Another ruined series? While multiplayer is still a strong point, the new “Gears of War” game lacks the immersive campaign that draws a player in. Features | Page 6
Volume 61, Issue 5
April 25, 2013
Grading the graders? The new College Success Scorecard aims to bring accountability to the California community college system. By Zach Hannigan & Courtney Rich firstname.lastname@example.org
California community college leaders unveiled a new Student Success Scorecard on April 9 that will allow students and their families to compare all 112 community colleges across the state, according to a press release from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. ¶ The scorecard, which was recommended by Gov. Jerry Brown’s Student Success Task Force, tracks persistence rates, degree attainment, transfer rates and “momentum points,” such as completion of 30 units. “We can obtain data from the state so we can study and find trends for both students who succeed and students who may be struggling academically,” said dean of college planning and research Katherine McLain. “So we can better support student success.” The scorecard program stems from Assembly Bill 1417, which authorized the CCCCO to design a performance measurement system in 2004.
Cosumnes River College was tracked over the last six years leading up to 2012, like other colleges, and showed slightly lower numbers to the statewide average. CRC showed a 45.9 percent mark in completion rate, which tracks students who complete a degree or transfer, while the state showed a 49.2 percent completion rate, according to the scorecard. However, colleges will only be Scorecard | Page 2
Women’s tennis team gears up for state tournament By Stephan Starnes & Nick Valenzuela sstarnes.connect@gmail
Cosumnes River College sophomore Taylor Osborne forehands the ball back to her opponent, Fresno City freshman Jenna Rowe, on March 19. Osborne will be headed to state for singles and doubles with her partner freshman, Cassandra Gomez. Stephan Starnes | The Connection
For the second time, Cosumnes River College has women from the tennis team headed to state competition. Two years ago, Brianna Schmitgen and her doubles partner became the first players to make it to state. This year, the full team—consisting of only four players—has qualified for competition. The Ojai Tournament lasts from April 25-28 in Ventura, Calif., and sophomore Taylor Osborne along with her partner, freshman Cassandra Gomez, qualified for both singles and doubles. Freshmen Angela Guererro and Lilana Seisa also qualified for doubles play at the competition. Head coach Suzanne Stebbins said the women are hard workers and that it is an honor just to make it to state. “They’re just super hard workers, they never give up, they try really hard,” Stebbins said. “I thought it was going to be kind
of a down season with only four, we have to forfeit two every single match. But it turned into a really great season.” The team has been practicing “almost every day” to improve their skills, Gomez said. Gomez said that she was “working on doubles because there’s going to be a lot of good doubles teams there.” Stebbins’ work with the team is paying off, as both Osborne and Gomez said that they feel they have a good chance at state. “She’s (Stebbins) improved our game and changed our game to play against different types of opponents,” Osborne said. While Osborne was all smiles in her interview before practice on Monday, she still said she was nervous. “It’s scary, but I feel like I’m prepared enough for it,” Osborne said. The team will have been traveling all day April 24 to get to the tournament, leaving little time for practice, but Stebbins Tennis | Page 4
Earth Day event kicks off week-long celebration on campus By Ben Brown bbrown.connect@gmail The sun was out, a mild breeze was present and plastic bags from grocery stores were hung from tree trunks all around campus. Each bag had a fact about the environment written on it in black marker. Students, staff and supporters all gathered on April 22 for the 43rd annual cele-
bration of Earth Day and the start of EarthWeek at Cosumnes River College. The campus quad was filled with story tellers, poster display boards, technological artwork and music performances, all brought together with one goal in mind: To spread and inform onlookers of the importance of our environment and how we can make this planet and ourselves better. “I hope everyone stops and thinks about what they are doing day-to-day and
in someway lighten their footprint on the planet,” said CRC biology professor and chair of Earth Week Andi Salmi. “I liked the student interaction and creativity with different facts written on the plastic bags that are hung up.” Salmi is also the chair of the sustainability committee who put on the Earth Week events on campus. CRC philosophy professor Rick Schubert has been leading discussions on
Earth Day for about 10 years with the same topic at hand. “I hope students realize that a campus is not just a place to take classes but a place for students to have an opportunity for broader and meaningful engagements as people,” Schubert said. Schubert led a socratic discussion about moral considerability and about what one must take into account from a Earth Week | Page 2
APRIL 25, 2013
The Connection Editor in Chief Zach Hannigan News Editor Josh Slowiczek Features Editor Britni Alford Sports Editor Cody Durham Opinion Editor Brittany Patrick Online Editor Scott Redmond Photo Editor Britni Alford Multimedia Editor Mary Garcia Copy Editor Kevin Frodahl Stephan Starnes Faculty Adviser Rubina Gulati
Earth Week: Campus events celebrates the enviornment and focuses on current issues Continued from page 1
moral point of view. “The moderator assumes no special knowledge of the subject and through a series of questions tries to lead the audience to reach conclusions about themselves about the matter,” Schubert said. The event also showcased a storytelling presentation where students and staff members shared folk stories related to the planet and the environment. “I have been participating in Earth Day on-and-off about three years now and it gives me a chance to share some myths that are relevant to vegetation,” said CRC English professor Sherie
Coelho. “I hope students become aware, to look at environment and get a greater appreciation for how much we as beings are components of this planet.” Psychology major Taelor Derrick, 18 years old, was showcasing a solar powered cooker from her communications class. “It feels good to know you do not always have to use energy and electricity but instead use natural resources to make everyday things,” Derrick said. Derrick and her classmate, 31-year-old engineering major David Le, said they both believe the solar cooker is something they see themselves using in the future. “I would take this camping
to heat up my water to take a hot shower at night,” Le said. “I am a cook and I keep my oven on for too long so this will make me more aware to turn my oven off.” Le and Derrick were making homemade Rice Krispie treats among other foods. Although Earth Day is mainly about the planet and the environment, other factors like personal health and promoting the health of others were also stressed. Carmella Henderson, the president of the Health Careers Association Club, was out promoting women’s health. “We are passing out reusable bags promoting health and safe sex for women,” Henderson said.
