SMC Corsair Newspaper: Spring 2010, Issue 6

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Online at Volume XCIX, Issue 6 Wednesday, March 31, 2010 Informing Since 1929 SANTA MONICA COLLEGE NEWSPAPER Yogis Anonymous, a donation-based yoga studio in Santa Monica, offers its practitioners a healthful way to give back to the community For story, see page 3

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The SMC Corsair Newspaper's Spring 2010 Edition, Issue 6

Transcript of SMC Corsair Newspaper: Spring 2010, Issue 6

  • Online at www.thecorsaironline.comVolume XCIX, Issue 6 Wednesday, March 31, 2010Informing Since 1929



    Yogis Anonymous, a donation-based yoga studio in Santa Monica, offers its practitioners a healthful way to give back to the community

    For story, see page 3

  • THIS WEEK02 Corsair NewspaperSanta Monica College WednesdayMarch 31, 2010

    Spring 2010 Staff

    StaffAlessandra Catanese, Alfredo Luna, Alica Forneret, Althea Anderson, Anthony Pantoja, Ashli Townsend, Astrid le Noine, Brian White, Bryn Woznicki, Christian Nussey, Daniel Ross, Danyale Koto, David Carranza, David Dolmage, Emil Norlen, Eric Tipton, Farhan Ali, Jeannel Phillips, Jennifer Martinez, Jeremy Biglow, Jeremy Condamine, John Stapleton IV, Jorge Valdovinos, Joseph E Mouallem, Jung Shim, Katie Madejska, Kenneth Robinson, Kevin Duron, Lauren Freeman, Lillie Grossman, Linda Konde, Lyndsay Smith, Marley St. John, Michael Mendoza, Michael Zielinski, Monique Michaels, Nicole Ritter, Quandinae Woods, Sal Guerra, Sammy Soliman, Sean Carpenter, Sean Mazzapica, Tannaz Lavian, Tara Murphy, Ten Anderson, Terrence Timmins, Tieg Slattery, Tracy Navarro

    Letters to the editor are encouraged. They should be no longer than 250 words and must be signed by the writer.

    [email protected]

    Business and Editorial Offices Letters to the Editor1900 Pico Blvd., LS 172Santa Monica, CA 90405Phone: (310) 434-4340

    Classified Ads: Daily Bruin (310) 825-2221

    First copy of the Corsair is free, each after is 25 cents.

    Faculty AdvisorsSaul Rubin and Gerard Burkhart

    Computer Consultant Agnius Griskevicius

    Editor-in-ChiefManaging EditorPhoto EditorPhoto EditorNews EditorOpinion EditorSports EditorCalendar EditorLifestyle EditorOnline EditorArts Canvas Editor

    Jessica ThomasGuiliana Dakdouk

    Indah DatauAntoine Themistocleous

    Rebecca SlawterDan Bluemel

    Brandon QuinIngrid Rosales

    Carly GillisTeresa RaschillaDebbie Vasquez

    CorsairSanta Monica College


    Graphic DesignJhosef A. Hern

    Advertising Consultant Deirdre Weaver

    [email protected]

    Yogis AnonymousEarth HourIDCAGmail at SMCParking



    30 Days of Going GreenBarflyHungry SMC StudentsActivism at SMC


    Photo Story

    Yogis Anonymous

    CalendarSymphony OrchestraMGMT Album ReviewAmy Allen Dances


    12SportsWeekly FitnessWomens SoftballLakers Analysis

    OpinionHealth CareCo-Ed dormsGuns in Starbucks


    A Southern California sunset viewed from the south Venice jetty with Venice to the left and the Marina to the right.Marley St. John Corsair

    Corrections: In Issue 5, the Greece study abroad information was due before the 2010 spring semester, not before the 2009 winter session.

  • By John Stapleton IVStaff Writer

    How well do you know your fellow students? What do you know about the dozens of cultures represented by our student body? Which nationalities are in contention? Which are allies? How can we learn more about each other?

    These are just a few of the questions addressed by Santa Monica Colleges own Intercultural Dialogue Student Association, which was established a month ago by IDSA President Emre Akkas and six of his friends. The clubs purpose was to ask and answer questions about the variety of cultural influence expressed throughout our student body.

    The seven original members of the organization are a mixed lot of Armenian and Turkish students, two nationalities that the club claims have been in contention with each other for years. Akkas decided that this animosity had gone on long enough.

    For 600 years we were the same, he says, The food is the same, the music is the same, we look the same even the family is the same. Political agendas distinguish rivalries that history doesnt support. Who wins out of this? No one. So lets be friends. Lets ease this tension.

    And with that attitude, an alliance between a handful of students from two feuding countries evolved into an organized mission to spread

    the message of peace to all of the nationalities and ethnicities at SMC. After only a month, the club has expanded to over 40 members, representing ten very different nations.

    How are they spreading their message of amicable association? By talking.

    We want to build bridges. I have opinions, you have opinions we dont have to accept each others opinions, we just have to talk about them. Communicate. The most important thing is creating dialogue, says Akkas, visibly impassioned.

    His enthusiasm is admirable, as his strategy seems somewhat daunting: Getting students from cultural backgrounds that have been engaged in social conflicts, even wars, for centuries to simply sit down and talk to each other in an attempt to erase years of ingrained prejudice hardly even seems safe, let alone constructive. But Akkas disagrees, citing the steps taken to unify his Armenian and Turkish brethren to emphasize cultural richness, not politics.

    The reason we hate each other is we dont know each other. If you compare how similar we all are, and how different we all are, theres more similarities, Akkas explains, adding, There are no bad differences, just differences.

    Last Tuesday, IDSA put this unifying dogma on display for the entire campus, hosting a cultural celebration on the quad that

    demonstrated just how similar Armenian and Turkish cultures are. Hundreds of students lined up for delicious ethnic delicacies like sarma, kisir, and baklava, served by volunteers from around the community who had put aside their conventional differences in the interest of promoting the possibility of peace.

    And as Turkeys Udi Yervant strummed festive Armenian songs

    over loudspeakers, the hostility raging half a world away was forgotten. The descendents of these two opposing countries put their arms around each other and danced.

    As satisfying as this exhibition was for IDSAs founders, Akkas claims it wasnt just a personal accomplishment, but an altruistic one.

    All of these mixed cultures are

    calling [themselves] by different names, but we all want the same thing, says Akkas, who encourages students of all cultural diversities to participate in IDSAs social experiment.

    SMC is very intercultural and we want to share and experience all cultures, says Akkas. You know, just saying come does not make people come. So we will go to them.

    NEWSWednesdayMarch 31, 2010 03Corsair NewspaperSanta Monica College

    Santa Monica College Student, Bosun Oshunluyi, is served rice by IDSA member, Fatima Gul at an event held by the Intercultural Dialogue Student Association at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, Calif. on March 22, 2010. The event was organized to bring together Turkish and Armenian students, cultures that have clashed since the mid-19th century.

    Campus Club Bridges Cultural Differences in the Name of Peace

    By Anthony PantojaStaff Writer

    The lights of many businesses in Santa Monica were turned off for Earth Hour last Saturday, which left some customers bathed in romantic candlelight.

    Earth Hour is an event organized by the World Wildlife Fund that takes place on the last Saturday of every March from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. The event asks for homes and businesses to turn off all non-essential lights for one hour.

    Earth Hour was created to bring awareness to climate change and reduce power consumption.

    Millions of people around the world celebrate Earth Hour just by turning off their lights at 8:30 pm local time.

    According to the Earth Hour Web site, 13,870 icons and landmarks worldwide turned off their lights for Earth Hour. These included the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, Times Square and the Hollywood sign, to name a few.

    Santa Monica and many other U.S. cities also participated.

    Local restaurants and hotels chose to use candles instead of electricity. Santa Monica Pier observed a scheduled lights-out by turning off the piers arch sign in

    observance of Earth Hour. Unlike last year, the lights for the Ferris wheel were kept on.

