Butt Out: The Great Smoke Out encourages students to quit smoking.

me-editBy Sheridan Martinez

Summit Editor in Chief

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year an estimated 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke and another 8.6 million live with a serious illness caused by smoking. On Nov. 20, Grossmont College’s Health Services Department step up to the tobacco industry and will be hosting an event called the “Great American Smokeout” in effort to help students quit smoking. The event will be held outside of Griffin Gate from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

According to Juliette Harrington, student health services specialist, this is the 23rd annual event. At the event, “quit kits” will be offered to students that include: helpful website resources, gum, candy, toothpicks and other things used to distract students from picking up a cigarette. Not only will there be information about how toxic all tobacco products can be, but there will also be information about vape pens, also known as electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes, which have become extremely popular among young adults. The main goal is to help any students who might want to quit for even just one day. Harrington is also working with Grossmont respiratory therapy students to hopefully offer lung capacity and oxygen saturation tests at the event.

According to thetruth.com, an anti-smoking website, only 9 percent of teens still smoke.

“Finishing the job will come down to you,” the organization claims. “Be creative. Enlist friends. Spread truth. Tell us what you need to finish it.”

If students have any other questions about quitting smoking they can follow up by looking at these helpful websites:

  • Cancer.org: The official website of The Great American Smokeout.
  • Thetruth.com: The most informational and factual website encouraging teens to quit.
  • Nobutts.org: A help hot-line, and lots of free resources available.
  • Ucanquit2.org: Has unique steps to help quit smoking.
  • Smokefree.gov: Helps you chose a plan and set goals.

Quitting smoking is possible, as thetruth.com commercials say: “Let us be the generation to put an end to smoking.”

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Opinion Piece Gamergate: Is it consumer activism or harassment?

Pheifer_DylanBy Dylan Pheifer

Summit Staff Reporter

Late last summer, one word entered the Internet lexicon: Gamergate. Started over disagreements regarding gender in video games, the name—and its hashtag—have developed into an ongoing saga that shows no signing of dying any time soon.

There seem to be two views about Gamergate: Detractors have described it as a sexist male backlash against women in the videogame culture. Supporters see it as “a pushback against cronyism and political correctness in the gaming media,” according to Cathy Young of reason.com.

In my opinion, “Gamergate” is a consumer revolt that began in August, when 10 different gaming magazines declared their readers all to be “dead” at the same time because of these publications’ prejudices about how gamers act. Some have pointed out that these articles aren’t just insulting to gamers, but also people who are white, male or mentally disabled. Because video game publications like Kotaku, Gamasutra and Polygon decided to insult their readers, their gaming audience responded with a campaign to get ethics into journalism. However, if you get most of your news from the press rather than independent research, you might think that Gamergate is all about harassment.

Anita Sarkessian, a media critic and blogger who is very prominent in this whole issue, said Gamergate is a movement trying to drive women out of the gaming industry—which is odd because the Gamergate has raised more than $70,000 to get women into the gaming industry. During an appearance on the Colbert Report, Sarkessian called Gamergaters misogynists and harassers who are targeting her, and has made statements   like Bayonetta — the female lead in the popular game “Bayonetta”— is a sex toy. Sarkessian claims to have received death threats that caused her to cancel a lecture at the Utah State University.

Proponents of Gamergate claim the media has sided with Sarkessian and other feminists in its coverage, and that doing so is unethical.

According to Grossmont professor Zoe Close, “Ethics is ethics is ethics,” meaning first you must address right and wrong.

“Whenever someone is gearing one’s actions to something that is not directly connected, one is doing something that’s wrong,” Close explained. “So what is the ethical way women should be represented in the media? The fact it’s a feminist group is secondary. The feminist angle does not override that.”

In other words, Close said, “everyone has to work with the same set of ethical principles.” She also said she disagrees with the idea that if a group is marginalized, it has “more rights”—either you’re telling the truth or you’re not.

In contrast, the progressive “David Pakman Show” gave an unbiased approach to the discussion, interviewing people from all sides: game critic John Bane, who is in support of Gamergate; Fredrick Brennan, the creator of 8-chan, a website on which many discussions about the topic have been posted; Brenda Wu, a video game developer, who claims she was harassed by Gamergate; and Arthur Chu, a blogger who is heavily against Gamergate. Pakman’s interviews had hardball questions for each of the players involved.

