Fire breaks out on Grossmont Campus!

By: Sheridan Martinez 

A small landscape fire broke out last night, Sept 7. The fire took place  on campus between Building 31, and The Child Development center, according to President Sunny Cooke. Luckily there was no damage caused by the fire and it was diffused immediately, thanks to CAPS, the fire department, facilities and local sheriffs. Thanks to all!

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Dare To Prepare: Emergency preparedness for earthquakes


By: Lea Brannon

    Avalanches, tornadoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, monsoons, storms, wildfires, and volcanic eruptions, are all forms of natural disasters. Earthquakes however can pose a major concern for students and residents living in southern and even northern California. Students and their families do not have to be ultimate preppers to be prepared for an earthquake. Luckily creating an earthquake preparedness plan is easy, affordable, and doesn’t take that much time.

    Step #1: If an Earthquake occurs

  An individual is recommended to drop to their knees so they don’t fall. As quickly as possible they should cover their head and neck with their arms while seeking shelter underneath a sturdy piece of furniture, if possible to avoid serious injury. If indoors during an earthquake, it is suggested to move away from windows or glass that could shatter and when driving it’s safest to pull to the side of the road until the shaking stops.

Step #2: Create a meeting spot with friends and family members

  Shakes can be frightening to some, and having a spot to meet up with somebody close can be comforting and important if a large scale earthquake ever occurs. Make sure when choosing a meeting spot that the location is safe from large trees or anything that could fall either indoors or outdoors. Having a portable or hand cranked radio available to listen to the news of the quake or possible damages could be a wise tool to invest in as well.

Step#3: Protect your home and personal assets

       One very important step that students can take to protect themselves is to secure any large or possible unstable pieces of furniture in their living quarters or homes. This could be as simple as securing large picture frames onto walls instead of letting them hang by a single wire, or screwing dressers and bookcases into the wall so they will not fall over in an earthquake. It is advised that students should familiarize themselves with their appliances such as home stoves, so that they know how to check for gas leaks or any other potential flammable items around their homes, or living areas. This includes understanding how to use a fire extinguisher if a fire were to start for any reason. Students should also keep in mind that flashlights are safer than candles if the power goes out, especially when checking for things such as gas leaks.

  Step#4: Buy or create first aid & Earthquake Survival kits

 A first aid kit could be of use for almost any minor harmful injury, whereas an earthquake kit could be the difference between a possible life or death situation. This is because an earthquake kit should include enough water per person in a household, for three days at least. Included in this kit should also be enough food for three days and a spare change of clothes as well. The kit needs to have current medications in it for anyone who has some kind of medication that needs to be taken daily, and it should also have epee-pens in case of an allergy in it too. This doesn’t mean every kind of vitamin, supplement, and health related item should be included for “the big one,”   that many people have been talking about in terms of quakes. It just means that all prescriptions should be as current as possible, and things such as baby medications and inhalers should be remembered as well, if they are needed.

  Talk of the world ending, or California breaking off into an island from one big quake, has not been fully agreed on by scientists as something that could realistically happen. Sometimes students may find themselves struck with a tad bit of paranoia from all the earthquake talk that could be going around. A wise thing students may want to do to prepare could be; creating a plan for safety, spending a few minutes to talk to friends and family about earthquakes, and possibly buying or making a first aid and earthquake kit.

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Divergent : A Movie Review


By: Lea Brannon

The movie “Divergent,” takes place in a society where figures of authority are in charge to prevent war and ensue peace in a dystopian setting.The movie follows main character Beatrice and how she must decide to conform to a “faction,” her society places every individual in.

In Beatrice’s city there are six groups of factions; Candor, Erudite, Abnegation, Amity, and Dauntless. These factions all have different purposes, but are symbolic of teamwork and peace so that survivors and younger generations in the city, don’t re-create past catastrophes that killed many people.

