COLLEGE OF DUPAGE STUDENT NEWSPAPER \\ 11 SEPTEMBER 2013 \\ VOLUME 49, ISSUE 3
Coach Foster Making changes on and off the football field
THE COURIER // COLLEGE OF DUPAGE STUDENT NEWSPAPER \\ 11 SEPTEMBER 2013 \\ VOLUME 49, ISSUE 3
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NEW HEAD FOOTBALL C O A C H M AT T F O S T E R
COMMUNITY E D U C AT I O N FA R M
CHAPS WIN BLOWOUT + MEN’S SOCCER LOSS
OPINION: A MUSLIM IN AMERICA AFTER 9/11
S P O T L I G H T: B L E S S Y JOHNSON + PLR OPINION: MILEY C Y R U S AT T H E V M A S
ADD US TO GET MORE COD Courier Student Newspaper
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The football program at CUC has inspired me to be more of a leader. The coaching staff challenges everyone on the team, not only to work as hard as we can in football, but even more importantly they focus on developing good men.
â€”Pat Ugolini, secondary educationâ€“history major from Seneca, Illinois
Itâ€™s an easy transfer to Concordiaâ€“Chicago. Find out if CUC is the place for you! Register now for our October 14 Fall Visit Day at CUChicago.edu/visit. Every admitted transfer student receives a merit scholarship or admission award up to $13,000!
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A transfer admission counselor from CUC will be visiting COD Tuesday, September 17! Spring semester classes begin at CUC Jan. 8, 2014â€”apply online at CUChicago.edu/apply.
PLACE YOUR HELP WANTED AD IN THE NEXT COURIER! Contact Christina email@example.com 630.942.3379
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CUC is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (ncahlc.org).
remember where I was during the morning of Sept. 11. Do you? I’m sure we all have our own stories about where we were when the twin towers fell. But sometimes words are nothing to describe the pain America felt; sometimes, we don’t even want to describe those feelings. So we turn to the only storytellers that do not need words: photographers. I remember the television station that I was watching as the country was preparing for the worst. The news channels were filled with on-scene photos and video clips of people, debris and blood. It was all so scary and unrealistic to me when I was 7. The news broadcasters were talking about things that I didn’t understand but when I saw the photos, I felt like I was there. That’s what we have done for this week’s issue. Since we print on Wednesday, we thought what better way to look back on what happened and remember all of
COLLEGE OF DUPAGE STUDENT NEWSPAPER \\ 11 SEPTEMBER 2013 \\ VOLUME 49, ISSUE 3
what we went through than with a page dedicated to photos taken from Ground Zero. We were lucky enough to have our Arts Editor in New York at the event of the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero. The memorial has been open for two years now and there will be a “Freedom Tower” coming soon to add to the memorial. To get a glimpse of what we have for our cover story this week, we take a look into our hearts and I ask you if you are as dedicated and humble about what you do in your life as the football team’s head coach, Matt Foster, is about his job. I will tell you, the cover photo you see on the front was chosen because our original idea had him running for the hills. Foster didn’t want to be on the cover and in the spotlight. He deserves it, yet he kept saying, “No, it’s for the kids. Focus on the kids. They are the ones I want in the spotlight.” So our plan for the cover, did not
pan out. Instead, we snuck in some photos of Foster in his environment: coaching the Chaps at last weekends’ game. Which by the way, we completely pounded the Wildcats (North Dakota Science) with a final score of 47-7. So, kick back. Dive into the cover story, laugh with us when we discuss Miley Cyrus at the VMAs, then check out the 9/11 page filled with new photos from Ground Zero. Enjoy.
Coach Foster Making changes on and off the football field
ON THE COVER The photo seen on the cover of The Courier student newspaper this week features new head coach, Matt Foster, during last weekend’s football game. At first, Foster did not want to be in the spotlight. He kept telling our photo editor to put a picture of the players on the cover. We didn’t think this was right, so we snuck some awesome photos of Foster within his environment. Check out the rest on page 8. COVER PHOTO TAKEN BY DENTON DOOLEY.
