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By Nathan Hermanson Assistant Arts Editor Southwestern College’s revolving door of top leadership is spinning again as the governing board searches for a new superintendent. Tis time, though, the governing board is optimistic that a permanent new CEO will usher in an era of stability. Governing Board Vice President Norma Hernandez chai red an 18-member screening committee that paper screened 34 applicants and selected fve semi-fnalists. After a series of publ
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  By Nathan Hermanson  Assistant Arts Editor  Southwestern College’s revolving dooro top leadership is spinning again asthe governing board searches or a new superintendent. Tis time, though, thegoverning board is optimistic that apermanent new CEO will usher in anera o stability.Governing Board Vice PresidentNorma Hernandez chaired an18-member screening committee thatpaper screened 34 applicants and selectedve semi-nalists. Ater a series o publicorums where candidates addressed thepublic, the governing board narrowedthe pool to three nalists.“I believe that it is essential, at thiscritical time or our college district,to have an educational leader withcommunity college background and ademonstrated commitment to a governancestructure that promotes collaborativedecision making, collegial consultationand active involvement o all constituentgroups,” she said.Hernandez said she is very impressed with the three inalists who are SWCInterim Superintendent Denise Whittaker,Berkeley City College President Dr. Betty Inclan, and Orange Coast College VicePresident o Instruction Dr. Melinda Nish.Tis week a small subcommittee o boardmembers, students and employees will travelto the colleges o the nalists to interview co-workers and gather inormation.Governing board members hope toannounce the new superintendent/president at its October 12 meeting.“With three highly-qualied candidatesit boils down to who is the best t or thecollege,” Hernandez said. “Tat is the bigquestion the board must decide.” a national pacemaker award newspaper.hu.aug.17 - o.1, 2011 Volume 55, Issue 1  please see   Superintendent pg. 12  Superintendent search narrowed to three  please see   Plagiarism pg. 16 Pro. accusessuperintendento plagiarism M arshall B. M urphy  / staff NO CROSSING ZONE —  Ater a day o chaos and standstill at the world’s busiest border crossing, ve northbound lanes reopenas crews work to remove debris ater scafolding used to support overhead construction collapsed on top o incoming vehicles at the San Ysidro Border. Several cars were damaged and 11 people were injured, including two that were hospitalized. ã PAGE 17 ã ONLINE WWW.THESWCSUN.COM ã BREAKDOWN AT THE BORDER UCSD to raise TAG GPA for fall 2012  please see   UCSD pg. 17 Campus, 3 Viewpoints, 6Unsigned, 6Sex Column, 7 Thinking Out Loud, 8Sports, 10 Arts, 18 InsIde: Newspaperhonored fordefense of free speech  please see   Award pg. 17 p aBlo G andara  /s taff “THREE HIGHLY-QUALIFIED CANDIDATES”: Speaking at recent public orums are superintendent nalists (l-r) Dr. Betty Inclan, Denise Whittaker and Dr. Melinda Nish. By Sun Staff  Following more than three years o strie where Southwestern College journalismstudents and aculty were harassed andpunished by college administrators andsome governing board members, thesta o the SWC Sun will be awardedcollegiate America’s most prestigiousrecognition or deense o the First Amendment, the College Press Freedom Award.Presented annually by the Student PressLaw Center (SPLC) o Virginia and the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP)o Minneapolis, colleges nationwideare nominated or demonstrating By Alyssa Simental Online Editor   A Southwestern College proessorsaid in a global campus e-mail thatInterim Superintendent Denise Whittaker plagiarized portions o a 9/11commemoration message she had sentout over the campus e-mail. Whittakerimmediately acknowledged that she hadneglected to cite the srcinal source o twolines rom her message.Dr. Carla Kirkwood, coordinator o International Programs, said she received acall about the possible plagiarism incidentand searched the statement via Google. Shesaid she was immediately directed to anarticle in the Washington Post. Kirkwoodsaid Whittaker also co-opted language romthe History Channel.Kirkwood sent a global email to Whittakerand all sta stating that the 9/11 messagecontained plagiarized material.“he attached document by the Washington Post and the History Channelis a great tool in teaching this historictragedy to our students,” wrote Kirkwood.“A proximity o this inormation begins onpage two o the document.” Whittaker responded immediately andcalled the episode an oversight.“Tank you or bringing to my attention By Lina Adriana Sandoval Staff Writer  Students still have an opportunity to get into UCSD with a 3.0, but the window is closing quickly.In March UCSD increased itsranser Admission Guarantee (AG)minimum GPA requirements rom a3.0 to a 3.5 or students planning toapply or all 2012. University Link  was created to assist community college students who are close but just short o UCSD requirements.Students rom Region 10 community colleges including SouthwesternCollege, who have attained a GPA o 3.0 or higher are eligible. As longas the University Link program isavailable, UCSD will oer somestudents extended time to raise theirGPAs while they attend community college.