April 12, 2017 issue of The Egalitarian

Page 1

74/48 A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible early. Cloudy skies early, followed by partial clearing.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 • Vol. 44, No. 7 • www.HCCEgalitarian.com • @HCC_Egalitarian

In Today’s Issue

Copeland a ‘hidden gem’ Well-traveled musician enrolled at HCC to build up his knowledge of the legal side of the music business.

see On Campus, Page 2

‘City’recounts exploits New movie retells explorer’s search for a fabled lost city in South America .

see Culture, Page 8

Intrigue at end of NBA season Houston’s Harden could finish regular season tops in assists; playoff seeding still up for grabs on regular season’s final night.

see Sports, Page 10

Structural changes

Four OK amending United Student Council constitution; USC to adopt senator system to represent students Alyssa Foley



our students voted in favor of changing the fundamental structure of student government at Houston Community College. The motion passed. The amendments to HCC’s United Student Council constitution is changing the student government system from Student Appointed Representatives to a senator system akin to how the University of Houston’s student government operates. The change cuts out one bureaucratic layer of student government, and is intended to make student government officers more accountable and cooperative district-wide. “The only change that is happening is that we will no longer have Student Appointed Representatives,” explained United Student Council President Josue Rodriguez at the April 5 meeting. Instead, students will directly elect their representatives to the USC and the elected students can be held accountable for representing students at the district-level. HCC’s student government has operated as seven separate organizations for at least fifteen years. Every college elected a student government board (president, secretary, treasurer, parliamentarian, sergeantat-arms, vice president, etc). The Student Government Association from each college (Central, Coleman, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest) would send Student Appointed Representatives to the district-wide United Student Council. The Student Appointed Representatives of the United Student Council would elect from among themselves a district-wide president and other executive officers. The change means that students will directly elect

United Student Council senators. Previously, students voted for student government officers at their college who would appoint representatives to the USC. The senators from each college can form college committees and serve their local college like before. Under the new system, each college will be represented by a minimum of four senators, with an additional senator for every additional 1,000 students over 4,000. The Chancellor’s College Transformation plan has finally reached student government. (To be clear, Chancellor Cesar Maldonado had nothing to do with this student government

the six SGAs are likely to fall to the wayside. If an SGA diehards still hold elections instead of dissolving themselves, HCC could continue to have multiple student government organizations existing at once but the SGAs will no longer be sending representatives to the USC. There were nine students and two student life advisors at the special United Student Council meeting on Wednesday, April 5 when the vote took place. After some rewording of the amendments, five students voted: one abstained and four voted in favor. The three students present who were USC

present, three out of five were in attendance. According to their constitution, they also need at least two Student Appointed Representatives from at least two different colleges; Southeast was represented by four and Central had one present. These changes were originally proposed to the general assembly on February 3 when there were at least a dozen student representatives present. However, objections were raised about the low attendance and lack of prior student input so the proposal was tabled for a later date. Student input led to some changes to the proposal, but less students showed up for

“If we have another meeting, I can’t promise you that we’ll have more students. I can’t even promise you that we’ll have quorum because we can’t force the Student Appointed Representatives to be here.” Josue Rodriguez, President HCC United Student Council vote.) Transformation is the plan to make HCC operate as a single college instead of six. When transformation started, all student organizations became district-wide organizations, so technically HCC has had seven operational districtwide student government organizations for the past two years. This change means that the student government at HCC will start operating more like a single student government organization, not seven. Technically the Student Government Associations at each college still exist, but the United Student Council is making them obsolete. The SGAs can only be dissolved if they vote to dissolve themselves. However, with the USC directly electing senators instead of having Student Appointed Representatives from the SGAs,

executive officers could not vote. The meeting started late as they waited for the last student to arrive so quorum could be met. The vote to amend the USC Constitution took place after the group voted to suspend the normal parliamentary rules of order. Although the meeting took place at their normal meeting room on the second floor of the HCC Administrative building at 3100 Main, it wasn’t their normal meeting day. It was changed from their usual Friday meeting day to a Wednesday for student officers who were at a convention. They still didn’t attend. Only Central, Coleman and Southeast were represented at the meeting when the vote took place. To meet quorum, the United Student Council needed a majority of its executive officers

The Official Student Newspaper of the Houston Community College System

the later date. “We are making a decision that is going to be impactful district-wide, not even just for our campus,” said a southeast representative at the April 5 meeting who objected to voting on the proposal without representatives from each college present. He abstained from voting. “If we have another meeting, I can’t promise you that we’ll have more students. I can’t even promise you that we’ll have quorum because we can’t force the Student Appointed Representatives to be here,” said Rodriguez, who pointed out that low attendance by Student Appointed Representatives and the lack of accountability were two of the issues this see

USC Changes, Page 5

On Campus 2 Musician Copeland a ‘hidden gem’ at HCC The Egalitarian

Wednesday April 12, 2017

Jimmieka Mills


Imagine touring Europe with your childhood musical idol, being called upon by one of the most sought after producers in the world and while preparing to set off on tour for your solo album, your manager tells you, “Go to school to get your degree! The tour and the music will be there when you finish.” Those were the words Manager Carol Williams said to her client that would bring him to HCC. “Tony is a producer and a writer and now, going to HCC, he’ll have the legal side of the music business which is very important. Most artists don’t have that particular background and that’s where they get stuck at,” says Williams. “Just because a record makes a million dollars doesn’t mean an artist does.” Tony’s musical talent has allowed him to tour with Frankie Beverly and Maze, make hits with Luther Vandross, and work with Felton Pilate of famed Funk band ConFunkShun. Needless to say, he is a musical veteran but the other title he also shares pride in is the title of military veteran. Tony has found a way to use the titles that mean so much to him, to make a meaningful impact on others. “The best thing he’s done since he’s been with HCC I think, is that he is pretty much the number one mentor especially for the young students and our veterans.” Said Darryl Linden HCC Music Advisory Board member. Known as Tony “Guitar” Copeland he taught himself the craft after his father—who himself had been a part of a



musical group—brought home instruments after the group, ‘The Golden Tones,’ had disbanded. “I was too small to hold the heavy guitar so I used the four fingers on my right hand to hold it in place on my lap while I played with my thumb. That’s why I don’t need to use a pic when I play now.” Tony began to teach himself to play guitar in the darkness of the closet in which the equipment was stored. His skills would be honed in church while watching and imitating the musicians during service. He and his siblings formed their own band where he contributed not only his skills on instruments but also vocally. Tony went on to serve in the military repairing helicopters and planes while continuing to play his music, this time for his fellow troops. “He entertained troops and played whenever he could. Even though he was in the army, he was still like an Elvis type figure in terms of playing and entertaining troops.” Said Linden who is also a veteran as well as a member of the Springboard Houston Festival. The Springboard Houston Festival which will be celebrating its 6th anniversary in June, collaborates with the HCC Spring Branch Chapter of the Music Entertainment Industry Student Association (MEISA) to hold an annual student talent competition. The prize, a chance to perform your own full set on the main stage at the Springboard Festival. Judges have included Matthew Knowles, Stacia Pratt, who is publicist for Matthew McConaughey, Attorney Rickey Anderson who represents Tyler