Banes’ words were redistributed in another video later this month, where he says this about opponents of Gamergate: “There are those that believe even in the nodes of social Marxism, the infiltration of progressive radicals, social justice ideas into gaming media and gaming journalism. Some people object to that, some people do not, and there are people in it solely because they feel alienated by the games media they trusted for so long, which really boils down to the ‘gamers are dead’ articles.”

Banes said he did believe there was a minority in the Gamergate group that “are in it to cause trouble.

“The only way to get past it is to focus on those that wish to discuss constructive issues and those who wish to make (the gaming) industry better, and freeze out those who do not,” he said.

As a part of the consumer revolt, Gamergate has had some success getting Mercedes, BMW, Dyson and Intel to withdraw support from these publications. However, the success of the revolt has been limited to that, and many forums such as 4chan, Blizzard Entertainment and Reddit still ban Gamergate discussion under the narrative that it is a “hate movement.”

But I believe that, like Young said, “This is an anti-authoritarian rebellion, not an anti-woman backlash.”

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Arab Film Festival comes to San Diego.

Totah_EliasBy Elias Totah

Summit Staff Reporter

All different types of films attract people from all around the world. People want to watch different ethnic films because it is interesting to experience something totally different than their norm.

The three-day San Diego Arab Film Festival is the ideal experience for just that. It will be held from Nov. 20-22 at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, with an additional screening held at UCSD on Nov. 25.

In its third year in San Diego—and 18th in the country—the event features eight films from seven countries. It’s co-sponsored by Karama: Arab and Islamic World Information Project, a Middle Eastern cultural group. In the last two years, the festival has been very popular, drawing in both people of Arab descent and people who are not.

The cost is $12 per show or $60 for an All Access Pass. The Nov. 25 showing of “It’s Better to Jump,” which is sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine, is free. It will be held in the Governance Chambers on the fourth floor of the Price Center at UCSD.

The film “May in the Summer” is rated R for some language. None of the other films have been rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. For more information, visit karamanow.org.

Festival Schedule

Held at Museum of Photographic Arts unless otherwise noted.


Thursday, Nov. 20

6:30 p.m.: “Rock the Casbah” (Morocco) – A family drama set in Tangiers as three sisters return from overseas after the death of the family patriarch.

8:30 p.m.: “Heritages” (Lebanon) – Tells the story of five generations of a Lebanese family that have fled wars or massacres from the Ottoman Empire to the Lebanese civil war and beyond.


Friday, Nov. 21

6:30 p.m.: “Giraffada” (Palestine) – Tells the story of a boy whose love of giraffes leads him and his father to sneak a giraffe from the Tel Aviv zoo to the West Bank’s only remaining zoo.

8:30 p.m.: “Pieces of Lives, Pieces of Dreams” (Algeria) – Traces the work of Algerian artist Mustafa Butajin and his view of the relationship of his art to the Algerian Revolution and other international political movements.


Saturday, Nov. 22

5 p.m.: “Ladder to Damascus” (Syria) – Follows a drama student to Damascus where she meets an aspiring cinematographer amid sounds of tumult and war.

7 p.m.: “In My Mother’s Arms” (Iraq) – Tells the story of a compassionate man in Baghdad who tries to help 32 children orphaned by war.

9 p.m.: “May in the Summer” (Jordan) - Successful author returns from the U.S. to Amman for her wedding when simmering conflicts between family members cause her to rethink her life choices.


Tuesday, Nov. 25 at Price Center, UCSD

7:30 p.m.: “It’s Better to Jump” (Palestine) - The ancient city of Akka, along the northern coast of Israel, is the home to a melting pot of Muslims, Christians, Jews and Baha’i. This film captures the spirit of Akka’s Arab residents and the leap of faith they make towards self-determination and a better future.

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Black Friday: Surviving this day of deals takes more than a little savvy.

me-editBy Sheridan Martinez

Summit Editor in Chief

Believe it or not, it’s already that time of year again. Christmas is nearly around the corner, and Black Friday is approaching even more ferociously.  This can be a great day to score awesome deals and kick off the holiday shopping season.

“Black Friday is the official beginning of the Christmas season and when I start my Christmas shopping,” said Grossmont sophomore Dallus Lanz. “My favorite things to shop for are Christmas sweaters and sweet-smelling candles.”

