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LETTERS

LETTERS

Letters

Editor’s note: Students in a WRT 70 class used Issue 6 (Nov. 13-26) to provide the following feedback.

RE: ‘Offer online winter classes’

I totally agree with the Aztec Press editorial stance that Pima Community College should not cancel winter break classes.

Editor-in-chief Andrew Paxton says Pima’s reasoning for eliminating the classes are the expense of keeping the college open for a limited number students and that the classes don’t contribute to the student success rate. Those arguments are a stretch.

For personal reasons, I am on a deadline for completing my studies at Pima. By taking classes during winter break, it would accelerate my time at Pima and allow me to focus on the things that help me meet my goals.

Wanting to hold down costs is understandable, especially since Pima faces financial issues. Serving students should trump that questionable cost-cutting measure when other options are available. Instead of running Pima like a business, student needs should take priority.

Katelyn Young

 

Re: ‘Offer online winter classes’

Editor-in-Chief Andrew Paxton says the college should reconsider its cancellation of winter classes. I disagree.

Classes would be so much harder for students to deal with because of the holiday pressure. The college would also lose money, because it does not have a very good success rate, and the college would be just paying professors for failing students.

Doing the online classes would also be hard, because students have to find time to do the work, and many college kids these days are pretty lazy.

It would also be hard for those who work. They might spend two hours on school, then five to eight hours at work, then come home and do some more schooling, and then on top of all that, they have to help with the holidays and family coming in from out of town.

Hardworking, stressed college students need to just kick back and relax during the breaks.

Nick Laughlin

 

RE: ‘The Word: Who would you gay marry?’

I am disappointed with the question that you chose to post in this article. As a person of the LGBTQ community, I find this article disappointing. It seems to me that you think that gay marriage is a joke.

I wish that people would just understand that all people, no matter their sexual preference, deserve to be treated with respect. People’s feeling should be considered more before posting. Think about how the other person would feel and not yourself. Gays are human, too.

Maria Grey

 

RE: ‘Where’s my Disney Latina doll?’

The column by Mariana Ceja was about why Disney doesn’t have a main Latina princess star, while other ethnicities do have princesses. At the end she said, “I am not asking for nine Hispanic princesses, just one that looks like me.” I agree.

As a child I remember watching cartoons that had different ethnicities, but I never saw one who looks like me: A Native American with brown skin. When I did see a Native American in a cartoon, he would have long hair, light red skin, and a bow and arrow.

I would get excited because I hardly saw Native Americans in cartoons. When I was in elementary school, kids would ask me questions because I’m Native American. They would ask me, “Where’s your pony tail?” or “Will you harm us with your bow and arrow?”

As I grow up, I now realize Native Americans don’t act the same as in cartoons, and all Native Americans are different.

My point is a company like Disney doesn’t care how real Hispanic, Native American or any other ethnicities look and act like. All they care about is making money, and for that younger children get the wrong impression about ethnicities around the world.

Dewey Francisco

 

RE: ‘Justice Department sues PCC’

I have felt a deep sadness that a man who has served this country is denied a promotion due to said services. In short, this is discrimination.

I don’t really agree with denial of promotion and discrimination. I feel like Timothy Stoner should have been given the chance or right to be able to do this job.

Dashawn Reynolds

 

RE: ‘Justice Department sues PCC’

I have a family member who has served in the military, and I am sure that he has never been denied to apply for any positions. It is wrong to deny a fellow officer a promotion to become a police corporal. Officer Timothy Stoner’s rights were violated.

It’s like the chief of police had some sort of grudge against military personnel. She made rude remarks against Officer Stoner and the military, saying that military people are not capable of handling stress.

I agree with Officer Stoner’s remarks that military people are trained to deal and think quickly in stressful situations. To deny an Army/on-duty officer a promotion sounds really discriminatory.

Manuel Mendoza

 

Re: ‘Pima programs educate 600+ refugees annually’

I have read the recent article about the number of refugees attending classes at the El Rio Learning Center. I was surprised that only 600 refugees are in talking, reading and writing classes. I am concerned that this is a low number of refugees when in fact there are many more than that in the Tucson community.

I certainly appreciate the kind words about the refugees gaining an opportunity for an education. However, I urge you to find more resources to include more refugees in the Pima Community College system. Finally, I recommend larger outreach to Tucson’s refugee community.