Perry and Steve Harvey as well as local legends such as DJ Swift and T Farris co-founder of Swishahouse to name a few. “We did it out of good faith not necessarily expecting any of them to make it,” says Linden. “We’d bring them in to judge these students and also give them feedback on their act.” In 2015 Tony tried out and in doing so broke musical barriers

Tony Copeland for HCC students. “Tony won the showcase, obviously, and kind of became a personal favorite of Matthew Knowles,” says Linden, “he was the first HCC student to make the main stage and was able to do the full 20-minute performance.” There is no doubt that the degree he will receive from HCC in May will further catapult him in his career, he continues to keep in mind though how much he has been supported into and throughout school. “I’m very humbled that Veterans Affairs allowed me the opportunity to go to school and to get my degree. They worked with me the whole way whatever I needed they took care of it.”

Tony’s support didn’t stop there, after enrolling at HCC he would gain support from HCC faculty and staff that would help smooth his transition of returning to school. “Mr. Nitzberg who is the chair for the music department was my MIDI 1 instructor only because the professor who was supposed to come teach us for the semester couldn’t come.” “He [Mr. Nitzberg] was very courteous and informative. Anytime we had a question he would stop what he was doing and answer. He made us feel welcomed and he simplified the course. He was very encouraging.” Tony recalls him as being one of the first HCC employees to recognize his musical prowess. “When I made my first song for a project for his class he called me to the side and said ‘There’s more to you than we know. Your music is professional’. That’s when he began to further encourage me and introduce me to other people and different faculty members.” Tony eventually met Regina Wilson, Student Life Coordinator for the HCC Southwest campus, who helped him to share his gifts with a larger HCC audience. After one of his professors heard his music and began telling other faculty about its professional sound, he was asked to perform at a Veteran’s Day event at HCC Westloop. “That’s where I met Regina and she began to hire me for HCC events. So, for the last three years she’s hired me for every Veterans Day, Black History Month and every event they have.” Tony’s eagerness to give back to HCC especially to his fellow vets

will definitely be missed when he graduates in May. “When I left there he kind of took my place in making sure the vets go through the different programs and things they needed to do as far as their HCC paperwork, life issues how they’re doing since they came back from Iraq or Afghanistan even some of the other guys that were in desert storm,” says Linden, adding “He’s played that role as well as taking every young student who plays guitar and sings under his wing.” Tony has without a doubt touched many lives through his gift of music and he is grateful to have been able to do so. “I thank God for giving me the gift of musical talent because my gift is making room for me. I’m thankful for all the people at HCC that helped me out to be exposed and share my story. Being a veteran, it’s hard for veterans to come back and get a foothold in the world. I’m humbled, I’m blessed and I’m thankful.” His manager is also reaping the benefits of Tony’s academic success. She is very proud of the fact that, “He’s been on the Dean’s List several times,” said Williams, adding, “His talents along with the education he is receiving at HCC has put him at a higher level.” ———

For more information on Tony visit: https://www.reverbnation.com/ tonycopeland To purchase his latest album, visit: https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ tonyguitarcopeland1 For more information on Springboard Festival Houston visit their website: http://www. springboardhouston.com

HCC POLICE BLOTTER (Incidents complied from HCC Crime Log available at http://bit.ly/2mhVOjj Offense: Harassment Incident occurred on: April 8 at 1 p.m. Location: West Loop Campus, 5601 West Loop South Description: Female student reported receiving harassing text messages from a known person not affiliated with HCC. Information on the case was forwarded to the District Attorney since suspect is out on bond on a harassment case involving the same victim Offense: Harassment Incident occurred on: April 6 at 4:20 p.m. Location: Hayes Road Campus, 2811 Hayes Road Description: Female student reported unwanted, online messages from male student. Male student was interviewed by HCC Police and agreed to stop sending messages. Maxient student conduct report filed. Offense: Theft Incident occurred on: April 6

between 1:05-2:45 p.m. Location: Central - Midtown Campus, San Jacinto Memorial Description: Student reported that his wallet was taken from the gymnasium located in the San Jacinto Building while he played basketball. Offense: Criminal Trespass Incident occurred on: April 6 at 10:15 a.m.-1 p.m. Location: Central - Midtown Campus, Business Center Description: Male non-student was found hiding in a bathroom in the BSCC Building. He was given a criminal trespass warning and escorted off-property. Offense: Theft Reported on: April 4 at 11:30 a.m. Location: Central - Midtown Campus, J. Don Boney Building Description: Unknown adult male stole headphones from the bookstore and fled. Property was recovered after the suspect was pursued by store personnel.

Offense: Burglary of Vehicle Incident occurred on: April 4 between 11a.m.-12:30 p.m. Location: Katy Campus, 1550 Fox Lake Description: Adult student’s vehicle was burglarized during class and a radar detector was stolen.

Offense: Theft Incident occurred on: March 30 at 11:10 a.m. Location: Central - Midtown Campus, Learning Hub Description: Student’s unattended cell phone was stolen from the library.

Offense: Disorderly Conduct Reported on: April 4 at 7:30 p.m. Location: Eastside Campus, Workforce Building Description: Adult cosmetology students were cursing and threatening each other in class. Referred to Dean of Students.

Offense: Harassment Incident occurred on: March 30 at 5:21 p.m. Location: Central - Midtown Campus, J. B. Whitely Building Description: Adult student complained another adult student was sending unwanted text messages regarding collection of an alleged debt for submitting a class project.

Offense: Criminal Trespass Incident occurred on: March 30 at 9:34 a.m. Location: Eastside Campus, Learning Hub Description: Former student returned to campus after serving time for criminal trespass and threatened a student. New charges filed 3-31-2017.

Offense: Theft Incident occurred on: March 30 between 6:15-7:15 p.m. Location: Pinemont Campus, 1265 Pinemont Description: Adult student’s truck was stolen during class. It was later recovered by Houston PD.


