Pierce Pioneer

Struggles of Taking Virtual Classes – Part 3

Especially for international students who are taking online classes from their home countries, a lot of struggles might have been shown up in spring quarter. One of the students that I interview, she was going to college in NYC. However, since her college dorm was closed due to Coronavirus, there were no option except going back to Japan. She shares how difficult to take virtual classes from her home country.

Videographer: Kotone Ochiai

Editor: Kotone Ochiai

Future Image: Ciara William


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Experience of Learning Languages

Joy Kim, a videographer for the Pioneer, interviews students about the experience of learning languages.

Videographer: Joy Kim
Editor: Joy Kim
Future Image: Ciara William
Logo Intro: Jesus Contreras, Kyla Roygor

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Music: https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music?nv=1
Music used: Invitation to the Castle Ball - Doug Maxwell

Struggles of Taking Virtual Classes – Part 2

For some students who have taken online classes before, it might be easier to get used to this quarter. which is taking online or virtual classes. However, taking virtual classes has many challenges. The virtual class means that students need to attend class at a specific time. Today, I am going to interviews students about how they feel about taking virtual classes for the first time.

Videographer: Kotone Ochiai
Editor: Kotone Ochiai
Future Image: Darrell Kuntz


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Struggles of Taking Virtual Classroom

Because Coronavirus has spread out in the United States, many school decided moving to online classes. It has been 5 weeks since Pierce College started virtual class for entire spring quarter. Today, pioneer staff interviews students about how they feel about taking virtual classes for the first time. We interviews students from Pierce College, University of Washington, Hunter College in NYC. We will have three videos about thoughts of virtual classroom.

Videographer: Joy Kim

Editor: Kotone Ochiai

Future Image: Ciara William


Video by Coverr-Free-Footage from Pixabay 

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Pierce College joins hand-in-hand with community’s mobile food bank

Malia Adaoag / Staff Photo
Each shopper receives a certain amount of food depending on the number of people in their household.

Nourish Pierce County feeds students in need

Students and community members gather in the D lot  as a giant  truck pulls up to Pierce College Fort Steilacoom on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. Some busily fill out paperwork, while others patiently wait to pick up their ration for the week.  For some, this may be one of the only ways to feed their family. Janette Jarvis, a mother of four and a social services health major at Pierce, said visiting the food truck once a week is one way to support her family; she said she also receives food stamps. 

“The more people you have to feed, the harder it is,” she said. “So [Nourish Pierce County food truck] just helps with a few extra things. Snacks go farther for kids and stuff. But it’s not such a huge struggle; every little bit helps.”

There are often choices and sacrifices that most people have to make on a day-to-day basis just to put food on the table. Much has to be given up, but Jarvis does not see stretching her budget as a burden.

 “As a family of four kids and two adults, we don’t have the extra money to spend on a lot of food. So we have to make that $100 stretch as far as possible, plus whatever we get in food stamps.” Jarvis said. 

Malia Adaoag / Staff Photo
A Nourish Pierce County Food Bank volunteer, walks alongside a shopper in guiding them throughout the truck to make sure enough food is given.

The weekly mobile food bank, which Nourish Pierce County runs, began partnering with Pierce College Puyallup and Pierce College Fort Steilacoom for the first time in February, providing students, staff and community members a chance to receive free groceries or help those in need.  

Mobile food bank manager Durk Gunderson, who drives one of the two mobile food trucks to seven different locations in a week, said he sees the same black truck parked next to the mobile food bank every week. “I know that if we aren’t here, that person might not get food, and they’re not the only one,” said Gunderson, who has helped at Nourish Pierce County for seven years and been involved with community service work for 29 years. 

Gunderson added that he feels blessed with this opportunity to serve others, and he said he also wishes others would be more vigilant and show compassion. “Every day I see people, and they have their blinders on and don’t realize there are people out there that desperately need help.”

Vasiliy Sinelnyy is the economic mobility coordinator at Pierce College. On opening day in late February, the Fort Steilacoom campus had an estimated 150 people come to pick up food, while the Puyallup campus had 50 people, Sinelnyy said. 

Depending on household size, people are eligible to receive predetermined amounts of food based on the nutrition plan developed at Washington State University, Sinelnyy said. “Food is stored in the truck at proper temperatures in serving sizes so that when someone goes through it is a quick and easy process,” he added.     

 The mobile food truck depends on volunteers to ensure the process is just that quick and easy. Kelly Gardner, administrative assistant to the dean of Library and Learning Resources at Pierce College said she has helped out at every food bank at both the Fort Steilacoom and Puyallup campuses since February.

The inspiration for Gardner to give back to her community came from helping out at church food banks as a child. It was something her mother said that really resonated with her.

“She always used to say dinner always tasted better the night after helping at the food bank,” Gardner said. “Because then those other people were eating, too.”

