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THE MESA PRESS Biden trumps incumbent to secure White House

Volume 65, Issue 8

The independent student publication of San Diego Mesa College

NOVEMBER 18, 2020

News media needs to better understand the diversity of Latino voters. Photo Credit: Pedro Portal/Miami Herald/TNS


San Diego offers an array of plant- based restaurants. Photo Credit: Greg Lovett, The Palm Beach Post

FEATURES President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris celebrate the elections results with their families. Photo Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

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By Walker Armstrong STAFF WRITER

Men's Cross Country team prepares for spring season. Photo Credit: San Diego Mesa Cross Country


Stay Connected mesapress.com /themesapress @themesapress @mesa.press @mesa.press


ormer Vice President Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump on Saturday, Nov. 7 to become the 46th President of the United States, according to The Associated Press and other major news outlets. After three days of uncertainty following what was a contentious and turbulent election day, Biden emerged on Saturday morning with 290 Electoral College votes, a figure which propelled him well above the necessary 270 votes needed to secure a presidential election win, the AP reported. Biden managed to acquire vital victories in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, narrowly flipping back the once long-time Democratic strongholds that Trump won in 2016. At 11:25 a.m. EST on Nov. 7, the AP called Pennsylvania for Biden, rewarding the former Vice President with the state’s 20 electoral college votes, adding to his then total of 264, allowing him to break the 270 threshold and secure a presidential victory. According to the AP, Nevada followed close behind, adding an additional six electoral college votes and providing Biden with a total of 290, which is in contrast to Trump’s total

of 214 electoral college votes. Biden vowed to unify the country and to put an end to the endemic divisiveness, the AP reported, which has become a defining feature of American politics over the past four years.

As it stands, Biden is the President-Elect of the United States, poised to rescue, as he put it, “the very soul of the nation.” “I sought this office to restore the soul of America,” Biden said in his victory speech, “and to make America respected around the world again and to untie us here at home.” Additionally, history was made as Kamala Harris became the first woman, as well as the first woman of color, to obtain the office of Vice President, according to the AP. Moreover, Harris is on her

way to becoming the “highest-ranking woman ever to serve” in the U.S. government. Despite several major news outlets calling the election in favor of Biden, Trump has pervasively lambasted the media, as well as the public, claiming the election was “stolen” as the result of widespread voter fraud, according to the AP. On Nov. 7, Trump took to his omnipresent Twitter account to declare, “I WON THE ELECTION, GOT 71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES. BAD THINGS HAPPENED…” However, Twitter flagged the latter statement as “disputed,” explaining that Trump’s claim that there has been any sort of election fraud is not substantiated or supported by election experts. Trump and his supporters have also continued to contest claims regarding the legitimacy of media outlets calling the election in favor of Biden, citing widespread bias and a mismanaged voting system, despite the fact that the latter claims have not been endorsed by election officials or any major news outlet — including Fox News. As it stands, Biden is the PresidentElect of the United States, poised to rescue, as he put it, “the very soul of the nation.”


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The Mesa Press

The Latino vote: Not the monolith the media thinks

Latino Trump supporters supporting Trump at a rally in North Carolina. Photo Credit: Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times/TNS