Wednesday April 12, 2017

The Egalitarian www.HCCEgalitarian.com



The Egalitarian

Wednesday April 12, 2017



Drug policy group screens film

Bland’s mother urges reform Paul J. Weber Associated Press

Skarleth Velasquez


On March 30 Students for Sensible Drug Policy hosted a screening of ‘The Union: The Business Behind Getting High’ at the HCC Eastside Campus. The movie is about the big industry that creates and sells illegal Cannabis. Cannabis is still illegal in most parts of the world, despite the fact that cigarettes and Alcohol take more lives than Cannabis. President of the SSDP, Chris Mendez said, “That movie explained common misconceptions on the most well-known illegal substance, cannabis. We decided to show it to dispel those misconceptions on campus.” The film explores the growth, sale and trafficking of cannabis. The documentary examines the underground market by interviewing growers, police officers, criminologists, psychologists, economists, doctors, politicians and pop culture icons, revealing how the trade is booming despite being a criminal enterprise. The history of cannabis and the reasons for its present prohibition are discussed, often comparing it to the prohibition of alcohol in the United States in the 1920s, suggesting that gang drug warfare and other negative aspects associated with cannabis are a result of prohibition, not the drug itself. “I do believe one of the problems the community faces when it comes to the war on drugs is people being not informed. A lot of people are not too sure exactly what this means to them. So educating them on any aspect of

Image courtesy of SSDP Chris Mendez (left), the HCC chapter president of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, poses with Austin Community College chapter president John Von Lowe and chapter vice president Edward Peña. the formality of the reform,” said Mendez. The gangs that grow and traffic the drugs are like those that appeared in major US cities during Prohibition, with the intention of profiting from the sale of illegal alcohol. The film answers many questions about cannabis, including the purported health effects of cannabis use, the gateway drug theory, and what could happen if cannabis was legalized. The film also discusses the medicinal value of the cannabis plant and what the pharmaceutical industry stands to lose from cannabis legalization. President and Student Chris Mendez says, “Students for Sensible Drug Policy is an international grasping network of political activists. We understand that the war on drugs is failing, that there are drugs in the community. And we neither condemn or condone drug usage. We advocate for safety. If individuals feel like this is something they want to do, we advocate that the knowledge they receive is accurate and that they are safe doing whatever it is they want to do. We understand that there are some laws currently, that affects students and due to past mistakes or for whatever reason they are not allowed to get their self educated and come back to society and do something with themselves. The current laws restrict

them, like the “Higher Education act” and the A-penalty, that’s currently in legislation. Because of that, any student that has been convicted with a drug charge no matter how small, are not allowed financial aid. Because of that, statistics show that those students tend to fall back into drug usage, and instead of them trying to get better themselves for a better future, they derail from that and go into a loop that can be avoided.” The SSDP was founded in the fall of 1996. The organization held an international conference in Portland Oregon from March 24 to March 26, where more than 400 student members and supporters came together to address and learn about various International crises as well as other local issues. “We had students from Nigeria, Ireland, and other parts of the country all who are part of the SSDP Network,” said Mendez. “As students, we can have an impact on the community. We also had an awards ceremony which was just to congratulate us as well as thank and encourage all those individuals to achieve higher expectations.” “Coming back from a conference like that one of the biggest things I got from it was


Policy Group, Page 5

Bill allows recusals for issuing gay marriage licenses Will Weissert Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Legislators in the nation’s largest conservative state of Texas sought Tuesday to chip away at the landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, voting to let county judges and other elected officials recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses if they have personal religious objections. The bill won preliminary approval in the Senate 21-10, with full Republican support and all but one Democrat opposing it. A final vote, expected to come Wednesday, sends it to the state House. Texas’ Republicancontrolled Legislature only meets every two years, meaning state lawmakers weren’t able to respond to the high court’s June 2015 gay marriage decision until now. Should


the bill become law, however, it will almost certainly be challenged as unconstitutional by federal lawsuits. “If we don’t do this, we are discriminating against people of faith,” said the sponsor, Sen. Brian Birdwell, a Republican from Granbury about 40 miles southwest of Fort Worth. He was referring to clerks, judges, justices of the peace and other elected officials empowered to issue marriage licenses in Texas’ 254 counties. Opponents say it sanctions discrimination and defies the nation’s highest court. “The Texas Senate today said it has no problem with public officials picking and choosing which taxpayers they will serve,” Kathy Miller, president of the progressive activist group the Texas Freedom Network, said in a statement. “This bill opens the door to taxpayerfunded discrimination against virtually anyone who doesn’t

meet a public official’s personal moral standards.” Birdwell’s hotly debated proposal only applies in cases where other officials without objections agree to step in for the recusing party. If the substituting official is located outside the county where the marriage license is being sought, documents could be sent electronically so as not to unduly delay the process. Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton initially caused confusion by issuing a non-binding opinion following the 2015 Supreme Court ruling, suggesting that county clerks statewide who objected to gay marriage for religious reasons could refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But, after civil groups threatened lawsuits, gay couples soon were being married across the state without incident. Sen. Sylvia Garcia, a Houston Democrat and former

judge, said Tuesday that the law was unnecessary since Texas officials have been issuing marriage licenses for nearly two years without objection. She said the bill will let many Republican officials now stop doing so, not because they have legitimate, religious-based problems with gay marriage but because they want to take ideological stands that will impress local primary voters. “All the clerks and judges know about the law and are following the law,” said Garcia, who also asked if the constitutional duties elected officials swear to uphold shouldn’t extend to enforcing Supreme Court decisions. Birdwell cut her off, saying the state Senate shouldn’t engage in a “constitutional debate.” He added that “lawmaking belongs to the legislative branch,” not the courts.

AUSTIN, Texas — The mother of a black woman who died in a jail near Houston following a confrontational traffic stop in 2015 returned to Texas on Tuesday to back a sweeping police reform bill named after her daughter that influential law enforcement groups are fighting. It was the first time the family of Sandra Bland, whose death became a flashpoint in the national Black Lives Matter movement, has testified before Texas lawmakers who meet only once every two years. The “Sandra Bland Act” as drafted would revamp racial profiling laws, officer training and other police accountability measures. Bland was found dead in a jail outside Houston three days after being pulled over by a white state trooper for not signaling a lane change. Her death was ruled a suicide and the trooper, who pulled Bland out of her car while threatening her with a stun gun, was fired. “I need this bill to move forward so that it will prove to people who say that Texas is the most awful state to live in. And to me that’s true, because Texas is a place of pain for me,” said Geneva ReedVeal, Bland’s mother, who lives in the Chicago area. “So I need you to think about what you have the power and ability to do today.” She went on to tell the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee that the legislation wasn’t anti-police. “I don’t hate police. I hate the fact that we do not understand that this has been going on for too long by those who have been charged to serve and protect us,” she said. But the bill faces obstacles to reaching the desk of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott with less than two months before the Texas Legislature adjourns until 2019. Police associations oppose key provisions, including one that would prohibit drivers being arrested for low-level misdemeanors that are punishable only by fines. Enhanced police protections — and not police accountability — is also the priority of Republican leaders in the Texas this year after a sniper killed five Dallas police officers last summer. The Texas Senate has already passed bills that would provide $25 million to purchase bullet-resistant vests for police and create an alert system that would notify the public when an officer is wounded or killed.

