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- DECEMBER 5, 2013


Graduation rates on the rise By Emily Collins ecollins.connect@gmail


uring an era of budget cuts, where some community colleges have seen a decline in student enrollment, many Cosumnes River College departments have seen an increase in the number of students being awarded Associate degrees over the past three years. The college, as a whole, has also seen an increase, with a total of 602 degrees being awarded in 2010-11, rising to 633 in 2011-12. For the 2012-13 academic year, 673 degrees were awarded.

There are a variety of reasons behind the increases, including the recently introduced Associate of Arts-Transfer and Associate of Science-Transfer degrees, which can guarantee a student admission in the California State University system. The total number of transfer degrees awarded during the 2012-13 school year was 88, which is 13 percent of the total number of degrees awarded last year. “Ideally, those AA and AS transfer degrees are really designed to help students be focused and be on the GRADS | Page 2

Top 10 Associate degrees completed


per student graduation


88 88





45 12 9









23 15






Total graduates







Shaded boxes correspond with specific academic year




16 14












NEWS | Page 2







Source: CRC Department of enrollment and student services Infographic by Josh Slowiczek


Women’s volleyball team ends tough season By Emanuel Espinoza eespinoza.connect@gmail The Hawks endured yet another tough year in volleyball, with their last game ending on a sour note, losing to Modesto Junior College on Nov. 20. The Hawks’ last win came against College of Marin on Sept. 26, since then they lost 14 consecutive games all in three sets. Overall, CRC ended the season with a 6-19 record. Co-head coach Minet Gunther said that the team never really put every aspect of their game together into one match. “One game we might pass well, but not hit well or vice versa,” Gunther said. “We might be hitting really well, but we’re not passing well to even have a good offense that day. So it really came down to we never put our defense and offense in transition and played well in all areas of the game.” Assistant coach Ashley Johnson said that there were many areas that the team could have improved on. “A lot of them came in not really understanding the concept of college volleyball as opposed to high school volleyball,” VOLLEYBALL | Page 5


A path to California State Universities By Scott Redmond sredmond.connect@gmail The passage of Senate Bill 1440 in September 2010 sought to streamline the long process of transferring from community college to fouryear universities, a process that is set to be further refined by another bill being signed by the governor to strengthen the existing bill.

Senate Bill 440, proposed by Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) who authored SB 1440, will require “that the California Community Colleges and the California State University develop a strategic plan for full implementation of the STAR Act and create Associate degrees for Transfer in every major by 2014-15 and in each area of emphasis by 2016-17,” according to an Oct. 10 press

release. “I thank Gov. Brown for signing this important legislation. I want to ensure that students at every community college campus have the opportunity to earn a transfer degree that guarantees admission to a California State University with junior standing,” Padilla said in the official press release. “SB 440 establishes SB 440 | Page 4

Bobby Bishop | The Connection

Sophomore outside hitter Gabrielle Hinz saves the ball against Modesto on Nov. 20.


Students capture couple’s big day By Zach Hannigan sredmond.connect@gmail

Scott Redmond | The Connection

Chad Gianotti Sr., Cassandra Hamm and family pose for photos, taken by CRC photography students, after their wedding ceremony at the Westminister Presbyterian Church on Nov. 17.

In the dimly-lit Chapel of Sacramento’s Westminster Presbyterian Church, Chad Gianotti Sr., wearing a black tuxedo with a royal blue vest, stood at the front of the stage with a smile on his face and shaky knees. The tune of “Here Comes the Bride,” soon echoed off the white

walls and stained glass windows of the small room. Four pews of friends and family stood up as the the bride, Cassandra Hamm, started making her way down the aisle with a glowing smile and flowers in hand. The pair was one of eight couples married on Nov. 16 in the 3rd Annual Wedding Marathon. The event is put on by Sacramen-

to’s Relationship Skills Center, a nonprofit organization, all at no expense to the couples. “I start meeting with the couples in August, and begin to plan the wedding,” said Shari Wise, one of the wedding coordinators, and owner of Events by Wise, the group that also coordinated the receptions. “They get to choose the colors, how the reception goes WEDDING | Page 11

Serving Cosumnes River College since 1970


NEWS | DECEMBER 05, 2013

Breaking the mental health stigma Editor in Chief Josh Slowiczek News Editor Scott Redmond

Part III of the ‘Left Unsaid’ series on the mental health of and the issues faced by the Cosumnes River College student body Josh Slowiczek jslowiczek.connect@gmail

Features Editor Emily Collins

People have struggled with mental health throughout the course of human history and accompanying that battle is a social stigmatization of both the conditions and those who are affected by them. While this silence is gradually breaking, it has long been an issue left ignored and unsaid. Historical figures such as President Abraham Lincoln, the scientist Isaac Newton, the poet Sylvia Plath, the author Ernest Hemingway and the mathematician John Nash have all been retrospectively diagnosed with one form of mental illness or another, according to the website for Rutgers graduate school of applied and professional psychology. Yet, little mention of their conditions can be found in a standard historical textbook. “Mental health is a prime example of something that our society stigmatizes, we attach a negative evaluation to it,” said Cosumnes River College Philosophy Professor Richard Schubert. “We think that people with mental illness are best avoided and we believe that we will be avoided if other people understand we have a mental illness.” However, at CRC it may be difficult to avoid students struggling with mental health challenges. Approximately half of all students on campus are at risk for moderate depression, according to an ongoing study conducted by psychology Professor Jeanne Ed-

Sports Editor Zach Hannigan Opinion Editor Elizabeth Witt Online Editor Stephan Starnes Photo Editor Rachel Norris Copy Editor Stephan Starnes Production Manager Nick Valenzuela Faculty Adviser Rubina Gulati Staff Darren Allen Bobby Bishop Ben Brown Camille Caulk Emanuel Espinoza Amari Gaffney LaChandra Marzetta Christopher McKnight Brusly Voong

The Connection is an awardwinning newspaper published bi-weekly by the Journalism 410 & 411 media production classes 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 is a member of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC).

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The Connection Cosumnes River College 8401 Center Parkway Sacramento, CA 95823 Telephone: (916) 691-7471 Fax: (916) 691-7181

man. “I see many students fail who occupy a seat in the course without completing it in a satisfactory manner,” Schubert said. “Not because they are not intelligent enough or motivated enough, but because they have mental health challenges.” This correlation between mental health and student success has long been championed by Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Celia EspositoNoy who began the process of offering mental health services to students on campus in 2004. These services, while limited due to the number of counselors available on campus, are known by many students. “I have used our mental health counseling to help better myself to go into pharmacy,” said Brandon Deniz, a 17-yearold pharmacy technology major. “I don’t think having a mental health issue or using mental health services is something to be embarrassed about.” Others, unaware of the help offered on campus, expressed a different perspective on seeking and using mental health services. “I wasn’t aware of it, but I would use it if I needed it,” said Neal Luu, a 21-year-old business major. “It’s something to be embarrassed about to a certain degree but it shouldn’t stop you from getting help.” Stigmatization aside, the fact remains that many students are directed through the proper channels and utilize these services that have been offered for several

years. “I think that the campus is deeply indebted to Vice President Esposito-Noy for finding a way, despite the budgetary difficulties and legal liability challenges, to offer some mental health services,” Schubert said. The services offered at CRC, such as counseling and references to outside organizations, were orchestrated by Shannon Dickson, head of the counselor education program at California State University, Sacramento, who has noticed a gradual acceptance of mental health issues on campus. “When I started a few years ago, students were a lot more reticent because of the media and the different stories of people with mental health problems,” said Dickson. “But subsequently since being here over the past four years, I think that the faculty, classrooms and even administration have spoken very highly and positively about our services, so students are more engaged in the process and more willing to come to counseling.” This change is slow for many reasons, foremost the inherent and underlying exclusion of those with mental health challenges. “There are a lot of different reasons why students are apprehensive, as are faculty and staff, about self-identifying or about asking for help,” said EspositoNoy. “Because, unfortunately, it’s easier for people to say ‘I have high blood pressure’ instead of ‘I have a mental illness.’” Admitting and self-identifying the need for mental health

assistance may be uncomfortable for students but it is considered crucial among the administration and faculty of CRC, many of whom recognize the influence and stigma that society has placed on our view of mental illness. However, it is suggested that the presence of a stigma should not keep students from seeking support or mental health services, whether it is through the school, family or an outside organization. “If you have a mental illness and you know that something is good for it, and you choose not to do it, the illness is on you,” said Psychology Professor James Frazee. “That stigma, although it is there and real, shouldn’t preclude anybody from seeking treatment because it is that important.” It is recognized that as a society we have gradually decreased the stigmatization of mental health and become more accepting of those with mental illness or challenges, but in no way should the work be considered done. “Are we still prejudice against people with physical and mental disabilities? Yes. Have we made progress? Yes,” Schubert said. “Is there a lot more progress that needs making? Absolutely.” Amari Gaffney contributed to this article. For the first two parts of the series, visit or scan the code below

