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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 3

Cost saving measure may reduce library hours

Winter Edition 2012-2013

Campus mourns Phil Lopez

By Thomas Baker News Editor

As the average time for a two-year degree approaches 3.5 years, state legislators and community college leaders are pushing back with Senate Bill 1440, a plan to streamline the community college and transfer experiences. Students at Southwestern College may soon be able to earn an Associate’s degree with guaranteed admission to a California State University as the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (STAR) continues to gain traction in California. State Senator Alex Padilla’s 2010 bill was signed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and is now in the hands of the community colleges. Local colleges were directed to create 60-unit Associate degrees for the most common transfer majors and implement them when they are ready, but no later than 2014. All the state’s 112 community colleges are to design transfer model curriculum degrees or “degrees with a guarantee,” that serve their student communities. By 2014 the chancellor’s office would like all community colleges to offer 100 percent of the 25 STAR Act degrees. “The intent was that students would move through their first two years in a much more streamlined, faster pace,” said Randy Beach, SWC Academic Senate president. These degrees guarantee admission to a CSU as a junior upon completion. “It’s not just an articulation agreement with one community college to another CSU,” said former California Community College Chancellor Dr. Jack Scott. “It means a system-wide transfer.” SWC has two approved STAR act degrees, Math and Communications, said Beach. Another five are in the pipeline. Student enrollment into the programs so far has been low, said Transfer Center Coordinator Cecilia Cabico, but he said

LRC looks to trim hours from 54 to 40, close on evenings, Saturdays By Nickolas Furr, Steven Uhl and Paulina Briseno Staff Writers

On January 14, when students return to the Southwestern College campus for classes, they will find the library open 14 fewer hours than it is today. Due to brutal budget cuts and rampant state fiscal problems, the administration has been forced to cut the available hours for staff, and library personnel have been forced to close their doors earlier and keep them closed all weekend. As a result, frustration has begun to bloom in every campus group – students, classified employees, faculty members, administrators and the governing board. And now, frustration is beginning to blossom into full-blown anger. But the anger is unfocused, with no one particular group for the others to be angry at. In 2011, California community colleges suffered a $502 million cut to help staunch the loss of blood flowing from the state’s bank accounts. This past November, with another round of cuts looming – an additional $300 million statewide – voters passed Proposition 30, Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal to channel taxpayer money into funding schools and community colleges. This is expected to minimize the damage schools will take, but the fiscal ship can’t turn on a dime. It needs time to turn around. Until then, SWC will suffer another round of cuts, and the library remains a casualty of these cuts. Humberto Peraza, SWC governing board vice president, said the damage could have been far worse, but it was still going to force changes. “We went from a $12 million cut to a $6 million cut because of Prop 30, which has helped a lot,” he said. “But this is still significant. Almost everything we do, no matter what we do, a $6 million cut is going to directly impact students.” Student Richard Riddle, 26, said the impact on hours would slice into the please see Library pg. A2

Diana Innocencio/staff

A LION OF A MAN — Professor of English Phil Lopez (at the microphone), an outspoken defender of free speech and employee rights, died of a massive heart attack Friday evening in a Chula Vista hospital. Lopez was widely admired for his service in the faculty union and on campus committees. A staunch advocate for employees and students, Lopez and three other professors were suspended three years ago by a former president for supporting students who were rallying against class cuts. Those suspensions, along with an attempt to silence the campus newspaper, were turning points for SWC and led to a new governing board majority and new administration. Lopez was 64.

more coverage on page A3

Student success legislation ‘narrows the gate’ By Thomas Baker News Editor

Southwestern College and other districts throughout the state will have students going through the two-year system at a much quicker pace with the reforms suggested by the Student Success Task Force (SSTF) as well as a recently signed law called Senate Bill 1456, otherwise known as the Student Success Act of 2012. These legislative acts will change the process by which students go through the community college system. All the reforms outlined by the SSTF will go into effect statewide by 2014 but individual districts are given the ability to implement the reforms ahead of schedule if they are capable

SWC gets jump on guaranteed transfer degrees

of doing so. Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1456 into law on Sept. 26. This law had two reforms in its bill text. One is the mandatory assessment, orientation and education planning of all new students and the other is placing requirements onto the Board of Governors fee waiver to give students an incentive to make progress on their educational goals. According to the Chancellor’s office, mandatory assessment, orientation and education planning of all new students will be implemented on a statewide level beginning the spring 2013 semester. BOG fee waiver requirements will not be put into system-wide effect until the fall 2014 semester but community college districts have the ability to


implement the requirements as of Sept. However change may not be so quick to come to SWC. “There are so many different aspects of the Student Success Act of 2012 that they are following a different time frame,” said Angelica Suarez, vice president of student affairs. “Some of the things being implemented need regulatory changes, some of them need statutory changes.” Currently, the assessment test is not a requirement for incoming students. It is an optional test any student can take to determine at what level they are for classes. A student education plan lays down the roadwork for a student to advance in their education by enrolling in

Former SWC child prodigy releases Christmas single Arts, A9

classes that pertain to their field of study. Starting Spring 2013, all new students are required to have an education plan within a year of their start. Department Chair of the School of Counseling and Personal Development, Scott Finn, said the state recommends a student should state a major and acquire an education plan by the time they have 24 units. “There is no penalty if they do not have an education plan,” he said. “Students who are in our veterans services receiving veterans benefits are required to have one. Our EOPS students have to have a student please see Success pg. A4

Luis Nuñez glad to be back after Afghanistan deployment Campus, B8

please see Transfer pg. A3

Students feel the heat waiting on maintenance By Nickolas Furr Senior Staff Writer

It is not unusual for a Southwestern College maintenance request to sit for a few weeks or a month. An air conditioning issue in room 429, however, went for more than five years without resolution, causing faculty and students to get overheated. Room 429, a reading classroom located in the Academic Success Center, has some folks hot under the collar. John Brown, SWC’s facilities director, insists everything is taken care of. Faculty who use the sweltering room have taken a wait-and-see attitude. “It appears there have been multiple and varied problems over the years with HVAC [Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning] in building 420, impacting room 429,” he said. “It appears maintenance had addressed those as they have come up, which is not unusual, and Dr. Levine is now personally satisfied with the current conditions.” Dr. Joel Levine, dean of the School and Language and Literature, said he was not personally satisfied. “I saw Gus [Frederick “Gus” Latham, maintenance supervisor] this morning and he’s not 100 percent satisfied,” Levine said. “He felt pretty good about it and thought they had taken care of it. But the test remains to see what it’s like after a lot of students had been in there for a while on a reasonably warm day.” Levin, Latham and many others insist there is reason to be cynical after five-plus years of room 429 as a hot topic. In August 2007, Fredric Ball, professor of reading and basic education, sent an email please see AC pg. A4


Winter Edition 2012-2013—Volume 56, Issue 3

Thomas Baker, editor


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

DMV gives college green light to drive special needs van By Kael Heath Staff Writer

A brand new and very expensive van designed to transport students in wheelchairs sat unused for more than a year in the Southwestern College auto yard due to a disabling misunderstanding about who could drive it. Rob Unger to the rescue. Unger, a professor of reading and a lawyer, said the California Department of Motor Vehicles trumped any decisions by campus personnel about what kind of license was required to drive the van. DMV personnel said anyone with a valid driver’s license was street legal, a great relief to Dr. Malia Flood, director of Disability Support Services. “This past summer we drove the van to the DMV and had them inspect it,” said Flood. “They determined that it was not a bus and that it did not need a Class B driver’s license. They said people with a Class C driver’s license could drive the van.”

It took the work of the campus Americans with Disabilities Act Committee, two journalism students in wheelchairs, and Professor of Journalism Dr. Max Branscomb to get the van on the road. “The ADA Committee made the recommendation to the college that we need to take the van to the DMV because they are the ones who decide that,” said Flood. “The students that came with Max talked about how important it was that they attend journalism conferences and competitions, and that they feel included. They don’t like to feel like they will be a burden in any way. And that’s what needed to happen, because once we got to the DMV they made the decision that the van could be driven with a regular Class C license.” Southwestern College had gone without a van capable of transporting students in wheelchairs for many years, said Flood. Students from the SWC ABLE Club and Helen Elias, the former DSS Director,

raised most of the money for the van. A capstone grant from the San Diego Host Lions Club sealed the deal. Flood said the idle van was a frustration. “It was an ongoing problem since the van arrived more than a year ago,” she said. “Thanks to the hard work of the ADA committee…we got the approval from the DMV that anyone can use the van.” Elias said she was thrilled by the news. “On behalf of the students and faculty at SWC, I am delighted and proud to have led the charge to acquire the accessible van for Southwestern College,” she said. “The greatest satisfaction was the collaboration and support of SWC, the ABLE Club, student leaders, Disability Support Services, the Southwestern College Sun, faculty in the Health Exercise Science and Athletics department, the head of the debate team, administrators and staff, and members of the governing board. It really took a village!”

to just 40. They decided to change their hours from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Fridays. The extra hour served a purpose, he said. “We wanted to make sure we were open for the 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. hour for the evening students,” he said. History student Benjamin Contreras, 23, uses the library at night because he attends evening classes. He applauds what the library offers students. “This is a better environment to study,” he said. “Where else can you get the books you need?” Barry Horlor, history professor, is one of many college educators who place textbooks on reserve at the library. In doing so, he allows students who can’t afford to buy the books to use the library to access them. He spoke bluntly about the impact on students. “The students who will be hurt the most will be the ones who are striving to have a better life,” he said. Architecture student Carlos Munguia, 25, works all day and attends class on the Chula Vista campus at 7 p.m. He uses reserve textbooks to study. “I don’t have them,” he said. “They’re too expensive, so I come over here to check out the books and study.” But he said that it would be impossible to use the library at all now. “I won’t be able to study,” Munguia said, “because I will just have got out of work.” Ps yc h o l o g y s t u d e n t C a t h e r i n e Delacruz, 22, said she visits the library two or three times a week. She also utilizes the reserve textbooks. “I don’t buy my books all the time, Marshall Murphy/staff so I use books on reserve,” she said. “It CRACK OF DAWN, CRACK A BOOK — Students file into the library at 8 a.m. to use its helps a lot by saving money.” many resources. A retiring employee and hiring freeze may force the library to reduce hours this Stavenga said that the library’s own Spring semester. statistics show that most people use it between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. during the super vis o r, s ai d thi s d o e s c au s e week. Even then, he said in an ideal problems. world, things would be different. “ I d o n’t h a v e t h e s t a f f t o d o “Ideally, we’d be open 24 hours everything,” she said. “But we will a day. But don’t have the budget or still provide the same services. I hope the resources – financial or human this is temporary or everyone is going resources – to do it that way,” he said. Continued from Page A1 to suffer.” Peraza said not everyone uses the Nursing student Melissa Aguirre, library the same way. time he has to study. 22, and health science student Jerika “I’ve heard students say, ‘We really “This will affect pretty badly right Magbanua both use models at the don’t use the library. We just need now,” he said. “I come to campus library to study for their science classes. better wi-fi access.’ Or, ‘I never use it at around 4 o’clock and study before They also said the act of coming to the night,’” he said. “The reality is that one going to class.” library inspired them to work. size doesn’t fit all with any particular Librarian Ron Vess said the library “It wouldn’t be good at all if it closed students. We need to be accessible to suffered when employees retired and earlier,” Aguirre said. “It already closes all sorts of students.” their positions were not filled. early enough.” Horlor said that, along with the change “A situation has been created that Magbanua said she appreciates in hours, previous administrations have makes it impossible to operate the library having access to the library. failed to keep the library’s collection without cutting hours we’re open,” he “At home I can’t really study,” she current – to the detriment of students. said. “One employee retired two years said. “I can’t focus. I get sidetracked. “ Yo u h a v e t o s e t u p a l i s t o f ago, and her position was not replaced. I want to lie down, watch TV and eat. priorities,” he said. “The University In three weeks, another will retire and But when I come to the library, I want of California system has demanded she will not be replaced for at least six to do all my work.” that our History class SLOs (Student months. That leaves us with only one Following a 5% cut in February, the Learning Outcomes) require students employee to do that job.” library was scheduled for another 5.6% to write a nine-page paper, or they Dr. Melinda Nish, SWC superintendent/ hit in September. Mink Stavenga, dean will not be accepted as part of the president, explained the arrangement that of Instructional Support Services – of articulation.” would guarantee a savings to the district. which the library is part – knew the Nish admits that the change in hours “The Governing Board approved a one- library would no longer be able to will reduce access to the library, but not time bonus to be paid to any employee remain open on weekends. But he said for everyone. who qualified and who retired or resigned the librarians figured out how to keep “The library is, and continues to be, by December 31, 2012,” she said. “This it open on Saturdays for a few more functional,” she said. “The reduction approval included the commitment of the months. in hours of service will reduce physical college that no position vacated would be “[Weekend closures] were originally access, not online access. This does not filled until July 1, 2012, at the earliest.” going to start in mid-September,” he reduce (the library’s) functionality.” Nish said that with a guaranteed said. “But that was delayed until spring Riddle said he hoped the library minimum of six months, affected units because the full-time library faculty continued to function for the students. and departments could plan ahead. decided they would reschedule their “I like using it,” he said, “because “This also allows the units where work hours and come in on Saturdays being here makes me more productive.” there are vacancies, such as the library, to cover shifts.” Stavenga said any anger directed at the time to analyze how to best address Though librarians were holding senior administration is misdirected. the vacancy,” she said. “All units are Saturday closures at bay, when word “My understanding is that the senior looking to reorganize, if possible, so came that the retiring employee’s level administration is unhappy about that a minimum number of vacancies position would not be filled, Stavenga making these cuts, and they are as will be replaced in the future.” said they knew they had to make harder angry as anyone about making the Patti Torres, library support services changes, going from 54 hours a week reductions,” he said. “Their intention

Library: Students say loss of access will hurt academic progress

David McVicker/staff

ON THE ROAD AGAIN — California DMV officials overruled campus police and informed college officials that employees with a Class C drivers license could drive the new accessible van.

is to put students first. That’s why we’re all here.” He added that the situation, not people, were responsible. “There are several levels of this one can be angry at,” Stavenga said. “There is the worldwide economy, the US economy, the California economy, the tight budget situation for all California community colleges, down to the crux of the matter – SWC’s budget.” B r u c e M a c Ni n t c h , C a l i f o r n i a State Employees’ Association chapter president, agreed. “There is no individual to blame,” he

said. “In 2008 the country experienced a financial crisis that impacts the state’s budget we get money from that we haven’t seen since the Great Depression. Taxes impact the state’s budget. If people don’t have jobs they cannot pay taxes. We depend on that money and we cannot offer the classes because we don’t have the money to pay for them.” He says he believes the college will see better funding as the economy improves, but until then, students are going to have please see Library pg. A4


The Southwestern College Sun

Winter Edition 2012-2013—Volume 56, Issue 3


Colleagues call Phil Lopez “courageous,” “irreplaceable” By Nickolas Furr Senior Staff Writer

On the evening of December 14, Southwestern College lost one of its most visible icons. Philip Lopez, English professor and longtime union crusader, died of a sudden, massive heart attack minutes after being admitted to Sharp Hospital in Chula Vista. It was the day before his 65th birthday. By all accounts his death was unexpected. He had spent the afternoon in what were described as successful negotiations between the faculty union and the college administration. Kathleen Canney Lopez, professor of computer information systems who describes herself as “Phil’s former wife and his comrade,” said Lopez sat down at his Chula Vista home with a stack of paperwork. Feeling chest pains, he took aspirin and called 911. It took only minutes for the paramedics to arrive. He was rushed into the hospital and died there less than two minutes later. “It was quick,” Canney Lopez said. “It was painless.” Lopez was a fixture on campus. He taught English since 1974, first as an adjunct and later as a tenured professor. He was a stalwart in the faculty union, the Southwestern College Educators’ Association (SCEA). Every year for the past 27 years, he has been either the union president, vice president or secretary. Known for his toughness, fairness and his frequent sparring with SWC administration in negotiations and meetings, his sudden absence from the landscape leaves a vacancy that many describe as a hole in the college campus. “It leaves a void, particularly on budgetary issues,” said Tim Nader, governing board trustee. “Phil identified the questions that needed to be asked, made sure they got asked, then pressed for answers. Because he’s been with the school for so long, he has an institutional memory that’s not going to be easy to replace.” With 38 years of teaching under his belt, Lopez is one of the longest-serving professors at the college – possibly the longest. Joel Levine, dean of the School of Language and Literature where Lopez taught, called the loss “tremendous.” “One of the great supports and forces for justice at this college is gone,” he said. “The best we can do is take up that baton and keep the spirit going. Phil would want us to keep fighting for what’s right, just and fair, and in the best interest of the students. That spirit will not go away.” Canney Lopez said the faculty has taken a major blow. “SWC faculty has lost the most important resource they’ve ever had,” she said. “Phil single-handedly wrote every word in their contracts and every addition to it for 27 years. He was our expert, our watchdog and our protector.” Andrew Rempt, professor of English, agreed. “Even faculty members that hated Phil will benefit from his work in ways they’ll never even appreciate,” he said. Eric Maag, president of the SCEA, said that Lopez represented a lot of different things. “A lot of history, a lot of perspectives, for a lot of different people,” he said. Known for his blunt, straightforward, honest way of speaking to people, Lopez offended and alienated some. Leslie Yoder, chair of the English department, said she had no issue with it. “Phil gives everybody grief, which is one of his most endearing qualities,” she said.

