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Today’s Weather

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016 • Vol. 43, No. 3 • www.HCCEgalitarian.com • @HCC_Egalitarian

On your mark, get set, walk see Community, Page 4

‘The Journey’ art celebrates black culture

Ten-Hut WWE fans

see Culture, page 10

see Sports, Page 8

HCC Nursing Program

Hanging on with life support Alyssa Foley

T

The Egalitarian

he Texas Board of Nursing recently ruled that the accreditation of Houston Community College’s Associate Degree in Nursing program be put on probation status. The conditional status means that HCC cannot admit any new students into the program. At least 80 percent of current students must pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX, in order for HCC not to lose the program. The state nursing board placed the program on probation after less than 80 percent of HCC nursing graduates passed the NCLEX for the third year in a row. In 2015, HCC’s pass rate was 78 percent. We reached out to multiple nursing students, but none would go on record for fear of “ruffling some feathers” during their last semesters. One student on the verge of tears described it as “so much pressure” being put on them to perform. This five-semester program leads to an associate of applied science degree and prepares students to take the national exam to become a registered nurse. Enrollment continues today in the

Graphic courtesy of HCC This graphic from the Feb. 16 HCC Board meeting shows the passing rates of Houston Community College’s nursing program graduates on the NCLEX Registered Nurse licensing exam, compared to the national average for the past eight years. For the past three years, HCC has fallen below the minimum requirement of 80 percent passing, and the college’s nursing program is now on probation. The average national pass rate is in dark blue, while HCC’s pass rate is in light blue. three-semester Vocational Nursing Certificate program, which prepares students to perform specific duties under

the supervision of a registered nurse or other licensed health professional. “Our advisors are available to provide

information on the changes this status has created to assure that those interested in the ADN program are prepared for next spring when we expect the status to be upgraded,” wrote HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado in an email to students dated Feb. 2. Dr. Maldonado stated at a Board of Trustees meeting Feb. 16 that the “root cause of some of the problems that we have now” date back to 2011. HCC’s Coleman College for Health Sciences President Philip Nicotera said that no single problem caused the numbers to decrease, but rather, “a perfect storm of several factors happening all at once.” Dr. Nicotera became the president of Coleman in May 2015, long after the problems had taken root. In order to increase program enrollment, the required entrance GPA for the program was decreased from 3.0 to 2.5 and a math entrance test was removed back in August 2011. At the same time, course lengths were changed from 16 weeks to eight weeks long. Dr. Nicotera explained that, “they were trying to master this massive amount of material in an eight week period of time

L Support, Page 3

see ife

Do you know your images rights? Emmanuel Akinola The Egalitarian

Ever thought about your First Amendment rights? You might be surprised at just how that photo you’ve taken at a park or other public area has protection from the U.S Constitution. It may seem remote, but even though the Constitution was written over 250 years ago, the resonance still applies today to our government and our rights as citizens. What does the First Amendment say? “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Photographers’ rights from

the First Amendment. Anyone can take photographs wherever they want in a public place or places where there’s permission. Only a statute or ordinance from the state can stop this right if they deem it necessary. For example, from a public sidewalk you can take pictures of adults, children, cops and virtually any other subject—their permission is not legally needed. Property owners can legally prohibit photos being taken on their property, but technically have no right to stop others from photographing their property from other locations. Taking a picture is not an act of terrorism, and a business cannot legitimately assert that taking a photo of something in public view actually infringes on trade secrets. Other exceptions to this rule

include military installations or government buildings that can prohibit photos by virtue of natural security reasons. Another exception to these guidelines is when anyone has excluded themselves in places where they have a tangible expectation of privacy. This includes dressing rooms, restrooms, medical facilities and inside their own homes. These are the permissible subjects and instances where it is almost always guaranteed that photographs may be taken freely: accidents, fire scenes, children in public, celebrities, bridges and other city infrastructure, homes and commercial buildings, industrial facilities and public utilities, transportation facilities (e.g. airports), Superfund sites, crime scenes or sites of criminal activity and law

enforcement officers. In the cases where you are harassed by people questioning you, or wanting to stop your rights to photograph, know that law enforcement officers are the only ones who can search and seize your photos, but only if they have a court order or warrant. Other than that, any security guard or company agent, etc., cannot seize your photos unless they have good legal grounds and a court order. In all states, there are laws that protect against harassment and coercion. A citizen’s arrest can only be made in the presence of crimes committed. Failure to abide by that rule will mean that the person is liable for a tort, namely false imprisonment. If you are ever confronted for taking photos in a public place, the situation can usually be defused by being courteous and

Google stock image Poster that describes your rights as a photographer in different situations and environments. respectful. If the situation cannot be defused, consider calling police. If you are threatened with detention or asked to surrender your camera, get the person’s name and employer, ask what legal basis they have for detaining you and what legal basis they have for confiscation of your camera or film.


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The egaliTarian WWW.HCCegalitarian.Com

Wednesday February 24, 2016

on Campus

@HCC_egalitarian

What’s going on, on campus In celebration of Black History Month, the Dance Department of Houston Community College (HCC) Northwest is hosting the 9th annual “Akwaaba Dance and Drum Festival” Feb. 25 - 27 at the Spring Branch campus. The activities scheduled for the three-day event will include a variety of African dance and drum workshops for children and adults. Each day will showcase special performances featuring African performers, including the Saakumu Dance Troupe of Ghana, West Africa and Houston’s very own Lucia Dargam Dance Company. The festival welcomes local and international performers who offer workshops and performances to HCC students and community members. Together, the performance artists, spectators and participants represent a culmination of African art, music, dance, culture, and food for the Houston community. Shani Sterling is the organizer of the event and has been a dance instructor with HCC since 2007. She is also a professional choreographer who has trained with notable organizations such as Houston Ballet Academy and Alvin Ailey Dance Academy. Sterling also received a Fulbright Fellowship allowing her to live in Ghana, West Africa for 10 months and study with The Saakumu Dance Troupe, as well as The National Dance Company of Ghana. Akwaaba means welcome in one of the many native Ghanaian languages and is a symbolic theme while we introduce several dance techniques and cultural attributes from this beautiful country and from the entire African diaspora,” said Sterling.

Poetry Slam, Pinemont Campus. Feb 24 at 5 pm. Snap your fingers to a night of powerful, entertaining spoken word by local talented poets. Contact: ashley.rhodes@hccs.edu Another poetry slam will be hosted at the West Loop campus in April by the Student Library Advisory Council. Student and community poets, contact Ron Machuca W202214131@ student.hccs.edu Stogie Kenyatta’s OneMan Show, Central. Celebrate Black History Month with this Broadwaystyle show about the life and times of Civil Rights activist Paul Robeson. Two showtimes: Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 10amnoon in the Heinen Theatre; and Thursday, Feb. 25 from 6-8 pm in the San Jacinto Auditorium. PaulRobesonOneManShow.com HCC’s IDEA Pitch Competition Presentation Workshops. The competition is a platform for students to share their creative ideas. Prizes range from $500-$50. Session 1: Thursday, Feb. 25 9-11 am at HCC West Loop campus room C108A. Session 2: Friday, Feb. 26 11am1pm, Alief-Hayes campus room C101. Registration required, free to attend. Info: bit.ly/1DBUsMx Contact: edward.muth@hccs. edu Jewelry, Gem and Mineral Show, Clear Lake. Saturday Feb 27 10am-6pm

