The Importance of Voting in the 2018 Colorado Primary

By Ezra Ekman

If you are attending college, you are most likely under the age of 30, and your voice is the least likely to be heard.  The issues that matter most to you may, instead, be decided by others. But you can change that if you register to vote on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website between now and June 26. Then vote in the primaries held on June 26. Yes, you can register and vote on the same day.

Historically, younger voters have held one of the smallest percentage of voters overall.  Census.gov shows that voters 45 and older have consistently held the highest rate of voting (71 percent) since 1980.  By contrast, voters under 30 only vote, on average, 46.4 percent of the time.  The result is that the interests of voters under 30 are vastly underrepresented by Congress and our state officials.  This also means the issues most important to voters under 30 are the least likely to be supported.

But that can change this year!  You can make a difference by casting your ballot in the primaries on June 26 to determine who will be governor for the state of Colorado and decide on specific ballot measures.

Some of the issues state governors can affect include:

  • Funding for education, including full-day kindergarten and preschool
  • Broadband infrastructure and protections for net neutrality
  • Gun legislation
  • Healthcare
  • Energy
  • Environmental protections
  • Minimum wage, employee protections and the economy

Some of the measures on the ballot include:

  • A repeal of an exception to the ban of slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime
  • Shortening income tax forms and removing criminal penalties for tax violations
  • Increasing the minimum distance for oil, gas and fracking from playgrounds, parks and open spaces (from 500 feet to 2,500 feet)
  • Requiring easily-accessible price lists for healthcare services from healthcare providers
  • Reducing the maximum interest rate on payday loans (from 45 percent + 7.5 percent over $300 + fees to 36 percent maximum)
  • Allowing larger aggregate donations to candidates when a single candidate receives a single donation over $1 million

Your political affiliation, who you plan to vote for or issues important to you don’t impact the importance of your vote.  What matters is that you do vote.  Your voice matters.  Your opinion and participation matters.  If you don’t vote, you give up the right to your opinions and desires to those who do vote, because the people who vote are the people who decide.  If you want to decide, you need to vote.

Don’t wait.  You can register to vote in just a few minutes on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website.  The earlier you register, the less likelihood you have of a mix-up at the voting booths on June 26.  But if you can’t register until the day of the vote, you can still do so at your polling location.

Speaking of polling locations, all general, primary, odd-year, coordinated, recall and congressional vacancy elections are now conducted by mail ballot.  If you were registered to vote prior to this year, your ballot should have been mailed to you already. However, if you haven’t received your ballot or you would prefer to vote at a polling location, you can find your voting location by filling out this short form and then clicking the “In Person Voting” tab on the next page.  You can also view when your ballot was mailed by clicking on “Ballot Information.”

So register, and then get out and vote!  Your voice is the most under-represented, yet can be the most powerful.  If you don’t, your voice will be silent, and others will make your decisions for you. But if you do, you can help decide the future of Colorado.

Hunger Banquet-Pt. 3

The Rocky Mountain Room was humming with activity on April 25, as students and parents arrived to attend the fifth annual Hunger Banquet. Those who attended heard students speaking about hunger, not only in the physical sense, but also in the intellectual and spiritual standpoint. Over the course of the spring semester, the students from Kristina Kahl, April Lewandowski and Kelli Cole’s classes learned how hunger and food insecurity affects college students on a day-to-day basis.

By Madison Otten

This article is part three in our four-part Hunger Block. Read parts one and two.

The Rocky Mountain Room was humming with activity on April 25, as students and parents arrived to attend the fifth annual Hunger Banquet. Those who attended heard students speaking about hunger, not only in the physical sense, but also in the intellectual and spiritual standpoint. Over the course of the spring semester, the students from Kristina Kahl, April Lewandowski and Kelli Cole’s classes learned how hunger and food insecurity affects college students on a day-to-day basis.

Cole, Kahl and Lewandowski combined efforts to teach their students the effects of hunger in college. The students from two English composition classes taught by Lewandowski and Cole spent several weeks learning about hunger and food insecurity in their communities. The Hunger Banquet is the culmination of the students’ hard work and research over the semester.

