Blues Brothers come to MCCC
Monroe County Community College
Feb. 11, 2010
Vol. 54, Issue 1
The Agora now online!
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College contemplates smoking ban pg. 7
Enrollment record shattered 5% more students; 9.5% more credit hours this Winter Asia Rapai Staff
Record enrollment has busied MCCC’s campus this Winter semester. The start to the Winter semester differs from the Fall. “There are only about 400 new students in the Winter compared to about 1,300 in the Fall,” Vice President of Student and Information Services Randy Daniels said. Even though there are fewer new students in the Winter semester, college employees are busy providing services for students. The extra work was brought on by
another semester of record-breaking enrollment at MCCC. The final headcount showed there are 4,562 students enrolled for the 2009 Winter semester, Registrar Paul Schmidt said. “The headcount number is up again over last year after a slight dip in 2008,” Schmidt said. More students have been using the services provided by the college to help with the beginning of a new semester. When the Admissions office offered walk-in counseling, a large number of students showed up. Daniels volunteered to council students himself. He said the counselors were swamped, so he stepped in to help. “All offices are busy,” Daniels said. As for student services, there are fewer orientation activities for new students in the Winter semester than in the Fall. “We certainly don’t have as many new students in the Winter,” Daniels said. “There is one student orientation session
in the Winter compared to four or five in the Fall.” The winter weather also affects the types of student activities and events held on campus. “The Winter is more serene,” Daniels said. “It’s more laidback than the Fall.” Despite the growing number of students, cold weather, and the laidback atmosphere of the winter, students should expect the same amount of service from college employees. “We provide affective and personal service for students,” Daniels said. “I think everybody’s done a fantastic job of helping students get where they need to be for this semester.”
Increased enrollment raised revenue from contact hours, page 5
Earthquake in Haiti affects MCCC Brandy Werner Staff
Alex Babycz and Brian Lay traveled to Haiti to help a university set up a computer lab in Oct. 2008. Two years later, that university is a pile of rubble, and their Haitian friends have no place to go. On Jan. 12, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, leaving the country devastated. The quake triggered an international response from people all over the world interested in helping the impoverished country. Lay, manager of Information Systems, and Babycz, assistant professor of Construction Management, were among those at MCCC personally touched by the quake’s effects. “We were concerned for the people we knew there,” Babycz said. “And when we found out that the school had collapsed, we were saddened about that.” “But it wasn’t all lost,” Babycz added. “The computer lab had a year and a half of use, and no one (at the school) was hurt too bad.” The duo had traveled to Haiti with the group, Partners in Progress. While there, the group worked with the University of Fondwa to build them a computer lab. Prior to their visit, the school hadn’t
owned any computers. The group gave the school seven computers with available Internet access. They also installed solar panels on the roof of the university to power the computer lab. “Electricity was sparse,” Lay said. “They only had about two or three hours of electricity a day.” The purpose of their trip was to provide the Haitians in Fondwa with a “microenterprise,” Babycz said. “We wanted to train the Haitians to be able to install and maintain the systems so they could start their own business or share their knowledge,” he said. While there, Babycz taught the university students “basic electricity, wiring, the basics of solar panels and components, and how to maintain batteries,” he said. Lay trained students and faculty on the basics of computer operating systems. “I taught the faculty and staff how to set up and maintain a network,” he said. Babycz and Lay’s story was even featured on WTOL Channel 11 News on Jan. 22. The day of the earthquake, the University of Fondwa collapsed while school was in session. Students and faculty were able to escape the building with only minor injuries.
See Haiti, Page 8
Agora photo by Ashley LeTourneau
MCCC student Phil Costello fills out a Hand for Haiti after his donation. Student Government members such as Jacob McLaughlin, President (left), and Tara Hubbard, Secretary (right), have put time into collecting donations outside the cafeteria.
Learning Bank holds grand opening Ashley Hammer
“It’s about becoming a model, not just for the rest of the state, but for the rest of the country.”
The Learning Bank opened last week in East Monroe, providing area residents with an opportunity for a second chance. The Learning Bank is designed for students who dropped out of high school or who need extra skills to go on to college. It gives them a chance to get a GED and to prepare for higher education and a better job. The grand opening for the Learning Bank was Friday, Feb. 6, at the Arthur Lesow Community Center. The new school is located next to the center in a former Monroe Bank & Trust branch on East Chester Street. Even though the grand opening was last week, classes were able to open in the fall, using the Arthur Lesow center. Although remodeling of the Learning Bank building was not finished, officials started the classes, allowing as many students as they could fit in. The grand opening featured several heartwarming speeches. The audience got to hear of all the hard work that the
INSIDE: Editorial...................2 A&E..........................3 CampusNews.........4
Vuncia Council Learning Bank Coordinator
Agora photo by Ashley Hammer
The grand opening for the Learning Bank was Friday, Feb. 6, at the Arthur Lesow Community Center. The new school is located next to the center in a former Monroe Bank & Trust branch on East Chester Street.
founders put in to give students a chance at a better life, and then stories of the difficulties the students faced and how thankful they were to have a school to help them. The crowd turned teary as a former
Campus News.........5 Feature....................6 Feature....................7 Sports......................8
Enriching the students across Southeast Michigan
student told her story. She told of how she was so thankful for the opportunity she was given and of how welcome the teachers and staff made her feel. The accommodating scheduling the school offered was a great help, she
said, as well as the hope-filled community that supported her. “It’s about becoming a model, not just for the rest of the state, but for the rest of the country,” said Learning Bank Coordinator Vuncia Council, who spoke at the ceremony. Council got the crowd’s attention, speaking of her goals for the center and the community. She talked of dreams in seeing this country bettering itself, and how the Learning Bank is the start of moving forward. Other speakers included MCCC President David Nixon, State Sen. Randy Richardville and Trustee Linda Lauer.