Grads: Graduation increases tied to AD-T Continued from page 1

two-year track to complete a specific degree here and to transfer on,” said Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management Celia EspositoNoy. The transfer degree certainly had an impact on the psychology department, which saw an increase from zero psychology for transfer degrees awarded in 2010-11 to nine in 2011-12 and 23 degrees awarded in 2012-13, a 255 percent increase. The sharp increase seen in the psychology department can be attributed to multiple factors, said Psychology Professor James Frazee. “When the legislature made the AA-Ts a reality for us, we collaborated around the state to form a common core curriculum and then to offer the first two years of the psychology degree program here,” Frazee said. “It’s such a good opportunity for our students now that we’ve redesigned our course offerings to really heavily focus on allowing more students to transfer.” Other courses have expanded over the years, allowing more students to get the classes that they need. “We expanded biological psychology, which was really my mission when I was hired here,”

Frazee said. “We offered one course in it when I got here and now we offer a very large lecture with three associated labs, so I’ve tripled the number of students that can take that.” The accounting department also saw a steady increase in degrees awarded over the past three years, from 14 in 2010-11 to 16 in 2011-12 and to 28 in 2012-13. “I believe part of the reason the accounting degrees have gone up is due to the hard work of the accounting faculty, getting the degrees current and updated over the past several years,” said Lance Parks, Interim Dean of Business and Family Science. Parks also attributed the increase in degrees awarded to the increased publicity surrounding accounting degrees. “I also think part of that is due to some of the news articles, the push on accounting as a viable field, if you will,” Parks said. “Students read that you can get a job as an accountant, things of that nature then make the program more desirable as well.” Early Childhood Education is another department that has seen an increase in degrees awarded last year. “I know Early Childhood Education is up,” Parks said. “They’ve done a lot of work on getting their curriculum up to date and they’re really good at

scheduling the classes, getting the students through the program, which I think helps.” Some degree programs have unique reasons for having relatively low percentages of the total degrees awarded, including Computer Information Science. “A student I know in CIS has a degree in automotive, for whatever reason decided that was not what they wanted to do forever and came back to school,” Parks said. “So what they end up doing is they get a certificate or two, and that’s what I think happens a lot in CIS, students are re-careering.” There are things that faculty can do to potentially increase the number of students successfully achieving their degrees. “As divisions and faculty, we just need to get more cognizant about talking about degrees and certificates as part of the course and making students aware of it,” Parks said. Some areas of study will always see low numbers. Those programs that have “a clinical component involved” will consistently have low numbers because of accreditation, Esposito-Noy said. “They really don’t want you to have big programs, so those programs are going to remain small.” Other degree programs remain small for different reasons. “Art is pretty narrow, mu-

sic is pretty narrow, they’re applied areas of study,” said Dean of Communication, Visual and Performing Arts Torence Powell. “Generally, they tend to be areas where people have some preceding interest when they transition into the college level.” The department created an art AA-T degree to address another factor impacting their graduation rate. “The thought process was that some of the degrees at the two-year level tended to be fairly big and long and they were a little too comprehensive,” Powell said. “I think we have students who are artists, who are theatre arts majors, who begin these degrees but never complete them because they transfer on.” Some students have the units necessary to obtain a certificate or degree, and the school is working on notifying those students of their eligibility, Powell said. There are, however, some reasons a student might not want the degree or certificate they have achieved. “There are some implications for the student on that end, once they complete a certificate or degree it could have an impact on their financial aid, and several other factors,” Powell said. “There are reasons that students intentionally don’t pursue certificates and degrees.”



Gold stars and stickers enter digital age


tudents have many ways to show prospective employers that they have skills and knowledge and in the near future, there may be another way, with the use of digital badges. Digital badges, an indicator of an accomplishment in a class or other higher education endeavors, are earned and displayed through online systems that can be similar to Desire to Learn. Gregory Beyrer, the distance education coordinator at Cosumnes River College, recently attended a class about digital badges, which was hosted by Mozilla, a free software company that has created a system of digital badges called Open Badges. “Badges are a way of documenting learning of very specific skills and perhaps knowledge, but I think of it more as a skill thing, as a way of documenting that someone knows how to do something,” Beyrer said. While it is not a widely-known concept or idea, there is increasing interest in the prospective use of digital badges. “I know that the greatest interest in digital badges comes from two groups of people, one is employers and the second is the people who will provide the infrastructure for making digital badges pos-

By Emily Collins ecollins.connect@gmail

sible,” Beyrer said. “This is a good moment for badges.” Students on campus were receptive to the idea of digital badges, particularly if it can help land that job or career opportunity they are seeking. “I think it sounds like a good idea,” said Valentino Robinson, a 20-year-old business accounting major. “It can help people be successful.” The need for another system to indicate the knowledge, skills and abilities a person gains through higher education, when college campuses already offer degrees and certificates, is tied to potential employers. “Part of this is the change in employers’ demand for skills,” Beyrer said. “That change is occurring at a rate that the traditional certification providers, for a variety of reasons, are not responding as quickly to that change as some employers would like.” Some students question the validity of the badges. “Like Heald College, they get out really fast, but I heard that it’s not easy for them to get jobs,” said Hena Safi, a 19-year-old biology major. “I feel like it’s kind of like that.” While CRC does not currently participate in a digital badge program such as Open Badges, there are a couple of ex-

amples of a digital badge already in use on campus. “Within Desire to Learn we have a free sample class for students and so any student can go in and take the class and it’s all self-paced, and at the end of that the student gets a badge, they get a certificate of completion,” Beyrer said. Beyrer also mentioned that students can obtain a badge by completing modules in library instruction, also available on D2L. The question remains if digital badges are something that CRC will implement for its students anytime soon. “We already have degrees and certificates and so we already have a very well established process for having certification of skills and knowledge,” Beyrer said. “I think that for us, our energy is focused on making it more efficient for our students to get what we currently offer.” In order for digital badges to gain traction and be a known and established process for certifying specific skills and knowledge, Beyrer said it’s going to take people on all sides of the coin to make that happen. “It will take leaps of faith by employers, by learners, by people who are creating the opportunity to earn badges for that to happen and it’s exciting,” Beyrer said.

The spirit of giving is spread through annual event By Jelina Cortero Guest Writer

More than 30 volunteer programs participated in Cosumnes River College’s sixth annual Share Fair event on Nov. 20. CRC’s Share Fair event was a success on its first of three days, filling up the entire front area of the Hawk’s Nest Bookstore with 40 or more chairs. Each of the chairs held a handout with the directory of all the programs participating in the day’s event. Heather Hutcheson, coordinator of the event, is not just a professor at CRC. She is also a volunteer for a variety of local programs, such as the Sacramento Poetry Center, Metropolitan Arts Commission and she is



the co-president of the Library Branch. Hutcheson started the event six years ago in order to help students find a way to learn the value of volunteer service. “It’s an opportunity for students to help those who don’t have a lot and make a huge difference,” Hutcheson said. Along with Hutcheson, a panel of five volunteers from different volunteer organizations spoke. Each of them explained their organization, what it was about and what everyone as a community can do to help and support them. Virginia Kidd, a representative of Friends of the Sacramento Library, has been fighting to keep the library system from


The campus Career Center holds various workshops during the semester to help students in their quest to enter the workforce, and on Dec. 10, they’ll be holding a repeat of their workshop “Looking for a Job.” Co-presenters Anna Davtian and Olga Prizhbilov will explain how to use the job site LINCS and how to seek out state jobs and networking in SCI-215 at 2:30 p.m.

closing for 18 years. She believes that she saw a place for herself in the library and has started a newsletter to spread the word and help keep the library alive.

It makes a difference to wake up and be happy to go to work. If you have a job like that, money doesn’t matter.” —Cathy Crosthwaite

Volunteer Services Coordinator Sacramento Public Library System


Priority one registration for Spring 2014 for continuing students began on Dec. 2 and goes to Dec. 13. New matriculated students, priority two, begin registration on Dec. 13. Priority three, new students, register on Dec. 1618. Priority four, advanced education students, register on Dec. 19-20. Open registration for the spring is from Dec. 23 to Jan. 17.

A majority of the organizations are non-profit and Hutcheson’s key message is that the more we give to the community, the more we receive. Cathy Crosthwaite calls herself the matchmaker and cheerleader of the Sacramento Public Library system. “It makes a difference to wake up and be happy to go to work. If you have a job like that, money doesn’t matter,” Crosthwaite said. Aside from providing answers to the general questions, the panel shared their experiences and passions about their services as well as offered their own personal advice. “Working with 150 volunteers and getting to interact with

different people is completely rewarding,” said Annie Hassid of the Wellspring Women’s Center. “There’s a lot you gain and it makes it worth it.” Ed Lopez, an employer at the Salvation Army Sacramento, works in the Adult Rehab Center and made it clear that the Salvation Army was a very personal job. “Once you get involved, you never want to let go,” he said. The event spent much of its time explaining the different types programs and how to get involved. “Just imagine a world where there’s no support. Who’s going to make the difference?” Lopez said. “You have to take the time and the initiative.”