Abdelrahman Fadou

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Create special holiday memories

Create special holiday memories

By TANISHA KNUTZEN

Now that we’re well into December, I find myself questioning the true meaning of the holiday season. Have we forgotten what this time of year is really all about?

As a society, we focus our attention on the value of the presents surrounding the holiday season, rather than the importance of the people we celebrate with.

The magic that once filled the air on the days leading up to Christmas morning has been lost somewhere along the way of swiping credit cards and wrapping extravagant, unnecessary gifts.

Remember when we looked forward to spending these days with the people we loved most, while unapologetically stuffing our faces with the best food the year had to offer? Why is it that these things no longer hold value?

We’ve become so lost in trying to buy each other perfect gifts that we’ve forgotten the presence of one another.

One of my favorite holiday movies, “Elf,” is a perfect example of this magic. Without a belief in Christmas, Santa can’t deliver presents to the millions of children waiting on him.

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”- Buddy the Elf

Although it might seem rather silly to compare real life to a fictional character like Buddy the Elf, this kind of excitement should bring us back to a simpler reality.

The simplest of times, like when my brothers and I would try to catch Santa coming through the chimney on Christmas Eve. The color of flashing lights that lit up our faces while we sat in front of the fireplace, drinking hot chocolate.

Every moment we spent next to each other was precious.

These types of moments should take precedence. Years from now, when we look back, we’ll remember those times together and forget about presents wrapped in shiny paper.

Instead of focusing on the materialistic side of the holiday season, let’s spotlight various activities that don’t include a price tag. Here are a few of my favorites:

• Cuddling on cold nights.
• Baking cookies while blasting holiday tunes.
• Watching 24 hours of “A Christmas Story.”

We need to stop living in a materialistic world that only provides us with mounds of stress and debt.

Let’s start living in a world filled with the love and laughter of families that simply enjoy spending the holidays together.

Knutzen wants everyone to remember the excitement they once felt about the holidays and appreciate the magic of family, friends and food.

Pg06-Opinion-Tanisha Knutzen

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Student-athletes work hard

Student-athletes work hard

By ADRIANNA BARRIENTEZ

Being a full-time student is already stressful. Having a job brings more conflictions. Throwing a collegiate sport into the mix can be really overwhelming.

I’ve attended Pima Community College for the past two years as a student-athlete on scholarship. Many people think a free education must provide an easy way to get a degree.

It’s not easy at all.

The scholarship only pays for tuition. Books, food, transportation and living expenses aren’t included. Most PCC student-athletes either have a job or use financial aid to support themselves.

Last year I got a job at a sandwich shop during a semester filled with school and basketball. All three definitely put lots of weight on my shoulders. I barely got any sleep to actually give full attention to any of those priorities.

Since then, I’ve added a second job to the mix.

Working two jobs while being a student-athlete wasn’t something I wanted to do. It was something I had to do. I must earn money to pay rent and other bills, and to buy gas for my car. I don’t get a money refill from my mom every two weeks.

Some people believe student-athletes have it easy with instructors because we are popular or a favorite. Really, it’s not even close to that.

I’ve had instructors not understand or even care what I do with my time and cut me no slack whatsoever. Not saying they should, but I do want people to understand that we don’t have it easy.

Spending at least 14 hours with basketball, 25 hours in classes and 18 hours at work every week, not including homework, is overwhelming but needs to happen.

Admittedly, some student-athletes let stupidity take a toll. They think they can party every day and not go to class.

They’re the ones who get booted from the team and lose their scholarship when they don’t pass classes. But many good student-athletes work hard to earn an honest degree.

I love being a student-athlete. It can be overwhelming, but I’m maintaining a 3.4 GPA this semester while handling the sport I love and staying committed to my two jobs.

Most of my fellow athletes also love what they do. None of us have an education just given to us. We’ve earned it.

Barrientez wishes people would stop bashing athletes, and come watch games instead. She promises Pima basketball isn’t the slightest bit boring.

Pg06-Adrianna Barrientez

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Police killings raise questions

Police killings raise questions

By ANDREW PAXTON

A recent United Nations report has slammed the United States’ handling of inmates, the brutality of its police forces and its use of capital punishment.

The report, combined with the grand jury decisions in the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases, has forced us all to start asking where exactly our country is headed.

