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THE MESA PRESS Volume 57, Issue 2

The Independent Student Publication of San Diego Mesa College


March 4, 2014

New bill may allow Mesa students to earn bachelor’s degrees sans transfer

Photo credit: Kristyna Wentz-Graff, MCT Campus

Petitioners: disruptive for the greater good? PAGE 2


Photo credit:

Japanese animation “The Wind Rises” soars high PAGE 3


San Diego Mesa College students celebrate the next chapter in their lives at the commencement ceremony Photo credit: Jack Beresford, San Diego Community College District Director of Communications and Public Relations


By Kristina Cox /themesapress

ouldn’t it be nice if students were given the opportunity to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Mesa College? Well, good news! The legislative bill, SB850, is proposing just that and is currently being discussed. One of the primary reasons many students attend community college is that 4-year universities can be extremely costly, leaving many students in severe debt. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as of 2011, approximately 5.4 million students that took out student loans have balances that are past due. The balance increases more every year. If community colleges in California start providing baccalaureate programs, it would open up opportunities for students who cannot leave home or attend 4-year universities for financial or family reasons. This would also reduce the large amount of university applications and rejections due to minimal space. According to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO), 21 states already allow community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees. The possibility of bachelor’s degrees becoming available at the community college level excites many students. Monica Rivera, a Mesa College student, said that if the bill were to pass, it would be “better for us [as students] because it will be more @themesapress

By Karina Alvarez-Calderon

Photo credit: David Nguyen

Hopeful future for the women’s tennis team. PAGE 4

Photo credit: Erika Schultz, MCT Campus

Explore San Diego on foot with this hiking guide. PAGE 4 Stay Connected

Index Opinion.........................Page 2 Features.........................Page 3 Sports............................Page 4

affordable and more people are going to try to get bachelor’s degrees.” According to Dr. Pamela Luster, the Mesa College president, the cost per unit for baccalaureate level classes is up for debate. Because courses under the new program are more advanced and would require staff with higher qualifications, the cost of baccalaureate units might be more expensive. Nonetheless, regardless of these price increases, a community college bachelor’s degree would still be significantly more affordable. So, what programs will this new bill apply to? The bill will first focus on impacted programs. “We’re really looking at impacted workforce needs, where it’s difficult for students to get baccalaureate level programming,” Dr. Luster stated. Many students attend Mesa in hopes of fulfilling their general education requirements in order to transfer to one of the university health programs that San Diego is known for. The problem is that prerequisites for the health program are impacted along with the health program itself, leaving little to no room for newer students to transfer into baccalaureate health programs. If SB850 were to be passed, which should be determined this year, it would go into effect for one of three programs.

“At Mesa, it would primarily be in our allied health areas, so radiologic technology, physical therapy assistant, and health information technology,” Dr. Luster said. While the passing of the bill would only provide this baccalaureate program to Mesa students in one of those fields, it is still a big step for the California Community College System. Health programs in California state universities are very impacted and obtaining jobs after college is becoming more difficult for students in health programs. Dr. Luster said that this is because “the level of training [in the health industry] is expected, now, to be at baccalaureate level.” So, the competition for jobs in the health industry is increasing. Adjusting to the impacted health system is a leveling process. “The industry is changing and we need to change with it,” Dr. Luster stated. The passing of SB850 would open up a big window of opportunity for students in the health field. Dr. Luster stated that more baccalaureate programs may become available in the future. The California Community College System can only take one step at a time. Many things, like the cost per unit and the timing of its implementation, are still unknown. However, the prospect of Mesa students being given the chance to achieve a bachelor’s degree is still something to celebrate.

Mesa celebrates women’s history month


arch is Women’s History Month. San Diego Mesa College is joining institutions and organizations around the U.S. in praising generations of women whose talent and dedication have helped bring the world together in numerous ways. Women’s History Month became a national celebration in 1981, and to this day, it is continuing to expand its irreplaceable lessons. The Women’s Studies Program at Mesa is providing a variety of month-long lectures, presentations and workshops in honor of Women’s History Month, ranging from topics such as feminism to sex trafficking and violence against women and girls.

