Pierce Pioneer

Your Vote Does Count



Super Tuesday has passed and it tells you one thing; the Bernie Sanders supporters did not show up to the voting booths. Hillary Clinton ran away with seven states winning by a significant amount. One state, Massachusetts, was really close. The vote was decided by less than two percent.

Some are out there and believe their vote does not count. If Sanders supporters in the Super Tuesday states would have came out, even just a few thousand more, then the delegate distribution would have been closer to even.

It seems it is easier to go out on Twitter or Facebook and post a meme or a random info-graphic about how your candidate is better than the others or how bad the other candidates are. Sometimes standing in the freezing cold, like in Iowa, or in long lines is what it takes to get your candidate your vote. Across social media people are saying it is typical for Sanders supporters to want something, but not work for it, and that it was proven during the Primaries.

Now that isn't saying all are not showing up. Sanders has won several states on Tuesday and is still in the race. Voting sites from around those states that are closest to the universities and colleges have shown record turn outs for 18-29 year old voters. This is a group of people that Clinton cannot bring to her side.

Many are asking for change, but as students we will need to fight for this change. It will not come easy. The Republican side of the show has shown an amazing amount of turn out at the voting sites. Records are being broken all over. Many Republicans are fed up with the way the current Congress and previous Presidential candidates have failed to back them up.

There have been reports of some Democrats leaving their party and voting for Donald Trump in these elections. Trumps main demographic is white, blue collar workers with no college education. Some may think that they do not know better than to vote for him, but their numbers are growing and it seems he will be the likely Republican nominee in June.

If you are a Sanders supporter and you do not want to see Trump or Clinton in office, then you have to take control and vote. The same goes for those who are a Republican.

Go volunteer at your local office and help bring in more voters. You still have a chance here in Washington state. For Democrats, March 26 is the day that you can cast your ballot. Republicans have until May 24 to help their local offices out.

Get your friends together, register to vote, and turn in your vote. Your vote does count. Make it count. Make an informed decision though

College Closes Doors To Press For “Consensus”


As the student newspaper for the Fort Steilacoom campus, our duty is to bring you information about what is going on around school. This could be anything from event coverage to new teacher hires. In addition to covering events and personalities, we seek to report on changes in policies that impact the student experience, such as academic success, discipline, behavior expectations or even safety.


Striving to bring the most current information, our editors and writers attend student and staff meetings around campus and the district. For the most part, we have been able to attend them until last fall quarter.


A Pioneer reporter attempted to attend the District Governance Council, a body that reviews all proposed policy changes before they go to the Board of Trustees for final approval, on November 12, 2015 only to be met with a stern “No. No press!” from Chancellor Michele Johnson and the reporter left.


The chancellor stated that her reason for closing the doors to the press was to be able to seek “consensus” when sending policies forward to the Trustees. She did not explain how the presence of a student reporter could affect consensus among the Council members, although later she said that she wanted Council members to be able to speak openly without “being misquoted.”


Over the next few weeks, there were several discussion and emails exchanged. Johnson sought counsel from Assistant Attorney General Linda Sullivan-Colglazier. It came down to the argument that meetings were not open and were a school, not public meeting. The term the AAG used was that the Council was an “internal committee” not subject to the state’s Open Public Meetings Act.


Per minutes of the meeting: “Linda Sullivan-Colglazier stated that the OPMA states that: All meetings of the governing body of a public agency shall be open and public and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of the governing body of a public agency, except as otherwise provided in this chapter. The OPMA contains specific definitions of “public agency,” “governing body,” and “meeting” in RCW 42.30.020 (see below for details). While the governance councils provide an important component of the district’s governance system structure, they are not a “governing body” of the institution as defined by the OPMA and are not subject to the requirement of the act. Linda mentioned the difference between “Public Meetings” vs “Campus Meetings,” and that this would be a good distinction for students to learn.”


Another meeting, the Student Advancement Council, using the AAG’s same definition of an internal committee and not a governing body, was closed to the Pioneer. Worrying other meetings would be closed, The Pioneer checked with the administrative assistant in charge of the Education and Facilities Planning Committee, and were told The Pioneer are welcome to attend.


The point is that even if the meeting is not an open meeting and the AAG is correct, closing the door to the press is an option and not mandatory. Closing the meeting is not mandatory, therefore it is  the chancellor choice to bar the press. Is the reason, “consensus,” reason enough to close the meeting to press, not allowing them to inform students of the discussion of policies that could impact their academic lives? The chancellor says there student government is there to be a relay, but who keeps the government in check? The media.


In our opinion, this is the very definition of the Council. At its Nov. 12 meeting, the chancellor said that any issue or policy that goes to the Board of Trustees “comes here first,” to the Council. Therefore, the Council is acting upon behalf of this governing body, the Board. Without the Council, the Board would have to do the work itself of ensuring policies meeting codes and regulations and laws are in proper format and language.


We believe that all students have the right to know what is being discussed that directly affect them. If consensus is the main problem, then we have already lost, for that seems like a strict controlling of the members of the Cabinet.


“...a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is afraid of its people.”

Pres. John F. Kennedy, 1962

Free Education is Needed to Thrive

An educated society will be able to bring great advancements. Having free college up to your associates degree would help mitigate the financial problems student loans and college cost brings up for students

The amount that students pay into education puts many in debt for many years. Some may default on their loan which puts a strain on the student and the bank that loaned the money. Overall it is a bad situation for all.

The nation is moving to free or more affordable college. Several states, like Oregon, gives its citizens free college.

Education should be a right for all. We have free education from K-12. Setting it up so the students could earn a degree for free would not only benefit the students, but the society by having a well educated population.

The free education would be given to those in good standing. If a student doesn’t do their work or even show up to the classes, then it will be taken away.

The cost will be about 94 to 105 million dollars. This can be taken care of fixing our tax issues in the state. The law makers can close many tax exemptions that the State gives out to companies.

Should women sign up for the Selective Service?

Production Manager Dominic Wilkerson debates both sides of the opinion in our segment… DOM VS DOM


Women should have to sign up for the draft

If women want equal rights, then they should have to sign up for whatever men are mandated to sign up for. The draft has been done away with since the United States put the Selective Service into place. That means any able bodied 18-25 year old man can be selected for military service if a draft is needed.

Now if a draft does happen there will be an influx of men into the armed forces, possibly pushing some women out of these combat positions. There could rise the problem of inequality when this happens.

Women are capable of filling these combat rolls. The standards are not adjusted or lowered just to bring them in. One of the military’s main fighting force is its infantry. There are
many capable women that perform this job without hinderance. If the need for the draft arises, the ranks will be filled with both men and women.

Many are worrying about their daughters not being able to make it or be put in harm’s way. Not everyone is made for military lifestyle and that is where training can weed out the ones that are not. Men are constantly weeded out of the Special Forces field. If a woman can pass the rigorous testing, then let them be a part of it. All the more reasoning to allow the women to be drafted. They are able bodies to be able to fill the positions in the time of great need.

In this society of equal rights for both men and women, equal rights brings equal duty. One cannot want to be treated equal while wanting special treatment because of a tough job.
Some may argue that it is not needed since we have enough men to fill the draft needs. There should not be limitations just because we “have enough” of men. The men have been pulling the weight of the nation in the draft selections since we have became a country, it is finally time that women do too.

There is no need to fill the draft with women

There is no need for women to sign up for the Selective Service. The need to fill the ranks of the military is at an all time low. There is no foreseeable circumstances that would have us bring the draft back.

The amount of men and women that already volunteer for the military is enough. The Selective Service is filled with men from the age of 18-25. That amount is staggering. Why would we want to bring our women into this?

Yes the women now fill combat roles and many vital parts of the military. If there is any reason why the draft is enacted, the women will still have a place in military. They hold high ranking leadership positions. Their ability is not the reasoning why I am saying no.

The draft needs to be abolished anyways. There is no reason why it should be around.

Look at the recent wars. It was completely filled on a volunteer basis; men and women. Why would there be another war that our citizens would not want to defend American or our allies? Easy answer. There would not be.

Even presidential candidates like Ted Cruz believes it would be crazy. In an interview with CNN Cruz went on to say he would not feel safe for his daughters to be drafted.
  “I’m the father of two little girls. I love those girls with all my heart. They are capable of doing anything in their hearts’ desire, but the idea that their government would forcibly put them in the foxhole with a 220-pound psychopath trying to kill them, doesn’t make any sense at all,” said Cruz

Keep it to only men. Our daughters and wives should not be mandated to do something that has no need. There are roughly 203,000 women servicing in the U.S. military. Women already prove they will volunteer and do not need to be voluntold.

Theme Nights Give Back

Basketball team to grant free game entry to scouts, community members, military veterans


The basketball team is trying something different to bring in more people from the community to the games.

On certain nights there will be a theme that will celebrate people in the community.

“Our first game was to welcome all those in the community that had employers in medical facilities,” said Jeff Beha, the theme nights organizers. “They are people that do not get enough attention for all their work. It was also a good way to invite those such as Nursing and Dental Hygienist here at the college to our games.”

Many people are in classes with the basketball players. They are as much a part of this school as anyone and they found that this is a perfect way to give back, including to our military personnel and families.

“Pierce College has been a leader in bringing people from Joint Base Lewis-McChord to learn at our college,” said Beha. The team hosted an event dedicated to the Armed forces last week. “It is a great way to give them the recognition they need in a very easy way.”

Those who represent the theme of the night gets free admission to the game. At halftime the team recognizes the individuals of the night. Normal ticket costs are free with Pierce student ID and children under the age of 12, $6 for adults, and $4 for military, seniors, and non Pierce students.  

The next game will be hosting “Women’s in Sports Night” on Wed., February 10, 2016. The goal is to bring national attention to the promise of girls and women in sports.

LinkedIn: The professional side of social media


A college student and social media goes together like peanut butter and jelly. Look around you and you will see many people on their phones, taking a selfie, updating their status, or sending messages to their friends. There are many people out there that actually use their Facebook or Instagram to promote their business. This is a great way to get with a customer, but what would you do if you want to reach out to a possible new employer?

Welcome to the professional side of social media. LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has been around since the early beginnings of social media, back when MySpace was still a thing. LinkedIn is a professional social media page that allows you to connect to business, current and past employers, and coworkers.

In modern day job searching, a resume may soon become a thing of the past. Your profile is basically your resume. It allows you to put your work experience, education level, volunteer experience, and skill set that you have acquired over the year.

Skills and expertise section on your profile allows you to select up to 50 skills that you have. Your network, coworkers and/or prior bosses, can endorse you on theses skills and expertise. This will help when you are applying for a new job or if a business is looking for someone like you.

If you are a photographer, your skill set would most likely have Photoshop, DSLR, and social media managing. If a company is looking for a good photographer that can create their own content and provide a presence on their social media, your profile could possibly pop up in their search.

Right now is the perfect time for you to start building your profile, even if you do not have a professional level skillset yet. There is a lot of volunteer opportunities that you can do around college. Businesses like to see a future employee have the drive to help others when needed. Even if you work at the school newspaper or get your essay or artwork published somewhere, you can add that as a publication to your profile.

Many teachers are on LinkedIn. If you had a teacher that was really important to you in your learning career, you can go and endorse their teaching skill. They can possibly come back and endorse you for one of your skills.

At the end of the day, the saying ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ could go a long way here. If you connect to a professional that is looking for someone of your skillset, they could possibly remember you. That could just be enough to get you a foot in the door for an interview or job offer.

Businesses are now starting to allow you to connect your LinkedIn profile when applying for a job online. This will attach to their online resume and help you fill in the blanks. Once it is linked, the business is able to go to your profile and view who you are to get a better feel for you. That being said, keep your selfies and food pictures to your Facebook or Instagram, unless that is what you do professionally; model or chef/food reviewer.

There are many resources online that will help you build your profile to the professional standard. If you are a veteran, RallyPoint 6, located in Lakewood, puts on classes on LinkedIn. LinkedIn also allows you to get a Premium account for free while you are still in service.

RallyPoint 6 guides vets through transition

The program helps pick up where the military fails to help troops after leaving service.

Transitioning out of the military can be hard on both the service member and the family. RallyPoint 6 (RP/6) helps ease that transition. RP/6 helps build a bridge between the military and civilian life. In the past year, over 2500 individuals have been helped by RP/6.

RP/6 was started by two veterans who wanted to help other veterans by making sure they have what they need to succeed. Founder and CEO, Anne Sprute, and Founder and Director, RJ Naugle lead a team of organized individuals to reach out to the community, businesses, and schools to gather up the resources and help needed for the veterans. Other members of the Board of Directors include Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson, former Lakewood Mayor Doug Richardson, and Pierce College President Denise Yochum.

The program is set up on the concept of 8 basic pillars; employment, education, housing, finance/legal, family support, VA benefits, volunteerism, and health/wellness. When a veteran goes to the RP/6 website or in person to the Lakewood office, they start a questionnaire to help direct them to the proper Scout which is like a case manager.  

