United Airlines fallout from passenger ejection reverberates on campus

Ghila Andemeskel, biology major

By Christian Urrutia and Qing Huang

SF State—Many SF State students say they are upset and confused at United Airlines after a watching a video where a passenger was violently removed from an overbooked flight.

Cassandra Pena, a biology major, said she only heard about a passenger getting hurt by an airline. “I don’t know the reason why the guy refused to give up his seat,” She said. “But whatever, kicking out a passenger was unprofessional and made it serious.”

Ghila Andemeskel, a biology major, said the incident is a “type of class issue,” and the press is missing the point when focused on talking about what David Dao was doing in the past such as gambling.

“Dao is a citizen and showed he has paid the ticket,” Andemeskel said. “That’s the matter, and Dao’s past is no matter.”

Andemeskel said the apology from the CEO of UA was too late. “Before the incident, he said UA was the best airline and criticized others like Southwest whose service was bad,” Andemeskel said. “Now the incident has happened on UA, he needs to focus on the victim, and not talk about other airlines’ service anymore.

Zoology major Jocelyn Jones, 19, agreed with Andemeskel on the minor importance of Dao’s past before the incident.

She mentioned how in the coverage after the event occurred, stories were focusing on irrelevant facts.

“Before the airline issued an apology, there were stories where they were trying to dig up dirt from his past. Which I thought was completely irrelevant to the situation. Nothing to do with him being on a plane,” Jones said.

She added, “The airline seems like they’re trying to cover themselves instead of being sorry for what happened.”

“I don’t know the whole situation,” said Cat Myers, criminal justice major. “But enough to show I don’t like what UA did (in the situation); first, let a passenger book a flight but as a result ends up suffering on the plane.”

Also, she said she doesn’t like how UA sold too many tickets. If overbooked, their employee(s) should have tried to take another flight and avoid kicking out other passengers.

“It is really wrong,” She said. “I think the passenger will sue them.”

Sean DeRubes, a philosophy major, 21, said if someone is refusing to give up their seat after a money offer, maybe offer that seat to someone else. He said granted that wouldn’t be the fairest way, picking someone who is less assertive who would actually submit his or her seat.

“But it just seems kinda of a ‘Goodfellas’ Ray Liotta type-of-style move. It seems like they were bouncers at a club, it’s silly because they’re an airline,” DeRubes said.

“He bought a ticket and that’s how you return his investment, by knocking him out, that’s a little unfair,” DeRubes said.

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Sean DeRubes, philosophy major
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San Pablo city council votes to change immigration rule

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San Pablo councilman Arturo Cruz and mayor Cecilia Valdez listen to residents during public comment at the city council meeting at city hall in San Pablo, Calif., on Monday, March 6, 2017.

SAN PABLO—Before a vote was passed allowing local law enforcement noncooperation with federal immigration agents, Marisol Contreras described a common fear.

She started off by saying “oh think of me as your mother, or as your daughter or your niece or your grandmother and that you don’t want me to leave,… imagine if I was taken away from you by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) or how it would feel if certain members of your family suddenly left,” while addressing the council during March 6’s city hall meeting.

“I felt like I needed to speak, to be the voice of others that are not willing or can’t speak or are afraid to… [I] wanted to give them another story, I know there were a lot of parents there but a different point of view coming from a younger generation [could] impact them,” said Contreras, a middle college high school student.

More than 20 speakers voiced their concerns urging mayor Cecilia Valdez along with other councilors to amend a resolution regarding ICE authority and the role of San Pablo Police Department when enforcing federal immigration laws.

After extensive public comment was made for resolution 2007-056-Comprehensive Immigration Reform and Federal Immigration Enforcement, the council voted 4 to 1 vote to change the policy with Valdez, vice mayor Genoveva Calloway, councilmen Arturo Cruz and Paul Morris in favor of, and Rich Kinney against.

“Under this (current) policy the city council continues to resolve the enforcement of immigration laws as a federal matter and as stewards of the taxpayer’s money, it is not the role of city government to participate in this federal enforcement,” city manager Matt Rodriguez said.

