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Etera Dallas College Eastfield Campus

Learn about the

bizarre and intriguing

conspiracies cooked up

throughout the pandemic See pages 6-7

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Volume 53, Issue 4

The Delta-8 debate Uncertainty about hemp extract brings local businesses to their knees See page 2



Wednesday, November 10, 2021


The Et Cetera


Briefs Parking lot fence to be relocated The fence around parking lot 7 is going to be moved, according to Adam Qualkenbush, Eastfield’s facilities manager. Qualkenbush said Dallas County Health and Human Services had requested to use the parking lot as part of the COVID-19 vaccination site, and that is why the fence was installed on Oct. 21. The fence blocks parking lot 7 from the rest of campus, and pedestrians who want sidewalk access have to use Eastfield Parkway, the road that runs in front of the area, much to the frustration of students and faculty. “It was going to be part of the site,” Qualkenbush said, “now we’re moving it because it turned out they didn’t need it.” According to Qualkenbush, the fence will be moved to the back side of G building and closer to the vaccination site. College opens workforce center On Oct. 26, Dallas College opened the Lancaster Innovation Center in collaboration with ESmith Communities. Emmitt Smith, a former running back for the Dallas Cowboys and the company’s founder, said he finds potential in their partnership. Smith focuses on social infrastructure development with his company. He pledges that the Lancaster Innovation Center will allow others to create their pathways for financial success. The center, which covers 7,000 square feet, hosts several programs for job readiness and soft skill training. Funded by numerous partners in Dallas, the goal is to bring economic viability to neglected areas of southern Dallas County. Construction sciences building opens On Oct. 11, Dallas College hosted the grand opening for its newest construction sciences building at the North Lake campus, a specially designed facility for those seeking a career in construction-related fields. The building houses massive classrooms and laboratories designed for quality teaching. Sheltered exterior spaces allow students to work with specialized equipment and create projects suited for the outdoors. Students can get the hands-on experience they need to succeed in any related field. The Et Cetera earns top honors The Et Cetera was named the top twoyear student newspaper and website in the state by the Texas Community College Journalism Association on Nov. 5. Et Cetera staff won 21 other awards with 11 of those being first place, four second place, three third place and three honorable mention.


Delta-8 dispute costs businesses thousands By JORDAN LACKEY Opinion Editor @JordanEtc

With the legality of Delta-8 THC still up for debate, local business owners are concerned about revenue and inventory losses. “80 grand,” said one co-owner of Sky Rise Vapor Glassworks in Mesquite as he reclined in his chair and put his hands on the back of his head with a defeated air of calmness. “That’s nothing compared to distributors or wholesalers in the Dallas market. I mean, you’re talking millions and millions of dollars in inventory.” Delta-8 THC is a less-potent isomer of Delta-9 THC, more commonly known as marijuana. Delta-8 can be considered a stronger version of CBD which is commonly used for pain management, insomnia, appetite stimulation, anxiety and a variety of other uses. However, unlike CBD, the product can be used recreationally, with Delta-8 having similar psychoactive effects to Delta-9. “This is the worst thing that goes through a small business owners’ mind,” the co-owner of Sky Rise said. “What if we don’t get [Delta-8] back? What if we have to cut hours? What if we have to lay people off? That is the hardest po-

sition to be in.” The legality of Delta-8 is still uncertain after Texas judge, Jan Soifer, temporarily blocked the state from enforcing its ban on Nov. 8. A temporary injunction was filed by Hometown Hero, an Austin-based CBD and Delta-8 company that is suing Texas over its ban on Delta-8. With the law still up for debate, the owners of Sky Rise Vapor and Glass have asked to remain anonymous. The controversy over Delta-8 was initially sparked after the Texas Department of State Health Services listed Delta-8 on its controlled substances list back in January. However, many business owners didn’t become aware of this change until the health department issued a clarification in October saying Delta-8, in all concentrations, is illegal throughout the state according to House Bill 1325. “They just made up a law, just like that,” said another co-owner of Sky Rise, snapping his fingers with irritation. “We just took it off our shelves to be safe,” he said. “We don’t want to catch any felonies. They’re trying to label [Delta-8] as a class A drug like K2, heroin, methamphetamine, all that stuff.” The business owner said Sky Rise started selling Delta-8 after

Mesquite passed a city ordinance forcing them to remove almost all of their glassware, or smoking paraphernalia, back in March with only 24-hours notice. “At least give us time to sell our products, you know, get our money back,” he said. “That’s exactly what they did with our glass. … So then to do this to us again? It’s just unfair, in my opinion. The city of Mesquite, I think they’re coming for us.” Sky Rise Vapor Glassworks opened their first Mesquite location off Town East Boulevard over six years ago. They’ve since opened two additional locations, one in Mesquite off Beltline Road and another in Forney. The business owners agree they were around well before the product became popular and they’ll stay in businesses without the income from Delta-8. However, with 20 employees to provide for between their three locations, they still have concerns, especially when it comes to the loss of product they’ve already purchased and had to remove from their shelves. “The revenue that was generated from Delta-8 was pretty big,” said the co-owner. “We’re definitely going to have to cut some hours. Hopefully, we don’t have to get rid of any employees.

It’s definitely a hit.” The owners understand a need for regulation. However, they also see the product as a safe and natural marijuana alternative for adults of all ages. “Our customers, our clientele for Delta-8, they range from 20 [years old],” said the co-owner. “We even have 80-year-olds coming in here purchasing gummies or vape products because it helps them a lot.” Sky Rise sales representative, Greg Greguski, echoed this sentiment as an occasional user of the product. “I’m 28, I’ve got three herniated disks and I’ve got sciatica and I use Delta-8 from time to time,” Greguski said. “There are customers we have that are 50, 60, 70 years old that are using [Delta-8] because weed is still illegal and they’re trying to get the same relief.” Greguski said the product is for everyone, and Delta-8 is much less harmful or dangerous than legal products like alcohol or prescription narcotics. The business owners at Sky Rise agree the health of their clientele is their main concern. “Put the monetary aspects aside,” said one co-owner. “Our only and main concern is the safety of our customers.”



