Pierce Pioneer

Why Don’t We Vote?

Abri Wilson / Staff Illustrator

Students weigh in on today’s political state and what gets them motivated to vote, as the Democratic Primaries arrive.

The time has come again to vote for president. Whether for re-electing the current president or campaigning for another candidate, this is a tense time of the year. The Washington Democratic Primaries start on Mar. 10, where citizens vote a nominee of a major political party for the office of president.

For Pierce College student Nicole Lee, her parents instilled many values growing up, as being a first-generation citizen. One of those values included going out to vote. “One of our rights and freedoms is to vote on our elected officials and how they’re going to run this country.”

“It’s going to be our future, right?” Lee said. “What’s going to happen to [American citizens] is directly correlated to who leads our country.”

Not all citizens are required to participate in voting, whether that is registration or voting in state and national elections. However, according to the Secretary of State, in 2016 only 76.83 percent of all citizens registered to vote.

According to ABC News, in Australia, voter participation has never been below 90 percent, as citizens are automatically registered and required to vote by law. For America, the big question which remains is one that’s been asked for years – how do we get people to go out and vote?

Travis Nelson, a Political Science professor at Pierce College, said it’s important that people know what they’re voting for, and are informed. “The main thing that we should do is show a connection to how politics actually affect our daily lives,” he said. Nelson added that having more high school or college classes focusing on current events could help students become more informed.

Some contributors to people not going out to vote include voters feeling as though their participation won’t affect the results in the long run. This is partly due to the electoral college, a system still in question by many voters.

According to HuffPost, the Electoral College involves 538 electors casting votes for the President. Nelson said it plays an important role, allowing presidential candidates to pay more attention to the interests of people in the smaller states that are typically ignored.

“But if we are getting to a point where the popular vote ends up quite different from the electoral college, then I think we need to reconsider the need to have the electoral college,” Nelson said.

Rachel Mathies, a student at Pierce, said the popular vote should have more merit than what it does currently. “I don’t think it should be abolished completely,” she said. “But I believe that it should be at least revised to be more reflective of the popular vote.”

Lee also adds that although it’s a way to get things done quicker, the popular vote should matter.

According to The U.S. Census Bureau, 18 to 29-year-olds make up only 21.2 percent of voters in Washington, compared to 45 to 64-year-old voters make up 34.6 percent. Mathies said young people are outnumbered by the “baby boomers”, and are easily discouraged about their vote making a difference.

Nelson said he expects a high turnout from voters of the younger generation this year, however. “It’s possible that with what’s going on with the impeachment that people will be kind of motivated to participate in the system,” he said.

Mathies, being 20-years-old, is excited to vote this year. “I feel like even though I’m a small number of the popular vote, my voice still makes a difference,” Mathies said. “Our ancestors fought for the right to vote, and I should participate in that process.”

When pointing out the decline in voters during election years, another topic which arises is what citizens actually want out of a presidential candidate. Voters do have certain qualities they look for, which can motivate those to go out and vote.

“Some of [the candidates] have more back bone than the others and that’s ultimately the difference in my eyes,” said Lee. “How will they be approached by the world, interact with other countries or nations and their leaders?”

Democratic front runners are Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, with Elizabeth Warren not far behind. Mathies said she looks for candidates who can stand their ground during debates, especially against President Donald Trump. “I don’t see it as being an actual debate,” said Mathies. “[Trump] doesn’t follow debate rules.”

For almost four years, President Trump has held the Presidential office. Trump was the first president to be impeached, acquitted and run for a second term in history. Nelson said Trump is still retaining supporters.

“It’s totally different than the past, where people have been able to run off their own merits,” Nelson said. “This impeachment process emboldens the supporters and gives more ammunition to his reelection.

With Sanders running as a democratic socialist, his platform of free college can be appealing to young people who are prospective or current students. Mathies said it’s hard to get started when you have student debt. “That’s a really huge impact on a young person because we are trying to start out lives at that point.”

If a democrat is elected into The White House, it could shift many aspects in the country. Lee wants to see de-escalation between the two parties and some of the social movements surrounding them. “Hopefully the attitude in this country will change,” Lee said. “I think ethically and morally in how we treat each other has been disrupted over the past four years.”

Although politics can be a complex subject, students can get more information about presidential candidates and current events by receiving updates through news apps.

To register to vote, you can visit votewa.gov.

