said. “We are a very inexperienced group, but we continue to improve. We are playing longer points and and there was a better variety of offensive and defensive shot playing in all of our matches.” Gradin also went on to mention that a key reason for the Hawks’ inexperience was because they lost five of the six players they had last year. “Our biggest weakness is our inexperience,” Gradin said. “We will continue to put the players in competitive match like situations during practice which will help us grow as players.” In singles competition the Rams easily had their way and downed each member of the Hawks in two straight sets: #1 Romas def. McCarthy 6-1,6-3; #2 Fisher def. Samples 6-1, 6-0; #3 Ochoa def. Mireles 6-2, 6-3; #4 Leeder def. Cabanayan 6-0, 6-0; #5 Harpin def. Vo 6-0, 6-0; and #6 Gilbert def. Naduri 6-0, 6-0.

Demitri Fellines | The Connection

Hawks' sophomore Ronnie Cabanayan returns a shot with a forehand of his own on March 20 at CRC. Doubles competition was no different, as the three participating groups of partners from CRC were put down fast. All of the matches ended with a Fresno City win: #1 Romas/ Fisher def. McCarthy/Cabanayan 8-4, #2 Harpin/Ochoa def. Vo/ Mireles 8-1, and #3 Gilbert/Leeder def. Samples/Huynh 8-1. These matches led to a 9-0 route of the Hawks. “This is a new team at CRC,” 19-year-old sophomore Brandon McCarthy said. “There are a lot of people working on their skills still, and we haven’t really come to where I think we need to be.

We played our best.” With inexperience as a factor in Hawks’ losses, those returning next year will have an idea of what kind of competition they will be facing, meaning expectations will be higher for them as well as the new faces that are sure to show up on the roster next year. “Throughout the year we’ve started feeling less pressure as opposed to the beginning,” 20-year-old sophomore Ronnie Cabanayan said. “It’s my first year competing, so I have to let go of feeling so tense and play our regular game.”

The softball team strikes out in game against Modesto progressed. The Pirates scored the first run in the fourth inning when The Hawks (3-19) failed to Hawks’ freshman pitcher Kierstin pull out a close game against the Dalbianco walked in a run. Modesto Junior College Pirates After stealing second and (14-10) on March 22 at Cosumnes third base late in the fifth inning, River College, falling to last place freshman infielder Alissa Greenin the Big 8 conference. haw evened the score when freshBoth teams had trouble scor- man outfielder Nikki Luiz batted ing early but were able to keep her home. pace with each other as the game Greenhaw finished with By Takara Campbell

three stolen bases and scored the Hawks’ only run. The Hawks’ defense kept them in the game. Freshman outfielder Allison Barsetti caught several foul balls which provided easy outs for the Hawks. Despite the Hawks’ efforts, the Pirates scored the winning run during the seventh and final inning, resulting in a 2-1 win.

The Hawks failed to capitalize on having runners in scoring position. The Pirates faced similar challenges but capitalized on walks. “We’ve played a lot of close games that could have gone either way,” CRC head coach Kristy Schroeder said. “I think it’s huge, a huge win for us,” Pirates head coach Kelly

Nasrawi said. “We couldn’t make it happen at first, but we finished.” Both coaches said their teams aren’t relaxing after this game. “[There’s] always work to be done,” Nasrawi said. Schroeder said the Hawks need to go into the next game with more energy instead of waiting for the next person to do it for them.

March 29, 2012 |

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Tennis 'Goddess' brings her game back to CRC Sophomore Brianna Schmitgen is CRC's only returning player By Stephan Starnes The women’s tennis team slices, rallies and lines up to run around the net and hit the ball back and forth to each other at its practices. Unlike most players, Brianna Schmitgen, a 19-year-old undecided major, does so with a bright smile on her face, no matter how long she’s been at it. Schmitgen is the team’s only sophomore player and currently plays in the number one position for the team. She has a personal 5-3 record. However, her tennis career started well before her time at Cosumnes River College. “I have been playing competitively since I was 12 years old,” Schmitgen said via email. She started playing because tennis was all around her growing up. “My whole entire family, including grandparents, have played

All our girls look up to her, and she is a really positive influence on everybody.

Suzanne Stebbins Women’s tennis head coach

tennis their whole lives,” Schmitgen said. “I grew up around it and it has become something that I love doing.” Schmitgen’s mother, Darla Schmitgen, watched her daughter with pride from the bleachers during her match against Sacramento City College on Tuesday. “She’s worked hard to get where she is,” Darla Schmitgen said. Schmitgen went on to play for her varsity tennis team in high school, according to her profile on the CRC website. Throughout her career, she has been honored with a number of awards. In high school, she received a Leadership Award, Coaches Award and a Sportsmanship Award for Tennis, according to her profile. “In college, I've gotten MVP as well as Mission Tournament Consellation Winner both this year and last,” she added. Her biggest achievement was becoming the first ever doubles player to go to the state championships at CRC. “Last year, I met a lot of great people and had great teammates who were very supportive,” Schmitgen said. “It was very surprising that we were the first people from CRC to go to state. It was definitely a great experience and I hope we do even better this year.” Schmitgen said she has no long term tennis goals, but wishes to do better than in previous years. Schmitgen, who is uncertain

Mike Hendrickson | The Connection

Sophomore tennis player Brianna Schmitgen forehands the ball against American River College in her singles match on March 17. Schmitgen is currently in number one position with a 5-3 record. about her future goals, and said she is leaning towards an education major. Schmitgen’s teammates are thrilled to play on the team with her.

“She’s a goddess,” her fresh“She is our only sophomore man teammate Christina Phillips on the team and is our captain said. and leader,” Stebbins said. “All our Coach Suzanne Stebbins only girls look up to her, and she is a had positive things to say about really positive influence on everySchmitgen. body.”

The Connection  

The CRC Connection volume 59 issue 4