Wednesday April 12, 2017


AG outlines plan during visit Astrid Galvan Associated Press

NOGALES, Ariz. — Attorney General Jeff Sessions toured the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday and unveiled what he described as a new get-tough approach to immigration prosecutions under President Donald Trump. The nation’s top law enforcement official outlined a series of changes that he said mark the start of a new push to rid American cities and the border of what he described as “filth” brought on by drug cartels and criminal organizations. The tour included visiting a port of entry, where Sessions exited an SUV in a white shirt and baseball cap before entering a restricted area. Sessions has been steadily expanding the Justice Department’s role in the antiimmigration agenda of the Trump administration, but the border trip offered the most comprehensive look yet at his plans. During his visit, he urged federal prosecutors to intensify their focus on immigration crimes such as illegal border crossing or smuggling others into the U.S. Such prosecutions are already happening on a large scale. They made up more than half of all federal prosecutions in fiscal year 2016, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. But prosecutions were slightly down from fiscal year 2015. In a three-page memo, Sessions told U.S. attorneys to prioritize immigration prosecutions by appointing a border security coordinator who can oversee investigations, keep statistics and provide legal advice and training to prosecutors. The coordinators would meet regularly with federal immigration authorities. In addition, Sessions said

Ross D. Franklin/AP Photo Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at a news conference after touring the U.S.-Mexico border with border officials, Tuesday in Nogales, Ariz. Sessions announced making immigration enforcement a key Justice Department priority, saying he will speed up deportations of immigrants in the country illegally who were convicted of federal crimes. federal prosecutors must consider bringing felony charges against those who have illegally entered the country more than once as well as those who marry to evade immigration laws. He also urged prosecutors to consider charging those illegally in the country with felony identity theft and document fraud. “This is a new era. This is the Trump era,” he said. “The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws, and the catch and release practices of old are over.” Sessions defended Trump’s proposed border wall, saying it will be another tool to fight illegal immigration amid efforts within the Justice Department and other branches of government to punish and deter border crossers. Critics blasted the initiatives announced by Sessions as fearmongering and anti-immigrant rhetoric not rooted in facts. “Once again, Attorney General Sessions is scaring the public by linking immigrants to criminals

despite studies showing that immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than the native born,” said Gregory Z. Chen, director of government relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Sessions made the announcement in Nogales, a border city that has witnessed a dramatic drop in immigrant and drug smuggling in recent years as more people enter the country in Texas, many of them Central Americans fleeing violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The Border Patrol’s Tucson sector, which comprises most of Arizona, saw about 65,000 arrests of immigrants last fiscal year, roughly half the number agents made in 2012, according to Border Patrol data. Marijuana seizures have also dropped by about 28 percent from 1 million pounds in 2012 to 728,000 last year. Following the border tour, Sessions spoke to officials at an International Association of Chiefs of Police conference

outside Phoenix. He’ll also speak with service members at Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix. Sessions’ immigration plans have long been foreshadowed. Even as it plans to cut the Justice Department’s budget by more than $1 billion, the Trump administration wants hundreds of millions of dollars to hire 60 federal prosecutors and 40 deputy U.S. marshals to focus on border cases. It also wants to boost immigration courts by $80 million to pay for 75 additional teams of judges. That would speed up removal proceedings for people in the United States illegally and address a backlog of more than 540,000 pending cases. The proposal also calls for adding $1.5 billion to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s budget to find, detain and deport immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, along with more than $300 million to hire 500 new Border Patrol agents and 1,000 immigration agents.

Report: Homeland Security fields 1,000 sex abuse complaints Elliot Spagat Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — An advocacy group said Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s internal watchdog fielded more than 1,000 complaints of sexual assault or sexual abuse from people in custody in a little more than two years. Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement is the latest group in recent years to document allegations of abuse at immigration detention centers, based on information obtained from public records requests. It comes as President Donald Trump seeks to expand detention capacity in a drive to deport more people. The numbers obtained by the group don’t provide details on individual cases or a full accounting of how the complaints were addressed, but they suggest complaints are common.

Homeland Security inspector general’s office disclosed that it received 1,016 complaints from detainees reporting sexual abuse or assault from May 2014 to July 2016. More than 90 percent involved Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency within Homeland Security that has more than 30,000 beds at detention facilities nationwide. The inspector general received more than 33,000 allegations of a broader range of abuses from January 2010 to July 2016, including 702 for coerced sexual contact, 714 for physical or sexual abuse and 589 for sexual harassment, according to the group. The group’s analysis showed the inspector general investigated 247, or less than 1 percent. But it was unclear how many others were taken up by agencies in the department, such as Immigration and Customs and Enforcement or Customs and Border Protection. The group cited the numbers in a complaint

The Egalitarian


to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly that urges changes in how allegations are handled. Gillian Christensen, a Homeland Security spokeswoman, said the department would review the complaint “to determine if further action or recommendations are warranted.” Christensen noted the allegations represent a small number of the more than 2 million admissions to Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities in the six-year period covered in the report. She said the agency has a “zero tolerance policy” and listed steps it has taken to address sexual abuse of detainees, including a directive to employees on prevention and intervention. “While ICE’s goal is to prevent all sexual abuse among its custody population, given the volume of individuals who annually pass through its detention system, the agency believes the overall incidence of such activity is very low,” she said.


Policy Group, From Page 4 too solidify connections within the community not just to have an impact on campus but on the communities because there are other likeminded organizations within the community that are trying to do the same thing. So building a coalition from them is one of our goals now that we’re back here in Houston Texas, in order for us to see drug reform happen.” Mendez says, “We weren’t an official organization that was recognized by our campus, this is something that I was just able to get because I’m actually new to SSDP myself as well, I just found a lot about it last year.” “I was actually unaware as of how me as a student could get involved. So I looked up things, student organizations, that follow, deal with drug reforms. I linked up with the outreach coordinator. Talked to him, figured out the whole process to get us something going. And actually doing something, and it’s been going very well. We became official here at HCC and the school gave us $1000 dollars for our organization’s activities. I’ve talked to the deans as well as the higher ups for actually trying to changing drug policies,” said Mendez. Students for Sensible Drug policies will be having guest speakers to speak to students and members of the community on the failure of the war on drugs and how it impacts them, why they should care as well as how to get involved. One of the guest speakers will be Dean Becker, a successful political Activist who has a radio program called “Drug Truth Network”, where he will be promoting the SSDP event a week prior to it. The event will take place on April 27, at the HCC Eastside campus. For more information please feel free to contact SSDP at: hcc@chapters. ssdp.org

USC Changes, From Page 1 new proposal is attempting to remedy. The new system will award student government officers stipends on a task-completion system. They have to attend USC meetings, and HCC Board of Trustee meetings, in order to be given their full stipend. Under the old system, there is no way for Student Appointed Representatives to be held accountable for attending USC meetings. The proposal was passed just in time for it to be implemented for the next academic year. Senator election campaigns start with week. Students with at least a 2.5 GPA can run for a senator position. USC officers plan on working with IT to create a voting system within students’ PeopleSoft accounts and work with the college’s public relations to get the word out about elections.