Pierce College Appoints New Student Government President

Jessica Edmonds presents first President’s report at the Student Government assembly.

Jessica Edmonds to be the Student Government president after the former president steps down.

Jessica Edmonds has been appointed Pierce College Fort Steilacoom’s new Student Government president as of Feb. 11. This decision follows January 2020, after the former president, Charles “Chaz” Serna, unexpectedly stepped down.

While details of Serna’s unexpected resignation are not yet available outside of Student Government, the changes which this decision created has sparked a new path for Student Life. “With the team right now, they feel a little bit discouraged, and they definitely need that recharge,” Edmonds said.

Serna’s decision to step down came immediately, although Edmonds said there were office frustrations present leading up to it. “I don’t think it was just him,” Edmonds said. “But he’s in a role that carries a lot of the weight of the team’s feelings.”

Edmonds said Serna has since reached out to her and given his blessings for her new leadership role. “He felt strong that I would be president, which really helps me gain that confidence,” Edmonds said.

Jaein Cho, the former administrative senator, was ratified as the new Student Government vice president soon after Edmonds’ appointment. Edmonds said she is confident that Cho can lead the team alongside her.

Edmonds said her next steps are to redirect and recharge the team. “Making sure our team and our office has the best interests of students, and that’s expressed with our events and relationships with other departments on campus.”

Edmonds studies Psychology and Latin American Studies at Pierce, and plans to transfer to the University of Washington Tacoma and get involved in their student government or activities board. 

Edmonds was working on her biggest project, the MultiCultural Fair, when she got word of Serna’s resignation. Edmonds said the whole team has assisted her in the event. “Everyone has stepped up because we know we have a vacancy,” she said. “If we wanna keep going with our ideas, we have to kind of do things a little bit out of the job title.”

Coming into a role halfway through the year can be challenging, but Edmonds feels prepared to take this on, with previous leadership training and strong connections already made with faculty, staff and students.

Rising Tensions in 2020

Pixabay.com / Photo Credit

Students and Professors on campus weigh in their personal thoughts on the U.S.-Iran conflict

Beginning 2020, President Donald Trump authorized an airstrike that killed Iran’s major general Qassem Soleimani; an act not approved by congress. Iran responded by firing missiles at bases in Iraq hosting United States troops. No Americans or Iraqi people were harmed in this attack.

Trump directed the immediate deployment of troops to the Middle East a day after the attack on Iran. While Trump stated there would be no further attacks after Iran’s strike, a number of Pierce College students are still affected by this news. Pierce College students who are veterans or active duty have differing opinions with the ongoing conflict between the U.S and Iran.

Julio Russell, an 11-year U.S. Army veteran, knows how difficult it is to be deployed, having served two tours in the Middle East. “It takes a toll on soldiers, being away,” said Russell. “You come back home and everything’s the same for you, [but] not for us. They teach us how to go to war, they don’t teach you how to come back from war.” 

Russell adds it doesn’t serve America’s best interest to get into another conflict with Iran. “There’s other conflicts and other things that are more important than Iran,” he said.

According to BBC News, the tense relationship between the U.S. and Iran date back over 60-years. The initial contact with Iran was in 1953 when the U.S. and the British intelligence staged a coup to remove the citizen elected Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadeq. Within that time, the relationship has been inconsistent, with efforts from both sides having been unsuccessful.

Pierce College American history professor David Thomas, P.h.D., said the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979 and 9-11 are significant events impacting relations that have vacillated over the last 7-years. “To Iranians, we’re a bully who overthrew [their] government,” he said. “To Americans, they’re a terrorist who kidnap people.”

Even though the next steps for the U.S. and Iran is unknown, people’s opinions and assumptions come to light online. Russell’s day-to-day wasn’t directly affected other than the social media responses from what he refers to as “Facebook keyboard warriors.”

“Are you driving your kid to the recruiter line right now,” said Russell. “If they’re not there, boots-on-ground, don’t tell me nothing. I’ve been there, I’ve done that.”

Twitter sounded off after the attacks. The potential of World War 3 was the topic of all tweets, with politicians sending out information and the American people creating memes, hoping to soften the blow. Furthermore, citizens were curious if this would put Trump’s impeachment trial on hold.

According to CNN, in Dec. 2019, the House of Representatives passed both articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, has held off pressure to send the articles to the Senate.

