Career Exploration – ACC Job Fair

Story By – Delondra DeFreeze

The Austin Community College Job Fair & Career Exploration Event this Spring was a success. Students from across all 11 campuses came together at the Highland campus in search of opportunities. Career Services hosted the event and brought together businesses like IBM and Amazon in the ACCelerator. It wasn’t hard for the sea of professionally dressed students to find supportive words of encouragement from staff members and volunteers at the event.

The ACCelerator housed over 100 businesses for students to network with. Grant Loveless, Student Ambassador for Career Services, values the opportunities that were made available to ACC students.

“The Job Fair was created to bring opportunity and access to Austin Community College students, as well as Austinites,” Loveless said. “It also helps connect student organizations and different opportunities out there for full-time, part-time, internships, externships, and volunteer work to students at all of ACC’s 11 campuses.”

The businesses featured at the Job Fair were organized by Area of Study with Area of Study Advisors located near each section. Students had access to LinkedIn profile headshots, onsite resume labs, and ACC resource tables. The Student Money Management Office also facilitated a free credit report station. The study rooms normally available in the ACCelerator were turned into interview rooms for onsite interviews.

K&G Fashion Superstore and the Austin Community College Fashion Incubator sponsored a work attire fashion show. Katie Johnson, a Creative Writing major, had the opportunity to model in the show.

“I had fun modeling in the fashion show,” says Johnson. “I was excited and nervous. I looked for Youth Development jobs since I used to work for the Boys & Girls Club.” 

ACC’s Job Fair gave students access to a variety of career options.

“This event can open up a lot of door for students when it comes to their aspirations and for their academic and professional journeys,” says Loveless. “It is impactful when you see a student that has an urge to get an internship with a radio station or a job working with kids like the YMCA or doing volunteer work that includes kids like the Boys & Girls Club or Boy Scouts.”

 

When it comes to equipping students with networking skills and professionalism, Career Services is here to help.

“I talk to a large amount of students about Career Services,” Loveless said. “Some people don’t know what it is and the other half don’t know how to utilize it. The one thing I want any and all students to know is that Career Services is here to help. With Career Services we help you build your resume. We help you build your cover letter. We help you build job interview skills. We help you cultivate yourself as a leader. We push you in the direction you want to go in.”

Austin Community College students are not only learning networking skills, but also applying their knowledge in real world situations like the Job Fair.

 

Film Review: “Greener Grass” SXSW 2019 Premiere

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Review & Photo by Taylor Kokas

Haven written and starred in the short film of the same name that premiered at SXSW 2016, Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe are back in 2019 as writer/director duo and once again stars of their debut feature film, Greener Grass. An absurd satire about life in suburbia where people push politeness to the extreme, especially Jill (DeBoer) and Lisa (Luebbe), two soccer moms both married with children. From the beginning we are introduced to the theme of the film, it’s a bright clear sunny day, we find Jill and Lisa sitting on the benches gossiping about one of their friends while watching their son’s soccer game. Lisa interrupts their conversation having noticed that Jill is holding her new baby (which Jill has obviously been holding since the start of the film). Lisa compliments the baby “I love her”, which Jill is taken aback by her words and replies “Lisa…do you want her?”. By the end of the scene Lisa has literally adopted Jill’s new born baby.

I think the director duo succeeded in their mission to express the idea of how far are we willing to put politeness over our own happiness. Over the course of the movie we are shown that idea through Jills relationship with Lisa, as Jill puts politeness before happiness it begins to shatter her life while improving Lisa’s. This film also does a wonderful job of world building from the weekend soccer games, big houses with white picket fences, driving golf carts instead of cars, to every adult literally wearing braces. Sure there are times in the film where it feels redundant but if you posses this sense of humor it’s a must watch. Worth mentioning that SNL’s Beck Bennet plays Jill’s husband in the film, which was definitely a perfect casting choice. Speaking of, the closest comparison is Saturday Night Live, where every scene is pretty much a skit, pushing the absurdity just a little each time while still managing to tell the larger story at the core of every scene. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”5098″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

Dawn Luebbe (Left), Jocelyn DeBoer (Right)

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Transtastic

Written and Edited by Halie Davis
Filmed by Taylor Kokas

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Blue, pink and white flags were printed on posters that hung up around various campuses this past spring. These colors sandwiched together, horizontally are the Transgender flag. Text on the posters promoted the premiere of a student-made documentary, Transtastic, supported by an LGBTQ resource fair.