“he srcinal purpose o theUniversity Link program was toidentiy students during the springo their senior year o high schoolto ensure that we establish andmaintain a pipeline rom high schoolto postsecondary education,” saidDr. Angelica L. Suarez, SWC VicePresident o Student Aairs.SWC representatives asked UCSDleaders to expand University Link toinclude community college studentsat a 3.0 minimum GPA eectiveimmediately, Suarez said.“Students need to be designated inthe University Link pipeline programin order to be able to qualiy to transer with a 3.0 GPA,” said Suarez. “Unlessthe student has been identied by  College’s ullaccreditationis restored Whittaker creditshard working staf  By Mary York  News Editor  In an announcement that caught eventhe most optimistic sta members by surprise, the regional accreditation body that placed Southwestern College onprobation in February 2010 lited allsanctions and this summer reafrmed thecollege’s accreditation and good standing.Te announcement by the AccreditingCommission or Community and JuniorColleges (AACJC) marks the end o atwo-year period o turmoil at the collegethat culminated in the unseating o two governingboard members,the ring o topadministratorsand a campus- wide eort by aculty, sta andan interim superintendent to get SWCout o its worst predicament in its 50-year history.“Tis is a huge victory or our students,institution and community,” said InterimSuperintendent Denise Whittaker.“We’ve been working tirelessly to resolvethe ACCJC’s concerns while saeguardingthe high-quality education SouthwesternCollege provides. Our hard work paido.”SWC was slapped with probationor 10 deciencies in administration,budgeting, planning and board conductunder a previous governing board and theadministration o ormer superintendentRaj K. Chopra. hough none o thesanctions were related to teachingand learning, SWC risked closure i the deiciencies were not corrected.Board members Yolanda Salcido and Jorge Dominguez were swept romoice last November, and Chopraresigned shortly thereater. wo vicepresidents, the chie o campus policeand other administrators were red orresigned ollowing the election o NormaHernandez and im Nader to the board.Colleges on probation with as many sanctions as SWC aced usually aremoved o in increments, said AcademicSenate President Angelina Stuart, aleader in the eort to restore the college’saccreditation. SWC made “an epic leap”rom probation to ully accredited, shesaid.“Tat’s like going rom a D- to an A+,” she said. “here is such a greatsense o relie and hope in what we haveaccomplished. Te spirit o the collegeis back.” A ollow-up report will be sent to theaccrediting body in October to documentprogress that has already been made.“It’s meant to show we are doing what we said we would,” she said.SCEA aculty union president Andy MacNeill said SWC was ortunate tohave “great support rom the inside.”“We had the right people in the rightplace at the right time and that made allthe dierence,” he said. “Our change inadministration was huge. I don’t think we would have been able to do it i we didn’thave such an incredible turn around within our governing board and topleadership. Tere was no doubt Denise was the person to help us reafrm ouraccreditation.”Board President Nader saidthe combined eorts o the schooland community to restore SWC’saccreditation was “incredible.”“It’s been such a phenomenal eort See ARTS pg. 18 Great faculty artshow brings outthe beast  please see   Accreditation pg. 16  By Nickolas Furr Staff Writer  Some conservative building contractorsand taxpayer advocates are complaining thattwo experienced members o the college’sProposition R Oversight Committee werereplaced with pro-union representatives.Members o the governing board said onerepresentative was not reappointed becauseshe had not applied or another term.In 2008, voters o the SouthwesternCommunity College Districtoverwhelmingly approved a $389 millionconstruction and modernization bondmeant to improve the college, includingthe “corner lot” project, a parcel o empty ormer armland located at the corner o H Street and Otay Lakes Road in ChulaVista. Following Caliornia law, the PropR Citizens Oversight Committee wasormed to monitor expenditures andprovide representation, not to the college orconstruction companies, but to the voterso the district.Tree new members joined the committeethis summer. Nicholas Segura, TomasDavis and Matt Kriz illed one vacantseat and replaced members David Kroghand Rebecca Kelley. Te board’s reusal toreappoint Kelley to her seat proved to be acontroversial decision.“Rebecca had been serving as the SanDiego County axpayers’ Associationrepresentative since the passage o thebond,” said Chris Cate, vice president o the association. “Her term was up andshe indicated that she would be interestedin reappointment to the board. We senta letter to the district, expressing oursupport. Tis was prior to the release o their [reormatted] application. Once thesuggested appointments were brought tothe governing board, Rebecca’s name didnot appear.”Oversight Committee President David Adams has sat on the committee since itsinception.“Basically, the purpose is just to see i they’re spending that money right, thatthey’re not misspending the money andthat there is transparency there,” he said.Earlier this year the terms o threemembers o the oversight committee cameup or reappointment. Adams said Kelley’sailure to reapply or her position led to theend o her term, but he also said there mightbe something sinister behind it.“Te axpayers’ Association has made abig stink about getting their person back in, but then a union person got it,” he said.