Joey Rodriguez, a student presenting during the event, described the importance of learning about hunger and why his team’s work was important.

“We did a hunger banquet at the beginning of class, and it changed my perspective, and I could see in a different light,” said Rodriguez.  “I hope it can change others’ perspectives.”

In addition to the in-class hunger banquet and ongoing research, the students visited the Food Bank of the Rockies volunteering to provide local food banks with food to help those in need.

Another presenter, Killian Taylor, hoped that the audience walked away with a greater understanding of the subject.

“I feel it gives them more of an insight into hunger in the community college,” Taylor said. “I wasn’t aware college kids were struggling with hunger and food insecurity. It helps people see that there are resources out there for people who are struggling with food insecurity.”

To help portray this struggle and make it easier to empathize, the audience was separated into three separate groups: the upper-middle class, the working-middle class and the poor. The upper-middle class sat at tables, while the working middle was allowed chairs and no tables and the poor sat upon the ground. The upper class was represented by an empty table featuring white linens and flowers. No one sat at that table as there are few upper class members in Adams County.

Paige Hashbrouck, a visitor who joined the event commented on the presentation, sat on the floor as part of the poor group.

“I’m surprised to learn that it’s more common than I thought…that students go through hunger,” said Hashbrouck.

The food was also based upon assigned class; the upper middle had access to a Qdoba burrito bar, the working middle had access to spaghetti and meatballs and the poor only had access to vending machine food. After everyone experienced life in their assigned classes, they were allowed to enjoy whatever meal they wished wherever they wished. If an audience member was someone who experienced food insecurity outside of the event, Lewandowski wanted to make sure they did not go hungry.

After everyone was sorted into their designated class, Lewandowski’s students read aloud accounts of people who suffered from hunger and food insecurity, both real and fictional. Some of the stories were interactive and would have audience members move up or down social classes as directed. The room became quite sober during that point, the people speaking were genuinely moved by their experiences over the semester through learning about and trying to help those in need.

On the eastern wall of the Rocky Mountain Room, Cole’s students set up “Hunger Through My Lens,” the PhotoVoice Project. The black displays featured photos depicting the struggle of hunger, followed by a summary of what they learned over the course of that semester. 

Cole said that her charges shared what they had learned about food insecurity and about the work of organizations trying to combat hunger in their communities, like food banks, donation programs or even food pantries.

Shelli Carriveau, a parent, attended the event with her daughter.

“I’m grateful that we are helping the students become more aware to help others,” said Carriveau. “They were excited to have an opportunity to go to the food bank, and it lifted my daughter’s spirits to know that she was helping someone else, and she shared that with me.”

The participants agreed that participating in the event helped open up their eyes to a new perspective. It helped them see the struggles of their peers and empathize with them. Many were proud of the work they achieved. The professors couldn’t be happier to see their charges grow and mature from their experiences this semester.

Food Bank of the Rockies-Pt. 2

For part two of the Hunger Block series, Lewandoski invited The Front Page to join her class on a field trip to the Food Bank of the Rockies. As part of the curriculum leading up to the Hunger Banquet, they first volunteer at the food bank to learn more about how hunger affects our community.

By Madison Otten

In the first part of our five-part series for the FRCC’s Hunger Block, April Lewandowski shared the origin of the campus’ annual Hunger Banquet event. For part two, Lewandoski invited The Front Page to join her class on a field trip to the Food Bank of the Rockies. As part of the curriculum leading up to the Hunger Banquet, they first volunteer at the food bank to learn more about how hunger affects our community.

Along with Lewandowski’s class, students in Kelli Cole and Kristina Kahl’s classes also attended. All three classes studied hunger and its effects on local communities. Cole’s class looked at hunger through a lens, literally. The class held the PhotoVoice in tandem with the Hunger Banquet, depicting hunger through photographs and summaries on the students’ research into the topic. Kahl’s class hosted the Wasted Food event the week following the Hunger Banquet.  