“We must keep our bodies clean in order to keep Earth clean.” The festivities ended with a keynote speaker and music performances for students. Business administration major Jasdeep Singh, 18 years old, chimed in and took in his first Earth Day. “We learned a couple of songs for today and I learned what Earth Day was at the same time,” Singh said. “This is a good day and I wish it got more attention.” Other events are set to take place later in the week including “many relevant films and a walkthrough of the Winn Center set to open next fall,” Salmi said.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...
Editorial Assitants Ben Brown Emily Collins Rachel Norris Sean Thomas Elizabeth Witt Mozes Zarate
Staff Katana Brown Latisha Gibson Oswaldo Guzman Victor Macias Courtney Rich Nick Valenzuela The Connection is an awardwinning 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 is a member of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges (JACC).
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Nick Valenzuela | The Connection
UC Davis professors Martha Marci and Bruce Winterhalder delivered a keynote speech on how climate change coincided with the fall of the Mayan civilization on April 22. You can read our coverage of the speech on our website : www.thecrcconnection.com.
Scorecard: Chance of performance-based funding Continued from page 1
compared against their own past performance rather than statewide averages, according to an April 9 press release from the CCCCO. “The best thing about the scorecard is it gives us some consistency to look at areas of strengths and also areas that need improvement,” said Los Rios Community College District Chancellor Brian King. But not all were in agreement that the scorecard is helping students and community colleges. “To force colleges through this scorecard to account for why students don’t move through the system as fast as business leaders want is to miss the entire point of higher education,” said history professor and Los Rios faculty union president Jason Newman. “The student success scorecard does not improve students success. But is merely an accountability measure at the state level for bean counters who want to track dollars and cents and how money is distributed throughout the community college system.” Others said that the scorecard isn’t something that will help them. “Honestly I don’t think it would make a difference in me transferring to that school or not,” said 16-year-old undeclared major Madina Ali. “The completion rate won’t matter.” Even with some criticism, the scorecard is something that will be used at CRC and the district, McLain said. “It will now be part of the data we use each year to assess our progress in supporting student learning,” McLain said.
CRC student Mastora Ali, a 26-year-old postgraduate who has earned a bachelor’s in psychology and biology, also said that the scorecard does seem like it is putting a ranking system to community colleges. “It kind of sounds like a RateMyProfessors for universities,” she said. “Like a ratemyuniversity or ratemyschool.” However, King said that this tool should not be used for rankings and likely wouldn’t be, but admitted that it could be misused. “The variables from college to college are very different. It’s overly simplistic to look at the scores and say that that is the total picture,” he said. “Different colleges serve different types of students. It could be misused for rankings, but it’s much better used as a college by college opportunity to look at current data.” With a comparison tool in place, the discussion of performance-based pay, which would pay colleges based on how well they perform in certain criteria and is already in legislation, was an issue that this scorecard brought the light. “I think it’s likely that pieces of funding will be linked toward outcomes in a way that they are not now,” King said. McLain also said she thinks that performance-based funding “will probably be phased in” but said that “a financial incentive or disincentive” will change CRC’s interest in student success. However, Newman said that the performance-based funding concern was “right on the money,” and that “one day this college [CRC] will get less money, because we’ll be tied to our scorecard.”
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One issue also brought to light was the rates students who took remedial courses and passed ended up passing a college-level class in the same subject. Only 22.7 percent of math students who start at a remedial level also complete a college-level math course. King also said that the number gap between unprepared students compared to college ready students is relevant. “The gap is really startling that the students who come to us who are prepared almost 70 percent complete their goal, and those who come to us unprepared are less than 40 percent,” he said. However, King said that the LRCCD and K-12 schools are trying to do something about the gap. “In the Sacramento region we are reaching out to our K-12 partners and having a very positive conversation about the things we can do together [to help those students],” he said. While the Student Success Scorecards are intended to measure certain factors, many believe that student success has different meaning to everyone. “It should be defined by the individual, their families and not society,” Newman said. “What is success for one family might be to have a person attending college for the first time. What is success for another family can be completing a degree in two years.” King also said that student success means something different to other people. “There are a lot of layers to student success,” he said. “But the fundamental concept is helping students achieve their goals that they set for themselves.”
APRIL 25, 2013 www.thecrcconnection.com
CLASSROOM By Kevin Frodahl kfrodahl.connect@gmail
A new pre-algebra class at Cosumnes River College may provide a glimpse into the future of education with the implementation of a new educational strategy called universal design.
Taught by mathematics Professor Mary Martin and offered for the first time this semester, the Math 30 course functions in part as a trial program to test the effectiveness of universal design in CRC classes. “My understanding of universal design is that it creates a structure in a classroom that allows students to tailor their own learning based on their best learning modes,” Martin said. Universal design formats and creates lesson plans to best fit each student’s individual need in contrast to traditional teaching styles that address a class’s need as a whole. “Every stu- “ I haven’t used dent learns differently every the disability day and in every class,” Martin said. center at all this “The best experi- semester, and ence for me as an individual student I’m doing the is not going to match what the best I’ve ever best experience done in a math is for the student sitting right next class.” to me, which is why our tradi- Sandra Otawa tion of teaching General Education for to a group doesn’t Transfer meet that individual need.” In Martin’s vision of universal design, students use the Internet to access lessons and lectures at their convenience outside of class. “In this class, the structure that I’ve created is a flipped classroom where [students] watch the lectures outside of class, which means they can watch the lectures slower, they can slow them down, they can stop them and rewind them, so the pace at which they get the initial lecture is very customizable,” Martin said. “It’s like having your teacher recorded so you can control the pace.”
