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Tuesday, May 5, 2015 • Vol. 41, No. 8 • HCCEgalitarian.com Accused gunman well-known to FBI see Community, Page 4

Astros continue hot play see Sports, Page 8

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

see Commentary, page 11

HCC sets 2015 graduation guidelines Alyssa Foley

The Egalitarian Houston Community College’s 2015 commencement ceremony will be held at the NRG Stadium on Saturday May 16. Students who have applied and been approved for graduation are required to register for the ceremony online (http://bit. ly/1Q8jjjN). The graduation ceremony for those earning an academic degree is at 8:30 a.m. All graduates must

arrive by 7 a.m. and guests may enter the stadium beginning at 7:30 a.m. The workforce and GED graduation ceremony is at 1 p.m. All graduates must arrive by 11:45 a.m. and guests may enter the stadium beginning at noon. The registration confirmation email will note which ceremony students are graduating in. All attendees at either ceremony

see

HCC Graduation, Page 3

Image courtesy of HCC Students await their name being called during the 2011 graduation ceremony. This year’s graduation is scheduled for Saturday, May 16 at NRG Stadium.

Speaker raises awareness on alcohol abuse Cierra Foley

The Egalitarian HCC Southwest Department of Counseling hosted an educational event on the effects of drugs and alcohol Thursday in honor of Alcohol Awareness Month. Emily Breeding of The Council on Alcohol and Drugs-Houston’s Prevention Resource Center was the featured speaker. Breeding’s talk targeted those 25 and younger, particularly underage college drinkers. Breeding is a former HCC Stafford student, and has since become an advocate for drug and

alcohol education. She reaches out to local high schools and colleges. “I’m not here to preach,” Breeding says, “We don’t need to pretend that the only answer is just to never drink,[but] we need to think about what level you’re going to be at.” Breeding showed several info graphics showcasing the harmful side effects of binge drinking, pulling from her research with the center, data from the Center for Disease Control, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. Binge drinking qualifies as a lot

less than what most people tend to believe. In a two-hour period, “It only takes 4-5 drinks to get you into danger drinking. Even if you think you feel fine,” cautions Breeding, “you’re not.” Effects differ between men and women. After about five drinks, women lose their spatial reasoning — the ability to identify an image on sight. Men, after the same number of drinks, experience memory function loss. “Over the course of your life, you loose chunks of your life, and it’s not because you were drunk during those times,” explained Breeding.

Binge drinking has permanent, lifelong effects. These effects create a high risk for those under the age of twenty five, whose brains are not fully developed. According to Breeding, those most vulnerable to brain damage due to substance abuse are twenty-five and under, “Yet look who is doing the most binge drinking: those who are under twenty-five.” One of the most significant damages of alcohol is is the harmful effects on the white matter of the brain. Multiple studies performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other medical studies have found that the more

The Official Student Newspaper Of The Houston Community College System

alcohol one consumes, the more of the brain’s white matter is lost. This leads to cognitive failure as individual’s age. The more you drink, the earlier it begins to show. “You’re putting a blanket over your brain, it matters because, if you’re under twenty-five — bad news guys — you’re brains aren’t fully developed yet... There are pieces that don’t fully develop until about twenty-five.” The effects can often be prevented by cutting down on or by completely giving up drinking, but a way to reverse the effects of heavy drinking has yet to be found.


Campus Briefs hccegalitarian.com

Page 2 - Tuesday, May 5, 2015

THE

EGALITARIAN

The Student Voice of Houston Community College Since 1974

Follow The Egalitarian on Twitter @HCC_Egalitarian Like The Egalitarian on Facebook facebook.com/HCCEgalitarian If you’re a currently-enrolled HCC student and interested in joining, staff meetings are Fridays at 11:30 a.m. in Room 302 of the Fine Arts Center, Central Campus

The Egalitarian is written, edited and published by members of the student body at Houston Community College. All articles, photographs and graphics are property of The Egalitarian and its contents may not be reproduced or republished without the writeen permission of the editor-in-chief and adviser. The Egalitarian is published twice-monthly on Wednesdays with a run count of 8,000 copies per issue during the 2015 Spring semester. The paper is free to students, staff, faculty and general public on Wednesdays the paper is published.

The Egalitarian is the official student newspaper of the Houston Community College System. Articles, features, opinions, speak out and editorials do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the administration and its policies. Signed articles, feedback, commentaries and features do not necessarily reflect the views of the ditors, staff or student body. The Egalitarian is a member of the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) and College Media Association (CMA).


