March 30, 2016 Egalitarian

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Today’s Weather

79 / 62 Scattered thunderstorms throughout the day .

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 • Vol. 43, No. 5 • • @HCC_Egalitarian

Super Bowl volunteer preparations

Rodeo Hall of Famers honored

A beautiful struggle see Campus, Page 2

see Culture, page 14

see Community, Page 5

Textbooks outrageous prices Students request affordable options Alyssa Foley

The Egalitarian “The price of textbooks is out of control,” stated HCC student Jessica White to instructors at a Faculty Senate meeting. According to the College Board, the average cost of books and supplies for a student at a public two-year college is $1,364 for the 2015-2016 school year. That’s more than what an in-district HCC student taking 15 credit hours paid in tuition this spring. “For many students and families who are already struggling to pay tuition, this out-of-pocket expense can be a huge burden,” added White, who is the treasurer of the Central Student Library Advisory Council. The student group asked faculty to pledge to using free, open source materials at the Faculty Senate meeting on March 11. Seven Houston Community College instructors pledge to adopt these free textbooks. Another ten faculty members endorsed the open source initiative and committed to finding out more about Open Educational Resources. The students asked faculty to sign a pledge to commit to at least one of the following: “use open educational resources that provide access to quality, free, digital textbooks that are offered under an open license that allows free digital access

Ap Stock image Students looking for textbooks for the upcoming semester. and low-cost printing”; “refuse to adopt commercially published textbooks”; or commit to learning more about open resources before making a decision. This is just the start of the students’ push for affordable textbooks, but in

many ways the open source movement has already started at HCC. Open Educational Resources include any type of educational materials that are in the public domain, introduced with an open license, or otherwise not subjected

to strict copyright laws. Anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and reshare them. One organization which produces open-sourced educational materials is OpenStax, an initiative of Rice University. OpenStax provides free online PDF copies of textbooks on subjects ranging from Algebra to Microeconomics. The SLAC team compared the table of contents of White’s commercial sociology textbook with an OpenStax textbook, they were almost identical. “The only difference is one is free and one is $92,” noted Central SLAC Secretary Thao Nguyen in an interview. In addition to the free PDF copies, OpenStax also prints “traditional textbooks available for as low as $20. Through our site you can also customize the book covers,” explained Daniel Williamson, the Managing Director of OpenStax, at the SXSWedu conference. For a student taking five classes in the fall and spring, their textbook bill would be as low as $200 if all their professors used OpenStax textbooks and the student wanted physical copies,and completely free for online content compared to the current national average of about $1,300. The late HCC Professor Kenneth Busbee developed an open-source Programming see Textbooks,

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‘#JeSuis...’, educate and react with peace Over the past four months Europe has seen two terrorist attacks in particular that seem to capture the spotlight of radical violence—one on Nov. 13 in Paris and another recently on March 22 in Brussels. In response to the horrific attacks in Brussels, there was an explicit call for solidarity. With the joint death toll standing at about 160 individuals—which the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL claims responsibility for—these attacks have been the most violent in France since World War II and the most violent in Europe since the Madrid train bombing which killed approximately 190. However, our limited scope of attention should also turn

to other countries throughout the world, which are experiencing similar and often more fatal events. Since June 2015, Turkey has experienced seven major bombings, five of which were claimed by ISIL, accounting for 229 deaths in the span of 9 months. Major cities, home to well over millions of Turkish civilians, such as the capital Ankara, Istanbul and Diyarbakır were all targets. Through that time, where was the worldwide support for Turkey? Where was the guise of hope for Turkey like the sweeping amounts of Facebook profile picture changes and ‘#JeSuisParis’ hashtags from around the world?

Without diminishing the horror of the merciless acts that happened in both Brussels and Paris, we should ask: why similar responses for non-European countries have yet to hit mainstream and widespread conversation? Understandably, Western European media are generally more concerned with Brussels due to its close proximity. While that is somewhat justifiable, Eurocentric attitudes and hypocrisy has nothing to do with the lack of attention on Turkish conflict. Questionable is whether or not it is a true lack of attention or a failure to recognize what is happening around the world. see Terrorist Attacks,

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AP Photo/Jossy Ola In this Sunday Jan. 31, 2016 file photo, a man walks past burnt out houses following an attack by Boko Haram in Dalori village near Maiduguri, Nigeria. Nigeria’s president has exaggerated the military’s success against Boko Haram, say officials in northern Nigeria in response to an American commander’s testimony that the Islamic extremist group still holds territory.

On Campus The beautiful struggle, Kelin Callaway 2

The Egalitarian

Wednesday March 30, 2016

Jimmieka Mills The Egalitarian

Eighteenth birthdays are the best. They usually signify the transition to independence, adulthood, at the very least extended curfews. At 18, we usually come to new realizations about who we are and the people we want to become. Kelin Callaway had a unique experience for his eighteenth birthday. “My cellmate got a bunch of honey buns and smashed them together. That was my eighteenth birthday cake.” Callaway had been arrested at 17 and was sentenced to 2 years. In 2004, Callaway was found guilty of conspiracy to commit a crime. “My case went by so fast, it took like two days. I was transferred from the state to the federal penitentiary within three months.” “When I got there I was the youngest guy in the federal penitentiary,” recalls Callaway, a current student at Houston Community College Central campus. Our transition in adulthood is a time in most people’s lives when we find ourselves, but Callaway says it was “when my identity was stripped from me. I was assigned an inmate number, which would identify me as an inmate for the next 2 years and 7 months.” Callway admits he wanted to keep the world beyond his cell out of his daily thoughts. His way of doing this was to attempt to cut off communication with that part of his life entirely. “I didn’t make calls even though I could. I rarely read letters that people sent to me. My mother only visited me twice. The first time she came I asked her not to come again. When


she came the second time, I just sat there and didn’t talk to her. It was hard for me to even look at her.” Instead, he decided to focus on bettering himself and preparing for his release. Callway recalls that he has always been musically inclined. “All my life I’ve always played music. I play all brass instruments and have played drums professionally since I was six or seven. I wrote a bunch of gospel songs while I was in jail.” He also enrolled in an educational program provided by the Windham School District. The Texas Board of Corrections established the program in 1969, as an entity that is separate from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. “That’s how I got my Associates degree in Accounting,” explains Callway. “I wanted to learn something, to do something that I felt would be tangible when I was released.” He found that the dreams he had of his release would be extremely different than the one he was confronted with. “It was nerve wrecking. My girlfriend at the time was calling all around trying to get me a job that’s when I found out that my Associate’s degree would not be accepted.” Many employers turned him away citing that they didn’t approve of the learning materials used to obtain his degree. He was required to take refresher courses at HCC to make sure his skills met standards. “I should have done it, but I didn’t. Just getting out of jail, though I wasn’t down for that and I thought it was a bunch of B.S., I should have done it though.” His opportunity to further his

Jimmieka Mills/The Egalitarian Kelin Callaway HCC student with is wife and son whom he considers his motivation to continue to pursue his dreams. education would come around again. This time he wouldn’t let the opportunity pass. While celebrating his release with friends, Callaway recalls a conversation that would align his education with his lifelong passion. “One of my friends said ‘You’re out, what are you gonna do now?’ Well, one of the gospel songs I’d written while incarcerated sold when I got out. That’s when I decided that music was it for me. It was my number one priority and I was going to treat it as such.” Callaway’s friend, a student a the for-profit Full Sail University at the time, encouraged him to look into the school. “He say’s ‘You know, I go to a school called Full Sail, I think you need to look at it’. So as soon as he said that, I went home did

my research, two weeks later went on the college tour, the next week I paid my tuition.” Kelin went on to earn his Bachelors in Business Entertainment and is now the host of his own internet radio show on The Core 94. He is now taking some refresher courses at HCC. He married his wife whom he calls “a blessing from God” in 2009. The couple welcomed their first child together on March 24, 2014. These are his motivations to not return to a life that would lead him back to the penitentiary. “I always think of the eighteenth birthday and my cellmate that was serving 33 years making me a birthday cake. He was comfortable there. I couldn’t stand the thought of losing my family over a foolish mistake.”

