February 10 Edition of The HCC Egalitarian

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Today’s Weather


Student Voice of Houston Community College Since 1974 74/52 Clear blue skies with light winds throughout the day reaching up to 11 mph.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 • Vol. 43, No. 2 • www.HCCEgalitarian.com • @HCC_Egalitarian

Latino turncoats

Houston basketball dynasty

HCC Tutoring tutoring see Community, Page 2

see Commentary, page 11

see Sports, Page 9

Is Conn’s property a con? Alyssa Foley

The Egalitarian Houston Community College Trustee Dave Wilson filed a complaint with the District Attorney’s office against HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado and Chief Facilities Officer Chuck Smith back in August, for what Wilson considers fraud and misappropriation of bond funds. Wilson alleges that money was intentionally overpaid for the former Conn’s Appliance store building in front of the West Loop campus at 5505 West Loop South Freeway. “The misstatements by the Chancellor and Smith resulted in excess money being paid for the property,” stated Wilson in his complaint. Wilson has heard no further word from the DA’s office beside that the case was assigned. Despite several attempts, Chancellor Maldonado could not be reached for comment. The trustees approved the purchase of the property for $8,510,000 at the January 2015 board meeting with a vote of 5-1. Wilson voted against it. Trustee Carroll Robinson, Christopher Oliver and Adriana Tamez were absent. Trustees are officials elected to represent taxpayers at the regular monthly board meetings, where all final votes on college governance takes place.

Alyssa Foley / The Egalitarian The vacant Conn’s building that sits in the parking lot of the West Loop Campus at the intersection of Highway 59 and Loop 610. The deal was put together by the Waterman Steele Group consulting firm. In November 2014, HCC had the property appraised by Valbridge Property Advisors for $5,300,000. That price did not satisfy the seller. Therefore, HCC had the same appraisers take another look at the property in January 2015, and this time they placed the value at $8,510,000. For taxing purposes, the Harris County

Appraisal District places the value of the property at $2,358,000. This is not the market value of the property; the market value is how much someone is willing to pay for it. The HCC administration was willing to pay a lot for a building that it’s still not using. There are several reasons why Wilson alleges that HCC taxpayers were robbed. Wilson said that the income method and a

low cap rate were used to appraise the real estate, “in order to get it [the price] as high as they could get it.” What changed between November and January was that there was supposedly a lease for the property in the works with Tesla Motors. The appraisers based the second lease off the assumption that the property would generate rental income, but today the building still sits empty with a giant “For Lease” sign up front. The second appraisal had the extraordinary assumption that the property would be leased to Tesla Motors at $23 per square foot. Based on the assumption that all 25 thousand square feet would be leased at that rate, the appraisers reported that the market value was $8,510,000, over three million more than what they said it was three months prior. The property was purchased with HCC bond money, which is collected through district taxes for the purpose of furthering the college’s mission by purchasing things like necessary sites for school buildings. The Chancellor and Smith informed the Board of Trustees that only 20 thousand square feet of the Conn’s property would be leased. At the same time, HCC would use the remaining 5 thousand square feet.

Commuters’ daily struggles Ajani Stewart The Egalitarian

Houston is home to one of the most extensive highway systems in America, including the likes of Interstate-45, Loop610, Beltway 8, U.S.-59 and Interstate-10, which along with others, boasts over 4206 lane miles of highway. With a large proportion of Greater Houston jobs and higher education opportunities lying within the 610 Loop, commuters have the daily task of trying to beat the rush hour periods going to and from work or school. With the rise of Houston-area university enrollment, including the University of Houston system, Rice University, Texas Southern University and the Houston Community College System, tens of thousands of students have to find a means of getting to and from class every day. Not to mention the hefty rush hour traffic that hinders student flexibility on and off

campus. Houston’s ongoing highway expansion has seen a great deal of improvement on expressways and major highways, including the widening of U.S.-59 and I-10. These actions increase the emphasis on individual car use, or in other words, put more cars on the road. This is especially true when comparing the population shifts in the Greater Houston area to the surge of cars on the road. From fiscal years 2012-2014, Fort Bend County saw a 9.3 percent population increase; Harris County had a 4.1 percent population increase; Montgomery County saw a 6.9 percent population increase; and Brazoria County saw a 4.1 percent population increase. Metro Houston’s projected population in 2014 was listed as 6,490,180, a 9.13 percent increase from the 2010 U.S. Census population of 5,946,800 Houstonians. The average rate

of population change was an increase in approximately 2.2 percent every year. A larger population means a larger number of cars at a similar rate of change. In the same time frame between fiscal years 2012-2014, the amount of registered vehicles in Harris County increase by 7.6 percent, a faster rate than the population growth. Meanwhile, Fort Bend County saw an 11.2 percent increase in registered vehicles, also a larger growth than the population. The more cars on the road, the higher probability or likelihood of traffic accidents, which cause more time spent on the road as hoards of vehicles wait for a pile up to be cleared. Keep in mind that all registered vehicles might not be in use because of carpooling, stay-at-home parents with cars, unemployment, etc. see

Highway, Page 5


Conn’s, Page 3

Race for D.A. Marialuisa Rincon The Egalitarian

Kim Ogg wants to be district attorney to fix the broken justice system. Unless you are in real trouble with the law, you’re unlikely to be familiar with the role of DA. Ogg says that, “running for Harris County district attorney is applying to be CEO of the largest public law firm in Texas.” As of Feb. 7, current District Attorney Devon Anderson has not responded to an interview request.

Ogg says her past led her down a path she says is no coincidence. When Ogg was 4 years old, her mother was kidnapped in broad daylight at knife-point at a bank in Downtown Houston. Her kidnapper forced her to drive her own car to a secluded spot—the whole time describing how he would rape and kill her. Rather than being a victim to someone’s senseless violence, Ogg’s mother jumped out of the moving car. Ogg says that the physical see

Race, Page 3


Wednesday February 10, 2016

The egaliTarian WWW.HCCegalitarian.Com

on CamPus


A helping hand HCC’s tutoring program AlyssA Foley

The egaliTarian Houston Community College offers their students free faceto-face and free online tutoring in a wide variety of subjects. “HCC is committed to student success. It’s one thing to say it, but it’s another thing to put action behind it,” said Amanda Vork, the new Director of Instructional Support. “You know that the actions are there when they’re willing to invest so much money in paying for free tutors for the students,” Vork pointed out. “Tutors are getting paid from HCC and not the students,” explained Vork. “That’s just one of the many ways that HCC is trying to make sure that students have the support that they need to be successful.” Students are probably most familiar with the in-person tutoring at HCC campuses throughout the district. Sessions are on a walk-in basis, no appointment necessary. “We want to remove obstacles that students might place in the way of getting the help that they need,” explained Vork. Being appointment-free makes tutoring more accessible, so does the newly expanded hours, which are rolling out at major campuses like Central. Most students need help with the big three: English, math and science. However, tutoring is also offered in psychology, sociology, history, government, Spanish and more. “We’re expanding our services to be able to support more workforce programs in addition to the major academic subjects,” mentioned Vork. In the past year, HCC has been transitioning from operating as six separate colleges to one college with twelve centers of excellence. With the transformation, tutoring is no longer segregated by college and subject area; it’s all under one department. “It offers consistency to the students,” noted Vork. She previously was the director of the Learning Emporium at Central, before taking over tutoring for the entire HCC system this year. At Central, students signin to an online management system with their W-number and student ID for a tutoring session, instead of on a signin sheet. Vork hopes to expand that to other campuses. Students across town may see more of the Emporium-styled tutoring rooms coming to their campus in the future. The miniemporium model has already

Question 1: If you are Catholic, what will you give up for Lent and why? Question 2: What is the hardest thing you have heard of someone giving up for Lent?

