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a n at i o n a l pa c e m a k e r awa r d n e w s pa p e r

Volume 56, Issue 1

New safety push eyes mass alert system

September 4 - October 3, 2012

$4.8M hinges on voters

Chancellor warns that massive cuts coming if Prop. 30 loses By Christopher Sheaf Assistant News Editor

By Lina Chankar Assistant News Editor

Safety doesn’t happen by accident, the saying goes, and Southwestern College administrators insist the school is making progress on its on-again, offagain efforts to upgrade campus security. A new college emergency plan, a mass communications system and blue light two-way communication towers are in planning stages, according to campus officials. A draft of the updated Emergency Operations Plan has been submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for approval, a process that could take up to six months. Southwestern College  has been putting off the revision of its outdated Emergency Operations Plan for several years due to leadership changes and lack of funding, according to college leaders. SWC hired a certified consultant this year to write a new emergency plan. Campus Police Sergeant Robert

Angelica Rodriguez/staff

END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT — (l-r) Former Chancellor Jack Scott spells out dire consequences if Proposition 30 fails during a meeting of the Community College Board of Governors at San Diego City College. Board Members Scott Himelstein and Manuel Baca urged passage of the Nov. 6 ballot measure.

Proposition 30 received the unanimous backing of the Southwestern College Governing Board and Academic Senate, joining a chorus of California educators supporting the temporary tax hike that will support beleaguered community colleges. SWC has seen its budget fall by nearly $14 million in recent years and has lost more than half its class sections. It balanced the budget this year only after negotiating a 5 percent pay cut for all employees and withdrawing $1.7 million from its reserves – the maximum allowed. Failure of Proposition 30 to pass November 6 would mean a mid-year cut of $4.8 million for SWC, according to figures provided by the California Community College Chancellor’s office. Bruce MacNintch, president of the SWC classified employees


please see Emergency pg. A4

Accreditation report tells of campus-wide progress

please see Prop. 30 pg. A3

Coaches deny hoop recruiting violations

‘No evidence’ of wrongdoing says PCAC investigation

By David McVicker Assistant News Editor

By Alexis Dominguez Staff Writer

Southwestern College is preparing a report card for its accreditation agency and it plans to give itself high marks. A mid-term report due Oct. 15 to the Accrediting Commission of Colleges and Junior Colleges, the entity charged with granting accreditation in the western region of the United States, highlights effective new institutional practices put in place since its year-and-a-half probation in 2010-2011. SWC’s midterm report to the ACCJC states “there was broad participation by the college community, the midterm report accurately reflects the progress the college has made, and continues to make, since receiving reaffirmation of accreditation.” Fifteen months after having its probation lifted and full accreditation status restored, the college continues to make strides on its path to fostering an environment of mutual respect, communication and trust among the administration, faculty and students, according to Governing Board President Norma Hernandez. She had praise for all the college’s progress and its employees who have helped to right the ship. “This midterm report is extremely, very, very impressive,” said Hernandez. “Given where we’ve been with accreditation and where we are now, I would like to commend everyone involved because I know it’s taken everyone pulling together and getting us to where we are now.” SWC’s Accreditation Oversight Committee was co-chaired by Dr. Mink Stavenga and Librarian Ron Vess. A team of faculty and administration

An assistant basketball coach facing questions of illegally recruiting two New York players denied the charges to conference investigators and insisted the players approached him first about playing at Southwestern College. Associate coach Kyle Colwell “told the players that there were special rules for recruiting and he could not share details with them,”according to a brief report titled “Southwestern Basketball Investigation First Contact Violation,” conducted in May by the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference. SWC Athletic Director Terry Davis said the PCAC found no evidence of wrongdoing by the SWC basketball coaching staff. Colwell’s statements to the PCAC conflicts with recorded interviews given by former SWC basketball players Keenan Langston and David Warren, who insisted they were recruited to play at SWC by Colwell after a high school game in Brooklyn. Warren and Langston said Colwell kept in touch with them and convinced them to register at SWC and fly to California to become Jaguars. Colwell has refused to speak to The Sun about the charges. Head basketball coach John Cosentino has also repeatedly refused to comment. Davis insisted the charges are false, but refused to speak to staff members of The Sun about specifics. Warren and Langston approached a sports writer from The Sun last semester after they learned they were declared ineligible because of failure to attend classes and pay out-of-state tuition. Both players said they were disappointed to be kicked off the team because they had been recruited to attend SWC and had endured great sacrifice and expense to relocate to San Diego County. Athletics administrative assistant Peggy Ball said California community colleges are not allowed to recruit outside their immediate districts, much less out of state, information confirmed by the PCAC. Under conference rules, “only an outof-recruiting area student can make first person-to-person contact with a community college.” Coaches are not permitted to make first contact. Warren and Langston insisted they were

please see Accreditation pg. A3

Farewell to Schnorr

Nickolas Furr/staff

Michael Schnorr was a quiet man with a booming artistic voice that made him internationally known. A rousing Mexicanflavored celebration of his life at Chicano Park included the Calpuli Mexica Aztec Dancers and an array of colorful tributes to an Anglo Muslim who was embraced as an honorary Latino. See Backpage for story.


The Sun endorses Humberto Peraza, William Stewart for Governing Board Viewpoints, A5

FHOP a breakfast Mecca, Campus, B5

Artist portrays ‘invisible’ Americans Arts, B7

please see Recruiting pg. A4


Sept. 4 - Oct. 3, 2012—Volume 56, Issue 1

Thomas Baker, editor


Tel: (619) 482-6368 E-mail:

With two SWC governing board seats on the ballot, The Sun interviewed all four candidates running for the positions. Candidates were given unlimited time to speak openly on questions including personal history, finances and free speech.

Humberto Peraza Seat #3 Governing Board Vice President Humberto Peraza was appointed last August during a time of turmoil and controversy. He said he decided to run for election to the board to continue his work to reform SWC and clean up the college’s reputation following the “pay for play” scandal that led to numerous felony charges against former college administrators and board members. He is a small business owner, and formerly policy director for San Diego City Council President Ben Hueso, regional director for Senator Barbara Boxer and district chief of staff to Congressman Bob Filner. Married with two young boys, Peraza said he has coached soccer, football and Little League baseball. His wife is also a professional. “We are a family that is constantly on the move,” he said. “That is a full-time job in itself. My parents, my aunts and my wife’s parents all live here so our family is a South Bay family. This is our home and I want to make sure that the education is good for our kids.”

William Stewart Seat #1 William Stewart, a professor of philosophy at San Diego City College, is running for seat No. 1 on the Southwestern College Governing Board. Dr. Jean Roesch currently holds the seat, but is not running for re-election. Stewart said he is a California native who moved to San Diego to complete graduate work at UCSD. Afterwards he went on to work at City College where he has taught for 26 years. He lives in Bonita. Stewart said he wants to help SWC and give back to the community. “I was looking for some way to have an impact on the community in a positive way and where I could model it for my children,” said Stewart. “I’m very conscious with this idea that if I want my two kids to have the right priorities it is very important that my wife and I live the right priorities.” Ste war t has worked in the California Community College system since the age of 21, he said. It combines his interest in community service with his love of education. “I’m not looking for Southwestern to give me something, I’m looking to give Southwestern

Peraza said he brings experience and knowledge of the community to the college and this has fueled his efforts to reform old policies and demand transparency. “Ultimately, I want to do something that leaves something for our children,” he said. “I am running so that the board stays on the right track. It has pushed in the right direction and hired a new superintendent. We have done more things in one year than most boards and governmental entities have done in three or four. You have instructional, ethics and campaign reform. We started the community benefits agreement. Countless things in between are happening and have been accomplished.” Peraza said community members still have concerns about accreditation, Proposition R and past corruption. He said the current board majority is reforming the college and that “house cleaning” continues. “(The previous) board has been completely wiped out,” he said. “There is a new superintendent in town and she wiped out the (corrupt) staff. We continue to push and create reforms.” Peraza said it takes people of courage to stand in the face of adversity. “I have enjoyed working with this board and the superintendent to continue changes,” he said. “It has been my honor and I would consider myself lucky if I can continue to do it for four more years. We are still in the tunnel but we can see the light at the end. Perception is important. Doing the right thing, being a transparent, open government creates trust on campus in the community. I am running to continue to make those reforms, see that finished and see Southwestern College become the shining example for the rest of the region.” Peraza said budget is the biggest challenge today and if Proposition 30 fails SWC faces “devastating” cuts to classes and programs. “My hope is if that Prop 30 passes, that gives us a little more flexibility to stay within the budget, to be able to handle the services for the people and the students that we service right now,” he said. “That is important to make sure that we can actually educate people and that we have the faculty, staff, teachers and counselors. I please see Humberto Peraza pg. A3

something,” he said. “I’m looking to give my time and energy. I have no political ambition. That’s not my agenda here.” A business man in real estate, Stewart said he has knowledge of budgets. “I think I bring to the board a very studentcentric perspective because the questions are: how are the students being served? Is our budget best focused on meeting the needs of our students?” said Stewart. Stewart supports Proposition 30 because it will help maintain current levels of classes and student services. “If Proposition 30 passes then we can look at expanding those services, that’s going to be very helpful,” he said. “If it doesn’t pass I think we’re really going to have to look at a line item review of the budget to see how this school is going to continue running at a lower funding while still not having our students take most the hits.” Stewart said students have taken a disproportionate hit due to these cuts because an easy place to cut is funding for adjunct faculty, part-time jobs that pay students and non-contract staff. “Basically, the best decisions you can make are sometimes not the easiest ones you can make,” he said. “So I will be looking at the line items which require harder decisions, but decisions that are going to protect the services for the students.” Freedom of discourse is essential to higher education, Stewart said. He said he would not permit administration to restrict free speech or free press rights as the Chopra/Alioto administration did. “Here we are, a collective of individuals, and the suggestion that we should restrict student discourse to me would be a frightening idea,” he said. Stewart said he is impressed with SWC even with the devaluation of education that is currently occurring in California. He said the state must reinvest in education. During a visit to the main Chula Vista campus he pointed to some aging infrastructure. “See that board?” he asked. “That board right there is about a $400 board. If we don’t paint it for three more years there will be dry rot and you’ll have to replace the whole board. We can spend $20 on a can of paint or pay $500 later to replace the whole thing. That’s generally speaking how the state has been running the budget. When I come to SWC it’s that kind of basic pragmatism that I’ll be bringing here.”