Wednesday April 12, 2017

The Egalitarian




The 34th Houston Auto Show, the largest in the South, featured vehicles ranging from classic muscle cars to exotic super cars. Pictured here are several vehicles on display and on auction during the event. —Images by John Caùamar/ Egalitarian



Wednesday April 12, 2017

The Egalitarian



8 Braff hits mainstream in ‘Going in Style’ The Egalitarian

Wednesday April 12, 2017

Fabrian Brims


Indie director Zach Braff, better known as the daydreaming doctor J. D. from “Scrubs,” delivers his third feature film without an ounce of indie in the frame. Although the familyfriendly feel-good comedy is highly entertaining and hits theaters in time for Easter, it also misses the edginess seen in his previous works, ‘Garden State’ and ‘Wish You Were Here.’ Three seniors, Joe (Michael Caine), Willie (Morgan Freeman) and Albert (Alan Arkin), are best friends – the benefit of being colleagues for decades. Now, they are enjoying their retirement, but financial struggles prevent it from being as fun as they had hoped. Willie and Albert are sharing an apartment to save money; Joe took in his daughter and granddaughter to provide for them. One day, the retirement checks stop coming in, and at the bank Joe learns that he has lost all his savings after he was talked into a risky speculation. Just then, the bank gets robbed.


Afterward, when the bank threatens to foreclose on his house, Joe becomes increasingly desperate and starts to believe that a robbery would solve their financial problems. After talking his friends into it, the trio realizes that robbing a bank is quite an ambitious endeavor for three elderly men. Can they pull off the heist? This film fits the mold of a feelgood movie; nothing is offensive, no one gets seriously hurt and the “bad guy” is a faceless institution (except for the overdrawn bank teller). That alone is not a bad thing, but it isn’t particularly exciting either. What helps viewers forget the simplicity of the plot are the cast and Braff’s fast-paced direction. The geezer trio delivers wonderful witty dialogue, especially Arkin who shines as a sarcastic bigmouth. The supporting cast features Matt Dillon as the FBI agent investigating the bank robberies, Joey King as Joe’s granddaughter, Ann-Margret as Albert’s love-interest and Christopher Lloyd as Milton, the trio’s senile and scene-stealing


Atsushi Nishijima/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP In this image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Morgan Freeman, from left, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin appear in a scene from “Going in Style.” friend, who can hear as well as ‘Mr. Magoo’ can see. ‘Going in Style’ highlights an important topic that Hollywood usually ignores: the value of the elderly. Poverty among old people was never as bad as it is now; nursing homes are overcrowded and often people have to keep working post-retirement to provide for themselves and their loved ones. The message is clear: We need to make sure that old people aren’t left behind, and many of them are more talented and motivated then one would think.

The film is actually a remake of the 1979 film of the same title starring George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg. Screenwriter Theodore Melfi, who was just Oscar-nominated for his ‘Hidden Figures’ script, kept the structure of the original film but erased everything edgy – like the trio’s endeavor in Las Vegas or that Joe comes up with the idea of the heist on his own – without getting inspired by another robbery in the first place. It’s very contrived, but still funny. Zach Braff’s direction suggests that he is a specialist

when it comes to comedy. ‘Going in Style’ sports dark undertones and quirkiness, as with Braff’s earlier films, but it marks his transition from an indie to a mainstream director. It will be interesting to see if he will continue on that path. —7/10 ——— Going in Style (2017); Directed by Zach Braff; Written by Theodore Melfi; With Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, Matt Dillon, Ann-Margret, Joey King, Christopher Lloyd, John Ortiz; 96 Minutes, PG-13

Shootout series to being filming

‘Lost City of Z’ tells story of explorer’s journeys Erik Calderon

Susan Montoya Bryan


Percy (Charlie Hunnam) hands over the letter to his esteemed colleague, Henry (Robert Pattinson) to read. Percy’s afraid of reading the letter himself, and looks for Henry’s support. Percy’s guilt takes hold of him, knowing that he’s left his wife and children to fend for themselves while he attempts to map the Peruvian forest for the National Geographical Society. It’s all about the rubber trade and war, he’s told. But, really it’s about Percy being able to clear his name after his father ruined it with drinking and gambling. In the middle of the Amazonian forest with his crew, Henry reads him the letter that was written by his wife then hands it back to Percy, and in one quick motion Percy throws it into the fire, showing us and his crew, that he is free to continue the journey to the end. The very next day, Percy boards the raft and they push off. As they turn a corner, some natives begin shooting arrows at them. One of the crew members is struck and falls into the river. With arrows flying by, they all begin to jump into the river, not knowing that the blood from the downed crew member has drawn the attention


Associated Press

Aidan Monaghan/Amazon Studios/Bleecker Street via AP This image released by Amazon Studios/Bleecker Street Films shows Tom Holland, center left, and Charlie Hunnam, center left, in a scene from “The Lost City of Z.” of a school of piranha’s. The three crew members, including Percy struggle to get back on board the raft. Percy gets caught up in the net and struggles to free himself, while the piranhas begin feasting on his flesh. Henry finally cuts free the net and pulls him on board. For Queen and Country, they’re in the middle of nowhere, with natives on one side trying to kill them, piranhas on the other and their food supply has nearly run out. This is the true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett who made several attempts to find the Lost City of Z, finally disappearing with his son in 1925. The film covers his life from about 1901 – 1954 when his wife Nina Fawcett (Sienna Miller) passed away. ‘The Lost City of Z’ was filmed mostly in Ireland and Colombia on an Arricam camera and is 141 minutes long. Directed,

with screenplay by James Gray, starring Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller. The film is based on the book with the same name by David Grann that was published in 2009. The film debuted at the New York Film Festival on October 15, 2016 and was picked up by Amazon Studios for distribution. The characters in this film are very well developed. James was hired in 2009 to direct the film and spent six years developing the script before he started principle photography in 2015. Percy, a very talented major in the British Army is plagued by his father’s disgraceful actions and is considered an outcast. He’s given the opportunity to regain his reputation see

City of Z, Page 9

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A six-part television series covering a deadly standoff between the federal government and the Branch Davidians spiritual sect more than two decades ago will be filmed in New Mexico. Work on “Waco” will begin in mid-April and last through June, officials with the New Mexico Film Office said Monday. Locations will include everything from the rural reaches of Santa Fe County — standing in for the prairies of Central Texas — to urban office buildings and studios. The series will star Michael Shannon, Taylor Kitsch and John Leguizamo and will premiere on the Paramount Network in 2018. It will be directed by John Erick Dowdle and produced by The Weinstein Co. The series will explore see