Phuong Nguyen I will give up Facebook, or at least spend less time on it to spend more time with my friends and family. I had a friend who has a strong addiction to chocolate quit eating it, it was very difficult for her. Studying Business

Class of 2017

Ryan Kerkeneyer I would give up candy, for the health benefits of eating less sugar. I think the hardest thing to give up would be social media. Thomas Hopkins/The Egalitarian Ngoc Tran recieving helpful information at a tutoring session in the HUB building located at Central Campus. Online tutoring is avalibe 24 hours a day while in person tutoring varies by location. All tutoring is provided free of charge to HCC students. started at several locations. “Most of the campuses were pulling tutoring under one roof,” explained Vork. A student can take a lab report and have it reviewed by a science tutor and by an English teacher in the same room. Students can find in-person tutoring schedules and locations here: bit.ly/1QkLtWI HCC also offers students free online tutoring, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. “It amazes me that with 10 years under our belt here, we still have students and faculty who don’t know we exist,” said Deborah Hardwick, the manager of HCC Ask Online tutoring. “You could be sitting at home in your robe and fluffy slippers, and submit a paper before you go to bed, and very often,” smiled Hardwick proudly, “it’ll be ready by lunch...and it’s free.” About 150 thousand student assignments have been submitted through HCCS. AskOnline.net since it’s inception in Sept. 2006. “It’s our staff, our faculty tutoring our students,” explained Hardwick, “Tutors are all HCC faculty, or recent ex-faculty—all teachers of course….Tutors are sitting at home working comfortably.” Online tutoring takes a

different form than in-person. “When students submit a paper, tutors can take the time to really reflect on what they’re telling students,” said Hardwick, “There’s not that time pressure of the students sitting there.” With online tutoring in over 25 subject areas, “You can submit it once and get three different tutors working on it for you, and then you put all of that together,” said Hardwick. For example, a history paper would be reviewed by a history tutor for content, a research tutor for correct citations and an English tutor for grammar, structure and organization. Procrastinators beware; if a paper is due in a few hours “it’s not going to happen.” Hardwick advises submitting a paper through Ask Online at least two days before it’s due to leave time for turn around and second drafts during peak times. Hardwick stressed the importance of giving tutors as much information as possible. “If the tutor knows what you’re supposed to do, we can help you more than if we have to try and sort of guess.” Tutors have helped with everything from cosmetology and zoology essays, plus writing that isn’t even an assignment. “We have a separate subject area for résumés, scholarship applications and transfer essays,” noted Hardwick.

Hotel and Restaurant Management Class of 2016 Lexis Leassears If I were Catholic, I would give up social media and other technology. Food would be the most difficult thing I’ve known people to give up. Studying to be a Medical Lab Technician Class of 2017 Abby Fernandez I would give up fried food because it’s unhealthy. The hardest thing someone could give up would be sex. Studying: Communications Class of 2017

Curtis McCrary I would like to give up my crutches, and walk on my prosthetic full time. The craziest thing I’ve heard of people giving up is a wheelchair. General Studies Gloria Fernandez I would give up sugars, or at least excess sugar for the obvious reasons. The hardest thing someone could give up would be sex. Studying: Applied Science for Health Class of 2017


3 To register, or not to register your Drone @HCC_Egalitarian

Wednesday February 10, 2016

Ana Ramirez

The Egalitarian Drones are finding their way into the hands of hobbyists and business people, and are increasingly being used for policing and surveillance, aerial filming and competitions. Federal law is now requiring the registration of drones for safety purposes, and just in case it gets lost. Anyone who owns an unmanned aircraft weighing more than 0.55 lbs. must register with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft System. Anyone who operated their machine before Dec. 21, 2015 must register it by Feb. 19, 2016. If the machine was purchased after Dec. 21, 2015, it must be registered before it is operated outdoors. If you fail to register your drone, you could face civil and criminal penalties. The aviation administration may give civil penalties up to $27,500, while criminal penalties include fines up to $250,000 and/ or imprisonment for up to three years. You must be at least 13 years old and a U.S citizen or legal resident to register your drone. It costs $5 to register aircrafts with the federal government. Drones must be registered even if they are a gift, homemade, or just flown for fun in the backyard. Registration must be done online if your drone weighs more than 0.55 lbs. or 250 grams, and less than 55 lbs. or 25 kg. If your drone weighs more than 55 lbs., you must register it by paper.

Race, From Page 1 scars her mother bore from the attack represent, to Ogg, the scars victims carry their whole lives when the crimes against them aren’t avenged. Ogg’s has experience as the first civilian anti-gang czar. By introducing an anti-graffiti law, the anti-gang task force was able to thwart the organized crime problem that has plagued cities like Los Angeles and Chicago since the 1980s. As executive director of Crime Stoppers, Ogg help set international records through the use of cash rewards and anonymous tip lines. She boasts, “it’s important to be good at catching criminals if you want to be the DA.” Clearance rates in burglary and rape have sunk to “all-time lows” and Ogg says that in the past three years, women in particular have begun to be targeted more. About 140,000 burglaries and thefts are reported every year in Harris County, a “staggering” number, according to Ogg. Only around 6,000 are solved—even less are actually prosecuted due to the police’s tendency to lump several similar crimes with each other and attribute them to a single individual. Ogg has received attention for her stance on drug law enforcement. Every year in Harris County, about 120,000 people are arrested and charged with various offenses to the tune of $10 million. Her platform is based on lowering the number of incarcerations by not prosecuting misdemeanor possession of marijuana. It’s just one of the many problems Ogg sees in the local judicial system, “you wonder why your justice system is the way it is?...because they like their jails full.” Not just in Texas, but, “especially in Harris County.”

Jean P Mouffe / pixabay Drone with a mounted Go Pro camera for aerial photography and videography. Drones as such must be registered with the FAA at FAA.gov/uas/registration. This policy does not apply to children’s toy airplanes. The FAA states that most toys costing $100 or less are not at the weight limit. When registering your drone online make sure you register it at: FAA.gov/uas/registration All other registration websites are scams. Once you have registered your drone, you receive a confirmation number and you have to engrave it, write it with permanent marker, or put a label on the drone to indicate that it is registered. Registration numbers must be visible,

Although five times more whites are using drugs than African Americans, according to the NAACP, nationally blacks are sent to prison for drug offenses at ten times the rate of whites. By lessening the punishment, the county incarceration rate could drop by 10 percent. Ogg points out that drug convictions make people less employable, and that such convictions can have lasting effects, “Even if it’s only a Class B, you’re going to be explaining that thing for the rest of your life.” Having been both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, Ogg believes she is uniquely qualified for the job. “The power of a criminal charge and its impact on the person accused are life changing,” she says, “the same is true when a crime happens to a victim.” Ogg says that as district attorney, it would be important for her to hear both sides of the story before making up her mind, “that’s something that needs to be improved a lot in Harris County—it’s a failure of training and leadership, there’s definitely room for improvement.” As an LGBT Houstonian, Ogg credits the community with helping crime victim’s rights get on the radar. “Certain victims are just more vulnerable—elderly people, disabled people, children,” she says that, “there’s an increased harm when the motive for a violent crime is hate.” In a time where distrust of law enforcement is at an all time high, Ogg says hate crimes add to people’s apprehensions about the social structure in a time when the world is trying to become more inclusive. She says that her role as DA is to “make Houstonians safer without compromising their constitutional rights...I just want people to feel secure.”