If you are an annual Black Friday shopper like myself, you most likely have a strategic plan you stick to every year. But if it’s your first time this year, or if you’ve been burned on previous excursions, here’s a list of tips to help prep for your Black Friday shopping escapade.

Research, research, research.

Find out ahead of time which stores are having huge sales, and more importantly on what. Try to make a list of your favorite stores, items and malls, and prioritize which is offering the best. This way you can make it a one-stop shop, instead of venturing all over the place.

Plan ahead.

Shoppers need to figure out exactly what they want, where they can get it and how much they are willing to spend. That is key to getting in and getting out without a scratch or without getting overwhelmed.

First come, first serve.

Just know if you are looking to make a big purchase like a television or other electronics, there will be a huge line. So if you want that amazing deal, you’ll have to plan to get there as early as possible. You aren’t the only one looking to score big on Black Friday, so keep that in mind when you are choosing an appropriate time to leave.

Don’t be out for blood. 

If someone else grabs that fancy laptop or television first, let it go. It’s not worth getting hurt over. A lot of injuries, angry mobs and fights occur on Black Friday, so make sure you stay away from all that. It won’t be the end of the world, so don’t be vengeful when Black Friday shopping.

So have a happy deal day, and stay safe Grossmont



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I Challenge You to a Duel: The dueling club brings sword fighting to Grossmont.

Pheifer_DylanBy Dylan Pheifer

Summit Staff Reporter

In mid-October, a student came to school dressed like he was going to fight the Scottish for the crown. He’s Alexander Drastal, one of the few officers of Grossmont’s dueling club, a group that meets to practice sword fighting.

When 2 p.m. came around, three more students had joined Drastal outside Griffin Center with two plastic short swords, two long swords and two foam shields. When things were just starting, students had also just started to get out of class, and many were happy to see the unique experience on campus, though only a few participated in the end.

The dueling club is unofficial because it lacks a teacher sponsor; however, its members are still able to gather on campus without issues from the school. Four people founded the club last year: Drastal, Raymond Benito, Nicholas Armes and Yoshi Fujikawa.

“The group used to have a lot of people but scheduling has slowed that a bit,” Armes said. “What typically happens is new people will join for one or two sessions.”

Last fall, Benito, the club’s unofficial founder, brought a couple foam swords and decided he should start a dueling club. The school administration has been quite tolerant of the dueling club. Other than telling the club members to mind the landscape so that the grass doesn’t die, the school hasn’t had issues with the group.

Alexander Drastal dressed up to duel Photo by: Dylan Pheifer

Alexander Drastal dressed up to duel
Photo by: Dylan Pheifer

The rules are very basic: usually people start in a circle and they cannot hit the face, neck or groin. Hitting anything outside of the limbs is a win, and, if struck in a limb, the participant loses the ability of that limb. In an official competition, such as the Society for Creative Anachronism or Amtgard, striking two limbs will also bring a win. In short, a limb is worth one point, the body is worth two—and two points would be a victory.

One of the dueling club’s members, Santiago has been learning how to duel for about a year now. He gave some tips on dueling, starting with the horse stance, with the body turned and shoulders relaxed, which is reminiscent of some styles of boxing. Drastal explained that the idea was to allow a person’s weight to do the work for them, demonstrating how much power he can bring to his sword with just a proper swing of the hips. Similar to many martial arts, the swordsman also went over blocking with a sword. He explained four positions of the sword that shaped a diamond, which let him have the advantage against a striking opponent by being prepared to intercept an attack, as well as provide an opening.  The final lesson was in footing, which was very simple: If you go left, start with your left foot; right, use the right foot; front, the front foot. Basically you use whichever foot you needed to step in the direction you want to go so that the stance can keep its integrity as you move.

The dueling club meets outside on the grass in between the Grossmont center and library every Wednesday at 2 p.m. The group is very inclusive and looking to gain new members as well as legitimize its status as an official club. To really understand dueling, you have to try it for yourself.

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Backstage Pass: Take a behind-the-scenes look at Grossmont’s Stagehouse Theatre.


By Dorion Billingslea

 Summit Staff Reporter

Tucked into the southwest corner of the campus, The Stagehouse Theatre at Grossmont Community College has been around for 52 years. The pictures of the five founding fathers – Martin Gerrish, David Weeks, James W Baker, Clark Mires and Henry Jordan – line the wall when going right into the theater, which houses more than 140 seats. Over half of the seats are engraved with names of people who have financially contributed to the theater. There are also lots of seats for disabled students, so anyone is able to enjoy the play.