When asked what he took away from his time in prison Callaway says, “Being incarcerated taught me that living in the real world is a responsibility. You don’t take it lightly.” Kelin is currently working towards his Masters Degree in Marketing and wants to one day own his own radio station to provide opportunities for those who share his passion. When asked what advice he could give to anyone going through a struggle Kelin says, “God gives you gifts. You work those gifts, and they become your talents. Your talents become your income.” You can listen to Kelin’s show Friday’s 4:30-6:30pm on The Core 94 by downloading TuneIn Radio through iTunes and Google Play.

Classifieds and tidbits Midtown Journal HCC’s online Midtown Journal of Writing and Fine Arts is seeking original creative writing and art submissions from students. Poetry 800 words or less; creative non-fiction 6,000 words or less; and fiction 6,000 words or less; are accepted as well as art submissions. Submission deadline is Monday, April 11. Email submissions as attached word documents to Editors are also being sought. Include name, contact info and a brief bio. All submissions are automatically entered in writing contest. C@deFest// Create Your Own Website Workshop Students will get hands on experience to develop a website on their laptops and publish live on the web. Students will learn the basic concepts of declarative vs. procedural languages with JavaScript and HTML used to explain the difference. No Prior coding experience needed, bring your own laptop and charger, notepad and pen to write notes, a

USB flash drive (optional) to store your work and an email ID ready to be used. No special software is required. Open to any Houston area high school and HCC college students. Apr 2 at 9:30am3:30pm at HCC Alief-Hayes campus, Auditorium. Lunch will be provided. Admission is $10. Registration required:

Free ‘Hardcore Henry’ Movie Screening for Students. HCC students can watch the new rated-R film ‘Hardcore Henry’ before it’s released. On Wednesday April 6 at 7pm will be an exclusive pre-screening at Studio Movie Grill City Centre, 822 Town & Country Blvd. Henry is resurrected from death with no memory and he must discover his identity and save his wife from a warlord with a plan to bio-engineer soldiers. While screening passes last. Visit: Enter code: HCCHENRYHOU CPR and AED Certification Class Learn how to save a life. Class is free

to all current HCC students. Saturday April 16, 9am-noon. West Loop campus room C108. Hosted by RecSports:

drafting and design; electronic, petroleum engineering and more. Contact: 713-718-5291 Or

Career and Employment Fair Apr 21 at 10am at the HCC Northeast Learning Hub. Meet employers, network and bring resumes. Students can also explore the following HCC Career and Technical Education programs ranging from accounting, automotive, business, commercial truck driving, public safety,

HCC Baseball Club April 1 at 6:45 P.M. your HCC Eagles host the Lone Star Montgomery Mavericks and then a double header on April 2 at 11:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. at Lutheran High School North Baseball Field. 1130 West 34th Street ouston, TX 77018 Come Fly withUs!



Wednesday March 30, 2016

The Egalitarian

Terrorist Attacks, From Page 1 To have more sympathy for something that happens in a neighboring country does not constitute for a lack of care and solidarity for a place with far more internal issues and reciprocal attacks. Inherently, the “quick fix” for this supposed justified hypocrisy is to recognize that each country has their own respective problems, which they must deal with. With a common enemy and similar outcomes the questions, ‘What about Ankara?’ or ‘What about Turkey?’ should be followed by ‘Why?’ To ask ‘What about Ankara?’ or ‘What about Turkey?’ ensues that the attention these places deserve is not given—which is true—but ‘Why?’ gives more insight to the purpose and history of these fleeting, yet persistent events. The creation of ISIS took place overtime, after a branch of al-Qaeda filled the power vacuum void left by the U.S. invasion of Iraq, with the regime of Saddam Hussein taken out of power. Acting as a threat to Western interests and worldwide safety the jihadist groups threaten numerous parts of Africa, Europe and the majority of Middle Eastern nations. In regards to Africa, the Boko Haram regime holds similar ideological values as ISIS— which adheres to the principles of religious persecution and violence—along with boasting arguably the deadliest terrorist regime in the world. They are responsible for the kidnapping of over 200 young schoolgirls in Nigeria along with countless bombings and attacks within Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad. Honorary Consul Jacques Bochez says, “Can you imagine, it’s devastating something like that. There is a lot of sadness and then you try to be as helpful as possi-

AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert A woman and a girl light candles at floral tributes at a memorial site at the Place de la Bourse in Brussels, Saturday, March 26, 2016. Brussels airport officials say flights won’t resume before Tuesday as they assess the damage caused by twin explosions in the terminal earlier this week. ble—and that’s what we do.” The consul of Belgium’s Houston based consulate later said that basic communication between other European consulates within the state and countries like Belgium and France was increased in the past weeks. Taking part in interviews with local news channels and getting pledges of support and sympathy, Bochez says their consulate and others look to introduce security changes. According to the Global Terrorism Index, Nigeria has seen a 300 percent increase in terrorist related attacks from 2013 through 2014, with an increase in 5,662 deaths. In 2014, Boko Haram was responsible for 6,118 deaths. But again, ‘why?’ is the ques-

Textbooks, From Page 1 Fundamentals C++ textbook in January 2013, which is still available at the OpenStax website ( and on his HCC Learning Web page. Some psychology instructors have already adopted an open textbook in their classes. Dr. Huong Ho uses an Introduction to Psychology textbook in her online classes, which students can download from her Learning Web page for free. Eleven HCC psychology faculty members including Ho adapted the textbook and made an HCC edition back in May 2013. Ho said in an interview that she uses the open textbook “because it’s free for the students, and you get the learning out there.” Ho recalls that at the beginning of the semester, students would tell her that they couldn’t complete their assignments because the campus bookstore was sold out, or that they had the wrong edition, or that they simply couldn’t afford their text-book yet. Now, Ho says, “All of those are negated

tion for the seemingly never-ending destruction and violence, this time in Africa. An informative answer looks to history, through much of the nineteenth century, a period labeled the Scramble for Africa; saw the colonization of a stout majority of African nations by European powers, including France, Britain, Germany and Belgium. Countries such as the Ivory Coast, the Gold Coast—currently Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, and many more, were under the control of European nations who sought to extract raw materials and set up religious and economic principles throughout. For example, British controlled Nigeria was injected with Christian influence that figura-