The Egalitarian


but you can mark it in the battery compartment if a tool is not needed to open the compartment. If you have more than one drone you can put that same confirmation number on all the drones you have. Registration is valid for three years, and is renewable by paying the fee again. After you’ve completed your registration, you would also receive a certificate. You don’t have to print it, if anyone asks you for the certificate you may show it electronically. If someone borrows your drone, you

Conn’s, From Page 1 In a Memorandum to Trustee Wilson dated March 3, 2015, Chancellor Maldonado stated that, “During the last Board meeting, Mr. Chuck Smith mentioned that the college would lease a portion of the store to a third party and that the tenant of choice was Tesla Motors; however, despite our best efforts, negotiations with Tesla ended due to our inability to come to reasonable terms of lease.” With HCC using the building, it would still fulfill the bond promise in some way. “If you bought that building to rent it all out to Tesla, then you can’t use the bond money to do it,” Wilson thinks, “that’s why they put the 5 thousand [square feet] in there.” However, the appraisers based the second price on the understanding that all 25 thousand square feet would be leased. If only 20 thousand square feet were to be leased like the trustees were told, then it should have been priced at $6.8 million instead of $8.5 million. No lease ever materialized, with Tesla Motors or with any other tenant. The January appraisal stated that, “We requested actual [Letters of Intent] documents, but were not provided them.” The appraisers based the price of the property off a lease they had no evidence of. “They just took their word,” said Wilson. The Chancellor gave Wilson a leasing Letter of Intent with Tesla Motors after the trustee demanded it. It is not on HCC letterhead and it was never signed. The first page is dated January 9, 2015, but in this “non-binding Letter of Intent,” the last paragraph states that it must be signed and accepted by November 31,

have to give that person the certificate of registration. Anyone who visits the United States and brings a drone must register it, even if it’s for a competition or a business purpose. Foreign nationals will receive a recognition of ownership, instead of the recognition of registration that U.S. citizens and permanent residents receive. Drones have a flying limit of 400 feet; basically once you cannot see your drone it has passed the limit. Aircrafts can be used for commercial operations and/or businesses, but it has to go through a different process called Section 333. The Section 333 allows businessmarketing companies to have the usability of drones safely and legally. Industries included are: Aerial filming and photography, precision agriculture, Flare stack monitoring, and Critical infrastructure inspection. It is required for you to have a pilot with an airman certificate from the FAA. The administration analyzed that this activity will bring economic benefits and demand for civil operations. The FAA can deny your application for the section 333, but you can place another application within 60 days. You are prohibited from: flying your aircraft near airports or any manned aircrafts, near people or stadiums, flying beyond line of sight, and endangering people.

2014. If they were changing dates on documents, they missed one. “They’re backing into it, trying to get documentation to make it all work,” said Wilson, “The Chancellor is backed in a corner here.” It would be a poor deal for Tesla Motors, or any car dealership company. The property only has 54 parking spaces. Retail property of that size in Houston requires 100 parking spaces, and an auto dealership would require 138 parking spaces. The false hope of a tenant and giving the appraisers the wrong number of how many square feet would be leased are, “The misstatements by the Chancellor and Smith [which] resulted in excess money being paid for the property,” that Wilson mentioned in his complaint to the District Attorney’s office. Since there was no actual lease for the building, the price of the property should have stayed at the original $5,300,000. In the agenda book for the Jan. 22, 2015, HCC Board of Trustees meeting, the college administration stated that the purchase was proposed because, “the current vacancy represents a rare opportunity for the College to expand the footprint of the West Loop campus without adverse effect on adjacent property owners...” With no vacant lots nearby, the West Loop campus has little space to grow. Obviously, it is not currently needed because it sits vacant, but the purchase could have been considered a forwardthinking move if the college didn’t use taxpayer money to overpay by three million. The giant “for lease” sign on the front of the building is a reminder that the college never found a “suitable tenant.”

Community Chalmers urges students to progress 4

Wednesday February 10, 2016

Emmanuel Akinola The Egalitarian

Noted activist Mamie KingChalmers visited the Houston Community College West Loop campus for a discussion of Civil Rights on Feb. 4 for Black History Month. The image of Chalmers and two African-American children being hosed in Birmingham, Alabama at Public Safety Commissioner Bull Candor’s command is what has made her famous to this day. Chalmers was born June 19, 1941, in Birmingham where she grew up in the Jim Crow South. At 17 years old, she was a domestic worker in a woman’s house on Graymont Avenue. At the time, she was only being paid two dollars a day. Additionally, the living conditions forced on her were degrading. The owner of the house gave her a dinner that consisted of, “some moldy bread, a hot dog she had in the freezer for a long time, a small can of pork and beans, and a jar of Kool-Aid.” After only receiving

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35 cents that night for her work, she left the job and chose to never do domestic work ever again. At the insistence of her father, she joined Dr. Martin Luther King’s movement in 1963. When she joined, Dr. King told her and other demonstrators, “If anybody walks up to you, spits on you, hits you; you couldn’t go back-to-back. Just take it and tell them, ‘I love you just the same.’” She and the other demonstrators had to go through training on what to say and how to effectively demonstrate for their movement. At one point, she served five days in jail for her efforts. In jail, the police refused to feed her and the other demonstrators because of their actions. With help from Northern states and other groups, she was set free. She left Birmingham in 1966 and was pardoned in 1968. Despite progress, there was major opposition from the Ku Klux Khan, which led to the bombing of the Sixteen Street Baptist Church. Four young girls were killed in the bombing. One survivor, Sarah Collins-Rudolph,


lived to tell her story. Chalmers cautioned that even in today’s society, “people sitting next to you [could have] got a bomb.” Her advice for people is to “watch, look, and listen.” She wants young people to look around and not believe what others tell them without seeing for themselves. When asked about what other advice she would give young people, she wants them to be “obedient” and to “get educated” so they could vote and change the society we live in for the better. Chalmers gave an example of her grandson approaching her house one day with his pants down. Taken aback at this, she ordered him not to come back until he was properly dressed. Chalmers finds pants hanging down among men, and women wearing revealing clothes, as being “disrespectful.” She firmly believes that a solid education will bring young people out of the urban subculture and become productive members of society. Chalmers was given the Key to the City in Birmingham on

Thomas Hopkins / The Egalitarian Activist Mamie King-Chalmers explaining her experiences in the 1960’s and edjucating students on their importance on civil liberties in today’s political climate. December 10, 2013 for her many services as a Civil Rights leader. She called the experience an “honor,” especially considering just decades before, she couldn’t even walk freely in the city. She believes that AfricanAmericans should celebrate Black History Month “all 365 days” of the year because of the immense impact black people

had on this nation. It’s Chalmers’s wish that all young people participate in the struggles for equality and not fail to be leaders of tomorrow. For more about Chalmers, read her biography, ‘Her Stolen Pride’ by LaSuria Kandice Allman, her daughter, who was also inspired by her mother to become an activist.

