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William Charuhas

Staff Writer

Dec. 21, 2012. That’s the date that the Mayan calendar ends and the date that some say is the end of the world. Now there are many theories as to what exactly will happen, most of it is speculation. Some say the poles will reverse, others say the planet will explode, but one of the most popular theories is that zombies will rise and bring about the end of civilization as we know it. There are many things that should be done in order to prepare if zombies appear. For the sake of being concise, this is going to be rather short. An in-depth discussion will keep us here for the better part of two weeks. What follows is a list of how best to survive a zombie apocalypse, and these are best done in the following order.

Step one: Protect yourself

What do you see most characters in zombie movies holding the majority of the time? A weapon. Why? They have to defend themselves somehow. Against a (mostly) mindless horde of undead, just about anything will do. Hammers, axes, bow and arrows, guns, it’s mostly a matter of preference but some of the best examples in movies and TV have been combinations of ranged and melee weapons. Mainly in the event that one fails, the other is there to fall back on. Having an emergency backup in case both of those fail can’t hurt your chances either. As Sam Raimi once showed the world in “Evil Dead 2” and “Army of Darkness,” nothing beats a hero who uses a shotgun and has a chainsaw for a hand.

Step two: Transportation

There really isn’t a standard to go by in this category, some people say that speed is the way to go, others say that fuel economy should be considered as you don’t know if or when society will come back and fuel will likely become scarce. But it all comes down to one thing really, getting away from zombies. If you’re trying to get from a lot of zombies, then something like a Volkswagen Beetle shouldn’t even be an option. Instead, bigger is typically going to be better, as you’ll be higher up and away from the flesh eaters and it’ll be easier for the driver to just run the zombies down.They’re dead already, so don’t bother feeling guilty, they (probably) won’t feel a thing.

Step three: Food and supplies

This one should be a no-brainer with all those disaster relief plans and studies saying you should have an emergency kit for situations where loss of power, food and infrastructure are expected. In any event, stockpiling the following items would increasing your odds of survival: canned and dried food, first aid medicine and disinfectant, bandages and clothing. So get used to eating out of a can, you may not be seeing another pizza for a while.

Step four: Find a “safe” spot

It should be mentioned that very few places would actually be “safe” should the dead rise up, but there are a few places that are safer than others. Provided there aren’t any zombies already on board, large seafaring vessels like cruise ships, freighter ships and aircraft carriers would work for a time. The downside is that those ships would have to put into port sooner or later for supplies. They also require a crew in order to operate effectively. Another option would be a military bunker complex like the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center. Once the doors to a place like that close, nothing undead is going to get in. But again, the downside is that those doors can only stay closed for so long until the issue of supplies comes up again. The last place that you could hide out in would be an island. Like the ships, there would have to be no zombies there already for it to offer any kind of real safety, but it would offer some natural barriers and, provided it’s large enough, you could conceivably hunt, gather and cultivate food there for a long time. Zombies would have a hard time getting there as they would have to walk along the ocean bottom, and that’s no easy feat. So a place like Ireland, England, Australia, Madagascar or Hawaii would become prime real estate if they’re not already.

So there is a basic how-to survival guide for the zombie apocalypse. However, if 2012 brings about the robot apocalypse, then the only logical advice is to bow down and welcome our new robot overlords.

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Jason Leskiw

Sports Editor

Student senate is something that most students don’t think much about when they arrive at Las Positas College.  When they walk into a recently built building or into Elite Café, student senate would actually be one of the last things that they would think of.

But in fact, the student senate plays an important role in making all of those structures and conveniences come to fruition.

At LPC there are 20 student senators that all serve on one committee each and one sub-committee. These committees range from assisting in the selection of which company nabs the contract for the soon-to-come food court and even student learning outcomes.

“The senate does much more than we give them credit for,” student senator Priscilla Chavez said.

All of the senators have standard office hours and can be found during their respective times in the student government building. Senators also meet on Fridays and at other times, all for nothing more than an addition to their resume and a general willingness to help and represent the student body.

Chavez’s committee is Student Learning Outcomes; something that she says most students don’t even know exists. She wants to change that and is open to responding to any questions.

“Anyone is more than welcome to call me or shoot me an email,” Chavez said.

Student government also has a Facebook page. According to senator Eric Bolin, a website for student government is also in the works. Bolin, who is capping off his third semester at LPC says that once he became involved in student government, he saw the campus in a different light.

“I think a lot of people look towards student government for diversity,” Bolin said. “It was a great way to get to know other people, and get to know people in a business sense. You’ve got a goal to get all these activities to the students and to reach out to the students.” Bolin says that one of the hardest things for him has been working with a contractor to get their website up.