When is it acceptable to take another person’s life? Does that criteria change depending on the color of skin or the uniform being worn? What are the underlying causes of all these killings? Has America lost its way?

The ideas of liberty and equality helped birth this nation, but those lofty endowments were not bestowed upon women or residents of color, many of whom were either slaves or Native Americans being run off their ancestral land.

No, this country has always had an issue with race. The election of a black president or the rise of an African-American billionaire female talk-show host hasn’t changed the fact that “the land of the free” doesn’t apply to everyone.

Have things gotten better than the days of slavery or the Jim Crow South? Of course. But that doesn’t mean we are yet living in a truly equal country.

Far from it.

Capital punishment disproportionately affects minorities, and people of color make up an ever-increasing number of America’s surging prison populations.

Many of them never even make it to a jail cell.

Minorities are gunned down on the streets or choked to death in front of our very eyes at alarming rates, and the officers often face no repercussions.

The outrage is being seen and heard on the streets all across the nation.

We all know police must have the ability to defend citizens, and themselves, when necessary. But exactly what has been deemed “necessary” in recent cases has raised questions that are shaking America to its very foundations.

We can no longer accept the killing of other people, even as a form of punishment. Only in extreme cases of self-defense should the taking of another life be permitted.

The U.N. report laid out some basic ways to hold police more accountable, including having independent oversight boards reviewing every case of lethal force by law enforcement and improved training techniques for police. These must be implemented immediately.

Furthermore, this country must start addressing the causes of many of these problems, including lack of education, lackluster social services and a rigged system, as well as undertaking fundamental cultural and philosophical changes, if we ever want these tragedies to stop.

If the violence, torture, inhumane treatment and killings by the U.S. government and its proxies continues unabated, the protests in the streets will undoubtedly grow.

Paxton believes that peace, love and understanding are actually pretty groovy after all, just like the hippies said.

Pg06-Opinion-Andrew Paxton

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From the Editor: All good things eventually end

From the Editor: All good things eventually end

By ANDREW PAXTON

After four semesters and 31 issues on staff (with one more to go), my reign of terror as editor of Pima Community College’s student newspaper is drawing to an end.

I have written exactly 21 editor columns during my time on staff, including this one. As all the gamblers know, you always stay on 21.

Custom dictates that I reflect on my time here, the good times and bad, what I’ve learned, and all that jazz.

And thanks yous. There must be ample kudos to all the amazing people I’ve met and worked with along the way, right?

Well, it’s true. I have worked with a cadre of spectacular people that I will never forget. My experience here as the editor will never be replicated, no matter where my journeys take me once I leave Pima. But for some reason I can’t bring myself to write the typical farewell column.

Perhaps it’s because I feel like there is still more to do, always wanting to chase one more lead or work on one more story with a new reporter just learning the ropes.

Maybe it’s because I feel like this really isn’t goodbye. Sure, my writing won’t be showing up in this space on a biweekly basis anymore, but it will still be out there, somewhere.

I will never stop pursuing stories, asking questions and bringing readers the information they want.

Or it could just be the fact that I don’t imagine anyone wants to read all about me any more than I want to fill this space with my personal reflections and future aspirations.

One thing I will say as I prepare to transition away from my time on the college paper; enjoy every moment you can. Some people would give up everything for the opportunities we take for granted. You never know when everything could be gone, or what tomorrow may bring.

And I truly would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to thank our adviser, and my mentor, Cynthia Lancaster, for everything she has done during my time with Aztec Press. My leadership, writing, editing, layout and photography skills all evolved immensely due to her teachings.

This issue is full of stories of people seizing the moment and living life to the fullest, challenging themselves to new limits, following their hearts and chasing their dreams. I am hopeful we can all do the same.

Carpe diem. Enjoy the issue.

Pg06-Opinion-Andrew Paxton

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#GamerGate: Camps form in video game industry

#GamerGate: Camps form in video game industry

By ALEX FRUECHTENICHT

#GamerGate, as it is commonly referred to online, has been the talk of the video game industry for the second half of 2014. What started off as a bad relationship between creator and critic split the video game community in two.

The controversy has forced gamers to explore serious topics, ranging from sexism, feminism and the role of females in video games to journalistic ethics, reporters’ personal lives and interactions between critics and creators.

Let’s take a quick look at what #GamerGate is and how it started.