because, guess what? It’s now here online. Just click on this link and there you go. You just focus on learning.” When textbooks are literally unaffordable, students simply go without. More than half of students in a 2014 Student Public Interest Research Group study said they have gone without an assigned textbook because it was too expensive. Students realize not getting the textbook is risky; the survey also found that over 90 percent of students who had foregone purchasing a textbook were concerned that doing so would hurt their grade. In an Egalitarian online reader poll, 71 percent of respondents said that they had gone without a required textbook because it was too expensive. Last fall, the Central campus Student Library Advisory Council teamed up with the Student Government Association to start a textbook lending library “by the students, for the students.” With the collection, students can check out textbooks for the entire semester. Their growing collection now includes about 225 textbooks, over 170 of which

tively split the country between northern Islamic Nigerians and Southern Christians. Mohammed Yusuf—the founder of Boko Haram—was a radical Nigerian Muslim focused on expunging Western practices and teachings from Africa. Territorially dividing the continent up, one of the main supporters of the colonization of Africa was the King of Belgium, Leopold II, who took control of what is currently the second most populous country in Africa—the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Leopold used his commercial ties to orchestrate the killing and maiming of individuals in the Congo Free State for increased production and wealth. This in turn created the institutionalized

have been checked out. They calculate the program has saved HCC students over $8,500 so far. “We realized that we cannot help all of them,” explained Nguyen in an interview, so they started searching for a better solution. “We can collect textbooks all day long, we’ll never collect enough to meet the demand,” added Central SLAC Adviser Erica Hubbard, who called the open source option “the most sustainable solution.” Another issue was that while students could get a textbook from the library through the lending program, they would have to purchase the online access code separately. Nguyen told faculty, “I had to buy my calculus textbook, which costs me $305, which I can use for three classes from Cal I to Cal III. However, for every semester, I have to buy a copy of the new [homework website] access code, which costs me $120 every semester, just to do my math homework.” By the time students like Nguyen complete their calculus course series, they have spent $665 on course materials, which is more than an in-district HCC


racism between colonial associates and natives. After the Belgian government took control of the Congo Free State, economically they did considerably well, but the social issues involving racism continued to grow until Congo received its independence. Congo exercised stark resistance of the Belgian-Congo’s imbalance of racial autonomy. Revolts, looting and destruction of European property started combatting the lack of equality. Local leaders, Patrice Lumumba and Joseph Kasavubu, were large players in the beginning of political structure in the newly independent nation. Left without a structured political system, from 1908 to the present, Congo has seen the effects of colonialism on a country — including a brief dictatorship under Mobutu Sese Soku, dynamic leadership changes and shifts in power, a crippled economic system and inherent violence. Paradoxically, the plight of Congo can be traced directly back to Belgium, recently at the end of its own devastating terrorist attack. The increasing threat to freedom across the world cannot be met with ignorance of issues similar to Ankara and Nigeria and a lack of solidarity for every nation experiencing these issues—instead it should be combated with a knowledge and awareness of the causes of current worldwide complications. What seems like the aggression and unrivaled destruction stemming from a particular ethnic group for no just cause, is possibly a response of years of civil unrest due to ethnic or religious persecution met with the violence needed for attention. Commenting on the recent attack in Brussels President Obama stated, “We must unite, we must stand together,” to resist “the scourge of terrorism.”

student pays in tuition for those courses. “If you have two roommates who are taking the same course, and are able to share the same textbook, if you have online assignments, they cannot share the same online number,” added a Faculty Senate member. One student would have to purchase another access code for the homework site, which often costs almost as much as the textbook. “It’s horrible because you can’t even save money with two people in the same household reading the same book.” Lumen Learning found that using open instead of commercial textbooks improves the rate of students earning a C or better by about four percent in some courses. If students earn anything below a C in a class that course credit will not transfer. Currently, the “wildly important goal” of Dr. Kimberly Beatty, HCC’s Vice Chancellor of Student Services, is to raise student success rates of earning a C or better by about two percent by May 2017. College-wide adoption of free, open source textbooks could help accomplish this goal. The Egalitarian News Editor Jimmieka Mills contributed to this report.


The Egalitarian

Wednesday March 30, 2016



Missouri City campus is a good deal Alyssa Foley

The Egalitarian “It became clear that the enrollment at that campus was lower than what was expected,” explained Trustee Neeta Sane, “you can’t even see it where it is. It’s in a closed-knit corner of Sienna.” A new Missouri City campus is being built off Texas Parkway, it’s will be the third site in the campus’ history. While classes continue at the Sienna Plantation neighborhood location for now, the campus was sold to Fort Bend County and the land back to the real estate firm the college originally purchased it from. While the exact amount the campus has lost in the move is debated, the college administration places the net book loss for the transaction at $4 million. Sane represents District VII, which the Missouri City campus falls under. She said that as campus enrollment faltered, the focused turned to, “how can this campus now become more accessible, more visible for our students?” “HCC eventually came up with a design to offer special programs for that campus with the goal to enroll more students and prepare more students for the jobs that are growing here in the local region,” explained Sane. With Fort Bend County and the non-profit George Foundation coming through with finan-

Thomas Hopkins / The Egalitarian Trustee Neeta Sane explaining while the Missouri City deal was a good move for the school. cial support for the move, “it was an absolute moment of pride to see that the community is also behind us, supporting us, as we move,” recalled Sane, “because of the community’s support and backing, HCC was able to move forward with a more suitable location for this particular Missouri City campus.” “It’s a win-win because we are increasing the accessibility for students, it’s visible to the community,” said Sane about the new location, “it will offer better educational opportunities for our students.”

The new campus will host programs for entrepreneurship, technology and health sciences. Many new hospitals and medical facilities are opening in Sugar Land, and the area is booming with small businesses. Sane says that for a complete analysis of the move, three major factors need to be considered. First is that when Missouri City was annexed, HCC made a commitment to the community that they would have a campus, “and not just have a campus but a well-performing campus,” Sane noted.

“We’re not just here to build buildings, but we want to make sure that we have high-performing and better operating campuses,” stated Sane, “our commitments are steadfast and we stick by them.” The second thing to consider are legal aspects and financial means. Trustee Sane explained that when HCC purchased the land from the Johnson Corporation back in 2002 and 2004, there were two conditions in the contract. The first was the right of first opportunity, which gave the real

estate firm the first right to purchase the land back from HCC at a locked-in price. Also, a deed restriction prevented anyone but HCC from developing on the land. “That’s what we have today to deal with,” explained Sane regrettably, “we have no choice but to follow that agreement.” Sane was elected in 2007 after the Sienna location was purchased. “They [the Johnson Corporation] were ready to buy it back, and there was no other bid that came in to buy it back,” noted Sane. HCC sold the undeveloped 33 acre tract of land back to the the Johnson Corporation for $2.5 million, while the other approximately 12 acres and campus building was sold to Fort Bend County for $8 million. The third aspect which Sane believes gives a comprehensive view of the move is “What is the value added economic benefit to HCC?” What HCC is leaving behind is being “matched and exceeded by the value-added developments.” “HCC is able to offer a campus on Texas Parkway that will showcase what the campus is meant to is high time that we have a campus in Missouri City that performs well, that is located at the right site and it solves the community’s needs,” Sane concluded that, “it’s benefiting the community more than I could have imagined.”