“There’s so many different areas, I’ve learned a lot on how to rely on other people, how to communicate. It’s been a good learning process,” Bolin said.

Chavez, a public relations major, also said that she wanted to be more involved. Both plan to transfer within two or three semesters.

For a student to become a senator, it is relatively straight-forward.  Candidates are required to submit an information packet and get 150 signatures from students supporting their candidacy.  From there, students would meet with ASLPC coordinator Cynthia Ross, and then be approved as a member.

Travis Danner

Managing/OpinIONS Editor

On the teacher’s window is a hand that appears to be smeared with blood but it is not a sign of horror but of hope. There are a number of these red hands smeared across faculty members windows here at LPC and any student in need of help can now just reach out for that red hand.

The Helping Hands program is run and created by Nico Portugal, student and Inter-Club Council Chair. What the program aims to do is create a campus-wide support system for students experiencing any number of personal issues. Students in need of someone to talk to can contact any teacher who is part of the program who will help counsel them or direct them in a positive direction.

Students looking for help can contact any teacher or staff member on campus who displays a red hand sticker on their office door or window. That person will either talk to the student directly or point them in the direction of someone on campus who can help them.

The program’s creator was deferential to the staff who participates in the program when describing its mission, which seems to serve a dual-purpose.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with a lot of staff members,” Portugal said, “and I didn’t want students to feel that staff doesn’t care about students on campus. In addition, I don’t want students to feel like they don’t have anywhere to go if they’re going through difficult times.”

Portugal said that the idea came from a program at Wells Middle School  he described as “similar but not to the extent I wanted to see it done in college.”

He was drawn to the implementation of such a program by personal experience, after having seen the effect that counseling for students in difficult situations can accomplish.

“I’ve had a few friends who’ve suffered from depression, or were on 72-hour watch,” Portugal said. “I wanted to students give a source they can go to for help.”

The program is purely voluntary and the staff and faculty who participate in the program all do so on that basis

In order to ensure proper care, many students are referred to the LPC’s Student Health Center, and its site administrator, Dayna Barbero.

“Particularly in this time of the year with the stresses of the holidays and finals,” Berbero said, “we’ve see more people in distress. The goal is to guide (students) to proper community resources.”

Currently, the school lists 22 teachers and campus staff that are part of the program. Any student interested in seeing who is involved can visit the school’s web page, the “Student Government” link and find the section labeled “Helping Hands” next to the red hand. Those involved has their name plus their office and phone numbers listed.

In addition to Helping Hands, the Health Center can counsel student’s on many different issues they may be experiencing. The Health Center’s section on LPC’s webpage features a variety of links for students with potential issues, such as stress, smoking, drugs, sexually-transmitted diseases and suicide-prevention.

When asked what she would say to any student who may be apprehensive, Barbero didn’t hesitate.

“There are people out there that truly care,” Barbero said, “and are going to be there in a non-judgemental way and to know that when you see that red hand, you can be assured that these are people that really care. You can know it’s a safe place to be.”

Both Barbero and Portugal stated that the program has been gaining steam as more people are beginning to utilize the services available through the Health Center.

According to Barbero, more people who have seen the red hand and know what it’s about have been coming in to seek help for a variety of issues.

The next step, Portugal said, is to keep the program running and begin to publicize it more.

In the end, Portugal stated that he wants to paint a good picture of the school and give assistance to people in need.

“I created the program because I think sometimes Las Positas has a bad reputation,” Portugal said. “I want to show the community that Las Positas is diverse and understanding to different types of people. I just want to help students in any way I can.”