Center-of-Excellence open Erik Calderon The Egalitarian

AP Stock Photo A view of I-10 freeway on the west side of Houston near the intersection of Beltway 8 and Gessner near Memorial City Mall.

Highway, From Page 1 A straightforward solution to the problem of crowding highways would be the expansion of Houston’s own METRO system. In a speech in Austin on Jan. 28, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner pointed out the huge $2.8 billion price tag and the immense size of the Katy Freeway. Further confronting the Texas Department of Transportation, Turner said, “This example, and many others in Houston and around the state, have clearly demonstrated that the traditional strategy of adding capacity—especially single occupant vehicle capacity on the periphery of our urban areas— exacerbates urban congestion problems.” He continued by saying, “These types of projects are not creating the kind of vibrant, economically strong cities that we all desire.” The Houston METRO Bus, park and ride, local buses, and METRO Rail systems act as the only means of transportation for some within the Greater Houston Area. If the METRO

system were to expand and cover more extensive ground within Houston’s boundaries and towards its outlying cities— Sugar Land, Humble and the Woodlands — it would reach the goal of decreasing traffic. Also, predicted benefits of a more active public transportation system would be expanded opportunity in the city to a larger group of individuals who are without individual transportation. Let’s not forget METRO jobs opening and ticket revenue increasing. According to METRO’s monthly ridership reports for fiscal year 2009-2012, a decrease in annual ridership from 84 million to 76 million dealt a blow to the use of public transportation. Although in the following years from fiscal year 2012-2015 ridership has made up ground with an increase up to 81 million annual riders, an average 2 percent increase per fiscal year. With Houston’s population increasing faster than METRO’s ridership rates and the flurry of highway construction and improvement projects, only time will tell the outcome of Houston’s traffic issue.

Houston Community College Chancellor Cesar Maldonado and several Trustees hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Feb. 3 at the HCC Alief-Hays campus. The Alief-Hays campus, located at 2811 Hayes Rd., is not new, but this event was to celebrate the first project completed by the Capital Improvement Project bond at this location. This project was for improvements to the campus, including opening the second, third and fourth floors of the building. The upper levels now house the Filmmaking Program, the Center for Entrepreneurs, Health and Sciences, as well as the Media and Technology program. The budget for this project was $14 million and has been in the works since mid-2013. Aric Nitzberg, program director for the Audio and Filmmaking programs at Northwest stated that, “We decided to move the filmmaking program to the Alief campus in 2012, and with this new campus move we already have an enrollment of over 400 students. The filmmaking department, which was housed at the Spring Branch Campus, is now being run from the Alief campus and takes up about one third of the third floor.” The campus host classes

Cesar Maldonado in filmmaking, Certified Nurses Aid, Horticulture, entrepreneurship, and with a partnership with UT-Tyler, it even has a 4-year engineering degree plan. Like Stafford and West Loop, the Alief campus now has its own Makers Space. It’s a lab where students can use 3D printers to create their own models, toys and designs. The campus is a combination of experiential classrooms and labs, a fully outfitted Maker Space, a facilitated collaboration space, a conference space, and a connecting learning commons to create intersections and networks of learning and innovation. The space includes an impressive, fully functional sound stage with a green screen, private editing suites, a Foley studio and a Screening Theater for film students to edit their projects. It’s a dream for any aspiring or even professional filmmaker. This new building has all the

facilities a professional studio has. On the same floor is the Center for Entrepreneurship where students can participate in the HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition. The yearly competition was started nine years ago and has helped several students either start up their business or expand. This year, out of 60 applicants, 30 have been accepted into the program. The program matches two advisers with each business to help them develop their business plan. There are five training sessions and a presentation before a final round. The three best business plans will win prizes that total over $16 thousand. The goal is to build and sustain the Houston business community through effective and relevant educational initiatives. The Office of Entrepreneurial Initiatives leads and coordinates all business and entrepreneurial initiatives at HCC.

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Wednesday February 10, 2016

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Wilson’s legacy “The Black Power Movement of the 1960s is the kiln in which I was fired, and has much to do with the person I am today and the ideas and attitudes I carry as part of my consciousness,” said August Wilson in ‘The Ground on Which I stand’. August Wilson’s plays cover the plight of black life and the central issues facing African Americans over the course of the twentieth century. As one of only seven dramatists to ever win two Pulitzer Prizes, Wilson set out to, “tell a history that has never been told.” The critical success of his plays proved not only that Americans had in interest in the untold history of African Americans, but that black theatre held promise and talent. “I knew Mr. Wilson personally, and he was an amazing man whose work has had a profound impact on me professionally and on theatre communities worldwide,” said Eileen Morris, the Artistic Director for The Ensemble Theatre in Houston. The historic African-American theatre is the oldest and largest professional African American theater in the Southwest. It’s located at 3535 Main St., just blocks from Houston Community College’s Central campus. Wilson continued to write, lecture and teach up until he died of liver cancer on Oct. 2, 2005. He was diagnosed four short months before he succumbed to the disease. Wilson was 60 years old. “This

year, August Wilson would have been 70 years old, and this is the tenth year of his transition,” stated Morris. The Ensemble Theatre’s celebration of Wilson’s work is bringing together a variety of artists and directors through July 18 to participate in staged readings of ten of his plays. The next scheduled reading of ‘Seven Guitars’ is February 22 at 6pm, directed by Shirley Whitmore. The Ensemble is currently showing Fences until February 28. Contact The Ensemble Theatre 713520-0055 or EnsembleHouston.com Although Wilson would face adversity in childhood and throughout his life, it was his discovery of the Black Power Movement of the 1960s that he credited for making him realize that his ideas were representative of a culture. This realization began Wilson’s career as a writer looking to tell the story of black struggles through visual arts. Ideals of self-sufficiency, self-defense and self-determination of the Black Power Movement ignited his support of the movement. Wilson would go on to write 16 plays from the early 1970s into the beginning of the twenty-first century. He felt that his plays were a culmination of experiences that shaped his interpretation of the world. Wilson was not classically trained in performing arts. However, in his speech presented to the Theatre Communications

AP Stock Image August Wilson famous play write, whose works covered the plight of african american suffrage from the 1900’s into the 21st century. Group National Conference in 1996 entitled, ‘The Ground on Which I Stand,’ Wilson credits those who are considered pioneers in the eyes of the world of theatre, “the ground I stand on has been pioneered by the Greek dramatist, by Euripides, Aeschylus and Sophocles; by William Shakespeare; by Shaw and Ibsen; and by the American dramatists Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams.” While Wilson earned countless honors, his plays are not simply notable for the awards they earned, but for the careers his plays gave birth to. Wilson’s work helped to propel and cement the careers of a legion of actors, directors and artisans. The original production of ‘Fences’—