Last August, a writer from video game website Kotaku wrote a few blog posts about his ex-girlfriend Zoë Quinn, an independent video game designer. He claimed she cheated on him with several other video game journalists.

Angry gamers attacked Quinn online, saying she had done this to create publicity for her video game, Depression Quest.

Websites 4chan and Reddit buzzed with comments about how feminists were trying to ruin games by pointing out the roles of women.

Attacks spread to other women in the video game industry, including feminist blogger Anita Sarkeesian. She declined to give a speech at the University of Utah because of multiple death threats she received.

There’s another half to #GamerGate. Many movement members want to reform the video game news industry. They claim that the critics who review the games and the developers who make them are too close.

Kotaku researched the case with Quinn and the writer, and discovered there was no ethically questionable material in the pieces he wrote.

However, the website has since banned employees from donating to game designers on Kickstarter as a precautionary measure.

There is much more to #GamerGate, and I implore you to look online for the entire story.

As I see it, #GamerGate is divided into two camps: those who talk about the role of females in the video game industry and those who want changes in video game journalism.

Let’s tackle the first camp, feminists and video games.

Taking a stand is difficult for me because I can see both sides.

I agree that many women are misrepresented in video games.

There are far too many examples of females depicted as sex symbols instead of as in-depth characters.

Games like Lollipop Chainsaw, Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball and Bayonetta show hyper-sexualized women in suggestive positions.

It doesn’t end with playable female characters. Think back to the original Super Mario Bros. or The Legend of Zelda, where players must rescue a damsel in distress.

“Maybe the princess shouldn’t be a damsel and she could save herself,” Sarkeesian said in an interview on “The Colbert Report.”

This is where the other half of me sits on the fence.

There are games where the princess does just this.

Games from Tomb Raider, The Last of Us and The Walking Dead Season Two all have strong-willed female protagonists who don’t need anybody to save them.

Even Princess Peach from the Super Mario franchise, the quintessential damsel in distress, had her own game. In Super Princess Peach, she rescues Mario from evil.

Ellie from The Last of Us, a 14-year-old girl immune to a deadly virus that turns people into zombie-esque monsters, is a perfect female role model.

A young gay teenager who feels lost and alone in the world makes a great character and represents someone who resonates with girls close to her age.

The camp debating ethics has more shades of gray. Journalism ethics are a complex, touchy subject. This is especially true with video game journalists because of their close relationships with developers.

#GamerGate targets video game journalists because of the apparent conflicts of interest. Many believe the developers are too close with the critics who review and report on their games.

Having personal relationships between journalists and developers can be a very bad thing.

How would you feel if a website you like and respect reviews a game and gives it a high score, only to learn later that the publishers paid for a higher score?

Unfortunately, people generalize all too often.

My idol is Colin Moriarty, a senior editor for the Playstation sector at Imagine Games Network.

Over the years, Moriarty has been in direct contact with Sony-owned studios and executives. Despite his personal relationship with the developers, he remains unbiased in his reviews.

More video game journalists should follow suit, not only because of the industry they are in but because of the impact they have on gamers.

I’m glad that video games are in the news, but sad that it involves such a negative subject. Please share your views at aztecpressonline.com.

Aztec Press photo illustration by Larry Gaurano

Aztec Press photo illustration by Larry Gaurano

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Strive to remember real meaning of life

Strive to remember real meaning of life

BY MARIANA CEJA

As a modern society, we are busy navigating through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or the latest Kim Kardashian nude pictures. We’re thinking about our next big purchases and considering buying the latest iPhone.

As a young woman, I can shamelessly admit that I own 42 pairs of shoes. I only wear about 10 pairs. The rest are just dust collectors inside my closet.

We have become such a materialist society that we sometimes forget about the real meaning of life.

Subconsciously, we believe that everyone in the world is the same as us.

We forget about people on the street who won’t have a blanket to cover themselves from the cold this winter season.

We forget about the precious sound of a baby’s cry, the patience and love with which an older person narrates a childhood memory.

We forget about children who live in orphanages or foster homes, praying day by day to get adopted.

We forget about animals mistreated at zoos, about people with terminal diseases, about children in Africa dying of hunger and AIDS.

We forget about people who are kidnapped and the horrible conditions in which they survive, about the worries of their family members.

