Archive for May 19th, 2011

Vendors on campus help underwrite student programs

By Corey Streeper

GROSSMONT COLLEGE- Occasionally the Main Quad on campus seems like a commercial bazaar, with vendors from off campus selling their wares. They sell anything from jewelry and clothing to trinkets and posters. I went down on Thursday, May 19, to see what it takes to be able to be a vender on campus.

When I showed up there were many students perusing the stacks of posters that were available for purchase. Rick, the vendor who didn’t want to tell his last name, was sitting in a chair by a table, where he kept records of purchases.

He told me that he sells posters on all of the college campuses in San Diego although he prefers to sell at the universities as the students there tend to spend more. I asked what kind of approval he needs to be able to set up his product. He replied that he must get a permit from the student association and it costs 20% of his revenue.

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Instructor weighs formation of Jewish Student Union

GROSSMONT COLLEGE (Press Release) – Is there sufficient student interest to warrant forming a Jewish Student Union on this campus?

Media Communications 132 Instructor Donald H. Harrison, whose faculty responsibilities include overseeing the production of the GC Summit, wants to assess that question prior to next semester when the club would start up. 

Harrison requests any student interested in participating in on-campus Jewish cultural activities, beginning next Fall, to please contact him at 

Besides teaching here, Harrison serves as editor and publisher of the online publication, San Diego Jewish World ( ) and has extensive contacts within the local Jewish community.  He also is the author of the biography, Louis
Rose: San Diego’s First Jewish Settler and Entrepreneur.

“I’d envision the club sponsoring a variety of on-campus cultural activities to help de-mystify Jewish people to other segments of the
campus population,” Harrison said.  “Perhaps if other religious and ethnic student clubs are interested, we also could engage in dialogue to explore our common interests.”

He said there is a Jewish concept called “tikkun olam,” which literally means “repair of the world.”  The belief is that we all have the
responsibility to help make the world a better place not only for ourselves, but for our neighbors.  “Perhaps,” said Harrison, “members of
the Jewish Student Union would decide to participate in tikkun olam projects.”

Preceding was provided by Donald H. Harrison

ESL student talks of two marriage types in Iraq

By Rasha Jasim

GROSSMONT COLLEGE — Getting married in Iraq is a long process. It takes a lot of time and many steps to get done. Some of these steps are interesting and some of them are complicated and boring. There are two main different types of marriage in Iraqi society, the traditional marriage and being-in-love-before marriage.

The traditional marriage is more common in Iraqi society. That’s how my father and mother got married. I’ve heard the same story from both of them many times, though with some differences. My mum was working as a teacher in one of Baghdad’s schools. She was a beautiful, intelligent, funny and very nice young lady, from an educated family. A girl like her was the perfect bride for a man like my father. He was a handsome, successful businessman and wanted to settle down with his soul mate.

Since they were complete strangers, their friends helped them. Saadia was a common friend for both of their families and she arranged a “non intent” meeting for them, so they could see each other before having a formal step. The mission was successfully completed and there was a spark between them. After that, my father and his family went to my mother’s house for a visit in order to get acquainted with each other. Then there was another visit to make everything clear, such as when they were going to get married, where they were going to live and the most important thing was the “nishan”. That was the jewelry that the groom had to buy including the wedding ring, necklace , bracelet and earrings. And the second thing was the “mahar” which was the amount of money that he was going to spend on the wedding and the “jehaz” which was buying clothes and makeup products for the bride. All of that and more, the two families had to agree on.

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No progress in campus sexual assault investigation; instructor urges awareness

GROSSMONT COLLEGE – Campus police and school officials report there has been no progress in the investigation of the alleged sexual assault case that occurred on campus last month.

Communications specialist Anne Krueger said the Police Department informed her that after reporting the assault, the victim declined to speak to them further.

In the aftermath, the GC Summit spoke with “Frank,” an assistant in Mike Conniry’s Self Defense for Women’s class, to find out prevention tips for men as well as women. Here is a video by MComm 132 students Taylor Harris and Earnest Carter in which Frank stressed the importance of reporting sexual crimes.