Hoverboard Hazards Ana Ramirez

The Egalitarian Houston Community College does not have a districtwide policy for hoverboards. Currently, policies vary from campus-to-campus. Southeast Campus Manager Dolores Rios said, “There is no policy on hoverboards. Our policy is that students are not allowed to skateboard on our granite benches.” Southwest Campus Manager Alex Prince stated “I cannot answer for HCC, but I can answer for Southwest college. We don’t allow any hoverboards in the facility at all. We really discourage it on campus because as you notice on the news, they are becoming a fire hazard.” Prince added that, “It should be in the student handbook.” However, even as a campus manager, he said that, “I have not been able to locate the handbook.” If you use the search bar and weed through two misdirecting links and two dead links, you can find a copy of the Student Handbook on HCC’s website (bit.ly/1Q2ZON7). It contains no mention of Hoverboards. Searching the word ‘Hoverboard’ on HCCS. edu gives no results. Central campus secretary,

Annette Olvera, researched and found that there is no permanent policy in place at the moment. For the meantime, hoverboards are not allowed inside buildings, but they are allowed on the campus grounds. Northwest, Northeast and Coleman campus managers could not be reached for comment. HCC Police Lieutenant John Boxie stated that, “Since there is no policy yet, we cannot do anything,” he added that, “according to the City of Houston code of ordinances, skateboarding is not allowed on the sidewalks. They still don’t have one for hoverboards.” So far, there have been 12 Hoverboard incidents in the United States and at least 40 incidents in 19 other countries. Many universities such as Purdue University, Yale University, Ohio State and others have either banned hoverboards or now fine for their use. They are banning them because of fire hazards and/or it’s a type of motor transportation. Disney theme parks, malls, some cities and even some states are banning hoverboards because some have already caught on fire in public places. Also, different cities, states, and countries are taking control and making different policies about riding hoverboards or

making them illegal. Hoverboards could catch on fire anywhere—while it’s charging, while in use, or simply sitting there awaiting use. There isn’t a particular brand that does not catch on fire. Engineers are investigating why they are exploding and catching on fire. They believe that hoverboards are catching on fire because they are having problems with the lithium-ion batteries. The batteries are more powerful than any other electronic device, and when a person over charges them, it can explode. It is recommended that Hoverboards not be charged indoors for safety reasons. Hoverboards are the most popular thing to buy this new year. It’s the most recent thing that came out and lots of people like to have the newest thing to be what they call “cool.” Parents are giving their kids hoverboards because they want to give their child what they wish for, to keep them happy, or because they believe their kids deserve it. So far, nobody has been injured or died from the fires because somehow it happens when they aren’t on it, or somehow they fall off. People need to be careful with hoverboards because anything could happen.

one of Wilson’s best known plays— introduced James Earl Jones, who won a Tony for the performance. Mary Alice played his wife, and she went on to television and movie fame after winning a Tony for Best Actress. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis starred in the 2010 revival of ‘Fences’, which was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, and won Best Revival of a Play, Best Actor (Washington) and Best Actress (Davis). Wilson was the first African American with a Broadway theatre named after him. Shortly after Wilson’s death, the Virginia Theatre in New York was renamed to ‘The August Wilson Theatre’ in his honor.

On second thought Alyssa Foley

The Egalitarian HCC Trustee Dave Wilson also filed a complaint to the Texas Appraiser Licensing & Certification Board against the appraisers the college hired to determine the value of the Conn’s property purchased in January 2015. Besides basing the second appraisal off the rumor of a tenant, Wilson sees another mistake in the lease. They compared the value of the former Conn’s Appliance store to a CVS Pharmacy store’s value. A CVS Pharmacy is a single-purpose facility, which costs more than a big box, empty store building like a Conn’s. “That’s not [comparing] apples to apples,” stated Wilson. The three licensed appraisers signed off on the second appraisal, with the standard statement that, “We certify that, to the best of our knowledge and belief....We have performed no services, as an appraiser or in any other capacity, regarding the property that is the subject of the appraisal within the three-year period immediately preceding acceptance of this assignment.” The same appraisers had signed the first document just three months earlier.

According to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, if they have appraised a property within the last three years, what they are supposed to do is modify the first appraisal, not create a new one. Wilson believes that, “they purposely ignored it [the first appraisal].” In letters to Wilson dated Jan. 28, 2016, the Texas appraiser board stated that, “The Board has completed its investigation of the above complaint that you filed, and has found that the report contained minor deficiencies. The Board has issued a nondisciplinary warning letter to the appraiser advising the appraiser to be more diligent in the areas deemed to be deficient.” The appraiser board advised that in the future, the Valbridge Property Advisors should provide documentation to support value adjustments and to acknowledge any prior work on a property. Wilson said he is “infuriated” with the state board’s response and vows to get Texas Governor Greg Abbott “on them.” In Wilson’s view, what the Texas appraiser board said was, “Ya, they robbed a bank, but we sent them a letter and told them not to rob a bank again.”


Wednesday February 10, 2016

The Egalitarian www.HCCEgalitarian.com



Left: Renee Shepherd performs at Civil Rights Program Middle Left: Coach Ham at Hotwheels practice. Middle Right: Joshua Moses performing at West Loop Campus. Bottom Left: Abraham HausmanWeiss during scrimmage versus the Harlem Globetrotters. Bottom Right: Carrington Marendes driving to the hoop for an easy lay-up.



Right: Kim Ogg during her interview with Marialuisa Rincon Middle Left: El Gato and Hawk of the Harlem Globetrotters enjoying lunch at Killens BBQ during their visit to Houston. Middle Right: A young Astros fan during FanFest wearing his team’s colors with pride. Bottom: El Gato attempting to steal the ball from Hawk in their scrimmage with the TIRR Hotwheels.

Wednesday February 10, 2016

The Egalitarian




Wednesday February 10, 2016

The Egalitarian www.HCCEgalitarian.com



HCC students’ high price for fitness Jimmieka Mills The Egalitarian

As students at Houston Community College, we have many great recreational benefits. However, free access to the Central campus fitness center is not one of them. At HCC, students pay for recreational sports programming through a $6 per semester fee. Many campuses throughout HCC have free fitness and weight rooms for students, but Central students must pay more to use their campus fitness center. HCC reopened the Central fitness center in 2014 after some changes. After the renovations, the fitness center no longer has a pool, so there are no aquatic activities. The center now has a row of treadmills, three 55-inch flat screen TVs, elliptical machines and a list of other amenities—all of which students and staff are required to pay for. With fitness center student fees of $75 for fall and spring semesters, and $50 for summer, struggling students are paying $200 for access to the facilities every year. Some people may have no problem supporting their college by purchasing a membership, but that's not what's happening at Central. The fees do not go to the college. Even though the fitness center is inside of the San Jac building on campus, the fitness center is not actually owned by HCC. According to Troy Jefferson, the college’s Rec Sports director, “The fitness center is a separate entity just as any other stand alone business in the midtown area.” What does this mean for those choosing to purchase a membership? Know your facts and compare prices with surrounding fitness centers. Since the fees are not going to HCC,

a membership to the central fitness center holds the same weight as getting a membership from a big-name gym. There may actually be more benefits to joining a traditional gym. Although the $200 yearly student fee may seem affordable, consider that many outside gyms have extended hours with 24 hour gyms becoming more of the norm. Access to the fitness center is based on the school schedule for the semester. If the campus is closed, so is the fitness center. In the past, Central’s fitness center had hours that extended to 9pm, which is a more feasible time for staff and faculty to use the gym. The fitness center never stopped operating on a summer schedule, which means facilities close at 7pm. A staff member, who requested to remain anonymous, stated that, “We really aren’t sure who to talk to in order to get those extended hours back. With access only being from 7am–7pm, faculty and staff have a difficult time trying to make it in before 7pm.” Gyms that may charge a bit more (such as the 24 Hour Fitness at the corner of Elgin and Louisiana) offer access nearly everyday of the year with the exception of Christmas day. Their membership fees cover group cycling, steam room access, indoor lap pools and a kid’s club. At Central, family membership purchases are available, but only family members over the age of 16 are permitted. The Central fitness center has a few payment options. Students can choose to pay for a full semester at $75 or can get a day pass for $5. Fitness Center Manager Kristen Ledezma discourages the day pass option, pointing out that, “If you go to the gym four days on a day pass, you have already paid for a month’s use. It saves you a lot more if you just pay $20 for the month.”