Event Schedule: March 6 - Eve: The First Femenist 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at H117/118 March 7 - Women, Frame Drums and Ancient History 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. at H117/118 March 14 - Honoring Legacies of Diversity 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at H117/118 March 20 - Rape Aggression Defense (Women Only) 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. at H117/118

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“That’s great. Why not?” -Gabriel Jimenez, 29 Fashion Merchandising


ately, it seems like you can’t walk from one class to another without having someone shove a clipboard in your face for your signature. Most of the time, it seems as if they don’t even ask for your eligibility to give your signature or take the time to explain what it is they’re gathering signatures for. From green peace to legalizing marijuana, Mesa’s campus seems to have it all when it comes to the different purposes and organizations in which they are collecting signatures for. Many students can agree that this is rather annoying when you’re simply trying to get around campus in peace. “Sometimes when the students are late to class, sometimes you have to be a little bit rude for them to stop talking to you, but um, it’s just the classes,” answered Mesa student Jessica Figueroa Rodriguez when asked if she considered these signature gatherers an on-campus disturbance. When asked if she felt that the act of others gathering our signatures on campus should be banned, Figueroa Rodriguez responded with, “Not exactly banned. It would be better if they just stand there and

“I feel like it’s a positive thing” -Sylvia Johnson, 31 Psychology

talk to them what is this about or something instead of them pushing people to do it.” At times, it is not just the way that they make you feel pressured into signing your name onto a clipboard that makes the students feel annoyed or uncomfortable; it is just the cause alone after they have finally taken the time to explain it to you. For example, some could debate that the man outside the LRC attempting to gather signatures with the purpose of legalizing marijuana is “inappropriate.” However, Figueroa Rodriguez speaks on this topic with, “I think everyone has their beliefs, so a lot of people on campus are probably really excited and a lot of others not so much. So it’s the variety.” The overall attitude toward these signature gatherers is that they are mostly a disturbance to the students on campus who do not want to be bothered while getting from one place on campus to another. Figueroa Rodriguez responded with a simple “Yes” when asked if the overall issue was that they distract you when you are trying to get from one class to another or just simply be leaving campus.

Photo credit: Cliff Jette, MCT Campus

“Whatever happened to genders having certain parts?” -Kwame Badu, 21 Sociology


By Mallory Graber

Janna Braun Advising Professor

Photo Credit: Mallory Graber, The Mesa Press

ith the never ending advances in technology today, it seems that a lot of people spend their free time with their eyeballs glued to a screen. Living in a century that feels as if they constantly need to be entertained, sometimes it can be hard to look away from the digital drama. Reading an actual, solid book is a highly under-appreciated form of entertainment that should be rediscovered before everyone’s brain turns to mush. The great thing about books is that a million different people can read the same book, and each person can interpret it differently. Each book will be a unique story for everyone. Their minds and the text can work together to create something personal and spectacular. A book is like a giant puzzle, with pieces of information that can be arranged in whichever way that the reader chooses. When someone watches television, however, everything going on is presented so easily before them that they have no room to fill in the blanks with their imagination. Even in a room full of people, constantly being transfixed by a television is far from a social activity. An article from The Journal of Cognitive Liberties features a study showing that engaging in a television screen is neurologically equivalent to

Founded in 1966

Mariah Boyd Opinion Editor Danielle Bellavance Features Editor Kyle Kenehan Photo Editor

“Go for it and create your own gender.” -Kendra Waefler, 22 Political Science

Paperback preferred over digital

The Mesa Press Jung Kim Editor-in-Chief Dorian King News Editor Thomas Frey Sports Editor

The Word

What is your initial response to Facebook’s decision to offer about 56 types of gender choices?


