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News: City College raises funds to save classes

A&E: Student success statues hit the road

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Volume 148, Issue 6

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What’s inside: News: Community College Week kicks off........... Op&Eds: Censorship, hate speech debate.............. Sports: City College gets new swim team........... PHotostory: Arab Heritage Month..................... Features: Sims overcomes many obstacles..........

Former Israeli leader’s SF visit draws protests

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November 4, 2009

Coalition forming to fight education cuts By Greg Zeman Staff Writer

A statewide day of unified action was set for March 4, 2010 at a conference held by the burgeoning community movement against budget cuts to public education. The resolution to act in March was passed by a majority of roughly 500 students, teachers and individuals representing activist groups and organized labor at the Oct. 24 Mobilizing Conference to Save Public Education at UC Berkeley. City College was represented by Brian Cruze, a teaching aid at Ocean campus and member of the International Socialist Club, who was selected by the City College of San Francisco General Assembly on Oct. 21. “We are not going to accept

any concessions or cuts to classes,” Cruze said. “We need a base at Ocean campus. If we want to take action, we need to take a stand, a walkout in the spring.” The larger conference could only agree to a date, leaving the decision on specific actions up to individual campuses. According to City College student Amanda Maystead, the decision of the conference was in alignment with the general assembly. “It is important to walk out, strike or do whatever makes sense on our own campuses, to be able to build the biggest movement possible that can come together later and make the biggest statement possible,” Maystead said. The conference began with speeches from the event facilitators, representatives of a broad coalition of public education Budget cuts: Page 2

Ramsey el-qare / the guardsman

Demonstrators protest the World Affairs Council forum featuring Ehud Olmert on Oct. 22.

Olmert’s legacy sparks war crimes charges By Greg Zeman Staff Writer

Protesters greeted former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with loud interruptions at a public forum hosted by the World Affairs Council of Northern California at the Westin St. Francis Hotel on Oct. 22. Roughly 25 activists, who demanded Olmert’s arrest for war crimes, were charged with disrupting a public assembly and taken to the San Francisco Police Department’s Tenderloin Station where they were booked and released. “We know that people have very strong views,” said Jane Wales, CEO of the WAC, before introducing Olmert. “We appreciate the fact that you do, and that’s why you’re gathered here to ask questions and to learn more. I would note that we won’t be tolerating any disruptions during the conversation.”

Wendy Kaufmyn, an engineering professor at City College since 1983, stood up and accused Olmert of “crimes against peace, as articulated in article six of the Nuremberg principles, war crimes and crimes against humanity in violation of the requirements arms and export control act.” Kaufmyn, equipped with plastic handcuffs and a “warrant,” tried to place Olmert under citizen’s arrest. “Not that I had any unrealistic expectations that I’d be able to,” Kaufmyn said. “But that was my objective.” “I’m Jewish,” Kaufmyn said. “I’ve been an activist most of my life, but I never really got involved in the Middle East because I come from a very pro-Israel, Zionist family and I just never really wanted to deal with it.” In 2002 Kaufmyn took her first trip to the West Bank and volunteered as a human rights worker. She has been back several times since. “Our tax money is being used to perpetrate a very oppressive and brutal military occupation in Palestine, which is wildly unjust,” Kaufmyn said. “The people are suffering.” Olmert: Page 4

Board finalizes extensive cuts to summer session By Michael Suarez contributing Writer

A unanimous vote by the board of trustees on Oct. 22 affirmed that a majority of classes will be cut for the summer 2010 semester. Students and staff attended the meeting wielding picket signs to protest the cuts. Student trustee Joshua Nielsen expressed his dismay at the cuts. “I asked the chancellor why the students weren’t involved and he said felt the issue should be kept with the administration, and not the students,” Nielsen said. Many students use summer semester as a way to graduate earlier and meet deadlines for transferring. “I was interested in transferring in two years,” said Pedro Alforque, a second-year student at City College. "But if they cut the summer I can't.” Chancellor Dr. Don Q. Griffin has said that so far, these cuts are only temporary. E-mail:



The Guardsman

News Briefs Associated Students

Mick Jagger Del Rosario was elected to the senate of the Associated Students Oct. 28 in an 11-1 vote. This is Del Rosario’s first semester at City College. “I feel like with dedication and hard work we are going to be able to change the school in a progressive way,” Del Rosario said.

Young Entrepreneurs

The Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour will make its final stop at City College on Nov. 18. They have stopped at numerous cities around the country and are now highlighting three of the top youth entrepreneurs who have made millions of dollars through their creativity and drive at a young age. The event will run from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Diego Rivera Theater and will consist of key note speakers, a workshop and networking opportunities, supported by Association Bernard Gregory Business Club and the Unified Investment Group Investment Club. Speakers will be young entrepreneurs who made a large impact in the business world before the age of 25. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger or his wife Maria Shriver are expected to attend the event to give a speech.

New Web site

City College’s new Web site was finally launched at 8 p.m. on Nov. 1. Douglas Re, director of information technology services at City College, said the overall process of creating the new Web site spanned two years. “The new site is beautifully designed, a site that can really show off the district,” said Trustee John Rizzo in a letter to the community. “And in many ways, easier to navigate.” The Web site is available at

November 4, 2009

Community College Week promotes high quality, low-cost education By Matthew Gomez Staff Writer

In a time of economic uncertainty, Community College Week is being celebrated at City College to unite students and exemplify the importance the community college system has to the students of California. “We are the college for everyone,” said Leslie Smith, associate vice chancellor of government relations. “We try to keep the doors open even though we lack funding.” Working together on behalf of all community colleges has proven beneficial in gathering support for the high quality, low cost

education such schools provide, according to the resolution for Community College Week. Providing post-secondary educational opportunities for about 2.9 million students in California, community colleges continue to keep the doors open even though state funds have been exhausted, as stated in the resolution. Community College Week kicked off Nov. 2 with a rally at Yerba Buena Gardens. One of the week’s highlights is the installation of statues from the Student Success Stories Project at Yerba Buena Gardens. The statues are life-size models of community college students from

across the state. Each statue tells the story of a student whose life has been changed by the community college system. Free classes, from learning how to make instant ice cream using the principles of physics, to understanding the crisis of education funding, will be held Nov. 4 through Nov. 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Yerba Buena Gardens. There is a student gathering today, Nov. 4, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Yerba Buena Gardens. The First Annual Community College Film Festival will be held Nov. 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Downtown campus, showing short films from community college students across the state.

Refreshments such as popcorn, hot chocolate and cookies will be offered. To protest against cuts to the education budget, a candlelight vigil with student speakers and candidates for governor of California will conclude the week. Students are encouraged to bring a blue LED light or a candle in a Dixie cup to Union Square at the corner of Powell and Geary Streets at 7 p.m. on Nov. 6. For more information visit: E-mail:

Activists consider stronger action to combat statewide cuts to education Budget cuts: From the front page

activists. “I just want to emphasize the sense of urgency we have today to unite and fight back because this is their final attack to destroy public education,” said conference facilitator and UC Berkeley student Blance Missé. “If we’re not able today to unite and fight back in a democratic mass movement, we will not be able to achieve free public education.” Facilitator and UC Berkeley student Jacob Froneberger said that the diverse array of groups endorsing the conference, representing all sectors of public education, was an achievement in itself. “We have come out with a unified day of action for all sectors and I think that’s monumental, the most important thing that could have come out of this conference,” Froneberger said. The conference was broken up into two open discussions in the main room and a set of simultaneous break-out sessions organized by sector in smaller, adjacent rooms. Some students in the community college session rejected the idea of using traditional tactics. “I feel like I’ve seen so many

marches on Sacramento. We’ve marched down there so many times and they’ve never given us anything,” said a student, who did not provide her name. “We have the opportunity not to go down there and beg them to pay attention to us, but to shut our campuses down.” Many ideas for action were proposed during the session, including a protest in front of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s house, a suggestion which prompted one participant to quip, “Which one?” City College professor Leslie Simon said she was pleased to see such a large turnout at the conference. “I’m really thrilled that it seems like a new student movement is truly organizing and that’s pretty exciting,” Simon said. “The walkout on Sept. 4 was very successful, so I feel very committed not just to linking all the sectors of education, K through Ph.D., but also linking this movement for education with health and social services as well. I think it’s really important.” Robert Romano / The Guardsman


Students and faculty discuss a plan of action for March 2010 at a meeting Oct. 21.


november 4, 2009

The Guardsman


United Nations Club holds celebration By Fleur Bailey News Editor

City College’s United Nations Club held a celebration at Ram Plaza on Oct. 22 to raise awareness of the birth of the United Nations on Oct. 24, 1945. Club members showed their talent in performing as part of the African Drumming Ensemble, which represents music, art and culture from around the world. “Drumming connects us as human beings and draws people in,” said Elizabeth Weinberg, president of the club. “A lot of music and arts classes are being cut, so we want to reinforce the idea of music.” According to its mission statement, the club aspires to educate the student and general population about the history and functions of the United Nations, and to explore topics relating to diplomacy, world politics, human rights and world peace.