Jimmieka Mills / The Egalitarian Elliptical and stair climbing machines inside of the gym inside of the San Jacinto Building at Central Campus.

Paying the monthly fee has a catch as well. “Monthly fees are not prorated, so regardless of when you pay, your fees will only be good until the last day of that month in which you pay,” stated Ledezma. There is currently no yearly option for students, membership is only available on a semester by semester basis. Meanwhile, the neighboring 24 Hour Fitness also offers day passes. “We have special offers that give you up to 3 days for free,” said Destiney, a Fitness Instructor at 24 Hour Fitness, “but coming into one of our locations will guarantee you one free day. As long as you have not held a membership to 24 Hour Fitness in the

last 6 months, just provide an ID and you’re set.” Although the fitness center is not covered under recreational fees, there are certain recreational sports and classes paid for by recreational fees that take place in the center. The Central College's Recreational Sports schedule includes boot camp and MMA conditioning classes on Monday and Wednesday 4:30–5:30 pm; Self Defense Tuesday 4:30–5:30; Step Fit classes Thursday 5:45–6:45pm; Zumba Monday and Wednesday 3–4pm; and Free Play Friday 3–5:30pm. These are some of the recreational sports programming which students' $6 per semester fee go toward.

Honoring franchise with Sunday uniform John Cañamar The Egalitarian

The Houston Astros will wear a new, alternative jersey on Sundays this season, which will pay homage to the club’s history. The team unveled a navy jersey at Fan Fest on Jan. 23. It has the same orange rainbow pattern running down the sides, which the team wore in the 70s and 80s. The Astros name is in block letters in the familiar orange hue lined in white trim in an arch across the center of the chest. When the team decided to embark on the journey of creating a new jersey, the first priority was to carry on the traditions and stay within the franchise’s DNA. The second goal was not to create a throwback jersey, but instead create a modern-retro one. Astros Historian Mike Acosta stated, “In 2000 we branded the team after the new stadium. We finally went back to our core in 2013. I feel we went back home.” Acosta was referring to the Astros changing their colors

Ajani Stewart/The Egalitarian Display setup for fans to view ofAstros jerseys spanning the franchises history at FanFest. Jerseys are placed in chronological order from left to right: 1965 home Shooting Star, early 70’s Shooting Star, Mid 70’s to late 80’s Rainbow Jersey, 80’s Navy and Rainbow Sleave and current Home White. from orange and navy to Brick Red, Smoke Black and Texas Limestone Sand to match the then Enron Field—now Minute Maid Park. Team branding today is a major source of a franchise’s revenue, and the number one

item that a team is associated with is their jerseys. Team branding did not start with jerseys, it started with different color socks or leggings that were worn on top of the socks. Teams began to be known for the colors of their socks like the White

Sox, Reds and the Red Sox. In the 1960s when the Astros came into existence, teams still wore Home Whites and Road Grays uniforms. In 1964, the Colt arms company wanted royalties for the name of Colt 45s. The

franchise did not want to pay so they decided to change the name. Original team owners Roy Hofheinz and Bob Smith chose the name of Astros over the name Stars—with the influence of Astronaut Allen Shepard— because of the city’s ties to the space program. The second item that teams use for branding is their ball caps, and the Astros are no different. The Astros’ H and Star is also a tribute to the city’s history. The Star is like the name; a nod to Houston’s ties to space exploration. The H goes deeper than the obvious for Houston; it was chosen to honor the Houston Buffs. The Buffs were a Minor League team that played across from the University of Houston and were owned by the same group as the Astros in their final season. The third most important branding ingredient is a team’s colors. Orange was picked see

Jersey Reveal, Page 9

Wednesday February 10, 2016


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A Houston basketball dynasty John Cañamar The Egalitarian

Hotwheels inbound the ball to Carrington Marendes, he dribbles once, he finds Abraham Hausman-Weiss with a half court pass, who goes streaking to the basket for an uncontested lay up for two. On Jan. 26, the Harlem Globetrotters’ El Gato Melendez and Hawk Thomas visited the TIRR Memorial Hermann at their basketball practice, where they spoke with players, gave them words of encouragement and even participated in a scrimmage. El Gato and Hawk were elected team captains and strapped themselves into chairs. Hawk said, “This was one of the biggest challenges that I have faced in my basketball career.” Not only were Hawk and El Gato out of their element due to the wheelchairs, but they were scrimmaging with the two-time defending National Wheelchair Basketball Association National Champions who are gearing up to defend their title once again. Team Captain Hausman-Weiss, a twotime All-American, shot an extraordinary 68 percent from the field last year in the national tournament for the post season with the target on his team’s back while defending the title. Hausman-Weiss is not only aiming to defend his team’s title, but looks forward to the opportunity of winning a third straight championship and the honor of being named the MVP this season. In his five seasons with the team, they have made it to four Final Fours and three Championship games, winning the past two. Marendes is only 14 years old and is a freshman in high school. He is already peaking the interest of college recruits from around the country. He knows that he wants to be an educator and that he will

Thomas Hopkins / The Egalitarian El Gato Melendez teases Ke’Sean Paire after blocking his shot on a drive to the hoop. Paire later stole the ball from El Gato that led to a fast break in the second half of the scrimmage. continue competing in basketball through college and beyond. Marendes' goal is lofty, but is not an unobtainable one. Two members of last year's team earned full scholarships. This year's team captain Hausman-Weiss is deciding on whether to accept one from either the University of Illinois, University of Alabama or the University of Missouri. When asked what he enjoyed about basketball, Marendes answered that, “it is the act of competing and the accomplishments that I can achieve with my team, my brothers.” Trice Hamm, head coach for the Hotwheels, said that, “Wheelchair basketball is one of those games that you see once and you're hooked.” Hamm was filled with emotions during