Transtastic is the creation of ACC student, Margo De Alva. As a transgender person, she felt the urge to create something that further explains transgender than the textbook definition.

“Coming into the school semester, I was asked several times ‘why do you dress like this?’ ‘Why do you act like this?’” says De Alva. “I just wanted ACC to have a better understanding and I wanted to reach out to people who were in my situation, or are in my situation.”

After graduating from high school, De Alva attempted attending college. But, the timing was off.

“I was very, very sad for several years because I was scared to tell everybody. I didn’t even know what Transgender was. I knew I wanted to be a woman, but I didn’t know the term…I had to venture off to YouTube to even know what transgender meant.”

In recent years, the public has seen more videos, articles and events, regarding transgender people. In 2014, Laverne Cox is the first transgender person on the cover of Time Magazine. Making her public debut at the 2015 ESPYs, Caitlyn Jenner spoke for transgender children and people. That same year and the following, Jeffrey Tambor brought home an Emmy for Leading Actor in Comedy Series, Transparent. In 2016, NPR reported that 1.4 million adults identify as transgender, according to a study done by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. The highest number of reported deaths among Transgender people, occurred in 2017.
This year Cox poses for the cover of Cosmopolitan
Magazine
, Scarlett Johansson apologizes and announces her withdraw from the transgender project, Rub
&
Tug
, and Wisconsin is covering two of its residents’ gender confirmation surgeries.

Transgender may be a term that is confusing for the general public to understand, let alone an individual. This past summer, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that in 2019 being transgender will no longer be considered a mental illness. Often, a fake identity is created by a transgender person to try and fit into society’s standards of male and female roles.

“Dorothy [Alexander] is one of the friends who helped start everything,” De Alva says. “She met me when I was, I guess a boy. She met me and could tell something was up because of the way I acted and stuff. Like she said in [Transtastic], I would joke around about getting my nails done and she’d be like, ‘if you want to get your nails done, I’ll go with you, it’s not a big deal.’ There were times I’d try to act masculine and she’d look at me and and be like, ‘I don’t really feel like this suits you.’ She was just reminding me that ‘I think you’re a different person,’ so when I finally told her, she was like ‘I knew it all along.’”

Some of De Alva’s friends and family were accepting, but not eveyone. At 12-years-old she knew she wanted to be considered a female, but was still unsure about the ways to express herself. “I had no choice but to put on this persona of what I felt like a man or teenage boy was supposed to be, because it was very rough. I was getting picked on in school from the other boys and I remember them telling me ‘you’re such a girl, man up.’”

In her early adolescence, De Alva was living with her dad in the Rundberg area of Austin. This neighborhood is known as a rougher one to many Austinites.

From 2012-2016 Restore Rundberg was a grant received to revitalize the area. Since the funding closed, the Austin Police Department has continued extension programs throughout the area, like Summer in Rundberg to keep the neighborhood children safe when not in school. Restore Rundberg decreased property crime in the area and the city itself.

Crime rates are higher in lower income areas than high-income households, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Some neighborhoods in Austin with a median household income ranging from $7,000 to $38,000 are St. Johns (Rundberg area), North Lamar and East Riverside. Neighborhoods in Austin with a median household income range of $130,000 to $217,000 are Bee Cliffs, Bella Mar and Avery Ranch.

Like many cities, the public education provided to its residents depends on their neighborhood. According to the U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best High Schools in America, Westlake (EISD) ranked 213. Westwood (RRISD) followed up at 221 with a graduation rate of 99 and college readiness score of 72. Vandegrift (LIST) land at 339 while the top ranking AISD school is Anderson at 1,038. Schools like Lanier, Reagan and Eastside Memorial did not place in the national or state rankings. Students at the non-ranking schools live in neighborhoods like East Riverside, North Lamar and St. Johns.