William “Bud” McLeroy Seat #3 William “Bud” McLeroy grew up in Otay Mesa and calls South Bay his home. A fulltime San Diego firefighter for 22 years, he is a six-year U.S. Marine Corps veteran with 30 years service in the Army Reserves. He is a commandant (superintendent) of the 80th Training Command. He owns a small business that manufactures surfboards and is in the process of opening a Hawaiian food restaurant. McLeroy, running for Seat 3, said he spent his entire life in service and possesses the experience, expertise and heartfelt desire to serve the college and his community. A self-described family man with four children, McLeroy said serving SWC is important to him because he and some of his children attended the college. He said he considers it a great asset to the South Bay. Students would be his top priority, he said. “No matter who you are, your income level, you can always count on Southwestern to give you the chance to better yourself,” he said. “In

Elizabeth Jean Roach Seat #1 Elizabeth Jean Roach is an educator running for seat No. 1 on the Southwestern College governing board. Originally from Arizona, Roach said she has lived in the South Bay for 16 years, mostly in Chula Vista. She has been involved in education since 1987, she said, and since then has worked at a charter school as well as home schooling. On her own at 16, Roach started taking classes at Southwestern Community College in New Mexico and then Mesa Community College in Arizona, she said. She transferred to Arizona State University and then Brigham Young University in 1988 where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in secondary education and went on to teach for 20 years. “As this seat came open I thought what a wonderful opportunity it would be to give back a community college because there is no way I could have gotten a college degree without community college in my life,” she said. After reading a story called “The Big Jump” as a child, she said, her outlook on

the past two years, I don’t think the college itself has been running in an organized fashion that meets its potential. Recently it has come under investigation through the legal system as far as corruption. It is being able to do the right thing for the people in the community where I grew up in.” Former SWC administrators and board members Nick Alioto, Greg Sandoval, John Wilson, Yolanda Salcido and current employee Arlie Ricasa have been charged with felonies by the San Diego County District Attorney. Former superintendent Raj K. Chopra has fled prosecution. All except Ricasa resigned from SWC following the 2010 governing board election. Humberto Peraza, who currently holds trustee seat #3, was appointed in August 2011, after the district attorney indictments and the mass resignations. McLeroy said he could not turn his back to the problems he saw with the college because if he did he would be turning his back on his community. “They are in trouble,” he said. “If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t be a fireman. I wouldn’t be in the military. I want to help this community and this school as much as I can. It comes from the bottom of my heart. It is not a political move. The challenges that I see, the state has cut the funding for colleges and universities. But the colleges and the universities still want to run on the same money they did before. In order to cut so that it doesn’t affect the outcome of the students we have to know how to actually place ourselves in the position to do better.” McLeroy said he was wounded in Iraq in 1993. After rehab he went back into the reserves. For the next three years he focused to make sure that every soldier under his command was well trained. “I had to because upon graduation day the next year they would all be deployed to a combat zone,” he said. “I gave them the upmost in respect and the upmost in knowledge so they could survive.” Promoted to commandant after three years, he said he retained his personal commitment to all students and that he will carry this philosophy as a college board member. “When it comes to why I am best for the job here, I’ve done this. I have a proven track record,” he said. “Failure is not an option in my school. please see William McLeroy pg. A3

the method to solving problems was changed. “By the end of this story the character finds out that the big jump is just a series of little tiny jumps and then he was able to go to where he needed to go,” she said. “I think that’s one of the things I would like to bring to the college. Whatever the obstacle, it’s not a big jump, it’s just lots of little tiny jumps and if we can just keep after it we can overcome anything.” With four children growing older and going through the educational system, Roach said her main motivation for running for seat No. 1 is to make SWC the best that it can be. “This is a great opportunity, this is a great school,” she said. “ This was an opportunity and I wanted to be a part of it. To make it a better part of the community and a better part for my family.” Roach said her prime focus is to help students achieve their goals. “I’m willing to work hard for this and for the school so that people that want to get certificates and job training can do that, people that want to transfer to universities can do that, people that want to take swim classes can do that,” she said. One of the biggest issues Roach said she sees at SWC is low graduation rates. She expressed interest in seeing these rates increase. She said that there is a disconnect between students leaving high school and entering a community college. SWC needs more outreach to high schools, she said. Te c h n o l o g y c a n b e b e t t e r a p p l i e d t o help students find classes, she added. “If we have one teacher we can open up a class in ways we couldn’t if we just had one classroom, 30 chairs,” she said, “but with technology we can make it available at more times and for more people.” Roach said student success should be an issue a local community college should tackle in its own manner rather than only through legislative action at the state level. “In school we talk about keeping local jurisdiction, let’s take care of our own housekeeping, let’s do our own chores here,” she said. Roach said SWC is over-dependent on Sacramento for its finances. “Financial aid and grants can be found through other sources, there is a lot of opportunity out there,” she said. “I would like to see other sources found. It would make us stronger and less dependent on the budget in Sacramento, which we know is in trouble.” Forecasting the failure of Proposition 30, Roach said SWC needs to “consolidate, see what we can please see Elizabeth Roach pg. A3


The Southwestern College Sun



SWC governing board candidates in their own words

Humberto Peraza Continued from page A2

don’t think anyone can come up with a sweeping solution and if they say they can, they are lying to you. If someone has a solution for a $10 million budget cut, I would love to hear it. I think that our solutions have to be looked at long term.” Peraza said he has advocated for revenue generation as an alternative to constant cutting. He said the stadium is an example of an underutilized college resource and could generate revenue hosting local and international professional soccer, rugby and concerts. “I have heard from experienced educators that up to 25 community colleges will close and cease to exist if the tax initiative does not pass and that is a very scary thought,” he said. “Things (in California are) getting worse and worse.” Peraza said Senate Bill 1456, based on the Student Success Task Force Recommendations, has good ideas but is also troubling. Passed last month, the legislation narrows the mission of community colleges to transfer and certificate attainment. It will require all incoming freshmen to declare majors and have an educational plan aimed to get them through community college in two years instead of the current average of four. “The whole thing about having people coming in and deciding what their major is going to be and turning it into almost like a factory, you are in and out in two years, not everybody works that way,” he said. “There are many students that do not know what they want and they come to community college for exactly that reason.” Working students have it much tougher these days, Peraza said, and cannot take as many classes as the new legislation will require. “Some will be left out in the cold and that is my biggest concern,” he said. “Not everybody is the same. It cannot be this cookie cutter ideal that everybody fits into this one box. It doesn’t work that way.” Speech and press freedom are essential, Peraza said. He pledged to always fight for First Amendment rights for all while he is on the board. “Student reporters (in colleges have) freedom of the press,” he said. “To me, the free press is untouchable. It should not be impacted in any way or influenced by anyone on this campus, including myself, and the administration. There should never be a time, like the (past) administration that tried to block printing of the newspaper just because they do not like what you write.” Peraza said he is working to introduce a local hiring process that helps veteran and disabled-owned companies. “One of the reasons is to ensure that local people get (college construction) jobs,” he said. “People that are paying for those bonds should be the ones (who

benefit). If we can do that we can revitalize our local economy rather than money going somewhere else.” Peraza said he is able to make tough decisions. “We need the people with the most courage,” he said. “I am not worried about where else I am going to go, or where I am going to be. I am here to make sure that students get educated when there are cuts. What is the most important thing on this campus? Educating students, period.”

William “Bud” McLeroy Continued from page A2

I don’t want you to quit. I don’t want you to give up and I don’t want you to fail.” Mc L e roy l o s t a l e g i n 1 9 9 3 . He became the first one-legged firefighter and the first amputee service member. He said he had to set an example for his family and considers Southwestern as a part of that family. “I can come here, evaluate and make it better so students can get a better education,” he said. “If we spend money foolishly that money can’t go to the kids. I will give every ounce of energy in my body to make sure students succeed. I have to make my school survive over the incompetence that has been here.” McLeroy said he understands that not everyone at the college is corrupt, but said the college needs to rethink expenditures and utilize the potential of the satellite campuses. “ I l e a r n e d t h a t a s a t e a c h e r, as a department head and as an administrator in the military,” he said. “I feel that I can do the job. I have done it. I am not the guy coming in that doesn’t know about the school and I am not the guy coming in that doesn’t know what is involved. I am the guy that has done it and through the grace of God has made things happen and said let’s do it here.” McLeroy said if Proposition 30 fails everything at SWC is vulnerable and the college will be hit hard. He said it is important that whomever is elected knows how to balance a budget and understands the education system and management. “Two years ago when I sat down in debates, I said it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” he said. “Now we are at the governor’s bill that says we have to pay taxes. If you look at all the bills that have wanted to raise taxes, people say no. The governor passed a budget stating that this bill would pass. That was wrong. I was able to raise the GPA and lower the cost of business.” He said holding people accountable is essential and though it appears that the college is coming out of scandal, it is not.

“ They are still investigating findings there,” he said. “It is easy to be corrupt when you are doing it for the wrong reason.” He said it is not enough to “squeeze by” accreditation status and that he has the experience to deal with accreditation issues. In his experience, he said, he took his school from barely passing by to full accreditation with a Center of Excellence status. “Being a board member, you are a leader,” he said. “We need to get away from the corruption part and actually get back into the education part. People won’t remember us for the education, they will remember us for the corruption. Part of changing that is changing the people that are in power. We just need to make a clean break. We need to build our reputation up.” McLeroy said freedom of speech and the press are rights of the American people, and that it is impor tant that people receive unbiased information. “I love freedom of speech, freedom of the press and I love freedom,” he said. “If I didn’t I would have never gone to war. Journalists can be the most fantastic journalist in the world if they learn to eliminate the emotional. I know in the past about people wanting to stifle the speech here. You can’t stifle speech. Just like me if I would have skewed my instruction one way or another, I would have had a student die.”

Elizabeth Jean Roach Continued from page A2

do for less, look at budgets and see what we can trim and what we can do smarter.” She said SWC should prepare for funding cuts rather than hoping for increases. Roach said she is incorruptible. “I started by saying I am not a union puppet and I’m not,” she said. “I’ll listen to the needs of the unions. I’m personally very concerned with faculty.” Roach said she believes in the First Amendment rights of freedom of the press and freedom of speech, but only to a point, that point being where safety is involved. “I think we need a vision for the future, I think we need a plan to get there, I think we need to work hard to get there because they’re our dreams, our lives, our futures,” she said. “So if we have those four keys, if we have a vision, if we have a plan, if we are willing to work hard and we have support, I think any student that comes here should be able to succeed in a reasonable amount of time. So let’s take our feet off the brakes and hit the gas and see student achievement take off.”

Compiled by: Albert Fulcher, Thomas Baker, Angelica Rodriguez, Amparo Mendoza, Serina Duarte, Enrique Raymundo

Sept. 4 - Oct. 3, 2012—Volume 56, Issue 1


Prop. 30: Deficit may swell to $7M if Prop. 30 loses Continued from page A1

union, said passage of Proposition 30 is essential. “The college has never gone through this before so we’re in new territory,” he said. “If the $4.8 million disappears, something has to be done because we do not have the money to get through the rest of the year.” A resolution by the governing board in support of Proposition 30 spelled out the steps the college had taken to reduce overhead and consequences of further cuts. “To balance the budget, the board drew from its reserves and gathered savings through a five percent pay reduction for all employees, including themselves, reduced the purchase of supplies and reduced part-time faculty hours,” according to the resolution. “The college has realized a reduction of over 550 sections from last year.” Mid-year cuts would be “very difficult,” said SWC Board President Norma Hernandez. SWC is already operating on a “bare-bones budget,” she said. Proposition 30 would temporarily increase personal income tax 1 to 3 percent for seven years for those making more than $250,000. Sales tax would increase by onefourth of a percent for four years. Gov. Jerry Brown said Proposition 30 puts the future of community colleges in the hands of voters. “We had it easy and now the moment of truth is upon us,” he said. “We’ve got to pay for what we want.” Even if Proposition 30 wins it might lose. Proposition 38, a competing measure, would negate much of Proposition 30 if it gets more votes. “Proposition 38 contains a section indicating that its provisions would prevail and the tax rate provisions of any other measure affecting sales or income tax rates – in this case Proposition 30 – would not go into effect,” reads the ballot summary. “Under this scenario,

Angelica Rodriguez/staff

UP AGAINST THE WALL — Students at San Diego City College had a message for guests at the Community College Board of Governors meeting. A mannequin designed by students urges passersby to support Proposition 30.

the spending reductions known as the trigger cuts would take effect.” MacNintch said the voters need to know “there is no more fat to cut.” “It’s like having $10 in the bank and $11 in expenses that you know you have to pay,” he said. “What do you do? And you’ve already quit going to Starbucks and you’ve done all the things that you can do to reduce your spending that were not painful. Now there’s nothing but painful choices left.” Board member Humberto Peraza said higher education is essential if California is to pull out of its financial funk and regain its place as America’s leader in innovation. “We’re about to eat the goose that lays the golden eggs, when instead we should be feeding her better to get productivity up,” he said. “Higher education drives California’s economy. Healthy colleges equals a healthier state.”

Accreditation: New self study gives college high marks for changes Continued from page A1

was instrumental in guiding the process of correcting 10 deficiencies identified by the ACCJC. Committee members also worked to resolve 76 self-identified issues found by the college. “There are groups or individuals responsible for making sure they remain sustained,” said Stavenga. “For example, the Institutional Technology Committee oversees the recommendation related to the technology plan, and so on. There are committees or group of individuals that are responsible for making sure these resolutions remain resolved and that they are sustained in their resolution.” One issue with the previous administration was lack of shared governance. Accreditation teams worked together to put a plan in place to enable the administration and faculty to work collaboratively.