Scan for link to Hotwheels Video

Cashing in on ad space

Jersey Reveal, From Page 8 because it was Hofheinz favorite color, while the navy blue was chosen because it complements orange and it was the primary color of the Buffs. With the invention of color television in the 1970s, teams began experimenting with colored jerseys. The Astros were in the forefront of the trend and created the rainbow jersey that the team is best known for, even after 30 years of retiring that uniform. The team also created another trend that is still in practice today, the use of alternating uniforms. The Astros team owner in the 80s, John McMullen, decided to give the team a Sunday uniform like his father gave him a Sunday suit for church. McMullen wanted the team to look their best on Sunday home games. The creation of this new jersey was built on the same principle. The team will represent the culture that is the Astros with the navy and rainbow jerseys on Sundays. After the unveiling of the

the interview as he reflected on all the journeys that he has been on alongside all of his players in six years as a coach. “These kids are harder to get to, and [it's] harder to gain their trust,” Hamm mentions the hurdles of coaching his team. “They are more mature and guarded [than other kids their age], they make you earn their trust.“ “They have gone through more in their 15 to 16 years of life than most men 50-years-old have gone through,” Hamm added. Assistant Coach Ava Skrabanek is in her second season with the team, but plays a crucial part in their success. Skrabanek is the Adapted Sports Coordinator at TIRR Memorial Hermann and is responsible for all of the travel

plans and logistics of the team's functions. Skrabanek explained that the sportswheelchairs start at $2.5 thousand each and are designed to be lightweight and have banked wheels to allow them to be faster and easier to turn. The chairs are stripped of all of the accessories like cup holders and brakes. What they do have are fifth wheels, an extra arm with casters placed behind the chair to help prevent the chairs from flipping backwards when the players accelerate or run into each other in the middle of a competition. There is also a cage bar that is in the front of the chair to prevent any further harm to the players’ legs. After the scrimmage, Globetrotters El Gato and Hawk showed the team tricks that they perform on a daily basis to fans around the world before taking pictures with them and signing autographs. El Gato said, “these kids are amazing,” and he wished that more people would support them in their journey. Hamm wants to stress that these young men are athletes like anyone else who steps onto any court, and that the chair does not define them. The Hotwheels will defend their title beginning on April 7 through the 10 in Louisville, Kentucky.

John Cañamar The Egalitarian

Scan for link to FanFest Video alternate jersey, fans were buzzing with excitement and flocked to the team store to purchase replica versions and to order customized, original game-day jerseys. Mike Wallace of Tomball, TX stated, “I had to order one. Blue is my favorite color and the Astros are my team. This jersey is now my favorite, even better than the 80s Rainbow one.” With less than two week for spring training and a little more than a month and a half until opening day, fans can get their team gear ready, so they can come out to the ball game and cheer on their Astros to victory in 2016.

At a whopping price of $5 million for a 30-second time slot, advertisers were tripping over themselves to reserve one of the coveted ad spots during the Super Bowl. At these prices, you would think that they would turn to seasoned professionals to create their ad campaign. If this was your thought, then you should be surprised to learn that a multi-billion dollar company like Doritos has hosted a contest for the past 10 years to see who will create their ad. This year, the winner created an ad with a couple at the doctor’s office viewing an ultrasound of their baby. When the father pulls out a bag of Doritos, he notices that the baby is following the chip that is in his hand. Upset, the mother snatches the chip and throws it across the room. At this point, the camera pans over to the monitor where the baby pushes off of the mother’s stomach as if a swimmer taking a turn in a pool and dives out of view of the monitor. The mother instantly screams, along with the doctor. The commercial implies that she goes into labor. As great as that commercial was, the most amusing was one where Kevin Hart plays a father whose daughter goes out on a date. Hart gives his car keys to the young man and then pops up in all the locations the young man takes his daughter.

Wm. Wrigley Jr Co. / AP Photo Skittles commercial feturing Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler critquing a portrait of himself made from the Skittles candy. The ad was for Hyundai Genesis and its cartracking feature. There are also the commercials that leave you scratching your head; why did they spend their money on this? Usually these are the commercials that have aired prior to the big game. This year, that commercial was an Advil ad that has run since November of last year. Prices for next year’s game are said to be at $5.25 million for the same 30-second spot.


Wednesday February 10, 2016

The Egalitarian www.HCCEgalitarian.com

Artistic growth Jessica Alexander Contributor

There are many kinds of people, artists and music genres. Everyday, we try to discover something or someone new, especially when it comes to music. For a new vibe, look no further then Taz Da Realist. “Some say I changed. I just drew a bigger line.” – Taz (Headline Remix) She is known as Kela Johnson, a Houston native, but to those in the LGBT community, she’s Taz Da Realist. Regarding her artist name, she says, “Of course I enjoy the [Taz] character from Looney Toons, but also because just like the character, he just tears things up when he is around, so it was given to me in high school and it stuck,” Taz added that, “my supporters always told me I was the realist when it came to my music, so I put it all together.” The name Taz suits her. She destroys every song she makes—in a good way. Taz allowed me to invade her personal space to ask her a few questions, so The Egalitarian readers could know the person behind the name. She is an unsigned artist, who has been featured in many blogs, LGBT radio shows, and has even performed in many clubs. She finances all of her projects, spends time working on her music nonstop, while also trying to make it in the world. She is the oldest of two siblings,

who both look up to their big sister. “I didn’t actually know what I wanted to be,” said Taz, “I just knew it was easier for me to express myself with music and once I did put it out, and received the feedback, I did feel maybe this is what God wants from me.” She still feels that she has a long way to go when it comes to being accepted in the industry. She is a lesbian, but her sexualorientation should not matter. Some people do not look at her as a “true” female rap artist because she doesn’t dress feminine enough for them. She is sometimes called “sir”. In Taz’s eyes, she is just another artist trying to make a name for herself doing something that she loves. When she decided to do music, many people that knew her didn’t realize that she could spit rhymes. It changed people’s perspective of her. She still faces some obstacles with some people and life, but she says her family and supporters have helped her get over most of that. “I overcame being worried bout people judging me. I use to worry a lot about that until I realized nobody can make me happy but me,” Taz said. Taz stated that music “changed a lot for me, as in, how I view the world. Sometimes, it’s like a canvas; anything I do, anything I see, or around, I put into my work.” Taz is an artist who wants to provide


Image courtisy of Taz Da Realist Houston’s own Kela Johnson also known by her performing name, Taz Da Realist, just released her latest EP titled ‘Murk Season’ with the tracks ‘Riot’ and ‘All Day.’ a change in the industry. She wants to keep touching people by telling her story through her music. She recently dropped an EP titled ‘Murk Season’ with hits on it named

Horrifing flick Sami Ismail Contributor

The Final Project’ is a horror film about a group of college students and their film project. The students film a documentary on an old, Civil War era plantation—which is said to be haunted—but they don’t believe in spirits. After seeing the film, I spoke with the Writer, Director and Producer, Taylor Ri’chard, who told me about the process of making his vision come to life. As a child, he grew up in Louisiana, where he would hear Ghost stories, and he watched many Alfred Hitchcock films. He used his childhood experiences and passion for horror stories to develop ‘The Final Project’. After the script was completed by him and his co-writer Zackary Davis, preproduction took him about a year. When he started filming, he had problems with one of the locations he shot at, which was also used for the TV show ‘Vampire Diaries’. His comment was, “we couldn’t really get what we needed out of it.” He had reshoot a lot. He had to find different parts of the same set to shoot at so it didn’t look like the TV show. The characters in the film seemed natural, but Ri’chard said, “There was room for

improv, but most of the scenes were scripted.” While casting, he “looked for the characters in the personality traits of all the actors.” That is why all of the characters looked so natural in the film. It’s because “they were all just being themselves.” Some of the dialogue that he and Zachary Davis wrote was from actual personal experiences, which also helped it seem natural. The characters and the actions that they took ran parallel with reality, of course, without horrors. His advice to aspiring actors, who were auditioning was to, “Walk in the audition room as the character you are portraying. You should study the script really well because you’re an actor and no one is looking for anyone, but the character in you.” His advice to young filmmakers is to study the business of filmmaking if you want to generate any income from it. “Writers and directors get lost in the creative side of filmmaking. At the end of the day, we all we know how to make a movie. It is crucial to understand budgeting and that we have to pitch and sell our ideas to investors.” Once they have the movie completed, they also have the challenge of getting the movie into the theater.