Chancellor Cesar Maldonado clear of all charges Alyssa Foley

The Egalitarian No evidence was found of Houston Community College’s Chancellor Cesar Maldonado committing any criminal activity in the purchase of the former Conn’s Appliance store property in front of the West Loop campus. The Harris County District Attorney Office’s Public Integrity Division concluded their investigation on March 4. Last August, HCC Trustee Dave Wilson filed a complaint against Chancellor Cesar Maldonado and Chief Facilities Officer Chuck Smith for what he called “Fraud/Misappropriation of Bond Funds” due to “misstatements [that] resulted in excess money being paid for the property.” The college hired appraisers who placed the value of the 5505 West Loop South property at $5.3 million in November 2014, but pumped the figure to $8.5 million in January 2015 which is what the college ultimately paid for it. The adjustments were based on a prospective lease with Tesla Motors and the rental income such a lease would generate, but no lease ever materialized and the building still sits vacant. The statement from the District Attorney’s office said that documents provided by Trustee Wilson were reviewed, as well as documents obtained from Tesla Motors and from the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. The state licensing board stated that

they “found that the report contained minor deficiencies” in the appraiser’s work, and issued a non-disciplinary warning letter advising that “documentation and analyses to support adjustments” be provided and any prior work on a property be acknowledged. On March 11, HCC Board of Trustees Chair Adriana Tamez reassured faculty that, “There was never any wrongdoing….we knew he was going to be cleared.” “I get tired of hearing the excuse that they just made a stupid move, rather than it being a criminal move,” said Trustee Dave Wilson in a interview, “which isn’t much consolation to me, because the fact remains we paid three or four million too much for that building.” Wilson added that he’s “still not convinced that there wasn’t something criminal involved in that.” Before filing the complaint, Wilson filed an open records request to the college administration for a copy of any leasing documents with Tesla Motors. He said that the response he received from the college was there were no lease documents. The January appraisal states that they asked for actual letters of intent, but were not provided any. Wilson received what he calls a “bogus” letter of intent from the college, which was not signed. The first page is dated January 9, 2015, but the last paragraph states that it must be signed and accepted by November 31, 2014. While the college administration told

“It was a great purchase. And it was one that we [the board of trustees] made with the chancellor collectively—for the most part.” Adriana Tamez HCC Trustee the trustee it was all the documents they had, Wilson said the District Attorney’s office told him that from Tesla Motors, they subpoenaed 500 pages of correspondence with HCC and drafts of the lease. “That’s funny how this all appeared after I filed a criminal complaint,” said Wilson. The nine elected Board of Trustees hire the chancellor. Wilson believes the chancellor or any other member of the college administration keeping information away from any trustees is grounds for dismissal. “I believe that was a good purchase,” Trustee Tamez stated at the March Faculty Senate meeting about the Conn’s building, “we’re going to end up—because of where [the West Loop campus is] at—needing additional classrooms. That we know, but it’s not going to happen tomorrow. This is in a few years, but we looked ahead. It was a good pur-

chase. It was a great purchase. And it was one that we [the board of trustees] made with the chancellor collectively— for the most part.” “Do we have too much property? Ya, we know we do,” Tamez admitted, “We are currently looking at our land assets... How much land do we own? Where is this land located?” “We are planning ahead and looking into the future, and looking to see exactly what we’re planning to do with every piece of property that we own. That is underway. That is part of our long-range plan.” Dr. Tamez added that going forward they plan on making decisions that “make sense.” Last month, the trustees authorized the chancellor to execute another lease agreement for the Conn’s property. Details on what tenant may take up residence at 5505 West Loop South will not see

Conn’s, Page 5

Wednesday March 30, 2016


The Egalitarian


Cubans eyeing new future with US Julie Pace

Associated Press HAVANA (AP) — Eyeing a new future with the U.S., Cubans are preparing their famed capital for a long-awaited visit by President Barack Obama, who will make history when Air Force One touches down in Havana on Sunday. Obama’s visit to the island nation will serve as a powerful symbol of the relationship that the U.S. and Cuba are now forging. For Obama, the 2 1/2-day trip offers one of the last, best chances to advance the diplomatic opening with President Raul Castro before Obama leaves office early next year. Ahead of Obama’s arrival, American flags were raised in parts of Havana alongside Cuban flags, an improbable image for those who lived through more than a half-century in which the U.S. and Cuba were bitter foes. Cubans have been hard at work cleaning up Old Havana in recent days and giving buildings a fresh coat of paint, as the city buzzed in anticipation of Obama’s visit. Yet while Obama remains a popular figure in Cuba, the jubilation that surged here in the early days of detente has been tempered by the absence of tangible improvement in most people’s lives. “I haven’t seen anything” change since Washington and Havana renewed ties, said Roberto Albar, a 68-year-old retiree. Pointing to his decaying house near the sea, he added, “That’s falling down, and the poor are still poor.” Nonetheless, he sees the thaw as a sign that both countries can benefit from the relationship: “We are practically neighbors,” Albar said, and Cuba’s political system “doesn’t mean we have to be enemies.” In a reminder of how tightly Cuban society is still controlled, the Castro government announced a virtual shutdown

Conn’s, From Page 4 be made public until a deal is finalized. Leases for the property have fallen through before. If this one doesn’t work out, HCC students have some other ideas for the property. Adrian Nwanze asked Tamez at the United Student Council meeting on March 11 if the former Conn’s building could be made into a student recreation center. Currently, HCC leases local gyms spaces for recreational activities. Last September, the Southwest Student Government Association started a petition for a new student recreation center, which called for “multi-purpose areas which can be used for the benefit of all students, including a full weight room, group exercise rooms, student lounges, basketball courts, and a food center.” “It makes sense to build in a building that we purchased,” Tamez told Nwanze. She encouraged students to submit their ideas as a proposal.

AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuban President Raul Castro during their meeting at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana, Cuba. of Havana during Obama’s stay, and few Cubans expected to see him in person. Extensive closures of main boulevards were planned during the day, and the city’s seaside Malecon was largely deserted in the morning except for a few cars, joggers, fishermen and pelicans. Still, the historic significance of Obama’s visit was impossible to overlook. Not in nearly 90 years has a sitting American president visited Cuba. Joined by his wife and daughters, Obama will stroll the streets of Old Havana and meet with Castro in his presidential offices. He’ll join baseball-crazed Cubans for a historic game between their beloved national team and Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays. Obama will be closely watched for signs of how aggressively he’s pushing Cuba’s communist leaders on the very issues that led the U.S. to isolate Cuba for the last half-century: human rights, democ-

racy and economic reform. Though Cuban officials have warned Obama against meddling, the White House insists he’ll use his visit to speak directly to Cubans about possibilities for a different future. To that end, Obama will meet with dissidents critical of Castro’s government. Aiming to show that Obama was traveling on his terms, the White House emphasized that Obama — not Cuba’s government — was deciding which dissidents would attend. At home, Obama has faced intense criticism from some Cuban-Americans who see his outreach as a disgraceful embrace of a government whose practices and values betray much of what America stands for. That’s increasingly a minority view among both Cuban-Americans and the broader U.S. population. Ahead of his trip, Obama further lifted curbs on Cuba, easing travel restrictions for Americans and restoring Cuba’s ac-