Bruce MacNintch, president of the SWC classified union, said collaboration has improved. “One of the main issues was shared governance and I think we have that now,” he said. “People are getting in the habit of coming to meetings and participating. Three years ago, we had none. We had a superintendent/president (Raj Chopra) and a governing board that did not believe they had any responsibility to talk to any of the employees here. It was purely from the top down.” MacNintch said turnover on the governing board, the stellar work of former Interim Superintendent Denise Whittaker, and the hiring of Superintendent Dr. Melinda Nish have given the college a sense of stability that it had lacked for several years. “They came in and did a great job,” said MacNintch. “It was more of a question of empowering the faculty to do to the things we we’re capable of doing, and not falling back into bad habits.” Accreditation committees looked at what they felt the students should know, as well as what the student should be able to accomplish after completing a course at SWC. They sought to move away from the “old paradigm of passive instruction” and into methods based on active learning. Student Learning Outcomes were devised in order to assess not only whether students absorbed and understood particular ideas or concepts, but to determine if they were able to apply them in necessary “real life” contexts. SWC’s midterm report demonstrates that faculty and staff morale is at its highest point in five years. “(The accreditation body concluded) there was a lack of trust and respect among various constituent groups and as a result the student and the academic programs were suffering,” said Stavenga. “In a campus climate survey, there is a fivefold increase in the following question ‘How would you describe morale today compared to five years ago?’, which is certainly statistically significant.” SWC has more hurdles to overcome before it is fully back on track, MacNintch said, specifically the budget. “The budget is going to have major impacts on everything,” said MacNintch. “If Proposition 30 fails we’re looking at a midyear cut of $4.8 million dollars, on top of all the cuts we’ve already sustained. I don’t know what’s going to happen. We’ve sustained staffing reductions through attrition and early retirement. The number of students went up two percent, so we’re not seeing a decline in demand, we simply seeing a reduction in what we can supply (in terms of number of classes).” ACCJC is expected to issue its formal response to SWC’s mid-term report in January.


Sept. 4 - Oct. 3, 2012—Vol. 56, Iss. 1

Thomas Baker, editor


Tel: (619) 482-6368 E-mail:

Emergency: Revised emergency operations plan expected for spring Continued from Page A1

Sanchez said it provides training, exercises, communications tests and a strategy for responses to an array of emergency situations. A preliminary draft reads: “It addresses a broad range of major emergencies that may significantly impact one or more district locations. Such events include earthquake, tsunami, hazardous materials emergencies, floods, terrorism, landslides, wildfires, acts of violence, communicable diseases, bomb threats and pests.” College officials are shopping for a vendor that could provide a communications system. Capable of sending mass e-mails, voice calls and text messages to students and employees in the event of a campus emergency. Ben Seaberry, director of institutional technology, said he is working on the mass communications system. College police and officials currently communicate emergency information to  students  via e-mail,  the SWC website and Twitter, he said. School officials will require all students to include their cell phone numbers on registration forms next semester to facilitate mass texts during crises, said Lillian Leopold, chief public information officer. A recommendation for a communications vendor will be brought to the superintendent by December, Leopold said. SWC was criticized by its accreditation body for having an outdated emergency plan and directed to amend it, said Larry Lambert, online instructional support specialist.

Recruiting: Brief report finds ‘no evidence’ of wrongdoing by coach Continued from page A1

contacted by Colwell. SWC’s athletic department claims to have first contact forms signed by Warren and Langston, but both players said they signed the forms later because coaches directed them to. Both players said they had no knowledge of SWC until Colwell approached them in New York. Warren and Langston said Colwell approached them after a game during summer 2011. Langston and Warren signed first contact forms ( Fo r m C ) o n October 10, 2011 and September 14, 2011, r e s p e c t i v e l y, after basketball activities had begun at SWC. According DAVIS to California Community College Athletic Association bylaws, Fo r m C s t u d e n t c o n t a c t re c o rd contact paperwork must be signed by prospective players at the time of contact. SWC Vice President of Academic Affairs Kathy Tyner said the “proper sanction” would be applied if evidence of illegal recruiting was found, but insisted that the PCAC had the primary responsibility to look into the allegations. According to the PCAC investigation, conference officials interviewed Colwell and Warren by telephone. Langston, according to the PCAC report, hung up on the investigator when he called him in New York. Colwell was quoted by the PCAC investigator as saying that he had family in New York and was visiting last summer. He went to a park with friends (including club coaches) to watch basketball games. Mo Kirby, an official, along with several athletes, approached Colwell, according to the report. Colwell told the players he was from “Southwestern College in San Diego” and told the players “there were special rules for recruiting.” Colwell is quoted in the report as saying that an SWC women’s basketball player named YaYa who “lives next door to Mr. Warren talked to (Warren) about Southwestern.” Colwell told the PCAC investigator that Warren and Langston contacted him via text or phone and that “they exchanged information over the next few months.” Langston, in a recorded interview, told a very different story. “[Colwell] came to New York and he was recruiting players,” said Langston. “He told me after the game that he wants me to come out there and play basketball, telling me it was a good

Pablo Gandara/staff

HELP IS ON THE WAY — Southwestern College is looking to purchase a blue light emergency call system like those used at San Diego State University. These poles will help to improve campus security by providing students immediate access to campus police.

SWC presently has a 15-member crisis response team. In an emergency the team would grab first aid kits and assess injuries and damage, said Lambert, a team member. SWC Campus Police Chief Michael Cash said he has a great deal of experience with emergency planning, and was trained in  emergency management and evacuation. Cash is a trainer for FEMA

in emergency management and was emergency preparedness manager for Loyola Marymount University for three years. Cash said he has planned crowd control for the Super Bowl, the Chargers, Padres and NFL. A blue light system on tall blue pillars would have broadcast capabilities, emergency lights and a two-way communication feature allowing students to immediately

connect to the police dispatch center for help, said Leopold. “The loud speaker would say you need to evacuate,” she said. “It will give instructions if there is an emergency.” Cash said he hopes the blue light system will be installed next semester. About $5.2 million is allocated for updated security, according to Leopold.

In the meantime, students are encouraged to call SWC’s new campus police hotline in case of an emergency. The number is (619) 216-6691 or 6691 from a campus phone. “I’m a big fan of drills and being prepared,” said Cash. “I signed us up for the Great California Shakeout.” SWC will be participating in a preparedness drill Oct. 18, he said.

school and I would like it. He said ‘we would love to have you come out to our school.’ He was talking to me every day.” Intervention by YaYa in New York may make her an “agent” according to CCCAA regulations, which is not allowed. CCCAA Constitutional Bylaw 2.2.2 reads “an agent is anyone (college staff member, parent, relative, friend) whose actions are designed to benefit a certain athletic program.” CCCAA Bylaws also contain the clause “coaches or representatives may not mingle with out-of-recruiting area participants at any time before, during or after the contest.” Wa r r e n t o l d t h e c o n f e r e n c e investigator he never talked with The Sun about being recruited to SWC, but in February he gave two recorded interviews to The Sun. “Coach Kyle came to New York to watch Keenan play,” said Warren in one recorded interview. “It just so happens that the day he came to watch him play, I was playing against him and he liked the way I played. He asked me to come [to Southwestern College] too.” Colwell was quoted in the PCAC report saying that before the players came to SWC he spoke to their parents about the rules regarding recruitment. Keenan Langston, Sr., father of the player, emphatically denied that in an interview with The Sun. “I’ve never spoken to Colwell,” said Langston Sr. Davis was contacted several times by a reporter from The Sun to comment

on the subject and he hung up on the the situation. reporter twice. Davis said he would “My contact has been with the Vice only speak to journalism professor President of Academic Affairs Kathy Dr. Max Branscomb about basketball Tyner,” said Nish. “I know that she was recruiting issues. Branscomb said he working with [Davis] to make sure that told Davis that he needed to speak we don’t have any issue with eligibility directly to student journalists from The because that’s what this really boils Sun if he wished to comment on the down to, determining whether or not record about the allegations. those players were eligible and there’s Jo h n C o s e n t i n o , S WC some pretty strict eligibility athl e ti c c o o rd i n ato r a n d requirements for student men’s basketball head coach, athletes.” also hung up on a student Langston and Warren journalist and refused to “Colwell played in eight games last comment when approached came season they were not eligible in the gymnasium. He also to New for because the athletic closed the gymnasium to the department failed to check photographers from The Sun York and their eligibility. Four of assigned to take pictures for a he was those games were wins and pre-season basketball article. were later forfeited, which Davis told a photographer recruiting caused the team to miss the from The Sun that she could players.” playoffs. SWC’s athletic photograph practice the next department, including day, but Cosentino cancelled the athletic coordinator Keenan the practice session. Cosentino, is responsible for A reporter from The Sun Langston checking student athletes’ called the athletic department eligibility every week. s e v e r a l t i m e s t o re q u e s t Former basketball Tyner said she talked to documents provided by the player Davis about the PCAC PCAC. Davis released some investigation after The Sun documents related to the published articles in March PCAC investigation, but and May about possible refused to release others. The Sun recruiting violations. filed a documents request under the “In terms of going through the California Records Act which college entire investigation, the coaches were personnel complied with. definitely contacted, but I didn’t SWC Superintendent Dr. Melinda contact them,” said Tyner. “It was being Nish said she has not spoken directly handled by an outside agency. I think to Davis about allegations of illegal when there are instances like this and recruiting, but said she was aware of you have an oversight agency you need

to let them handle it and do what they do. There’s no favoritism, they go by the book and they determine whether there’s an issue or not. If they’re the agency that’s supposed to ensure that things are done fairly, then they have their own protocols as to how they go through the investigation.” Tyner said her interpretation of the conference report is that the PCAC found no evidence of wrongdoing. When she was informed about ineligible athletes playing during the spring 2012 season, she said she would speak with Davis about it. Warren’s statements to the PCAC differed from his recorded interview with The Sun last semester. Warren is quoted in the PCAC report saying he learned about SWC from a “female friend in the neighborhood” and that he approached Colwell at a park. He is quoted by the PCAC investigator as saying that Colwell told him the location of Southwestern College, but few other details. According to the report, he denied speaking to The Sun about any recruiting details. Warren told The Sun last semester that he would not return to SWC to play this season. He is quoted by the PCAC investigator as saying that he “may return to Southwestern” for the 2012-13 season. He is not currently enrolled. Langston said last semester that he hoped to return, but said in a September telephone interview that he would not be returning. When asked about the recruiting controversy he immediately hung up.

Sept. 4 - Oct 3, 2012, Volume 56, Issue 1


The Southwestern College Sun


Editorials, Opinions and Letters to the Editor

Opinions expressed in the Viewpoints section are those of the individual writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Sun Staff, the Editorial Board or Southwestern College.