By Andreas Loretan OPINIONS EDITOR

Castro’s revolution, responds with enthusiasm to candidates who stoke the flame of anti-communism. These candidates tend to be Republicans, attacking their conatching NBC’s coverage on the night of the stituents’ native Cuba as evil socialists, usually lumping election, I could not help but think about how their Democratic counterparts as somehow analogous. Meanwhile on the west coast, immigrants from disconnected these anchors were from the atMexico and Central America (especially those of indigtitudes of the Latino voting block of the United States. enous backgrounds) typically left their home country Mouth agape and vocally surprised, Chuck Todd and working class to join the working class of the United company hemmed and hawed about the results coming States. This class background led to the creation of the in from Miami-Dade County, Florida. The demographChicano labor movements across the Southwestern ic that the media was so sure to come out in numbers United States that inagainst Trump, had cluded leaders like Cesar actually voted in faChavez. It’s no surprise vor of the incumbent that these ethnic groups in a hefty turnout. in these states are pretty Now, since this reliably Democrats. was the night of the Still, the dialogue election and not all that comes with viewing votes had been countAmerica’s Latin Ameried, we know that the can population as a solid county did in fact flip blue block of voters, blue, but the fact that whether intentional or these journalists were not, removes individual surprised at the idea agency from the converof Latinos in Miami sation. The idea that is voting Republican conveyed, is that the Lareally speaks to how tino vote is won by panthe media treats Ladering and taking a back tino voices. seat from there, like To explain, the when Hillary Clinton’s political history of Twitter account referred Latinos in the United to her as an “abuela” or States is unmistakwhen Joe Biden played ably progressive. So, Trump-supporting Latinos rally for the president outside of the song “Despacito” off while it might be asAnaheim City Hall. Photo Credit: Pedro Portal/Miami Herald/ of his phone at a rally. sumed that this could TNS These actions might aptranslate into voting peal to identity, but they don’t confront what might be outcomes is understandable, it also groups a hugely direlevant policy to these peoples’ lives. verse populace into a monolith. What might not occur to People take political stances based on what they bemany Americans here, is that the term Latino does aclieve serves their interests. The conclusion they might knowledge origin but it might not acknowledge race. It reach can be based on any number of factors, whether can describe someone of Chinese descent living in Peru, someone of African heritage in the Dominican Republic, it be race, religious beliefs, or, most pertinently, class. and of course someone whose ancestors colonized coun- This can explain to us, hypothetically, why someone whose family once owned a plantation in Cuba is vottries across South America and the Caribbean. The Latin American demographic of Miami is large- ing for Mr. Moneybags, and someone whose family was ly Cuban, but what isn’t typically talked about on main- marching for labor rights along the Mexican border is stream news coverage is that they are also largely white, voting for Mrs.Universalhealthcare. The news media seems to understand this concept clocking in at almost 90% according to the Miami-Dade when applied to white America, so what’s taking so long County website. This white Cuban population, which to apply this to anyone else? has its roots in the Cuban upper-class fleeing Fidel


The Mesa Press

Founded in 1966

EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Rosanne Bangalan Ava Moslehi


Kaitlin Clapinski


Andreas Weiss



Jared Knobloch


Kalin May


Janna Braun


Walker Armstrong, Kyle Ayson, Jacob DeMille, Angela Galan Martinez, Zenyase Gonzalez, Oshae Hawkins, James Salome, Matthew Martinez, Liz Speiring, Zee Swingler


7250 Mesa College Drive San Diego, CA 92111 Phone: 619-388-2630 Fax: 619-388-2835 www.mesapress.com mesa.press@gmail.com twitter.com/themesapress facebook.com/themesapress instagram.com/themesapress This publication is produced as a learning experience for aspiring journalists. All materials, including the opinions expressed herein, are the sole responsibility of the authors and should not be interpreted to be those of the San Diego Community College District. To submit a letter to the editor, please include your name (unsigned letters or letters signed with aliases will not be printed), age, major/profession, college attending (if not Mesa) and email address.

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The Mesa Press

'Avatar: The Last Airbender' has always been a masterpeice By Jared Knobloch SPORTS EDITOR


Dr Jill Biden has been active in emphasizing the importance of higher education. Photo Credit: Mark Lambie, El Paso Times

Jill Biden is the advocate community colleges need

By Kaitlin Clapinski NEWS EDITOR


here is no doubt that college students across the United States are falling invto a dark abyss of student debt loans. Education has become an industry, where students shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for their degree and spend years trying to pay it off. Student debt loan forgiveness policy is seen by Republicans as just one of the Democrats’ “socialist” ideas, and while the new President-elect is a centrist at best, I am hopeful, not just because of Joe Biden, but because of Dr. Jill Biden. Jill Biden is bringing education back to the forefront of conversation in the White House. The soon-to-be first lady made headlines these past weeks announcing she will continue teaching throughout her time in Washington D.C. She will be one of the first of first ladies to continue a career outside of the White House as an English teacher at Northern Virginia Community College. Not only that, her dedicated cause will be centered around education specifically promoting free tuition in community colleges. While the concept of free tuition through the California Promise Program is not explicitly new, only 17 out of 50 states offer free tuition within community colleges. Free tuition programs