We forget about prisoners doing life sentences, and the non-guilty who serve sentences as well, due to unfair trials or corrupt governments.

We forget there are people in underdeveloped countries who live in houses made from cardboard boxes.

We forget about immigrants who leave everything behind, risking their lives through sometimes fatal conditions in search of a better future.

We forget there is life outside the United States.

Our biggest problem is that our iPhone battery died and now we won’t be able to post on Instagram a picture of our favorite Triple, Venti, Half Sweet, Non-Fat, Caramel Macchiato. What a waste!

Seriously? All I am saying is, look up. Put away your phone for five minutes and take a deep breath. Feel the fresh air running through your nostrils and the warming sun kissing your skin. Smile.

Re-evaluate yourself. Dream again. Think of your long-term goals, and write down simpler strategies to accomplish them with daily actions.

Travel, try new food, meet new people.

Learn a second language and experience new cultures. Go hiking, and connect your soul and spirit with nature. Get involved in an issue you feel strongly about.

Listen to both sides of the story. Ask questions and make informed decisions. Always strive for education, because that is the only tool that can set you free.

Ceja hopes disinterest in the outside world is due to lack of knowledge. She wishes to become a connector who helps bridge the gap.

Pg06-Mariana

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Is Black Friday worth the cost?

Is Black Friday worth the cost?

BY ALEX FRUECHTENICHT

Black Friday has changed the way we look at the end of November.

After giving thanks and stuffing our faces on Thanksgiving Thursday, many of us will give our money to cashiers early on Friday morning.

Last year, I waited in the cold outside a GameStop for more than six hours to get a PlayStation 4 that was sold out everywhere else. When the door opened and I was first in line to pick it up, all those hours paid off.

Everyone in line was calm about waiting for the neon lights to glow red. It was surreal to think that in other places within a few miles, people would be pushing and shoving over marked-down items.

That fact made me look at how consumerist we have become. I realized that most people don’t look forward to Thanksgiving as much as they do Black Friday.

They anticipate deals on a new television or toys for their kids. The inner consumer inside all of us rips other people out of the way to grab a toaster with an egg attachment for nine bucks less than normal.

We’ve all seen the videos online. People will and have trampled fellow humans in past years. Sickeningly, some people died.

That has made many people, including me, think twice about going out to shop for the holidays. We’re actually afraid we will get hurt.

A few years ago, I went with family to Walmart on Black Friday. We passed a huge crowd surrounding a gigantic stack of Blu-ray players. The crowd went wild as soon as a worker said the deal was live. Chaos ensued, to say the least.

I remember wondering if saving a few bucks was worth being trampled. I still wonder that.

It would be hypocritical for me to tell you not to go out on Black Friday to shop these deals, because I can’t in all honesty say I wouldn’t myself. I plan to spend this year’s shopping day at home online, but your plans might send you out into the battle royale.

If you do go out, just make sure you and your loved ones keep each other safe. A few dollars isn’t worth getting hurt over.

Fruechtenicht is a veteran of many Black Friday outings and knows the true horror of fighting someone over video games.

Pg06-Alex Fruechtenicht

 

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Rap lyrics filled with misogyny

Rap lyrics filled with misogyny

BY TANISHA KNUTZEN

Music is an important part of many people’s lives but we have raised a society that is influenced by the negative message some rap songs imply.

The rap lyrics that flood through our speakers promote both distasteful misogyny and acceptance that women are nothing but “hoes and bitches.”

“And I love all my bitches but it’s like as soon as I cum, I come to my senses and I would say these hoes’ names but then I would be snitching.” – Lil Wayne.

These songs are catchy and there’s no denying their ability to pump up the club. But, does their popularity make it any more acceptable to treat women with such low respect?

We used to hear rappers like Tupac Shakur create music that placed women on a pedestal, while empowering and respecting their existence:

“Since we all came from a woman, got a name from a woman and our game from a woman, I wonder why we take from our women, why we rape our women. Do we hate our women? I think it’s time to kill for our women. Time to heal our women, be real to our women.”

These are the types of words that should be blasting through our stereos, not the ones encouraging the hatred and abuse of women.

As the younger sister of two older brothers, I have always been taught the value of respect and the importance of not just being a lady but being treated like one.

We should be teaching young boys the importance of respecting a woman.

Instead, we’re negatively influencing them through misogynistic lyrics and media that imply women are sexual objects who deserve zero respect.