Jordin Gignac Editor-in-Chief
S TA F F
JORDIN GIGNAC EDITOR-IN-CHIEF firstname.lastname@example.org
A huge Radiohead fan and an enthusiast of the culinary arts
CHRISTINA PAYTON ADVERTISING ADVISOR email@example.com
The ‘Office Mom’ and handles all of the advertising
JOASH MENCIAS NEWS EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org
An amateur font geek and political junkie
ROSALIE DEASTIS FEATURES EDITOR email@example.com
CAROLINE KOCH ARTS EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org
Is outgoing and is obsessed with Has a music blog called Operation: animal print HandHug
The Courier is published every Wednesday when classes are in session during the fall and spring semester, except for the first and last Wednesday of each semester and the week of and the week after spring Break as a public forum with content chosen by student editors. One copy free, additional copies available upon request. Views expressed in the Courier represent opinions of majority of the staff. The Courier does not knowingly accept advertisement that discriminate on the basis of sex, creed, religion, color, handicapped status, veteran or sexual orientation, nor does it knowingly print ads that violate any local, state or federal laws. The Courier encourages all students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members to voice their opinions on all the topics concerning them both in and out of school. Writers can express their views in a “Letter to the Editor.” All correspondence and letters for publication must be typed and signed with the author’s daytime phone number. Deliver all correspondence to BIC 3401 between regular office hours or mail to the Courier, College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL. 60137. Letters also may be sent by e-mail. The subject heading to the message must read “Letter to the Editor.” The writer’s first and last names, street address, city, state and complete phone number with area code must be included for identity verification by the Courier. Deadline for letters meant for publication is noon on Mondays. E-mails can be sent to email@example.com Letters are subject to editing for grammar, style, language, length and libel. All letters represent the views of the author, not the editorial board.
PAUL TRIUKAS SPORTS EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org
From Lithuania and loves writing about sports
Paralegal Club Speaker: Annie Knight When: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 4:45 PM - 6:45 PM Where: Berg Instructional Center, Room 1404 Cost: Free Description: COD faculty member Annie Knight will speak on the topic of legal citations. Even if you missed Part 1 of the presentation, you will benefit greatly from Part 2.
Autismerica Monthly Meeting When: Thursday, September 12, 2013 7:00 PM 10:00 PM Where: Student Services Center (SSC) 1200 Cost: Free Description: Join COD students with autism, their families and friends at this monthly educational and social club meeting. For more information, call (630) 942-2845.
GMO Awareness Event When: Thursday, September 12, 2013 6:30 PM 8:30 PM Where: Culinary & Hospitality Center (CHC) Cost: Free See: http://www.cod.edu/news-events/ news/13_july/13_gmofood.aspx Description: The event includes a special screening of “Genetic Roulette” and information on pending legislation regarding GMO food labeling. For more information, contact Shamili Sandiford at (630) 942-2123.
Fall 12-Week Session Start Date When: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 8:00 AM 12:00 PM Description: Start date for fall 12-week session. Register at myaccess.cod.edu
DENTON DOOLEY PHOTO EDITOR email@example.com Would rather be camping
JULIA KLOS SOCIAL MEDIA firstname.lastname@example.org
In the process of becoming an English teacher
DAVID WILCOX COPY EDITOR email@example.com
An entrepreneur with an editing business
KELLY WEESE STAFF WRITER firstname.lastname@example.org
From sunny San Diego and a first year student
Community Education Farm celebrates 10 years JOASH MENCIAS // NEWS EDITOR A community college is not exactly the place in mind in terms of a place to grow and sell organic produce. However, that is exactly what the Community Education Farm has been doing for the last ten years at the college. Students, interns and volunteers, in coordination with farm leader Lia Rousset, grow the produce on campus. Most students who help come from taking courses dealing with food and agriculture while others participate through service learning programs and clubs. Founded in 2003, the Community Education Farm more recently has been setting up weekly farm stands during the growing season. The produce is currently grown in a section behind the Open Campus Center and Building K. Shamili Sandiford, faculty co-director of the program, recalled how they conceived the idea. “Deborah Adelman (another faculty co-director) and myself were
teaching a seminar that combined English and environmental studies and focused on looking at food and agricultural issues,” she spoke over the phone. “What we quickly learned is that we needed an opportunity to make some positive change; not just having a discussion in a class but also being part of the solution.” Program participants also have the added bonus of the ‘education’ aspect of the project and learn about home-grown food. “One goal is for people to get a sense of what all is possible and how their food grows,” Rousset said. Some of the fruits and vegetables, which include kale, beets and peppers, are donated to the food pantry of the People’s Resource Center, an organization providing aid to low-income people in DuPage County. “We wanted to engage students not only in agriculture but also in issues in the community like hunger,” Sandiford said.