“My attitude is that there’s a hidden agendathat might be coming around the corner.Let’s ace it, all the teachers and everyoneup there, they’re all union people. So they’reall going to cover their union sides. I think the board is behind it. I know im Nader’sbehind it. He’s behind the union, big time. Why? I don’t know.”Cate said the axpayers’ Association hadsent their letter beore the new application was available and they never thought it wasnecessary.“ypically, they never ask you to reapply because they already know who you are,” hesaid. “You already lled out an applicationonce. But they changed the applicationand added a couple o dierent questions,so they elt she did not apply and was notconsidered.”Governing Board President im Nadersaid that Kelley ailed to submit anapplication on time and that was a actor.“Under the procedures that we haveor illing vacancies on the oversightcommittee, Denise Whittaker, thesuperintendent/president, recommends aslate o candidates to the board, and weadopted that recommendation. She madeher recommendations only consideringthose who applied.”Nader also said the loss o Kelley andKrogh rom the oversight committee was one o the reasons that he suggestedincreasing the size o the committee romseven to nine.“Former rustee Nick Aguilar and I wanted to expand it, but that was theminority view,” he said. “Te upside isyou can get more diverse participation. Interms o this latest round o appointments, we might have been able to get the beneto experience and get some resh blood atthe same time. Te downside, to be air, isthat a larger committee can be a little moreunwieldy.” Without that increase in positions, theaxpayers’ Association was cut out o theproceedings altogether. Kriz is a membero the San Diego Middle Class axpayers Association, a group which maintainsan unaliated web presence, but whoseFacebook page links it to several pro-unionand progressive political groups. Krizhimsel is political director o InternationalUnion o Painters and Allied rades,District Council 36 and Local 831.he oversight committee’s makeup was determined prior to opening orapplications in 2009 and one o the slots was set aside or a member o a taxpayers’association. Kelley’s politically-conservativegroup was the only one in existence at thattime. Kriz’s organization was launched on April 18, 2011, around the time that SWC was seeking applications or committee Marshall Murphy  Assistant Photo Editor  Tere is a new breed o drugs on themarket. It is a kind o drug you can buy indaylight, at local corner stores or online.Outbreaks o this drug are wreaking havocon users, causing cardiac arrest, nightmarishtrips and thoughts o suicide and violence.Caliornia politicians and law enorcementare teaming up to take down these kindso drugs in the state. Tey are syntheticdrugs known on the street as “spice” and“bath salts”Chula Vista Council member SteveCastaneda has been working or more thantwo months with Council member Patricia Aguilar and the Sweetwater Union SchoolDistrict to ban sales and possession o “spice” and “bath salts” in Chula Vista. TeOrdinace to ban possession will go beoreChula Vista Public Saety SubcommitteeOctober 12, 2011 beore it can go ontothe ull council. Assemblyman Ben Hueso representativeo the 79th District introduced Assembly Bill 486. he Bill tackles “bath salts,”a synthetic cathinone stimulant thatproduces a high similar to cocaine,composed o Mephedrone andmethylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). While Senator Ed Hernadez’s Senate Bill420 takes aim at synthetic cannabinoidpotpourri sold as “spice” which replicatesa high similar to marijuana, both bills would make it a misdemeanor to sellthe substances, punishable up to $1,000in ines or six months in jail. Grossly mislabeled, the substances are sold underthe guise o incense and bath salts. Bothare labeled “not or human consumption.”Ely McLaughlin, a 20-year-old videoproduction student at San Diego City College, started using spice and bath saltsater being sentenced to ederal parole. Athis highest point he was smoking more than300 grams o spice a month. Sold in pocket-sized canisters, spice resembles marijuana’sherb-like appearance. Standard sizeshold two grams but can be sold at largerquantities. McLaughlin said he has smokedbrands o spice such as, Armageddon, K2, X-rated, K2 Chronic.But there are negative side eects.“I eel dumber a bit, a little slow,” saidMcLaughlin. “Sometimes I have heatfashes and my heart hurts every now andagain.”Spice and bath salts have developed amythical air to them with tales o peopleexperiencing extreme psychosis, terriyinghallucinations and sel-mutilation.Dustin Bellis, age 23, a beveragemanagement major at University Nevada,Las Vegas smoked spice or two years,taking two month breaks every six months.He smoked brands such as Fat Cat Spiceand Pulse. In a three day period o timehe and his roommate would smoke 10grams. He smoked enough to build up atolerance, sometimes smoking enough toresult in hallucinations. During his timeso quitting he would experience withdrawalsymptoms.“Te withdrawal symptoms vary romperson to person but my side eects wereheadaches, intense heat fashes, extrememorning sickness, loss o appetite, extrememood swings and weight loss,” said Bellis.“Te worst o the side eects or me wasthrowing up oam. When I stopped every morning or about two weeks I wouldthrow up oam, which was painul anddisgusting”Synthetic drugs have been hiding in plainview. Only recently have politicians, parentsand school administrations in Chula Vistarealized the extent and danger o thisdrug ater the heavily covered case o theOlympian High School student who wentinto cardiac arrest on graduation day atersmoking spice.“Six months ago i you were to mentionspice or K2 I wouldn’t know what you weretalking about,” said Castaneda. “I thoughtK2 were skis.”Castaneda learned about syntheticsrom a segment on ABC’s 20/20. Littledid he know they were being used in hisown town.