Angela Van Ostran


Candidate’s rape remarks show ignorance

Amanda L. Abad Production manager


Serina Duarte Albert Fulcher Nickolas Furr Angela Van Ostran



Thomas Baker, editor Lina Chankar, assistant David McVicker, assistant Christopher Sheaf, assistant Viewpoints

Daniel Guzman, editor Erick El Belle, assistant Michael Stinson, assistant Campus

Cody Yarbro, editor Ailsa Alipusan, assistant Anna Ven Sobrevinas, assistant Arts

Ana Bahena, editor Nathan Hermanson, assistant Ana Ochoa, assistant Sports

Amanda L. Abad, editor Joseph Young, editor Roosevelt Palafox, editor Anna Pryor, assistant Photography

Pablo Gandara, editor Amparo Mendoza, assistant Copy Editor

Enrique Raymundo Margie Reese Staff Writers

Lee Bosch Paulina Briceño Genesis Canal Rene Corral Alexis Dominguez Shari Dotson Valeria Genel Jose Guzman Kael Heath Daphne Jauregui Ernesto Rivera Cecelia Rodriguez Venessa Romero Marianna Saponara Georgina Saucedo Jasmin Sherif Steven Uhl Craig Williams cartoonists

Ailsa Alipusan Joaquin Junco Michelle Phillips Tommy Todd Photographers

Toni Atkins Jiamay Austria Grecia Cota Jessica Estrada Dalia Ildefonso Marshall Murphy Elisa Nunez Angelica Rodriguez Kasey Thomas Karen Tome Business manager

Amanda L. Abad Distribution manager

Cody Yarbro Adviser

Dr. Max Branscomb


Student Press Law Center College Press Freedom Award, 2011 National Newspaper Association National College Newspaper of the Year, 2004-12 Associated Collegiate Press National College Newspaper of the Year National Newspaper Pacemaker Award, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011 General Excellence Awards, 2001-12 Best of Show, 2003-11 Columbia University Scholastic Press Association Gold Medal for Journalism Excellence, 2001-12 California Newspaper Publishers Assoc. California College Newspaper of the Year, 2012 Student Newspaper General Excellence, 2002-12 Society of Professional Journalists National Mark of Excellence, 2001-12 First Amendment Award, 2002, 2005 San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards 1999-2012 Directors Award for Defense of Free Speech, 2012 California Chicano News Media Assoc. La Pluma Awards Journalism Association of Community Colleges Pacesetter Award 2001-11 General Excellence Awards, 2000-12 San Diego County Fair Media Competition Best of Show 2001-03, 2005-2012 San Diego County Multicultural Heritage Award American Scholastic Press Association Community College Newspaper of the Year

Carlos Magana/Staff



The Issue: Southwestern College is in its second year of reform and repair.

Our Position: Humberto Peraza, William Stewart are the best candidates to keep SWC on track.

Peraza, Stewart clearly best candidates for governing board Two years ago this month the Southwestern College Governing Board was a travesty and a national laughing stock. With the exception of the brave, lonely voice of Nick Aguilar, the board was a flock of ostriches, heads in the sand, allowing a corrupt administration to drive the gem of the South Bay to the verge of closure. SWC had become a national joke. In November 2010 district voters made two good decisions by bringing in reformers Norma Hernandez and Tim Nader. Along with appointee Humberto Peraza, they formed a new reformist majority that cleaned house, ended a culture of corruption, restored accreditation and rekindled hope. Today it is time for voters to make two more good decisions and finish the job. Humberto Peraza needs to be returned for a full term and William Stewart needs to solidify the reformist majority. Peraza and Stewart are vastly more knowledgeable and able to lead Southwestern than their likeable but overmatched opponents, both of whom are backed by many of the same moneyed agents of corruption that brought SWC to the brink of closure. We have no time to ramp up anyone without community college experience. Our school is in dire economic straits due to the California financial crisis. Failure of Proposition 30 could mean $4.8 million in additional mid-year cuts. Laws such as the Student Success Task Force of 2012 will revolutionize the community college mission and narrow the gate for students. The California community college system has lost $809 million in the last three years, 12 percent of its funding. Nearly half a million fewer students are enrolled in the community college system. In crisis Peraza has performed in a stellar manner. He is highly intelligent, energetic, courageous, forward thinking and accessible.

He works well with others, but will make a stand for what he believes is right. He is a heatseeking missile out to destroy corrupt practices. His opponent, Imperial Beach firefighter Bud McLeroy, is a great guy, a war hero and a positive force in the community, but he cannot touch Peraza’s experience, connections and leadership talent. Peraza is an easy choice for seat #3. The choice between William Stewart and Elizabeth Jean Roach is equally clear. Stewart, a respected professor of philosophy at San Diego City College who lives in Bonita, has 26 years of service to community colleges whereas Roach has none. Stewart also has business experience and an understanding of the complexities of California finance. Stewart is the clear choice. Roach is a charming woman, but too closely aligned with the right-wing, including some of the same shady business and political organizations that propped up the disgraced administration of fugitive former Superintendent Raj K. Chopra and former board members now charged with felonies. As the saying goes, “Lay down with dogs, wake up with fleas.” Roach was particularly strident in her declaration that she is “not a union puppet,” an unnecessarily antagonistic point of view for a college that has enjoyed success and progress through teamwork, mutual sacrifice and cooperation. Make no mistake, SWC is doing much better than two years ago and has a bright future under the right leadership. After considerable study of this year’s candidates, the Editorial Board of the Southwestern College Sun enthusiastically endorses Humberto Peraza and William Stewart for the governing board. Please vote Nov. 6 for transparency, experience and competence.

Online Comments Policy

Letters Policy

The Sun reserves the right to republish web comments in the newspaper and will not consider publishing anonymously posted web comments or comments that are inflammatory or libelous. Post web comments at

Send mailed letters to: Editor, Southwestern College Sun, 900 Otay Lakes Road, Chula Vista, CA 91910. Send e-mailed letters to E-mailed letters must include a phone number. The Sun reserves the right to edit letters for libel and length and will not consider publishing letters that arrive unsigned.

olitics is in the air. Every other commercial, e-mail or snail mail is crying out for our votes. Surprisingly, one of the biggest topics in this campaign season is rape. Not surprisingly, it is a by-product of a topic that seems to play into every election, abortion. Americans who are pro-life or pro-choice are scratching their heads over a senate candidate’s gaffe about “legitimate rape.” During a “legitimate rape” a woman’s body automatically “shuts down” the reproductive system so the woman cannot become pregnant, according to Missouri Republican Todd Akin. Wow! Really? Rape is rape is rape, and it should be defined as such without caveat. A pregnancy from a rape is no more or less rare than a pregnancy from a one-night stand, or between a married couple. Egg and sperm meet, greet and the final battle ends with an egg and sperm sharing enough DNA to become another living creature. In that moment a woman becomes a potential incubator for the next nine months and beyond that, a mother. It can be an unintended moment or one that was carefully planned and lovingly executed. Or it can be spawned violently and viciously by rape. A woman who survives a rape has scars that often never heal. She has been attacked and violated in a way that no living creature should ever be. Rape is not about sex, it is about control. It is about forcing a woman’s body to submit to someone else’s demands. It is about power. It is a horrifying act of cruelty and destruction regardless of what the stupendously clueless Missouri Republican Todd Akin says. This year’s political discussions regarding abortion have given voice to some of the nuttiest comments ever made by men running for office. Instead of concentrating on the rape epidemic in this country, some candidates are diminishing the horror the experience. Akin’s comments, taken to their logical extension, say that raped women who become pregnant must have really wanted it since their reproductive system did not shut down. Some of these Neanderthals must have slept through their junior high health classes, if they had one. (Some states don’t even cover sexual anatomy in school, leaving it to politicians to fill in the blanks with their own magical explanations of the birds and the bees.) Instead of using valuable airtime to say that women could not get pregnant from an unwanted sexual encounter, our leaders should be working to prevent rape. Women are not the only victims of rape. Men and boys make up a smaller percentage of rape survivors in America, but they are also victims. Far too often teenagers and young men preyed upon by older men and women. Akin and his ilk believe that if rape victims become pregnant they should be forced to carry the child for their attacker. Emotional scars don’t end there. After being raped and impregnated by a violent man she must decide whether to give her own flesh and blood up for adoption or raise this tiny reminder of that horrendous event for the rest of her life. Akin and his type assist and support rapists when they make brainless comments. Akin and other clueless men need to be sent to the sidelines by voters – half of whom are women. You can reach Angela by e-mail at


Sept. 4 - Oct 3, 2012, Volume 56, Issue 1


The Southwestern College Sun

Proposition 30 must pass to avoid brutal cuts By Ernesto Rivera A perspective

Since passing Proposition 13 in 1978 Californians have basically been demanding services but refusing to pay for them. The “Greatest Generation” told the next wave of Californians, “Sorry, kid, you are on your own.” California’s once-unmatched system of higher education has been in free fall for four years and the fault is ours. Proposition 30 is our chance to stop the bleeding. Proposition 30 is a seven-year temporary tax to individuals earning more than $250,000 and a quarterpercent sales tax projected to generate $6 billion in revenue for public education. California community colleges have already been cut by $809 million since 2008. This year alone Southwestern

College has cut 550 class sections, reduced employees salaries, reduced student services and counseling, and forced 6,561 students onto the waiting list for classes. If Proposition 30 does not pass, the college will need to immediately cut an additional $4.8 million. Administrators said that would mean a 7 percent reduction of class sections, elimination of entire programs, further paring of student services and counseling, and a 7.3 percent reduction in enrollment. Critics of Proposition 30 have wrongly described it as “blackmail” and have accused Governor Jerry Brown of threatening public education cuts to pass this bill, as if he stands to gain some personal benefit from a well-funded education system. To be fair, he does. We all do. A strong public education system

means more Californians have an opportunity to go to college which will strengthen the backbone of this country, its middle class. An educated workforce means more well-paying careers and a future workforce that will pay more in taxes. Proposition 30 is sensible, fair and moral. It asks wealthy Californians to help the system that helped them. It asks for all of us to chip in a little. SWC students are getting beaten up badly this fall with overcrowded classrooms, waitlisted sections and deferred transfer. Counseling and tutoring services are hard to get. Access to award-winning programs is blocked. Pr o p o s i t i o n 3 0 i s a s k i n g f o r California tax payers to help our education system complete its mission of helping and preparing a brighter future. Vote yes for Proposition 30.

Michelle Phillips/Staff

New law removes community from community college

Thinking Out Loud

What do you think about Proposition 30?

“Students should know about it and research it because it is an important proposition.” daniella rosas, 22 undeclared

Ailsa Alipusan/Staff

By Albert H. Fulcher A perspective

“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.” — C. S. Lewis Prepare for the casualties of Senate Bill 1456, the Student Success Act of 2012. Single parents with two children that need a couple business courses to get that $2 pay raise? Adios! Teenagers that fell through the cracks of a dysfunctional high school district and with no diploma? Sayanara! Older students seeking self-improvement, underserved minorities and immigrants working on basic skills? Hit the camino, amigo. There’s more. Students that struggle to

maintain a C average and do not make the grade in difficult courses face the possibility of losing financial aid. Introduced by Senator Alan Lowenthal and with recommendations from the California Student Task Force, this bill is a culmination of a yearlong evaluation by community college personnel and lawmakers whose aim is to narrow the gate at community colleges and force fewer students through faster. SB 1456 combined with the defeat of Proposition 30 would hit California Community Colleges with the brutality of Hurricane Katrina. Most students will be blindsided by a legislative decision they never saw coming. It is not Armageddon, but it is pretty close. Praised by legislators and administrators as a way to improve the lousy 30 percent

transfer rate of community colleges and get more students into the workforce, the bill is, nevertheless, a giant leap backwards. In a nation that is screaming for an educated populace competitive in today’s global economy, SB 1456 left the neediest behind. Losers will be minority students from the working class borderlands families. In other words, us. Making students and colleges more accountable is fine. Prioritizing transfer and certificate students is defensible. But coupled with a decade of brutal budget cuts and no foreseeable respite for years to come, these small bandages are not enough to fix America’s gaping educational wounds. Left in its wake is an automated education assembly line, stamping out transfer and certificated

“Passing this proposition is essential for funding colleges that are already lagging behind the rest of the United States. It would be devastating if Proposition 30 did not pass.”

students like widgets in a production factory. Everyone else can start careers at Taco Bell or KFC. Under the regime of SB 1456, prospective community college students will be forced to declare majors as high school seniors and all but forbidden to change majors. Gone are the days students can sample academic disciplines to find their passion. Californians will become more like the imaginationimpaired Chinese, forced into a life path before they are old enough to vote. The Student Success Act of 2012 will ration education in the system that brings the largest and quickest return. It is penny wise but pound foolish, and will only accelerate California’s high education decline and economic meltdown.