    Lago, one of the local Italian restaurants on Arizona Avenue, added a flaming drink to their menu in honor of Earth Hour.

    Its Santa Monica and we are a green city, said Joseph Matlock, bartending manager at Lago. We love to be involved with Earth Hour.

    Ive been to Lago many times before and was concerned when all the lights suddenly went off, said guest Robbye Aglipay. Then our server explained Earth Hour to us.

    Matlock said that Santa Monica should have promoted Earth Hour more aggressively in order to get more people and businesses involved.

    Last year was much bigger, recalls Matlock. All of the Third Street Promenade was black.

    Other places that joined Earth Hour were Opaque on Wilshire Boulevard, which offered dining in the dark for the rest of the night.

    Ocean & Vine offered an ocean view dinner with a special Earth Hour prix-fixe menu and $25 bottle of wine.

    Its Earth, said Matlock. We are all here, so we might as well take part in it.

    Lights Out for Earth Hour

    Malcolm Gordon Corsair

    Yoga Instructor Bends Over Backwards to Make the World a Better PlaceBy Jessica ThomasEditor-in-Chief andTracy NavarroStaff Writer

    In the fitness mecca of Santa Monica, yoga studios abound. Some are members-only expensive and some are yoga-for-all donation based. Some are Lululemon-clad trendy and some are more sweat pants-based casual. While certain types of yoga practitioners can be militant and focused on toning the body, others meditate on the mind-body connection. In Ally Hamiltons pocket of the Santa Monica yoga universe, her new studio has a shtick-less philosophy; to her, its all about family.

    Ally Hamilton and her husband, Dorian Cheah, founded

    Y o g i s

    Anonymous in September 2009. YA is a donation-based power yoga sanctuary on Second Street between Arizona Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. Hamilton previously taught at Bryan Kests Power Yoga, located two blocks away. She opened her own studio when her classes at Kests began topping 100 people per class and she knew she had gained a following. With her husband by her side, she brought a new vision to life.

    September was a busy month for Hamilton. Not only was she giving birth to her own yoga studio, but she also welcomed a baby girl just weeks before the grand opening. I was having contractions while telling contractors to tear down walls. I had to have it done before going to the hospital! says Hamilton.

    Hamilton continued practicing yoga while pregnant with her

    daughter, Devyn Hamilton Cheah and in fact used to teach a Mommy and Me course at Kests Second Street studio. Hamilton recalls a time when she

    was pregnant with her first-born son Dylan. When I was

    first pregnant, says

    Hamilton, I had this moment on my mat when I thought, I need to be careful; theres someone in here counting on me. And about a second later I thought, Um...theres always been a person in here counting on meme. It was really a light bulb moment.

    Hamilton grew up dancing near New York City and was always looking for something that would challenge her physically and mentally. After she quit dancing she tried several different exercise regimens offered at her gym. Yoga was the last thing on her mind. Months went by and she was not satisfied with the gym, so after several suggestions from her friends she finally went to her first yoga class. Hamilton immediately took to it and soon began practicing six days a week.

    Its challenging for the mind to really know and feel every part of your body, which makes you work harder, Hamilton says of her deep passion for yoga. She taught her first class after one of her instructors didnt show up, and the rest is history.

    When asked what her favorite pose is, Hamilton pauses. I dont think Continued on Pages 6 and 7

    Ally Hamilton, the owner of Yogis Anonymous.

    Lillie Grossman Corsair

  • By John Stapleton IVStaff Writer

    Leading doctors from across the United States and Europe will meet Thursday, April 1 to discuss options for publishing conclusive reports found by numerous world-wide research organizations on the negative effects of persistent tooth-brushing. Regular oral hygiene, recent studies show, is ruining your teeth.

    The research, spearheaded by Dr. Rick Flemming, clinical trials coordinator at the Trust of Optimal Orthodontic Tech-nologies, Harvard, has produced damning evidence against oral hygiene tycoons, the result of a three-year investigation into the conventional tooth-brushing practices endorsed by these Tooth Tyrants.

    As news of Dr. Flemmings intrepid examination spread throughout the global dental community, corroborative information began flooding in from medical associations worldwide, overwhelming the corporate legislation passed to prevent its disclosure. The extensive analyses included numerous laboratory trials and a comprehensive historical records probe to expose statistical fallacies, compiling what its proponents call irrefutable data, which they plan on using to unequivocally prove that a lifetime of constant scrubbing against exposed skeletal structures could not feasibly

    be considered medically beneficial.The reports will expose decades of

    commercial interest cover-ups aimed at preventing the general public from discovering the medical evidence against the use of toothbrushes and supplementing pastes.

    Its consumerism, plain and simple, declared Dr. Declan Murphy, an Irish dentist who supports immediate publication of the data. Common sense tells us that scrubbing an intentionally granular paste against our teeth with a bristled tool simply isnt natural, but commercials have us convinced that

    without this ridiculous activity, we are socially and medically doomed. Dentists know this is pure hype.

    While orthodontists rally against bureaucrats to make these findings more accessible to the public, many confess to purposefully misleading clients in the past. One oral surgeon, who asked to remain anonymous, called the practice of misleading patients job insurance, based on the numerous repeat customers who obediently brushed three times a day, a practice that served only to accelerate the rate of enamel erosion, resulting in tooth decay and expensive surgical operations.

    Dr. Flemmings research supports

    this claim. While populations often take care to protect the dental development of toddlers and children, over 80 percent of dental decay operations are performed on senior citizens. Thanks to generations of self-inflicted tooth degradation, elderly persons are vulnerable to countless viral and bacterial infections, which invade nervous and circulatory systems through exposed dental roots.

    According to Meghan Raleigh, a fiscal economist dedicated to bringing the financial realities of this scientific breakthrough to light, the

    situation is a win-win for both big business and the practicing dentists they endorse. In fact, according to Raleigh, the only people not profiting from the dental

    care industry are the people still brushing their teeth.

    The corporations know their advertising has you convinced it has for years and the dentists reinforce their corrupt agenda to get a piece of the profits. Theyll tell you the consequences of not brushing include scary things like gingivitis and bad breath, both of which are caused by brushing, she said, adding, You know, there was another corporate product that used clever advertising campaigns and sponsored doctors to convince the public that cramming harmful substances in your mouth was okay as long as it made your breath minty: menthol cigarettes.

    NEWSWednesdayMarch 31, 2010 05Corsair NewspaperSanta Monica CollegeParking Remains Problematic at SMC

    Tooth Brushing a Scam, Studies FindThe line of cars wating for parking spots spills out of the parking structure on the main campus.

    By Alessandra Catanese Staff Writer

    Carissa Cole, a first-year student at Santa Monica College, spent $80 last semester for a main campus parking permit that she never used. Like many students, Cole regularly drives to school and would spend over a half-hour searching for a spot in the two parking structures available for students. If no spot could be found, she was forced to resort to metered parking, finding free parking a couple blocks away from the school, or even parking at the satellite campuses and riding the shuttle bus.

    I didnt buy a permit this semester because Id much rather save my money and walk or take the bus. Parking is such a nightmare; you never find a spot unless you come to school two hours early, she said.

    Parking permits cost $85 per semester and $100 for a full year. If students are dissatisfied with their purchase, they can return the permits within the first three weeks of the semester. After that, they have to fight for a petition to receive a refund.

    According to Greg Brown, SMCs director of facility projects, there are 2,429 parking spaces on the main campus. Of those spaces, 1,774 are for students and the rest go to faculty members, who pay a reduced fee.

    Brown reported that the Bursars Office has sold over 3,200 parking permits this semester alone. There is currently no cap on the amount of parking permits sold each semester. According to Brown, SMC is currently using all revenue from parking permits to pay off the initial loans they received to build the two current parking structures.