cess to the global financial system. Cuba, meanwhile, announced plans to lift a 10 percent conversion fee on U.S. dollars. And on Saturday, U.S. hotel chain Starwood signed a deal to renovate and run three Cuban hotels, returning American hotels to the island more than 50 years after Fidel Castro’s socialist revolution. The White House also released a video of Obama bantering with Cuba’s most famous comedian, in a direct appeal to Cuban humor and pop culture. Luis Silva plays the elderly fellow Panfilo in a wildly popular show that often uses biting humor to comment on social reality and the government’s shortcomings. Yet supporters of warmer ties are concerned that as American travel to Cuba increases, the U.S. trade embargo that Congress has refused to lift will force American businesses to cede opportunities to competitors overseas. “If we don’t lift the embargo, we’re going to be sleeping in European hotels and eating Chinese food,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., one of dozens of lawmakers traveling with Obama, said in an interview. Illustrating the tensions surrounding the visit, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez rebuked Obama ahead of the trip for suggesting that he would use the visit to promote change. Invoking the 1959 revolution, Rodriguez said Cubans had already “empowered themselves decades ago.” Two years after taking power in 2008, Raul Castro launched economic and social reforms that appear slow-moving but are lasting and widespread. Hundreds of thousands now work in the private sector and enjoy relaxed limits on cellphones and Internet. Yet the Cuban government has been unyielding on making changes to its single-party political system and to strict limits on media, public speech, assembly and dissent.

How good is your professor really? Erik Calderon Associated Press

A great professor can make the most boring class in the world exciting, and can even help you find your passion in the subject they teach. Houston Community College has some amazing professors, but do you know who they are? You will be signing up for classes next semester soon, have you asked around to see which professors are the best to take? It’s your money, you are paying for the classes you enroll in and you deserve to get the best return on your investment. Your education determines the direction of your life, and you are at HCC to obtain an education. That is the most important thing to remember. If you get a professor who isn’t teaching, don’t you think you should demand your money back? It’s not so easy, but you can usually make sure you know what you’re getting into by visiting or by asking other students on campus about instructors. A good professor can be the difference between you learning the subject or not, and the difference between a boring class an invigorating one. Let’s say that you took a class and the pro-

fessor was terrible, or you took a class and the professor was stellar. Don’t just keep that to yourself, let other students know by going to and registering your opinion. Now of course, students should also honestly fill out the confidential departmental instructor evaluations that HCC emails to students toward the end of the semester to let the college know if instructors are doing their jobs or not. However, no one sees these evaluations except for the instructor’s boss, reviews can be seen by other students. My wife has a professor who was cursing in class one day, and the next class period he was 30 minutes late. Students can get kicked out of class for cursing and have their attendance record marked for tardiness for being so late, but how are instructors held accountable for such actions? Our editor-in-chief had an instructor who took business calls during class period, would frequently dismiss class an hour early to go to business meetings and went out of the country for a business trip for a week and did not tell the department so there was no substitute and no class. Again, how can such professors be held accountable? One way is through the instructor evalu-

ation at the end of the semester. The school has a right to know which professors are performing well and which ones are not. Maybe some tardy, cursing, or absent instructors should not be working at a fine institution like HCC. You, the student, are the customer. You’re the one with the decision and the money to attend HCC, even if it is financial aid or grant money. You deserve to be excited about attending HCC and excited about learning. Don’t just take a class, take the professor. Even if you’re required to take a class, find out who is teaching and whether or not it’s worth it to take a class from that person. One semester, I had a professor tell me that I was wasting my money taking classes at HCC. I don’t take any courses from him anymore. I’d rather spend my money on professors that will inspire me in the field that I choose to be in and make me glad I chose to attend HCC. Be sure to evaluate your professor when the surveys are sent out by the college, and go to and let the world know how good or bad your professor was. Both are completely anonymous, and you will be alerting HCC and other students to instructors that should be avoided.


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Above: Hanging on for eight seconds. Left: Squeezing the acordian on Tejano Sunday. Bottom: Belting out some sweet melodies. Opposite Page Top Left: Young man showing off his hard work. Middle Left: Piglets racing for the Oreo’s. Top Right: Feeling the song while squeezing that box. Bottom: Washing their steer before compitition.


Round Up

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Wednesday March 30, 2016

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Left: Taking a leap of faith. Above: What’s a carnival without turkey legs Bellow: Mutton busting fun. Opposite Page Top: Strapping in tight for the ride of the night. Middle Left: Special delivery. Bottom Left: Enjoying a family feast. Right: Plucking away while singing a tune.



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Wednesday March 30, 2016

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Above: Dancing the night away in the Hide Out tent. Right: Pre- Rodeo parade. Below: Pit master sharing his craft with the masses. Opposite Page Top Left: Tejano Legend Eddie Gonzalez Top Right: A closer look at the ribs. Middle Right:Something a little hot and spicey. Bottom: Enjoying the view from ontop of the staging pens.

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The egaliTarian

Wednesday March 30, 2016



MLB Opening Day 2016 John CaÑamar The egaliTarian

The marathon known as the Major League Baseball season opens on Sunday April 3rd with four games on schedule. Up first is the St. Louis Cardinals versus the Pittsburgh Pirates, followed by the Chicago Cubs at the Angels of Anaheim on deck, then the Toronto Blue Jays battle the Tampa Bay Rays. In the clean up spot is a rematch of the Fall Classic with the New York Mets facing off against the defending World Champions the Kansas City Royals. Monday the 4th the remainder of the 22 teams will begin their 2016 season with the dream of playing deep into October and taking Champaign showers and earning the title of World Series Champions. At the beginning of every year all the “Gurus” make their predictions and tell you why one team is head and shoulders above the rest, and that playing the games are but a minuscule detail. Then when it is all said and done with the great majority, above 95 percent, were completely wrong. Below I will take it to the next level and tell you which players will rise to the top because why not. Pitcher: Cory Kluber of the Indians, will once again end up with 250 plus K’s and an ERA in the low 3’s with the help of a defense led by Francisco Lindor. Dallas Keuchel of the Astros, will have another strong season although it is doubtful that he will

Image courtesy of Major League Baseball The 2016 Major League Baseball Opening Day official logo. go undefeated at Minute Maid Park as he did in 2015. The Astros will have to be able to close out games on the road to have Keuchel return to the 20 game win season he had last year when he won the Cy Young Award. Catcher: Buster Posey of the Giants, will once again add to his brilliant career thus far by calling one of the best games behind the plate and driving in upwards of 65 ribbies. Salvador Perez of the Royals, is a general at the dish managing his pitching staff. On offense his aggressive approach will need to be dialed back just a hair to bring his OBP north of .300. First Base: Miguel Cabrera of the White Sox, when healthy

continues to be the best all around first baseman with very few faults in his game. Eric Hosmer of the Royals, with his aggressive at the plate approach will be able to reach the century mark in both RBI’s and runs. Second Base: Jose Altuve of the Astros, Señor 200 will hit above 200 hits yet again while maintaining a better than .300 batting average. All while throwing the leather around covering the middle of the field. Dee Gordon of the Marlins, easily put speed, speed, speed. What he lacks in selectiveness he makes up with his legs turning singles into doubles and being a nuisance on the base path.