“hese synthetic drugs seem to bemimicking eects o PCP we saw in the80s and 90s,” said Castaneda. “We’ve hadpeople that have busted out o handcusand nd themselves non-susceptible to painand have spurts o super strength.”Part o the problem with spice and bathsalts is the constant evolving o the chemicaloundation.“Te laws have not been able to catch up with this substance,” said Castaneda “Tey constantly change the chemical makeup toskirt the law.”Manager Joe at South Bay Liquor pulledspice o his shelves or moral reasons.“I don’t want to have a mom come inhere and cuss me out because I sold her sonspice,” said Joe as he rings up a customer athis amily-owned store. He stopped sellingthe pseudo incense ater Joe did a littlehomework.“Tey don’t know what it is,” said Joe.“he irst time theDrug Enorcement Administration(DEA) put the ban on therst substance was the rst and last time Iever had it.”In March 2011 the DEA temporarily placed ive variations o spice into theControlled Substances Act as a Schedule 1substance, putting them in the company o Ecstasy (MDMA) GHB, heroin andMarijuana. O the ve substances, JWH-018, CP-47, and cannabicyclohexanol were included. On September 7 asimilar temporary banning was placedon three o the active ingredients inbath salts,Mephedrone, Methylone andmethylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). Stores do not card or traditional incenseand the same is true or synthetics and thisis adding to the controversy. Stores are Te Southwestern College Sun news Aug.17 - Oct.1, 2011—Vol. 55, Iss. 1 2 Chula Vista seeks ban on the sale of synthetic drugs M arshall M urphy  / staff DECEIVING DRUGS — Deadly synthetic drugs labeled as bath salts and potpourri are commonly smoked or snorted in“blunts” and “lines” like other illegal narcotics and target marketed to youth. Deadly compounds ofen available in localstores, sold to children near public schools N ickolas f urr  / staff DISSENTING OPINION — Proposition R Oversight Committee Chair David Adams said it was a mistake to replace two experienced members.  please see   Drugs pg. 13 Builder decries loss of oversight members SWC board replaced two on Prop. R committee over the summer  please see   Prop. R pg. 15 Free press, speech policiesapproved by SWC board By Ana Ochoa Staff Writer  Southwestern College’s AcademicSenate and governing board have beenbusy this year replacing ambiguous andoutdated policies that aculty leaderssaid provided loopholes or the previousadministration and board to abrogate reespeech and ree press rights o employeesand students.Freedom o Expression Proceduresor new Policy No. 3900 were approvedby the college’s Shared ConsultationCouncil, changing the old rules thatlimited reedom o speech to a smallarea by the caeteria. New procedures aremore in line with the spirit o the First Amendment o the Constitution o theUnited States, according to SCC member Angelina E. Stuart, SWC’s AcademicSenate President.“Tese new procedures allow anyone touse any portion o the campus as opposedto only having the ree speech areadesignated previously,” she said. “Tis willopen up our campus or students duringcollege hours, ensuring that they have avoice with their constituency.”Te Campus Use Request Form allowssta and students to reserve an area oncampus to engage in expressive activity as long as it does not interere withinstruction and campus activities.“he procedures or reedom o expression are another good step orward,though they do not ully address all o theissues raised by FIRE and the AmericanCivil Liberties Union (ACLU) o SanDiego and Imperial Counties,” said VicePresident o Programs or the Foundationor Individual Rights in Education(FIRE), Adam Kissel.In July the governing board votedunanimously to approve Policy No. 4500,Student News Media and JournalismPublications. his new policy litsrestrictions and adds protective measuresor the student newspaper, its studentsand advisor, unlike the two-decade oldPolicy No. 6063 which ormer collegeSuperintendent Raj K. Chopra, and VicePresidents Nicholas Alioto and Mark Meadows, cited when Chopra orderedthe newspaper to cease publication priorto the 2010 governing board elections.Te new policy states “the SouthwesternCollege Governing Board protectsreedom o expression and promotesideals o reedom o the press by thusestablishing this policy to collegenews media.” Procedures passed theSCC despite opposition rom someadministrators who did not want toallow the newspaper advisor nal say over selection o the printers, on-linehosting and other contractors. Proessoro Journalism Max Branscomb saidhe compromised where he could, butreused to concede that point or ear thatuture deans and student publications would again be vulnerable to threats andintimidation.“In the end the SCC did the rightthing,” he said. “We now have a sensiblepolicy and set o procedures to preventuture abuses and First Amendmentviolations.”Lindsay Winkley, ormer editor-in-chie o the Southwestern College Sun,said she is pleased the new policy is inplace.“Te environment was denitely pretty aggressive towards Te Sun, and there wasa lot o insecurity about us being able todo what we elt was within our rights asstudent journalists,” she said.She said students writing or Te Sun were in a position where they did not eelprotected by the SWC Governing Board.Policy No. 6063 allowed an oversightcommittee the power to approve and rethe editor-in-chie, but under Policy No.4500, this decision now rests ully onthe hands o the SWC Editorial Board,comprised o student editors. Aside rom new reedom o expression,Southwestern College students have theopportunity to repeat certain courses, with some exceptions.Students who wish to retake a courseater excessive Fs and Ws have a new vehicle. A policy called Course Repetitionand Course Withdrawal (No. 4225) wasdeveloped over the summer to allow students to submit a petition to repeat acourse, though they must demonstratethat they are now in a position tocomplete the course.