Dr. christopher hayashi, 36 psychology professor

“If Proposition 30 doesn’t pass, I won’t graduate early or on time because of the cuts.” Erik Jounucz, 28 TeleMedia

>Guest Opinion

Transferring takes careful planning, good advice What does it take to go to a university? It depends! Are you transferring to a public or private university? Are you a new student at Southwestern College or a continuing student? Do you have units from other community colleges or universities? Do you know what you want to major in? Are you taking classes to prepare? What is your grade point average? Your answers to these questions will shape your academic path. The basic requirements to transfer to a public university are: Transferable classes totaling 60 semester units. Not all SWC classes transfer. Some classes may transfer to California State University campuses but not the University of California. English 114 is an example. General education classes for your target university.

San Diego State, for example, requires completion of the CSU General Education Breadth. Transfer to a UC campus requires IGETC (Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum). These forms are available in the Transfer Center. Preparation courses for your major. These can be found at www.assist. org. This website contains agreements between Southwestern College and all of the public universities in California regarding courses to prepare for your major. A competitive grade point average. Requirements vary depending on universities and majors. Requirements to transfer to a private university vary, and may include SAT/ ACT scores, an interview and letters of recommendation. We encourage you to attend a Steps to Transfer workshop and schedule an appointment with Transfer Center counselors to develop your education plan. The Transfer Center website is

“It’s already hard to get classes, if it gets any harder, I don’t know what I’m going to do.” Jamieli Mangosing, 19 Video game design

Tommy Todd/Staff

Compiled By Michael Stinson

By Cecelia Cebao, Transfer Counselor A perspective

“If the proposition doesn’t pass, the downward spiral continues.” Mike Davie, 25 Aviation tech

Sept. 4 - Oct 3, 2012, Volume 56, Issue 1

Daniel Guzman, editor


Tel: (619) 482-6368 E-mail:


Tommy Todd/Staff

Financial aid faceoff Many students say they prefer San Diego City College method, but Southwestern’s is better By Michael Stinson A Perspective

Joaquin Junco/Staff

Transition from high school to college can be a colossal challenge. Sink or swim. For many students it is an exodus from their parents’ house into a strange new world. It is a very exciting time, searching for one’s self, meeting new people and pursuing the dream profession. It is also stressful and costs a bunch of money. For many SWC students the dream of a college education is out of reach without financial aid. But being awarded financial aid does not mean students can set aside financial concerns. Slow payouts leave thousands students cash poor at the beginning of the semester. An onslaught of new school year bills often leaves students underwater. Many clamor for quicker financial aid disbursement. Ah, but not so fast. Colleges must be financial sound and Southwestern College must carefully manage student aid funds. Colleges must protect against students that would sign up for massive amounts of credit units only to drop after receiving aid. To maintain financial system integrity, colleges disperse only a percentage of the total aid awarded until the students demonstrate the resolve to stay enrolled. San Diego City College and Southwestern College have disparate systems. City issues the initial disbursement as a credit card, which many students would like to see adopted here. That would be unwise. The City College credit card seems attractive at first glance. Students receive the card a week before school starts. City College students got their cards with up to $800 on Aug. 13, classes started on

Aug. 20. There is a catch. It is not really a credit card, but a bookstore account. While it does fund a parking pass, books and school supplies, it forces students to buy books and supplies from the campus bookstore at an inflated cost. Students are not able to shop around for the best deals and have less spending power. City College closes bookstore accounts on Sept. 1, cutting the remainder of initial disbursement on Sept. 17. That’s the first time a well-prepared student at City College gets a check. Southwestern College does get a late start, but offers advantages. This year well-prepared students got their initial disbursements on Aug. 27, nine days after classes started and two weeks behind City College. The downside, students cannot buy books until a week after class starts. This lapse can cause SWC students to fall behind. City College has a financial aid website section superior to SWC’s. Updates are current and rich with information, covering new laws, standards and school polices on financial aid. It already has the spring disbursement dates set, which helps students to plan. Overall though, SWC’s method is better. A check is better than voucher that forces students to spend their limited dollars at overpriced campus bookstore. There are a few things SWC could learn from City. Students are given a pin number that allows them to give financial aid information over the phone, relieving long lines at the office. This would save time and money. A better website would also cut down on cost and time. With these few tweaks, SWC could have a superior student aid department.


Sept. 4, 2012 - Oct. 3, 2012 — Volume 56, Issue. 1


The Southwestern College Sun

michael Schnorr painted the globe in a life of brillant activism STORY by Albert Fulcher & Nickolas Furr Photos by Pablo Gandara & Nickolas Furr Design by Pablo Gandara & Amanda L. Abad


ichael Schnorr’s world-famous murals in Chicano Park tower over the small but revered piece of tierra santa that was once the epicenter of the Chicano Rights Movement and is the globe’s greatest outdoor Latino art gallery. His ambitious Dia de Los Muertos pieces span hundreds of yards of the Tijuana side of the border fence, warning would-be crossers that el norte can be peligroso for migrants. Not bad for an Anglo man and Muslim convert. America’s burgeoning border art community lost a visionary pioneer in July when Schnorr jumped from the same Coronado Bridge that features his stunning murals. His suicide shocked and saddened legions of admirers, including hundreds at Chicano Park who gathered for an emotional memorial. Schnorr had recently retired as a Southwestern art professor after 39 years. Art major David Bonafede said he was devastated by the news of Schnorr’s death and that Schnorr remains a teacher, mentor and friend in his heart. “No matter how hard or how easy you think something is, he always made you look at things from a different perspective,” he said. “He never let you quit and he always made you finish.” Bonafede said he did a biography on Schnorr for his art history class and came to know his mentor well. He said he loved not only his art, but also his sense of humor. “I remembered when I asked why he chose art, he looked at me and laughed and said, ‘To meet girls,’” he said. “But more than that, he taught me to never give up, never second guess myself, even though you are your own worst critic.” Murals painted by Schnorr gazed down at family, friends, colleagues and students as they gathered on July 14 at Chicano Park to celebrate the life of Schnorr. Tables of balloons, flowers, candles and notes to the artist were scattered throughout the iconic grounds. Pools and eddies of mourners and celebrants formed around each shrine, shapes changing as Schnorr’s friends moved from place to place. Hard hatted restoration workers stood shoulder to shoulder in solidarity. Under a gray, cloudy sky, all eyes turned to the park stage and the central shrine to the missing artist. As the first music notes dedicated to him and his family began to echo across the park, the gloom broke apart and the sun began to beat down on the celebration. Schnorr’s admirers spoke of his talent and compassion, played music in his honor or told a story about him. Calpuli Mexica, a Mexican folk dance group that practices three days a week under Schnorr’s murals at Chicano Park, performed in his honor. When Schnorr’s wife, Axa Negron-Schnorr, went forward with their four children and several nieces and nephews, they released a pair of doves. One immediately soared into the trees. The second one landed next to the central shrine and gazed up at the crowd placidly. “Michael is with us!” someone shouted. As his family, friends and vivacious art energized Chicano Park, it seemed that he was. Schnorr, a soft-spoken man, created art that was loud, powerful and shouted down inhumanity. He once transformed a Southwestern College lawn into a symbolic migrants’ cemetery by planting hundreds of white crosses with dead inmigrantes’ names hand-painted on each one. He traveled to Afghanistan, Argentina and other troubled nations to create art that cried out for freedom and justice. A former Catholic who converted to Islam, Schnorr possessed an aesthetic that was stunning in its breadth and rich in its depth. When United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson visited Tijuana to study the immigration situation, she asked to meet with only one American. It was Michael Schnorr. SWC’s quiet megaphone for human rights could seem sullen, his friends said, but had the heart of a revolucionario visionario. Schnorr painted injustice and protest, but spoke with eternal hope and optimism. “Change is not a dream,” Schnorr once wrote. “We can leap over history and monsters. Not even the stars are out of reach. Barriers, walls and fences must be moved. Must be broken down between countries, between people, between neighborhoods.” Schnorr’s paint brush moved barriers and moved people by prodding them to reconsider their points of view, his friends said at his memorial. Schnorr himself, they insisted, was a work of art.

PRESENTE! — A rousing memorial service at Chicano Park honors the iconoclastic genius of former SWC art professor Michael Schnorr. (top l) Axa Schnorr, his widow, released a pair of doves. (c) Congressman Bob Filner, a Schnorr fan, spoke at the memorial. (above l) “Coatlicue,” the Aztec goddess of Earth, is considered one of America’s greatest outdoor murals. (above c) An altar for Schnorr. (r) “Undocumented Worker,” another iconic Chicano Park mural painted by Schnorr.

Sept. 4 - Oct. 3, 2012, Volume 56, Issue 1

The Southwestern College Sun




athletes Wheelchair warriors on a roll at annual summer gathering By Angela Van Ostran Senior Staff Writer

Photos By Pablo Gandara

RIGHT ON TARGET — (clockwise from left) Michael Seo, 13, drills the bull’s eye. Andrew Lee tears around campus. Cristen Grey demonstrates manual dexterity during a round of ladder golf. Ojani Macedo, Mariana Estrada and Jack Froman race across

Mission Bay. Josh Bautista, 18, smokes a forehand. Jiordahno Murguia/staff

Jiordahno Murguia/staff

Fall and spring move aside. Southwestern College’s busiest sports season is the summer. SWC hosted to a unique summer sports program for kids with disabilities. Two days at the Crown Cove Aquatic Center at the Silver Strand State Beach are dedicated to water sports such as kayaking, water tubing, outrigger canoeing, sailing and land sports like hand cycling and Frisbee golf. Back on tierra firma of the main campus kids have an opportunity to snorkel in the pool, play soccer, basketball, tennis, smash and crash in wheelchair rugby, and aim for bull’s-eye in archery. Participants range in age from 3 – 18. Sports programs like this provide kids with disabilities opportunities that their peers have access to every day. Physical activity boosts the immune system, builds self-esteem and strengthens bonds. A dedicated staff of medical and safety personnel, coaches, ex-campers and teaming volunteers return each year to guide and encourage campers, providing sports advice and role models. For more information about this camp and its year-round programs, visit sdasf. org.


Sept. 4 - Oct. 3, 2012 — Vol. 56, Issue 1


The Southwestern College Sun

Bowling‘em over Talented Jaguars 5-1 in hunt for postseason By Steven Uhl Staff Writer

There is no Willie Nelson music pumping out of the Southwestern College football team’s locker room after scoreboard-rattling victories, but this team just can’t wait to get on the road again. SWC’s season without a home stadium has been worthy of “On the Road” or “The Road Warrior,” but even Jack Kerouac and Mel Gibson would struggle to keep up with the Jaguar’s high-octane offense. Following a 34-11 throttling of San Diego Mesa College, SWC is 5-1 and sniffing a bowl game. Maybe the best offense is a good defense, but a good offense is also cool. SWC has averaged more than 40 points a game and is currently Southern California’s top-ranked offense. Quarterbacks Brent Nelson and Frank Foster are vying for “King of the Road” with tandem signal calling. No quarterback controversy here, according to head coach Ed Carberry “Foster’s first collegiate play was a

65-yard touchdown pass against West L.A. in week one,” said Carberry. “He’s an explosive runner and passer.” Foster also completed a 99-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Vernon Johnson. The play tied a school record and it energized everyone, said Carberry, including Johnson. “It was different from my 99-yard touchdown last season because once I got past the first two defenders I was going to score a touchdown,” said Johnson. SWC put up 660 yards of offense against the San Bernardino Wolverines. Nelson was 15 out of 24 for 273 yards. Foster was 13 of 18 and the Jag defense forced 11 punts. Safety Kellon Delarosa had an interception. SWC won 42-3. Coincidently, SWC also beat Los Angeles Valley College by the score of 42-3. Jaguar offense scored 43 points against Palomar College, but Palomar scored 47 – the final six at the very end of the back-and-forth contest. “The game was a flag fest,” said

Carberry. SWC committed 15 penalties while Palomar had 14. In a disastrous first period the Jags lost a fumble on a punt, gave up an interception for a touchdown and got torched on a touchdown pass. After a tongue lashing from Carberry, the game turned. “The Jags got back into the game by finding their rhythm on offense by getting first downs and maintaining ball control,” he said. SWC grabbed the lead 28-24 at halftime setting up a furious fourth quarter. The Jags scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion with less than two minutes left. “I wish the game was over after the two-point conversion,” said Carberry. “It was one of those games where the team with the ball last would win.” Unfortunately for SWC, Palomar had the final possession and scored the winning touchdown as time ran out. SWC next plays Compton College away and Mt. San Jacinto college on October 27. The 10-game season ends November 10 at Chaffey College.