By Yanessa Hernandez

March 4, 2014

The Mesa Press

Staff Members Karina Alvarez-Calderon, Josh Champlin, Kristina Cox, Haley Daniels, Mallory Graber, Omarr Guerrero, Noé Guillen, Yanessa Hernandez, Christopher Madaffer, David Nguyen, DeeDee Williams

staring at a blank wall. Television is full of underlying messages that effect people in ways that they might not even notice. A prime example of this is self-confidence in younger people who are growing up and discovering who they are. Adolescent girls who see only big-breasted, skinny, gorgeous women on television are going to believe that those women are the only definition of beauty, which is a lie. When someone reads a book, they discover the thoughts, feelings and actions of a character, the aspects of a person that truly make them who they are. Readers are never able to actually lay eyes on the characters and judge them for how they look. Readers are only able to imagine what they might possibly look like, and their image is not limited to a single actor or actress’ face. Books are like a portable adventure, something someone can throw into their backpack, take with them anywhere, and dive into any time they desire. Books help people expand their vocabulary, exercise their creativity, and broaden their imaginations. People should be careful what they put in their delicate minds; pick up a book and enjoy an advertisement-free mental escape.

7250 Mesa College Drive, San Diego, CA 92111 Phone: (619)388-2630 Fax: (619)388-2835 This publication is produced as a journalism workshop 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 e-mail address.

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March 4, 2014

The Mesa Press

Plan Spring Break now No eruption for ‘Pompeii’ at Box Office


By Karina Alvarez-Calderon

he countdown begins: Spring Break, 2014. One week of no school to soak up the sun, and get out and about. Start planning ahead; collect the loose change lying around, grab friends, and get ready! Here are a few suggestions in and near San Diego that are easy and cheap enough to enjoy without breaking the bank. 1. Play tourist: San Diego, America’s finest city, offers various activities for all interests. Playing tourist in the surrounding city provides the opportunity to appreciate all the beautiful things it has to offer. These might be attractions that one does not realize on a day-to-day basis. Get out of the routine and explore San Diego. Recommendation: Stroll through Seaport Village and walk along the boardwalk, which overlooks the San Diego Bay and Coronado. Visit Old Town and learn all about San Diego’s history while taking in the scents and sounds. If weather permits, swim with the fish at La Jolla Cove, which features miles of underwater preserves to explore. 2. Go camping: Camping is a great idea for the outdoor lovers. Look online for the ideal camping spot. Pitch a tent, start a campfire, bring out the marshmallows, bundle up, and enjoy the great outdoors. Recommendation: Try Joshua Tree National Park. There are nine camping grounds, several hiking trails for all levels of adventurers, rock climbing routes, great

geological sites, and breath-taking open skies at night to stargaze. 3. Explore a nearby city: Consider taking a “daycation.” Grab a friend or relative, and take a mini road trip to a nearby city. There are plenty of things to explore in a new place that will make for some great memories. Don’t forget the camera! Recommendation: Spend the day in Hollywood and stroll along Hollywood Boulevard while checking out the famous star walk. Another idea is to visit Salvation Mountain. Salvation Mountain is located in Imperial County about two hours east of San Diego. Drive out for the day to get inspired by beautifully painted mountains that attract thousands of visitors each year.

‘‘...Play tourist: San Diego, America’s finest city, offers various activities for all interests.’’

Movie Review


By Danielle Bellavance

ompeii, Italy is most famous for the volcanic eruption that killed thousands of people and covered an entire city in lava and ash. The city never fully recovered and centuries later returned as more of a tourist attraction than anything. The disaster was so catastrophic; it was only a matter of time before Hollywood made it into a movie. There was almost zero buzz about this film aside from the few commercials that occasionally aired on TV. “Pompeii” starred lesser known actors, who wouldn’t even be considered movies stars. Right from the get-go, the movie starts out very typical of the action adventure genre. People that enjoy solid plot lines would not enjoy this movie because of the unoriginal concept of the princess falling for the slave. It is easy to assume what the end of the result of this film is going to be after that. “Pompeii” wasn’t all that boring to watch, because of the computer-animated

actions and disaster scenes. It seemed as though the filmmakers really took the time to make the explosion of Mount Vesuvius look as similar as it must have thousands of years ago in the real-life event. There was a plot twist that was unexpected in the last seconds of the film which left viewers shocked but history buffs very satisfied. It is no secret that the entire city, along with its inhabitants, perished under the volcano’s burning lava in the real Pompeii, but Hollywood always seems to have films end on a positive note. This, however, was not the case with “Pompeii.” Within the first 20 minutes of the movie, it would be implied that the slave becomes the hero and ends up happily ever after with the princess. There was an unexpected tragic ending that left viewers in shock that had to be seen to be believed.

