VOLUME 91 | ISSUE 1 VOLUME 90 | SPECIAL EDITION
Week to focus on mental health By CAYLEE HANNA Staff Reporter
Mental Health Awareness week takes place Sept. 1619 to educate students and make them aware of how to understand certain difficulties that other people are going through in their daily lives. During the week, Amarillo College will have multiple events set up on the Washington Street Campus. “During Mental Health Awareness Week, SGA is out to help others and to show students that they should not be afraid to get involved. This is a fun and interactive way to show others how to solve their problems while learning about mental health awareness through these three days,” Ciarra Thurmon, Sonography
major, said. Kristen Barrick, an AC licensed professional counselor, said she feels as though mental health awareness is important. “Having a Mental Health Awareness Week helps educate people on what is mental health, our psychological, emotional and social well-being. Education leads to destigmatizing and normalizing discussions about mental health,” Barrick said. “As more people are aware and educated, others feel more comfortable discussing their own mental health. Soon we realize that we are not alone and that there are other people who may have similar experiences or just want to offer health.” Jenna Welch, student life specialist, said students will be able to learn about dealing with mental health struggles
while also earning participation points in the new Badger CLAW program. “There will be three events for students to participate in during the week. On Tu e s d ay,
Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. will be Fresh Check Day – a Jordan Porco Foundation program. This event is an uplifting mental health promotion and suicide prevention event that includes interactive expo booths, peer-to-peer messaging, support of multiple campus departments and groups, free food, entertainment and
JOHNNY LAWHON | The Ranger
‘Lettuce’ help you eat right
High Plains Food Bank offers free veggies
By JONATHAN ALONSO Staff Reporter
Amarillo College students and staff may now receive free, fresh produce. It’s all thanks to a new partnership with the High Plains Food Bank. Fresh, free fruits and vegetables are grown from the Food Bank’s garden and some from AC’s student-kept greenhouse. This pilot program is part of the Food Bank’s Mobile Harvest and the vegetables are available from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the Washington Street Campus for the first eight Tuesdays of the semester. According to Dr. Claudie Biggers, a biology professor, the goal for constructing the greenhouse was always to feed students. “It’s taken a long time to finally get to the point where we’re feeding the students,” Biggers said. For many students, the giveaway is a welcomed relief from the financial burden of
groceries. AC student Hector Ceballos said that he takes advantage of the opportunity. “Well, my family has a hard time getting money because my dad is the only one that works. Getting food from the store when we only have a $100 can only get so much. So getting the food we already eat, given to us for free here is amazing,” Ceballos said. With the first two Tuesdays behind him, Director of nutrition and education for the High Plains Food Bank, Justin Young, emphasized that he hopes to make this program year-round using these first eight weeks to gauge whether these times work well for the students and how many veggies to bring. The first week the Food Bank gave away 1000 lbs. of food and 1600 lbs. the second week. There are six more weeks planned for the Food Bank’s Mobile Harvest at AC under the bridge on 24th Street. The dates of the remaining giveaways: Sept: 17, 24, Oct: 1, 8, 15
exciting prizes and giveaways,” Welch said. “On Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Student Government will host “Tomorrow Needs You.” This is a come-and-go event where students can chalk out why tomorrow needs them in the mall and get a free stress ball in return. Then, on Thursday, Sept. 19, from 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., we will have Let’s Taco ‘Bout: Stress, a lunch and learn, down in The Burrow (CUB Basement).
Counseling Center will lead this event where students can learn some tools to help better manage their stress,” Welch said. On Sept. 16, Trent Oneal, intramural sports coordinator, will be hosting a ‘Trent Talk,’ discussing the importance of exercise and mental health. This will take place in the Burrow from 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
New budget shows increase
By LAUREN EBBEN
Every Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. until Oct. 15, The High Plains Food Bank will be under the bridge at the Washington Street Campus.
September 12, 2019 August 22, 2019
A new budget is in effect at AC. The more than $78 million budget represents a nearly $6 million increase from last year’s budget. On Aug. 27, the board of regents approved the budget for the 2020 fiscal year, which began Sept. 1. “I’m really pleased with this budget,” Dr. Russell LoweryHart, AC president, said, noting that AC received an increase in state appropriations for the first time since he started working at the college. The budget, totaling $78,245,864, is the fund the college will pull from for the entire year. The majority of the revenue for the budget comes from three different sources: tuition and fees, state appropriations and property taxes, with the third providing the most funds. Steve Smith, vice president of business affairs, attributed the majority of this growth to an increase in local property taxes, which is split into two parts: maintenance and operations (M&O) and interest and sinking fund (I&S). An increase in M&O means that “the taxable value of property in Amarillo increased due to new property growth in the city,” according to Smith. Additionally, maintenance tax contracts used to support the Hereford and Moore County campuses saw an increase of $45,000, meaning those areas also saw new property growth. The I&S fund portion of the property taxes services the bond debt. Back in May, citizens voted on an $89.2 million bond that the college will use to fund what is known as the master plan, a series of projects and renovations for each of AC’s seven campuses. Think of the master plan as a facelift for AC. In early August, the college issued the first portion of bonds, valuing $27.5 million. With this issuance, I&S taxes were increased by $0.0204 per $100 of “taxable valuation,” the value on which property taxes are calcuwww.acranger.com
lated. This means that a house valued at $100,000, for example, will see an annual increase of $20.40. This rise in rates supports a $3 million increase in debt service payments brought on by the bond. The second largest source of revenue for the AC budget is tuition and fees. Overall enrollment for 2019 was down, which means the college did not receive its projected revenue for tuition and fees for the year. Because of this, the college budgeted more than $300,000 less for the 2020 fiscal year. Due to strong enrollment this fall, however, officials were able to increase the original budget figure. “The amount budgeted for 2020 is still higher than the amount we actually received in 2019,” Smith said. Another main source of revenue for the budget is state appropriations, money given to the college by the state of Texas. “For the first time in the nine years I’ve been a part of the college, we didn’t get a decrease in state funding, we got an increase in state funding,” Lowery-Hart said. The increase in appropriations was “$1.3 million for each year in the 2020 and 2021 biennium,” according to Smith. A biennium is a specified period of two years, which is how the state handles college and university funding. “This increase came from an increase in contact hours taught since the last legislative biennium,” continued Smith. The term ‘contact hours’ refers to the time when a student receives active instruction as part of a course of study. Part of state funding is based on the college’s total number of contact hours. “The college also received increased funding per success points, and had an increase in success points in this biennium compared to the previous biennium. The increase in success points comes from students being more successful in classes at Amarillo College and in their paths towards graduation,” Smith said.