While the program still gives a portion of the produce to charity, there has been a reduction in the amount given to the People’s Resource Center. Ever since the college cut funding for the program, it had to increase revenues by selling more produce which in turn meant less vegetables and fruits donated to charity. Furthermore, the cuts in funding forced the Community Education Farm to be a financially independent project. In order to compensate for the cuts, the program now relies on other revenue sources such as donations from the community and partnerships with organizations and businesses like Whole Foods in the local area. “The financial challenge is a big challenge,” Sandiford admitted. “It’s a challenge we have to deal with.” Another challenge the program faces today is the moving of the farm on campus. According to Sandiford, the farm has settled in four different locations in the
past ten years, with a potentially imminent move due to reconstruction in the western campus of the college. “I’m hoping we can have a more secure and permanent location,” Sandiford said. Despite the difficulties, Sandiford reflected on the overall success of the program. “I feel good that we’ve been able to be here… The program has grown and evolved which I hope it continues to do so.” And in the end, for Rousset, support for the Community Education Farm helps achieve the core mission of teaching others to grow organic produce and helping the community in the process. “For me, you’re not going to get fresher food and the quality of nutrients from anywhere else...Eventually you are putting your money where it’s going to benefit and educate lots and lots of people.”
POLICE REPORTS ACCIDENT: Aug. 24 An accident occurred between a 1997 black Toyota Avalon and a 2012 gray Honda Civic in college parking lot C on August 24 at approximately 10:30 a.m. The driver of the Civic reported the incident five days after it happened. On the day of the accident, a witness told the driver of the Civic that another vehicle hit the car. The driver of the Avalon left a napkin with his phone number
written on it. The driver of the Civic called the phone number but said he was not answering the phone so the driver reported the accident to campus police. The driver of the Avalon claimed he was turning into a parking spot and made contact with the rear bumper of the Civic. The Civic sustained major scratches to the rear driver’s side bumper cover.
ACCIDENT: Sept. 4 An accident occurred between a 2001 BMW 325i and a 2006 Volkswagen Beetle in college parking lot 3E on September 4 at approximately 12:25 p.m. The driver of the BMW claimed he looked both ways when he started to back out and did not see the Beetle until they struck each other. Police checked the license of the driver of the Beetle when they
discovered it to be suspended. The driver of the Beetle was cited for driving with a suspended license and the license was sent to the Secretary of State’s office. The driver of the BMW was cited for improper backing. Police have nothing further to report.
HIT+RUN: Sept. 8 A 2012 Honda Accord was involved in a hit-and-run on September 8 at approximately 1:30 p.m. The driver of the Accord stated she arrived at 1:30 p.m. and parked on the southwest corner of Lot C. She left the college at 3:15 p.m. and noticed a dent to the driver’s side rear, wheel well, scratches and light-colored paint transfer. There was no information on the offender.
Chaps rout North Dakota Science in season’s first win
Quarterback Lamont Toney leaps over two Wildcat defenders. Toney led the Chaps offense to a 47-7 blowout victory.
PHOTO BY DENTON DOOLEY
KELLY WEESE // STAFF WRITER After a shaky start to the season in week one, the Chaparral football team recovered fiercely. August 30th, the Chaps were uncertain about who would lead the offense as they changed quarterbacks three times. This was not the case last weekend as the Chaps started QB Lamont Toney. Toney shined in his new starting role and led the Chaps to a 47-7 blowout of the North Dakota Science Wildcats. “The team was more focused and we played better,” Toney said. “It was good to have command and control of the team.” The redshirt freshman had a huge game as the offense was firing through the air and on the ground. The Chaps scored quickly in the first half putting them up 20-7. The only flaw came on a mistake play by the defense. After that, there were no more mistakes made by the Chaps as they cruised to victory.
Late in the second quarter, the Chaps added another score when Toney found receiver Travon Harris wide open on the sideline for a 70-yard touchdown pass. “It feels great to get the first win. The credit goes to the lineman,” Harris said. Travon would add to his stats by scoring on an 81-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter. After allowing 34 points in the first game, the defense stepped up by holding the Wildcats to only 7 points. The defensive line harassed the North Dakota quarterback the entire game. Devin Coney, Mike Lafenhagen, Shaq Hall, Jacky Dezir, and Julian Turner all recorded sacks in the game. Hall noted “It’s our first win, we are going to keep it classy and keep the celebration PG-13.” When asked about the game, Julian Turner said,“we executed and played well. We are going to be ready for Iowa Central.”
The game was well out of reach at 40-7, when the team’s new QB, Kyle Brown, threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Chris James, who made an amazing one-handed catch with the defender on his back. Up 47-7, the Chaps defense got the ball back to the offense, which ran out the clock and ended the game. After the game, Coach Foster was unbelievably proud. “The kids on this team are great,” Foster added. After the first game of the season, there were many questions asked of the Chaparral football team. It was apparent that the coaching staff figured out the answers and got the team in shape for this past weekend. The Chaps will have their first road game this Saturday at Iowa Central. With a record of 1-1 the Chaps look to keep their momentum.
