BEST OF MARCH
IN THIS ISSUE
SLC Election Results On March 17-18 COD hosted elections for the positions on the Student Leadership Council (SLC) and Student Trustee.
ASEZ (Save the Earth from A to Z) hosts “Words are Mightier than the Sword” panel discussion The importance of positive words and the damage of negative words.
What the Democrats should be worried about for the next 4 years If the Democrat believes that getting Trump out of office was the end of it then they have another thing coming.
Professors adapt methods to engage students at home Now that we are near the end of the Pandemic here is how Professors have adapted to the changing circumstances.
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THE TEAM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF·············································· Sadie Romeo MANAGING EDITOR········································· Nicole Littlefield ENTERTAINMENT WRITER···························· Cody Wagner STAFF WRITER···················································· Kevin Ashley STAFF WRITER···················································· Gabriella Gallardo STAFF WRITER···················································· Liam Sheriff MULTIMEDIA EDITOR······································ Danny Olivares GRAPHICS EDITOR··········································· Jessica Tapia PUBLICATIONS EDITOR································· Brenton Russo ADVISER································································· Jim Fuller
Adopt-aGrandparent program brings balloon buddies to nursing homes How balloon artists are bringing smiles to local nursing homes despite COVID quarantines
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You Have Been Recycling Wrong Your Entire Life What people can do to promote environmental efficiency in a recycling system that is failing.
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NEWS SLC ELECTION RESULTS
Nicole Littlefield, Managing Editor • March 23, 2021 As the student elections came closer, SLC Adviser Stephanie Quirk had no idea how well information about the elections would travel. Since the COD campus remains closed to most students, the election commission did not have its usual methods of outreach. “I didn’t know what to expect this year,” said Quirk. “The fact that we had 93 votes, I’m impressed!” Anthony J. Rosario was elected as Student Trustee with 38 votes. Naila Sabahat (52 votes), Nauman Mohammed (52 votes), Amreen Fatima (46 votes), Hajira Fathima (48 votes), Karla Michelle Jimenez (47 votes) and Anthony J. Rosario (57 votes) were seated as SLC officers. “Being in the SLC isn’t just showing up to a meeting once a week,” Quirk said. “These students have really taken a close look at how are students being included, especially now during the pandemic. How are students continuing
to be included in the decision-making at the college? They are sitting on committees, and this is on top of the coursework they do.” Rosario will succeed the current Student Trustee, Samiha Syed, and will now take part in COD Board of Trustees meetings to represent students’ voices. “I think one of the things we’ve really seen is how invested this group that we currently have was in recruiting and encouraging other students,” Quirk said. “We’re really looking forward to working with them.”
Learn more about the election results at cod.edu/studentelections
Anthony J. Rosario
Karla Michelle Jimenez
NEWS ASEZ (SAVE THE EARTH FROM A TO Z) HOSTS “WORDS ARE MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD” PANEL DISCUSSION Gabriella Gallardo • March 16, 2021
Words can be an invisible weapon or a tool used to encourage, thank, protect and support loved ones who are facing COVID-19 together. A volunteer organization, ASEZ (Save the Earth from A to Z), hosted a panel discussion on March 10 promoting the “No More Verbal Abuse” Campaign. The campaign emphasizes the importance of positive words. The goal of the campaign is to encourage many to become aware and use kind words and phrases to our family and peers such as: “I believe you can do it.” “You deserve to be respected.” “Thank you for being with me.” “Failure is a part of growth.” ASEZ, started by the World Mission Society Church of God, is an international social service, victim relief and environmental protection organization consisting of university students. Understanding the Broken Window Theory, they believe in promoting healthy living and caring for the environment through partnership. The Broken Window Theory was developed by James Q. Wilson and George Kelling in 1982. Their theory links disorder and incivility within a community to subsequent occurrences of serious crime. In the seminar, ASEZ explained that the brain responds the same way to emotional and physical abuse. Words can cause a lifetime of psychological impacts and can damage someone’s self-esteem, which affects their ability to be curious, learn, debate and tolerate. Maria Carcamo, a COD student majoring in psychology, has researched the devastating impacts of saying or hearing damaging words. “I’ve seen research that shows that we are often wrong about ourselves,”Carcamo said. “It can be very hurtful because someone can say something once and whatever is said you’ll say to yourself for the rest of your life. When you face verbal abuse, you are going to continue to believe that and say that to yourself continuously.” Another topic that was discussed was how to fix and reassess ourselves when we do say