Transfer: So far only two guaranteed transfer degrees offered at SWC Continued from Page A1

the program is still new and many students are not aware of it. “Right now it’s in its infancy,” she said. “But we are doing a couple of different measures to inform students about SB 1440. The first thing that we will be doing is a mass e-mail to every declared student in math and communications letting them know we have this new Associate degree program.” These special degrees have been designed to directly mirror the pre-requisite classes needed for eligible CSU majors, Cabico said. “For it to be deemed a similar major, the Cal State system and the community college system have both agreed and said, yes, this matches our curriculum,” she said. “So truly what you’re doing here at the community college level is the same as what native freshmen and sophomore students would be doing at the university level.” These degrees guarantee that it will be easier to transfer to SB 1440 universities. “The guarantee is you’ll complete your

came up with a nickname for the watchdog. “I had started calling him Nostradamus,” he said, “because he’d been right about the budget so many times – even better than some of the vice presidents in the past.” Despite his reputation as a David taking on all Goliaths, Lopez was a professor first, said philosophy professor Peter Bolland. “He was incredibly intelligent,” Bolland said. “Able to read budgets and understand union negotiations, and have the institutional memory. He was a perfect combination of characteristics. Then, above all that, he was a passionate educator who really understood the reason why we all show up at this place every day.” Canney Lopez said he was destined to be a professor. “He always wanted to teach English,” she said. “He loved literature, writing and reading. And with enthusiasm, he always shared them with anybody he ever met.” “He had this remarkable breadth and depth of knowledge,” Rempt said. “I never saw him when he wasn’t reading something.” Elisa Hedrick, professor of English, said she was still dealing with the news of Lopez’s death. “It’s a cliché, but I’m still in complete shock,” she said. “He’s got this calloused, weathered, brazenly honest exterior, but inside he had a big heart and he fought for what is right. To just lose that suddenly leaves you speechless.” Peraza said he felt much the same. “Phil is someone you thought would live forever,” he said. “You just can’t imagine him not being here.” Bustos said that SWC will feel different now. Courtesy Photo “The college isn’t going to be the same SWC’S BIG FISH — Professor of English Phil Lopez taught at Southwestern College since 1974 and was a union officer for 27 years, including without him,” he said. “But we have to keep several terms as president. He was a fierce advocate of free speech and frequently defended The Sun, its faculty and students. Lopez, shown above during working hard, the way he did. Those are big a fishing trip to baja, died suddenly of a massive heart attack. shoes to fill.” Nader said the change was even more “He was one of those people who I felt spotlighted a soft side that not many knew to go out slowly. He wanted to work until basic than that. comfortable disagreeing with because I knew he possessed. the end. This was his life.” “He’s just a big wonderful presence at the he wouldn’t take it personally. He would just “Every time Philip saved somebody’s job,” Rempt said Lopez was one of the most Southwestern community that we’re going deal with the issue at hand.” she said, “they’d ask, ‘What can I do to thank courageous people he’d ever known. to miss,” he said. What made him seem prickly to some you? Can I give you a check? Take you out to “He seemed fearless when he would Rempt said there will be no one else like was the same drive that impressed others dinner?’ Phil would say, ‘Buy me a rose.’ He rail against the injustices of these various Lopez. when he stood up for those who needed it. planted those roses out front [of his home] administrations,” he said. “He was remarkably “I love that man. He was difficult. He was Andrew MacNeill, former SCEA president in the rose garden. Every one of those flowers smart. He always had his numbers and facts challenging. But he was honest, courageous and currently dean of humanities at Mesa is from a person whose job was saved. He in line. When he was hammering on a and smart, and we could do with a hell of a College, called him “an advocate for the tended those roses every day.” point, he was hammering on it because he lot more of him.” little guy.” Canney Lopez said that Lopez arrived as a was right.” Canney Lopez said Lopez was a “wonderful “Phil was always fighting and he was part-time adjunct faculty member at SWC Rempt said one of Lopez’s biggest teacher, a wonderful man and a great father.” willing to stand up for anybody,” he said. in 1974 fully politicized and ready to fight battles was with former vice president of “He spent his life in service to others and Angelina Stuart, ESL professor and former the good fight. business and finance Nicholas Alioto, who he never asked for anything. There was president of the Academic Senate, agreed. “He was a member of SCEA from day recommended cutting 429 classes from no reward he asked for. He had a moral “He was a fiery advocate for the faculty one,” she said. “Even though they didn’t the schedule in 2009 to pay for a deficit he compass. He knew what was right.” and for what he knew was right,” she said. represent part-timers. He worked for about predicted. Alioto claimed that the school Because the rally in 2009 that got him Reading Professor Robert Unger worked 10 years to get the union to represent would have an end-of-year balance of $8.5 suspended began at the patio outside the with Lopez for about 10 years as a union [them].” million and SWC would lose more than $5 cafeteria, Rempt said he had considered officer and member of the grievance Eventually they did. But a few years later, million. In doing so, he justified the cuts to renaming the “free speech patio” the Philip committee. He said Lopez believed in the he realized further changes would have to classes – classes that were never returned to Lopez Arena of Democracy, but he’d begun right to speak out and speak up. be made. the schedule. Lopez, using what he often to have second thoughts. “Phil had absolute belief in free speech,” “He fell and broke his arm,” Canney called “back of the envelope math,” said “It’s a cute idea and it makes me laugh,” he said. “Not just for faculty, but for Lopez said. “He had no health insurance. SWC would end up with a $15 balance. he said, “but I was talking to Rob Unger and everybody. Phil would fight to the death to They weren’t going to do anything about When Alioto realized that Lopez was right, he said, ‘That’s too small and I don’t know defend someone who was maligning him. It it, so he ran for president and that was his he began a surreptitious spend-down meant if there’s anything at school large enough to wouldn’t matter if they were attacking him agenda. He won. Now they have pro-rated to dispose of millions of dollars to keep the commemorate him.’ I think he’s right.” or attacking a cause he was interested in.” health insurance.” final balance low. Former SWC comptroller SWC Superintendent Dr. Melinda Nish In 2009, Lopez, along with Rempt and She said that, given the choice, he would Laura Sales blew the whistle on Alioto and said she was shocked and saddened by the professors Janet Mazzarella and Dinorah have remained at Southwestern forever. told The Sun how he had reacted. death of Lopez. Guadiana-Costa, were targeted and “Philip’s life was SWC and the union,” “Mr. Alioto spent all that money because “Phil gave many years of service to suspended by former SWC Superintendent Canney Lopez said. “He had been eligible he didn’t want to admit that Phil Lopez was Southwestern College students and tirelessly Raj K. Chopra, following a student-led free for retirement and he’d say, I’ll just stay one right,” she said. fought to defend the rights of faculty speech rally that ended with a march on more year. But he would not have left. He Alioto dumped almost $5 million that members and others,” she wrote in a Chopra’s office. Though many fretted about did this until he died.” SWC never recovered. The final balance statement to staff. “He will be greatly missed.” the futures of the professors’ jobs, Lopez Francisco Bustos, professor of English and was $13.9 million – much closer to Lopez’s A memorial for Lopez will be held Sunday, refused to worry. Canney Lopez said that a musician who jammed with the accordion- calculations than Alioto’s. December 23, at 3 p.m. at his home, 20 was because he preferred to worry about and playing Lopez several times a year, agreed. Humberto Peraza, governing board 2nd Ave. in Chula Vista. All members of help others keep their jobs, not his own. He “Phil worked because he loved to work,” president who recently celebrated his election the Southwestern College community are had a unique way of showing it, one that he said. “I think he wasn’t a guy who wanted victory at an event at Lopez’s house, said he welcomed to attend.

Bachelor’s degree in 60 units,” Cabico said. “But the other benefit is that you actually receive priority admission consideration to a CSU.” Transfer students from outside a university’s local admission can receive a GPA advantage when applying to impacted CSU campuses or majors. Currently, these students receive an additional 0.2 GPA “bump” to make them more competitive with regular students for admission. Anyone actually within the local area is guaranteed admission regardless of their GPA as long as it meets the 2.0 minimum standard. SB 1440 also mandates that CSUs cannot make students repeat courses they have already taken that are similar to the community college degree. As a result, students only need to take 60 more units as part of their major to receive a Bachelor’s degree. An SWC statement praised the legislation. “Transfer students accumulate extra units because they are often forced to meet multiple and conflicting transfer course requirements depending on the four-year institution to which they plan to transfer,” it read. “This bill will help alleviate those problems, saving you time and money, and letting you focus on your education.”

Southwestern College student newspaper wins Pacemaker By Sun Staff

Students at Southwestern College came home from an international collegiate media convention with college journalism’s Pulitzer Prize. The Southwestern College Sun was presented the Pacemaker Award by the Associated Collegiate Press at its 91st Annual College Media Convention in Chicago. The Sun also earned Best of Show awards for its newspaper and website. A few days earlier SWC journalism students and their faculty adviser were presented the first ever San Diego Press Club Directors Distinguished Service Award for defense of free speech and the First Amendment. Staff members of The Sun and Professor of Journalism Dr. Max Branscomb were recognized for fighting fierce efforts by a former SWC administration to shut down publication of The Sun in 2010 and for its work investigating illegal activities within the college that eventually led to District

Attorney indictments of administrators and governing board members. The staff and Branscomb were earlier honored as recipients of the Student Press Freedom Award by the Virginia-based Student Press Law Center. Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, chairperson of the San Diego Press Club’s Journalism Awards Committee, said the organization’s board selected The Sun for consistently practicing strong journalism and for not backing down when it was threatened. “The Director’s Award recognizes an individual or group’s meaningful and lasting contribution to advancing journalism and freedom of the press,” she said. Albert Fulcher, a senior editor at The Sun, said the staff was “deeply honored” by the recent recognition. “It is very humbling to be recognized by the professional news media community in San Diego as well as the international collegiate news media,” he said. “We had some rough times here at The Sun for a while, but we were fortunate to have great support from media and First Amendment rights organizations around America, as well as our community right here in San Diego County.” This year’s Pacemaker Award is the eighth won by The Sun in the past nine years. Branscomb said there is a reason

for Southwestern College’s run of success. “Our community keeps sending great students to this program,” he said. “Every year it seems we get a terrific new batch of talented young people who have the desire to learn and become great journalists. They put in a lot of hours and a ton of hard work, and it has paid off.” In addition to its Directors Award, The Sun won 20 other awards at the San Diego Press Club Excellence in Journalism dinner, including Best College Newspaper. “The submission by The Sun at Southwestern College was a standout,” read the judges comments. “(The Sun) proves that journalism is alive and well on our college campuses, and demonstrates that students can turn out a product that would match that found in the local dailies. Impressive, by any measure. The Washington Post would be jealous.” In October The Sun was named National College Newspaper of the Year by the Missouri-based National Newspaper Association. Southwestern College was also the big winner at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges Conference in Fullerton this fall as The Sun brought home 41 awards, including General Excellence awards for the newspaper, website and the program’s “El Sol” magazine.


Maintenance: Students swelter in room 429 during warm days Continued from Page A1

to the chair of the reading department, Susan Brenner, describing how the room heats up in warm months due to lack of air conditioning. In the email he pointed out that he had been complaining about the room “for a few years.” Brenner forwarded a request to Levine, who sent it to the campus maintenance department where it languished for five years. Students have also languished during that time in the stifling heat of room 429. Ball said that when instructors and students would enter the classroom in the early morning during warm months, the atmosphere was already stuffy and oppressive. “Somebody comes in at 5:30 p.m. and it’s had warm bodies in it all day,” he said. “It’s been hot in there all day. Now it’s miserable.” Brenner said the heat is enough for her to want to keep out of the room. “I go into that room when it’s busy and full of students and it’s too much for me,” she said. “I wouldn’t be able to do it.” Ball said it affects everyone who uses the room. “It makes the students physically uncomfortable,” he said. “We’re coming into fall and winter months now so it won’t be that much of an issue. But in the spring it’s warm again. You see them fanning themselves and mopping sweat off their faces. I feel bad for them, but I’m wiping sweat off my face, too.” Brenner estimated that between 1,200 and 1,300 students attend classes in the room each year. “With the exception of this summer just ended, the room has been used every

Success: All reforms to be in place at SWC by fall 2014 semester Continued from Page A1

education plan and our financial aid students have to have a declared major with a student education plan. But there are still some pockets of students that don’t.” With the 20,286 students enrolled at SWC this fall 2012 semester and only 10.5 full-time counselors, the student/ counselor ratio is 1,932 students per counselor. “Let’s say we only get about 2,000 new students. That’s doable. But if we are going to play catch-up and deal with our 19,000 current students, I would say, and this is a hard estimate, maybe half our students have an education plan,” said Finn. “So servicing 10,000 students in one semester is not possible based on the amount of counselors we currently have.” Students are required to state a major, create an education plan and demonstrate satisfactory academic progress to be eligible for financial aid. BOGW would be capped at 110 units. An SWC policy already limits BOGW at 100 units. Nearly two thirds of SWC students currently receive BOGW. 20 percent of today’s students would be affected by the need to state an educational goal, 23 percent would be impacted by not meeting educational standards and nine percent would be affected by

spring, summer and fall since 2006,” she said. Ball, who has taught classes in 429 almost every semester since then, said these are busy classes. “All the reading classes in that room are full to capacity – every time,” he said. He said that the reading department’s concern about the overheated room was about more than comfort. It was about students having difficulties concentrating. “If it’s 83 degrees in the room and 95 or 100 outside, you really can’t focus,” Ball said. “They’re not interested. They’re easily distracted. This is just not a good learning or teaching environment.” In the five years since Ball’s initial request little has changed in the classroom. The room is oppressively hot for several months and the air conditioning has never worked properly. A new chain of emails began in 2008 when Brenner sent requests to Miguel Aguilera, the environmental, health and safety coordinator. After a month of back-and-forth, Sid Bocalan, the school’s lead HVAC mechanic at the time, reported that he had replaced air conditioning compressors at the Academic Success Center, but there were still problems in the classroom due to “air balance issues.” Ball said nothing has changed in that time, except that someone from maintenance brought them an oscillating fan as a stopgap measure. It was removed this summer. “Four years later, there’s still no air,” he said. Brown said he doesn’t know how this was addressed. “Perhaps Miguel and Dr. Levine remember this incident and what was done,” he said. “I am unable to determine from this email what was done to address the concerns in the past.” Attempts to speak with people in the maintenance department proved difficult.

Thomas Baker, editor


Winter Edition 2012-2013—Volume 56, Issue 3

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

Aguilera, who was involved from 2007 to 2008, said he was not in a position to speak. He suggested Latham, who has been involved since 2008. Latham said he was uncomfortable answering questions about the room and suggested Brown, who said some of the problem was because none of the requests were correctly filed. “This email string highlights a good point,” Brown said. “I have been trying to get everyone to make sure they submit their request via the HEAT system. It keeps a record so Maintenance can track it.” Brown was hired in February 2010, three years after the initial request was filed, and two years after maintenance first attempted to fix it in 2008. Latham became involved that year and attempted to get maintenance personnel to complete the request. “Gus was added to the email in 2008, but that [air balance issue] was not the problem this past August and September,” Brown said. “The current problem appeared to have been a failed damper and fallen soft insulation. The same result, it’s hot in room 429, but for a different reason.” Brenner said that a recent incident in the 1600 building gave her hope that students could finally begin to study in a semblance of comfort. An instructor found another room without air conditioning. Brenner filed a maintenance request for that, too. “I thought, Holy Cow! They fixed the air up there,” she said. “I figured if it worked in 1680, maybe it would work in 429. I put in a work order again.” The work in the room was completed in six days. Reading Professor Carmen Nieves said she wasn’t surprised maintenance personnel were working on the problem, but she said she did not expect much to come of it. “This is what happens every time Freddie brings it up,” she said. “Initially they look

Kasey Thomas/staff

HOT TOPIC — Five years after the initial maintenance request, campus heating and air conditioning employees report that the air conditioning unit in Room 429 has been repaird. A/C units cannot be tested, however, until the warmer weather returns.

at it. They assess it. They determine the same thing they determined two years prior. And they leave it alone. Then it starts getting cool again.” Levine agreed. “There is always something said about doing it, but it doesn’t get fixed,” he said. “There’s an initial response, but no follow through.” Levine did say that Latham thought the problem was solved. “Gus said he felt that he’d solved it,” Levine said. “However, he did admit that the test will be when you have a classroom full of students.” Levine said receiving any follow-up communication from the maintenance department was both new and welcoming, because until now no one had ever asked if the reading department

Health fee to increase by one dollar

A Top Priority

A proposed regulation would change the order in which students in good academic standing enroll in classes.