“The ones that we see the most, that occur the highest, are employment, education, and disability/compensation,” said US Marine Corps Veteran Tony Belot, RP/6 Director of Programs.

Together the Scout and the client will form a plan for the member to work towards. In each situation, the member will be given a ‘warm handoff’ which basically means the Scout will call up the school or other agencies and tell them that the veteran will be showing up at what time and what their game plan is.

The education program is connected to over 20 different colleges from around the area. An education guru, who works for RP/6, knows about each college programs, which helps the veteran understand what they need to succeed in college.

“Each college contributes to the pay of the education guru,” said Yochum “They represent all colleges. That way we can be insured that the service is focused on the individual and not just one college.”

If a veteran wants to give back to the program, RP/6 has made it simple to volunteer. Three ways someone can volunteer is working around RP/6 locations, at community engagement events, and community service projects.

“Volunteerism is a great way to fill the gaps in resumes while you are in school,” said Belot.

RP/6 is expanding to places around the nation. Working with the USO, United Services, RP/6 Transitions Centers are opening up near or on bases, but with funding from the USO. This allows veterans gain access to more resources closer to them if they are not close to Washington State. Currently the transition centers can be found in Colorado Springs, Fort Campbell, Fort Hood, San Antonio, and Norfolk.

A fellowship program allows veterans to work for RP/6 for a ‘tour of duty’ which goes for 6 months. This helps the veteran build up their resume, skills, and help understand the civilian workforce better. The fellowship program is a paid program that helps supplement their income.

“We want more student veterans to know about the Fellowship program,” said Belot. “It is a great way to give back and help other veterans.”

To keep up with the ever evolving times of social media, RP/6 has a Digital Media team that consists of fellows that operate it. This gives a vital connection for users to pass along information to those who need it the most.

“They can follow us on RallyPoint 6 on Facebook,” said Kevin Henry, Digital Media Fellow. “We post jobs and other resources on there, along with our website, for veterans to apply too. We even have a Linkedin user group.”

Helping Veterans in transition

Helping our Veterans to be set up for success!


During this time that the US government has decided to downsize the military, many veterans are transitioning out without much help. Most times, there is maybe a two week course on how to write a resume and job search that is put on by their certain branch of service. This varies from branch to branch.

It is important that veterans are given the proper tools to be successful in the civilian sector. Some veterans may not know exactly how their job correlates to a civilian job, causing them to feel lost and out of the loop.

These veterans have signed up to protect the United States and all of its citizens. Being tossed out without much resources is not the right thing to do. Programs like RallyPoint 6, and others like it, help ease the transitional period.

Setting up veterans with case managers that will assist in filing for benefits, signing up for classes, and/or finding housing is just some of the things these organizations do. One of the main focuses is to get these men and women employed, but if they do not have the proper training for the job they want then they are set up with a proper educational plan.

Veterans here at Pierce College are already on their way to success by going to classes, but there may be some questions that they may still have. Working with the Veterans Center, these veterans will have the proper tools to make it.

Being outside the gates of Joint Base Lewis McChord, it is likely that you may know a veteran or a transitioning military personnel. Passing on this information may help them from going down the dark path of depression and despair

Obama takes aim at the future of America and Republicans.


President Obama gave his final, of seven, State of The Union address on Tuesday. The overall theme was hope and optimism for the future while calling out the Republicans on several key issues.

   In the background was Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Paul Ryan. On many occasions you could see Biden applauding the topics that Obama was speaking on, but in stark contrast Ryan kept a stern face, rarely acknowledging the speech. As the cameras panned out to the audience, it was clear to see it was mainly the Democrats that were clapping and cheering while the Republicans just sat there. The only time it seemed the President got a standing ovation from everyone was when he talked about how great our military is.

   One of the main points Obama made was about the price of college for Americans. “And we have to make college affordable for every American.” said Obama in his speech. “Because no hardworking student should be stuck in the red. We’ve already reduced student loan payments to ten percent of a borrower’s income. Now, we’ve actually got to cut the cost of college. Providing two years of community college at no cost for every responsible student is one of the best ways to do that, and I’m going to keep fighting to get that started this year.”

   This was brought up last year and seemed to have fallen to the wayside. Some states, like Oregon, has already voted to make community college free for their citizens.

   Obama talked about workers who lose their job should have a way to learn a new trade so they can be hired again. “ …we shouldn’t just make sure he can get unemployment insurance; we should make sure that program encourages him to retrain for a business that’s ready to hire him,” said Obama. “If that new job doesn’t pay as much, there should be a system of wage insurance in place so that he can still pay his bills.”

   This could help out students who are going to college for retraining from L&I (Labor and Industries) due to an injury sustained on their job. In the brief overview of the wage insurance, there was no talk of where the source of money would come from.

   Obama went on to talk about clean energy and how helping those around the world move away from ‘dirty’ energy. “Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future — especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels,” said Obama “That’s why I’m going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet.”

   In the midst of all the talk about the future Obama managed to find a sentence here and there to attack the Republicans.

   “I told you earlier all the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air,” said Obama “Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker. The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It’s not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. Our troops are the finest fighting force in the history of the world. No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin.”

   Though he did not mention Donald Trump directly, or any other Republican presidential hopefuls, he did bash them.

   “That’s why we need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This isn’t a matter of political correctness,” said Obama directly aiming at Trump. “It’s a matter of understanding what makes us strong. The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith.”

   The Republicans responded to the State of The Union with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Haley was elected as the first female and minority governor of South Carolina.

   In her speech she focused on how Obama was full of talk and less about action. She goes on to talk about the way the economy is failing, but the Republicans are also to blame.

   “We need to be honest with each other, and with ourselves: while Democrats in Washington bear much responsibility for the problems facing America today, they do not bear it alone. There is more than enough blame to go around,” said Haley in her speech. “We as Republicans need to own that truth. We need to recognize our contributions to the erosion of the public trust in America’s leadership. We need to accept that we’ve played a role in how and why our government is broken.”

   “And then we need to fix it.”

   Haley went on to talk about the terrorist attack that killed 9 people at a church in Charleston, S.C.

   She made an emphasis to point out that they held vigils instead of looting and rioting, which to some could be a slap in the face to those who were protesting in Ferguson and Baltimore.

   Haley went on to talk about taking down the Confederate flag.

   “We removed a symbol that was being used to divide us, and we found a strength that united us against a domestic terrorist and the hate that filled him,” said Haley.

   And then she pounced on Trump.

   “Some people think that you have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference,” said Haley. “That is just not true. Often, the best thing we can do is turn down the volume. When the sound is quieter, you can actually hear what someone else is saying. And that can make a world of difference.”

   Though there was talk about the parties coming together and making improvements to the nation, there was still a clear divide between ideologies on how America should be ran.

   One main elephant in the room during the State of The Union was not mentioned. Ten US sailors are being held by the Iranian government, who have since been released as of 5:03 a.m. 1/13/16. Many Republicans lashed out at Obama for not mentioning it in the speech, like Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz.

   Paul, who was not at the speech, released a 5 minute video. Paul stated that the next president will have to rebuild the military, repeal medical insurance, and balance the budget.

   The State of the Union has proven, though we have moved forward as a nation, the government is clearly divided. Neither side seems to be budging.

Facial hair for Awareness

Men and women won’t shave for November in honor of men’s health

No Shave November is more than just not shaving.  The time honored tradition is actually used for raising awareness for cancer.

Starting October 31, many people across the world shave for one last time for an entire month. The participants start November 1 and go all the way to the end of the month growing what facial hair they can. This brings excitement and dedication to those who participate in order to bring awareness to prostate and testicular cancer.

Some men who normally shave every day grow what they can. A lot of the time they make it a contest with their significant other. Here we are able to see who can actually grow a full beard or becomes more like Joe Dirt with patches of hair as far between as the oceans. Even women participate by not shaving their legs, armpits, and so on.

No Shave November may have started as Movember in 2004 in Australia. A group of men started to grow their mustaches and sideburns in order to raise money and awareness for the cancer patients who lose their hair during treatment. The money that is saved from not shaving is donated to organizations around the world for cancer research and funding.

Oddly enough, the concept of No-Shave November can be found back in ancient Greece. Young men spent roughly 30 days growing their beards in order to be more like the gods of the past.

What many are forgetting is that No-Shave November is not just about who can grow the best beard, but to actually bring the awareness and money to those in need. Social media erupts in many people participating without knowing what it is all about. This is why we need to bring it back the awareness.

The American Cancer Society allows you to donate year round, but has special programs for participants in No-Shave November can start their own personal fundraiser.

Recently, Decatur police department is participating in No-Shave November to show support for one of their officers, Joshua Driggers, who is recovering from surgery after getting a brain tumor removed.

In a video interview with WHNT 19 News, Lt. John Crouch talked about their relaxed policy of shaving. “Policy states that officers can have mustaches, but that’s it; and there are even very strict guidelines for that. For November, the chief has suspended our policy on facial hair and most of us are electing to grow beards,” said Crouch. “We are making a donation to the Driggers family to participate, and so far, almost every officer in the department is participating; even those who choose not to grow a beard are still making the donations.”

When you see a person participating in No-Shave November, thank them. These cancers have affected millions around the world. Don’t forget to make your donations either. Don’t worry ladies, you will have your men back to baby skin smooth face come December 1.

About the Writer
Photo of Dominic Wilkerson
Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Remember the less fortunate

Giving a little extra to someone in need this holiday season can make all the difference in the world.

Thanksgiving, but don’t forget

The holidays are upon us and celebrating with our families is something that is a given during this time of the year. With the amount of time we will be spending with them, it is easy to forget those less fortunate.

In a report published in 2012, Pierce County has about 1997 homeless people on the streets with 752 of them being 18 or younger.

There are many organizations that will accept food donations and allow you to volunteer around the area to help these people in need. Catholic Community Services, Emergency Food Network, and Rescue Mission Tacoma is just three of the many.

Last year Pierce’s Student Government volunteered at the Rescue Mission in Tacoma, serving lunch to an estimated 50-100 people. Each person was grateful that they were there and thanked them. The person in charge of the kitchen said that the holidays are their busiest times. The number of people who use this mission nearly doubles. This puts strain on organizations, but many are prepared.

Anything that the community can do to help will be appreciated. The college is collecting peanut butter and canned meats to give to the Emergency Food Network. One simple can could feed a person a meal. When driving through a fast food restaurant for a “value meal,” buy an extra burger and give it to someone who is less fortunate. Chances are there will be someone in need near the establishment.

Some may think if you just ignore the individuals then they will just go away. Often, without any help or assistance, going away means death. These are human beings and it is our duty to help them. I am not asking you to give up your house, your life, and all of your food. What I am asking is to give a little extra. A can, a dollar, an old jacket that you have laying around.

Some may believe that most of these homeless people are just drug addicts and are a nuisance to society. Many have just fallen on hard times, either due to layoffs, loss of income, and/or mental health problems.

If we can come together as a community and not buy that extra item on Black Friday and donate that money to the needy, then we can change a life for a day, a week, or even help them get back on their feet and be successful in society. Remember all this when the time comes. Be thankful for what you have. Not everyone has that.


Rescue Mission Tacoma : 253-383-4493

Catholic Community Services: 253-502-2696

FISH Food Banks of Pierce County: 253-383-3164

About the Writer
Photo of Dominic Wilkerson
Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Collecting peanut butter for those in need


Over the past few weeks Pierce has been collecting jars of peanut butter. The peanut butter will in turn be donated to the Emergency Food Network in Pierce County. As of November 10, 105 jars have been donated outside the office of Fort Steilacoom’s President Denise Yochum.

Last spring, Yochum went to a breakfast that was sponsored by the Emergency Food Network, where they had a contest for collecting peanut butter, which Pacific Lutheran University participated and won. This sparked the interest in Yochum.

“EFN has trouble getting enough non perishable proteins to distribute to families,” said Yochum. “We wanted to help out and along with Puyallup, we are gathering the protein that is needed. After this collection, we might plan on doing this one a quarterly basis.”

The peanut butter is a source of protein for the children. The peanut butter also last a long time on the shelves, so a person does not need to worry about it going bad fast.  Even bodybuilders have used peanut butter as a snack that is low in calories and high in protein.


Everyone’s favorite childhood food can play an important role in an adult diet,” stated on an article written by MuscleandFitness.com. “Besides boasting a healthy dose of protein, peanut butter is extremely rich in monounsaturated fats, the healthy variety that can prevent heart disease and is less likely to be stored as body fat. Two tablespoons of creamy peanut butter contain 188 calories, 8 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs and 16 grams of fat.”

The Puyallup campus is doing a similar contest. They are collecting canned meat products, such as tuna, salmon, and chicken. Puyallup President Marty R. Cavalluzzi is heading up that contest.