Gardner said she finds joy in being a small part of something that helps people get food for their families that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. 

When you know that there are people struggling with something as small as food, it makes you think about all the things you can do to help.”

— Perla Jimenez

She added that there are regulars who come through every week, some doing better than others financially and even emotionally.

“We see a lot of people come through who are definitely down on their luck,” Gardner said. “But the best thing we can do is just be friendly and give them light and hope when they’re struggling.”

Sinelnyy, said he has been working in the position for about nine months now while pursuing a master’s degree in public policy. 

He shared that the mobile food bank is interested in recruiting new volunteers.

“We have 10 to 15 people who sign up to help out at each food bank and rotate so that five to six are helping on any given day,” Sinelnyy said. “We are always looking for more volunteers and taking anyone that wants to help out.”

Perla Jimenez, who is completing her Direct Transfer Agreement in biology at the Puyallup campus, said she has always been charitable dating back to her childhood when she would help at dog rescues. She was led to volunteer at the mobile food bank for similar reasons. 

“When you know that there are people struggling with something as small as food, it makes you think about all the things you can do to help,” Jimenez said.

 Jimenez accommodates people who come for food and helps them package what they want. She said all of her experiences interacting with those who stop by the truck have been positive.

“I would come back and help in a heartbeat even after I graduate from Pierce,” Jimenez said. 

Pierce College is not the only place where the Nourish Pierce County Food Truck delivers food. To see the full schedule and list of locations, visit https://nourishpc.org/need-food.

Looking to volunteer at the mobile food bank? 

Email Vasiliy Sinelnyy on how you can help serve others at: [email protected].

Mondays: Puyallup campus on from 1-3 p.m.

Tuesdays: Fort Steilacoom on from 1-3 p.m.

Pierce weathers shutdown storm

Pierce administration and staff are largely unaffected by the government shutdown, but some students are struggling in other areas

As what has become the longest government shutdown in U.S. history trudges on, Pierce College continues to operate as normal.

The shutdown began on Dec. 21 after spending bills were not signed into law before the midnight deadline. President Donald Trump had indicated that he would not sign any spending bills that did not contain over $5 billion to help fund his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, one of his campaign promises. 

“If we don’t get what we want, one way or the other, whether it’s through you, through military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government,” Trump said on Dec. 11 in a televised Oval Office meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“Many of the things we do here at Pierce are also funded locally and through the state.””

— Choi Halladay, Vice President of Administrative Services

“And I am proud, I’ll tell you what. I am proud to shutdown the government for border security, Chuck. Because the people of this country don’t want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country. So I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down.”

Democrats refused to approve packaging the border wall funding with spending bills, although they did offer $1.6 billion for border security funding that could not be used for a wall. President Trump refused any such deal and refused to sign a stopgap funding bill passed by the Republican majority Senate on Dec. 19.

Due to 75 percent of government funding being approved for the budget year that started in October, the shutdown is considered a partial one. Multiple cabinet departments are among the 25 percent that will go unfunded; including Homeland Security, Interior, Justice and Transportation. Programs like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are also affected by the lack of funding, leaving thousands of government workers furloughed and currently without paychecks. 

Choi Halladay, vice president of Administrative Services at Pierce, said that it is “fortunate” that the department of Education is among the 75 percent of already funded Departments.

“Many of the things we do here at Pierce are also funded locally and through the state,” Halladay said, and added that he was not aware of any non-payment issues regarding financial aid. However, he did say that there could be “crossover effects between departments” if programs continue to go unfunded. 

As for professors and other staff members, Halladay said that payroll is also unaffected. “What is more likely to affect staff at Pierce are personal problems caused through the shutdown of other departments, especially the IRS, as tax season approaches and people are unable to get their tax returns.”

Aiden Helt is Pierce’s current Student Life Activities Board Issues and Awareness Coordinator. She also receives aid through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as the Food Stamp Program. SNAP is a federal aid program administered through the Department of Agriculture, one of the cabinet departments going without funding. It provides food-purchasing assistance for U.S. citizens who meet certain low income and resource requirements. 

The White House / Courtesy Photo

Due to the government shutdown, food benefits that would normally be received by recipients this month were distributed weeks earlier, with no announced plan for March. Helt said she normally gets benefits in the beginning of each month, but received February’s benefits on Jan. 20. “I was told if the shutdown continued, there wouldn’t be any more after that,” she said.

Helt, who lives in a household of six, said that she generally uses up her SNAP benefits roughly halfway through every month and afterwards relies on personal funds. She stated that if she does not receive aid after this month, she could potentially be unable to afford enough food to support her family. 

Because of her closeness to the issue, Helt expressed empathy with other students on forms of federal aid affected by the government shutdown. She encouraged students with problems affording food, whether it be due to the government shutdown or other reasons, to take advantage of community food banks and the food pantry outside the Student Life office.