Tony Rondone, a 26-year Air Force veteran, said he expects the conflict to be contained in the region. “[Iran] did what they were gonna do to save face because they don’t want a war with the U.S.,” said Rondone. “Keeping that in mind, we shouldn’t be provoking them, but you do what you have to.”

Thomas said there’s a chance that it erupts into a further war in the Middle East. “It’s unlikely for a world war to happen because many other countries would be wary of getting involved.”

Along with this, provoking Iran sends a message to the world about how America operates. “I worry what it looks like assassinating an official from another country when we’re not at war,” said Thomas. 

Iran has been active since Soleimani’s death, with protesters in the streets and their military on guard. The destruction of a Ukraine commercial airplane, killing 176 passengers with many of the victims being Iranian and Canadian, brought even more protesters out. This leaves the U.S. in a difficult position, attempting to find a way to possibly resolve this battle.

Although they were not an option in the past, Josef Kasprzak, a 13-year Air Force veteran, said a peaceful talk may be a solution to get down to the root cause. “Not all Americans are going to treat [Iran] the same way as they did in the past and vice versa,” he said.

Thomas finds a solution to this to be unlikely, with Trump unwilling to abide by the Iran Nuclear Agreement President Barack Obama signed. “I think it was a mistake to back out of the nuclear treaty to begin with,” he said. “So ideally, we could return to that sort of relationship or agreement.”

There is uncertainty among the Pierce College community whether this dispute will be resolved, if at all. Nevertheless, the history and tension between the two countries will leave a lasting memory on Americans and Iranians alike.

Student Government President Steps Down

Charles “Chaz” Serna (right) passes out  food to Spencer Howell (left) at the Welcome Daze event.     David Dino-Slofer / Courtesy Photo .  

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom’s Student Government president Charles “Chaz” Serna has stepped down from his position as of Jan. 29. An announcement was led hours after the resignation by Jessica Edmonds, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom’s Student Government vice president. 

Edmonds said there were a number of things which may have led to this decision. However, whether or not Serna’s resignation was an abrupt choice or a long time in  the making is yet to be known.

There’s a lot of frustration in general with processes and planning on the campus as a whole,” Edmonds said.

With Serna’s absence, Edmonds may replace his position. “It definitely gives me some feedback and roadmap of where I want to lead the team,” she said. Edmonds said the next steps for Student Government is to come together and redirect. 

This story will continue to develop, as the Pioneer gathers more information about the resignation.

Keeping “I Have a Dream” Alive

Photo Credit / USA.gov

One of Pierce College’s core themes is centered around equity, diversity and inclusion. All students are given the opportunity to be apart of a community of people who are here to grow their knowledge and create relationships.

As a mixed person, I have experienced not feeling like I fit into any group. I am not “light enough” to relate to a white person and I am not “dark enough” to relate to a person of color. Even though I have felt unsure where I fit in, Pierce made me feel a sense of belonging. Pierce would not be able to provide this security without the constant work of Civil Rights leaders.

During the 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr. was a well-known activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement. 

The fight for equal rights for black citizens was a difficult road. Black citizens had very few rights to community services, recreational activities and quality education. His work and other black leaders alike paved the way for the society we live in now.

Today, black citizens face some of the same difficulties on a slightly smaller scale. 22.72% of black citizens in Washington state live in poverty, while only 9.83% of white citizens live below the average means. Communities are separated by income and success, so in turn most white citizens live in better neighborhoods. No one’s housing, job opportunity or education should be affected by race.  This is evident in more luxurious parts of Tacoma-Lakewood area.

Although segregation isn’t as severe as it used to be, there is still a divide between a person of color and a white citizen. This is based on personal prejudices and discrimination. Because race is a socially constructed system created by the individuals living in it, people are judged based on what they look like and even how they talk.

This is what King stood for; equality among all people, according to his “I Have A Dream” speech. He said he wanted his four children to be judged by their character and not by the color of their skin.

Progress has been made, but there is more work to be done. Every person has the right to respect, freedom and equal opportunity. As a community, we must work together to keep this city and campus a welcoming place for everyone.

We must do away with biased views of a race and realize we all have something in common.

We are human. 

Hey MTV, Help Me Find an Affordable Crib

Lakewood has no limit on how much monthly rent can be increased, giving students the difficult task of finding an affordable home

Everyone deserves access to clothing, food and shelter. They are essentials to living and surviving. But can you imagine not having access to these essentials? For many college students, there is uncertainty with securing a warm place to come home to.