Young girls are worthy of one day being the women sitting on pedestals.

They should feel empowered and respected by the boys who became men and learned how to truly appreciate a woman.

One day society will learn to ignore all those dirty rap lyrics.

We need to learn how to pay more attention to the respectful Tupac Shakur-types of music and focus less on the type of lyrics that should make any women feel uncomfortable.

Knutzen believes that every person deserves to feel like a respected, empowered and valued human being who is capable of anything, even if songs sing otherwise.

Pg06-Opinion-Tanisha Knutzen

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Minimum wage not only issue

Minimum wage not only issue

BY NICK MEYERS

Citizens of San Francisco voted Nov. 4 to increase minimum wage to $15 per hour over a four-year timeline.Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of economics might call this a bad idea.

Supply and demand suggests that raising the price of employment will decrease the number of people employed.

Only large corporations could afford the wage hike. Small business would need to decrease employment — or go out of business — to manage costs.

However, evidence suggests this is not the case.

In the two areas of the country where minimum wage is highest for their categories, Washington state and the city of San Francisco, unemployment has decreased.

More importantly, the number of jobs increased.

In 2013, California experienced a 2.95 percent increase in employment. Washington saw a 2.10 percent increase.

There is one simple reason this happens: people who make minimum wage don’t save money, they spend it.

Those who make minimum wage are more likely to turn right around and spend that money where they work, especially when businesses offer incentives in the form of discounts.

Large corporations especially should increase the minimum wage of their employees. Some economists say that if Walmart or McDonald’s doubled the minimum wage of employees, prices would experience minimal increases.

Other economists say prices would not increase at all since they are set by the market, not by the cost of production.

Either way, those companies would still experience greater returns as their employees shop there.

There are other problems, however.

For starters, San Francisco has the third highest cost of living in the United States.

A $15 minimum wage roughly equates to $1,800 per month.

Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $2,800. That means you’d have to work a nearly 80-hour week on minimum wage just to live in the city.

Additionally, McDonald’s has found a way around the increase in minimum wage: by employing machines instead of people.

That may seem like a cheap tactic, but isn’t this the direction all labor is headed?

As technology advances, more and more jobs will be replaced by machines. We are already experiencing this trend.

The move by McDonald’s is a symptom of an even greater problem than increasing minimum wage: What will humans do when machines do all the work?

That is the question we should be trying to answer, not whether to increase minimum wage.

Meyers intends to study journalism in conjunction with economics to make the subject more accessible.

Pg06-Opinion-Nick Meyers

 

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GUEST COMMENTARY: Time to sign up for heath care

GUEST COMMENTARY: Time to sign up for heath care

By RAHSHEEN TABORN

Get ready Pima Community College – it’s time to enroll in health insurance. My name is Rahsheen Taborn and I am the student government president at Pima’s Downtown Campus. I have been working with the Arizona Public Interest Research Group.

If you are like most students I talk to, you have a lot of questions about health care. It often seems easier to do nothing than to do something. Don’t let your questions get in the way of getting the coverage you need. It is affordable. Read on.

First, why have health insurance? If you don’t have coverage and you get into an accident you could face thousands and thousands of dollars in bills. Couple this with student loans and well you could be facing a lot of debt when leaving PCC.

If you don’t have coverage you might not find out about a health condition you have until it is harder and more costly to treat. Coverage not only provides peace of mind but also can make sure you get any prescriptions you need. And no longer can you be denied for having a pre-existing condition.

OK on to affordability. Despite what you may have heard or think, health insurance is now very affordable – particularly for college students. While health insurance costs depend on your specific financial situation and medical needs, individuals in Arizona earning $16,000 a year or less are likely to qualify for AHCCCS, and individuals earning $40,000 a year or less are likely to qualify for financial assistance in the health insurance marketplace.

To make it even easier to learn about health insurance and to assist in the enrollment process, student government on the downtown campus is partnering with the Arizona PIRG Education Fund and its colleagues. We know that students don’t want slick salespeople who stand to make a profit from the insurance they choose.

The Arizona PIRG Education Fund and members of the Cover Arizona Coalition, which includes the Pima Community Access Program and others, will be on the Downtown Campus on Nov. 19 and 20 speaking with students at a table and in classrooms. I will be participating with Chancellor LEE Lambert and these organizations at a news conference to let individuals in Tucson know about our efforts.