“Everyman” is the final offering of the semester for the campus theater department. “The Summoning of the Everyman,” shortened to “Everyman,” is a late 15th-century English morality play. “Everyman” is directed by Gail Dartez. The final two performances of the play will be held on Dec. 13 and 14 in the Black Box Theater at 7:30 p.m.

Fall semester finals begin on Dec. 13 and continue on to Dec. 19, which is also the last day of the semester. Full-term classes officially end Dec. 12 and are required to hold two-hour final exams during finals week. The finals week schedule, based upon the time and days that a class is held, can be found online on the CRC website,, under the class schedule.




HAWK’S Student fee goes back into student body EYE By Brusly Voong bvoong.connect@gmail

News in brief

Elk Grove churches offer shelter

Elk Grove city staff, churches and nonprofit organizations are getting into the volunteer spirit, offering a winter shelter program from Dec. 15 to Feb. 15. The program, known as the Elk Grove Winter Sanctuary, will provide temporary housing for up to 25 homeless individuals, said Chair of EG Wins Fred Bremerman. “We plan to have a place for folks to sleep with a hot meal,” said EG WINS vice chair Linda Strom to the Elk Grove Citizen. Elk Grove United Methodist Church has volunteered as the intake center for the program, where the homeless will gather to reserve a sleeping spot for a particular day, and then be driven to the respective host site. Other host sites include First Baptist Church of Elk Grove, Sun Grove Church, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and River City Church. For more information on the program, or to volunteer, contact Bremerman at 916-524-0563.

Degree choice hits milestone

Amidst a new law to expand the program, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Ofice reported a milestone of 1,000 Associate Degrees for Transfer have been developed, according to a Nov. 21 press release. “Development of 1,000 degrees over a two-year period is an astonishing feat,” said CCC Chancellor Brice Harris. “These degrees guarantee admission to CSU, and students are quickly finding this is an attractive path for transfer. This program makes both systems run more efficiently and will go a long way in helping California meet its need for more college-educated workers.” More information about the transfer program and students testimonials can be found at

Journal opens for submissions

The time has come again as submissions for the 2014 edition of the Cosumnes River College Literary Journal are open till Dec. 31. According to a flyer from the committee behind the journal, they are “accepting works of: fiction, poetry, art, non fiction, including mini-essays on the theme: bouncing back.” Short stories and essays are limited to two contributions per year and no more than five poems and photos per submission, according to the flyer. “We are committed to publishing emerging and established writers, including Cosumnes River College students, faculty, staff and the rest of the world,” according to the flyer. Contributions should be forwarded to the email set up for the journal, CRC-LJSubmit@crc.

Have you ever wondered where your student tuition goes and what it ends up paying for? While the majority goes towards paying the remainder of the fees for classes, there is a small portion that goes towards something quite different. Section 76060.5 of the Education Code allows a student body association to order an election to establish a student representation fee of $1 per semester that is collected by college officials at or before registration. The election requires an affirmative vote of two-thirds of students voting to establish the fee, according to Assembly Bill 1358. “Some of the things we spend the money on are scholarships, awards, certificates, meeting expenses and equipment purchases for the student senate,” said Bryan Anderson-Wooten, the treasurer for the student senate. “So things that help the students.” While the current fee is $1 from every student, that is about to change. AB 1358, which was signed and approved by Gov. Jerry Brown on Oct. 19, will give authorization to the student body association to establish an election to collect a student representation fee of $2 per semester, effective Jan. 1, 2014, according to the bill itself. Campus Life Coordinator Winnie LaNier said that the

change does not mandate the fee increase. It just allows the student body associations to hold an election to establish the new fee with a two-thirds majority. This increase would require $1 out of the $2 collected go towards funding the operations of a statewide community college student organization, according to AB 1358. Whether or not CRC decides to implement this change, one thing is certain at the moment: a dollar of each student’s tuition is taken out and allocated to the budget of the Associated Students of Cosumnes River College. The decision on how to spend those collected fees is a collective effort made by all members of the senate.

We all put our heads together and that’s how we decide on how to spend the money, to see what’s best for the students.” —Bryan AndersonWooten Student Senate Treasurer

“We all put our heads together and that’s how we decide on how to spend the money, to

see what’s best for the students,” Wooten said. A portion of the semester’s budget has already been used on supplies for vendor week. As of Dec. 4, $4,869.03 remains of the student senate budget, Wooten said. Feedback from students on campus and subcommittees plays a part in the decision of how to spend the money. Wooten said he speaks to the finance committee to seek its input before bringing it back to the senate to tell them what the committee said. Others on campus have their own ideas on how the money should be used. Construction Professor Ryan Connally said that the money should be spent to benefit all students and not just a few. “To be honest that kind of money should just be dedicated back to student success,” Connally

said. “I would say something like either access to resources whether that’s more textbooks, scholarships or other kinds of access to resources.” Mary Bailly, 18, a psychology major had a different idea. “Maybe more shade for the quad area because when it’s really sunny out here you can’t see the pages of the book because of the sunlight,” Bailly said. “If the grass is wet you can’t sit on the grass and that’s where most of the shade is.” Another student, Keyanna Rowan, 21, a real estate major, said the money should be spent on providing more food options to students for convenience sake. “I went to a university and they have Starbucks, Subway and all that. So I think this school should have that,” Rowan said. “I do [want Starbucks and Subway] so I don’t have to go off campus and get my food.”

SB 440: Bill increases the degrees offered Continued from page 1

specific objectives and timetables for full implementation of the STAR Act.” Currently there are 15 transfer degrees being offered through Cosumnes River College. Those degrees are for sociology, math, psychology, communication studies, business administration, and kinesiology among others. “At this point, CRC has 15 of 16 transfer degrees completed, with the last one in progress,” said CRC President Deborah Travis via e-mail. “Our hope is that these degrees will give transfer students another choice when deciding the path they want to take in college.” Travis said that CRC supports Padilla’s bill and efforts. “It offers students a focused path of getting into a CSU, and that means students will be more successful and spend less time making up any additional classes needed for transfer,” Travis said. “These degrees are capped at 60 units to ensure that students spend two years at a community college and two years at the uni-

versity if they follow this path.” “A lot of work has gone into ensuring the curriculum meets the requirements for transfer. Most of our classes already met those requirements,” Travis said. “In addition, we were able to align those classes with the state curriculum to provide a streamlined pathway for our students to get into a university.” While progress in bringing AA-T programs to schools has been notable in many instances, a report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office in spring of 2012 helped spur on the creation of SB 440. According to the LAO report “just four Associate Degrees for Transfer have been developed per community college” and “a number of community colleges have expressed reluctance to create more than a handful of such degrees despite the CCC Chancellor’s Office goal that, by 2014, each community college have a TMC-aligned Associate Degree for Transfer in every major it offers.”


Slow progress in the offered degrees and collaboration between the two college systems is the highlight of Padilla’s bill. “While both the California Community Colleges and the California State University have made progress in implementing the STAR Act, they have fallen short. Community College students deserve a clear and certain pathway to admission to California State University and a college

CRC has always had a focus of student success and this is another way our students can be successful in reaching their goals.” —Deborah Travis CRC President

degree,” Padilla said in the press release. The ability to move through college quicker and in a more streamlined manner is a welcome prospect for many students. “It gives you motivation to keep doing your classes,” said Ashneel Lal, 21, a business administration major. “It gives everybody opportunity and hope to actually feel like they can actually get into a CSU while going to community college, so I think it’s a good thing.” Emergency medical technician major 19-year-old Hawkeye Fischer-Rivera felt the same. “I think it’s a little helpful for some people that are low income and it helps you get everything straight and together,” Fischer-Rivera said. “I think it’s a little fast, but I think it is helpful.” Through the changes, CRC has their eye on one thing. “CRC has always had a focus of student success and this is another way our students can be successful in reaching their goals,” Travis said.

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Volleyball: Players don’t measure success on record Continued from Page 1

Johnson said. “So they weren’t as confident as they could have been. This year had a lot to do with rebuilding, so their confidence was a big issue that we had trouble with.” Co-head coach Natalie Wells said it wasn’t that things went wrong or went right, but that the conference is one of the most competitive in the league. “It’s just that we had young volleyball-skilled players, so it’s just working on things that need to be improved so that they are ahead of the game come next year,” Wells said. Freshman opposite hitter Jennifer Lysaght said that the season was tough but she mentioned that she got better and that it was a productive season. “Other teams were really competitive this year and they came out strong,” Lysaght said. “We didn’t really have a lot of big people as far as blocking and not a lot of people were swinging away, getting their kills.” Freshman middle hitter Alicia Madriago said that it was a tough season for them, but she was glad about the outcome of the last game because she said they played hard and that she made some great friendships throughout the season. “I did enjoy playing on the team and this was a great experience because I do love volleyball,” Madriago said. “I’m glad I got to take it to the next level after high school.” Sophomore setter Laura Villano said that she enjoyed playing on the team and that the team grew a lot. She also said that there were some players who dropped the team because of personal issues and that there were some red shirts who didn’t end up coming back out, which split the team down to about nine women, as opposed to the 13 that they started with. Villano said that the team could have improved a lot during the season because they didn’t win very much. “Our coach liked to say we got at least one percent better every day,” Villano said. “So at the end of the season, we ended up maybe not having the best record, but we did learn a lot.”