Following discussion during a safety committee meeting on Jan. 31, the council discussed the current policy and considered an amended introduction to it, tabling it for Monday’s meeting.

This was in direct response in the wake of President Trump’s executive order, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, which was issued on Jan. 25, Rodriguez said.

“Today we face an upsurge of extreme conservatism, of nationalism, of xenophobia, of racism coasted as law and order,” said American Civil Liberties Union representative Antonio Medrano.

“We ask you to join the cities of El Cerrito, Richmond, San Francisco, Oakland, the community college system, Los Medanos, Diablo Valley, and Contra Costa College, the UC system…in noncooperation with ICE,” he also said.

Rodriguez said the state legislature has introduced several bills regarding immigration enforcement and reporting, specifically SB 54 sponsored by Sen. Kevin De Leon, introduced as the California Values Act to address immigration issues facing many Californian communities.

“In that legislation, if adopted by the California Legislature and subsequently signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown may impact your current resolution under consideration, if it becomes a new state law,” Rodriguez said.

Councilman Kinney said he was more partial toward hearing both sides of the immigration argument and stressed the importance of federal funds and how a conflict could arise, following this type of decision.

“We get a lot of funding from the [federal] government,” Kinney said.

Fellow councilor Morris tried to clarify the executive order by specifying that only undocumented immigrants with criminal offenses would be targeted.

“I want to thank you for bringing this resolution for discussion tonight in these moments of great anguish and anxiety; we require not only support from the city but also your protection,” said Gabriela Hernandez, a San Pablo resident.

Maria Alaquiera, vice chair of the West County Regional Group brought to light, what many of the immigrant community are feeling as a result of the current presidential administration’s rhetoric.

“We need to be protected against the discrimination and racism that is very present in our county right now.”

“We ask you as our elected officials to understand that the new administration has caused tremendous trauma in our communities,” Alaquiera said.

“Recent executive orders are causing anxiety, fear and frustration in our community,” she also said.

Medrano said, “We defend as we say in Spanish, ‘Los derechos de todos’ that’s our primarily concern.” “Whether you’re a citizen or not, everyone has rights.”

San Pablo resident Jan Poniter agreed with Medrano’s sentiments.

“It is a very scary time for an awful lot of people in this community and I think it is incumbent upon the city council to strongly state that they support our residents, every one of them,” Poniter said.

Contreras wanted the city politicians to envision her as a loved one to solidify her message.

“I wanted [them] to view me as family because this community is a family and family is supposed to have each other’s back,” she said.

With the vote’s outcome decided by the end of the session, the council’s decision was met with thunderous applause and cheers of “Si Se Puede” from the audience.

Hernandez said, “I know that a resolution cannot change everything but it sends an important message, that this city does not tolerate any hatred or discrimination, thank you.”

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Dozens of San Pablo residents gather to voice their concerns during the city council meeting at city hall in San Pablo, Calif., on Monday, March 6, 2017.

 

 

 

 

Passionate Editor Tries to Make Community Better through Writing

By Caroline Crisanto-Monge, Qing Huang, Christian Urrutia and Aya Yoshida

Writing, whether it is for a publication or just as a hobby, there must be passion. For Harry Mok, 48, what drives him to create content that matters are racial issues. Mok has experienced racial discrimination not once but twice in his lifetime. One time when he visited the emergency room for a broken thumb and another in junior high when a fellow student called him a “chink” will forever be ingrained in his memory.

According to Mok, many journalists write stories because they want to make the world a better place through their works. For him, the world, where he is particularly passionate about, is minority groups as he grew up within an Asian-American community.

“I guess that’s my motivation,” he said.

For four years, he managed an independent Asian-American news and culture magazine called “Hyphen.”

“Asian-American is hyphenated, but some people don’t use that hyphen that is sort of ‘hyphenated’ second class citizen, second class status, so the name was taken in that way,” he said.

Making a own magazine is hard, but this is his “dream job,” according to Mok.

Swaying ever-so-slightly on the balls of his feet, he humbly explains to students that to cover stories, you must figure out what is interesting. Find what you are passionate about and write about it with every ounce of effort.

