Diversify your musical taste by joining us on a journey into obscure Latinx musical artists. see pages 6-7 âž¤ Dallas College Eastfield Campus
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Presidential Endgame Seven states continue to count ballots See Pages 2-4 âž¤
Volume 52, Issue 3
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
The Et Cetera
Biden or Trump? Nation waits for votes to be counted By HARRIET RAMOS Editor in Chief @HarrietRamosETC
President Donald Trump falsely claimed victory over Joe Biden early Wednesday morning despite a significant number of ballots still uncounted in nine states. In an address from the White House, Trump insisted the states that currently showed him in the lead should be called in his favor. “This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country,” Trump said. “We want all voting to stop.” As of press time, the race was still undecided. Biden held 220 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win to Trump’s 213. Biden, addressing supporters at an outdoor, drive-up gathering, encouraged the public to be patient. “We feel good about where we are,” he said. “We believe we’re on track to win this election. … It ain’t over until every vote is counted.” The coronavirus complicated the election this year as more people opted to vote by mail. The key battleground states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were too close to call at 2 a.m. with a large number of mail-in ballots to count. Alaska, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina were also outstanding, according to the Associated Press. Democrats maintained a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. As of 2 a.m., Democrats and Republicans were tied 47-47 for control of the Senate with five races, all leaning Republican, still undecided. A sixth race was headed to a runoff. In Texas, Senator John Cornyn defeated opponent MJ Hegar and won a fourth term. “Together we’ll get down the road and we’ll work hard to make sure our state continues to be the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family,” Cornyn said shortly after Hegar conceded the race. The 2020 presidential election has been like no other in recent memory. COVID-19, racial turmoil over the death of George Floyd, record-breaking natural disasters and Amy Coney Barrett’s controversial confirmation to the Supreme Court after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg characterized the months leading up to Nov. 3. When COVID-19 upended the campaign this year, forcing the candidates to cancel inperson appearances, Biden moved his campaign to the recreation room of his basement. Trump’s approach to downplay the virus drew criticism from his opponents. He continued to hold in-person rallies even in the height of the pandemic. In preparation for the election, Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Rodney Anderson and Dallas County Democratic Chairwoman Carol Donovan issued a joint statement encouraging voters to be patient while officials count the votes.
MATHEAU FAUGHT/THE ET CETERA
“Let us all do our part to keep our community strong and together, looking for the common bonds among neighbors in spite of political differences,” the statement said. Gov. Greg Abbott put the National Guard on standby to respond to any election-related violence, but they were not at any polling locations. At the American Airlines Center, a steady stream of voters came and went. Oscar Cruz, an Air Force veteran, said he felt disrespected by the current administration and came out to support Biden. He came dressed in his uniform and held a sign reading “Veterans for Biden.” “Hopefully some independent voters that don’t know where to go might see me out here and say ‘I’m going to vote for Biden,’” he said. “I’m doing it for my daughter, and I’m doing it for my country.” Edwin Engram, 27, said he had heard of the possibility of riots, but he didn’t believe either side was inherently violent. “I just think it’s a really good moment,” he said. “Regardless of the pandemic and some of the challenges we’re facing as a nation, that we’re all coming together regardless and taking our democratic powers and putting them to good use.” Turnout was light at the El Centro polling location on Election Day, but downtown was bustling with street traffic, businesses were hur-
Voters casts their ballots at Eastfield on Election Day.
riedly boarding up windows, and there was a noticeable police presence. Meg Bakich, 51, a first-generation American citizen whose parents were from Armenia, said she voted early but was volunteering at the El Centro campus as a first-time poll watcher on Election Day. “I am hopeful that people are seeing how
CHANTILETTE FRANKLIN/THE ET CETERA
lucky and blessed they are to live in a country where they can vote, their vote counts and they can be a part of the process in electing their leadership,” she said. “I chose to be a poll worker so that I could be a part of the process and to serve my country.” — Jordan Lackey and Camille Schuh contributed to this article.
The Et Cetera
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
PHOTOS BY RORY MOORE/THE ET CETERA
Left, advocates with Dallas Votes for Kids stand outside of the American Airlines Center next to a Trump supporter on Tuesday. Oscar Cruz holds a â€œveterans for Bidenâ€? sign outside of the AAC.
Texas, nation break 2016â€™s early voting records By HARRIET RAMOS Editor in Chief @HarrietRamosETC
A record breaking 9.7 million Texans had cast their ballot by the time early voting ended on Oct. 30, which was over 700,000 more than voted in the entire 2016 election, according to data from the U.S. Elections Project. Over 94 million people had voted nationwide as of Nov. 2. The polling location at Eastfieldâ€™s main campus reported more than 7,000 voters over the course of the three weeks. Election judge Charles Mullins said there was an average of 300 people per day. Early voting ran Oct. 13-30 this year after Gov. Greg Abbott extended early voting by a week due to the coronavirus pandemic. But Mullins thinks peoplesâ€™ politics are driving the early turnout. â€œThereâ€™s so much controversy nationwide,â€? he said. â€œBoth sides think â€˜Weâ€™ve got to get out and vote.â€™â€? Randy Young, a Republican from Garland who voted at Eastfield to avoid long lines at some of the other locations, said he thinks fear is behind the large number of early voters. People are scared of what will happen if the wrong candidate wins, he said. â€œI donâ€™t want this country to become socialist,â€? he said. â€œAnd I believe in choosing life. Thatâ€™s the biggest issue.â€? Texas has gone to the Republican candidate in every presidential election since 1980. In 2016 Trump took Texas by 9 points, but the most recent CBS News poll shows Trump and Biden tied at 49%. Texas is one of the largest prizes for a presidential candidate, its 38 electoral votes second only to Californiaâ€™s 55.