NOVEMBER 18, 2020

across the United States, in community colleges specifically, will make the idea of a college education a reality for some. And while this plan is not as aggressive in battling the price of education as some would like, it’s certainly a step in the right direction especially in the sense of advocating for community colleges. Community college is not seen as a conventionally glamorous option. However, it is dependable. Working parents rely on community colleges to receive an education that is flexible for them. Those in older generations can continue to inform themselves through local community college classes. Most importantly, those who may not have been able to see a college education as a reality are able to do so within the means of community colleges. Community college is essential, Jill Biden knows that, and can hopefully be a part of major change in the conversation surrounding the cost of higher education. Jill Biden is known for her passion for public education, but also the empathy and understanding she holds for students in higher education. Her doctoral dissertation was centered around student retention in community colleges. She will be the voice that students so desperately need in the White House as she has not only an intimate understanding of their challenges and

ater, earth, fire, air. Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them, but when the world needed him most, he vanished…” If this sounds familiar, then good. It is the intro to the greatest animation of the early 2000s, and arguably of all time, “Avatar: The Last Airbender”. The plotline of the show basically follows as this: in a world where humans can bend one of the four elements to their will, a young airbender who was born as the avatar, the only person able to bend all four elements, must learn and master them before the Fire Nation destroys the world. Aang, the avatar, with the help of his Water Tribe friends Katara and Sokka, travels the world getting involved in many adventures while helping Aang learn to master the four elements. For many people born between the years 1995 and 2002, waking up on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons was a common and exciting thing. You wake up, walk out into the family room, turn on the TV, and boom, “Avatar” was playing. The show was so fun to watch, with its intriguing action scenes and childish, but timeless, comedic characters. Nowadays, watching “Avatar” is even better. Unfortunately, there was no way to watch it because Nickelodeon no longer aired it, so you either had to find a bad quality version online, or not at all. Luckily, Netflix came to everyone’s aid. On May 15, 2020, Netflix brought back “Avatar” to its streaming service. The results: win-win for everyone. People got to watch “Avatar”, and Netflix profited from the people watching. Within a week, the show climbed to number one on Netflix’s top 10. All social media was talking about was

how good Avatar was and how awesome it is to see their childhood show trending again. So the question remains, what makes the show so intriguing to watch? As a child, watching the fight scenes were really fascinating because the concept of bending an element hasn’t been used anywhere else. Characters like Katara, who at the beginning of the series can barely bend a stream of water, eventually became a water bending master so powerful that she can create tidal waves at will, was really worthwhile to watch. The character development was probably the best around; you could really just bond with each and every person. As an adult, it encompasses all that and more. The show has extremely adult themes that go over the younger watchers heads, like the idea of genocide and cultural ideology. You can see the hurt in Aang’s eyes when he discovers his entire culture has been destroyed by the fire nation, and that he really is the last airbender. When the “gaang” gets to Ba Sing Se, the Earth Kingdom’s capital city, you can see the division between social and economic classes, and how the characters that are met are affected by this division. The arc of each character was extremely visible by the end of the series and gave the impression of maturity for each character. Sokka, though mostly used as a comedic character, grew into a great warrior and an even better leader. Aang turns from careless airbending kid, to fully realized Avatar, with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Even Zuko, the villain, becomes… well you’ll just have to watch and see. The way this show captivates the hearts of everyone, regardless of age, has always been awesome to see. No matter how much time passes, sitting down and watching “Avatar: The Last Airbender” still gives the same happy feeling it did when it was first aired 15 years ago, only the nostalgia makes it that much better.

“Avatar: The Last Airbender” has been a fan favorite since it first aired in 2005. Photo Credit: Nickelodeon/TNS expectations, but also she is highly versed in policymaking. Putting student voices in the midst of policy making strategies will be instrumental in changing the cost of higher education. However, from working with students first hand, she also is aware of the many other aspects with which students are challenged — mental health, healthcare, transportation, and finances. With a Democratic house, and a

chance to turn back the Senate in January with run-off elections, policymaking will be (optimistically) in the favor of the new coming democratic administration. Although Joe Biden is not the progressive many asked for, Dr. Jill Biden may be able to provide a glimmer of hope. With her impressive career in teaching, and knowledge of community college students and its functionality, I can confidently say that positive change is on the horizon.

