Monthly Archives: August 2012

Joshua Basrai
Staff Writer

“In the 4 .a.m. shadows we embraced, taking blood from the night transfused into morning; bones of memory, disappointment dissolved into mercies, a universe of living grace in her tender death.”

Sound like a riveting passage from great American literature and poetry? This is actually passage from a poem titled “Forgiveness” in Las Positas College’s very own anthology, written by Susan Wilson, first place winner and local teacher. Wilson, a local teacher in Livermore, took the Lydia Wood award for first place in prose and poetry.

“I’ve won some awards here before, but not like this.” said Wilson.

Her story titled “The Touch,” which covers the first seven years of her life in Appalachia took first place along with her poem titled “Forgiveness.”

The Las Positas College anthology class hosted their awards ceremony on Saturday May 12 to celebrate their publication of this year’s Anthology, “Descent of Dreams.”

The event commemorated the 30th anniversary of LPC’s annual creative writing publication. For many years, students at Las Positas and the surrounding community have used this publication as an avenue to publish their literary creations.

The collaboration produces a captivating collection of poetry, artwork ranging from photography to painting, and an abundance of short stories. More importantly, it provides an outlet for aspiring writers here at LPC and the surrounding community to have an opportunity to become published writers. Through this bond with the community, LPC has paved a path for a tradition of community interaction.

The consummate result of the latest collaboration came in the form of an awards ceremony. Writers, poets, and artists all gathered together to honor and celebrate the winners in three categories. Students, members of the Livermore community, and various sponsors were all in attendance to honor the publication of this book. Members of the anthology club handed out awards to the subsequent winners for prose, poetry, and artwork.

“I can’t obviously speak for about all the ones that were previously published, because I was not apart of that process,” Osama Ansari, the publication’s editor-in-chief said. “But this time I think people have gone above and beyond our expectations, and I think the teachers will vouch for that.”

There were three main awards for artwork, prose, and poetry. The panels of judges were randomly selected through the Tri-Valley branch of the California Writers Club. Each submission was judged anonymously.

Ari Farooq, husband of editor in chief, Osama Ansari, came in second behind Wilson.

He took second place in prose with his story entitled “The Tragedy of Almansur.”

Tyler Jinks, a student at LPC, took third place in prose, for his story entitled “m+.”

Peggy Schimmelman, another local resident, took second place for poetry for her poem entitled “Black.” Steven Santana, a student here at LPC, took third place for poetry for his poem entitled “Sandy Man.”

From paintings to photography, there are numerous illustrations in the anthology, all submitted by the community and students.

Local resident Neeraj Gupta took first place in artwork for his picture entitled “Golden Gate” for his HDR camera shot of the Golden Gate bridge.

“I took multiple shots in different exposure levels. It is a beautiful place, I go there whenever I can,” said Gupta said. “This is a hobby of mine, and I go there for family time.”

Second place for artwork was given to Lily Xu, for her painting, “Spring Rain.” Third place was given to Ramona Peterson, a student here at LPC for her photograph taken in Cuba of a Babaaláwo priest.

Finding members in the community to contribute was part of the anthology staff’s job. Through various outlets, they were able to get enough submissions and contributions to print this edition in color.

“To reach out to the community, we used a mix of talking to our peers, using Facebook, going to libraries, and coffee shops,” said Rosemary Plute, public relations manager. “We also created our first Facebook page.”

The class, which is offered during the spring under instructors Melissa Korber and Richard Dry, give students an opportunity to network with the community as well as test out their publishing skills.

“Everything you see here is done by the students,” Dry said. “We just help them out by giving them the resources and help them if they have any questions, but the actual production of the book is done solely by the students.”

You can support LPC’s publication by purchasing a copy for $10 in the bookstore.


As the school year comes to a close, so does my Presidency. It has been my sincere honor to have served as the student body President over the past year, and I’ve grown tremendously from the experience.

It is truly remarkable looking back at our accomplishments this year. In addition to strengthening or introducing new events on campus, such as the first ever Neon Night rave, I have been pleased with our ability to evolve into the primary role of playing advocate.

When it comes to advocacy, I believe the Associated Students of Las Positas College has done an exceptional job represent- ing the interests of students. In Sacramento we lobbied for legislation related to the Middle Class Scholarship, and we’ve lobbied to keep the Cal Grant intact. In DC, the focus was on preserving Pell Grant and subsidized student loans.