The Et Cetera

Supreme Court to review Texas’ new abortion law By LEAH SALINAS Contributor @TheEtCetera

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week on how Texas’ controversial abortion law is enforced but has not yet ruled on the case. Senate Bill 8, also known as the Texas Heartbeat Act, took effect Sept. 1 and allows private citizens to sue anyone who assists with an abortion after about six weeks into a pregnancy. A group of abortion providers and the U.S. Department of Justice are suing Texas to stop the law, calling it unconstitutional as it prohibits women’s right to an abortion up to 24 weeks established in Roe v. Wade in 1973. “I think it’s unethical to sue any doctor because if you think about how many doctors are specialized for abortions, it’s their way of making money,” Scarlet Rios, a nursing major, said “I don’t believe any doctor should be sued.” Previously, about 85% of all abortions in Texas took place after the six-week mark, so the law bans the majority of abortions in the state. Since 2018, lawmakers in 11 other states, including Louisiana, Ohio and Missouri have passed similar bills, none of which stood up in court. Many women are concerned that six weeks is not enough time for them to make an informed decision. “I think women need more time,” Jennifer Rios, a criminology major, said. “Either they could have financial issues or they’re not a hundred percent sure if they’re making the right decision.” Amber Avila, a diagnostic sonography major, said six weeks is often not enough time for a woman to even know she is pregnant. “Not many people get pregnancy symptoms in the beginning of the first trimester,” Avila said. “A lot of women get symptoms around the second or third trimester.” Another abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, is scheduled to go before the Supreme Court on Dec. 1. The justices will rule on the constitutionality of abortion for that case, and it has the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade. Soraya Burgos, an art major, said she does not think that will happen.

Wednesday, Nevember 10, 2021

Campuses to get a security system upgrade, more cameras installed By HARRIET RAMOS Editor in Chief @HarrietRamosETC


“I don’t feel that Roe v. Wade would be overturned,” Burgos said. “The Supreme Court has in the past preferred to stick with previous rulings rather than opening a can of worms through appeals or implementing new laws that border on top of contradicting laws. The Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to not block Texas’ new abortion law less than 24 hours after it took effect. Even though many people have said SB 8 is unfair to women, others, like diagnostic medical sonography

major Elizabeth Dominguez, said she can see both sides. “I care for [the new law], but I don’t at the same time,” Dominguez said. “I do believe that a woman should choose what to do with their body since they will be carrying the baby, but for me, I know I will take full responsibility for the child. If I had a friend that wanted to abort at eight weeks, I would have no problem [with it] because she is fighting for her body rights, and I think that is important.”

Six Dallas College campuses, including Eastfield, are getting upgrades on their security camera system, and Eastfield will be getting parking lot cameras for the first time. Police Lt. Keith Clicque, who is in charge of the Dallas College public safety system, said the money for the project came from the general funds, and the project on all campuses is expected to be done by the end of 2021. According to Clicque, the security upgrades for Eastfield will cost about $1.7 million. Eastfield previously had 140 cameras. Now those cameras are being upgraded, and Clicque said about 350 additional cameras are being installed throughout campus and in the parking lots. According to Clicque, Eastfield has never had cameras in the parking lot before. “The board’s given us a lot of support to make sure we get those upgrades so our students feel safer and we’re able to respond to emergencies a lot better,” Clicque said. Clicque said these upgrades are a result of a security survey taken five years ago when Dallas College Police Chief Lauretta Hill joined the department. “The goal of the program was to provide general coverage of the entire campus while being good stewards of the public’s money,” Clicque said. According to Clicque, the access control system on exterior doors is also being upgraded so all doors can be locked from a central location. The campus police department, the central dispatch center downtown and a handful of administrators would be able to initiate a lockdown in case of emergency. Dominick Taylor, an engineering major who is in his second year at Eastfield, said he has always felt safe coming to campus and knowing there are more cameras now adds to that sense of security. He said the presence of the campus police also helps him to feel safe. “I see a lot of … campus police walking around,” Taylor said. “And it’s open so you can see around you a lot. It’s not like confined spaces.” For the month of September, the Eastfield crime log reported one theft of less than $100, three thefts between $750 and $2,500 and one theft between $100 and $750. All cases were marked as closed. Adam Qualkenbush, Eastfield’s facility manager, said the exterior lighting also needs an upgrade, but that probably won’t happen until the next fiscal year. Some of the exterior lights don’t come on when they should, and Qualkenbush said they are controlled by an old system, parts of which date back to when Eastfield started in 1970. “These are finicky time clocks,” Qualkenbush said. “We’re literally working on [the system] every day, and then we check it at night and we have to adjust it until we get it right.” In the meantime, if someone notices one of the exterior lights is off, Qualkenbush said they could call campus police if it is late at night. There is also an option under SharePoint for employees to submit a work order for facilities management.