The ceremony was followed by a procession over to the new building, where snacks including cookies and punch were provided. As it becomes more known, the Learning Bank is continuing to grow. It was filled to its capacity of 40 students before the grand opening even took place. Eight students already have passed half of their required tests this semester, getting closer to gaining their GED. The coordinators do everything in their power to accommodate students, Council said. Working around their schedule, weekly career counseling, and free tuition are just a few of the services offered the students. Partners in the Learning Bank include MCCC, the Arthur Lesow Community Center, the Bedford and Mason School Districts, SEMCA\Michigan Works, Monroe County ISD, City of Monroe, United Way, the Monroe County Library System, Monroe County Opportunities Program, the Salvation Army, Monroe County Opportunity System, City of Hope CDC and Monroe Bank and Trust.
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2 THE AGORA
February 11, 2010
What can Americans do to help Haiti? It is an ordinary day in Haiti. The sun rises across the sky, breathing light through the city of Port-au-Prince. The waves of the Caribbean crashing back into the ocean are heard in the ears of many. The people of Haiti begin their day as they do each morning. Children awake, some go to school while others play hopscotch in the streets. Women carry their newborn babies in a sling, across their chest, while they walk to the fresh fruits market. Men ready for work and set out for a new day. The day draws on, the sun beats down and at mid-afternoon the heat is saturated with humidity. The life of the Haitian people is in motion. The clock continues to tick, and as it strikes 4:53 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, their world is shattered. The 30 seconds it took you to read this was the amount of time in which thousands and thousands of people were killed with no warning. This catastrophic event occurred due to a 7.0 magnitude earthquake caused by the mantle shifting 8.1 miles below the Earth’s surface. As this happened, the city of Port-au-Prince, and miles surrounding it, were destroyed in a matter of seconds. The people of Haiti could go nowhere as buildings fell around them, on top of them and trapped not only others but in many cases themselves. They watched as their loved ones were crushed underneath walls, roofs and debris. They heard their own screams mix in with others around them and realized the terror of the pain - the physical,
Mary Rose Takacs Staff
emotional and spiritual pain of it all. Men could not save their wives. Women could not run to their children and wrap them in safety. And children could not aid their siblings. Nearly 100,000 inhabitants of Haiti were trapped under the buildings and debris. Two smaller earthquakes occurred two days later with one a 4.8 and the other a 4.9 magnitude. Since this time, over 51 aftershocks have occurred, causing the already fallen buildings to compound even more, crushing the people who were fighting to survive. It is estimated that over 250,000 people have been killed so far. An astounding 1 million people who survived are living on the tattered, torn, and crumbled streets. To imagine anyone going through this is heart-wrenching, let alone nearly half of a country’s population. I believe the only way we as Americans can relate to a sliver of this catastrophe is to look at Hurricane Katrina and the floods in Atlanta. We have felt and seen the destruction of these and known the death they have brought. To then relate in some way to the mag-
nitude of this death would be to look at and remember the thousands killed at Pearl Harbor and on 9/11. And yet these don’t meet it. There is also a difference in these, they were attacks on us, and for the Haitian people they do not have the privilege of attacking back like we did. The more amazing aspect of it all is that, despite the fear, sorrow and grief the Haitian people are facing, they have hope. They hold this hope because of the unending love they give to one another and the deep love they have for God. This is a major ingredient that will hold them through, but there are ways we can help as well. With such a horrific disaster it is only natural for us to want to help. Yet we need to remember it’s not about how we want to help them but how they need us to help them.
Mary Rose Takacs Staff
There are many organizations, people and fundraisers gathering supplies and financial funding for Haiti relief. Donate Medical Supplies and Funds Local churches • Gathering medical supplies and other basic needs of the Haitian people and financial donations to send to Haiti. • Crossroads on 23 is one of the dropoff sites for Haiti supplies and financial donations. You can log on www.crossroadson23.com for more information. The American Red Cross • Sending skilled workers and thousands of medical supplies
The biggest aid the country of Haiti, and those who survived need is the finances to rebuild and the medical supplies to beat the diseases and injuries they have and are incurring. Due to the amount of disaster, they have no means of housing us or feeding us if we individually or as teams went there. We need to leave it up to the Armed Services, the Red Cross, the Coast Guard and other organizations that specialize in and know how to work best in these catastrophic events. It is within our ability to give financially, though. I strongly encourage that we as Americans give what we can and not leave it up to our government to send funding the country doesn’t have. I know the economy is not grand, and it hasn’t been for some time now, but if we all give something it will make a difference. It can be as little as a dollar or five, • Public can help by donating financially or giving blood • Go to any of the American Red Cross buildings or their Web site www. redcross.org for more information. Sponsor Children: World Vision (WV) - It is an international sponsorship organization that is working with Haiti and the rescue workers to find out who of the children have been survived and who has not. • The surviving children are being placed in WV’s circulation of children to be sponsored. The cost of sponsoring a child is $35 a month. This money provides them with clean clothes, water, food, new clothes and an education. • Go to www.worldvision.org for
because in Haiti their average hourly minimum wage is 30 cents, according to thirdworldtravaler.com. If we each donated one dollar to Haiti we would be donating over $300 million. According to the U.S. Census there are over 300 million people living in the U.S. Can you imagine what $5, $10, or $20 could do for this awestricken country? It will give them a light at the end of the tunnel. Right now, they’re facing so many emotions and hurdles. If youe can only help in a financial way, I strongly encourage you to. In addition, it might seem cliché but pray. Pray for the country of Haiti, for the people, for the workers, because prayer is life changing. When we believe and ask, he is faithful, so please give whatever you are able and pray.
more information. Compassion International - a sponsorship organization • It is working to find those who survived • For $20.00 a month, a child will receive clean clothes, water and food. • Go to www.compassion.comfor more information. Adopt: Bethany Christian Services - wellknown international adoption agency • Check out www/bethany.org for more information. Lucas County Children’s Services - local adoption Agency • Check out www.co.lucas.oh.us for more information.