“The Emergency Food Network serves more than 60 food programs in Pierce County who in turn serve a diverse population of low-income clients,” said in a mission statement on the EFN website Of the more than 115,000 visits from individuals seeking emergency food assistance each month in the county, 99% fall below national poverty guidelines. More than half are children and seniors and almost half are families with at least one adult working.”

Also stated on their website is for every $1 donated to the charity, $12 of food will be distributed.

The contest last until November 16. Each can of peanut butter that you donate gets you a raffle ticket for a “Coffee break with the President” that will be given away at the All-College meeting.

About the Writer
Photo of Dominic Wilkerson
Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Trump declared racist by ignorant populus


Donald Trump has been causing a mighty fuss in the recent months during his run for President of the United States. His main staple is securing the borders and deporting the illegal immigrants. There is one slight problem with that. A majority of the illegal immigrants are Mexicans. This leads one to believe that he hates Mexicans and that he is racist. There have been many social media posts claiming Trump is a racist for hating on immigrants. Each time the posts talk about Trump they fail to mention one key word, illegal. This leads people to believing everything they read on the internet and draw their own conclusion that he is racist.

When pro-Trump supporters ask for the proof that he is racist, many of those opposed to Trump state, “Well you can just tell that is what he means,” when talking about illegals. One can assume that means because someone believes in something then it must be true. There is not much critical thinking involved when it comes to those who are anti-Trump.

Often with the word racist comes the word misogynistic. “The adjective misogynistic is good for describing a dislike or hatred of women, or a deep-rooted bias against women in particular,” as stated on Dictionary.com. The posts point out that he is very sexist with examples of things Trump has said to Rosie O’Donnell and calling Megyn Kelly a ‘bimbo’. That makes the anti-Trump supporters believe that he hates all women. It could be the fact that the parties at hand just don’t like each other.

If a woman says something bad about a man, she isn’t sexist, she is “telling it how it is.”If a man says something about a woman then he is misogynistic. Really? Trump has stated women’s rights are very important to him, but his pro-life stance may have some questions.

When people question his capabilities to lead the nation as president they state he isn’t even a politician. That has not stopped the U.S. from electing non-politicians before. Dwight D. Eisenhower was an Army general. Generals constantly deal with politicians, but he was never elected to any office before president.

Another argument is that a celebrity cannot be a good president. Did someone forget about Ronald Reagan? Electing Trump will bring us back to the forefront in global standings. The man can make a deal like the best of them, unlike the Iran deal that the U.S. just finished. With him not being a politician and having a net value of 10 billion dollars, he won’t be bought by corporate enterprises. The borders will be strengthened and the vets will be taken care of.


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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Apps help in student success

Certain things make your life easier in college.  Your phone can be one of them.  Organization, storage, and the utility that your phone brings to the modern day campus can take you from lost to succeeding in a matter of minutes.  The following is a list of apps that are beneficial for many Android or iPhone users.

Google Drive:

Many Android users already have access to this app, but may not know it’s full potential.  Google Drive is a cloud service that allows you to create documents that resemble many of the Microsoft Office programs.  You can create basic word documents, spreadsheets, and slide shows via Google Drive and save them all on the cloud with up to 10 gigabytes of storage for free.  Students are able to access the Drive from any computer, so storing your homework on it and waiting to print it out at the library is a very simple task.


RealCalc is a scientific calculator that you can download on both Android and CalcMadeEasy is for iTunes.  This is a last minute app that could save you a bunch of grief in your Statistics class if you accidently left your calculator at home or in the car.  Many teachers prefer you to have the real calculator because the phone could store answers on it during test.  The calculator apps have the same functions your TI-84.

StudyBlue Flashcards:

Studying is one of the most important things you can do in college.  StudyBlue allows you to pick from their vast categories like vocabulary and languages or math and sciences.  If you need to create your own for a specific test or quiz then it gives you the option to do it.  At the end of each flashcard session, it will give you a rundown of what you got right and a percentage of completion.  It is all packaged into a sleek app that is very easy to use.

Add to website version:  There are even more resources on their website: www.studyblue.com

About the Writer
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Colleagues remember Shylowe Statzer


Dominic Wilkerson

Many Know Statzer for her help around the office and caring about the environment.

Shylowe Stazer, who was the administrative assistant for the Natural Sciences and Health and Technology divisions, passed away after a long battle with an illness.

Statzer was born in1972 and was in touch with her Native American community.

For Earth Day 2015, Statzer and her family went and picked up trash on the side of the road and planted some trees on the Reservation.  She was hired by Pierce in 2008.

“Shylowe was a warm, caring spirit who touched the lives of so many students, staff, and faculty at Pierce College,” said Ron May, the Dean of the Health and Technology.

“To meet Shylowe meant that you would soon have your heart engulfed by her boundless compassion and empathy. She saw the uniqueness and beauty of each person and treated that individual as if that person was the most important person in the world.  Her Native American Heritage gave her the vision to the interconnectedness of all things and all people and to view the world as one spectacular and very colorful tapestry where each thread contributes to the beauty and integrity of the Whole,” May said.

“She approached each challenge as an opportunity and applied her dedication and talents to ensure that all tasks were done efficiently and with respectful grace,” May said.  “Her passion included her family, her friends, her tribal members, and the women at the prison where she volunteered her time.  She will be so missed by all who knew her.  We have have all become better people for having been touched by Shylowe’s heart.”

“Each tear that is shed at her passing represents a special loving memory of Shylowe,” said May.

“From now on when I look to the sky I will see her spirit flying ever higher on the wings of an eagle,” said May. “Throughout her illness she remained strong, keeping her positive attitude and professionalism.”

About the Writer
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Formula Drift skids into the hearts of race fans


Dominic Wilkerson

Fredric Aasbo car #151 (Right) talks with Alec Hohnadell car #118 (Left) at the end of the event.

Bringing the vivid colors of each car and team to Evergreen, Formula Drift kicked off with a literal bang as crashes and explosion of excitement highlighted the event.


Formula Drift is identified as the primary championship series in drifting for North America. Drifting is a technique in motorsports where the driver controls the entry and exit when making a turn by oversteering intentionally, causing a loss of rear-wheel traction. Races are judged by the driver’s style, line, angle, and tandems, rather than on finishing with the fastest time as with traditional racing.


Justin Pawlak and Tyler McQuarrie, two USA drivers of the Pro circuit, were involved in a crash heard around the world, prompting memes and speculation.


McQuarrie came hot off the 5/8th bank  and hit the wall where they first made contact with each other. Although he ran off the track, McQuarrie recovered and continued drifting along-side Pawlak. On the second to last corner, McQuarrie and Pawlak made contact again with McQuarrie on the inside. Their vehicles maintained contact through the transition of the last corner, then Pawlak pinned McQuarrie against the wall. Pawlak managed to reverse and head to the pits while McQuarrie’s vehicle had to be towed.


“This was one of the best FD’s I’ve been to, besides the weather being bipolar.” Melanie Yordanova, one of the spectators said. “I think it was set up very well and it had a lot of neat vendors. The car show was set up well and of course watching skid racing is always fun.” Yordanova said, referring to “skid racing” in a joking manner.

Of the Pro 2 circuit, the Sikky crew picked up another win this year with James Evans at the wheel. Dan Savage, Evans teammate won the year before. They seem to have their vehicles dialed in to this track even though they are from the DMV (DC Maryland Virginia area).


Fatlace presented “The Offset Kings” car show, which is based out of California, ran alongside the drifting event on Saturday. Heavy hitters from all over the PNW (Pacific Northwest) showed up with cars that have not been shown in this scene lately. Matt Conley, a car show participant, showed up in his Mk3 Supra and instantly became an internet sensation when it was shared on several Facebook pages.


“It’s always a good time DJ-ing for Fatlace.” Dj Lil Shonn said. “I had the honor of being their car show DJ at Evergreen for the past 4 years. This year was even more special and quite a surprise when I finally won a trophy. All my hardwork finally paid off.”  


19 year old Alec Hohnadell (USA) seemed to be unstoppable this event. Hohnadell won against Kyle Mohan (USA), Chris Forsberg (USA), and Daigo Saito (Japan) before losing to Fredric Aasbo (Norway) in the final round. Aasbo’s driving was an easy target for the photographers to get some pretty epic shots of his Scion tC. This loss doesn’t take away from Hohnadell’s run as he appears to be a strong competitor for many years to come.


“I was super excited that Aasbo won and Alec got second. He (Alec) has been driving his heart out lately and it’s awesome seeing an up and comer take out the big boys.” Jessica Crosbie, a photographer on scene, mentioned. “I was upset at the (Justin Powlak) and (Tyler McQuarrie) battle. I think people are still scratching their heads with that one. All in all I love FD. It’s one weekend where an amazing community can come together and celebrate a sport they all love dearly.”


Aasbo commands the board with 428 points. Kenshiro Gushi (Japan) leads second with 348 points and Ryan Tuerck (USA) grapples in third place with 332 points.


The final Pro race will be held at the Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, CA. on Oct 9-10.


About the Contributor
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...


Many Know Statzer for her help around the office and caring about the environment.

#blacklivesmatter: there is no grey area

Despite popular belief, this movement is about fighting for equality; nothing more, nothing less

For over a year now the #blacklivesmatter movement has been in full effect on social media and

in protests around the United States. Some in other nations have even joined the movement. It

is there to display the treatment that black people get when they interact with the police. They

feel there is a big difference between the treatment and targeting of black people than when it

comes to white people. There have been many cases where departments have been found

guilty of racial discrimination, which helps bring the BLM movement to light.

But then there are those who want to start #alllivesmatter. I totally agree that all lives matter and

that it is important to care for everyone. No one should die unjustly or without reason. The thing

is, this is taking away from the original message that BLM is trying to say. With us focusing on

all lives, it throws the white people into the mix where the original problem wasn’t unfair

targeting of white people, but the unfair targeting of black people.

This issue isn’t about white people. Even as a military cop, I can see that civilian cops treat the

black population differently. Out of the 10 times that I have been pulled over in the last year, I

haven’t received a single ticket. Honestly, if I were black, I would have been to jail on at least

one of those occasions.

The fact that a black male was pulled over for a missing front license plate and was shot to

death during the stop because the officer feared for his life when the video clearly showed he

was not in any danger is a huge problem. Was it because the officer was intimidated by the size

of the man or what he was wearing? Yes, the man started to drive off, but the car doesn’t move

sideways, only forward. The officer fired at the man as he was driving away. The officer did not

need to hold on. And yet another black man is dead.

Don’t get me wrong, if a person is committing an act that is causing grave bodily harm to

another human being; by all means shoot him with all the rounds in your magazine. If a criminal

pulls a weapon on an officer, shoot him. If he doesn’t have a license plate, do not shoot.

Once we can actually see as a human race that one group is being treated unfairly and want to

make everyone equal, that is when we can move on. Until then, we cannot grow as a nation.

The BLM movement isn’t about everyone being treated wrong. Let’s not try to make it about

you. Stand up for those who are being treated unfairly. Be the bigger person here. Let’s come

together and fight for equality.

At the end of the day, all lives do matter and as human beings we should take care of each

other. We can come together and achieve greatness if we can just get to the mindset that we

are all equal.

About the Contributor
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Potential Washington State shut down will not cause Pierce to shut down.

Many have heard of the Federal government shutting down due to lack of agreeing on the budget. This time it is our Washington State government that is pending a partial shut down if they do not reach an agreement by June 30th. This will be affecting up to 26,000 workers across the state. Even places like Joint Base Lewis McChord  and Emerald Downs will be affected.

Choi Halladay send out an email recently to the staff on campus.

“Dear Colleagues:

You may have seen news stories regarding the State Legislature still not having a new state budget for the 2015-2017 biennium. If no budget is passed and implemented prior to July 1, 2015, then many state agencies will have to shut down on July 1; those agencies that shut down will place all non-essential personnel on furlough (Temporary Layoff) and not pay them during the shutdown.

As the Chancellor has indicated before, Pierce College, along with all the other community colleges, will not be shutting down on July 1, no matter the result of the legislative process. We will be open for business as usual for all of Summer Quarter, and all employees will continue in their normal summer schedules, with normal pay, just like any other year.

I know that the legislature’s lack of resolution on a state budget can be worrisome. Hopefully they will come to a conclusion soon so we can continue our work serving the community into 2016 and beyond.

—Choi Halladay”

Good news. We get to go to school. Bad news. We don’t get a longer vacation.

This graph was obtained from Kiro 7 News and gives a brief overview of what could possibly be affected.
Kiro 7
This graph was obtained from Kiro 7 News and gives a brief overview of what could possibly be affected.
About the Contributor
Photo of Dominic Wilkerson
Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Vet tech’s pet adoption week is a success

All the pets that the veterinary tech students worked with over the year have found new homes

Every year the Veterinary Technology Program host an adoption week at Pierce College to find new homes for the animals that were donated to the program at the beginning of the year.