Continuing students New, fully marticulated


Active duty military/veteran students Former foster youth



Ernesto Rivera/staff

the unit cap, according to Patti Larkin, director of financial aid. SSTF reforms are also changing enrollment priorities giving priority to students making good progress through the system as well as students in special categories such as veterans and Extended Opportunity Program students. The state Board of Governors voted in changes to Title 5 enrollment priorities making veterans and foster children top tier followed by EOPS and DSPS students. On the third tier are the

Library: Students insist reduced hours will hurt academic progress Continued from A2

to learn to take advantage of the hours the library is open. “ We have finally hit bottom,” MacNintch said. “Things are going to improve, but it’s going to be a slow steady return. We will get there.” Pe r a z a s a i d t h e b o a r d a n d administration have worked together and been supportive of not refilling these positions until July, but that it depends on how crucial the positions are. “We’ve hired vice presidents,” he said. “We hired other people. There have been positions we’ve filled. And I think this is a position we really need to look at.” He said the final decision rested with Dr. Nish. “But as a board member, I would like to see her maybe reconsider

was satisfied. “I think I would have remembered that,” he said, “and I don’t remember anybody from maintenance saying ‘We tried this in 429. Get back to us on how well it worked.’” For his part, Ball said he feels no anger or resentment about the situation, but he is frustrated. “I don’t like complaining,” he said. “I think we have good people here, but there’s a disconnect somewhere. Somebody’s dropping the ball.” Levine adds that he is willing to take a measure of responsibility. “It falls to me to push to get this done,” he said. “I have to take part of the responsibility. I need to push, otherwise we play this game again and again. The students can’t play this forever.”

students making good progress through the system and new students that are fully matriculated. These changes will not have much of an impact on SWC due to similarities in what is already in place at SWC and the changes the board of governors voted in. “This is something that we’ve had already,” said Suarez. “What we’re trying to make sure is that we make room the student that have not traditionally been at the front of the line. Veterans, foster youth, DSS and EOPS students have

been in the front and now high-school students will be there right with them. In order to keep enrollment priority, students must maintain good academic standing. This means a student has to keep at least a 2.0 GPA and complete their coursework in less than 100 units. In spring of 2013, the schowwwol will be sending out notifications to students that have completed 70 units or who are on academic probation, giving them prior warning to the coming changes.

and look at this,” he said. “All we’re really doing is considering filling one employee position at this point.” Peraza said that if the administration brought in someone to cover one of the open library positions, they would make much less than someone who was retiring, and it might be only for an extra half-year salary. “When you look at this again, you can’t just say, ‘Oh well. That’s what we decided a long time ago,’” he said. “We have to make a decision based on what’s best for the college and what’s best for students. We should take these on a case-by-case basis.” Horlor said filling one position, or more, might be impossible. “The idea that all jobs on campus need to be preserved is not realistic,” he said, but agreed about rethinking the situation. “The administration should look into it openly and honestly,” he said. “If we don’t have a library open you might as well give back the state its money.” He said previous administrations hadn’t understood the librar y’s

purpose. “The library’s budget has been decimated in the past few years,” Horlor said. “The librarians are not at fault because the past administration has overlooked the importance of the library.” Peraza said that the loss of a classified employee at the library would have a major impact on the students. “But all $6 million will have a direct impact,” he said. “If you have one teacher who’s not there anymore, that impacts classes. Maybe you can’t get into a class. This can affect how long it takes you to graduate. All this has an impact.” Delacruz said she would feel it. “Cutting hours would definitely clash with my work schedule as well as my school schedule,” she said. MacNintch said this is bad, but not as bad as could be. “I feel optimistic that Prop 30 is making a big difference when it comes to what the fiscal crisis looks like,” he said. “I think it makes the situation manageable, but we are going to have to make some tough decisions. We are not on the Titanic and the ship is not sinking.”

By Kael Heath Staff Writer

News that students will be asked to pay an additional $1 per semester for health services has been met with a big shrug. Southwestern College students, well aware of soaring health care costs in the United States, are not complaining about health fees bumping up to $19 for fulltime students and $16 for part-timers. Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Angelica Suarez recommended the increase to the governing board to help pay for crisis counseling and other health services. Mia McClellan, dean of student services, said more students than ever are using the services. She said the augmented plan means students will not have to be charged a “fee for service” when they need medical care. At SWC services include emergency medical care, first aid, health education, physician services and accidental insurance and liability coverage. All students attending classes are eligible. McClellan said the Personal Wellness Program benefits thousands of students. “We funded a full-time mental health counselor in 2007,” she said. “Since that time, Dr. Clarence Amaral has seen a 1,000 percent increase in the amount of students being seen. As more people found out about his services, more faculty made referrals, and the more he becomes ingrained in the campus, the more the need has gone up.” McClellan said the health fee pays Amaral’s salary and supports the Health Services Department. She also said that Amaral may be getting some assistance soon. “We’re hoping to hire a part-time hourly clinician and we’re in the process of doing the projections right now,” she said. “We will be bringing someone in. We just don’t know for how many hours yet.” Psychology student Adrian Guerrero, 19, said he wasn’t concerned about the increase. “As long as we are getting the services that we actually need, I don’t find it wrong,” he said. “Everything is going up now, so if this is the only way, then I don’t have a problem against it. A dollar increase adding up over the years may come to something, but right now it doesn’t really matter. I know I’m getting backed up by Southwestern.” Music student Christian Burrola, 18, said he had no problem with an increase in the health fee. “As long as it keeps the school stable, one dollar isn’t hurting me,” he said.

Winter Edition 2012-2013 Volume 56, Issue 3

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.


It is okay to say sensuality is skin deep




Nickolas Furr Angela Van Ostran NEWS

Thomas Baker, editor Lina Chankar, assistant Christopher Sheaf, assistant VIEWPOINTS

Daniel Guzman, editor Michael Stinson, assistant CAMPUS

Albert Fulcher, editor Daphne Jauregui, assistant Kasey Thomas, assistant Adrian Martinez/Staff


Ana Bahena, editor Ailsa Alipusan, assistant Anna Ven Sobrevinas, assistant SPORTS

Amanda L. Abad, co-editor David McVicker, co-editor ONLINE

Joseph Young, editor Amparo Mendoza, assistant Anna Pryor, assistant PHOTOGRAPHY

Serina Duarte, co-editor Pablo Gandara, co-editor COPY EDITOR

Enrique Raymundo Margie Reese STAFF WRITERS

Paulina Briceño Genesis Canal Alexis Dominguez Shari Dotson Valeria Genel Jose Guzman Kael Heath Nathan Hermanson Ernesto Rivera Cecilia Rodriguez Venessa Romero Marianna Saponara Georgina Saucedo Jasmin Sherif Steven Uhl CARTOONISTS

Ailsa Alipusan Joaquin Junco Michelle Phillips Tommy Todd PHOTOGRAPHERS

Jessica Estrada Dalia Ildefonso Marshall Murphy Elisa Nunez Karen Tome BUSINESS MANAGER


Amparo Mendoza Ana Bahena 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, 2012 General Excellence Awards, 2001-12 Best of Show, 2003-12 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 2001-12 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

The Issue: Our ASO spent student fees on retreats and cell phones during a financial crisis.


Our Position: More money should be directed to student programs and other needs.

ASO should spend less money on themselves, more on others

With all the chaos of the recent past at Southwestern College it was easy to overlook the doings of our Associated Student Organization. No more. SWC’s ASO has some fine members who are bright, selfless and service-oriented. Some marvelous leaders have surfaced from recent ASOs, including Hector Rivera, Chris DeBauche and Adrian del Rio. But the current team needs to take a long hard look in the mirror. It is not that our ASO executives are bad people, but they have a made a series of tone-deaf moves this semester. While our state and college are facing an unprecedented financial crisis, trimming employees, slashing classes and narrowing access, our profligate ASO has: • spent $42,000 on a pair of retreats at a mountain resort • purchased cell phones and plans for seven members • scored free faculty parking permits while other students pay $20-$40. • secured its own electric cart Other SWC students who are paying for these perks have received practically nothing, despite great need. Biology professors are reassembling dissected frogs over and over because they cannot afford fresh ones. Reading students are taking tests printed on the back of last semester’s recycled term papers. Our one-time nationally-ranked debate team seldom leaves town to compete anymore. Musical theatre productions —which SWC used to be famous for—are no longer affordable. Art students pick through the trash for materials. All SWC students pay an $8 ASO fee upon registration. During the 2011-12 school year these fees added up to $306,345. This fall the ASO generated $159,346 from about 19,900 students. Other income is generated through Jason’s Courtyard Café and commercial vendors who set up tables near the Student Center. Our ASO has an impressive budget which could be used to do great good…or not. Two years ago, when California leaders warned of major budget cuts, the ASO found the funds to provide all seven of its executives with personal cell phones so they would not have to pay the cost for any phone calls from their “constituents.” Cell phone perks pale compared to the amount of our money spent on retreats. An annual Inter-Club Council retreat cost $27,000, a retreat this semester for

Online Comments 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

ASO members cost $15,000. That is $42,000 spent on an exclusive group of students to gain leadership experience at Pali Mountain’s Retreat and Conference Center. The problem, beside the cost, is that we are not seeing much leadership. While our leaders were away at their retreats, thousands of low-income students back on campus were pinching pennies and skipping meals to scrape together basic supplies and textbooks. College employees made the remarkably selfless gesture of taking a five percent pay cut to protect jobs and classes. Classified employees are working extra hard to cover the tasks of downsized departments. Some professors are working 12-16 hour days and ruining their health to keep the quality of education high while adjuncts are cut, retirees not replaced and supply budgets zeroed out. We know ASO funds cannot prevent classes and employees from getting cut, but the ASO could be doing more to prop up suffocating programs and struggling students. Money on stress balls is not getting it done. We need an ASO that will support students in this time of need and understands service to others. It is time to raise standards for ASO representatives. A 2.0 GPA is not enough. Students who want to be leaders of an institution of higher education need to be enrolled in leadership and public administration courses, maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 and be accountable for their actions (or interaction). We also need student leaders who respect the concepts of open government, transparency and access. ASO record keeping is shoddy and past documents are difficult (if not impossible) to access. Student government—a taxpayer funded endeavor— needs to adhere to the spirit and letter of the Ralph M. Brown Public Meetings Act. Meeting agendas and minutes need to be posted on the ASO website in conspicuous places on campus that are easily accessible to the community at least 72 hours prior to meetings, preferably one week. Community members have the right to know what the ASO is doing and how it allocates resources. SWC’s governing board is acting with more transparency and the public is taking notice. Our community’s election of reformers Norma Hernandez, Humberto Peraza, Tim Nader and William Stewart was a clear message for change. Our ASO needs to embrace change, too, and become a student service organization we can all be proud of.

Letters Policy

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.

It swells, leaks, folds, expands and absorbs. It’s the biggest sexual organ on the human body and it reacts to everything we see, feel or think. Its sensitivity is rivaled by no other part on the human body, and no two are alike. It indicates to the world that we are alive, grows with life or shrinks with cold, expands, retracts, stiffens and relaxes. If you’re thinking about a penis, you might be sorely disappointed. I’m talking about skin. Skin is comprised of three layers of cell types and comes in all shades and pore sizes. We paint it, scar it (whether on purpose, accident or to fix something inside), try to shrink it or inject things into it, all in the name of beauty and attraction. Infants have been known to recover from serious illnesses due to touch, as it lowers blood pressure and stress. Those who are held regularly are more secure, adaptable and have also shown a decrease in emotional, social and behavioral problems later in life. Western cultures have gravitated toward individualistic societies, believing that touch, whether about strangers, friends, or even our own bodies, is taboo. It’s not surprising that few realize just how important skin is when it comes to connecting with a partner. It indicates arousal, embarrassment, chemistry and displeasure. A slight touch can pucker pores and raise hairs to retain warmth, something we call goosebumps. Skin can be a billboard of emotion to our own true feelings, whether it’s that first tingling kiss, a final moment of ecstasy or nothing at all. Skin also has its own language. It requires no words and our physical reactions can rarely be controlled. Along with how we move and what we put on over it, skin tattles about our health, genetics, diet and emotions, all without uttering a syllable. Every single square inch of skin is covered in thousands of nerve endings, some more than others, each sending signals directly to the brain. Inside a tiny pea-sized clitoris there are an estimated 8,000 nerve endings, whereas the penis has only half that many. Reading someone else’s skin language isn’t as hard as one might think. People have been finding ways to have fun with skin – in and out of the bedroom – for thousands of years. Whether deeply intimate or just plain kinky, focusing on our most sensitive organ can sometimes lead to surprising results about ourselves and partners. Blindfolding, for instance, can remove one of the senses we depend on the most. Without being able to see what a partner is doing, listening and feeling become the main focus. Without sight, sometimes the slightest touch can be enhanced tenfold. Some couples enjoy sensory deprivation, canceling out sight and sound to enhance physical sensation. While feathers and hot wax might be too much for some, our most basic need to thrive is fed through intimacy and touch. For those thinking only of genitals or breasts, expand your mind a little and look at your partner from head to toe. From scalp to soles of feet, skin covers every single square inch of the human body, and some parts are more sensitive than others. Muscles along the spine often carry stress and tension, which can easily be remedied by massage. Skin that is often left untouched, such as the underside of the bicep, the nape and ears can send shivers of pleasure directly through the brain. Everyone enjoys touch in a different way. Some are turned on by sensitive, feather-like touches, others like more definitive, rougher touch. To find out what a partner likes, ask! Knowing, or even the journey of discovering what a partner likes, can be eye-opening. Taking the time to get to know their bodies can create an emotional and physical bond. Touch, however, isn’t always a positive experience. Those who are victims of rape or molestation, no matter the age, can associate please see Skin pg. A8

You can reach Angela by e-mail at angela.


Daniel Guzman, editor


Winter Edition 2012-2013 Volume 56, Issue 3

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

Chula Vista liquor stores must stop selling Spice By Margie Reese / A Perspective

“Mama, help me please!” came the desperate cries from the bathroom. My 45-year-old son was sprawled on the floor clutching his heart. His eyes rolled into the back of his head with no response. I called 911 only to have him jump up and say he was fine. He was not fine. He had been smoking Spice, a synthetic cannabinoid. Spice is derived from natural herbs sprayed with synthetic chemicals that mimic the effects of cannabis or “pot” but is far more dangerous with long lasting effects. Known by the street names K2, Spice, Genie and herbal incense. These products are mimics not copies of THC. Many brands of the dangerous drug are still found in liquor stores and smoke shops here in Chula Vista. In 2010 the Dr ug Enforcement Administration used its emergency powers to ban these products that can cause psychosis and could trigger a chronic psychotic disorder. In July the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 was signed into law by President Obama. The law added certain classes of synthetic cannabinoids and two substituted cathinones­m ephedrone and MDPV to the Federal Controlled Substances Act. More than 40 states have made this product illegal so it is conceivable that eventually

every state will follow suit. A new law in California makes it a misdemeanor to sell, dispense or distribute a synthetic cannabinoid compound.   Depending on the mixture of drugs, Spice causes different outcomes. San Diego emergency room doctors have seen Spice horror stories. A 16-year-old girl was brought in unable to speak, respond to touch and catatonic. A urine test showed cannabinoids in her system. Problems with movement and speech were exhibited in a 16-year-old boy who seemed confused and only able to answer simple questions. An 18-year-old boy exhibited symptoms of aggressive, uncooperative and restless behavior with excessive sweating and agitation. In August of 2011 the measure to ban the sale of these products was carried by California Assemblyman Ben Hueso (D-San Diego). “We do not know what’s in them,” he said. “We only know they are creating havoc in our community. They are causing deaths, creating hallucinations in people (and) making people more violent.” Spice users frequently report symptoms like: • acute anxiety or paranoia • panic attacks or hallucinations • a feeling of alienation/disassociation from the world • irregular heart beat/palpitations/tremors/seizures While some Spice users do not consider it addictive, many doctors disagree and insist it causes permanent damage to the brain. My 45-year-old son lying on the bathroom floor made the wrong choice and is now in prison. The damage done to his life and his brain is irreversible. The heartbreak to his family is overwhelming. The temporary high was not worth it. Not even close.

Joaquin Junco/Staff

Palestinians are not treated fairly


Out Loud

What would you name the area next to the cafeteria?

Brandon Diaz, 19, Criminal Justice major

“I would rename it just lunch area or cafeteria extension. When people have something to say they don’t just go to that area. The whole campus is the free speech area.”

Jonathan Higa, 35, ASO Senior Project Clerk-hourly Joaquin Junco/Staff

By Lina Chankar    A Perspective

of movement, shooting at passersby, imprisoning Palestinians for years on end without trial – the list goes on.   America’s mainstream media speaks of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank as if it is something routine. It seems acceptable because America supports Israel. What the mainstream media does not talk about much is how those illegal settlements came about. They came about by ruthlessly kicking Palestinian families out of their homes with no remuneration. Building settlements on hijacked land should never be accepted by anyone.   Israel’s Ministry of Transport recently called for segregating Palestinians with separate bus lines. In 2012 this world is still seeing racial segregation. What would the celebrated and brave Rosa Parks say about this if she were alive today?  Israel’s worst enemy is not the few and hopeless suicide bombers, but the growing peace activists, protesters and human rights organizations that are speaking out against them. For decades the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has stifled them and kept them from the public eye.   Now the IDF is losing that battle. With opposition growing, Israel’s inhumane actions toward Palestinians

are being recorded and published online. One human rights organization named B’Tselem went as far as giving Palestinians cameras to record these vicious inhumane activities. Thanks to the Internet Age more Arabs in the Middle East are seeing and  yearning for democratic change.  Arab springs have become a powerful force in the Middle East. This is a revolution that is history in the making. Citizens are no longer accepting dictators for leaders. They are finally speaking up for a change in large numbers. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It is time to look at the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from a different pair of eyes. Making the same mistake over and over, in this case supporting Israel over basic human rights of people, is the definition of insanity. Some connect this issue with religion, but the real issue is human rights and freedom. Dehumanization of AfricanAmericans years ago was outrageous and it took a long time for the majority to see that. Today’s dehumanization of Palestinians is also outrageous.