“LGBTQ people are not just on the North side or by Highland.”

DeAlva attended Wooldridge Elementary School, which filters into Lanier High School. These are some of the schools associated with the Rundberg area.
“Rundberg, from my experience, wasn’t necessarily the best place to live at,” De Alva says. “The boys needed to have this role of being tough. In middle school, they were running around, talking about sports…In 2006, I remember being in middle school and LGBT was picked on. Nobody said it was ok.”

De Alva lived with a boy persona until 2015, when she became a junior in high school. At this time, De Alva has moved to the Lakeline area with her grandma. At Westwood High School she was noticing LGBT was more accepted than her previous schools. She was making friends who were openly gay or lesbian. “Their friends weren’t mean about it and they still liked them.”
De Alva was noticing a different world, where people were more accepting and open about being gay. Moreover, she did not feel the urge to live in her previous identity; the one that would mock or ignore people from the LGBT community. “If I had met [an LGBT person] when I was in Rundberg, I would have no choice but to pick on them if I had friends around…my grandma lived in this place where I could listen to how [an LGBT person] felt.”

After taking a break from school, Margo De Alva discovered acceptance in the LGBT community, friends and family. Although hesitant to begin college, Margo found a home in Student Life.

Northridge’s Student Life Coordinator, Tim Prata, assisted Margo with the creation of Transtastic. After listening to her thoughts and hopes, Prata introduced De Alva to ACC’s LGBT eQ Committee and Student Life’s YouTube series, Life4U. From there, the group took De Alva’s documentary idea and created Transtastic. Last March, Transtastic premiered after its resource fair concluded. A Q&A session was held after the documentary premiere with Margo De Alva and others featured in the Transtastic.
“My friends are accepting, so I’ve reached out to several and they have my back with things like ‘hey, I feel uncomfortable going to the bathroom, would you go with me?’ and they will.”

In the 2019 legislative session, many Texans are hoping to continue the discussion about the Bathroom Bill. This bill, defines access to public restrooms by transgender people. In 2015 the Austin City Council passed an ordinance stating that all businesses with a single-use restroom must provide gender-neutral bathrooms. Every ACC campus, with the exception of Riverside, has a family bathroom for its transgender students, faculty and staff. However, having only one single-use bathroom on a  campus can be difficult for transgender people – especially if it’s in use.

“LGBTQ people are not just on the north side or by the Highland campus  – we’re everywhere,” says De Alva. “There should just be more family bathrooms in general. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to hold going to the bathroom because [some business] doesn’t have it.”

Although De Alva’s goal is to live a life as Margo, she chooses not to use the women’s bathroom, even if it’s the only option. “I don’t want to go into the women’s bathroom because I don’t want to alarm females. I’m totally understanding that it can alarm everybody, so I just try to stick to the family bathrooms”

Austin businesses like Alamo Drafthouse at Mueller, Hillside Farmacy and Cheer Up Charlies offer gender-neutral bathrooms. These areas have closed-off stalls for private business and sinks to wash. CEO of Alamo Drafthouse, Tim League, says there are “no complaints at all” in an article from the Austin American Statesman.
De Alva is knowledgeable about which businesses have a restroom for her to use due to personal experience. Fortunately, her support system is able to accompany her to the restroom, if needed. “I’ve had my grandpa tell me ‘if you have to go, I’ll go in there with you and make sure no one says anything…As sweet as that is, it’s humiliating to have to go with my grandfather.”

De Alva says she doesn’t expect sweet gestures, but is thankful for the support. After revealing herself as a transgender person, she’s lost relationships  but stays positive. “You’re going to have people that don’t like you no matter what, so you might as well be who you are.”