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The Student Voice of Houston Community College Since 1974

News

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EGALITARIAN

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - Page 3

Ebola victim’s family: donation falls short Emily Schmall Associated Press

DALLAS — The family of the only person to die of Ebola in the United States said a Dallas hospital’s donation to combat the disease in Africa fell far short of what they hoped. Texas Health Resources, the parent company of Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas, the hospital where Thomas Eric Duncan was treated, announced Monday that it donated $125,000 toward a scholarship fund to train doctors and nurses in Duncan’s native Liberia, whose weak health care system was further battered by the latest Ebola outbreak. More than 4,600 people died from Ebola in Liberia, and there were more than 10,000 deaths throughout West Africa, according to the World Health Organization. The donation fulfills a settlement agreement with Duncan’s family that included an undisclosed payout to his parents and children, according to hospital spokesman Wendell Watson. Duncan’s nephew, Josephus

Weeks, told The Associated Press that he had asked the hospital chain for $5 million to build a hospital in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia. “It’s not enough. It’s not nearly enough, but it’s a start,” Weeks said Sunday of the endowment. He said there was no set amount for the donation agreed to between the parties. Christian missionary group SIM USA will administer the scholarship and invest it “conservatively,” said George Salloum, SIM’s chief of staff. SIM operates a small, private hospital on the outskirts of Monrovia with about 50 beds, and is building another one that will triple its capacity. SIM missionary Dr. Rick Sacra, who survived Ebola, has returned to Liberia. Fellow survivor Nancy Writebol said Monday that she will return in June with her husband, David Writebol. “Dave and I have both sensed that it is God’s call on our lives to go to Liberia, and God has not released us from that call,” she said. The hospital said it plans

HCC Graduation, From Page 1

Louise Troh/Weinstein Books via AP This Sept. 20, 2014 photo provided by Weinstein Books shows Louise Troh’s daughter Nope Dopoe, left, with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola victim in the U.S., on the day of his arrival at the Dallas/ Fort Worth International Airport. Duncan’s fiancee, Troh hopes her memoir provides some resolution to a story that spanned two decades, from Africa to a Dallas hospital. Troh wrote “My Spirit Took You In” with a former journalist. It will be released next week. no further donations but will keep its fund open for outside contributions. SIM will begin to disburse the funds in Liberia after reaching a goal of $1 million in donations and proceeds from the initial $125,000 investment, Salloum

said. The missionary group plans to fund the medical training of five to seven Liberians per year, he said. “The cost of training in West Africa will be a fraction of the cost in America,” he said.

Obama on protests: ‘There are consequences to indifference’ Nedra Pickler & Jim Kuhnhenn

The Associated Press NEW YORK — In a deeply personal response to outbreaks of racially motivated protests, President Barack Obama on Monday blamed a lack of opportunity in minority communities and harsher treatment of black and Hispanic men by police for fueling a sense of “unfairness and powerlessness.” The country’s first black president called for a nationwide mobilization to reverse inequalities and said the cause will

remain a mission for the rest of his presidency and his life. “There are consequences to indifference,” Obama said. Helping launch a foundation to assist young minorities, Obama said the catalysts of protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and in Baltimore were the deaths of young black men and “a feeling that law is not always applied evenly in this country.” “They experience being treated differently by law enforcement — in stops and in arrests, and in charges and incarcerations,” Obama said. “The statistics are clear, up and down the criminal

justice system. There’s no dispute.” The new organization, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, is an outgrowth of Obama’s year-old My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which has focused on federal government policies and grants designed to increase access to education and jobs. While the effort predates the tensions in Baltimore that erupted after the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, the significance of the new privatesector alliance has been magnified by the spotlight the riots in the city placed on low-income minority neighborhoods. “By almost every

measure, the life chances of the average young man of color is worse than his peers,” Obama said. “Folks living in those communities, and especially young people living in those communities, could use some help to change those odds,” Obama said. Despite his criticism of inequities in criminal justice, Obama praised police officers for putting their lives on the line and singled out Brian Moore, a 25-year-old New York City police officer shot in the head over the weekend while attempting to stop a man suspected of carrying a handgun.

will need to enter thought the front Amegy Entrance by the Blue parking lot. Parking will be $12 in the Blue Lot for all graduates and guests. Audience seating is on a first come, first-seated basis. It is recommended that guests arrive at least 45 minutes before the ceremony begins to be seated by a host. The required graduation caps and gown are available for purchase at HCC bookstores for $45. Certificate and degree graduates’ caps and gowns are black while GED graduates’ caps and gowns are gold. The official graduation instructions recommend that under the regalia, men wear a white shirt, dark tie, dark slacks, dark shoes and dark socks while women should wear a dress of lightweight fabric, stockings and dark shoes with low or medium heels. No sandals are allowed for either gender. The academic cap should be worn straight, and pulled down slightly on the forehead. The tassel of the cap should be worn on the right first, and then changed to the left at the end of the ceremony No purses, backpacks or other bags will be allowed in the back staging area with graduates because of safety concerns. HCC’s Chancellor Cesar Maldonado will present graduates with their faux diplomas. Official degrees and certificates will be mailed to the graduate’s address on record, while GED certificates can be ordered online at www.texged. com. Ceremony guests are asked to stay seated during the ceremony and not to come up to the stage during the ceremony. Official graduation photos will be available for purchase a few weeks after graduation. For more information, call the graduation hotline 713.718.2000; email student.info@hccs.edu; or live chat hcc.intelliresponse.com Full graduation instructions are available at www.hccs.edu/ district/students/graduation Graduates who wish to request accommodations should Dr. Lee Rinker at 713.718.5391 or lee. rinker@hccs.edu and provide a contact phone number and email.