At the Food Bank of the Rockies, the students volunteered and experienced the bustling, busy world of the bank. The classes were separated into two groups: one group sorted food, while another filled out orders and loaded up pallets. Even with rows upon rows of food, sometimes there just wasn’t enough to fill specific orders.

The group that filled orders were given a list to go through. They would find the order in a specific row and grab whatever amount of the product the order called for. Then. they would wrap the pallet with heavy duty plastic wrap, stick on the order sheet and leave it for pickup and shipment. While working, the students had the smooth tunes of ‘80s pop and soft rock to keep them moving.

Bre Pfost, a student in Lewandowski’s class shared how the work impacted her.

“I was not very willing to come help, but when I got here, it was really cool to see everyone get into it and make a difference in the community,” said Pfost.  “I don’t usually think about volunteering, and now that I have, it’s nice to help in something bigger than just me.”

While students like Pfost were a little unsure in the beginning, by the end, everyone seemed to have a good time. If a group of students finished early, then they helped other students finish their orders. Students got a healthy dose of teamwork and a better understanding of what it takes to feed the hungry people of Colorado. Many of the students seemed very pleased to learn that, through their efforts, many families would be fed. After finishing their volunteer duties, the students were then chartered back and were treated with a pizza party as a thanks for the students’ hard work.

Audrey Bowler, another participant, shared her thoughts on the volunteering.

“Pretty fun,” said Bowler. “It’s nice to help people, absolutely worth it.”

According to Lewandowski, in the short time that the students volunteered, the group moved and sorted about 55,000 pounds of food that, in turn, fed about 44,000 people in need in the expansive communities that the food bank serves. Fifty students volunteered at the Food Bank of the Rockies; that’s about 1,000 pounds of food sorted or moved per person during two and half hours of work.

Not only that, but because of the students’ efforts, the Westminster campus’ food pantry at the school also received about 900 pounds of food credit, meaning that even more students will be helped.  It really helps put in perspective how even a few hours of volunteering can have a major influence on those around you.

The Life of an Undocumented Immigrant’s Daughter

By Luna Castro, Guest Writer

Mira necesito que vean esto” (Look, I need you all to see this), my father told my family one night after we had just finished eating dinner. He started to play the news from earlier that afternoon. It was a report about undocumented immigrants being arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) without a warrant. That scares me, because I am the daughter of undocumented immigrants, and I am afraid to lose my parents.  I live with this fear every day, and it is always in the back of my mind.

Since the 2016 election, our lives have become harder to live than ever before. I, along with my siblings, was born in the United States. If ICE were to deport my parents to Mexico, I would be the one who would take care of my siblings as soon-to-be 19 year old.

Donald Trump is now our president, and racism has grown against us Latinos. The president of the United States described Mexicans as drug dealers, criminals and rapists, causing the Latino communities to be considered criminals on national TV by Trump and his followers.

ICE  has been in the news recently for incidents of barging into families’ houses. This has been happening for a while, but the arrests have been happening more since the 2016 election. Hate crimes have grown more in our country. For example, The New York Times reported an incident in Los Angeles where 3 men attacked Hispanics with a knife and shouted racial slurs.

According to The Washington Post, “There were more reported hate crimes on Nov. 9 than any other day in 2016, and the daily number of such incidents exceeded the level on Election Day for the next 10 days.”

I hated reading and watching the news, because all I would hear were insults. Americans who have a different skin color are being discriminated against because of their culture, they’re a descendant of an alien or they’re speaking Spanish.

Well guess what? “Soy Mexicana y con mucho orgullo!” (I’m Mexican and proud.)  My first language is Spanish, and I’m proud to be able to speak such a beautiful language.

I love being a Latina, but it is hard representing my Latin blood here in the United States. It is especially difficult since my parents are aliens to the country that I have lived in all my life.

When my father showed us the report, it portrayed a large number of undocumented immigrants being arrested. The Washington Post stated, “Reporter Maria Sacchetti found that ICE arrested 21,362 immigrants since Trump took office; immigration arrests are up more than 32.6 percent from the same period last year.”