Alfonso Espinoza, 21, Photography major

“The Cove because there’s a little hut there that reminds me of the beach.” Compiled by Paulina Briceno

for decades. Over and over people have supported Israel’s position without Before crossing the street children considering the Palestinian side. It is in America look both ways for traffic. for Palestinians a reminder of slavery During my childhood in the Middle in America. Not long ago slavery was East we were taught to look both ways legal and accepted by American society for snipers. Being shot during the war without taking into consideration the gave me the courage me to speak up for African-American’s side.    human rights.   Dr. Deepak Chopra has a  simple, yet Political leaders of Middle East conflicts powerful explanation for the circle of violence.   are savage beasts with one main goal: “Terrorism isn’t insanity,” he wrote. “It selfish gratification. There are those who grows out of social conditions that are are hungry for money and those who are well known: poverty, social oppression, hungry for power, while those that want dictatorship and a void of meaning in a change with justice and democracy are the lives of ordinary people.” silenced and pushed aside.   In last few  months people are Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon in seeing  Israel’s true identity when it the midst of a savage war, my life there comes to mistreatment of Palestinians, was psychologically  daunting. Hiding which is creating a vicious cycle of anger in underground shelters during the war and violence.  was on the weekly to-do list. Crossing Israel’s government does  not want a the street while hiding behind walls and peaceful resolution  with Palestinians, buildings to avoid snipers  was a major no matter how many times it says so feat. Sitting in a back seat of a car as a kid in public. Actions speak louder than approaching a checkpoint with fear for words. Israel’s actions have included being caught simply for being Palestinian.  the oppression and occupation of the Kids and families in America have it Palestinian people for decades. Killing so much easier than those living in the in mass numbers with air strikes and Middle East war.   ground invasions, cutting off water and Conflict between Israelis and electricity supply, not allowing travel Palestinians has been almost non-stop for employment, restricting freedom

“The official name for that area is the Student Union Patio.”

Luis Espinoza, 22, Undecided

“The Spot because it’s a chill spot to be at during break or to meet up with friends.”


The Southwestern College Sun

Winter Edition 2012-2013 Volume 56, Issue 3


Journalists ready to cover end of the world By Marshall Murphy A Perspective

Adrian Martinez/Staff

Midwives still best way to give birth

“Some say the end is near. Some say we’ll see Armageddon soon. I certainly hope we will. I sure could use a vacation from this.” – Ænima Tool. With America on the edge of a “fiscal cliff,” the Mayan calendar coming to an end and the threat of super diseases from China, 2012 can be a scary place. Everyone needs to relax. Mayans mark the end of their 400 year calendar cycle this December 21. The last time the calendar renewed itself they believed Quetzalcoatl, god of intelligence and selfreflection, would come from the eastern sea. Instead of meeting the feathered serpent god, they collided violently with the Old World. Hernan Cortez and his army marched into Meso-America and ushered in an era of disease, slavery and decimation of the native population. Could this happen in our Age of Technology? Most Americans brush off the latest in the never-ending stream of apocalyptic predictions. Others, though, cling to guns and Bibles to prepare for end times. Raptures, solar flares, meteor strikes, pandemics or nuclear war could be the calamitous end of the world as we know it. Many sources pointed to 2012 as a significant year in the ebb and flow of the universe. Doomsdayers include Nostradamus, Hopi Indians and the Book of Revelations. These, like every other end-time prediction, will pass without result. On May 21, 2011, the world was supposed to end, according to ominous end-times billboards posted by eccentric Christian radio magnate Harold Camping. Master Harold and a herd of followers climbed the highest of the Oakland Hills and waited for the rapture. They waited… and waited… and waited. Then

they went home. Southwestern College Professor of Art History Dr. Mark Van Stone is author of “2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya.” He has been interviewed on National Geographic and television shows around the world debunking the 2012 predictions. Van Stone said or 4 ajaw 3 K’ank’ in is the date the Maya calendar is renewed after 13 bactums (intervals of 400 years). Key word here is “renewed.” Van Stone said there are many reasons why the Mayan-inspired scenario is false. Most of these predictions of the end are drawn from one broken stone artifact and a crudelywritten book from the 18th century. The ending of the world on December 21, 2012 is contradictory to other sources of Mayan artifacts depicting Quetzalcoatl returning 40 years from 2012. Many Mayan hieroglyphs have been manipulated. Unlike the Koran or Bible where scriptures have remained somewhat consistent, Mayans have built upon their glyphs, modifying their messages. If a Mayan stone carver were to mess up on a carving he would carry on. The Mayans generally did not correct their mistakes because they believed god willed the mistake. So who knows how many “mistakes” where actually made. The actual Mayan prophecy is not explicit. It states that the demigod Chilam Balam will “get dressed” (this means to perform a ceremony for the people) ushering in something like creation. Along with the ceremony comes a green bird and the second coming of the feathered serpent. All these end-times theories can become exhausting and create a massive headache for those who fear them and those trying to ignore them. Nevertheless, just in case the end is near and the four horsemen storm San Diego County, I will have my camera at the ready and cover the end of time.

Homeless students often overlooked

Ailsa Alipusan/Staff

By Christopher Sheaf A Perspective

Adrian Martinez/Staff

By Paulina Briceno A Perspective

Childbirth has become medical mayhem with impatient doctors and multitasking nurses flitting around flickering neon rooms in germy hospitals. It is a wonder any baby chooses to leave the womb. Midwives have delivered healthy babies for centuries and are still the best option, despite what practitioners of “modern medicine” try to sell. Most women just want a healthy baby without surgery. The chance of having a caesarean section can be reduced by a midwife filled with knowledge and skills providing soothing encouragement. Midwives are there to listen to the woman’s body, while obstetricians are simply there to manage the childbirth. Catherine Taylor’s book, “Giving Birth: A Journey into the World of Mothers and Midwives” shows that the United States has approximately 6,000 nurse-midwives and about 33,000 obstetricians. The Dutch have the lowest percentage of babies and mothers who die or are injured during childbirth. They also have the lowest rate of medical intervention during deliveries and their midwives deliver

70 percent of their babies. One in three of those births take place at home. Midwives are specialized to deliver healthy babies. Certified nurse midwives are employed in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, birthing centers, public health departments, community health centers and private practice. “A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is an advanced nurse practitioner who specializes in providing pregnancy, birth and postpartum care to families,” according to a UCSD Health System statement. “She may also offer well-woman care, family planning and other services. All CNM’s are registered nurses and have graduated from a Master’s level specializing nurse-midwifery. They are accredited by the American College of Nurse-Midwives, have passed a national certification exam and meet strict requirements set by state health agencies.” Risk of experiencing an infant death is 19 percent lower for births attended by certifiednurse midwives than for births attended by physicians. Risk of neonatal mortality (infant death in the first 28 days of life) is 33 percent lower and the risk of delivering a low please see Midwives pg. A8

Southwestern College has become home sweet home for a growing number of homeless. As the face of the college changes, so does the face of homelessness. A new generation of younger, tidier homeless may be refugees, victims of the real estate crash or veterans of the Afghanistan/Iraq wars. Even people down on their luck and living on the street know that college can help them go from homeless to hopeful. SWC, as it has been for generations, remains a doorway to a better future. Homeless people fall through the cracks of our society and at Southwestern there is no accurate measure of how many are enrolled. Every SWC student is required to register with a valid mailing address, meaning homeless students must “borrow” or fake one. This leaves no official trace of their circumstance which, unfortunately, makes intervention difficult. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs puts food and shelter at the forefront. L e a r n i n g a n d s k i l l - b u i l d i n g a re difficult when someone’s basic needs are not met. As was said in the 1960s, “Johnny can’t learn when Johnny’s hungry.” SWC could be doing more to help. Even with a tight budget, effective changes could be made that would not cost the school. A major issue for homeless students is slow financial aid. It can take months for them to receive checks. They often cannot afford books or school supplies until that check

arrives, meaning they are already behind in class Money spent on homeless college students is a good investment. These students are clearly motivated, tough and persistent. They know an education is the best way to get off the streets. Every homeless graduate is soon likely to be one less homeless on the street. Some of these students ask for help through programs like Financial Aid and EOPS, but there are many more who do not. Counselors can only point them to already-full shelters and overburdened social service agencies. Few people realize that something as fundamental as getting three meals can easily take five or more hours a day for the homeless, if they manage to do it at all. The homeless have nowhere to store food. Their pantry consists of how much they can carry and the cheapest food is almost never the closest. Other community colleges have innovative programs to help homeless students. Mira Costa College runs a food bank, with no questions asked. Non-profit organizations around the country provide the same kind of service by relying on donations. San Francisco City College has H o m e l e s s A t - R i s k Tr a n s i t i o n a l Students Programs. They provide counseling, cafeteria vouchers, and scholarship offers to homeless students or anyone at risk. They specially tailor their academic advice to address the unique needs of homeless students instead of treating them the same as any other. Dave Wade is an example of what homeless students can accomplish.

Wa d e , a 5 5 - y e a r - o l d h o m e l e s s student, managed to become a respected Jaguar football player last year through sheer willpower and effort. There are doubtlessly other students with the drive and fortitude that powered Wade, but willpower alone cannot overcome bias. Far too many people dismiss the idea of helping the homeless because they “did something to deserve it” or they are too lazy to get a job and would rather rely on welfare. A parallel can be drawn with the way many criticized people caught by the subprime mortgage crisis. Homeowners who lost their homes to foreclosure were blamed for not being able to pay their loans, even though interest rates skyrocketed out of their control. Uncontrolled circumstances leave thousands of Americans homeless every year. Few believe “it could happen to me.” SWC is bracing for a spike in veterans returning from war. There are more than 100,000 homeless veterans in America, about 10 percent of the homeless population. These are men and women who fought for our country and receive sizable help with things like loans and housing, but still find themselves on the street. Homelessness often accompanies a mental or physical illness. Homeless vets are at even higher risk because many have been through traumatic experiences in combat, with a significant number having lost limbs or developed mental disorders like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Coming home will be harder than ever. SWC needs to help.



Winter Edition 2012-2013 Volume 56, Issue 3

The Southwestern College Sun

College does not respect religious students

By Enrique Raymundo A Perspective

In places where people flock to learn, it may be hard to soar on the wings of an eagle when others are there to rustle feathers. Coming to an institution of higher education and picking the “wrong” ideas to express can lead to ridicule, not celebration. It is sad because it is easy to lose faith in religion and it is so much harder to cling to it in the mocking face of adversity. Mocking faces show themselves most

Joaquin Junco/Staff

often in places of learning. Richard Dawkins, a notable atheist, doctor and professor at Oxford University, told The Guardian that he believed in religion until he discovered evolution to be a better explanation for life. Dawkins went on to write books describing religion as a harmful accident spurred by human tendency to explain the unexplainable, like candles drawing light-navigating moths in only to destroy them, and

has ridiculed scientists who provide evidence that religion is useful. A n o t h e r d o c t o r, Re v. Ma r t i n Luther King Jr., went on to show whether theism was harmful or not for humanity, it could spur a genuine good for people, evidenced by the Civil Rights movement he led. If it is a wash whether religion is harmful or not, why are atheists so militant in places of higher education? Generally, religious teachings instruct their disciples to ignore any

slights on themselves. Their path of religion is the path of faith and introspection, not of the calculator and scantron. But to those who pursue both faith and education, there is only so much turning the other cheek to be done before there are no cheeks left to turn. What purpose does ske wering religion serve? Much of the time, anti-theists are just yelling into the ears of a person unable to listen. The language of faith is different from the language of academia and a scientist debating a religious person will soon come across “unfalsifiable claims.” Believing that a God exists is core to Christian, Judaic and Islamic faiths. Logical and scientific discourse is unable to disprove God, because God is a being of miracles, which are impossible (or infinitely unlikely) in logic and science. Conflict between the two sides is foolish and pointless. Until either the scientific or religious sides change their methods of discussion, it will be impossible for either side to properly argue their case. And yet, both sides seem incredibly interested in keeping the impossible discourse going. Both the theists and the atheists have members guilty of being pushy. On one side, you have the Neo-Atheists, with their message of “religion is bad for people and it should be removed from society for the good of all.” On the other, you have the overlyevangelical, spreading the word of God about four inches from your nose. Both sides are criticized even by their peers for being over-zealous and violent with their words. Even if it were possible to “talk sense” into the opposing camp, there is still no point. The college is a place of education and tolerance, and warring ideologies earns no one college credit. Religious faith is a gift, precious to those who possess it. People should be able to choose what to do with their faith as long as it does not hurt anyone. It should not be used to bludgeon people over the head nor be smashed into the ground. Although college is a place of education and growth, people still try to make others feel like fools for being practitioners of a dogma that is old and stupid the eyes of their peers. Is it hard to ask people to accept that some college students want to believe in God without others mocking them for it? Well, no. Of course not. People just need to stop, though. Let the mockery stop. It is pointless, it is disheartening and it needs to stop for the good of all students who come to the promise of “higher education” to bask in the light and to learn.

Midwives: Home births are safest, healthiest delivery option Continued from Page A7

birth weight baby is 31 percent lower with a midwife attendant. Midwives are able to accurately assess the health of their pregnancies and the state of their labors. Women have been birthing babies for all of human time and it is a process that does not need to be altered. Home birth means no other patients, no schedules and no one going off shifts. No ugly butt-revealing robes. Women are the center of the birth, not a hospital crew. Every mother deserves a midwife. Obstetricians can use natural methods and offer some midwife skills, but there is a higher chance of caesarean surgery. “Certified nurse-midwife patients have shorter lengths of stay, fewer NICU admission, lower C-section rates, fewer low-birth-weight infants and higher breastfeeding rates,” said Tonia Moore-Davis, a clinical practice manager of nurse-midwifery at Vanderbilt School of Nursing. Elective induction is one of the causes of low-birth rate and a low birth weight baby has a much higher rate of dying within the first year. To improve birth we must care about mothers and babies. We need to show the country we want to save our babies and the outcomes. Our high tech medical world has shaped the way we define birth because it focuses on the things that can go wrong. Although 93 percent of births in America take place in a hospital, the World Health Organization concluded that the “preferred location for most births is outside the hospital, either at home or in a birthing center.” A woman can choose to birth with an obstetrician and still choose a natural method, but why not choose the best of the best?

Skin: Touch can deepen intimacy and sensuality

Continued from Page A5

touch as a frightening, negative experience. Without help—talking to professionals and/or having positive experiences — those who have been physically, sexually or emotionally assaulted may shy away from human contact altogether, living in emotional isolation and depression. Touch is not always positive but there are ways to re-learn, or learn for the first time, that it is not always negative, either. Communicating those fears and needs can be the difference between feeling like a victim, or healing as a survivor. For those committed to abstinence, this can be a great way to connect physically without fear of going too far. Clothes don’t have to be removed to give a partner a massage or to snuggle during a movie. So if you’re thinking of giving your partner something amazing, consider waking up some nerve cells in their skin and get to know them on a skin-deep level.

>Guest Opinion

Library hour cuts hurt student learning and success

By Josue Arredondo, English Instructor A perspective

Because of a cabinet decision, the library staff must reduce hours by a whopping 26 percent in the spring. The Southwestern College Library/Learning Resource Center will go from being open 54 hours per week to only 40. All this is because the school will not replace a retiring library aide. Our library will now have banker’s hours. It will be open just nine hours per day Monday through Thursday, and four hours on Friday. Saturday hours will be no more. The cabinet voted not to fill the aide position knowing full well library hours would be cut. It is important that students voice their opinion. This decision will negatively affect all students. In times of scarce resources, political apathy is a luxury we can ill afford. It is time for administrators to reflect on their priorities. We have a brand new $2 million snack bar, The Time Out Café. The school is building a fancy new football stadium. The board voted to approve a salary increase for incoming vice presidents. Is it worth the $28,000 in the spring to cut the heart and soul of the campus? While this particular cut in library hours may not directly affect accreditation, it hinders student success.