Pacific Lutheran University held the Ruth Anderson Public Debate on Oct. 1, debating rent control in Tacoma and surrounding areas. Rent control is the limit the amount a property owner can charge for leasing and lease renewal for a home or apartment.

There were two opponents on each side for and against rent control. Summer Ash, a senior at PLU, argued that the increase in rent costs forces people to move out of the city they grew up in. “We aren’t afraid of growth and development,” said Ash. “But we have to recognize that new development is not being conducted in a way that is uplifting to all Tacoma’s residents.”

Hannah Backus, also a senior at PLU, was against putting a cap on rent. Backus emphasized the rights to own property and do with it what you please. “This is where rent control unknowingly seeks to undermine the principle of the American Dream, by trivializing the ownership of property,” said Backus.

Pierce College students have a variety of living circumstances. Some live alone, with their families or with roommates, and each present challenges when working a part-time job and furthering their education.

Keara Tiedeman, a student at Pierce, is working part-time as a nanny and attending school full-time to make ends meet. Tiedeman lives in an apartment with her girlfriend and her roommate, both being military veterans, and says the housing allowance they receive every month helps them afford their apartment. “If we didn’t get that housing allowance,” she said. “I don’t think we would be able to go to school because it pays all of our rent.”

Tiedeman hasn’t had the most pleasant experience at her current living space - It’s impossible to find parking, there are loud neighbors and every time a new lease is signed, the rent increases. She says if she was a landlord and raised prices, she would need to be reassured that tenants are responsible and have stable jobs. “Society puts a label on people who only work minimum wage jobs, that they are younger and less reliable, so I can see both sides.”

Erin Teston, a criminal justice major at Pierce, has lived independently for 27 years and has had experience with apartment living. “I don’t agree with rent control,” he said. “But I do agree with a level of which the rent can be increased.”

He described a time when he was 22 years old, was divorced and moved into an apartment as a single dad on a tight budget. He was alarmed when his landlord gave him an increase of $50 on rent, with one month’s notice.

Living on your own without any help from family or friends can be difficult in any situation. Teston said requirements to get an apartment didn’t align with the cost of the apartment because residents must make three times more than the monthly rent. “It is attempting to survive, that’s the best way to describe it,” he said. “It puts shackles on people that want to go to school with those requirements.”

As a communication manager in Lakewood, Trini Balles said she must abide by specific codes that take a lot to maintain the property, which includes 522 units. “Residents don’t anticipate an increase in rent and the increase is based on the market and what everyone else is charging,” said Balles. “Landlords have to keep some sort of renewal process to sustain the property and market control.”

Balles has been in the housing industry since 2002 and managing apartments across Pierce and King county. She makes herself accessible to residents either in person or via email based on her past experiences with apartment living; but she expects her residents to be consistent with the lease. “Having the same communication is huge to having a good relationship with the landlord or property manager,” she said.

With the population in Washington State nearing eight million people, the demand for affordable housing increases. The average monthly apartment cost in Lakewood is $926. For many full-time students working part-time, this cost causes an unbearable burden and limits their access to housing. How can apartment managers and leasing companies ensure they are able to make a profit while meeting the needs of a financially diverse population?

“I think there should be some kind of regulation put on rent.”

~Lydia Fitzsimmons

“Every human being deserves housing. Landlords don’t deserve the right to just make endless money. There is a very easy way to

change that.”

~William Wasson

“Sometimes they do overcharge [landlords]. They just want to make a lot more money than they are already making. It’s definitely going up right now [the prices]. I’m renting so I know.”

~Krystal Robles

“Right now is tricky. Many people are unable to afford both [school and rent] when you’re not being supported. I’m working two jobs

right now.” 

~Chris Hetter

“I think that rent control in Tacoma is pretty high. It’s also hard to get into a lot of communities depending on your background and how much you make. Even when me and my wife were qualified we were still denied, and we fixed what they told us to fix and tried to come back and we still got denied. They wanted their own type of people in that area. I was making way more than what they were asking for. They are really picky in who they let live in certain places, and they’re background.” “You should give me what I’m paying for.”

~Melonie Washington

Abri Wilson / Staff Illustrator

Veronica Lu / Staff Photographer

Promoting Peace in Times of Trouble

Veronica Lu / Staff Photographer
Kwabi Amoah-Forson took this sign to prompt conversations about peace.