I was stunned by how fast these arrests were being made. After that report, my dad told my sister and I that this could happen at any moment to him and my mom.

“Si ves a ICE en la puerta no abras la puerta por nada. Si yo o tu mamá está fuera de la casa y ICE está fuera de la casa háblanos de inmediato!” (If you see it’s ICE, do not open the door under any circumstance. If your mom or me (my dad) is out of the house and ICE is at the door, call us immediately!)

He then showed us another video where two parents were being arrested by ICE. One ICE officer had the dad on the ground with the mother against the wall. The daughter records them and yells, “Why? Why come here without a warrant? Why are you taking my parents? Why did you push me out of my door!?”

The woman cried and yelled so much that one of the ICE officers pushed her into another room. The ICE officer then guarded the doorway of the room and kept her away from her parents. The daughter yelled to her parents to not sign anything and that she loves them.

My eyes filled with tears as I watched this family fall apart, because the same thing can happen to my family too.

My dad told us if ICE comes in, record it all, take care of your siblings and call your uncle, your godmother or anyone in our family who you know are citizens. He then looked at me and said to me to not fight them like she did. He wanted us to be strong and make sure that he could see us be strong together for the last time.

From that point on, we’ve been cautious about who we open the door to. My parents are so scared to call the police when they see something happening. Once people got into a fight outside at 2 a.m. I called the cops. My mom went paranoid, saying that they would come for my dad and her because I gave the police our address. I was scared enough by the fight, but my mom scared me even more saying things like, “Those people can call ICE and end up deporting us. You think it’s so easy since you’re the one who has documents of citizenship.” I cried to sleep that night wondering if I made the right choice or not.

All my life, my parents have been working hard to achieve the American dream; to them, that means having a better life and escaping the chaos of their native country. They love  America so much.

There are millions of undocumented immigrants who also love the United States. I have family members and friends who are undocumented. They have enormous difficulties trying to study, work and make a living in this country. Most of them escaped from the chaos of their country and came for a better opportunity. Most of them stay, because they need to make money for their families back in their native countries.

So why do these undocumented immigrants stay in the U.S., anyway?

Hope is the reason they stay. Hoping for a better opportunity or a better lifestyle. Living every moment with their friends and families. My family is one of my motivations. They keep me working and studying hard to get my degree. I hope they don’t miss important days, like when I walk that stage to get my degree or the day I get married. I am afraid of what might happen, but hope is what motivates me and what probably motivates others in a similar situation. We are all trying to make a living, and we hope for the best in the future.

College Success Series: Study and Time Management

How much time do you spend studying? Do you treat studying like a high school class, or do you have a more comprehensive study plan in place?

By Ezra Ekman

How much time do you spend studying? Do you treat studying like a high school class, or do you have a more comprehensive study plan in place?

Most experts agree that study time outside the classroom should be a minimum of twice the number of hours you spend in class. If you’re taking 12 credits this semester, you’re probably spending around 12 to 15 hours in class. This means you should be spending about 24 to 30 hours outside of the classroom studying. Yes, that’s about 40 hours total. Twelve credits are considered full time for a reason!

Unfortunately, many students expect their study time to be like high school homework requirements, perhaps as little as 1 to 2 hours each night. The reality is that students should expect to spend 4 to 6 hours each day outside of class, according to Cornell College.

But just what is “study time”? This doesn’t just include reading textbooks and doing homework. If you attend any study groups or tutoring sessions, meet your instructors outside of class, research your coursework in the library or use the Academic Success Center for assistance, all of this time counts toward “study time”.

Another issue is that students frequently put off their homework until it’s too late to be effective, attempting to cram it all in the night before it’s due, often leading to errors or forgetfulness. In fact, a 2017 scholarly article published by Jaun F. Muñoz-Olano and Camilo Hurtado-Parrado put the number of college students facing challenges with academic procrastination at almost 50 percent. This can negatively impact their studies, their ability to perform well in class and ultimately, their grades.