the wrong thing. When the wrong thing is said, we cannot simply say, “Sorry,” and move on. You have to fix what is wrong. In public relations or business management, it is best to acknowledge, apologize and address. All of these steps are needed in order to move forward. New York Politician Venessa L. Gibson said, “I appreciate all of the work of ASEZ. When you talk about saving the earth from A to Z there is so much in that conversation. It is about behavior, practices, vision, commitment to our community, giving young people opportunities and so much more. When people are struggling with necessities, the right words can encourage people. Words are more powerful than a sword. Words are meant to help and not hurt. Words are meant to show acceptance and tolerance and not discrimination. Words are meant to show equality that we are working together no matter what or who we are.” For more information about ASEZ (Save the earth from A to Z): email@example.com; https://asez.org/
OPINION WHAT THE DEMOCRATS SHOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT FOR THE NEXT 4 YEARS Kevin Ashley, Staff Writer • March 16, 2021
If the Democrats thought all of their problems were over now that former President Donald Trump is out of office, they need to think again. If CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) taught us anything it is that Trump, Trumpish and right-wing populism as a whole aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. However, what should Democrats be worried about? Two things: Trump and his promoters continued support and control over the GOP and voter suppression. Despite losing the 2020 election, Trump and his followers still have a powerful sway within the Republican party. With the 2022 midterm election quickly approaching the Democrats might have some problems, according to COD political science Professor David Goldberg. “2022 is very crucial because these are midterm elections,” Goldberg said, “and in political science, we know that the president’s party always loses seats in a midterm election. Recession or a surging economy, regardless of the circumstance politically and economically, the president’s party loses seats.” Given the current state of U.S. politics, a loss of the majority in the House or Senate will lead to an outright gridlock of Congress… like always, unfortunately. Midterm elections, in particular, are notorious for their lack of voter turnout despite their overall importance. NPR found that back in 2010 and 2014 only 4 in 10 eligible voters went out and voted for the party of their choice. This staggeringly low rate does not sound good for Democrats, because historically speaking, the Dems do better when more people vote. How does this tie back to Trump and his supporters? Currently, the Republican Party is, and probably will be for the foreseeable future, run by Trump and his base. If Trump tells his supporters to go vote for Ted Cruz or Josh Hawley they will, without a second thought. This is bad for the Democrats because in an election where every vote counts and voter turnout is usually very low this level of followthrough and organization will be terrible for them. In Iowa, a new voter law was passed that will shorten the time that you can both
early vote and vote the day of an election. By limiting the amount of time that people can vote in the state it ensures that fewer people do and goes to help keep Republicans in power. The chances of the Senate and the House flipping to Republican control is very high; with that control, Republicans can block all of Biden’s agenda and even restrict his authority (if enough seats in the House and Senate are acquired). Having a Republican Party fully devoted to Trump and his ideology isn’t good for the Dems or Conservatives who actually believe in the values that Trump has actively broken. However, a Trump Party filled with Trump loyalists like Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green is the future that is coming if the Republicans get a landslide victory in 2022. Victories made all the more possible by the Democrats’ second concern Voter suppression. Voter suppression is something talked about a lot on the Left when discussing how Republicans win elections and how terrible gerrymandering can be. However, at no point in modern history should people be more concerned about voter suppression than for the next two elections. So far in 2021 alone, Republicans have filed over 165 bills meant to restrict people’s ability to vote in 33 states.
One of the many notable voter restriction bills is currently being passed in Georgia, which flipped blue in 2020. The bill restricts early voting start and end times shortens the days you can early vote, restricts access to mail-in voters and changes the requirement for who can early vote and how they must do it. The bills also decrease the areas where you can drop off a mail-in ballot and make fewer areas for people to go and early vote and vote the day of. And the list goes on. Although everyone in the state is affected by the new law, everything that is changing has been changed because Democrats and people of color primarily use those methods. The new gerrymandered districts have yet to be created in those states. This bill and bills like them are a direct attack on democracy and the best way for Republicans to beat Democrats. The fewer people who vote the better the Republican Party can do. The better they do, the chances of them winning back the House and the Senate and, perhaps, even the presidency. If the Democrats don’t act quickly on the federal level they and the American people stand to lose so much in the years to come.