Margo De Alva plans to transform Transtastic into an event at ACC. She also hopes to open a safe area for the LGBT community to talk and relate with one another. “You know I still have not met someone who is transgender at the school, that I can reach out to. At the event, I started to see more people and they were talking to me and it was great to know that I’m not alone.”

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5 Things to do during PRIDE Month

The Stonewall riots occurred on June June 28, 1969 in New York City. This night at the Stonewall Inn a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations erupted by members of the LGBT community against a police raid. These acts are known to have sparked the Gay revolution. Show off that special PRIDE this month!

  1. Drag Queen Bingo: Pride Edition on June 18. Bring yourself, friends and an appetite to Red’s Porch (Quarry location) starting at 8p. Make a reservation at 512-236-5436 and be ready for some shenanigans.
  2. Austin LGBT Chamber June Happy Hour on June 21. Meet and mingle with fellow LGBT business and allied business owners and professionals. At Harrison Branch – Farmers Insurance at 6:30p.
  3. Proud! Austin LGBT Awards Gala on June 23. Celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month at LINE ATX Hotel at 6p. Toast to the LGBT Chamber for turning 21 years. Keynote speaker, Sarah Weddington (argued Roe v. Wade) will be in there to celebrate with all in attendance.
  4. 8th Annual Stonewall Celebration on June 27. Rally at the Texas State Capitol on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Pay tribute to those who have and continue to spark the modern day gay rights movement. This year marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
  5. Daybreaker ATX/PRIDE Party on June 29. Celebrate all love at Native Hostel at 6a. Stretch out in the morning during yoga from 6-7a, then dance your heart out from 7-9a with Girlfriend ATX.

Q&A with Sego

Written and Photo by Nathaniel Torres

Sego, a Utah born and LA transplant band, was featured on NPR’s “The Austin 100″ and played their second official SXSW showcase this year.  The band was founded by members Spencer Peterson and Thomas Carroll and has since expanded to include Alyssa Davey (bass) and Brandon McBride (synth and guitar).  The band captures their audience by enveloping them in a groovy mirage. A sound I compare to a short-lived age of 90’s pop. A sort of mix between The Verve and Blur. Despite the older references, Sego stands on their own today while their crowds sing and dance to their tunes. If you needed any more convincing to take a listen just know the band’s cover of “Young Turks” was approved by Sir Rod Stewart himself.

How many SXSW have you attended/played?
Spencer: Second [as Sego]. We were here three years ago right after we started. Alyssa [bassist], this is her first time. She’s just getting acclimated to the noise.

Had you heard or known about SXSW before coming out?
Spencer: I’ve been here a bunch.  I was coming with different bands for years.  I’ve been to SXSW like 6 times maybe and it just continues to change every time I’m here.
Alyssa: I had always heard about SXSW. My dad actually was always pushing this other band I was in to go to SXSW. He was all about it.

Was it difficult getting an official showcase?
Spencer: It’s been relatively easy for us, in the past though. It’s interesting because you get one show and you are coming all this way for one show, but then within the month you end up picking up ten different showcases. As all these bands descend upon Austin there’s all this sifting and settling of the load. I feel like it’s hard because you have to put in some time, but once you’re kind of like in there, it really kind of pays off. You can find shows if you really push for it, even if you are not official. I’ve done SXSW [with different bands] three years in a row – not being official – and we played awesome huge shows. It was great.

How was your travel out here?
Spencer: We are trying to make a loop of it. A lot of out-of-state bands will try to make a route into and out of SXSW; which makes it tough touring in and out of SXSW because all of a sudden it means every band is routed on the same timeline and the same place.
Alyssa: I found that with a friend of mine; their band played here. They did the same thing and made a tour out of it. You’re already going out there so do some shows on the way and do some shows on the way back.
Spencer: It kind of creates a weird road culture where all these little towns that normally don’t get big bands are overwhelmed. All these bands need a place to play. Places most people haven’t heard of get decent shows leading up and coming away from SXSW. This place moves like a small little economy outside of Austin just because of so much cross traffic.

What are your feelings on the atmosphere? Were you well received?