Third Base: Manny Machado of the Orioles, in Orioles tradition Machado has superb defensive skills on the left side of the diamond a bat that helps the ball find holes allowing him a high OBP. Nolan Arenado of the Rockies, also a strong defensive fixture at the hot corner along with a good stick in a hitter friendly park should be able to put up great numbers in RBI’s, Runs and Homeruns. Short Stop: There is a changing of the guard at the 6 spot with rookies Carlos Correa in Houston and Francisco Lindor in Cleveland. Both have tremendous range and with strong arms and speed, lots of speed.

Normally when speaking of a 5 tool player it is reserved for an out fielder, but as the world found out last year Correa is not your normal player. Correa’s maturity is well beyond his years which adds extra tag that is placed on very few players, Special. Outfield: Mike Trout of the Angels, Bryce Harper of the Nationals and Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates hands down are the modern Gary Sheffield, Tony Gwynn and Fred McGriff of baseball. All three are allaround players that are the captains and face of their club. With OBP’s above .400 and Batting Averages in the .300’s and RBI totals right at 100 there is not much these All-Stars cannot do. Bull Pen: The most important spot has to be the pen with the majority of the games going to the very end after the starters have been pulled. The Cardinals have the best young strong arm in Trevor Rosenthal. However, the pen is about the whole and for this reason the Astros take the prize. When you take the setup guys of the left handed Tony Sipp and last year’s closer Luke Gregerson with newly acquired Ken Giles the Astros end up with a sum greater than all its parts. So with less than a week to all the pageantries of Opening Day and the fresh smell of finely manicured ballparks in the air mixed with the aroma of dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jacks, there is only one thing left to say…Play Ball!

NCAA Final Four events around town John CaÑamar The egaliTarian

Houston will be hosting the NCAA Men’s Final Four this weekend. If you do not have a ticket for any of the three game remaining to see who will be crowned champion, there is no need to panic for there are plenty of events that you can do to be part of the festivities. If music is what moves you there will be a concert series taking place at Discovery Green which will showcase local and national acts. The March Madness Music Festival is free to the general public. Friday, April 1: AT&T Block Party (410 p.m.) Lukas Graham- 4:45 p.m Panic! At the Disco- 6:30 p.m. Fall Out Boy- 8:30 p.m Saturday, April 2: Coca- Cola Music (Noon- 9 p.m.) Conrad Sewell- 1:00 p.m Jason Derulo- 2:15 p.m Semi Final #1 Viewing Party-5 p.m Kendrick Lamar-7:15 p.m Sunday, April 3: Capital One JamFest (3-10 p.m.) Aloe Blacc-3:45 p.m Flo Rida- 5 p.m.

Image courtesy of NCAA The official 2016 Mens Final Four logo. Pitbull- 6:30p.m Maroon 5- 8:30 p.m. George R Brown will be the site of the Final Four Fan Fest on Friday through Monday. There will be games of skills along with samples handed out by many

of the sponsors. There is a booth where one can take a photo with the Championship Trophy and multiple Hall of Famers that will be signing autographs and taking picture with fans.

Children 12 and under are free to enter, adults are $10 and students 13 and older are $5 with ID. At NRG Stadium fans will be able to see the teams practice on Friday at the Reese’s Final Four Friday and then watch the college All-Star game. All of which is free of charge including parking. Before Saturday’s games there will be a free tail gate party which will feature live entertainment. Fans and families are invited to participate in the Houston Final Four 4 Miler in Downtown Houston, proceeds benefit the Lone Star Veterans Association. On Sunday there will be a Final Four Dribble. This is a parade of such that will start at City Hall and go through downtown ending at the Final Four Fan Fest at George R Brown. It is free for all 18 and under to participate. All participants will receive a T-shirt, a basketball and Fan Fest tickets for Sunday. Then there are the games that feature #2 Villanova Wildcats hosting #2 Oklahoma Sooners at 5:00 on Saturday followed by #1 North Caroline Tar Heels facing off with #10 Syracuse Orange. The Championship Game will be held on Monday at 8:00 p.m.


13 HLSR surpass $175 million in scholarships @HCC_Egalitarian

Alyssa Foley

The Egalitarian When you think of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, BBQ, bull-riding, concerts, carnival rides, deep fried Oreos and more come to mind. One thing the rodeo offers that we often forget? Scholarships. Since its founding, the rodeo has given over 16 thousand scholarships valued at about $175 million. Amy Moroney, the Executive Director of the HLSR’s Educational Programs Department, noted in an interview that, “we have committed about $12.9 million to give away this year.” Rodeo Houston has given about $150 thousand to Houston Community College this school year in scholarships and grants. Moroney explained HLSR selected seven area colleges where they would donate technical scholarships to non-traditional students. Last Fall, the rodeo established a technical education scholarship with a gift of $30 thousand to help HCC students earn their welding certificate. The HLSR has also long been a supporter of first responders and HCC’s Public Safety Institute at the Northeast Codwell campus. In December, the rodeo gave $116 thousand to support HCC’s Public Safety Institute. Of that amount, $45 thousand is

being used to purchase equipment for the law enforcement academy while the remaining funds will be used to support the college’s emergency telecommunications center, to provide training to meet industry demands for 9-1-1 dispatchers. “We are deeply grateful for the Houston Livestock show and Rodeo’s longstanding commitment to HCC and what their investment makes possible for our students who are preparing to be the city’s next generation of first defenders,” stated HCC Trustee Zeph Capo, the 2015 Board of Trustees Chair, at the December meeting. Joel Cowley, the President and CEO of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo explained at the December HCC trustee meeting that historically, 66 students have attended HCC on HLSR scholarships, which total to about $671 thousand. Meanwhile, since 2009, grants to HCC from the HLSR have totaled $564 thousand, and they have established an endowment with a market value of $238 thousand. “We are truly, truly pleased to support HCC and give back to the local Houston economy,” stated Cowley. “You have been a supporter to allow us to implement the simulation labs to provide training for our students,” said Dr. Margaret Ford-Fisher, the President of HCC Northeast where the Public Safety Institute is located, “as