Throughout the duration of the movie viewers find out that Beatrice is “Divergent,” meaning she’s multi-talented and a threat to her society. She picks the Dauntless faction, which is for those who are brave and in charge of protecting what’s left of the city of Chicago. The movie goes into depth about the challenges Beatrice must overcome and the corruption of her “seemingly,” functional society.

Divergent movie poster Courtesy of

Divergent movie poster
Courtesy of

The movie did really well capturing audiences attention in the beginning of the film, and posing a real dilemma towards the characters’ life. sight From there the story seems set and seems to slow down a bit. The whole movie was pretty fast moving with only a few slower sentimental moments.

In the dystopian mind set that the movie was in everything Beatrice does seems like a revolution against evil , but in practical terms there’s parts of the movie that seem unrealistic. However this may not distract viewers as finding the movie enjoyable.

Overall the Movie “Divergent” is capturing. It’s woven with a few positive moral ideals and themes.


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Best for last: Alice in Wonderland Review


By: Gaby Rodriguez

Alice in Wonderland was performed May 8-17 at the Stagehouse Theatre as the Grossmont Theatre Art Department’s last performance of the Spring semester.

A dazed Alice, played by student Heather Armstrong, wakes up to a fantasy world and finds herself responsible for some stolen homemade baked goods expected by the Queen of Hearts.  Alice must find the goods to ensure Mr. White keep his head!  A journey to find the stolen goods’ thief leads from one scene to another, as she strives to show off her knowledge from school, and is confronted by the whimsical characters that disregard her logic.

Alice learns to get on “Queenie’s” good side, as a comical scene shows her distracting the Queen of Hearts from opening the baked goods’ empty container and realizing they are missing.  Alice encounters allusion after allusion, as she tries to solve the characters’ impossible riddles.

Alice promotional Poster Courtesy of Alexis Popko

Alice promotional Poster
Courtesy of Alexis Popko

The play held a steam punk theme, a theme of science-fiction featuring advanced machines based on steam power of the 19th century.  The props included this style as they were cranked across the stage, and the fashion of the costumes had a post-Victorian and funky style.  Alice, feeling like the only normal one, begins to realize that this is a never ending conundrum, until the thief confesses and blurts out his crime.   Dramatic, colorful lighting conveyed the puzzled mood of Alice, as the Queen demanded he be beheaded and Alice drifted back to reality.  Reality? The wonderland characters would say, “What is life but a dream?”

On opening night, the Theatre Department held a special commemoration before the play for one of the founding fathers of the Stagehouse Theatre, Biff Baker. Baker was acknowledged for 20 years of work at Grossmont; his reward was given to his son Jesus Bnajas. David Weeks was also honored before his retirement after 34 years of work for the Theatre Arts Department.

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From the Advisor’s Desk— 2-Years & 16 Editions: Time to say Good-Bye and Thank You

Commentary by Dr. Evan C. Wirig

In the words of Jerry Garcia, “What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been”.    When 3 of the 5 full-time faculty retired 2-years ago, the responsibility of teaching and advising the newspaper and the radio station fell on my shoulders.  I’ve been teaching and advising the radio program here at Grossmont since I was hired in 1997.  Having years of broadcasting experience in radio and TV, specifically as a news director, editor and producer, the powers that be thought it would be just a stone’s throw away to teach newspaper production.

I have never worked in the print industry, and as any journalist will tell you, the differences of writing for space in the inverted pyramid style for print, is vastly different than writing for time in the keyhole style for broadcast.  Needless to say, I needed help.  Fortunately, help came in many different ways.

After sending an S.O.S. to my contacts in the Broadcast Education Association, many of them told me to join the College Media Association.  The CMA runs a “boot camp” for new faculty and advisors for various student media.  I asked for some travel money from our VPAA and Dean Steve Baker and they generously provided me the opportunity to go to the boot camp.  So,  Thanks go to several of my BEA Colleagues, Dean Steve Baker, former VPAA Blanchard, President Cooke, Chancellor Miles and the GCCCD Board for permitting to attend the boot camp!

