By BARRY JED RICHARDSON JR.
After years of shootings, I can’t believe some have the audacity to stick to their guns, no pun intended.
Two years ago, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Tucson was shot. Fortunately, she lived.
Then, when the long-anticipated Batman movie premiered, another shooting took place. We started 2013 with the most tragic of shootings, which took place in an elementary school.
What do these shootings have in common? Sick bastards with itchy trigger fingers, trigger fingers fueled by America’s obsession with guns.
This isn’t 1777; we don’t have to worry about the Redcoats marching in. These aren’t the days of Davy Crockett and the wild frontier, nor are we living in the days where outlaws roamed the Wild West.
Why do we need assault rifles and extended clips? Do we not have enough cops in the state of Arizona patrolling the streets?
When have we heard a story of a gun-toting hero gunning down an armed lunatic planning on shooting up a shopping mall? We haven’t!
Why? Is it not people that kill people, not guns? We are making it too easy for those guns that don’t kill people to get into the hands of people that DO kill people.
Keep your rifles. Have fun wasting your time, waiting at the gates for the enemy that will never come. Stroke your trigger-happy ego while the rational members of society respond to the recent violence by attempting to curb violence.
Really, it’s only the innocent who die while the mad gun man lives off our tax dollars, going through our broken justice system.
People, wake up! Is the right to bear arms more important than the right for a child to live a full life?
Clearly, I don’t think so. I care about people, so I don’t own guns, mostly because I don’t have the urge to kill something.
Consider this: Jared Loughner, the local nut job who shot Giffords, bought his gun legally.
How many other psychopaths out there have we enabled to carry tools that kill.
It’s time we wake up and react to these events, grow up and take action to prevent more massacres. We can start by keeping guns off the streets and leaving them in the hands of more qualified people, like military and police.
Richardson used weapons when he served in the U.S. Navy. He doesn’t own guns because the country has destroyers and Navy SEALS for protection.
By ANDREW PAXTON
Politicians typically will do or say just about anything in order to get their way. But lately, it is what they are refusing to do that is upsetting so many people.
Although no two politicians see eye to eye on every issue, it is their job to work together in order to serve us, the people, and the United States of America. Whether Democrats and Republicans agree or not, they are supposed to work through their differences for the greater good.
Many Pima Community College students stepped into the voting booth for the first time last November, and entrusted their representation to another individual.
The people elect their officials in good faith, believing that politicians will lead them through the country’s problems, not create more. We expect our officials to govern together, not to squabble and bicker like schoolchildren refusing to share their toys.
Instead, some politicians declare they will oppose the president on every issue, regardless of personal beliefs or constituents’ opinions. Others say they will refuse to raise any taxes and only want to fix the debt and deficit through cuts to government spending.
This is not the way to negotiate or lead. There must be some give-and-take. These officials swore an oath to represent the people, not corporations, lobbyists or Grover Norquist.
The fiscal cliff. The debt limit. The federal budget. Education. Student loans. Immigration. Gun control. Syria. Iran. Afghanistan. China. Women’s rights. LGBT rights. The president’s pending nominations for his second administration.
All of these issues and battles will unfold over the coming months and years. Will we see a repeat of the do-nothing Congress that helped lead to stagnant growth and growing dissatisfaction with elected representatives?
Congressional approval ratings are at historic lows. The American people are clearly unhappy with their elected bureaucrats, and many of the politicians who refused to compromise are now out of Congress.
The message following the election is clear. Americans want the politicians to legislate and act together toward common goals before our country sinks into another recession, starts another misguided war or falls further behind other nations in science, math and industry.
We can’t wait any longer.
Paxton is a political science major who wonders why we all can’t just get along.
By BRUCE HARDT
Decades past have given us many pop cultural movements in the art of film, among them “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones.”
Granted, these films portrayed, lightly, the aesthetics of their respective decades, but they ultimately exist as gateways through which we visit fantastical places.