Angelica Estacio
Staff Writer
Sebastian Williamson identifies as queer, or someone who does not have a preferred sexual orientation. The 19-year-old graphic design student is a part of the Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
“I know a few students that would refer to me in female pronouns when they already were educated on my preferred pronouns,” Williamson said. “They just didn’t care to make me feel comfortable and kept at it as if it were a game.”
Although Williamson merely finds this kind of occurrences annoying more than offensive, the same cannot be said about many Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) students in California and the whole country.
According to  the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), six in every 10 LGBTQ students in the country reported feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, while four in 10 felt unsafe because of their gender expression.
This should change if the state has its way. Along with the new year, California also welcomes a new state legislation targeted to help put an end to bullying and harassments due to gender expression and sexual orientation.
“We’ve really moved away just from recognizing we’re not a hetero-centric world to moving towards policies of equity,” LPC Academic Senate President Sarah Thompson said.  “It’s not just individual recognition but treating sexual minorities as individuals with the same full rights as sexual majorities.”
The Equality and Equal Access in Higher Education Bill (Assembly Bill 620), which is tentatively expected to be implemented on Jan. 1, requires schools to identify a point-person who will be responsible for LGBTQ-related concerns on campus.
Although LPC is still in the process of selecting the person for this position, favorable effects can be expected from this step.
In “Gender Non-Conformity and School Safety: Documenting the Problem and Steps Schools Can Take,” a research conducted by The California Safe Schools Coalition, results showed that both LGBTQ male and female students who “know where to go to for information and support to gender identity and expression” felt safer in their schools.
The 2011 National School Climate Survey published by the GLSEN also showed positive results of community support and intervention in schools, concluding that “8 out of 10 LGBTQ students experience harassment” in the country, “but school-based resources and supports are making a difference.”
In addition to forming a good community support system, AB 620 also requires colleges and universities to strengthen legal support system in schools. Each school’s security department will have to start separately filing hate crimes reported that are of sexual orientation or gender expression discrimination in nature.
At LPC, the campus crime log dating back from 2009 to present reflects no record of hate crimes towards LGBTQ students or staff. Nonetheless, Thompson stresses the importance of this change.
“It is really important to identify and make separate criminal acts that are done not for personal reasons or personal gain, but are done because a person is a member of a group that that individual happens to despise.  So this fight for equity requires that kind of consciousness,” Thompson said.
Another change that AB 620 will bring is the inclusion of extensive and expanded definitions of “gender” and “gender expression” to cover terms that were not covered by school documents and policies before.
“The spirit of the law is that to make sure that we are specific to the documents that we give to students about definitions of these terms,” Thompson said.
And this is, of course, to address unintentional discrimination and bullying happening in schools because of people’s lack of understanding of certain gender and gender expression terms.
“Having a society and students who are ignorant really does not help,” Williamson said.
“People have told me stories about being bullied mercilessly at school, being treated rudely or unfairly by strangers in public, and instances of the same nature,” Northwestern University senior student Camille Beredjick said.
The 21-year-old studying Journalism and Gender Studies is a nominee to receive a scholarship worth $10 thousand from CollegeScholarships.org for her single-handedly established blog GayWrites.org.
Beredjick began GayWrites.org in June 2010 in hopes of having a personal outlet for her interest in LGBTQ equality issues. Within two years, her blog evolved to be a news and resource pool, earning her a following of more than 40 thousand LGBTQ members and allies all over the world, many of which she says have reached out to her to share personal experiences of bullying.
“LGBTQ people sometimes don’t come into their identities until college, and that transition can be very difficult for anyone, gay or straight. Bullying and harassment are very real problems in every facet of life, especially in education, and college is no exception,” Beredjick said.
“College students should be able to learn in a safe environment,” Williamson added. ”And truthfully the only way to even get that started is by creating laws and rules that say we are all equal and (LGBTQ students) shouldn’t be made to feel less than anyone else — mentally or physically.”
However, many California students admit they are not fully confident the new mandate will solve bullying problems.
“The added protection of the law is indeed important, but just because a law is set into place doesn’t mean people are going to follow it,” 22-year-old Karishma Bendale said.
The fifth-year Nursing student from San Jose State University identifies herself as pansexual or someone who gets attracted to people regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.
Bendale, who has been a member of SJSU’s Queer and Asian Club for three years, actively advocates through reaching out and educating people about gender and gender expression.
“However, it is important to have these rules in a way that they help bring awareness to the issues of gender, gender expression and sexual orientation,” Bendale said.

Aretha Welch
Editor in Chief
Perched ontop a hill there is a picteresque campus where both the young and old get together to explore higher education.  People meet in the quad to discuss philosophical matters and politics. The teachers are open-minded and encourage exploration. Tuition is cheap and learning is fun. Occasionally the students protest a social injustice and the teachers endorse their freedom of expression. Students are taught to search for a career, as well as personal fulfillment; well there was that place.  That was community college in the 1990s.
Fast-forward to 2012 and the community is being squeezed out of the community college system. Teachers and students alike agree college is no longer about discovery and personal enrichment. But instead about getting people into the workforce and out of campus corridors as cheaply as possible.
“I feel like I’m going to school in a factory. Everywhere I turn I hear about CTEs, or 1440s or repetition or repeatability, just a million policies which all say in essence my options to use college as a place to figure out where I am going in life are limited,” Stacey Browne, an LPC first year student, said.
“Education is now seen as something that is consumed by a small group of people and if it is not consumed in the way taxpayers want, then they’re wasting money,” said Sarah Thompson, president of LPC’s Academic Senate.
Thompson said there is no longer a buy-in that education enriches all and a highly educated public is an asset to a state.
She said it’s been broken down to a battle of dollars and cents.
“Which is ironic because we service so many more students now in higher education than we did in 1970. I mean exponentially higher and we spend exponentially less on each student than we did in the 1970s.”
“I attempted to sign up for a photography class last semester, but there was only one for beginners and it was full so early on,” Moira Gonsalves, a 50-year-old homemaker from Livermore said.
“There used to be so many more classes. So many are not offered from semester to semester and it’s mostly the personal enrichment classes that are cut. “It’s really expensive also if you don’t qualify for financial aid,” Gonsalves said.
Thompson agreed that the recent price hikes in tuition fees throughout the community college system are contrary to what the community college system set out to do many moons ago. In the last two years tuition costs have jumped from $36 per unit to $46 per unit.