Alyssa: The people here are into music because clearly they’re at a music festival but in a different way. It’s an appreciation. Here it’s a little different because you’re seeing so many bands that you don’t know that you’ve never heard of, so it’s like new ears every time.
Spencer: Yeah the whole attitude is different. It’s still cool.

Badges are quite expensive and the word is that artists do not really make a profit.  What are your feelings on this?
Spencer: I think everybody treats it like a loss. I knew one band that actually made money on a show…and it blew my mind. We pay out just to get here, just get the opportunity. Personally, I go into it assuming that it’s just a wash. You can offset the loss a little bit by booking some shows in and out and making it more purposeful.

Does the festival open doors? What are the benefits of getting out here?
Spencer: Yeah and close some. Most people here are here with a purpose and have some industry clout. We had a crappy show and it turned cool people off on us. They were at that show and they were actually kind of high rollers. So, we learned the hard way you should never mail in a show, ever…especially at SXSW because you never know who’s out in the audience. It’s not like a random tour stop. Whether [it’s a] label or PR people, I feel like every time I’m out here I meet people I forge friendships with and relationships with.

What were some other things you got into while you were here?
Alyssa: Barbecue!
Spencer: I feel like I got to get some barbecue while we’re in town.

Will you be doing SXSW again or coming back our way sometime soon?
Alyssa: I hope.
Spencer: We have nothing in the books as of right now but I feel we come out here about every once a year, year and ha alf. So yeah, we’ll be back soon.

Sego is well on their way making the tour back home where the brisket is lacking. They are making sure to stop in their origin city of Provo, Utah where they say they always receive the warmest welcome. Sego’s music can be found on Spotify where you can also listen to their Audiotree Live set. They are also on social media if you’d like to give them a shout out. Just don’t expect it to compare to acknowledgment from Sir Stewart.

Q&A with Bad Pony

Written and photo by Nathaniel Torres

Broadening the scope internationally I spoke with Bad Pony, a five-piece from Down Under. Bad Pony has now traveled to North America twice and is the recipients of Australian Music Week’s prize of 2017.  The band is the result of Jarred and Sam’s need to break out of their previous band’s bluesy genre. Searching for their own sound, they poached a few other front men from different bands, divided the percussion responsibilities, and now showcase their individual talents as Bad Pony.  They brilliantly stitch together an array of genre sounds and tempos within their music, dropping bass and transitioning to a bluesy upbeat one song and then exposing their Aussie roots and relating it to a funky soulful chorus the next. I had the privilege to speak with the entire band which along with Jarred on vocals/percussion and Sam playing guitar/percussion also include Mark on bass, Cron on guitar and Isaac on synths/percussion.  This was the band’s first SXSW appearance.

Had you heard or known about SXSW before coming out?
Mark: Of course!
Jarred: It’s been a dream of mine just to come and see music here. When I was growing up I used to see bands who were quite low-level, then they’d come here and they’d blow up. It seems like a whole world of promise and potential.
Sam: The idea of SXSW in my head is I get to see all these bands that I’ve dreamt about seeing for so long and then walk into a random pub and stumble upon something brilliant I’ve never heard before.

How was your travel out here?
Isaac: We flew into LA. That was killer.
Mark: It’s about 24 hours, in transit, to get from home to Austin so that was two days of our lives spent super excited and anxious.
Jarred: If we could have come straight here that would have been amazing. LAX is like my idea of hell. It’s my least favorite place in the world.

What are your feelings on the atmosphere? Were you well received?
Isaac: The crowds here are just so welcoming. Just really, really up for a good time.
Jarred: Everyone has been so nice to us and looked after us.  Even the accommodation we stayed at, the dude gave us a great deal.
Sam: He just wanted Australian beer.
Jarred: He gave us three extra units in his house for a six pack of beer!

Badges are quite expensive and the word is that artists don’t really make a profit.  What are your feelings on this?
Isaac: We are just artists man. We just play. We don’t know the business side of it.
Jarred: We’re happy to be here – we didn’t have to pay a $1,000, so we’re happy.
Sam: I did.
Jarred: No, we did. We did.
Mark: Much more actually.