Over the past seven years, director Christopher Nolan has given us the “Dark Knight Trilogy,” consisting of “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Like “Star Wars,” this trilogy spirits us away to a wondrous place, Gotham. An amalgamation of New York City and Chicago and a site of widespread urban warfare, Gotham is, in peace and turmoil, a contortion of our society.
The films appear moderate, raising points for and against issues like government surveillance, torture, corruption, vigilantism and class inequality. They make strides in melding these issues with entertaining motifs, equally dazzling and thought-provoking.
The “Dark Knight Trilogy” predominantly examines humanity, morality and the widespread influence of symbols. It repeatedly refers to Batman as incorruptible, with the name itself functioning as the hope of Gotham and as an immovable legend.
Pitted against villains like the Joker and Bane, Batman suffers for his mission and ideals, as do Gotham and its people. As his beloved city is broken down, we see the popcorn fun take a seat in favor of a layered narrative supported by realized characters and gorgeous cinematography.
While “Batman Begins” yielded little food for thought beyond its occasional mantra, its two sequels have been torn between the Republican and Democratic parties like ragdolls, and the movies’ apparent subtexts dissected endlessly.
Politically, “The Dark Knight” and its sequel have been labeled as promoting former President Bush and his maligned Patriot Act, demonizing the Occupy Movement and humanizing criminals to sensationalistic levels. Each argument has merits, but few are simple black-and-white.
In raising these issues, the trilogy provides support to them, in addition to its oft-subtle counterarguments. For example, in the third film, Bane holds the stock market hostage, while in his impassioned oratories throughout the film he condemns the wealthy for abusing their power.
Nolan’s trilogy in its basest form is a superhero saga, but unlike its flashy ilk, the series is so much more.
A twisting, multifaceted story, monumental performances, realistic effects and culturally significant themes all form the filmic movement of our time.
Hardt would like to ask the Academy what’s its problem with Christopher Nolan?
By SIERRA J. RUSSELL
The holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. has been in place as long as most young students can remember. Yet others may recall the controversy that accompanied its origins.
Months after the civil rights activist was assassinated in 1968, Congress introduced legislation to make King’s Jan. 15 birthday a federal holiday.
The bill did not become law until 1983. Most states observed the holiday for the first time in 1986.
Arizona was one of a few states to resist the law, and possibly the most publicized.
In the early ‘90s, a number of people, including King’s widow and singer Stevie Wonder, encouraged a boycott of Arizona until the holiday was made official.
Super Bowl XXVII was originally planned to take place in Tempe. The 1993 game was moved to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., in support of the boycott.
Rap group Public Enemy released a song titled “By the Time I Get to Arizona” with a music video that targeted politicians who opposed the holiday.
An Aztec Press article from January 1992 reads, “The issue has become so distorted that if the holiday passes, there will always be the question of whether we passed it simply to get the rest of the country off of our backs.”
The anonymously written editorial continues: “If it fails, we will wonder how many votes were cast against it simply as a hostile reaction to the country’s attempts to make us conform.”
The state’s holdout finally gave way when citizens voted in 1992 to enact the holiday. Arizona observed its first official MLK Day on the third Monday in January 1993.
An Aztec Press article covered a PCC commemoration at East Campus and described how harsh winter weather seemed to add to the power of the ceremony.
Several speakers and musicians scheduled to perform were unable to attend due to the weather conditions.
Nonetheless, Regina Mims, leader of the Prince Chapel’s Voices of Praise choir, was “nonplussed by the lack of instruments and explained that the origins of African American music were rooted in song.”
She led the gathered crowd in songs such as “We Shall Overcome” and “Amazing Grace.”
Johnny Bowens, sociology instructor, spoke about keeping King’s dream going.
“This is a time for all of us to reflect on the man, his message and what he tried to accomplish,” Bowens said. “We must realize that most of the issues which King addressed are still with us today.”
By BARRY JED RICHARDSON JR.
One month after the massacre in Newton, Conn., and two years after the Gabrielle Giffords shooting in Tucson, dramatic gun control legislation is in the works.