Peace activist attends local elementary school in hopes of educating children about peace, empathy, love and how they can implement it in their communities.

I say Peace Bus. You say Peace Bus.

That is how peace activist Kwabi Amoah-Forson opened his all school assembly at Lister Elementary. On Oct. 3, Forson spent the whole school day visiting classrooms, connecting with students and spreading the history of his peace movement, the Peace Bus – a bright blue Mitsubishi. 

Many who attended voiced they won’t forget the experience. Laura Sorgenfrei, an instructional coach, said the Peace Bus team just taking time to be there with them was impactful. “Students want peace, they crave it,” said Sorgenfrei. “In our world today, coming together around that common theme was important and powerful for them.”

Michelle Hahn, a second-grade teacher, reflected on her experience with students who struggle to understand other points of view. “Look beyond just the words that are being used, to understand why they’re saying what they’re saying and how their feelings are coming through,” said Hahn.

After graduating from City University with a master’s degree in business, Forson was unsure where his path was leading. He began going to Wrights Park with a poster and boombox playing classical music, as he made conversation with people about peace. After being attacked, he started travelling to surrounding parks and even Europe. “That negative scenario was turned into a positive because it allowed me to get out of that space,” said Forson.

Veronica Lu / Staff Photographer
Students created a poster to thank Forson for attending, putting the word “peace” in puzzle pieces, symbolizing how we all must work together on making peace in our communities.

Forson was inspired by many peace activists like Martin Luther King Jr. and Brian Haw, but most importantly, Abie Nathan. Nathan was an Israeli bomber pilot. He later realized how his violence directly affected people and decided to fly an airplane from Tel Aviv to Cairo as an activist, in promotion of world peace. 

This story inspired Forson to begin taking flight lessons. “The Peace Bus is forever. But I want to have a peace plane and be the first person to circumnavigate the globe in the promotion of world peace,” said Forson.

The Peace Bus team returned in August from a trip down to the United States-Mexico border, after an unexpected experience with the border patrol officers. He described the atmosphere as calm and not chaotic, unlike how the media depicts it to be. “I think it was an intervention from God,” said Forson. “Or some sort of force because how often does border patrol have random people come and let them interview them, let alone stand next to them.”

The assembly ended and students crowded the Peace Bus, asking for autographs and photos. The students weren’t the only people who felt personally impacted by the assembly however. “I walked away with a greater sense of community and a greater sense of hope for generations to come,” said Sorgenfrei.

With his goal of being a peace pilot in mind, Forson has many projects in the works, one being a television show centered around The Peace Bus. In the meantime, he encourages other schools in surrounding communities of any level, to reach out, Lister Elementary being the first school he attended. “I can do this day and night. With any school that’s willing to have a conversation about peace, togetherness and how to communicate with each other.”

Julie A. White and what it means to be involved

Kotone Ochiai / Staff Photographer
President White getting interviewed by Lizzy Rowe

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom president Julia A. White goes in depth on her life and what her goals and intents are for the students under her.

Pierce College centers its focus on providing educational opportunities through equity, inclusion and accessibility to all communities. Julie A. White, Ph.D and current Fort Steilacoom Pierce College president keeps those key components at the core of her work.

White was looking for the next step in her career and had her eye on Pierce for some years now. “Pierce is a national leader and trendsetter in the community college sector,” she adds. “When I saw this job opening was available, I was excited, and I got right on it.”

Growing up in a rural community in Indiana, White’s family had never been to college. Her father dropped out of high school in the 10th grade, and her grandfather couldn’t read or write. “Academics came easily to me, but I did feel adrift. It wasn’t something my family had experienced,” White disclosed. “They definitely supported me but didn’t know how to.”

In high school, White was encouraged by her English teacher and music instructors. They brought out her potential and helped her through tough times in life. “I experienced the power of literature and music to help me understand the human experience and connect my own emotions to the broader world. I wanted to bring that to others,” she states.

As a first-generation college student, White says not to let anyone limit you or define what you can accomplish. “There are so many people with stories like mine who have accomplished amazing things. Get to know those people because those are the people that can help bolster you.”

Julie White / Courtesy Photo

Equity is the accessibility of student opportunity and success with the individual needs of students at the heart. White says people with less opportunities or lack of resources create a separation and a less vibrant culture for all. “We have a lot of work to do in this country around historical racism, sexism and the conditions we see today are rooted in those histories. We can’t go back and change that, but we can address the current conditions.”