All events will be held at the Spring Branch Campus, 1010 West Sam Houston Pkwy, Houston, TX 77043. Performances will be held in the Performing Arts Center and classes will be held in Room 441. All classes are free to HCC students and staff with ID. Regular cost for the classes and performances are $10.. Schedule of Events: Thursday, February 25 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Caribfunk™ Dance Class - A’keitha Carey 7:00-8:30 p.m. West African Dance -Jean Claude Lessou (Cote D’ivoire) Friday, February 26 7:00-8:00 p.m. Pre-Show Discussion 8:00 p.m. Performance featuring: Lucia Dargam Dance Company, A’keitha Carey,and Saakumu Dance Troupe* Saturday, February 27 10:00-11:00 a.m. West African Children’s Class - Saakumu Dance Troupe 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Drum Master Class Saakumu Dance Troupe -(Ghana) 12:45-2:15 p.m. West African Dance ClassSaakumu Dance Troupe (Ghana) 2:30-4 p.m. Caribfunk™ Dance Class - A’keitha Carey 4:15-5:45 p.m. West African Dance -Jean Claude Lessou (Cote D’ivoire) 6:00-7:30 p.m. Samba - Lucia Dargam For more information visit hccs.edu/ africandance or contact Shani Sterling, shani. sterling@hccs.edu or 713-718-5305.

and Sunday Feb. 28 10am-5pm. Pasadena Convention Center, 7902 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, TX 77507. Weekend admission is $7 for adults and $3 for students in grades 6-12, and children and scouts in uniform are Free. Learn about rocks, gems, fossils and Geology at this family-friendly event. A special program for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will provide handson experience will help with Geology related merit badges. Scouts in uniform may enter at no charge, and additional activities also available for children. Visit: CLGMS.org Career Ambassador Network, Southwest. A bridge between Career Planning and Resources and students. Upcoming: Kick Back Friday Fundraising Party Feb. 26, 7pm, West Loop campus room 114. CAN Meeting on March 10, 4-6pm, Stafford campus room 142. Contact: swcareer.resource@hccs.edu or 713-718-7718 Houston’s Kosher Chili Cookoff, Houston. A fun-filled day of festivities and a kosher chili competition during the 6th Annual Houston Kosher Chili Cookoff. Feb 28, noon to 4pm, 5601 S. Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston: Braeswood, Houston, TX 77096. Adults: $10 Children (4-12): $6 Children under 4: Free. Contact: 713588-4130. Stress

Management

If you could go back in time and attend an important event in black history/Civil Rights Movement, what would it be? Keaira sHorter ForensiC psyCHology Martin Luther King Jr.’s march on Washington. It was an Iconic event in black history.

dany sima aa The day that Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. I want to live in the moment and listen to the weight of the words as they were felt live.

olamide adisa engineering

Workshop, Northline Campus. Learn stress management and relaxation techniques from the Counseling Department. March 1 at 11am in Northline room 219. Open to all students. HCC S.T.A.R. Squad, Southwest. Observe the moon, planets, stars and distant galaxies with high-powered telescopes. Events are weather permitting. Tuesday March 1 from 6-9pm, Stafford Campus behind Scarcella building. Facebook.com/ HCCStarSquad. Contact: roland. fields@hccs.edu Contact: hcc5601photoclub@ gmail.com. Psi Kappa Psychology Club, Stafford Campus. Open to all students. Meeting Wednesday March 2, 12:301:30pm, Stafford campus Scarcella lecture hall. PsiKappa. BlogSpot.com Art Gallery Exhibit Opening, Central. Roberto Castillo’s, ‘The Universe Within’ opens on March 2 at 5:30pm at the Gallery at Central. Castillo studied art at HCC Central, and is now a graphic designer at the Southeast campus. The exhibit is a digital art project that merges portrait photography of 12 individuals with Hubble Space Telescope imagery. A reception for Castillo will be held Thursday, March 3, from 5:30 to 7:30. The exhibit will be in the gallery March 2 through April 5.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. He spoke for everyonene, and it would be an honor to be there as the revolution was happening.

brittany mays business FinanCe A Michael Jackson concert, specifically when he played at the Super Bowl (SB XXVII in 1993). Well, who wouldn’t want to see Michael Jackson play at the Super Bowl?

eriK garZa general studies Rosa Parks’ bus stand. I would try to educate everyone that was there perpetuating the system.

miCHael madububo engineering I would go back and enforce punishments on leaders who sold citizens for power and money.


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News

Wednesday February 24, 2016

The Egalitarian

www.HCCEgalitarian.com

3

Nanny scam hits close to home Marialuisa Rincon

and so I’ll be in charge of making sure all the furniture is paid for and decorated. She [also said] if you ever want to stay the night when I travel we can make you a room,” explains Ali, “She was super professional. I had to send her my resume and answer questions about my history.” The emails were full of grammatical errors anyone with a basic understanding of English wouldn’t have made. The proposal made sense—at least on the surface to Ali. Sarah, who was somehow renamed Pegie in later emails, offered Ali “ridiculous” pay and the opportunity to travel with her on “stock broker trips.” For some reason, a death or a family tragedy pops up unexpectedly—perhaps to dissuade the victim from asking too many questions. “Her sister just died,” Ali recalled, so she didn’t want to push it, but she needed to know more. Ali followed her instincts

and dug a little deeper, making sure to ask for Sarah/Pegie’s last name at every opportunity. When she never got an answer, she knew something was up. “I knew it was too good to be true,” she laments, “there were so many red flags.” However, these red flags aren’t always something good-natured, naive twentysomethings are trained to look for. Of course, we all know better than to wire $14,543 to a Nigerian prince, but how could we possibly get scammed when they’re the ones sending us money? That’s exactly how these scammers catch their victims. In Ali’s case, she was asked multiple times to prove how honest and trustworthy she was— presumably a kind of trick meant to make you trust them. It is a creative variation of advance fee fraud that has become known as the

“wheelchair con.” In the “wheelchair con” situation, the son is disabled and you buy a wheelchair for him, which will be reimbursed by the mother. In Ali’s case, she would have been paying for the furniture. Of course, this time around, the perpetrator got smart and changed up the story a little bit in case their target had heard about them before. They propose sending a large check that the victim would then deposit and use to pay for various errands to fake businesses that end up belonging to the cons. This is not one of those scams where the victim maybe ends up losing $50 or $60 that the bank will replace in 5-7 business days. It’s a fake check that they want the victim to cash, they get real money and the victim absorbs all financial liability for the bad check. Care.com does not screen

its users, but offers tips to users on how to prevent falling victim to a fraud including being vigilant and reporting suspicious users. The wheelchair con is even alluded to specifically in the FAQs. Ali got off easy, but bemoans the what-ifs. “My account is linked to my parents’ and my grandma’s,” she says, “if they had drained those accounts—I would literally have been disowned.” Funny enough, that wasn’t the last time Ali was offered an unbelievable job. “Is this a joke?” she asks, reading out a text from yet another unknown number days later. “Hello Siiter how you doing today,” it starts, “I am a single mother of an 5-year-old boy. and a 1-year-old girl.” By now, Ali’s number has probably been passed around this network of thieves hoping one day she will have forgotten all about the scam she’s now wised up to, and fall victim to their traps again. Care.com advises that users avoid any offers that sound too good to be true, because they probably are. If you suspect you are being scammed, cease all communications with the scammer, print any email exchanges and visit police. “Scams should always be reported because the police will be able to tell how widespread the problem is depending on where and when they’re getting the complaints. If the number of reports spikes, police will use the knowledge of all of the complaints to track the scammer,” explains Care.com Senior Associate Editor Tiffany Smith.