Receiver Cole Childs drags his feet along the sideline to make the catch in bounds. Childs had a 31-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter. PHOTO BY TABREZ KHAN
MEN’S SOCCER KICKS OFF SLOW
Defenseman, Nolan DuBois, tries to stay in front of the Iowa Western striker.
KELLY WEESE // STAFF WRITER
PHOTO BY DENTON DOOLEY
As the season begins, the Chaps soccer team has had trouble getting a win on their record. After losing two out of their first three games, the men’s soccer team looked to get their first win of the season against Iowa Western College. The Chaps (0-2-1) faced off against No. 4 Iowa Western last Sunday. The Chaps started out with possession but from there it went downhill. In the first minute of the game, defenseman Andy Guerrero received a yellow card. On the ensuing possession, the Reivers scored. The woes would continue for the Chaps, as a foul would lead to a free kick for Iowa Western. On the free kick, Reivers’ Dayvin Palmer lofted the ball over the wall and past the goalie to make the score 2-0. The Reivers would score two more times before the half ended. The hope of a come
back after being down 4 goals was little to none. Chaps’ midfielder Jorge Leyva received a yellow card near the end of the half for a dangerous slide tackle at about midfield. As the second half began, the game stalled for several minutes. Passing back and fourth and frequent change of possession occurred until the Reivers scored in the 85th minute. The game would end with a final score of 5-0 Iowa Western. Although they were playing a difficult opponent in the fourth best team in the country, Chaps’ goalie Marcel Carrasco had eight saves. The loss makes the Chaps’ record (0-3-1) and they are still in search of a win. The Chaps next opportunity to earn a win will be this Thursday at Elgin College at 4 p.m.
Foster betters students through co
“I th lif
Coach From ing su fect ex feren heads PAUL TRIUKAS // SPORTS EDITOR ast season could have been the last for the football team. Even following an outstanding 9-2 record in the NJCAA, there were speculations that the program would be dropped after other local community colleges made that move. However, the college is now Illinois’ only competing junior college. The team ended their 2012 campaign ranked eighth in the country after a 42-29 victory against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College at the Citizen‘s Bank Bowl. Now the team is gearing up with new and returning players and a new head coach for another promising season. Matt Foster, new head football coach, is one of the most anticipated coaches to join the college in recent years. He began his 30-year coaching career at Salisbury State University in Maryland and helped the team to the quarterfinals of the National Championship. Since the college is a Division III
school, the Chaparrals are in a good position because Foster also has Division I coaching experience. He was a member of the Central Connecticut State University team who played in the first division. Foster has also coached North Central College and Wheaton North High School. For a while in the 1990s, Foster was an assistant coach for the college. Former NFL defensive end, Paul Spicer, was part of the squad at the time. When asked why he chose to return to College of DuPage, Foster said, “this place means so much to me.” According to Foster, he saw the college football field as a “field of dreams.” He said, “it gives so many opportunities and so many great things. This little piece of it does unbelievable things for kids, as far as changing their lives.” As far as being one of the most anticipated coaches, Foster also has a good resume. He went to the National Championship three times, finishing second every time. His teams
were third and fourth once each. He has also led his teams to the semifinals in high school and to bowl games in college. After playing football in high school and college, Foster took the path to coaching. Although a good season at the college might open the door for larger Division I opportunities, Foster said he has not thought about coaching at the highest level. He says that he loves the kids and the challenge. He loves the relationship with the guys and what he can do to their careers. Similarly, to other great college coaches, like the legendary Mike Krzyzewski, Foster is making the team more family orientated. His children come to see practices and games while his wife might bring some homemade goodies for the players after practice. Part of a college coach’s job is recruiting players. Due to being named the head coach in June, Foster was unable to select any
players for the team. What he wanted from players was great character. According to the coach, he wanted to find good people from good programs. Foster said that the team needs to be like a family, the whole unit is more important than one player. Coaching for over three decades, Foster has created his own philosophy and is ready to demonstrate that as a Chaparral. There is a reason for the coach to admit that the defense is currently slightly better than the offense. A former defensive-type player – fullback, strong safety and linebacker – Foster admits that he is a “defense wins championships” coach. When asked who the best players are, Foster gave a touching answer, “I let you guys single kids out, I don‘t because it‘s a philosophical thing. As a coach, I don‘t like to single kids out. To me, the kid who is running, busting his tail out here every day, who doesn‘t get to play much in the game is
LEFT: Foster gives his post-game speech after the huge win. The Chaps are now 1-1.
