By |
March 28, 2012

Every year the NCAA hosts March Madness, when the best college basketball teams from each division one conference battle it out for champion status.

This is the time of year basketball lovers stay glued to television screens watching the tournament games for hours and choose who they think will win the NCAA championship.

The NCAA tournament was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

The tournament is a single elimination tournament that consists of 68 teams divided into four regions.

Thirty-one teams that won their conferences are automatically placed in the tournament. The tournament champion is usually considered the best team in college basketball for that year.

In March, the NBA games step aside as most basketball fans choose to watch the college games, which are more entertaining because the pace of college games is fast, and the action is unrelenting.

NBA games are usually entertaining only during the first and the fourth quarters.

In college games, teams still play full-court, one-on-one defense or run full-court defensive plays. NBA players wait until the opposing team crosses the half-court line to begin their defense. In the NBA full-court defense plays rarely happen.

Offensively, the NBA usually runs plays…» Read More

By |
March 14, 2012

On Feb. 10, President Obama announced a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services policy that would require religious affiliated institutions to cover all birth control contraceptives for their employees. This policy created a public battle about how far government involvement should go and the role that religious freedom should play in health care.

After an outcry from the Catholic Church saying that this new mandate was a violation of religious freedom, Obama offered a compromise on Feb. 11, which would require insurers to provide contraception to female employees instead of their religious employers. While keeping religious liberty is essential to our democracy, so is the right for women to access contraception.

Providing contraception to women without a co-payment and a deductible can ensure that women are covered in the case of an unplanned pregnancy and other medical reasons, such as an ovarian cyst or menstrual cramps that would lessened by using birth control pills.

Employers shouldn’t judge whether women are acting morally or immorally because they take birth control for any reason. Rather, that’s a decision that women should make themselves.

Although this is an issue about women’s health, women have not recently been able to get their…» Read More

By |
Feb. 15, 2012

On Feb. 27, 2012, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment eliminating same-sex marriage, was unconstitutional, which could, supporters hope, open the door for same-sex couples to once again marry in California.

There are always two sides to every argument, but in the case of Proposition 8, one of those sides was decidedly wrong.

The overturning of Proposition 8 isn’t just a win for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, but a win for all Americans who believe in the fundamental idea that all people are created equal.

“The more recognition the LGBT community can get from mainstream culture is a win for them as well as a win for everyone,” said City College psychology Professor Dr. Gayle Pitman.

According to Pitman, typically when civil rights legislation is in the forefront of media attention, public opinion tends to follow.

Proposition 8, which California voters approved as a ballot initiative in 2008, attempted to deny a minority of citizens, the LGBT community, the right to happiness and to place them on a tier beneath traditional married couples, which is an affront to all those who cherish the constitution.

The government should be encouraging…» Read More

The price is NEVER right
By |
Feb. 1, 2012

One of the most difficult monetary challenges that college students face each semester is having to buy expensive required textbooks—an average of $1,137 during 2010-2011, according to the College Board. Recent estimations by the Government Accountability Office reported that textbooks cost a quarter of the average tuition for state universities and three-fourths the average tuition at community colleges.

Paying more than $100 for each textbook is a tall order, especially if professors require two or more books for a class. Last year, according to The Huffington Post, seven out of 10 undergraduates at 13 college campuses did not purchase textbooks for their classes due to high prices.

There really is no way to avoid required textbooks. However, there are many alternatives to buying expensive required textbooks that students can consider if they wish to keep some money in their wallet without jeopardizing the quality of their education.

Through services like Chegg, Amazon and Barnes and Noble, students can rent or buy e-books, which are books in digital form that are accessed through any electronic devices. Apple Inc. said e-books will be made available to schools for $15 or less. According to web, mobile and tablet ePublishing specialist YUDU media and…» Read More

Lost in translation
By |
Dec. 8, 2011

History textbooks have long been respected as closest to the truth and based on fact. Scholars and historians spend much time and effort in the research and fact checking of these publications. Yet approximately every two years history books get rewritten or updated.

“Battles over what to put in science and history books have taken place for years in the 20 states where state boards must adopt textbooks, most notably in California and Texas. But rarely in recent history has a group of conservative board members left such a mark on a social studies curriculum,” wrote James C. McKinley in The New York Times.

For example, the state of Texas buys a large enough percentage of textbooks so that what the Texas Board of Education decides to use sets the stage for how history is taught in elementary and high schools across the country.

How much of the original history has been lost in translation? How much of history is being rewritten?

City College History Professor Carl Sjovold says the rewriting of history textbooks is common practice, and it is the choice of the textbook that makes the difference. As the History Department chair, Sjovold says the challenge is no…» Read More

Greedy growers emerge from billion dollar industry
By |
Nov. 22, 2011

The recent crackdown on medicinal marijuana has rattled many cages, but it doesn’t mean the end of the industry. An estimated $14 billion a year industry, according to CNNmoney.com, is sure to tempt greed and catch the attention of the money-hungry. The California government should be taking steps to prevent corruption instead of giving the impression that the marijuana industry has free reign in California.