“A subcommittee then reviews therequest and either approves or denies iton a case-by-case basis,” said Stuart. A student is only allowed two repetitionsor each course in which they have receivedan F grade, D or NP. I a student ends up with a W grade on a certain course, thestudent may only repeat it three times andonly ater proving medical emergencies orcompelling situation. Foreign Languageand English as a Second Language (ESL)courses are prohibited a single repetition.  By Albert H. Fulcher Editor-in-chief   April Fool’s Day was a good day or Proessor o Spanish Deana Alonso-Post. It was her irst day back teaching ater eight months o terriying illness andtenacious recovery. It was a perilous journey andnot the irst time she overcame catastrophic lie-changing events. A native o Mexico City, Alonso came toSouthwestern College in 1979, took English as aSecond Language and earned an associate degree inmathematics. She made Southwestern home againin 1995, this time as a newly-minted proessor. Within a year o her arrival an unthinkabletragedy hit.Her husband,the brilliantProessor o EngineeringDr. CostasLyrintzis, wasmurdered by aderanged studentgunman at San Diego State University in 1996 in acrime that shocked the nation. In an instant Alonso was a widow and a single mother o a one-year-olddaughter.She dyed her hair black and solemnly mourned herhusband or a year. hen during a stirring addressduring a memorial or Lyrintzis at SDSU on theone year anniversary o his murder, she pledged toget on with her lie. Even in death Lyrintzis was amodel husband and ather.“I I had not had that ull-time job and my husband had not provided us with good insurance,I would have lost my house and my lie would havebeen totally dierent,” said Alonso. Alonso rebounded to become one o SWC’s mosttalented and respected proessors. She authored twosuccessul textbooks and was voted OutstandingFaculty Member. Her daughter Soia was growingup a spunky and outgoing personality like hermother and a kind intellectual like her ather. Alonso was happily re-married to Frank Post, anSWC adaptive computer specialist with Disability Support Services.Lie was good or Alonso when tragedy struck again last year in August, shattering her lie andleaving her new husband, amily and the campuscommunity in shock.She underwent emergency surgery or an aneurismthat burst, spreading blood through her brain. Aterdays o headaches, nightmares and hallucinations, aperorated colon led to a second surgery, triggeringa stroke. Waking up the next morning, she oundhersel in terror.“I could not speak,” she said. “I could think inSpanish, but I could not speak a word o it.”Even with the headaches and hallucinations, shesaid she possessed all her thinking and considerablelanguage abilities, but the stroke prevented her brainrom connecting her language center to her speechcenter. She slowly began to speak in small words,but only in English.“I really panicked,” she said. “Inside my brain wasully working, but I could not tell anyone. I realizedI was stuttering and sounding like an idiot.”Her sister, Proessor o Spanish Esther Alonso, saidit began during a trip to Italy. She said her sisterhad problems with dizziness and had tripped twice.“We just thought she wasn’t paying attention,” shesaid. “When her husband ound out that she hadhad dizzy spells and allen, he insisted that Deanago to the hospital and ind out why these things were happening. he neurologist saw her and toldher we need to have surgery tomorrow.” Alonso’s doctor ound a nine-millimeter aneurism with a weird shape and a daughteraneurism attached. He told her i itburst she had a 30 percent chanceo living and an unknown chanceo keeping all her abilities. Decidingto go with the surgery, she wroteher amily and colleagues hopingor the best.“Ater having someone die in my lie, I know how diicult it is todeal with,” she said. “So I got allmy papers in check, gave them tomy husband, told him to take careo my daughter in case anythinghappened.” Alonso said Post never let her side. Without him she said she might nothave survived. Post did everythingshe needed, even changing thedressings o her open wound three times a day orour months while they waited or her colostomy reversal.“My husband was an angel,” said Alonso. “SoI believe I had an angel up above and down herelooking ater me. But it was tough.”Behind the scenes, headed into surgery, Esther Alonso said that it was Dinorah Guadiana-Costa,chair o world languages, who did most o the work to keep the classes going, relieving the amily to acethe crisis at hand.“It is amazing how ast you can solve problems when it is imperative,” said Esther Alonso. “It wasone day to the next without any preparation. hattells you how antastic the department is.”Guadiana-Costa said she did what she had to.“When she was going in or surgery, no one wasready or how things turned out,” she said. “hatis, that her aneurysm would burst in the middle o surgery and she would remain on the verge o deathor weeks.” Anguished day and night by her condition,Guadiana-Costa said she could not stop worryingabout Soia, Frank and her dear riend Esther Alonso. Guadiana-Costa said it seemed impossibleto start the new semester without Alonso.