President Barack Obama proposed a package on Jan. 16 to combat gun violence.
“If there’s even one thing we can do to reduce the violence, if there’s even one life that can be saved, then we have an obligation to try it,” Obama said.
A ban on assault rifles and limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds are among the issues the administration aims to tackle.
Obama also wants required background checks on all gun purchases and strict penalties on those who purchase guns from unlicensed dealers.
The estimated $500 million proposal is the most aggressive gun control plan in generations. White House officials say many lives would be saved if the proposal were enacted.
Some states already responded in efforts to combat violence. New York was one of the first states to act since the Newton school shooting.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that keeps guns out of the hands of convicted felons and dangerous mental health patients, and banned any ammunition magazine over seven rounds.
Arizona remains among the worst states in the United States for gun safety laws, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
More information about the Brady Campaign and local chapters of the group, visit bradycampaign.org
Many Pima Community College students are concerned about proposed state legislation that would allow community college and university faculty members to carry concealed weapons while on campus.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea. I don’t think it’s appropriate for an institution to allow guns,” said Julian Mackey, a PCC student. “Some restraints need to be used when it comes to firearms in our society.”
Arizona does not require permits to purchase firearms, nor does it require the registration of purchased guns.
There is no requirement for a person to possess a permit when carrying a gun.
“There’s no place for guns at school,” PCC student Hector Amado said. “Think about it. do you want your kids at school when guns are allowed?”
By COLE POTWARDOWSKI
Pima Community College is rearranging the Bernal Gallery this semester for “Rearranging the Sands.”
The art exhibit will display the works of Barbara Penn, Benjamin McKee and Joe Dal Pra from Jan. 28 through March 8 in PCC’s Center for the Arts on West Campus.
Special events on Feb. 6 include a gallery talk from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and a reception in the gallery from 5-7 p.m.
The exhibit will also screen “The Shadows of Men” on Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the CFA Recital Hall. Director Jason Stone documents the lives and memories of 22 members of a Vietnam gunship platoon.
Art gallery Director David Andres describes the title “Rearranging the Sands” as a collaborative effort among the artists, reflecting sociopolitical themes.
“Some of Penn’s work, for instance, reflects the Iranian War,” Andres said.
Penn is a professor at the University of Arizona School of Art. Her artwork marries text and visual imagery.
“I practice a combined-media mindset of image-making, and grab whatever stays with my associative thoughts from the news, conversations, daily experiences or events in my life,” Penn said in a press release.
McKee’s artwork is an emblematic amalgamation of global politics and personal experience. The gallery will display his newest work, including his variation on trickledown economics. McKee teaches visual arts at Cochise College in Sierra Vista.
Dal Pra has been a full-time visual arts instructor at PCC since 2008. His exploratory artwork has taken many forms over the years.
“I would like them to be curious about what they had looked at, perhaps uneasy, reflect on some of the imagery and, if possible, think about it in a way that it relates to themselves and their (our) world,” Dal Pra said via email.
For additional information, call 206-6942 or visit pima.edu/cfa.
When: Jan. 28 through March 8
Where: Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, West Campus, CFA
Details: 206-6942, pima.edu/cfa
Special events Feb. 6:
Gallery talk: 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Reception: 5-7 p.m., Gallery
Video screening: “The Shadows of Men,” by Jason Stone, 6:30 p.m., Recital Hall, CFA
By STEVE CHOICE
The Pima Community College men’s basketball team (6-14, 1-11 ACCAC) may be happy that classes are back in session.
After going a healthy 6-7 in the first semester, Pima began the winter break. The wins went on hiatus, too, and they’re still playing hooky.
The Aztecs are currently mired in a seven-game winless stretch, dating to Dec. 29.
“We just gotta take it one game at a time,” freshman guard Terrance Carroll said. “We know what we need to do; now we just need keep at it and execute.”
Pima’s without a few players who started the season, which has affected the team’s depth and style of play.