Waco Series, Page 9

Wednesday April 12, 2017


The Egalitarian www.HCCEgalitarian.com

‘Kong: Skull Island’ a throwback C.D. Calderon The Egalitarian

They don’t make them like this anymore. ‘Kong: Skull Island’ owes its success to the fact that, like its titular character, it’s something of a throwback to a bygone age. The film carries all the charm of a well-worn antique that still has a surprising amount of life left in it. Set in 1974, Kong centers around an expedition to a strip of storm swept land in the South Pacific known as Skull Island. Leading this expedition are John Goodman and Samuel L. Jackson. Initially, all they are there to do is map out the island in order to get a lay of the land. For plot convenience, this involves the dropping of thermite bombs over vast swathes of the area. As expected, this carpet campaign stirs up the island’s local residents, who are none too happy about the intrusion. One inhabitant in particular turns out to be the legendary King Kong, who shows his displeasure by sabotaging all of Jackson and Goodman’s forces in mid-air. The survivors of this assault are now stranded on the island, with their only hope of rescue a rendezvous point on the southern tip of the island. The problem is Jackson takes Kong’s destruction of his

brigade personally, and now he is thirsting for revenge. There is a lot to enjoy in this film. With its period action sequences, monster battles, and wall to wall classic rock soundtrack, the film wears its influences on its sleeve. These inspirations come from a variety of connected sources. On the one hand, there is the original 1933 classic as a springboard for all the riffs going throughout the runtime. Another aspect is the influence of Francis Ford Coppola (no seriously!). In his own review, critic John Kenneth Muir is able to demonstrate the film’s relation to both ‘Apocalypse Now’ and its original source material, Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness.’ However, the key influence in this flick belongs to the bygone tradition of the old Drive-Movie Theater. Back in the 50s and 60s teenagers would often cruise out to these little parking arenas where a giant projector screen was set up. From the comfort of your car, you were treated to such gems as ‘The Brain from Planet Arous,’ ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters,’ or ‘King Kong vs. Godzilla.’ It’s the last two films that ‘Kong: Skull Island’ is a distant relative of. It is also a modern example old Drive-In flicks. The venue may have moved indoors, yet the principle of this kind of film

remains the same. This type of film isn’t here to knock ‘Citizen Kane’ off its pedestal, nor is that ever its intention. It has a much more approachable goal in mind. These films are meant to be taken as a romp, a good – natured joyride for an hour and a half that can hopefully

have enough durability to be rewatched whenever the audience is in the proper mood. Part of the goal of ‘Kong: Skull Island’ is to revive that old tradition of the midnight movie for the modern age. In this case, I’d say it was pretty successful mission.

Jets zip through narrow Star Wars Canyon, drawing visitors Ben Margot & Julie Watson

City of Z, From Page 9 by mapping out the Amazonian forest for the purposes of the rubber trade and the war that is breaking out between Peru and Brazil. He quickly accepts the position, knowing that he’ll be away from his wife and children for many years to accomplish this task. His wife, Nina, is a strong independent woman, ready to accept life as a single mom while her husband is away. She’s a strong woman, whom we see towards the end of the film, that has an unshakable belief that her husband will return. The characters display so many interesting values that we all strive to achieve, like courage, honesty, hard work and passion. James builds these into the main character while also showing us his flaws and weaknesses. A key moment in this film is when Percy is forced to apologize to James Murray (Angus Macfadyen) in front of the Royal Geographic Society and his wife for leaving him in the jungle to die. James was the philanthropist that funded the trip with the condition that he be allowed to join. On the trip, he didn’t take very well to the jungle and held the crew back. He even went as far as sabotaging the whole trip because of his weaknesses. This important event was the turning point of the whole movie and also brought out Percy’s struggle with his own pride. I highly recommend this film to view on the big screen. Very well made film with incredible character development and wonderful cinematography. The film takes you on an adventure in the Amazon forest with natives, near death experiences, starvation, and finally success and death. Although it’s not a happy ending film, it will leave you inspired and satisfied.

Waco Series, From Page 9

Associated Press

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — Silence and stillness settled over the deep, sunbaked gorge as a pair of photographers sat on a cliff, waiting. Then the rumbling started. As it grew louder, they scrambled into position. Within seconds, a thunderous roar reverberated from the steep, narrow canyon as an F-18 fighter jet streaked through it, passing beneath their feet. It came so close they could see the pilots’ expressions. This deafening show that was over in a flash is a fairly common sight at Death Valley National Park, 260 miles (415 kilometers) east of Los Angeles, where U.S. and foreign militaries train pilots and test jets in the gorge nicknamed Star Wars Canyon. Photographers — some capturing images for work, others for fun — along with aviation enthusiasts and others have been traipsing to the remote 4,688-square-mile (12,142-square-kilometer) park in growing numbers to see the jets soaring below the rim of what’s officially called Rainbow Canyon, near the park’s western entrance. It earned its nickname because its mineralrich soil and rocky walls in shades of red, gray and pink draw to mind a landscape in a galaxy


Ben Margot/AP Photo An F-15E Strike Eagle from Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina flies out of the nicknamed Star Wars Canyon turning toward the Panamint range over Death Valley National Park, Calif. Military jets roaring over national parks have long drawn complaints from hikers and campers. But in California’s Death Valley, the low-flying combat aircraft skillfully zipping between the craggy landscape has become a popular attraction in the 3.3 million acre park in the Mojave Desert, 260 miles east of Los Angeles. far, far away — Tatooine, the home planet of “Star Wars” character Luke Skywalker. The unusually close-up view of military planes zooming through the craggy gorge has become so popular the National Park Service is considering making it an attraction, with informational signs about the training that dates back to World War II. Park Service officials recently discussed erecting signs and possibly paving a spot for cars because so many people are driving to the canyon to see the training, park spokeswoman Abby Wines said. Wines understands the rush people get from seeing the jets up close. Once she was

doing technical canyoneering, hanging from a rope on a 180-foot vertical, when a jet roared over her head but below the canyon rim. “It’s the loudest thing I have ever heard in my life,” she said. “It was a scary experience since I was holding onto the rope and not anything else.” She also felt a sense of awe. But on days when one jet passes after another, the noise gets to her. Elsewhere in the park, the jets also have made it tough when performing the living history show at Scotty’s Castle, a Spanish mission-style villa reflecting early California architecture. The villa recently closed until further notice because of flood damage.