Slam poet enlivens arts festival

By Taylor Harris

GROSSMONT COLLEGE — Slam Poet Roger Bonair-Agard graced Grossmont Community College on Thursday, May 5, to wrap up the 15th Annual Literary Arts Festival.

Bonair-Agard wasn’t originally on the agenda for the Literary Arts Festival but at the last minute he was able to fill Patricia Smith’s spot and I don’t think anyone could have done a better job.

Twice National Poetry Slam Champion, Bonair-Agard opened his performance to a full Room 220 audience by reading Patricia Smith’s works from her book Blood Dazzler then he followed with his own works, some from his book Gully.

During his performance he was engaging with the audience, he was personable, and he had a terrific sense of humor. He wrapped up the night with a question and answer segment that led to insight and laughter. It was a great way to punctuate the events of the two-week celebration of words.

The following video includes clips from Bonair-Agard’s performance, an interview with Sydney Brown, an English professor and event organizer, and other highlights from the festival. Earnest Carter and Russ Lindquist collaborated with me on this video.

Grossmont ESL classes create community, seek volunteers

By William Dudley

GROSSMONT COLLEGE—With seven hundred students, Grossmont College has one of the largest populations of English learners among local community colleges.

The population is divided almost equally into two categories: foreign students who came to the United States to pursue education and who will return to their home countries, and immigrants or refugees who are trying to build a new life and new home in the United States.

Challenges in learning English can differ greatly based on the person’s country of origin. For example, students from Russia have trouble with “a” and “the” — such articles do not exist in their native language. different backgrounds and cultures have different challenges in learning English. Native Arabic speakers, on the other hand, have trouble with capitalization.

These are some of the  tidbits of information out of many to be found in Donald H. Harrision’s reportage on Grossmont College’s English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) department, which was recently published in the online journal San Diego Jewish World. Continue reading

Commentary: In memory of Roberto Erquiaga

The late Professor Roberto Erquiaga (center) stands with two of his Spanish 120 students - Russ Lindquist and Nadia Malabad

By Russell Lindquist

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–What is it that separates a good teacher from an exceptional one?  I suppose that can vary.  However, that which seemed to have set apart the late Spanish Professor Roberto Erquiaga as an exceptional teacher was his absolute and obvious love of teaching.

Before having patiently guided, in Fall 2008, yet another group of first-semester Spanish students–myself included–through the basics of the language, Erquiaga had already taught Spanish for the better part of four decades, at both Grossmont and Southwestern Colleges respectively.

Undoubtedly Erquiaga had plodded through the same, simple concepts hundreds of times before, with thousands of previous students; nevertheless, Erquiaga never once seemed, to me, to consider even a single lesson or rule in Spanish 120 to be tedious, even after all his years.

At one point during class, Professor Erquiaga confessed that, before beginning his mega career as a Spanish teacher–he always assumed that he could never teach a class in English: “My English was not so good,” he said with his trademark chuckle. Rather, Erquiaga had always assumed he would teach, to Spanish-speakers, his first academic love: History.

Instead, Erquiaga wove downright delightful historical contexts and facts into his excellently presented class. He certainly had class.

He was teaching at age 87 (and died one week before turning 88).  He was born in Lima, Peru on March 16, 1923 and died on March 9, 2011. Roberto Erquiaga is survived by his loving wife of nearly six decades and their children.

Lindquist is managing editor of the GC Summit.  He may be contacted at

Private gifts to colleges rebounding

NEW YORK (USANN4)– Gifts to colleges and universities are on the rebound as the U.S. economy slowly improves from the recession.   Bloomberg cites a leading education official, who says higher education gifts will likely increase 5-point-7 percent in the fiscal year ending June 30th.

At least six schools have received donations of $100 million or more this year.   Earlier this month, the University of Pennsylvania said it got $225 million for its medical school.   That is the largest single gift in the school’s history.

Preceding provided by USA News Network 4