change in the complexity in the scope of practice.” Coincidentally, the national exam became harder to pass the same year that HCC students admitted under the 2011 laxed requirements were ready to graduate. The first year HCC’s pass rate fell below the state minimum requirement was in 2013. The college’s pass rate dropped a whopping 20 percent that year, with only 66 percent of HCC nursing graduates passing the licensing exam. In the following year, HCC’s pass rate increased to 70 percent, and in 2015 the rate was 78.4. “Data doesn’t lie,” said HCC Board of Trustees Chair Adriana Tamez, “our trajectory is going back up.” Even being a mere 1.6 percent away from the state minimum rule of 80 percent, it was the third year in a row that the college fell below the standard, thus the current probational status. From 2008 to 2011, HCC’s students outperformed the national average, and in 2012 HCC was close to the average. To correct the situation,

changes were made in fall 2014. The entrance GPA was increased back to 3.0; the math entrance test was reinstated; and courses returned to being 16 weeks long. “The truth is, not everybody can be good at this,” remarked Trustee John Hansen, “one has to have a sense of realism of who can do it and who can’t.” An exit exam minimum score of 850 on the HESI is now required “before we allow a student to go and sit for the NCLEX,” said Dr. Nicotera. Such a score on the HESI almost guarantees that a student will pass the licensing exam. If a student does not make an 850 on the HESI, the student will “remediate with faculty” before re-taking the HESI to achieve that score, explained Dr. Nicotera. “We’ve gone back to the best practices in nursing entrance requirements and in nursing curriculum,” stated Nicotera. Also, the college started offering professional exam reviews from outside companies free to students and introduced a series of workshops and tutoring sessions.

Exams in specialty courses have been standardized with sample test questions from HESI. Starting this semester, if students do not fare well on standardized course exams, faculty members will meet with the student and prescribe a remediation strategy, and the student meets with one of the two new success coaches. A Test of Essential Academic Skills entrance exam is now in place so that, “we can identify their weaknesses, and we have them work with our nursing adviser to get them the help they need as they go through the program,” said Dr. Nicotera. “What I think is most important is that our students are successful, and that they do complete the necessary training and meet the criteria required by our downstream partners,” stated Trustee Robert Glaser. Jolly Joseph has been the stable faculty program director for almost three years. Several weeks ago, he met with current students in their classes to explain the present situation. A

simulation faculty member and a clinical manager have also been hired this spring. Recently, a group of 57 HCC students took the NCLEX and passed at a rate of 89.47 percent. “We’re on the upswing,” said President Nicotera, “we’re well on our way to returning back.” The Texas Board of Nursing conducted a site visit in December, and the administration gave a presentation to the board in Austin last month to explain the corrective measures HCC has made. The state board will reexamine the college’s scores toward the end of September. If HCC is back up to above 80 percent passing, in October they may be given the nod to start accepting students again. All trustees present at the Feb. 16 board meeting expressed their confidence in Coleman President Nicotera and the continuing efforts to save the program. Trustee Hansen concluded that he hopes in the future, “we can treat this as an unfortunate past episode.”

The Egalitarian

Picture this: you are a struggling college student looking for some extra money to pay bills, go shopping, or just help pay for your education. Full of good intentions, you sign up for Care.com. With your love of kids and babysitting experience, you figure you’ll land the perfect job. You send your resume to a potential employer and one morning, you get an email from “Sarah Page,” who has decided you’re the right candidate for her. Just a few things first though: what’s your address? Phone number? Do you have a criminal record? Are you CPR certified? And, just for assurance’s sake, where is the McDonald’s closest to you? She outlines her situation and what your job would consist be. She’s a single mom with an ailing mother of her own to care for. Her and her family will be moving down to “your area”— not specifically Houston—from Jacksonville, and want you to set everything up so they are able to move in comfortably as soon as they arrive. After that, you would nanny the child a couple of times a week, help out with grandma, and run a few errands. That’s what happened to Ali, a student at the University of Houston. (Ali requested that her full name not be used.) Initially, she reacted the way any college student who had succeeded in her job hunt would. “[Sarah is] literally so cool from what she’s told me so far. She’s moving here from Florida,

Life Support, From Page 1 when they truly needed the full 16 weeks to do that.” The minimum score on the program exit exam—called the HESI—was also removed in August 2011 in order to increase graduation rates. HESI scores demonstrate students’ readiness to pass the national licensing exam. The program experienced rapid leadership turnover with four program directors in the four year period from 2008 to 2012. Additionally, in a similar four-year period from 2009 to 2013 the nursing program lost 12 seasoned instructors. There were also changes in the exam structure starting in April 2013. The NCLEX national average pass rate decreased from 89 percent in 2012 to 81 percent in 2013 after the changes. The national average has not returned to the rates from before the change. President Nicotera explained that changes were made because “the exam had not reflected that

John Cañamar / The Egalitarian Of course, we all know better than to wire $14,543 to a Nigerian prince, but how could we possibly get scammed when they’re the ones sending us money?


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The Egalitarian www.HCCEgalitarian.com

Wednesday February 24, 2016

Community

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On your mark, get set, walk Alyssa Foley

The Egalitarian Houston Community College’s annual graduation ceremony is set for Saturday, May 14, at 9 am at NRG Stadium. Students must meet with an academic advisor by March 11 to be approved for graduation. After meeting with an adviser, students need to apply for graduation online by April 15 through their Peoplesoft student center. While actually having a degree awarded in your name comes at no additional fee, to have your physical diploma mailed to you costs $10, the fee can be paid online when applying for graduation. Diplomas are not actually handed out at commencement. Graduating students will be able to register for the commencement ceremony March 1 through April 22. Participating in the ceremony is not required to receive your degree. Regalia can be purchased online now, and HCC bookstores should have graduation regalia in stock by March 1. A cap, gown and tassel will come in a package for about $50, while graduation announcements are sold in packs of 25 for $50. GED students have to purchase their regalia at an HCC Bookstore, not online. This year, high school dual credit graduates will be honored with the privilege of wearing yellow-gold HCC graduation hoods. These are students who have earned their high school diploma and a college degree or certificate at the same time. “They will still walk with their degree group, but you will be able to recognize them with the hood,” explained the Vice Chancellor of Student Services Kimberly Beatty. For more information and to buy regalia online, visit: HCCS.edu/ students/graduation It’s estimated that 14,200 degrees and

certificates will be awarded this year. That number is based on students who are set to be eligible for awards upon successful completion of courses this spring and summer. The college administration is aiming to have 2,500 graduates participating in the ceremony this year, which is only 300 more graduates than walked last year for the additional 1,251 degrees expected to be awarded. Last year 1,260 graduates walked in the morning ceremony for academic degrees, and another 940 graduates walked in the afternoon ceremony for GED and workforce. HCC awarded 12,949 degrees and certificates in 2015. “We won’t be separating workforce and academics as we have in the past,” stated Dr. Beatty about this year’s single ceremony. However, there will be a separate ceremony dedicated to GED graduates on Thursday, May 12 hosted at HCC Central. The time for this ceremony is not yet set. All other degree recipients can walk in the May 16 ceremony at NRG Stadium. Combining both of last year’s ceremonies, graduation 2015 was about five hours long. “We’ve timed it out, and we’re hopeful that we can get it in three hours,” said Dr. Beatty about this year’s commencement. They aim to accomplish that time by using software called Marching Order. The program does multiple things: it manages the online event registration for students and faculty; prompts students to upload a photo of themselves for a slideshow when they register; it will display graduates’ names, degree and photo as they walk the stage; and a professional reader will announce the names of graduates. The pre-recorded announcement of each graduate’s name will be timed to two seconds per name, this is how the administration hopes to keep the