When students return to class, Martin refreshes them with a short lecture and examples of math problems that are heavy on class participation. “When I come in, I’ve already lectured to them,” Martin said. “What I typically do is a quick check for understanding, and then usually what we do is apply what they learned, and then they start to work in class on what they’d usually do as homework.” While students work on their homework assignments, Martin walks around the classroom and addresses each student’s questions. “This way, students can ask very precise, individual questions and get very precise, individual answers,” Martin said. “So the help that they get is tailored very uniquely to them in the classroom, but the lecture they watch outside of classroom is also tailored, in terms of how fast or slowly they want to engage it. They also get to choose when to listen to it.” Technology is a major factor for Martin in employing universal design in her classroom. One of the most prominent tools in the lesson plan is the smartpen. “I use a Livescribe Smartpen,” Martin said. “It writes like a regular pen, but it has a recording device in it, so it not only creates a digital copy of what I write, it also records the audio tracks of my descriptions as I’m writing them.” The “pencast”, as the recording is called, is then uploaded to a website where students can access the lecture at their leisure, like D2L or Pearson lab websites. While the use of technology is a great asset to Martin’s personal use of universal design in a class setting, it is also at times the biggest weakness of the educational strategy. “That’s both the advantage and the disadvantage,” said Martin. “Making it individualized requires the technology, but because it requires technology, there were a lot of issues up front with students getting adobe reader installed and making sure
Kevin Frodahl | The Connection Professor Mary Martin reviews an equation for students in her Math 30 class, which integrates univeral design, a new teaching method that utilizes technology.
they had access to computers, if their computer at home wasn’t working, making sure they had time to come into the math lab or one of the other labs to make sure they got the pencast here.” Students in Martin’s Math 30 class were mainly positive about the changes universal design brought to the often-challenging environment of college-level math. The class has been a huge benefit to Sandra Otawa, a 51-year-old, general education for transfer major. “For me, it’s been really beneficial, it’s easier for me to grasp the concepts this way,” Otawa said. “I know that I can listen to that pencast more than once, because when I’m in a traditional class and the teacher will give a lecture, that would be it, and he or she would go through the lecture really quick. If you don’t grasp anything, you’re done.” Otawa, a student with a learning disability who has struggled with math as it is taught in traditional classrooms, has seen huge improvement in her abilities since starting the class. “I love this class, I haven’t used the disability center at all this semester, and I’m doing the best I’ve ever done in a math class,” Otawa said. “It really makes you feel like you’re accomplishing something.” However, some students found the
alternative lesson plan of a class designed universally to be less helpful than more traditionally structured classes. “I love the teacher, I love Miss Martin, and she’s really great at explaining things that we do have problems with and spending one-on-one time with us,” said Krystal Bowling, a 32-year-old, liberal arts with a concentration in math and science major. “But I would rather have her lecture and teach me in class than have me go home and do it.” One of the biggest problems for Bowling was the use of pencasts to present lectures outside of class. “I don’t like the pencasts at all,” Bowling said. “I think I’m more of an audio-visual learner, where I actually need a physical person doing the problems in front of me, so I find it hard to focus on the pencast and learn from them. Martin believes that the class has seen a very promising trial period, and hopes that more classes implementing universal design will appear on campus in the future. “I have two other instructors who are interested, in the math department, that are looking for fall classes, creating a design similar to this flipped classroom,” Martin said. “But we’re still working on making that happen.”
Mandated reporting regulation protects minors on campus By Elizabeth Witt ewitt.connect@gmail Each year, children under the age of 18 suffer from various types of abuse or neglect at home or in school and in many cases no one is told about it. Sexual harassment or assault, physical and emotional abuse and neglect are all serious issues, but many children will not tell anyone that these things are happening to them because they are scared of being put in more danger. Mandated reporting is a law here in California that requires doctors, teachers and other various caregivers to report incidents they are aware of to the authorities if they feel that it could be harmful to the child or others, even if they are told in confidentiality, according to California Mandated Reporter. “Any reasonable adult, when they see a child who’s being abused, should have the ability to step outside of the policies that guide their behavior within their institution and protect a child,” said psychology professor James Frazee. “That’s a rational thing for any adult in our society to do.”
Here at Cosumnes River College, most professors don’t have to deal with students under the age of 18. But there are a few students who are 17 years old or younger, those coming in from high school or those who are just young for their class. Many children and underage students are found in CRC’s Child Development Center, summer sports camps and swim classes. “Our college is now saying we need to address and think about those young ones who are around here,” Frazee said. Myeshia Kelly, a 35-year-old early childhood education major, agreed. “As a parent, I want to know what’s going on when you’re around my child,” Kelly said. “You’re taking my child into your hands and you’re responsible for what happens.” Frazee said that much of this is stemming from the Jerry Sandusky case at Pennsylvania State University, which involved a college football coach who had been found guilty of 45 counts of sexual abuse of a number of children over a 15-year period. Some of the other coaches Sandusky had worked with,
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including Joe Paterno, knew about the sexual assault and had not reported it even though it was required by law and they were held liable. “A lot of times we have these selfish notions of ‘I’ve gotta protect my position here at the college,’” Frazee said. Unfortunately for these coaches at Penn State, their silence did not protect their jobs, but rather caused them to be fired from their coaching positions. Frazee explained that the administration is encouraging teachers and staff members on campus to be more aware of their requirements as mandated reporters. “Child Protective Services and Adult Protective Services around our country want to have eyes and ears out there for hearing about people who can’t advocate for themselves,” he said. Nathan Smith, a 21-year-old agricultural business major, didn’t entirely agree with the idea of mandated reporting. “Nobody wants somebody to know they’ve been sexually abused,” Smith said, arguing that such matters should be handled discreetly. “A responsible college counselor should know how to handle situations like that.”