    Most students who cannot find parking in those main campus structures are forced to find metered parking, if available. Meters around campus range from twenty minutes to four hours. Those unlucky enough to only find two-hour meters available are forced to skip out on classes to avoid tickets. With no grace period to return to the meter, students have been receiving $50 parking citations almost daily.

    As maintained by Sgt. Jay Trisler of the City of Santa Monica Police Department, Officers have the discretion to issue a citation. There is no mechanism to see how long the violation occurred.

    With so many tickets being written for parking violations each day, students may wonder if there is a quota officers have to reach each month. According to Sgt. Trisler and the California Vehicle Code Sec. 3, Ch. 105, setting quotas is illegal.

    The City of Santa Monica Police

    administer citations for illegally parked cars or cars parked at an overdue meter, but the SMC Campus Police can do the same, making it twice as likely that students will receive tickets. When asked why both police forces patrol the parking around SMC, Sgt. Trisler only responded with, I cant answer for the college police. For us, we enforce the laws in the City of Santa Monica.

    Unfortunately for students, the SMC Campus Police work with a private organization in Santa Ana to process the payments of each citation. In order to contest these citations, students have to drive all the way to the Santa Ana office.

    So how is SMC working on fixing this parking problem? Brown says that the new student services building currently under construction will give the school three levels of underground parking, a total of 500 more spaces. Will permit prices raise in order to pay for this new structure? No. The new structure has been paid for by a bond issue that tax payers voted for last year.

    Brown also reports that there are plans for a new parking structure at the AET satellite campus that will allow for 430 more parking spots, no permit required.

    I think these new structures will make a big improvement in parking, especially with the Any Line, Anytime Big Blue Bus services, said Brown.

    Santa Monica College Gets Googled

    Common sense tells us that scrubbing an intentionally granular paste against our teeth with a bristled tool simply isnt natural.

    Dr. Declan Murphy

    Teresa Raschilla Corsair

    Lillie Grossman Corsair

    Ten AndersonStaff Writer

    Over the next three months, SMC will establish Google as its official e-mail provider for student, faculty, and staff communications.

    Currently, the college uses iMail, which has extremely limited storage space compared to the 7.5 Gigabytes per student offered by Google.

    L e e J o h n s t o n , D i r e c t o r of Management Information Systems, says that with this change, students get a lot more than just e-mailits a complete set of tools to facilitate communication, collaboration and search for information.

    Google has been heavily promoting the Google Apps Education Edition to colleges and universities. Hundreds of universities like Northwestern, Yale, and the University of Arizona have already transitioned from their in-house servers to Googles web-based software.

    Some benefits of the web-based software include having increased security and support since data is protected and maintained on two ends, in this case Google and SMC.

    SMC plans to leverage both internal and external help resources, Johnston said. A lot of time and critical resources are dedicated to blocking spam. The move to Google Apps will free these resources and allow SMC to concentrate on core academic projects that improve student technology access.

    Another benefit is that Google becomes sort of a one-stop shop for team projects. Research, writing, editing and e-mail can all be accomplished in one place, even if project team members are in different places.

    The really great part is that students can collaborate and edit a single document at the same timein real time, Johnston said.

    Students will have read-only access to their old e-mail accounts through October 24, 2010. After that date, iMail goes to the trash bin.

    One thing that will remain the same is students SMC email address. When you change cell phone providers, you may receive a really cool new cell phone, but your cell phone number remains the same, Johnston said. Think of this as a change in providers.

  • 06 Corsair NewspaperSanta Monica College PHOTO STORY

    Yoga Instructor Krista Cahill (photographed above and below) eases into a difficult yoga position which demonstrates her extreme flexability. These rigorous yoga positions become more challenging as one progresses in his or her yoga practice.

    Dice Klien poses during a Bikram yoga session which requires strenuous constant motion between poses, leading to cardio-vascular health and core strength.

    Yogis Anonymous...I have a favorite pose, but one I have an interesting relationship with is kapotasana (king pigeon, where the belly reaches toward the sky, the gluteus maximus is lifted from the ground and the head and hands meet on the floor). Hamilton says that she loves the pose because it is heart-opening and encourages total surrender, which Hamilton agrees sounds kind of like marriage and motherhood.

    The YA studio has helped Hamilton continue to recreate her ideas about the meaning of family. Its been incredibly gratifying and exciting to open this studio with Dorian. Weve never worked this way together, and its teaching us a lot about each other and definitely deepening and expanding our relationship. In a way, the studio is like another child for Hamilton and Cheah. Its a labor of love, and something we are both tending to, every moment of every day, just like our family, says Hamilton.

    With over 20 permanent and visiting teachers at YA, yoga is practiced at all levels. Playful names accompany the classes, such as Hurts So Good, Good Cop/Bad Cop, and Yoga for Ninjas. Although YA is a one-room studio, the space fits about 65 people at once. Each instructor pays rent for the space they use every month.

    At the end of each class, yoga students make their way to a wooden box that has a sign suggesting a $14 donation. Hamilton encourages people to give what you can and in true yogi nature, Hamilton bases her income on an honor system and the idea that no one should be denied the chance to practice yoga.

    I believe anyone and everyone can benefit from the practice of yoga, says Hamilton. She has been working with a client for six years who initially seemed to be a lost cause. He had been a smoker for 20 years, had emphysema, asthma, a titanium femur and went through open heart surgery only to be given a valve replacement from a pig. I have to admit, says Hamilton, I thought what can I possibly do for this guy? Six years later, however, her answer came in the form of the 76-year-old student who experiences respiratory relief and spends time gardening in his backyard when hes not practicing yoga.

    Hamilton believes that yoga practitioners must be dedicated to a community-wide lifestyle. She plans benefit events at YA as a way of giving back to global and local organizations. She is presently hosting an ongoing series with Yoga Gives Back, an organization that provides loans to poor families in India. Doing something to help affect change is a matter of honesty and integrity, says Hamilton.

    YA thrives from its devoted practitioners. Most are locals, but some drive all the way from Orange County, Glendale and beyond to take classes at Hamiltons studio. Anthony Harmon, a student at UC Irvine just discovered Yogis Anonymous a little over two months ago and is hooked. He makes the drive to Santa Monica at least twice a week and says it is well worth it. Ive taken three different types of classes and want to try them all, says Harmon. I usually pay more than the suggested amount, depending on how much gas I have left in my tank.

    Hamilton stresses that yoga is more than a workout routine; it is a way of life. However, she says, I am not worried if someone comes to class simply because they want a strong, beautiful body and radiant health. I am confident that the other benefits will seep in over time.

    Continued from Page 3

  • PHOTO STORY 07WednesdayMarch 31, 2010

    Ally Hamilton helps Briohny Smyth with her pose at a yoga class on February 28, 2010. Hamilton owns and teaches yoga classes at her Santa Monica studio, Yogis Anonymous.

    Joe Sperandeo sits relaxed in Lotus Position at the end of the yoga class. Yoga is a form of meditation which brings a sense of inner peace and purpose and has far-reaching health benefits.

    Nathalia Starikovia, from Russia, is a previous English student of Santa Monica College. She performs a basic yoga position at Yogis Anony-mous studio in Santa Monica, Calif.

    Photos by Lillie Grossman

  • OPINION08 Corsair NewspaperSanta Monica College WednesdayMarch 31, 2010

    By John Shim Staff Writer

    Starbucks caters to college students seeking a quiet place to study, to business people looking to get their morning caffeine fix and now, to gun advocates seeking to raise awareness about current gun laws.

    The advocates are calling attention to the controversial open carry laws, which gives a citizen the right to wear unconcealed weapons. The weapon must be unloaded according to California law, but ammunition can be within reach.