In conjunction with the United Nations course at City College, the club explores topics such as international relations, an in-depth study of the United Nations Charter and Declaration of Human Rights, model student government and practice of Parliamentary Procedure, student leadership and activism, and music and art that represents distinct cultures and people. “It is important for all citizens to be politically aware,” Weinberg said. “Awareness leads to activism. We have a very diverse student population here and we want to create a dialogue about international issues, reach out to the community and create unity.” The club holds two meetings a month at the Multicultural Resource Center, Lower Level, Student Union, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. For more information contact E-mail:

Joseph Philips / The Guardsman

The United Nations Club holds their first event at Ram Plaza. The event is held two days prior to the 54th anniversary of the first meeting of the UN on Oct. 24,1945.

AB 656 provides little for community colleges By Don Clyde Staff Writer

A new bill taxing oil and gas extraction in California would raise approximately $1 billion to fund public higher education institutions already faced with massive budget shortfalls, tuition raises and class cuts, according to the author. AB 656, proposed by Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico, D-Fremont, would impose a 9.9 percent severance tax on producers of oil and gas in California, the revenues reserved specifically for public higher education school systems. “Charging oil companies is something other states already do,” Torrico said. “It’s a national and bipartisan trend. George Bush’s Texas does it and Sarah Palin’s Alaska does it.” But some representatives for community colleges said the allocation of funds is lopsided, with 60 percent of the oil severance tax revenue going to the CSUs, 30 percent to the UCs and only 10 percent going to California community colleges.

Community colleges would only receive 10 percent of allocated funds largely because of Proposition 98, which sets a minimal amount of funding for K-12 and community colleges. “The community colleges have always been a safety net,” said Darlene Alioto, department chair and professor of social sciences at City College. “It’s more affordable in times of recession and depression.” Alioto said the 10 percent allocation in tax revenue to community colleges was “egregious.” She said teachers at City College are overworked due to a growing student population in the face of class cuts and will only get worse as students in the CSU and UC systems turn to community colleges after their own cuts in coming semesters. Gus Goldstein, president of the American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 said allocations to the community colleges are unacceptable as AB 656 currently stands. “We’d like to support the bill, but we can’t support it as it is,” Goldstein said but added that a tax on oil was a good idea.

“Prop 98 funds are not sufficient for the community college system.” To Leslie Smith, City College associate vice chancellor of government relations, the most equitable path forward would be a simple three-way division of funds between the CSUs, UCs and the community colleges. She said community colleges continue to keep their doors open to students in light of overwhelming budget slashing. “We educate by far the largest number of students with the lowest funding per full-time student,” Smith said. “Negotiations should be in progress and we need to state our case.” Community colleges in California are one of the most important resources for the unemployed, single parents and veterans, according to Reid Milburn, president of the Student Senate for California community colleges and history major at Sacramento City College. She said community colleges serve almost three million students and are the real key to education in California. Torrico said $100 million,

the 10 percent allocation to community colleges, is significant. But also said he was willing to consider a number of changes. “We’re still talking to folks,” Torrico said. “There are ongoing negotiations and discussions.” According to the City College Office of Research, Planning and Grants, City College faces an $18 million to $20 million budget shortfall for 2009-2010 due to lower state funding and is cutting approximately 630 classes over the fall and spring semesters. CSU virtually eliminated all new spring enrollment due to its $584 million budget deficit, according to the institution’s public affairs department, and has raised tuition dramatically. The UC Board of Regents will vote on a proposed tuition that would surpass $10,000 per year and is forcing mandatory furloughs on faculty and staff, according to UC Newsroom. AB 656 faces a long road toward passage in the legislature since a two-thirds majority vote is needed. Pro-business Republicans are unlikely to vote for the

bill, according to Torrico. Allan Zaremberg, president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce and Teresa Casazza, president of Cal-Tax, said in a joint statement on the California Chamber of Commerce Web site, “Raising taxes on oil extracted only in California would result in the loss of thousands of jobs, would increase gasoline prices and would force the state to import more foreign oil.” Torrico attended rallies at California public colleges and universities in October to drum up support for the bill. He hopes to get 100,000 petition signatures in 100 days to show support for AB 656. “Using traditional means, this is unlikely to pass,” Torrico said and added this was a grassroots effort. A hearing will be held on AB 656 in January 2010. Torrico hopes to hold a vote on the bill shortly thereafter.




The Guardsman

Garage sale at City College produces a positive outcome By Tania Cervantes Contributing Writer

City College’s attempt to raise funds for classes by hosting a garage sale and flea market yielded positive results on Oct. 24. “The event was successful in a number of ways,” said Milton Marks III, president of the board of trustees. “It helped to raise funds, which was the original intent, it served to raise awareness about the under funding of education and it brought people together by creating a sense of community.” The revenue was generated by charging vendors $35 for two standard-size parking spaces at the Balboa Reservoir parking lot on Phelan Avenue. There were a total of 58 vendors. Vendor Roberto Carlos said although he did not earn high profits, his primary reason for attending was to support the college. “Its good to see students organize for their education,” he said. “If the government does not provide there has to be another way.” According to Terry Hall, dean of instruction at City College, 270 classes were cut this fall semester and almost

400 will be slashed for spring 2010. City College is not alone with its creativity to raise funds for education. De Anza College in Cupertino, Laney College in Oakland and Chabot College in Hayward have also hosted garage sales. An estimated 60 volunteers helped out with Saturday’s garage sale, including faculty, classified employees and students, according to Martha Lucey, director of marketing and public information. “When you have that many people give up their Saturday then you know people really care,” Lucey said. It is still being considered whether the garage sale will become a recurring event, but Zen Trenholm, co-president of the CCSF Green Corps and vice-president of finance for the Associated Students hopes that this may be the first of many. “If they were to do it more often, the garage sale is something the college could really benefit from,” he said. “I think this is just a trial-run, but it is a good idea. This has very much been a community effort.” E-mail:

November 4, 2009

Activists attempt citizen’s arrest Olmert: From the front page

For the next hour, Olmert and Wales tried to continue their conversation despite numerous interruptions from protesters. “I must say I’m very impressed by the amount of energy that some of them have, which is quite interesting, particularly when they have no idea,” Olmert said in response to the interruptions. “They know nothing about the facts, they know nothing about Gaza. Eventually, the majority that really want to listen will remain and we’ll have a very nice and pleasant evening.” “I’ve seen the blood on your hands,” said Ali Glenesk, a Gaza Freedom March student outreach coordinator as she held up her own hands, which appeared to be covered in blood. “I’ve been in Gaza! I saw! You have blood on your hands! You deserve to be in a prison, not a hotel.” The interruptions were staggered in two minute intervals to maximize the disruption. “It was amazing to see that,” said Rae Abileah, an organizer for Code Pink, an activist group that began in late 2002. “To be in a room where every two minutes somebody was going off, you know? They couldn’t get a word in edgewise, and it completely changed the tone of what was said.” Outside the event, protesters from various organizations waved signs and held banners. “There’s about 150 officers here tonight,” said Lt. Joe Garrity of the SFPD. “It’s a controversial issue.” “I have friends in Palestine, and I really hate the life they live because America supports

Ramsey El-Qare / The Guardsman

Protesters hold up sign at Union Square challenging Ehud Olmert.

Israel and supports the oppression there,” San Francisco resident John Mark Stratford said. “Olmert is definitely a war criminal if you adhere to international humanitarian law, but it’s really unfortunate that the United States chooses not to.” Kaufmyn said she thought the World Affairs Council had no business inviting a war criminal to speak, relating Olmert to Frenand Marcos, Charles Taylor, Joseph Stalin or Adolf Hitler. She said it was objectionable for them to give him a stage. A counter protest of about 30 individuals gathered across from the anti-Olmert demonstrators, waving U.S and Israeli flags to support Israel and welcoming Olmert to San Francisco. “When they say ‘end the occupation’ they are referring to all of Israel, they’re referring to Tel Aviv and Haifa as occupied territory that are part of the state of Israel since its independence,” said Mike Harris of Stand

With Us/San Francisco Voice for Justice. “They are accusing Israel of war crimes in Gaza when Israel has taken more care to avoid civilian casualties than any military in history that has operated in a civilian area.” Despite the contentious nature of the event, some observers looked to the future with cautious optimism. “It doesn’t matter what your religion or creed or ethnicity is. What really matters is how much you’re willing to work for a better future for your children,” said Fadi Quran, a Stanford Student who attended the public forum. Quran said his vision for a resolution to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict would be “a state that is governed by unity between people instead of certain nationalistic aspects that, on both sides, make people feel like they’re victims who have to defend themselves.” E-mail:

Ordinance protects immigrant children By Christie Checketts Contributing Writer

An ordinance restoring due process rights to immigrant youth passed with an 8-3 vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Oct. 27. The ordinance, titled “Confidentiality of Juveniles’ Immigration Status” will ensure that undocumented youth will no longer be reported to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement upon arrest, unless later convicted. Applause filled the room, supporters rose to their feet, fami-

lies hugged and legislators shook hands after the ordinance passed. Supporters filed outside the chambers to celebrate and show their appreciation for Supervisor David Campos, who introduced the ordinance, and to everyone who worked to reach this milestone. The ordinance, however, is not safe yet. It will now be sent to Mayor Gavin Newsom who had promised to veto the bill, regardless of the board’s veto-proof majority, since he is concerned it will force law officials to break federal law. “The mayor is not going to

force his own law enforcement officials to break state and federal law just because supervisors have made this quixotic gesture,” Nathan Ballard, a spokesman for Newsom told KTVU. “If he decides to veto it, this board should decide to override the veto and we ask the mayor to follow his constitutional duty outlined by the United States,” Campos said. “Even though we have a strong mayor system of government, the power of the mayor is not absolute.” Campos reiterated they are not creating a new law, only bridging the gap between two extremes:

reporting children as soon as they are arrested and not reporting them at all. The celebrations continued outside the chambers of City Hall and supporters joined in prayer for all the families separated by the old policy. Afterwards, the prayer supporters were invited back inside for celebratory cookies. “This cookie is a victory cookie. I am elated, we have worked very hard for this day,” supporter Ana Gutierrez said. “We will keep fighting to make sure the law is coming.” Campos quoted Newsom

regarding a previous law when he said, “We know we will be sued, but I really believe this is important.” “Well Mr. Mayor, you were right with respect to soda tax,” Campos said. “Using that same rationale, I think it’s also important to protect the due rights of youths.” Next steps depend on the mayor’s decision. There will be a hearing in November, although the date has not been set.



november 4, 2009

THE GUARDSMAN City College of San Francisco’s Student Newspaper

Editor in Chief Jessica Luthi

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The Soap Box By Nick Palm

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Isaac Crummey

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California Newspaper Publisher’s Association Journalism Association of Community Colleges To advertise in our newspaper please contact our Advertising Manager Jessica Luthi at

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Falcon’s non-flight amounts to non-news

Sports Editor Features Editor

The Guardsman

Give me nuclear disarmament talks, suicide bombers, human rights summits, Joe Biden bloopers, anything newsworthy. If I could wish upon a star, it would be that CBS never opened the reality show sewage dump flood gates when they first aired Survivor in 2000, allowing every schmuck in America to get their 15 minutes of embarrassing, demoralizing fame. And it’s only gotten worse. Jon and Kate are divorcing, leaving their kids in Octo-mom’s custody, who is reportedly staying at Heidi Montag’s house for a mojito-fueled slumber bash this weekend. I’m not positive that’s how it goes, but does it really matter? I only check facts when it comes to news. I truly believe this monstrosity they call “reality television” will be the cause of the end of the world. The combined brain waves of all these quasi-celebrity morons converging at the same

ironic Christmas sweater party will cause a rift in the space-time continuum, creating a black hole somewhere between Pasadena and Malibu. The saga of a little boy named Falcon is the latest addition to this celebrity, non-news phenomenon. But this Falcon’s flight never even left the ground. Falcon Heene, who by now is known across the U.S. simply as “Balloon Boy,” is the son of Richard and Mayumi Heene. The Heene family was featured on an episode of ABC’s popular “Wife Swap” television program earlier this year. It seems as if the Heene’s taste of fame was not enough to suppress their hunger for attention. The nation watched in horror on Oct. 15 as a weather balloon thought to be carrying 6-yearold Falcon drifted away from his family’s home in Fort Collins, Colo. and across the eastern part of the state. For over two hours, news and military helicopters followed the balloon, all the while brainstorming a plan to bring the balloon safely to the ground. The balloon eventually made a soft landing in a field — with nobody inside. The next day, the Heenes were interviewed on nearly every

morning, daytime and primetime television news magazine, the most memorable on “Larry King Live.” Wolf Blitzer, sitting in for King, asked young Falcon if he heard his parents screaming for him as he was hiding in his family’s garage. The boy acknowledged he heard them the whole time, and when asked why he didn’t come out right away, Falcon answered, “You said that we did this for the show.” At that point, you could actually see Richard Heene’s ego leaving his body and crumbling to the floor. Questions arose, and shenanigans were called on the Heene’s for pulling the stunt. This prompted an investigation by local and government authorities, including the Federal Aviation Administration. A week later, Mayumi Heene reportedly admitted to the hoax. Falcon Heene is the newest member of the how-I-became-anon-celebrity club. I just watched a six-year-old piano prodigy on YouTube who put Mozart to shame. To the over-sensational news media, a six-year-old who doesn’t fly away in a balloon is apparently much more impressive. The media should have dropped the story right there. If

they wanted to make the Heene’s feel bad for pulling a hoax, they should have made a pact never to mention the story ever again. Instead, they let the story grow so big, it’s practically taken on a mind of its own. It cannot be stopped. Call the National Guard ... again. The only newsworthy part of this entire story is the possible trouble for the Heenes. The FAA is looking into pressing charges on the Heenes, possibly fining them up to $2 million for their airborne prank, Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderdon said in an interview with Bill O’Reilly. The majority of the public are sheep; they will follow any bit of sensationalist news thrown at them. I’ll admit it — I’m guilty of gluing myself to the television on big “news” days. And CNN sends breaking news updates to my cell phone. I’m not better than anyone else. As a society whose emotions are controlled by the media, we need to be smarter about what we view as news. We must filter, individually, everything that the media throws at us. Focus on the important issues, people. You might actually learn something. E-mail:

American dream evolves over generations By Liska Koenig Chief Copy Editor

The United States was founded by many people who came here with big plans for their future and hearts filled with hope. America, the “promised land,” symbolized opportunity and the chance to start life over in a new place. The American dream stood for a life of personal comfort, prosperity and freedom. The lofty ideal of the American dream is spelled out in the second sentence of the document that signified the birth of this nation, the Declaration of Independence: “... all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights and that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The current version of the American dream has changed to reflect our modern society. It now symbolizes many different ideals and aspirations. However, all of them represent some of the most important American principles: With hard work and determination, anything is possible. There are as many versions of the American dream as there are people in the United States. For some, it means to live in a house with a white picket fence and a back yard, 2.5 kids, a family pet and a station wagon — the

historic ideal of generations coming of age after World War II. It can also mean a woman supporting herself and living independently. It can be the freedom to go back to school and change careers. It can mean the freedom to be openly gay or undergo gender re-assignment surgery. Big metropolitan cities like San Francisco and New York symbolize the modern American dream. While it is possible to celebrate individualism and enjoy diversity in these areas, many sacrifice prosperity and material goods in exchange. During these hard economic times, millions of Americans spend sleepless nights worrying about where their next rent or mortgage payment is coming from or what could happen if they were to contract a serious health condition. The United States Department of Labor reported an unemployment rate of 9.8 percent for October 2009 — that’s about 30 million people or 37 times the population of San Francisco. The current economic crisis has widened the gap between the affluent and the working poor. Bank bailouts — socialism for the rich — and extravagant bonuses for executives destroy equality of opportunity, an important piece of the American dream.

Education is the key to sharing the dream with more people in this country, because it enables them to make better choices even if they have been born on the wrong side of the economic fence. Education is also one of the areas hit hardest by budget cutbacks, but there are no bailouts for schools. It is not in the interest of politicians and lobbyists for big corporations to invest in education, simply because no money can be made from giving people the tools to improve their lives. In this era, we thought we could live the material American dream — the house, the yard or whatever it might be — with no down payment. This version of the dream was delivered not by improving education or increasing productivity and savings, but by Wall Street alchemy and borrowed money from Asia. Especially in times like this, it is up to us as individuals to look around and reflect on our values as human beings. The American dream comes with attached responsibilities for our neighbors and fellow Americans. Looking into the future with hope should not be the privilege of a select few, it should be an opportunity available to all. E-mail:



The Guardsman

november 4, 2009


On censorship and free speech An editorial published in the Oct. 7 issue of The Guardsman titled “Critical Citizens Vital to a Republic” warned against exalting the president in a celebration at City College and advocated dissent as a fundamental necessity of democracy. We received one letter to the editor in response to that editorial, which we published in our Oct. 21 issue. In that letter, John A. Wills wrote that he was in agreement with our editorial, then offered his opinion on the chancellor’s participation in San Francisco’s Pride Parade. We considered printing an editorial response with the letter outlining the difference between the Obama celebration and this college’s support of diversity. It is not in the best interest of a free forum of ideas to chastise opinions, however, so the letter

was printed unaltered. The Guardsman has received several letters in response to Wills’, most of which were eloquent and respectful. The letter printed here is the most inclusive of all the opinions received. All letters received on this topic are available online at http:// Most concerning, however, is the criticism we received for even printing Wills’ letter, as if we should censor letters to the editor and only print the ones conforming to our own opinions, or to City College’s mission. This sentiment is incredibly dangerous to a society advocating free speech and a free press. Without the ability to say and publish unpopular opinions, could any civil rights movement have occurred? Attack minority opinion, dissent, and you remove

the one tool minority populations have to affect change, to win rights and to fight for equality. Every reader of The Guardsman should ask themself whether they want a free, uncensored and unbiased press or a microphone for one set of ideas. We feel the letter’s wording, while possibly offensive, falls far short of “hate speech,” violence or obscenity, and ultimately, there was a positive outcome to this controversy. An important issue has been brought to the forefront of public debate. Love or hate the ideas, our community benefits from open, uncensored discussion — exactly the type of discussion The Guardsman strives to provide.