Community hccegalitarian.com

Page 4 - Tuesday, May 5, 2015

THE

EGALITARIAN

The Student Voice of Houston Community College Since 1974

Accused gunman wellknown to FBI

Lawmakers attempt to revive religious objections bill Will Weissert Associated Press

Eileen Sullivan, Eric Tucker & Ryan van Velzer Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Since 2006, the FBI had been investigating Elton Simpson — one of the men suspected in the Texas shootings outside a contest featuring cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. Agents recorded the young man from Phoenix talking about fighting nonbelievers for Allah. About plans to travel to South Africa and link up with “brothers” in Somalia. About using school as a cover story for traveling overseas. Simpson was arrested in 2010, one day before authorities say he planned to leave for South Africa. But despite more than 1,500 hours of recorded conversations, the government prosecuted him on only one minor charge — lying to a federal agent. Years spent investigating Simpson for terrorism ties resulted in three years of probation and $600 in fines and court fees. Then, on Sunday, two men whom authorities identified as Simpson and Nadir Soofi opened fire in a Dallas suburb on an unarmed security officer stationed outside the contest. The officials spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation by name. The deliberately provocative contest had been expected to draw outrage from the Muslim community. According to mainstream Islamic tradition, any physical depiction of the Prophet Muhammad — even a respectful one — is considered blasphemous, and drawings similar to those featured at the Texas event have sparked violence around the world. Simpson and Soofi were wearing body armor, and one shot the security officer in the leg. Garland police spokesman Joe Harn said Monday that a single Garland

Brandon Wade/AP Photo FBI crime scene investigators document the area around two deceased gunmen and their vehicle outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, Monday. Police shot and killed the men after they opened fire on a security officer outside the suburban Dallas venue, which was hosting provocative contest for Prophet Muhammad cartoons Sunday night, authorities said. police officer subdued the two gunmen but that after his initial shots, SWAT officers nearby also fired at the two men. Harn said police don’t know who fired the lethal shots. The security officer was treated for his injury at a hospital and released. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement Monday that law enforcement authorities are investigating the men’s motives and all circumstances surrounding the attack. “While all the facts are not in yet, last night’s attack serves as a reminder that free and protected speech, no matter how offensive to some, never justifies violence of any sort,” Johnson said. Simpson, described as quiet and devout, had been on the radar of law enforcement because of his social media presence, but authorities did not have an indication that he was plotting an attack, said one federal official familiar with the investigation. Less was known about Soofi who appeared to have never been prosecuted in federal court, according to a search of court records. In a statement released late Monday by Phoenix law firm Osborn Maledon, Simpson’s family said it is “struggling to understand” how the incident happened. “We are sure many people in this country are curious to know if we had any idea of Elton’s plans,” the statement says. “To that we say, without question, we did

not.” The statement, which does not identify the relatives, also says the family is “heartbroken and in a state of deep shock” and sends prayers to everyone affected by this “act of senseless violence,” especially the security guard who was injured. Simpson had worshipped at the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix for about a decade, but he quit showing up over the past two or three months, the president of the mosque told The Associated Press. A convert to Islam, Simpson first attracted the FBI’s attention in 2006 because of his ties to Hassan Abu Jihaad, a former U.S. Navy sailor who had been arrested in Phoenix and was ultimately convicted of terrorism-related charges, according to court records. Jihaad was accused of leaking details about his ship’s movements to operators of a website in London that openly espoused violent jihad against the U.S. In the fall of that year, the FBI asked one of its informants, Dabla Deng, a Sudanese immigrant, to befriend Simpson and ask for advice about Islam. Deng had been working as an FBI informant since 2005 and was instructed to tell Simpson he was a recent convert to the religion. Over the next few years, Deng would tape his conversations with Simpson with a hidden recording device accumulating more than 1,500 hours of conversations, according to court records.

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas got a taste Monday of the religious objections issue that drew strong criticism elsewhere, with many church leaders imploring state lawmakers to protect religious freedoms in the name of tolerance but others taking the opportunity to openly decry gay marriage. Top Republicans in the Texas Legislature have made a late attempt to revive a bill excusing clergy from presiding over marriages that violate their beliefs. The measure isn’t particularly divisive, even winning endorsements from civil liberty groups that say it largely restates existing law, and that they agree churches should be allowed to set their own religious policies. But Sen. Craig Estes’ proposal follows arguments over gay marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as broader religious objections bills in Indiana and Arkansas that made national headlines after opponents said they would sanction discrimination against gay people. “It’s a tricky situation here, but I just think that ministers must be able to follow the dictates of their conscience and their theological system that they belong to,” Estes, a Wichita Falls Republican, told a Senate committee hearing his bill Monday. More than a dozen pastors and religious elders — many heading Southern Baptist congregations — lined up to support the bill before the committee, saying that they don’t condone bigotry but do believe clergy members shouldn’t be sued if they adhere to their religious beliefs and refuse to officiate certain weddings. Others, though, used the public forum to voice their concerns about gay marriage. David Joiner, pastor at Life Springs Christian Church in Liberty Hill, northwest of Austin, said same-sex couples being allowed to wed “offends God” and suggested it could be a stepping stone toward allowing pedophilia. “It violates natural law,” Joiner said. “It validates and promotes the homosexual lifestyle. It turns a moral wrong into a civil right.” Sen. Rodney Ellis, a Houston Democrat, said he was concerned the proposal could allow churches to refuse biracial marriages.