The Et Cetera

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

COVID-19 booster shots, vaccines for children available at Eastfield By JORDAN LACKEY Opinion Editor @JordanEtc

Nancy Abdo, senior manager of Eastfield’s Health Center, said she’s excited Eastfield is offering COVID-19 booster vaccinations, and she feels the vaccine is the “best way to keep people safe.” “I’m not a gambler,” Abdo said. “I am not going to take a chance. I am always going to go for what’s going to protect me the most.” Dallas College offers COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters twice a week at every campus. At Eastfield, students and employees are eligible for a free COVID vaccination every Wednesday and Thursday morning in C-135 from 8:30 to 11:30. All three vaccination options plus boosters are also available via drivethru off the La Prada Drive entrance Tuesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entrance gates close at 5:30 p.m. The drive-thru location began administering Pfizer vaccinations to children ages 5 through 11 on Nov. 4. “I just want students to know we’re here and that we’re at their service,” Abdo said. “It’s included with their tuition, so I want them to know they have this as a resource. … We’re not


A boy receives the Pfizer vaccine at Eastfield on Nov.5.

going to charge them for anything that we do.” As of Oct. 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed options for booster shots for all three COVID-19 vaccination options available in the United States. Any person over the age of 65 is qualified for a booster as well as anyone 18 or older who works or lives in a high-risk environment, has underlying medical conditions or lives in a

long-term care setting. For those who received PfizerBioNtech or Moderna vaccinations, a six-month waiting period is recommended between the booster and their second dose. For the nearly 15 million people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a booster is recommended after two months, according to the CDC. Individuals may now choose which vaccine they receive as a boost-

er dose, allowing for a mix and match approach. However, many healthcare providers recommend sticking with the vaccine type the patient originally received in most instances. The booster dose is not the same as the recommended third dose for persons with a compromised immune system. Immunocompromised individuals are eligible for three full doses when it comes to either Pfizer or Moderna. They would not be eligible for an additional booster after their third dose as of now. The dosing amounts are the same for Pfizer (0.3mls) and Johnson and Johnson (0.5mls), regardless of if it’s a booster dose or not. For Moderna, the initial doses are 0.5mls and any subsequent booster dose would be cut in half to 0.25mls. Nina Lambert, English instructor, voiced a strong concern for her elderly parents and a desire to do everything she can to help return to a state of pre-COVID normality. “My father is in his 80s and my mom is in her 70s and is currently undergoing treatment that lowers her immunity,” Lambert said. “It’s important for me not to endanger her. … It’s my top concern. I don’t want even a 5% chance of any danger coming from me.” Lambert said she plans to get her

booster dose as soon as she’s eligible, and she hopes everyone will closely monitor the facts from healthcare professionals. “It shouldn’t have been a political issue on either left or right to begin with,” Lambert said. “Public health should be a priority on both sides.” Daniel Grigerek, business administration major, said he has concerns about the long-term effects of the vaccine, even after already receiving two doses of the Pfizer vaccination. However, he said he believes in trusting the advice of medical professionals. “I’m a little skeptical just because of how quickly [the vaccines] are being pumped out,” Grigerek said. “But at the end of the day, I’m going to trust it. I’m going to get it.” Grigerek said he used to believe the vaccination was just a matter of personal preference, but after realizing his immunocompromised partner is still at risk from unvaccinated persons, he’s changed his mind. “I realized anemic people, like my girlfriend, even though she’s vaccinated, she could still catch COVID from an unvaccinated person,” Grigerek said. “I thought [unvaccinated people] were only putting themselves at risk. I came to find out that’s not entirely true.”

Information Central a ‘one-stop shop’ for students, employees By CARLOS GUZMAN Contributor @TheEtCetera

In a move to consolidate information and resources for students and employees, Dallas College has opened an Information Central on all seven campuses. The center, which opened at the beginning of this semester and is housed in the former STEM division office in C-202, serves as a spot where students can ask for directions and get help with their schedules and employees can find classroom and office supplies. “We are now the one-stop shop for all of the personnel on campus,” Ashley Holt, Eastfield’s Information Central manager, said. According to Holt, Information Central’s primary role is providing resources for faculty to assist them in managing their classes. Faculty members can use Information Central to reserve specific classrooms, print materials, receive their mail or even host events. The intent is to ensure employees have the resources they need to help their students succeed. “For right now, our focus is faculty,” Holt said. “We’re here to support them, we want to make sure that our students are being served the way that they should be.”

English faculty Derec Moore expressed his appreciation for Information Central. “They’ve been really helpful,” Moore said. “They’ve been supportive of instructors and students.” Holt said every day is different. With the decline in COVID-19 signaling a return to in-person classes, she describes each day as offering new sets of questions from students and faculty, especially those who are stepping onto campus for the first time since the pandemic. She said part of her job is redirecting people to where they need to be for classes. With spring registration approaching, Holt said she expects to see more students coming into Information Central for help, and during peak registration Information Central staff will go out into the hallways and assist students who need to get registered and ready for classes. According to Corrine Burnett, Information Central’s receptionist, the department also handles some maintenance requests. Burnett said she’s on standby for when someone needs assistance. “I call in work orders,” Burnett said. “They may need us to put in a work order for them in case their computer isn’t working or if the lights are out.” Staff have also found Information Central’s

Corine Burnett works in the informational central office.

services helpful. Eastfield’s food pantry coordinator, Wendy Garner, said she goes by Information Central three or four times a week. “They are very friendly,” Garner said. “And it’s nice to be able to come into one central location to get the supplies I need.” Each campus has an Information Central department, and Holt said that all departments offer the same services for students and employees at all locations.


Information Central currently operates between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Holt said the departments will eventually extend their hours from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. “We want [the Eastfield community] to know that we’re here to serve them,” Holt said. “That’s our top priority.”

