Season 4

Young People and Suicide

According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide rates are on the rise. Among people between the ages of 10 and 24, it’s the third leading cause of death. In this special edition of Equal Time, host Bob Rucker interviews Jordan Burnham, a young man who tried to take his own life. Burnham now travels around the United States, spreading messages about suicide prevention for high school and college age students.

Drugs on Campus

Drug use and abuse is prevalent in college. This year, San Jose State University saw its first on-campus heroin overdose. This segment of Equal Time takes an in-depth look at the social pressures that influence college-aged youths to use drugs and the risks that they face. It also focuses on Adderall, which has brought a new drug culture on many college campuses, including San Jose State.

Guests in two roundtable discussions include:

  • Michael O’Brien, Drug & Alcohol Counselor
  • Peter Decena, SJSU Police Chief
  • Jose Bautista, SJSU student
  • Phil Boissiere, Silicon Valley ADHD Expert
  • Lauren Hidaldo, MD, SJSU Student health center
  • Erica Altman, SJSU Student
  • Haley Fenner, SJSU Student

The “N” Word

Journalists covering recent racially related stories are faced with challenges of what they can say to be factually correct without inflaming or offending people. Why is it so difficult to hear the “N” word, and what gives that word so much power today? In this episode of Equal Time, a special panel of journalism professors from various parts of the United States contribute their ideas about covering racial issues.

Guests include:

  • Doug Mendenhall, Abilene Christian University
  • George Daniels, Universityof Alabama
  • Meredith Clark, University of North Texas
  • Phillip Jeter, Winston-Salem State University

Underpaid and Overworked: Adjunct Professors

More than half the faculty in the California State University system are lecturers – faculty with full or part-time temporary positions. As the number of tenured professors has fallen, universities and colleges are hiring on more contract based professors because of its cost efficiency. Correspondent Jennifer Gonzalez discusses the challenges adjunct professors face: job security, lack of benefits and poverty level wages. This episode of Equal Time illustrates the recognition adjunct professors are striving to gain in hopes of bettering the quality of education for students while creating fair job opportunities for those who teach.

Guests include:

  • Jonathan Karpf, California Faculty Association Vice President – Lecturers, North
  • Gloria Collins, California Faculty Association Chapter Secretary/ SJSU English Lecturer
  • Kevin Moore, SJSU Linguistics & Language Development Lecturer
  • Elena Dorabji, SJSU/De Anza Political Science Lecturer

Young and Homeless

San Jose has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the country and has the highest rate of unsheltered homeless youth in the nation. We will be discussing the causes that contribute to the overall cause of homelessness in San Jose, with a specific interest in factors that contribute to youth homelessness. Correspondent David Taub will explore the challenges that this community faces on a day-to-day basis and will also try to shed some light on solutions to combat youth homelessness and homelessness in other forms.

Guests include:

  • Dwayne Reed, Downtown Street Team
  • Marriana Moles, Downtown Streets Team
  • Montez Davis, Bill Wilson Center

Police and the Public

Police shootings have sparked unrest in many cities across the nation in recent months. As a result, some officers feel under the siege of public opinion.   In this edition of Equal Time, correspondent Quinn Dang rides along with police to get their perspective. Correspondent Samantha Rogers leads a discussion about body cameras.

Guests include:

        • Lieutenant Keith Plamondon, Mountain View Police Department
        • Sergeant Saul Jaeger, Mountain View Police Department
        • Jordan Suniga, Loss Prevention Officer & Criminal Justice Student
        • William Armaline, SJSU Justice Studies Professor

Why Study Abroad?

Increasingly, students are seeking study-abroad opportunities, and some universities are even making international adventures a requirement. In this edition of Equal Time, two San Jose State students who returned from Oman describe how the experience added to their lives, and what they learned about “the best kept secret in the Middle East.” Also SJSU administrators describe why study abroad may become mandatory .