The Student Voice of Houston Community College Since 1974

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EGALITARIAN

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - Page 5

Legislature acts to stop cities from limiting drilling Will Weissert Associated Press

Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., poses for a portrait after speaking about military sexual assaults, during an interview in her office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday. The spouses of service members and civilian women who live or work near military facilities are especially vulnerable to being sexually assaulted, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. said in a report.

Pentagon accused of holding back sex crimes information Richard Lardner Associated Press

WASHINGTON — In a scathing critique of the Defense Department’s efforts to curb sexual assaults, a U.S. senator warned Monday that the true scope of sex-related violence in the military communities is “vastly underreported” and that victims continue to struggle for justice. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said in a report that the Pentagon refused to provide her with all the information she requested about sexual assaults at several major bases. The material she did receive revealed that the spouses of service members and civilian women who live or work near military facilities are especially vulnerable to being sexually assaulted. Yet they “remain in the shadows” because neither is counted in Defense Department surveys to determine the prevalence of sexual assaults, the report said. “I don’t think the military is being honest about the problem,” Gillibrand said in an interview. The senator said her analysis of 107 sexual assault cases found punishments that were too lenient and the word of the alleged assailant was more likely to be believed than the victim. Less than a quarter of the cases went to trial and just 11 resulted in conviction for a sex crime. Female civilians were the victims in more than half the cases, said Gillibrand, an outspoken advocate for an

overhaul of the military justice system. In its annual report on sexual assaults in the military released Friday, the Defense Department reported progress in staunching the epidemic of sexual assaults. It estimated that sex crimes are decreasing and more victims are choosing to report them — a sign there is more confidence offenders will be held accountable. Laura Seal, a Defense Department spokeswoman, said the department does not have authority to include civilians in its surveys. In one of the cases Gillibrand reviewed, an airman allegedly pinned his ex-girlfriend down and then raped her. During the investigation, two other civilian victims stepped forward to accuse the same airman of sexual assault. One of them, the wife of another service member, awoke in the night to find the airman in bed with her. Two of his fingers were inside her vagina. The investigating officer recommended the airman be court-martialed. If convicted, he faced a lengthy prison term. But the investigator’s superiors decided against a trial and used administrative procedures to discharge the airman under “other than honorable conditions.” The Air Force said the victims preferred this course of action. Two of them had decided they “wanted no part in the case,” according to the Air Force, while the third said she did not want to testify.

To Gillibrand, the outcome was suspicious and suggested the victims may have been intimidated. “It’s frustrating because you look at the facts in these cases and you see witnesses willing to come forward, getting the medical exam and either eventually withdrawing their case or the investigators deciding that her testimony wasn’t valid or believable,” she said. The report said the case files contradict the Pentagon’s assertion that military commanders will be tough on service members accused of sex crimes. Gillibrand has backed legislation that would remove commanders from the process of deciding whether serious crimes, including sexual misconduct cases, go to trial. That judgment would rest with seasoned military attorneys who have prosecutorial experience. The Pentagon is opposed to the change. Gillibrand’s request for the case files followed a February 2014 Associated Press investigation into the U.S. military’s handling of sexual assault cases in Japan that revealed a pattern of random and inconsistent judgments. To determine whether the same situation existed at major U.S. bases, Gillibrand asked then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel for the details of sexual assault cases investigated and adjudicated from 2009 to 2014 at the Army’s Fort Hood in Texas, Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, the Marine Corps’ Camp Pendleton in California and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas moved Monday to ban its own cities from imposing prohibitions on hydraulic fracturing and other potentially environmentally harmful oil and natural gas drilling activities within their boundaries — a major victory for industry groups and top conservatives who have decried rampant local “overregulation.” Lawmakers in America’s largest oilproducing state scrambled to limit local energy exploration prohibitions after Denton, a university town near Dallas, passed an ordinance in November against hydraulic fracturing or fracking, attempting to keep encroaching drilling bonanzas outside their community. Fracking is the practice of blasting huge volumes of water and chemicals underground to release tight deposits of oil and gas. Denton voters’ opposition was driven by recurring small earthquakes and safety worries from gas wells that have become ubiquitous near urban area during the energy boom of the last few years. But energy lobbyists argued that local regulations shouldn’t trump property rights and effectively choke off natural gas drilling underground. The measure by San Angelo Republican Rep. Drew Darby, chairman of the House Energy Resources Committee, allows local communities to regulate things above ground such as noise, traffic and lighting associated with fracking, drilling and other oil and gas activities. But it forbids limits on any drilling or activity below the surface, except for some regulations, such as bans on exploration on Sundays, that are already in place. Any limits imposed by communities would have to be “commercially reasonable,” which critics say allows the energy industry wide sway. “The burden is laid upon the cities, and frankly we’re handing the keys to the oil and gas industry to decide what’s commercially reasonable,” said Rita Beving, coordinator of Alliance for Clean Texas, a coalition of more than a dozen faith-based, policy and environmental groups. Major municipal lobbies originally opposed Darby’s bill, but changed their position after he softened it to allow some local regulation.