the details leading up to and chronicling the 51-day standoff in which four federal agents were killed along with some 70 people inside the sect’s compound in Central Texas. Millions watched live television coverage of the fiery end of the government’s standoff with Branch Davidian members, including sect leader David Koresh, whom authorities had been trying to arrest on weapons charges. The sect had been tipped off about the raid and a shootout ensued. Officials with the project say the miniseries will mark the first time the story is told on television through the perspectives of several people intimately involved on both sides of the conflict. “The Weinstein Co. is known for high quality projects with intriguing story lines and ‘Waco’ is no exception,” said State Film Office Director Nick Maniatis. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms


Wednesday April 12, 2017

The Egalitarian www.HCCEgalitarian.com


Intrigue on tap for NBA finale The Associated Press There will be final-night intrigue in the NBA. The two remaining playoff berths will be decided, along with the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and the site for Game 1 of the series that starts this weekend between the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers. Most individual stat races are already sewn up, barring something that would be most improbable. Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook will become the 16th player in NBA history to win two scoring titles, Houston’s James Harden will lead the league in assists for the first time and Miami’s Hassan Whiteside should be able to wrap up his first rebounding crown. Golden State’s Stephen Curry is a lock to lead the league in 3-pointers made for the fifth straight year, and his Warriors teammate Klay Thompson will finish second in that category for the fourth consecutive season. ——— TOP OF THE EAST Boston controls the race for the top seed in the East playoffs. The Celtics will be No. 1 in the East if they beat Milwaukee, or if Cleveland loses to Toronto. The Cavaliers won’t have LeBron James on Wednesday night, and are 0-7 this season when he doesn’t play. Depending on perspective, James will either be resting, recovering or revving for the start of the playoffs. It’s part of his usual playoff preparedness, since he hasn’t appeared in a regular-season finale in a decade.

AP Sports Writer

DALLAS — Tony Romo couldn’t say no when Dirk Nowitzki asked the retiring Dallas Cowboys quarterback to join the Mavericks as an honorary teammate for a day. Now it’s turned into a scene, with dozens of media members showing up for a morning shootaround before a meaningless final Dallas home against Denver on Tuesday night, with both teams eliminated from the playoffs. Romo’s “Mav for a day” experience came exactly a week after it was announced that he was leaving the Cowboys and joining CBS as the No. 1 NFL analyst. He lost his job as the Dallas starter to Dak Prescott last season and chose TV over pursuing a starting job with another team with his 37th birthday approaching next week. “At first, I was just feeling like I didn’t deserve any of that,” Romo said of his initial first reaction to the offer. “Standing here today,

Sports Briefs Rain washes out matches at US Clay Court Championship

Rain washed out all scheduled matches at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship on Tuesday. The postponed first-round matches were pushed to Wednesday. Among the seeded players now scheduled to be in action Wednesday: No. 5 Fernando Verdasco, No. 6 Feliciano Lopez and No. 7 Donald Young.

Bill legalizing daily fantasy sports in Texas heads to House Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo Houston Rockets guard James Harden, right, passes against Sacramento Kings guard Ty Lawson during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday in Sacramento, Calif. Cleveland can still be No. 1 with a win and a Boston loss. ——— BOTTOM OF THE EAST Dwyane Wade helped Miami win three championships. Now, he might help keep the Heat out of the playoffs. It’s three teams — Indiana, Chicago and Miami — for the last two spots in the East field. Indiana (which plays Atlanta) and Chicago (which plays Brooklyn) control their destinies. If the Pacers win, they’re in. If the Bulls win, they’re in. If either loses, the door opens for Miami. The Heat would reach the playoffs with a win over Washington, and a loss by either Indiana or Chicago.

——— EAST MATCHUPS The 1-8 and 2-7 matchups in the East cannot be finalized until Wednesday. Toronto is the No. 3 seed and will face either Milwaukee or Indiana. Washington is the No. 4 seed and will open the playoffs against either Atlanta or Milwaukee. Everything else is still up in the air. Depending on results Tuesday and Wednesday, any of four teams — Indiana, Atlanta, Chicago or Miami — could wind up getting the No. 7 spot. And the Pacers might be No. 6, No. 7, No. 8 or out of the playoffs entirely at No. 9. ———

CLIPPERS-JAZZ Utah hasn’t started the playoffs at home since 2001. The Jazz could change that this year, if they beat San Antonio on Wednesday while the Clippers lose at home to Sacramento. That’s the only scenario where the Jazz would be seeded No. 4 in the Western Conference playoffs. Otherwise, the Clippers will get home-court for the firstround series against Utah. All the other seeds and matchups out West for the first round are set: No. 1 Golden State vs. No. 8 Portland, No. 2 San Antonio vs. No. 7 Memphis, and No. 3 Houston vs. No. 6 Oklahoma City.

Romo’s honorary Mav day turns spectacle Schuyler Dixon


I feel a little embarrassed to be honest in the sense that you’re lucky enough to be in position, that someone cares enough to do something to honor you.” But Romo said it was a “nobrainer” to accept the offer of a tribute from Nowitzki and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. He will be in uniform in his football No. 9 and go through pregame warmups and introductions. Carlisle said Monday that Romo wouldn’t play. When the shootaround was over, a member of the Mavericks staff whistled a circus theme song while walking past reporters. On the court, Romo was playing with his youngest son, Rivers. A long line of media members followed Romo off the court, then filled the room where Carlisle does his game-day interviews. “I had close to 600 text messages that I’m still working on,” said Romo, the all-time leader in yards passing and touchdowns for the storied Cowboys franchise

AUSTIN, Texas — A bill exempting paid online fantasy sports sites from Texas antigambling laws is headed to the full Texas House. Last year, state Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a non-binding opinion that paid online daily fantasy sports constituted gambling by offering chances to win money based on the performance of teams selected online. One such site, FanDuel, subsequently stopped accepting paid entries for cash prizes in Texas. Laredo Democratic Rep. Richard Raymond’s proposal seeks to “legalize” those sites, arguing they offer games of skill rather than chance — meaning they aren’t gambling. His bill was approved 6-1 in House committee, though it’s not yet been scheduled for a floor vote. The measure may still face a tough road since Texas legislators have traditionally opposed proposals that might be seen as gambling.

Purdue says player recovering from offcampus shooting

Tony Gutierrez/AP Photo Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo drives to the basket for a shot as he warms up with the Dallas Mavericks before an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets in Dallas Tuesday. but lacking a Super Bowl title. “And 100-some calls and a bunch of other stuff. “I guess it just makes you feel that you accomplished something

in some ways. I feel like I left something out there that I always wanted to accomplish. I’ve got to live with that and that’s part of playing sports.”

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University says a football player was wounded in an off-campus shooting over the weekend. West Lafayette police say 20-year-old Andrew Chelf of Southlake, Texas, suffered a single gunshot wound to the torso about 3 a.m. Sunday. The sophomore safety was hospitalized for treatment. Police Capt. David Van Vactor tells the (Lafayette) Journal & Courier investigators believe someone shot Chelf but that no arrests were immediately made. The Purdue athletic department said in a statement it was grateful Chelf was recovering and had offered assistance to his family. Chelf played little during his first two seasons at Purdue, but had seven tackles in the Boilermakers’ spring game the day before the shooting.