Young softball team ready for season More pitching hands and an increase in player speed could take Hawks deep into playoffs, team says By Stephan Starnes sstarnes.connect@gmail

Near the end of the 2013 softball season, the Hawks were in a dire situation. In order to make it to postseason play, the team needed to put together a late win streak, but eventually fell short. During the offseason, Cosumnes River College head coach Kristy Schroeder had to prepare returning players for the spring season, as well as recruit new players. In this endeavor she seems to have been successful, as Schroeder said she is confident in how the team is shaping up. “I think it [the spring season] is looking positive,” Schroeder said. “We’re very young, but we have a lot of skilled athletes.” Only three players from last season are returning to the team: sophomores Amy Pedretti, who played second base,

pitcher Jessica Venturelli and Laura Villano. With a batch of young players, there are always hurdles to overcome, and scrimmages in the fall help to spotlight them. “We make a lot of mental errors, myself included, and [the team needs to] just work on that,” Venturelli said. “I think if we can fix the mental part of the game, the physical part will come naturally.” Over the last season, one thing Schroeder said time and time again was that the team was lacking speed, which they have improved on, not only in baserunning, but also with the infield players. “We have a lot more speed, which will be nice for taking extra bases, things like that,” Venturelli said. In the 2013 season, the Hawks relied heavily on then-sophomore pitcher Allison Barsetti, who started and played in the majority of the games throughout the season. Schroeder said that the pitching was “limited,” and that she had to play the pitchers throughout games, even if they were struggling. Schroeder said that over fall, the Hawks had two pitchers and have added three more in the spring, which would help spread out the pitching duties.

While Schroeder made it a point to say how much the pitching would improve their game, that isn’t the only aspect of the game the young team will bring. “Our hitting is a big advantage,” said freshman pitcher Amanda Horbasch. “In the beginning, I don’t think anyone thought we’d be a big hitting team and it turns out we are.” Another strong element from the 2013 season was that a lot of the teammates were close friends, this year Schroeder said most of the girls came into the current team having never known each other. “We all get along really well, so that helps,” Horbasch said. She continued to say that the team getting along is an advantage that will help with communication while fielding. Overall, Schroeder is excited for the coming season and the potential of her team. “Most of these players have been playing travel ball, and [have] been playing for a long time,” Schroeder said. “Hopefully they’ll be able to pick up and we should be competing for a Big 8 title this season. I’m looking to go to postseason and planning around that. Obviously, we have to take it one game at a time.”

Player goes from five-year break to sixth man role with women’s basketball team By Emily Collins ecollins.connect@gmail

Scott Redmond | The Connection

Freshman forward Empres Barner catches a pass in team practice in the gym on Dec. 3.

It had been five years since her sneakers hit the hardwood floor of a basketball court to play on behalf of her school. This semester, Empres Barner, 22, is playing for the Cosumnes River College women’s basketball team as a power forward, years after playing for Rio Linda High School. “It feels amazing knowing that my body is still capable of doing things that I did in high school,” Barner said. “Especially after having my son.” While playing for Rio Linda, CRC women’s basketball head coach Coral Sage saw something in Barner and thought she might be able to “help us out.” “I talked to her a little bit and she seemed interested, and then some things happened with her life so she took some time off,” Sage said.

Walking on to the team in 2011, Barner said she sat in for one practice and ended up dropping because things weren’t working out. This year, Barner sought out Sage and asked about playing. “I happened to run into her a few weeks into the semester starting,” Sage said. After Barner mentioned a desire to sign up to play basketball again, Sage gave her the information. Making the team wasn’t the only obstacle for Barner. She has a 3-year-old son who sometimes has to come to practice with her. “It’s cool how our team supports that she can bring her son to practice when she can’t find a babysitter,” said sophomore point guard Miya Oakes. Having spent so much time off of the court has provided some additional challenges to Barner. “It’s tough, practice for me is like boot camp every day,”

Barner said. “You’ve gotta be strong, mentally and physically, otherwise it’s just not for you.” Others have noticed the challenge Barner faces from having been away from the game for some time. “Some of the technical stuff you can tell she’s a little rusty on because she’s been away,” Oakes said. “She works hard and she’s strong.” Barner’s strength is something that is also recognized by Sage. “She’s very raw,” Sage said. “It’s been taking some time in fine tuning certain things with her, but she’s really surprised me in a lot of ways, just with her ability on the floor, she’s very athletically strong.” It’s not only athletic ability that makes Barner a valued team member. Being back in school and competitive sports has provided some benefits to Barner.

“Playing on this team, it’s allowing me to strengthen myself and find out who I am as a person, as a woman, an individual and to be a team player as well,” Barner said. Time and effort seem to be paying off for her. “It’s taken a little bit of time, but actually, she’s really surprised us,” Sage said. “She’s our sixth man off the bench, she comes in and does a great job, she’s strong, she’s doing a really good job for us this year.” Not playing on an organized team for years has made a difference, and Barner readily accepts that. “I’m not the best on the team, especially coming back after five years,” she said. The talent is there, just waiting to be explored. “It’s kind of like we’re taking this rough piece of wood and smoothing it out,” Sage said.



Is it time for a football team

The women’s soccer team played their last game of the season on Nov. 13 in fro the newly-renovated CRC Stadium. Could that be the case if a football team is st By Stephan Starnes sstarnes.connect@gmail


hile student and community interest for football at Cosumnes River College can be at any level, it is not the deciding factor. There is one thing that the idea will always come down to: money. In an interview with The Connection in December 2012, CRC Athletics Director Liz Belyea stated that the cost of starting a team was around $3 million for “personnel, equipment and facilities.” When asked about the figure again, Belyea said that the price has likely gone up to $4 to $5 million, in just a year’s time. She a l s o


said that football could not be added until other sports are added as well. “We’d have to have other sports first,” Belyea said. “You can’t have a football team here and meet Title IX requirements without having more women’s sports to offset that and meet the interests of the area.” While women’s sports currently have five teams, the extra being volleyball, to the men’s four, it is the number of players on each end that are what count to making sports equal for both sexes. A football team would need a 53-man roster, and to satisfy Title IX requirements, women’s sports would have to be added alongside a football team to give an opportunity for as many women to also participate in athletics, which would drive up the overall cost to be able to start a new program on campus. On top of the startup costs of a team, the college would have to be able to keep up with the team’s cost year by year. “It is the college’s responsibility to come up for a way for paying for it,” said Los Rios Community College District Vice Chancellor of Education and Technology Sue Lorimer. “It’s not just paying to get it started, but it’s paying so it can be maintained. Be-

cause obviously you wouldn’t want to bring out the team, and then two years later say you don’t have the funds to keep going and shut that off.” Lorimer said it would be best for a college to have the initial startup money for a team upfront, but it is not a necessity, to show that they can keep a team for the long haul. Maintaining a football team would include having to pay coaches, buy safety gear and uniforms and pay for the athletes to travel, among other expenses. American River College and Sacramento City College both have football teams, so a monetary viability of a football team at CRC could be gauged from their programs. “First, a community college football team does not make money, in fact, very few NCAA football teams make money,” said ARC Dean of Kinesiology and Athletics Greg Warzecka. “Football is not sponsored at the community college level to make money, it is offered by a respective college to offer participation opportunities in the sport of football.” Belyea said that Cosumnes could not partner with another organization to get the money and would not consider charging an additional fee on student tuition, similar to the student government’s

Flashback to the 70s: Cosumnes River College’s football history

By Nick Valenzuela nvalenzuela.connect@gmail For the last 45 years, Cosumnes River College has sat with a football stadium, but no football team to fill it. From 1971 to 1978, CRC was the host of a football team. Since it was cut in 1978, the school has remained one of the two Los Rios colleges without a football team. In 2013, a remodeling of the football stadium was finished, yet the only team to call it home is the Valley High School football team. “It depends who you talk to, why they say [it ended],”


By Brusly Voong bvoong.connect@gmail

m at CRC?

ont of a large audience at tarted at Cosumnes? fee, to raise money for a team; the money would have to be readily available. However, Lorimer said that while it is unlikely since the other colleges don’t impose such a fee, it is possible. Such a fee would just have to be proposed and approved by the Los Rios Board of Trustees. Lorimer continued to say that the funds that would start a team would come from the general college fund and that the process to start a team would have to come from CRC and go through the college president before being passed along to the district chancellor. From there, there would be a discussion on how the team could negatively impact the other colleges before going to the Board of Trustees for possible approval.Belyea said that there is a campus survey gauging what sports students are interested in, but would not reveal the numbers. She did list sports aside from football that students are interested in, including wrestling, water polo and track and field. However, football—along with any other new sport—is not currently on the radar “We haven’t had one for years, and we’ve certainly have been in a budget crunch and we’re not adding sports at the moment,” Belyea said.

said Jeanne Calamar, assistant athletic director and adapted physical education professor. “From what I was told, our district wasn’t going to have three football teams, one here, one at American River and one at Sacramento City. So they decided to drop football at our school.” Sports Information Officer Nicholas Podesta agreed with Calamar’s reasoning, noting that most districts have just one football team among them. Podesta also noted that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 may play a part in why CRC currently has no football team.