    In an effort to raise awareness about these gun laws, gun owners in the Bay Area have recently been seen walking around town with their unloaded sidearms on their hips. Unfortunately for them, several protesters managed to get them barred from businesses such as Peets Coffee and Tea and California Pizza Kitchen. Starbucks has remained neutral on the issue.

    The gun advocates did not pressure anyone to sign a petition nor did they get on a soapbox and preach. In fact, the only thing that they did was go to lunch, but they were barred just the same.

    The Second Amendment grants us the right to bear arms. It does not state what kinds of arms or how many. All it says is that the average citizen is allowed to have weapons.

    So, let them have their guns. They have that right as Americans. Sure, we try to restrict and control exactly what kinds of guns they can and cannot have. But the fact is, people are allowed to have weapons.

    Guns Okay in Starbucks

    By Sean Carpenter Staff Writer

    For centuries, the distinction between man and woman has been a readily accepted convention. Yet, with modern culture constantly seeking political progressivism, the once-defined line between genders is a bit blurry. In keeping with this trend, many universities have adopted gender-neutral dormitory policies to ease tension and provide more options for students.

    For many universities, on-campus dormitories provide students with a convenient and safe alternative to off-campus housing. While many students find on-campus living to be most convenient as opposed to other options, the possibility of being paired with a complete stranger can make this prospect slightly uncomfortable. Considering this, many universities are concerned with roommate compatibility in regards to lifestyle and gender.

    Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., is one among roughly 50 universities across the country that has adopted gender-neutral housing, according to the Los Angeles Times. Others include UC Riverside, UC Berkeley, Stanford, C o r n e l l , D a r t m o u t h , S a r a h Lawrence, Haverford, Wesleyan and the University of Michigan.

    U n i v e r s i t i e s h a v e , f o r

    centur ies , s t r ic t ly enforced gender specification among on-campus dormitories. While these arbitrarily drawn lines have been accepted for the most part, many universities still fail to consider questions of gender identity with regard to student housing.

    Andrea Elzy, a USC masters student in Higher Education and Student Affairs, feels gender-neutral dorms are essential. The reality is that, as society progresses, we are seeing more of an acceptance of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) identities, she said. Universities should aptly prepare for students who may not identify as one gender or another. The absence of space for those students is unacceptable.

    Although this has continued to shock conservatives, gender-neutral policies have been enacted at educational institutions as early as the 1970s, with some universities instituting coed hallways, then bathrooms, and now dormitories, the Times reported.

    W h i l e s o m e u n i v e r s i t i e s have adopted these policies, the question of allowing coed housing on campus is ultimately an issue that should be left for students to decide. In keeping with Americas democratic foundations, universities should implement the same political philosophies and give students the right to make a

    By Tieg Slattery Staff Writer

    On March 23, President Obama signed a historic bill legislating an overhaul of the U.S. health care system. Two days later, the House and Senate passed a set of modifications to the bill and ended a decades-long push by Democrats for drastic health care

    reform. The landmark bill ensures that the

    estimated 32 million Americans who are currently without coverage will receive some form of health insurance. The bill, which passed despite zero support from Republican members of the House, includes provisions for increased government regulation of the insurance industry. This

    new regulation will no longer allow insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, an unsympathetic and backwards practice that has been commonplace within the insurance industry for years.

    The bill will commit nearly 1 trillion dollars over the next ten years and will implement a series of new taxes in order to cover the majority of the costs.

    The new taxes will target high-income households and also the insurance companies. Among the new taxes is a 3.8 percent increase on investment income for people who make over $200,000 and families with an income greater than $250,000, as well as new taxes on high-end, luxury health plans, and even an obscure 10 percent tax increase on tanning salon services.

    The passing of the bill marks the first decisive victory for the Obama administration and the high point in a battle that Obama has been fighting since his inauguration.

    The fiercely contested conflict over the new legislation gave many sideline spectators an all too clear view of just how ugly American politics could be. For Obama and the Democrats however, it became increasingly apparent that it would be necessary to take off the gloves and roll around in a little dirt, something the Republicans seem to relish.

    For eight years George W. Bush managed to walk through Washington essentially doing as he pleased while the country crumbled around him. Now President Obama has finally resorted to those bully-style tactics seemingly required to enact any meaningful change in Washington. Fortunately for Americans, the Obama administrations attempts to effect change seem to be in the interest of the betterment of society whereas W was simply looking out for his pals in rich, white America.

    While the $1 trillion associated with the bill over the next decade is a staggeringly large figure, it can be easily placed into context when considering that ten years of universal health care is still cheaper than ten years of un-winnable wars.

    The administration intends to raise the majority of the $1 trillion through new taxes mainly targeting the wealthy.

    New taxes will also be levied against the insurance companies themselves, who are responsible for the inflated prices of medical care and who consistently turn yearly profits of multi-billions of dollars despite a system that has consistently failed many millions of Americans.

    I cant help but think that the plan seems entirely reasonable. What is unreasonable is how private insurance companies have been allowed to run roughshod over the health industry in this country, contributing to the inflated cost of medical services and coverage, while watching their profits soar. It has become all too common under this corrupt system to hear tales of the diabetic man who can only afford to check his blood sugar when its nearly too late or the gunshot victim who dies en route to a county hospital miles from the scene even though a private facility exists just around the block. Something needed to be done about the system, which was failing U.S. citizens, and finally it has.

    With this sweeping legislation the administration has brought validity to its campaign slogan, Change, which was beginning to lose its relevance in its clash with Republican opposition.

    The passing of Obamas health care bill is definitely a step in the right direction and a sign of hope for a country that has been perched precariously on the edge of social and economic disaster for much of the last decade.

    What remains to be seen is whether or not this administration will carry this hard-edged, stubborn approach into future legislative battles such as financial reform and immigration or if they will rest satisfied with this single victory and coast through the next few years of Obamas presidency. Whatever the future may hold, Obama has once more managed to etch his name into future American history books.

    decision that directly affects their educational and social experience at school. Allowing students to choose with whom they want to live, regardless of gender, is vital for creating a comfortable environment on campus.

    Considering the continual and expanding presence of LGBT communit ies in the publ ic consciousness, gender-neutral housing is an issue that needs to be taken into account. It is a step toward a more equitable society. Gender is now being viewed more as a spectrum of identity, rather

    than the traditional concepts of man and woman.

    It is becoming increasingly important to find a safe and comfortable space for people who dont fit into customary gender roles. The rights of these people need not only be considered, but approached with respect and understanding.

    With the increasing presence of gender in popular and progressive culture, the concept of gender neutrality is one that should be implemented not just in schools but in all aspects of American life.

    Coed Dorms Promise a Comfortable Future for LGBT Students

    Jhosef Hern, Corsair

    Obama Care a Step in the Right Direction Jhosef Hern, Corsair

  • By David CarranzaStaff Wrtier

    The Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center gleamed against the sun-sizzled asphalt parking lot. An oasis of music, theater and art lay inside, where nearly every one of the 499 seats of the Broad Stage waited to be filled. The anxious crowd outside, young and old, filed in, eagerly awaiting the concertos.

    Fang-Ning Lim conducted the first musical piece. Homage March, by Edvard Grieg, is inspired by the story of Norwegian king, Sigurd Jorsalafar, famous for being the first European king to venture to the crusades in Jerusalem and Constantinople. The music incorporated the horns and percussion to entice the audience into heroic images of soldiers marching off to unknown lands of the Middle East.

    The next musical piece was Concerto in A minor, Opus 54. Written by Robert Schumann in the early 1800s, the music was deeply entrenched in the Romantic era, inspired by the poetry of that era and influenced by Beethovens symphonies. It seemed, however, to exemplify an interpretation of love from any time period, spanning the grand heights and the tumultuous spirals the heart can take.

    This concerto also featured Santa Monica Colleges own Rhoda Tuit

    on piano. Her dazzling arpeggios perfectly complimented the orchestras strings and woodwinds. Rhoda Tuit is the chair of the music department and has served at SMC since 1979. A graduate of San Diego State University and USC, she has served on the Academic Senate and as the chair of the Sabbatical Committee.