The week long event allows the public to come up and fill out applications for the animals that are left to be adopted. Each animal had multiple applicants trying to adopt. “Every animal should have a safe place to go home to. We have an application that they fill out and we have certain answers that we like. It is an interview process,” said Amber Look, Vet Tech student. “We don’t have the resources to do home visits though.”

A total of 19 dogs and 15 cats were up for adoption. At the end of the week only three dogs and seven cats remained, each with multiple applications. “The first choice of adoption goes to the second year students that are graduating, then it’s the faculty of Vet Tech, then it’s faculty of Pierce College, then it’s open to the public.” said Look.

At the table there were items that were for sale; tennis balls, collars, etc. All of the proceeds go to the Vet Tech program. The students work with the animals all year long, learning how to work with different tempermants of animals Students build a bond with the animals and feel it is imperative that the animals go to a good home.

About the Writer
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Poverty Awareness Week helps to open eyes

Events around campus gave the students and faculty a chance to learn more about poverty and ways to help out

Poverty Awareness Week focused on educating students and staff on how poverty can affect us all. A series of events through the week helped pinpoint certain aspects of poverty. “The Backpack Program serves more than 600 students at numerous elementary, middle, and high schools in Tacoma and Lakewood. The Backpack Program provides needy kids with backpacks filled with two days’ worth of food each weekend of the school year. Over 60% of students in Lakewood schools depend on the free and reduced lunch program during the school week. This program offers children nutritious meals for the weekend as well.” per the community partnership document. Students, staff and faculty lined up during their lunch hour and helped pack up around 200 backpacks for the children. Becky Anderson is the main point of contact for this project if you want to know how to volunteer or help in some way. On Tuesday, Living Voices performed a moving dramatization of the Dust Bowl Era “Journey From the Dust.” The story follows Mark Dobson in the panhandle of Oklahoma in 1929 through the Dust Bowl as he travels to California and Seattle. A Hunger Banquet, based off the OXFAM program, was held in the HEC building. As people walked in, they were given three random colored cards representing low, middle, and high income. Low income sat on the floor and ate only rice from a bowl with their hands. The middle income was able to eat rice and beans with a fork at a table. The higher income was served a pasta meal with fresh water, bread, and juice. There was a slight hesitation to start eating at the higher income table as they seen how the others were eating. “It was an eye opener to see how different each income level has it. I am very blessed to be where I am in life and I want to help out more.” said Nataley Guajardo, Student Government President. The last event concluded with a panel of community leaders from Lakewood and Pierce College. Discussion included trying to get help to the individuals in need around the area and how to improve the community. “Throwing money at the problem won’t solve it. It may help, but education and assistance is needed to solve the poverty problem in Lakewood.” Leah LIvingston, Program Manager of Communities in Schools of Lakewood. Overall the events were successful in helping out the community; children fed, learning a better understanding of poverty, and involvement of local community leaders.

About the Writer
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Big brother is always watching you

Worries that cameras around campus will be used to spy on faculty members

  Surveillance cameras provide an added level of security around campus. The footage from the cameras can help solve crimes, direct emergency personnel to needed locations, or help pinpoint locations of distressed individuals.

   However, Pierce College employees are worried that the cameras that have been recently installed on campus may be used  for disciplinary purposes, such as being 5 minutes late or letting class out early.

   The original funding came from a grant from the Department of Homeland Security.

   The only eligible organizations that could apply for the grant had to be non-profit. The college is not a non-profit, it is a governmental agency, which is a totally separate category,” said Choi Halladay, vice president of administrative services. “But the Pierce College Foundation, which raises money for scholarships for the school, is a non-profit.”

    The Foundation applied for the grant and then handed over the money to the school to get the cameras installed.

   When the cameras were installed last summer, the Classified Staff union, Washington Public Employees Associations, had no idea they were even going in.

   “The cameras were brought to our attention that they were going in. We saw them digging ditches for the light standards and nobody knew what they were for.” said Bryan Torell, chief shop steward of the union.” “Someone mentioned that they were for the new cameras. We said ‘What new cameras?’ Well they are security cameras. At that point we went to the administration.”

  The union’s contract with the college states “employees generally will not be subjected to electronic monitoring in the workplace without notice by the Employer.”

   “Any time there is a change in our working conditions, we have the right to do a ‘demand to bargain’. said Mary Davis, a member of the union’s board of directors. “We meet with the administration and a representative from the Department of Labor Relations. We sit down and discuss what is going on with the change in working conditions.”    

   “They already made a decision to put in the cameras so we were only able to talk about the impact of the cameras being in. At the end of the talk we came to an impasse,”
Torell said.

   Through a few different meetings and meditations, the union and the administration came to a settlement. The settlement basically says if they add any new cameras or operate them in any other way than currently being used, the Administration will need to advise the Union.

   “Cameras serve as a tool to deter activities such as shooting and other criminal activities. None of the cameras are installed for the purpose of monitoring staff’s day to day activities.” per the signed agreement signed 22 April, 2015.

  So where are the cameras and what are they monitoring?

   The cameras are located at the North and South entrances of the parking lot, along with a camera under the sky bridge that connects Cascade to Olympic building, monitoring the commons area between the buildings facing the Rainier building.

   Pierce College is listed as a research facility that is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Although there is no animal testing on campus at the Veterinary Tech. site, this could raise safety concerns. Extremist animal activists could potentially attack the school to release the animals and damage the school.

   “We asked the administration if there was a camera pointed towards the Vet. Tech. and they told us no.” said Torell.

      “No one is actively monitoring the cameras,” said Chris MacKersie, director of safety and assistant director of facilities. “We are not staffed to have someone to sit in front of the cameras. Campus safety can access them if needed.”

  The footage is stored at the school’s network video recording servers that holds 10 Terabytes of data. Each campus has a dedicated server. The data is kept on the servers for about 10 weeks before they are recorded over by the cameras.

   “The more cameras that we add, the less amount of time we can keep the footage.” MacKersie said.

   Other law enforcement agencies could access the video footage, but only after filling out the proper paperwork or through a court order.

   With the amount of discussion that has happened between the administration and the union over the past few months, the two groups have seemed to come to an agreement and the cameras are here to stay.

About the Contributor
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Art cuts in school

Recently there was a reading and reception from the Student Literary Arts Magazine, or SLAM. This year it was completely funded by student life from both Pierce College campuses. This shows an apparent appreciation for the arts and artists by the heads of these groups, but the same is not said for elementary schools all the way through high schools. Budget cuts are a constant source of debate amongst taxpayers and parents. Art, however, has been proven to be therapeutic .

Artistic expression has long been revered as almost necessary to life and to living fully, schools like SOTA of School of the Arts in Tacoma are focused on refining the artistic talents of their students and to be more well-rounded individuals. True artistry comes from being given the ability to express one’s self as freely as they need, this cannot be done if the programs needed are simply not there.

In children there is an inherent need to express what they see in any form they can but to squander their creativity is

Rather than debating what should be cut, the debate seems to be focused on what should not be cut. Even band classes help students perform better academically because learning music is like learning another language. The overall benefits of art classes far outweigh the cost.

About the Writer
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Camera choice is vital to capturing great photos

Nikon and Canon make for an easy transition into DSLR

Many cell phones come with decent cameras with high megapixels, like the Samsung S6 or the iPhone 5s. These cameras are good for a quick point and shoot when out and about, but suffer when it comes to zooms and other capabilities. However, cell phone cameras can rival some of the point and shoot cameras on the market right now.


The question arises, “What is better than my camera on my phone for more professional style photos?”


This is where you enter the world of DSLR. DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. Meaning the camera uses better sensors, optics, and a memory card to record the image.


There are many options to look at when it comes to DSLRs. You can start out with an entry level camera and move all the way up to a professional grade camera. Nikon and Canon are just two of a few companies that make DSLRs for the consumers. This guide will be looking at the those two companies.


Good entry level cameras are Nikon and Canon since they offer cameras that are easy for a novice photographer to use. The Nikon D3300 and the Canon EOS SL1 are the way to go. You have the cheapness in price; Nikon at $499 and Canon at $499 through Bestbuy.com. You can find cheaper prices around the internet with rebates happening all the time or with bundles that come with bags, memory cards, and other lenses.


The D3300 is the newer of the two and comes with 24.2 megapixels vs the SL1’s 18 megapixels. The Nikon shoots 1 FPS (frames per second) faster than the Canon at 5 FPS vs 4 FPS, making the Nikon slightly better for sports photography. As for ease of use, the Canon does come with a touch screen. Both cameras offer HD (high definition) video recording.


Moving up to the cameras with more options available are the Nikon D7200 and the Canon 70D.

Both come in around $1000 with a basic kit lens. These offer better sensors than the entry level cameras. This allows you to up the ISO. The ISO setting is how light sensitive your camera is. 100 ISO means it is not so sensitive and as you move up, the camera performs better in low light areas. One problem with upping the ISO is the noise that happens in the photo. The noise is the graininess you may see in your photographs. These cameras allow you use higher than the entry level cameras without much grain, to a point.

The Canon shoots at 20 MP while the Nikon shoots at 24.2 MP. Yet again the Canon comes with a touch screen while the Nikon does not. The screen on the Canon also rotates out for you to shoot low or high without looking through the viewfinder. The Nikon offers more autofocus points (51 vs 19) and comes with two slots for your memory cards.


Now a full frame camera comes with a 35mm format sensor whereas the other cameras in this article has a crop sensor which is anywhere from 1.5x to 1.6x smaller.


Canon offers the 6D ($1400) and Nikon with the D610 ($1900). In low light, the 6D outperforms the D610 with an ISO reach of 102,400 vs 25,600. The Nikon again is at 24mp while the Canon is at 20mp. The Nikon is a better fit for those who want actions shots with 39 auto focus points for quick focusing. Canon, as mentioned, has a higher ISO range making it better for those who want to shoot in low light environments.


All cameras mentioned in this buying guide have removable lenses. Some may find themselves out growing their kit lens thinking that they need a new camera to take better photos. Slapping on a new glass (lens) will greatly change your images. However, that will be another buying guide for a different day.

Regardless of the camera you use, it always comes down to practice. Taking pictures of any and everything can help improve your skills as a photographer and help you decide on what your style is so that you can find a suitable camera for you.

About the Contributor
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Dealing with PTSD : An inside look from a veteran.


Dominic Wilkerson

Photo illustration

*This is a personal account of what it is like to actually deal with the problem

Joining the Air Force in 2005 as a Security Forces member (military cop), I knew I would have to deploy at some point in my career. “The war on terror” had been going on for a few years now and deployments were at an all time high.

Some may think that Air Force does not deploy to combat areas on the ground or that they just get comfortable “deployments.” For the most part, this is true. For Security Forces, this is halfway true. There are some places in Asia or even South America that is a very easy going deployment.

Then there is the other ones. ”

Security Forces specialize in base defense. In most deployed locations the usually guard the perimeter of built up bases. Sometimes, like my first deployment, we pushed outside the wire in QRF (Quick Reaction Force) or ASO (Area Security Operations). In Iraq, my mission was a turret gunner in a 13 person squad in 4 gun trucks. I was either rear or lead gunner with my .50 cal machine gun.

The third day in this job we responded to our first IED strike (Improvised Explosive Device). An Army unit, that was doing the same job as us, got hit on top of a bridge. The gunner was launched from the turret and received minor injuries, but the drive took the main blast of the EFP (Explosively formed penetrator), which is a molten copper slug that can push through most armor. The driver lived an hour after the blast, but due to waiting for the MEDIVAC (helicopter) to pick him up, he bled out and passed away.

Our truck leader had my driver and I dismount, as he stayed in the turret,  to go look up close and personal what this (the IED) could do to us. The blood was dried already, even though it had only been one hour. This sight brought the realization that this was a war and people would be trying to kill me.

That started my first night of barely sleeping.”

Over the course of the next few months, the base would be hit many times with mortars, even though they rarely damaged or injured anyone, and our units kept getting hit with ill placed IEDs. The IEDs would explode way ahead of time or in between the units, not damaging anything.

Due to the amount of IEDs being planted in the area, we would have to man the bridge 24 hours a day in rotating shifts. I watched other convoys get hit with IEDs when they would travel from their locations, yet there was nothing we were allowed to do. The British would come and help them while we manned the bridge.

I would gun 5 out of 6 days that I would work a week. My driving day was normally on Wednesday, but for some reason this week it was on a Thursday and I had to drive the squad leader’s truck. I felt so out of place and something didn’t feel right. When we headed out to our bridge, there were no units on the bridge. This immediately threw up some red flags. The Army unit was under the bridge to get out of the sun.

The squad leader had us set up and do our sector sweeps around our trucks. As I was doing mine, I looked down and saw 3 Iraqis lookup up at me, waving, and saying “Hi Americans.” This was another red flag, due to us being in the same location for about 6 months, I did not recognize any of the men. I pointed it out to my squad leader as I started setting up our position more.