2016 v. 2020
Â Â? MATTHEAU FAUGHT/THE ET CETERA
Camila Reyna from Pleasant Grove said this was the first time she has voted in a presidential election. Some of her family members are immigrants, and she said voting is a way she can rep-
resent them. â€œHaving our voice heard for our family is really important to us,â€? she said. Texas Latino voters make up about 30% of the voting population, according to the Pew
Research Center. They are considered a key vote that could make a difference in the outcome of the election. Latisha Jones, 38, from Mesquite said she votes in every election and doesnâ€™t see this election as being more important than previous ones. She thinks the coronavirus is the reason for the large voter turnout this year. â€œEveryone is on pins and needles,â€? she said. â€œTo me itâ€™s like any other election. â€Ś [Without COVID-19] I donâ€™t think we wouldâ€™ve had as many people out voting.â€? Young said he only votes in presidential elections, and he typically votes early to get it over with. He said he did not want to vote by mail. â€œIâ€™m scared to because Iâ€™m afraid [the ballotâ€™s] going to get misplaced or something,â€? he said. â€œIf I donâ€™t see it going in, I just donâ€™t know.â€? The first day of early voting, 60 people showed up at the Eastfield location to surrender their mail-in ballots so they could vote in person. An average of five or six people a day followed suit. Mullins said that is out of the ordinary. In previous elections five or six returned mail-in ballots during the entire election was considered a lot. Of the 9.7 million early votes cast in Texas, only 973,083 were by mail, according to the U.S. Elections Project. Linda Brice from Mesquite said she didnâ€™t apply for a mail-in ballot but was sent one anyway because she is over 65. She was looking forward to avoiding the lines at the polls, but after looking at her ballot realized there was a question about her address she didnâ€™t understand. â€œI thought, â€˜Well, let me go do it in person,â€™â€? she said. â€œIt all worked out. â€Ś Itâ€™s very important to me [to vote], given whatâ€™s going on.â€?
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Cattanach likely to lose race By HARRIET RAMOS Editor in Chief @HarrietRamosETC
Eastfield adjunct professor Joanna Cattanach appeared early Wednesday to lose her second bid for Texas House of Representatives in District 108. With 98 percent of the votes counted, Republican incumbent Morgan Meyer was fending off Cattanach’s challenge by about 1,400 votes. He won by 220 votes in 2016. Cattanach waged an aggressive grass-roots campaign, shifting to virtual and drive-thru events when the pandemic restrictions started just days after she won her primary race in March. It was 9:40 on a recent Saturday morning, and Cattanach was already hard at work getting ready for a pop-up shop campaign event in the parking lot outside the building that serves as her headquarters in Dallas. Cattanach, dressed in an orange campaign T shirt emblazoned with Joanna Cattanach for State House in white letters on the front, unloaded boxes of campaign signs from her SUV. A round table adorned with pumpkins and loaded with more Cattanach T shirts, stickers, buttons, pencils and face masks completed the set up. The goal was to attract interested passersby to stop at the table and learn more about Cattanach’s campaign or register to vote. “Now is the time to … get our message out,” Cattanach said. “I think just the overall desire to make sure that real change happens and finish this, that’s really a motivating factor.” In spite of COVID-19 and a slow start with fundraising, she said she is getting more financial support this time around. “We have a larger reach this time [and] we’re spending more every-
Dallas businesses prepare for post-election violence By Camille Schuh Contributor @TheEtCetera
RORY MOORE/THE ET CETERA
Eastfield adjunct professor Joanna Cattanach campaigns outside the American Airlines Center on Election Day.
where,” Cattanach said. “And that means in terms of thousands of pieces of mail, thousands of digital ads. … [When] people believe in you more, you get the resources you need.” Her events are outdoors, like this Saturday morning pop-up shop. Volunteers, all wearing face masks, arrived shortly after 10 a.m. to canvas the area with campaign literature. Juan Breciado, a political science major at SMU, has volunteered with Cattanach’s campaign since this summer. He said he believes in what Cattanach stands for, especially affordable health care for all Texans. When he heard about her close race in 2018, he wanted to be involved. “I could knock on 200 doors,” he said. “I could write 200 postcards. I could talk to 200 people in the district and make a difference in trying
Dallas College Board of Trustees Place 5
Wesley Jameson (I) 41%
The Et Cetera
Dinesh Mali 29.3%
Cliff Boyd 29.7%
to change the Texas House.” Cattanach said the issue she is most passionate about right now is public school funding. One of her sons is enrolled in kindergarten in the Dallas Independent School District. “Because of COVID-19, it’s chaotic right now,” she said. “We need some security.” More volunteers arrived, and Cattanach briefed them on what to do and how to safely interact with the people they would meet. After a group photo, she sent them on their way. Cattanach said she has great staff and volunteers and a supportive spouse. This allows her to juggle her responsibilities as a wife, parent, professor and political candidate. “The time is now,” she said. “[I want to] finish this and finish it strong.”