A lot of people come together to make Grossmont plays come to life. Every instructor in the Theatre Arts Department has been educated all over the country and has earned their bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

Manny Lopez is one of many who makes that happen. He manages to supervise everything and everyone in the control booth. Lopez has been working at Grossmont for 10 years, and said he doesn’t intend to stop anytime soon.

Directing the plays “Kimberly Akimbo” and “Scapin” is Grossmont’s own Brian Rickel.

“It’s a six-week production,” Rickel said. “Everything and everyone plays a big part.”

It begins with auditions and rehearsals, which start at the end of the fall semester. Then all the directors come together to pick and choose who will be in certain plays, having call backs, or additional auditions to decide who will get the lead roles.

“I have this one female student that just blew me away, so I had her play the male lead of Scapin,” Rickel said. “It’s not supposed to be cross dressing or a transgender, just a woman playing a male lead.”

The Stagehouse Theatre Photo by: Dorion Billingslea

The Stagehouse Theatre
Photo by: Dorion Billingslea

When the parts are chosen for a certain play, then everyone meets for a table read, where they read through the script together so everyone understands the text or can ask questions about the words or lines. After all of the hard work and dedication from everyone it becomes “a running business,” according to Rickel.

For a play taking place in the 1800s or 1900s, costumes are a big part in the production. Esther Scankandunas is the head instructor and designer, helping to bring all the costumes to life. Before anyone makes a costume, a sketch is drawn on paper to determine what it should look like. When a costume looks completely finished on the paper, it begins to comes to life in hand and on stage, Scankandunas said. The department has hundreds of clothes to use for its plays, some which are donated from people who come to enjoy the plays.

Visualizing the background and sets is Michael McKeon’s job. He is new to the Grossmont program and said that so far loves what he does.

“It’s all a learning experience being able to teach to the students, but also being able for the students to teach me some things,” he said. Before coming to Grossmont, McKeon was in graphic design; however, he said he wanted to be able to be with people outside of the computer screen. McKeon and his students build many props with wood, creating a house or even a castle for a set, as well as all the little things that need to be built.

And whenever you need to get a ticket for any Grossmont play, Alexis Popko is your leading lady. She she sells tickets to anyone who needs some. “My job is to get people in; their job is to entertain,” Popko said of the performers.

The Grossmont Theatre is staffed by many pleasant and helpful people. If you have any time at all, then go check out one of the plays they put together for the community. The newest performance is “Scapin,” a play about when two rich men fall in love with two poor women and hire the help of the clever, crafty and possibly psychic servant, Scapin, to assist them in calming down their very angry fathers. It’s a comedy that is sure to give you a laugh.

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Friendsgiving: You can host a great turkey day, even far from home.


By Ruby Marquez

 Summit Staff Reporter

College students are on a budget, especially if they’re living away from home. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun, exciting and budget-friendly Thanksgiving—a fun turkey day spent with friends.

During this season, many stores offer deals that sound fascinating and like a fast way to save money, but students should beware some deals are just too good to be true. The most important rule to follow is always pay careful attention to the following steps, although the quantity of each food might differ depending on how many people attend.



First, make a list of the things you will need, from flatware to food. Don’t forget to include things that might seem obvious like napkins, plates or even cheap silverware. Make a list of people attending—and know if they are planning on inviting other friends. You wouldn’t want to run out of food.


Plan a Budget

How much can you afford to spend this holiday? Will friends be able to help out or split the cost in some way? After figuring that out, start researching stores and deals that they might be offering. Remember, coupons are a budget shopper’s best friends. Look for coupons on the Sunday paper or even the Internet—there are many sites giving out candy for the holidays.

Be Courteous

Start looking for food and drinks that to serve. Fast and easy finger foods are the best way to go. You can always Google recipes to cook, or try some of the ones included on the opposite page, courtesy of allrecipes.com. Beware, as a host, that many people have food allergies. It’s courteous to email or text guests to check if they have any food allergies.


Ask for Help

Being a host of a Thanksgiving event is time-consuming and stressful. Don’t feel overwhelmed—asking friends to help out is a great way to be efficient. And stick to your budget; don’t go overboard with things that are unnecessary. Even though some stores tout “deals,” it’s not always the best way to go, and students might end up spending more they ended up bargaining for. Also, cleaning up after people can be a hassle, so have everyone pitch in and have cleaning supplies available.