    For the final piece of the night, James Martin commanded the stage, performing the four movements of Gustav Mahlers Symphony #1 in D Major. The first intertwined all of the instruments, surging beautifully to a crescendo, then gradually declining in tempo and pitch. The audience responded with an enthused ovation until Martin quipped playfully that it was only the first of the four movements.

    The movements following were just as spectacular and the finale concluded with an uproarious culmination of booming bass and crashing cymbals.

    For 24-year-old Venice resident Lori Sue Prince, the following performance was like inviting an old friend into your home.

    Martin remained onstage after the impressive performance. As the last of the concertos finished, the other artists joined him, relishing a long bow after a standing ovation. It was obvious the orchestra had exhausted the crowd with the thrill of its rollercoaster-like effect.

    Originally trained in classical

    flute and hailing from the University of Indiana, Martin says he caught the bug to become a conductor. His passion for music and teaching was evident in the musical organization of his ninety musical artists.

    The musicians and I rehearsed

    on the battlefield [onstage] six times, which is very fast for such a complex musical piece, he said.

    Approximately one-third of the musicians were comprised of students, eight of which were from high school. Twelve were paid musicians and the other half were

    made up of community members, Martin said. With such a varied group of people to work with, it was incredible that they played the music so effortlessly.

    The next orchestra performance is scheduled for the first week of May.

    CALENDARWednesdayMarch 31, 2010 09Corsair NewspaperSanta Monica CollegeA Concerto to Remember

    A Psychedelic Odyssey: MGMT Streams New Album Congratulations

    Something Wicked This Way Comes

    Santa Monica College dance student Carlos Rivera follows dance instructor and musical theater professional Amy Allens lead during the Jazz and Musical Theater Master Class.

    William Tobenkin plays alongside other woodwind artists during the symphony orchestra concerto that took place at the SMC Performing Arts Center on Sunday, March 28, 2010.

    Terrence Timmins Corsair

    Sal Guerra Corsair

    By Debby VasquezArts Canvas Editor

    MGMT thrives on the weird.From wearing tie-dyed clothing to

    having giant kittens and animatronic banjo-playing animals in their music videos, MGMTs oddness has become a unique fixture in the indie music community.

    Their first release, Oracular Spectacular, became the trippy album to get in 2008 with such hits like Time to Pretend, Electric Feel, and the song all the kids were dancing to: Kids.

    Their sophomore e f fort Congratulations is definitely a psychedelic odyssey with weird sounds, strange instruments, and

    interesting song titles. The great melodies are there, but this album was sadly not meant for this decade.

    MGMT takes a little bit out of every acid/psychedelic rock and funk genre and incorporates it into Congratulations.

    Someones Missing sounds like old 1970s funk rock like Sly and the Family Stone and Stevie Wonder. The opener, Its Working, is an upbeat groovy tune on amphetamines, like a theme song for a Nickelodeon cartoon.

    Flash Delirium is a doo-wop and psychedelic tribute to the Beatles Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and the Beach Boys Good Vibrations using organs, mellotrons and theremins to take you

    on a Technicolor-enhanced dream.Siberian Breaks, the longest

    song on the album, is a multitude of songs in one, a journey through the minds of these hippie dudes. Brian Eno is a poppy jab at the celebrity, and the instrumental Lady Dadas Nightmare is a hauntingly psychedelic song with bloodcurdling screams in the background, which confirms the weirdness and eccentricity of the band. By the end of the albums last song, the soft melodic Congratulations, you hear clapping in the background as the song and the overall trippy voyage ends.

    In order to enjoy this album, you must hear it from beginning to end. Only then will you truly experience

    what MGMT tries to achieve.In the past, albums were called

    works of art as people listened to Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon or The Beatles Sgt. Pepper from beginning to end, taking the time to appreciate the lyrics and the flow of the music. In this age of iPods and the 99-cent download, Congratulations seems a little out of place.

    The duo, Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, have told the press that their desire for this album was not to release singles, but to be a complete body of songs and have the listener decide which songs stand out for them.

    All the songs could be singles but they are too far out to be

    considered for radio play; perhaps Flash Delirium is a possibility, but even that song is too peculiar for the radio. With MGMTs credibility, perhaps it may squeak by unnoticed with the generic, lifeless rock music playing on the radio.

    If this album had been released in the 1960s or perhaps even the early 1990s, it would have been truly appreciated, but it is still a great effort by the duo to try and bring the art of album listening back to the forefront.

    So, if you are into mind-bending, spacey, psyched out sounds, MGMTs Congratulations album is for you. Happily, due to an early album leak, MGMT are officially streaming the album on their Web site just for you. Give it a listen.

    By Tracy NavarroStaff Writer

    If any business requires persistence, its musical theater. Auditions may last all day and you may still get cut in the very last round. Take Amy Allen for example. She first auditioned for Wicked in 2003.Three years and six auditions later, she finally landed a part in the casts ensemble.

    Allen shared her story at SMCs Master Dance Series last Thursday. Hopeful dance students got to enjoy a jazz class taught by Allen in which she showed a routine from Wicked.

    Allen grew up in St. Louis, Mo. and started dancing at the age of four, her inspiration stemming from movies like West Side Story. She pursued her schooling in drama and acting and moved out to California to be a dance major at Loyola

    Marymount University. Right after graduation, she moved to New York City on her own to pursue her dreams of being a dancer.

    Things didnt pick up right away as she had hoped. In New York, my job was getting a job, Allen said of going to audition after audition. Eventually, she began landing roles in regional theater and even started working on cruise ships and at the Tokyo Disney theme park.

    Allen then started what would be her three-year process of auditioning for Wicked.

    If I could be in one show, for me it would have been Wicked, said Allen, who toured with Wicked for two years, mainly around the east coast and mid-west.

    Like any other job, Allen realized she grew tired of it and was ready to move on. She is now currently getting her masters in dance at the University of Irvine,

    and plans on teaching dance to college students.

    The cool thing about musical theater is that you get to act like someone youre not. It doesnt matter how good you are technically, [its] about your stage presence, Allen said to the dance students before her. She encouraged them to Watch other dancers and think to yourself, why am I watching them? Allen says this is a helpful tool for anyone trying to make it in the industry.

    The students were eager to ask for advice when the class was over and Allen provided perfect insight into what it is like to tour nationally in a critically acclaimed Broadway production.

    Allen is still auditioning for shows in Los Angeles while getting her masters degree. Looking back on her success with Wicked, Allen said she would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

  • By John Stapleton IV Staff Writer

    Last week, a Santa Monica College campus survey of 250 SMC students revealed that 62 percent were actively involved in student-run clubs, programs and organizations. With a current student population exceeding 30,000, thats an estimated 18,000 motivated voices. This spirit of seemingly ubiquitous altruism backed by such impressive numbers is what makes SMC a prime candidate for organizations hoping to teach active students how to become student activists.

    Political activism on campus typically falls into one of two groups: large , nat ional ly-orchestrated bodies of students rallying support for or against a social issue, or bands of relatively fewer demonstrators focusing their small-but-mighty numbers on more radical methods of social change.

    An example of a larger group with an easily-visible presence on campus is SMCs chapter of the California Public Interests Research Group (CALPRIG). The organization utilizes aggressive recruiting to promote community involvement, while being directed and supported by a national network of lobbies to unify and lead students in campaigns for social change.

    Its like this chain of positive reaction says Isis Enriquez, SMCs CALPIRG Chapter vice chairperson, reflecting the attitude embraced by CALPIRGs mission of finding issues that directly effect students and galvanizing them into action.

    Shauntelle Bodden, who only joined CALPIRGs Hunger and Homelessness campaign last week, explains her reason for joining.