Photo By Amparo Mendoza

Artificial turf causes real injuries By Daniel Guzman Viewpoints Editor

“If a cow can’t eat it, I don’t want to play on it” -Dick Allen, Chicago White Sox Next summer Southwestern College plans to roll out the red carpet for a renovated stadium and roll out the green carpet for its field athletes. Some, however, are calling the college and the athletic programs on the carpet for putting the health of student-athletes at risk. Artificial surfaces, they argue, are harder, hotter, expensive to maintain and cause an array of injuries not seen on grass. Advocates of artificial turf, including SWC Dean of Athletics Terry Davis, claim that it is less expensive, more durable and could open up the field for commercial rentals. Davis and other synthetic playing surface advocates point out that college athletic programs across the nation are installing artificial turf that can be used multiple times a day. Today’s surfaces, they argue, are better than the original Astroturf artificial surfaces from the 1970s and ‘80s that were plastic rugs on concrete composed of layers of industrial backing, sand and rubber infill between fibrous grass-like strands. Most professional teams, particularly baseball, have abandoned artificial surfaces and have returned to grass for aesthetic purposes and to protect their multimillion dollar players. Colleges, however, and even high schools, are moving toward artificial turf. Governing Board Vice President Humberto Peraza said he questioned synthetic turf many times at board meetings and is “not a fan” of artificial fields, but compromised because of its revenue generating possibilities. “By having synthetic turf you are able to use the field more often,” he said. “You can have a soccer final the same day as a football game.” Peraza said SWC always cuts when faced with financial challenges, but virtually ignores the other way out of a bind, which is revenue generation. “We can’t cut our way out of this (fiscal) predicament,” he said. “We’ve cut to the bone. We need to find ways to bring in revenue and we need to utilize our campus resources wherever possible.” Peraza said he was disappointed that SWC lost a bid to be the home field of the San Diego Flash of the National please see Turf pg. B3


The Southwestern College Sun

Sept. 4 - Oct. 3, 2012 — Vol. 56, Issue 1



Olympian amputee not ‘advantaged’ I Photos By Jiamay Austria

HEAR THEM ROAR—Southwestern College has four women head coaches and four women assistant coaches. Four women’s teams are coached by men without women assistants. Soccer coach Karyna Figuero (l) said women are ready to coach, but are often blocked by men. Volleyball coach Angela Rock (above) and softball coach Yasmin Mossadeghi agree. Serina Duarte/staff

Title IX leveled the playing field for women athletes, but not for female college coaches After four decades of sports revolution, women grab gold but men still dominate the sidelines By Amanda L. Abad Editor-in-Chief

Hope Solo, Gabby Douglas and Allyson Felix never met Patsy Mink, but more than anyone else the trio of American sports stars owe their gold medals to the petite Hawaiian Congresswoman who unleashed a revolution. Mink’s landmark legislation, the Equal Opportunity in Education Act of 1965, sparked the greatest change in women’s sports ever seen. An amendment labeled Title IX fired the starting gun for American women and they have been off and running ever since. Female coaches, however, are still trailing in the race.

Turf : Artificial surfaces could allow for more revenue generation Continued from Page B2

Professional Soccer League. Del Norte High School is currently the home base of the team. Peraza said he thinks SWC could host games featuring the Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles of the Primera División of the Mexican Professional Soccer, as well as concerts and other large events, once the stadium is renovated. Artificial surfaces are clearly more durable and can shoulder higher volumes of traffic, but opponents argue that they are dangerous for athletes and are actually more expensive to install and maintain than grass. In a 10-year study of costs by Red Hen Turf Farm and Blue Grass Enterprises, synthetic surfaces averaged $640,000 compared to $550,000 for professional stadium sand-based natural grass surfaces. University of San Diego teams play on a natural surface after the athletic department crunched the numbers. “Our analysis of the situation is that it is basically a wash,” said Josh Lawrence, USD associate athletic director for facilities and operations. “We can replace our natural grass field once or twice in a 10-year span and for the same expense to replace a synthetic surface at the end of 10 years.” Some opponents argue that schools should not put the safety, health and futures of athletes at risk for savings or convenience. SWC linebacker Trevion Wilson said he is partial to grass because it plays better and is safer. “Grass is easier to play on, it’s softer, you can plant your feet better and run faster,” said Wilson. “You don’t have to worry about turf burn either. With turf you have to worry about diseases you can get through rashes if the field is not clean.” Artificial surfaces in Southern California can get very hot, and have been known to reach 150 degrees. Good trainers must monitor dehydration and additional turfrelated risks. “Synthetic turf does hold heat so there are those heat illness and heat stroke type of injuries that you have to keep an eye

Title IX is short and straightforward. It reads: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Title IX made sure that women were able to receive the same opportunities as men in the classroom and eventually in sports. Title IX changed everything. Since it was signed into law by Richard Nixon in 1972, nine times as many girls play high school sports. Over the same time there has been a 450 percent increase of women in collegiate athletics. Four decades later and for the first time in

on,” said SWC trainer Dennis Petrucci. “A few years ago I remember traveling to a football game that had turf. It was so hot (at 1 p.m. kickoff) that we had 10 to 15 (pairs of) cleats fall apart because the glue in the shoe melted. We had to try and use tape to hold them together.” Abrasions are another injury that players often get on artificial surfaces. When the Jags play on synthetic fields several players will suffer from large, deep skin abrasions, that look like the outside of a strawberry after the injury, said Petrucci. Petrucci said serious knee injuries are more common on synthetic fields, primarily Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears. “The problem with these, other than the pain, is that you run the risk of infection and with staph infections like methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus out there now, it’s a very scary proposition,” he said. “Because of this, it’s important to maintain the synthetic turf by cleaning it regularly.”  Artificial turf does not play like grass, Petrucci said. “The synthetic turfs tend to have good traction where the foot stays planted and the rest of the body continues in motion,” he said. “And the last concern is a hot topic right now, especially in the NFL.  Underneath those carpets is a concrete surface.  An athlete being thrown or falling to the ground hitting that hard surface has a higher risk for any injury, sprained joints and broken bones, including concussions.” Events that may seem innocuous like graduations can actually be dangerous for football players. Metal pegs, chairs, stage leggings and canopies dig into the surface and damage fibers. Liquids and moisture seep into the material, increasing the risk of mold and disease. Jaguar quarterback Brett Nelson said he understands the concerns but is not worried. “We played on turf last week and I played on it my entire high school career and it wasn’t a big deal,” said Nelson. “The game of football has been more adjusted to turf. I love grass personally, but obviously the game is changing and it’s a lot easier to maintain turf. Hopefully it’s not that big of a deal because we’re playing on it, but there is always the concerns that it gets hotter and it’s easier to cramp up.”

history, women were represented in every Olympic competition in 2012. Young girls have many more athletic role models to look up to such as gold medal gymnasts Gabby Douglas (two gold medals) and Aly Raisman (two gold medals), swimmers Missy Franklin (four gold medals) and Allison Schmitt (three gold medals), and track star Allyson Felix (three gold medals). Let’s not forget about gold medal skeet shooter Kim Rhode who hit 74 of 75 flying targets. She is the only American to win five consecutive medals in an individual sport. This traditionally is a men’s sport. please see Title IX pg. B4

Ailsa Alipusan/staff

n a world where “disability” has been universally accepted as a deficit, Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius has actually been accused of having an “unfair advantage.” This is likely the first time in human history a man without lower legs has been targeted for having an “unfair advantage” in a foot race. Unfair advantages are performance enhancing drugs, Sammy Sosa’s corked bat or Antonio Margarito’s illegal hand wraps. Metal blades that allowed a man, born without fibulas, to compete in this year’s Summer Olympic Games are not an advantage, but a symbol of courage and a source of inspiration. Pistorius, 25, represented South Africa in the summer games competing in the 400 meters and 4 x 400 meter relay. He races on two carbon fiber L-shaped transtibial prosthetics called The Flex-Foot Cheetah. Pistorius is the first differentlyabled athlete to compete with these prosthetics in Olympic games, a feat that is being shadowed by controversy by some who claim the blades are an advantage. Michael Johnson, the world record holder in the 400 meters, told Sports Illustrated he felt the able-bodied athletes were at a disadvantage when competing against Pistorius. “My position is that because we don’t know for sure whether he gets an advantage from the prosthetics that he wears, it is unfair to the ablebodied competitors,” said Johnson. Hugh Herr, director of the Biomechatronics Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, disagreed in a interview with the New York Times. “There’s not evidence that the running prostheses allow him to run at a faster pace than is biologically achievable,” said Herr. In 2008, a comparative analysis was done to determine the technical variances between Pistorious and elite sprinters. While elite sprinters can produce 2.3 times their body weight in ground force with each step, Pistorious only produces 1.84 times the force, giving him significantly less thrust in his strides. Pistorious also has a longer ground contact time at .107 of a second, while elite sprinters only have a ground contact time of .094 of a second. Although the numbers aren’t significantly far apart, in the context of a race in which hundreds of steps are taken, the data suggests Pistorious is at a physical disadvantage. History has taught us that winning cures sports controversies, but if Pistorius would have decimated the competition, waves of scrutiny would have drowned the glory. Pistorius did not impede anyone from winning, he just ran. I never thought I would live long enough to actually hear elite athletes whine that a man with stumps for legs had an advantage over them. That is like saying Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles had an advantage because they were blind or Ludwig Von Beethoven had a leg up because he was deaf. It is sad that Pistorius is in any way lumped into that group of athletes who had an unfair advantage like Sammy “Corky” Sosa, Barry “The Juicer” Bonds, Rosie “Shortcut” Ruiz, Tanya “The Tire Iron” Harding, and Diego “Hand of God” Maradona. Pistorius is a hero, an inspiration and a role model, a gold medal human being… and he can smoke your butt in the 400. The Give & Go can be reached at


Sept. 4 - Oct. 3, 2012—Volume 56, Issue 1

Title IX: Women still left out of college coaching positions Continued from Page B3

Women’s soccer is soaring in popularity and women of all ages can look up to gold medalists Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Solo and every female athlete on the roster for the U.S. national team. This stellar team was coached by former women’s soccer player Pia Sundhage. Unfortunately, though, female coaches are still too few and far between. One vestige of the Old Boys Club is still packed with boys. “In the Olympics it was sad to see that the only female coach for women’s athletics was the women’s soccer team,” said Southwestern College head softball coach Yasmin Mossadeghi. “All the other women’s sports were coached by males.” There is a need for more female coaches in the Beautiful Game, said SWC women’s soccer coach Karyna Figuero. Title IX, she said, has definitely opened doors for her. “Due to the rise in number of female soccer players around the country, female coaches are in higher demand than ever before,” she said. “Women’s teams of all ages and playing level are turning to female coaches to lead their young players. I never had a female coach growing up and now I see the new generation is growing up with a female coach at every level. Times have changed

and I believe for the better.” At SWC 54 percent of all students are female. Lady Jaguars are able to participate in half the sports SWC offers. SWC volleyball coach Angela Rock, an Olympic gold medalist, said she owes her athletic and coaching career to Title IX. “Without Title IX the opportunities for women would not have been there for me or the women who have played after me,” she said. Mossadeghi said she would not have a career without Title IX. “None of my accomplishments would have existed if (Title IX) did not exist back (when I was in college),” she said. “Cal State Fullerton may not have had a softball program, and I would not be here today coaching at Southwestern.” Figuero said she is grateful for Title IX as well as all the female coaches and athletes that paved the way for her. “I do believe it was because of their fight for equality that I am lucky enough to have achieved all that I have thus far in my career,” she said. In 1971, the year before Title IX became law, about 294,000 high school girls competed in sports. In 2011 the number was nearly 3.2 million, an increase of about 980 percent, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation. The year before Title IX became law less than 32,000 female athletes participated in sports at the collegiate level and today “more than 191,000 females played NCAA sports in 2010-11, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association,.” Inequalities still exist, however.