Smoking ban allows for cleaner air Jennifer Niswender Editor-in-Chief
Last month, the Michigan Legislature passed a statewide smoking ban that will eliminate smoking in public workplaces such as restaurants and bars. The law prohibits workers smoking in almost all workplaces, even restaurants and bars. There are some exceptions to the ban — tobacco stores, cigar bars, home offices, and motor vehicles. Smoking will be permitted on the gambling floor of the Detroit-area casinos. Michigan follows 37 states, including New York, California, and Illinois, to pass this law which will go into effect on May, 1 2010.
I think this law being passed is great for Michigan and I can’t wait to go out and come home without smelling like smoke. For years, I grew up around my grandparents, who smoked. I never realized how bad it smelled and how it affected me after my family moved out of my grandparent’s house. I thought I would be used to the smell, since I grew up around so many of my family members who smoke, but once I wasn’t around it every day. I couldn’t stand the smell. I still put up with it just like everyone else. I don’t let smoking choose what I can or can’t do, or where I can or can’t
go. But I do think places, such as bars and bowling alleys, often have a near-constant haze and aroma of cigarette smoke due to smoking, and everyone there is exposed to it, whether they like it or not. I think the law will encourage more non-smokers to come to bars and restaurants, if they know they will not be breathing in smoke or take its odor on their clothes on the way out. Smoke can irritate the lungs, throat and eyes, especially if people have breathing problems or other medical conditions, or simply aren’t used to the environment. Protesters of the bill say the ban can
hurt businesses and also that it infringes on individual freedoms. If smokers aren’t allowed to light up in bars like they always have been, they’ll stop going. Many people avoid bars strictly because they do not want to leave them smelling like smoke. There are also dozens of harmful and potentially fatal chemicals in cigarettes. This new ban will finally enable people who care about their health to go into public establishments without having to accept the inevitable stench, and dangers of smoke. The ever present haze of smoke makes food taste horrible, people less attractive, clothes smell bad, and children sick.
Valentine’s Day, smothered by gifts
Cartoon by Nicholas Wilson
Recently I’ve noticed how the age-old saying, “you can’t put a price on love,” is quickly slipping, and the cost of it is rising quickly, The suspected spending on an average Valentine’s gift for 2010 has risen to $162 in the 18-34 age range. Though the term “Hallmark Holiday” is widely used, people still rush out to buy valentines for partners, families, or even friends. For any parents, children in elementary school are even pushed to get cards for the members of their class. So though the estimate of $162 may seem like quite a bit, somewhere between the flowers, chocolates, and cards, the money adds up quickly. In a study done last year by Brand Keys, it was found that out of 24,000 adults ages 18-60, only 4 percent admitted to simply staying at home on Valentine’s Day. A nice restaurant bill for two could easily reach up to $40, but 55 percent of the adults in the Brand
‘Ask Suzi’ questions answered! Dear Drained:
Agora staff member Susan Banoski.
I am in my second year at college and only in the first month, and I’m totally drained. I don’t seem to have time for anything. I don’t feel very energetic at all for being in my late 20s. Do you know what I can do to get more energetic?
I have not been eating any different until my sister, who I spent the summer with decided to go holistic. when. She found out she had cancer and refused Chemotherapy. She started eating fresh veggies and hardly any meat, all fruits, and no junk. Since I didn’t want to tempt her with my bad eating habits, I went on this holistic diet with her for the month I was there. For the first time in my life, I started feeling great, and I dropped weight, too. When I got info from the USDA Healthy food groups, and made my own diet without fried foods and lots of fruits and veggies, I felt for the first time in my life like becoming a vegan. I still am testing this out and trying to stay in the healthy food groups. Try it. See how you feel and keep in touch.
Try this Web site for the USDA Pyramid. www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/ Fpyr/pmap.htm
You can direct your questions anonymously, or by using any first name you wish. Please feel free to ask any question you have, and I will do my best to help find answers to life’s most difficult questions. E-mail your questions to “Ask Suzi” at sbanoski@ my.monroeccc.edu.
teddy bears, gift cards, and jewelry can cost an easy $100 before even noticing the money slip out of your wallet. So though I can’t offer any complaints to the cheery air and happy lovebirds, I started wondering if the idea behind Valentine’s Day has been hidden by the pressure for fancy gifts.
At the end of the day what’s most important is happiness, and a $30 necklace or $20 assorted chocolates should really be the least of your worries. Valentine’s Day is a time for showing appreciation and love; no one should have to go broke doing it.
$15.00 $45.00 $40.00 $20.00 $120.00
Morgan Hofbauer Designer
Key study said they enjoy a dinner date to celebrate the holiday. And though a typical movie ticket is roughly ten dollars a person, 35 percent of couples go to the big screen to see the latest romantic comedy or horror flick. Dinner and a movie date night is already up to $60 dollars, and that doesn’t even cover a gift. The wide array of chocolates, roses,
The Agora Staff Members Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Niswender Assistant Editor Andrew Hoppert Web Editor Danny Shaw Photographers Symone Thomas Ashley LeTourneau Designers Mary Rose Takacs Marissa Beste Morgan Hofbauer Adviser Dan Shaw
Valentines Cards One dozen roses Dinner for two at Olive Garden Two movie tickets Total
Copy Editors Brandy Werner Asia Rapai Staff Susan Banoski Ashley Hammer Carla Crockett
Dollar store/Homemade cards Three to five roses Dessert and Drinks Two matinee movie tickets Total
$5.00 $15.00 $15.00 $12.00 $47.00
The Agora Editorial Policy The Agora is published by the students of Monroe County Community College, 1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe, MI, 48161. The editorial office is located in Room 202 of the Life Sciences Bldg., (734) 384-4186, email@example.com. Editorial policy: Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of The Agora staff. Signed columns represent the opinion of the writer. All letters to the editor must include a signature, address and phone number for verification purposes. The Agora reserves the right to edit for clarity, accuracy, length and libel. The Agora is a studentmanaged newspaper that supports a free student press and is a member of
the Michigan Community College Press Association, the Michigan Collegiate Press Association, the Michigan Press Association, College Media Advisers, Associated Collegiate Press and the Student Press Law Center. Story suggestions are welcome. Let us know what you’d like to see in The Agora - it’s your newspaper. Submissions of stories or photos also are welcome. E-mail them to agora@ monroeccc.edu or bring them to our office.