With the national presidential election underway, many candidates ran on a platform of reducing or eliminating student debt, particularly for community colleges. White states that college should be free to everyone because financially it’s a huge barrier that if removed gives more opportunities to students. 

“There would be funds for daily living expenses for students who work full time and part time.” She proposes this innovation so students can work less and focus more on their academics.

The Washington State Legislator has increased funding so more students can receive grants. There is no effective plan for the grants between federal and state financial aid regulations, but White is continually working with community college presidents on innovative projects. “We are creating a virtual hub of community resources that will help students identify their financial needs and services in the community,” White says.

White’s first steps in her new role is to listen and to learn. Having conversations with students, faculty and examining student success data will help her understand where the barriers lie and how they can improve them. 

When she is not in the office or at a community event, White enjoys yoga, hiking, biking and being outdoors. She is excited to experience the culture and beauty Washington has to offer. White also has a son and a daughter who are musicians and are enrolled in graduate school. “I think there are some helpful genes there, but they have worked really hard. I am very proud of them,” she states.  

White says you can expect to see her on campus attending student events, and she welcomes any new ideas students bring forth. “They should know I am out in the community talking about how great they are and trying to spread the word about Pierce so more students can take advantage of the opportunities that we have.”

Pierce College Connecting with Students Through Art

WOWHAUS Art Studio / Courtesy Photos
A large replica ctreated to showcase how the Ascent art piece will look once completed.

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom’s new art installation is meant to connect and inspire students attending the campus.

How do you define art?

Scott Constable of WOWHAUS Art Studio says it is a way of interpreting and understanding the world. “Art is the cousin to science and a mode of inquiry,” says Constable. He is the creator of the ASCENT sculpture located in the stairwell of the Cascade Building, which is a central hub for students. “I believe it’s a good metaphor for education by climbing the stairs,” he says. “And I was inspired by the students.” 

Suspending from the four-story stairwell, the piece appears like a large fan with several smaller shaped fans on top. Every shape and angle capture a student’s growth and success in school. “When you are in school, you are exposed to many different viewpoints, and with those you create your own narrative,” says Constable. The sculpture is meant to be viewed from different angles while each view gives you a different perspective. “It’s always dynamic- just like the students,” he added. 

The process of creating this art piece began around 6 years ago when the committee wanted to incorporate an artistic element to the school. David Roholt, an art professor at Pierce, said it was a collaborative project with the artist and the Washington Art Commission. “Being able to work with various colleagues on campus was rewarding, and the artists were easy to work with,” says Roholt.

WOWHAUS Art Studio / Courtesy Photos
Scott Constablemaking the measurements for the Ascent art piece.

The ASCENT sculpture is made of wood and took four months to craft, both by hand and computer. There were some challenges to making this piece work in the stairwell so that it wasn’t easy to touch. Constable stated he made a model and took measurements. Afterwards he had a structural engineer make it earthquake proof.

WOWHAUS is based out of Oakland, California and consists of Scott Constable, his wife Ene, and his daughter Aili. “When my daughter was about one and a half, I was building a tiny studio in the backyard that was seven feet by nine feet. She would always say I was in the wow house,” says Constable. “It’s also a take on BOWHAUS in Germany who were the inventors of modernism.”

Nature is Constable’s main source of inspiration. He became interested in art at a young age and began by just drawing trees. “Drawing taught me to see in color, form, compositions, line and shade,” says Constable. He loves to experiment with 3D, abstract and moire patterns. Growing food and raising chickens with his family in the California Redwood Forest would constantly spark his imagination and creativity.

The sculpture has many meanings to everyone. Roholt says it’s pivotal to the environment, being that Pierce is an academic institution. The intent is to add color and something unexpected for students. “It will add an artistic element to make the campus even more beautiful,” he says.

Constable says the most rewarding part of the process is when the sculpture is displayed. “When it’s installed, it belongs there, and it belongs to the students through generations.”

There are many students pursuing a career in the arts, and Constable knows firsthand what it is like… “Making a living as a professional artist is notoriously difficult and is often frowned upon as a career path,” he states. “My advice to any young person interested in pursuing a career as an artist is to be an excellent communicator. The sweet spot is in understanding your strengths and limitations, finding the best medium to express your ideas, and understanding how the marketplace relates to your artistic endeavors.”

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