For him, it was about mixed race issues and other factors that Mok thought he could add something and make a difference as he explains in The Harry Mok Project he wrote on Hyphen.

“It’s about the growing demographic that the community is talking about,” said Mok.

The topics Mok has tried to cover are what have been done before, what is interesting and what is new and what is happening now in the communities. He grew up in Woodland, Calif., where his family ran a Chinese vegetable farm. As he spent a year in China for genealogy program in grad school and saw where his family, he got familiar with the community. It is important to go in depth from different angles and he believes those stories show the full picture of human beings.

Currently, he is a part-time copy editor at San Francisco Chronicle and he always tries to get facts right and be accurate as the work of copy editors was introduced in an article by New York Times. Yet, he points out some issues in coverage, which he seek changing as a journalist: accuracy and lack of coverage about minority groups.

“I think not just Asian-Americans, African-Americans, Latinos, LGBTQ… media has a shaky history of covering sort of different communities,” Mok said. “That’s an issue within the industry is still ongoing.”

To address the issue, he monitors news media organizations to maintain the standard of accuracy and fairness in the coverage of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders as a member of Media Watch Committee of Asian American Journalists Association.

Despite the coverage of his online magazine is focusing on Asian-American people, Mok tries to cover the things that may not necessarily be associated with Asians or the Asian community. In journalism, it is about adapting to the situations in ways that may not come naturally. It’s about making that extra effort to speak up for yourself and your work.

“You want to work somewhere that you have the freedom and resources to tell great stories,” said Mok.

San Francisco State journalism professor Jim Toland said copy editing is, “a solid way to stay in the news business while also creating projects that you want to explore on your own.”

“You should be loyal to an employer as much as is reasonable but, in the end, we are all working for ourselves,” Toland said. “We owe it to ourselves to develop our own careers within the framework of ethical behavior.”

Although Mok generally likes every process in journalism, he is more likely to identify himself as an editor and writer. At this point, Mok smiles as he said this and added he’s better at writing than reporting. He said he was always good at writing since he had an interest in journalism.

The hardest story he ever covered in his career thus far was about talking to the families of a loved one who has just died. It was when he was an intern at Associated Press in 1999. He talked about his struggle during the interview and advised to students who may face the same problem in the future.

“Just be professional, ask your questions be respectful, be mindful what they are going through, but still try to do your job,” Mok said.

Also, he, as a journalist, told how to survive in the industry by referring to changes in the media world.

“I mean everything is changing so fast,” Mok said. “Just a few years ago, social media was not a thing when I was in college where there were not computers like this, so it is rapidly changing, so the need to keep up (involves) probably learning a lot of things I do not know right now.”

Including a master’s, he has three journalism degrees, from American River College, San Jose State University, and UC Berkeley. His journalism career began when he was a high school student and worked on the school newspaper. At the time, he also helped out a local newspaper called “Daily Democrat.” He remembers when the first time his story got to print on a “real publication,” and saw the byline, his name on the story, it was exciting.

Through his long career in journalism, he now has a new goal: working as a freelancer. As he has met a lot of people and built good connections with them, he thinks it would help his work in the future.

“I think it would be something like (using) my journalism experience: writing and editing experience,” he said about what he wants to do in the future. “I am open to different things: more journalistic and even more non-journalism (work) like the site for UC ideas, for example.”

Sixth grader dreams of judo championship, prepares for youth competition

By Christian Urrutia, Julian Espinoza and Qing Huang

To someone unfamiliar with judo, the Uchi Mata might more closely resemble a dance rather than a fighting technique. The inner thigh throw, as the move is more commonly known, involves the fighter grabbing his opponent, putting his thigh between his opponent’s legs and then pushing him down. In a competition performing the move successfully could automatically win the match, according to Martin Leung’s, who calls the move his favorite.

Martin is 12, a sixth grader at Richmond Charter Academy School, and an orange-belt in Genco Judo Club in Berkeley. Martin will be representing his club by participating in a judo tournament in San Jose on Feb. 19.