Angela Enciso 27.8%
Diana Flores (I) 72.2%
Italian immigrant Dino Santonicola achieved the American dream by opening his own restaurant in downtown Dallas last fall. Now, amid one of the most contentious presidential elections in history and record voter turnout across the nation, he is concerned that post-election unrest could put his dream restaurant, Partenope, in danger. Santonicola and his wife, Megan, are bracing for the next few days, but they chose not to board up their storefront. “The city is taking extra precautions and the Dallas Police Department has done a lot of outreach to downtown businesses since the protests earlier this year,” said Santonicola, who moved from Naples in 2011 to work at a Dallas institution, Cane Rosso, before opening his restaurant. “We had only been open about six months when the protests hit Dallas. Being on the corner of Main Street just down from Neiman Marcus makes us vulnerable, but I think proper police patrolling this time will protect our business.” Others aren’t so sure. Many business owners still recovering from property damage after the George Floyd protests over the summer have taken precautions in case things turn violent again after the election. It was an unfamiliar sight in downtown Dallas on Tuesday. Storefronts were boarded up with wooden planks, from restaurants to corner stores. Election night has always been an anxiety-filled night, but this election has brought new fears. The front of the Press Box Grill, a sports bar on Main Street, was also secured with plywood Tuesday. It will remain open but with shortened business hours. “We started boarding up our windows yesterday,” said the restaurant’s manager, Chris, who asked not to print his last name. “We were hit hard last time. Our owner just doesn’t want to risk taking another hit from our insurance company.” Gov. Greg Abbott made a statement on Oct. 28 that he may deploy the National Guard to address potential protests. Two days later, the
Joe Biden-Kamala Harris campaign bus was swarmed by a group of trucks flying Donald Trump flags on Interstate 35 in Texas. Supporters of both presidential candidates seem to expect their opposition will be the one to light the fuse. Concerns about the possibility of civil unrest left Deep Ellum looking like a ghost town Tuesday night. Many businesses were boarded up. “The whole town has concerns,” said a Reno’s bartender, Dolly, who would not give her last name. “A lot of businesses aren’t even open.” Reno’s was one of the few bars in the Deep Ellum area with boardedup windows that remained open. They decided to block off their windows around noon in preparation for election night. “We weren’t prepared last time [when protesters] came through here,” Dolly said. “We are tonight." Voters in line at Dallas College campuses Tuesday also expressed concern. At the El Centro campus, Kayleigh O’Connor was voting in her second presidential election, but she said this one was felt much different. The 30-year-old lives in a downtown Dallas high-rise and said she has become increasingly worried about her safety while living and working downtown. “I hope everyone keeps a level head no matter the outcome," she said. "It is creepy and makes me sad to see all the buildings boarded up again.” Gregory Lener, a 26-year-old IT professional, said he was excited to be voting for the Democratic ticket in both the presidential and local elections. “I feel like the city and the police are more prepared than they were during the last protests,” he said. “It is a shame all the business owners have to worry and go to the extra trouble of protecting their stores and restaurants, though.” At the Eastfield campus, there was some apprehension but also some commitment to change from voters like Belinda Hernandez, 35, of Garland. “It’s made me more determined to vote,” she said, “because four years ago when I didn’t vote and Trump won. It opened my eyes, and I realized that my vote does count.” — Jordan Lackey, Hector Tarango and Bryan Gomez contributed to this report.
The Et Cetera
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Et Cetera wins two national Pacemakers, awards By JORDAN LACKEY Opinion Editor @JordanEtc
For the first time in its 50-year history, The Et Cetera has won two national Pacemaker Awards from the Associated Collegiate Press in a single year: one for its newspaper and another for its website. Staff members also placed in two categories and earned six honorable mentions from the ACP. The Et Cetera also placed in five categories and earned four honorable mentions for the College Media Association’s Pinnacle Awards. There were 19 total awards given for previously published work and three Best of Show Awards. All were announced at the virtual National College Media Convention. This marks the fourth Pacemaker The Et Cetera has received for print editions and the second it’s won for online content in the past nine years. The Pacemaker is considered the Pulitzer Prize of student journalism and has been awarded annually since 1927. According to the ACP website, only an estimated 10 percent of entries throughout the country end up winning a Pacemaker. Skye Seipp, previous editor in chief, said this was a collective effort from all the volunteers, staff and advisers at The Et Cetera, especially when faced with the challenge of publishing while the campus was shut down due to COVID-19 during the spring and summer. “Everyone came together, and we were putting out consistently good work,” he said. “It wasn’t just me.” Seipp said The Et Cetera’s ability to consistently win national and state awards is a testa-
ET CETERA FILE PHOTO
The Et Cetera crew poses for a photo after receiving awards from the Texas Community College Journalism Association at Baylor University last October.