Life &Arts Wednesday, November 10, 2021



The Et Cetera

Five Native Americans who are leaving their mark By Adamaris Sanchez Graphic Designer @TheEtCetera

Former President George H.W. Bush declared November to be National Indian Heritage Month, commonly known as Native American Heritage Month in 1990. As we celebrate the achievements of Indigenous peoples, here are five who stand out for their contributions to the world of politics, entertainment and art. Sharice Davids Sharice Davids is a U.S. Representative from Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District, and one of three Native American women to serve in Congress. Davids is also the first lesbian from Kansas to be elected to Congress. Davids is a member of the HoChunk tribe, whose historic territory is Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois. They are also known as the Hoocagra or Winnebago people. The name Ho-Chunk means “people of the parent speech” or “people of big voices.” They were known for fur trading with the French and later with the British. Davids’ current term ends on Jan. 3, 2023. Lila Downs Ana Lila Downs Sánchez is a Mexican singer, songwriter and actress. Her music is known for its traditional Mexican style, and she has recorded songs in the indigenous languages of the Maya, Zapotec, Nahuatl, Mixtec and Purepecha. Downs received her first Latin Grammy for best folk album in 2005 for “Una Sangre,” and she has won four additional Latin Grammy awards. She also had a small role in the 2002 “Frida Kahlo” movie as a mariachi singer. Downs is part Mixtec, which is the third largest indigenous tribe in Mexico. The tribe call themselves “Ñuu Savi,” which translates to “People of the Rain.” The tribe is located in the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Puebla. Mixtecs are known for writing their history and genealogy on deerskin. Some of these codices date back to pre-Hispanic times. Downs is now preparing for the Tecate Pa’l Norte music festival on


their interest in astronomy and seminomadic hunting. Jason Momoa Momoa is working on another Actor Jason Momoa starred as installation of the Aquaman series, the title character in the 2018 movie “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” set “Aquaman,” alongside Amber Heard to release in 2022. and Nicole Kidman. Momoa is also a Jonathan Joss producer and environmental activist. Joss is known for portraying the He launched the company Mananalu which sells drinking water in recycla- voice of John Redcorn III in the animated sitcom show “King of the Hill.” ble aluminum cans. Momoa is Native Hawaiian on Joss is a member of the Rarámuri his father’s side and from the Native tribe, one of the largest indigenous American Pawnee tribe on his moth- groups in North America. Rarámuri er’s side. The Pawnee people are now means “those with light feet,” and located in Oklahoma, but historically members of the group have been they lived in Nebraska and Northern known to run as far as 100 miles in Kansas. The Pawnee are known for a day. Nov 13, 2021.

In 2013, Joss began singing under the stage name of The John Redcorn Experience. He collaborated with the Graywolf Blues Band, and their version of “Still No Good” earned them a nomination from the Native American Music Awards for best country song in 2013. Joss’ last screen appearance was in 2016. Joy Harjo Harjo is a poet, playwright, musician and author. In 2019, she became the first Native American poet laureate of the United States. In 2017, she was awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for outstanding lifetime

achievement. In 2009, Harjo earned the Native American Music Award for best female artist for her album “Winding Through the Milky Way.” Harjo has also written 18 books. Harjo is a member of the Muscogee tribe, whose ancestral homeland is in parts of Georgia and Alabama. The Muscogee are known for craftwork baskets, glazed pottery and sculptures. The tribe is also known for their beadwork, which they took up after being forced to move to Oklahoma where they didn’t have the proper materials for their traditional crafts. Harjo is serving her third term as the nation’s 23rd poet laureate.



Wednesday, November 10, 2021


The Et Cetera

Craziest conspiracie Words and design by Mattheau Faught


s fast as COVID-19 has spread, so too has a wave of misinformation that has given rise to some of the wackiest conspiracies of this decade. From theories on the origin of COVID-19 to fake cures and insane vaccine speculation, these are 15 conspiracies that stick out as the most ridiculous, interesting and concerning conspiracies cooked up throughout the pandemic.



Bill Gates created it


Theories about Bill Gates engineering the pandemic originate from a pre-pandemic TEDTALK in 2015. Talk about how humans are not prepared for a future pandemic. Many, like Kenyan politician Mike Sonko, took his talk as a precursor of Gates’ plans to unleash this pandemic.

President Donald J. Trump suggested the coronavirus would vanish in the summer heat and alleged Chinese president Xi Jinping agreed with this theory. According to Healthline, it’s true high heat can kill the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, but summer temperatures would not be nearly enough to do so.

COVID-19 was engineered from HIV Luc Montagnier is a French virologist credited with discovering HIV. Montagnier suggested that COVID-19 is engineered and that it contains four unique insertions similar to HIV. Researchers have disputed that these insertions are unique, saying they are common sequences found in various organisms like bacteria and parasites. Analysis of the novel coronavirus indicates these sequences also don’t completely match those present in HIV and are located in different proteins.

5G Towers The theory that 5G radiation caused COVID-19 started as a result of 5G towers being installed about the same time COVID-19 cases began rising. As of May 2021, 77 fires targeting 5G towers were set in the United Kingdom, according to Business Insider. David Starbinski, an expert on communication technologies, wrote, “People have been using smartphones for years and we don’t see evidence this radiation has caused noticeable increases in diseases or hospitalizations due to usage.”

Anthony Fauci created it After a leaked letter from National Institutes of Health director Lawrence A. Tabak showed the institute funded “research on bat coronaviruses in China, Wuhan,” it reinforced the theory that not only did COVID-19 leak from a lab but was also bankrolled by Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The NIH has stated the viruses used in these experiments were “decades removed from SARS-CoV-2 evolutionarily” and therefore could not have caused the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, Republican figures like Rand Paul and Matt Gaetz have floated the conspiracy that this research created COVID-19.

It came from space Researchers Edward J. Steele and Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe published papers arguing COVID-19 arrived on a meteor spotted over Northeast China on Oct. 11, 2019. The researchers proposed that a “meteorite carrying a cargo of trillions of viruses/bacteria” could be the source of COVID-19. However, it’s not been proven viruses or bacteria exist in space, nor that they could keep from burning up in Earth’s atmosphere.