Around Town hccegalitarian.com

PAge 6 - TuesdAy, MAy 5, 2015

The sTudenT Voice of housTon coMMuniTy college since 1974

Left - Houston Power quarterback Shacoya “Shaq” Thomas dropping back for a pass. Bottom LeftStafford Campus Manager McIntyre with John V. Williams at the Stafford Center Open House. Right - Danny Rowe preparing for his qualifing pass at the O’Reilly Spring Nationals on Friday night. Bottom Right - A pitcrew member for the Force Drag Team packing a quick stop parachute. Image by Sandi Mercado

Image by John Canamar

Image by John Canamar

Image by John Canamar


Around Town hccegalitarian.com

The sTudenT Voice of housTon coMMuniTy college since 1974

TuesdAy, MAy 5, 2015 - PAge 7

Image by Gilbert Bernal

Image by John Canamar

Top Left - Dancer preformining in free form competition at The Stafford Center. Bottom Left- Jose Altuve batting in Friday”s game versus the SeatTle Mariners and helping bring winning streak to eight.

Image by John Canamar

Above - The Dote Racing Team’s Top Fuel Dragster prior to Saturday’s qualifing morning run.


Sports hccegalitarian.com

THE

EGALITARIAN

Page 8 - Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Student Voice of Houston Community College Since 1974

Pritchett burns rubber on drag strip John Cañamar The Egalitarian

George Bridges/AP Photo Houston Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis (11) celebrates his three-run home run against the Seattle Mariners with teammate George Springer (4) in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday.

Astros ride hot streak to first place in AL West John Cañamar The Egalitarian

The Houston Astros are MLB’s Shooting Star in the month of April With the calendar turning over to the month of May, the Houston Astros find themselves with a record that they haven’t seen since 1986. That place is on top of their division in the American League West with a record of 15-7 to start the 2015 campaign. All of the baseball experts predicted another slow start and a long and painful season for the club; they must have forgotten to tell the players and Manager A.J. Hinch. In his first season with the Astros, Hinch has sold his philosophy on baseball to his young club and has them firing on all cylinders. After starting the season 4-5 and only winning one out of the first three series, the team has gone on an 11-2 pace while winning all four series, including two series sweeps over the Los Angeles Angels and San Diego.

The most impressive part of their success is that the wins have come against division opponents for the most part giving the team a 4-game lead in the AL West. After having such a great beginning, even if the club were to slow down their pace of victories to a mere .500 average they would end up with a record of 85-77, a 15-game improvement from last season and likely a division title or a wildcard birth into this year’s playoffs. Up to this point in the season, there has only been one major negative in that Jed Lowrie has injured his thumb. He will undergo surgery that will keep him out of the line-up and on DL until mid July after the All-Star game. Hinch has been able to generate such a positive atmosphere with this group of guys by mixing up line-ups on a day-to-day basis. Out of the first 22 games of the season, Hinch has had 21 different line-ups with players batting in different orders and playing in different

positions as he sees fit. This is a huge deal in the baseball world where most teams know day after day who will be at which spot and in what slot in the batting rotation. The theory in the different line-ups is that every player has a unique talent and Hinch will use those talents for the greater good of the team. Albert Castro, a fan of the Astros for over 40 years said, “This year is special, we have a great squad with hitting and pitching. There is also a feeling with the team that we will come through and win.” Although the team is young, there are clear-cut leaders in the clubhouse in Jose Altuve and Dallas Keuchel. Last year’s American League batting champ, Altuve has picked up right where he finished last season by hitting .367, 36 hits, 16 RBI, 13 runs and 9 stolen bases in the month of April. With his energetic play and kid-like love for the game he has spread the joy of coming out to the park and working as one to his teammates.

BAYTOWN, Texas — In less than 5 seconds, at speeds that can reach over 300 miles per hour, Leah Pritchett flies down the 1,000-foot drag strip with the help of her pit crew, the Dote Racing team. In 2013, Pritchett earned her Top Fuel License and became a member of the Dote Racing from Utica, N.Y. She began racing at the age of 8 and has moved through the ranks of the drag racing world, earning her stripes and earning respect from other drivers, teams and fans one pass at a time. This past week in Baytown, Texas, Pritchett was busy signing autographs for her fans while her team prepared her 25foot long Top Fuel Race Car that sports the red and black design of her major partner Gumout. The team, or pit crew, is made up of seven members and led by Crew Chiefs Dough Kuch and Rob Flynn. With a time of 3.775 seconds, Pritchett and Dote Racing was in the second qualifying run on Saturday and they earned their way into the first round of Sunday’s races. Pritchett was matched with fellow female racer Brittany Force in the first round on Sunday morning. When the Christmas tree hit green, Pritchett launched off the line and was in firm command until her car lost a piston causing her car to slow down and allowing Force to fly by at 326 miles per hour. “We dropped a cylinder pretty early in the run and she made a great pass too,” said Pritchett speaking about what happened on her last pass. Her team members were upset with the engine’s performance on the last run, but such is drag racing. Every crew in the sport travels the circuit with a mobile mechanic shop in multiple 18-wheelers. After each run,

