The American River Current The student voice of American River College since 1955 Thu, 29 Aug 2019 20:56:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The American River Current 32 32 Photo of the Day: Aug. 29, 2019 Thu, 29 Aug 2019 20:56:15 +0000 0 Campus Pulse: Do you like ARC’s new website and Eservices design? Thu, 29 Aug 2019 20:43:09 +0000 ]]> 0 Photo of the Day: Aug. 28, 2019 Wed, 28 Aug 2019 21:13:03 +0000 0 Photo of the Day: Aug. 27, 2019 Tue, 27 Aug 2019 20:57:55 +0000 0 Photo of the Day: Aug. 26, 2019 Mon, 26 Aug 2019 20:38:36 +0000 0 Students combat controversial protestors on campus Mon, 20 May 2019 19:33:38 +0000 After a number of protests involving homophobic language and other controversial messages on the American River College campus, as well as other California college campuses, this past academic year, Universal Engaging Inclusive Transformative Education (UNITE) staff members and some students are beginning to question whether or not protestors should be allowed on campus without little or any check.

On Thursday, Chauncey Killens arrived outside of the Student Center at ARC wearing a sign that read, “MARRIAGE; 1 MAN & 1 WOMAN.” Although Killens was within his right to peacefully protest on campus due to the First Amendment, his message seemed to upset many students and drew an opposing crowd around him.

Killens —who was protesting on campus for the third consecutive day —continued to preach his message, to which multiple surrounding students countered with their own. He said that he’s held protests at other institutions and that he just wants people to hear his side of the story.

“I’ve been to several colleges,” Killens said. “I go into places and I want to talk to people because I’m tired of the other side [LGBTQ+ community] and calling us names just because we disagree.”

Regardless of how controversial his message was, Killens still didn’t violate the campus code and was able to remain on campus.

An email sent to students from Scott Crow, ARC’s public information officer, Thursday afternoon reinforced its stance on the subject, stating that ARC “has a responsibility to provide a space for constitutionally protected free speech, irrespective of the beliefs expressed in that speech.”

The message also added that allowing people with messages like Killens’ on campus “is not necessarily an indication of American River College’s values or views.”

It’s not the first time the question of protestor’s rights has come up on campus.

On Oct. 31, 2018, one protestor, whose message was similar to Killens’, violated ARC’s campus code by using amplified sound. The Los Rios Community College District’s Administration Regulation 1413 provides that “the use of amplified sound requires a permit in conjunction with these First Amendment activities so as not to disrupt other College or community activities.”

So as long as protestors abide by Regulation 1413, their freedom of speech right is protected, regardless of the message’s content. Although, network management major Isisdore Manes, argued that Killens’ protest was not in fact free speech.

“The right to freedom of speech can not be upheld if there’s speech that limits other speech,” Manes said. “Hate speech limits other speech. So hate is not free speech and should not be allowed in America.”

While freedom of speech is an American right, UNITE staff members question whether that privilege creates a safe environment for LGBTQ+ students on campus.

Clar Gobuyan, contact for UNITE, said that something must be done to protect those who may have find these protests offensive.

“If there’s nothing we can do about the First Amendment right, and obviously there is isn’t, then we need to find funding and different resources to support students who are impacted and targeted by those protestors,” Gobuyan said.

While protests on campus are protected by the First Amendment, members of UNITE believe there are things that can be done to combat the message and take attention away from them, if that protest contains offensive and hateful language.

Roderic Agbunag, coordinator for UNITE, says that the group already has a process that they follow to comfort students who might feel offended or threatened by a protest on campus.

“We try to go out there and first check on students, make sure they feel like they’re supported if they feel like any of the [protestor’s] comments are triggering, and that they have support if they want to come to our offices to discuss,” Agbunag said.

According to Agbunag, UNITE and the Pride Center at ARC have worked together in the past to create their own “counter-protests,” which students can participate in to prevent the protestor from gaining an audience.

“I think at the end of the day, they want attention, they want an audience. So we try to counter that by saying, ‘hey, there’s other activities going on, and don’t give them attention, because the longer attention is given to them, the longer they want to talk,’” Agbunag said.

Although Agbunag said he respects the First Amendment and people’s right to protest, he also wants marginalized students to feel safe and welcome on campus. If protests that are directed at these marginalized students are permitted on campus, Agbunag said he is unsure as to whether or not that would create a safe environment for them.

“I get where Los Rios stands on and where their fear is coming from because of the First Amendment rights and not wanting to get sued,” Agbunag said. “But I think if you look back at our value statements of equity and social justice, if we’re truly about being an inclusive environment for our students, then we should be upholding our values.”

Gobuyan is also critical of Los Rios’ free speech policy, and wants students to feel welcome so that they want to stay.

“One of the things we’re trying to fulfil here at ARC is the [improvement of] student retention rates,” Gobuyan said. “We want students in the classroom, we want them to be able to transfer out successfully and do well. But with things like hateful protests, how’s that going to happen? How are we going to make sure we’re cultivating a space for them that’s not only a comfortable environment but a safe one?”