Property taxes, tuition and fees and state appropriations are not the only sources of revenue for the school budget. “We also have projected increases in investments, auxiliaries and other miscellaneous income by $1.15 million as compared to the 2019 budget,” said Smith. To determine the amount for the budget, the college uses a process called zero-based budgeting, meaning the budget starts at zero and the college adds expenditures it plans on spending. “Every year a department requests the amount they need to operate. They fill out a budget report letting us know things that they need for their departments. ” said Smith After all requests are in, decisions are made to determine the budget amount. “We look at each department request based on what their average spending is. So they’re getting something close to what they spend on average,” Smith said. “I feel like the budget clearly demonstrates people’s commitment to financial effectiveness,” Lowery-Hart said. “People are asking for what they need, not just what they want.” Vice presidents of AC submit budget requests for their respective divisions. Vice President of Student Affairs Denese Skinner, for example, submits a request for areas like advising services, student life, disability services and similar departments. According to Skinner, department heads submit their own budget requests to her, “Throughout the year department heads and I communicate about how their budgets are supporting their activity and what new initiatives they think will enhance the effectiveness of their mission,” Skinner continued. “When it is time to request funding for the next year, we all know basically what new things will be requested and why.” Continue reading on page 3
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2 | The Ranger September 12, 2019
What are your thoughts about counseling and therapy? “I believe that if you need therapy, you should do it and don’t look at the negative aspect of therapy and just look at the positive aspect,” ANDRU GOMEZ
“It really should be what you are comfortable with. I know a lot of people are afraid to go because they think that someone is going to judge them or they are going to tell them what they have to do with their lives. But that is not the way it is,”
VICTORIA COLEMAN psychology
“Because I have had several friends go through this and they have gotten help and it’s been good for them and I have seen good things come out of it,” BLAINE SMITH
Procedure offers help
Alternatives to antidepressents could help treat patients faster OPINION By GARRETT MILLER Staff Columnist
Depression is a big deal. Even though more than 18 percent of adults and 25 percent of children in the U.S. have some form of depression or anxiety, many tend to write it off as a condition that is not serious. To the victims of these illnesses, however, it is extremely serious and is one of the leading causes for suicide, which takes more lives annually than car crashes. Those with these conditions have a difficult time finding a medication that works for them, many searching for years to no avail. Fortunately, a new cure is on the horizon and it has shown promising results. Antidepressants have a bad record of both taking a long time to have an effect and not helping a large percentage of users with over 40 percent of patients not benefiting from their prescribed antidepressant. Dr. Cindy Hutson, has recently begun a procedure Amarillo known as “ketamine infusions,” about ketamine’s promising effects upon patients with
Erase mental health stigma Illustration by BAILEA DOOLEY | The Ranger
mental illnesses. Ketamine is a drug long known to help with pain and often used in the E.R.; a little over 12 years ago it started being used as a drug to help those with mental illnesses and has shown jaw-dropping results. While antidepressants take four to six weeks to begin taking effect on the body, a ketamine infusion helps the patient within an hour of the procedure. Ketamine also shows to have a much larger success rate than antidepressants at a whopping 80 percent. With our knowledge and understanding of the brain and mental illnesses expanding every year, we are beginning to better understand and treat conditions that have affected our society for all of history. With ketamine, we can begin to help treat depression, curb suicide and, as Dr. Hutson said, “We can give people hope."