As 2 of our gun trucks started driving up to clear another position, one being my normal truck, a PSD unit (private security detail or civilian contractors) flew passed our position. I look up from the trunk on my hummer and shout a cuss word at them for how fast they were going.

That is when the IED went off. The PSD unit was hit roughly 50 yards ahead of our lead truck, but we had no communications for the first 30 seconds with that truck, so the worst went through our head.

One person died immediately from the blast. The driver died minutes later due to shock/blood lost, but we loaded the gunner (the guy that sat in the rear of the SUV) into one of our gun trucks and drove as fast as we could back to base. He lost both legs to the blast. Other units were already there securing the scene.

These were guys that I would see every day at the chow hall. To know they were dead and see their bodies was a shock. Another part of the shock was thinking that could had been me. If I was gunning that day I would have told the guys we should push forward.

To this day, questions still run through my mind. Would I have seen that IED? Would things be different if I was gunning? Would I be dead if I was gunning? Could I have saved their lives if I was gunning? Why didn’t we close off the area?

Nightmares happened and kept happening, replaying this situation over and over again. I still had to get up and do my job while deployed. I had to keep it together for the safety of my squad. Everyone on my squad was affected.

We headed back Stateside and went through some evaluations. I was honest on mine saying I was having trouble sleeping because of that day. They kept me on base and I would have to see the counselors nearly every day. They would not sign off on my leave until I was “better”. I just wanted to go home and see my family.

I told them I was better when I wasn’t.”

Over the next 2 years it got better. I moved on to my next duty station and wanted another deployment. I was on shift when they told me my next deployment was back to Iraq. Baghdad this time.

That night, the nightmares came back. I started drinking more and more to suppress it. I would never drink and drive or go to work drunk, but anytime I was off work, I was drunk. My deployment changed to Kuwait. But I was still on edge the entire time.

I broke my leg one day at work and it never healed right, so they medically discharged me. I had to go see the VA (Veteran’s Association) for my screening to get out. They checked out my poor sleeping habits and alcohol usage. The doctor managed to get this story out of me and diagnosed me with PTSD. I tried to downplay it as “Oh, just acute PTSD right?” she told me no.

I couldn’t handle having that diagnose. I wasn’t in major combat like the Army or Marines. Sure I watched people die. I watched IEDs go off. Mortars explode. I wasn’t injured though. How could I have PTSD?

After getting out and moving back to Washington State, I stayed busy. I grabbed a fast food job and wanted to keep on moving with my daily life. I was used to working 8 to 12 hour days and having time off killed me. More time off I had the more I would slip into depression. I would drink more. I would be angrier towards loved ones. I never wanted to kill myself though. I have been asked frequently if I ever wanted to self-harm. Simple answer. No. I love myself too much. I have goals.

That didn’t change my thoughts though. I still had the nightmares.  ”

One day, I got a dog. I heard that animals help those with PTSD out a lot. The first time I saw my puppy, I knew I had to have her. Her name is Mercedes.

Mercedes gave me something to care about and look after besides myself. Since it was just the two of us, she was always by my side.

I would wake up to her shaking and licking me. I couldn’t figure out why she was shaking so I would hold her close. Eventually I realized it wasn’t her. It was me. I was shaking. She was licking me to wake me up from the nightmares that I was having.

After that night, I decided to go and get help. My school work was going downhill due to lack of sleep and my overall health was deteriorating. I contacted the VA and they helped me find a counselor. I started to talk with other vets about what they went through and how they coped with it.

It has been a few months since my last nightmare. I am still on guard.

If you have a similar problem, talk to someone. You don’t need to be a vet to have PTSD. Victims of violent crimes, cops, firefighters, or anyone going through something traumatic could have PTSD. My number one advice is not to fight it alone. Get help. I know I have a long battle ahead of me, but it is one I am wanting to fight.



Growing potatoes for the summer

An easy walk through to start your garden now with this durable plant.


Dominic Wilkerson

Ready to plant seed potato, with sprouted eye

Gardening is a great way to get sustainable vegetables and fruit for your family to eat. If you have never gardened before, a potato is a really easy plant to start with. With the weather warming up, this is the time to start planting them.


Potatoes are one of the most versatile things you can grow easily in your garden or even on  your deck. From baked potatoes to french fries, a person can use them for almost anything. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, “The taste and texture of home-grown potatoes are far superior to store bought, especially the early varieties.”


There are several different ways to plant the potatoes, which all depend on the the size of area you have to plant in. If you don’t have much room, you can plant the potatoes in a garbage bag. However, you have to have enough irrigation so that your potatoes don’t rot. This may be an eyesore for yourself or your neighbors due to the black bags just laying in the middle of your garden, yard, or deck.


First thing to do is to get seed potatoes. This may sound weird since potatoes don’t have ‘seeds’. Grabbing seed potatoes from the local garden store or farm is the best way, since potatoes from the grocery store could have diseases that were passed on from the crops before it.


Each potato has several eyes where the sprout grows from. Cut the potato up into 1 inch pieces where there are at least 2 eyes in each piece. Once you cut them up, leave the pieces out for about 2 days for the potatoes to gain protective layer over the exposed area.


The next step is to get the land ready. Dig a few trenches about 4 inches deep at one foot apart in a sunny area of the garden.


Once the potatoes have a protective layer, plant them sprout up in the trenches. After the potato plants get about 6 to 8 inches tall, add more dirt on top of the plant, leaving the top exposed. This will give more room for the potatoes to grow upwards, increasing the yield.


Keep the plants watered. If there is lack of irrigation in the area, make sure the plants do not get water logged. Potatoes do best in well drained, loose soil.


After 10 weeks the potatoes should be ready. Roughly in July you can harvest the potatoes. Expect about 50 pounds of potatoes per 2 pounds of seed potatoes planted. Remove the potatoes and dust them off. Store them in cool and dry places to make them last longer.


About the Writer
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Serving people in need

Students at Pierce help out during Civics Week


Civics Week

Civics Week kicked off Monday around campus. The first event was creating snack packs for children to eat during weekend. Sometimes children are only able to eat during school hours. The snack packs will help children with food for the weekends.

Throughout the week there has been several speakers arriving at Pierce to speak about civic duties for students to participate in; fighting against crime, community service, and volunteering work.

The week ended in students going to The Tacoma Rescue Mission to feed the less fortunate on a dreary Washington day. Students linked up with volunteers from a local church, Souls Harbor Apostolic Church.

“We were only allowed to bring ten volunteers with us today. Once a year, in November, each of our young people bring one item to put in a sack lunch or hygiene items,” said Janette Rodin from the Church youth group.

“We hand them out to homeless people we find while driving around. The kids are thankful for what they have now, because sometimes they take things for granted.”

The volunteer opportunity  gave a chance to the Pierce students to interact with other volunteer groups from around the local area.

“Instead of spending time at home being lazy we are actually forming connections, helping people out, using our time wisely.” said Gary Boon Kakean, Pierce Student.

The Rescue Mission serves close to 800 people a day. During the holidays, it jump up to 500 people during a single serving.

“Without the volunteers, our staff would be dwindled to just myself, running the kitchen and serving the individuals.” said the kitchen manager Robert Smith.

The impact the volunteers made to the community was shown on the faces of those whom they served during the day. Several individuals thanked the volunteers with smiles and gratitude.


About the Writer
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Remembering Mark Dungan

The tough exterior hid softer side of Pierce teacher


Dominic Wilkerson

Jim Dungan, Mark’s father, talked about how his don’s eyes were donated to two people so they can now see


“He taught me a lot on how invision what I want and to open my eyes, not just in art, but in life.” said Kelly Gabrinetti, former student, after talking about the last day he seen Mark Dungan in class.


Dungan was a photography teacher at Pierce College. On his way home from class, on March 5, 2015, he lost his life in an accident while riding his motorcycle. According to his obituary on The News Tribune’s website, Dungan relocated to Washington State, where he graduated in 1976 from Auburn High School while serving in the Coast Guard. He then went on to attend Washington State University, and later Utah State University, where he earned his master’s degree.


Pierce College opened up an art exhibit in Dungan’s name to showcase his work over the years. Most of the work was taken while he was riding his motorcycle across country.


Douglas Wells, a long time friend, flew in from Las Vegas, NV to be here for the art opening. Wells and Dungan were classmates in a photography school in Maine. “He was a rough guy, but he was not what you expected.” said Wells.  “Mark was kind of, for some people, hard for you to get past the tough outer skin. He was a really sensitive artistic guy. He really cared about his student and was excited for this term (at Pierce). He thought art was a metaphor for life.”


“During our college years, Mark went out on a hiking trip with a classmate. She fell and broke her ankle and she called out for Mark. ‘Mark, I broke my ankle please help.’ He was like walk it off, it’s not broken. She said ‘No it really is.’ In a testament to his character, Mark picked her up and carried her for nearly a mile to the car and drove her to the hospital. She was clearly upset she broke her ankle, but was more upset she was going to miss her date that night. Mark said he would bring her to the date and as an alibi he would tell her date all that transpired that day. If that doesn’t tell you what kind of guy he is, I don’t know what would.” Wells said about Dugan.


During the event, his father, Jim Dungan, stepped up, assisted by a walker,  and talked to the students and faculty about his son. “I would like everyone to close their eyes and think of sunsets, sunrises, flowers, and birds” his father asked.  “Do this because Mark donated his eyes, and because of his donations, I was informed that two people are now able to see.”


James Devore, along with other previous students, were on Dungan’s Facebook page commenting about what Dungan would always say not to take photos of. “He would tell us all not to take photos of flowers and babies, he would have an entire list.” said Devore. “It was hilarious. He was just obnoxious (in a good way) and that is how I would always remember him.”

Dungan leaves behind a legacy in his art and is survived by his father, sister Judy Dafoe, brother Mike, 2 nieces, 4 grand nieces/nephews, and his dog, Fang, who he would sometimes bring to class. Dungan will be truly missed around the Pierce campus and in life. RIP.


About the Contributor
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

The Fast and Furious brand without Paul Walker

Remembering his legacy in the best way possible


Dominic WIlkerson

Fans host car meets in honor of Paul Walker and to watch the movie

When a movie opens up for its first time in theaters, it is a happy event. For ‘Furious 7’, it was more of a memorial for Paul Walker, who died in a fiery crash alongside friend Roger Rodas, who was the driver of the Porsche, at a charity event.


“When I heard, I immediately flew back to California, and went directly from the plane to his mother’s house. I thought they needed my strength, but realized when I got there and broke down before his family, that it was I who needed theirs.” said Vin Diesel via a Facebook post just days after Walker and Rodas passed away. “His mother hugged me and said I am so sorry… I said sorry? You’re the mother who lost a son?… She said yes, but you lost your other half.”


Many flocked to the movies to see how the last installment, with Walker, would send off the actor.  The film grossed $143.6 million in opening weekend alone. That is a testament of how many people cared about Walker. Car clubs, tuning shops, and just general car enthusiast created pre-meets before the movie started so they can all pay tribute to Walker and watch the movie together.


It has been almost 15 years since the first installment of the Fast and Furious movies was released. It focused around a street racing crew that would steal truckloads of equipment to sell off. Walker played an undercover police officer, Brian O’Connor,  that infiltrated the racing scene to see who was doing the crime. Walker befriended Diesel, Dom Toretto,  and his rag tag group of racers and over the next 5 movies (the third movie didn’t have Walker in it) they grew into a family, on set and in real life.


F7 picked up where Fast & Furious 6 left off. The crew just took down Shaw, an international criminal, played by Luke Evans, and now his brother, Jason Statham, is pissed and looking for vengeance. At the end of Tokyo Drift, which is the third movie, but technically the 6th in chronological order, Statham kill Sung Kang, ‘Han’ in a fiery crash.


Fast forward to F7 and the crew is battling Statham the entire movie. F7 is action packed with some off the wall scenes that keep you glued to your seat. Head on collisions, jumping from moving vehicles, and racing at mind blowing speeds are common places throughout the entire movie. Some complained that it has moved from it’s roots with street racing into a special forces charged movie. That is totally fine with many of people.


“I think furious 7 or the whole franchise for that matter has so much meaning to it than just a movie with cars. From its roots it’s where a lot of us enthusiasts originated. With idea and drive to pursues something we love.” said Tony Hamblin, owner of Hamstik Media.


Walker passed away during the production of F7. This presented a major challenge for the directors and cast. They had to make a major decision to keep on with the movie. Walker’s brothers helped with filling in as body doubles, and assisted with CGI (computer-generated imagery), to finish up the movie. It was done to near perfection.


“I thought it was wonderfully made, I liked it alot and thought it had a great tribute to Paul.” said Chelsea Nelson after watching the movie.