“We started the year as an up-and-down team, but we’ve transferred into a team that plays more of a slow-down style now,” freshman point guard Mike Scroggins said. “It’s a new style, but we can get used to it.
“I know we can do it, but it’s going to take a little time. We’re picking it up more and more.”
Something else Pima almost picked up was a hard-fought victory on Jan. 19, as Arizona Western College came to town. The Aztecs battled back from a 16-point second-half deficit to cut it to 47-40 with 2:18 to go, ultimately falling 52-44.
“Yeah, we kept comin’ at them,” Carroll said. “We got close. Now we just gotta get over the hump.”
Freshman guard Lawrence Pierce led all scorers with 18 points for PCC, also grabbing seven rebounds.
Carroll contributed nine points, and freshman guard Kevin Burton chipped in seven. Scroggins had six points and six boards.
Pima had a tougher time with Cochise College on Jan. 16. The Apaches bolted to a 49-17 halftime lead and cruised to a 99-56 win.
Carroll led Pima with 18 points, while Pierce finished with 14 and seven boards.
Burton and freshman guard Joseph Monreal each added eight points for PCC.
On Jan. 12, Pima took on Tohono O’odham Community College in Sells, falling 72-60.
Pierce poured in 27 points in the loss.
The Western game began the back half of the Aztecs’ conference slate, as they’ll now look to reverse some of their earlier fortunes.
“We played a lot of these teams real close,” Scroggins said. “We’ve just gotta get it done the second time around.”
Pima was scheduled to play at Glendale Community College on Jan. 23. The paper went to press before results were available.
By STEVE CHOICE
The holiday season was kind to the Pima Community College women’s basketball team, as it found win after win under its tree.
The Aztecs (9-11, 5-6 ACCAC) went a spotless 6-0 from Dec. 5 to Jan. 2 to turn around a season that started slowly.
“It felt good to go on that hot streak,” freshman guard Felicia Foster said.
Pima has found returning to the office in January a little rougher, going 1-4 in its last four contests.
The Aztecs dropped a heartbreaker at home on Jan. 19, falling 63-60 to Arizona Western College in overtime.
A free throw by sophomore D.J. Davis put PCC on top 51-48 in regulation, but Western drove the length of the floor and nailed a game-tying 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds to go.
Davis also figured prominently in the extra frame. The 5-foot-4 inch guard hit a three with 45.4 seconds remaining to put Pima up 60-58, and made several nice assists to her teammates.
Despite her efforts, a controversial call with 15.3 seconds to go helped seal Pima’s fate.
With the score knotted at 60, a Western player got a steal on Pima’s end, but was struggling to gain her footing as she came away with the ball.
Judging by the crowd’s reaction, the referees were the only three people in the gym who didn’t see her take a bunny hop on her pivot foot, and it wasn’t called.
The Matadors seized on the confusion to drive the length of the floor and put in the winning shot. They added a free throw for the final margin.
“If we had put them away earlier, it wouldn’t have come down to anything like that,” Davis said. “We have to take care of business, not worry about the refs.”
Davis led Pima with a game-high 19 points, including 4-for-7 from 3-point range.
Sophomore center A’jha Edwards added 14 points, eight rebounds and three rejections.
It was the third straight home loss for Pima.
Cochise College put up a 40-25 second half on Jan. 16 to down PCC 72-63. The Aztecs also dropped a 56-53 decision on Jan. 9 to No. 5 Mesa Community College.
“It’s tough to lose these close ones, but our team is strong,” Foster said. “We gotta keep battling and just learn how to close these tight games out.”
Does Foster see another hot streak in the near future?
“Oh yeah, we’ve got another run in us. I know we’ll make the playoffs,” she said. “Coach believes in us. We’re gonna get there.”
Pima was scheduled to play at Glendale Community College on Jan. 23. The paper went to press before results were available.
By DIEGO LOZANO III
The blockbuster NBA trade this past offseason was headlined by two elite players taking their talents to the Los Angeles Lakers: superstar big man Dwight Howard and perennial All-Star guard Steve Nash.