ment to the staff ’s dedication and the quality of the journalism program at Eastfield. He credits the program for giving him and his predecessors the foundation they needed in order to prosper. He said that The Et Cetera would not have been as successful under his leadership were it not for the opportunity to learn in a classroom environment with the instruction, aid and guidance of teachers and advisers. If Eastfield did not offer these courses, he said that he never
would have gone into journalism and probably wouldn’t be attending the University of Texas at Austin now. He was disappointed to learn that printing of the newspaper had been halted until further notice by college administrators. “All of this is cyclical,” Seipp said. “It’s dependent on the fact that The Et Cetera is able to print a paper product and that the classes offered at Eastfield allow for more personalized training to become a better journalist.” Sarah Sheldon, student media manager
for the Et Cetera, said it was exciting to just be nominated for a Pacemaker. She called the double win a “knockout” and a testament to all the hard work that goes into making each publication possible. “I feel like a ridiculous parent,” Sheldon said. “Bursting with joy and pride.” Sheldon said The Et Cetera doesn’t do what it does for the awards, but she takes great pride in the ACP’s recognition of all the late nights and stress that have gone into making the student media outlet what it is today. “I think we just have a really strong program here,” she said. “And the award is simply a tangible product of all that we do year-round. It’s kind of that moment that we get to brag on ourselves.” On top of winning two Pacemakers, The Et Cetera won eight other awards from the ACP. Ariel Evans and Gabriella Evans won third place for Best Comic Panel Strip. Seipp, Anthony Lazon and Erik Krouskop won fourth place for Newspaper Special Section Advertising. Seipp, Brianna Harmon, Lazon, Jessica Martinez and Krouskop all received honorable mentions. The Et Cetera won nine additional awards from the CMA. The paper won first place in Best Newspaper Nameplate. Lazon took second place in Best Advertisement and Ariel Evans and Gabriella Evans finished second in Best Comic Strip. Sazoun Grayer was third in Best Sports Game Story. The entire staff received four additional honorable mentions. The ACP also judged current publications for its Best of Show category, where The Et Cetera won fifth place for its current print edition and sixth for its website. Chantilette Franklin and Jordan Lackey received eighth place for COVID-19 coverage.
Puerto Rican native discusses Latino-American experience By JUAN HERNANDEZ Contributor @TheEtCetera
Javier Avila will never forget the day he realized that being a minority means being questioned. He was in grad school at the time, and one of his literature professors asked him the meaning of the Spanish word jovenes in a book they were reading for class because Avila was the “token Latino.” He told his professor that the word meant young people. Then came the question: “Are you sure?” Avila, a native of Puerto Rico and an English professor at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, shared stories from his experiences as a minority in the United States at a virtual event host-
PHOTO COURTESY OF JAVIER AVILA
ed by Dallas College Mountain View Campus on Oct. 6 in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. “When I moved to Pennsylvania, that’s when it started,” he said. “I had to explain to a lot of people who had no idea what Puerto Rico is, or what
a Puerto Rican is or why I am who I am. I had to explain to them so many basic things that I realized that I had become the other and that writing about identity is necessary.” In Puerto Rico he was considered white and privileged, but once he moved to Pennsylvania he was labelled as brown and a minority. In “The Trouble with My Name,” Avila uses comedy as a tool to teach his audience the value of diversity. The performance is made up of anecdotes and poetry that Avila has compiled during his time in the United States. The title of his one-man show comes from the problems he’s had with people mispronouncing his name, which he said is as common in Puerto Rico as John Smith is in the United States.
“The first 200 times that people asked me about the j sounding like an h, it was cute,” he said during his show. “But after that it was like ‘Oh my God, no one is ever going to say my name right,’ so . . . I channelled it into art.” But even after so many times of hearing his name said incorrectly, Avila said there is still one place he can turn. “There seems to be no cure for my multiple name pronunciation disorder, but there is a prescription that can heal it,” he said. “So every day I dial the number, the only one I’ll always know by heart, and as soon as she answers the phone, I hear my name the way it’s supposed to sound: in the voice of my mother.” Avila has written 15 books and has won numerous literary and edu-
cational awards, including Pennsylvania Professor of the Year in 2015. His most recent novel, “Polvo,” was published in 2019 and has to do with the challenges faced by a young man who returns from the United States to Puerto Rico to confront his past. Avila continues to tour the country presenting his show and sharing his insights into the minority experience and social issues. “There will be people who won’t like you,” he said. “You have to understand that who you are is good enough, and you don’t need to change for anyone. And whoever doesn’t accept you the way you are, you don’t need them in your life, . . . but the most important person who needs to accept you for who you are is you.”
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
The Et Cetera
Lesser-known Latinx Music
BY LEAH Contri @TheEt
Pop culture is always being in do I see multiple Latinx artists less it is specific to “Latin Pop” As a Latina myself, I wanted t and aim to listen to more Latin would not be able to find in the As I began this journey I tried but most of the artists mention already. So here is a list of actual small L
1. Josue Alaniz Leah’s Favorite Song - “Amarte a la Mitad”
Josue Alaniz has good mellow love songs for everyone. His newest album is filled with acoustic melodies, but he always finds a way to surprise you with a soft R&B beat you did not know you wanted. Content warning: You will swoon.
2. Lido Pimienta Leah’s Favorite Song - “Nada”
This Afro-indigenous Colombian artist truly uses all of her cultural backgrounds to her advantage here. Lido Pimienta’s music is a multi-layered masterpiece unlike anything you have ever heard. Her newest album is just as innovative and bold as she is. You can truly hear how she lets each culture shine individually, but when it all comes together, it is a harmonic powerhouse.
3. Esteman Leah’s Favorite Song - “Burkina Faso”
Esteman is one of the more popular artists on this list, and rightfully so. His newest album is filled with catchy hooks that will motivate any couch potato to jump out of their seat. Listening to this album is a one-way ticket to the grooviest emotional roller coaster you’ve ever been on. But don’t worry; there are enough slow songs for a water break.
4. La Doña Leah’s Favorite Song - “Cuando Se Van”
La Doña’s beats have a Caribbean heartbeat and a boisterous Chicana voice. Listen to this album once and you’ll instantly be taken over by the warm sounds of the trumpet, and before you know it her effortless bars have taken over your body. La Doña uses this album to shamelessly explore her femininity as a Latina. She gives a voice to those who have never had the chance to express themselves in this light.