Aaron Prestwich, the Westminster Campus’ dean of students, understands this struggle well.

“As human beings, we definitely have an issue with procrastination,” said Prestwich. “Procrastination is the number killer of time management. We all avoid things we don’t want to do.”

Rather than time management, Prestwich prefers the term self-management. It puts the responsibility on ourselves.

So, how should you address this? Well, that’s where management comes in. You have a course schedule, and you know when you must be in class each day. Now, what you need to do is set aside time for study. Put time on your calendar each week just for study.

Make sure that all of that study time, when added up, equals roughly twice the number of hours you spend in class. If you spend 12 hours per week in class, make sure you schedule 24 hours each week for study. Try to keep to a routine because that’s the best way to form long-term habits.

Try to schedule time as soon after class is possible while the concepts and material you’ve learned are fresh in your mind. This also has the benefit of getting your assignments out of the way early, allowing you to relax later in the week. If an assignment ends up requiring more time than expected, you have a safety net of time to finish.

Finally, try to spread your study time over the entire week. Studying for three one-hour sessions is more effective (and memorable) than studying once for three hours.

During a 2016 TED Talk, Laura Vanderkam said, “We cannot make more time, but time will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it.”

So the next time you think you don’t have time for studying, instead say, “I’m not going to prioritize this.” If you disagree, it’s time to re-prioritize your homework.

Make sure you schedule time to study and then stick to that schedule. If you prioritize that time for studying, you will have the time.

15 Minutes with April Lewandowski, Creator of the FRCC Hunger Banquet

Many college students have to make the hard choice of either paying for groceries or paying tuition, but some colleges are taking it upon themselves remedy this issue.

By Madison Otten

What if I told you that some of your fellow students are struggling to get a meal? We have all heard the joke that college kids love Cup of Noodles because it’s easy to make, but what if ramen was the only thing they can afford for the week? At $0.99 a pack it’s easy to see why, especially considering that most college students could be sitting on huge student loan debt that could easily reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many college students have to make the hard choice of either paying for groceries or paying tuition, but some colleges are taking it upon themselves remedy this issue.

At FRCC, we have The Pantry to help those who are struggling day-to-day. It’s been an invaluable resource in helping our fellow students. But that’s not all, we also have the Hunger Banquet and Wasted Food events, which are hosted and prepared by everyday students. They do all the research, preparation and planning.

There is one person who started it all, and to this day, she continues to teach her students about hunger and food insecurity in their local communities by having her students dive headfirst into the matter. This person is April Lewandowski of the English department. She has hosted the banquet for five years, and she believes that this is more than just a college class for students to perform than the old dog and pony show of exams and lectures.

Lewandowski and her students commit their time and energy to helping others in need. They spend a few class sessions learning about the effects of hunger on their communities and the world around them. They even spend a day volunteering at the Food Bank of the Rockies as a way to understand how a little bit of effort can go a long way in stopping hunger.

Lewandowski wanted her lessons to have a larger impact on her students, inside and outside the classroom.

“About five years ago, I found myself professionally hungry to help make writing mean something for the students instead of it just being a class where you write five essays and jump through hoops,” said Lewandowski.

After a colleague shared information about the Hunger Banquet, a program sponsored by Oxfam, Lewandowski delved deeper into the program. The first FRCC Hunger Banquet was done by the book and had the students read a script that spoke of world hunger, rather than the hunger going on at home and in their communities. So Lewandowski decided to take a nuanced approach to the banquet. The following year, she let the students take the reins.

“The students do more research into the topic and how it affects the communities around them,” said Lewandowski. “I find that the students that produce the banquet, one of the ways that they’re affected is that they’re understanding hunger. And when they all enter the course, most of them have a very limited sense of hunger and it becomes more personalized.”

 

The Hunger Banquet grew, becoming more than just a luncheon for passing patrons. It became a learning opportunity for both sides of the table. The class, itself, quickly became more than just that; it grew into a service for the people around them, in learning of the invisible struggles around them the students could take that extra step to help their peers. It’s as much a service to the community as it is to Lewandowski’s class.