THE AGORA 3 A&E 2010 brings hit gaming sequels February 11, 2010
Software entertainment has grown from a niche in the computer industry to being a multibillion dollar corporate titan. Games have evolved from simple pleasures of navigating through colored lines to interactive movies where the player’s choices affect the overall experience. Here are some of 2010’s most anticipated sequels. By Danny Shaw, Web Editor
W h e n Final Fantasy developer Square Enix first R E L E A S E announced “Final Fantasy D A T E : XIII” will be on both Xbox 360 and 3.9.2010 Playstation 3 on the same day, gamers everywhere rejoiced. The cinematic movies and original turn-based gameplay are taken to a new level for XIII. The Japan-exclusive demo proved, once again, the team at Square Enix knows how to make a toptier game. Combining frenetic action, a slew of new and interesting characters, and an outlandish style, XIII will bring gamers from all genres dishing out $60 in March.
If the recently released demo is any indication, “God R E L E A S E of War III” will be one of this D A T E : year’s most action-packed, 3.16.2010 fast-paced and violent games on the Playstation 3. Taking place just after the climax of the second title, Kratos is on a warpath to the top of Mount Olympus to seek revenge on the gods. Combining the classic button mashing gamers have grown to love from the series, and some impressive visuals, “God of War III” is guaranteed to be a must-have for PS3 owners.
Microsoft’s Halo series has been a staple in gaming’s greatR E L E A S E est hits since its launch in 2001. D A T E : It is the most sold, most Sept.2010 played online, and one of the most recognizable firstperson shooters to be released. In “Halo: Reach,” players will be taking control of a Spartan, a futuristic super-soldier, three decades before the first title to defend the planet Reach from the Covenant. Bungie Studios is bringing more action and chaos by increasing the number of enemies, weapons and vehicles in any given level.
The Lovely Bones: Did imagery mask horror? Morgan Hofbauer Staff
The visual effects in Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones” were unmistakably imaginative, but the argument grew whether the movie was too toned down compared to the novel. Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) stars as Susie Salmon, a 14-year-old girl who was murdered before getting the chance to experience her teenage life. While residing in the Inbetween, she struggles to make contact with her family, and forget the horrors of her last moments alive. After her death, her family copes with their loss in their own ways, while Susie watches from afar. Alice Sebold’s novel did not seem to get justice through Peter Jackson’s on-screen retelling. Instead of leaving the brutal elements that made the book so bittersweet, Jackson covered them with a toned down, teen-friendly edition either to maintain a PG13 rating, or to stop the movie before the length became unbearable. In the book, Susie is raped, murdered and disfigured after her death. In the film, it only hints towards her murder and the actual act is left off-screen. Though the novel persisted on the topics of life after death, and good triumphing over the worst kinds of evil, the movie seemed to rely more-so
on the special effects. The Inbetween is portrayed magnificently, but it seems to be the main priority of the film. Remember of course Jackson’s other films were Lord of the Rings, King Kong, and District 9. The acting overall was good when the opportunity for emotional aspects were given. Mark Wahlberg (Max Payne; The Happening) and Rachel Weisz (Definitely Maybe; Constantine) portray Susie’s grieving parents who begin to fall apart after their daughter’s death. Susie’s sister, played by Rose McIver (The Piano; Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board) and Wahlberg, offer the vengeful side of the family who thrive for justice for Susie’s murderer. Though these characters had such potential, the movie offered little character development. Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada; Julie & Julia) portrays the serial murderer exceptionally. The suspense and terror his character offers adds the little bit of horror that the film holds. Susan Sarandon also stars in the film as Susie’s eccentric, alcoholic grandmother. The major use of this character mid-way through the movie seemed like a poor attempt for comic relief. It left some viewers wondering, ‘So what does this have to do with the plot line?’ It took away a lot of the tragedy and seriousness that should have remained bitter if it was to follow the book’s dramatics. Though I personally would only rate the movie a
Angel-filled apocolypse fails to impress audience Ashley Hammer Staff
What happens when the one person you can turn to when hope is gone, has already lost hope himself? What happens when God wants you dead? God has lost faith in mankind and is calling for extermination. This is description of the new release, “Legion.” Sounds pretty cool, huh? Unfortunately, this cool idea failed terribly as the movie let down viewers with predictable story lines and a supposedly action film that lacked quite a bit of action. The previews were completely misleading and spoiled many of the exceptional parts. This new apocalyptic thriller, directed by Scott Stewart and budgeted around $26 million, brought in around $17.5 million its opening weekend. Starring Paul Bettany, Lucas Black and Adrianne Palicki, this film had viewers leaving their seats disappointed, as this action film that had created such high expectations did not live up to its “angelic” hype. The story discussed a world that was more or less dead. People who filled the lands were disheartening, grim, angry and in God’s eyes, pointless. God’s right-hand-man, Michael the archangel, did not agree with God’s decision, and still having faith in humanity, single-handedly he went to fight off the waves of danger that were being sent to kill an unborn child. Coincidentally, the eight-month pregnant mother of this child had been planning to put the baby up for adoption, and, sadly, did not want anything to do with the kid. The apocalypse was coming, and God was sending his legion of angels to destroy the humans. The hope of the human race lied in the hands of a small abandoned town, where the depressed mother, unborn baby, and few others were currently located. First of all, the movie is not very realistic, as it is very unlikely that god would be unable to overcome this group of around six ordinary people and a fallen angel. It is even more unlikely that this huge army of possessed human bodies and angels would ever give up when the odds were in their favor. It’s just not believable that a whole army can’t fight off a group of inexperienced fighters to kill a baby the mother doesn’t even care about. Even though such a great story idea had been created, it unfortunately failed as many questions throughout the movie were left unanswered. The many promised fight scenes extinguished quickly, never happened or were quite unfulfilling. With the graphic and detailed deaths and cool ideas, the movie had great potential and perhaps if extended from its hour and a half time length, the movie could have developed into something awesome.