Ever since CRC’s football team was rescinded in the late 1970s, the idea of potentially reestablishing a football team on campus have been brought up many times over the years. With the passage of time comes change, and so, is that idea closer to becoming reality today than in the past? “I think football can be good in terms of raising school spirit,” said Liz Belyea, CRC’s Director of Physical Education and Athletics. One of the first and earliest reports about the idea of reestablishing a football team at Cosumnes River College dates back to as far as the Spring of 1991, according to an article by The Connection. Of the 67 respondents to the survey in 1991 about having a football, only 3 percent (two people) answered yes to the idea, while 85 percent (51 people) answered no, with 12 percent abstaining, according to the article. One of the arguments against it at that time was that the current budget scenarios were not conducive to starting such a “capital-intensive program” and that there were more pressing needs that needed to be addressed at the time, according to that same article. Another argument against it at that time was that “the football program’s cost could fund numerous other sports, much less academic programs,” according to that same article. Given that those were the opinions of that time, what do some of the opinions look like now? Belyea acknowledges that there are benefits to having a football team, but given CRC’s current state of affairs, there are many obstacles standing in the way at the moment, she said.

“You have to have a lot of facilities to accommodate a football team,” Belyea said. “It would require a lot of money to get that done.” Others like Cesar Plasencia, head coach of CRC’s women’s soccer team, said that the sports department can barely accommodate the teams that it has right now, so the idea of adding a football team is inconceivable. “We don’t have team rooms and my team has to share locker rooms with the student body,” Plasencia said. “I just think that our college is a smaller college and we don’t have the facilities to fulfill the needs of a football team.” While faculty emphasized and focused on the difficulties of establishing a football program, students looked more closely at the potential benefits of a football program on campus. Oscar Reyes, 17, likes the idea and said that having a football team at CRC would get more people connected to the school and boost the camaraderie of the school. “I think it’s positive, not only will people get more involved with the school, but they will have spirit and better represent their school,” Reyes said. Halima Allahyar, 21, a nutrition major, supports the idea and said that it would help bring more attention to the school. “To be honest, it’s a good way to get a lot of attention from the community, so I’m for it,” Allahyar said. Malcolm Nash, 19, an electrical engineering major, agrees with the sentiments raised by the other two students. “I think a football team would be great to have at CRC, [it] opens up a lot of opportunities for students who are looking to play football and give everybody who’s an athlete something new to do,” Nash said.

CRC Hawks Football

Students and faculty react to idea of football team at CRC


Comments & Criticisms “Until we come up with millions in funding, I am not sure why we are discussing this when there is already football teams in the Los Rios Community College District.” —Shannon Mills Anthropology Professor

“Having a football team would make CRC feel like a real college. Something about football really gets team and college spirit flowing.”

—Taylor Terfehr 22, Social Science major

“I’m not a football fan, but will gladly support [a team]. However, I won’t be attending any games unless a friend is in it.” —Emmanuelle DeCastro 21, Biology major

“I think it’s a great idea. I am not a big sports guy, but I’d like to go and support the school and a team.” —Tyson McKinster 33, Photography major

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New degrees can benefit community college Each year students graduating from universities are faced with massive amounts of debt. A good majority of their bills are government loans and financial support from family or private loans. Attaining a degree has become one of the most expensive feats in someone’s lifetime. Tuition alone at California universities has skyrocketed and many students find themselves unable to pay for college on their own. From student loans to credit card debt and money owed to family, the average debt for a college student graduating in 2013 is more than $35,000, according to a Fidelity survey of 750 college students. Even students who spend time at a community college are finding themselves wading through bills because of the costs of higher education. The costs of attaining a degree from a university are excessive when you add up tuition, textbooks, housing, food and other things included in the “college experience.” But what about the students who can’t afford the college experience? A lot of young adults are unable to earn scholarships or financial aid and shudder at the idea of racking up tens of thousands of dollars in loans. California Community College Chancellor Brice Harris established the Baccalaureate Degree Study Group over the summer to analyze the possibility of offering four-year degrees at community colleges. While the cost would go up for the upper-division

courses required to earn a At a Glance bachelor’s degree at a community college, it would The Issue: still cost less than attending The Baccalaureate a university. Degree Study Group is With 21 other states looking at the possibilin the United States offerity of offering four-year ing four-year degrees at degrees at community community colleges, it’s no colleges. wonder that California is finally considering making Our Stance: this possible for the overCommunity colleges whelming number of comshould be able to promunity college students in vide education and opportunity to the surthe state. rounding community, The community college system here is the largest in and that should include bachelor’s degrees. the U.S., with 112 campuses and 2.3 million students. Agree? Disagree? The three-tiered colSend your thoughts to lege system in Califorconnection.crc@gmail. nia was established in the com 1960s, with the University of California being the highest of higher education while community colleges were more of a gateway into the four-year university system. The problem with this three-tiered system is the time.

When it was established, many high-school graduates simply weren’t going on to college and the costs of going to a university weren’t nearly as high. Even between 1960 and 1969, the number of people who attained bachelor’s degrees increased by almost 400,000, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Now it’s nearly impossible to get a good job without a college degree of some sort. Some members of the study group and other college professors are wondering how the community college system would go about making the necessary changes needed to provide baccalaureate programs to students, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. This could not be made possible overnight, but even in only a couple of years, many changes could easily be made such as expanded libraries, labs and more qualified professors. While offering students the ability to attain bachelor’s degrees at a lesser cost, the possibility of this change can help fill the need for specific occupations in communities such as nursing, automotive technology and biotechnology, according to the LA Times article. The mission of the community college should not be to simply funnel students into the university system, but to also assist and provide opportunities to the surrounding communities.

Making dreams come true Drugs aren’t the answers for your semester finals is always worth the cost By Amari Gaffney agaffney.connect@gmail

By Scott Redmond sredmond.connect@gmail

A full life is something that all of humanity strives for, but what if you don’t have much life left or the ability to live life to the fullest? Acts of kindness that showcase appreciation of life and what it means to live allow the underprivileged people of the world to realize their dreams, dreams that many have. Granite Bay’s high school football team allowed their 18-year-old teammate Travis Bauer to run an 80-yard touchdown because he has Autism Spectrum Disorder. Bauer has never even been able to play on the field before because of his disability. This is a perfect example of somebody being able to realize their dream and this did absolutely nothing negatively for the team, but it showed that even in the midst of competition there can be a great level of compassion. Deeds like these are the ones that truly magnify the beauty of the human spirit in its entirety. “He was smiling all the way,” Bauer’s mother, Hayley Grant, told KCRA. “I am sure he will never forget that moment.” Why do we all work hard? Why do we struggle day in and day out with no real end in sight? We do this to create moments, because moments are essentially what make life and being able to create them are what it means to live. When that ability is compromised, then it is our responsibility as human beings to give opportunity especially when it’s in our realm of capability. According to Yahoo News, the city of San Francisco spent $105,000 in public funds to honor a boy with leukemia. The Make-A-Wish Foundation made 5-yearold Miles Scott’s dreams come true when he was allowed to be Batkid for a day. Now this act may, in some people’s

Finals are coming up and essays are due and the energy reserves are a little low, so you pop a few pills just to perk you up enough to plow through to the end. It can’t hurt much, right? The truth of the matter is it can and will hurt in the long run. According to the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, more people died of drug overdoses than in car accidents in 2012, making prescription drug misuse the third leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Statistics from CHMI show that every 19 minutes one person in the U.S. dies from a drug overdose, with prescription painkiller overdoses killing more than those involving heroin and cocaine combined. It’s easy to think that taking a few pills won’t do anything in the long run because they can be prescribed by a doctor, therefore they must be safe. The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines prescription drug abuse as “the intentional use of a medication without a prescription; in a way other than as prescribed; or for the experience or feeling it causes.” All drugs are chemicals that are put into your body to alter something that is occurring within, and anything that alters such delicate systems has the potential to be fatal if overdone. I’ve never overused prescription pills or taken pills prescribed to others, but in recent years I had an issue with overdependence and overuse of over-the-counter painkillers. I would get a bit of a headache and pop a pill. Back hurt a bit from my slightly curved spine, I’d pop a pill. The bottle said to take no more than six in a day and I’d end up taking eight. It got to a point where I was popping the pills almost out of habit rather than any necessity. I perceived that I needed them to ‘feel better’ in some way, even if I knew that in reality I shouldn’t be doing that. Eventually my doctor told me I

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eyes, involve a little bit of fiscal irresponsibility, but who cares? San Francisco, which was turned into Gotham City for Scott’s wish, will be reimbursed by the Make-A-Wish Foundation by donations from the public. This means that San Francisco had to front the money before hand. According to San Francisco Travel the city of San Francisco sees an average of about 131,128 visitors daily who spend $24.46 million. In the year 2012 San Francisco earned 8.93 billion from visitors alone, which goes to local businesses and fuels literally every aspect of their economy. In a city where I’m sure even the air makes profit, $105,000 doesn’t really seem like that much of a problem. With the publicity this event caused alone there should be enough donation money to cover Scott’s tab. Whether the dream is big or small, it is never too much to try. Helping others to create their moments might just leave you with a few of your own.