Wednesday April 12, 2017


The Egalitarian www.HCCEgalitarian.com


Egal•i•tar•i•an (adjective) aiming for equal wealth, status, etc., for all people 3517 Austin; 303 Fine Arts Center; Houston TX 77004 Phone: 713.718.6016; Fax: 713.718.6601 Adviser: Fredrick Batiste

SPRING 2017 EGALITARIAN STAFF Editor-in-Chief............................................Jimmieka Mills News Editor................................................... Alyssa Foley Sports Editor..............................................John Cañamar Culture Editor.............................................. Erik Calderon Photo Editor............................................................... TBA Social Media Mgr....................................................... TBA Staff Writer............................................................ Zain Ali Staff Writer................................................... Fabian Brims Staff Writer.................................................... Ana Ramirez Staff Writer.......................................... Skarleth Velasquez Staff Writer................................................................. TBA Staff Photographer..................................................... TBA ——— The Egalitarian has been the official student newspaper of the Houston Community College System since September 1974. The Egalitarian is published bi-monthly, every other Wednesday except during holiday breaks. Print circulation is 8,000 copies per issue and distributed to selected HCC campuses in the Houston, Spring Branch, Alief, Katy, North Forest and Fort Bend areas. Comments and contributions are always welcome. Deadlines for contributions and advertisements are one week before the issue print date. The Egalitarian is written and edited by students of Houston Community College. This publication does not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, interests, attitudes and tastes of the Board of Trustees, HCC administration, faculty, staff or students. Opinions and editorial content of The Egalitarian that are unsigned do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Egalitarian staff or adviser. The Egalitarian reserves the right to edit any submitted material for grammatical errors, offensive language, libelous materials and space constraints. It may also refuse any advertising that does not adhere to the HCC mission.


The Egalitarian staff consists of HCC students who must complete all tasks required to produce the newspaper, which serves all campuses of the HCC System. We want all students from all majors to contribute. However, we must follow our submissions policy in order to operate under our limitations of time, energy and staff. All staff and contributing writers must be currently enrolled students at Houston Community College. The Egalitarian interacts with contributing writers via e-mail and telephone. Visiting The Egalitarian will not help contributors get published, only quality work will. Publication priority is given to staff members and assigned articles, and verbal commitments for assignments will not be accepted or recognized. Press releases, story ideas, news tips and suggestions are always welcomed. Any student interested in joining The Egalitarian staff may request more detailed information regarding story length, topics, style, etc., by e-mailing The Egalitarian Faculty Adviser Fredrick Batiste at adviser@hccegalitarian.com.

Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo Ann Rohrich, left, and husband Richard Rohrich, right, who are not autistic, visit with Elliot Frank, second from right, the president of Autism Housing Development Corporation of Pittsburgh, and fellow residents, Elise Mote, center, and Masha Gregory, second from right, in the recreation room at their apartment in Heidelberg, Pa. Innovative housing developments like this are popping up across the U.S. to serve those who were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder as children amid increased awareness about the disorder and changes in how it’s defined.

Housing options help autistic adults find independence Jamie Stengle Associated Press

DALLAS — Masha Gregory was nervous to move out of her parents’ home and into her own place, where the 26-year-old Pennsylvania woman worried about making friends and being away from her parents. But after living in her own apartment at a complex that focuses on adults with autism, she’s made new friends and found she loves her independence. “It was great to move out because I have my own life now,” said Gregory, who lives in a Pittsburgh-area development where half of the 42 units are for those diagnosed with autism. “I want to be able to come and go as I please,” said Gregory, who likes to draw and take photographs. The complex, called the Dave Wright Apartments, opened in December and is among innovative housing developments popping up across the U.S. to serve those who were diagnosed with autism as children amid increased awareness about the disorder and changes in how it’s defined. The developments are often spearheaded by parents who see their adult children’s desire for independence and wonder who will care for them in the future. According to the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, 87 percent of adults with autism live with their parents at some point between high school and their early 20s — a far higher percentage than the general population. “They want to live independently and they want to work. They want

to be involved. Right now there are just not enough opportunities for them to do those things,” said Debra Caudy, who is working with her husband on a housing development near Dallas inspired by their 19-year-old autistic son, Jon. Gregory’s mother, Connie, said her daughter is “thriving” in her new home. “I think she realizes that she fits in,” Gregory said. “I don’t know that she would feel as secure anywhere else.” Masha Gregory describes herself as having a “little bit of autism,” along with auditory processing disorder, meaning her ears and brain don’t function well together. Autism impairs one’s ability to communicate and interact with others, but there can be a wide range to the symptoms and severity of the disorder. Symptoms could include not speaking, repeating certain behaviors and not wanting change in daily activities. Some people with autism have signs of lower than normal intelligence, but others have normal to high intelligence. The new crop of developments to accommodate autistic adults is varied. Some are in big cities, others in small towns. Some are like the complex where Gregory has an apartment to herself. Others have homes with shared living areas and private bedrooms and bathrooms. Some just have a person on staff who can offer guidance to residents, while others offer an array of supportive services. “What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for the

other,” said Carolyn Klebanoff, a co-founder of Sweetwater Spectrum, a development featuring four shared homes in Sonoma, California. “Having a whole variety of options out there is critical.” Sweetwater, which opened in 2013, is within walking distance of the town square. It has a community center, farm, greenhouse and pool. The homes have noise-dampening ceilings and quiet heating and air conditioning systems for residents who are hypersensitive to loud sounds. Residents include those like Klebanoff’s 23-year-old daughter who aren’t conversational, as well people with high-functioning autism. “It’s more like just a place to live,” said 24-year-old Sweetwater resident Gwen Fisher, while adding that she appreciates its focus on people with autism. Fisher said she participates in activities offered at Sweetwater but also gets out into the community, including working as a dog walker and volunteering at a food bank and animal shelter. Desiree Kameka, director of community engagement and the housing network at Madison House Autism Foundation in Maryland, said such developments can provide more freedom than group homes, where housing is typically tied to a specific provider of support services. “It gives the people that live there the most flexibility and control,” she said, adding that sometimes group home residents end up being required to all do the same outside activities.


Wednesday April 12, 2017

The Egalitarian



Don’t get left out of Graduation 2017! Remember these dates: Saturday, April 15: Deadline to apply online for Commencement Ceremony Tuesday, April 18: Deadline to register online for the GED Graduation Ceremony Wednesday, May 10: GED Graduation Ceremony Friday, May 12: Mandatory Commencement Rehearsal Saturday, May 13: Commencement Ceremony (9 a.m. and 1 p.m.)

Scan QR Code For More Graduation Info