like to challenge hem. That‘s what fe is.”
h Foster is a role model for all of his players. m implementing new tutoring schedules, to makure the players are properly fed, Foster is a perxample of someone who is trying to make a difnce in life. This week’s cover story goes behind the set and into the life of coach Matt Foster. just as valuable as the kid that‘s responsible for throwing the touchdowns. They just have different jobs. And I don‘t like to single out the kid who throws the touchdowns and say he is more important than the kid that‘s playing against them all week to get them ready for the game.” The first game of 2013 was a loss to Arkansas Baptist College. Luckily, the 34-23 loss didn’t hurt the players confidence. Last Saturday, they rebounded and defeated North Dakota College of Science 47-7. Coach Foster knows how to get his players ready for games: “I like to challenge them. That‘s what life is. You‘re going to get adversity and you‘re going to get knocked down on the field. Whether you‘re a student or a professor, whether you‘re a worker or a businessman, you‘re going to have those days and you have to challenge people to get back up and find it within them to rise above whatever the obstacle is. I think that is one of the
greatest lessons in all sports. It prepares you for what you have to do professionally in your real life.” Foster said representing the college as a football team means rising to the same standards that the college already holds, “I also think that this is an elite institution. All you have to do is walk around here. Their expectations are like any other area here and every other area here is elite. Right there, that area is elite, the tech department is elite, the homeland security, the radio station. All aspects are as good as they are. We want to be the same, we want to be an elite football program and no different from any other program here at the school. That‘s how I see it. The fact that we‘re the only junior college in the state now is very important but I think it‘s more of a philiosophical thing; it‘s a mission. We want to represent the school just like any other programs here do, but in an elite fashion.”
TOP RIGHT: Receiver Keante Minor and coach Foster laugh after a play. MIDDLE RIGHT: Coach Foster shares a moment with the sideline referee. BOTTOW RIGHT: Foster relays a play to his coaches in the press box. ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY DENTON DOOLEY
A Muslim in America after 9/11
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HAROON ATCHA // POLITICAL COLUMNIST
was on my way to school, in the car with my mother and sister, when we heard the news. The first tower had been struck. We didnâ€™t immediately know something momentous was happening. We, like most other people at the time, thought it was an engine malfunction because thatâ€™s what the news was reporting. I was dropped off at school and less than an hour later, parents started picking up their children to go home. I donâ€™t remember much about that day, just that all of the mothers and fathers that came to pick up their children had a look of fear on their faces. It was a look of knowing anticipation; that we were waiting in the calm before the storm. The mothers, wearing their scarves, conversed amongst themselves and with teachers. The fathers, with their long beards and traditional Pakistani and Indian clothes hurried their families out the door. I didnâ€™t attend a public school when the attacks happened. I went to an Islamic school because I am a Muslim. The curriculum was the same as any other school but an extra hour was spent studying religion and all of the children that attended the school were Muslim as well. That day, more than any other, marked a shift in my life. It marked the point when I became very self-aware of my identity and that of my familyâ€™s. Itâ€™s the day
that I started noticing the eyes that stared for too long or the whispers that happened just close enough for me to hear. Itâ€™s the day I started realizing what it meant to be Muslim in a post 9/11 world. Immediately after the attacks, I noticed changes. My school stayed closed for a week and a half. It was a smart move on behalf of the administrators. The school had been vandalized and the staff harassed following the terrorist attack. After the attacks, a few men flying the American flag took it upon themselves to harass the school day and night until taken away by the police. When school finally resumed, I noticed police officers guarding the doors. I noticed a number of armed officers stationed at my mosque. They stood alert, stopping anyone who might wish us harm. Unfortunately, their services came in handy a number of times. The changes hit a little closer to home as well. A number of my female cousins stopped wearing their scarves in public out of fear for their own safety. Those who didnâ€™t inevitably had stories about being harassed by strangers. Flying also became a task in repeated â€œrandom checksâ€? and extra security clearance. Flying with the name Haroon Iqbal Atcha and Ismail Ebrahim Atcha, it turns out, raises suspicion. Other members of my family were harassed as well. My aunt, when booking a hotel room was told to â€œGo back to where you came from.â€? Those statements always cut the deepest. The comments that imply that Iâ€™m not American or my family doesnâ€™t grieve alongside their countrymen hurt the most. Whenever someone says those things, I think to myself â€œIf only they knew.â€? If only they knew that my grandparents who emigrated here from Burma forty years ago have flown an American flag in their front yard for as long as I can remember. If only they knew how much my dad loved listening to Metallica and smoking cigars. If they could just see that I stand for the pledge, sing the anthem and gorge myself on funnel cake every Fourth of July they might see how little difference there is between us. In times of great pain though, we look for a scapegoat and following the