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could not take the pills anymore because the levels of the drugs within them was high enough in my blood work that it was potentially dangerous if I continued on that path. That was just from your generic store brand and name brand Acetaminophen Tylenol-like pain killers. Imagine what would happen if you started to do that with stuff like Vicodin or Percocet. College students are affected in greater quantities than the rest of the population when it comes to the tragedy of prescription drug overuse. Between 1993 and 2005 the use of opioids such as Vicodin, Oxycontin and Percocet by college students increased by 343 percent and the use of stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall increased by 93 percent, according to CHMI. When there is caution about pills it is not to get rid of them all together. There are reasons for all of those medicines and they help greatly when used with care and respect. The bottom line is be careful with everything you put into your body. Damaging your long-term health for a perceived short-term gain isn’t worth it. For more information on prescription drug abuse and to learn about Clinton Health Matters Initiative efforts to curb the abuse, visit their website at

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Animal wildlife is for the books, not looks stable as they are deprived from hunting and natural mating because they are fed and bred. In captivity, animals live in A lion living in a Dallas, Texas zoo killed his cage mate, and unnatural surroundings, in arnow all coexisting animals will be tificial physical and social enviseparated from each other at that ronments with little mental and physical stimulation. zoo. Animals attack each other in We see things like “When Animals Attack,” on TV and these the wild all the time, but it’s alshows often have to do with ani- most never interspecies. We can’t blame the animals mals that have been captured and for these incidents, placed in captivity. they are not bred to Maybe captivity is adapt to unnatural the reason animals habitats like people feel the need to atare. We can cope tack. because we are an It is a so-called advanced species. rare occurrence, You wouldn’t but with numerput infants in a ous attacks caught cage, feed them, on tape, how rare breed them and see could this be? if they grow up to be Keeping wild sane. animals in captivity Anybody livis inherently cruel, ing in a closed space as it’s depriving would not be able to them of the ability keep their sanity. to freely engage in Even in the instinctual behavbest-kept zoos, iors in a natural enthere are going to vironment. be issues arising out PETA recently of the sale of anistated in a tweet mals, their confinethat animals have Cartoon by Darren Allen ment and transport, been known to esand eventually how cape zoos, even the animals will spend their lives risking their lives to do so. Despite a zoo’s best efforts, once they are no longer suitable its animals often are confined to for exhibit. We should take the blame for inadequate spaces and unable to engage in natural hunting and any animal-related casualties. We mating activities. Many animals control what almost every species succumb to what some people does as we change the habitats refer to as zoochosis, the display and hold many captive for our of obsessive, repetitive behaviors, own entertainment. There is nothing you can according to Naturewatch. Although many captive ani- learn at a zoo that you can’t learn mals tend to live longer than free in a book. Holding animals capanimals, captive animals have a tive is unnecessary and inhubetter chance of becoming un- mane. By Darren Allen dallen.connect@gmail

“Proudly protecting the public from themselves” Cartoon by Josh Slowiczek

Losing weight, gaining shame By Emanuel Espinoza eespinoza.connect@gmail Fitness trainers are often trying to help people get healthier, whether it’s through losing weight, being more active or teaching nutritional values. But does this mean some trainers have to be cruel when helping people to achieve such goals? Back in October, fitness enthusiast Maria Kang received backlash for her profile picture on Facebook with her dressed in fitness gear with her three small children around her. The top of the picture read “What’s your excuse?” The picture went viral and Kang was accused of hate speech, with people thinking she was shaming overweight people, particularly because she looks really fit after having three kids. Kang stated her perspective, saying that the picture wasn’t to make people jealous but to say that because someone is a mom, that doesn’t mean that she can’t

put in the time and effort to exercise and try to get healthy. Recently, a woman posted a picture online wearing underwear, stating that she is proud of how she looks and that she loves her body. Kang gave her input, stating that obesity isn’t something to be accepted and that we are currently in a crisis regarding obesity. She never said that people shouldn’t love themselves. Kang posted on Facebook about what she had gone through and her perspective. She got kicked off of Facebook but soon after, her account was allowed back on. Kang may have a point in her “no excuses” philosophy, but a lot of people took it the wrong way. It’s true that some people make up excuses to avoid exercise, but there are legitimate excuses like being physically ill, being sore in various parts of the body or anything else that can be a real factor in skipping exercise. There are people out there who don’t appear to be in the

most ideal shape and are still active and healthy. There are people who are thin and are not healthy at all. Why do some people feel the need to be harsh about the appearances of others when they don’t know the first thing about them? The person could be trying to better their body for all they know. Not everyone who works out looks like a fitness model. As for the part about “accepting obesity,” it is true that a lot of people are not in the best shape and that there are people who are lazy, but that doesn’t mean everybody shares that same opinion. Though Kang wasn’t exactly shaming anybody, it’s understandable that people misconstrued her statement as such. If there is one thing that never works in trying to motivate someone, it is shaming them. It never helps people try to get better, it only makes them feel worse.

New Jersey takes a step towards embracing equality By Christopher McKnight cmcknight.connect@gmail The New Jersey ban on gay conversion therapy is a great indicator of the modern, more accepting world that we are moving towards today. For years, certain religious groups and old school, hard headed politicians have been doing everything in their power to keep homosexuals on the outskirts. With this law now firmly in place in two states, the power and influence that they once had is slowly dwindling away. Gay conversion therapy is a service for teenagers, or the parents of teens, who

think their child is confused about their sexual orientation and needs to be converted back into the “right” state of mind. Techniques used in these services consist of electroshock therapy, social skills training, and group interventions, as stated on the Princeton University website. So in short, these people believe that homesexuality is a mental illness that can be forced into the direction of mainstream acceptability through rigorous and harsh peer pressure, drugs and a little bit of electricity. Thankfully, there are people like Gov. Chris Christie (R - N.J.) who are here to balance out that ignorance. He understands



“What is your favorite holiday tradition?”

that the world is changing. The mindsets and the social perception of much of the United States are evolving into a more accepting and logical point of view. More and more people believe that as long as you are motivated, educated and here to succeed, then you should be able to live the American dream of equal rights no matter what sexual preference you have. Christie understands that there has to be political actions taken to better suit the majority of Americans who support social equality. There will always be those fundamentalist and right-winged conservatists, but not everyone can be happy. So if poli-

“Around Christmas time my dad makes a sweet meat with molasses. It’s part of a hispanic tradition in Texas.” Sabrina Garcia 25, Business

Compiled by Darren Allen, Amari Gaffney and Christopher McKnight

Yasmin Elasayed 18, Biology

“I don’t really celebrate the American holidays. I celebrate Eid, where we slaughter sheep and give meat to poor people.”

ticians keep true to their word of serving the American people, as Christie has, then the majority opinion should always be their priority. The action of banning gay conversion therapy might be a small one, but there has been an enormous shockwave sent across the entire country that is, once again, making people think about the ever changing mindset of the American people and how outcasting people who are attracted to the same sex is just plain dumb. It is time to understand that love is love, and if you just stay out of other peoples’ business, then their type of love will never hurt you.

“It would have to be just getting together with family because family is important.”

Michael Melancon 19, undeclared

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‘Homefront’ gives thrills, lacks story #TrendingNow driven. Gator was played well by Franco, who at first doesn’t seem convincing as a villain, especially in a movie starring Statham. However, there wasn’t a lot that could keep someone interested in the story itself. In fact, things didn’t start picking up until about more than halfway through the movie. A lot of the storyline elements are a little cliché. There was a small romantic subplot involving Broker with Maddy’s school psychologist, but it fizzled out after a while and it was forgotten by the film’s end.

The movie’s plot is basically about someone who is not welcome by certain people and is seen as a threat to a criminal’s operation. The film also tries to give some insight into some of the other main characters, like Cassie, and her relationship with her brother Gator and how he provides her with drugs. On the plus side, the action sequences were welldone. There were some decent fight scenes, as well as an entertaining shootout sequence. Statham never ceases to disappoint when it comes to action sequences. Another exciting scene involved Broker and an ambush against him. He was able to dispatch the hitmen sent to eliminate him, much like a one-man army would. This movie tried a little too hard to be a serious drama that had action, and ended up having flaws in the story. The story could have been better, but it could have been worse as well. The action sequences made up for a somewhat lackluster story, and it made the movie more entertaining.