Image courtesy of HCC Photos “I did it!” reads a graduate’s glittery, decorated cap at Houston Community College’s graduation ceremony in May 2015. This year’s commencement is set for May 14 at 9 am at NRG Stadium. ceremony under three hours. Dr. Beatty said that, just in case, “we’ll still have announcers there for backup, because this is our first time using [the pre-recorded announcement system].” “The time element is critical,” stated the HCC Board of Trustees Chair Adriana Tamez, but she added that, “we also can’t take the experience away from these young people. A lot of times we want to go so fast and go in and out...we miss the whole point about what we’re doing.” It will be the first time students’ name and degree will be shown on a giant screen as they walk. Now, “they get full recognition for their accomplishment,” stated Vice Chancellor Beatty. Marching Order has been used by other community colleges in Texas like El Paso Community College and Tarrant County College, as well as big-name universities such as New York University, Penn State

and Harvard. At a Board of Trustees meeting on Feb. 16, Chancellor Cesar Maldonado also talked about possibly having rehearsals for photo opportunities at key points in the ceremony. In 2013, HCC granted 10,999 degrees and certificates; in 2014 the college granted 10,600 degrees and certificates; and in 2015 the college granted 12,949 degrees and certificates. If this year’s predicted number of 14,200 degrees and certificates is accomplished, it will be an applaudable achievement for every member of the college’s community. Carina Watson, a biology major at the HCC Honors College, is walking because “the overcoming of one stepping stone feels unreal until you’re actually up there with your cap and gown.” She added that she looks forward to celebrating with her classmates.

TSI changes helping, hurting HCC success rates Alyssa Foley

The Egalitarian In fall 2015, Houston Community College students enrolled in a total of 56,700 semester credit hours, which is about a decrease of 1,500 credit hours from the previous fall. Overall, HCC did not really lose enrollment because the college picked up more enrollment in the adult high school program. “We are explaining that to be the TSI changes,” said Vice Chancellor of Student Services Kimberley Beatty at a trustee meeting on Feb. 16, “They raised the floor of the TSI exam, so now the students who would have gone into credit courses— developmental ed—now have to go into adult basic education.” Unless exempt, by law students who are entering a Texas college or university must take a TSI exam and receive a passing score in order to enroll in credit-bearing courses.

“They raised the floor of the TSI exam, so now the students who would have gone to credit courses — developmental ed — now have to go into basic adult education.” Kimberley Beatty Vice Chancellor of Student Services Chancellor Cesar Maldonado explained that, “one of the challenges as the students move from the traditional path to college, to the adult basic ed, they lose the option for federal financial aid and other opportunities.” The college finds other grants to help pay for basic adult education. Many students who come to HCC are not prepared to sit in a college-level class.

According to the Achieving the Dream initiative, nearly 60 percent of students enrolling in community colleges nationwide need to take remedial classes before enrolling in courses for credit. For low-income students and students of color, the figure rises to a dismal 90 percent at some U.S. colleges. A U.S. Department of Education study found that while 58 percent of students

who do not require remediation earn a bachelor’s degree, only 17 percent of students are enrolled in remedial reading and 27 percent of students enrolled in remedial math go on to complete a four-year degree. “The longer the students spend in developmental education, the less likely they are to go into and complete [a degree or certificate],” said Dr. Beatty.

Coming this fall, HCC will offer non-course based remedial options or bridge mini-classes to help students bring their skills up to college level faster. While many students who need remedial courses are adults who have been out of school for a few years and need a refresher, even recent high school graduates are not always prepared. “The criteria for getting out of high school and getting into college don’t match,” said Trustee John Hansen. The former Alief ISD trustee added that, “the fact that they don’t match ought to cause everybody to be deeply concerned.” Maldonado said in order for HCC to increase enrollment and the rate of students successfully passing their courses, “we have to begin working with the see

Student Numbers, Page 5


Wednesday February 24, 2016

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5

A new beat to walk Alyssa Foley

The Egalitarian Houston Community College’s police force is changing how they operate. By the end of this semester, officers will be rotating from campus to campus and working in overlapping shifts. Instead of staying in the same corner of town, officers will be rotated throughout the district under the new consolidation system. If students are used to seeing the same officer everyday on campus, they won’t see the familiar face as often after the change. “You will continue to see police, it’s not that we’re taking them away,” said HCC Police Chief Greg Cunningham. Cunningham explained that officers need to be familiar with campuses throughout the district in order to adequately respond to an emergency that isn’t at the campus they are accustomed to. For example, at the West Loop campus, Cunningham noted that there is usually one security officer and one police officer on campus, and two other officers nearby. This particular facility has no windows. If the power goes out, the building is black. A fire evacuation would be a bigger issue. “With the number of students there, the two police officers can’t solve the problem,” said Cunningham. “There is no way you could put enough police at West Loop every single day, every single shift, so that it can be an independent entity. We just couldn’t afford to do that,” said Cunningham, “I am going to have to pull assets

from my other colleges...If they’ve never been there before, if they’ve never trained in that building, if they don’t know that building—how effective are they going to be when they get there?” Cunninghams says that he “sees this gap” in the way emergency situations are handled today and how they need to be handled. He say that “I’m closing that gap” by consolidating the police force. Today, the HCC police force is broken up into five commands: Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southwest, and Coleman and Southeast are under the same command. Officers are assigned to a single command, such as the group that covers the Southeast campus off Interstate-45, Fraga and Coleman. “They operate inside whatever that geography is,” noted Cunningham, “very rarely do we take you out of Southeast and move you to Southwest...migrating people across these colleges is not real easy to do.” While planning the re-vamp of the college police force, they looked at student population densities on the district map. “We decided that the district line based on college shouldn’t be driving the way we service our students [and] where officers are assigned,” stated Cunningham. Cunningham said that consolidation, “eradicates all of those geography boundaries... into smaller patrol beats.” Officers are currently working five days a week in eight hour shifts in either the morning, evening or night. There is no shift overlap, “basically, they

Student Numbers, From Page 4 students while they’re still in high school.” He talked about career exploration and preparation for high schoolers. The chancellor added, “The TSI Academy is a way for us to provide support to those students in math, in reading and writing, to make them closer to college ready by our definition.” The program prepares high school students to take the college entrance exam and place into collegelevel courses. Dr. Beatty noted that 80 percent of students passing a course with an A, B, or C grade is “the bar to help us identify how we allocate interventions and resources to increase success in those areas.” If students earn anything below a C in a class, that course credit will not transfer. “We want to not only pay attention to the front door, but also the back door in terms of completion,” said Dr. Beatty when speaking about student

success. Not surprisingly, mathematics has the lowest success rate, with just under 60 percent of students passing their math classes last fall. Dr. Beatty said that they are “definitely” targeting math for additional help. Smaller programs tend to have higher pass rates. Global energy, consumer arts and sciences, logistics, public safety, health sciences and construction are currently the only instructional areas with above an 80 percent pass rate. The administration discussed the expanded use of career-specific advisers to help students complete their programs, as well as more career coaches, and supplemental peer-to-peer group instruction. Trustee Robert Glaser added that the college’s true priority is “not the enrollment numbers, it’s the graduate numbers.”