9/11 attacks, it felt like my country had chosen me to fill that role. It made me feel great sorrow at first. I didnâ€™t get angry any time someone yelled at me about my religion, I felt sad. I didnâ€™t despise the person who yelled at my grandparents, I felt the desire to show him how we truly are. Anger, would have been easy. I could have written off the people around me as ignorant and hateful and I donâ€™t think anyone could blame me for that. My sorrow didnâ€™t turn into anger though; it made me realize that I, as a Muslim American, carry an extra burden. I carry the burden of ambassadorship. Regardless of whether we want to or not, I and all other Muslim Americans are representatives. Our actions paint a picture for those around us who might not know much about Muslims in this country. We were tasked with wiping out ignorance about Muslim Americans the minute those horrible actions took place. To make it clear that those people who hijacked those planes and called themselves â€œMuslimsâ€? are anything but. That their actions were revolting and being associated with them is an insult to Muslims all around the world, not just to those in this country. Without a doubt, there are days that Iâ€™m not sure I want to act like an ambassador. The fact that all mosques Iâ€™ve attended for any period of time have been vandalized brings me down. The fact that the first thought in my head after a report of a bombing is â€œGod please donâ€™t be Muslimâ€? weighs on me as well. Despite those things though, I love this country. I may not agree with it all the time and some of its population may despise me but I love it still. I love it because itâ€™s my home and its people, my countrymen. I love it because we survive and we learn. I love it because I know that those whose first reaction is hate are a minority. I love it because even that minority can learn to accept given the right influences.
Ground zero today 12 years later...
PHOTO BY CAROLINE KOCH
PHOTO BY CAROLINE KOCH
PHOTO BY IAN STANGEBYE
PHOTO BY CAROLINE KOCH
PHOTO BY CAROLINE KOCH
PHOTO BY CAROLINE KOCH
PHOTO BY CAROLINE KOCH
PHOTO BY CAROLINE KOCH
F E AT
Student brings passion for volunteering to U.S. ROSALIE DEASTIS // FEATURES EDITOR
BLESSY JOHNSON SLC Outreach Coordinator Student Life employee Orientation leader
It was just over a year ago that 19 yearold neuroscience major, Blessy Johnson, made the decision to move to the U.S. to challenge, motivate, and learn about herself. Born in South Arabia, raised in Kerala, India, Johnson admits she sometimes felt suffocated in her society back home. “When a girl does something ‘extra’, it’s not appreciated over there,” she said. “I didn’t have the independence to go out and do service for people.” Johnson is very passionate about volunteering and giving back to the community. She volunteers at Marklund Children’s Home in Bloomingdale to read stories for the kids, take them shopping, and help them during their Sunday school classes. She also is a speaker for youth meetings at her church in Elmhurst, and teaches Sunday school there. “There are so many opportunities to volunteer here and that’s what I love.” Johnson decided to attend the college because she knew it was going to take
some time for her to adjust to her new life here, and she felt COD was a good start, especially because it’s close to home. During her first year at the college, she was involved with the Pre-Physicians’ Assistants Club. This year she was named Student Leadership Council’s Service Coordinator, something she is extremely happy about. “When I learned about the position, I knew this would be the perfect way to motivate others to do service work,” she said. “I also want to help everyone know that we are all leaders. All we have to do is understand our strengths and weaknesses, and we can be leaders anywhere we are.” Johnson and SLC are currently brainstorming this year’s leadership activities and service projects. She hopes to bring all clubs together and develop a strong sense of participation among the student body. “I’d like to coordinate events that all the clubs and organizations can do as a family.”
Johnson also was a New Student Orientation leader this year and she is in the college’s honors program. “This transition has changed me tremendously,” said Johnson, who says she wouldn’t have been able to find her true calling if she hadn’t made this move. “I always felt empty. I didn’t have the courage at first to make such a big change, but I was tired of limiting myself.” Johnson’s parents are supportive of her decision to move to here, and she Skypes with them every couple of days. “They always knew I wanted something more.” Johnson is living with her aunt, who is a nurse, and two cousins, Tina and Tony. In her free time, she enjoys playing her newfound American sport, tennis. In the future, she aspires to get into a medical school and become a motivational speaker. “One of my goals is also to wake up and motivate at least one person, every day.”