Letter to the Editor

Hoping for a more decent society Dear Editor: the newly elected Prime Minister of Spain and the In a recent letter to the editor, John A. Wills legislature approved marriage equality for sameequates something he calls “heterosexualism” with sex couples. In his address to the legislature, Prime homophobia and criticizes the chancellor for partici- Minister Zapatero stated, “a decent society does not pating in the Gay Pride Parade. I suppose this is one humiliate its members.” of the irrational ideas he refers to earlier in his letter. It seems to me that we still have a long way to I find most of his letter to be based on such irratio- go to become a decent society in the United States. nality. We have outraged citizens advocating the assassinaHomophobia/heterosexism is a prejudice predi- tion of a president supposedly for his ideology, but cated on the belief that heterosexuality is the norm in more likely for the color of his skin. We still treat human sexual relationships and that anything other gay, lesbian and bisexual citizens as second class, than that is abnormal or perverse. It has been used while those who are transgendered are brutalized to justify discrimination, brutal hate crimes, impris- and abused on a daily basis. onment, forced psychiatric treatments (including At City College I hope we can begin to work some very harmful types of shock and aversion ther- more toward the decent society that Prime Minister apy), and even murder. Parents have disowned and Zapatero referred to in his 2005 address. I applaud abused their children the chancellor and after discovering they do members of the board not conform to heteroof trustees who recogsexual “norms.” At City “A decent society is one that does not nize the importance of College this very year, humiliate its members.” CCSF embracing all of there have been several our communities, and — José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero participating in celebraincidents of harassment Spanish Prime Minister tions of all of our diveron campus by students who believe that those sity, including, but not who do not conform to limited to Cesar Chavez their standard of “normalcy” are valid targets. Mr. celebrations, the Chinese New Year Parade and the Wills’ letter, in stating that a sound knowledge of Gay Pride Parade. Our celebration of the first Afri“biology” would lead us to the obvious conclusion can-American President in the history of the United that homophobia is the same as “homosexualism” States, a history that is tarred with indecency, is also is the type of misinformation that leads those who one step toward that decent society I hope I will think it is okay to harass fellow citizens to believe it perhaps see a glimmer of in my lifetime. is within their right to do so. Until then, I hope that the views of those like Mr. In fact, biology tells us that homosexuality, Wills will be heard less, and those who advocate for bisexuality and transgenderism are natural occur- our treatment of one another in a fair and decent way rences, and it seems that only the human species has will become the norm, not the exception. decided this is unnatural and deserves unjust, unfair and often brutal treatment. Homosexuality is natu- Rick Kappra ral, homophobia is an abomination of nature. ESL Instructor I am currently in Spain on sabbatical. In 2005 Civic Center Campus


To The Editor

The Guardsman encourages feedback from our readers. We will publish printable letters as soon as our publication schedule allows. We offer the following guidelines to ensure letter publication: Letters must be signed with at least first and last name, or they will not be published. Including City College or any other relevant group affiliation with the signature is encouraged. The Guardsman reserves the right to edit letters to the editor for length, clarity and content. Most letters should be less than 200 words. However, longer letters may be published if they are especially important and well-written. Letters addressed to individual writers may also be published, and the writer, their section editor or the entire editorial board of The Guardsman may write a response to be published alongside any letters received. If you want to give us feedback, but would rather not have your letter published, specify so at the end of your letter. Send Letters to: 50 Phelan Ave Box V-67 San Francisco, CA 94112

Bungalow 214, Ocean Campus Call for more information: (415) 239-3446

Letter to the Editor

Veterans’ Day Salute The administration, faculty, staff and students would like to acknowledge and thank our City College of San Francisco Veterans and Reservists for their service at home and abroad. Our veterans have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in other parts of the world, often at great personal sacrifice to them and their families. The CCSF Veteran Education Benefit Program is serving over 300 veterans this semester and that number is continually increasing as the semester continues. Here are some of the basic services provided to our CCSF Veteran students: 1.) Assistance with questions of the initial application process 2.) VA Certification so that the veteran can be paid 3.) Priority Registration each semester for our veteran students 4.) Academic and personal counseling Referrals To: * CCSF Campus Resources * Department of Veterans Affairs and the services they provide * Community resources depending upon individual need Currently the CCSF Veterans Educational Benefits office is located in the basement of Conlan Hall in room E-2. Office hours: Monday - Thursday 9:00am to 4:00pm, Friday 9:00am to 2:00pm. For questions call: (415) 239-3486 Once again CCSF would like to thank you for your sacrifice and service. We wish you great success during your academic experience and in all future endeavors.


november 4, 2009

The Guardsman

Will you get a swine flu vaccination? Are you concerned about side effects? Jerome Saddler, 25 Business Major “Definitely I would take it especially after just getting over swine flu, it was horrible. No not really everything has side effects.”

Courtesy of MCT campus

Arrests will not solve drug problem By Jen Houghton Staff Writer

“People come here to buy drugs.” That’s what a San Francisco Police Department officer told me, shining his flashlight onto the floor and backseat of my car while two officers leaned in behind him. Sometimes I park in the ominous yet bustling Tenderloin district just to watch the goings-on. I’ve seen plenty of drug deals happen along the sidewalks there; so has new SFPD police Chief George Gascón. At a news conference, Gascón said he personally saw a drug deal while walking through the Tenderloin just a week prior to his being sworn in on Aug. 7. I had never been approached by police for simply sitting in my car, but it’s obvious Gascón’s recently implemented crack-down on open-air drug dealing in the Tenderloin has authorities taking a closer look at everything – including the interior of my vehicle. The war on drugs would be better fought in classrooms and hospitals than the recycling plant called the prison system. Anyone selling illegal drugs should be punished for it, but we shouldn’t get so carried away bailing out this boat that we neglect to patch the holes. Open-air drug dealing creates a dangerous environment, and I’m glad that Gascón is addressing the issue. But street dealers, who are easily replaced and often re-offend, are merely a component of a deeper problem, drug abuse. The SFPD has been so successful in their monthlong sting operation that the daily — yes, daily — prison population has increased by 12 percent, causing San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey to announce recently that he anticipates having to ask for an extra $2.5 million in funds before the fiscal year ends. The majority of the money will likely go to housing inmates. Some of it may go to SFPD officers working overtime on extra patrols and undercover operations. I’m assuming that absolutely none of it will go to diminishing the demand however. I hope Gascón’s sweep of low-level street dealers is hiding a deeper scheme. Recidivism rates for drug offenders nationwide have been fluctuating around 50 percent since the ‘90s. I hope this is just the first step in getting to the true root of the problem. However, the root of the problem isn’t the dealers.

Drug dealers are a symptom, not necessarily an origin. If we wipe out the porn industry, massage parlors, prostitution and strip clubs, will sexual deviance cease to exist? I think not. The ever-increasing abuse of prescription drugs goes to show there can still be a drug problem without street dealers. Yet, once a person is addicted, it’s only a matter of time before they take to the streets to find a bigger, more accessible fix. In the last ten years a new breed of anti-drug campaigns have been released that portray more accurate demographics in realistic drug-related scenarios, a great exercise in prevention. A remaining dilemma is what to do about those who are beyond the point of just saying no. I wonder how many social workers a budget of $2.5 million could employ, or how much treatment it could fund. Instead of paying overtime to officers, social workers could patrol the streets offering discreet, respectful treatment options inhabitants of the Tenderloin could afford. Some citizens whose lives are well put-together will argue it’s futile to push rehabilitation and tools for success on addicts who seem determined to destroy their lives, but from the government — the ultimate commanding voice in this drug war — that attitude is hypocritical. When it became clear that we could not eliminate every member of the Taliban, the U.S. focused harder on building Afghanistan’s strength to stand against them. Yes, try to snuff out the bad guy first, but when you can’t get rid of all the bad guys — and they’ll never get rid of all the drug dealers — then focus on strengthening the victim. It’s too early to tell if the crack-down in the Tenderloin will fizzle out as officers become complacent or if it is foreshadowing of a bigger change to come. I have hope that with Gascón we may see a refreshing way of addressing the war on drugs. “We cannot arrest ourselves out of crime,” Gascón said at the news conference. “Not everybody can be arrested. We must create thoughtful re-entry programs. It’s naive, insane, to release someone with no marketable skills and a serious drug habit and expect them not to re-offend.” I’ll be watching closely, Gascón, but definitely not from a parked car in the Tenderloin. Email:

Molly O’Grady, 18 Undeclared “I don’t know what to think about it. I know you take it up the nose. I do not believe in medicine so I don’t think I would take it unless the flu became a really bad epidemic. Then I would get it.” Cory Stein, 20 Physiology Major “I felt very paranoid about it, but I took the vaccine. I don’t believe the vaccine was properly tested.”