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The Mesa Press

Zoom out of doom: There’s more out there than ‘Doomscrolling’ on social media By Andreas Loretan OPINIONS EDITOR


f you’re familiar with the social media landscape of 2020 at all, you are surely aware that Twitter is a giant pool of dread, with an algorithm designed to either disillusion you into a cynical pit of confusion, or radicalize you into a survivalist conspiracy theorist. It depends on who you follow really. For every golden nugget of positivity, the world finds a way to spit some of the worst, and occasionally weirdest, news straight from your phone screen into your face. Luckily, there are nearly an infinite number of things to do that don’t include scrolling through Twitter fixating on your hatred for x, y, and z political figures. Here, we are focusing on just a few easy things you could try out instead of “doomscrolling.” In other words, wallowing in negative news stories via your feed, your way through social media. 1. Read a book. With this first suggestion, I am basically begging you to read a book. If you read 100 tweets in a given amount of time at around 140 characters each, that equates to roughly 35 pages of a book, according to a quick Google search. Books come in so many different flavors too. Try a fantasy novel if you would like to escape from this dreary reality for a bit. Or, you could read a history book if you want to understand that everything bad happening in the world today has some sort of precedent, so when the next bad thing happens, the sting is softened by just that much. 2. Take a walk. Leave your phone behind and take a walk around your neighborhood. The fresh air and natural light will

surely adjust those mental mechanics back to a healthy medium. Plus, seeing people walk around in person reminds you that not everybody is as crazy as the Twitter algorithm presents. 3. Watch a new-to-you movie. You probably have four or five different streaming services on that Roku stick of yours, so put them to use and find a nice film to wrap your head around. If you are going to spend precious brain cells on stress, you might as well turn on something like “Parasite” or “Uncut Gems.” Just don’t think about the real world commentary these movies might be presenting, or else you’ll be right back in that corner of hopelessness that got you reading this article in the first place. 4. Put your Twitter-fueled anger to use. When getting your news off of your phone, it’s easy to lose grasp of the fact that all these horror stories you are reading are true, and they are happening to real people in real places. Whether it’s financially donating to a just cause, or physically showing up to help people who need it, the actions we can take to hinder the harm we are reading about are wide-reaching and usually pretty simple to get involved in. The best part is, you usually don’t need your phone to do them. Twitter, Instagram, and the rest can be very disheartening places to be, but a quick zoom out can recalibrate the senses a bit. The world and its people are not usually as crazy and evil as the feed will lead you to believe, but it’s important to keep in mind the real-world consequences of the “doom” in your daily scroll. It’s up to you to let that alienate or galvanize you, maybe even a healthy combination of both.

There is a whole beautiful world outside of Twitter that probably will not depress you. Photo Credit: Michael Thompson/Dreamstime/TNS

Restaurant Review

San Diego offers a variety of plant-based restaurants

With growing interest in plant-based diets, San Diego has many options. Photo Credit: Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post



ucky for us, San Diego offers an array of vegan and vegetarian restaurants for anyone who is craving some plant-based foods. Here are just a few places you can visit in San Diego that offer vegan and vegetarian cuisine. Plant Power, also described as “the future of fast food,” is a strictly plant-based restaurant with a vegan take on fast-food classics. They offer burgers, wraps, salads, and shakes. With the slogan, “chang-

ing the world, one burger at a time,” Plant Power is dedicated to making the world a more environmentally friendly place. They also serve all their food in biodegradable materials. Plant Power currently has three locations open in San Diego for curbside pickup, delivery, and takeout. These locations include Ocean Beach, Encinitas, and San Diego State University. More information about Plant Power Fast Food can be found here. Loving Hut, another strictly plantbased restaurant, offers an array of dishes including vegan renditions of western clas-

sics and desserts. Loving Hut is an international chain with locations in the U.S., Taiwan, Vietnam, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and many more places. Loving Hut has two locations in San Diego, one in North Park and the other in Mira Mesa. With the slogan “Be Vegan, Make Peace!” Loving Hut is focused on making vegan food available for everyone with their affordable prices. Each location has a unique menu and unique hours. More information on Loving hut can be found here. Plumeria is a vegetarian restaurant and offers many vegan options. They offer an