“This is a service-learning course in which students can provide an opportunity for students to provide a service for their community and their campus, and through that, they will learn the lessons that they use in the course,” said Lewandowski. “In the writing course, we learn how they do the research and how they produce, and I try to make it so they realise that this is so much more than just a grade.”

Lewandowski believes that this event helps students in more than a shallow classroom setting. She helps students get real-world experience and to see that they can make a difference in the world and change someone’s life for the better.

This is part one of the FRCC’s Hunger Block series.

Racca’s Pizzeria Neapolitan-Restaurant Review

By Kelly Marquez

 

Racca’s Pizzeria Neapolitan

Location: 2129 Larimer St. Denver, CO (Ballpark)

Reservations: Open Table Only (Restaurant Application)

Contact Info: (303)-296-7000

Hours: 11:00a.m.-10:00p.m. Sunday- Thursday & 11:00 a.m.- 11:00 p.m. Friday & Saturday

Type: Authentic Italian Food

Price Range: $9.00-$18.00 Regular Menu (Daily Happy Hour Specials 3pm-6pm)

 

If you happen to be in the Denver area, and you are looking for real, authentic Italian food,

Racca’s Pizzeria Neapolitan is the place to go. Racca’s Pizzeria, formally known as Marco’s

Coal Fired Pizza, was founded by a husband and wife whose dream was to open a traditional

Neapolitan pizzeria, instead of conforming to the American styles of pizza.

Racca’s was voted Denver’s best pizzeria by Westword and 5280 Magazine with authentic ingredients imported straight from Italy. According to Racca’s website, after training under the best Pizzaioli artisan in the world, the owners and their team were awarded the Associazione Versace Pizza Napoletana certification and are, to this day, the only certified Neapolitan pizzeria in the state of Colorado.

The atmosphere is very laid back and also very enjoyable. It’s a great place to sit back

and watch a Rockies game while grabbing a bite to eat. Racca’s has several seating options.

Diners can choose to sit at the bar, upstairs or down in the dining area or on the patio.

Unfortunately, this restaurant does not accept reservations, but you can request a held spot on Open Table, a restaurant application. I personally have never needed to use it. We have visited on several occasions, and I think we have only had to wait for a table twice, which was no more than a 15-minute wait.

Racca’s service is proficient, and most of the servers are very welcoming. My husband’s and my initial experience was very pleasant, as we were welcomed by one of the managers. She gave us a brief explanation of the menu items and background about the restaurant, while making us feel right at home. My husband and I had never experienced such friendly service; it left us both with a footprint of an impression. Since then, every time we’ve stopped in to eat and she is working, she will always make it a point to come to our table and ask us how we are doing, striking up a conversation as though she has known us for many years. We have made several appearances, and every time we arrive, we are always welcomed with such great hospitality. Whenever we’re in the downtown area and craving pizza, Racca’s is our go-to spot.

When I go out to eat I seek great taste and good vibes, and Racca’s has both. Their pizza is my ultimate favorite; however, they have a variety of dishes that are excellent. They use fresh imported ingredients straight from Italy, down to the sauce, cheese and crust. I usually get the gluten-free Margherita pizza ($16), which consist of fresh mozzarella, San Marzano tomato sauce, pecorino romano and fresh basil.

The blazing 900-degree temperatures of coal-fired oven pizza produce nicely charred, crisp pies at the speed of lightning is another great aspect for this made-to-order pizza. Each pizza comes in either a 10-inch or 12-inch, each large enough to feed 1 to 2 people. The crust is thin and baked to perfection, giving it that slight crunch with each bite; the sauce and cheese will melt in your mouth. The Campania pizza, lasagna and coal-fired Limoncello chicken wings are a few other great choices.

Overall, I would have to give this restaurant an A rating; the experience you will receive

will be absolutely worth it. Not only is the service great, the atmosphere is enjoyable and the

food is exceptional. This restaurant has yet to disappoint, just remember it’s located in

downtown, where parking can be a nuisance.