Guests include:

              • Rebecca Williams, Behavioral Sciences student
              • Marcella Cage, Public Relations student
              • Emilie Schmidt, Interim Director, Global Education & Initiatives
              • Pam Richardson, Acting Associate Dean

Game Night: Video or Board

Video games are popular in our culture, but that trend may be starting to change. Millennials are beginning to play board games instead of the electronic equivalents. This episode, reported by George Tanner, will delve into the factors of what is causing some millennials to prefer board games over video games. A sociologist puts the choice into perspective.

Guests include:

• Winston Gregory, San Jose State student majoring in animation/ illustration
• JoMarie Almendra, San Jose State student majoring in radio, television and film
• Angelica Cabanlit, president of the game development club
• Steve Nava, Ph.D., sociology professor who teaches a popular culture class

Organic Eating

This episode of Equal Time examines whether organic eating is actually healthier, or whether all that matters is the nutritional value of food. A struggle people often cite when considering the organic lifestyle is the cost. Equal Time correspondent Kato Guzman interviews people from both sides of the spectrum: those who are careful to avoid anything artificial, and those who are fearless about additives.

Guests include:

            • Marjorie Freedman, Associate Professor, Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging
            • Erick Chong Marquez, SJSU Graduate Student

Lick Observatory: Silicon Valley’s Science Inspiration

Correspondent Brenda Norrie leads a discussion about the need to keep this Bay Area icon open. Google just donated $1million, and questions arise as to why this is important, especially in a time where American youth tends to focus on the arts and entertainment rather than the math and sciences as compared to the Space Age. Lick Observatory has been part of the Bay Area’s history, so with a plethora of newcomers coming in, it’s important to remember why San Jose came to be. The observatory has made significant astronomical discoveries, such as several moons of Jupiter, extrasolar planets, and even multiple planet systems.

Guests include:

• Alex Filippenko, UC Berkeley Astrophysicist
• Beth Johnson, SJSU physics undergrad
• Richard Pham Vo, Found densest galaxy while an SJSU undergrad
• Aaron Romanowsky, Physics and astronomy professor at SJSU

Gun Restrictions: Friend or Foe

The second amendment gives citizens the right to own a firearm. Correspondent Rebecca Lapena discusses the pros and cons of gun education. The term “gun education” implies that citizens should have the option to be correctly educated on why, when, and how to safely use a gun. This episode of Equal Time takes us to the firing range, and also introduces us to the relative of a gun shot victim.

Guests include:

• Alexis Markou, Justice Studies Major at San Jose State
• Lutex Patague, Mother and Physical Education Teacher
• Joe Green, Correctional Officer
• Michael Barnes, University Police Department Officer

Taking the Shot: The Vaccine Debate

Whether children should be vaccinated is a topic of debate. This segment looks into a life of a new family taking their child through the process of immunization for the first time. Correpondent Dustin Dorsey takes a look into the reasoning of the people in the spotlight of this debate, which includes the generation of college students preparing to start families of their own. Finally, a roundtable discussion with a mother, a nurse, a doctor, and a former elementary school teacher on why exactly this debate even exists.

Guests include:

• Kelli Dorsey, Former 1st Grade Teacher
• Kayleigh Cosimano, Parent of an 8-month old.
• Angela Campbell, Registered Nurse in Genetics
• Lauren Hidalgo- MD, Co-medical Chief of Staff, SJSU Health Center

Disability and Disconnection

Families with disabled children face barriers every day. But a San Jose grandmother has spearheaded a project to make it easier of families of all abilities to spend time together. Julie Matsushima launched an effort to build an all-inclusive playground.

Rotary of San Jose led the way for the $6 million project, which has just become a reality. In this episode of Equal Time, correspondent Quinn Dang looks at ways families with disabled children wish the community could interact with them.

Guests include:

            • Julie Matsushima, Rotarian whose granddaughter has cerebral palsy
            • Mary Ellen Peterson, Rotarian, Director of Parents Helping Parents whose so has Down Syndrome
            • Joanna Jager, Parents Helping Parents whose son has autism.
            • Venus Apigo, Student whose brother has Down Syndrome
            • Mary Ann Dewan, Santa Clara County Office of Education

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