It seemed inevitable that Howard would join the Lakers, as trade rumors and offers dominated the early offseason.
But the sports world was awestruck by Nash’s arrival. It immediately cast immense expectations on an unproven squad that still features future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers shipped off talented center Andrew Bynum, who won multiple titles with the organization, in pursuit of the more explosive Howard.
However, many critics have questioned the maturity level and competitive nature of Howard, who has been lackadaisical at times.
Fortunately, the young center and his new team would have an opportunity to achieve success in combination with proven stars Nash and Bryant — or so we thought.
The Lakers currently sit near the bottom of the pack in the fierce Western Conference with a ??? record.
In the midst of the team attempting to build chemistry at the beginning of the season, former head coach Mike Brown was let go after five games.
Bernie Bickerstaff was named interim coach. He wisely threw out Brown’s “Princeton offense” and stepped back, allowing players to operate in their own offensive system. The Lakers quietly ascended under Bickerstaff, going 4-1 during his brief tenure.
Sources around the league expected Phil Jackson to return for a third stint with the team, calling it the most logical choice. However, the Lakers instead chose Mike D’Antoni, former coach of the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks, to lead the dysfunctional group.
With D’Antoni’s offensive system fixated on a “seven seconds or less” shot principle and an up-tempo style of play, the transition has been anything but smooth for a roster with seven players currently on the wrong side of 30.
Despite the players’ lofty statistical rankings, there is obvious tension between them, on and off the court.
With an abundance of injuries, an aging roster and two early-season coaching changes that have plagued the team’s chemistry, the Lake Show has underwhelmed, to say the least.
As the season lingers, it is uncertain whether the Lakers can become “Showtime” again or how long the Staples Center can withstand this mediocrity.
One thing is certain — this has become a “win now” league. If these struggles continue, changes are once again imminent in LA.
By CHELO GRUBB
A series of complaints made against former Chancellor Roy Flores, the governing board and other senior-level administrators prompted the Higher Learning Commission, Pima Community College’s accreditor, to send a “fact-finding” team to the college.
The HLC’s team of anonymous individuals came to the college Jan. 17 and 18.
During that time, they met with college administrators.
Other members of the community were given the opportunity to make appointments with the team to discuss concerns.
One of PCC’s most vocal critics, the Coalition for Accountability, Integrity, Respect and Responsibility, specifically requested that the HLC conduct an investigation into their complaints.
They had a 90-minute session scheduled with the HLC team.
Interim Chancellor Suzanne Miles responded to the complaints in a letter, which can be read at AztecPressOnline.com.
In December, PCC Provost Jerry Migler emailed all students, saying they could send questions pertaining to the HLC visit to his office through the email address Accred-Questions@pima.edu.
Migler sent a second email to students days before the visit.
The integrity and quality of PCC’s programs and student support services are not being questioned by the HLC.
“We do not expect any changes in our ability to provide financial aid, your ability to transfer courses and programs to another college or, most importantly, in the value of our degrees and certificates,” Migler wrote in his Jan. 15 letter.
“In short, the opportunity afforded to you to get a high-quality education at an affordable price at PCC will not be affected,” the letter said.
Miles sent an email to all Pima employees on Jan. 20 saying the HLC had completed its visit.
According to her email, the college will hear back from the HLC in four to six weeks.
By STEVE CHOICE
Edgar Soto, athletics director at Pima Community College, first entered the ACCAC sports world in the ‘80s, when he was a baseball player for Arizona Western College.
After a stint as Pima’s head baseball coach from 1999-2010, the Tucson native moved to the administrative side of the PCC sports scene.
Soto recently sat down to discuss all things Aztec.
Q: It seems like Pima’s teams enjoy a high level of on-field success relative to other schools. Is that accurate, and if so, why would you say it is?