The movie was a tough one to watch. Each time Walker would appear on the screen, movie goers couldn’t help but to get choked up a little bit. The ending of the movie paid tribute to Walker with a 5 minute set of movie clips and Diesel remembering Walker in a monolog that would make the meanest, toughest guy out there cry. Social media exploded with the hashtag #ForPaul. Many were talking about how the movie aced the farewell to Walker. It was a commonplace to see people posting about how they teared up or cried at the end.


“Furious 7 lived up to its name giving new angle of what we thought was action.” said Brian Maroney, Vice President of Third World Society, an automotive website for car enthusiast. “The farewell was perfectly executed in saying goodbye to Paul Walker and retiring his character from the franchise.”


As for the franchise, Diesel was on a late night t.v. show saying the next Fast and Furious movie would take place in New York City.

About the Writer
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Slain Pierce student mourned

The gruesome details of the rape and murder of Jesus Isidor Mendoza, a formerPierce College student, could have come out of a horror movie. The attack took place around Oct. 22, 2014 in a Tacoma home. Mendoza was reported missing after he failed to come to Pierce that day.

Court documents state that Wallace Jackson, 48 and Darrel Daves, 49, raped Mendoza in a detached garage of the house of Crystal Jackson’s, 30, (no relations) where Daves was staying at the time.

According to court documents were drowned Mendoza in a bucket of water. Wallace held down Mendoza’s head into the bucket as Daves held down his legs. Mendoza’s hands were behind his back, but Crystal was unable to see if the hands were bound.

After he was dead, they dismembering the corpse with a machete style knife Daves grabbed from the house. Mendoza was then stuffed it in a duffle bag.

After two days of leaving the body outside, Crystal and Daves loaded the body into a car and disposed of the body down a ravine where it was left for nearly three months.

He’s what i call a’jelly bean’, hard on the outside, but soft on the inside”

According to Crystal’s daughter, per the court documents, the men attacked Mendoza because he allegedly stole something from Crystal’s room.

The local media has been using a portrait of Mendoza which appears to be a mug shot, which portrays him as a deliquent. Friends and family members are appauled by the gruesome details of Mendoza’s horrific death and wish to remember his legacy by those who lives he touched.

“He’s what I call a jellybean, hard on the outside but soft on the inside. Never failed to put a smile on someone’s face.” Nidia Ortiz-Cotton, Mendoza’s friend, said. “I remember how we would always get in trouble in class back in middle school. He may be gone but will forever live in our hearts.”

Mendoza and his family are well known at their Lakewood church, St. Frances Cabrini. His sisters still go to school there and his mother is well known by many Parish faculty. Most of his friends met Mendoza through church-related activities. “He was the sweetest person I knew.” Miriam Alvarez, friend and church member, said. “I first met him at church. He was always smiling, laughing at everything, as someone everyone loved being around, whether you saw him at the store or at an event.” Miriam Alvarez, friend and church member, said.

Mendoza began attending Pierce in the fall quarter of 2014. He was taking quite a course load and was attending up until his murder.

Detectives interviewed the victim’s mother. She reported that Wallace had come to her home looking for Mendoza prior to him going missing. The last time she saw her son was on October 22, 2014. She said she saw him get into a vehicle that was driven by Crystal.

Police found the body in a ravine 8 miles from the house that the murder took place, after a tip from someone overhearing Wallace say the dead body was there. The body was decomposed, but the authorities were able to identify Mendoza.

Wallace, Crystal, and Daves have all been charged with murder. Wallace and Crystal are both held on a $2 million bail, while the court ordered Daves to be held on a $5 million bail.  Wallace and Daves are know users of illegal drugs and this could be a possible motive for the attack / murder.


About the Writer
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Large difference in energy drink prices can affect your wallet

Students have the option to grab an energy drink from three different vendors on campus; The Student bookstore, the cafeteria, or the vending machines. For some reason the prices vary so much, you can almost buy a soda with the difference.

Starting at the highest, the cafeteria has Rockstars priced at $3.79. This may seem high to some and it is. The prices are set by Lancer Catering. When students get lunch, they normally don’t go searching for a cheaper energy drink and end up grabbing a drink that cost just as much as their meal sometimes. This is a basic supply and demand / cornering the market tactic.

All around campus there are vending machines. The machines are operated by Vista Vending NW. These are perfect for students who want to grab a drink right before class. The price for an energy drink is $3.25. There is a convenience with the ability to buy with a debit or credit card. These vending machines do have a small rebate for cash prices which is 10 cents. Inquiries to the company were not returned.

Another perk for buying from these machines is written on all the machines around campus. “All proceeds received by Pierce College go to support student scholarships.” a sticker on the vending machine states. That does not seem like that bad of a deal, yet that is still not the cheapest price on campus.

The Student bookstore, which is operated by Barnes and Noble, offers energy drinks at $2.59. There also is a wide variety of snacks you can pick up at 50% off. The store appears to be the most cost effective place to get any type of snack or drink

It seems a little unfair that the prices vary this in such a small area. From the Student Store to the first vending machine next the Pioneer office, the difference is 66 cents (not counting tax). The price difference increases to $1.20 between the Cafeteria and the Student Store.

Most students drive to school. Other options is to stop at a gas station that usually runs deals for the energy drinks; 2 for $3. Grocery stores, like Fred Myers, do run specials where you can pick the drinks up for around a dollar or 10 for $10.

Per the Rockstar website, rockstarenergyshop.com, a person can buy a case of 24 16 oz energy drinks for $40. This prices seems to be the best but does not take shipping in count. Currently the shipping price to Tacoma, Wa is $15.99. This sets the price per energy drink at roughly $2.33.

As you can see, there are cheaper options out there. There is no way to tell how much farther can the prices climb at the school.


About the Contributor
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Voice into visual art

Two classes are creating an art gallery for all to view in March

In the darkness of the Science dome, the art of painting and the art of words are fused together to make something different.

Students from Heather Frankland’s English 107 and David Roholt’s art class embarked on an adventure to combine poetry with paintings. Frankland’s students created found poems (Found poems take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems)   for the project with Roholt’s art students.

The art students will now have a few weeks to create a painting based on the found poem.

There will be a gallery walk of the finished product March 4 on the 2nd floor of Olympic building. There will be food and beverages to be shared. A few students will be selected to talk about their poems and paintings.


Sample of the

found poetry

It’s like walking up stairs in the dark

Thinking there is one more step

Until your foot falls through the air

— Gabrielle Garwick


About the Writer
Photo of Dominic Wilkerson
Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Matthew Wuscher’s “Water is Life” gallery brings life to the walls of Pierce.

Students stop by everyday to look at the photos of beautiful landscapes from around the PNW


Dominic Wilkerson

The Matthew Wuscher’s “Water is Life” gallery will be open until March 27, 2015 in the Olympic Building at Fort Steilacoom Campus

Photos lace the walls of  the Fort Steilacoom Fine Arts Gallery as students and faculty arrive for the opening of Matthew Wuscher’s exhibit.


The theme of the exhibit is “Water is Life.” All but one of the photos had some type of water in it; lakes, oceans,  waterfalls, and rivers. The one photo that did not have water in it was a photo of a field and clouds. One can assume that it is the beginning of rain clouds, which ties it into the rest of the photos.


The photos were laid out with the natural landscapes on the outside walls moving in towards the man made landscapes. Each of the photos were printed on a white sheet of metal. This technique made each of the contrasting colors pop out even more. These photos are now more durable compared to regular printed photo paper, allowing the photographs to be shipped to other galleries without worry of glass breaking or paper ripping.


Matthew Wuscher, photojournalist and Media Producer for Pierce College, has been working here for 5 years. Previously he worked at TV stations as a photojournalist covering everything from sports to crime and everything in between


“I worked on these images for about 2.5 years. All of the photos are from Washington and Oregon. I been doing photography all my life.” Wuscher said.


As each person circled each photo, they discussed what the photos meant to them or complimented the work that was put into it.


“I think they are really beautiful,” Heather Spivey, Pierce College student, said. “They capture the nature part of cities we don’t see too much or recognize. I really like the waterfalls and forest. It’s a nice capture of the elegance.”


Other guest included faculty from all over campus.  One person stood out above the rest, Lynn Wuscher, Matthew Wuscher’s mother.


“I could not be more proud of my son, these are gorgeous pictures. I dragged him into photography and he has left me in the dust,” Lynn Wuscher said of her son gallery and career. “It’s a talent. It’s being able to look at a picture ainic Wilkersinnd compose it.  There is a whole lot more it than just a pretty picture.”

The gallery will be up until March 27. in the Olympic building.

About the Writer
Photo of Dominic Wilkerson
Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Violence erupts around the world in wake of announcement

Protests and civil disturbances happen after the grand jury edited not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown


Dominic Wilkerson / Staff Photo

Protestors and police face off at 12th and Pike in Seattle. Anger and disbelief can be felt among the protestors.

November 24, 2014, millions of people sat around their tv set to hear the verdict on rather or not the grand jury would indict Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown during an altercation back in August. Family members of Brown and hundred of other people gathered outside the courthouse awaiting the verdict.

Bob McCulloch, St. Louis County prosecuting attorney, stepped out from behind a door to in front of the cameras to announce the verdict. After several minutes of talk about how and why they came up with the verdict, McCulloch announced there would be no indictment.

While most would think this would be closure to the situation, that was far from the truth. Protesters filled the street in Ferguson, where the protesting turned into rioting. As President Obama was making his statement on the situation, video of a burning police car played on the screen.

The police set up their line against the rioters, but came under gunfire from the mob on several occasions. About a dozen buildings around Ferguson were torched to the ground by the rioters. In some occasions even the reporters were hurt by the crowd while trying the cover the event.

Protests were not limited to Ferguson. Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Seattle were just a few cities around the US to have protest.  Understanding the hostile environment that I could be facing  picked up my camera and went to Seattle to cover the protest.

Marching to several locations around Seattle, the protesters were met by police at every turn. Seattle police department kept the public updated on their Twitter feed about what was going on. On the first night, the protest centered around Capitol Hill.

The gatherings were rather peaceful until they gained access to I-5 northbound, causing traffic to come to a halt. One Washington State trooper’s vehicle was damaged while trying to get the protesters off the freeway. This group of protesters were the ones marching around downtown Seattle.

Several locations around downtown Seattle had barricades set up to keep the protesters back from certain locations like the police department. I showed up to 12th and Pike where one of these barricades were set up. There were about 15-20 officers and around 10-15 protesters.

I managed to get an interview with one of the protesters, Jus Moni of Seattle,  whom I assume withheld her legal name in fear of being prosecuted.

What is the main reason that you are out here protesting?

JM: “I am demonstrating my rights. I have a young black man that I am refusing to plan a funeral for at four years old. I believe war is coming and I know who’s side I stand on.”

Have you been here all night?

JM: “I have been here a few hours. I was here with the crowd, but they dispersed.”

Are the cops at least being respectful to the gathering of protesters?

“I don’t know if you can call it respectful. I can tell you looking into some of these officers eyes they do not want to be here. A part of this story is offering our hand to those who don’t know the truth. Allowing them, not any more time, but allowing them space for redemption.”

Over the next week, the protest around Seattle got larger. During Black Friday, protesters filled the Westlake Center, causing it to close 3 hours early.

Ed Murray, Mayor of Seattle, released a news statement about the situations of the week.
“While I understand the hurt and frustration that our city has experienced in the past day, this is a city that respects the rule of law. I support the First Amendment rights of the people, but violence against property or police officers will not be tolerated in our city.”

Protest all over the world interrupted the day to day lives. A video appeared of protesters tearing down the fence at the parliament building in London and rushing the field as police tried to hold them back. In Los Angles, like other cities, protesters filled the highways causing commuters to be late to work which caused confrontations between commuters and protesters.

Wilson resigned from the Ferguson Police Department last week.

“I, Darren Wilson, hereby resign my commission as a police officer with the City of Ferguson effective immediately. I have been told that my continued employment may put the residents and police officers of the City of Ferguson at risk, which is a circumstance that I cannot allow,” Wilson stated in his letter of resignation.

Wilson will not receive his severance package for resigning per the Mayor of Ferguson.

Racial debates and arguments erupted across many social media platforms. The KKK (Ku Klux Klan) stated they would back up the police force in Ferguson, while Anonymous (an organization of known hackitvist) posted personal data of the KKK leader.

This is still an ongoing situation that will be updated on our website after this issue.


About the Contributor
Photo of Dominic Wilkerson
Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

End of the season review: Volleyball

The season for our volleyball team has ended and the focus for next season begins

The Raiders volleyball team fell into fourth place in the NWAC West division this year, missing the playoffs by just one place down. The team pulled off 5 league wins this season, but came away with 9 losses also. Their division was tough this year with Tacoma going 13-1 and Highline right behind them at 11-3.

The turning point for this season was the match at Grays Harbor. The Raiders needed to win the next 3 out of 4 games in order to reach the play-offs.