 

“When the master plan for education was created there was a vision that all Californians would have access to free or heavily subsidized higher education. If someone takes a class on creative writing and that’s all they take but it changes them in a positive way, there was once a belief that everyone benefits from that. “
“But the climate of the state has changed significantly so that higher education is no longer seen as a right.”
The budget cuts that have plagued the California education system in the last handful of years are being pointed out as the main culprit behind the way the community college system has morphed from all inclusive to transfer student oriented.
“Although the drastic cuts that we have faced have been fairly equitable, those classes that transfer or are needed for a degree or certificate are going to take precedence over classes that aren’t required. It is sad that we have lost so many students who came to Las Positas simply for life-long learning,” Cynthia Ross, Director of Student Life, said.
But budget cuts aren’t the only predators chomping away at what community colleges are meant to be.
State mandated programs that call on colleges to reshape their academic curriculum to fulfill new California requirements such as the 1440s transfer degrees are also being called the bad guys.
As a previous Express article stated, the 1440 transfer degree is the result of the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (SB 1440), which was signed into law in 2010.
It was the creation of specialized Associate of Arts degrees and Associate of Science degrees. Once a student completes one of these degrees, they are guaranteed admission to California State University system.
In addition to admission, students will receive priority consideration for entry into their major program.
But as schools are being mandated to change their programs to make sure at least 80 percent of their degree offerings are 1440 compatible by the end of the 2012-2013 academic year, many non transfer related classes are being neglected.

Teachers do not agree with this mandate.
During a late October Acedemic Senate meeting, several automotive tech instructors expressed disdain with the idea of classes that lead to a degree for transfer being given priority over classes that do not.

The instructors said even if automotive tech majors wanted to transfer many couldn’t, as there are no auto-tech BSc. Programs in California.
“When the Master Plan for Higher Education in California was developed many years ago, the vision of community colleges was as a place that served the entire community not just the chosen few; a place that accepted all students not just those on traditional 4-year tracks,” LaVaughn Hart, a Computer Information Systems instructor, said during the last Academic Senate meeting.
Hart and Thompson both stated that outside legislators who know nothing about what community college are supposed to do are making decisions for the schools.
“It seems that this lofty goal of providing higher education for all is being undermined by many who know little about the community college system and all the variety of students that we serve,” said Hart.
“A lot of people who come in (to community college) for retraining aren’t thinking about transfer degrees, they want a skill set to be advanced in the job they have or want to become immediately.
But we have a researcher (Nancy Shulock, Ph.D. Professor and Executive Director for the Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy at C.S.U Sacramento)…the same researcher behind the Student Success Task Force influencing legislators,” said Thompson.
Even student government is all frowns about the direction community colleges are heading in.
“As the types of students that come here have evolved from self-improvement to a vast number of young students hoping to transfer, the community college make-up has evolved.
Sadly, this evolution mixed with the constant cuts has changed the available courses and has shutout those students that are here for self-improvement,” Cherry Bogue, president of the Associated Students of Las Positas College said.

Martin Gallegos
staff writer
If anyone knows about the grind of paying for college, it’s international students.
Ineligible for financial aid, they have to come up with the entire expense out of pocket. On top of that, the cost of attending Las Positas College is significantly higher for international students. The fortunate can just hit up their parents. Others have to work to save up enough money to move to the U.S. and pay the costs of higher education.
Perhaps LPC’s American-born students should be thankful their international counterparts make such a sacrifice. These 130 students are bringing much-needed extra money to the school, helping to fund classes for the entire college.
Sean Day works with international students on a daily basis as the International Admissions Specialist.  He is grateful for the many benefits these students bring to the campus.
“During these difficult times when classes are being cut, they are providing us the extra revenue to add classes,” Day said.
There is a standard enrollment fee (12 units each semester at $46 per unit) of $1,104 per year which is the same for both local and international students.  What most people do not know is that the international students also have to pay a tuition fee of $5,424 per year.
From South Korea to Turkey, there are 35 different countries represented here at LPC.  In order to pay for these extra fees, international students are very dependent on their parents or family members to help pay for the most part.
“We have many Chinese students here now, and as their economy has been growing, families are enjoying new income,” Day said.  “With the one-child policy in their country, often times their parents and grandparents put their funds together to help pay the fees.”
There are other international students who do not have this luxury and have to work for years, save their money, and come to the U.S. to study at an older age.
Even though the students do bring in extra money for the school, Day does not look at these students as strictly money makers.  He takes more joy from seeing the extra learning opportunities that the students bring to the campus.
“I am hopeful that the relationships they have made here will increase global understanding of the U.S. in their countries,” Day said.
So since this past week was International Education Week, be sure to thank an international student if you see one.  They might be the reason you got into that extra class that you needed this semester.