sports Girls, according to the National Mossadeghi said coaching is not a Coalition for Women and Girls in level playing field in terms of salary and Education, have “1.3 million fewer hiring because “both male and female chances to play sports in high school are applying for women’s sports where than boys. Opportunities are not equal as you do not see the same for men’s among different groups of girls. Less sports.” than two-thirds of African-American Rock said the gym floor is not level, and Hispanic girls play sports, while either. more than three-quarters of Caucasian “The most common [issue] is gym girls do.” time,” she said. “At the four-year There are not many female u n i v e r s i t y l e v e l m e n’s head coaches in the sporting always had first “I do believe basketball world, especially at the college priority with the main level. SWC has four female it was gym, even when (SDSU’s head coaches. Rock said the because women’s volleyball team next revolution needs to of their was) ranked #1 in the nation be led by women coaches. and they were unranked at Title IX may have caused fight for SDSU. Football, baseball, one unfortunate unintended equality that basketball and soccer take consequence. so many of the ‘male’ spots I am lucky “If you look at the Pacific enough for sports that most colleges Athletic Conference, all of 12 and universities do not have women’s volleyball coaches are to have men’s volleyball. That forces male,” she said. “In the Pacific achieved all men that love the game Coast Athletic Conference, that I have to migrate into coaching our conference at SWC, 6 of women’s volleyball, just thus far in 7 coaches are female, yet at the b e c a u s e t h e y l ov e t h e highest levels there are very my career.” sport. This is where I see few women as head coaches.” the unintended down side Rock said men are reluctant Karyna Figuero of Title IX, the reduced to let go of the reins. amount of opportunities Head women’s “I think this is because the for boys and men to play majority of athletic directors soccer coach volleyball.” are male and they see the men Mo s s a d e g h i s a i d s h e as a better coaching option,” often experiences unequal she said. “Research has shown, however, treatment in women athletics, especially that prior to Title IX there were more when she goes to neighboring high women coaching women and once schools to recruit. women’s sports reached more equality, “There are still programs out there men became coaches due to the rise in where male facilities are far superior to pay.” females facilities,” said Mossadeghi. “For

Amanda L. Abad, editor Tel: (619) 482-6368 E-mail:

example, I will go out to recruit and the softball team doesn’t have a ball field on campus whereas the baseball team has one on campus, or the softball team has to put up their fences and doesn’t have covered dugouts where the baseball team has covered dugouts and a permanent fence.” Rock said it is important for young women to have women as role models and she tries hard to be a good one. “I only had two female head coaches and that was in high school,” she said. “My track and volleyball coaches were very good role models and really helped me develop as an athlete and as a young person.” Being female has never stopped Figuero, she said. It only made her work harder and determined to always do the best she could. This is the reason, she said, she has been able to get where she is today. “I try to instill that same message to my players,” said Figuero. “We can’t live in the past. It’s hard at times because it is in our culture as Latino women to feel the need to stay at home and raise the kids, but now we have to strive for more. We can achieve all that we desire as long as we believe and act on our abilities as the new generation of female athletes, coaches, mothers and career women of today.” Mossadeghi agreed. “I probably would have never thought about being a collegiate coach if it wasn’t for my female coaches in college,” she said. “It’s easier to visualize yourself doing something if your gender is doing it and accomplishing it already.”

Volleyball team still upbeat during up and down season By Erick El Belle and Amanda L. Abad Assistant Viewpoints Editor and Editorin-Chief

Youth will be served and a group of fiery freshman promise to serve and spike the Southwestern College volleyball team to a long-awaited league title. “We go hard or go home come game time,” said freshman setter Alejandra Puga. “It’s thanks to Coach (Angela) Rock for all of her patience in us to get better.” Rock has had to summon patience after a pair of home losses against Saddleback and Rio Hondo that left the ladies with a 1-2 record to start the season. Football coaches preach that defense wins championships and Rock agrees. “We are spending a lot of time working on our team defense and improving our serving toughness,” she said. “We have developed new players in different positions to try and use every bit of talent in every conceivable scenario.” SWC’s defense led to consecutive wins against Santa Ana and Cerro Cosa, but sputtered during losses to Chaffey and Orange Coast. The Lady Jags won against Grossmont, but lost on the road to Imperial Valley on the road, bringing their season record to 4-7, and their conference record to 1-3.

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Lady Jaguars players are not bashful about sharing their aspirations. “We want to win conference and be the top dogs,” said freshman Erryn Smith. Rock is on the same mission. “We have scouted four of the six teams in our conference and are preparing for each of them with our best matchups,” she said. “The women are working hard in both the weight room and in the gym to give us the best opportunity to have a successful season.” The Lady Jags have only eight games in the season left. Rock said she feels their next two matches are good opportunities to get back into the win column. “Our focus has been defense and serving,” she said. “We feel we are making much needed improvements in our serve receive and reducing our hitting errors which should p r o d u c e m o r e w i n s f o r u s .” The Lady Jags play San Diego City College on the road on October 17 and San Diego Mesa College at home on October 19. “We have our Dig Pink match on October 19 against Mesa College and we will be having a raffle to earn money to raise awareness for breast cancer research,” said Rock. “We want everyone to come out and wear their pink for our match.”

Jiamay Austria/Staff

QUEEN OF THE UPPER REACHES—Lady Jaguar spike specialist Alejandra Puga dinks a return to keep Imperial Valley off balance.

Sept. 4 - Oct. 3, 2012, Volume 56, Issue 1

The Human Chord Albert H. Fulcher

Suicide is an epidemic for returning vets S

uicide grimly reaped an average of 100 Americans each day over the past year. More than double the number of homicides reported each year and the third leading cause of death, suicide knows no boundaries. Suicide claims the rich, the poor, young and old, and people of every race and culture. Last year alone, more than 8 million people thought, planned or attempted suicide. Emergency rooms treated more than 157,000 for self-inflicted injuries and every day thousands more never seek help. It is a paradox of the human race. Numbers are staggering, yet shame still prevents society from having an open discussion on the subject. Suicide is on the rise for active duty military, veterans, gays and lesbians, and college-age males— the highest rate seen in 15 years. Most suicides occur in an age range from 15 to 24. San Diego County’s Medical Examiner’s Office recorded 392 suicides in 2011 and the number is expected to rise pending investigations. This is the highest total in 23 years. In July, a Time report on suicide among service members read, “Active-duty U.S. troops die by their own hand at the rate of one a day. Among all veterans, the rate is one every 80 minutes.” War, bullying, abuse, neglect and antidepressant medications are cited as causes of suicide. In most cases there are obvious changes in behavior that, if recognized, could have saved a life. A suicide prevention organization called It’s Up to Us San Diego provides a valuable resource on the signs of possible suicide and sound advice on beginning the conversation that no one wants to have. Some of the general symptoms are drastic mood swings, long-lasting sadness and irritability, social withdrawal, inability to cope with everyday problems and substance abuse. With all of its ups and downs, catastrophes and triumphs, successes and failures, life is worth living. No one should feel completely alone and hopeless. Help is out there for those brave enough to seek it. Suicidal men and women are not alone. There are people who care. That is often the most important thing to know and the first step back off the brink. There are tens of thousands of compassionate professionals working in colleges, the military and the community looking to help. Choose life, whether it be for yourself or for someone you love. Understanding, compassion, love, empathy and courage can save a life. Close friends and family with concerns must take the extra step to let depressed persons kow they are not alone and guide them to the help they need. Reach out. It is up to us. Local Suicide Prevention Action Suicide Crisis Hotline-(888)-724-7240 Youth Talk Line-(877)-450-LINE (5463) Active Duty and Veteran’s Courage to Call-2-1-1 VA’s Suicide Hotline-(800)-273TALK (8255)

The Human Chord can be reached at


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Cody Yarbro, editor


Sept. 4 - Oct. 3, 2012, Volume 56, Issue 1

Tel: (619) 482-6368 E-mail:

Online business class all business, but lots of fun

By Alejandra Rosales Staff Writer

By Ailsa Alipusan

It is 4 p.m. on a hot Saturday and class is in session. Cassandra Angulo is taking part in Professor Frank Paiano’s Business 123 class while sipping on a Starbucks drink. At Starbucks. Angulo, 23, is one of the growing legion of students taking classes online and Paiano has slipped into a new generation of professors willing to give cyber learning a shot. “At first I did not know what I was doing,” said Paiano. “In the face-to-face classes, if you ask a question you can see the look in their eyes. But in online classes you can’t. You never really get to meet your online students. So I didn’t feel I was doing enough for my online students. I still don’t feel I am doing enough.” Pa i a n o c r e a t e d h i s w w w. in a format similar to Craigslist. He provides the entire content of his classes through video presentations, slides and audio. “Instead of just throwing up a presentation, I thought, there’s gotta be a way that I can capture the presentation and record my lecture at the same time,” said Paiano. “I got help from the [Southwestern College] Learning Center, from Larry Lambert and his folks, great experts! That’s when I started using this program called Camptasia that lets me do this.” Angulo said the online option is a lifesaver. “I have a five-year-old kid and I don’t always have time,” she said. “If for any reason I can’t go to class I can go to his website and look at all the notes and it explains in handouts, and I can listen to the actual class that I missed.” Engineering major Mario Landini is a returning student who is currently

enrolled in Paiano’s online class. He said online classes are not for slackers. “Actually, online classes are hard to take. He said. “You have to have self-discipline. But this teacher in particular, he manages his class well, in a way that you feel you are in class. You cannot miss a thing. He makes it very realistic. He has a fun sense of humor.” From the lawn and palms of SWC, Paiano’s class has gone global. Searching “Financial Planning” on iTunes and anyone can access his lectures. Business major Bert Trapp gave Paiano a five-star rating. “If more people took courses like this in our country, we all may be in a better place,” wrote Trapp. “The class is great and the teacher keeps you entertained throughout. Thanks Frank!!” SWC Graphics Lab Specialist Tom Bugzavich helped Paiano post his lectures on iTunes University. “Whether you have an Android device or an Apple device, you want to access the information without any obstacles,” said Bugzavich. “By also introducing these lectures to the iTunes library, it makes it accessible for all users.” Bugzavich said professors with rich media content reinforce classes and make them more exciting for students. “A traditional class just won’t fit into people’s schedules anymore whether you have work commitments or family commitments,” he said. “The older faculty members who have been teaching for 10, 20, or more years… need to realize that in order to stay current and share their thoughts and ideas, they need to accept the fact that it’s important for them to really learn the technology or work with the experts so that they achieve something great.”

Out of the ashes of Cedar Fire, SWC students help rebuild community By Genesis Canal Staff Writer

Photo Illustration by Cody Yarbro and Grecia Cota

DREAMS RETURN AFTER NIGHTMARE FIRE— SWC architecture students are helping rebuild the idealistic community of Blue Sky Ranch in Lakeside.