John Cañamar/The Egalitarian Professional drag racer Leah Pritchett signs autographs for young fans during last week’s O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas. The Top Fuel racer earned her way into the first round of Sunday’s final eliminations before bowing out of the competition. a team will normally remove everything from the engine down to the crankshaft and rebuild it in less than 50 minutes. A good run — when everything goes as planned — will cost from $6,500 to $10,000. This number includes the salaries of the crewmembers and driver as well as fuel and parts. If a run goes poorly and something breaks, the cost dramatically goes up and can easily reach and surpass the $100,000 mark. In the past, lives have been claimed in the pursuit of who can go the fastest. Doug Kalitta was the winner at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown this year. Pritchett and The Dote Racing Team will next compete in The Kansas Nationals on May 23 – 25 in Topeka, Kansas.


Arts & Entertainment hccegalitarian.com

The Student Voice of Houston Community College Since 1974

THE

EGALITARIAN

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - Page 9

‘Machina’ does not amaze

Exhibit displays student artwork Ashura Bayyan

Special to The Egalitarian As part of their annual Juried Student Art Exhibition, The Art Gallery at HCC Central will have student-submitted artwork on display until the end of the semester. It’s a crowded exhibit with paintings, sculptures, photos and digital designs all fighting for space and attention. The pieces represent a range of work from HCC art students of many different skill levels. The art was judged collectively, and of the dozens, three pieces were chosen by jurors as this year’s best works. First place was awarded to Faith D Ishizuka, an Art Metals I student who used metal, resin and acrylic to create a piece titled “#12”. In second place, Printmaking III student Deborah Clise for her serigraph print titled

Illegitimi Non Carborundum. Third place went to Photography I student Karen Guzman for her silver gelatin print “Now Tell Me Who?”. Since there were over 50 pieces in the exhibit, the judges granted a number of honorable mentions, at least one to each arts category, including 1 faculty award and 2 juror awards. A few stand out pieces which went un-awarded are “Vanishing Point” by Design II student Marcela Gonzalez, “I Wish You Were Here” by Dulce Malice a Photography I student, and the folkish “Cactus #2” by Printmaking I student Danielle Summer Light. Don’t rely on a list of award winners to judge who is the best artist to judge who is the best artist. To truly enjoy art you have to spend some time in the gallery, form your own opinions and find a favorite piece of your own.

Erik Calderon

Special to The Egalitarian

Image courtesy of Ashura Bayyan One of my personal favorites is “Sobriety” by Arts Metals I student Karen Schottie, it’s a 2 1/2 inch tall shining triangular case made of copper and brass, lying beside it are 4 brass sobriety coins with the words

unity, service and recovery engraved on each. This simple piece is touching, I understand the troubles of addiction and see

Student Artwork, Page 10

‘Ultron’ ends Marvel’s Phase Two with bang Christopher Joseph The Egalitarian

In 2012, a movie set the standard for superhero movies: “Marvel’s The Avengers.” Avengers was the first movie to have so many great, independent heroes with their own film franchises to grace the screen together. After the huge box office success of the Avengers, Marvel was in full throttle to make a sequel. For two years, the teasing of the sequel made many fans excited to see what the next adventure is for our heroes. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is exactly what you’d expect from Marvel; a green giant smashing stuff, iron suits and all the shield throwing you could imagine. Age of Ultron follows the events of the first movie. Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) builds an artificial

intelligence named Ultron (James Spader), who was created to help the world when needed. Something goes wrong and Ultron. Instead of helping the world, it wants to destroy and rule it. It is up to the Avengers to stop Ultron. Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Reiner and Chris Hemsworth return to reprise their roles as the Avengers. Joining the super-powered cast we have are Elizabeth Olson and Aaron Tayler-Johnson as the “mutant” twins Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, respectively. Age of Ultron is an entertaining movie from start to finish. However, the biggest thing about this movie is James Spader’s performance as Ultron. He is the perfect villain after Loki in the first film. He is menacing enough for the audience to be

Jay Maidment/Disney/Marvel via AP This photo provided by Disney/Marvel shows, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man/Tony Stark in the film, “Avengers: Age Of Ultron.” terrified of him when he is on the screen. Ultron’s presence in the movie makes you feel like it’s serious business. Spader’s voice is the perfect casting of for this maniacal villain and he is the best way to close the chapter of Marvel’s Phase Two. With Phase Two of Marvel’s big Cinematic Universe over, Phase Three has some mighty big shoes to fill. With the recent

announcements of Marvel’s Phase Three movies, we might see a change in roster of the Avengers in future installments. Marvel Studios has done a great job with setting a universe that we can see for years to come. Make sure you stick around for the credits to get a glimpse of Marvel’s Phase Three. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” hit theaters nationwide Friday.