5. Rayos Laser Leah’s Favorite Song - “Ya Mi Hiciste Mal”
Rayos Laser has a softer take on the alternative genre. The Argentinian group has a good balance of laid-back bittersweet sounds and heavy guitar melodies that can satisfy any mood you’re in. “Un Regalo Tuyo” was released two years ago, but their latest singles tease an album filled with head bop potential.
The Et Cetera
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
cians You Should Support
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nfluenced by music, but rarely in the Billboard Hot 100 unor “Reggaeton.” to diversify my music taste nx artists, specifically those I e top charts. d looking for lists like this one, ned had millions of listeners
Latinx artists you can support.
7. Silvana Estrada Leah’s Favorite Song - “Para Siempre”
Silvana Estrada’s latest album is what passion sounds like. Estrada’s soulful Veracruzana vocals will paint landscapes you long to be in. Estrada rhythmically tells stories of the passion, pain, and strain that come with life. Her lyrics have purpose, and if you will not listen the flirty strings will lure you in. Every song is a form of self-exploration and will give you the chance to effortlessly dig deep into your roots.
8. Carrot Leah’s Favorite Song - “Efecto Mariposa”
Carrot’s synth-alternative sound is the embodiment of a daydream. This Salvadoran band is a kaleidoscope of catchy bass lines and nostalgic synths. One can easily be taken away by the band’s eclectic sound and not even realize the creative lyricism they have left behind. This band has a lot to offer. Just press play and take in the fantasy.
6. Santiago Holder Leah’s Favorite Song - “Stay”
Whether you want an acoustic ballad to daydream to or a tune for your midnight cruise, Santiago Holder has got you covered. The Dallas native has grown a lot since the release of his debut “EP Home.” Holder has taken the time to expand his craft as both a producer and songwriter. Every new release is like a surprise.
9. Maria Isabel Leah’s Favorite Song - “Where does the love go?”
Maria Isabel vocals are a perfect blend of gentle and soulful. She has only released a few songs, but her musicality is that of a veteran. Her sound is sleek and dreamy, but her lyrics are grounded in reality; she knows how to transform her life experiences into sweet melodies. Maria Isabel knows what she’s doing. Time is only going to prove her talent to others.
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
The Et Cetera
Professor, counselor finds purpose helping others BY JORDAN LACKEY Opinion Editor @JordanETC
Daniel Ramirez was a senior in high school when he nearly lost his life. He was riding with some friends and throwing eggs at freshmen when suddenly a brick crashed into the windshield of the moving vehicle. Retaliation. In that moment the driver floored the gas pedal and sent the car across four lanes of highway traffic. They avoided other motorists but slammed into a pole. The car emptied quickly once the unmistakable scent of smoke told the teenage passengers a fire had started. Everyone got out except for Ramirez. He’d broken his ankle at a Slayer concert a few weeks prior. He was in a cast, trapped and panicking. A few moments later a friend remembered Ramirez was there, ran back to the car, broke the window and dragged him out. They watched from 50 yards away as the car burst into flames and engulfed the backseat Ramirez had just escaped. “I remember watching that car in flames, thinking ‘we almost died,’” Ramirez said. Moments like this gave Ramirez a deeper appreciation for life. He’s lost close friends to suicide and accidents. He’s seen how fragile life can be. This intimate understanding of the fragility of life is exactly what has led Ramirez down the path of counseling. He’s the proud owner of Real Solutions Counseling and has been a professor of social work and substance abuse counseling at Eastfield since 2016. He hopes his appreciation for life can infect patients and students and embolden them to pull their own lives from the wreckage. When he sees those trapped and panicking due to their mistakes, he knows how they feel. As a counselor and an educator, he breaks the metaphorical windows that keep people trapped and helps drag them to safety. Ramirez didn’t always have this mentality. On occasion, he had to be reminded what direction he wanted his life to move in. He remembers his best friend’s little brother, Michael, who died from cancer just a few days before his fifteenth birthday. One day he looked at Ramirez and asked, “Why are you so stupid?” Ramirez didn’t understand and asked what he was talking about. Michael explained that he was fighting for his life while he watched Ramirez and his older brother recklessly risk their own. “I’m trying to live, dude, and survive,” Michael said. “And you guys are trying to kill yourselves. You guys want to switch spots at any moment man, I’m freakin’ game.” Ramirez said he’ll never forget those words. He didn’t know what to say to a dying kid, but years later those words were a wake-up call for him. Tragedies and near-death experiences like this are what he credits for moving him
CHANTILETTE FRANKLIN/THE ET CETERA
Social work and substance abuse professor Daniel Ramirez looks out the window from his office at Real Solutions Counseling in McKinney.
toward a career in counseling. However, he thinks there were signs even earlier in life. He remembers a motivational program in his middle school gymnasium. All the kids were gathered and waiting for the event to start. They had no idea what to expect. Then they heard chains rattling on the ground. Ramirez looked up and saw five men in orange jumpsuits, chained together. They were prisoners there to talk with students about the importance of education and what their lives might be like without it. His friends didn’t think much of it, but Ramirez loved the whole experience. He envied the way the inmates were talking to everyone, telling their stories and trying to help. “Can you imagine being down there?” he asked his friends. “’Dude, that’d be really cool.’ … My friends looked at me like [I was] twisted.” His friends told him he was supposed to be afraid of ending up like these guys, not envy them. But it wasn’t their lives he envied; it was what they were doing. He wanted to talk and help people too. After Ramirez graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, one of his first jobs in the field of social work was doing exactly that: talking to middle school and high school students about drugs for a third-party outreach company.