    It offers nine programs to choose from, programs that affect students every day, she says, like cheaper textbooks, public transportation and getting better student loans.

    While their efforts are widely r e c o g n i z e d a n d r e p e a t e d l y successful, the Students for Social Justice (SSJ) offer a different approach for student activists.

    We organize at a more local level, says SSJ President Cameron Quinn. We have a lot more leeway on the issues we want to focus on and the tactics we want to use.

    SSJ members meet weekly to vote on specific issues they want to pursue, issues that SSJ feels CALPIRG wont address. SSJ also employs methods such as counter-recruiting, aggressively protesting the exploitation of women in advertisements and escorting patients to family planning clinics. Quinn describes SSJ as more courageous than CALPIRG.

    So which issues would be the most beneficial for student activists to pursue?

    According to Randy Shaw, learning organizational skills is paramount to any specific issue. You can have a big heart, you can care about the issues, but you have to know what youre doing with that energy to make change. If you dont come out of college with organizer trainingyou wont be effective.

    Shaw literally wrote the book on activism when he published The Activists Handbook in 1996. On Thursday, The UCLA-alum-turned-lawyer visited the SMC campus to deliver an inspirational speech about Activism in the Age

    of Obama. The 11 a.m. dissertation was presented in HSS 165, and while the attendees only filled half of the spacious arena, the electricity of Shaws motivating words permeated the atmosphere. Attendees were eager to respond not only with questions, but with personal stories recounting the influence a single person can have on social issues.

    Shaw claims that it is this feeling of empowerment that motivates people to organize and create change, a theme extensively covered in Shaws most recent book, Beyond the Fields. It offers an in-depth analysis of how Obamas aggressive grassroots campaign strategy owes its success to the labor-organizing model of the late-1960s United Farm Workers (UFW). Shaw claims that the UFWs empowering approach of Well train you, you train others is the very essence of successful activism.

    The UFW organized a grassroots campaign that earned their petition over 725,000 signatures in less than a month, and they did it with no cell phones and no computers and living off of five bucks a week says Shaw, reinforcing his message that activism should create that commitment to be an incubator, to do more.

    Shaw professes that this concept is especially true for college students, who he believes can create these same kinds of profound social changes using the organized activism implemented by the UFW and Obama.

    C o n c e r n i n g t h e S M C organizations dedicated to activism, Shaw says, There should be more groups dedicated to training skilled organizers, and both the

    SSJ and CALPIRG agree. While each focuses its specific talents and powers on different issues, they work together to create social change, and that, by definition, is the very purpose of activism.

    Over 18,000 SMC students volunteer what little free time they have to creating this social change.

    For those who havent yet decided how to help, or where to start, Randy Shaw has a message:

    We cant lose you! You cant afford to be disillusioned or hopeless. When the [issues] seem overwhelming, its the organizers who have the power to make transformative change.

    By Bryn Woznicki Staff Writer

    W h e n y o u h e a r t h e t e r m food court you may envision a vast selection of hot, freshly prepared foods, flavors from all over the globe, able to satisfy anyones palate. At SMCs main campus, the cafeteria isnt quite this astonishing, but at least students have a selection of freshly prepared food with some variety.

    Students at SMCs satellite campuses are not so lucky. Lack of sustenance at the satellite campuses has led students to

    bring snacks, buy junk or just sit through class with grumbling stomachs.

    The food court at the Bundy campus is hardly a food court at all; rather it is a smallish room with a few tables, a microwave and four vending machines. Two of the machines serve drinks; one offers coffee while the other has soft drinks and bottled water.

    Another machine vends typical snack food: chips, candy bars, cookies etc., while the other h a s a f e w s a n d w i c h e s a n d microwavable food. This same quartet of vending machines

    can be found at all satellite campuses.

    C i n d y , a s e c o n d y e a r international business major, takes morning classes at the main campus. She will often try to eat there before making the trek to Bundy for afternoon classes. She said the main campus doesnt have a good selection, but it has a better selection. Here you either get chips or candy or food that doesnt really look appealing.

    Katharine Muller, dean of external programs, said that despite offering healthier food options in the past the students always want, essentially, the junk food.

    A s f o r h a v i n g a h o t f o o d option at the satellite campuses, Charlie Yen, director of events and contract services, points out that specific guidelines must be met in order to house fresh food vendors.

    You need to have proper spaces, he said, which we dont have at satellite campuses.

    Even if they did have proper space to house vendors, compared w i t h t h e m a i n c a m p u s t h e satellites do not have nearly as many students purchasing food, creating an unstable business model for any prospective food vendor.

    I t r e a l l y h a s t o d o w i t h numbers, said Muller. We dont have the critical mass of people at the satellite sites to make food operations profitable [for vendors]. Weve even had the food trucks contacted to come by and some of our sites

    dont even have the volume to have a food truck to be viable.

    When the trucks didnt pull enough profit, they pulled their services.

    A La Carte Catering, based out of Culver City, and its fleet of food trucks once served the main campus in the 1970s and 1980s before it had a cafeteria, and still serve from time to time at football games and graduations.

    Herman Appel, A La Cartes founder, doesnt see any of his food trucks serving Bundy in the near future, but thats not for a lack of past attempts.

    We had a truck at Bundy for the longest [time], said Appel. As recently as last year his food trucks attempted to serve Bundy for the first two months of the school year, he said. We were there from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the afternoon. Echoing Muller, Appel says the numbers just arent there. There is not enough business. Wed love to put trucks there if it would generate revenue.

    G r e g B r o w n , d i r e c t o r o f facilities and planning, really put the numbers in perspective.

    Each of the satellite campuses has about 1,000 students on a g i v e n d a y , s a i d B r o w n . Whereas the main campus has between seven and eight thousand.

    But even if all 1,000 students were to buy from a food truck, for example, what the students purchase is just as vital. If 1,000 students are buying, and they each buy a soda, we still

    wont make it, said Appel.Brown maintained that SMC

    is in the preliminary stages of working on a site expansion for the Bundy campus. The expansion will include more food choices but the logistics have not been worked out yet, as formal planning for this project has not yet begun.

    T h e B u n d y C a m p u s a n d surrounding airport campus might have the shortest end of the stick, in that there are not many food options within walking distance. The Madison campus does have food options nearby and AET has the advantage of being located close to many media companies, including the MTV building. Gourmet food trucks serving these companies will often park on side streets within walking distance of AET, giving students access.

    These are not average food trucks; their menu options are diverse, serving up dishes like sushi and Korean barbecue. Since they do not have contracts with SMC, these trucks must stay on side streets and off of school property. However, a certain food truck can be found on AET grounds on some late afternoons despite regulations.

    AET is about to undergo a site expansion and remodeling and a cafe will be added to the campus. The new facility will not have a kitchen to prepare fresh food, but students will be able to buy freshly made drinks and pre-prepared food. This expansion is slated for completion around 2013.

    LIFESTYLE10 Corsair NewspaperSanta Monica College WednesdayMarch 31, 2010

    SMCs Activist Groups Inspired To Go Beyond

    Rumbling Stomachs Hunger for More Options at SMCs Satellite Campuses

    Activist/author Randy Shaw addresses students during a book signing and lecture at Santa Monica College on Thursday, March 23, 2010.

    Cory Ferin, attending class at the Bundy campus, gets a snack from a vending machine.

    Christian Nussey Corsair

    Lyndsay Smith Corsair

  • By Alessandra CataneseStaff Writer

    You wouldnt expect to hear about sustainability in a psychology class, but when I attended the first day of Psychology 1 with Professor David Phillips, I was met with just that.

    Although unexpected, it wasnt out of left field. He introduced the evolutionary path of psychology and eventually led the discussion toward the state of our planets health. Phillips did an excellent job of arguing that the Earth as we know it is dying-- literally. One fact especially startled me; he told us that we only have three to five years to change our ways in order for the Earth to realistically recover.