On Nov. 21, you can come to the Downtown Campus and get enrolled. Best to set up an appointment through coveraz.org/connector<http://coveraz.org/connector>

For those new to health insurance or for individuals seeking a refresher, I have found the Arizona PIRG Education Fund’s guide “So You Need Health Insurance. Now What?” very helpful.

The Arizona PIRG Education Fund guide is available at arizonapirgedfund.org and contains definitions of common health insurance terms, helps you navigate your options, and provides the know-how needed to make an informed decision.

For example did you know that young adults have additional options, which include staying on your parents’ plan until you are 26?

I encourage members of the PCC community to learn about your health insurance options and get covered. You can apply for AHCCCS any time and the Health Insurance Marketplace opened on Nov. 15. #Getcovered

Rahsheen Taborn
Pima Community College Downtown Campus
Student Government President

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FROM THE EDITOR: Involvement enriches college life

FROM THE EDITOR: Involvement enriches college life

By ANDREW PAXTON

During my time at Pima Community College, I have been privileged to be involved with several dynamic groups that have enriched my educational experience and helped me advance as a leader and an individual.

After my first full semester at Pima, my GPA made me eligible for an invitation from the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

I had never heard of the group, so I did my research like a good journalist should. After deciding they were legit, I paid my membership fee and joined.

It turned out to be one of my best decisions.

The opportunities afforded to me by Phi Theta Kappa have enriched my life, and hopefully the lives of others.

Accomplishments included leadership building workshops in Philadelphia and organizing a commitment drive resulting in more than 500 Pima students pledging to get their degrees.

Shortly after joining PTK, I signed up for the Aztec Press student newspaper. Getting to meet so many people, to hear their stories and share them with others, has opened my eyes. I’m not alone. Check out other staffers’ experiences on Page 7.

As editor, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a talented staff. We continue to make an impact, and are winning awards while doing it. Read about our latest accomplishment on Page 3.

I have also been involved with Honors Club during my time at Pima. The work they have done the last few years is truly amazing. Our piece on Page 5 spotlights their hard work and selfless efforts to enhance the community around them.

You don’t have to be an honors student or journalism junkie to get involved at Pima. There are literally dozens of organizations, all with a specific focus or goal, to suit every student’s needs and interests.

The most rewarding part of being involved with these organizations is getting to help others. Seeing smiles on people’s faces makes the volunteering hours well worth your time and energy. Knowing that you are making a difference is a uniquely satisfying experience.

In addition to growing as an individual and having opportunities to travel and meet new people, getting involved also makes you a better candidate for scholarships and grants. A little monetary incentive never hurt, right?

Whatever your reasons, get involved at Pima. Head to your campus student life office and tell them I sent you. They will take good care of you and tell you everything you need to get started.

Enjoy the issue.

Paxton

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Where’s my Disney Latina doll?

Where’s my Disney Latina doll?

BY MARIANA CEJA

We have Disney princesses for almost all ethnicities, starting with the nine white ones: Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Belle, Rapunzel, Merida, Elsa and Anna.

Disney later added minority princesses such as Pocahontas (Native American), Mulan (Asian), Jasmine (Arab) and Tiana (African-American).

Where is my Latina princess?

Yes, Disney unveiled a “Latina princess” in 2013. Sofia the First is a little girl who must learn about royalty.

Her mother is from Spain and her father is Scandinavian. Sofia is fair skinned, with light brown hair and blue eyes – just like most of us Latinas look.

This character has not made it into theaters like the other princesses. She can only be watched on Disney Channel episodes.

Why do all the other princesses have their own movie, but not this one? Are we trying to downgrade our little “Latina” princess?

C’mon Disney!

Make a princess that looks like me: brown eyes and dark hair.

I also need my Latina princess to have the complexity of Dora the Explorer. Don’t try to whitewash me.

Obviously, most Latinas don’t have royal blood. We come from humble working families, but we’re proud of our roots and our brown complexion.

There’s no need for lighter tones or fantasy worlds, just reality.

Our Latina girls need somebody to look up to, somebody they can find themselves in. They must realize they don’t need to be blonde and blue-eyed to be pretty.

We have the right to be princesses too.

Disney should remember that people from more than 20 countries speak Spanish.