“I elt like a ghost coming back to classes — invisible, empty and lost,” she said. “I wentthrough the motions but they were rote and totally meaningless. She just had to get better.” Alonso did get better, but only aterseveral setbacks. With the horribleheadaches and hallucinations shethought people were there to sell herbody parts and believed her husband wanted her deported. Even though shehad just gone through the “hell o brainsurgery,” her perorated abdomen couldkill her, meaning another surgery.“I kept thinking, ‘his cannot be theend o me here’,” she said. “It was hardto have so much ear, but I did not break down. I was very strong. he whole timeI was in the hospital there was alwayssomeone with me, even every night. I was not alone or a minute.” Ater the stroke, she said she elt lostand the loss o her native tongue scared CAMPUS Aug. 17 - Oct. 1, 2011, Volume 55, Issue 1Te Southwestern College Sun 3 Albert H. FulcHer SWC negligentnot having anEmergency Plan TeHumanChord New life after a near-death experience f aces Immigration of    “My husband was an angel.I believe I hadan angel upabove anddown herelooking afterme. But it was tough.” Deana Alonso-Post Spanish Professor  E tEr D afnE E straDa  / staff  A CLASS ACT — Spanish Proessor Deana Alonso-Post (center) helps her students with a project in one o her Spanish classes. Alonso-Post said she believes that “work is play is work” and she creates diferent games where students can learn their Spanish vocabulary while having un.  W  hat happens when thousandso people on campus are letin the dark at SouthwesternCollege? Absolutely nothing. We have nosaety plan.Tere is no excuse or this. It is purenegligence. Tis is especially disquietingor a 50-year-old institution or higherlearning that has had its share o nearmisses in the recent past. Walking around campus shortly aterthe largest blackout in San Diego County history, I saw that aculty had no choicebut to make decisions on their own. Somegathered classes outside while othersimmediately sent students home. Faculty members did an excellent job in handlingthe situation as best as they could. Butthat is not enough in an uncertain,possibly dangerous situation.I somewhat expected to see campusleadership spreading the word that thecampus was closed, but I saw nothing.Most o them were just as much in thedark as the rest o us.Someone rom the college tweetedthe news about the power outage andeventually the closing o the campus, but with only 332 ollowers, it is not even closeto being an eective way to communicateto the 20,000-plus campus community.wo people walking the campus with abullhorn is a better solution than relyingon the college’s witter account.Some cell phones died immediately andsome maintained service but experienceddelays in getting messages and calls dueto system overload.In this day and age, emergency textmessaging systems like San Diego State’sare the quickest and most reliable way to reach a majority o the campuscommunity. It is highly unlikely that thereis any oce, classroom or campus acility that will not have at least one person witha cell phone that has texting capacity.My next-door neighbor works atMendoza Elementary School in SanDiego near Imperial Beach. Within 20minutes o the blackout all aculty, sta and parents were sent text messages, andschool grounds closed saely and orderly.She could not comprehend that SWChas no saety plan and expressed shock at the college’s inability to communicate with people on campus. She said badmanagement and poor planning is theonly excuse or this and was happy herdaughter no longer attended this college.Her daughter was in class at SDSU andcame home shortly ater the blackoutbecause the college has an emergency textmessaging system in place.Emergency text messaging is not theanswer to all emergency situations, but itis a good place to start. In dire scenarios,emergency text messaging is not theanswer i all service is lost. Tat is why itis called an emergency plan. Plans have tocover every contingent emergency.Scenarios involving earthquakes, res,predators, health epidemics and shootersneed to be planned, practiced andunderstood by every person on campus. With our proximity to the border, SWCneeds to address issues that many collegesmight not, like the recent collapse o scaolding at the San Ysidro/ijuanaborder crossing.It is ortunate in this case that it wasonly a blackout. I not or my android,I could have sat in the dark or a longtime, completely unaware o what washappening and what to do. In a situationlike this, aculty and sta could have justas easily led students out into the centero a major crisis, possibly even a shootingzone.Now that SWC has cleaned out itscorrupt ormer leaders and regainedaccreditation, it needs to get serious abouta saety plan. Former Campus PoliceChie Brent Chartier did not want theresponsibility, so the college needs to nda competent grown-up to lead the eort.Mother Nature has a temper and all thegreat engineering o man has faws. Beoreour next cascading blackout SWC needsto employ some cognitive candlepowerand come up with a workable emergency plan that is understood by all employees.Saety is job one, so it is time to get busy. Professor Deana Alonso-Post triumphs over tragedy  By Mary York  News Editor  College and community leaders rolledout the red carpet or new San Diego StateUniversity president Dr. Elliot Hirshmanand used the event to make a pitch orimproved access or Southwestern Collegetranser students to the region’s largestuniversity.Governing Board Vice President NormaHernandez hosted a ormal reception orHirshman in the Student Center. As SWCculinary students served tiny  hors d’oeuvres  ,local education and business leadersimplored Hirshman to keep SDSU’s dooropen to SWC transers.