Our school’s mission statement says our college exists to promote “student learning and success.” Cutting a fourth of the library’s hours to save $28,000 dollars is not consistent the hallmarks of a quality school. Students who work during the day will find it more difficult to succeed. They may have to take a day off of work to do research. Those without computers or the Internet will have two less hours to work per day. Students will need to scramble for library space. If they use a coffee house to study they will need to buy a drink. Less hours means less opportunities to check out reserve materials, speak face-to-face with a research librarian or meet with a tutor. I was once a student at Southwestern and earned associate degrees in English and history. I wrote my fair share of research essays. SWC librarians taught me how to find quality sources and properly frame research questions. My grades improved and I made the President’s List and the Vice President’s List. This occurred partly because I built a relationship with the research librarians and learned from them. Our many quality interactions taught me how to write well. Now I am an English instructor and a writing tutor at SWC. If we want students to excel academically we need to offer more

than just the minimum amount of hours. Doing the minimum is not the Jaguar Way. Our library plays an essential role in building quality academic experiences. This is why everyone should protest the cut in library hours. Sadly, in the age of online books and resources, people feel they can get the same quality services online. This is an erroneous belief. Students need the quality services from a library. Claiming that students need only a study space and Wi-Fi is shortsighted. One size does not fit all. Not all students are the same. No cheap imitation will do. The real library needs to be open. Some point out that if the library did not get the cut, then some other service would have to be cut. This justification is little solace for frustrated students. I know Superintendent Dr. Melinda Nish can do better for our students. I know the Vice Presidents can do better. It is time the school leadership reflects on its values and mission. I trust that our board and administrators will do the right thing. Hiring one person would keep the library open 12 more hours a week. Rehiring a library aid will enable library circulation staff to properly meet student needs. Doing any less shortchanges student success. That is not the Jaguar Way.

Joaquin Junco/Staff

Winter Edition 2012-2013, Volume 56, Issue 3

The Southwestern College Sun

ARTS l h



Former swc child prodigy dazzles on her new christmas single




By Lina Chankar, Assistant News Editor Photos by Serina Duarte, Photo Editor

s a precociously talented teen Jessica Lerner made a name for herself as the dazzling singing Christmas star in “La Pastorela” at the Old Globe Theater. She no longer needs the glittering gown to shine. Lerner launched her new holiday single, “From This Christmas On,” at a chilly Horton Plaza with a performance that left the audience with warm hearts. Chula Vista’s musical prodigy has grown into a star in her own right. A piano student at Southwestern College at the tender age of eight, Lerner started showcasing her vocal talents at nine. A year later she performed on tour and sang the national anthem at Petco Park, one of many appearance she has made there. Her talents flourished at the Coronado School of Arts, where she blossomed as a singer/songwriter and guitarist. Lerner released her first album in February to universal acclaim. It has become a sensation on iTunes. At the VIP event in Horton Plaza’s Westfield mall she released her first Christmas single. Family, friends and loyal supporters enjoyed “From This Christmas On” and two other originals. Lerner, who usually writes all her own songs, collaborated with producer Steven Wetherbee. For more than 30 years Wetherbee has been a producer and is currently at Golden Track Recording Studio in Escondido. He has worked with artists such as Toni Braxton, P.O.D., Rush, Santana and other big musical names. George Martin, the transformative producer of The Beatles, said he chose to work with the band because he found John, Paul, George and Ringo very charming people. Wetherbee had a similar feeling about Lerner. “First and foremost, if I’m going to work with someone, I have to really like the person,” he said. “Jessica is a very compassionate and

giving person.” Lerner’s younger brother, Zev, films and handles the video production for his “Big Sis.” “I have been her little brother supporting her the whole way,” he said. “I always look up to her.” Lerner said she is inspired by nearly everything. “I write songs about things that move me,” she explained. “Whether it’s love or a special person or believing in yourself, anything that grips you and gets you emotional is worthy for song writing.” At every Lerner performance she takes the time to greet her loyal fans and connect with them. During the cold night at Horton Plaza, she performed a heartwarming tribute called “Hey Mason” about a small boy diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis who recently passed away after years of fighting the dreadful disease. Mason’s parents flew in from Portland, Oregon to surprise Lerner and show their support. Pamela Lerner, Lerner’s “mom-ager,” has been a big support system for her daughter. She recognizes that her daughter’s talents can affect others. “One of Jessica’s important goals is to affect and excite modern culture,” she said. “To be the voice of deep thoughts and inspirations for other people.” Wetherbee said the holiday tune was unique in the genre. “I thought it was a neat idea,” Wetherbee said. “Most Christmas songs are not necessarily about having a relationship with somebody and remembering that moment in time.” Wetherbee said he is excited about Lerner’s future. “In five years I’d like to see her at the Grammys,” he said. “She really loves the people. You can see that. For her it’s not about being famous, it’s about just seeing the love in the people that come to see her.”



A h



ROCK THE HALLS — Chula Vista recording artist Jessica Lerner, 23, who once dazzled Old Globe audiences as the singing Christmas star in “La Pastorela,” is now a star in her own right following her Horton Plaza performance of “From This Christmas On.”





Ana Bahena, editor


Winter Edition 2012-2013, Volume 56, Issue 3

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

Local art scholars battle over lost da Vinci Walled over 500-year-old masterpiece may be hiding behind another great work By Marianna Saponara Staff Writer

Dan Brown’s mega-best seller “The Da Vinci Code,” with its epic historic and religious conspiracies, secret messages and political intrigue, may have only scratched the surface. Leonardo is doing again what he always did best, stirring up the imagination of mankind. Not bad for a man who has been dead for nearly 500 years. Da Vinci, the Renaissance man of the Renaissance, is the focal point of a mystery that features warring art historians, a tottering Italian government, two 15th century masterpieces, UCSD scholars and a small group of Southwestern College faculty and students. Dan Brown should get out his laptop and take some notes, the latest DaVinci dustup is worthy of “Angels and Demons.” This story begins on June 29, 1440, when two armies of mounted swordsmen battled at a bridge in Tuscany. Da Vinci was commissioned to paint a sweeping mural on a wall in a beautiful Florence hall portraying the battle in which a Milanese battalion, battle flags unfurled, defended their land on the Anghiari planes. Da Vinci’s “La Battaglia di Anghiari” (“The Battle of Anghiari”) has been described by those who saw it as a stunning masterpiece replete with The Master’s gift of painting humans and horses, his two favorite subjects. Anghiari’s bloody battle, however, ended quicker that the cultural war raging today in the Italian halls of power, the world headquarters of National Geographic, UCSD and San Diego’s Little Italy community. Da Vinci backers claim there is a massive cover-up in this story, which is “La Battaglia di Anghiari” itself. Art historians are convinced the da Vinci masterpiece is centimeters behind a wall erected in the 1560s featuring a second masterwork, Giorgio Vasari’s fresco “Battle of Marciano.” UCSD Professor Dr. Maurizio Seracini, an art diagnostician, has spent more than three decades searching for Leonardo’s lost battle mural backed by $250,000 from the National Geographic Society and a $5,000 contribution by San Diego’s Little Italy Cultural Center. Seracini said he thinks he found the da Vinci behind the Vasari mural. By drilling small holes through damaged portions of the Vasari wall, Seracini and his team extracted samples of paints and dye on the backing wall that are consistent with da Vinci’s personal formula. Leonardo scholars around the world were riveted by the news and the Italian National Geographic broadcasted a documentary in March. As quickly as the news raced around the world, the project came to a screeching halt. Italy’s powerful arts directive, Italia Nostra, put a stop to the investigation after University of Naples Professor Tomaso Montanari led a petition drive to protest the drilling of holes in the Vasari mural. Seracini’s argument that the drilling was being done surgically and only in damaged parts of the Vasari masterpiece did not persuade Montanari and his backers. Alessandra Mottola Molfino, president of the Italian National Trust, went so far as to file a criminal complaint that brought the Carabinieri, Italy’s military


“La Battaglia di Anghiari” by Joaquin Junco/staff

police, to Florence’s Salone dei Cinquecento (Hall of the 500) where Seracini’s team was working. Italy’s Minister of Cultural Properties ordered the work stopped and Seracini’s scaffolding in front of the Vasari mural was disassembled. Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi protested and sided with Seracini, but to no avail. Renzi said he believes the da Vinci fresco is behind the Vasari work and that both works could be saved. Vasari backers were alarmed, however, by something Renzi said. “If I had to choose,” the mayor was quoted as saying. “I would choose Leonardo.” Seracini is on record as not wanting to damage the Vasari mural, but he said there is ample historical and scientific evidence that a da Vinci masterpiece was bricked off in the 1560s by the powerful Medici family when it ordered the ceiling of the Hall of 500 to be raised. Cosemo I seemed willing to sacrifice the Leonardo fresco in order to create a more grandiose building and allow in more light. (Ironically, da Vinci himself had recommended the same modifications about 60 years earlier.) Renaissance architect and painter Vasari was brought in to supervise the construction work and paint a new floor-to-ceiling

mural. Vasari was said to have great respect for Leonardo and did not want to destroy “La Battaglia di Anghiari.” Seracini hypothesized that Vasari painted his own battle mural on a brick wall in front of Leonardo’s painting. Near the top of Vasari’s fresco just below the ceiling he left a mysterious message on a battle pennant. “Cerca trova” (Search and ye shall find) painted Vasari, mimicking da Vinci’s own penchant for leaving tantalizing clues in his works. Vasari, it turns out, also left an air gap between the newer wall his mural is on and the original wall behind it. Seracini and other scholars have postulated that he was attempting to preserve the da Vinci fresco. Seracini had state-of-the art technology to work on the 500-year-old mystery. LIDAR imaging, radar and endoscopic probes with miniature cameras peered in behind the Vasari wall. Extracting tools brought out samples of paint and pigments that have spent half a millennium in the Florentine darkness. Black and brown pigments collected were similar in chemical composition to paint used by da Vinci in “Mona Lisa” and “St. John the Baptist,” according to a scientific paper published by the Louvre which analyzed all da

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Vinci paintings in its collection. Seracini said he plans to publish his findings in the journal Nature in the coming months. Molfino, president of the Italian National Trust, condemned Seracini’s work and promised to fight future drilling in the Vasari mural. “The idea of discovering a Leonardo may appear romantic, but it is anti-historical, over-zealous, dangerous and demagogic,” she told Geoffrey Luck in the journal Quadrant Online. “This is a wasted expense when we need every penny for restoring the art we have. Instead of restoring Vasari’s ‘Battle of Marciano’ fresco, we are drilling holes in it.” Seracini and his team of researchers insist Molfino is overstating the risk to the Vasari fresco, which they all claim to greatly respect and admire. Tiny bore holes were only drilled in cracks, damaged areas or restored areas, Seracini said, and no original Vasari brush strokes were touched. Art aficionados on both sides of the controversy admit to being curious about whether there is a lost Leonardo behind Vasari’s mural. It is a question that has taken nearly 500 years to reach this point. It may require a few more years.


Winter Choral Concert hits the right notes

One stumble was “Two Weeks,” a contemporary song by the band Grizzly Bear.h It initially excited the audience with its change in mood, but the four soloists struggled t isn’t Christmas on the Bonita Mesa until the to the find the blend. Strong musicians saved the day. Winter Choral Concert serenades the holidays Juan Medina on percussion, Chris Murillo on bass and and gives a little joy to the world. instructor David Castel De Oro on piano drove an Southwestern College’s rough but hopeful 2012 upbeat mood an provided a musical safety net. was shown the door by a rough but inspiring Otherwise, the vocalists were clear as a starry winter showcase of seasonal songs performed by the night. Soloists Nicky Garcia and Alex Lira were SWC Concert Choir, Chamber Singers captivating on “Body and Soul” and the combined and Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Student voices Chamber Singers sparkled on “Can’t Stop the Music” soared and reached for a little holiday were high-energy h h and “Sparklejollytwinklejingly.” Both h magic, which made up for some awkward celebrations of the holidays that put smiles on the student bodies which often looked reluctant audience’s faces. to move. Soloist Andra Cason took on “Take My Breath Away” h SWC’s Jazz Vocalh Ensemble warmed and took the audience’s breath away. up the audience with some roasting There was a fight for space on a small stage that limited chestnuts. Soloist Stacey Barnett choreography and crowded singers like an electronics performed “Earlyn Autumn” with sale on Black n Friday. Stumbling choreography was such warmth you could almost hear a most evident in the Chamber Singers’ performance crackling fire. A gifted young singer- of the Adele megahit “Rollin’ in the Deep.” Swinging musician, Barnett has become an limbs creased performers’ faces with worry and distress, SWC treasure. detracted from the number. Audience members were h Dr. Terry Russell betterh h Director off closing their eyes to hear sublime voices and and Tracy Burklund had not watch the subpar movement. the voices well prepared. To end the night the SWC Concert Choir performed S t a g e p r e s e n c e , “Gloria” the way it was intended, with passion, however, was another reverence and joy. Winter’s chill was no match for the matter. singer’s warmth.

By Ailsa Alipusan Assistant Arts Editor













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Interested in plays, music, art galleries?

Be a part of the Arts team at The Sun! Enroll in JOUR-200-01, “Newspaper Production” for the Spring semester. T&TH, 12pm - 1:15pm


The Southwestern College Sun

Winter Edition 2012-2013, Volume 56, Issue 3




‘Christmas Binge’ a wild ride for theatre-goers By Alexis Dominguez Staff Writer

UPS delivers practically everything these days, including haunting reminders of a selfish life. Christopher Durang’s musical parody “Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge” rang the doorbell and smacked a Mayan Hall audience with a wiseass version of “A Christmas Carol,” minus most of the Christmas. A sassy UPS delivery girl (Pamela Castillo) portrayed the Ghost of Christmas Past. She zapped Ebenezer Scrooge (William Carlton) with a ray gun when he tried to “humbug” his way out of the time-lapse. Whether it was singing or joking, Castillo owned the stage with a memorable performance. Castillo should have zapped Durang for his overuse of Scrooge’s signature “Bah, Humbug!” and for sucking all the Christmas out of the “Christmas Binge.” Durang, though, can be wickedly funny. Tiny Tim (Andre James Gonzales) caused gales of laughter when he helplessly bit on a raw fish for five minutes after begging Mrs. Cratchit (M. Susan Peck) for some food. Thanks to the great lighting crew, the colorful illumination elevated scenes and set them apart. When the group sang, lights flashed like a nightclub and the party was on. That Christmas feel was missing throughout the production. Costumes of neon green, orange high socks and purple hats replaced traditional holiday outfits. A Spartan set had no props or decorations besides a lonely brown table. Director Ruff Yeager and company made the point that Christmas lives in the heart. Santa was not invited to “Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge” for good reason. It tilted toward the naughty, which made the theatregoing experience kinda nice.

Talented musicians conjure jubilant jazz and saucy samba By Shari Dotson Staff Writer

Jazz is the language of great musical conversation. Its players may speak English, French, Portuguese, Spanish or German, but the message lies in the music. Southwestern College jazz musicians had conversations that sometimes included stuttering and hiccups, but the Mayan Hall audience understood it all. SWC’s Jazz Samba Ensemble was guilty of shouting and talking over its singers at times and could have used a few more rehearsals, but its vocalists and its infectious rhythms saved the talk. Its bossa nova beat was spicy and intriguing, but it felt overpowering as the brass drowned the piano that was struggling to keep up. During the opener, “Blue Bossa,” one of the guitarists missed notes, as did one of the trumpet players, who seemed to want to blare over the goofs. Saving the number were the violins, which appeared to be smoking as the bows sawed at the strings in the bright stage lights. Rochelle Baylon, a twig of a woman with a big voice that was amazing in both its range and quality, sang to her audience instead of at it. Dulce Perez also showcased a great voice with enough power to be heard over the band. She overcame a nervous start and grew into her voice as her confidence swelled. Among the instrumentalists the bongo drum was a very nice addition and added strength to the bossa nova beat. Several sax players were pleasant and the single cello was sweet. “Orbit,” the last number of the set, was the best and made for a very strong finish. This group conveyed a larger-thanlife persona which would have been awesome in an outdoor amphitheater venue where the big sound could have traveled better and not overwhelmed the room. Hats off to the spirit and generosity of the SWC Samba Ensemble, which volunteered its time and talents to perform despite budget cuts to the music department that left it working without class credit, according to director Dr. Jorge Pastrana. Tim Nunnink was next up with his SWC Jazz Improv Ensemble, the

evening’s most daring performers. Selections were melodic and wellplayed like comfort food for the soul. There was a wide age range of musicians in this group, from 18 to 80, and many sounded like retired pros looking for a place to play for enjoyment. Its first selection was composed by piano player Vick Kemp. “Sayeh” was truly lovely. It was calm, relaxing, rhythmic, sweet, yet upbeat. Each instrument contributed smoothly with the jazz spirit of generosity. Sax and piano seemed to have a conversation, then a few jazzy guitars jumped in, followed by some good sax coming full circle to create a feeling as mesmerizing as sitting by a warm fire on a cold rainy night. Brazilian standard “Triste” began with singer Jean Davis launching into melodic Portuguese, with a voice reminiscent of Aretha Franklin. A featured clarinet stumbled a bit, but several great sax players were very polished. Featured electric and acoustic guitars blended so well it was a joy to behold. A baritone sax brought it all home.