Wednesday March 30, 2016

The Egalitarian

a result of the contributions, we have been seeing a significant difference in the success of our students….[HLSR is] making a significant difference in the lives of our students and in the life of our community.” “It’s been a successful program,” Moroney said about the rodeo’s HCC partnership, “we plan to continue it in the future.” While the HLSR was founded in 1932, the first scholarships were not given out until 1957. “Everyone of you make these scholarships possible,” said Dr. Ben Dickerson to a crowd of around 65 thousand at the NRG Stadium on Friday March 18. Dr. Dickerson was the rodeo’s first scholarship winner and is known as “number one.” Back in 1957, he won a $2,000 scholarship. Dr. Dickerson explained what the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo means to him, “It means networking. It means leading. It means legacy. It means that there is so much more involved than just some money we receive. It seems like it’s a lifelong experience with all of you.” “Some of the revenue from the show does go into our educational fund,” explained Moroney, adding that, “we have donors that will contribute specifically to our scholarship program. And then the way that our [livestock] auction programs are setup, for each of the auctions, each of the lots have a cap amount, and then the proceeds above that cap amount then go

towards the educational fund.” “The rodeo was created to help build agriculture in the community,” Moroney reflected, “and part of that was educating the public about agriculture. In that avenue , education was included and that kind of morphed into scholarships.” “When we first started giving scholarships, students were required to attend Texas A&M University and to major in agriculture,” explained Moroney. Those requirements changed. Now students who win HLSR scholarships can attend any not-for-profit accredited college in Texas and can pursue any degree. Most of the scholarships HLSR awards are given to students are for graduating high school seniors. “For most of our scholarships, it’s a four-year Bachelor degree that we require them to attain,” noted Moroney. The rodeo gives over 600 scholarships directly to high school seniors every year, which are each $18 thousand a year for four years. The rodeo also awards five technical scholarships valued at $9 thousand per year directly to graduating high school seniors for two-year programs. Previous rodeo scholarship winners are eligible for additional scholarships. Moroney explained that, “they can apply for those scholarships once they reach their junior year or have completed four semesters in college and they can apply for an additional $16 thousand.”

Alpaca’s parade around the rodeo grounds Emmanuel Akinola The Egalitarian

Alpacas paraded through the NRG park and rodeo carnival on March 17. Several owners trekked their Alpacas through the arena to the NRG Center before leading the alpaca celebrities back to their pens. “To bring my animals here and bring happiness to other people is everything,” says Cynthia Masters, a participant in the Alpaca Parade. Originally from El Paso, Masters has brought her livestock, which includes horses and alpacas, to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for over 10 years. In the past, she also served as a horse announcer and still has an interest in agricultural journalism. Along with her family, she is a fifteenth-generation horse breeder. Years ago, she visited Peru and brought back horses, but she couldn’t resist taking alpacas as well. Alpacas are known to live for no more than 30 years of age. Their main food is hay, but also shaft hay, which is pasteurized alfalfa with molasses. The alpacas are fed each day with fresh water that Masters and the other owners bring. Masters lent her alpacas to be exhibited at the Llama & Alpaca Show Youth Costume Contest on March 18. To help with the youth show, eighth grader Sidney Cotton

served as an exhibitor for Masters’ alpacas. She currently goes to Aragon Middle School. To be an exhibitor, the student has to be enrolled in a public or private elementary or secondary school, and at least 8-years-old to 18-years-old. Cotton got in contact with Masters after her mom met her at a carnival. What Cotton does is dress up the alpacas, walk them across the area, and present them to the audience. The best-dressed alpaca serves as the winner on each occasion. Last year, Cotton won third place and second place in the Youth Costume Contest. Even though this is her second time, she’s still nervous. Despite nerves, Cotton said, “I wouldn’t mind doing this as a career or side-job.” Also helping Cotton, exhibitors and other owners are the costume designers. One of those designers, Abigail Gilbert, started this year and has had three shows so far. She lived in Fort Worth and St. Angelo before residing in Houston. Gilbert’s particular style, as she put it, is a scenery akin to storytelling. “I actually have been going more towards movies,” Gilbert said. She’s a self-professed ‘Star Wars’ fanatic, which she incorporates into the costumes. “This is actually more of a hobby for me,” says Gilbert,

Thomas Hopkins / The Egalitarian A pair of Alpacas freshly blow dried and brush ready to make their grande entrance.

“Though it started to turn more into sort of a job.” Gilbert said. She noted that selling the costumes or displaying them can get someone easy money. The youth show is in categories of Junior, Intermediate and Senior in the Obstacle, Public Relations, Pack Classes and Youth Showmanship. The Public Relations category deals with animals in communi-

ty activities. Pack Classes revolve around stimulating the conditions encountered by the animals on the trails. Youth Showmanship focuses on the ability to show the animal to its advantage at halter. Additionally, the exhibitor is expected to have basic skills in fitting, grooming, following directions and the style of presenting the animal to the judges for evaluation.

Young children have the opportunity to participate in a special program, “Lloan-A-Llama,” open to youth 5-years-old and in kindergarten through 18-years-old, who do not own or lease a llama or alpaca. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Llama Committee provide the animals. The contest is limited to those youth who are not showing the livestock.


Wednesday March 30, 2016

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And the award goes to Erik Calderon The Egalitarian

Houston Community College pulled out the red carpet at the Spring Branch campus on March 12 to congratulate and celebrate the outstanding work filmmaking students did over the last semester. Each year, the Houston Community College Filmmaking program hosts the HCC Movie Makers Academy Awards, and films submitted in previous semester are judged by a panel and selected to win Academy Award trophies. This year over 142 films were entered and six were selected as award-winning. At this event, the film that is created in the TV Field and Workshop class taught by the founder of the Movie Makers Academy, Professor Rick Harrington, is screened. This year was the twentieth episode of Virginia Fairfax. Professor Harrington founded the Movie Makers Academy in 2000 with only 12 students. One of his students, Robert Nelson,

went on to become the President of the Screen Actors Guild here in Houston. This year, 24 students were honored with an award in categories ranging from acting, directing, producing, cinematography and even in gaffing. The first award of the evening was given to Jeff Novac for his film ‘Interstellar’ which is more like a trailer for his upcoming clay animation film that he’s working on. The second award went to Marusya Nalimova and Ainura Sadvakassova for their film ‘Friend’. It’s the story of a college student who has no friends and decides one day that it’s time to have a friend. This film had an interesting twist, and I definitely don’t want to spoil it for you. The third award went out to Branly Oliva and Manuel Lopez for their film ‘zin3pozk$’. This film was fascinating and had some amazing special effects. The fourth award went out to Ashleigh Borbey and Vincent Briseno for ‘Chairception’. When I first heard the title, I thought it

might be an ‘Inception’ parody. The film is about a killer wheelchair, meaning a wheelchair that is possessed and kills people. This film had just the right mix of comedy and gore. The evening’s fifth award was interesting because it went out to six films and their filmmakers, Tu Nguyen, Derrick Guillory, Victor Gelsomino, Julian Townsend, Eric Tallent and Soroosh Mehdi. All six films were classified as Martial Arts films and we saw some amazing fight sequences, and a spoof on the matrix with Soroosh Mehdi with some entertaining special effects. The last award of the evening went out to Rosio Chapa and Neenee Bax for their film ‘300 Bucks’. This film is by far the funniest and most entertaining film I’ve seen in awhile. It’s all about a buddy that borrows $300 from a friend. When he goes to his friend’s house to return the money, he’s not home, but his wife is. I think you need to watch for yourself to enjoy it. After the awards for the short films, we watched the ‘Vani-

Image courtesy of Carole Harrington. HCC Movie Makers Academy founder Professor Rick Harrington (right) poses with HCC Academy Award winner Jeff Novac (left) for his film ‘Interstellar’, at the awards ceremony on March 12 at the HCC Spring Branch campus. ty Fairfax - The Documentary’, showcasing the past years on The American DreamQuest Corp. and how they’ve destroyed the lives of billions of people, and how they’ve tried to turn it all around. The following students won additional awards: Will Banks, Directing; Angelo Flint, Acting; Corey Khansari, Acting; Jianni

Brown, Acting; Lakinda Washington, Acting; Samiel Guevara, Acting; “Zach” Shiou Lee, Directing; and Octavio Dias, Cinematography. The awards ceremony ended with laughs, photos and friendship, getting to watch fellow student filmmakers on their way to success on Hollywood Boulevard.