An ashen sky smothered Lakeside’s Blue Sky Ranch with choking smoke and blazing fear that early morning in October 2003. Ingrid Coffin, owner of the ranch, received that 1:30 a.m. phone call no homeowner wants to get. Yards away the Cedar Fire was racing toward her home. She grabbed her animals, jumped in the car and met up with a group from the community in a safe area. They noticed a home on fire that was salvageable and extinguished the fire with dirt. Coffin was not so lucky. More than 200,000 acres burned under a 40-foot wall of 1,800-degree flames, destroying more than 2,000 homes. Coffin’s home at Blue Sky Ranch was reduced to a blackened landscape. Before spring rains began to work their redemptive magic, Southwestern College architect instructor Jerry Selah and his students were already on the job. Selah helped them build and create a sustainable and fire-resistant plan using green technology such as recyclable and re-usable products. Ivan Sanchez, one of Selah’s architect students, volunteers on the project and works with his three companions on

Earthline Works in Chula Vista. For the project materials they asked small business for donations. “Ingrid’s story was really moving,” said Sanchez. “I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of this.” Blue Sky Ranch was founded in January 1990 with utopian dreams. Gradually the land was inhabited, with 1,800 fruit trees and idealistic neighbors. Residents do their own organic gardening and sell their goods to local restaurants in San Diego. “The purpose of the community is to facilitate the finest life possible for its members,” said Coffin. “They help each other get what they are trying to accomplish in life.” She said she wants the ranch to be positive community that honors the environment and a quieter way to live. “I haven’t been to a mall in years,” said Coffin, “not because I don’t like malls, but I prefer this lifestyle.” Selah and his crew also want to be environmental stewards through visionary architecture. Learning opportunities abound. “It’s not a student project anymore,” he said. “You’re producing a product that has to be professional and so you have to pay strict attention to detail. There were some

slips here and there, but that’s all part of the learning process and that’s why I wanted them to do this. When they do it again they can take what they learned here and apply it to their next project. Experience is the best teacher.” Architecture student David Sanchez said he was pleased to be volunteering for a good cause. Students Arely Franco, Kristina Umali and Marcos Sanchez are on board as members of Earthline Works. “We really believe that by changing our lifestyle through architecture, we can eliminate rent or mortgage by building with recycled, free, and indigenous materials,” said David Sanchez. Umaili said the experience has been rich with learning. “This is the reality,” she said. “You need to be able to get along with people and be dedicated outside of class.” Their Blue Sky Ranch experience is the ultimate team project, Sanchez said. “In order to accomplish Blue Sky Ranch, we redesigned our alliance to focus on research and not just building,” he said. “We want to focus on all aspects of housing including sustainable living, and not just the home but towards the lifestyle as well.” In other words, the students hope to bring the blue sky back to the Blue Sky Ranch.


All The Coverage You Need

Sept. 4 - Oct. 3, 2012 Volume 56, Issue 1

The Southwestern College Sun


Invisible no more FACE OF THE STREETS — Nationally-renowned artist Neil Shigley helps viewers see through the eyes of homeless people and gives voice to their stories. His striking art of urban nomads in their subculture environment has been exhibited all over the world. His gallery at Southwestern College, the Invisible People Series, features (counterclockwise from the r) Michael 59, G and Market St., Cowboy Jimmy 70, Kevin 51 and Dave 57.

Story by Ana Ochoa, Assistant Arts Editor Photos by Serina Duarte, Senior Staff Photographer


t is hard to look into the eyes of the homeless, but Neil Shigley does not flinch. America’s forgotten people have a talented ally in Shigley, who looks straight into their broken, tired souls and eyes. Shigley’s “Invisible People Series,” an exhibit in the Southwestern College Art Gallery, gives voice to urban nomads so they can describe their shadowy subculture. His sympathetic and searing photos challenge viewers to understand where the faces come from and feel their weariness and anger. Shigley, a graduate of Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design, puts faces on the phantoms drifting the breezy streets of San Diego. Most of Shigley’s portraits exude a powerful dose of pathos. One of his strongest is “Kevin 51,” a frowning street product with piercing eyes. SWC Gallery Director, Vallo Riberto compared Shigley’s work to World War II German painter, printmaker and sculptor Käthe Kollwitz. “They were the most heart-wrenching, beautiful, sensitive prints that you can imagine,” said Riberto. “And Shigley has really put his finger on a really emotional issue today of these homeless people.” Shigley told a gallery audience about the importance of being able to relate to people and doing something for somebody else. He encouraged his audience to listen and sympathize with the human being asking for attention. “As an artist, it’s the art process for me,” he said. “Trying to describe these characters that I’m consumed with.” A symbol is added to the portrait of each subject painted clear white at the bottom right or left corners. Homeless people first used the symbols during the Great Depression as warnings to fellow drifters by placing them outside buildings and houses to communicate with each other about the safety level of each location. “Sometimes it was a warning that may be a matter of

life and death,” said Shigley. Facial expressions are the heart of the exhibition. Each portrait is a collage of sun-baked wrinkles worry lines and eyes clinging to hope or set back by despair. Shigley said his process of creation begins by walking around downtown San Diego and talking to homeless people. He explains that he will say three words – love, peace and injustice – and take a photograph of their reaction to each word. With his Canon Rebel XT camera, Shigley captures the essence of the tired faces. He makes a detailed drawing of the photograph, which is then placed under a large piece of Plexiglass. He carves the drawing onto the Plexiglass with a flexible shaft Dremel tool. Each piece is rolled with ink and a large sheet of paper is laid over. Rubbing it by hand, he pulls the image off and adhered to wood. Riberto said some homeless people reject Shigley’s request, but most agree. “Michael 67” is a projection of a charismatic subject with kind eyes. To represent this humble character, Shigley used a symbol for a spiritual place. Located on the left bottom corner, a symbol with three horizontal lines. Shigley said he thought it was appropriate because “Michael” told him that he needed to be on the streets to minister others. Shigley is nearly as well known as his subjects are anonymous. His photo “Michael 67” was selected as a finalist in the National Portrait Competition exhibit that will hang in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D. C. for most of 2013. Riberto said “Michael 67” is one of his favorite pieces because of the contrast in his expression from all the other portraits. “I can’t really pick a favorite,” said Riberto. “But this guy, I mean, he’s smiling. He looks like he has a story behind him.” They all do.



Ana Bahena, editor


Sept. 4 - Oct. 3, 2012 — Volume 56, Issue 1

Tel: (619) 482-6368 E-mail:

Dancers are international stars after dazzling TV run By Daniel Guzman Viewpoints Editor

Dancing involves many steps and becoming great takes dedication, but Stephanie Camacho and her dance team skipped the tiptoeing and leapt into motion. Danz Motion, her six-member ensemble of Southwestern College students are now international stars after a dazzling appearance on Mexican TV. They are in lockstep in so many ways. “We take the same classes and are always together,” said Camacho. A bond based on dancing quickly blossomed and the six individuals became tight. “ We are not just friends,” said Camacho. “ We know ever ything about each other and we have become a family.” Their style ranges from the sensual stylings of The Pussycat Dolls to contemporary ballet, but their main focus is rhythm. “We focus more on dance hip-hop and jazz hip-hop,” said Camacho. “It depends on the concept of the dance and we can mix many styles together.” Dancing as a team is more than simple synchronized movements, they must become one. “When you are dancing you have to perform as a unit,” said Karla Hernandes. “We are a family, we work very hard and support each other.” Their unity was put to the test recently when they were invited to a premier dance competition in Tijuana. “Show Us What You Got” was a 16team competition judged by two of the city’s most prestigious instructors, Rhonal Ruvalcaba and Denia Zepeda. Danz Motion grabbed second place, but Camacho said she feels they were the best.

Roosevelt Palafox/staff

TAKING THE NEXT STEP — Danz Motion performs for video series “The Racket Room.” SWC students (from l to r) Alberto Castro, Stephanie Camacho, Giovanny Castillo and Nydia Duran are four of the six members of the fusion dance team who came in a close second on a popular Mexican television dance competition.

“We all worked super hard, it was a really long and stressful six months but it was worth it,” said Camacho. “We did great, we are okay with the result and are happy with the experience.” Camacho’s love for dance brought the group together, and her vigor is the glue that binds its members. “She’s the one that pushes us to go to rehearsal and to be on time,” said Hernandes. “She is our leader because she keeps the group organized and motivated.” Camacho found her fire in 8th grade at the Chula Vista Middle School performing arts program. She plied her way through high school and into the South Bay Dance Academy before joining SWC’s dance department. She is a dance teacher at National City and Chula Vista dance academies, and

teaches private lessons in her home studio. “Dancing relaxes me and I love it, I love the movement,” said Camacho. “I thought it was a hobby, but it has become much more.” Her passion has captivated her soul, but she recognizes that the sports physicality would impede her from doing it forever. “I changed my major to psychology because I am not sure if I’m going to be able to dance my whole life,” said Camacho. SWC alumni Abigail Macias is a professional dancer at Disneyland and Camacho’s role model. “My inspiration is my old instructor Abigail,” said Camacho. “She would tell me to push myself and thanks to her I took dance seriously. I dance for her.”

Photo finish for talented artist First generation American focuses on new SWC career By Marianna Saponara Staff Writer

When one door closes, another opens. John Pickelle walked through. After losing his job at a gourmet import warehouse, the company’s secretary found him a job working in a darkroom with her son-in-law. Pickelle realized he enjoyed photography and teaching, so he decided to pursue a Master’s of Fine Arts at San Jose State University. During a trip to Legoland, Pickelle and his family were impressed by San Diego County. “My family liked the San Diego community,” said Pickelle. “I wanted a new start and sought a position at Southwestern College. This opportunity opened up and I wanted to stay in California.” Mission accomplished. Pickelle landed a tenure-track position at SWC and is now an assistant professor of photography in the new state-of-the-art photo lab. Pickelle said his teaching job is very rewarding. His students, he said, are creative, motivated and driven to succeed. “My photography potential was utilized in communicating since English is my second language and words did not come so easily to me,” he said. Students said they really enjoyed taking his classes. “John Pickelle is an excellent photography teacher,” said Ivette Perez, 21, undecided major. “He is really good in explaining how to use certain camera functions. I have learned so much from him with Bridge and Photoshop, digital photography programs. He is really helpful and makes sure his students get it.” Pickelle said he likes photography with its visual language imagery. His goals are to have his students become aware of technical and hands-on aspects of photography and develop their zeal. Carlos Richardson, instructional photography lab technician, has worked with Pickelle since he arrived. “Pickelle is a very enthusiastic instructor who wants his students to learn and develop their competencies,” said Richardson. Born in South Korea, Pickelle came to the United States at the age of 10. He spent his growing up years in Granada Hills, California. He said learning English was hard and that partly led him to begin communicating through photographic images. He earned his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in 2001 from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco concentrating in commercial photography. “It was not easy finding clientele,” Pickelle said. He had to subsidize his income, but after a few years he had more clients and was earning a steady income. Pickelle became successful doing editorial work taking fashion shots with accompanying feature articles for ELLE and Black Book. Other clients were Travel Savvy magazine, Practice Builder magazine, business materials, postcards, marketing materials and brochures for health agencies. His photography led to specialized layout in graphic design.

Omar Villalpando/staff

PICTURE PERFECT — Born in South Korea, John Pickelle found his passion for photography when he stumbled into his co-worker’s son-in-law’s darkroom. Pickelle, assistant professor of photography, is a digital specialist.

In 2004 the director of the San Francisco Academy of Art University invited Pickelle to teach photography classes, mainly fashion and beauty courses. He also worked for dot-com start-up companies specializing in the cosmetic and beauty industry. Pickelle, a combat veteran of the Desert Storm conflict in 1991, used his G.I. Bill to complete his junior college education at Pierce Junior College in Woodland Hills. He plays soccer, hikes and snowboards. He is also a pottery and ceramic artist, and has fun doing lathe work products making wooden bowls. He encourages his students to enter their photo images in student art expositions because, you never know, a door may open.

Macias has been working closely with the team this fall because she will choreograph November’s dance show at SWC. “They have worked very hard,” said Macias. “It is difficult because not all of them know ballet, but they are all working hard.” When on stage and performing with her team Camacho keeps the audience in mind, she hopes her steps kindles small fires in everyone’s heart. “When I dance for them, I want them to believe in dance,” said Camacho.

Scan the QR code to check out The Sun’s youtube page. See Danz Motion and other videos!

Fall 2012 - Issue 1