bump one another and that’s it,” said Cunningham. The new model will have most officers working four days a week in ten hour shifts. “It gives us overlap on every single shift,” noted Cunningham, “there will be an hour or two overlap...in essence, it puts twice as many people on the street during those peak periods.” The HCC Board of Trustees recently authorized the college’s police department to have up to 92 police officers, currently there are 72. Also, 38 security officers are authorized, right now there are 28. They are steadily hiring more officers, job postings are on HCCSJOBS.com. HCC currently has a fleet of about 25 police cars with 10 more on order. With every yearly budget, cars are added and retired. HCC Southwest Student Government President Charles Tolden has voiced concerns about consolidation, “It’s too many uncertainties for me as a student representative to be OK with going forth with such a dramatic change in the security structure of HCC.” One of Tolden’s concerns is that when officers move they have to become familiar with the students at the new campus, not just the campus layout. “They have to look at the students and figure out which students are the troublemakers and which students just are messing around,” and who doesn’t belong since HCC campuses are open door. However, with HCC’s population density, it would be difficult even today for officers to profile students or

Rahim Roopani, Contributor HCC Police Chief Greg Cunningham explained the changes the college’s police force will make to operations this spring, including rotating assignments and overlapping shifts. be able to identify who doesn’t belong. There are over 60 thousand students and more than 4 thousand faculty and staff at 23 locations. With the current 75 officers on staff, each officer would have to be able to recognize over 850 people. After the HCC police department has hired the max number of officers, each of the nearly 150 officers would have to recognize at least 430 people. Although officers will not be staying in one campus or college community, Cunningham believes that consolidation, “doesn’t change [community policing] a bit,” adding that if anything it has made them reach out and speak with the community more. He believes that community policing is “about bringing you guys—my community—to the table and having you weigh in. Community policing is about communication,” and, “bringing the members of the community together.” Cunningham says that he and other officers will continue to meet with community members, speak at student

government meetings and host safety workshops. Tolden still has questions about the purpose of consolidation and concerns about campus nighttime safety. Cunningham and HCC Police Lieutenant John Boxie spoke to student government leaders at the United Student Council meeting on Jan. 15. Tolden said before that meeting, “As United Student Council members, we really didn’t know that this was going on.” Cunningham and his commanding officers started planning consolidation a year and a half ago, “we’ve looked at this too well for this to not work well.” “If it turns out being a train wreck,” Cunningham said that he will be the first to admit, “we made a mistake...if we’re wrong, we’ll stop.” “We put a great deal of planning in this, and it started with ‘What does this college need a police department to do? And how do we do that best?’” Cunningham concluded that, “I truly believe that this is the way this organization needs to go.”

Cyber perks Alyssa Foley

The Egalitarian As you have probably noticed, your HCC student email account changed over winter break. School accounts migrated from Microsoft Exchange to Microsoft 365. The new email system comes with perks. All HCC students can now download the 2013 Microsoft Office Suite on up to five personal devices for free. This includes Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. According to the online Microsoft Store agents, the equivalent package would be Microsoft 365 Home which costs $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year. After students leave HCC, Microsoft Office will remain on their devices, but they will have to pay for any further updates. Students also have 1TB of free encrypted cloud storage in OneDrive for Business through their student email. HCC students also now have access to web apps such as OneNote, Sway and Class Notebook. With the new system, students have 50 MB of email storage. That’s 100 times more storage than on the old Microsoft Exchange system. Previously, emails were stored in HCC’s administrative building, but the new Microsoft 365 is hosted in the cloud off campus.

Watch a step-by-step video tutorial on how to download Microsoft Office to your personal computer for free through your HCC student email account. Email addresses changed from students’ names to their student ID number. For example, my student email changed from alyssa.foley@student. hccs.edu to W205375689@student.hccs.edu Annette Hearn, HCC’s information technology systems support director, stated at a United Student Council meeting in December that the reason for the change from names to numbers is that there were thousands of conflicts with common names.


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Above is an untitled work by Kevo that is on display at the West Loop campus. Left: a painting of a Buffalo Solider at the National Buffalo Soldier Museum. Bottom: Buffalo Soldier dressed manequin at the National Buffalo Soldier Museum. Opposite Page Black and white art by Al Saulso on display at West Loop campus. Beach seen by Kevo on display at the West Loop campus. Floor art at the National Buffalo Soldier Museum.


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Ten-Hut WWE fans JoHn cAÑAmAr the egAlitAriAn

The main event for Wrestle Mania 32 is set. Come April 3, Roman Reigns will face off against Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship Title. In a little over a month from now at the WWE yearly celebration Wrestle Mania will take place in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. WWE Hall of Famer Sgt. Slaughter has been on a cross-country tour as an ambassador for the corporation, promoting the festivities to take place in the week leading up to the big show. We at The Egalitarian had the privilege to sit down with Sgt. Slaughter on his Houston leg of the tour to have a conversation about all things wrestling. Sgt. Slaughters and the WWE’s message is to make sure that you catch WrestleMania 32 in any form that you can—whether it be on pay per view, via the WWE Network or if possible live and in person where you could be part of a crowd which will break a record that has stood for over a quarter of a century. To the credit of the WWE and Sgt. Slaughter, neither the company nor he have shied away from the hard questions of concussions in their sport. Just two weeks ago Daniel Bryan, one of the sport’s current superstars, made his retirement announcement due to the effects of an accumulation of blows to the head causing a major concussion. “Vince [McMahon] no longer allows shots to the head with chairs,” said Sgt. Slaughter. “We use to cause ourselves major injuries using bells, chairs and belts to the head. If the guys do that today, they are looking at being fired right off the bat.” “How much of the action that goes on in the ring is choreographed?” Slaughter: “Today the promotions are scripted, but the action is real. We would go out there and really give it to each other, more to some than others.” “What is your opinion of the new era of WWE?” Slaughter: “Today’s athlete is so much better than we were. They now have the nutrition of what to eat today, and of course the better training and they have a few more days off here and there. We were more 24/7, if we were sick or hurt, we jumped in the ring not knowing any better because we only got paid when we got in that squared circle. Of course, travel is a lot easier today with airplanes and tour busses. We did most of our traveling by car and were our own chiropractors, our own doctors. We probably hurt ourselves more than we helped ourselves. I don’t know if I could keep up with today’s match because they are kind of

Thomas Hopkins / The Egalitarian Sgt. Slaughter recounting stories of when he was on the road wrestling every day during his Hall of Fame career in the WWE. like treadmills where they are working hard all the time in the ring. Some of our TV matches were against Weekend Warriors where we could sort of take the night off and decide on how we wanted to beat our opponents. I really admire the talent of today and being entertained.” Sgt. Slaughter helped build up the momentum leading up to the first WrestleMania, but did not participate in any of the events until the seventh because he signed with the toy company Hasbro to become the first “Real American Hero, G.I. Joe” in the animated cartoon series. At the time, Sgt. Slaughter had to choose between WWE and G.I. Joe because they were represented by different toy manufacturers. Once his contract was over with Hasbro, he returned to WWE and became a champion after defeating the Ultimate Warrior at Royal Rumble. Events were lined up to defend his title against Hulk Hogan at Wrestle Mania Seven and break the attendance record at the Los Angels Coliseum. However, the venue had to be changed due to death threats that the WWE received towards Sgt. Slaughter. That change of venue caused the attendance to go from an expected 104 thousand fans to a little over 16 thousand that fit inside of the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. This year’s event is expected to break the 29-year record attendance of 93,173 set at the Silverdome in Pontiac, MI, with an attendance of over 100 thousand fans this year. Prior to Wrestle Mania on Saturday night Sting will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in the last event prior to Wrestle Mania 32. As Sgt. Slaughter said, “Go out and buy your tickets if you can, to be a part of history. And that’s an Order!”