Vocalist Holly Leano had a tough act to follow but was up to the task. She and her band were in a cool groove. This was an outstanding group of accomplished musicians, with a light, polished feeling that left the audience wanting more. Act III was also directed by Nunnink, who led the SWC Big Band, a talented ensemble living in the Age of Technology with a time machine to the 1940s. Leading off with movie themes such as “Caravan” from “The Mummy,” and “Blackbird” from “Sleepless in Seattle,” the Big Band had big sound and big talent. “Gentle Rain” featured charismatic Rachel Sacks. Jean Davis took the stage again, this time singing in English with “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.” Davis created a jazzy lullaby calling up images of Rosie the Riveter waiting for her soldier to come back from war. A grand finale of “Zoot Suit Riot” was a very strong jazzy finish to a wonderful night of timeless music that gave audience members a warm glowing feeling and happy feet. SWC’s jazz musicians had done their jobs well.


Pablo Gandara/staff

HORNS OF PLENTY — (top) Skilled trumpet player Norman Rains provided a brassy bite to the band. (above) Sax player Daniel Carlson improvised a tasty solo.

“Night of the Iguana” Essay Winner Bullying Still Hurts Years Later By Humberto Perez Guest Contributor

I wish I would have thrown a punch. If I had, maybe I would not be here in the shadow of that mountain towering over me. That angry mountain casts a shadow of hate. I regret allowing myself to be terrorized by other children in elementary school. I really regret not fighting back, even if I would not have won. It is nothing unusual being bullied, it happened to a lot of us. What I regret is how I allowed it to change me. I am often told “It’s in the past, let it go,” but I won’t. It is not because I can’t let go, it’s because I do not want to. I have held onto those searing years for so long that they seem more real to me than what has followed. By not fighting back I have allowed the mountain of anger to cover me in its shadow. At its base is an image, like a frozen scene—a kick to my ass, a slap to the face, a cruel joke—and at its peak is my mind, where thoughts are repeated over and over in echoes, refracting my spirit a million times under the lens of doubt. Like Lawrence Shannon, the shamed former minister in “The Night of the Iguana,” I am left with a muddled mind. Since I did not fight back I never learned to deal with the situation. A conflict, like Shannon faced with Charlotte, begins small but grows in severity if we avoid it. Like him, I avoided conflict and was left with anger. Those boys who caused me so much pain are gone. Just as Charlotte

and the bus of women were taken from Shannon’s supervision, my bus of rowdy school children has gone away. Shannon and I blamed those people for our internal crisis, but now that they are gone we are alone to face our doubts. Shannon struggled with his physical cravings and his desire to go back to the church. I still carry anger from being bullied, but I no longer want to punch those who tormented me. At one time I wanted to wipe them out. Old emotions can lead to swelling from infectious thoughts and lead to misanthropy. I was 13 then and now I realize that hate became mixed with a realization. I can’t say it was a newfound love, but it was a better understanding of humans. Many would like to suffer a painless crucifixion for the sins of the world, but the world is erratic, not evil. Our pain is singular and we can not be a martyr for the world. We must live for ourselves the way we wish others to live. Shannon and I, like the iguana, were prisoners, but society is not going out of its way to imprison us. No one is after us to harm or capture us. Shannon released the iguana that was destined to be eaten the next day and by doing so he may have also given himself permission to release himself. Realizing that my tormentors—like the iguana’s captors—are only human, I am left to realize there is no longer a villain, just people. And people are the worst to deal with, especially when it is your own self.

Photos by Serina Duarte

PROJECT SANTA —Christmas came early this year for the single mothers of the CARE program at SWC. Organized by the EOPS department, “Project Santa” gave parents and their children a merry experience with puzzles, coloring books, movies and a chance to see Santa. EOPS Technician Maria Bautista said it was an opportunity to give back to the community.



Winter Edition 2012-2013, Volume 56, Issue 3

The Southwestern College Sun

Serina Duarte/staff

Tiny artists, big talent


Story By Amanda Abad, Editor-In-Chief Design by Ana Bahena, Arts Editor

outhwestern College’s youngest artists created a photography exhibit that was picture perfect. They even got to have their show where the big kids have theirs. SWC’s Child Development Center held a photo exhibit in the Student Art Gallery that was long on talent even if the photographers were short in stature. Preschool photographers captured their environment, friends and toys with unusual angles and uncensored artistry. Soft background music was drowned out by the wave of jokes and giggles from the artists. From a 15-month-old to a five-year-old, the young artists captured the moment. Estafano Fajardo, 4, snapped a photo of a dinosaur reenactment scene, complete with brown foliage, multiple dinosaurs and his friend.

Four-year-old Jeremiah Salazar snapped photographed his friend on the seesaw, or “the duck” as the kids call it nowadays. Interests piqued as people walked through the gallery and saw the different angles and the complex photos the kids took. Many parents jokingly accused the Child Development Center staff of taking or editing the displayed photos. Didn’t happen, the grown-ups insisted. These little artists were quick to show off their unique talents. They had parents and friends running around and sometimes crouching to look at their art. A group of photos taken with an infrared effect were the biggest attraction of the evening. Tiny faces of 14 kids in different colors looked out as an admiring audience looked on. If a picture is worth a thousand words, the CDC photo show was worth a million.

David Mcvicker/staff

FACES OF THE FUTURE — (top) The Lily Room, named after the group of two-year-olds, is a series of photos using an infrared effect on iPads. (above) Jeremiah Salazar gets love from his number one fan, his mom Carolina Salazar, at the Child Development Center art show. (below) Exhibited photographer Jaidyn Lee shows that greatness is within reach.

David Mcvicker/staff Serina Duarte/staff

Serina Duarte/staff

PICTURE PERFECT — (above) Gracelyn Lee shows her parents where to find a great photo. (above right) Maxwell Richisin describes his artistic vision.

Kasey Thomas/staff David Mcvicker/staff

BIG TALENT — (left) Ella Hunters, 4, tells viewers about her exhibited art. (above) Artist Keilani Morales, 1, and her delighted mommy enjoy the artful night.

Winter Edition 2012-2013, Volume 56 Issue 3

The Southwestern College Sun







Disabled fighters go the distance “Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway.” — Mary Kay Ash




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By David McVicker Sports Co-Editor

A Southwestern College campus police officer had to pull his cruiser onto the pitch and arm himself with a shotgun to disperse an unruly crowd of San Diego City College soccer players and their supporters following a tense SWC playoff victory. No one was arrested and no injuries were reported. Tempers flared throughout the match. Altercations began in the first half when freshman defender Sergio Villalva

S T H G I N 7 4 VS K 9

and SD City keeper Oscar Vasquez engaged in a shoving match. Several Knight players assaulted Villalva and one put him in a chokehold. Villalva’s Jaguar teammates rushed to his aid and minutes of chaos ensued. Referees broke up the scuffle and play resumed. Spectators from both sides of the field shouted at referees. A second confrontation erupted in the second half when an SD City defender bloodied his lip during play. Pushing and shoving ensued, and an SD City

player spit in the Jaguars’ direction. Referees stopped play to break up the fight and allow teams to cool off. Regulation ended with the score tied 0-0. SWC scored on SD City goalkeeper Vasquez for the winning goal. When the final whistle blew, both team’s benches and spectators poured on to the field. SWC Campus Police attempted to separate Jaguar players and SD City supporters. Some SD City parents

refused to follow police orders to leave the field. One parent challenged Officer Gen Murofushi to “do something about” his refusal to leave the area. Murofushi calmly walked to his police cruiser and pulled out his beanbag shotgun. He cocked the gun and the vociferous SD City supporters slowly drifted away without further incident. SWC players and fans praised Murofushi for staying calm but resolute, and diffusing a potentially-violent situation without injuries.

Photos By Pablo Gandara

PLAYOFF RUMBLE— (clockwise from left) SWC Campus Police Officer Gen Murofushi had to pull his beanbag shotgun from his cruiser when unruly San Diego City College players and fans refused to leave the field. SWC player Sergio Villalva was choked and kicked by four SDCC players. SDCC fans and parents attempted to engage SWC players but were blocked by SWC police and public safety officers.

David McVicker/Staff

ike most fighters Nick Newell entered the octagon to defend his undefeated record and to compete for the Xtreme Fighting Championships lightweight title with the intention of leaving it all in the cage. When the bell was struck, Newell went quickly to work on his opponent delivering a right-handed shot, then another and another. After choking his opponent out, Newell raised his right hand in victory. Newell’s right hand is his only hand, due to a congenital amputation, a condition preventing his left arm from developing past his elbow. Newell’s success is a strong message for the disabled community. A man with his circumstance could physically compete and achieve greatness as an equal. Newell does not let his disability define him. To most, his circumstances would be unfavorable for a fighter, but Newell overcame the bad hand life dealt him and ultimately turned his disability into the ability to submit and pummel his way to a title. Having one hand has only harmed some of the striking abilities, but his gifted wrestling abilities and triumphant spirit have made him a force. “My goal when I started was never to be the one-handed fighter,” said Newell to USA Today. “My goal is to be the best in the world.” Matt Hamill, a three-time NCAA Division III national champion, is deaf. Hamill’s disability has never deprived him of success as he embarked on a mission to become an MMA fighter. He found himself a nice six-year stand in the Ultimate Fighting Championship finishing with a 12-4 record. Anthony Robles, Arizona State’s 2010-11 NCAA wrestling national champion, found success in MMA with his first-class wrestling skills. Robles, who was born with one leg, refuses to wear prosthetic. Their triumphs of the human spirit to overcome adversity are the quintessential narratives a progressive society holds valuable. Their victories are not simply achievements in sports, but great feats for those who are treated or feel inferior because they fly with different sets of wings. MMA is a special recipe of talented athletes testing the limits of the human body and mind. Success by Newell, Hamill and Robles is a tribute to the pioneers of martial arts who wanted to compete and display their skills. They represent the versatile nature of the sport—anyone can be competitive. As the mixed martial arts audience continues to grow, the future is bright for fighters of all backgrounds and physical circumstances. Like bumblebees Newell, Hamill and Robles did not recognize their disabilities as such and flew past adversity to greatness. Their achievements and triumphs are the glue that keeps a progressive society hopeful.

The Give & Go can be reached at


Winter Edition 2012-2013, Volume 56 Issue 3


The Southwestern College Sun

David McVicker/Staff

HARD IN THE PAINT — (l) Southwestern Guard Shanesha Clayton splits defenders and drives to the rim against the Saddleback College Gauchos. (r) Sophomore guard/forward Kayla Payne earns the Jags two points against Taft College.

Lady Jaguars start to pull together

SWC women’s basketball team has four wins and plans to add more By David McVicker Sports Co-editor

A proverbial catfight occurred in the Southwestern College gym when the Lady Jaguars basketball team took on the Taft College Cougars. Taft’s size and strength on the post was too much for the Lady Jags who lost, 68-61. SWC (4-5) leapt to a quick 6-0 run to start the first half before Taft answered back to take the lead, 8-6. In the closing minutes of the half freshman guard Alexis Harris sank back-to-back 3-pointers to bring the Jags within two, 24-22. Sophomore Kayla Payne brought the first half to a close with a drive to the paint that tied the score at 26. Taft (5-6) wore down SWC during the second half behind 6-foot postplayer Crystal Faletoi, who received pass after pass for easy turnaround bank shots. SWC sophomore guard Chloe Cook valiantly drained four bombs from behind the arc, giving her 16 points on the day, but Taft prevailed, 68-61. Cook said she was disappointed with the outcome of the game.

“We’re a team that’s just slow in the start and we need to pick up earlier,” she said. “We show a lot of effort and we definitely care, we just did not start like we needed. We should have come out of this game with a win.” Cook said she needed to keep her focus. “I love basketball and I wanted to be in as much as I could,” she said. “We just had an off day today. I just need to push myself harder to get the win.” The Lady Jags sit in second place behind Palomar College in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference. SWC hit the road to faceoff against Los Angeles Trade Technical College (0-3). Try as they might, the Beavers just couldn’t dam up the Lady Jag’s flow. SWC capitalized on opportunities and came away with a 53-39 win. Coming out in the first half with a strong defensive front, the Lady Jags’ swarmed L.A. Trade Tech players, intercepting passes, driving the other way and finishing plays for points. SWC’s shooting was slow to get moving, but once the Lady Jag’s found their rhythm nothing could stop them.

Sophomore forward/guard Carla Flores sank 7 of 11 from the floor for a season high 14 points. Payne “We can’t scored 10 and give a freshman guard Cardedra Evans team a scored nine. lead at the As good as the Lady Jags were beginning the first half, and expect in the scoreboard to fight our margin was just, way back.” 23-21. In the second h a l f, t h e Ja g s took a page Darnell Cherry out the reptile Women’s Head playbook. They Basketball Coach made like boas and slowly constricted the Beavers, choking off momentum. SWC put on a defensive show, combining for 17 steals and 37 rebounds. The Lady Jags only allowed LATTC 18 points in the second half to skin the Beavers, 53-39. Lady Jaguars strapped on their spurs

Amanda L. Abad/Staff

for a home game against Saddleback College (3-4). The Gauchos showed SWC it wasn’t their first rodeo and rode off with a 71-67 victory. SWC started strong, going bucketfor-bucket with Gaucho starters. Mi d w a y t h r o u g h t h e f i r s t h a l f, Saddleback began taking control. The Jags were getting beat to the basket and were struggling to come up with rebounds on both sides of the court. Guard Shanesha Clayton said the Lady Jags needed to get their offense moving sooner. “We started lackadaisical,” she said. “We need to start off stronger in the beginning of the game.” SWC’s passing was errant and they looked as though they were lacking a general offensive strategy. When the Lady Jags did get an opportunity to put up shots, they would not fall. Free throws were the biggest hindrance. Of 28 trips to the charity stripe, they sank a dismal 10. “I think if we just make our free throws that’s it, we got it,” said Flores. “We need to tighten up and make it look better.”

At the half the Lady Jags headed to the locker room down, 38-28. Their second half began with n e w f o u n d f o c u s . S WC c h i p p e d Saddleback’s lead to six points. Harris and forward Chelsea Ball rained down 3-pointers, sinking four and three, respectively. Their impressive effort was futile, as Saddleback edged out the Lady Jags, 71-67. Head coach Darnell Cherry said he was not thrilled with his team’s performance. “We gave ourselves an opportunity to come back at the end and win it in overtime, but we just didn’t get it done,” he said. “We can’t give a team a lead at the beginning and expect to fight our way back. We didn’t play well for the first 30 minutes of the game. We played really well the last 10 minutes of the game. But it’s a 40-minute game. I think we need to start strong and finish.” The Lady Jaguars will take the next week to prepare for the Coast Christmas Classic tournament at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.

PCAC championship title slips past Jaguars By Amanda L. Abad Editor-in-Chief


David McVicker/Staff

DENIED — Southwestern’s Joey Estrada blocks a pass by Mt. San Antonio College defender Ricardo Hernandez. The Jaguars lost to the Mounties, 3-0, and were eliminated from the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference men’s soccer tournament.

or 80 minutes the men’s soccer team played the Beautiful Game beautifully, holding last season’s state champions scoreless. It was the last 10 minutes that got ugly. Mt. San Antonio College scored three goals in the final 10 minutes to complete a 3-0 romp that knocked SWC out of the Pacific Coast Conference playoffs. “They were an exceptional team,” said head soccer coach Cem Tont of Mt. SAC. “They are the defending state champs. We played flat and tired.” Mt. SAC controlled the majority of the 90-minute battle, though the Jaguar defense was up to the challenge. Offensively, however, the Jags were stymied and only attempted two shots on goal. SWC goalkeeper Sergio Duck was brilliant for 80 minutes, turning away a barrage of shots. Defensive breakdowns proved to be too much. Tont, the philosophical former Turkish national star, said losses are never fun, but he was happy with his squad. SWC had a 15-2-6 record. “I told the team we had a great season,” he said. “We are one of the best teams in California. We played very attractive soccer. I am very proud of them.” SWC’s first round, 1-0 win over San Diego City College was far less attractive. It was downright ugly.

Tont said the physical game and the nearly violent confrontation afterwards drained the team. “We were overwhelmed by our last game,” said Tont. “Our style is very high pressure. We have expectations for them to defend and counter, but we will impose the way we play.” A scoreless opening half was bruising to both teams. “In the first half, they dominated us,” said freshman defender Esteban Salcedo. “I wish we could’ve put the game away early in the first half. But we got on track and started playing how we usually play and we turned the tables and dominated the game.” In the second half the Jags and SDCC both engaged in physical play. Officials hit SWC with several yellow cards. SDCC players mocked the Jags bench and the game grew more heated. Regulation and stoppage time ended with a 0-0 tie. Being that it was a knockout playoff game, the Jags went to play in overtime tired and upset. Halfway through the first half of overtime the Jags scored then held off a desperate City College flourish to claim a 1-0 victory. “San Diego City College always gives us a competitive game,” said sophomore forward Chris Navarro. “We stuck it out and played hard. If it wasn’t for the whole team and our coaches we wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t have won the game.”

Amanda L. Abad and David McVicker, co-editors


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

Winter Edition 2012-2013, Volume 56 Issue 3


Photos By Amanda L. Abad

CANT STOP ‘EM — (l) Guard Darnell Williams gets airborne for a score against Imperial Valley College. (r) Guard Hassan Farah shakes four Cerritos players for a layup.