APRIL 25, 2013 www.thecrcconnection.com
The Cheap $eats The big debate over going pro By Zach Hannigan zhannigan.connect@gmail Britni Alford | The Connection
Hawks’ sophomore catcher Bryan Case hits the ball against the Modesto Pirates at Cosumnes River College on April 20.
Hawks rally late but fall short to Pirates By Sean Thomas sthomas.connect@gmail The Cosumnes River College Hawks’ late inning rally fell short as the visiting Modesto Junior College Pirates were able to seal the April 20 victory at Conway Field. Two consecutive big innings for the Pirates spoiled an otherwise strong pitching performance from a seemingly rotating door of Hawks pitchers. “We ran a lot of guys in there, a lot of bullpen guys,” said Hawks’ sophomore first baseman Garrett Heisinger. “But they all did very well I thought.” The Hawks’ pitching staff was virtually unhittable for the first six innings of the game. Freshman starting pitcher Nate Gonzalez made his first start of the year for the Hawks and set the tone early with two strikeouts and zero walks on two innings pitched before being pulled for freshman pitcher Shane Martin. Pirates’ sophomore starting pitcher Ty Galloway ran into some early trouble in the third and fourth inning before settling down in the later innings. Sophomore outfielder Colby Wilmer
scored the first run of the game in the third inning off of a dropped fly ball by freshman outfielder Kaden Cline, putting the score at 1-0 in the Hawks’ favor. The Hawks would strike again in the following inning when sophomore first baseman Joe Bettencourt capitalized on a wild pitch off the catcher’s shin which scored the Hawks’ second run of the game. “I just tried to keep attacking the strike zone,” Galloway said. “I knew the runs were unearned, but I had to keep my team in it.” The Pirates’ offense, which up to the sixth inning was held off the base paths, began to erupt in the later part of the ball game. Freshman infielder Gino Franceshetti drew a bases loaded walk to score the Pirates’ first run of the game. Freshman outfielder Patrick Mulry followed with a groundout to the first baseman forcing home the Pirates second run of the inning. Freshman infielder Damien Arteago broke things open on the following at-bat with a double over the center fielder’s head, plating two. By the end of the seventh inning the Hawks were down 4-2. The Pirates were able to follow the sev-
enth inning with another four-run inning in the top of the eighth, improving the lead to 8-2 over the Hawks. Not to be outdone, the Hawks came storming back in the bottom of the eighth starting with a single into right field by freshman outfielder Josh Cosio. A RBI single and a two-RBI double later, and the hawks had eased the deficit down to two runs by the end of the eighth inning. “When we fell down it was an energy drop but as soon as people started getting hits we started putting the pieces back together,” Heisinger said. Following a routine top of the ninth the Pirates trusted their two-run lead to sophomore pitcher Don Fairchilds, who came in to close the game for Modesto. CRC made things interesting for the fans, scoring a run in the ninth, but the Pirates would end any hopes for the Hawks with a pitch at the knees, ending the game 8-7. “We didn’t play very well at all, it was a combination of things,” said freshman infielder Hunter Carolan. “We battled back, and we thought we had a chance, it just didn’t work out.”
Tennis: CRC teammates prepare for state Continued from page 1
reinforced the idea that there wasn’t much that needs improvement. “So really at this point, they’ve worked hard all season and they’re prepared completely,” Stebbins said. “It’s always hard with the nerves, and that’s when you’ve got to calm them and remind them to breathe and get through it. They’re experienced, competitive tennis players at this point so they’ve played a lot of competition all season”
Sophomore Taylor Osborne and freshman Cassandra Gomez stand together before their practice on April 24. Osborne and Gomez are both headed to the Ojai Tournament which takes place on April 2528, having qualified for singles and doubles play. Stephan Starnes | The Connection
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It’s become an increasingly important question for elite college athletes over the last few years: should I stay in college to better my craft while risking injury or go pro and make some money, but risk having a shorter career? According to the NCAA, only 1.7 percent of college football players will ever take a snap professionally. It gets even slimmer when it comes to basketball, a miniscule 1.2 percent ever play professionally. So the obvious answer would be to stay in school and get that degree. But let’s be honest, those 1.7 and 1.2 percentages are the players everyone talks about. They are usually the top of their class in college. But then there are guys like Lebron James and Kobe Bryant who never went to college, but have become some of the greatest basketball players in the last two decades. When I bring them up, your answer may be a little different. However, what those stats say and what players like James and Bryant tell us is that it takes a special type of player to make a name for themselves when they leave college early or don’t even go to college. You cannot fault a 19-year-old kid for leaving college and declaring for the NBA draft. There is money to be had and fame to be taken, but sometimes a player must face the fact that he isn’t quite ready. Take a look at a guy like Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts, he played all four season at Stanford and was taken as the number one overall pick in the NFL draft. He also has a degree in architecture. Undoubtedly, he will be a star. However, what you also have to look at is that when his football career is over, he has a degree to fall back on. And if an injury ended his football career early, he isn’t S.O.L. like many players would be. As you read this, many of you will bring up Matt Barkley, who many experts say should of left college a year earlier because he would’ve been a top 10 pick. That is a possibility, but can you honestly say that spending another year in college made him worse? You’ll also probably bring up the guys who have had success after leaving college early for both the NBA and NFL: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons, Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls and a myriad of others. To that I say, sure if you’re a player like Ryan or Rose, leave early. You have the skills to make it. But if you aren’t a player like them, stay in college and be broke for a couple more years like the guy writing this article. Staying in college can by no way hurt anyone. Yes, you risk injury, but I’m also risking carpal tunnel syndrome from typing this. Stay a little longer, hone your craft and you just might make it in the big leagues.