Hosting Friendsgiving is a great way to help those out who might not be able to spend time with their families. During this holiday, share your gratitude with friends


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Four Steps to Aztec: Transferring to SDSU


By Ruby Marquez

 Summit Staff Reporter

Students who are looking to transfer to San Diego State University must follow the San Diego State University tag, which is an agreement that allows students who have followed all of the procedures to be able to transfer. These students have priority transfer, which means they can achieve their academic goals at a faster pace. After students follow the tag, there are four steps to transferring wisely:


#1. Golden Courses

Starting off, each student must do the Golden Courses, which include Oral Communication, Written Communication, Critical Thinking and Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning. The four courses that are listed above must be passed with a C letter grade or better.


#2. GPA Requirements

Each major that a student is pursuing has a different grade GPA requirement. Students can visit the SDSU admissions website and check for their own major. Students have to have an equivalent or higher GPA than the one listed next to their desired major. The website also shows the type of degree for every individual major a student can receive.


#3. Gen-Ed Requirements

Each student has to complete his or her General Education requirements. For a list of requirements, students can go to the SDSU catalog. Students have to complete the 60 minimum requirements.

#4. Homework

Students need to make appointments with their counselors to see if they are in the right track into transferring, and students must research the school to which they’re applying for transfer, SDSU or not. The more information you have, the better.

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Give Back: Show gratitude this Holiday Season by volunteering.


By Ruby Marquez

Summit Staff Reporter

The holiday season is a time to think about all the blessings we have received, and to consider paying it forward. If you want to give back to your community, you can always volunteer for or donate to different organizations to make a difference and improve the community.

If you love reading, you can get involved with “Traveling Stories,” a non-profit organization looking for students who can read to children for at least an hour. It hosts readings in City Heights and in Linda Vista. People who don’t want to read stories can always become “Story Tent Pioneers,” volunteers who help set up the tents and aid the other volunteers. Being a Story Tent Pioneer does come with lots of responsibility, but the role shows commitment to helping children have a better future. To get involved, visit travelingstories.org.

Those who to give back to the community but don’t have enough time, can always help by donating used clothing. For example, “Gently Hugged” is a nonprofit that accepts clothing gently used by babies, from newborn to 12 months old. Students who have clothing for babies can always go to the organization’s website to find out where to bring clothes for babies that are in need. If you want to be more involved, you can always sign up on the website, gentlyhugged.org.

Now that you’re in college, you won’t need your old prom dresses anymore. Help out by donating them to “A Night to Remember Prom,” an organization that hosts a prom for high school students in San Diego county with special needs. Make someone feel beautiful just by donating the old dress that probably is in the back of your closet collecting dust. By donating, you allow these high school students to experience the prom of their lives. For more information, visit anighttorememberprom.com.

Giving back to the community doesn’t take much, but every kind gesture is going to make a difference. During this holiday season, don’t forget to give back.

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Splish, splash! The water fair makes an appearance


By Sheridan Martinez

Summit Editor In Chief

On Nov.4 and 5, the Water Fair took place here at Grossmont. Held in Griffin Gate, it was one of the first official events of the ongoing water project on campus this semester.

Students who were participating in the water project came together to present their projects based on one of four categories: Artistic Expression, Social Justice, Local/Practical Application and Conservation. The water fair had a wide variety of visual projects, from informational poster boards, PowerPoint presentations and even some video projects. Booths were set up for each category, with the students standing nearby to explain their research. For example, in the Conservation category, Grossmont student Johnny Ellington and his group created a poster board to show the difference between tap water versus bottled water.

Jacky Wadhams presenting her project on Local/Practical Application Photo by: Sheridan Martinez

Jacky Wadhams presenting her project on Local/Practical Application
Photo by: Sheridan Martinez

Amanda Seymour demonstrating Artistic Expression Photo by: Sheridan Martinez

Amanda Seymour demonstrating Artistic Expression
Photo by: Sheridan Martinez

Water project coordinator Tate Hurvitz said he was pleased with the event’s turnout: “We had a constant flow of students, faculty and staff coming through the room for the entire 10-1 window on both days. Several whole classes came to the event and hundreds of people filled out the multipage judging form.”

For any questions, info or to get involved the water project please contact Hurvitz at tate.hurvitz@gcccd.edu or visit the water project website, www.grossmont.edu/water.

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