Jessica Ramos, 19 Criminology Major “I already got the swine flu vaccine. They did not tell me about any side effects other then I could get the flu. I told my 13-yearold brother to get the vaccine.”

Jang Park, 30 Undeclared “Of course I will take it, but I don’t take it seriously because no one around me has [swine flu]. I has the flu shot many times before with no side effects, so I don’t care.”

Alexis Bersonda, 19 Undeclared “Sure, it’s like any other flu. It would be fine to take the swine flu vaccine. All vaccines tend to have side effects when it first comes out, as long as it does not kill you it’s alright.”

Pablo Castro, 19 Emergency Medical Technician Major “Yes, I guess ... I didn’t care about it at all because I don’t have it. I will see what happens within the first three months of taking the vaccine.”

By Ramsey El-Qare




The Guardsman

Men’s team hungry after taste of Final Four By Nick Palm staff writer

Men’s photos by Dylan novicky / The Guardsman

Da’Ron Sims (center) goes up and over for a shot over a teammate during practice Oct. 29.

Coming back after a rough end to the 2008-2009 season was not easy for head coach Justin Labagh and the City College men’s basketball team. With three returning starters, including reigning Conference Player of the Year Da’Ron Sims, Labagh feels confident the Rams will be giving everyone a run for their money this season. The team went 29-8 last season before suffering a heartbreaking loss to Riverside Community College 61-57 in the men’s Final Four at the California Community College Athletic Association Basketball Championships March 14 in Fresno, California. “It was tough,” Labagh said. “You still think about that. That’s a game that I’ll probably watch again this weekend.” The team lost two sophomores, as Andrew Davenport transferred to West Texas and Greer Wright to Binghamton University. But Labagh is confident the loss of those two won't hurt the Rams this year. “I think we filled [those spots] with even better players,” Labagh said. “We’ve got a couple of backups that are going to be great

players. It’s going to be a dogfight for those two spots, between both freshmen and sophomores.” Three incoming freshmen, Jonathon Williams, De’End Parker and Daryl Cooper, were able to start practicing with the team over the summer since they attended summer school. Two more players were added after the team held tryouts. “We got lucky in tryouts, and a couple of guys fell in our lap that are going to be good subs for us,” Labagh said. Last season, the Rams excelled in their defensive game, led by Sims. But new additions in the point guard position should help make a stronger defense all around. “I think we’re a little bit more athletic, so I think our team defense should be a little better,” Labagh said. This is pleasing news to Sims, who feels much more confident about this year's team. “It’s going to take a lot of pressure off me. Last year, I had a lot of weight on my shoulders, they're lifting it off,” Sims said of the abundance of strong defensive point guards. With a sharp-shooting Steven Brown back in the lineup after an injury this offseason, the offense

is in top form from behind the arc. “[Steven Brown] is going to have a big year. He had a really good offseason,” Labagh said. “He’s going to be taking it to the basket, jamming on guys.” The team has been practicing hard all summer. Now in late fall, the Rams are hungry for their first taste of action as they are set to host the City College Tip-Off Tournament Nov. 6 at the Wellness Center. In the tournament, City College will face tough opponents like San Bernardino Valley College, whom the Rams narrowly beat 92-87 in triple-overtime at the CCCAA Basketball Championships in March. “We don’t need to win by 20 points every game,” Labagh said. “Just win by one, and play well.” The first few games of the season are sure to be the toughest and will be a true test of the Rams' abilities. “We love the challenge,” sophomore guard Bennie Rhodes said. “If we can win this tournament, there’s no team we can’t beat.” E-mail:

november 4, 2009


Women’s team unfazed by high expectations By Aaron Turner staff writer

Coming off a season that produced the best ever record for women’s basketball at City College, Rams head coach Jamie Hayes knows expectations are higher than ever before, following her team’s 33-3 mark last season. However, for Hayes and company, there is nothing but optimism heading into 2009-2010. “I am very excited about this season,” Hayes said after a team practice. “With our four returning sophomores from last season welcoming the freshmen, I’m excited about the coming together of our new team. I definitely feel we have a great chance to be just as competitive as last year.” With four players from last year’s lineup returning and only two of them starters, first-year Ram players are sure to be thrust into a productive role right from the beginning. Marlee Rice, who was a starter last season at San Francisco State University, will help anchor the guard position along with returning sophomores Brittney Allen and Moné Peoples. Red-shirt sophomore Cierra Foster, who was captain of the Sierra College basketball team

last season, is expected to be a key contributor as she looks to help replenish a frontcourt that lost four of last season's forwards. Foster is excited to be playing her final season at City College. “Playing against the Rams while I was at Sierra, I always knew that this was one of the better ball clubs I will ever play,” Foster said. “I’ve never been more excited to start a season as I am now.” As for her role on the team, Foster noted very simple instructions from her coach. “Coach told me that she expects me to be a ‘monster’ in the key,” Foster said. “Since April, we have been practicing running the floor and working to be faster and quicker. We are expected to be both mentally and physically tough.” Hayes also praised freshman Shaneyce Thomas from Mission High School, who will spend significant playing time at forward, as well as Shawnte Taylor, who could see playing time at both guard and forward. While versatility is expected to be one of this year’s biggest strengths for the Rams, the loss of last year’s starting point guard Jazmine Holmes means added pressure on sophomore and team

captain Brittney Allen, who was a first-team all conference player last season. For Allen, however, the pressure appears to be nonexistent. “I’ve always been both a distributor and a scorer so I feel very comfortable doing both,” Allen said. After a long offseason of strength and conditioning, Allen is confident that her team can once again be a powerhouse. “I think we can be just as good, if not better than last season,” she said. “If we work hard and stay focused all year I don’t see us losing much at all.” The Rams, who were recently ranked third in the nation and first in California, are sure to have the bull's-eye on their backs for the entire season. With a new look and makeup to this year’s team, Hayes hopes a quicker, more athletic lineup will replicate the winning ways established last season. City College tips off the 20092010 season Nov. 13, when they travel to Rocklin to compete in the Sierra Tournament. Their first home game will be Friday Nov. 20 against San Jose City College at 5:30 p.m. E-mail:

WoMen’s photos by Robert Romano / The Guardsman

Point guard Brittney Allen focuses on her shot during a team practice Wednesday Oct. 28.

Marcus Rodriguez / The Guardsman

Name: Bennie Rhodes no.: 11 Position: Guard Year: Sophomore

Name: Steven Brown No.: 4 Position: Guard Year: Sophomore

Name: Chris White No.: 5 Position: Forward Year: Sophomore

Returning sophomore averaged over 12 points per game last season.

Sharp shooter Brown led the team last season with 69 three-pointers.

Scrappy forward led the Rams in rebounding last season with nine per game.

Men’s Basketball head coach justin labagh

Women’s basketball head coach Jamie Hayes

Since becoming head coach seven years ago, Labagh has a career winning percentage of .811. His overall record of 155-36

Hayes enters her eighth as head coach of the women’s basketball team. She has a career record of 140-50.

Name: Brittney Allen No.: 10 Position: Guard Year: Sophomore

Name: Shawnte Taylor No.: 24 Position: Forward Year: Freshmen

Name: Cierra Foster No.: 33 Position: Center Year: Sophomore

Team leader scored over 12 points per game in her freshman season. She was named first-team all-conference.

As a senior at Wallenberg High School, Taylor was player of the year of her conference.

The Sierra College transfer averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds per game her freshman year.

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The Guardsman

november 4, 2009

Rams tripped up on the road against Bulldogs By Bontã Hill sports editor

City College wasn’t planning on giving out any treats Halloween day to the San Mateo Bulldogs. For the Bulldogs, they got the candy they’ve been salivating over for 20 years: a victory over the Rams. City College swallowed a tough one, losing their first game of the season to the Bulldogs 30-24. The Rams, 7-1 (2-1), dropped into a tie with the Bulldogs for second place in the NorCal Conference. “We’re still in it, and nobody in this locker room is going to be down,” said safety Kenronte Walker. “We lost the game, but we still have a goal, and that’s to win the championship.” The Bulldogs controlled the ball for over 35 minutes and kept the Rams’ high-octane offense off balance all game long. City College was in the ballgame throughout, but were inconsistent on both sides of the ball.