Jags lose in tourney finals Southwestern men’s basketball team is starting to mesh, despite spotty record By Amanda L. Abad and David McVicker Editor-in-Chief and Sports Co-Editor

His Airness Michael Jordan once said, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” SWC’s men’s basketball team could take a hint from royalty. In the second round of the Cuyamaca/ SWC Tournament, the Jaguars (4-6) took on Barstow Community College (1-7) in the consolation bracket and won, 68-64. “I am not a stats person,” said freshman forward Lamar Weston. “All I do is look for that W, and I’m happy when I do.” Barstow was oversized, but SWC was not overmatched. Barstow was first to score. Minutes later, Weston put the Jags on the scoreboard with a jump shot, 2-2. The Jag defense held Barstow from taking the lead. With 10:12 to go in the first half, the Jags were up 18-12. Bad passes causing lost possessions took SWC’s chances to run away with the lead. At the end of the first half, the Jags were down, 34-33. “The game against SD Mesa was a wake up call,” said freshman guard Jay Stone. “We played with more intensity, and we wanted it more.” In the second half, both teams were tied at 34 with 18:37 left in the game. The Jags lost their lead due to bad passing, impatient shots and leaving Barstow players wide open. With 14:39 to go, Stone stole the ball and made a layup. SWC was down, 41-36. The Jags started playing full court press, and were tied with Barstow, 47-47 with 10:59 left. SWC and Barstow were neck-and-neck for the rest

of the game. With 1:48 left, freshman guard Devonte Sims made a muchneeded three for a 62-59 lead. Moments later, sophomore guard Hassan Farah had Barstow chasing him into the paint. Farah threw a no-look behind his head pass to freshman swingman Dominique Miller for a jump shot, 6459. After a series of “We have fouls, the Jags kept the lead and won all new the game, 68-64. guys so it’s “Our defense w a s t h e b e s t hard, but today,” said Stone. we aren’t “We rotated well. We had five players brand new on the court and anymore.” we all had each other’s backs. We couldn’t lose at John Cosentino home. We had to Men’s Head protect the house. But we did gamble Basketball a bit. Playing safe is Coach my biggest thing. I don’t steal the ball unless I’m 100 percent sure that I can.” “I’m really glad we won,” said SWC head coach John Cosentino. “We played the worst game of the year yesterday against San Diego Mesa College. It looked like we had just met. It has been a struggle with everyone so brand new. We are a young team.” In the first round of the Cuyamaca/ SWC Tournament, the Jaguars (4-5) lost to San Diego Mesa College (3-5), 82-63. “I don’t even want to think about that

game,” said Weston. “It was horrible.” Stone agreed that the loss to SD Mesa was bad. “We all make mistakes, myself included,” he said. “The intensity wasn’t there. We didn’t play hard, or smart. We unfortunately got out hustled a lot. ” Cosentino agreed with his players, but accepted some of the blame. “We are not super experienced,” he said. “We have to play together for 40 minutes, and I’m not doing a good job right now with who are the right five guys on the court and at what time. And I’m guessing. It should be more organized. And now we are down to two games before conference, so I have two games to figure it out all out.” The Jaguars lost in the championship game of the Grossmont Invitational against Cerritos College (2-4), 72-68. “I’m a competitor and I want to win every game,” said Stone. “We were in a tough tournament and our goal was to win at least two of the three games. And we did that, so even in losing the championship, there was still success out of failure.” In the first half the Jaguars struggled. Both teams were not making their shots and with 11:25 to go the Jags trailed, 1816. SWC’s defense created a lot of plays but was unable to score. SWC’s biggest challenge was not Cerritos College, but their own uncontested shots, especially layups. The Jags lost the lead at the end of the first half, 35-26. With 16:31 to go in the second half, the Jags started to mount a comeback, 38-35. SWC started to put pressure on Cerritos and boxed them out for rebounds. After a series of good looks, with 10:59 left in the game, the Jags found themselves tied with Cerritos, 44-44. After a time out, SWC stopped rebounding and playing aggressive defense. The Jags encountered their

number one enemy again, uncontested shots. Cerritos took advantage of SWC’s offensive weaknesses with 7:44 left in the game and took the lead, 53-44. A last ditch effort by the Jags did not go unnoticed by Cerritos. A very frustrated Stone tried to create plays and drew fouls, but could not win the game by himself. SWC lost, 68-57. “I consider myself a leader on the team,” said Stone. “The team is starting to gel more and we kind of fit together like a puzzle, and I’m just a piece in that. I have good teammates that make me feel comfortable. They trust me and I play with a lot of passion. I think they respect that and respond well to it.” SWC’s point leader was Weston with 15 points. Cerritos out-rebounded the Jags 43 to 27. SWC shot 52.6 percent at the free throw line, compared to Cerritos’ 73.7 percent. Sloppy passes, the lack of defense and turnovers definitely hurt SWC. The Jags were their own worst enemies. “We got to the finals of the tournament,” said Cosentino. “Our goal was to win the tourney. We ran out of gas a little bit in the third game against Cerritos. We played together. I’m really working on my patience with them right now. Its not their fault that they are inexperienced we just didn’t have enough. We have all new guys so its hard, but we aren’t brand new anymore.” In the second round of the Grossmont Invitational, the Jags (3-4) beat Imperial Valley College (3-3), 60-58. The game started off slow. With 14:33 to go, the Jags were up 12-3 after a 3-point er from Farah. SWC let IVC catch up, 13-12. After that, the Jags defense held IVC from scoring for about seven minutes. SWC kept connecting from long range, shutting out IVC in the process. Both teams found

their rhythm and by the end of the first half the Jags were up, 33-27. The second half started as slow as the first. Scoring was sparse between both teams. With 16:25 to go, SWC made a pair of free throws by freshman guard Darnell Williams, 35-29. The rest of the game was filled with missed shots, substitutions, and fouls. With 9:47 to go, Miller made a three, bringing the score to 44-37. SWC fouled and turned the ball over often. Luckily, time ran out before IVC could capitalize on the Jag’s mistakes. SWC won, 60-58. SWC was able to make 22 points off turnovers, but IVC made 29 points. The point leaders were Farah, Miller and freshman guard/forward Robert Perez, each scoring 14. In the first round of the Grossmont Invitational, SWC (2-4) beat Cypress College (1-3), 72-68. Within seconds of the first half, Cypress College forced a turnover, but missed the layup. The Jags were first to score with a layup by Williams, 2-0. SWC and Cypress were neck-and-neck the whole first half. The first half ended in a tie, 30-30. Miller scored first for the Jags with a jump shot in the second half, 32-32. With 15:00 until the end of the game, the Jags were down, 42-37. The Jags came back by shooting threes and jump shots, but Cypress fought hard to hold on. Farah made a three with 4:59 left in the game the Jags were up, 55-52. With 1:56 to go, Stone made the team’s last eight out of 12 shots. SWC won, 72-68. The Jags made 19 out of 23 (82.6 percent) of their free throws. Miller was the nights point leader, making 18 points. The Jags are 6-6 for the season. The next home game is Jan. 9 against Pasadena.


Winter Edition 2012-2013, Volume 56, Issue 3

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數 以 百 萬 計 的

冒起 著來 敵 人你 的們 炮誰 火不 前願 進做 奴 隸 的 人 們

前 隨 中 每 I Live 進 著 國 個 In China 前 我 人 人 進 們 民 都 行 的 在 必 軍 血 最 須 吼 月 肉 關 他 上 鍵 上 讓 的 築 時 成 候 我 們 新 的 長 城


Story & Photos by Christian Gutierrez 基督教古鐵雷斯 Design by Pablo Gandara 保羅·甘達拉 & Serina Duarte 塞里納杜阿爾特

“Everything is bigger in Texas,” boast residents of the Lone Star State. China makes Texas look puny. My new home, the sprawling city of Daqing 大慶, is small by Chinese standards, but home to more than 1 million people. Located in the northeast 東北 province of Heilongjiang 黑龍江, Daqing did not exist half a century ago and residents insist

心 一

SETTING OUT THE GOOD CHINA — An emerging economic superpower, China is still wrestling with its authoritarian past and a modern future. (above) Bejing’s art district features graffiti-style creations like the piece with a soldier spraying the ironic message, “No graffiti here! If you don’t listen, we’ll beat your ass!” (above, l-r) A soldier standing watch at Bejing’s Summer Palace. China’s Great Wall, the only man made structure that can be seen from outer space.Blue lights twinkle like stars in a dark sky in the old Bejing business district south of Tianamen Square decorated for National Day on Oct. 1.

冒 著 敵 人 的 炮 火 前 進


it remains a small city. A “small city” in China does not mean the same thing almost anywhere else in the world. China has 100 cities with more than one million people. Daqing is representative of 21st century life in China whose population has migrated toward new cities that have little history, unlike the ancient mega-cities Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. All Chinese cities are constantly building and rebuilding themselves. Modernity is seen as the driving essence. Daqing is far from being a modern city, but its residents expect it to continue to grow and modernize. Most of China expects the same. As a Latino from Chula Vista, I am exotic. One of the first things I became adept at saying was my nationality, because that is the first question I get after nihao (hello). People’s reactions are mixed. They tend to be friendly, but sometimes expressionless and stoic. A few Americans friends claim to have caused minor car accidents when Chinese motorist see them in the street. Foreigners are rare and we literally stop traffic. Living in China has given me empathy with the illiterate. Despite having studied one year of Chinese, I am struggling. It is very difficult to read street signs. Conversations, when attempted, must be kept simple. Growing up being bilingual I never really appreciated the challenge my parents faced when they migrated to the

U.S. Ordering a meal is an ordeal small talk requires full concentration. I frequently call a Chinese bilingual friend to mediate. The Internet is censured, but not too tightly. With a virtual private network (VPN) you can be on Facebook or YouTube in no time, but online gaming is a challenge. Pirated movies and video games are offered at very low prices ranging from $1 to $5. Billboards advertising Western brands with Caucasian models are everywhere and clothing stores offer Nirvana t-shirts and play English music, but overall China remains culturally and socially closed off. Western values and lifestyle are seen only through the distorted lenses of pop music, television and film. Chinese are curious about foreigners, hateful toward their World War II enemies, and ill informed about both. They are a complex people have been thrust into a modernization different than our own. They really do not know us, but they know us more than we know them. I came to China after graduating from UCSD with a degree in International Studies and Political Science. I intended to come to China through the Peace Corps, but was offered a position in Kyrgyzstan. Since I had already studied a year of Chinese, I declined. I Googled “Teaching English in China” and applied to every link in the first two pages. I had several Skype interviews and was offered the position I have as an English teacher. It took about

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起 來 起 來 起 來

數 以 百

冒 著 敵

four weeks from application to job offer. I had the credentials because after graduating I had completed a Teaching English as a Foreign Language online course to become certified. Now I live in China and I am happy I do. China and the United States have a lot to teach each other. I am busy teaching and learning.

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CHRISTIAN?— Southwestern College Sun and UCSD alumnus Christian Gutierrez won numerous awards for his newspaper photo essay on Cuba in 2009. He is now teaching English in Daqing, China and looking forward to spending two years in the country exploring, learning and representing America.

冒 著 敵


前 進 前 進 行 軍 月 上 上

Winter Edition 2012-2013, Volume 56, Issue 3

The Human Chord Albert H. Fulcher

Co-curricular programs need more protection H

ere is an exercise straight out of “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Imagine Southwestern College never existed. Science fiction’s iconic television series”Babylon 5” might not exist, nor any of the brilliant screenplays created by its gifted writer J. Michael Straczynski. Latin music superstar, songwriter and producer Julieta Venegas and her half dozen Grammy Awards might never have found voice. John Fox, a Super Bowl coach, and former Charger’s defensive tackle Ogemdi Sharron Nwagbuo could be selling footballs at Wal-Mart. Seattle Mariners clean-up hitter John Jaso might be sweeping out Taco Bell. Telemundo sports anchor Humberto Gurmilan might never have seen his way beyond his wheelchair. Ayded Reyes would likely have been deported. Luckily this sample of brilliantly talented students began their journeys at SWC and had faculty who cared about them. Straczynski began writing and producing plays here. Venegas wrote songs and perfected her performance skills in the SWC music department. Nwagbuo earned All-Conference honors as a sophomore when he recorded 55 tackles and 10 sacks. Fox played football on the same field. Now he is head coach of the Denver Broncos. California’s topranked 2011 community college crosscountry runner Ayded Reyes is now on a full university scholarship and training for the 2016 U. S. Olympic team. Jaso played for iconic baseball coach Jerry Bartow. Gurmilan was News Editor of The Sun and a forensics star. California’s theatre, sports, television media, journalism, arts and communication programs are being slashed and burned, all to balance the budget of a cash-starved higher educational system. It is not a new story, but it is a sad one. America repeatedly stamps out enriching programs in tough economic times and seems doomed to let bad history repeat itself. Leaders in government and education making these decisions are doing so by dollars and cents. What we need is a way to budget this onesidedness with dollars and sense. SWC has some elite programs. Its Mariachi Garibaldi is the best collegiate mariachi on the planet Earth. Period. SWC’s brilliant Concert Choir is soon to add the Festival of the Aegean on the Greek Island of Syros to its long list of invitations. And the college’s journalism program is winning state, national and international awards. Its newspaper is ranked #1 in competition against cream of the crop universities across the nation. For a college that few people in the nation know exists, co-curricular programs are ambassadors to the wider world and sources of pride for our challenged community. These programs inspire students to spend hours and hours working above and beyond to excel. Some enriching programs are expensive, but if our government and college administrators put in 10 percent of the time and effort that the students do to make these programs a success, our nation and our college would be humming. Here is my challenge to SWC leadership. Do not settle for clichéd, twodimensional thinking. Do not think you can cut your way out of our dilemma. Do not preside over the diminishment of this great college. It is time to stop thinking like bean counters balancing books and save these programs with the spirit of entrepreneurs. Rather than paying expensive consultants, invest in grant please see Human Chord pg. B7

The Human Chord can be reached at


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Gay-Straight Alliance works to create tolerance, respect Club members advocate for safety and strive to demythologize gay life Nickolas Furr Staff Writer


t is a truth that many young people use college to examine their sense of identity for the first time. In doing so, some students explore their sexual identity and discover they cannot identify with a heterosexual lifestyle. Instead, they come to the realization that they are part of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual) culture. Realizing and accepting this proves difficult for many students. They often need a support web of friends and family that understand this situation. At Southwestern College, students will find the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is there to help them. That is, of course, if the students can actually find where they meet. Alan Wade, adjunct professor of English and the club’s faculty adviser, said that GSA met in a different room every semester and it was rarely ever the same place. He called it “room limbo.” “We have to get a new room every time,” he said. “Though we do get one at some point. There has been trouble this semester with scheduling conflicts. Right now we meet in front of Jason’s coffee cart. That’s our place when we don’t have a place.” The GSA is an Associated Student Organization-sponsored club that meets every Wednesday at 11 a.m. to talk and enjoy the spirit of fellowship. Though the number of students at each meeting fluctuates, all students are welcome to attend regardless of their sexual orientation. “ The Gay-Straight Alliance is here for students who wonder about themselves, or feel like this could be a support group they need,” said Tammy Nguyen, a longtime officer. “It’s for gay and straight people, anyone from the LGBT community, everyone.” Wade said the GSA sought to drive real change on campus. “We want to provide a safe space for people to be themselves,” Wade said. “We want to make the campus climate a much more amiable place. We want to further educate people about our issues and support and demythologize who we are. We’re just basically people who want to study, get through life, and be loved, just like everybody else.” Nguyen, 21, said she is a typical student. She

is studying sociology and communications, and hopes to transfer to either UCSD or SDSU next year. She has been a member of the GSA since high school. “We try to promote awareness,” she said. “This is something that you may not ever have to understand, but at least accept it.” Wade became the GSA adviser three years ago. He said he feels great affection for these students. “All the different clubs would say their constituents are really important,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to say ours are any more important, but as we know LGBT kids are in danger of being badly bullied.” Wade said the GSA welcomed “LGBT students and straight people that care about them,” but didn’t ask that people identify as either.

“Anyone can come to a meeting,” he said. “They can be questioning their identity, but they don’t have to come out. They don’t have to say ‘I’m gay’ or ‘I’m not gay.’ By having this be the Gay-Straight Alliance, people can come to a meeting and not have to come out.” He insisted that straight people are welcome, so long as they are there as allies, not enemies. “Straight people can be fabulous, too,” he said. Nguyen acknowledged that the GSA did have some issues that other clubs might not have. “I’ve asked a lot of students if they even know there is a GSA. They don’t,” Nguyen said. “We need to work on publicizing ourselves.” Wade said some of that was because of vandalism and the controversial nature of the GSA.