To undermine the importance of mental health is to undermine one’s entire well-being. Some may argue against or even downplay a normalization of mental health and therapy, possibly due to a learned stigma or fear that makes them see those with a mental illness as lesser or defective; however, at “The Ranger,” we believe people must understand the importance of mental health, and in doing so, destigmatize not only having a mental disorder, but receiving therapy as a routine part of selfcare. In today’s society, there are many attitudes toward mental health and therapy, both positive and negative. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that “about one in four U.S. adults (26.2 percent) age 18 and older, in any given year, has a mental disorder.” Consequently, when negative attitudes toward mental illnesses
are reinforced, it can cause a great number of the population to be disregarded, ostracized or can even lead to “exploitation and discrimination.” These negative attitudes tend to stem from a learned, societal stigma that people with mental disorders, and those who seek help for one, are crazy or weak. Apart from being an utterly false generalization, these labels and beliefs are often described as “one of the most widely cited barriers to mental health treatment.” Many efforts have been and should be made to eliminate the stigma of mental illnesses and therapy. In one example, the state of California issued a “mental illness stigma reduction campaign” to improve the mental health of its people. As a result, a study done on this campaign by the American Journal of Public Health showed that it “may have drawn more
individuals into care,” which offers a promising potential for similar campaigns to do the same. Often, one might find themselves in a fight with a mental illness and the stigma These stigmas and world views can cause such thoughts as, “If I seek help, others will think I am crazy.” A common excuse for avoiding therapy is the fear of embarrassment or rejection by peers and family. It is not a coincidence that mental health services are so dedicated to privacy. Any hope of improving the populations’ mental health cannot be fulfilled until having and treating mental disorders are destigmatized, and those with mental illnesses are not seen as lesser-beings, but as normal people who just need support. They are not, and never were, defective.
Mental health requires recognition OPINION By MADELINE FILSOUF Staff Columnist
Physical health is important but have you ever considered mental health to be equally important? A cold can come and go within a matter of days to a week, but mental health issues can be on repeat like a broken record. Some people regard discussing mental health as a negative thing, something that they would typically like to be more private about. The fact of the matter is we all deal with our own issues regarding our mental health and should not feel ashamed about it. It is OK not to be OK all the time. Mental health and the state of
well-being play a significant role in how people function on a daily basis. The first step to feeling better is to acknowledge an issue rather than hide or ignore the problem at hand. If your mental health issues become overwhelming, do not be scared to reach out for help. Getting some form of guidance can bring relief. Michelle Obama once said, “At the root of this dilemma is the way we view mental health in this country. Whether an illness affects your heart, your leg or your brain, it’s still an illness, and there should be no distinction.” I have dealt with severe anxiety and have faced the physical turmoil of it. I understand what it is like to go through a battle with inner conflict. The solution
to overcoming mental health obstacles lies within the self and the power of the mind. Throughout this semester, this column will explore issues surrounding mental health and ways to combat the stress, anxiety and depression. If there are particular aspects of mental health that you want to talk about, email me at m0300604@ amarillocollege.com.
Get in touch with us Page Editors VOLUME 90 | SPECIAL EDITION
August 22, 2019
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Student Media exists to serve you — the students. The Ranger is an open forum where you can learn and talk about the things that matter to you. The Ranger staff urges you to get involved by submitting ideas, photos, writing, videos and telling us what you want covered. A public critique and meeting is open to the campus community on Fridays at 10:30 a.m. in PH 214 or you can reach us via email at email@example.com. The Ranger is a member of the Associated Collegiate Press, College Media Association, Panhandle Press Association, Texas Intercollegiate Press Association and Texas Community College Journalism Association. For a complete staff listing, visit us at acranger.com. The Ranger is an independent student publication. Material published in The Ranger does not necessarily reflect the views of Amarillo College administrators or employees.
The Ranger | 3 September 12, 2019
| The Ranger
New students find support As the fall semester begins, students gather in between classes on the Washington Street Campus.
BY MADISON GOODMAN Staff Reporter
Freshman year at Amarillo College is a start of new beginnings. The college has about 800 first-year students this year. Students say they are looking to further their educations and obtain new and helpful skills for life after college; AC does many things to get college freshmen off to a good start.
The college has resources for students such as peer mentoring, the clothing closet, various clubs and organizations, tutoring centers and the food pantry, located on the first floor of the Ware building in the Billie Bee Flesher Advocacy & Resource Center. Leslie Hinojosa, social services coordinator, said, “We welcome all students and want them to know that this an open space to provide the resources you need.”
“Whether it is just a snack because you forgot lunch or you are in need of a helping hand with social services, the Advocacy Center is open and willing to help,” she said. Another way the college aims to get students off to good start is through the first year seminar. This first-year class, called the learning frameworks class, helps students learn who they are as a person, how they learn and what goals they want to set for furthering their educations.
Learning frameworks helps students prepare for life after AC. “We want students to truly access who they are as a person in this class and throughout their experiences at Amarillo College,” Amy Pifer, the first-year coordinator, said. Once students set their goals, it is all about the execution of them, according to Pifer. “It's not always the particular major you obtain, but the skill set you to take with you that is
Relocating seniors citizens On Wednesday, Sept. 4, the Amarillo Senior Citizens Association was given a proposition by Mark White, Amarillo College executive vice president and general counsel, at a public forum at the Amarillo College Polk Street Campus. A new location for the ASCA was revealed to the crowd. AC has announced the plan to relocate the Senior Center facilities in order to build a new facility called the Innovation Hub. So far, the Senior Citizens Association has not announced a decision about the proposal. “We need to know what the ASCA votes on, so we can vote on it by the board of regents that govern this institution of higher learning. So that they’ll sign off on the legal necessity of making that deal. And so that’s what’s going to be presented to them,” Joe Wyatt, assistant director of communications and marketing, said. The ASCA has been told to vacate the premises that they have remained at for about 40 years, so AC can make room for the Innovation Hub that will be attached to the downtown campus. The ASCA would only be moving to a different location in the facility, but they are unsure if the new location will be able to cater to their needs.