His work caught the attention of Plano Independent School District, where he was offered an official counseling position. Instead of talking to a handful of students at a time, now Ramirez was addressing entire crowds of teenagers at every high school in the district. He was doing exactly what inspired him so many years ago, but with one important distinction. “Without the shackles,” Ramirez said while laughing. “It was awesome.” This experience early in his career helped feed the natural showman within Ramirez. Throughout high school and college, he’d been the front man for multiple rock bands. He loved it, but the experience left him wanting more. There were times when he’d play shows and sign autographs as a musician. One morning, while grocery shopping, he ran into someone that had seen his show the night before. He didn’t even remember Ramirez, despite having his autograph on his shoulder. “I was just entertainment man,” he said. “And I didn’t want to be just entertainment. I wanted to be impactful. I wanted to leave a mark.” As a motivational speaker, Ramirez got the same adrenaline rush that came from being a performer, and he was able to channel that energy in a more impactful way. While working for Plano ISD, he was able to make
connections with several other counselors and even public figures like district judges who would eventually help provide clients for his own practice. Ramirez left Plano ISD a little over 10 years ago. Since that time, with the help of his wife of 20 years, Pamela, he has opened Real Solutions Counseling. He offers a wide variety of services, from individual counseling for adults and children to therapy for couples, families and groups. He draws from several therapeutic disciplines and chooses what he believes will be the most effective approach for each client. In 2016, Ramirez became a faculty member at Eastfield, where he teaches individual and group counseling theories to students and advises the Human Services Club. He has done a lot of work for the campus community to help students learn how to deal with stressful situations. “He’s the example of what a great professor should be,” social work major Mike Lara said. Lara said that Ramirez has been a great inspiration for him during his time at Eastfield. He admires that instead of simply giving advice, Ramirez teaches from his own experiences as well. Lara said there’s a big difference between telling someone what you think and telling someone what you feel. He believes that Ramirez pulls from his emotions in order to teach students how to deal with emotional situations in a therapeutic environment. “Usually people will give advice on things they know nothing about,” Lara said. “Professor Ramirez will share his experience with the situation and his solution. It’s more relatable.” During his time at Eastfield, Ramirez has also made connections with the Dallas Independent School District community. One of those connections is Eastfield mental health counselor Jaime Torres. “He was one of the first people I met when I started at Eastfield,” said Torres. “He really cares a lot about the students.” Torres said that Ramirez is always very welcoming of the counseling staff. He collaborates with them on any project he can and allows them to go into classes and discuss careers in counseling with students. While working together, he’s noticed that Ramirez is very dedicated to preparing his students for careers in the real world. Today, Ramirez continues to teach and run his business virtually due to COVID-19. Making the switch to online has been a transition, but Ramirez has no complaints. He enjoys getting extra time with his family. He’s grateful for everything he has and the experiences that brought him where he is. He wouldn’t change a thing. “I always said I was going to be a college professor, teach some classes and have a small practice,” Ramirez said. “I made it.”
OPINION Wednesday, November 7, 2020
Etera Award-winning member of: • Texas Intercollegiate Press Association • Texas Community College Journalism Association • Associated Collegiate Press • College Media Association
Eastfield College 3737 Motley Drive Mesquite, TX 75150 Phone: 972-860-7130 Email: email@example.com 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 Cartoonist Jesus Madrid Photographer Marlenne Hernandez Staff Writer Sazoun Grayer Reporter Jasmine Rodgers Contributors Deirdre Holmes Bryan Gomez Hector Tarango Daniel Mascorro Jenny Romero Megan Ogembo Al’darius Thompson Camille Schuh
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Publication Adviser Elizabeth Langton Student Media Manager Sarah Sheldon 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 Matteau Faught
The Et Cetera
Canceling fields of study isn’t an option We call on Dallas College leadership to appeal to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and advocate for the 10 fields of study that the board has suspended. In mid-September many students received emails telling them their field of study was temporarily suspended pending a decision by the Higher Education Coordinating Board. These fields of study are: communications, computer science and information technology, drama, economics, fine arts, health and wellness, history, journalism, mathematics and radio and television. Canceling fields of study is not an option. Destroying the hopes and dreams of those who can’t afford an expensive four-year degree is not an option. Forcing students to choose a field of study they are not passionate about is not an option. Many students would be affected who specifi-
cally chose Dallas College because it offered the field of study they were interested in at an affordable price. The majority of community college students rely on some sort of financial aid to pay for their classes. If their field of study were to be canceled, they would lose that financial aid and would potentially have to drop out of school or change their field of study to another area they may not excel in. Students looking to enroll in Dallas College may change their mind when they see Dallas College no longer offers the field of study they are interested in. This could have a major impact on enrollment, which has already been affected negatively due to the pandemic. Dallas College faculty are professionals in their fields. They seek to infuse that same passion and knowledge in their students. Just because we are a