six out of 10, MCCC student Liz Sprow had a different opinion on the film. “It was a really good movie. It was extremely morbid on how the serial killer entrapped his victims, but overall it gives a good lesson for younger adults,” Sprow said. “The acting was really good, Saoirse Ronan especially. She portrayed that tormented soul as she made peace with how the serial killer stole her life and took everything from her. That was an extremely emotional part and I think she did it very well at such a young age.” According to Sprow, Jackson’s visual effects did not let her down. “The graphics were definitely breathtaking. Very imaginative, very creative how everything was established in the Inbetween,” she said. “When her world in the Inbetween is starting to fall apart as her body is getting disposed of, that was a really interesting construction of things.” Sprow concluded with her own personal rating of the movie. “I would rate it five out of five, easily.” Movie viewers who have not read the novel will most likely find “The Lovely Bones” a dark, but hopeful, worthwhile two-plus hours. However, lovers of the book may be in for a disappointment.
4 THE AGORA Campus News
February 11, 2010
Workshop helps students with resumes Jennifer Niswender Editor-in-chief
Many people are out of work searching for a job right now. Some have decided to go back to school in order to acquire the skills they need for a permanent job. When hiring, one of the first things companies look at is the resume. If you need help preparing your resume or want help with your current resume, the Office of Workforce Development is holding three sessions to help with just that. The sessions are all free; however, you must register to attend these sessions. You can call 734-384-4127 to register. During the sessions you will learn how to create a resume, clean up your current
“Your resume is your first impression, just on paper. It is important now more than ever to be confident with your resume writing abilities.” — Tara Hubbard Student Government
resume, format a resume, approaches, and what skills, work, and education to include in your resume. Interviewing also will be covered. “These sessions are an excellent opportunity to create a resume and go over a resume. After sessions, I will be happy
to sit down and critique someone’s resume,” Barry Kinsey, Director of Workforce Development, said. Student Government is also sponsoring the event. “Unfortunately, there is no such thing as job security anymore, so you never
know when you could be confronted with having to write a resume,” said Tara Hubbard, Student Government chair of the event. “It is important for people of every age to have the skills that will help a resume stand out. Your resume is your first impression, just on paper. It is important now more than ever to be confident with your resume writing abilities,” Hubbard said. If you have any questions about the workshops, or topics such as job searching and interviewing techniques, you can visit the Office of Workforce Development in room Z-286 of the LaZ-Boy Center. Or visit their Web site at http://www.monroeccc.edu/ccs/employme.htm.
Three sessions scheduled: Tuesday, Feb. 16, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 9, from noon to 1:30 p.m. All sessions in La-Z-Boy Center Room Z-260.
MCCC celebrates MLK Day Exhibits, music, discussions highlight day Brandy Werner Staff
What does diversity mean to you? This prompt was displayed on a poster board outside MCCC’s cafeteria Jan. 18. All passers-by had the chance to add their voice to the collection of answers on the display. MCCC President David Nixon answered the prompt with, “Working hand in hand with people different from us.” “Diversity is how different groups of people can come together, socialize, and be a part of something bigger than themselves,” Jennifer Moyer, MCCC student, wrote. The display was set up as a part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Diversity and Volunteer Fair. “We (MCCC Diversity Committee) planned this event to celebrate MLK’s birthday and what he did for civil rights,” Molly McCutchan, MCCC director of Human Resources, said. One of the events featured was a performance by blues guitarist Paul Miles, a five-time Detroit music award winner. Miles performed from noon to 1 p.m. in MCCC’s cafeteria. Another feature was the Diversity and Volunteer fair, where different organizations set up informational booths in the Administration building. The fair, McCutchan explained, was tri-fold. “One group of tables (inside the cafeteria) are volunteer organizations throughout the Monroe County area,” she said. “We did this because Martin Luther King Jr. represented service and volunteerism, and we wanted to do something for that.” The volunteer organizations represented included the American Red Cross, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and Habitat for Humanity. The other two parts were the diversity fair and tables representing various clubs on campus, including Student Government and the International Studies club. Each MCCC student organization’s table reflected how they promote diversity,
Blues guitarist Paul Miles, a fivetime Detroit music award winner, performs in MCCC’s cafeteria on Martin Luther King Jr. Day as part of the MLK Day of Service Diversity and Volunteer Fair.
Agora photo by Brady Werner
McCutchan said. “In International Studies club, we learn about diverse cultures and different countries,” Jennifer Moyer, a club member, said. The day’s events also included a showing and discussion of Martin Luther King
MCCC Broadcasting Club
Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream,” led by MCCC professor Tiffany Wright. The A-building doors leading to the main campus hosted another of the day’s displays, called “Working Hand in Hand with People Different from Us,” where participants could sign a handprint and tape it to the doors. The doors were cov-
Outstanding faculty award
ered with a variety of colorful handprints to symbolize unity. Throughout the day, there was one central theme: diversity. “To me, diversity is what keeps this world exciting. Diversity is all around us. MCCC is a place of diversity,” said
Chelsey McMillan, MCCC student and member of the Student Nurses Association. “We have older students, younger students, in between, black, white, tall, thin, blonde hair, gray hair, nursing students, art students, business majors.” “Without diversity, the world would just be black and white.”