This negotiation has been going on for more than a year and there is quite a bit of anticipation to hear the ASCA’s response. “The Innovation Hub is kind of a major space for the whole community to use to develop ideas into viable economic engine type stuff. We need to produce graduates that have places to go and work,” Wyatt said. “So we need to do more than just educate. We need to be innovative.” The main reason for the delayed response to the proposition is because the new building will not contain an industrial kitchen. The ASCA said that they prefer for their new location to contain an industrial kitchen, but AC has given them many alternatives since the kitchen is not present in the new location. An establishment not far from the building has an industrial kitchen and the people are willing to help the ASCA out. “Faith City Mission is open to the possibility of providing the hot food,” White said. Although the ASCA has not come to a conclusion, the group is running out of time to make a decision. They currently have until February 2020 to make a decsion or vacate the premises. Mark White said that he will feel upset if the ASCA and AC do not continue their relationship, but it is ultimately up to the association.
overage that would then go into the fund balance that allows us then to put away money for replacement of equipment in the future,” he said. Additionally, the budget is able to provide a two percent merit raise to employees, although this raise is not distributed evenly. According to Smith, raises are based on evaluation scores from supervisors, so a higher evaluation score may mean a higher raise and vice versa.
Students won’t see any major changes from this budget other than “a continuation of a focus on their success,” according to Skinner. “Resources are dedicated to learning, support services, and engagement both inside and outside of the classroom. AC is committed to funding initiatives which are proven high impact practices such as tutoring, social services, student life activities, and of course, classroom learning.”
By CAYLEE HANNA Staff Reporter
JESSIKA FULTON| The Ranger
Rotaract President Garrett Miller welcomes prospective members at the club’s first meeting at the Amarillo Club Sept. 6.
Rotary comes to AC
New club promises networking with community leaders By BRIANNA SAUCEDO Staff Reporter
Amarillo College has a new student club called the Rotaract Club. It’s an international and local community leadership and service club, associated with the Rotary Club of Amarillo as well as Rotary International. The Rotaract Club is intended to provide better opportunities for the students, according to Lesley Ingham, club sponsor, honors/scholars chair and speech instructor. “Students are able to get con-
nected to leaders and mentors when looking for jobs,” she said. The club’s connection to the Rotary Club provides opportunities for students to interact with some of the top business and community leaders in Amarillo, said Garret Miller, club president and a criminal justice major. The goal is to “connect students with these business leaders for mentoring, possible networking and any connections that could possibly lead to a better prepared student for their financial success and business success. Just a more
successful future for students,” he said. The club will also emphasize service to the Amarillo community and beyond. “You’re not just working here locally, but you’re making an international presence and that means a lot to a lot of college students,” Miller said He added that all students are welcome to join and the only requirement is the desire to strive for success and help one another. For more information on joining the club, visit Ingham at her office, located in PARC 204N, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
most important,” Pifer added. Getting students off to a good start also means creating a positive atmosphere on campus. Austin Torres, a general studies major, said he appreciates the college’s friendly vibe. “The AC radio station playing across campus in the morning really lightens up the mood for the rest of my day,” he said, adding that he enjoyed the free pancakes on the first day of class.
Breaking down the 2020 college budget Continued from page one So after receiving the revenue for the total college budget, funds are distributed into five areas. For the 2020 fiscal year, cost of sales is $2,551,360, capital expense is $2,724,169, other sources equal $9,402,772, department operating expense is $14,521,610 and salary wages and benefits come to $49,045,953. To break the budget down
into more manageable terms, imagine a dollar, or 100 pennies, as the AC budget. Rounding the numbers off, the college plans to spend about three cents on cost of sales, which is the cost of goods that the college buys to resell in the bookstore, and another three cents on capital expenses, which is money spent to buy, maintain or improve fixed assets, such as equipment. Other sources of expense rounds to 12 cents. Department
operating expenses cost the college around 19 cents. Finally, the college will spend close to 63 cents on wages and benefits for college employees. A new addition to the budget this year is a deferred maintenance section, a result of the recent bond election. It’s a way to “plan by not spending for the future,” according to Smith. “Now we have a bond, we’re trying to put away a certain amount of our money and not spend it. So basically it is the
4 | The Ranger September 12, 2019
The SYMPTOMS of PTSD
Rage Loss of appetite Addiction
Lack of trust Physical pains Nightmares Mood swings
Illustration by SHAWN McCREA
AC veterans can get help for PTSD By C. J. SCOTT
Amarillo College has roughly 400 veterans, including faculty members and students. Some of these veterans may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, or other stress related issues, and the AC Veterans Service Center exists to provide help. Al Guardino, AC transitional adviser, is a veteran of 23 years “Most veterans are not suffering from PTSD, and those who are, are still good people,” Guardino
said. “We put ourselves at risk, and people die on these missions.” Guardino said his goal is to get across that not all veterans are suffering an illness, and that soldiers go off to fight for their country, and to help people “We will go do whatever at whatever cost to help people. We don’t go in, guns blasting, we go in to help people.” Guardino said he also encourages students to beware of assuming the worst about veterans. “Travel, talk to your veteran peers, ask them what it is like,” he said. Veterans Service Coordinator
Kelly Murphy said PTSD can be a problem for those who have served in the military, but it is not just an issue for veterans. “Anyone can have PTSD,” Murphy said. She added that she encourages people to seek understanding and to dive deeper into stress-based issues. PTSD. “I think that is the stigma. People will think someone with PTSD will fly off the rails unexpectedly. It is not necessarily like that,” Hobbs said. “I recognize now that I do have a little bit of PTSD, but it is very situational.” Murphy said that education is key to eliminating
garding goal planning. She explained how to set goals and how to successfully follow through and reach them. When setting a major goal in their lives, people often tend to get overwhelmed, Barrick said. That is why she explained the importance of setting smaller, more attainable and sustainable goals that will eventually lead to the main objective. Barrick also talked about study habits and methods. When it comes to studying, students face different challenges and that is why there are many studying processes. An example is the Pomodoro studying technique. Barrick carefully explained the method, and how it
can help every student. Barrick carefully explained the method, and how it can help every student. Every week the Stress Relief Workshop will focus on different issues and techniques to overcome these obstacles. Barrick said she hopes this workshop can have a positive impact on everybody who attends With the stigma surrounding mental illness, mental health is often overlooked; however, students cannot succeed if they are struggling, according to Barrick. That’s why Amarillo College has taken the initiative to provide their students and staff with the proper help and resources they need, she said.