Get to know Prairie Light Review, submit work ROSALIE DEASTIS // FEATURES EDITOR For over twenty years now, COD’s artists, poets and storytellers expressed their creative passions through the college’s liberal arts magazine, Prairie Light Review. The publication is distributed once every spring and fall semester. “It’s really a great outlet for people and it’s very fulfilling to have it all finished at the end of each semester,” said this year’s editor-in-chief, marketing student Allison Anderson, who was PLR’s marketing editor last year. “I’ve always liked to write.” Students involved with PLR must be enrolled in English 2210 unless they are interested in just volunteering for the publication and not applying for a position. In addition to editor-in-chief and mar-
ALLISON ANDERSON PLR Editor-in-Chief
keting editor, positions with PLR include production editor, advisor, and there are multiple assistant editors. Anyone, including faculty and staff, can submit something for a PLR publication but all contributors are limited to four pieces. Every week, the PLR staff goes through packets the editor-in-chief puts together, and they vote on the ones they like best, on a 1-10 scale. Also, each piece of art and writing has the contributor’s name removed. “Other aspects the submissions are judged upon are if the piece ‘fits’ the magazine, and if all the pieces we like go well together,” said Anderson. PLR is most interested in fiction, drama, poetry, essays, paintings, photographs,
drawings, sculptures, murals, cartoons, etchings, jewelry, collages, pottery, and fashion. “This year we hope to gain a much wider readership,” added Anderson. “We’re also talking about branding our image, and ways to re-vamp the magazine.” The deadline for their fall 2013 publication is Sept. 18. The day their publication is distributed every semester, the group throws a publication party to celebrate, with an open microphone and refreshments. PLR meets every Wed. in BIC 3251, 2:30 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. Anyone is welcome to join.
MILEY CYRUS AT THE 2013 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS // PHOTO BY GETTY IMAGES
HARRY BODELL // ARTS COLUMNIST
Keep calm and let Miley, be Miley
very year, I make a point of ignoring whatever hype accumulates around the Video Music Awards. While I may not look like a cynical, seventy year old man harboring a desire to return to the good ‘ol days of Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin, I certainly tend to feel like one when the VMAs roll around. I’m not a fan of N’Sync. I could do without hearing Robin Thicke’s voice. I have never watched the VMAs. I’ve never been interested in watching the VMAs. Had everything gone my way, I would be writing this article about something other than the VMAs. Unfortunately, Miley Cyrus had other plans for me. If you live on this Earth and have been exposed to the light of day sometime over the past week, you undoubtably have heard about Cyrus’ “performance.” One professor of mine may have described it best when he equated the act to a “train wreck that you couldn’t bring yourself to look away from”. After resisting for as long as I could, I finally gave into temptation and pulled the performance up on YouTube. I wish I could un-see what I saw. Miley’s body moved with no sensible rhyme or reason. Her tongue took on a life of its own. I’m still debat-
ing as to whether Miley’s moves should be classified as a form of dancing or not. The stuffed bear costumes surrounding her only added to an atmosphere that I can only describe as something out of a bad dream; a very, very bad dream. By the time I was thirty seconds into the video, I just wanted to wake up. Shell shocked, confused, and unable to wrap my head around anything enough to form an opinion, I decided to investigate what other people were saying about Miley’s time on stage. The stunt has been universally mocked. The world appeared to be as mystified as I was. Even the Fresh Prince and his Royal Family were caught gawking at Miley’s antics in a photo that has since made its mark all over the web. Comments declared Miley’s behavior to be everything from shameful and embarrassing to hateful and even racist. Many consider the segment to be the worst in VMA history. Somewhere between “racist” and “worst moment in VMA history”, my head began to clear. I flashed back to similarly hyped VMA moments. Lady Gaga’s meat suit flashed before my eyes. Lady Gaga’s barely-there outfits from years past popped up in my head, and not for the reasons you may think. I had to ask, why
do Miley’s antics rank as so much worse than any of Lady Gaga’s stunts? For that matter, what about Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift’s victory in protest? Surely he would join me in declaring that, while we’d let Miley finish, Kanye had actually provided the worst VMA moment of all time. Miley Cyrus’ behavior was by no means deserving of praise, but the truth of the matter is that it wasn’t all that bad either. Yes, it was kind of gross. Yes, it was really awkward to watch. Yes, I really wanted to claw my eyes out after finishing the video on YouTube. Nonetheless, this is not the first time such an event has transpired, especially at the VMAs. Lady Gaga’s stage time alone should provide enough proof to back up that statement. Society has been throwing a fit about Miley Cyrus’ twerk-tastic performance for the better part of the last few weeks, but such protests are simply misguided. In a year, nobody will be talking about this event. Another VMA moment will inevitably steal its spotlight (my money is on a Lady Gaga-Miley Cyrus showdown). In the meantime, the world needs to keep calm and let Miley be Miley. I’ll guarantee that, in due time, some section of society will love her for it.