‘Riot’ and “All Day.” She is slowly, but surely taking the world by storm. You can find her music on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube and SoundCloud by Taz Da Realist.

Preparing for Pendleton Neelou Goodarzi Contributor

Taylor Ri’Chard Films Movie poster of the new horror thriller ‘The Final Project’ His advice to HCC students is to, “Do it because you love it, anything else is a waste of your time.” Unfortunately ‘The Final Project’ didn’t complete its purpose of entertaining the audience by building fear. There wasn’t a buildup of tension before each action took place. The action scenes happened too quickly and didn’t delve deep enough into the psychological effects of all the characters. They reacted, but cameras didn’t capture those reactions properly. At the end, there wasn’t a closure of what the antagonist’s motives were. The movie left me hanging with a lot of questions.

‘The Finest Hours’ is a story about selflessness, heroism and sacrifice. It chronicles the true story of the historic 1952 U.S. Coast Guard rescue. During one of the worst storms in New England history, an oil tanker called the SS Pendleton split in half, leaving its crew stranded at sea. The film is based on the book by Michael Tougias and Casey Sherman. The movie stars Chris Pine as Bernie Webber and Casey Affleck as Ray Sybert. Despite the rescue being a true story, nothing brings this story to life better than the visuals. In a phone conference with college journalists, Casey Affleck noted that movies “can really bring something like this to life—the scale of which would be hard to imagine if it weren’t a movie. No matter how much I heard about it or read about it, I was still really surprised…It’s the kind of thing you want to see someone make a movie of.” Aside from having the opportunity to work in his hometown, another thing that drew Affleck to this role was being part of a film with “a strong message, and a good story with good characters.”

The morals and the message behind this film is what Affleck expects will set it apart. He noted that the film, “also supports the characters and the core values of Disney… it’s kind of refreshing to see a movie like that.” Chris Pine had his own opportunity to honor Bernie Webber’s legacy by speaking with some of Webber’s closest friends and colleagues. He gained some insight on the true Bernie Webber. “As an actor,” Pine said, “even though I’ll never know what it’s really like to be a Coast Guardsman…there are certain general human emotions and feelings that you can attach to and bring your own experience to.” The film has its ups and downs as the characters take on an almost impossible feat. Pine says that’s what makes it so interesting, “I love the idea of a regular man up against seemingly insurmountable odds.” The film characters had many personal and professional struggles. When asked about their own struggles, Pine reminded us he could relate to overcoming obstacles as an actor. “Being in the film business is hard enough and there’s a lot of luck involved…you face an incredible amount of rejection.”



Wednesday February 10, 2016

The Egalitarian



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 2015 EGALITARIAN STAFF Editor-in-Chief............................................... Alyssa Foley News Editor................................................Jimmieka Mills Sports Editor..............................................John Cañamar Culture Editor.............................................. Erik Calderon Photo Editor........................................... Thomas Hopkins Social Media Mgr.....................................Jessica Wosiack Staff Writer................................................... Ajani Stewart Staff Writer.................................................... Ana Ramirez Staff Writer.......................................... Emmanuel Akinola Staff Writer................................. Chutiya Metheesupapak Staff Writer............................................ Marialuisa Rincon Staff Photographer......................................Gilbert Bernal ——— 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.

Latino turncoats A

merica is becoming more and more progressive overall, despite recent evidence to the contrary. Anyone who wasn’t a white land-owning male 200 years ago didn’t have a right to vote. Eight years ago, we elected our first black president. Anti-sodomy laws were upheld in Texas until 2003, but today everyone has the equal right to marry whoever they choose. Until the mid-nineteenth century, a woman’s rights were in the hands of her husband upon marriage. Women couldn’t be employed without their husband’s consent. Today, the eighthrichest person in the world is a woman, and the United States has had three female Secretaries of State. America becomes more inclusive and diverse with every passing day. This presidential election is disillusioning. It seems like as a country, the U.S. has lost the potential for improvement and the momentum we built up in the last few decades is stagnating. Primarily in the GOP, campaigns seem to revolve around what candidates will take away from Americans rather than what they can bring to the table and add to our welfare. There is one group in particular who has been marginalized and bastardized by the Republican Party: Hispanic Americans. They are the sleeping majority who are waking up to face this threat against them. Conservative values call on the maintenance of traditions. However, it seems strange that the two men who are best equipped—both academically and with practical experience—to smooth over the immigration crisis simply

Marialuisa Rincon refuse to do so. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are Hispanic, whether they like it or not. They shouldn’t be fighting diversity, they should be celebrating it. This denial of their heritage echoes back to 1950s Texas, when Mexican-Tejano children were systematically discouraged from speaking Spanish. They were often punished for it. Ted Cruz has done everything he can to distance himself from his father’s culture and actively works against others being given the same opportunities he was. He can’t even decide if he wants to keep immigrants out. As Texas Solicitor General, Cruz was on the board of advisers of the Hispanic Alliance for Prosperity Institute—a now-defunct group of Latino conservatives that loudly advocated a path to legalization. By all accounts, he was an active member and used his legal expertise to draft policy positions. The group even fundraised for him during his 2012 Senate race. Cruz’s immigration policy is explicitly outlined on his website. It revolves around blocking off the country to anyone who is not American. First, with a reinforced wall—a literal wall supported by “boots on the ground” and “eyes in the sky,” and even a new-age biometric tracking system that records every person entering

and leaving the United States. He doesn’t stop there. Now, not even Obama’s executive actions enforcing amnesty are safe. “President Obama has issued over 20 illegal executive memoranda rewarding illegality. I will rescind each and every one on my first day in office,” stated Cruz. Latino Americans cannot expect any semblance of assistance from a president who has “increase deportations” listed as part of his platform, and who attacks another candidate for supporting amnesty. Rubio is equally indecisive, and equally as hostile. He has said that his immigration policy is “not much different than [Cruz’s].” To his credit, he does favor some sort of path to legalization for undocumented immigrants. Rubio is known to have less extreme views than Trump or Cruz, but Rubio’s plan also includes a wall and an army battalion of border guards armed to the teeth with the latest weapons, drone and sensor technology. Both candidates base their stringent immigration policies on the idea that more immigrants equals more competition for American jobs. They are operating on the assumption that there are enough qualified Americans to fill those jobs, and that Americans actually want these jobs. In the past, these two men would have been discriminated against and suppressed. In a strange plot twist, they are the ones trying to oppress their own people. How strange it is to want to destroy the very establishment that allowed your parents to live and thrive in this country, and which by extension, gave you the same opportunities you have had so far.


Wednesday February 10, 2016

The Egalitarian www.HCCEgalitarian.com


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