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Students shine at Lavender Graduation Thu, 16 May 2019 08:13:02 +0000 Fourteen graduates walked across the stage on May 3 to collect their diploma, rainbow cap tassel and unicorn pin from the American River College Pride Center staff. Departments across campus banded together to ensure that the 2019 Lavender Graduation was an uplifting and powerful event.

Lavender Graduations celebrate the accomplishments of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students with their family and allies. The first Lavender Graduation was held in 1995 at the University of Michigan, and ceremonies are now held at campuses across the United States.

Joshua Moon Johnson, ARC’s dean of Student Services Equity Programs and Pathways, made it clear that despite the challenges that students from the LGBTQ+ and other marginalized communities face in education, the event was about much more.

“Today, we want to make sure that we’re celebrating, and I think that many times in our community we do focus on the challenges … but I want to be able to name this space as a place of celebration, a place of community and a place of healing,” Moon Johnson said.

He also thanked the faculty at ARC and in the Los Rios Community College District system that have given students guidance and support.

“This room, this year, is testament to the amazing work that our students and our faculty and our staff can come together to do,” Moon Johnson said. “This is a testament of all the great things we can accomplish when we come together, when we unify and when we continue to focus on the progress that we can make within our communities.”

The number of graduates was almost triple the number from ARC’s first ceremony in 2018. This year was also the first Lavender Graduation since the official opening of the Pride Center, and was held in the music recital hall instead of the Hub.

Criminal justice major Kayla Sepulveda said she has seen a lot of change since she started attending ARC in 2006. One of the most notable changes brought to LGBTQ+ students was the opening of the Pride Center.

“I’m so thankful for this community, we’ve done so much here,” Sepulveda said. “I’ve been here since 2006, so everything started from scratch.”

Many departments and clubs contributed to the preparation and supplies for the graduation, including the horticulture department, the music department, the hospitality management department, the Design Hub, among others.

Graduates from other LRCCD colleges also attended, including Sacramento City College student Danny Thirakul, who served as the Los Rios Student Trustee for the past academic year.

While Thirakul says he is happy to see the growth of programs for the LGBTQ+ community in Los Rios, he said he hopes that next year’s Lavender Graduation will be promoted and recognized on a larger scale.

“It’s definitely a community of Los Rios that’s not as big, or at least not as recognized as it should be,” Thirakul said.

Thirakul said he is transferring to California State University, Sacramento this fall, but that he’ll miss attending community colleges in LRCCD.

“I’m happy that I’m leaving, but very sad that I’m going to be leaving a lot of this behind. Part of me still wants to stay,” he said.

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Review: Twice gets ‘Fancy’ for world tour Thu, 16 May 2019 07:30:19 +0000 Lately Korean pop idols are all over American media; from the ridiculously successful award-winning BTS, to Blackpink’s guest appearances on talk shows and collaboration with chart-topper Dua Lipa, the American mainstream has become much more familiar with the stars of the K-pop idol world.

In the next few months the recording-breaking group Twice will be performing in the U.S. for the first time.

The long-awaited announcement of Twice’s international tour, including stops in the U.S., was followed by the release of “Fancy You,” a six-track extended play and their seventh mini album, on April 22. Since the release of the EP, the group’s cumulative album sales have made them the best selling girl group in Korea of all-time.

The nine-member pop group — composed of Jihyo, Dahyun, Jeongyeon, Chaeyoung, Tzuyu, Nayeon, Sana, Mina and Momo — debuted in 2015, after they participated in the music reality show “Sixteen.” The show was made by JYP Entertainment, known as one of the ‘Big Three’ K-pop music media labels in South Korea, and the Korean TV channel Mnet.

Artists under JYP Entertainment have been well-received by international audiences in the past, sometimes collaborating with American and European writers, producers and choreographers. “Fancy You” includes production by English pop musician Charli XCX.

The first track “Fancy” starts the album off boldly. The overall feel of the song sets the tone of the EP with a more mature sound for Twice, though there are still familiar Twice vocals, such as the cheers. The group has said that with this release, the singers wanted to freshen up their image, leaving behind some aspects of their cutesy reputation.

“Fancy” is musically more coherent than most of their other singles. The lyrics in the chorus like ‘Tell me, I’m the only one, baby I fancy you,’ are also indicative of the group growing up — a clear message compared to some of the juvenile choruses from previous releases with cringe-inducing lines like “me likey likey likey.”

Twice singles are made distinct with what some of the internet calls the “killing part” — an emphasized word or phrase in the group’s song, said by an individual member in an especially catchy or cute way, and usually paired with an easily replicable dance move.

Much of their viral fame came from videos and gifs of these parts from their performances and TV shows, with references to the song made by artists and celebrities far beyond Korea and the pop fanbase. The “killing part” in “Fancy” is done by Chaeyoung, whose name trended on Twitter worldwide after the release of the music video.

Excluding Twice’s Japanese releases, their cosmetic styling and fashion in the “Fancy” music video is their most mature yet. Twice was out of the spotlight for six months before the EP, and this shows in the choreography. The dance for “Fancy” is an impressive display of the girls’ synchronization and endurance with their legwork, with cute flourishes like a group pose constructing a star with their arms.