A: Yes, that’s true, and certainly we’re very proud of that. I think a lot of it has to do with the strength of the high school sports programs here in Tucson. A lot of it also comes down to our coaches. They’re really involved in supporting and nurturing their sports out in the community. In a way, it’s almost like we’re growing our own athletes.
Q: The new learning center for athletes will officially open soon at West Campus. Can you talk a bit about that?
A: It’s going to be called the Center for Academic Excellence. We feel like it’s really going to benefit our student-athletes. Creating this space where they can study and get help is going to be key for our students. We’re making this investment because we know their academics are the most important part.
Q: Why does Pima field the specific 16 teams that it does?
A: Those are all the sports our conference offers. I believe that we and Glendale are the only schools in the conference that field all 16. We used to have wrestling, but we had to drop it because no one else in the conference had a squad. There was no one to compete with.
Q: Do you think there are special challenges for student-athletes?
A: Yes, definitely I do. Take baseball as just one example. With games and practices, you’re talking about between 30 and 40 hours each week they’re putting in on their sport. Then they also have to lift weights and travel to away games, and that’s all before they factor in their academic load. Of course, that’s similar to what any student may do who has a full-time job. Those students have things that take up their time besides academics, too. For an athlete, having a job is usually not a possibility. They have to choose which one is a bigger priority for them.
Q: What do you think athletics add to a student’s college experience?
A: Student-athletes feel really connected to the college. They’re here, they’re representing the college, and they kind of interact with everyone. It’s like student government or any type of extracurricular activity you can do at the college. It really makes you feel like you’re a part of it.
Q: What’s the most important thing athletes take away from their time at Pima?
A: More than anything, it’s the relationships. Even with me, I’m still in touch with people I played baseball with at Arizona Western, then later at the University of New Mexico. You make these friendships, and that camaraderie is there for the rest of your life. You develop these relationships because you’ve been through so much adversity together. Those bonds last forever.
By ROSE VALENZUELA
It’s that time of year again, as the Pima Community College softball team returns for a new season.
After having morning practices while others slept in the fall, as well as practicing every day after class, these women seem as if they are prepared for almost anything, and are ready to dominate the upcoming season.
“We did workouts every day in the fall,” returning second baseman Noelle Medina said. “Even though it was hard to get up early in the mornings, we were dedicated. We cannot afford to take days off if we want to continue to be the best there is.”
After the successful season they had last year, the Aztecs know they have a huge target on their backs.
“We lost some key players in our lineup, but I’m pretty confident that our freshmen will fill those spots and get the job done,” Medina said.
Losing key players also means there is room for other players to help the team.
The Aztecs lost nine key cogs from last year’s squad, but have added six incoming freshmen.
Medina thinks this year’s freshmen are up to the challenge.
“They are all hardworking, and always want to improve,” she said. “The work ethic is a lot better this year, and I think our freshman have a lot to do with that.”
“We have a lot of experience returning, which is good,” head coach Armando Quiroz said. “I like the balance that we have. Our defense is always better than our offense when the season starts, but we are working on balancing that out.”
The eight returning players are getting looks from four-year colleges, including All-American outfielder Cynthia Pelayo.
The other seven returning Aztecs are Aubre Carpenter, Alejandra Ortiz, Medina, Gemma Contreras, Shawna Comeaux, Ambar Urias-Calvillo and Yvette Alvarez.
Pima will start its season Jan. 25 in Henderson, Nev. PCC’s first home game will be against Scottsdale Community College on Jan. 29 at West Campus. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
By ANDREW PAXTON
A female student was robbed at gunpoint and nearly the victim of a sexual assault in a women’s bathroom at Downtown Campus, according to a Campus Watch Bulletin released by Pima Community College.
The student, who is not being identified, called the Pima Community College Police Department on Friday, Jan. 18 at 6:15 p.m. to report the robbery and attempted rape, which had occurred about 30 minutes earlier.
The female victim reported that she was in the women’s bathroom when a male subject emerged from a bathroom stall, pointed a gun at her and ordered her back into the stall.