the stigma related to veterans and PTSD. “With all the shootings that are going on, I think one thing people ask is, if it is a veteran. What they need to realize is the veteran is the person that you want to be near you because they will know how to react in those situations,” she said. For veterans struggling with PTSD or other stress issues, the Veterans Service Center provides a safe place to talk and get more information Additionally, the AC Counseling Center offers sessions to help with stress,
and for students feeling overwhelmed. There is also VETACT, Veterans Amarillo College Together, a club for anyone seeking support, friends and knowledge about our veteran staff and students. VETACT meets twice a month on the second, and fourth Tuesday and Wednesday of every month. On Tuesdays they meet at 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and on Wednesdays they meet from 4:45-5:15 p.m. For more information, contact Veterans Services at AC or call (806) 371-5026.
Workshop offers student stress solutions By MONICA CHAVARRIA Staff Reporter
Amarillo College’s weekly Stress Relief Workshop has a new time and location. This event takes place every Wednesday, at 12:15 p.m. in the Ware building, room 207. Every enrolled student can participate. There is no sign up or qualification needed to join. “I’m glad they offer this workshop, I hope it can help take some weight off my shoulders,’’ Hunter McKinney, a mass media major, said. During the first session of this school year, Kristen Barrick, a licensed professional counselor, touched on techniques re-
Photo Illustration by JESSIKA FULTON
Daniela Gurrola, a psychology major, stresses out as she studies at home.
The Ranger | 5 September 12, 2019
Photo Illustration by LAUREN EBBEN
More men are seeking help from the AC Counseling Center, according to Kristen Barrick, licensed professional counselor.
Men’s mental health: just as important By JEREMY STITSWORTH Staff Reporter
Picture this.: a man in the traditional cowboy attire, his hat tilted over his eyes, sitting at a bar with a whiskey in his hands. Now imagine that man walking into a counselor’s office. Believe it or not, men just like him can benefit from mental health counseling. Unfortunately, most
men don’t receive the counseling they need. “Counseling can make a profound impact on an individual as they are trying to achieve personal goals and gain greater insight into their lives,” said Kristen Barrick, an Amarillo College Counseling Center licensed counselor. “A trained professional provides a nonjudgmental, supportive environment where a student
can come and discuss anything that is going on in their life, whether currently or in the past,” she said. Barrick also said that men can still be “macho” even when receiving counseling and that asking for help about what is going on in your life takes a lot of courage and strength. Mental health is also tied in with physical health. “Stress, depression, anxiety, all of these can have a detrimental
effect to your physical health,” Chandra Melton, a vocational nursing instructor, said. “Things like ulcers, weight gain, and even weight loss may occur if someone is suffering from mental health issues for a while,” she said. Barrick said that while she may not see as many men as women, it has slowly begun to take hold. “Women tend to receive counseling more often
than men. but I am noticing more and more men seeking services each year since I have been at AC,” she said. “This is how we destigmatize mental health issues and start understanding that it is OK, and to reach out to ask for help,” she said. “Having a mental illness or mental health issue is not a sign of weakness and I like to help students see how resilient they are, in spite of their mental health issues.”
Online counseling available to AC community By CLAUDIA ZUGNIA Staff Reporter
College students have a lot to worry about. Between school, work and other responsibilities that come with life, mental health can be the last thing on a busy student’s priority list. That’s why Amarillo College offers resources for almost every aspect of student life, including mental health. In addition to the in-person counseling program that is in place at AC, there is now an online counseling program available for students and staff called TAO or Therapy Assistance Online. TAO allows the user to go
through sessions suggested through a screening instrument. There are “pathways” that can help with everything from alcohol and drug issues to alleviating stress and anxiety. Few students appear to be aware of the TAO program. “I’ve never heard of TAO or seen it on the AC website,” ColtonBy LAUREN EBBEN Schwalk, a mass media major,Staff Reporter said. Larnce Hicks, a physical therapy assistant major, said he is interested in TAO but unsure of its effectiveness. “I’m not sure if self-guided therapy is actually helpful. Wouldn’t I get the same thing from a self-help book?” Photo Illustration by LAUREN EBBEN To access TAO, go to https:// Online counselling services can be accessed through the AC website. www.actx.edu/counseling/tao.