Advocacy is not limited to state and federal politics, either. We’ve advocated on the local level as well— working with the health and wellness center to ensure that students have access to preventative health services. As a result of this team effort, Planned Parenthood is available for students every Friday.

The ASLPC is your representative body, and helps facilitate much needed dialogue between students and the various constituency groups on campus. This year we fought hard to ensure that students were involved with cam- pus developments. Moving forward, I am hopeful that students will have an even greater involvement in shared governance.

As the year comes to an end, and the new administration takes its place, it’s important to realize that our objective will not deviate: it will always be about representing the interest of students. Students First.

Written by Amir Salehzadeh, outgoing
ASLPC President

This is the final installment in a five part ASLPC column series in the Express

As an elected representative of the student body, I have always strived to equitably and represent all students who attend Las Positas College. It has never been in my character to favor certain groups because of my firm belief in equal representation.

The Express’ latest editorial expresses disapproval of mine and current ASLPC President Amir Salehzadeh’s involvement in LPC’s Middle Eastern Awareness Club. In the editorial, our involvement in the club “does not help with the perception of fair treatment for all students, all clubs and all interests.”

I believe this statement could not be more incorrect. I do not see how being in a club which I was in a year before I was in office shows any favoritism towards that club.

I think it fails to understand that I am also a student who has passions that are separate
from student government. In my two years at LPC, these passions have lead to my involvement in the Middle Eastern Awareness Club, the Physics Club, the Gay-Straight Alliance Club, the International Business Club, the Poetry Club and the Philosophy Club. It was this experience that prepared me for the position of Inter-Club Council chair.

I also thought it was interesting that out of the many clubs I have been involved in—Amir and I were called out for our involvement in the Middle Eastern Awareness Club. I personally asked for the reasoning behind this and it was explained that it wasn’t that but the fact that two officers were in the same club. I then thought, ‘OK, if two officers in the same club is a problem, then how come it is not mentioned in the editorial that two officers are also in the Alpha Gamma Sigma Club?’
In fact, why were the only two Middle Eastern Officers shamed about being in clubs while other officers involved in clubs are not?

Then it all made sense to me. The editorial compares my involvement in the Middle Eastern Awareness Club to, and I quote, “it had been found that Barack Obama was also the chair of some random United Black People of America Club?”

When I read that, I was high- ly offended because I felt I was not getting called out because of favoritism but because of my race.

The direct parallel drawn between Amir and I being Middle Eastern to Obama being involved in an African-American club made it clear that it was my race that was the real problem. Why else would no other clubs be mentioned or it not mention non-Middle Eastern officers involvement in clubs?

I wish that this wasn’t true but this is how I felt. In my opinion, student officers should get involved in as much campus activity as possible. Not only does being involved help officers meet new students and gain needed leadership experience—it helps broaden an officer’s campus awareness.

This is their right as students. It is not favoritism to follow one’s passions.

If I had been asked if it was a goal of mine to represent the interests of Middle Eastern students, I would have proudly said “yes.” Along with the goal to rep- resent Political Science majors, women, Californians, Americans and all LPC students.

With that all being said, I want to ensure that my loyalty is to my LPC peers, not only my race.

Christina Aboud, incoming ASLPC Vice President

Nick DeRenzi

A broken 28 year tradition will soon be revived at Las Positas College.

Livermore’s annual Fourth of July firework celebration, cancelled indefinitely in 2010 because of budget cuts by the City and the Livermore Area Recreation Parks District, will be held this summer at LPC. In addition to renewing a popular Livermore event, the fireworks show will raise revenue for the school itself.

“It’s a great opportunity to serve our community,” Walthers said, “and to invite our neighbors up to use the incredible facilities that they generously voted for.”

In April the committee and the Chabot Las Positas Board of Trustees settled on allowing LPC to become this year’s location. The track and soccer field are designated viewing location.

“So long as attendees use blankets and not chairs,” LPC President Kevin Walthers said.

Along with providing location and some parking for the event, LPC made a deal to be approved by the CLPCCD Board and the Livermore City Council that the college will make $8,000 based on ticket sales, according to Walthers. Along with organizing fundraiser and finding sponsors the committee had to find a new location due to limited space at the old location, Robertson Park.
The event was also canceled in part because of the high cost involved in holding it. The LARPD and city of Livermore reported that the cost of the celebration in 2010 alone was $100,000.