Outstanding faculty award
Students, we need your input Nominations for the 2009-2010 Outstanding Faculty Award
Next meeeting: Feb. 25 - 7.30 p.m. Subway @ M50 & Telegraph
Criteria Leadership • Knowledge • Interest • Fairness • Integrity Who can be nominated? Full-time faculty • Part-time faculty (Which includes instructors, librarians, counselors and administrators)
Who can nominate? Current MCCC Students • Administrators • Faculty • Staff COMPLETED NOMINATION FORMS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY Monday, February 22, 2010 2009 – 2010 nomination online form located at www.monroeccc.edu
February 11, 2010
Blood drive tops October’s record
Campus-hosted drive produces enough to save up to 249 lives Morgan Hofbauer Staff
A Red Cross blood drive hosted by MCCC Jan. 21 received 83 units of donated blood, topping last year’s campus record by 13 units. Thanks to 73 donors, including several double-red donors, up to 249 lives can be saved. Everything went smoothly except for the occasional delay, MCCC Student Government Representative Katey Strube said. “There was a long wait at different times, but from last year, the Red Cross actually upped the number of beds,” Strube said. “We got six this year, compared to the four last semester.” For beds and staffing, the Red Cross goes by an estimate of the expected amount of people coming in. This year the goal was 50, which is 10 more than October’s blood drive. “They have to go on an average of the last three drives,” Strube explained. “Last March we only got 30 donations. This time we had about 30 before noon, so we should have even more beds for the next drive.” Julie Rhinehart, community outreach specialist for the Red
Cross, also commented on the continued success and expectations of the MCCC donations. “This drive is coming along fantastic,” Rhinehart said. “In March of 2009 only 36 units were collected. Then in October of 2009, there were 70.” Annie Marckel, communications manager for the Red Cross, said she felt the involvement of Student Government is to thank for the increase in donors. “They have just been tremendous in their efforts in recruiting donors for the community college blood drive,” Marckel said. “Before their involvement, we’d get about 35-40 units of blood, which is a great blood drive and we definitely can’t complain, but since they’ve been involved the drives are seeing between 80-90 units of blood donated. It’s been a great partnership, and we’re hoping that that trend will continue.” As an extra inducement, there were also two drawings for $25 Meijer gift cards. “Student government actually pulled it from our own funds,” Katey Strube said. “We voted on it and decided to go through with it for another incentive to get people to come.” Winners of the gift cards were
MCCC students Tracie Trouten and Brian Baylor. Even though the blood drive was considered successful, Rhinehart reaffirmed how consistent the demand for blood truly is. “The need is always, always great,” Rhinehart said. “Ninetyseven percent of the world’s population will have received a blood transfusion by the age of 75, yet only 5 percent of the population actually donates.” For any needle-phobics, Barton Blossom, a Red Cross staff member working the event, gave a word of reassurance.
“It’s pretty much a painless process. Just a little tiny stick and, like I said, it’ll save up to three lives. So we really appreciate those who come in.” MCCC student Carly Patel gave blood despite the dislike of sharp objects. “I’m scared of needles, but I’m not afraid to donate,” Patel said. For anyone who did not go to the drive, but is still interested in donating, the Red Cross Web site, www.arc-monroe.org, has a complete list of all upcoming events. MCCC also will host another Red Cross blood drive in March.
Donation Procedure 1. Check-in: Sign up. Show a valid photo ID or a Red Cross donor’s card. 2. Brief Physical Exam: Answer questions about health history. Blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature are taken. Hemoglobin test to check iron level.
3. Donation: Arm is sanitized. Approximately one pint is obtained. Process takes roughly 7-10 minutes. 4. Canteen Area: Snacks are provided. Rest for a few minutes. You’re free to go.
Source: Communications Manager of the Red Cross Annie Marckel
Agora photo by Ashley LeTourneau
MCCC sophomore Melissa Byrd prepares to donate blood at the drive.
Ceiling on contact hours proposed Asia Rapai Staff
MCCC’s Board of Trustees was asked to put a ceiling on the number of contact hours paid by students at its meeting Jan. 25. Trustee Linda Lauer made the proposal. “I am trying to get other trustees to think about it,” Lauer said. “I didn’t feel much support.” She first voiced this concern at the board meeting in October. Her concern grew when more revenue than expected was brought in by the billable contact hour system for the Fall and Winter semester, Lauer said. To balance the budget, MCCC needed to receive $600,000 from the change to contact hour billing, MCCC President David Nixon said. The combined enrollment from the Fall and Winter semester brought in almost $815,000 from contact hours, Lauer said. “More revenue than we expected is positive; that’s great,” Trustee Bill Braunlich said. “We estimated conservatively.”
One cause for the increase in the number of paid contact hours is the growing enrollment numbers. Another headcount was done on Jan. 21 - the end of the 100 percent refund period for dropped classes. The headcount determined there are 4,562 MCCC students this semester. The number of students has grown 5 percent since last Winter, which is a smaller amount than was reported on the first day of classes, Registrar Paul Schmidt said. Compared to other Michigan community colleges, MCCC’s growth in enrollment is relatively low, President Nixon said. Nixon said he is satisfied with the college’s enrollment numbers. “Most people don’t realize that more credit hours doesn’t mean more funding from the state,” he said. “Michigan doesn’t reward community colleges in that way.” Nixon said the number of MCCC students is manageable. “We would rather be able to manage our growth. Otherwise we wouldn’t be
able to serve all of the students,” he said. The growth in students also led to a 9.5 percent increase in the number of credit hours this semester, Schmidt said. “This means we have to hire more adjuncts to teach the extra classes,” Nixon said. He also said full-time faculty members have taken on more classes to help with the increasing number of credit hours. “When they teach extra classes, it’s like overtime for faculty, which leads to more expenses,” Nixon said. “They are teachers providing education; that is important.” One expense is the 80 percent of revenue that pays for MCCC employee salaries and benefits, Nixon said. Before March, The Board of Trustees will need to determine whether or not to raise tuition next year. “If I had to say what the outcome would be right now, I don’t think we will have to,” Nixon said. “This is possible because of the switch to contact hours.” The decision is based on several factors; one being the amount of state funding the college will receive.
“We will need to call an extra study meeting to discuss Michigan’s financial situation before we make any decisions on tuition,” Nixon said. Lauer said a limit on contact hours would help the small number of students who had to pay the largest increase. If, for example, the difference between credit hours and billable contact hours was capped at eight, it could cut out about 15 contact hours for several students. “That translates to a loss of about $30,000 for the college, which in the scheme of things is not that much money for the school,” Lauer said. “The college is working with almost $26 million.” She said she is concerned for students in the health care field specifically because of their large increase in the cost of tuition. “I think anytime you make a policy change you need to monitor the outcome,” Lauer said. “In physical therapy, we do that all the time.” Lauer said her concern for the students comes from her professional background. She is the owner and chief therapist of Holistic Physical Therapy.