NEWS PROFESSORS ADAPT METHODS TO ENGAGE STUDENTS AT HOME Kevin Ashley, Staff Writer • March 9, 2021
When the COVID-19 pandemic caused the College of DuPage to shut its doors to most of its students, faculty and staff, political science Professor David Goldberg soon found he needed to change everything about the way he taught students. The strategies that worked in the classroom just weren’t practical in a remote learning environment. “The structural challenges students face is one of my major issues,” Goldberg said. “And by a structural piece I mean someone who is sharing an internet connection with two or three siblings or family members. A lot of us have dealt with students who have family members that came down with COVID, (or) their own children have come down with COVID. ” Goldberg is just one example of thousands of teachers in local community colleges who had to adapt the ways they present and share material with their students on the fly. This has caused massive frustrations and concern for both teachers and students as both are trying their best to figure out how to make it work. The struggles go beyond the virus itself and barriers to accessing technology. Getting students to still buy into learning and commit the necessary hours to it when they weren’t required to be physically in front of a teacher is also high on the list of challenges for professors like Laura Seeber, an adjunct English professor at Lake County College. “My biggest concern was engagement and how my students can stay engaged with each other and me,” Seeber said. “How are students going to handle this space? Seeber’s students tackle remote learning in one of two ways. They have what’s called asynchronous class, meaning they attend a regular, live class together on the internet with their professor. Or, asynchronous, meaning the teacher puts all the information for the class online and the students access it independently and turn in work according to various deadlines. Depending on the situation, Seeber said remote learning makes it tough for professors to know their lessons are really hitting home. “Not that students are just checking boxes but that they are actually learning something,
they are feeling a part of a community and that is very hard to replicate in an online setting, especially in a writing class,” Seeber said. In a classroom environment, professors can see where students are lacking or falling behind and reach out to keep them involved. However, since everything is now online and through a screen, it is more difficult for any professor to notice. Some students don’t even have cameras attached to their computers or don’t turn them on. These new circumstances have forced professors to change their behaviors and teaching methods in order to keep students engaged and involved with their classes, “This has forced me to be a better teacher,” Goldberg said. “It has forced me to rethink what I am teaching in terms of the context of political science, and it has also forced me to rethink how I deliver this information.” For instance, instead of having a project, a paper and a midterm exam equaling 90% of a student’s grade, Goldberg turned to multiple, small projects with more weight toward the final grade. But there is also the problem of students adjusting to the different teaching styles, class formats and workload. “The students that really struggle or have bluntly said, ‘I can’t,’ or, ‘this format isn’t working for me,’ we try to work out a way to make it work.,” Seeber said. “Let’s try out this productivity trick or try to find a quiet room or space that you can work in.” Both Goldbergs and Seeber said, after a rough start, both students and teachers are evolving into the new norm. “Students have really risen to the task, and most of my classes are feeling very engaging,” Seeber said. “I don’t know how every faculty handles this, but I believe that when you are an instructor you have an obligation to grow and learn.” Goldberg has even found that as both teachers and students find themselves trying to overcome a mutual problem, connections with students are now often made in more personal ways than ever before. Students and teachers now know what each other’s homes, pets and housemates look like. In a lot of cases, people
This article, written by Courier Staff Writer, Kevin Ashley, originally appeared in the Daily Herald on March 4, 2021.
can see where you sleep, your favorite band posters and your caffeinated beverage of choice. “It has forced a lot of people to challenge ourselves and to challenge students,” Goldberg said. “Despite the obstacles in our way, people are more honest with each other.”
FEATURES YOU HAVE BEEN RECYCLING WRONG YOUR ENTIRE LIFE Liam Sheriff, Staff Writer • March 30, 2021
The early golden sunlight silently crept through my blinds as I lay asleep in bed on Thursday morning. Just as the first ray of sunshine spilled over my face, I was awoken by the sound of heavy machinery, a loud clanging and the smell of diesel fuel. I stumbled into the kitchen to fix myself a bowl of cereal, and I saw the source of the disturbance was the Lakeshore Recycling Systems truck and crew not-so-gracefully whisking away my recycling. I watched as my empty La Croix cans, discarded cardboard and some unwanted papers fell into the belly of the mechanical dinosaur to be taken away, out of sight and out of mind. The driver released the brake, got into gear and drove off. And just like that, my recycling was gone. Or was it? With less than a month until Earth Day, it is important to reflect upon our practices as inhabitants of this planet. As we very well know, some of the best ways to help minimize our pollution-ridden footprints are to “reduce, reuse, and recycle”- a phrase that has been repeated by virtually every media outlet, science teacher and state government for the past 50 years. Recycling has been around since the 1940s. However, the recycling movement as we now know it, as stated by Time Magazine, was born in the 1970s out of an American public’s growing concerns over their impact on the environment. “Rather than recycle in order to get the most out of the materials,” writes Olivia B. Waxman for Time Magazine. “Americans began to recycle in order to deal with the massive amounts of waste produced during the second half of the 20th century.” Now, in 2021, after years of recycling initiatives and public outreach promoted by every level of government, large private corporations and the American education system, a lot of people are surprised to learn they have been recycling incorrectly their entire lives. In fact, the majority of residential recyclers, like Elijah DelRisco, a local Wheaton resident and COD student, aren’t even sure what happens to their recycling once it hits the curb.