    I couldnt get what I had learned out of my mind, so I took a couple of weeks to do some extensive research and what Ive found is disturbing. According to the documentary The Story of Stuff, in the last three decades we have used one-third of

    the Earths natural resources, and were quickly running out.

    With the help of Sustainable Works, a non-profit environmental education organization with a large presence at SMC, I will learn more about what I can do to make a difference.

    This is the type of living I will be striving for in the next 30 days. I started a blog, and now Im starting this series: 30 Days of Going Green. Starting today, Wednesday, March 31, I will take steps to significantly reduce my carbon footprint. I will start with taking the bus or carpooling at least three to four days out of the week; absolutely no driving whatsoever. To learn about sustainable living, Ill be joining Sustainable Works, attending meetings and participating in group projects.

    Im also going to significantly reduce my waste by starting a compost bin, aided by a large plastic compost container, shredded newspaper, red worms (Eisenia fetida), and some of my daily food waste (eggshells, moldy

    bread, etc.).By the end of the 30 days I hope

    to reach at least five days of trash-free living per week. What exactly is trash-free living? It means just that, no waste whatsoever. I will only buy/use things that I can compost, reuse or recycle, leaving me with literally no trash to throw away. Ive already located JG Recycling Company down the street from my apartment which will take care of all the non-curbside recycling I have, like medicine bottles, plastic bags, and bottle caps. If this sounds a bit surprising, hold tight: Ill also let you in on the various kinds of plastics that can be recycled in the blue bin.

    So far, Ive been able to make some small changes. With the advice of Gina Garcia, the Sustainable Works Coordinator, I rented two of my books for school from, where they plant a tree for every book rented instead of bought (thats two trees planted for me!). She also advised me on small ways to make a difference, such as consistently using

    less water by turning off the faucet when brushing my teeth or taking shorter showers. She says to make a five-minute shower the ultimate goal, but being a 19-year-old girl, I can tell its going to be a struggle.

    See? That wasnt so bad. A little sacrifice from me for Mother Earth and I think I just may live. I will keep you updated through the printed edition of the Corsair and via my online blog. I know it will be difficult, but not impossible, so Im up for the challenge. Keep an eye on and remember to stay green!

    LIFESTYLEWednesdayMarch 31, 2010 11Corsair NewspaperSanta Monica College

    By John Stapleton IVStaff Writer

    It was the sweltering summer of 76 when a bunch of guys brought their pets to the back porch of a local bar and asked if they could race them. The owner obliged, the guys painted a giant racetrack on the ground and a West L.A. tradition was born.

    The bar was Brennans Pub. The pets were turtles. The guys that brought them were geniuses, clearly.

    Brennans Pub, located on Lincoln just east of Washington, has hosted these turtle races every Thursday for 34 years, attracting swarms of fans

    inside its Irish pub-themed brick walls and growing into a staple of West L.A. nightlife.

    If imagining a bunch of shelled lizards bumbling around at the break-neck speed of an Immigration Reform bill on a salmonella-laden floor sounds more like Third World punishment than a night of rowdy entertainment to you then, well, you simply havent had the pleasure.

    Heres what you need to know: First of all, get there early! Brennans hosts this decades-old spectacle every Thursday at 10 p.m., and usually hits capacity (thats 375 people!) right after the races begin.

    Secondly, the turtles are placed in the center of a giant circle thats painted on a padded floor, and race towards the edges. The first turtle to cross the circular border wins.

    Thirdly, only women can place the turtles in the starting center and must do so by following traditional turtle-placing etiquette such as not bending their knees on the way down. Suffice it to say, Brennans puts on a standing-room-only show every Thursday, and it aint just the turtles.

    Number four, and this is critical: do not ever, EVER, point at the turtles. See, when the races started, patrons would all bring their own turtles and whenever a turtle was about to win, the cheering crowd would point wildly at the lead turtle, stopping him dead in his tracks. Riots would ensue. And so, logically, pointing at the turtles is frowned upon (as in fines-up-to-$50 frowned upon). Seriously.

    Finally, for all of you herp-nuts out there, no turtles were harmed in the making of this event. Sensing the decline of patron-brought turtles, Brennans constructed a professional

    terrarium in the back, where turtles are raised, fed, and cared for, and never poached to turn their shells into your fancy Prada sunglasses. Plus, come on, theyre handled by beautiful women all night long and paid with food. What else could a turtle ask for?

    But Brennans Pub is no one-trick pony, serving up entertainment seven days a week, with great grub, fun games and live bands. They provide freshly cooked food every day until 11 p.m., featuring an outstanding menu that covers all your favorites from $4.50 fish tacos to $9.50 Swiss mushroom burgers. They even have a soup/salad/wrap menu for those of you who think its perfectly natural to eat a salad in a bar. Of course, Brennans offers a variety of bar games and regularly hosts local bands like The Mandrakes on its surprisingly adequate stage, complete with lights and smoke effects.

    Theres also booze, which is handy since standard bar games like pool, darts, and touch-screen trivia are often augmented by alcohol-necessitating sports like beer pong

    and flip cup. Brennans main bar is an island of

    inebriation, centered in the middle of all the crowded pandemonium, with lacquered wood bar tops, traditional stools, and TVs the whole way round. The drinks are overpriced ($6.50 draught Guinness, $7 shots) and under-poured (with no clear distinction between a shot and a splash), but the selection is great and the bad drinks are well worth the fact that the girl-to-guy ratio is two-to-one. Added bonus: Jennifers Turtle Bar, located out back, serves up cheaper drinks if you pay with paper instead of plastic, and any time I can get my thirst quenched from more than one place in the same bar, I get more excited than three cats tied to a vacuum cleaner.

    So the drinks are weak, the sound system is stuck on night club instead of town pub and the bathrooms have that kind of wet stickiness that induces flashbacks of Pinocchio inside the belly of a whale, but Brennans Pub will make you feel right at home, seven days a week.

    Bar f ly

    30 Days of Going Green: An Eco Intro

    Jorge Valdovinos CorsairAlessandra Catanese leafs her past behind and gives green a chance.

  • SPORTS12 Corsair NewspaperSanta Monica College WednesdayMarch 31, 2010

    By Kevin DuronStaff Writer

    Whereas most 10-year-old boys spend their time playing with bugs or chasing girls around the playground, Pedro Alvarez found interest in other hobbies; some of which included fine-tuning his right hook.

    Alvarez, now a sophomore at SMC, started boxing at a very young age, a pivotal factor behind his stellar 84-1 record as an amateur boxer. But in a sport that requires constant maintenance of the body in order to make weight for a match, staying fit is no easy task, as Alvarezs training system proves.

    I like to mix it up between cardio and fast-paced workouts, says Alvarez. When Im competing I go on 5-mile runs everyday to make weight. Jogging is really my foundation.

    Alvarez is no stranger to the gym, frequently pouring hours into conditioning with his coach. I shadowbox with weights in my hands for a couple rounds and then try some rounds without them, to work on my speed, he said. I really like fast-tempo workouts, like working with the punching bag and jumping rope.

    His constant upbeat workouts have undoubtedly contributed to the power he owns, which is expressed by the 66

    knockout wins in his career.Working out is only one element of

    staying in top shape for Alvarez, as he also has to watch what he eats. I have to drink plenty of water and eat a lot of carbohydrates, like pasta and white bread, Alvarez said. I limit myself when it comes to fatty foods.

    However, there are foods that are too tempting for Alvarez, especially during the off-season. Im real weak when it comes to In-N-Out burgers and Papa Johns pizzas, he says with a laugh. But

    I have a fast metabolism, so it doesnt affect me too much.

    When looking to get pumped up before his fights, Alvarez takes a surprisingly passive approach for his type of sport. I pray a lot, which really helps my mental state. Everything is mental.