Hispanic parents travel long distances at great expense to take their children to Disney theme parks.

Why would a multibillion dollar corporation ignore such a lucrative market?

I am not asking for nine Hispanic princesses, just one that looks like me.

Give my niece and I a chance to be beautiful princesses in our own skin.

Ceja hopes she doesn’t have to wear a blonde wig next Halloween. She would rather style her natural dark hair when dressing up as the new Latina princess.

Pg06-Mariana

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Journalists need more protection

Journalists need more protection

BY ZACK LEDESMA

At least 370 journalists have been murdered since 2004 and in 90 percent of the cases nobody was convicted for the crime, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Governments need to make a more active effort to protect journalists and enforce strict punishment to discourage violence against the press.

One especially gruesome example took place on Nov. 23, 2009, when 58 people were kidnapped and brutally murdered in the Philippines while on their way to witness Esmael Mangudadatu file a certificate of candidacy for an upcoming election in the Maguindanao province.

Of the victims, 34 were confirmed journalists and media workers covering the story. The others were family and supporters of Mangudadatu.

Nov. 23 has been marked as International Day to End Impunity.

Organizations such as CPJ work to fight back against the intimidation that hampers free press.

Since then, progress to end impunity has been negligible.

More than 50 journalists have been killed worldwide in 2014 so far, with 100 percent impunity, according to CPJ. Of the victims, 41 were killed with definite intent.

Although malicious massacres aren’t prevalent in the U.S., violent attacks on journalists are becoming more common.

One infamous case is when police officers in Ferguson, Mo., attempted to silence journalists while they were documenting protests for slain teen Michael Brown.

Why is it important to end impunity? Other than to save lives, it helps protect the truth.

The more governments, individuals or organizations get away with murder or intimidation, the more journalists are inclined to censor themselves in fear of retaliation.

If important issues aren’t brought to the public eye, entities can get away with any number of criminal actions.

The issue is not a high priority for most people because it doesn’t affect them directly. Many politicians merely promise action to boost their reputation.

This kind of thinking is irresponsible. People have a right to know what is happening in the world and to be exposed to the reality of the situation.

Corruption is happening now and it needs to be brought to light. Journalists risk their lives for the truth, and the truth should be undeniable.

Ledesma is studying to be an artist and a journalist. He doesn’t want to scare potential students from practicing journalism despite the dangers.

Pg06-Opinion-Zachary Ledesma

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AZTEC PRESS EDITORIAL: Offer online winter classes

AZTEC PRESS EDITORIAL: Offer online winter classes

Written by Editor-in-chief Andrew Paxton for the Aztec Press editorial board.

Students expecting to retake a class or focus on a difficult course during the holiday break will find themselves left out in the cold this winter.

Pima Community College recently announced it would no longer hold classes during the winter break. The public proclamation came with little fanfare and was released more than a year after the formal decision had been made.

The decision to cancel the classes was made with little or no student input. Many student leaders were unaware of the changes, and most students seemed unaware of the decision even after PCC posted notices on its website and on MyPima.

College officials have given several reasons for the choice to eradicate winter classes, including falling enrollment, low student success rates and budget issues.

The decision to eliminate the entire winter session, including online courses, must be reconsidered.

Hundreds of students registered for winter classes at PCC every year. Although this may be a small percentage of Pima’s 25,000 enrollment during an average spring or fall semester, it is still a key demographic that the college should be serving.

One reason the college has given for cancelling winter courses is student success rates.

However, students often took one difficult class during the winter session. Doing so allowed them to concentrate their focus instead of taking the troublesome course along with a full slate of others.

Removing the option for students to invest their winter break in one class that has been giving them problems will not improve success rates. It could even ultimately be a “last straw” for some students looking to continue their education at another institution.

Most students seek to finish their time at Pima as quickly as possible, to either transfer or enter the workforce. Abolishing winter courses makes it increasingly difficult to finish at PCC in a timely manner.

A primary factor given by the college for cancelling winter classes has been the cost of keeping campuses open for so few students.

Offering online courses during the winter session seems like the obvious solution.

The college should consider providing, at minimum, a robust selection of online courses for students who need them starting in Winter 2015.

Any future changes made by the college that foretell sweeping consequences for students must include increased student input and effective communication to the entire Pima community.

Upholding these commitments will ensure that student’s needs are met.

 

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