Alcohol Contrary to popular belief, you cannot drink your problems away. Early in the pandemic, memes spread the misconception that alcohol could somehow combat COVID-19. This potentially stemmed from the belief that since hand sanitizers contain 60-95% ethyl alcohol, drinking alcoholic beverages like beer, wine or liquor would be the next-best step. However, alcohol impairs the immune system, leaving it unable to fight COVID-19 and leading to severe complications, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO says while alcohol can be a disinfectant for the skin, it does not have the same effect when ingested.

Disinfectants In April of 2020, former president Trump suggested injecting or drinking disinfectants could be a potential remedy to COVID-19. Trump later walked this statement back, but according to Time magazine, accidental poisonings with household disinfectants shot up by 121% in the same month.

Hydroxychloroquine Many public figures, including Trump, speculated that hydroxychloroquine, a drug commonly used to treat malaria, could also be used to treat COVID-19. However, the Food and Drug Administration said there were no benefits in patient outcomes when treated with the drug. And FDA data shows doses are unlikely to kill or inhibit the coronavirus. They also warned hydroxychloroquine could lead to heart rhythm problems, so the FDA cautions against using it outside a clinical setting.

Ivermectin Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug with antiviral properties that some people touted as a miracle cure for COVID-19. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “the antiviral activity of ivermectin has not been consistently proven.” Ivermectin is FDA-approved to treat parasitic infections, but warns that using it to treat COVID-19, unless part of a clinical trial, could lead to adverse effects. Many people bought into the ivermectin conspiracy and took doses reserved for large animals, leading to some hospitalizations and deaths.



The Et Cetera

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

es of the COVID era Vaccines Vaccines modify DNA

Vaccines cause autism

Vaccines create variants

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study published in December 2020 has been misrepresented to claim the mRNA vaccine will modify people’s DNA. These claims have been used to push theories that the vaccines turn humans into genetically modified organisms with no human rights. However, Thomas Preiss of Health Desk said there is no evidence mRNA from the vaccines would integrate with and alter a person’s DNA. Instead, mRNA carries instructions from DNA to the cells which produce spike proteins and is destroyed by the cell soon after.

In 1998, Andrew Wakefield produced a fraudulent study which claimed the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine could contribute to developmental disorders in children. Nine months before it was published, he filed a patent application for his own measles vaccine, calling his motives for discrediting a potential competitor into question. Since then, many antivaxxers latched onto this study to spread distrust of the COVID-19 vaccine. There is no link between vaccines and autism according to the CDC.

Buzz around the Delta variant made some people, including Montagnier, suggest the vaccines are responsible for creating the variants through asymptomatic transmissions. However, the CDC reports that vaccines reduce transmission of COVID-19, thus the vaccines likely impede variants from developing.

Vaccines contain a microchip Theories about COVID-19 vaccines containing microchips that either track or control people have been suggested by the likes of Gennady Zyuganov, leader of Russia’s Communist Party, and Newsmax correspondent Emerald Robinson.

Vaccine deaths are under reported A talking point among fringe left and right-wing circles is the idea that COVID-19 vaccine deaths are underreported to protect corporate interests. However, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System dictates that healthcare workers report any death after vaccination, even if there’s no indication the vaccine was to blame. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, out of 390 million doses of COVID-19 shots administered from Dec. 14, 2020 to Sept. 27, 2021, there were 8,164 deaths reported. But this hasn’t stopped alternative media from inflating these numbers, with one article by The Exposé falsely claiming 150,000 people had died in the United States from COVID-19 vaccines.



The Et Cetera

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

You won’t be able to stop playing these 5 Steam games PC games have been a media for decades, but Steam, the video game digital distribution service released by Valve in 2003, seems to have a monopoly over other platforms as the main distributor. Here are five Steam games that once you start, you might not want to stop playing. — Compiled by Brian Hoang Control Ultimate Edition Release Date: Aug. 27, 2020 Price: $39.99 “Control,” developed by Remedy Entertainment, is about Federal Bureau of Control director Jesse Faden’s quest to find her brother and regain control of Oldest House, which has been corrupted by the Hiss. Everything about this game, from its cinematic opening to its world design and soundtrack, had me enthralled from the second it started. The Oldest House feels like a living entity. The intrigue builds as the main character unlocks more powers and faces mounting supernatural forces the closer she gets to finding her brother. Ultimately, the things that were always in the Oldest House and beyond the FBC’s grasp make this game a truly supernatural adventure. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Release Date: Jan. 9, 2020 Price: $39.99 “Monster Hunter” is a series by Capcom that I’ve been following for years.

Together with a sidekick cat, known as a Palico, players hunt a variety of dragons and then use their corpses to build stronger weapons and take on increasingly powerful monsters. The Iceborne downloadable content is an expansion of the existing story line and requires “Monster Hunter: World” in order to play. This new content lets you explore a region called Hoarfrost Reach. My favorite part is the customizability of the equipment and improvements from previous series such as returning fan-favorite monsters and the inclusion of new events and special quests.

Health Studies

General Studies

Criminal Justice


Dental Hygiene, RDH-BSDH

Nursing, RN-BSN

LISA: The Painful Release date: Dec. 15, 2014 Price: $9.99

Darkest Dungeon Release Date: Jan. 19, 2016 Price: $24.99 “Darkest Dungeon,” a dark fantasy RPG by Red Hook Studios, has players recruit a team of adventurers to explore the cursed labyrinth of an inherited mansion. The game’s challenging system kept me on my toes. The loss of a character I had long been protecting or had spent a fortune in raising was heart wrenching, knowing that the difficulty would increase the longer I played and that I would have to start raising a new adventurer in their place. In spite of these dangers, the game’s random events rewarded as handsomely as they took, and I found that throwing my heroes into more danger for increased rewards was the only way to succeed.