Put me in coach JoHn cAÑAmAr the egAlitAriAn

There are several days in the year that most people look forward to all year long. After Christmas, Mother’s Day and my birthday, Opening Day of baseball season is the best day of the year. Normally, I get two opening days a year; the one that all baseball fans look forward to in April when their pro-team starts, and the one when I get a new batch of kids to whom I am privileged to pass the love that I have for the game to them by being the Coach of my sons’ team. This year, I get to share another opening baseball day with over 50 thousand HCC students and countless alumni. Many people are unaware, but Houston Community College has a club baseball team. On Saturday, our team started the season on the road. They did not fare well. They ran into a strong opponent in the Texas State Bobcats team, losing both games in disappointing fashion. In the first game they were held to an 11-4 loss followed by a 10-0 defeat. Runs given up in the early innings behind walks that led to hits were too much for the team to overcome. It was not the start that Coach Tom Burke wanted for the team,

but some good did come out of the games. Fernando Rodriguez had a tremendous play in the outfield, chalking up two-outfield assists. Being around the team, it’s obvious that the team has school pride and will not let those two losses define who they are as a unit. With a week to correct the flaws that arose in San Marcos, the team will come out with new fire to play their home opener on Friday night at Lutheran North High School at 7pm to start off The HCC Kickoff Classic. The HCC Kickoff Classic will be held on Friday and Saturday where HCC, Lee College and Steven F. Austin will face off against each other. Coach Nick Strong has been working hard to make this season a special one for all players and fans alike by planning each home game to coincide with special themes. This Friday, it’s Kids Night at the park where kids are encouraged to wear their team’s jerseys out to the game. Saturday will be crawfish and baseball day at the kickoff. Strong has a Legends weekend planned for April 15 and 16 where Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente will be honored.

UTSA Texas TOC an ace with all participants Tori Hendricks Contributor

The University of Texas defeated Texas A&M in the United States Tennis Association 2016 Texas Tennis’ Campus Regional Championship in New Braunfels, TX Feb. 12-14. The top four winning teams from the Regional Championship earned an automatic bid to the National Championship in April in Cary, North Carolina. Along with UT and A&M, the University of Houston advanced with a third place finish, and Stephen F. Austin rounded out the top qualifiers. Lamar

University received the final bid after earning Club of the Year for their outstanding commitment to community service. Pool play began Friday morning at the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch, and continued until the winners were crowned Sunday afternoon. Making the trip were 58 teams made up of 477 players from 27 different schools, all arriving with hopes of winning a bid and bringing the title home to their school. Houston Community College had one team in both the A and B league brackets. HCC’s Team A, the HCC Eagles, was without one female

player causing them to start every match with a six game forfeit in women’s doubles. Even with this deficit the HCC Eagles beat teams from West Texas A&M, Angelo State University and Texas Tech. The lack of a full team and the forfeited games proved to be too much against Rice, Lamar, and UH. Ultimately, HCC Eagles did not advance past the quarterfinals. However, given that they were playing with an insufficient number of players and suffered multiple injuries, the team performed admirably. Team B, HCC Swoop, started the competition with a full team

of four players, but the rigorous schedule of continuous matches took its toll. After a victorious Saturday morning with wins against West Texas A&M and UTSA, the HCC Swoop lost two players to injury against SFA, and with them the team’s hope of a victory. “Everyone on the team had little practice before this tournament. They came together and played very competitively as a team. I’m very proud of what they did last weekend and very excited for what is to come for this semester,” said Coach Carlton Abernathy of the team’s performance.

Aside from tennis, USTA hosted a party on Saturday night that began with dinner followed by karaoke, music and dancing. USTA Texas TOC coordinator Megan Longbotham-Young stated, “So much work goes into making this tournament the largest and best Tennis on Campus Section Championship in the nation. Our volunteers who give their time love working this championship because it is unlike any other tournament in Texas. The club team’s spirit for their school and their teammates make it worth every minute of hard work.”


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Olympic ticket punched for Brazil 2016 Anne Peterson AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON — Lindsey Horan felt her breakthrough goal put the United States at ease. Horan scored on a header in the 53rd minute, Tobin Heath tacked on another goal eight minutes later and the United States beat Canada 2-0 Sunday in the final match at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament. “I’m so glad that we got that goal,” Horan said about her big play set up by defender Becky Sauerbrunn. “I think it made us a little more comfortable in the match and it’s always good to get that first goal obviously, so I’m really happy about that.” Both teams had already claimed the region’s two spots in the Rio Olympics this summer with semifinal victories. Alex Morgan scored three goals in a 5-0 U.S. victory Friday over Trinidad and Tobago, while Christine Sinclair scored a pair of goals in Canada’s 3-1 win over Costa Rica. The United States has won the past three gold medals and four overall since women’s soccer became an Olympic sport in 1996. Canada, the bronze medalists in the 2012 London Games, will be making its third straight trip to the Olympics. The U.S. went with the same lineup it used for the semifinals, starting 17-yearold Mallory Pugh, who is headed to UCLA in the fall. It was the third start of the tournament for Pugh, the youngest player to start for the U.S. in a qualifier.

Canada coach John Herdman rested several of his usual starters, including Sinclair, Diana Matheson, Sophie Schmidt, and goalkeeper Erin McLeod. Matheson, Schmidt and Sinclair all came in as subs in the second half. Melissa Tancredi wore the captain’s armband. Herdman said afterward the plan was to hold the United States and then bring in the “flair” players for a late push. But Horan stepped up before the substitutions could be made. Sinclair had been nursing a calf injury throughout the tournament, but nonetheless surpassed Mia Hamm for second on the career scoring list. Sinclair sits at 161 goals, behind Abby Wambach’s 184. “Bringing Schmidt, Matheson and Sinc on at the same time, we thought that was going to be the game-changing moment, a thing Canada hadn’t tried before against the U.S.,” he said. “But three minutes, that’s as far as it was, and we wilted and broke. It’s a shame.” Herdman caused a bit of a stir when he tossed his runner-up medal into the crowd following the match. He said he hoped maybe it would inspire someone. “I don’t play this game for medals,” he said. Carli Lloyd’s headers in the 13th and 23rd minutes were off and the Canadians were surprisingly adept at stopping the U.S. attack in the first half. The match was physical, as goalkeeper Hope Solo had predicted: Co-captain Lloyd endured a kick to the back and

was pulled to the ground with about five minutes to go before the break. The United States finally punched through with Horan’s header that was misjudged by Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe. Sauerbrunn, playing in her 100th match for the national team, laughed about the rarity of the assist. “I think it was my 50th cap against Canada, I had an assist,” Sauerbrunn said with a smile. “So it’s been a while.” Horan’s teammate on the Portland Thorns, Heath, added a goal in the 61st minute on an assist from Pugh. “Canada had a plan and it was obviously very direct,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said. “I think we just stayed with it and were persistent in in trying to play. And then I think we started to move the ball very well. I think we deserved the win tonight.” The U.S. team looks very different — and younger — than the group that won the Women’s World Cup last summer in Canada. Several players, including Wambach and Lauren Holiday, retired Thomas Hopkins/ The Egalitarian from the team at the end of the year. Amy Rodriguez and Sydney Leroux are taking United States midfielder Tobin Heath (17) time off because they are both expecting. celebrates her goal with Lindsey Horan (9) And Megan Rapinoe is recovering from and Carli Lloyd (10). knee surgery. The United States has never dropped a In addition to Pugh, Horan is just 21 game in Olympic qualifying, going 18-0-1. and also a newcomer to the team after At the Olympics four years ago, the playing professionally in France. United States beat Canada 4-3 in a Ellis also is working with smaller contentious semifinal. Morgan scored the rosters that the 23 she took to Canada. winning goal in the 123rd minute after the The qualifying roster was set at 20, and United States tied it late in regulation on the Olympic roster this summer in Brazil a penalty kick following two controversial will be limited to 18. calls that went against Canada.