A group of community organizers created the Livermore Fireworks Committee this last January to raise the needed money to fund the whole celebration. As of May 9 the LFC had $28,000 in donations.

The LFC in their committee meeting minutes for April 25, is expecting “a crowd of 10,000 to 15,000 maximum”.

“We are still trying to work out a sharing arrangement on concessions” said Walthers. “We anticipate that being done in June”.

LPC faculty is not expected to provide services for the event.

“We do not anticipate that public safety or maintenance and operations will be needed for the event,” Walthers said. “The City of Livermore is providing police coverage and the volunteer group is working diligently to ensure that all clean-up is done with volunteers. Any additional services provided by the college will be funded through the event revenue”.

The LFC has already made a down payment to Pyro Spectaculars with a fifty percent deposit of $11,250, the full balance is due July 5.

President Walthers on May 11 also signed the permit which was sent to the city of Livermore. Walthers expressed his hopes to make this an annual event at LPC.

By a tally of 13 to 3, Associated Students of Las Positas College voted in favor of passing a resolution urging the reinstatement of “break pay” benefits for students who are veterans of the military. Veteran students were previously eligible for monetary benefits during the period between semesters and the lack of these funds have had negative financial consequences for these students.

Nick DeRenzi
The May 11 meeting of the Associated Students of Las Positas College was a whirlwind of emotions.

At the meeting, President Kevin Walthers approached the ASLPC to explain the district’s budget issue and how it would affect them.
Walthers explained that, even with tax plans passing in November, the school will need to lose positions and already plans not to hire a new Dean of Student Services.

Walthers presented ASLPC with the need for them to pay for some of Sheri Moore’s, Staff Assistant for Student Services salary. Annually she makes an estimated $24,000. The President said that if ASLPC did not approve to help with her salary it did “not necessarily” mean she would be gone, but later in the meeting ASLPC President Amir Salehzadeh made it clear that she would be dismissed.

“He was sugar coating it because she will be cut” Salehzadeh said.

Originally set as up-to $24,000, ASLPC decided to set a price for covering Moore’s salary to $12,500.

Salehzadeh explained that if ASLPC could come up with $12,000 Walthers had agreed in a previous meeting to find a way for to cover the other $12,000.

“While I understand how essential Sheri is,” Javier Pinedo, Student Senator said, “$12,000 is a lot of money to be asking from us and especially since the money should be going toward students. I don’t know if I can support $12,000.”

The main issue in the debate was about setting a precedent for the coming years and that ASLPC could be stepping onto a slippery slope.

“I am very emotional about this, so this is a huge decision you need to make and I don’t want you to make it lightly because this is going to
set a precedent,” Director of Student Life Cynthia Ross said.

ASLPC’s projected budget includes a $140,000 spending budget

They will now have to re-evaluate the budget which could include
less club days or ASLPC going to less conferences, as proposed during the meetings debate.

“I don’t understand why we wouldn’t do this,” Breanna Krummins, ASLPC’s Director of Communications said.

“So we don’t get to go to a conference in the fall or we only have one club day, these are sacrifices I am willing to make.”

An issue that arose if Moore was to lose her job would be what about a successor for when Ross leaves.

“I am having a hard time find- ing a faculty member and without an assistant I can’t imagine (any- one would want my position),” said Ross.

Moore gave a letter to Salehzadeh prior to the May 11 meeting which he read aloud before the vote. A somber feeling draped over the meeting.

Ross became overcome and had to step outside at one point.

“Ask yourself ” said Moore’s letter, “if we use student funds to pay (my) salary do we get our moneys worth?”

After much deliberation the body voted to approve committing to spend $12,500 on Moore’s salary out of the $150,000 projected budget of ASLPC.

Much of ASLPC’s budget comes from student fees and the LPC foundation.

Nearly the whole body agreed
to the deal with only one abstention.

Though ASLPC made the decision to help with Moore’s salary, if her salary needs help again next year the new ASLPC will have to vote again for approval.

“We are not approving $12,000 indefinitely” Salehzadeh said, “we are just approving to keep her around next year.”

Even with the approval there is still a chance for Moore’s position will be cut with budget issues up- in-the air until November elections.

ASLPC will vote again over summer if there is a need for them to cover more of Moore’s salary.