She added that she understands the high cost of schooling related to the health care field, because she studied health care in college. “Not only do these students have to worry about tuition and books, but they have to pay for very expensive medical books, health insurance, medical equipment, driving to clinical, and much, much more,” Lauer said. The cost of schooling for many health care programs, such as nursing, has increased with the switch to contact hours, but President Nixon said this is a way to manage the competitive field. “The health care programs are in the greatest demand because of jobs,” he said. Nixon said that because these programs are so competitive, charging tuition by billable contact hours is a way to manage the large number of students applying. “If students can’t pay the premium price for a high-end program, someone else on the waitlist might be willing to,” he said. “In comparison to other Michigan colleges, we still offer lower prices for these
Karate Kick-A-Thon March 20, 2010 2:00 pm The Mall of Monroe Jim Turnquist
Fundraiser held by Martial Arts Fitness Center Kicking goal 50,000 by MAFC Demo Team
Student Government Next Meeting: Tuesday, February 23 Time: 12:30 p.m. Location: Student Government room, back of the Cellar in the Administration Building.
6 THE AGORA
On a mission... Blues Brothers Revue rocks Meyer Theater with Belushi and Aykroyd’s classic style Susan Banoski Staff
The Blues Brother played to a full house Jan. 23 at the Meyer Theater. A lively crowd of all ages seemed to have a marvelous time as performers Wayne Catania and Kieron Lafferty – playing the legendry Jake and Elwood Blues – brought their Official Blues Brothers Revue to MCCC for a night. Catania and Lafferty had been doing a Blues Brothers routine when they were spotted by Judy Belushi Pisano, the widow of the late John Belushi. She was impressed by their performance and decided to bring them aboard as the new Blues Brothers. Belushi and Dan Aykroyd created the characters for Saturday Night Live in 1978, then made the characters famous in a 1980 movie. Belushi’s widow asked Catania and Lafferty to take over as the “official” Blues Brothers act. The pair now is working on a pilot for a TV show based on the concept, Lafferty said. Greg Vaden is a 44-year-old bass player for the five-piece band that tours with the Blues Brothers Revue. He enjoys being part of the high-energy performances, Vaden said. Student Government President Jacob McLaughlin worked at the show and was pleased with the high energy Catania and Lafferty brought to the Meyer Theater. “The performers were good and had the crowd rockin’,” McLaughlin said. Former MCCC student Sharon Miller of Adrian was ecstatic over the show. “I especially loved the part when Belushi did a cartwheel when he came on stage,” Miller said. “(It was great) when the guy kept playing the Above: Jake (Wayne harmonica even after he fell, it just was one of Catania) and Elwood the best shows I’ve seen in a long time,” Miller Blues (Kieron Lafsaid. ferty) dance together Her friend Mark Conklin, also an Adrian during their concert at resident, participated in the dance contest the Meyer Theater. and won a bar of soap. Left: Elwood sings for the audience with the same “We had an awesome night at the Blues passion and electricity that Aykroyd brought to each concert. Brothers Concert,” Miller said. Right: Jake gets up close and personal with the front row,
Agora photos by Symone Thomas
Members of the audience are brought on stage to join in the music and relive the intensity and fun the Blues Brothers brought to the stage.
February 11, 2010
7 MCCC speaks out about new law February 11, 2010
College reacts to smoking ban in Michigan Carla Crockett Staff
From restaurants in Monroe to the MCCC campus, Michigan’s smoking ban is getting students talking. “I just think people should be able to smoke wherever they want,” MCCC Freshman Kellie Lane said “Why change it now?” The new law is set to start May 1. It bans smoking in all public places in Michigan except for Detroit casinos, cigar bars, tobacco stores, home offices, and vehicles. Some smokers have said they won’t eat in a restaurant if they can’t smoke there. “It may lower profits for some businesses at first, but people will get over it, MCCC Senior Donald Traviss said. The reason for the smoking law is to cut down on health risks, especially in the
Agora Photo by Ashley LeTourneau
MCCC’s smoking policy was adopted to extinguish cigarettes on campus by August 2010.
workplace. Lung cancer affects 21,000 people in the U.S each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Michigan is joining 37 states that have a smoking ban already. The United States isn’t the only country with smoking bans.
An estimated 92 countries have some type of smoking ban. An estimated 443,600 people die as a
result of tobacco related illnesses in the U.S each year, according to the American Cancer Society. The state will enforce the law by making sure there are “no smoking” signs. The fine for the first offense is $100, and the second is $500. “I’m for it, I hate that everyone I know smokes,” MCCC Freshman Jasmine Moser said. MCCC has been slowly banning smoking from the premises, even before the law was passed. In the first year, smoking was to be 20 feet away from any campus building. “MCCC is in the second year of a three-year plan to phase in the elimination of smoking on campus,” Dr. David Nixon, MCCC president, said. “MCCC was ahead of the state in this regard.” The policy was proposed by the college’s Health and Safety Committee. “They discussed it for two years before we took it to the Trustees for approval,” Nixon said. Nixon said he knows of a couple of students who benefitted from the policy. “Best thing that happened to them at MCCC was that they quit smoking,” he said.