“I have no idea,” DelRisco says when asked about the whereabouts of recyclable materials after the refuse trucks take it away. “I’m not sure what they do for recycling. They do something so they can reuse it again, but I’m not sure exactly how that process goes.” Elijah isn’t alone. The journey of recycled material is complicated, confusing and somewhat conflicting. Residential recycling is typically picked up by a refuse truck and taken to a local Material Recovery Facility (MRF) where items are sorted based on their composition (i.e. cardboards, aluminum, different plastics, etc.). For Elijah and other Wheaton residents specifically, Lakeshore Recycling Systems (LRS) are responsible for street pickup and the transportation of recyclable materials to their West Chicago recovery facility. From the sorting facility, unwanted or nonrecyclable items are shipped to a landfill, while the rest of the recyclable materials are sent to various domestic and overseas companies to be processed and recycled. It is at this point of the process, according to the New York Times’ Livia Albeck-Ripka, that the process becomes…messy. “In the past,” explains Albeck-Ripka, “the municipalities would have shipped much of their used paper, plastics and other scrap materials to China for processing. But as part of a broad antipollution campaign, China announced last summer that it no longer wanted to import ‘foreign garbage.’” What does this mean for the future of U.S. recycling? With other countries following in step with China, the materials that were once shipped overseas now find themselves back in the states to be put into landfills. The foreseeable future of recycling, as it appears, is not very bright. It may seem like the current state of recycling in the United States may be too tall of an order for the average American to tackle, and in a way it is. Undoubtedly, how the United States recycles must be revamped. The system cannot handle the amount of consumption and waste that Americans produce. Nonetheless, there are concrete steps that one can take to increase the efficiency of recycling in the United
States. As DelRisco points out, it all starts with education. “I feel like people are not educated enough,” DelRisco said. “I didn’t even know there were different recycling practices for different towns and cities.” One of the most effective ways to ensure people recycle correctly is through education – getting the word out about what is right and what is wrong. That vital information is having a hard time reaching the public. So, what can you do? Many regulations on municipal recycling pickup differ between states, counties and even individual cities. What is recyclable in one city may not be in another city. How and what a city recycles is dependent on that city’s budget and the recycling company they hire. For example, plastics labeled with a number 6 recycling logo are technically recyclable. Because of their composition, however, they are too expensive to process. This is why most cities will not list number 6 plastics as recyclable. It is important to look up what can and cannot be recycled locally. This information can be easily found on your local municipality’s website. Now that you know what to recycle and what to throw away, it is important to dispose of the recyclable material correctly. As a general rule, you cannot recycle anything contaminated with organic substances. So, although your pizza box is made of cardboard, you cannot recycle it if it is covered in grease. The same goes for your plastics. Make sure to rinse
FEATURES ADOPT-A-GRANDPARENT PROGRAM BRINGS BALLOON BUDDIES TO NURSING HOMES Sadie Romero, Editor-in-Chief • March 8, 2021 Judy Metrovich was on the phone crying, staring out the window from a 6-by-10-foot space when she learned she couldn’t see her family after they drove eight hours from Chicago to Pittsburgh just for her. Metrovich, a resident at a nursing home in Pittsburgh, has been in and out of COVID-19 lockdown at her facility for almost a whole year now. “I feel trapped in my room,” Metrovich said. “Especially in the winter when we can’t go outside. I read. I color. Sometimes, if you sign up, they bring a big screen around so you can FaceTime your family. But it is not the same. It is really hard for me.” Michelle Tibble of Mount Prospect, Metrovich’s niece, took a road trip with her family this past July to visit Metrovich. When they weren’t able to see her, Tibble, owner and creator of Awesome Balloon Creations/Chicago’s Balloon Twister, came up with a new idea to put a smile back on Metrovich’s face. Tibble launched the national Adopt-AGrandparent campaign. The idea for the campaign derived from a Facebook post Tibble made that same day. She asked a business page of balloon artists all across the United States to combine what they are good at doing with helping nursing home residents feel less alone. Once they came up with a plan, it was heavily marketed by some of the participants and quickly became a national effort. The balloon buddies are human-sized figures made from multiple balloons to represent arms, legs and a yellow smiley face balloon at the top. Four staff members from The Selfhelp Home in Chicago deliver smiley face balloon people to brighten the spirits of residents who have been unable to receive outside visitors for the last year of the pandemic. – Courtesy of Sadie Romero By January 2021, Tibble’s local wholesaler was completely sold out of the smiley face balloons as Adopt-A-Grandparent gained more traction. At one point, she even had to place an order as large as 500 of the balloons at once to ensure she had enough to fulfill her deliveries for weeks at a time. At first, Tibble had trouble getting approval from local nursing homes. However, it took just one facility in early January to get on board for Awesome Balloon Creations to be in steady standing.