“Offensively, we missed a couple of deep balls that were real critical on offense, and defensively they spread us out with their huge splits on their offensive line,” Rams head coach George Rush said. “As a coach, I didn’t do a good enough job to give my guys the tools to adjust.” On San Mateo’s opening possession, the Bulldogs pushed 39 yards to go up 7-0 on a short pass from quarterback Matt Pelesasa to running back David Aknin. The Rams quickly responded as receiver Daniel Cannon took the ensuing kickoff 60 yards to the Bulldog 42-yard line. On the next play, quarterback Darius Bell scampered 37 yards to the Bulldog five-yard line. Two plays later Bell punched it in from a yard out to even the score at seven. Later in the quarter San Mateo ground out a 16 play, 91-yard drive that took nearly seven minutes off the clock to go up 14-7. Bulldog running back Seta Pohahau scored on fourth

and goal from a yard out. Pohahau and Aknin would combine for 257 yards rushing. “We competed well, but we just didn’t execute like we were suppose to,” Walker said. “As a team today, we didn’t put our best foot forward.” San Mateo took the lead for good late in the second quarter as they went into halftime with a 21-17 lead. Bulldog kicker Ernesto Lacayo would kick three second half field goals and that was enough to hold off a late Ram charge and complete the upset. City College still can still win Ramsey el-qare / the guardsman the conference championship by In the Oct. 31 game, City College defensive back Kenronte Walker winning their final two games tackles Eric Roberson (6) at the College of San Mateo. of the season, Nov. 7 against rival Foothill College and Nov. against the Foothill Owls begins Rams receiver Stacy Long said, who had seven receptions for 92 14 at Santa Rosa Junior College. at 1 p.m. on Nov. 7. “I told our team, ‘win the next yards for the Rams. “Coach said Foothill will be coming into Ram Stadium undefeated in conference two games and we’re conference we have to look ahead because champs’,” Rush said. “Simple as that conference championship is play and 7-1 record overall. still there for us to take.” Rush has already turned his that.” “It’s just an eye opener, realizteam’s attention off this game and turned the page to the show- ing we are capable of getting beat E-mail: down against Foothill. The game and we don’t like the feeling,”

Men’s soccer looking to improve before playoffs By Matthew Gomez and Aaron Turner Staff Writers

City College (6-2-2) hosted Los Positas on Oct. 30 and maintained first place with a hard fought 0-0 tie. The Rams controlled play throughout the first half. They held the ball on Los Positas' side of the field and had numerous chances to score, keeping the Hawks goalkeeper Tristan Crane / The Guardsman on his toes. Allen LaSpina of City College and Las Positas Hawk’s players The Rams were able to race in an attempt torecapture possession of the ball. turn the pressure on coming off of halftime, as the Hawks getting the kinks out and finish- Positas] started playing more defenders were forced to play ing when we have the oppor- conservatively, and just not to back the majority of the second tunity to score,” Caniglia said. get scored on.” half. However despite a few “Offensively, we didn’t play Lucarelli also cited his great scoring opportunities, bad, we just need to be able to team’s make up game earlier in the ball never found the goal put the game away next time.” the week as a possible reason for City College, and the Rams Rams head coach Adam for a bit of a fatigues perforwere forced to settle for a score- Lucarelli expressed similar mance on Friday. less tie. sentiments when asked about The Rams host Gavilan After the game, Rams his team’s performance. College at 1p.m. Nov. 6 at Sophomore Matthew Caniglia “We had a lot of chances Crocker Amazon. admitted that the team was a bit where the ball was in the front sloppy in their ability to finish of their net and we just couldn’t E-mail: scoring chances. knock it in,” Lucarelli said. “I “We need to work on think as the game went on [Las

College set to introduce swim team in spring 2010 By Aaron Turner Staff Writer

After two years of talks and planning, City College will usher in a new women’s swimming program in spring 2010. The team, which will be headed by longtime swimming instructor and coach, Phong Pham, is still in the recruiting stages. Both Pham and women’s athletic director Peg Grady are anxious for the program to get off the ground. “This was in the works for a while,” Grady said. “Both Phong and myself have been working hard to finally get this through.” The swim team will be the first of its kind since the campus swimming pool has only been open since fall 2008. City College will be placed in the Coast Conference, competing against schools like Chabot, Foothill, De Anza and Skyline. Although swim meets normally involve both the men's and women’s teams competing simultaneously, City College will be limited to only female competition. When asked about interest in a men’s swim team at City College, both Pham and Grady admitted that interest was, and still is high.

“Unfortunately, due to the number of female and male athletes at City College, adding a men’s team would mean there would be an uneven proportion,” Grady said. Although City College will be somewhat limited in terms of swim meets, Pham remains very excited for the upcoming season. “We have some experienced swimmers coming over from a few high schools here in the city, as well as swimmers who have taken swim classes at City College,” Pham said. Prior to working at City College, Pham coached the swim team at Abraham Lincoln High School, as well as USA Club Swim teams. “Right now my focus is just to build up the program and hopefully be able to compete at meets," Pham said. “A goal of mine would be to get at least one swimmer to the state championships in April.” Swim season will kick off following winter break in January. If successful, Coach Pham could see a very positive outcome from City College’s newest program. E-mail:


november 4, 2009

The Guardsman

| 11

The Water Cooler By Bontã Hill

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I missed my deadline this week in submitting this edition of the Water Cooler. I’m starting to feel the pressure of maintaining the humor I deliver in this column. Let’s see how far that excuse rides with my copy editors. I bet they’ll bust my chops when we go over this issue of The Guardsman. Maybe I’ll write about the Oakland Raiders every issue because there is no shortage of laughs when you talk about Al Davis and the crew. Maybe I’ll just talk about staff writer Greg Zeman’s ridiculous glasses that he wears to class on cloudy school days. Then again, why would I want to waste ink on those two topics? Mr. Zeman, I love you man...

make a statement like that. Anybody know how to blow $110 million? I don’t, but I’m sure Walker would have tips on how to do that. Check it: in 12 years, he made more than $110 million playing professional basketball. This includes shoe contracts and video game covers. Guess what? The guy is $4 million in debt. Say what? The 33-year-old Walker is now facing felony check fraud charges in Las Vegas. I won’t get on Walker too much because I can imagine how depressed he is at this moment. Hell, I’m depressed if I blow $40 at a bar. I’m a journalist, I should be sippin’ for free. Whatever the case may be, welcome Pedro and ‘Toine! You have made the idiot hall of fame.

Idiots of the week Many candidates submitted their applications this week to join the great idiot hall of fame. In the end of this hiring process, the final decision was made to go with Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Pedro Martinez and former NBA player Antione Walker. What comes to mind when you think of Martinez? I think about the ridiculous statements he makes in his press conferences. Great pitcher, hall of famer, no doubt about it, but when you say things like: “I might be at times the most influential player that ever stepped in Yankee Stadium. I can honestly say that.” Huh? Dude, you’re not even the most influential player to ever walk in Fenway Park or Olympic Stadium (Home parks of the Boston Red Sox and the ancient Montreal Expos). When guys like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, and the other Yankee greats have stepped in that stadium, you, Pedro, have no right to

MISC. In boxing news, the great Manny Pacquiao was quoted as saying, “Floyd Mayweather doesn’t want to fight me.” Let’s just hope Mayweather does and makes that happen. Matter of fact, let’s pray on that happening... I know the NBA season has just gotten underway, but I’m saying it now. Lakers-Celtics in the championship series. Book it... A lot of west coast homers are not that interested in this year’s fall classic, but Yankees-Phillies has the makings to be a classic. You have power, speed, pitching and the unpredictable moves of managers Joe Girardi and Charlie Manuel. I’ll be rooting for the Phillies, but I’ll stick with my prediction and say the Yanks will be poppin’ champagne when it’s all said and done. E-mail:

12 |

The Guardsman


November 4, 2009

Photos by Ramsey El-Qare/The Guardsman

Above: Aswat performs at the City Hall rotunda for the commencement ceremony of Arab Heritage Month. Right: Qaba’el Al-Yemen (Tribes of Yemen) Folkloric Troupe exhibit Yemeni folk dances to the rhythm of a large drum called a ta’sa at the Arab Cultural Festival.