Four U.S attorneys are currently prosecuting marijuana dispensaries accused of abusing the system by pocketing cash and drug trafficking. The feds say California is the country’s largest supplier of marijuana, according to npr.org, using state laws to conceal interstate drug trafficking. States that do not have laws allowing medicinal marijuana use receive pounds of marijuana that was grown legally in California and exported on the black market.

A dispensary in North Hollywood is accused of shipping up to 600 pounds of marijuana a month to the East Cost, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Federal prosecutors in Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego sent warning letters to property owners whose tenants are targeted medicinal marijuana growers and dispensaries threatening to seize their property if the operations were not closed within 45 days, according to…» Read More

Will the real sex offenders please stand up?
By |
Nov. 9, 2011

Labeling a friendly pitbull a killer can be just as senseless as feeling protected by the registries system from sex offenders, because statistically speaking the real threat lies closer to home. These registries also include a myriad of ‘criminals’ whose offenses include streaking and sexting.They should be labeled differently and included in a different registry.

“The creation of a pariah class of unemployable, uprooted criminal outcasts has drawn attention from human rights activists; even The Economist has decried our sex offender laws as harsh and ineffective,” wrote New York Times reporter Roger N. Lancaster in an Aug. 2011 article, “Sex Offenders: The Last Pariahs.”

Just like the pitbull stigma and fear of their locked jaws, the fear stigma follows a sex offender.

Online forums with comments from desperate mothers and academic journals in databases like LexisNexis claim that sex offender registries are ineffective for public safety and infringe on basic human rights.

Enacted in 1996, Megan’s Law is designed to punish sex offenders and to keep tabs on their whereabouts for the public’s safety according to the Office of the Attorney General’s webpage. However, it has proven ineffective in many studies.

The California Department of Justice’s webpage states that 80…» Read More

Can anyone guarantee privacy in cyberspace?
By |
Oct. 26, 2011

Whether we want it to or not, the infamous Internet has become vital to the world for most of us. Shopping, social networking, blogging, accessing medical records, and making all sorts of personal transactions are just a few conveniences available online to everyone with Internet access.

People are understandably concerned about their online vulnerabilities over the Internet, and skepticism over government involvement has always been a leading cause. Despite the countless strategies created in an attempt to increase online protection and services, Americans should be skeptical.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has stated, “Identity theft has emerged as a dominant and pervasive financial crime that exposes individuals and businesses to significant losses and undermines the credibility and operation of the entire U.S. financial system.”

The latest Internet ID, called NSTIC, The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, proposed by the Obama administration, envisions an “Identity Ecosystem—where individuals, businesses, and other organizations enjoy greater trust and security as they conduct sensitive transactions online,” according to a draft on the NSTIC website.

The Identity Ecosystem would be overseen by the private sector. The program would include a vibrant marketplace allowing people to choose among multiple identity providers—both private and public—that would…» Read More

Food isn't just food
By |
Oct. 13, 2011

There is no subject more human than food. To write it off as merely nourishment for the body is to overlook the social impetus of food. Every culture in the world has mealtimes with an emphasis on gathering because the sharing of food is an act of civility. At City College, it is one of the most accessible means of cultural exchange.

There are 35 chartered clubs on campus, according to Kimberlee Beyrer, student leadership and development coordinator. These clubs include Brown Issues, Bakada Filipino Club, SCC Hmong Opportunity Program for Education, Polynesian Connection Club and Le Club Francais among many others, which reflect the diverse student body at City College.

As a tradition, most clubs on campus sell food as means of raising funds for club activities. However, that tradition now may change.

Food policies that have been in place throughout Los Rios since 2008 are being enforced this fall.

Los Rios’ seven-year contract with its food provider, Aramark, requires that chartered clubs that sell food as a means of fundraising, must obtain their food from a third party licensed caterer or vendor. This is to ensure that food that is sold or distributed on the campus meet safety…» Read More

Dare to DREAM
By |
Sept. 29, 2011

All students know that a good education is hard to come by. Choosing the right school, playing the waiting game in the application process and watching fees rise make it almost impossible to complete a bachelor’s degree in just four years. Undocumented students have even fewer options and more challenges to overcome.

The DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors), proposed by President Barack Obama, would help change that.

If passed, it would provide conditional permanent residency to certain undocumented students who arrived in the United States illegally as minors, graduated from U.S. high schools or lived in the country for at least five years before the bill’s enactment. Students could obtain temporary residency for six years if they completed two to four years of higher education or served two years in the military.

“I know undocumented students, and one of their biggest fears is not knowing they are undocumented until they try to go to college and finding out they can’t get the funding—it’s really not their fault,” said political science major and Brown Issues club member Demond Richardson.

Irvis Orozco, 23, is completing his final year at UC Davis and is currently involved in many community outreach programs. Orozco was not born in the United States but was brought here by his family when he was seven months old.

“We have been lobbying for the passage of…» Read More