I learned quite a bit at the Poynter Institute during the 4-day boot camp.  While I was still a bit tentative about teaching newspaper production, getting out the paper on a monthly basis and dealing with advertisers, I had plenty of resources from across the country to help me.  So Thanks go to CMA!

Another issue was making sure the paper and stories also got published on our WordPress site.  The previous advisor used his own monies to put The Summit on-line.   Vice President Tim Flood did an amazing amount of leg work, contacting and collaborating with BlueHost and WordPress, and the college was able to transfer the site to the College and Summit.  So, a BIG Thank-You to the work of VP Tim Flood!

Another issue was learning the Adobe software necessary to produce the paper. I am skilled in many different media programs, but I had never used Adobe InDesign.  I needed more training.  Fortunately, The CTE Dean and her Administrative Assistant came to my rescue.  We were able to subscribe to and I was able to get the on-line training I needed to learn the basics of InDesign.  So Thank You’s go to Dean Christina Tafoya, and Anita Martinez.

Collaboration is a key element to a successful organization.  President Cooke wanted the Director of College and Community Relations to work with the Summit.  We had the pleasure of working with the former Advisor of the Summit, Don Harrison, who took on the role of Community Relations Director for a time, and now we work with Lorena Ruggero.  Our connections between the two areas have been very beneficial.  So, Thanks go to President Cooke, Don Harrison and Lorena Ruggero.  Also, thanks go to the many different faculty, administrators and staff who willingly gave their time to be interviewed by the Summit staff.

Still, what is student media without students?  I must say that for the most part, the students enrolled in the student media areas are some of the most dedicated and goal oriented students at any college or university. I was fortunate to have some stellar and dedicated people serving in the roles of student editors.  Both John Weber and Sheridan Martinez displayed great leadership in their non-compensated peer-to-peer roles as Student Editor-in-Chief.  They helped lead and manage the student staff and helped in getting a good product out to the newsstands as well as on-line.  So a BIG Thank-You to all the students who participated in MCOM 132 ABCD, and especially to John and Sheridan.

Next semester, MCOM’s new Journalism Full-Time Faculty member will take over the newspaper.  I am extremely excited to see where the paper will go and how it will evolve in the digital climate.  I will return to my “normal” teaching duties of audio/video/mass media next semester as well as serve as the Chair of MCOM.

I learned quite a bit as the Advisor for the Summit.  I made some great professional and academic contacts, contacts with the State Chancellor’s office, advertising representatives and various regional emergency personnel.  Sure there are some things I could’ve done differently, but despite the apprehensions I had 2-years ago about of teaching the class and advising the paper, I would say I would not have missed it for the world.

Thanks to our readers for all their support and be sure to participate by reading the Summit and listening to Griffin Radio!


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Japan Club Recap

IMG_0778By: Lea Brannon    

On May 13th The Japan Club held a free event at the Griffin Gate. Students had a chance to try traditional Japanese foods, eat ice-cream, and watch a calligraphy demonstration.

Japan Club Poster Photo by: Lea Brannon

Japan Club Poster
Photo by: Lea Brannon

  Ryan Jones, a student at Grossmont, helped set up the Japan Club event. The goal of this event was to get more students introduced to the club as well as spark interest in it. According to Ryan “Japan club met three times a week during the semester. I would bring in simple lesson plans where people would get experience speaking with one another, & use tools from“ Japan club also watches a few movies Ryan explained, so that students could better understand the culture and have a chance to really hear how the language is.

  Although many clubs at Grossmont have concluded events for the year it’s never too late to start thinking about new opportunities and which groups to join in the fall semester.


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Godzilla: Movie Review


By Mike Johnston

Godzilla stomped into theatres May 16th, then promptly tripped over a small building and fell flat on his reptilian face, crushing audiences’ expectations. At just over two hours, Godzilla spends the first hour attempting to establish a plot and anticipation for Godzilla’s grand entrance, but fails to do so.