Compiled by Darren Allen and Rachel Norris All photos are courtesy photos



A lot of movies are coming out for the holiday season, many for Oscar season, but as a change of pace, the action thriller “Homefront” hit theaters on Nov. 27, just in time for the Thanksgiving weekend. The movie is about Phil Broker, played by Jason Statham (The “Transporter” series), a former drug enforcement agent who moves to a small town with his 10-year-old daughter Maddy, played by Izabela Vidovic. Maddy gets herself into

some trouble by defending herself against a bully, who happens to be the son of Cassie (Kate Bosworth), the sister of Gator Bodine (James Franco), the town’s drug lord. Gator wants to get some information on Broker, who he is and what his background is, and decides to try to eliminate him. The movie is an action movie with some elements of drama. Statham is mostly known for appearing in action movies and playing the role of a “tough guy.” This is no exception, though there were moments when the movie tried to be story-


Amazon announced on Dec. 1 that they plan to begin delivering packages using unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, directly to your doorstep. “People are gonna get lazy and soon every website or store will deliver with drones,” said Keith Stafford, 19, an undeclared major.

Movie Review

author’s score out of 5

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The popular “Fast and Furious” movie star Paul Walker, 40, died in a singlecar accident as the passenger when returning from his own charity event on Nov. 30. “I was shocked,” said Maria Perez, 20, a communications major. “It was pretty ironic how he died.”


By Emanuel Espinoza eespinoza.connect@gmail

By Elizabeth Witt ewitt.connect@gmail I’ve always loved 50s-style diners. Colorful booths, classic artwork and sweet music always gives me that savory, nostalgic feeling. Restaurants like Johnny Rocket’s or The Original Mel’s have that great classic American atmosphere and have pretty good choices in American foods as well. About 10 minutes from campus is a small, inconspicuous diner right on East Stockton Blvd near Applebee’s. Original Mike’s Diner seems to have gone fairly unnoticed, but I chose to venture on over there with a few friends in the hopes that it would compare to some of my favorite restaurants, or maybe even win me over. Upon arriving, we were seated fairly quickly at a booth along the wall. All the tables had coin-operated jukeboxes with decades worth of American music ready to entertain your table. Although we were seated quickly, the wait for our server was long and no

one had bothered to let us know that they’d be taking care of us or that they would be busy for a few more minutes. Once our waitress made it to our table, she was polite, but briskly gathered our drink order and left without telling us her name. We waited once again for her to return for our dinner order, but it gave us plenty of time to look over the seemingly endless menu. I was impressed with the wide variety of meals they offered. Most of it was lunch and dinner, such as chicken strips, sandwiches and burgers. But on the back page of the menu was the breakfast: my favorite. Breakfast for dinner is never a bad idea, especially when it includes French toast. Along with the French toast breakfast, I chose to indulge in a chocolate shake. You just don’t get the full diner experience without the handcrafted milkshake. We finally ordered our meal and waited one more time, for about 25 minutes, to get our food.

Nothing that had been ordered was so complicated that it should take 25 minutes to cook, and the restaurant wasn’t even close to busy. My food looked and tasted as though it had sat under a heat lamp for about 10 minutes, which was the first thing I noticed. I also found myself disappointed in the taste of the food. The French toast was bland and the maple syrup tasted overly processed, like the extra-sugary stuff 8-year-olds love to drown their Eggo waffles in. I was pleased that the eggs were real and not from a carton, like some restaurants serve. The bacon was cooked to order and seemed alright.

The milkshake was alright, but the rest of my meal was definitely forgettable. The total for my meal came out to just over $14, but luckily Yelp! had a 10 percent discount for checking in to the restaurant The meal was not terribly overpriced at $7.95, but I wouldn’t say the milkshake was worth $5.25 considering I could get the same thing from In ‘n’ Out for almost half the cost. I wouldn’t frequently recommend this to most of my friends, but if they were looking for a relaxed, late night meal that was better than just fast food, I might mention Original Mike’s Diner along with some other restaurants.

Restaurant Review Restaurant: Location:

Original Mike’s Diner 9139 E. Stockton Blvd.


French toast combo



author’s score out of 5

It Rain

A 29-year-old man was cited for disorderly conduct after tossing 1,000 $1 bills from the fourth floor of the Mall of America while the choir performed “Let it Snow,” on Nov. 29. “I don’t think he should’ve got in trouble because he was doing a good thing,” said Vonte Betts, 21, an early childhood education major.


Diner lacks in food quality, service


Phil Broker (Jason Statham, left) meets up with Gator Bodine (James Franco) and Sheryl Gott (Winona Ryder) at a bar to tell Gator to leave him alone after sending men to attack him.

2 and 3 After Kanye West released his music video from his new hit “Bound 2,” James Franco and Seth Rogen created a spoof of it titled “Bound 3.” “It was different, but those were usual Kanye shenanigans,” said Lavalle Thomas, 20, an engineering major. “The Bound 3 video was hilarious, it had me weak.”


Students and staff share during storytelling event By Beth Hurn Guest Writer Crunchy fall leaves littered the floor, and a bale of hay was brought in to create the appearance of a barn. Jack-o-lanterns smiled on the tabletops, a few of which held a variety of snacks provided by students who attended the third annual Cosumnes River College Tellabration on Nov. 21. Tellabration is an international storytelling event that was originally launched by the Connecticut Storytelling Center in 1988, according to the Tellabration website. It is traditionally held the weekend before Thanksgiving, but was held during the week to allow students to attend, said English Professor Lesley Gale. “The goal was to try to reembrace traditional storytelling,” said English Professor Sherie Coelho. “In the advent of texting and email, electronics and technology, the precious gathering of people seemed to be lacking.” Tellabration was organized by Coelho and Gale, who both told stories at the event. “I think everybody loves to hear a story,” Gale said. “I think there’s something in all of us that really yearns for that kind of connection.” The Orchard room was filled to capacity with students, faculty, guests and a few young children in attendance. From 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., the room was filled with stories. Stories from cultures around the world were shared. They ranged from personal stories to traditional folktales, and included poetry, mythology and even

one ghost story. Stories varied in length and the majority of them were told from memory. “One of the stories that brought me back to my childhood was ‘The Three Little Bears,’” said Janette Moreno, 37, an early childhood education major. Moreno said she enjoyed the event, and thought that there was a real benefit to sharing stories.

I think everybody loves to hear a story.” —Lesley Gale English Professor

“You learn about different ideas and different cultures,” Moreno said. William Simpson, 31, an automotive technology major, thought that Tellabration offered benefits for storytellers as well as audience members. “It helps people learn how to express themselves,” Simpson said. “If you’re not comfortable standing up in front of people, you can do something like this and gain a little more confidence.” Anne Rothschild, a former adjunct English professor at CRC, said she enjoys coming back to participate in Tellabration. She said that stories are an important cultural thing to share because people often lose the stories of their families. “We’re so busy that we don’t keep up with the stories behind our traditions,” Rothschild said. “That’s important to do, and I think we’re beginning to reach out for that again.”


Give your vehicle extra care during the winter season By Ben Brown bbrown.connect@gmail The winter season brings many things including colder weather and harsh storms. While some people enjoy the weather winter brings, your vehicle does not. While the winter season is generally a lot less harsh in Sacramento compared to other parts country, there are still certain things you should keep in mind before taking your car out for a spin. “The winter here tends to be hardest on vehicle batteries,” said Automotive Technology Professor Michael Pereira. “Batteries become less efficient when the temperature gets colder.” Your vehicle’s battery loses 33 percent of its power when temperatures drop to or below the freezing point, according to Interstate Batteries. In Sacramento, one thing we have to worry about during

winter time is the rain. Sacramento averages 21.17 inches of rainfall a year and 15.64 of that falls during the fall and winter seasons, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “I change my windshield wipers about every 12 months just to make sure they are working well,” said 20-year-old automotive technology major Luis Sanchez. “The last thing you want in the rain is your windshield wipers to leave streak marks.” During winter storms, your windshield wipers are not the only thing that you need to make sure is up to date on your vehicle. On a slippery road, the last thing you want to have are tires that have too much wear-andtear on them. “People who are driving on older tires as compared to newer tires are more likely to have them go bad during the

winter because they need to be used a lot more with wet roads,” Sanchez said. While it is important to make sure your tires are not going bald, that is not the only thing to be concerned about. “You always want to make sure your tires are inflated and keep checking them regularly,” Pereira said. In case you were thinking about taking a trip to the snow, most tire companies offer special winter tires and even snow tires for better traction on the roads. Also, if snow tires are out of your budget, tire chains can be purchased that cover your tires in the snow.