Rating: 7 out of 10

‘Pompeii’ leaves audiences under ash. Photo courtesty of MCT Campus.

Movie Review

Miyazaki exits on a high note with ‘The Wind Rises’


By Jung Kim

eclared as Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, “The Wind Rises” is an affectionate and colorful tribute to the filmmaker’s legacy as a world-renowned animator, writer and director. Loosely based on the history of Japan during the early 20th century leading up to World War II, the animated feature details the life and aspirations of Jiro Horikoshi, a historic Japanese aeronautical engineer who designed many Japanese fighter planes. The story begins with young Jiro dreaming of piloting airplanes, but due to his myopia, he resolves to design them instead. It is within this vast dreamscape of his imagination, free of violence and hatred, that he is able to envision, experiment and refine his craft. This unadulterated portrayal of Jiro’s determination provides the overarching theme of the film, his characterization purposefully limited in dimension that ultimately works in favor of the overall narrative. Notably, instead of focusing on the repulsive consequences of Jiro’s artistic ambitions – he designed the Mitsubishi Zero, the fighter plane used during the kamikaze attack on Pearl Harbor – the story is presented as a whimsical abstraction of his dreams, his passion for airplanes the sole drive underlying his achievements. Not surprisingly, this sentiment appears to be a direct reflection of Miyazaki’s own passion for his art. Revered for his devotion to hand-drawn animations in lieu of computer-generated images, the 73-year-

old animator does not disappoint with his hypnotically colorful and painstakingly detailed freehand illustrations. At times photorealistic, impressionistic, abstract or painterly, Miyazaki’s mastery of handdrawn arts dynamically supplements the dreamy overtone of the plot’s central theme. Although the plot emphasizes the empowering nature of pursuing one’s dream, it also exposes the nightmares as the consequences of one’s failures. As the animator’s most grounded tale to date – no magical powers or creatures often seen in his other works such as “Spirited Away” – Miyazaki refuses to shy away from the stark realities of the war-torn era, from the monstrous rumbles of the 1923 Kanto earthquake to the devastation of the tuberculosis epidemic. Incredibly, Miyazaki never explicitly reveals the fates of the characters – no visible deaths – and his message remains clear: When dreams are kept alive, bad memories tend to fade away. Ironically, this idea became increasingly relevant during the actual screening; the plot started off extremely slow, but the boredom faded quickly once it hit its stride. Overall, “The Wind Rises” is an apt tribute to Hayao Miyazaki’s venerable legacy that soars above the high expectations that no doubt accompanied the news of his retirement.

Rating 9 out of 10

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March 4, 2014

The Mesa Press

The future could be bright for ladies tennis


By Thomas Frey

ou have to look beyond the record of the ladies tennis team to fully understand what is happening in the program. After six games, the team is winless under head coach Marc Pinckney. He took the position for this season and is working to completely change the work ethic of his team. “This is my first year here. It was disorganized, there wasn’t a fitness program, and there wasn’t a teaching program in terms of working on player’s skills,” Pinckney remarked. “This year is about getting people in shape, having structure, giving players very clear expectations and consequences when team rules are violated.” Anastasiya Trachenko, a freshman, is the team’s number one singles and doubles player, and according to Pinckney, she is “a really, really good ball striker.” Her doubles partner is sophomore Erika Castro. “Erika is really good. She’s a fighter, and she has a great backhand,” Pinckney said. Another solid player is Corrine Rivera, who has the best record on the team. “Rivera is playing great. She doesn’t have the best tennis skills on the team, but she is an amazing athlete,” Pinckney commented. “She’s unbelievably competitive. Every drill we do, every run we do, and every sprint we do, Corrine wants to win. You can take a player with that kind of attitude and teach her some tennis skills. It’s a lot easier to teach tennis skills than to teach that kind of attitude.”