“It’s a masterpiece.” “An amazing film.” “That film wowed me.” Walking out of the theater, I heard this from film critics everywhere. I tried to understand what was going on. How can a film that’s over exposed, a little stale in the acting and full of audio issues be amazing? Am I in a temporal shift? Is there something wrong with me? “Ex Machina” is visually stunning, slow paced and mentally exhausting. I did not like this film— but film critics around the world are raving about it. Rotten Tomatoes gives is 90 percent. Budgeted at $16 million, it’s only brought in $6.8 million so far. The cinematography was amazing— but the picture was a bit overexposed and washed out the beautiful landscapes. Interestingly, the film was shot with a HeroGoPro and a Sony CineAlta—relatively easy cameras to get a hold of. The direction and acting were perfect and without flaw. Ava really drew me in and made me believe her as she hooked Caleb into a scheme of survival. The film is an extraordinary study on the motivations and driving factors of “man—” to the point that it’s pretty scary. The story is sick, scary and just downright crazy. The ending is a shocker. The film will be talked about for years — especially the psychological aspects that the film touches upon. This is a film by Alex Garland starring Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac. It’s about the creation of artificial intelligence. The film starts off on the wrong foot with a terrible introduction to our main character Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson). see

Ex Machina Review, Page 10


THE

EGALITARIAN

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - Page 10

The Student Voice of Houston Community College Since 1974

Tunisia’s youth find voice with rap Sam Kimball

Associated Press TUNIS, Tunisia — On the roof of a concrete building in an impoverished Tunis neighborhood, hip hop beats pound out from a PC hooked up to cheap speakers. Under graffiti-daubed cloth, young men in sweatpants and baseball caps breakdance, popping and locking robotically to the rhythm thumping around them. Rappers from local hip hop group Zone 5 snarl back and forth lines they’ve just written about police, poverty and smoking pot. Zone 5 rapper Mohamed Ayari and other Tunisian youth are getting out their message of rage about life on the fringes in postrevolution Tunisia through a perhaps surprising channel: hip hop. “You see what the system does? We write a graffiti message up on the wall and they call it ‘provocation’ and the police come after us. But why do they call it provocation?” the 23-year-old said during a break in rehearsals for an upcoming show. “It’s because we’re pointing out their faults, their weaknesses. No one wants to hear about their weaknesses.” Since overthrowing its longruling dictator in 2011, Tunisia has had a string of elections and is being hailed as “the success story” of the region. But the new men in charge look very much like the old ones, with an 88-year-

Nicholas Linn/AP Photo Break dancer BBoy Chtak, from the poor suburb of Bardo in Tunis, takes the stage solo at a hip hop festival organized in Hammamet, Tunisia. Tunisian youth are getting out their message of rage about life on the fringes in post-revolution Tunisia through a perhaps surprising channel: hip hop. old president and ministers that all cut their teeth in previous administrations. Despite spearheading the revolution, Tunisia’s youth are still feeling sidelined, and one of the few ways they are getting their voices heard is through rap — shouting to anyone who will listen that all is not well in Tunisia. An attack on the national museum on March 18 by two young Tunisians from working-class

neighborhoods that killed 22 people, mostly tourists, has once more sounded the alarm about the future of young people in the country. Tunisia’s parliamentary elections last fall saw reasonably high voting rates. But the youth turnout was abysmal, with over 80 percent of Tunisians between 18 and 25 boycotting the ballot. Unemployment, already high at 15.5 percent, soars to 42.3 percent for young people, according to

Eurostat figures from 2011. The most sinister indication of youth disillusion with the system: the 3,000 Tunisians, nearly all in their 20s, who the Interior Ministry says have left to fight with the Islamic State in Syria, Iraq and lately, Libya. Nakasaki Dali, a member of Zone 5, said in his neighborhood, youths either become rappers or take refuge in ultra-conservative Islam.

Mark Twain project finds cache of new writing Janie Harr

Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO — Scholars at the University of California, Berkeley have pieced together a collection of letters written by Mark Twain when the author was a young newsman in San Francisco. In the letters, the man who would write The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, likened the city’s police chief to a dog chasing its tail and accused city government of rascality. Some of the letters carried his

flair for embellishment and may not be entirely true. “This is a very special period in his life, when he’s out here in San Francisco,” said Bob Hirst, general editor of the Mark Twain Project on the Berkeley campus. “He’s utterly free, he’s not encumbered by a marriage or much of anything else, and he can speak his mind and does speak his mind. These things are wonderful to read, the ones that survived.” Twain was likely 29 years old when he started filing neardaily columns for the Territorial Enterprise newspaper in Virginia

City, Nevada, in 1865. He wrote a 2,000-word story, or “letter,” six days a week for a salary of $100 a month, Hirst said. Many of the letters were in back issues lost to fires, but Twain scholars picked through archives of other Western U.S. newspapers for copies. They have found about 110 columns written in 1865 and 1866. In one letter, Twain gives detailed dialogue between two gold speculators trapped in a shaft, clinging to rope tied to an old horse named Cotton. “Johnny, I’ve not lived as I ought to have lived. D--n that

infernal horse!” Twain reported one man saying to the other. “Johnny, if we are saved I mean to be a good man and a Christian.” It’s unclear how Twain acquired that level of detail. Hirst said the story is likely based on some facts. Twain was also struggling at the time with his career, uncertain if writing humorously was literature, Hirst said. In an 1865 letter to his brother, Twain wrote of contemplating suicide, partly due to debt. But Twain’s time in San Francisco may have helped change that. The following year, he moved to Hawaii

