As I sit by this roaring fireplace roasting chestnuts, I can’t help but reminisce about the year that was 2012. Fortunately, there were several inspirational stories. Weight loss and successful sports teams brought a warm glow to students’ faces.
There were moments of tragedy and conflict as well. Students who left us too soon invaded our pages. Problems between students and faculty were reported. If I could use one word to describe this year, it would certainly be eventful.
We’ve looked back through the year to find the best stories and produced a nice round number. Here are the top five stories of the year, plus our pick for theatre production of the year. We look forward to your readership next year.
Proposition 30 passes
On Nov. 6, Election Day, 53.9 percent of Californian voters supported Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget plan to improve funding for education and community colleges. The Proposition will temporarily raise taxes on households earning $250,000 or more and the California sales tax to 7.5 percent. Had Proposition 30 been defeated in the polls, $5 billion would have been cut from universities and schools, which would have severely affected students and faculty for Los Rios colleges and California State universities. The Election Day polls were a heated battle, with some news outlets projecting the defeat of Proposition 30 as the votes were slowly tallied throughout the night. But after all the votes came in, California decided to pass 30 for the good of education. The Los Rios school district will see an additional $2 million in funding, severely affecting ARC students and faculty – but for the better.
Associated Student Body moves forward
On April 27, Quierra Robey and Omba Kipuke were elected as Student Senate president and vice president, respectively. The election yielded the lowest voter turnout in ARC history with only 296 total votes. Despite the poor turnout, both Robey and Kipuke were determined to take the reins of the ASB, with goals of promoting cultural diversity and creating a more accountable Student Senate. The 2012 fall semester has been an up-and-down one for the ASB, including concerns caused by the BOG Waiver and tension with the Campus Life organization. But as the year winds down, Robey, Kipuke and the ASB have moved forward with a newly placed constitution and committees with hopes to serve ARC students for 2013.
Fifteen Minutes of Fame: Andy Warhol on display at ARC
When the Andy Warhol Foundation announced that it was going to donate some of Warhol’s photographs to California universities, 150 photos from the pop artist found their way to the James Kaneko Gallery on March 13, with more than 130 in attendance at “Warhol’s New York.” ARC was the only community college in California to receive art from the Andy Warhol Foundation, which included rare Polaroid pictures and black and white prints. The Kaneko Gallery proudly displayed Warhol’s photos as an opportunity to learn about the artist’s significance to pop culture while hosting a selection of art that could only be seen at ARC.
Diondre Batson qualifies for the Olympic Trials
Diondre Batson lit the ARC track team on fire this year. He broke multiple school records in the spring, setting milestones for the 100 and 200-meter sprints. He hit his peak this year when he qualified for the Olympic trials in April. Although he ultimately didn’t go to the Olympics, it capped an amazing run for his track season. And as if that wasn’t enough, he also helped the Beaver football team reach the Northern California Community College Championship. His contributions to both the football and track teams arguably make him the athlete of the year at ARC.
Construction begins on new renovations to be completed by 2013
When students return for the spring semester in January, the new student center will be completed, should everything go according to plan. Later in the semester, the parking garage and new science buildings will also be finished, adding yet another update to the more than 50-year campus. The student center will boast study areas, lounges, skylights and even a Starbucks, while the parking garage will add more than 1,600 parking spots. The school hopes these additions will help ease the crowded parking and library for the more than 30,000 students that attend ARC.
Theatre Production of the Year: “Sweeney Todd”
“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” had everyone talking in the fall of 2012. From the opening night crowds to the Current’s own review, there was a constant dialogue around it. While there might have been some issues that needed improvement in the play, it was still the Current’s favorite production of 2012. Less-than-stellar performances aside, “Sweeney Todd” was an overall dazzling spectacle. The ARC production featured the largest live orchestra in the school’s history, backed by powerful voices and brilliant stage effects. “Sweeney Todd” set the bar high for future ARC Theatre productions.