The first hour of the movie revolves around Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Joe, Ford’s estranged father, (Bryan Cranston) trying to discover the real reason for a nuclear power plant accident that resulted in the death of Joe’s wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche).  Conspiracy thickens when Cranston and Johnson hatch the secret. A gigantic flying, insect-like, nuclear energy eating monster! Classified as M.U.T.O. (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Object) by the military personnel.  With the monster villain introduced and second hour in full swing the race is on save humanity.

The hour-long build up left the audience impatient and bored, rather than intrigued. If director Gareth Edwards wants to pull a ‘Spielberg’ and not show me the shark for an hour, the dialogue better be interesting or ominous! The score should establish an eerie tone, not beat the audience over the head with bombastic horns.  Also, Godzilla should be scary! Not once did anyone scream during the screening.  It seemed like Edwards was trying to make two movies into one.

Once the monster eye candy is on screen and destroying buildings, Godzilla becomes entertaining. Where the movie succeeds is in its visual effects. But even the monster’s design is unoriginal. The M.U.T.O resembles a cross between Cloverfield and the arachnids from Star Troopers. It’s ironic that the original monster disaster movie lacks originality.

Godzilla Movie Poster Courtesy of;

Godzilla Movie Poster
Courtesy of;

Godzilla also has no real villain. Yes, the M.U.T.O. are threatening humanity; but there is no motivation or personality present. The filmmakers missed an opportunity to make Ken Watanabe, who plays Dr. Ishiro Serizawa, a scheming evil scientist.  A voice that delivers grandiose one-liners such as “Let them fight,” would have been more successful delivering villainous monologue.

Cranston is underused as well. His character is basically Walter White sans bad-assery!  Instead what is left is a meek character with no edge in Joe Brody.

Taylor-Johnson is a serviceable action hero and had good chemistry with his on-screen wife portrayed by Elizabeth Olson. The performances in Godzilla were by no means sub-par; rather the performances were not supported with strong substance.

So is the movie worth the $12.50 for admission? Kind of. I suggest go to the matinee and maybe show up late after lunch to watch the awesome action sequences.

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East County family fun day at Grossmont College



By: Erica Ramirez

Grossmont College hosted the East County Family Fun Day on May 10, 2014.  The free event was presented by The Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges, and featured the premiere of the “Give the Dream” music video.  The video, designed to encourage people to donate to the Foundation, featured students and community members having fun and rallying for education.  The video was presented on the big screen in Room 220.


Guests could have their hand stamped after watching the video and then enjoy the festivities in the quad for free.  There were several booths set up featuring face-painting and balloon animals, and paramedics from American Medical Response had an ambulance and stretcher set up and gave free demonstrations of life-saving procedures.  A 50-foot rock wall was assembled for climbing, and several gourmet food trucks offered a fine family lunch at a reasonable price.

Rock climbing wall at East County Family Fun day Photo by: Erica Ramirez

Rock climbing wall at East County Family Fun day
Photo by: Erica Ramirez

The Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges provides emergency financial assistance to students.  John Valencia, Associate Vice Chancellor of Advancement of Communications and CEO of the Foundation, is very excited about the work they are doing and the assistance the foundation can provide.  “It’s all about community,” says Valencia.  “We don’t like to see people drop out of school because of an unexpected financial hardship.”

Grants of up to $500 have been offered to Grossmont and Cuyamaca students who have demonstrated a need, such as medical or dental crises, unexpected car repairs, or to replace a temporary loss of income.  Fundraising efforts continue throughout the year.  Mr. Valencia hopes the “Give the Dream” video will encourage people to donate, and looks forward to more community events.  “We are very excited about the video and spreading the message,”  he says.  “Everyone deserves the chance to get a college education.”

The Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges can be found on Facebook, and more information about the Foundation is available at

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Ex-gangster shares his story as an author


By: Gaby Rodriguez

Activist and author Luis J. Rodriguez gives Grossmont students insight on his life-changing experiences as an ex- Los Angeles gangster.

The Grossmont College English Department’s creative writing program hosted “La Lucha de la Literatura” [Fight of Literature] as the last presentation of the Literary Arts Festival on May 1st at the Griffin Gate.  The Festival, a week-long series of organized events to celebrate literature on campus, had Luis J. Rodriguez as a guest speaker to tell his story.  Rodriguez, Latin author and speaker, has written award-winning books that are now used in jails, juvenile halls, and have even been banned, such as “Always Running”.

“Always Running”, and its sequel, “It Calls You Back” are some of his hyped books of vivid detail on gang life, addiction, and the redemption of overcoming that lifestyle. Having joined a gang at age 11, Rodriguez lived a dangerous life that led him to drug addiction, violence, and gang activity. Rodriguez explained that he had always felt a feeling of injustice.  It was a constant thought that lingered in his mind, unheard or unspoken of. At age 18, Rodriguez found how to fulfill this empty thought of injustice.  When being sentenced and having Heroine withdrawals, he recognized this as a turning point.

Luis K. Rodriguez speaking at the Literary Arts Festival. Photo by: Gaby Rodriguez

Luis K. Rodriguez speaking at the Literary Arts Festival.
Photo by: Gaby Rodriguez

Rodriguez spoke about his journey as a writer, and how writing helped him replace the intensity of gang-related activity with a more positive intensity to revolutionize society.  “A lot of my English teachers told me I would never amount to anything… I wish I could show them all my books!” Rodriguez claimed he had been writing poems even before his fame, such as one that he shared with his audience, “Calling”, written at age 16, but his writing began to fulfill the purpose to cure this injustice that he knew. After becoming a speaker to many inmates and teens in juvenile halls, he came across people who would spend the rest of their lives in jail, and still felt the compassion to speak to them about redemption and finding purpose.

Rodriguez said he was inspired by revolutionary idols such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.  He brought their success to the audience’s attention to show how he related to these figures; he held a purpose now to change the way people think and to not be accepting of unjust social norms.

He emphasized his goal as a writer saying it is “to get the story out there and fight for everyone to be heard”.  And his audience was all for this idea as Rodriguez received various applauds.

“You don’t have to stop being who you are to be your most educated and highest self”, Rodriguez encouraged his audience to stay true to themselves as they overcome their own trials.

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Annual Pug Rescue Party at the Delmar Fairgrounds


By: Roddel Abalos

The Pug Rescue of San Diego County hosted the 23rd annual pug party at the Del Mar fairgrounds May 3rd 2014. This year’s theme for the party was “Back to the Future”. The Pug Rescue of San Diego Group organized the event and has been hosting it each year since 1991. The Annual Del Mar Pug Party was one of six events the group hosts throughout the year. The other events consists of a Halloween party, a “Pugtoberfest”, a Christmas Party, a “ Hugs and Kisses” party on Valentines Day, and a St. “Pugtricks” day.

At the Pug Rescue Convention Photo by: Roddel Abalos

Pugs at the Pug Rescue Convention
Photo by: Roddel Abalos

The Annual Del Mar pug Party was an exciting, unique, and fun event for pug lovers and dog lovers in general. The event had many different vendors for pug owners, and other dog needs from pug theme T-shirts, an ask the vet booth, pug adoptions information, and a booth where owners could dress up their pet in a costume and get professional photos. Every half an hour there was a contest being held for the owners who dressed their pug up interpretation of the theme. Prizes were given away to the best female, male, and baby pug dressed interpretation of the theme. Along with the costume contests, there was also a “Pug Stars” talent show, a wet T-shirt contest, and a cupcake-eating contest. The next Pug Party the PRSDC will be hosting is the “Pugtoberfest” in October, for more information on upcoming events visit their website at

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