Course offers students free mental health first aid training By LAUREN EBBEN Staff Reporter
On Aug. 13 and 14, officers from Phi Theta Kappa and the Student Government Association attended a special two day mental health first aid certification training. This marked the first time this type of training was offered to students. The training, led by Kristen Barrick, AC counselor and Mental Health First Aid instructor, covered topics such suicide awareness and prevention, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and more. “Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance userelated crisis,” Barrick said. “In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.” Barrick added that mental health first aid training is not only “a form of professional development, it is personal development. It’s about becoming better at ‘humaning’ and that is
something that can be very difficult at times.” Jenna Welch, student life specialist, said that the training was a “pilot” for future mental health first aid sessions available to students. “We got the feedback from the leaders, and it was really good. So we’re working with the counseling center to see what our options are to continue
offering that to students,” Welch said. Among the group of students who attended the training was PTK executive vice president Lauren Tanner. Tanner said the training makes people “more open-minded. It makes you see things that you’ve never seen before. You can see symptoms of an anxiety attack or panic attack or know the signs of self harm or suicide or depression,
anxiety or anything else.” Tanner, who has struggled with anxiety and depression, said she is also very open when it comes to talking about her mental health, as “it helps people more hearing from someone else.” With this training, Tanner said she can rely more on her peers to help her out. “I really opened up to a lot of people in that room over one section of my life that was pretty bad,” Tanner said. “And I’m not asking for sympathy from anyone, but more of them to realize what my past was like at a certain time … it really helps me personally if my officer team knows what’s going on and that they’re able to help me if I need it.” Figuring out how to make the training available to all students is difficult at the moment, according to Welch, as the AC Counseling Center is down a counselor, however, once the position is filled, student life will “be able to revisit getting something going for during the school year.” “We want to keep the discussion about mental health going. It’s not a subject that’s going to go away, and the more people know about it, the more that they’re able to help one another,” Welch said.
6 | The Ranger September 12, 2019
Fitness activities beat stress By WAIEL BAGH Staff Reporter Physical health is an important aspect of human life; however, the wellness of students is not necessarily a core requirement to graduate. So, Amarillo College officials try to create ways to inspire students to better take care of themselves. Having a fitness center on the Washington Street Campus helps students achieve their fitness goals. Plans are in the works for updating the Carter Fitness Center thanks to the recently-passed bond election. “I don’t know exactly all the details, but I do know it’s been passed by the board, so hopefully we will be able to start making renovations to the Carter Fitness Center as soon as possible,” Craig Clifton, coordinator for fitness and life services, said. In another effort to prompt students to improve their health, Trent Oneal, intramurals coordinator, will be beginning what he calls, “Trent Talks” this semester.
Students refresh their minds with yoga by the clock tower at the Washington Street Campus.
“I’m going to be offering some seminars once a month in The Burrow,” Oneal said. “They will cover nutrition, sports nutrition, exercise and fitness. It won’t be just a seminar, but hopefully also a discussion between the students and myself.” AC also offers numerous intramural sports and fitness
activities. Basketball, flag football, volleyball, yoga, softball, cardio and strength classes, early bird cardio sessions, tai chi and Zumba are just some of the different activities available to students and staff. A wrestling program will begin this semester for the first time
who are coming to events,” Hamilton said. Along with the different experiences and recognition with a certificate, students have opportunities to win prizes as they gain points. “They own their experience this way,” Hamilton said. “They get to pick and choose what they go to, how they’re going to get their points.” Students can participate in competitions and games while connecting with other students from the different organizations around the school. “So they had Badger Connect, the game night, bingo and Kidult party that you could earn points at,” Jessika Fulton, a photography major, said. Both students participating and the student life department benefit from the new program. “So it’s a win-win,” Hamilton said. “On our end they are engaged,
they are attending events, they are connecting themselves to the college and on their end they are meeting new people and they are earning these cool points,” she said. According to Hamilton, getting involved with the AC community, supporting one another and connecting with new people can give students a unique college experience. “I want to get involved to meet new people, make new friends at the same time,” Shawn McCrea, a general studies major, said. “I want to support student life because I am a part of other clubs that student life supports. I think it’s a good idea for Amarillo College clubs and organizations to support one another,” McCrea said. For more information contact Hamilton at ahbrookshire@ actx.edu or 371-5303.
and dance may soon be available as well. “If there is a way we can implement it through competition, or just have an organized dance for those seeking that kind of activity, then it’s definitely something to consider,” Oneal said. Many students do already
KIPPER SINCLAIR I The Ranger
participate in different wellness activities, but some of them said they feel that they haven’t been completely informed about the many possibilities. “I mainly just use the gym to work out, but I wish I kind of knew a little bit more about all AC has to offer,” Shayla Young, a biology major, said.