“We just felt the need to get out there and do something.””

— Nani Hazard, TRiO Presentation Manager

“Though donations to our food pantry are usually down at this time of year due to people recovering from holiday season spending, I know food banks in the community are receiving more donations because people know others are having trouble due to the shutdown,” Helt said.

Helt said that this month, Pierce will also be implementing a “food truck” that will visit both the Fort Steilacoom and Puyallup campuses two days a week, one day for each campus. The truck will be like a “mobile food bank” that operates similarly, and is funded partially through the Student Life budget and donations.

Nani Hazard, the TRiO Presentation Manager, talked about how she and roughly 20 Pierce students are volunteering at the Emergency Food Network (EFN), a Pierce County organization with the stated mission “to provide Pierce County with a consistent, diverse and nutritious food supply so that no person goes hungry.”

Hazard stated that she sent the email out to students asking for volunteers to join her after hearing about how the government shutdown would affect those on benefits like SNAP.  “We just felt the need to get out there and do something,” she said.

Currently, the government has been restored to normal operations for at least three weeks after President Trump backed down and signed a stopgap spending bill on Jan. 25.  The bill included none of the border wall budget money the president originally demanded, and was essentially the same proposal the democrats had advocated for in December and since.

 In a speech in the Rose Garden, President Trump indicated that he was willing to shut the government down again if democrats and Republicans could not  reach an agreement by the February deadline, or declare a national emergency over border security and bypass Congress altogether.

Local Actor Greg Marks Preaches: Just Do It

Holly Buchanan
Staff Writer

Gregory D MarksEveryone has heard the stories about a character who has suffered from a troubled past and somehow perseveres through it, but not every day do we get the opportunity to be inspired by that character.

Gregory D. Marks is a new addition to the Pierce college student body.  He’s starred in various commercials, one of which is a Snoqualmie ad that will air on television June 1. These accomplishments are made even more impressive because of the fact that he used to be a homeless man in Tacoma.

Suffering from a drug addiction and living in a poor environment, Marks sorted out a plan to get help. When meetings weren’t enough for his plan to grow he says he found God’s power of healing.

He started going to church and was able to feel his past getting left behind in order for his new start to begin. “It’s never to late to start over,” said Marks.

He didn’t have the money for acting classes so instead he began emulating actors via internet browsing. He started his acting career at age 43 and is now 46. “Ghetto Actor” is what some people call him in Seattle, referring to how he came to be.

Utilizing his skills in facial expressions, he became an extra seen behind the famous people in movies. In the film “21 and Over,” Marks is spotted in the background of a scene making a shocked facial expression.  He has made a name for himself among actors such as Kim Basinger and Director Nicholas Gyeney He is also on a list to be a stand-in for Denzel Washington in an up coming film.

Through his success among celebrities, he remains humble and states, “I am successful because I want more than fame.” Upon receiving his ministerial license, Marks plans to go back to preaching. He states that he doesn’t want to become a celebrity. “I want a bigger forum for when I preach,” he said.

Marks rebooted his mind and way of thinking. He wants to encourage other people who are struggling. “You make your own destiny and you take control of your whole life,” Marks said regarding his transformation. He will spend 18 months at Pierce on LNI earning a fashion merchandising degree. “I’m not trying to be better than anyone, I’m just trying to be the best I can be,” said Marks.

addicted to perfection

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, 10 to 15 percent of Americans suffer from some type of eating disorder.

Teen media’s pressure to be perfect gets much of the blame for this, but in some cases the influence is closer to home.

Many teen magazines have an affect as well, 46 percent of girls from the fifth to twelfth grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine images.

Parents and peers can push their negativity and perfectionism onto others, causing young people to develop eating disorders that, if not fatal, will be a lifelong struggle.

In many instances, those struggling with an eating disorder are in denial that their disorder is not simply a healthy habit.

In recent years, over-exercising has been considered a serious addiction.

Athletes are a prime victim for an exercise addiction, due to the pressures of having a lean build or physique.

Men feel a need to have a muscular build; this is called hypermuscularity which forms body dysmorphia.

Through overeating, steroids, and exercise these men become hyperbolically masculine.

Women athletes suffer more than the men with a ratio of nine to one having an eating disorder.

Women and men will feel the need to punish themselves for what they consider excess calories by working out past the point their body can handle.

In other cases, teen girls will use extreme diets as an excuse for binging or not eating enough to sustain their bodies.

It’s difficult to get help when one can’t properly identify the problem. Self-image is a concept composed of thin lines, and it’s important for young people to understand which side they stand on.

There is a line between staying fit and becoming self-destructive, a line between constructive criticism and damaging expectations, and a line between habits and addictions.

If you think you or someone you love may be dealing with an eating disorder, call 1-800-931-2237 for confidential, free support.

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