Janice Dickinson’s lawsuit vs. Bill Cosby can proceed Anthony McCartney Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Janice Dickinson’s defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby should move forward, a judge ruled Tuesday, saying a trial can determine the truthfulness of the model’s claims that the comedian raped her in 1982. A jury can decide the credibility of Dickinson’s allegations and whether a statement by Cosby’s former lawyer branding her a liar was defamatory, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Debre Katz Weintraub said. The judge said in her ruling that she was not assessing the credibility of either Dickinson or Cosby. It also allows for the possibility that Dickinson could recoup punitive damages if she wins the case. Dickinson sued Cosby in May after he denied her claims that he drugged and raped her in Lake Tahoe in 1982. She says she tried to include the story in a 2002 memoir, “No Lifeguard on Duty: The Accidental Life of the World’s First Supermodel,” but her publisher refused. Cosby’s attorneys tried to get the suit dismissed, arguing Dickinson’s story about her interactions with Cosby had changed over the years. His legal team will have several other opportunities to challenge the case before it goes to trial, whose date has not been set. Cosby lawyer Monique Pressley said in a statement that they are considering an appeal and believe Dickinson’s lawsuit should be completely thrown out. Dickinson’s suit says she felt victimized again after the comedian’s former lawyer, Marty Singer, denied the allegations. Letters that Singer sent to reporters threatening to sue if they published Dickinson’s claims are protected legal communications and cannot be used at

Thomas Hopkins / The Egalitarian A pair of Alpacas freshly blow dried and brush ready to make their grande entrance. trial, Weintraub also ruled. The judge said her review of the evidence so far shows that while Singer offered an opinion on Dickinson’s credibility based on certain facts, there is no indication he investigated whether the rape actually occurred. “I will not go down,” Dickinson told reporters after the ruling. “I want Bill Cosby in court,” she said. “I want him to stand under oath.” Her appearance in court came a day after the model announced she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will undergo surgery and radiation treatment.

Dickinson also was a cast member of VH1’s “The Surreal Life” and UPN’s “America’s Next Top Model” and appeared on celebrity rehab. She said Tuesday that she is sober but that not speaking out about the incident with Cosby “did not work for the betterment of my soul. It drove me to the depths of misery through alcohol and drugs.” Her attorney, Lisa Bloom, said the ruling was significant because of how vehemently Cosby has fought accusations of sexual misconduct. “Bill Cosby has fought to keep women

out of court with regard to their rape allegations,” Bloom said. “Janice and I, side by side, have been fighting for this day for a year.” Dozens of women have accused Cosby, 78, of sexual abuse, but the statutes of limitations in most instances have passed. The comedian has been charged with sexually assaulting a former Temple University worker at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He is free on $1 million bail in the criminal case, which is on hold amid an appeal.



Wednesday March 30, 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


GOP sinking ship

Marialuisa Rincon I truly believe this presidential election has the potential to implode the Grand Old Party. House Speaker Paul Ryan got it right in a rousing speech to the House interns and members of the media earlier this week, when he bemoaned the state of the party and of American politics in general. “All of us as leaders can hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity and decency. Instead of playing to your anxieties, we can appeal to your aspirations. Instead of playing the identity politics of ‘our base’ and ‘their base,’ we unite people around ideas and principles.” Though he didn’t call Trump out by name, it is clear who Ryan was referring to. Besides Mitt Romney’s too-little, too-late, too-petty attacks on Trump that have been played to news media to make himself look good, Ryan’s speech represents the first major Party member— and as third in line to the presidency, the highest member of the leadership—to denounce the coming Trump candidacy that will undoubtedly sink this ailing ship. Today’s GOP is a mutation of the Republican Party of years past that has been hijacked by racists, con artists, fake evangelicals and uneducated clowns. The worst thing is that some of these racists and cons are well educated and have used their knowledge—that could do so much good—to inflict oppression and pain onto already underserved populations. As hard as it is to believe, Donald Trump graduated from Penn State while Ted Cruz went to Princeton and Harvard. When a formerly-indifferent-about-politics simpleton sees such candidates validating his xenophobia disguised as a religious concern on a national stage, whatever non-existent “political correctness” he possessed can fly out the window and the chance of violence skyrockets. I do not think political correctness is a bad

thing—it is not OK to denounce an entire religion over the actions of a few. It is not OK to cite religious authority to limit women’s rights over their bodies. It is not OK for part of your platform to be the deportation of 3 percent of the total U.S. and throw them on the other side of a wall that will never be built, no matter how hard you try. There is a line between being too politically correct, and simply being a decent human being. In the aftermath of the Brussels attacks, as the world stood with Belgium and offered its condolences and resources to bring the so-called Islamic State to justice, Trump and Cruz offered their plans on how to eradicate Muslims from the U.S., finding a way to turn the attention back to them. It’s likely that the two front-runners thought they were untouchable, but even conservatives demanded their statements retracted and apologies made—even though it wasn’t over the subject matter, but the timing that made the party look bad. Donald Trump recently threatened Ted Cruz’s wife on Twitter. In what world is it acceptable to attack the looks of an opponent’s spouse to “get ahead” in the so-called polls Trump is always citing? Let me be clear, I am not defending Heidi or Ted Cruz, and I refuse to attack Melania Trump simply on the fact that she has appeared naked in a major magazine. A conversation on sexism and slut shaming in elections should not even be had—what’s next? My son is cuter than your daughters? Donald, let me save you the trouble and say that is objectively not true, because despite their unfortunate paternity, Caroline and Catherine Cruz are extremely adorable. Admittedly, candidates’ spouses put themselves in the public eye and should be prepared for attacks, but not by another candidate and certainly not on what they look. By the way, those “beans” Trump threatened to spill on Heidi Cruz? She worked for the architect of NAFTA and is a Wall Street insider. Surprise! This election already has had everything: mudslinging, lies passed off as truth, sabotage. It’s as if the playbook for good, strong politics has been thrown out and replaced with a giant neon sign that reads “Anything Goes!” Even after leaving the race for the White House, former Republican candidates have still found new ways to disappoint the American public with their indecisiveness at best and blatant selling-out at worst. Ben Carson endorsed Trump and justifying it by claiming a spot in his administration. Lindsey Graham endorsed Cruz, even though his attacks of him have been well documented and revived. At this point, the race for the GOP nomination has become a case of picking the lesser of two very, very evils. This speaks volumes not only about the election, but of the state of American politics today—say whatever you want and there will be no consequences and anyone can be bought because at this point it’s so laughably obvious they don’t even bother clearing up their tracks.

Editor-in-Chief............................................... Alyssa Foley News Editor................................................Jimmieka Mills Sports Editor..............................................John Cañamar Layout 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................................................... Fabian Brims 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


Wednesday March 30, 2016

The egaliTarian



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