“We want to emphasize how importantlocal access is to our students,” said Denise Whittaker, interim superintendent, asshe introduced the guest o honor andthe evening’s theme o “collaborativeopportunity.”Hirshman, though non-committal,seemed very receptive and expressed hisexcitement over SWC’s enthusiasm andspirit.“What a sense o amily here,” he said.“What kindness people have shown me.”Hirshman addressed the gatheredaculty, sta, administrators, students andcommunity members, reminding them o the nancial obstacles colleges are acing.“We’re in a very special period…o economic challenges,” he said. “In responseto these we need to ocus on our corevalues.”Hirshman highlighted the values o pursuing excellence, the responsibilitieso institutions o higher education andthe partnerships that support and engagethe community.“It is a belie that is grounded in ourpotential, that working together ouraculty and sta can achieve great things,”he said.Claudia Duran, the Associated o Student Organization president, said she was pleased with the outcome o the event.“I hope that we really bring aboutoptions or more students to transer toSDSU,” she said.Many in attendance have close ties toSDSU and expressed hope or the uturebetween SWC and the university. John Brown, director o acilities and anSDSU Master’s student, was among those who support the political alliance.“I think SWC education is what denesopportunity a lot o times in this country,”said Brown. “It represents the Americanideal o people who want to betterthemselves. Our relationship with SDSU will help us get rom one point to the next.” SWC leaders urge new SDSU president to keep access open  please see   Alonso pg. 4 s Erina D uartE  / staff POINTING THE WAY — SDSU President Dr. Elliot Hirshman, guest o honor at an SWC reception, said he looks orward to a productive relationship with the college and South Bay community.  her most o all. She said little by little,she spoke more English and eventually the Spanish came back.“When I began speaking in Spanishit came stronger and better than theEnglish,” she said. “I believe it isbecause it is my native language andalways a part o my lie. It was amazingthat I began in English, but it was scary because I teach Spanish.”Esther Alonso said Deana was inally able to come home while waiting tohave the colostomy reversed. While Alonso recovered rom the surgery and the stroke, she started eeling illagain. She went back to the hospital orive more days, once again aced withdeadly consequences.“She had a bacterial inection thatruins your stomach and intestinallining caused by the colon surgery,”said Esther Alonso. “It was very dangerous and painul or Deana.She had lost weight through the priorsurgeries, but this was the one whereshe lost the most. When released romthe hospital, she started climbing outo the hole all over again.” Alonso said it took about threemonths beore she began eelingnormal. Going to a speech therapistand with a colostomy bag, she said shecame out o the hospital “like an oldrag, walking with a walker.” She saidshe lost more than 30 pounds on top o  wounds rom two surgeries and a severeinection that set her back.“It was very diicult, both physically and emotionally. I was just sodepressed,” she said. “hen they couldnot reconnect me because I had a hugetumor in my uterus.”It took our months beore the twosurgeons could work together. Duringthat time she got a huge cyst on herovary, once again in extreme pain andacing another surgery. She said she wasamazed that her current health beneitscovered it all.“But that surgery was good and I eltnormal,” she said. “It was hard, butnow I think my brain is between 95and 98 percent back.”For 20 days aculty ed her amily, Alonso said. Each day someone wouldbring ood to eed the amily or theday. She said her 76-year-old aunt cameto take care o her twice ater the irstand third surgeries.“My aunt is a swimmer, beginningat 15, and has won medals in herdivision,” she said. “And she is in bettershape than anyone. She would help mebathe. She made me walk every day, even when Istarted at about 10 steps ata time. Now I walk threemiles every single day.”Esther Alonso said it was “Deana’s personality,strength and tenacity”that sped her recovery.She said the tragedies andadversities that her sisterhas aced would have madeanother person give up,but her sister never losessight o her goals in lie.“Even when her husband was killed, she did not allto pieces because she hada 14-month-old baby thatneeded a mother,” saidEsther Alonso. “She isincredible. I those things would have happened tome, I would have crumbled.” Alonso said she notices small grammarmistakes or orgetting the right wordrom time to time, and experiencessciatic pain due to weakened muscles.“I am a ighter,” she said. “I amgoing to come out o all o this justlike everything else. I have my lie, my amily and my colleagues to supportme. I won’t take no or an answer.”She came back in April with areduced load or six weeks to see i she was ready to teach.“It was invigorating to me,” she said.“I love so much what I do, the minuteI got into the classroom I orgot all thepain, everything. So, this semester I wanted to come back with a ull load.It’s good to be home.”SWC has been home since 1979, shesaid, when her ather decided to movethe amily business. He sold everythingthey owned to make a home or hisamily. With the exception o her sister,the entire amily moved to Chula Vista.