Gen Z doesn’t want kids Parents, with all due respect, you guys ruined the idea of having children for my generation. My friends and I have talked and agreed, we don’t want children. Maybe you guys planned it all out from the start: a plan that involved scaring us for life so that our siblings would act as our very own personal forms of birth control. From changing diapers to making their bottles, being the older sibling was hard. Nobody told me that once you become an older sibling that you would be the one constantly watching your sibling from weekday afternoons to weekend nights. Parents may call this being an older sibling, but I call it ruining kids for me. Sure, it was fun seeing my siblings grow into tiny individual people, but their attitudes and their pickiness destroyed my fantasy of raising a baby. I know what you all may be thinking. We’ve all taken care of our siblings, what’s your point? You are right, it’s not just the matter of taking care of my siblings. There are many other reasons why my generation does not want children. An important reason is that our earth is literally dying before our eyes, and the older generations are to blame for it. While the majority of Gen Z may be viewed as “earth-loving hippies,” we have a good reason for it. We want to be able to live in a clean world. The effects of climate change are long-lasting, and I don’t want my child to deal with the responsibility of cleaning up the mess like other generations before us have struggled to do. Another reason is that it has become unaffordable to raise a child. Our country makes living
by yourself hard, even Xavier harder if you Fraire are a single parent rais@TheEtCetera ing a child. As of right now, the minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 an hour. This amount of money makes it difficult to pay bills and then support a child. According to the Best Places website, the average cost of purchasing a house is $231,200, which makes it harder to live in a comfortable environment. I wouldn’t want to raise a child, nor have one, if I am barely getting enough money to support myself. Minimum wage is also a reason why some parents in today’s country have to work two jobs to ensure that their child has a roof over their head and a warm meal. Because of this, people from my generation have had to take care of their siblings while their parents are working long hours. We need to work together to save the planet as well as create a better living environment for future generations. I know it sounds cheesy but if we actually recycled, turned off running water and stopped cutting down trees, it would improve our home. Maybe, just maybe, if we fixed the effects of global warming and raised the minimum wage in our country, I just might consider having a child rather than my original plan of fathering a fish. —Xavier Fraire is a contributor and a journalism major
community college does not mean the quality of education in history or drama or any of the other affected fields of study is inferior to what is offered at four-year universities. On the contrary, it has been our experience that the education offered by the dedicated professors at Dallas College is on par with and even superior to that found in the halls of four-year institutions. The Dallas College leadership has repeatedly said their goal is to serve students and provide them with the best education possible. The home page of the dcccd.edu website says: “Dallas College offers you an education that works for you.” The leadership of Dallas College has a responsibility to make good on the promise to do what is in the students’ best interest. We call on them to do all that is in their power to advocate for students to keep these 10 fields of study.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Student journalists need to print a paper To the editor of The Et Cetera, Producing a printed version of The Et Cetera is a vital part of educating student journalists and preparing them for the career field. Whether students ever intend to design newspaper or magazine pages professionally, the education they receive from page design covers more than that. In designing and laying out a newspaper, student journalists must evaluate which news is most important, which art best represents the stories and how to craft a headline that does justice to the story. All of this is vital in the professional journalism world. The Et Cetera is an award-winning publication. Many of these awards come from the design of its newspapers. While awards are not the reason student journalists do what they do, these recognitions show them they have talent and potential and encourage them to continue their education. Not only will Dallas College be stripping that recognition in an order to cease print publication, but it will be stripping the practical learning opportunities of students. Practical experience is a vital part of education for designers and journalists. Dallas College should reverse the order to cease printing. It is in the best interest of the college’s students. Respectfully, James Hartley The Et Cetera alumnus, professional journalist
The Et Cetera
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Williams looks back on successful first season
Sophomore guard Calvin Williams is an electrifying talent who helped Eastfield’s basketball team reach the NJCAA Final Four last year. Williams, who averaged 18 points per game, five rebounds and four assists for the Harvesters, sat down with Et Cetera reporter Al’Darius Thompson to discuss the upcoming season and his plans after college.
Q A Q A
Where are you from? What high school did you go to?
I’m from Houston, Texas. I went to Klein Forest High School on the north side of Houston. Why did you choose Eastfield? What brought you out here to Mesquite?
Q A Q A
How did you get started with basketball?
Oh, it feels good because I was a freshman, and I did that. Not too many freshmen get to play, and to do that was pretty big.
COVID-19 hit after the season. Did it impact you?
Yes, most of the gyms were closed and you couldn’t really work out unless you went outside. It didn’t really change me. It just made me work on my speed and work on my strength instead of going to the gym hooping.
I played football and baseball, but I kind of liked basketball more. It was more entertaining to me, so I just stuck to basketball. You were named first-team all-American and Metro Athletic Conference Player of the Year last year. How does that feel?
Where did you do these drills?
Who is your favorite basketball player and why? Dennis Smith Jr. He dunks a lot. I like the way he plays. He plays physical. What fuels you to keep going?
I have two little brothers at home. I just want to make sure I set the right path for them. They look at me and see me doing the right thing. Really just them and my people at home.
Was basketball the only sport you played or were you a dual threat?
How difficult was that, having to just watch from the bench?
It was difficult. I felt bad because I believed if I would have played, we would have won the Championship. My injury caused us to lose, and I was disappointed that I couldn’t help my team win.
I started playing when I was 7 or 8. I used to play at the YMCA. After YMCA I started playing AAU, middle school basketball, high school basketball and now college.
Eastfield made it to the NJCAA Final Four last year. How was that experience?
It wasn’t too good for me because in the first two minutes of the first game I got injured. I couldn’t play the rest of the tournament. I felt like if I would have never gotten hurt, we would have won the whole thing.
I chose Eastfield because two of my homeboys went to Eastfield last year, DeAngelo (Smith) and Tamarcus (Butler). They told me to come and play with them, and I just came. I came when they were sophomores, and I was a freshman.
My favorite pair of shoes is off-white Jordan 4s. The most I have paid is $350, and the most I have sold a pair for was $1,200.