A San Francisco First By Ramsey El-Qare and Alex Emslie

Staff photographer and opinions and editorials editor

San Francisco’s first Arab Heritage Month kicked off with a proclamation ceremony Oct. 8 at City Hall. Aswat, a Bay Area Arab music ensemble, performed in the city hall rotunda as part of the opening night. “The Arab-American community has been a shining example of San Francisco’s cultural diversity for years,” San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said, addressing the crowd at the opening ceremony. “The Mayor’s Office is proud to be highlighting those achievements and the community’s contributions throughout the month.” Highlights of the month-long October celebration included the 13th Annual Arab Film Festival, the 15th annual Arab Cultural Festival and the Arab Resource and Organizing Center Art Exhibit. “Each year the festival offers inspiring stories through outstanding films by and about Arabs,” according to the AFF Web site. “Pomegranate and Myrrh” and “Help” opened the four-city California film festival tour — which included San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose and Los Angeles — at San Francisco’s Castro Theater. The festival ran from Oct. 15 through Oct. 25. Left: Canadian Hip-Hop artist Yassin Alsalman, “The Narcicyst,” performs at the University of California Berkeley on Oct. 9 as part of the Arab Film Festival’s “Breaking Beats and Borders” event. Other performers included “Invincible” of Detroit and “Excentrik” of the Bay Area. Right: Allison Deger paints “Palestine” in Arabic on an attendee of the Arab Cultural Festival Oct. 11, which was held at the San Francisco County Fair Building.

The Egyptian film “Eye of the Sun” won the 2009 Noor Award for best feature fiction. The film takes place in Cairo’s Ein Shams district — literally “eye of the sun” — one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods and captures the hardships faced by that community. The Arab Cultural and Community Center hosted the 15th annual cultural festival on Oct. 11. The oneday event showcased “the arts, entertainment, food, traditions, and most importantly the spirit of the Arab and Arab-American people, and their contributions to the Bay Area’s cultural landscape,” according to the ACCC Web site. Artists from all over the Bay Area joined to present the “Back Home Right Here: Arab art across seas and generations” exhibit. The show took place on Oct. 25 at the Galeria de la Raza at 24th and Bryant streets. Paintings, embroideries, photographs, graphic designs and short films were featured at the event. “Arab Heritage Month was for the Arab people by the Arab people,” said Rama Kased, a collective member of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center. “It showed the Arab people as a living, breathing nation that values art, music and film.” E-mail:


november 4, 2009

By Bontã Hill Sports Editor

Imagine growing up and living in a city where homicides and robberies occur regularly. Throw in the hardship of not getting parental guidance and the odds of rising above the low standards that surround you are extremely slim. For sophomore basketball player Da’Ron Sims, 22, these were just a few trials he had to best before stepping onto a City College campus and becoming one of the greatest success stories of the men’s basketball program. “I was basically around a lot of people who were in the same situation I was in, some people worse,” Sims said. “In West Oakland, it seemed like people were using drugs, selling drugs or playing sports.” With the help of Brandon Brooks, his former assistant coach at MyClymonds High School, Sims has steered clear of the threats of the streets in West Oakland and put himself in a position to earn a basketball scholarship at the end of this season. Last season, he was awarded Conference Player of the Year and named to the all-state team. “It was the best experience by far. I hadn’t been involved in organized ball since high school,” Sims said. “It really opened my eyes and told me I can play at this level.” These accomplishments came despite Sims’ four-year absence from basketball, which included a three-year stretch in which Sims had to overcome life on the streets as well as numerous run-ins with the law. While attending MyClymonds, Sims continued to deal with the misfortune of not having parents, whom he lost in the fifth grade due to drug abuse. In 2005, he dropped out of school, ventured to the streets and became a regular visitor of the Oakland County Jail.

“I played about two years of high school basketball, but I was in and out of the classroom,” Sims said. “I was in the streets because that’s what was taking care of me. I was lost and I didn’t know what I wanted out of life.” Brooks, who is in his 15th year of coaching at MyClymonds, first met Sims during his freshman year. He noticed that Sims had talent and potential on the basketball court, but was quiet and kept to himself. “He wasn’t real talkative, and he was kind of a loner,” Brooks said. “I don’t believe he believed in himself enough to unlock his talent and realize he had the tools to be successful.” Sims often heard from people in his neighborhood about how good a ballplayer he was, but he

the first time in his young life. Brooks, who owns property in West Oakland, saw Sims walking around still searching for a way out of his struggle. Brooks offered support and extended his hand to help Sims turn his life around. “I always told him that he was family and just because you don’t go to school at MyClymonds, doesn’t mean we’re not here to help,” Brooks said. “It took him awhile to come around, but he finally got tired of the street life, and I’m very proud that he did.” Brooks became Sims’ mentor and arranged a schedule in which he could come into MyClymonds gym and work out every day of the week for three hours per day. Sims shortly rediscovered his talent and gained a confidence he didn’t have in high school.

“I was in the streets because that’s what was taking care of me. I was lost and I didn’t know what I wanted out of life.” — Da’Ron Sims City College Student

was falling behind in school and getting closer to the drug game. At the time, he was more concerned with feeding himself on a daily basis. “Right after high school in ‘05, hoops was on my mind because a lot of people were telling me I could’ve been this, and I could’ve been that,” Sims said. “But people really didn’t try to stop me because they knew the streets was the only thing feeding me. I just couldn’t go to school with no support.” A jail visit without an option for bail in early 2007 became the turning point of his life. Sims got out, reunited with his three older brothers and two younger sisters and felt family love for

Brooks came up with a plan for Sims to get back on the basketball court. He told Sims he would call the coaching staff at City College and put in a good word for him, but not until he was serious about school and staying off the streets. “We just worked on developing different skill sets and getting his basketball legs back,” Brooks said. “It was hard work, but I didn’t doubt him once. I really started to see him turn the corner. He started to believe and became hungry for another opportunity to thrive on the court.” As Sims was working out and holding his own against future college players, he was still looking for a chance to join a

The Guardsman

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Robert Romano / The Guardsman

City College student and Conference Player of the Year Da’Ron Sims.

junior college team. City College men’s basketball head coach Justin Labagh had known Sims when he was in high school, but didn’t think he would fit at City College. “We didn’t recruit him. He was a long, skinny wing player who had athleticism, but his shot wasn’t that great,” Labagh said. “My assistant coach wanted me to recruit him, but I didn’t think he was good enough.” When the Ram’s coaching staff looked at Sims again in early 2008, he had changed positions and became a post player. Labagh noticed that he gained weight and had potential to become a solid player for his team. Labagh didn’t concern himself with the off-court issues that once burdened Sims. “I didn’t really investigate the off-court stuff too much because when you get a kid who shows up in the summer of 2008, focused on making something of himself, I had no worries,” Labagh said. “Once Brooks and Dwight Nathaniel, former coach at McClymonds, told me that he turned his life around, I trusted them. That’s all I needed to hear from those guys.”

By the time the last season began, Sims had become the leader and the glue of the highly ranked basketball team. It was no surprise to both Brooks and Labagh that he quickly established himself as one of the top players in California. Sims has begun progressing in the classroom and continues to work on raising his grade point average. Labagh is optimistic about Sims staying off the streets and maintaining the focus that has kept him out of trouble. “He manages himself and is totally self-sufficient,” Labagh said. “There is no doubt with the maturity that he has, he’s going to be a successful human being.” “It’s all about becoming a better man, that’s it, that’s all,” Sims said. As he gears up for another big season at City College, the leader of the Rams has triumphed in an adverse situation. To many who know Sims, he has already cleared his biggest obstacles and is simply scratching the surface. This is just the beginning. E-mail:

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The Guardsman

november 4, 2009

Student Success statutes tour California By Matthew Gomez Staff Writer

After being unveiled in Yerba Buena Gardens for Community College Week, the statues of the Student Success Stories Project will soon be traveling California. The project began in May 2008 and was inspired by the sculptures of artist Kiki Smith, who is primarily known as a sculptor. The statues represent the students — who they are and how their lives have been changed by attending community college. With some 40 schools and 75 students having participated, a lot of stories have been told. The statues have a metal T-bar spine which is covered in canvas and stuffed with cotton to form the shape of the body. The face is the headshot of a student who has shared their story. The message of the project is that California community colleges change students’ lives. “I am grateful to the community college system for allowing me to just be a student,” said Marlene Hurd, a student senator at Laney College. The statues have traveled around the state. They visited the capitol in Sacramento a few times, including at the March in March earlier this year to protest the budget cuts, and have even been as far as San Diego.