Complete your bachelor’s degree 100% online at TWU •

vested 1,525 hours into “Warframe.” It’s a free-to-play looter shooter that really is free. There are some micro-transactions but all the content in the game can be earned through playing. “Warframe” has had three major openworld updates so far and will continue to have more as developers build the ongoing storyline. It’s got an iceberg’s worth of content, including endless character customizability, weapon modification, a nemesis system, seasonal events and more.

Additional degrees offered in a hybrid format.

Learn more at


Warframe Release Date: March 25, 2013 Price: Free “Warframe,” by Digital Extremes, is about space ninja cyborgs, or so the advertisements initially led me to believe. I picked up this game in the heat of summer and have yet to grow tired of it. So far I’ve in-

“LISA: The Painful,” an indie role-playing game by developer Dingaling, uses dark humor to tell the story of a man searching for his adopted daughter. This pixel art game is set in the post-apocalyptic world of Olathe following the extinction of all human women. The game follows the main character, Brad, as he tries to protect the last hope of humanity while battling his own addictions, trauma and past. What drew me to the game was its early sense of humor, which soon devolved into madness as the world became more desperate. Brad’s identity as a father is challenged as he struggles with addictions that influence his choices. This is indeed a painful game.



The Et Cetera

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Counselor helps students overcome obstacles, succeed

Q& A

Eastfield counselor Jaime Torres spends his days talking to students and helping them find resources they can use to reach their goals. He’s also involved with a group that brings awareness to sexual violence. Torres sat down with Et Cetera contributor Eduardo Chavez to discuss what led him into counseling and how students can manage stress and overcome obstacles.

teach them a lot of skills, a lot of ways to better deal with it.



What is some general advice you would give to students?


If you weren’t a counselor, what do you think you would be doing?


Is there anything you would like students and readers to know?


I’m inspired by stories of people who overcame obstacles, who didn’t give up and who didn’t have it easy. It could be anybody. … I’m always fascinated by that and always inspired by that. It doesn’t have to be a leader like a world leader. It could be someone who lives in your neighborhood who overcame the struggle.

I did some research and saw that you went to the University of Texas at Brownsville. You originally started on the business career path?


Yes, my bachelor’s is a Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus on accounting, and I decided that it wasn’t for me after all. Then years later, I decided to go back to school and got a master’s in counseling at the University of Houston.


What took you off the course of business?

It just seemed like I could be doing something more or something different. It didn’t have as much interaction with others as I wanted. … I’ve always liked the idea of working with college students to help them achieve their goals.


How did you end up coming to Eastfield?

I was searching for a new challenge, new changes. I took a look around to see who was hiring for a college counselor and saw Dallas College had a position. … I figured, throw your hat in the ring and apply. The worst they can do is say no. I ended up getting interviewed here, got a job offer and decided to make a major life change.


What does a typical day look like for you?

On a typical day, I would meet with some students for counseling. I might do a class presentation to promote counseling services and meet with a community partner to see about doing an event on campus. … It’s really varied. It just changes every day, and that’s what I like, because I’m not in the same place doing the same thing over and over again.

What has inspired you the most?


Eastfield counselor Jaime Torres connects students with campus and community resources and gives them tips on managing stress on November 1st in room N221.


Is it difficult to find the right answer to give students?

I focus more on listening and working with the students or collaborating with the students so that we work together to come up with an answer that is right for them. Something they can achieve or accomplish. It’s not so much about me telling them what the right answer is, but working with them to come up with what is a good answer for them.


What has been your biggest accomplishment?

I’m most proud of getting my master’s and successfully managing a grant. I was assigned to manage a three-year $300,000 grant [at Eastfield], and we met all of our objectives and we met them on time. But really, my biggest sense of accomplishment is whenever a student lets me know that I was helpful in some way.


What was that grant for?

The grant was from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. The grant is about educating students faculty and staff on sexual violence prevention. Things like domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual assault prevention.

So we teach students and employees about things like warning signs of unhealthy relationships, recognizing the signs of a good, healthy relationships. … and a lot of other subjects related to sexual violence prevention.


Are you still managing the grant?

The grant ended this year. However, I’m proud to say that we are still continuing the work of the grant. We formed a group called CAASA, and that stands for the College Alliance Against Sexual Assault. We meet once a month and we arrange for a lot of programming or events to educate students on sexual violence prevention or intimate partner violence prevention. We work with a lot of agencies in the area like DARCC, the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center.


What advice would you give students with the stress that comes from midterms and finals?

You’re always welcome to read up on or come see a counselor about developing healthier coping skills like focusing on breathing techniques to help you manage anxiety and help you better cope with things like panic attacks. We also work with students to help them find out what else they are doing to better manage their anxiety or their stress. We

If you run into an obstacle, don’t let that obstacle lead you to give up. Keep at it. The reward is worth it. It may not be tomorrow, it may not be immediate, but it is worth it. Keep in touch with people here like with your academic adviser or success coach. It is OK to change your mind if you’re not sure about a career. … You can still achieve it. Hang in there and reach out for help if something gets in the way. I know sometimes it feels like it’d be easier to call it quits. Before doing that, reach out for help.

I’d probably still be in a helping profession of some kind. Something where I help people achieve their goals. Maybe a social worker, maybe a life coach, things like that.