array of Thai dishes and have two locations in San Diego, one in Encinitas and another in the heart of University City. With a strong belief in high-quality plant-based foods, Plumeria creates dishes consisting of no animal products, apart from a few dishes which may contain egg and dairy. Their menu easily identifies the difference between vegan and vegetarian food. With a large menu, Plumeria has lots of options to keep customers happy. More information about Plumeria can be found here. Purple Mint, a vegan family-owned bistro, is focused on promoting a healthy vegan lifestyle. Located in Mission Gorge, Purple Mint is an Asian Fusion restaurant, offering many Asian inspired cuisines. The bistro has a menu with lots of delicious options, describing their dishes as “vegan dishes fused with classical recipes that present an unparalleled twist on authentic Asian cuisine.” More information about Purple Mint can be found here. Veggie Grill is another strictly vegan restaurant with two locations in San Diego, Westfield UTC and Carlsbad. Both locations are available for pick up and delivery. Veggie Grill is focused on “making food matter more by crafting plant-based meals for all kinds of eaters that care for our lives and future.” With a vegan take on classic burgers, sandwiches, burritos, and more, Veggie Grill is a great place to enjoy some Vegan classics. More information about Veggie Grill can be found here. Whether you are on a plant-based diet yourself or looking to try something new, these are just some of the many great vegan and vegetarian restaurants in San Diego.


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The Mesa Press

Recent survey shows students and staff are seeking improvement in online education

Students and staff seek improvements in online learning in recent survey. Photo Credit: Jessica Scott

By Kaitlin Clapinski NEWS EDITOR


OVID-19 lockdowns began in March in the United States, which quickly affected schools and universities across the country into a transition of online education. The 2019-2020 spring semester was one of the first to complete remote learning due to the pandemic, and Mesa College had to make quick adjustments to ensure a smooth transition. Staff, faculty, and students faced a learning curve in regards to growing accustomed to online learning and all of its qualms. Although the current fall semester was planned

with better preparation than the last, students continue to face related issues. Going forward into the 2021 spring semester, Mesa is looking to improve in regards to its efficiency with online education and released a survey in which students and staff could provide input. 1,585 students and 175 staff members participated in the survey commissioned by the California Community College System, and its goal was to discover a definitive result of what challenges students have faced, and how Mesa staff and faculty could find a solution. Students reported that the main obstacle they were facing was difficulty adapting

to distance learning. This was credited to a variety of different issues such as difficulty concentrating on school, insufficient internet reliability, and a lack of technology, just to name a few. Following that, they claimed disruptions to student finances were another issue as well. COVID-19 and quarantine orders have negatively affected student finances with the results listing that 53% of students reporting a decline in income. Although correlation does not equate to causation, it would only make sense that students who lacked wifi or a laptop before would find further difficulty in getting the supplies they need now. Both staff and students faced common tech challenges, stating they experienced student or staff discomfort or unfamiliarity with required technology or software such as Canvas or Zoom. Almost half of the students who participated said they prefer face-to-face learning with a quote from a student explaining, “I just prefer face-to-face human interaction because I learn better that way.” Granted, it is not the college’s fault for not being able to provide on-campus classes, however, students claimed that their online classes or services were not up to standard. 27% of students claimed difficulty completing courses not typically offered online such as welding, clinicals, and science labs. A quote from a student voiced their disappointment in the virtual tutoring center and

lack thereof: “Each time I went to the tutoring center via Canvas no one was available so I eventually stopped trying.” Clearly, there is work to be done with offering students better support throughout the rest of the semester and into spring. That said, staff members who participated listed similar troubles saying they too were struggling with adapting to distance learning, were affected financially by COVID-19, and were lacking the tools needed to work remotely. The number one challenge listed for staff adapting to remote learning? A decrease in student engagement. On both sides, there are voiced feelings of isolation, with staff also mentioning an absence in a sense of community in online learning. Staff also issued a similar complaint of not having the technology needed and spending their own money to purchase needed materials. One quote reads, “I had to purchase a new laptop, various adaptors, etc. I ended up spending several thousand dollars of my own money to be able to teach fully at home without access to my own campus office.” 68% of faculty requested a need for a laptop or desktop specifically with other needs being acquiring access to traditional office software, meeting applications, reliable and insufficient internet, and a copier or scanner. Mesa has expectations to meet going into the spring semester and only time will tell if the many needs of students and staff will be met.

Associated Student government prepares faculty conduct resolution By Rosanne Bangalan EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

T National Coming Out Day is an annual LGBTQ+ awareness day to support those in the LGBTQ+ community to “come out of the closet.” Photo Credit: Wally Skalij/ Los Angeles Times/ TNS

San Diego Continuing Education celebrates National Coming Out Day with guest LGBTQ+ speakers