The winter here tends to be hardest on vehicle batteries.” —Michael Pereira

Automotive Tech Professor

Make sure your vehicle is cold-weather ready

Along with certain things on the outside of your car, you also need to make sure the inside of your car is properly maintained. “The wrong oil can get too thick in the winter,” said 19-year-old Joshua Lassiter, an undeclared major. “You can always start your car before leaving to warm it up.” It may seem like a lot to keep track of, but you can always make vehicle maintenance an easy thing. “The best advice I can give is to follow the owner manual’s recommended periodic maintenance schedule,” Pereira said.

Check windshield wipers Check tire treads Check tire pressure Carry jumper cables Perform regular maintenance

Wedding: Ceremony is graduation for low-income couples Continued from page 1 and get a maximum of 30 guests.” These couples had to graduate the Flourishing Families Program, put on by the Skills Center, which teaches “new communica-

tion skills and relationship enhancement,” said Erin Stone, the executive director of the Relationship Skills Center. “The program teaches how to show understanding, how to discuss conflict and how to show

Scott Redmond| The Connection

CRC photography students Michelle Chang, left, and Isibhakhomen Shaka-Momodu help a bride touch-up her make-up during the wedding marathon at the Westminister Presbyterian Church on Nov. 17.

each other appreciation,” she said. The Marathon is a graduation of sorts for the participants in the program, who are low-income families with children, who may not have seen marriage as a possibility. “This event was really the opportunity for the couples who had gone through our program, who wanted to get married, but getting married for some of them was a pretty far-off dream,” Stone said. “We started doing this event to really help them have a great start.” While the wedding was taken care of, there was still the matter of pictures. Cosumnes River College’s very own photography students were the ones in charge of capturing every moment of the day’s events. “I remember getting married and not having as many photos as I would’ve liked,” said 37-yearold photography major Jerry Lee McNabb. “It’s nice to be able to help [the couples] out with that.” As the minister asked for both families’ blessing, loud cheers came from the mouths of the audience, a definitive yes. Following the blessing,

Hamm and Gianotti both turned around and reached for a flaming white candle, a small chandelier beaming down on them, they both took a step and lit a larger candle at the center of the stage, symbolizing their unification. Soon, the “I do’s” were said and the couple walked back down the aisle as one. “Leading up to this was really stressful,” Giannotti said. “Both our cars dumped on us, we didn’t have a whole bunch of money, but with some of the skills we learned, we were able to get through it.” As the couple made their way into the courtyard, they were greeted by eager photographers waiting to capture the pair’s big moment. Kimyetta Barron, 34, is a former CRC student who participated in the event the first year and has now taken a larger role in organizing the photographers. “I help with technique, how to get [photographers’] exposures down and I am kind of a back-up to everyone else,” Barron said. “Then I get all the pictures together and make sure they are all edited nicely and given to the clients.”

Lorenzo Tinoco, a 23-yearold photography major, found out about the opportunity to shoot the weddings through Barron, who came to CRC’s photography classes to discuss the Wedding Marathon. “When I heard about it, and they told me why they are doing this, to help out other couples, I thought it was pretty good to do this and help out,” he said. “It’s also great experience, since I am focusing in wedding and portraits.” Another photography major, CJ Willis, 21, wanted to help out because “it’s a good event for a good cause.” In the Club Room, Hamm came dancing into her reception to the “Party Rock” tune by LMFAO as her family cheers on. Gianotti, similar to the beginning of the wedding, stood in the middle of the five tables that filled in the white walls of the room, waiting to greet his bride for their first dance. The dance ended with a passionate kiss, and Hamm reflects back on her journey. “It was everything we thought it would be and more,” she said.



See how three ladies of pop stack up Pop artists Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus have recently released albums, sparking a competition between the ladies. While they display their different styles and wardrobes, their music is what will finalize the decision between who is, in fact, the most talented popstar. By Darren Allen dallen.connect@gmail ady Gaga’s new album, “Artpop,” is a bizarre take on electronic and rhythm and blues genres. As she slides in and out of genres throughout the album, it is impossible to predict the sound of the next song. With hit songs “Applause” and “Do What U Want” on the tracklist, you can’t help but give the album



Album Review Artist: Album: Release Date: Cost:

iley Cyrus’ new album “Bangerz” isn’t much better. Although it begins with a quality start in “Adore You.” It can’t help but go downhill due to her lack of experience in genres. We get it Miley, you

Miley Cyrus “Bangerz” Oct. 4, 2013 $11.99

author’s score out of 5

a chance, but only two songs in you can already feel your facial expressions start to change. Her second song on the album, “Venus,” is quite possibly the worst song ever made. It is exasperating, the melody is putrid, the instrumentals are atrocious and the lyrics are by far the worst part of the song. The song has an astronomical focus that goes nowhere. If I wanted the names of the planets

want to break out of your shell and somehow induce rap and hip hop into your music. That is perfectly fine, except for the fact that a country voice with a subtle yodel over a trap instru-


aty Perry also released a new album, “Prism,” with hit song “Roar” as the introduction. The first half of the album reveals a whimsical talent. She gives her own take on Miley’s attempts to combine hip hop and pop rock

yelled at me I would have been an astronomy major. The album starts nowhere and goes further into the desert. She can sing well, but for some reason she feels the need to let the producers do everything, as more than half of the album is deafening, distasteful dubstep, rhythm and blues and electronic music fused together to create some sort of screech with bass and a drum kick here and there.

Album Review Artist: Album: Release Date: Cost:

Lady Gaga “Artpop” Nov. 6, 2013 $14.99

author’s score out of 5

mental is beyond intolerable. Maybe the lack of molly in my system is keeping my “hear no evil” impression constant, but if I have to resort to drugs to enjoy music I’d rather be deaf.

and succeeds wonderfully with song “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J (Stay Trippy). She exhibits her ability to shift genres gracefully and much better than the other artists. Even though the second half of her album

throws Z’s at you that you can’t help but catch, it still did not scare me away like the other two. She undoubtedly had the most entertaining album, but only because every other album only reached out towards select groups of people.

Album Review Artist: Album: Release Date: Cost:

Katy Perry “Prism” Oct. 18, 2013 $15.99

author’s score out of 5

Top 10 Christmas gifts for the whole family By Ben Brown bbrown.connect@gmail

3: 8. Roku The Roku 3 allows for stream- 5.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Samsung and Google’s comeback to Apple’s iPhone 5s is the Note 3. The Note 3 features a 5.7 inch screen with a 13 megapixel rear-facing camera. The phone also features a Click S Pen for optimal control and three GB of RAM.

ing thousands of channels ranging Our writer’s take on what’s hot from movies, TV shows, sports and this Christmas. more to any high definition televiGarmin eTrex 10 Out- sion. Roku 3 uses both wireless Internet and wired door Handheld GPS: Internet and outRetail Price: $299.99 The eTrex 10 from Garmin puts to 1080p HD. has a 2.2 inch screen and features an easy to use worldwide Retail Price: $99.99 map. The eTrex 10 is also waterproof and has a long batSamsung Galaxy Tab Note 10.1: tery life. The Galaxy Note 10.1 features a quad-core processor and Android 4.0. Note 10.1 also features a Retail Price: microSD for selectional storage capacity. The tablet $99.99 comes with storage sizes of either 32 GB or 64 GB.




Amazon Kindle Fire HDX: Teaming up with Android, Amazon’s newest edition of the Kindle tablet has a seven-inch screen along with a retina display and is available in 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB for storage. Retail Price: $229.99 to $429.99


Retail Price: $499.00 to $599.00


MacBook Air: Apple’s MacBook Air is sleek and weighs almost as little as a pizza box. The MacBook Air ships with an Intel Dual Core i5 Processor and four GB of RAM. Retail Price: Ranging from $999.00 to $1,299.00

iPad Mini 2: 4. Apple The latest and greatest from

Apple features a 7.9 inch screen display and retina display for security. The iPad Mini 2 also has a 10-hour battery life. Storage size options include, 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB. Retail Price: $399.00 to $699.00 iPhone 5s: 3. Apple Apple’s brand new iPhone fea-

tures a new fingerprint identity sensor for maximum security, an eight megapixel camera and LTE wireless for Internet browsing. The 5s is available in 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB. Retail Price: Ranging from $199.99 to $399.99 with new two-year contract.

4: 2. PlayStation Sony is back

with its brand new gaming console to counter the Xbox with the PlayStation 4. The PS4 features all the same features from Sony’s previous console, the PlayStation 3, as well as integration into social media and live streaming features straight from the console. Retail Price: $399.99 One: 1. Xbox The third installment of Micro-

soft’s Xbox features voice commands, allowing users to browse the Internet, watch live television, Skype with friends around the world and, not to mention, play video games in 1080p resolution. Retail Price: $499.99 Info from, and

The Connection Vol. 62 Issue 6  

Fall 2013, Issue 6

The Connection Vol. 62 Issue 6  

Fall 2013, Issue 6