APRIL 25, 2013 www.thecrcconnection.com
Opinion: Fans stay strong despite Kings’ turmoil By Jon Wilson Special to the Connection
The NBA’s decision over the future of the Sacramento Kings may be shrouded in mystery, but Wednesday night it was plain to see that Kings fans are still committed to their team. In what was the final home game of the Kings’ 2012-13 season, a 112-108 loss to the playoff-bound Los Angeles Clippers that came on the same day the NBA began its official discussions over the sale of the Kings, 17,317 fans packed Sleep Train Arena to show the NBA how much they wanted their team to stay. And make noise they did. “Amazing atmosphere inside sleep train! Sacramento has the best fans in the league!” Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson tweeted during the game. With barely an empty seat in the house, Kings fans took every opportunity they could to stand on their feet and loudly cheer on their team. Prior to the game, longtime Kings’ broadcaster Grant Napear interviewed Clippers head coach, and former King, Vinny Del Negro on his weekly radio show. Del Negro took a moment to reflect on his time in Sacramento by saying there was “always great fans and support” and “there was a lot of connection with the community and the team.” Del Negro also added “the constant has been the fans.” Fittingly, it happened to be Fan Appreciation Night at the arena and those fans made sure “the old barn” was loud enough to make you want earplugs at times, and beyond that they showed that it doesn’t take a winning team to bring out the best in Kings fans; it just takes a little hope. Their hope has come in the form of Mayor Johnson and his group of deep pocket investors, who are looking to purchase the Kings, build a new downtown arena and redevelop the area around
Jon Wilson | Courtesy Photo
Fans stayed after the 112-108 loss to the Clippers on April 17 to show support for keeping the franchise in Sacramento. it. And though the NBA was originally scheduled to vote on the sale of the Kings to Seattle-based investors at its Board of Governors meetings on April 18 and 19, the complicated nature of this decision has pushed the NBA’s vote back, possibly a few weeks. In 2011, when the team seemed all but packed to relocate to Anaheim and the Maloofs were adamant about keeping the team, Kings fans didn’t have the comfort of knowing a group of investors was fighting to keep the team in Sacramento and build a brighter future for it. So while 2011’s final home game
seemed like an emotional farewell, this year’s final home game had an aura of optimism from fans that sincerely believed the Kings were staying put. Hundreds of people even stayed for an hour after the game to soak in the moment. During this time, Kings’ PA announcer and mascot, Scott Moak and Slamson, hyped up the crowd. Napear and his broadcasting partner Jerry Reynolds took time to interact with fans, take pictures and sign autographs. Kings players Isaiah Thomas, Toney Douglas, Travis Outlaw, Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins all made an appearance on the court in their
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street clothes to show their appreciation for Sacramento fans. Kings assistant coach and former player Bobby Jackson also came out and told the crowd “The Kings aren’t going anywhere!” Throughout the game, fans had banded together for chants such as “Sac-ramen-to” and “Here we stay,” but perhaps the most appropriate rally cry of the night was one of the many that came during the hour-long post-game lingering. “We’re not leaving!” fans chanted as the arena was shutting down for the night. In the weeks to come, we’ll find out if the team will be able to say the same.
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APRIL 25, 2013
‘Gears of War’ prequel stumbles and falters from the start By Stephan Starnes sstarnes.connect@gmail “Gears of War: Judgment,” which launched on March 19 is the first game in the series developed by an outside studio. That is quickly apparent, as the game lacks some of the major appeal of the previous titles. “Gears of War” has been one of the few series’ that drew people in with not only a competitive online mode, but immersive campaigns which overlapped throughout the series. The series as a whole is set on a planet called Sera in the distant future, and chronicles the war between the Coalition of Ordered Government soldiers and the alien race known as the Locust Horde. This is the only game in the series to not be focused on the hero of the first three games, Marcus Fenix. Anyone who hated the character of Damon Baird, the cynical smartass of the COG soldiers, will immediately turn away from the game. The entire plot is shaped around his past, when he was put on trial for war crimes. However, that’s where the plot not only grabs your attention, but loses it. The campaign starts with Baird coming off of a chopper in shackles before being taken into a courtroom with those under his command in Kilo Squad. A veteran of the series, Augustus Cole, is in shackles among two newcomers: Garron Paduk and Sofia Hendrik. The game immediately drops the foursome into the action, with Baird as the playable character, as he recounts the tale that brought him into the courtroom. However, a lack of actual plot after that point makes the killing of Locust enemies more annoying than fun. In previous games, the killing took you t h rou g h objectives a n d a d vanced the plot through a cohesive mix of cutscenes, dialogue and playing. Now, however, each checkpoint is marked by a list of statistics that stops gameplay and recaps if the score was high enough to earn more stars. The stars are earned through killing enemies and completing objectives, and more “prestigious” stars are earned when playing at higher difficulties. The stars unlock different things, and are later used to unlock “Aftermath,” which is an extension of the “Gears of War 3” storyline. With a lot of time spent holding onto positions and defending rooms against waves of incoming Locusts, similar to Horde mode of Gears 3, interest in the campaign quickly wears down. The lack of a gripping story, the intrusion of stat sheets and the repetitive missions all add up to why I did not play through the entire campaign.