By Angela Galan Martinez STAFF WRITER


an Diego Continuing Education celebrated National Coming Out Day by hosting a panel with several special guest speakers on Oct. 15 to share their personal stories of coming out and being part of the LGBTQ+ community. The panel was hosted by SDCE President Dr. Carlos Osvaldo Cortez, who identifies as non-binary. San Diego Continuing Education prides themselves on having one of the most diverse student populations in the nation. The panelist shared their struggles with self-acceptance and the acceptance of others. Cortez explained, “We decide when we come out, where we come out, how we come out, who we come out to, and that deserves to be respected.” The panel consisted not only of special guests, but important information and resources for LGBTQ+ students and allies. Chief Public Affairs & Civic Engage-

ment Officer of The San Diego LGBT Community Center, Rebekah J. HookHeld, explained how the LGBTQ+ Community Center is open to all those in need of help for free. Their housing and emergency centers are open as well as their food banks. Everyone is welcome to their health services and programs such as HIV services, youth services, senior services, and many more. Virtual discussion and support groups are also available to all in need. More information can be found on The San Diego LGBT Community Center website. The San Diego Pride Executive Director, Fernando Z. Lopez Jr. also provided some insight on how San Diego Pride has become one of the biggest LGBTQ+ programs in the country. With its many helpful programs, events, and involvement with the community, it has become a wellknown program in the LGBTQ+ community. They, however, are most known for the exhilarating San Diego Pride parade and festival. “It’s our mission to be able to

help anyone be a part of the LGBT community and make them feel like they are not being anyone but themselves,” said Lopez. The panel ended with drag queen icon, Tammie Brown. Brown is well known for being on the first season of, “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and earning eighth place. Since then, he has appeared in many reality television shows and movies, as well as recorded three self-released studio albums. At a young age, Brown knew who he was and started dressing in drag during his highschool days in theater productions. He ended up playing Cinderella’s Stepmother in a production of Into The Woods and Cha Cha in a production of Grease. He was a lively character and explained how he was so glad to be a part of the panel and shared his story about figuring out who he was at a young age. On that note, the panel ended with a message from everyone exposing their gratitude to share their stories and to celebrate National Coming Out Day.

he Associated Student government has drafted up a faculty conduct resolution in response to the incident that took place when professor Dr. Kimberly Perigo was heard referring to the AS president, Taylor Carpenter, by a misogynistic slur. The faculty conduct resolution was prepared by AS vice president Cam Hin and was passed on Oct. 7. The resolution calls that “San Diego Mesa College upholds accountability and adhere[s] to their ‘no-tolerance’ policy by implementing the following disciplinary measures, including but not limited to the removal of Dr. Kimberly Perigo from all currently held positions within San Diego Mesa College and the SDCCD.” The resolution cites various Board Policies and Administrative Procedures that Mesa faculty should adhere to, emphasizing how Perigo had violated these policies by using language that was demeaning. While AS does not carry the authority to expel faculty from a position, Hin wanted to draft up a resolution that would “solidify our stance on the situation while also unifying the student voices as a whole.” Protecting students and making them feel safe is a shared goal amongst all senators in AS. When asked if other governing bodies and Mesa as a whole have taken similar stances in denouncing the harassment, Hin said “I’ve seen other governing bodies condemn the misogynistic language spoken. I appreciate Mesa’s empathetic response and willingness to take responsibility.” Hin also went on to share her thoughts on moving forward, saying “Change is a process that takes time. The more humility and openness we have, the more improvements we can make together.”

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The Mesa Press

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Men’s Cross Country team persevering drive for the spring season finish line By Kyle Ayson STAFF WRITER


ith COVID-19 halting their season, the San Diego Mesa College Men’s Cross-Country team has been working hard, staying fit, and being mentally prepared and ready for competition when it arrives in the spring.

Men’s Cross-Country Head coach Sean Ricketts explained, “In the spring, we are allowed to compete in 6 meets, including conference, plus the Southern California Regional Championships.” With a few meets planned, Ricketts noted the impediment that came along. “The biggest obstacle for cross country meets to take place is securing venues which is chal-