    Although he says much of his inspiration is drawn from his father, Alvarez has turned to another family member as a main source of motivation to continue fighting competitively. My brother has inspired me everyday of my life and has taught me everything I know,

    and I never would have made it this far without him, said Alvarez.

    As an athlete who is taking twelve units at school as well as working out five to six days a week, Alvarez has little time to address his personal life. I didnt have much of a social life when I was younger because Ive been doing this since I was 10-years-old; it pushed me away from people a little he said. Its a little better now that Im in college, and I eventually get to party when I have time.

    Currently being held out of competition because of a thumb fracture, the welterweight sensation is focusing on a lot of cardio workouts that dont require much strain on his injury and is also spending time coaching at his old high school.

    When giving advice to students who feel too overwhelmed with homework

    and trying to stay in shape, Alvarez encourages a positive mentality. You know, just never let anything hold you down. Ive been juggling boxing, coaching and school for ten years now and if I can do it, anybody can, he said. Dont let anyone tell you that you cant do it; you just have to work hard, plain and simple.

    Alvarez plans to re-enter competition in June in an exhibition match and is anticipating a return to international silver and gold glove tournaments during the summer.

    SMC Weekly Fitness: Student and Amateur Boxing Sensation Pedro Alvarez

    By Farhan AliStaff Writer

    The Lakers of 2010 arent looking like the Lakers of 2008-09. While Kobe Bryant is still Kobe Bryant, the rest of the team seems to coasting, expecting that the Black Mamba will simply carry them to another championship.

    The Los Angeles Lakers, the defending NBA champs, have shown that nobody but Bryant is ready to defend last seasons title.

    The Lakers are considered one the most talented teams in the NBA, with forward Pau Gasol, center Andrew Bynum, versatile forward Lamar Odom and Kobe Bryant.

    The fans expect this team to perform at an elite level after winning the title simply because of all the talent they possess.

    The Lakers have all but clinched the number one spot in the Western Conference, with the second best overall record at 53-18.

    So whats there really to worry about, right?

    The problem is the Lakers have not shown the mentality of an NBA champion this season. Looking at their schedule, the Lakers have lost games to teams that they should have comfortably beaten.

    All these teams have little-to-no depth and most are either out of the playoffs or struggling just to make it.

    They started off the year with one of the easiest schedules in the league, with 20 of their first 31 games at home. According to, the Lakers went 25-6 through December, a record that could have easily been 28-3, had it not been for their lackluster play against teams like Phoenix, Houston and Utah.

    Since January, the Lakers have gone

    28-12, highlighting a substantial drop in their winning percentage. With losses to the Clippers, Portland, Toronto, Memphis, Miami, and Charlotte, fans in Lakerland have been left in confusion.

    Had they won those 9 games, the Lakers would be at a league best of 62-9.

    The Lakers are held back by a belief that they can outscore and outplay any team on any given night.

    A recent game on the road against the Miami Heat is a prefect illustration. The Lakers had no business even letting Miami remain competitive in this game, not when the Heats only talent consists of All Star and MVP candidate Dwayne Wade.

    How in the world does one player carry a team with no talent past the Lakers? The purple and gold shouldve have buried them right at the outset of the game, but they let Miami hang around just long enough to steal the win.

    Inside the NBA, a series on TNT starring Charles Barkley, Chris Webber, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson recently spotlighted a segment about the most annoying team in the NBA.

    On March 5, Ernie Johnson started the show by asking the analysts whether the Lakers are still head and shoulders above the rest of the league.

    The Lakers are the most annoying team in the world, Barkley said. They are the most talented team in the NBA. They [only] win because they have the most talent. Theyre not a dominating team.

    Chris Webber stated that Bryant is the only player who has that killer instinct. He is the only one on the Lakers that actually wants to have the best record in the NBA.

    In a recent home game against Toronto, Bryant hit the game-winning jumper to sneak past the Raptors.

    When asked by Reuters how satisfying the win was, Bryant wasnt pleased at all.

    We put a lot of points on the board, but thats not how you win championships by your offense being pretty, said Bryant If that was the case, we wouldve won two years ago. Weve got to get ugly, stop people, and thats how well win.

    Michael Jordan had less talent on his team and yet still managed to have the Bulls ready to compete every single night, regardless of their opponent.

    Nobody is questioning Bryants competitiveness, but the supporting casts mentality must change. Right now, it seems they are riding his coattails into the playoffs. Bryant has bailed the Lakers out at least seven times with game winners, and of the seven, six were against teams that had no business even being in the game at all.

    Without Bryant, the Lakers are just a playoff team, not one capable of winning an NBA championship. And if the Lakers dont bring home the Larry OBrien trophy this year, the supporting cast will be held responsible.

    The other contending teams like Cleveland, Denver, Orlando, and Dallas play each game like it is their last because they are all hungry for that championship ring.

    I dont see the Lakers winning the title this season solely because all of the players, save Kobe, lack that hunger. To me, even the tenth-seeded Houston Rockets deserve the championship more than L.A., simply because they play like they want it every night.

    With the standings getting tight, the Lakers will have to elevate their play if they even want to make it past the second round.

    Lakers, every team believes they can beat you. I dare you to beat them.

    Lakers in Review: When Winning Isnt Enough

    My brother has inspired me every day of my life and has taught me everything I know, and I never would have made it this far without him.

    Pedro Alvarez

    Amateur boxer and full-time SMC student, Pedro Alvarez, gives advice on how to juggle both school work and boxing while still maintaining a heathly regimen. Alvarez shares his pre-fight preparation and what insipires him to continue competing.

    Leslie Estrada, second year player, scores SMCs first run as she rounds the bases.

    By Quandinae WoodsStaff Writer

    The rebirth of SMC softball has not transitioned as smoothly as anticipated, but with each passing game evidence of improvement continues to surface and Thursdays affair was no different. Santa Monica faced off against LA Mission College in a contest that saw the Lady Cosairs thrive early, only to be thwarted by mental mistakes in a disappointing 13-1 loss to the Eagles.

    The game began with SMC taking early control, as freshman starting pitcher Alice Coleman threw her fastball to perfection, giving the Eagle hitters no chance to react. Colemans stellar effort, combined with the teams initial defensive prowess, allowed the Lady Corsairs to walk away from the first half of the inning without allowing a run.

    SMC would continue their momentum into the bottom half, as their offense found its rhythm against LA Missions pitcher. Sophomore Leslie Estrada flew around the base paths as she scored the teams first run, giving the Lady Corsairs a 1-0 lead.

    Entering the second inning with a one run advantage, SMC seemed to be in command. But just as the team breathed a collective sigh of relief,

    everything began to crumble around them. LA Mission took advantage of several mental errors by the Lady Corsairs and the Eagles began to tack on one run after another.

    To add insult to injury, sophomore Rosie Magallon suffered a blow that forced her out the game in the third inning, leaving the ladies confused and overwhelmed.

    Junior Anna Koper stepped in to replace the injured shortstop, as the trainer and head coach Michelle Haines contemplated the severity of Magallons injury. LA Mission took SMCs loss and turned it into their own benefit, as they continued to build upon their already hefty lead.

    With the outcome no longer in doubt, the Eagles prolonged the inevitable as they tacked five more runs in the top of the fourth. As the final inning came to an end, SMC trotted off the field staring at a disheartening 13-1 loss.

    Despite the frustrating finish, the Lady Corsairs werent willing to throw in the towel. We have definitely improved and I am so proud of us; we look like more of a team, said Koper.

    With this loss in the rearview mirror, SMC softball now looks to avenge an early season defeat against the Glendale College Gauchos, as they head to their opponents field this Thursday at 2 p.m.

    Alfredo Luna CorsairA sophomore at SMC, amateur boxer Pedro Alvarez owns an astounding 84-1record.

    Siddhartha Abbazi Corsair

    Softball Loses 13-1 to Eagles