The third track was discussed by fans online before its release due to its production; the music was produced in part by electro pop artist Charli XCX, with lyrics written by Twice’s leader Jihyo. In “Girls Like Us,” the vocal dissonance between the wailing and the rest of the girls’ voices is a welcome departure from their usual sound, and makes this song the most experimental on the album. The mixing of their voices in this song remind me of the wispy, dreamy pitch of synth-pop artist Grimes.

This song is by far my favorite off the album, especially in terms of lyrics, which are available translated from Korean to English on the lyric site Genius. Written by the group’s leader Jihyo, the lyrics are positive encouragement to girls, singing to “Remember the starting point of that first dream / the newness of it all that was felt,” and “Oh girls, do what you want / you’re going the right way.” I’m always excited to see idols involved in the creative process, especially when they get to write lyrics, which isn’t as common in K-pop as it is in many genres.

The next song starts up with my favorite vocalist, Momo, who has an increased number of lines in this EP. I could tell from the first listen that I’d wind up drunk dancing to the funky beat in “Hot.” Dahyun’s rapping style in this song is clearly inspired by recent flow trends in rap and hip-hop in the United States. This song doesn’t have much in the way of meaningful lyrics, not that it would need them when it is just a song to get down to.

“Turn It Up” reminds me of a lot of songs, but it especially reminds me of “Rollin,” one of my favorite songs from Twice’s first full album, “Twicetagram,” standing out with its distinctively 80s sound. Jihyo’s voice adds some soul to this slower dance song. I’m a sucker for cheesy songs about dancing I’m bound to like almost any song called “Turn It Up.”

“Strawberry” is a light, softer, slightly bubbly song heavy on autotuning. “Strawberry” can be described by the chorus: “so sweet, so sweet.” While this song works as a sort of filler for the album, and I originally referred to it as “a good song to listen to while looking for something to listen to next,” it has grown on me since.

Overall I enjoyed the album, though I wish Twice would release another full-length album. They haven’t released a full Korean album since the two in 2017, and a Japanese album last year. This EP and single reminds me of a darker or more mature version of their single “Dance the Night Away.”

“Fancy” reached a second spot on Korean album sales charts. Though it didn’t do quite as well as their previous streak of chart topping singles, Twice added to their long list of records and achievements with this EP.

Fans are looking forward to see what Twice releases next, and I know I’m crossing my fingers that I will get the chance to be in the crowd to see them in Southern California this summer.

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Photo Essay: Former student struggles with homelessness Wed, 15 May 2019 21:58:49 +0000 ]]> 0 Latinos Unidos has stood at ARC for over 50 years Wed, 15 May 2019 21:43:14 +0000 The idea for the Latinos Unidos Club started back in the ‘70s, when Latinos students felt the need to have a support on American River College campus and also promote events like traditional holidays and parties.

According to the adviser for the club, Ricardo Caton, in the beginning the club supported Mexican American students. Once they saw how the Latino community in general needed support, the members of the club decided to open it up for all Latinos on campus and the outside community.

Caton is one of the current advisers and mentors for the club and he emphasized the importance of the Latinos Unidos Club for ARC and local Latin American communities.

“Your job in the club is to provide a sense of community so that Latinos, and just general population, is interested in Latin America issues,” Caton says. “And try to reach out to the Latin American communities as much as possible and give them our support.”

According to Caton, the club’s purpose isn’t just to promote or give the local community support, but also to try to help other communities in countries around the world. Recently, the club helped hold a fundraiser for the victims of Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria and the Mexico City earthquake on September 9, 2017.

“We are trying to be a club that only promotes Latin American culture on campus and also tries to help Latin American communities outside campus,” Caton says.

According to Helen Handy, vice president of Latinos Unidos Club, they embrace all kinds of different races to not exclusively Latinos but people around the world who are committed to helping out, promoting events and standing for the cause.

Handy emphasized how important it is to have help from the other students who are not Latino but believe in the cause of the club.

“You can be any kind of race, what really matters is to show we are all one, we are all together in the cause, we just got to be strong and be heard out there and try to reach out (to) as many people as possible,” Handy says.

A good example of how the club has expanded and embraced everybody around the world is computer science major Fabian Radu, from Romania, who says he enjoyed the club last fall.

“I really want(ed) to see what the club was about and I learned that they do a lot of outreach, I like that perspective since as a student we need to do a lot of outreaches specially for the Latino community,” Radu says.

Radu says that the Romanian culture shares a lot of similarities with the Latino culture, and he doesn’t see many Romanian people on campus.

“Surprisingly there are a lot of similarities in our cultures, that’s what brought me here and I think I can learn a lot,” Radu said. “The similarities between Latino culture and Romanian is the behavior, a little bit of the music and I think the most part it’s our ideals [that are] the same.”

Maria Elena Sepulveda, treasurer for the club, also explained the importance of the club for ARC and the community.

“The club stands for everybody that falls under the blanket of Latino to come together and share your cultures and ideas and how they are similar and different from one another,” Sepulveda says.    

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