“Sophia Najera a very talented player is due back in the lineup any day from a series of back/shoulder injuries. She has the ability to play number one on this team and will make the overall lineup much stronger both in singles and doubles,” said Pinckney. It is a rebuilding year, and it started in January with lots of conditioning. In the first week, the coach did not even let his players touch the tennis racquets. Instead, they worked on footwork and ran for one hour a day on the track and two and a half hours total. The next three weeks, before the season started, was a little different. They started with a half-hour conditioning and followed that with a little over an hour and a half of tewnnis. Even though they lost 9-0 to Grossmont College, the coach had a reason to like what he saw: Most of the matches were close. “I think we have a shot to go .500 in league. To win half of our games in conference wouldn’t be an outrageously high expectation,” Pinckney added. “The way they competed today, if this is an effort that can be replicated, we have a shot [at .500] because today was a good effort.” One of the reasons Pinckney wants the program to be successful is that it will bring in better recruits. “We basically designed this the way a good Division 1 program would. We’re trying to set up a culture that when we start recruiting better players. They have to like what they see,” Pinckney stated.

According to the coach, when the recruits come, they will see a program that is working well and consisting of players that could play Division I tennis. If you want to see a team on the rise, as well as some quality tennis, check them out

‘‘...I think we have a shot to go .500 in league. To win half of our games in conference wouldn’t be an outrageously high expectation.” - Coach Marc Pinckney

Anastasiya Trachenko (front) waits while Erika Castro serves the ball. Photo Credit: David Nguyen

Heavenly Hiking In San Diego By Mallory Graber


n a place like San Diego, a gym membership is unnecessary when it comes to getting a good work out. Instead of stepping on a machine and staring at a stranger’s sweaty backside for an hour, mix things up and go explore the beautiful world. Replace the repetitive Stairmaster with an uphill trail surrounded by flowers and wild life. There is nothing wrong with going to the gym as exercising in any way is beneficial to the heart, immune system, metabolism and energy levels. Going on a hike, climbing a mountain, or just taking a walk in the sunshine is a fresher way to release endorphins. A mental and physical break from the hectic chaos of life can work wonders for the body and soul. Lucky for San Diegans, the city and the terrain surrounding it has an extremely wide variety of hiking scenery. There are trails right along the coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and others more inland and less traveled. One of the most popular hikes in San Diego is the Torrey Pines trails, located in La Jolla. Torrey Pines is a brisk, refreshing hike that is not too challenging. It is more of a pleasant exploration than a work out. Of course, if someone chooses to jog or run instead of walk, then there is no doubt that they would feel it in their calves the next day. The trails are full of rolling hills and drop-off jagged rocks with a gorgeous view of the ocean. Another top hiking spot is Potato Chip Rock. Although more famous for its nickname, this hike is actually called Mount Woodson Trail. It is definitely more challenging, and it would be a wonderful idea to bring plenty of water. The scenery is worth every drop of sweat. Beginning the hike is a clear view of Lake Poway, and after a while, Lake Poway disappears from sight and is replaced with a vast view of the foothills, all beneath a never-ending sky. The reward at the top is a priceless

Mission Trails Regional Park, just 20 minutes away from campus. Photo credit: Mallory Graber

picture on a rock that resembles a potato chip. This hike is about 40 minutes away from San Diego, but it is an invigorating way to spend a day off. Not as well known is a place called Mission Trails Park, which consists of 5,800 acres of habitat in the city of San Diego. This park has a flat trail for running, walking and biking. Along the paved path is the beginning of hiking trails that advance off the road and onto smaller, dirt paths that lead up to the mountain. Mission Trails is a place easily accessible and free for anyone who chooses to adventure there. The Mission Trails Visitor Center is a cool place to check out as well because it is loaded with the trail’s history and information about the animals and plants that can be found there. Mission Trails Regional Park is home to Cowles Mountain, a trail that provides an extremely extensive view of San Diego from the top. For hikes that are less intense and a bit more relaxing, try out Lake Miramar Trail, Balboa Park Trail, and Grasslands Loop. Also, just because explorers reach the top of a hike does not mean that they have to rush back down. Bring a blanket, some music, a book or a picnic, and soak up the scarce peacefulness and the fresh coastal air. For those who do not have time to explore trails around San Diego, the most convenient work out for Mesa students is simply known as the stairs of death, located next to the Student Services Building.

The Mesa Press issue #2, Spring 2014  

The Mesa Press, March 4, 2014