The addition of “Declassified Missions” to Judgment does give the game some points back. At the start of each section of the game, the player has the ability to add an additional level of difficulty that is specific to that section. Some of the missions included playing with reduced ammo, reduced vision and added time limits. The game also does a good job splitting the chapters between different characters, giving the chance to play as each member o f Kilo Squad. However, the game leaves the player with the desire to learn more about the new characters. A few things are immediately noticeable when playing campaign: the button layout has been changed to match up with most current shooters and the player no longer has a pistol in their loadout. Rather than the D-pad being used to switch between weapons, the Y button switches between the two primary weapons and the Left Bumper is used to throw grenades. The game’s multiplayer mode has also changed with everything else. While still allowing five-on-five battles, just browsing the menus shows that the playlists were watered down and staples of the game were removed. Two game modes that have been in the game since the beginning, Execution and Warzone, are gone. Though after the initial playthrough of the game, gamers discovered that Wa r z o n e could be accessed through a button c o m m an d in private matches. Execution was eventually released as free DLC, but the fact remains that they should never have been removed. Team Deathmatch, however, has been improved, changing from giving each team a limited amount of respawns to having the teams battle it out to 50 kills. Domination will be the the mode of choice for anyone looking for an objective-based versus experience. It’s similar to Call of Duty in that two teams battle it out for control of three points on the map. A new, long-awaited mode has finally made it into the Gears menu: Freefor-All. Ten players in all-out battle will quench anyone’s thirst for grue-
some destruction in this game. OverRun, another new mode, isn’t all that it was hyped up to be. The game mode pits Locusts against the COG in a specialized type of warfare. The COG have to keep an Emergence Hole (a hole where Locusts emerge from) from being opened, while the Locusts attempt to destroy barricades to get to it. For the first time, COG soldiers are picked in different classes, with each class having different weapons. The mode is promising, but the Locust team has two distinct advantages: a quicker respawn t i m e and more powerful characters. In most matches I have played, Locusts almost always overwhelm the COGs. COG and Locusts no longer face off in versus modes outside of OverRun, which takes away from the unique feel that Gears games have had. Instead, COGs face off against other COGs, differentiated by team colors of Red and Blue. Being able to down an opponent and execute them with a curb-stomp or a weapon-specific bloody end has been taken out. And players must now choose one primary weapon, one type of grenade and they’ll start each spawn with them and a pistol. Gone are the days of a loadout filled with an assault rifle, a shotgun, a pistol and a smoke grenade. A few new guns are also introduced. Anyone who is fond of sniping will take to the Markza, a new semi-automatic sniper rifle. But once the novelty off using most of the new weapons wears off, the tried and true gun is still the best in the game: the Gnasher Shotgun. While the game may lack in many places, it never gets old blowing someone’s body to bits with a well-timed shotgun blast to the chest. The “Gears of War” multiplayer is truly beautiful, gory carnage at its finest that can’t be rivaled by the likes of Call of Duty. Gears of War purists looking to just play through the campaign once would find it best to just rent the game, while perfectionists looking to earn every star through the missions should purchase it. Anyone looking to get into the series should stay away from this “addition” to the storyline and play through the first three games. Anyone looking for online play should not only buy the game, but also invest in the Season Pass, which grants access to future maps, game modes and gives double experience for life. Multiplayer alone makes the game worth it, even without some of the original modes, but not having a well-rounded campaign really hurts what could have been the perfect game.
Author’s score out of five remotes:
Man’s dream brings new chances to Elk Grove By Scott Redmond & Oswaldo Guzman sredmond.connect@gmail
Finding activities that don’t cost an arm and leg is a constant quest for the stereotypical broke college student, especially in proximity to their school or home. In Elk Grove there are places to find entertainment but bowling or a trip to the movies can end up costing more than one can afford. A soon to open center, located at 3132 Dwight Road in Elk Grove, is prepared to offer a possible alternative. Infinite Potential Academy might sound like a typical gym, but founder Jon Gronich made it clear that is not the way he conceived the facility. “The population that it is intended to serve is everybody,” Gronich said. “It doesn’t matter what your age is, what your size is, what your experience level is. This isn’t one of those hardcore gold gym type things that’s all about being a muscle head.” According to their website, the academy will offer instruction in archery, fencing, tumbling, yoga and parkour among other activities. Parkour is a training discipline centered on movement and momentum and using the body and obstacles to keep moving through the environment. Gronich and others on the staff are certified through official organizations as well as through the Free Flow Academy in Rocklin, which is the sister academy to IPA. Cosumnes River College student Bryan Jenks is one of the certified instructors who will be teaching at IPA. Jenks said the opportunities the center can bring for the younger crowd was an important point. “It could mean a whole new outlet for their expression, because a lot of kids these days have a lot of energy and they need to move, but through their schooling and our education system they’re all locked into seats,” Jenks said. Instructor Suzanne Arechiga said that the center is somewhere you can always learn new things. “Infinite Potential, the philosophy is that everybody has this infinite potential inside them,” Arechiga said. “And it’s the gyms job to help them bring that out and have them realize it so that they can continuously grow and improve themselves.” The opportunity to learn new things fits with the core of college life, but the cost of any activity is the ultimate determining factor in pursuit of learning. While the center offers the ability to pay on a drop in basis and to try a first lesson for free, monthly fees are not something to take on lightly. Compared to a movie or bowling they are steeper prices but in the long run offer a possible better long term investment depending on the individual. For use of the gym only on a monthly basis for an individual it runs at $35 and $55 to $75 per month with one or two classes. To take all classes for individuals it will cost $110 monthly and $200 for a family of four. “There are ton of different membership options for families, individuals, and discounts for students,” Gronich said. “We’re hoping to open up by the start of summer, the grand opening is free so we want everyone to come out and have a good time.”