“I like judo because it teaches me self-determination, strength, and self-defense skills,” said Martin.

Martin’s uncle introduced him to judo and at his first competition last year, he placed fourth. Martin said he didn’t have much experience and felt everyone was better and had more knowledge of judo.

“Last year I got second place in my age group,” he said. “But with hard work and practice since then, now I am confident and hope to become first place this year.”

According to Martin, this will be his second time attending the annual tournament hosted by San Jose Buddhist Judo Club. Outside of the San Jose Buddhist Judo Tournament, he had previously entered two other competitions in which he had won a first and a fourth place award.

Since then, Martin has been practicing judo at Genco Judo Club for almost two years. To prepare for the upcoming tournament, Martin said he recently went to his judo club two times a week to practice for total four hours.

“My coach comes up with new moves once in awhile,” he said. “Every class consists of some gymnastic type warm-ups. After that, we do basic move practice before we begin sparring.”

“My most disliked move would be the Seoi Nage because it is a double knee drop move which is pretty complicated and easy to be defended,” he said. “Even though it may also be an ippon, but it’s not the best move.”

Martin said the competitions consists of four people in a pool who need to fight each other. The person with the most wins takes home the gold.

“The stand up spar is the formal way of judo and that is how we fight in a tournament,” he said. “There is a sitting spar, which consists of more chokes and neck holds. The stand up spar has more trips, flips, and moves.”

Martin is a second-generation Chinese-American. Judo is a Japanese sport but is closely related to Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Sambo, a Russian martial art. His coach, Dorjderem Munkhbayasgalan, is a Mongolian-American.

“My coach is preparing me to practice old moves that will be useful and very effective in the competition,” Martin said.

He estimated a few hundred people from all across the Bay Area will participate in this year’s tournament. Last year at the City College of San Francisco judo tournament, he won first place.

Beyond fighting in judo, Martin’s hobbies consist of playing the piano and drawing.

“Piano and judo have the same amount of difficulty and both require mental and physical strength,” he said.

He also said he enjoys playing video games. He said he is especially fond of Overwatch and Destiny, as well as Minecraft and Terraria.

“Also, I like to watch movies at the theatre and watch YouTube videos with my friends,” he said.



Despite rainy weather, students feel unaffected

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By Gabriela Cazares-Lopez, Caroline Crisanto-Monge and Christian Urrutia

Due to continuous rain, a flash flood warning has been issued in the San Francisco Bay Area by the National Weather Service.

The flash flood warning has also been extended to Santa Clara and San Benito counties and is expected to last through Tuesday night.

Yet, with the severe weather in the Bay Area, students still find a way to commute to and from school.

“It (weather) doesn’t affect my commute that much,” said Sophia Rahi, a child family science major, “there’s delays and it took me a long time to get to school but dress warm and leave earlier for school.”

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Other students said similar feelings about commuting to campus when the rain is at its heaviest.

“It doesn’t affect me much, I usually drive, and it does mean slower traffic because of the worse weather. “I don’t mind (the rain), people aren’t as careful, not as cautious but I don’t mind the rain,” William Wong, a zoology major said.

Communications major Marco Zavala said the rain doesn’t affect his commute, although wet and messy, he does not mind spending the $14 to get to school because he only travels to San Francisco State twice a week.

“If it was everyday (that I had to commute) it would be a different story,” he said.

Zavala also said he enjoys the rain especially in the Bay Area since it is always changing which, in his mind makes Bay Area weather unique and one of the best.

Other students do not have to travel as far to get to school.

For Cat Mendoza, a child development major, she is already used to the foggy nature of rainy weather from living in Pacifica, the rain is an inconvenience but only delays her trip by about ten to 15 minutes.

Although Ciarree Parker does not have the same luxury as Mendoza.
“I commute on BART, so it’s a hassle when it’s raining,” the criminal justice major said.

Parker said the fact that it’s wet, foggy, long lines and the hour and a half commuting time, generally discourages her from going to school.

“I generally try to avoid the rain but I have to come to school,” Parker said.
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