The game at Green River, which was the Sophomore night, was a need to win game.

“We played well again, but again Green River stood tall, blocked well, and played well,” said Doug Carlson, Raiders volleyball head coach of the game. “We performed good, but they performed better.”

On the offensive side of the game, the kills ( successful, legal, point-scoring play ) leader this year was Hailey Harn with 195. Right behind her was Brianna Hardee (167) and Taylor Buell(113).

Defensively, the digs (A defensive contact following an opponent’s attack resulting in a playable ball) leader was Helena Stout with 452. Following up was Taylor Buell (284) and Brianna Hardee (254).

“Hailey Harn and Brianna Hardee played really well, hitting outside for us and playing great defence with blocking real well. Those two are our stand out players this year.” Carlson said when asked about stand-out players. Both are sophomores that will not be returning for next season.

This year is a building year. Five freshmen were on the team this year and are expected to be back for next season.

“We have a good freshmen class.” stated Carlson “I am excited to have the freshmen. We will have a good returning class.”

Stats for the season


Games played: 80
Kills per game: 9.65
Assists per game: 8.60
Service aces per game: 1.62
Reception errors per game: 1.46
Digs per game: 19.76
Blocks per game: 1.01
Ball handling errors per game: 0.05
Reception errors per game: 1.46
Overall record: 9-12  Conference: 6-8

Head Coach: Doug Carlson

Asst. Coach: Cami Medlock

Team: : Brianna Glass, Taylor Buell, Karissa Smith, Brittany Smith, Breana Horvill, Lianna Guajardo, Haley Harn, Samatia Huntley, Marissa Morris, Helena Stout

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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Status of the new sports complex

A new multi-sport field is in the works


A plan to build a field that encompasses a new baseball, softball, and soccer field for the Pierce College has been in the works for some time. Some staff members and students have heard about the plans, yet have not had any recent updates.

Most of Pierce College’s outdoor sports are played at other places near campus. For example, the men’s baseball team plays at Mt. Tahoma high school.

The field will be tentatively located at the Puyallup campus. Taking an example from Edmonds community college, the field will be all turf; for several sports.

Some assume the new program has already been funded and the funds are just floating around.

“There is no money designated or committed to this project at this time” Duncan Stevenson, Director of Athletics, said. “We worked with the student leaders last year to set aside some money for an engineering study.”

This appears to be where the confusion comes from. The engineering study was already completed last year. There was plans to partner with the Puyallup City Council in resource development, but the council decided to go with the Puyallup school district and funding their projects.

Funding will most likely coming from several sources, including the students, local foundations, and sponsors from around the area. Another source, once the complex opens, would be renting it for to local teams to use.

Building a compact, up to date complex will help lower the footprint of the field and ecological impact in the surrounding areas.

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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Fury: A World War II suspenseful action drama

This film is more about the bonding of men at war than the war itself


“Fury” follows a tank crew in WWII occupied Germany. This gripping film is set up nicely by gritty opening..A field of destruction and mayhem lays ahead of a German soldier on horseback as he rides through the battle field to assess the damage. Suddenly, Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) jumps off the tank and kills the German soldier.

The crew, Boyd “Bible” Swan, played by Shia LeBeouf, Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis, played by Jon Bernthal,and Trini “Gordo” Garcia (Michael Peña), with Don “Wardaddy” Collier leading them, goes through many trials over the course of the movie.

First they lose their long time friend, who was an assistant driver in the tank. Needing to find a replacement and link up with another unit, they travel across the warzone to another base where they pick up a new young soldier, Norman Ellison, played by Logan Lerman. Scared to death, Ellison has to deal with his own reservations in order to live another day. The crew, eventually managed to guide the young soldier into becoming a fighting machine.

The banter between the crews is on point. Having served in the military, I can say I felt right at home with all the conversations they were having. While they gave each other trouble in their banter, they were there to back each other up the entire time.

The film was filled with amazing graphics and action. While it was a movie based on war, the writers did an excellent job at building up each of the characters. The details in the action went all the way down to something as small as the ratio of bullets to tracer and the color of the German tracers.

It brought you in and never let you go. The movie was so intense that it was able to pull the audience in; to where a single crackle from a gun made several of the audience jump out of their seats.

Steven Price, “Fury’s” music composer, did an excellent job with setting the moods in the film.The film was excellently scored to tell each scene: whether it was running into battle or the serene calm of a dinner table.

I give this film an overall 4.5 out of 5. “Fury” was over all a moving and apt military drama.


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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Commentary: Religion in the NFL

When it is ok for you to pray after a score for one religion but not another


Husain Abdullah praying after his touchdown against New England Patriots

Kansas City Chiefs’ defense was crushing the spirit of the New England Patriots, when cornerback Husain Abdullah intercepted a pass from Tom Brady for a pick six (interception and running it for a touchdown).

What came next surprised a lot of individuals, including the announcing staff, twitter followers, and millions across the world: a yellow flag. Abdullah got down on both knees and bowed his head to the ground in prayer. He was not celebrating, he was praying; yet the officials threw the flag for “going to ground” during what the officials called “excessive celebration.”

“If I get a pick, I’m going to prostrate before God in the end zone.” Abdullah said.

Many players in the NFL pray before, after, and during games. Most are of the Christian faith, while Abdullah is of the Muslim faith. Former Denver quarterback, Tim Tebow, was one of the most outspoken players when it came to religion, yet on several occasions when he scored he would drop to his knee in prayer (this is known as Tebowing to many) without a flag being thrown.

There appears to be a double standard and a disregard to equality to all religions across America. Michael Signora, NFL’s vice president of communications, tweeted out “Abdullah should not have been penalized. Officiating mechanic is not to flag a player who goes to the ground for religious reasons.”

This simple lack of judgement from another set of NFL officials could have cost the Kansas City Chiefs the game, but it didn’t.

The NFL has had its imaged tarnished as of late with the lack of punishment for domestic violence. If it wasn’t for being on national television, this situation could have been swept under the rug, just like the Ray Rice ordeal. The NFL needs to adjust its moral compass in order to stay in the good graces of its fans.


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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

How to use the HEC

The Health & Education Center provides many different fitness opportunities for students


Rey Aparicio/ Contributing Photo

One can pick from the vast amount of equipment, based on what best suits them.

Most of the gyms out there cost upwards of $50 a month for students to use their facilities. On a college student’s budget, that cost may be out of reach.

The Health Education Center (HEC) is here to offer students an alternative to outside gym memberships. The cost to use the HEC is $15 a quarter ($5 a month) which is payable at the  Cashier’s Desk on the 3rd floor of the Cascade building.

Once paid, receipts can be brought by students to the front desk of the HEC, to get them on the list of those who are allowed access. After that time, students can scan in using their student ID.

The HEC provides many different types of equipment for students to use. There are ellipticals, bikes, and stair climbing machines for cardio, as well as free weights, along various training machines for strength building.

Those who are new to the gym or need an extra little push can work with one of the HEC’s fitness professionals.

“Around 30-40% of the student body utilizes the HEC every quarter,” Doug Carlson, operations manager of the HEC, said.

The staff is there to help students out when needed, providing them with the information needed to use the HEC and its equipment properly.

Classes are held for kick boxing, yoga, and other various workouts. The basketball court is open for use during the day.

The Raider’s Volleyball and Men’s/Women’s Basketball home games are hosted at the HEC. Right now is volleyball season, and students are encouraged to come support their team.
For more information on the HEC, students can simply head to the HEC’s front desk and ask.


Hours of operation:

Monday and Wednesday : 5 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Tuesday and Thursday : 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Friday : 7 a.m.  – 6 p.m.

Saturday : 8 a.m. – Noon


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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Domestic violence: A comeback kid


October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website estimates, on average, nearly 20 people a minute are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in the U.S. In a year, this equates to more than 10 million people. For several years, I was one of them.

This is my story.

My mother had me at the age of 16 and my father disappeared from my life. As a single mother, she tried to raise me the best she could. She married my first step-dad and they had my sister. I found out at a young age that she only married him so that I could have a father in my life. It was a few years later they got divorced.

When my second step-father came in to the picture the domestic abuse started. Living in the Bayou country in Louisiana, most boys were taught they should be in the field working beside their fathers, tending to the farms.

I came from the city and was not used to such work. My step-father thought it would be best to toughen me up. A few knocks to the head or working me to exhaustion in the summer heat was just the start.

I first noticed the abuse first started with my mother. They would fight and he would give her busted lip or black eye. I was still young and didn’t understand what was happening.

The abuse towards my mother went on for a year or two, and that is when the abuse started happening to me. I would work out in the barn with him, building various wood furniture. If I didn’t hold a board correctly, or caused something to slip, I would get beat with the board, or even have the entire wooden swing thrown at me, causing it to break over my back.

I would go back home with bruises under my shirt or pants. I would hide them from my first step dad in fear that my mom would get in trouble for it and our abuser would beat her more.

After some time, I started fighting back. Of course, being 11 against a 30-year-old, I could only do so much. Most of the time I would jump on him while he was beating my mother. I would try to stop the assault. In turn, I was assaulted.

Then one night, my mother was being beat so bad the wall in the house was shaking. I ran in the room and saw he was on top of her, beating her like a rag doll. I jumped on his back and tried to choke him out. I was then lifted by the neck and thrown against the wall.

I don’t remember much after that, but after my mother had seen that, she did not allow me to go back to the house anymore; in fear of my life.

A few months later, my grandparents were given custody of my sister and I. We moved back to Washington State. My grandparents noticed I had a lot of anger issues and would lash out.

I was suspended from school several times during the year for fighting. I was sent me to counseling and put on medicine in my teens. I knew it was something that I had to change inside myself for my future family, or for myself to break the cycle.

When I turned 20 I took one step further and joined the military and became a military cop. Over eight years, I had to respond to many domestic violence calls and even had to deal with my friends who were in domestic violence relationships, either as the abuser or the one abused.

Even though I responded to those events, it wasn’t until I was in Iraq,  when I saw someone I knew die, that I realized how precious life is and how fast it can be taken away. Everyone deserves to have a safe environment to live in without fear of violence from someone they trusted.

If people want to break the cycle of abuse, there is a hop to make that change. Sometimes it only takes a person to listen and tell that person they are not crazy for wanting to get help.

I am one who has made it out of the vicious cycle as a better person. There many who are not as lucky as my mom and I are. My mother now has brain damage due to such violent attacks.

Even though it has been many years since the abuse, I sit here as an adult, tearing up at the thoughts of what transpired.

I wanted to share my story with you, in case you or someone you know is in a domestic violence relationship.My hope is this will touch just one person, so they can see they are not alone while reading this and they can relate to what I went through.

These are several website and phone numbers to get help if you or someone you know needs it.

I hope this can break the silence in at least one person’s life.



Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Domestic Violence Unit: 253 798-6516

Domestic Violence Helpline: www.aplaceofhelp.com 253 798-4155

Tacoma Domestic Violence Advocate: 253 798-4166

National D.V. Hotline: 1 800-799-7233


About the Contributor
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Destiny: Review

A look into the MMO/FPS shooter from Bungie


A tiny flying robot searching for something amongst the desolate scene of crumpled cars and burned down buildings bring you instant understanding of the catastrophe that happened on Earth. This robot, known as a Ghost, finds you and brings you back to life. Ghost tries its best to fill in the player as they fight off more and more waves of aliens, known as the Fallen, trying to find a safe place to take shelter.

The game throws you directly into the action after the player creates their first character. Nothing separates each of the races from each other besides their look.

After the gamer choose these visual “upgrades”, the class selection is next. Titan is the tank based character protecting their teammates. The Hunter is the gunner. It is able to lay waste to many enemies with stealth and assassination type of moves. The Warlock is set up to steal life from enemies and deal massive amounts of damage with their super skill. Even though each has it’s own talent tree to build off of, there seems to be a lack of separation of the classes.

The gear is what sets this game apart from a lot of FPS ( first person shooters) and brings in the MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) feel to the game. Each character gets a main gun, side gun, and a heavy gun. There are several classes of each gun.

While each type of armor gives the player a different look and feel, the amount of customization with the skill/upgrade tree inside each armor gives the player a chance to customize the character to their style of gameplay.

The PVE (Player vs Environment) or story mode, allows the player to team up with other players to fight on several different planets versus several different races of aliens. Each world is brilliantly designed and players can sit there for hours just looking at the art work that was put into the design of this game. After a while though, the gameplay seems very grindy ( doing the same thing over and over again ).

For players that love the grind and gear scavenging, Destiny fulfills this with the hunt for items with random drops on kills, rewards on end bosses, and in random treasure chest. Even after the level cap at level 20, there is still are given a chance to get bigger and better gear which in turn levels the character up to level 29.

The PVP portion of the game feels great. Bungie has a great level design team. In the PVP maps your level is erased and everyone has the same amount of health.