Men’s Cross Country winning last years state track meet. Photo Credit: San Diego Mesa Cross Country

lenging since a lot of parks and recreational areas are not taking reservations for events due to the pandemic,” he said. Ricketts added “This includes testing our student athletes for COVID 19 before competitions and team travel.” The Men’s Cross Country team also won the state championship last year, “our team was poised at making a run to defend their state title” Ricketts said. But as the team undergoes these hardships, they are also “optimistic and hope that things improve and it is safe for our student athletes to get back to meeting and training to prepare for the season” said Ricketts. Ricketts also mentioned that with a “strong group of returners and a talented recruiting class,” their main goal has been unchanged since the Fall season and the rest of the year, “our student athletes continue to make progress and do well academically while working through the challenges of the pandemic and virtual learning.” Esteban Magana, a member of the state championship team, gave his perspective of the season. “My cross-country season has been better than expected, despite the hard times we’ve faced through quarantine, my team and I have been successful executing our training perfectly. We have regular zoom meetings with the coaches during each week, we’ve been safe, stronger and united as a team. This motivates us every

day to stay hungry and ready for competition when we come back!” “The cons of the situation is that we haven’t gotten to fully meet the whole team and it’s hard to keep those new recruits motivated. The pro would be that we can dedicate more time to our training. I think in these times we have finally learned to appreciate everything we have in our lives and stay healthy overall,” Magana added. His teammate Zack Beckwith noted, “Everything is going really well right now because we still meet and do what we need to do to get it done. And it makes it a lot more fun when you run with people that you can connect with.” Beckwith also shared that the runs help them train for the season. He said, “We have been doing our normal training as if we were going to race. We have our long run at the beginning of the week and then two workouts during the week. The rest of our runs are just normal fitness runs that are a little shorter and allow us to stay in shape.” Ricketts said, “Our student athletes have done an amazing job adapting to virtual learning and training and pushing through the challenges of the pandemic in order to make progress. They are putting in a lot of great work. They are anxiously awaiting to continue the legacy and tradition of Mesa Cross-Country, as well as the track and field programs.”

Women’s water polo training for a sucessful season By Jared Knobloch SPORTS EDITOR


he San Diego Mesa College women’s water polo team has been finding ways to keep working and training for their expected season, despite the distancing challenges from coronavirus regulations. Though the team has not been together in person for a while, come game time Head Coach Beto Vasquez expects his team to be ready. “It is my hope that all the girls on the team come back in January when our preseason starts, and we are all expecting to play. Last year we finished 5th in our conference tournament, and we are looking to improve our standing and win more games this season,” said Vasquez. Vasquez wants the team to stay focused and train, even if it is individually. He stated, “I have been encouraging the girls to continue training even though we can’t be together. It’s a bit difficult for our sport because not many of them have access to a pool, so we have been watching a bunch of game films to help increase our water polo IQ.” With the way things are going, the team’s success could go either way. “It’s hard to say if we are prepared to play right now. Preseason practices will be very crucial to help us prepare for the season. As of right now, we only have 10 regular season games scheduled and no tournaments, and it looks like we will only be allowed to play conference opponents. So like I said before, we are aiming to improve our standing from last year and finish in the top 3 in our conference tournament,” noted Vasquez. The girls have been practicing, even if the circumstances aren’t ideal.

Mesa’s Women’s Water Polo is ready to get back in the pool and play again. Photo Credit: Beto Vasquez Sophomore attacker Nicole Moran said, “I am still playing water polo, every Monday through Thursday. One of the positives from this situation is that we can still practice with our club teams and still be in the water. However, I don’t like that we can’t practice with the team as we normally would.” “This year it’s harder to hangout and bond with the team than it was last year,” she noted. With that being said, according to Moran, chemistry has not been affected. “I don’t think chemistry is a problem because our coach has weekly Zoom meetings and we get to see each

other and talk about the positives of the week, and discuss water polo games. I think the Zoom meetings are something that has connected us a little bit more.” Sophomore attacker Sera Nagel echoed Moran’s statements. “The girls that played last year have pretty good chemistry because we still talk to each other and see each other during the Zoom meetings. The only problem is that the girls who didn’t play last year and are new still haven’t gotten to know everyone yet,” said Nagel. She added, “Before I was fortunate to do club water polo, I was just doing

workouts at home, as well as leg exercises. Sometimes I would go down to the ocean and swim, but it still wasn’t as much as we would normally do.” Vasquez noted, “The most important thing right now for all of us is to stay healthy and positive. I know that right now it can be difficult to be both, but we must take it day by day, and hope that things will get better sooner rather than later. If the team and I were able to get together right now, I would tell them that this is the time we have been waiting for, we are back in the pool and playing games.”

Profile for The Mesa Press

The Mesa Press, Issue 8, Fall 2020  

The Mesa Press Fall 2020 Issue 8

The Mesa Press, Issue 8, Fall 2020  

The Mesa Press Fall 2020 Issue 8