“My ather burned all the boatsleaving Mexico City, like any greatSpaniard would do,” said Alonso. Alonso said she came to the UnitedStates well educated, just inishing herirst year o university in Mexico City.Her parents went back home to Mexicoater a ew years because they couldnot recreate the liestyle they had therein Chula Vista. Her brother moved with his amily to ijuana, leavingthe Alonso sisters living in a tiny apartment. Alonso earned a bachelor’sdegree in mathematicsbecause she elt she didnot have a good commando English. Numbers, shesaid, are numbers.Her experiences as amigrant and an Englishlearner gave her empathy or SWC studentsattempting to learnEnglish without having aproper structure o theirnative language. Alonsoreturned to college toearn her Master’s degreein linguistics with anemphasis on secondlanguage acquisition atSDSU. She later earnedanother Master’s degreein English as a SecondLanguage.“I became ascinated inthe transition o going to English romSpanish,” she said. “I had gone throughit, but or me it wasn’t hard. I had a very good educational background and youtranser all o those skills with you. Youdo not have to relearn how to think, ororganize thoughts or an essay. But my students had a lot o problems becausethey had no skills in their native tongueto transer into English.” Alonso said she is a strong believerin bilingual education and givingstudents the language they already have, strengthening and solidiying theoundation o language to transer tolearning English.Beore coming to SWC she taughtat Castle Park High School, PasadenaCity College and Citrus College. Sheco-authored, along with her sister,two textbooks. Entre mundo and Invitaciones  . Ater many rejections andunwilling to give up, she published Invitaciones  with her own money andeventually sold the rights. It is now theoicial text in more than 100 collegeand universities in the United States.“Destiny has interesting ways o inding what you are going to need,”she said. Alonso said she did not want to bea “halway-there citizen.” She wantedto make sure the United States did notbecome like parts o Mexico where they do not protect their people. In August1987 she became an American citizen.“I wanted to be part o the people, tohave a say and this country has alwaysbeen so good to immigrants,” she said.“hose o us who want to work hardand do something. o be industriousand creative, this country has alwaysbeen there or us. It is just amazing.I think anyone who comes to thiscountry and works hard can. It is notso in other countries.”hrough all her trials, Alonso saidthe people in her world, her country and her home inspire her.“Lie has hit me pretty hard,” shesaid. “But it has also given me many blessings, my daughter and my amily.I have an awesome sister. And now Ialso have an awesome husband. hat isgood news. I believe I have been blessedall my lie by having people around methat make me a better human being.” Green thumbs up for garden event By Enrique Raymundo and MichelleRobles Staff Writers   While people around the world continueto talk about going green, Bill Homyak has spent a lietime doing it. His creation,the SWC Botanical Garden, is the region’sgold standard or green standards.Green thumbs had their moment inthe summer sun during Green Scene,Homyak’s homage to home gardeningand environmental sustainability. Sinceits creation in 2008, the Botanical Gardenhas put down roots.“Te whole idea was to have a gardenshow in the South Bay,” said Homyak.“It always seems like we’re going to DelMar and other locations that aren’t really convenient or people in the South Bay.”Vendors oered a wide variety o tropical plants, including an exoticsymbiotic ungus called Mycorrhiza thatgrows on the roots o a plant. Energy-ecient green technology products werethe talk o the event, including a quirky but popular eco-riendly rearm cleaner.“I bought the biodegradable gun-cleaning solution or my husband whogoes dove hunting,” said shopper SoniaFlowers.Project Wildlie taught attendeeshow to support local indigenous auna.    An eye-catching woodpecker attractedmore spectators, giving volunteersopportunities to give easy tips on goinggreen. Proessionals oered lectures onnative Caliornian plants, composting,and foral design.Local experts Dave DeDonato,recycling specialist or Chula Vista’senvironmental services division, andMark Valen, horticulturalist or the ChulaVista Nature Center, made a pitch orcomposting.“Composting is something anyonecan and should do,” said Valen. “SWCcould incorporate composting into itstrash operations and save money onlandscaping.”SWC’s Botanical Garden opened in2008 and is registered with the AmericanPublic Garden Association. Te Southwestern College Sun campus Aug. 17 - Oct. 1, 2011 — Vol. 55, Iss. 1 4 E tEr D afnE E straDa  / staff MASTERFUL  MAESTRA —  Multi-lingual and nationally-respected as a teacher and author,Deana Alonso-Post said she is thrilled to be back at SWC ater a series o lie-threatening illnesses. “I am a fghter. I am going to comeout o all o this just likeeverythingelse. I havemy lie, my amily and mycolleagues tosupport me.” Deana Alonso-Post Spanish Professor  P hotos   by s Erina D uartE  / staff GREEN MACHINE — Dale Rekus (above) o Mission Hills is a member o the Gardener Association o San Diego. Te group gives advice about home gardens, landscapes and pest management. (below) Copper fowers celebrate the creativity o garden art. (bottom let) Project Wildlie’s ambassador was an eye-catching, ear-popping woodpecker. Southwestern’s Botanical Garden is SouthBay center of burgeoning green movement Alonso : charismatiprofessor survives afrightening ordeal Continued from Page 3
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