Destiny feels like a solid game that still has some room to grow. Bungie has stated that Destiny will be a ten year game. This means that it will have many upgrades down the road in DLCs ( Downloadable content) and expansions. The first expansion is already set to come out for the holiday season.

After looking at this game as a jack of all trades, I can easily give it a solid 8/10. The game is neither a solid FPS or MMO game. It brings in a lot of identities and still holds its own.

About the Writer
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Economic equality for women in Washington State

Rep. Denny Heck and panel of influential women discuss pay inequalities between men and women in WA. state.


Denise Yochum, Trena Payton, Maggie Humphreys, Danny Heck, Michelle Johnson, Natalie Jolly, and Khurshida Begum (from left to right)

“There is no coordination of ‘Why is it important for me? How does it relate to me as a woman, as a mother, as a caregiver, as a wife? Why would those STEM programs even matter in the real world?’” said Khurshida Begum about raising awareness about STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education ) in Washington State.

Raising awareness of education, inequalities, and other social issues was the main topic on hand for the committee of women and State Representative Denny Heck.

Congregating in the Performance Lounge at Peirce College, Rep. Heck and a panel of women, who included Peirce College Chancellor Michele Johnson and Fort Steilacoom Campus’ President, Denise Yochum.

Other women on the panel were Khurshida Begum, human rights advocate, Trena Payton, president of ABN Technologies, Maggie Humphreys, advocate for young women, and Dr. Natalie Jolly, professor of women’s studies at UWT, to discuss several serious topics about equality for women in the workplace along with college.

“There is a 90% wage differential at full professorship at a major research university. Women make 90% of what men make. It’s not even about the equity there, when you look at how many full professors there are at the research institution; 3 times as many men as women, which is interesting. At the instructor level there are 3 women for every 2 men,” said Yochum.

This points out that there is less of an opportunity for women to move into these higher level positions than there is for men.

When it comes to salary discussion, the panel got a question from the audience about how to know if the pay is different if the companies do not allow its employees to talk about it. Rep. Heck stated he was introducing a bill to wipe that away and make pay transparent.

“It is key to look at the policy at the core reality that over 80% of the women in the US will become mothers. That is really defines the economic issues which we are talking about. For policies like Family and Medical leave act, expanding that to a paid leave is key. It addresses that fact that women will become a caregiver at one time in their life,”  said Humphreys on the need to change policies for women in the workforce.

At the end of the entire meeting, the panel was applauded for their conversations and thoughts throughout the night. Members stayed after to answer individual questions for those who did not get to ask during the meeting. Rep. Heck is continuing his quest for equality in the work environment, and in life in general.

About the Writer
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Seahawks preseason has begun

Who will make the 53 man roster?


Century Link Field via Seahawks.com

Century Link Field via Seahawks.com
Century Link Field via Seahawks.com

After winning their first Super Bowl in franchise history, the Seahawks came home for the first time since the epic win.

The Seahawks had a rough first preseason game versus the Broncos. Though not completely outscored or outplayed, the game came down to one drop pass that could have been a touchdown, possibly giving us the win. The game ended with an interception by the Broncos late in the 4th quarter with the final score of 16-21 Broncos.

The game was riddled with penalties. A total of  25 penalties were accepted; 13 for the Seahawks, and 12 for the Broncos.

With that game behind them, the Seahawks looked to protect the quarterback more, cut down the penalties, and play cleaner football. Friday, playing against the San Diego Chargers, was the first time the Seahawks have been back at home since their run to the Super Bowl last year. The stadium was sold out and loud as ever. The 12s were out in force.

With the crowd as loud as usual,  Philip Rivers, Chargers quarterback, was having a difficult time relaying play changes. The first squad out on the field, they held the Chargers from scoring.

Playing as back up to Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin showed off his skills during the San Diego game on Friday. Turbin carried 12 times for 81 yards averaging 6.8 a carry. This lead to his first rushing touchdown since playing with the Seahawks. As a solid running back, there is no doubt he will be able to take the lead if Lynch gets hurt during the season.

The entire roster played very well. At the end of the night, the defense held the Chargers to 14 points, while the Seahawks scored 41 points. The Seahawks QBs were on fire. They managed to score 4 rushing touchdowns between the 3 of them, with Russel Wilson leading the way with 2 of the scores.

The coaches are going to have to make the tough decision to cut some players to make it all the way down to 53 players for the official NFL roster at the beginning of the season in September.  (instead, maybe, “If everyone keeps playing this well, the coaches will have some tough decisions ahead of them. The roster currently stands at (blank) and needs to come down to (blank) amount of players to be season ready. )

The Seahawks were known for their roster depth last year and this years appears to be no difference.

Each game will be broadcasted locally and I will be covering the games via my Twitter: @piopeepdom or on our Facebook at www.facebook.com/piercepioneernews.

Make sure to follow us and keep up with the trivia, coverage, and statistics that will be thrown out during the games.

About the Writer
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

A smoke filled day at Formula Drift: Seattle

A look into the Motorsport of professional drifting championship




The air was crisp and the sun was rising, spreading it’s warmth across the Evergreen State Fairgrounds when the first set of people arrived to Evergreen Speedway on a Thursday morning.  Located in Monroe, WA with the foothills of the Cascade mountains as a backdrop, Evergreen Speedway was host to Formula Drift’s event: The Throwdown. With coffee from the local shops in hand or energy drinks, the race crews and event coordinators started setting up for their day of racing.


Drifting is the art of intentionally over steering one’s car, allowing the rear wheels to come out from behind the car while controlling the direction the car is moving throughout the corner or track. Originating in Japan, drifting has taken a firm grasp on America in the past few years.


Formula Drift was organized in 2003, with their first event in 2004. Over 60 drivers are currently licenced to participate in these events. In the middle of their 11th season, Formula Drift, also called FD, is recognized as the North American professional drifting championship.


The media was given early access to the day’s practice at FD. The race teams were setting up each car, fine tuning them for the local track. The sound of the first engine started up that morning roared across the track, echoing off the rafters of the grandstands. The media was setting up their cameras to capture the days events, but first they had to attend a safety briefing to ensure everyone knew the rules of the event. Just like the different race teams, many media outlets sent photographers/videographers from all over the US and even internationally to Evergreen.


The drivers set up for practice for the first time that day. Some drivers as they waited did a burnout to warm up the new tires that were placed on the cars. The pits, where all the teams are set up and work on their cars, where chaotic. Crews were moving from place to place fixing everything from tires to engines to graphics on the sides of the cars.



As everyone was set up, the first set of cars sped off the starting line towards the 5/8ths bank. Reaching speeds up to 100 mph, the drivers initiated the drift and controlled their cars all the way through into the first set of turns. The set up has one car in front and a second car chasing the first. Each driver had to keep a certain line, hit the clipping points, and not mess up for maximum points. If a driver went off course, straightened out their car, or spins out/wrecks, then they do not receive points for that match.


This was the 5th round of FD this season. Point leader, Chris Forsberg in his Nissan 370z, seemed to feel right at home at this track. Setting up a beautiful scene of smoke and speed, he drifted with what seemed like little effort around the track all day. Forsberg did not let up on his attack though. Right behind him in points was Fredric Aasbo in his Scion TC. Anyone could take the top spot after this weekend’s event.

Chris Forsberg enters the second to last corner ahead of competitor at FD.


FD set up a new venue this year with the Pro 2 class. Pro 2 is the up and coming racers in FD. They compete on the same track as the professionals and have a chance to race against them during the competition if they earn enough points in qualifying. Being only the second event of the year for Pro 2, many drivers needed to dial in their tunes and adjustments to their cars. Each time a driver would go around their cars seem to react better and better to the adjustments.


Friday was the Pro 2 event. Drivers qualified for placing in the Top 32 drivers. During qualifying, each driver was able to go around the track by themselves, scoring as many points as they can. Drivers are given two chances around the track.


The day was warm with the sun beating down on everyone. Drivers and crews had to balance keeping cool and working on their cars without getting heat exhaustion. Unlike an everyday vehicle, these cars do not come with air conditioning. Even the media, who was placed at several points around the track, needed to keep hydrated so they would not pass out.

FD Driver, Mike Phillips, driving his V8 powered Nissan 240sx

The competition slowly started eliminating drivers, who had to battle another driver for the rights to move onto the next round. Local FD driver, Mike Phillips and his Nascar engine powered 240sx, put on quite a show for the onlookers. With the livery of red, white, and blue and the saying “Freedom Isn’t Free” pasted to his rear wing, he zipped across the track with the urge to win the event. Unfortunately, he was knocked out of competition during one of the rounds.

Dan Savage finishing in first place at the event.
Dan Savage finishing in first place at the event.

Dan Savage and his Sikky Mazda RX-8 took top podium spot that night. Champagne was shaken and sprayed all over in celebration of the win.


Thousands of people filed into the Speedway on Saturday for the main event. Along with the Pro series, there was a car show for fans to take part of. Cars from areas as far as California to Canada showed up to compete for trophies. DJ Shonn was mixing music for the car show as onlookers and judges walked around the venue.

Onlookers watch from behind the safety fence.
Onlookers watch from behind the safety fence.

“I am excited to finally come to Formula Drift for the first time. I normally watch it on their websites in hope to see it one day.” said Alyssa Mercedes, Pierce College student.

Chris Forsberg waiting his results from his run.
Chris Forsberg waiting his results from his run.

Most are able to watch the live-stream of the event on their computers or mobile devices from around the world. “Nothing beats hearing the sound and smelling the smoke from the tires” said Alyssa of the atmosphere of the event.


During the day, the drivers took time and signed autographs for the fans before the day’s main event of the top 8. “I loved being able to meet the drivers that I have only seen on the internet or magazines. I was even able to get several autographs from them” said Arielle Olmos, another Pierce student.


With the local Air Force delayed entry program members and Air Force color guard at the event, the drivers, crew, and on goers watched the opening ceremony. The national anthem was played as the drivers drove to the front of the grandstands for their introductions. Once the ceremony was done, the drivers left in fashion, giving the crowd a scene of burnouts, donuts, and drifting around the front of the grandstands.

The competition began with cars traveling at a high rate of speed, sideways, inches away from each other. The crowd cheered when the competition was fierce and gasped when there were accidents. The top 8 drivers were giving it their all, battling on the track like those of World War 2 pilots dog fighting in the air over the Pacific Ocean. The talent shined through to where there was only one victor. Darren McNamara in his Falken Tire Nissan S14 took first place in a final battle against Dean Kearney in his Oracle Lighting Dodge Viper.

Dean Kearney chasing his opponent inches away from his bumper.

Festivities were rampant that night, with people camping and celebrating the events of the weekend. Some of the pro drivers stayed behind for the next day’s ProAm competition, giving the local drivers a chance to battle against some of their favorite drivers in FD. The event wrapped up with everyone eyeing the next round in Texas.


About the Writer
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Michael Sam : Breaking the Barrier

Michael Sam : Breaking the Barrier

Sam has recently became the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL

Sitting around, waiting patiently around for their name to be called could be frightening for anyone. Michael Sam, from Galveston, Texas, received his phone call from the St. Louis Rams in the 7th round. He was selected in the 249 spot in the draft. What followed next caught most of America by surprise. Celebrating the call and his new position on the Rams, he embraced his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, in his arms and kissed him on national television.

Sam became one of the first college football players to come out as gay in an interview with Chris Connelly in February.

Many applauded the act that played out on television,while some players like Don Jones, Miami Dolphins, tweeted their disbelief. “OMG” Jones tweeted after the kiss, and when a follower asked about if it was about the kiss, he tweeted, “Horrible.” As in any public relations miscues like this, the tweets were consequently deleted.

“I was made aware of it and I was disappointed in those comments,” Dennis Hickey, Dolphins general manager said about the tweets by Jones.

The culture of the NFL has been changing recently to be more accepting towards lifestyles that have never been made public. They also have taken a stance against bullying and hazing in the locker room, like with the situation in Miami with Jonathan Martin.Micheal Sam - reuters photo

With Michael’s coming out it could give future players the courage they need to do the same. The NFL is being very supportive of equal rights for all of their players. “We’re in an age of diversity. Players understand that, they know that,” Jeff Fisher, the Rams’ coach said. People will try to make it [Sam’s sexual orientation] a distraction, but it’s not a distraction.”

“I’m sure it was a very, very difficult thing for him to do,” Fisher said. “I would also submit it was probably a tremendous load off his shoulders.”

Sam is aware that he will most likely be facing much more scrutiny on his coming out, but this isn’t a concern to him. “Hey, are there going to be idiots out there and say some stupid stuff? Yeah,” Sam said. “I’m not worried about that.”

Even the fans have been showing their support. Sam’s jersey outsold almost all of the first round draft picks’, only being outsold by Cleveland Browns Quarterback, Johnny Manziel.

Dom- you might want to explain that with a sentence or two. not everyone will get that.

About the Writer
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Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

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