Advice, answers and no fluff.
Straight Talk is an advice column aimed at questions you’d ask your best friend... except Straight Talk won’t fluff the answers. Real advice for real issues, from someone who has been there, done that. To get your questions answered, email email@example.com
Get your priorities straight!
Making a difficult choice
Meet people in a new way
I’m worried I will never find my match and be alone forever. Although that sounds dramatic, I want to get married and have kids someday. I always thought I would meet someone in college and the rest would be history. So far, that hasn’t happened yet and I’m tired of being alone. I feel like I have to pretend that I’m not looking for anything serious so I don’t scare guys away. How do I find what I’m looking for? -Marriage Material
I can’t find the motivation to go to class. I know that I should go, but every time I think about it, I find more important things to do. I don’t see the point in my gen-ed classes because they have nothing to do with my future career. I always choose work or other activities over going to class and then end up failing. How do I find the motivation to succeed? -Uninspired
My ex-boyfriend’s family still keeps in touch with me and I haven’t talked to him in over a year. I’d love to hang out and see where things go again but I’m deathly afraid of getting rejected and even bringing it up in the first place that I want to see him. - Scaredy Cat
Dear Marriage Material, You are pretending to be someone you aren’t. STOP IT. It’s okay to want a serious relationship. It’s okay to want to get married and have kids. Concealing what you really want will only deceive any partner you’re with, which won’t end well. Consider meeting people in a different way! Dating websites can help you find people with the same interests and personal values quickly. You won’t waste time at a bar finding out after an hour long conversation that the person next to you actually hates kids and has had 5 relationships over the past year because he or she doesn’t believe in commitment. You will find matches who already have some of the qualities you are looking for, which will give you a great chance of finding happiness. If you’re wary of online dating, look up some of the astounding statistics- plenty of couples have met that way, and some think it might be the future of finding love.
Dear Uninspired, Your “important-meter” is broken. Think about your big picture goals, and then imagine the path to get there. No matter what you want to do in your future, a degree will help you succeed and class is a necessary step in that process. Therefore, class is paramount, plain and simple. Although gen-ed classes may seem irrelevant, employers in all fields are looking for well-rounded individuals to hire. Read through class descriptions before registering and find gen-ed classes that relate most to your interests. (Example: take a science class on weather- who doesn’t love a big storm?!) It will make them more bearable and you may find a hidden passion. If you can’t find the motivation to go to classes in your major, you might want to look into switching to a different area of study that truly excites you. You know the saying “if you do what you love, you won’t work a day in your life”? That applies here. Also consider that you may like classes that are more hands on. A program in mechanics, cosmetology, or art may be more your style. Explore the possibilities and find what makes you want to go to class! In your future job, even your dream job, you will have to do things you don’t enjoy. Suck it up and get it done!
Dear Scaredy Cat, Odds are, your ex knows that his family still keeps in touch with you. If he wanted to hang out again, he would definitely know where to find you and how to get in touch. Prepare yourself for the possibility of rejection...given that you haven’t talked in over a year, he may have moved on. That being said, if you are sincere about wanting to see if anything still remains between you, contact him, and do it quickly- the longer you wait, the more time you spend lingering and nervously awaiting a response. The best way to do this would be a phone call or Facebook message to keep it private without any family members intervening. Whatever you choose to do, don’t look back! Whether you move on and forget him, or reach out and make the call, keep the big picture in mind - there are plenty of fish in the sea.
COMICS COMIC BY OUMAR MELVIN
COMIC BY RAY GINUM
“That ain’t wrong.” “Why is the library so bloody cold?” “We’re trying to preserve the books.”
OVERHEAR SOMETHING FUNNY OR ODD ON CAMPUS? WRITE IT DOWN AND PUT IT IN OUR PINK BOX IN FRONT OF OUR OFFICE (BIC 3401) OR EMAIL OVERHEARDCOD@GMAIL.COM
“I heard the cops are hot.“
“Dude I read a really cool article in the Courier today!” “….What’s the Courier?”
GRAPHIC BY OUMAR MELVIN
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Published on Sep 11, 2013