APRIL 25, 2013 www.thecrcconnection.com
Risky lifestyles and apps go hand in hand By Scott Redmond sredmond.connect@gmail Life is full of risks and choices that have to be made without knowing the outcomes, but technology has opened the door with a variety of new apps that have the potential to ease the risks and make choices easier. No longer do consenting adults have to wonder if they’re taking a risk of catching a pesky sexually transmitted disease should they choose to hook up. MedXSafe, a feature of the MedXCom app, allows users to just bump phones to check for those STD’s. The app feature allows two users to bump their phones and automatically exchange a photo, email address, telephone number and their STD status as long as they have given permission to their physician and the physician has subscribed to MedXCom’s physician service that comes with a fee, according to MedXCom’s website. “I think it’s an invasion of privacy,” said Kathy Tran, 19, a biology major. “I think people should disclose to you if they want you to know where they are at or their personal information and you shouldn’t get that information through apps.” While Tran is cautious about the use of apps like MedXSafe, others see the possible virtue in their use. “It makes everything more convenient,” said Ahmadullah Moughuddim, 20, a business management major. “Sometimes
it might start problems too, but I mean with the good there is the bad. It’s like mo money, mo problems.” MedXSafe is just one of many newer uses for phone and tablet applications that have sprung up in recent times. DrinkTracker is another app,
one that keeps track of your blood alcohol content when drinking. If DrinkTracker shows you’ve had too many drinks during that search for a companion and you’re lacking a designated driver, then Cab4me has you covered. With this new app, anyone can find a cab when they really
need one. The app starts you off with a map to find your approximate pickup location and the nearest taxi stands in your area before you switch over to the call tab to get a list of local companies, according to their website. “I guess they could be useful and could help,” said 20-year-old
film and media studies major Evan Apollnio. “But overall I just think it’s kind of crazy that someone actually came up with that idea. They probably just want to find out things the quickest way possible.” Should that night “I think it’s an out lead to finding a invasion of disease free privacy.” companion and things —Kathy Tran take a more Biology Major serious turn, another app has got your back if it’s time to think of children. Ovuline is the brainchild of a Boston man that allows users to share information they collect through the app, which then uses algorithms to make predictions about when a woman is ovulating, according to a report through CBSBoston. If the Ovuline app works for you and you want to make sure you’re eating healthy while pregnant or getting healthy food for someone that is pregnant you can get Fooducate, an app that lets you know the nutrition facts of food. While each and every app listed has it’s uses and has the potential to change the way people live their lives, Tran isn’t sure that is a good thing. “I think we’re becoming really reliant on apps and technology and that it’s just kind of taking over our world,” Tran said. “I think the advances of technology are really amazing but what it kind of does to us as humans and how we function, how we’re so dependent on it, I think it’s not good.”
This momenT began wiTh a choice.
Complied by Emily Collins and Rachel Norris. All photos are courtesy photos.
The Sacramento Kings may be moving to Seattle, Wash. In January a Seattle group announced a binding agreement to buy the Kings from the Maloofs. “I never hear anything about what the team actually wants, it’s always the manager,” said Zamir Omaid, 22, a computer science major. “I want to know what the players think and what they want to do.”
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Reese Witherspoon was arrested on April 19 in Atlanta, Ga. for disorderly conduct. She told a police officer, “You’re about to find out who I am... You are going to be on national news.” “I think that’s very egotistical of her,” said 21-year-old business major Alex Kieng. “I thought she was very down to earth so I wasn’t expecting that kind of reaction from her.”
APRIL 25, 2013 www.thecrcconnection.com
Hawk Talk “What was your reaction to the Boston Marathon bombing?”
Paul Sims Jr., 21 Communications
“When I heard about it, I was surprised they did it so openly. When you hear about it, it’s like secluded. It’s the biggest one post-9/11. To be so open with it is a surprise, during a marathon. I thought it would be like businessmen or something, not runners.”
“I was shocked at the fact that the government would do something like that and make everybody believe that it was two random Joes on the street. I was kinda shocked that the American people, as a whole, were just so quick to judge. Just yeah, they did it, that’s it. With no factual evidence behind it.”
Gunner Miers, 19 General Education
“I thought it was really crazy at first, but then I saw how people took it and jumped into action. I thought that was really amazing how they reacted that way.” Jessalyn Fuchino, 18 Psychology
“I guess I was surprised. Like, no one really saw something like that coming. It’s only a matter of time before that happens in America, with all the tension and war and conflict.” Brandon Sparkman, 19 Anthropology
Hiram Jackson, 47
“I was really sad about it. I think even sadder that the suspects are apparently Islamic extremists, which doesn’t help towards developing human understanding for people based on their faith.”
Check out the full video and other Hawk Talk content on our website.