Students gain points, win prizes By TATHEANA FINNEY Staff Report Students can now win prizes while competing in activities and learning leadership skills with a new program called Badger CLAWS. Being involved with Amarillo College student life has never been easier or more rewarding, according to AC officials. The program is designed to help students get engaged in the college experience. CLAWS stands for Connection, Leadership, Awareness, Wellness and Service. “Badger CLAWS is intended to improve student involvement in on-campus and off-campus activities,” Amber Hamilton, director of student life, said. “What we did was we took everything that student life is doing, all of our programs, and assigned points to those students
Badgers to get away
Registration opens for a student leadership retreat
By RAY GUTIERREZ Staff Reporter The Badger Getaway, previously called the Student Leadership Retreat, is an event that has been part of Amarillo College for more than 10 years. There will be interactive games and activities along with group discussions and a speaker. It is an overnight retreat held every year for students to develop their leadership skills, while at the same time, having some fun. Having fun isn’t the only goal. “Student life hopes that by attending the Badger Getaway, students will feel more connected to their peers and to
Amarillo College. They will walk away with a deeper understanding of their capabilities and strengths,” Jenna Welch, student life specialist, said. Although many students know little about this retreat, they are intrigued by it. “I feel like the Badger Getaway sounds like a good opportunity to meet new people you may like to know and share fun memories in an
environment where everyone can relate,” Nick Gunn, a mass media major, said. AC advisers urge students to take advantage of the chance to build their leadership abilities. “Leadership is one of the things you need to succeed, and most importantly nowadays because social media has taken away most of the interaction.” Sandra De la Rosa, a health science adviser, said. For a student who is interested in the leadership retreat, “It only costs $20 to attend, which includes their lodging and meals and the deadline to register is Wednesday, Sept. 18,” Welch said. Students can pick up and turn in applications to attend in The Burrow, located in the basement of the College Union Building.
Applications for the retreat are due Sept. 18
Flag football to begin By WILLIAM PARKS Staff Reporter The fields of Memorial Park beckon for activity on sunny days and with the help of Amarillo College’s intramural flag football teams, their cries don’t go unheeded. AC offers participation in coed 7-on-7 competitions where athletes vie for a small taste of victory in a friendly atmosphere. “ I have a lot of fun out there,” Andrew Robinson, mass media major, said. “Everyone is very encouraging and I’ve made a lot of friends through the traveling team.” Participants say the sport provides an opportunity to showcase their skills in a positive environment with a fun, easy way to stay active during the school year. All current academic students can sign up through the IMleagues app or by going to www. imleagues.com, where they can either create their own teams or
sign up to play as a free agent in the school’s league. Tryouts are Sept.13 from noon to 2 p.m. where students will go through skill assessments in a range of physical abilities including juking, throwing, flag pulling, route running and catching. Games are played on Thursdays from 7 p.m. until the light of the sun fades. According to Ryan Torres, civil engineering major and quarterback, the games are “always fun” and “something to look forward to on Thursday.” Gilbert Melendez, fire protection major and wide receiver, said anyone who felt they may have the desire to play to “just come out” and that the competitive atmosphere was one of “really good sportsmanship.” More information about flag football and other intramural sports can be found at the AC website or by speaking with Trent Oneal, intramural sports coordinator, in the basement of the college union building.
The Ranger | 7 September 12, 2019
‘13 Reasons Why’ kills it in Season 3
By NATHANIEL MONTOYA Staff Reporter
After two culturally impactful seasons, “13 Reasons Why” returns to Netflix for its third season. The series became famous for bringing to light sensitive subjects such as suicide, depression, sexual assault and mental health issues. It continues its dark story by making the murder of Bryce Walker, (arguably the most hated character on the show), its main focal point Season 1 & 2 focus on the suicide of Hannah Baker who also narrates the show. With Hannah now gone, the series replaces her narration with new student, Ani Achola. Each episode is told through Ani’s point of viewpoint regarding why each main char-
acter had a motive to kill Bryce. The season begins with the handling of Tyler Down who was planning to shoot up a school dance called “Spring Fling” after he was beaten and assaulted by Monty De La Cruz and his gang. Luckily he was talked out of it before entering the school by main character Clay Jenson. After Clay and his friends are able to hide the threat from the police, they devise a rotation for someone to be with Tyler at all times. The show then fast forwards to a few months later when the students at Liberty High are shocked to learn of the death of Bryce Walker. Unsure of what happened, the characters keep referring to the situation at the recent “Homecoming Game” that has not been shown on screen yet. Episodes consist of various flashbacks that occurred be-
tween “Spring Fling” and the “Homecoming Game.” Each episode highlights a possible suspect of Bryce’s murderer. Despite being universally hated by most of the show’s fan base, the writers did a good job of making Bryce a sympathetic character. The series reveals little by little how Bryce wanted to become a better person and make things right with the ones he hurt. For the first time, the show actually has some moments of relief as the students are finally recovering from all the tragedy that has occurred at their school in recent years. The anxiety of wanting to know who killed Bryce definitely kept me watching. The writers convince you that literally anyone could have done it and the payoff is definitely worth it when what actually happened is revealed.