One thing I want them to know is that there is a lot of help at Dallas College for students that may be going through any kind of struggle. We have a lot of services. ... I want students to know that there is help. Just reach out, talk to your instructor, talk to somebody, an employee on campus. Say, “I need help,” “I’m not sure what I’m doing,” or “I’m going through a personal problem.” And even if you get the wrong person, they will direct you to the right person. If you or a fellow student are going through some kind of problem, there is help for you here. Reach out, ask us for help. We’re not here to judge, we’re here to help. Because we want to see you succeed. Editor’s note: This interview was edited for style and brevity. Read the full Q&A online at

OPINION Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Etera Award-winning member of: • Texas Intercollegiate Press Association • Texas Community College Journalism Association • Associated Collegiate Press • College Media Association

Dallas College Eastfield Campus 3737 Motley Drive Mesquite, TX 75150 Phone: 972-860-7130 Email: Editor in Chief Harriet Ramos Graphics Editor Mattheau Faught Opinion Editor Jordan Lackey Photo Editor Chantilette Franklin Production Manager Skye Seipp Senior Photographer Rory Moore Photographers Eddie Williams Vera DeJohnette Reporters Alejandro Contreras Contributors Leah Salinas Eduardo Chavez Aimee Jiminez Milburne

Keturah Jones Carlos Guzman Grayson-Leslie

Graphic Designers Adamaris Sanchez Ricardo Rivas Stephanie Kircher Publication Adviser Elizabeth Langton Faculty Adviser Lori Dann The views expressed on the opinion pages and other opinion pieces and cartoons in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Et Cetera, Eastfield College or the Dallas County Community College District. The Et Cetera is published by a student staff. Each member of the college community is entitled to one free copy of The Et Cetera. First Amendment Right Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Letters to the Editor Letters must be typed, signed and include a phone number. Letters will be edited for profanity and vulgarity, Associated Press style, grammar, libel and space when needed. The content will remain that of the author. Letters should be no longer than 250 words.

ABOUT THE COVER Illustration by Mattheau Faught

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Banning books has dire consequences In the short period of time since the passage of House Bill 3979, or the “critical race theory law,” we’ve noticed some outright, blatant and unapologetic hypocrisy and foolishness on the part of Texas school administrators and politicians. During the month of October alone, a fourth-grade teacher was reprimanded in Southlake for simply having an anti-racist book in her classroom, the Katy Independent School District removed and later reinstated a book after false claims from parents that it promoted critical race theory and a Carroll ISD administrator even went so far as to suggest that teachers should provide material that offers an “opposing” view of the Holocaust. State Rep. Matt Krause, a candidate for state attorney

general, has now launched an official investigation into Texas school districts over the type of books they have. Especially books concerning race or sexuality. We wonder why lawmakers are suddenly concerned about what books Texas students are being exposed to. After all, Texas is no stranger to the concept of whitewashing history. Politicians throughout the state have been tweaking textbooks for years and as Texas is one of the largest purchasers of textbooks, publishers are inclined to acquiesce to the Lone Star State’s erroneous demands and apply them to students all over the country. Students have read about such fallacies as Moses influencing the U.S. Constitution and how the slave trade brought millions of “workers” to the United States. Bi-

ased opinions about prayer in schools and the separation of church and state have been sprinkled throughout what are supposed to be fact-based publications. They’ve even gone so far as to imply segregation wasn’t so bad, stating only “sometimes” Black schools would be “lower in quality.” In 2011, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative organization that focuses on education, called the state’s approach to American history “politicized distortion” with “misrepresentations at every turn.” Well, some things just don’t change, do they? Where administrators used to try and skew historical facts to fit a conservative narrative, now they’re blatantly trying to change or completely remove those facts altogether.

That’s what I learned in School

Dad, was moses really a founding father?


Do we really want the same people who are willing to entertain an “opposing” view of the Holocaust to decide the information we have access to as students? How can students think

critically for themselves if they don’t have a true understanding of history? We’ll make our statement as concise as possible. Stay away from our books.

Help is available for struggling students Like many college students, I spent more time meeting deadlines than caring for my health. I struggled to eat proper-sized meals and get enough sleep. I had a hard time exercising and staying organized and in control. Any sleep I could catch, my body ate away at my healthy fat and muscles to keep me warm and alive. I ended up compromising my immune system. Even now, I overheat without a fever because my immune system is more alert to illness. I sold my health for grades. Every day students are not only stressed from class responsibilities, but they are also impacted due to personal variables like family issues, financial strain and food and housing insecurity. Then there are the physical, social and psychological complications brought on by the pandemic.

Aimee Jimenez @TheEtCetera

Students who don’t address these stressors risk affecting their mental and physical health, and ultimately their ability to earn a degree or certificate. Help is here, we just need to know where to look. Mental and physical health can be cared for with the help of the Student Care Network. This holistic network is designed to help students meet all needs and excel in their academics. It is comprised of three offices with one purpose: students. This care team, composed of Basic Needs and Community Connections, Counseling Services and

Health Services, wants students to focus on their education and not have to worry about insecurities and stressful situations. Basic Needs and Community Services addresses food insecurity through Eastfield’s food pantry. The Honeycomb Cupboard food pantry is located in C-105 and is supplied with proper ingredients for meal planning. Students can also go there and get help applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Emergency aid funds are available for students who need help paying for food, shelter, childcare and transportation. More information is available at Counseling Services support personal and emotional health and

are available in person and online at Health Services promotes wellness and provides preventative care to meet the physical needs of students. Nursing services include health information, confidential counseling, care for illness and injuries, emergency care and over-the counter medicines. A complete list can be found at healthservices. All student information is kept private. With so many resources available through Dallas College, there is nothing but opportunity for a successful education. Students should not be ashamed to ask for help. I hope students will not be afraid to use the resources specifically designed to aid them in college. —Aimee Jimenez is a contributor and a communication and technology major