Does the festival open doors? What are the benefits of getting out here?
Sam: We had people see us two days ago who were just walk-ins and that’s one of the biggest benefits. They have no idea that you’re about to play and catch your set. Then, 15-minutes later they’re organizing an interview with you.

What were some other things you got into while you were here?
Sam: Everyone I worked with was like, ‘Man you’re going to Texas. It’s all about the barbecue sauce and the meat. And it was absolutely about the barbecue sauce and the meat.  It was everything I hoped it would be and I fell in love

Will you be doing SXSW again or coming back our way sometime soon?
Isaac: In a heartbeat.
Jarred: No brainer.
Isaac: As soon as possible.
Sam: All it takes is an email.

Bad Pony, who easily spent the most time and money (out of the bands interviewed) to get out here, expressed extreme gratitude for the opportunity not just to play but to see other bands performing.  They were recently picked up by Arow Agency and say they never take too much time off from touring stating that they easily become bored when not on the road. The band is high spirited on and off stage expressing there’s nothing better than getting to tour around the world with their best mates. Bad Pony’s music can be found on Spotify but make sure to check out the acoustic videos on YouTube made during their stay here in Austin. For a more in-depth interview including Mark’s SXSW reaction story and Isaac’s PSA keep a lookout for the full video interview.

 

Q&A with Löwin

Written by Nathaniel Torres
Photo by Sarah Vasquez

I spoke with Sara Houser (vocals) of Löwin, an Austin band that debuted SXSW in 2014.  The band regularly plays at establishments such as ABGB, Hotel Vegas and Barracuda. They feature a female vocalist who’s soothing croons accompany a unique blend of guitar melodies and hooks over a solid low end.  Löwin played seven shows this year and their members have been performing unofficial shows for the festival every year since they started calling Austin their home.

Was it difficult getting an official showcase?
Sara: I’ve played SXSW [unofficially] pretty much every year that I’ve lived in Austin, but this is the first year that any of the bands I was in actually made it as an official artist. I think [unofficial shows] are the case for a lot of Austin-based bands. From what I understand Austin-based bands are kind of last to be considered. We were lucky that we fell into a booking agency that helped usher us into SXSW as an official artist.

What are your feelings on the atmosphere? Were you well received?
Sara: All the shows we played were amazing. The crowds at SXSW are always refreshing because people are engaged and they’re moving around and dancing – not like your typical Austin crowd who have seen and done everything. People are generally out to enjoy themselves. It’s not their run-of-the-mill show.

Badges are quite expensive and the word is that artists do not really make a profit.  What are your feelings on this?
Sara: I think a lot of show-goers maybe don’t take into consideration that most of the shows that we’re playing that week are free; meaning we don’t get paid to play. We had a couple of shows that did pay us…not a lot. But all four of us had to ask off work, which for Chris and I…SXSW is a huge money-making week. We didn’t go into it hoping to make a lot of money.  We were just hoping to reach a fan base that, otherwise, wouldn’t have seen us…and that’s what’s cool about it.

Does the festival open doors? What are the benefits of getting out here?
Sara: Exposure for sure. We used it as kind of a testing ground for all of our new material that we’re going to be releasing, shortly now that SXSW is over. We connected with lots of great photographers and lots of new fans – but as far as did we have anybody walking up to us after a set waving contracts at us, no. Being an official SXSW artist is a great thing on a resume for any band. There is a level of legitimacy it brings to the table.

Even for the local veterans of SXSW there was more to learn about the festival stating that reaching out to the industry side of the festival could unlock further potential for the band.  You can catch Löwin at Barracuda March 30 and keep a lookout for that new material to be released. Until then, they have a few singles available on Spotify. Just hold down the “o” on your phone keyboard to get “ö”.