NFL PR machine blowing more smoke Tori Hendricks Contributor

The National Football League banned any draft prospect convicted of domestic violence, sexual assault, or weapons charges from participating in the scouting combine, according to Troy Vincent, executive vice president of football operations. Vincent sent a memo in late January to all NFL teams stating, “It is important for us to remain strongly committed to league values as we demonstrate to our fans, future players, coaches, general managers, and others who support our game that character matters.” While any prospect with a conviction or anyone who refuses to submit to a background check will not be permitted to attend the scouting combine or the live draft, they will be allowed to attend private workouts with NFL teams and still have the potential to be drafted. Each February, roughly 300 players are invited to attend the combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to meet with teams, participate in position-specific workouts, and sample a taste of what being an NFL player is all about. However, this new rule

appears to be nothing but a public relations stunt to make the NFL seem more proactive in curbing the bad decisions so many players seem to make time and time again. Any curious football fan with a search engine can quickly discredit the obvious smoke and mirror show being presented by the NFL. Only a handful of prospects go into the combine with a conviction. The 2015 overall number one draft pick Jameis Winston had been accused of rape and was sued in court prior to the combine. However, he would not have been prohibited from participating in the combine because he was never convicted. Most arrests and/or convictions of these crimes have come after the player was drafted. The majority of active players accused of any such crimes have the financial means to acquire top legal defense teams and often plead to lesser charges that would not affect their status in the league. Notable offenders Ray Rice, Jameis Winston and Johnny Manziel were all drafted prior to their arrests and/or convictions. Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was a Heisman Trophy nominee, bowl

game MVP, and broke numerous football records at Rutgers University before being drafted to the NFL in 2008. As a professional football player, Rice won a Super Bowl championship, was a three time Pro Bowl participant and five time offensive player of the week. Yet, Rice will forever be remembered for the elevator fight where he punched and knocked out his then fiancee—now wife— Janay Palmer. Following the release of the elevator footage of the incident and Rice’s subsequent indictment by a grand jury of third-degree aggravated assault, Rice received a slap on the wrist. The NFL suspended him for two games. Ultimately, the charges were dropped and Rice agreed to attend court-appointed counseling. Rice is now a free agent after being released from the Baltimore Ravens. The most recent allegations against an NFL player come from Colleen Crowley, the former girlfriend of Johnny Manziel. In College Station where Manziel played quarterback for Texas A&M, he quickly gained attention with a recordbreaking season that included momentous wins against Arkansas and Auburn. In 2012,

AP Photo/Frank Victores Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel walks off the field after the Browns lost 31-10 to the Cincinnati Bengals. Browns said that he was diagnosed with a concussion,NFL Network report they lied about the injury to cover up Manziel showing up intoxicated for practice. Manziel won numerous awards including the Heisman Trophy, SEC Offensive Player of the Year, and Cotton Bowl MVP—all as a freshman. After entering the draft and being selected twenty-second overall, Manziel’s career took a turn in 2014. He has been fined $12 thousand for an obscene hand gesture in the direction of an official. While Manziel is no stranger to trouble, 2015 became his hardest year to date with a stint in rehab for alcohol addiction

and allegations of domestic violence against Crowley. Again, these problems would not have prohibited Manziel from entering the NFL. He has since been released by the Cleveland Browns and is a free agent. If the NFL wants to see real changes, they could use the revenue from the overpriced ticket sales and create programs to educate prospective players about appropriate ways to handle the spotlight they are being catapulted into.


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‘The Journey’ art celebrates black culture Emmanuel Akinola The Egalitarian

‘The Journey’ art gallery is on display till March 3 in Houston Community College West Loop campus gallery. The artwork was created by known artists Al Sauso and Kevo from the Houston art scene. The Exhibit Coordinator Maureen Lewis said that the artwork on display presents “the journey of [the artists’] lives.” The exhibit is in celebration of Black History Month. Sauso runs his own photography company, which he developed independently for 10 years. His art primarily consists of his trademark black-and-white photographs. His main inspiration is from his parents who he recalls “opened my eyes to the direction of art.” Spirituality, nature and surrealism are major themes for Sauso in his work. Some of the pieces displayed involve seashells in black-and-white covered with white dots in a pattern that mirrors the stars. In order to be a well-rounded artist, Saulso has studied sculpting, painting, ceramics, and photography. His first foray into art was through making graffiti. “Art is in the eye of the beholder,” Saulso says, acknowledging that it is similar to how people see beauty. To him, it’s more about the thought

Gilbert Bernal / The Egalitarian One of Al Saulso’s paintings that are on display at the West Loop campus gallery on display until March 3rd. “The Journey” also features works by Kevo. process behind the creation itself. To honor his African and Native American heritage, he created the art with the goal of adding narrative to the art itself. “It’s a way for him to show his inner self,” Lewis points out. Kevo has been running his own tattoo shop and business since 2010. For his own inspiration in life, he admires Jay Z, Kanye West, Walt Disney and Steve Jobs. Caravaggio, the famous Renaissance

artist known for his light and dark contrast paintings, is one of Kevo’s favorite artists. Kevo’s artwork mainly calls to mind impression art similar to Claude Monet. He is primarily concerned with themes of commentary on social and cultural issues dealing with African Americans. His artwork consisted of a portrait of Oprah Winfrey at 25 years old, just when she was in a critical part of her life: leaving her job as a journalist.

‘Risen’ soars

Marvel got it right

Emmanuel Akinola

Eric Calderon

The Egalitarian

‘Risen’ is a faith-based historical drama that takes place during the 40 days following the resurrection of Christ, and is told through the eyes of a Roman centurion named Claudius. The stars include Joseph Fiennes as Claudius, Tom Felton as Claudius’s protege Lucius, Cliff Curtis as Jesus, Stewart Scudamore as Simon Peter, Maria Betto as Mary Magdalene and Peter Firth as Pontius Pilate. The first 20 minutes serve to introduce Claudius as a driven man who serves Pilate as his right-hand without question. Fiennes’s performance as a cold, almost detached soldier is well executed even as the film progresses and the many layers of the character are gradually revealed. The plot pivots when Pilate orders Claudius to investigate the claims of a risen messiah after Jesus’ body disappears. Under Claudius’ supervision, two of the guards at the tomb failed in their duty to guard the tomb. Claudius wants to purge the disgrace brought on him by his men, but as he investigates the circumstances surrounding the supposed resurrection, his life is changed forever. The film charts the progress of a man—a hardened skeptic—who eventually becomes a believer, giving a moving character arc for the film. Thanks to the well-written script, there were also several moments of mirth which enhanced the movie experience. When Claudius interrogates one of Jesus’s followers, Bartholomew, the man nonchalantly accepts the threat of crucifixion. Claudius’ explicit description of the torment that punishment would bring only makes Bartholomew continue his noncompliance and he shrugs it off like he’s a stoned hippie when he’s released. Over the course of the film, Claudius’ character shifts from denial to bargaining with Yahweh, and promising to forsake the Roman god of war Mars if his mission is successful. The film borrows from the classic 2000