ManorCare Health Services in Elk Grove Village was Tibble’s first delivery. While each home distributes the balloons differently, ManorCare hosted a party for its residents on the day of the delivery. Each person was called up separately, getting cheered on by their fellow residents as they walked down the hall to receive their balloon buddy and a cupcake. The staff saw this as a small way to let the residents know they are appreciated. The entertainment company delivered to Sunrise of Schaumburg, a senior living community, this past month.
Learn how you can help at chicagoballoontwister.com “Not only were our residents excited for the picture with the buddies, but when they found out they got to take a balloon buddy home, ‘Wow, really?’ is all I heard all day,” said Sunrise staffer Lisset Rosalas. “A few of the buddies even got names.” Tibble only delivers to a nursing home if there are enough balloon buddies for everyone. If not, she sends out a request for more sponsors until she has the means to do so. Sometimes, the receiving facility will also seek donations by sending an email to the residents’ families. “Trying to turn something fun and magical into a delivery is what we have been honing in on this past year. This Adopt-A-Grandparent campaign was one of those things,” Tibble said. “The whole point of entertainment is to make people smile.
Who needs a fun smile more than a bunch of people literally stuck in a nursing home?” To help cheer up nursing home residents during the pandemic, Michelle Tibble, owner and creator of Awesome Balloon Creations/Chicago’s Balloon Twister, launched the national AdoptA-Grandparent campaign, which brings balloon buddies to the seniors. – Courtesy of Michelle Tibble The Adopt-A-Grandparent chapter of Chicago Balloon Twister has been operating under sponsorships and donations. With this, Tibble tries to honor requests from sponsors or donors if there is a particular home they would like the balloons delivered to. Yet, as she tries to ensure that the facilities will never pay out of pocket, getting sponsors has been the hardest part of her efforts. In the coming weeks, Tibble and her assistant will enter a new round of publicity, where they intend to reach out to local community members, companies and Facebook users to make donations. In efforts to expand that number, Tibble donates 10 balloon buddies for every 100 sold. While they accept any and all donations, it is $12 to sponsor a buddy, which pays for supplies, labor and delivery. Tibble and her assistant, Mike Mauthe, spend about 15 minutes, collectively, to make one buddy. They invest in good, quality balloons to ensure a lasting experience for the residents, which is approximately one month. Tibble said one of the most vital things to consider is that the older generation is used to receiving physical things — mail, packages, having physical visitors. To use social media and technology as a form of communication is just not as meaningful for them. “This is a great time for giving, sharing, and spreading love. Senior citizens are the people that got us here,” Tibble said, “and it is so sad to know that they are just sitting in what is basically a box while it is very easy for them to get sad. Doing something small like giving them a balloon goes a long way and makes them feel like they are loved and not forgotten. Lift them up. Let them feel good about themselves. It is the best $12 you can spend to pay it forward.” Tibble is planning a road trip and surprise balloon delivery to her aunt’s facility in Pittsburgh next month, transporting 110 smiley face balloon
This article, written by Courier Editor-in-Chief Sadie Romero, originally appeared in the Daily Herald on Feb. 25, 2021.