RORY MOORE/THE ET CETERA
Calvin Williams goes for a layup against Brookhaven on Jan. 18, 2020. Williams helped secure Eastfield a spot in the Final Four last season.
Q A Q
I ran on the track, I was doing pushups, I had weights in my garage. I bought some stuff from Academy and just worked out like that. What other hobbies do you have? I flip shoes. I got a whole bunch of shoes. I buy the latest shoes and I sell them. What are your favorite shoes? What’s the most you ever paid for or sold a pair of shoes for?
Q A Q A Q A
What part of your game do you need to work on? Probably just slowing down and running plays, instead of trying to score all the time. Let the game come to me and not try to force it. What were the major highlights from your freshman season? It was when we played Richland at home and I had eight threes in the game. That’s my favorite. What are your expectations and goals for this year’s team? My expectation is to win the whole thing and get a ring. What do you say to those who doubt your play at the top level? Catch me when it’s game time. When it’s time to shine I’m going to show them what’s up.
Editor’s note: This interview was edited for style and brevity. Read the full Q&A online at eastfieldnews.com.
SPORTS The Et Cetera
Let them be paid; College atheletes deserve an income “Show me the money,” the famous quote from the movie “Jerry Maguire,” is ultimately Al’Darius what the majority of college athletes want. Thompson According to cnbc.com, a poll taken in September 2019 showed an overwhelming @TheEtCetera 80% of all students and 83% of athletes agreed that college athletes should be paid if their image is used for purposes such as selling merchandise. I believe all college athletes should receive some sort of compensation, considering the cash they bring in for these schools. In 2019 the University of Texas at Austin brought in $223.9 million, and $156.9 million of that came from football. Where does $156.9 million go? Coaches get a percentage. A chunk goes to academics and scholarships as well, and a whole bunch is poured into the facilities and stadiums. One place it does not go is into these player’s pockets. Schools are making millions of dollars off these college athletes and all people have to say is, “They’re going to school for free.” Well that is not enough. I say this because I was once one of those student athletes. I played football at Oklahoma State University on a full scholarship. I’m not saying we should pay these athletes millions of dollars, but even a small amount can make a difference. What is a small amount? Well, that depends on how much the school brings in. College football teams can have up to 125 players, but only give 85 scholarships. I say at least $2,000 a week is fair. You may think that sounds like a lot, but it is not. If your jersey is selling in the student center, you should receive some sort of percentage. Five percent is good. Walk-on players don’t receive anything because they haven’t been awarded athletic scholarships. Let’s go off the 2019 stat from the University of Texas football. Seventy percent of 223 million is around 156 million. If every scholarship player receives $2,000 a week, that is $8,000 a month. Multiply that by the 85 players who are on scholarship, and that’s $680,000 a month and $8.16 million per year. That is pennies to these schools. I know you may think, “What does a student athlete need with $8,000 per month?” First, every athlete that steps on campus comes from a different place and has a different background. When I arrived at Oklahoma State, I was an 18-year-old from Mesquite with a kid on the way. From the start my mind was on money. There were times when I felt overwhelmed. I was getting acclimated to a new environment and there was a new level of responsibility weighing on me. How was I supposed to provide for myself and a kid? Going to school full time and being a full-time athlete is hard and time-consuming. How do I work? How do I eat? Fall season for college football players is the hardest time of the year. You have school as well as the season, on top of early morning workouts and later practices. The grind athletes go through is real and can be overwhelming for some. Some student athletes really don’t have much. I have seen athletes not go back home for long periods of time because they did not have the funds. I have seen players struggle with keeping food in the refrigerator. For instance there was an athlete who had siblings who went right up the road to Langston University. He shared everything with them, and food was the number one thing. I have seen players with absolutely no family at all. No one to call for support mentally, physically or financially. It’s time for big time programs to start paying college athletes. The hard work and dedication that players bring to these programs are not always seen. The amount of cash that is generated yearly is insane. It’s time to show these athletes their real worth. —Al’Darius Thompson is a contributor and a kinesiology major.
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Harvesters mask up, return to practice
CHANTILETTE FRANKLIN/THE ET CETERA
Above, the Harvesters soccer team pracices at Eastfield on Oct. 20. The NJCAA postponed their season until the spring due to COVID-19. Below, Eastfield’s baseball team trains on Oct. 15. The team had their season canceled in March when the pandemic first started, but plan to start in the spring.
RORY MOORE/THE ET CETERA
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Madpuffy Comics By Jesus Madrid
The Et Cetera
Food pantry gets a new space
Briefs Registration begins
Free counseling available
Eastfield faculty display art
Spring 2021 registration opens for returning students on Nov. 17 and for all students on Nov. 23. January 13 is the last day to register for 16week classes and the first session of eight-week classes. Information on how to register can be found on the Dallas College website: dcccd.edu/admissions/registration/pages/default.aspx
The city of Mesquite is partnering with the AZAR Foundation to offer free mental health counseling to all residents as an effort to combat an increase in suicides and domestic abuse triggered by the pandemic. For more information contact 833-298-9111 or visit the AZAR Foundation website azarfoundation. org/programs.html.
In honor of Eastfield’s 50th anniversary, the Mesquite Arts Center is hosting a collection of artworks by Eastfield Visual Art faculty from Oct. 6-Dec. 26. A virtual show will be held Dec. 5. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Find out more information at glasstire.com and search Eastfield.
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RORY MOORE/THE ET CETERA
The Honeycomb Food Pantry has relocated to a larger space across the hall from its former location. Employees helped to fill the shelves through a “Pack the pantry” food drive challenge.