“Often signs we put up advertising what we’re doing are torn down,” he said. “It’s hard to catch someone in the act and it’s hard to keep our name out there.” He said the best way to do that would be to have a permanent space dedicated to LGBT students. “We need some space,” he said. “It doesn’t need to be fancy. Just some closet here on campus will work, as long as the students can find it and have security, a safe space, and fellowship with other likeminded students.” Wade said the problem every semester is waiting for a room while a single student is in pain, trying to deal with coming out issues. Nguyen said she initially joined the ASO to help further the cause of a student resource center. “I’ve talked to many people and it will take time to get it, but my hope for this year is to at least give the college an idea that this might happen,” she said. Nguyen pointed out that SWC already had a resource center dedicated to one constituency. “There’s already a women’s resource center,” she said. “Why don’t we extend that to the LGBT community? If money wasn’t an object, I would definitely love a separate center. But since it is, I feel this is the best way to get close to our goal.” Wade said a resource center of any sort would reflect well on the college. “ I t h i n k w e w o u l d b e t h e t h i rd community college in the state to have one,” he said. “It would be very important, being that SWC is located right on the border.” Both agree the GSA brings a message of positive values to the campus and hope it will be able to do even more. “There is certainly violence at homes in some situations,” he said. “These kids need a place to go. They need to hear ‘go to that room right there.’ They need a hug, information, and to not feel so isolated. We need a place immediately.” Nguyen said she is proud to be a member of the GSA. “I love the people,” she said. “I love the club. I love what they stand for.” Wade said that affection is an important part of the group’s output. “We generate love and support,” he said. “And it’s a good thing.”

Director returns from war to battle for students By Albert Fulcher Campus Editor

Dry freezing temperatures and a whole lot of snow. Dressed in full battle rattle— an armored protective vest, M4 semiautomatic rifle, a Beretta M9 semiautomatic pistol at the side, a Kevlar battle helmet, ballistic eyewear, strap cutters, tourniquets and several magazines in clear reach. For U. S. Navy Reservist, Lt. Cmdr. Luís Nuñez Jr., that was last Christmas in Afghanistan. It was at a spring administrative retreat training when Nuñez, director of the Medical Lab Technician (MLT) program at the National City HEC, received a phone call from his captain Photo Courtesy of Luis Nunez with news that he was “tagged” to go AT EASE — SWC Medical Lab Technician program director Luis Nuñez recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. to Afghanistan. With less than eight Picture above is the Medical Training Advisory Group (MTAG), comprised of Americans, Canadians and Greeks. It focused on weeks to prepare, he began to get his medical education, clinical mentoring, and patient care treatment skills. affairs in order, both at home and at the college. “I was in shock,” Nuñez said. “I a Navy corpsman lab technician and nothing I had seen before. I realize to get out of the building and back knew I would eventually be tagged. Medical Service Corps lab officer. that there are different levels of to base.” My orders came in the first week of He said he had basic combat training poverty throughout the world, but I Nuñez went out on several convoys June with a reporting date of active as a former corpsman and a lab think it is more so in Kabul.” as part of the NATO team that took duty in July.” technician, but the intense combat Nuñez worked with the Medical him to the opposite side of the city. Before he knew it he found himself training was more than he expected. Tr a i n i n g Ad v i s o r y Gro u p i n a “We had to keep our combat skills in a hot, sticky Louisiana summer at “I did fairly well with the transition mentorship program at the National up with quick reaction drills,” he said. Fort Polk for 10 weeks of rigorous to full combat readiness,” he said. Military Hospital of Kabul, a 400-bed “Or we would go to the large NATO combat training. “But the training they had there facility built in the late 1970s by the base and meet with our leadership “We would qualify in weapons goes above and beyond what I would Russians. team. We didn’t mingle with the training then go into simulations out normally go through, or what a Nuñez said working in full body Afghans out in the streets, only with in the field,” he said. “We had IED doctor or nurse would.” armor and being armed at all times members of the Afghan National training with simulated explosions. Nuñez said his first stop was in was rigorous. Even the 400 meters Army.” They had towns set up like in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where his to and from the compound to the His entire team was medical Afghanistan as they threw scenarios team split up. He soon was bound hospital was dangerous. A force professionals. Americans, Canadians at us. They observed how we handled for Kabul. He said the capital of protection team comprised of the and Greeks worked together training it, how we fired, when we called in Afghanistan, with a population of National Guard escorted them. Afghan professionals in every aspect for troops. They even had helicopters about 4 million, was biblical at first “They were all over the compound of medical care and procedures. come in for evacuation drills, dealing sight. and in constant communications with Interpreters translated everything into with casualties, combat.” “I saw so much poverty it was the teams and there were several times Dari, including documents. Nuñez Following active duty for 14 years, a shock,” he said. “People were we had to evacuate,” he said. “When said the Afghans had the knowledge, both as enlisted then as an officer, herding sheep through the city, dirt threats were coming in, or gunfire but as a population did not believe Nuñez began reserve duty in 2008. everywhere, and dust and mud holes. in the background, unsure of where much in written procedure. His background includes service as The level of poverty they lived in was it was coming from, we would have Teams trained and developed please see Navy pg. B8


Albert Fulcher, editor


Winter Edition 2012-2013, Volume 56, Issue 3

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

Former ASO coordinator brewing up success with craftbeer By Daphne Jauregui Assistant Campus Editor

“Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.” –Dave Barry

Pablo Gandara/staff

CRAFTY MASTERMIND OF CRAFTBEER — Dr. Gonzalo Quintero has become a crossborder voice for small brewers of craftbeers.

Passion is the main ingredient in Dr. Gonzalo Quintero’s latest brew, CraftBeer Tasters, and success is beginning to bubble over. Quintero admits to being fizzy with fun, but is trying not to get a big head. CraftBeer Tasters has received nearly 2,000 hits on YouTube in less than four months and boasts a blog readership of nearly 6,000. Quintero has twice been on the front page of The Westcoaster, a popular craft beer publication based out of San Diego. Quintero is a South Bay Renaissance man and a borderlands success story. A freshly-minted Ed.D., a respected educator and an expert in the ways of America’s favorite bubbling beverage, Quintero admits he is a moving target. The success of this endeavor didn’t happen overnight. It was Quintero’s love for education that brought him in the direction of the beer tasting business. Quintero was a peer advisor at SWC and worked in Outreach, showing local high school students what SWC could offer them. He was also active in the Associated Student Organization (ASO) as an Inter Club Council Representative and later as interim Student Activities Coordinator.

Aaron Starck, student activities director, worked with Quintero when he received the Advisor of the Year Award from the ASO during his time at SWC. “He brought a certain level of enthusiasm to the role that allowed him to connect with students in various ways and is a very personable and likeable individual,” said Starck. “He is role modeling what we often try to teach students, pursue your dreams and success often follows.” Unfortunately, SWC’s budget crisis put Quintero on the wrong side of a hiring cutback and the young doctor drowned himself in beer—as an ardent advocate not a consumer. Like most young men, Quintero thought about beer while attending Sw e e t w a t e r H i g h S c h o o l a n d Southwestern College, but education was his first love. Quintero then transferred to San Diego State University, and ultimately earned his Doctorate of Education at the age of 29, the youngest student ever to complete the challenging program and the first SWC employee. Craft Beer tasters seemed symbiotic. “I saw an opportunity to continue teaching, but also marry it with another passion of mine,” said Quintero. It all began when his friend and now business partner Jeremiah Jimeno asked him about considering making a web series where they went to different venues, interviewed talented microbrewers, learned their stories and share them with beer aficionados and the

broader community. Jimeno is co-founder, executive producer and multimedia specialist of CraftBeer Tasters. Quintero said they hit it off over a—what else?—craft beer. “I invited Jerry to one of my tasting events and he really liked it because I was demystifying that culture,” he said. “You need someone that’s part of a culture to bring you into it. The tasting provided different opportunities. You get to see different people from all walks of life come together under one thing.” At his events Quintero teaches people about craft beer and its growing popularity in San Diego County and Northern Baja, he said. “Part of what I would do was teach people about styles, profiles and everything there is to know about it,” he said. “Shortly after that Jerry approached me and said ‘What would you think of doing this professionally’?” CraftBeer Tasters produces events for breweries, bars and restaurants, and provides products for promotion. They don’t make their own craft beer yet, but Quintero and Jimeno said they would like to. “That would be the second step,” said Jimeno. Quintero said he loves the craft beer business because it is replete with people living out their dreams. “I’m teaching people that it’s more than just beer,” he said. “There’s a reason why the word craft is in there.”

Dynamic speaker urges Breakfast will celebrate MLK men to reconsider views African-American By Steven Uhl Staff Writter

American women cannot win when it comes to sex, said the provocative man who has made it his life’s work defending them. Women get put in brutal boxes whether they are sexually active or chaste. Jeffery Bucholtz, an animated violence prevention specialist, held a four-part series of presentations at Southwestern College where he discussed feminism and women’s rights. His colorful talks were at the same time inspiring and disturbing, poetic and graphic. “Men Against Rape” is a campus favorite. It was so crowded in Student Union East that dozens of students were sitting on the floor or standing along the walls. Bucholtz discussed how our society has learned to view women negatively. He drew four boxes on a whiteboard. He asked the audience members, “What do we call women who have sex?” and wrote the answers in one box. Audience members shouted demeaning words such as “slut,” “ho,” “tramp” and “chicken head.” He then asked the audience to describe women who do not have sex. Members yelled out “dyke,” “bitch” and “trick.” Bucholtz challenged the audience to define a “slut.” After hearing responses, audience members realized there is no agreed upon definition for the word. Bucholtz said that calling women “slut” in our culture allows them to be raped because we see them as unworthy of respect. “Violence is incredibly common in our culture and community,” he said. “Violence flourishes in silence, in isolation. When we bring people together to address both the causes and solutions to violence we begin the critical process of ending it.”

Human Chord: SWC needs to remain a comprehensive college Continued from Page B6

writers to help the professors that spend endless unpaid hours begging for money to keep their programs afloat. Ask even more from our dedicated Educational Foundation. Holding a gala every year to support student scholarships is terrific, but creating an event where proceeds spread across special programs can be just as valuable to student success. Our Associated Student Organization works to fund campus clubs that contribute to the community, but virtually nothing to support programs that invest in our students’ futures. Money is out there

Another presentation, “Feminism,” drew more than 200 people. Bucholtz was charismatic and humorous as well as intimate. He discussed stereotypes of women and men, sexism and women’s rights. “Feminism is not only about women, it is also about men,” he said. Members of the audience learned why the history of feminism in the United States is important and how it has impacted society. Daniel Sanchez, a communications major, said he was impressed. “Coming to the performance for the first time was informative and entertaining,” he said. In “Masculinity” Bucholtz discussed gender roles and things men are taught to avoid. Society says men are not supposed to cry or watch chick flicks, he said, which would make them feminine. He explored the “angry male” stereotype with a personal anecdote where he was looking for pain medicine and was unable to find it. He reenacted a fit he threw to show the audience how easy it is to become angry. Bucholtz discussed the expectations society has for men like toughness and manliness. He also explored the negative repercussions men have to deal with when others do not think they are manly enough. Students who attended seemed excited and ready to stop violence in the community, said Professor of History Laura Ryan, who coordinated the events. “Many professors have seen Jeff present and because their students learned a lot from his presentations and enjoyed it, they continue to bring their classes every semester,” she said. “Jeff has a following of students and faculty who believe in what he is educating others about.” and many philanthropists are looking for viable programs to invest in. Build the programs, invest in organizing college and faculty alumni and start thinking outside the box to find a way. Many students’ livelihoods depend on it. Our nation depends on it. It is time to stop treating these programs as burdens of a budget and celebrate them as gateways to the community and the world. It is possible that a future president, queen of country music, national watchdog reporter, hall of fame baseball player, Oscar-winning film director or concert violinist is spending hours investing in their future in one of SWC’s special programs. When making fiscal decisions that affect student learning outcomes, remember this: If there is no way in, there is no path to success.

Alliance event funds scholarships Margie Reese Staff Writer

Military heroes, civil rights heroes and everyday heroes will assemble January 18 for the Fifth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast at Southwestern College. Dr. Willie Blair, president and chairman of the Black American Political Association of California, will be a featured speaker. “It is with a deep sense of humility and excitement that I have been asked by the African-American Alliance at Southwestern College to give a special tribute in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” he said. “I find this solicitation for the rendering of this marvelous tribute an absolute honor to this great man and to his enduring legacy.” U.S. Navy captain and physician Samuel Young will be the main speaker. Young currently serves as Command Consultant and Head of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at 1st Dental Battalion/Naval Dental Center, Camp Pendleton. He has earned three gold stars, as well as the Meritorious Service Medal. SWC Dean of Athletics Terry Davis is president of the African-American Alliance (AAA). He and Sheila Hearvey, the MLK Scholarship Event Coordinator for the AAA, are leading the planning. Davis said he wants this to be the best MLK Breakfast ever. “It is an opportunity for the staff to connect to students with our history that sets the standards for our future,” Davis said. “The old adage of those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it is crucial for our young people because these are the people who will be our future.” Winners of the Martin Luther King Scholarship Essay Contest will be presented scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,000. Noreen Maddox, Glenda McGee, Janelle Williams and Bruce Smith of SWC’s Scholarship Committee will choose the winners. This years’ breakfast is from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m in the Student Union East. Tickets are available at the cashier’s counter in the Cesar Chavez building or at the door for $25 ($10 for students). Sponsorship tables are available from $250 to $2,000. For more information contact Janet Polite at 619-421-6700 ext. 6321. Breakfast will be directed by Facilities Coordinator Ursula Morris-Williams.

Graphic By Kasey Thomas and Pablo Gandara

The Southwestern College Sun


Winter Edition 2012-2013, Volume 56, Issue 3

Navy: Afgan Vet happy to be back home again Continued from Page B6

Courtesy Photos by Luis Nunez

ON WATCH — (above) Nuñez and his Afghani counterpart,

Colonel Qadir, director of the Dawood Clinical Laboratory at the National Military Hospital. Qadir determines when hospitals are safe and functional enough to operate on their own. (right) Lt. Cdr. Luís Nuñez at target practice shooting an M9 pistol.

SOLDIER, HEALER — (top right) Greek MTAG officers transfusing an Afghan National Army soldier, who has aplastic anemia, with platelets before transfer to a higher tertiary facility. (above) Nuñez dressed in“battle rattle,” comprised of an armored protected vest, two weapons, Kevlar helmet, ballistic eyewear, strap cutter, tourniquets and magazines. (below) Nuñez (standing on the right) with an Air Force major and an Afghan tank

soldier in front of a heavily fortified gate at the medical compound.

written procedures for the operation of all parts of the medical field, holding all hospitals accountable to a higher standard in procedures. C o l . Q u a d i r, Nu ñ e z’s A f g h a n counterpart, had 30 years of military service and worked with several previous American mentors. Quadir created a validation team of medical professional experts that traveled to the five regional hospitals with a standardized checklist for each part of the hospital. They would grade the hospitals on a number scale, determining if they could operate facilities without NATO support. Nuñez said after six months of intense training they were able to start turning responsibilities over to their Afghan counterparts. “The U.S. is pulling out in 2013,” he said. “And the training group grew smaller and smaller. At the height of my arrival, we had a large team of about 60 and when I left, it was cut in half. Most of this was the work done by the American teams. As the departments became independent we would send someone back early and not send in a replacement.” Nuñez said he did a great amount of online training in the weeks before departure, got his family affairs in order and had to be sure the MLT program continued in his absence. Myrna Bryant, a clinical chemistry instructor, said he brought two professors from Balboa Naval Hospital to fill in as director. She said the program is independent and Nuñez’s experience was central to its status as one of just two accredited MLT programs in California. “We run a tight ship here,” she said. “We missed him and were always happy to hear he was safe as he kept in touch. We knew he would do a great job in helping the people of Afghanistan.” Former student Alejandro Tolentino, hired by Rady Children’s Hospital to operate a small lab at a local clinic in Chula Vista before his graduation, said Nuñez models hard work, high standards and leadership as a teacher. “He is motivated, poised, structured, methodical and on point,” he said. “When he was in Afghanistan I was honored to be class president and share his motivation and dedication to future students as well as the community. Though he was back east, we all succeeded with a 100 percent pass rate for the entire class.” Victor La Fond, a certified MLT and former student, said when Nuñez went to Afghanistan everyone worried. He said he first met him with his 3-monthold daughter as he was deciding whether to take the program. A stringent program, Nuñez warned him it would be difficult for a young family man. La Fond said he looked at his daughter and told him, “I’ve got to do something for her.” Nuñez let him in the program. “I’ve been in his debt from that day on,” said La Fond. “Everything in my life that I have now is because of him.” La Fond said Nuñez challenged him to do things he never thought he could and without his thorough process, starting the program and getting it accredited, things would not be as solid for his students in the workforce. “Professionally and personally, Luís is a great guy,” he said. “I’m buying a house thanks to my education. A nice four bedroom in a great neighborhood near an elementary school my kids will go to. I think that about sums it up.” Nuñez said the MLT program offers an Associate’s degree for graduates as technicians in clinical hospitals. “It is a great paying job,” he said. “Between $24 and $26 upon graduation, take a national certification exam, get a state license and 95 percent of the program’s graduates have been hired.” After a year-long active duty tour, missing Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, his anniversary and his daughter’s sweet 16 birthday, Nuñez said June 25 has new meaning. “I’ll never forget that day I got back,” said Nuñez. “The sacrifices we made over there, being away from our family, I don’t know how we did it. I just spent my first Thanksgiving in two years with my family. I was so thankful to sit down and break bread with them, enjoy the moment and look forward to the Christmas break.”


Fall 2012 - Issue 3 - Winter Edition 2012-2013  

The Southwestern Sun