According to the report, the male subject demanded the female subject turn over some of her personal property and attempted to sexually assault her, according to the report.
The subject is described as a black male in his 20’s with short dreadlocks, between 5’8” and 5’11” and was wearing black jeans, a black and grey plaid long sleeve shirt and black shoes. He was last seen leaving the women’s restroom.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is strongly urged to call 911 or 88-CRIME.
One female student, who declined to be named, feels that students should “be able to carry a small knife or pepper-spray to defend themselves.” Pepper-spray and knives are currently not allowed on campus.
However, there are ways to protect against being a victim of violence. The PCC Police Department wishes to remind everyone to exercise good safety awareness at all times. There are some easy steps can help keep you unharmed.
Be alert and aware of your surroundings and the people around you at all times. Emergency blue light phones located around campus give direct access to PCC PD; know their locations.
Limit your use of phones, MP3s and other distractions, especially in dark parking lots. Walk in groups and try to park in well-lit areas, especially if taking night classes.
SandScript, Pima Community College’s student-produced art and literary magazine, has won numerous regional and national awards over the past 20 years.
Its latest, for the 2011 edition, was first place in the American Scholastic Press Association’s annual contest. Staffers are anxiously waiting for the 2012 awards to be announced.
SandScript showcases prose, poetry and visual art created by PCC students, faculty and staff members. The magazine is produced each spring by students enrolled in WRT 162 at West Campus, under the direction of faculty adviser Joshua Cochran.
Submission deadlines are always Dec.1 for the fall semester and March 1 for spring. Work can be submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or in hardcopy form to the West Campus arts and humanities department, Room J-111 in the Sentinel Peak building.
SandScript was conceived and co-founded by instructors Meg Files and Ann Tousley in 1990. The pair cited a desire to launch a magazine that would showcase Pima students’ writing and art.
“One of our challenges was fundraising,” Files said. “We used typesetting machines, waxers and layout tables to put the pages together. Now everything is designed on the computer.”
Tousley added, “In the old days, we always had to get outside funding to produce the quality we wanted. We had to solicit sponsors who were willing to donate money or paper stock.”
She believes it was worth the effort.
“One of Pima’s great strengths is its creative writing department, so the magazine always gets excellent submissions,” Tousley said. “The competition for publication is fierce.”
Files and Tousley were pleased when writing instructor Tom Speer offered to take over as faculty adviser in 1996.
Speer agreed to do so because the college provided an allotted budget to produce the publication.
“As faculty adviser, I tried to empower the students to take ownership and put their own stamp on the magazine,” Speer said.
“On one hand, it is a class. On the other hand, it is a product,” he said. “I tried to encourage the students to make it new each year, while still guiding them.”
One change Speer made was taking the class from two semesters to one.
“It creates a lot of pressure because of the deadlines, but it also creates a lot of momentum and makes the class more exciting,” he said. “SandScript is a beautiful magazine and creates an outlet for a lot of very creative people.”
Speer acted as faculty adviser through 2010, when he “strongly encouraged” Cochran to step in.
Files, Tousley and Speer all say Cochran was a great choice, because he has extensive editing and publishing experience.
Cochran greatly enjoys the creative process, and encourages all students to submit their work for consideration.
“It is an absolutely democratic process by which submissions are chosen,” Cochran said. “We maintain a strict ethical line, and even recuse ourselves if we recognize any work.”
Each student in the class has an equal vote on which submissions are selected.
“We wear our hearts on our sleeves, and really fight for the pieces we want to be included,” Cochran said.
The magazine’s acceptance rate is about 20 percent. That’s great for students, Cochran said, since the national acceptance rate for literary publications is 4 or 5 percent.
Cochran has increased the number of submissions by adding the option to submit via email and by reaching out to all Pima campuses. Each campus now has a SandScript faculty representative.
He encourages everyone to submit work, but cautions entrants to pay close attention to the guidelines.
Submission guidelines can be obtained via email at email@example.com or from Cochran’s office, J-111 in the West Campus Sentinel Peak building.