The Et Cetera

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

So you think you’re not a leader? Think again. Leadership styles comes in all forms — Authoritative, Democratic, Transformational, Coaching. We are all leaders in our own style. My personal business studies and certifications are what prepared me to motivate others who might be in search of personal guidance. How do you know you’re a leader? Simply look at your passions and desires. These things are your compass, or personal guide. The key is knowing exactly what you want and identifying why you’re on this earth. The best way to achieve this is by observing your likes and dislikes on a day-to-day basis. For example, maybe you love doing tasks that support people. If so, you might be a leadership coach in the making. Do a little brainstorming, get your ideas on paper or have friends and family write a list of the qualities they see in you so you’ll have tools

to build a dynamic personal plan. And that’s how you’ll discover your purpose. Then begin mapping out steps to achieve a personal mission statement. From there, begin drawing up a plan to lead your personal or professional life in a specific direction. Become familiar with the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities you have so you can know yourself clearly. Discovering the leader within isn’t hard. Practice personal coaching by asking, “Do I have the skills? Do I lack the will? Am I willing to make a commitment to myself?” Without answering these questions, you run the risk of sabotaging your life and/or family. Being a parent is a leadership position, so it’s up to you to lay out a plan. I call this “keeping 100% real.” Be great at being honest with yourself and others. Truth and purpose sup-

Keturah Jones @TheEtCetera

port each other. Going after money is only half of the equation. Purpose is what matters, because when you find your purpose, everything else will fall in line. Chasing the least important thing will leave you feeling unfulfilled. Examining motives will keep you from following a facade. Discipline is automatic and you will not backslide into old habits when you keep motives pure. The best solution is to be a generous listener, be constantly hungry for how you can get better and then work on that goal. Books, magazines, podcasts and classes will help

you affect a change on a personal level. If you are not invested in your continual growth and development, there is no way you will effectively lead yourself or your family. Doing the correct thing for you is important. There are no shortcuts to greatness. My favorite book is Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” In the book Covey says, “be the leader you desire to see in others.” Are you dependable, confident and humble? Are you willing to serve? Despite all this, you will make mistakes. But failures are lessons too, so learn from them and keep moving. Moments of loss can have a positive or negative impact on your life and the lives of others. Sometimes failures can be the best teacher! This vision is your personal leadership plan. You are the master

builder of your world. People call this “having a gut feeling,” because that’s where personal leadership comes from. You cannot give away this strength to others by looking for approval. You must trust in your own decisions, though I’m not suggesting you avoid research. Martin Luther King said “You have to believe in your own somebodiness.” Once you settle into a place where you are proud to acknowledge what you want for your personal life, then start acting like the leader that you are. Move forward acknowledging gaps between what you know and don’t know. Practice, practice, practice and practice some more. Self-leadership is never-ending. You will always be in growth mode, or at least you should be. — Keturah Jones is a contributor and a communications major

It’s time to end the stigma of when people should graduate The stigma placed upon the specific ways that human beings search for and obtain knowledge desperately needs to change. For as long as I can remember, I have had an inherent thirst for knowledge. My personal education, however, turned out very differently than I had planned due to a dance injury that occurred in my early teens and threw me off track. I entered Booker T. Washington High School as a 16-year-old freshman and graduated as a 20-year-old full-fledged adult alongside my 18-year-old peers who were just beginning to transition into adulthood. I grew up believing that education was directly dependent on age, like the rest of the world. In the societal structure that exists, 14-year-olds are freshmen, 15-year-olds are sophomores and so on. I thought that the normal thing to do was the right thing, because I did not know any different. However, when my own path changed, I had to abruptly broaden my horizons. I was going into a high school setting where I was significantly older than my classmates and I was breaking the status quo on what the typical American education looked like. I had to shift my perception away from the thought process that age directly correlates with where one is at regarding education. This also changed the way that I viewed everything else in my life, as age plays a big part in almost every aspect of life.

Grayson Lesley-Milburn @TheEtCetera

There is a growing issue that society refers to as the dropout crisis, within both high school and college. However, as different as the two institutions are, there is a similarity regarding the declining amount of people who graduate at what is considered the correct time. This crisis is promoted by the stigma placed upon when and how people should attend school and graduate, and this stigma does not account for extenuating circumstances that do not fit into that structure. I walked into my freshman year of high school a full two years older than my peers, with more life experiences and a more developed brain. By my sophomore year I was a legal adult, learning to do my own taxes, and taking on different jobs to generate income. I had very few friends and found myself eating lunch alone. When my junior year came around, I was ecstatic to find out that there was another student who was only six months younger than I. For the first time in my high school career, I did not feel alone. We did not talk much but knowing that someone else was in a similar position lessened the out-ofplace feeling I had always had. However, by my senior year, which only

lasted a few months before it was taken away due to the pandemic, I was back to feeling alone within the school system. But that did not stop me from graduating at 20 with honors and proving the stigma wrong. According to a 2021 study by the Intercultural Development Research Association, the dropout rate for high school students in Texas is estimated to be 1 in 5. Although I am proud to not be included in the dropout rate, there is still a stigma attached to those who do dropout, or those who take the same path that I did and graduate later than what is considered normal. Throughout high school, I was questioned almost every day about my age, situation and where I was going after high school as an adult. And though this did not deter me personally, it is only a small portion of the questioning that students in my position receive every day. Institutions such as high school and college could lessen the dropout crisis numbers by attempting to eradicate the notion that there is an age limit to education. did research on what exactly correlates to academic success in which they wrote: “There has been substantial research into which factors predict academic success, with intelligence historically reported as thestrongest predictor,” which further elaborates on the need of destigmatizing age and education. If age plays little to no impact on how one learns, which is proven true by myself

and my own journey, there needs to be a change in the societal construct that colleges and high schools both uphold so that everyone gets the education that they deserve. — Grayson Milburn is a contributor and a communications major

Your letter to the editor here Do you want your voice to be heard? Send your letter to the editor or submit a guest column to the

at Letters considered for publication must be 250 words or fewer and will be edited for vulgarity, Associated Press style, grammar, libel and space when needed.

All guest columns must be between 400 to 600 words long and must go through the standard Et Cetera editing process before publication.

You have a voice. We’ll make it heard.

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