Student Artwork, From Page 9 recognize the significance these objects may hold for the artist. Another piece would fit well in a contemporary living space, “Part of the Process” by Joanna Hernandez, a Sculpture I student. It’s rope and wire frame model of the human rib cage with a thick burgundy heart suspended in the center. The sculpture is mounted on a metal stand, bringing it to eye level. Looking at this I am reminded of how fragile the human body is, and how we overlook our physical and emotional health for the sake of staying busy. The exhibition as a whole is an impressive collection of students work, most of them have probably not had their art on public display before. It’s exciting that the college has provided this space, its an introduction to the world of art galleries, and this opportunity to display is just a taste of what lies ahead for the students who stick to their craft and continue to develop their work.

Ex Machina Review, From Page 9 I didn’t figure out the beginning sequence until it was explained close to the end of the film. The whole story is about testing AVA—Nathans creation of consciousness. Caleb flies to a research facility out in the middle of nowhere that no one knows about—which adds a very sick twist to the story. For SciFi — this is a fun film to watch and think about. The special effects are pretty neat and the idea’s behind the story are amazing. As for filmmaking, I’m not so sure I’d want to watch this film again. I’ll still stand by my opinion that the film sucks — but I’m sure that if you watch it— you’ll definitely like it. And— look at what the film was shot with— GoPros and a Sonyt— as a filmmaker with no budget a little creativity will get you to places you’ve never dreamed of. Let’s not let something like a $100 million budget hold us back from creating art! ———

Watch Erik’s review of Ex Machina online at http://bit.ly/1QaizK


Commentary hccegalitarian.com

The Student Voice of Houston Community College Since 1974

THE

EGALITARIAN

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - Page 11

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Egal•i•tar•i•an (adjective) aiming for equal wealth, status, etc., for all people

3517 Austin; 303 Fine Arts Center; Houston TX 77004 Phone: 713.718.6016; Fax: 713.718.6601 Adviser: Fredrick Batiste

SPRING 2015 EGALITARIAN STAFF Editor-in-Chief.................................................Alyssa Foley Managing Editor..........................................................TBA News Editor................................................. Jimmieka Mills Sports Editor............................................... John Cañamar A&E Editor...................................................................TBA Commentary Editor......................................................TBA Photo Editor................................................. Gilbert Bernal Social Media Mgr............................................ Cierra Foley Staff Writer.......................................... Christopher Joseph Staff Writer...................................Chutiya Metheesupapak Staff Writer...................................................... Maria Smith ———

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.

STOP! Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexico’s Independence Day: September 16 is. May 5, 1862 was the Battle of Puebla against French forces over 50 years after Mexico had won its independence from Spain on September 16, 1821. In 1861, the Mexican President Benito Juárez issued a moratorium on all foreign debt due to the inheritance of a national treasury that was bankrupt when he took office. Because of the actions of Juárez, the French sent their army to Mexico to take Mexico City and the money that they was owed to France. The French army started their march to the Mexican capital from the port of Veracruz. Taking town after town until they reached Puebla. There the French Army was met by nearly 4,700 indigenous soldiers led by General Ignacio Zaragosa, when La Batalla de Puebla took place. In a little over two hours, the

John Canamar battle was over and the French army of over 5,200 troops retreated in defeat. From this battle the slogan “Yo soy Mexicano!” was embraced as a rally cry, meaning, “I am Mexican!” The victory was short-lived. The French regrouped and overtook Mexico City nearly a year later and held rule for over four years until Maximilian was executed by troops who had remained loyal to Mexico and President Juárez. Very few Mexicans actually celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Mexico outside of Puebla. It is

more of a commercial holiday in the United States promoted by U.S. beer and alcohol companies. In typical American fashion, the companies see a way to make a quick dollar, jumping at the opportunity and disregarding the true significance of an occasion. If you do not believe this, what are your plans for Memorial Day? Your first thoughts are about the holiday are likely about picnics, barbecue, a day off, etc. — not about going to a cemetery or honoring the heroes that have given their lives defending the United States and our rights and freedoms. After all, the significance of Memorial Day is to remember the fallen heroes. The next time you are stocking your ice chest and throwing some meat onto the grill, take the minute or two you spend checking your Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat or any other social media account and find out what the importance of the day is and represents. Feliz Cico de Mayo!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - Page 12

THE

EGALITARIAN

The Student Voice of Houston Community College Since 1974

Profile for The HCC Egalitarian

May 5 issue of The Egalitarian  

HCC sets 2015 graduation guidelines; Speaker raises awareness on alcohol abuse; Feliz Cinco de Mayo! and more

May 5 issue of The Egalitarian  

HCC sets 2015 graduation guidelines; Speaker raises awareness on alcohol abuse; Feliz Cinco de Mayo! and more

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