The statues are all hand-painted and assembled by students. Each statue costs around $100 to make and the project has been funded mainly by donations from various organizations. “City College is by far the largest participant,” said Leslie Smith, associate vice chancellor of government relations. “We’re showing off who and what we are.” The project “brings home the real effect community colleges have on the people,” said Diamond Dave Whittaker, a City College student senator. The students’ stories are written on the back of the statues, and a voice box inside each statue tells that student’s story in their own voice when a button is pushed. No two statues are alike, as everything from the way they’re painted to the story they tell is completely unique. Smith finds the voice box to be crucial in connecting with people because it’s hard to ignore someone’s voice, especially at the capitol when people pass the statues and begin hearing a student tell their story in their own words. “I like the project from all aspects — from the art to the advocacy,” Smith said. Rachael Hall and Chris Olson, both student workers in the City College government relations department, have been touching up the statues and preparing them

Tristan Crane / The Guardsman

A large group of statues displayed in the cafeteria, were created by artists to represent the voices and perspective of community college students who have graduated as well as students penalized by budget cuts.

for an unveiling at Community College Week , which began Nov. 1. The statues will be displayed in Yerba Buena Gardens and will help celebrate the unity Community College Week inspires. “This was the project to advocate against budget cuts,” Hall said. “They chose to advocate through art.” Student participation is still needed. The statues always need

touch-ups as they travel the state and are displayed. At the moment, it is mainly student workers painting and maintaining the quality of the statues. “Many hands make light work,” Hall said. “They’re pleasant. They’re comfortable. They’re not offensive. They’re not protesting. They’re actually people,” Olson said. “They make it a very human form, instead of a number for the

budgets.” “They don’t have one of me yet,” Whittaker said, “but they will.” If you want to help with the Student Success Stories Project, contact Leslie Smith, 415-4525132.


Movie Review

By Dominick Delgadillo Staff Writer

Where The Wild Things Are Rated: PG ★ of 4 stars Starring: Max Records, Mark Ruffalo, James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, Catherine O’Hara, Forest Whitaker and Catherine Keener.

Beloved children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak was adapted into a live-action movie and released in theaters nationwide on Oct. 16. Those are the facts as I can best describe them without ruining my childhood because I have been trying to put this movie out of my mind since I saw it.

To say this film fails in all aspects would be a bit harsh, but to insinuate it was even a decent flick would be a blatant lie. Where the book describes an adventure of imagination delivered in 10 sentences and adorable illustrations, the movie gives you 94 minutes of depressed, oversized puppets. Carol, voiced by James Gandolfini, is the protagonist of the “Wild Things” and looks a bit like the horned, sharp-toothed teddy bear of the book. He explains his only likeness to the book’s character by saying, “Look at me, I’m big.” It was almost as though the film’s director Spike Jonze was trying to convince the audience the movie and book were related without actually having the character turn to the camera and say, “No really, this is related to that book with the same title.” For those still interested after the above warning, the movie is about a boy

named Max who has serious issues with his neglectful mother. It starts off adorably enough with line illustrations over the company logos done by Max and shots of him building an igloo from a mound of shoveled snow. We quickly see things take a turn for the worse when his mother has a “friend” over and Max feels like acting out and throws a big temper tantrum. The scene was a bit scary, so credit is due to Max Records, the child actor. He then runs off, gets in a boat and wakes up on the shore of an island where he meets the Wild Things. We quickly learn the creatures are stupid, which was a misplaced device and failed attempt at humor, and that Max, while imaginative, is just an attention monger and a liar. About an hour later, you do care about the characters, but not in an adoring way, more in a way you feel empathy for them as you would for a child in a

broken home. Redeeming qualities for this waste of time were the computer-generated faces seamlessly placed on the Things’ furry faces and the previously mentioned child tantrum that finally made me understand this country’s fascination with antidepressants. If you like Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, then you should get the soundtrack. She wrote all of the songs and sings in most of them. However, don’t waste your money on this film, which attempts to bring a book to life but instead leaves adults bored and children confused or depressed. Don’t waste your time or money. Don’t ruin your memories, if any, of the book. Don’t see “Where the Wild Things Are.” E-mail:


november 4, 2009

Calendar for Nov. 4 - Nov. 17



“Adornment” at Museum of the African Diaspora 685 Mission St. San Francisco, CA 94105 All ages Price included in admission 11/4-11/7 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.



Gregory Maqom: Beautiful Me solo performance at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts $25 11/5 -11/7 8:00 p.m.

Campus Events




Men’s BasketAja Vu at Little ball Tip Off Fox Theatre Tourney at City Col- a tribute to Steely lege through Sunday Dan 2209 Broadway Redwood City, CA 94063 $12 advance $14 day of show 8:00 p.m.

Miles Ahead Jazz Ensemble at Cafe International 508 Haight St. San Francisco, CA 94118 12:00 p.m.




The Guardsman

Community Events






Fat Tuesday Band at Biscuits and Blues 401 Mason St. San Francisco, CA 94102 21+ $15 8:00 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.

Open Mic With Derek Smith at 19 Broadway 19 Broadway Fairfax, CA 94930 21+ 9:00 p.m.

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Got a classified ad? You could see that ad here. Contact our Advertising Manager for more information about rates and publication deadlines at (415) 239-3446.

Classified Ads Wed


Veterans Day



(RED) NIGHTS: A Concert Series That Saves Lives at Great American Music Hall 859 O’Farrell St. San Francisco, CA 94109 6+ $18 8:00 p.m.






Men’s Basketball at West Valley 3:00 p.m.

Mandala dance club at Amoeba Music 1855 Haight St. San Francisco, CA 94118 free for all ages 7:00 p.m.


Historic Fox Theatre Lewis Black stand up comedy 2215 Broadway Redwood City, CA 94063 $60 8:00 p.m.

Veteran’s Day Observance 11/13 - 11/15 No Monday evening classes



Free Feature Salon at Brain Wash Cafe and Laundromat 1122 Folsom St. San Francisco, CA 94103 free for all ages 7:00 p.m.



Rock Out Karaoke With Glenny Kravitz at Amnesia 853 Valencia St. San Francisco, CA 94110 21+ 9:00 p.m.

50 cents per word. $5 minimum for commercial advertisers. City College students, staff and faculty qualify for one free classified per semester. Multiple ads not accepted. Must show current student ID. Commercial ads not accepted from students. Acceptance of ads at the discretion of The Guardsman.

Article Submissions To submit tips on stories contact: Editor in Chief (415) 239-3446 Fax: (415) 239-3884

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INFORMATION SESSION Wednesday, November 11, 10:00 am Call 800.87.MILLS to register.


TRANSFERRING SHOULDN’T BE. It is still possible to transfer for Spring 2010 to Notre Dame de Namur University. We understand that transferring to a new college can be challenging. That’s why, in addition to smaller classes and personal attention, we go the extra yard to make the transition simple. Check out the NDNU campus. Take a tour, have transcripts reviewed and get an overview of the transfer process. We’re ready when you are and we can get you started now.

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City College — The Guardsman Size: 6" x 6" Insertion date: November 4, 2009 Ad #N5209

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The Guardsman

november 4, 2009

Club Review Michael Chateauvieux, 19 “Functionally Fashionable”

By Dominick Delgadillo Staff Writer

By Cailie Skelton

Arts and Entertainment Editor

The first hint I got that Oct. 2 was going to be a great night was when I heard doowop songs coming out of The Knockout, a bar and dance club at 3223 Mission in San Francisco ‘Oldies Night’ is a first and third Friday dance party at The Knockout, where DJs play all the old classics to a packed house. The Knockout isn’t very big, but it has a full bar, stage and a DJ booth. The crowd that night aired on the side of hipster, but everyone in the bar was in good spirits, dancing and

having a good time. If people weren’t on the dance floor, they were at the bar or laughing it up with friends. The Knockout has a variety of other events, mainly hosting live bands, but also karaoke, bingo and other themed dance nights. The drinks are the bar are moderately priced, including tall cans (20 ounces) of Tecate. The Knockout is a bit secluded from other bars in the area, but is a fun spot to go to, to catch a live band or a few good tunes and meet up with friends on a weekend night. E-mail:

Michael Chateauvieux, 19, sums up his look by stating, “It’s all about convenience.” He has been spending his third semester at City College in the culinary program. Not only does his outfit lend to its apparent convenience, but it’s also well price d for the utility it permits. His paper hat, while a bit cartoonish, keeps his hair out of the food he prepares and only set him back 25 cents. His strapping white coat immediately ident ifies him as an aspiring chef and the off-color stains only help to demonstrate the hard work he puts in when working in the kitch en. “The coat has these pockets that can really be used for any number of things,” he said. “They’re the right size for tasting spoons, a thermometer, my paring knife; like I said - convenience.” The coat is amazingly helpful and affordable . “The tight sleeves make it easier to work. That way, we can keep them out of your food but still be able to move quickly,” Chateauvieux said. “They’re only twenty-five bucks. We get them from the school.” Chateauvieux’s black pants are sleek and fashionable. “I wear these black pants, but you’ll see some of them with a white stripe down the side,” he said. When asked about his future he said, “I’m hopin g to get a position at a hotel, either the Hilton or the W Hotel. Eventually, I hope to one day own my own restaurant.”




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The Guardsman Vol 149, Issue 6. City College of San Francisco  
The Guardsman Vol 149, Issue 6. City College of San Francisco