Remembering comedian Robin Williams Reviewing his struggles behind his success five years later
OPINION By LAUREN EBBEN Staff Reporter
John Keating, Dr. Sean Maguire, Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire, Genie, Alan Parrish, Peter Pan, Adrian Cronauer. Robin Williams gave each of these characters and many others, their own quirks and catchphrases, troubles and despairs, jokes and banter. His versatility and creativity made him one of the funniest comedians of all time, and an award-winning actor beloved by millions. But after he took his own life in August 2014, the world learned that underneath his smile, Williams had his own horde of demons. Williams was no stranger to struggle. He spoke publicly over the years about his issues with depression, anxiety and substance abuse. In March 2009, he underwent life-saving heart surgery. He had also been through two divorces. Yet, Williams was able to channel each of these setbacks into his performances, either as a standup comedian or an actor. Being onstage gave Williams the opportunity to work through his pitfalls, making others laugh in the process. After all, he once said, “I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy. Because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anybody else to feel like that.” I recently read an excerpt from the biography “Robin,” written by journalist Dave Itzkoff. In the book, Itzkoff focuses on reports from family
and friends to explore Williams’s final days before his suicide, from his different attempts at revitalizing his career to his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease; later positively-identified during an autopsy to actually be Lewy body dementia, an aggressive and incurable brain disorder. Several of these reports highlighted one thing: no one really knew how to help him. The symptoms of Lewy body dementia were debilitating but elusive, similar to Parkinson’s. During the last year of his life, Williams experienced bouts of severe paranoia and anxiety, as well as hallucinations and memory loss. Other symptoms of the disease include severe insomnia, poor sense of smell, tremors and high cortisol levels indicating stress. Williams also experienced times of severe depression due to the disease and it was this that ultimately led him to take his own life. After his death, an interview with his third wife, Susan Schnieder, revealed that Williams “was losing his mind
and he was aware of it. He kept saying, ‘I just want to reboot my brain.’” Except no one could reboot his brain, no one could save him from this, least of all, him. That’s the tragedy of the whole thing. Williams made a living doing what he loved, making others happy with wacky impressions and bizarre jokes, while at the same time, working through his own issues. But how was the comedic genius supposed to work through this when his own mind was fighting him? The initial diagnosis of Parkinson’s terrified him, according to loved ones and as the days went by, things just got worse. His symptoms persisted, impacting his ability to perform or be with family and friends. In the end, the energy and gusto that so clearly defined Williams was robbed by this disease, and eventually robbed the world of Williams. We lost a legend, but his memory lives on in the delight people feel when they see him on a screen.
Iggy Pop breaks 3 year silence with new album
By ISABELLE LINK Staff Reporter
The Grandfather of Punk, Iggy Pop, who was also in The Stooges, teamed with jazz trumpeter, Leron Thomas and guitarist, Noveller to compose his newest studio album “Free.” The album was released Sept. 6. News of this album dropping surprised fans since Pop’s last album, “Post Pop Depression,” was rumored to be his last album. In the wake of the three years between “Post Pop” and “Free,” it seemed only true that the former punk artist was ready to retire. On Aug. 29, Pop broke his silence by releasing the single, “Sonali.” Already the song sounds so different compared to what Pop has put out in the past. While with every album Pop releases, it does seem that they have become more tame, while still having Pop’s vocal spark to it. The single, “Sonali,” sounds similar to David Bowie’s “Black Star,” with ambient instrumentals, the monotone style of the vocals and the pace of the song. Throughout the single, you can hear Leron’s impact with
his jazz background, drifting into Pop’s original sound and finishing with a slower jazz flare. Pop also released the title track on the album, the song starts off with Brian Eno-esque instrumentals, feeling more ambient than in the past. The title track is no more than a minute fifty, and consist only of the vocals, “I want to feel free.” Pop said in an interview that before releasing this album, he was struggling with chronic insecurities and wanted to be free. It makes the listener wonder if the reason this album is styled and performed the way it is, is because of Pop’s struggles leading up to this album. This album may sound reminiscent of “Black Star,” because Pop was feeling emotionally similar to how Bowie felt when he wrote his album, or it could be a small tribute to Bowie’s album. In the same interview, Pop also described this album as allowing other artists to speak through him, while he lent his voice. This leaves me wondering, was Pop using the sound from “Black Star” to share his experiences and feelings, much as he allows other artists to use his voice?
8 | The Ranger September 12, 2019
By COLTON SCHWALK Staff Reporter
If 100 students, aged 15-24, are lined up against a wall, 14 of those students will be dead from suicide before they finish school. This statistic from the American Society for Suicide Prevention reflects the increase of stress and anxiety among college students. According to the American Institute of Stress, there has been a 30 percent increase in students seeking counseling sessions from 2009-2015. Of the students seeking counseling, 61 percent say that it is due to stress or anxiety. “I definitely see a rise in students seeking services,” said Kristen Barrick, a professional licensed counselor for Amarillo College. “Does that mean there is a rise in students experiencing stress or does that mean that students are more willing to reach out for help? I see that as a chicken or the egg coming first type debate,” Barrick said. With room to debate the reason behind the increase, there is no debate that the students are reaching out. With 30 percent more students scheduling counseling sessions, colleges and universities are now providing more resources than ever for students suffering from mental health issues. The American Council on Education asked multiple presidents of colleges and universities around the country
about how they are handling the increase in demand for mental health counseling, and a strong majority of presidents said they place a high priority on the mental health of their students. Of the presidents who were asked, 80 percent said that stress and anxiety have become much more prominent than just three years ago, and when asked for the top mental health concerns they hear about, 75 percent said anxiety and depression. Erin Wiechec, a junior at West Texas A&M University, has first-hand experience with anxiety while attending school. “I don’t see it as a rising epidemic, but there is a rise in the treatment and resources on campus. It is a good thing that they are providing these resources, whether they are being used or not.” Claudia Zuniga, a mass media major, agreed. “I’m glad that the resources are there, but most of the people I talk to don’t seem to be struggling with anxiety or anything like that. Resources being available is never a bad thing though,” she said. AC offers free, confidential counseling sessions, online counseling and weekly stress relief workshops. To learn more about counseling services at AC, go to https://www.actx.edu/ counseling/index.php.