Compiled by Mozes Zarate and Courtney Rich Photos by Mary Garcia
Student Success Task Force scorecard takes a step in the wrong direction Once again, the Student Success Task Force is doing what it does best: attempting to improve community colleges while actually leading them down a spiraling path to destruction. The SSTF was created to “develop a strategic blueprint to help community college students to succeed,” according to a press release from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office on Jan. 18, 2011. Since then, The Connection has blasted the task force for only making college less accessible to students. Unit caps have been placed on priority registration, caps on Board of Governors Fee Waiver eligibility were set and success was defined as completing certificates, degrees and transferring to universities. While these may sound like smart moves, in the end these recommendations have only proved to limit accessibility to community colleges. And now the SSTF has released a “College Success Scorecard” for all community colleges located in California. The scorecard will “track a college’s certificate and degree attainment and transfer rates, persistence rates and ‘momentum points,’ such as the completion of 30 units, which is typically considered to be the halfway mark to transferring to a four-year institution as a junior or completing an associate degree,” according to a press release from the CCCCO on April 9.
Colleges will be scored based on their own past performances and not against one another, according to the press release. While the previous statement may be what it inteded, it will never hold true. AT A GLANCE The Issue: The student success scorecard is less of an accountability measure and more of a ranking tool. Our Stance: The scorecard will lead to performance based funding and there will be less focus on actually teaching students. Agree? Disagree? send us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org Parents and prospective students will definitely compare colleges against one another when looking to start in community college, especially in areas packed with choices, such as the Los Rios Community College District, where students have a choice of attending four colleges. American River College, Cosumnes River College and Sacramento City College already see overlapping students, who is to say one college won’t end up stealing a larger share from the other?
Following weight trends the wrong and right way By Brittany Patrick bpatrick.connect@gmail Oh, ever-coveted thigh gap, how you have begun to consume the minds and bodies of women. You know, when you stand with your legs together, but there is nothing but blissful space between your legs. This desire has begun to run rampant in women all over the U.S. with sites dedicated to “the gap” such as The Chive and Twitter. But how do you get there? Do you starve yourself? Skip meals? Throw up what little food you finally convinced yourself it was okay to eat? I know I did the last one. I desperately wanted to be skinny, to have that gap between my thunder thighs. I didn’t eat much, and when I did, I vomited afterwards feeling guilty for sabotaging my goal. I worked out everyday, running extra hard, putting in extra work, just so I could shave off that extra fat. One day, my body gave up on me. I ended up in the hospital with an IV in my hand because I was severely dehydrated. That was the wake up call I needed. I’m not saying I got better overnight, but I realized I was going about this all wrong. I’m an athlete and a woman. I have muscle because I work out. I have fat because I am going to bear children one day, both of those things are okay. I just needed that happy medium. For me, that medium is not stepping on a scale. The number on that scale determines how good I feel about my body. If it’s higher than a certain a
number it takes away any happiness I had over my body image, so I don’t use it. I eat, work out and enjoy how I look in the mirror, because no matter how good I think I look, that number will kill it all. “Any number of factors play into whether a woman has a significant thigh gap, including genetics, ethnicity, pelvic size and width” said Laura Tosi, director of the bone health program at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. to The Denver Post on April 5. “Weight loss is proportional, so most girls who don’t have a natural gap, one bigger than a peephole, would have to lose a lot of weight to achieve the kind of thighs coveted on social media,” Tosi said. There is nothing wrong with dieting, watching what you eat or counting calories. But keep in mind that it is okay to splurge and not feel guilty. If you are working hard, reward yourself. Eat your favorite snack. I know I do. There is nothing wrong with wanting to work out. Making your lungs burn with your run or feeling that all-over tingle when you finally break that sweat are both good things. Just make sure you aren’t over working yourself and if you are working out, you need to be eating so you can successfully do so. There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve yourself, especially if it’s something that you really want. Talk to your doctor and find out how much weight you can lose heathily. If you achieve your goals the right way, you’ll be happy and your body will be happy too.
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The next step will be for policy makers to begin to fund community colleges throughout the state using outcome-based funding. While this may not be implemented yet, it is already something that the SSTF has debated. The scorecard will also measure success “by race, ethnicity, gender and age to help them focus on closing performance gaps.” “We have moved from a society in the 1950s and 1960s, in which race was more consequential than family income, to one today in which family income appears more determinative of educational success than race,” said Stanford University sociologist Sean F. Reardon in a February 2012 article by the New York Times. The fact that the scorecard would measure success along stereotypical, outdated lines speaks to the thought put into the scorecards. Measuring by socioeconomic class makes more sense, but the task force would much prefer to measure along lines of race and gender; lines which are becoming more blurred as time goes by. The task force is trying its best to give students an idea of how to improve themselves and further their education, but the ways that it are going about it is backwards. Until someone corrects the misguided group, community college students will find their road becoming increasingly tough to navigate.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR RE: “One month is not enough for centuries of history” By Scott Redmond Issue date: April 11 Dear Editor, I truly do agree with this article and its premise that compartmentalizing history in months does little to benefit education. It is my opinion that history is already taught poorly thanks to heavy-handed standardization that diminishes the roles of minority populations and women. Compressing that information into a single month does little to alleviate this ill, in fact it worsens the problem by building up the image of a comprehensive history education, but really only giving a skimmed introductory version of events. Integrating the historical accomplishments of women and minorities into the main bulk of history is needed to accurately tell the truth. What is occurring now is merely censure behind the guise of inclusiveness, and all it is accomplishing is the propagation of a distorted truth, an unfair legacy for the people who have built our world. — Kyle Deutsch, anthropology student
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