Photos of SXSW 2018

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Photos by Tracy Fuller

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Beto O’Rourke Gaining Popularity

Written by Sean Anchondo

Like a Rockstar, an anxious crowd of onlookers bursts into cheers as the El Paso Congressman, Beto O’Rourke, takes the stage. With sleeves rolled up and tie slightly pulled ajar, O’Rourke was set to deliver his message. He spoke with a sense of purpose, preaching togetherness and hope. The audience chomping at the bit.

Beginning at midnight, a packed venue was clamoring for photos with the U.S. Senate hopeful. After a rousing speech, Austinites of all ages stayed to take pictures with the candidate, despite it being in the wee hours of the morning.

Starting off, just 18-hours earlier, O’Rourke ended his night with one more speech at the Kerbey Lane restaurant right off the University of Texas Campus. Greeted with a near capacity restaurant, supporters anxiously waited to hear O’Rourke speak or to just take pictures.

After the event, O’Rourke said he was very “encouraged” and “grateful” by the outcome and support of all the events.

In Houston, O’Rourke was greeted with a rock and roll show and a huge turnout. He’s hosted town halls in a variety of places like Lubbock and Sugarland.

“Do more of the listening, and less of the talking,” O’Rourke says.

In the town hall format, O’Rourke has been able to hear many of the issues that are consistent around the state. Residents of the panhandle, Beaumont and Austin speak on health-related issues.

“[People want] healthcare and the ability to see a doctor,” says O’Rourke. ”

Manny Texans are buying into his message.

Currently, Beto O’Rourke is outraising incumbent Senator Ted Cruz. The campaign has raised about $2.4 million in the last few months. O’Rourke has made it clear he is not taking PAC (Political Action Committee) money, as to be seen as an authentic and a transparent representative.

Many young people have been deeply involved with this campaign, due to having access to the politician via social media. This has contributed to the large turnouts at the town halls throughout the state and other events. Donations to his website BetoforTexas.com is gaining steam as the election day nears.

Many see O’Rourke having a tough road ahead. A Democrat hasn’t won a Senate seat since 1994. The senate race in Texas in November is crucial if the Democrats want to flip the Senate this fall. Young Democratic Texan voters could cause the biggest upset in the upcoming Senate race.

Literary Coffeehouse: The Inspiration and Connection between Literary Fans

Written by Phuong (Kim) Pham

On February 5, 2018, the ACC Creative Writing Department welcomed everybody to their monthly gathering, Literacy Coffeehouse, at the Malvern Books bookstore. The open mic event, hosted by John Herndon, is an opportunity for literature lovers to share their passions, or just simply enjoy their time with the literary community.

The evening started off with cookies to welcome the attendees and the writers discussing their work. After that, the readers began sharing their literary works onstage. One of the hosts, David Thornberry, enlightened everyone with his piece about Stephen Hawking’s disease called “Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,” which he described in his poem as a “thumb” that “belong to the universe,” a very interesting metaphor. This month’s featured reader was Emilee Araujo, an aspiring screenwriter and Creative Writing major at ACC. Emilee brought out many of her works to the audience, including her screenplay and poems. She also captured the audience by reading her first flash fiction, “Lemonade,” in which she shared a story about her immigrant dad.

Readers, who came from different ages and different backgrounds, were connected through their love of literature Everyone was very open-minded and comfortable sharing their stories in various ways. One of the readers, Heidi Juel, who is also an English teacher at ACC Cypress Creek, shared: “Anybody can come in, and you can see they read plays, poetry, fictions and memoirs… pretty much anything.” As this was the second time Mrs. Juel had been to the gathering, she loved the environment that the event was giving. “It’s a good environment if you’ve never done this before, you just take a deep breath, or whatever works for you, look at what you wrote and pretend that nobody’s out there,” she said. “It’s a small group, everybody’s here because they like what they’re doing.”

Literary Coffeehouse is one of many activities hosted by the ACC Creative Writing Department. It opens around the first two weeks of every month. Next month, the event will be on March 5th at 7 p.m. at Malvern Books. Every student of ACC is encouraged to join, either listen or share the literary works.literary coffee house 2