In designing the portrait, Kevo used colors associated with Oprah’s birthday for it to be more authentic, saying, “I allowed her to paint, instead of me.” His other pieces of art included a panel of his favorite basketball players that mirrored the Last Supper, and a four-sided portrait of black citizens who died in race-related issues—including Trayvon Martin. There’s also an art piece of an Air Jordan shoe held together by chains, worn by a black person that’s walking on water. A message that Kevo could be sending is that African Americans in our society put on themselves shackles of consumerism. The art itself shows a person that can be seen as walking on water in a godlike fashion, but yet is tied to his fixation on getting the best shoes. “He’s taking concepts that we’re familiar with and changing them to make us think about the feelings behind them,” Lewis observes on Kevo’s methodology. As part of his legacy for future generations, Kevo hopes his art will be studied through other mediums including literature, so that he can inspire others to realize their potential. Lewis’s main wish for students visiting the exhibit is to see the opportunity of two young artists who have taken the initiative to market themselves and to understand the importance of being successful both inside and outside of the classroom.

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AP Images Joseph Fiennes as Clavius leads his Roman soldiers during the zealot battle in Columbia Pictures’ “Risen.” film ‘Gladiator’, but also feels like a mystery as Claudius conducts his investigation. The dialogue is witty, and at times poignant. All the performances were well-done except for Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series. His performance as Lucius was one-dimensional and unengaging. For me, the turning point of the film is when Claudius meets one of the other guards and learns of an extraordinary cause behind the disappearance of Christ’s body. The use of an extended flashbacks for the film’s narrative may be cliche, but served in showcasing Claudius’s eventful journey. The music score by Roque Banos can be a little generic at times, but serves in setting up suspense at certain moments and it also fits the time period. The cinematography by Lorenzo Senatore was also well done. The film incorporates wide shots that envelop the surroundings. There’s also good camera work that sets up the mood and at times shows angst in Claudius’s mind. Senatore also uses lighting techniques in the scene where Claudius interrogates Mary Magdalene. Sitting at the window, she’s bathed in light from the morning sun, signifying her seeing the “light” as Claudius stands by with his face half-lit, showing the conflict inside.

‘Deadpool’ is Marvel’s new film starring Ryan Reynolds as Wade—a mercenary for hire. This is one movie that must be seen in a movie theater. The bigger the screen, the better. When Wade is diagnosed with cancer, he undergoes some experimental tests that makes him into the man Deadpool. Director Tim Miller’s development of the character Wade Wilson is phenomenal. Wade Wilson gets under your skin. He communicates directly with the audience. Yes, he’s breaking the fourth wall, but it all makes sense and adds so much humor and entertainment to the film. There is nothing too special about the cast or the crew. There’s one cameo by Marvel’s own Stan Lee as a bartender in a strip club. He makes an appearance in all of his films, and it always adds a special touch. The film starts off with a scene that we’ve all seen in the trailers. It threw me for a loop because I didn’t understand what was going on at all. I was lost. As a filmmaker, you don’t want to lose your audience because then they can lose interest in the film. However, what Miller did with the opening scene was amazing, and “spoiling” it for everyone by putting it in the trailers was ingenious.

Special effects, cinematography, directing, acting and lighting were all spectacular. The opening scene is rock bottom amazing. The way the story is revealed to us by the Miller is stunning. With a budget of $58 million, its first weekend topped the charts and is in the number one slot with $132 million in box office sales. The fight scenes and action scenes are choreographed to the T, with added special effects. Deadpool’s offbeat sarcastic comments through each fight scene top it off. Deadpool is shot, stabbed, and he even cuts his own hand off—all while making the most outrageous comments during each tragedy. Using flashbacks, Miller gets us up to speed in the most intriguing way. You have to see the film to understand, but it is well worth the watch. Make sure you keep watching during the credits, and even after they have rolled off the screen for a bit more of a special surprise. ‘Deadpool’ isn’t a film for kids, so please don’t bring them. I loved almost every minute of this film. There might be a minute or two that I wasn’t too excited about, but I have to admit that the film completely suits Marvel’s ‘Deadpool’. You’ve got to see it to appreciate it. If you’re a ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ fan, you will


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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 2016 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................................................. Tori Hendricks 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.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

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.

Are you armed

Thomas Hopkins There’s been much ado and confusion regarding the new law legalizing the open carrying of handguns, and the new law legalizing the concealed carry of guns on college campuses. Unless someone is breaking the law, you will never see someone other than a law enforcement officer openly carrying a firearm on campus. Call the HCC police at 713-718-8888 if you see someone who is not an officer carrying a handgun openly on campus. Until campus carry goes into effect for two-year institutions in August 2017, it’s still illegal to carry a gun on any Houston Community College campus. Even when that law goes into effect, it will still not be legal to openly carry. People carrying guns in Texas is nothing new. It’s extremely likely that you’ve been in line with people at the grocery store who were armed, you work with people who are armed and you’ve had arguments or minor disputes with people who were armed. You just didn’t know it. They were carrying concealed, and you weren’t in a life or death situation that would have prompted them to take out their handgun. There’s a lot of group think happening at colleges across the state of Texas, and it’s disheartening to see. Universities and colleges are supposedly places where the free exchange of ideas is encouraged, where science and data reign and where prejudice and subjective biases are cast aside to make room for the objective, known truth. However, at higher institutions across the state, there are resolutions almost unanimously passed by faculty stating that they do not like the law. This is an irrational, silly and childish

endorsement of feelings over fact. “The Faculty of the University of Houston asserts that it cannot carry out its core mission of excellence in education, research and public service where guns are present in educational spaces...weapons designed to end human life have no place in the academic life of the University, except when carried by dully-authorized law officers,” stated a resolution passed by the UH Faculty Senate members in December. They are urging their regents and chancellor to petition the Texas State Legislature “to restore the protected academic space envisioned by the founders of the United States of America.” There’s an opulent amount of proof from every state in the U.S. demonstrating that those who are licensed to carry guns are far more law abiding than the general populace. The Texas Department of Public Safety reports that there were 2,094 aggravated assault with a deadly weapon convictions in the state in 2014. How many of those were committed by cardcarrying concealed handgun license holders? Only four. In total, there were 47,413 violent offense convictions in 2014, but only 111 of them were committed by CHL holders. This particular population commits about 0.2 percent of all violent offenses in Texas. Both the open carry and campus carry laws only change how and where concealed handgun license holders can pack heat. Texans must pass a background check and take a state gun-safety course in order to obtain a gun licence. Why are professors frightened of firearms? Often cited is the fear of retaliation from students who are given bad grades. Is it commonplace that students punch professors upon receiving grades? Punching someone is a much less serious offense than shooting someone, and yet it’s almost unheard of. Are professors forbidden from exercising the same right that’s being extended to their students? No, professors can get a concealed handgun license too. Texas didn’t return to being the Wild West after open carry went into effect on Jan. 1. No one is having pistol duels on Main Street. Campus carry will go into effect at four-year institutions like UH in August 2016 and at twoyear institutions like HCC in August 2017. The only thing that will change with campus carry is that law-abiding citizens will be able to arm themselves at school. Previously, only lawbreakers did that. See the Texas DPS reports on Concealed Handgun License holders and crime rates: bit. ly/1Cq36NN


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Wednesday February 24, 2016

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