Aretha Welch
Editor in Chief
His deepest fear is not death. It is not being captured across enemy lines and it is not being tortured. His deepest fear is being crippled and unable to serve his country and protect his people.
Eighteen-year-old Christian Hewitt is a private in the United States Army and a former LPC student. He will be leaving the peace of Northern California right before Christmas to spend his holidays in the war of Southern Afghanistan.
“It will suck being away from home for Christmas. But patri- otism drives me. If I don’t do it, someone else will have to. Someone has to sacrifice to keep the majority safe. Why not me?” Hewitt said.
Hewitt is forward observer who has been trained to spot and aid in the ‘taking out’ of threats to U.S. foot soldiers before they enter an area. He is also a devout Christian.
He is soft-spoken and mild- mannered on the surface. But five minutes of conversation reveal a hardened interior. An interior that at first seems to con- trast the stereotypical love thy neighbor, kumbaya, cookie cutter Christians that are fed to us in the media.
And it is in contrast. Christian believes in military might and protecting the innocent at all costs. “A strong military is neces- sary to keep the free free and free the oppressed. If they are trying to kill me and harm my country
then I’m going to kill them. I’m going to react. I don’t really see it as murder. It is not out of spite or hate.”
Christian is willing to risk life and limb to protect the lives and limbs of Americans he has never met. “Civilians should not have to worry. If we look at other parts of the world they are plagued by violence because there is nothing to stop it. Nobody or not enough militarytoquellit,”Christiansaid.
“That cannot be America. People here should have peace of mind. Civilians should not have to wake up in the morning and worry about being shot at.”
Christian signed up to be one of the gatekeepers of the great American peace he speaks of at the age of 16 with the full support
of his family.

One might question what type of family would be willing to sign their not so adult son up for the military during war times.     Pacifists might critique it.

But the Hewitts are not the typical family. Both Christian and his 22-year-old brother Nathan decided in their pre-adolescent years (nine and eight respective- ly) that they were going to join the military.
They come from family of veterans. Their grandfather is a Vietnam vet and their uncle is a Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan vet.
And in December both Christian and Nathan will join the ranks of their kinsmen. They will both be deployed to Afghanistan, which has been dubbed the most dangerous place in the world for U.S. soldiers by the American media.
Both of Beth Hewitt’s boys will be risking their lives to keep Americans back home safe. Any mother would be up in arms and down on knees hoping for a safe return.
But Beth needs no hope and knows no fear, for she has faith.
“I have no fear because I have direct faith in God.”
Asked how her family recon- ciled the “turn the other cheek” and “love thy neighbor” teachings of Christianity with the concept of war Beth, a homemaker, said, “Although war is not the pre- ferred means to solve conflict, it has existed since the beginning of biblical times and sometimes is a necessary means to find peace.” While Beth’s faith keeps fear at bay, Christian admits he is scared.

“I’m a little bit scared, I’m anxious and excited also.”

“Excited because I’m going to make some money and actually do what I was trained to do,” he said. His fear, he said, comes from the potential of being harmed.
“Not so much death, ‘cause if I die I won’t know, but more of becoming crippled.”
“My uncle basically said to watch the ground, look for areas that are dug up, potential IEDs, things that look out of place. You will see the people that are shoot- ing at you because they are shoot- ing at you, the smaller things you might miss are what get you.”
Christian knows it is not only the threat of physical pain that looms. He said he knows loneli- ness and boredom might get the best of most days while overseas.
He said speaking to people in his training unit who had been previously deployed he knows the pain of leaving all that is familiar is too much for many to bear.
“It’s nine months of work. Things can get hectic. There are no constants, everything is sporadic when you’re deployed. You’re either sitting there bored or out at work. There can be long stretches with no contact with family and friends back home and that hurts as much as any physical wound,” Christian said.