See SMOKING BAN, Page 2
Student Clubs and Organizations
Purpose: to pursue the ideas of liberty, justice, and freedom for all regardless of race, religion or sex, through the support of the Democratic Party and its ideas, ideals, and candidates. Contact: Sara Sweat
The Agora Student Newspaper www.mcccagora.com
College/Community Symphony Band
Purpose: to raise funds to facilitate opportunities for field trips and networking opportunities for the second year members of the Culinary Purpose: open to instrumentalists having previous music experience. Skills and Management Program. Members must be enrolled in the CuMembership includes college students and citizens from the commu- linary Skills and Management program to be legible to join this club. nity. The band performs for college functions and concerts as well as Contact: Chef Kevin Thomas (734) 384-4150 for community programs. Admission is by application and audition to the director. Contact: Mark Felder (734) 289-5555
Phi Theta Kappa - Tau Omichron Chapter
Purpose: To distribute a monthly paper and daily Web site produced by students enrolled in journalism classes under the guidance of Faculty Adviser Dan Shaw and student editors. Often the recipient of state awards, the Agora reports on school events and other issues of interest to the college community. Contact: Dan Shaw (734) 384-4296.
Purpose: international honor society for two-year colleges. Membership in Phi Theta Kappa is by invitation to all students who achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 and have earned at least 12 semester hours at MCCC. Designated scholarships for members, totaling $36 million, are offered by some 600 four-year colleges and universities. Contact: Cheryl Kehrer (734) 384-4106.
College/Community Agora Choral Purpose: a mixed ensemble comprised of singers from the community and the college. The Chorale presents no less than two concerts each semester, both on and off campus. Contact: John Tyner (734) 241-1793
Broadcasting Club – Dream 97.5 Radio Station
The Culinary Club
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning
Respiratory Therapy Students’ Organization www.monroeccc.edu/health_sciences/rtclub/index.htm
Purpose: open to all students who have been accepted to the RespiraPurpose: to provide a strong, supportive community on campus to tory Therapy Program increase tolerance and to provide resources to LGBTQ students and Contact: Bonnie Boggs (734) 384-4268 those wishing to learn more about LGBTQ issues & culture. The club Purpose: open to all students interested in producing television pro- shall attempt to provide a discussion forum about topics relevant to LGBTQ student and allies. The club also wants to host events & activities grams about the students, staff, and events at MCCC. to provide a fun social outlet for LGBTQ students. Contact: Milward Beaudry (734) 265-3549. Purpose: to introduce and promote the sport of soccer to the college Contact: Jerry Morse (734) 384-4318; firstname.lastname@example.org and to promote health and physical fitness. Contact: Allan Thom (734) 384-4266.
Lambda Alpha Nu
Student Government www.monroeccc.edu/stgovt/.
Purpose: to bridge the gap between those students who participated in high school sports and those students who wish to participate in uniPurpose: to promote leadership, social interaction, enhance career versity sports. The club also strives to provide the means for student experience, develop networks and promote teamwork. bowler athletes to stay physically fit and active during their collegiate Contact: William Hilliker (734) 384-4148 studies. Club meets weekly at Nortel Lanes and is coached by an USBC Purpose: by supporting student organizations and planning exciting Silver Level Coach. campus activities, MCCC Student Government works to create a fun atmosphere that fosters a community feeling among students. ParticipaContact: Rick Hubbert (734) 384-4144 tion in these types of organizations and activities can be a great way to Rebecca R. Keegan email@example.com develop leadership skills and enhance the college experience. Contact: Tom Ryder (734) 384-4201; firstname.lastname@example.org Purpose: Open to students with interests in astronomy, biology, chemistry, ecology/enviromnemtal science, mathematics, physics and general science. Contact: Lori Bean (734) 384-4131.
International Studies Club http://www.freewebs.com/mcccinternationalrelations/
Math and Science Society www.monroeccc.edu/mass
Student Nurse Association (SNA)
Purpose: to promote the study and awareness of other countries and cultural issues. Members hold fundraisers, social events, awarePurpose: Open to all students who have been accepted into the ness events, and go on field trips. Recent club activities involve raising money for Swazi AIDS orphans, attending a lecture by the Dalai Lama, Nursing Program and visiting the United Nations in New York City. Contact: Bonnie Welniak (734) 384-4248. Contact: Dr. Joanna Sabo (734) 384-4297; email@example.com
OASIS Christian Fellowship and Bible Study Group www.monroeccc.edu/oasis/
Teachers of Tomorrow
Purpose: an approved student-run organization at Monroe County Community College. Oasis is not affiliated with any church or denomiPurpose: open to all students who are interested in pursuing a career nation. The purpose of Oasis is to provide a means for students to study in the field of education. The club will offer a variety of professional, the Bible, to share their beliefs, and to share their ideas with others in social and advocacy activities of interest to future educators. the group Contact: Tiffany Wright firstname.lastname@example.org Contact: Brenda Kraus (734) 242-7300, extension 5772
The Newman Club Purpose: to live in accordance with and promote the justice and charity of Jesus Christ on campus and community. The source of this way is Christian revelation, sacred scripture and tradition, as authentically interpreted and taught by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, the Pope and those bishops who are in union with the Pope. The inspiration of the Catholic Newman Club comes from the lives of the saints, men and women outstanding in holiness who witnessed to God’s unchanging love. Contact: Bill McCloskey (734) 384-4336 or Mark Bergmooser (734) 384-4281.
How to Start a Club Contact: Student Activities Coordinator Tom Ryder (734) 384-4201; email@example.com.
Volleyball Club www.monroeccc.edu/volleyball/.
The Purpose: to play volleyball, organize tournaments and play with the ALCC Leagues. Contact: Sue Wetzel (734) 384-4206
Society of Automotive Engineers www.monroeccc.edu/formulasae/ Purpose: Open to students of all majors. SAE team designs, fabricates, and races a formula style racecar. Contact: Don Kehrer (734) 384-4117
February 11, 2010
Dream 97-5 focuses on sports radio
Radio Lab III throws three students into the world of play-by-play Marissa Beste Staff
“Okay, we are connected and ready to go!” Milward Beaudry said after hooking up the last cords of the microphones and headsets to their power supplies. The three MCCC students took their positions on the upper level of Monroe High School’s gym. They picked up their headsets and microphones, getting straight to work as Monroe’s varsity girls basketball team began to play. Ben Fleming, Garrison Diehl, and Andrew Hoppert are Beaudry’s Advanced Radio Lab III students. Their job consists of broadcasting local basketball, hockey, and football games for
Monroe County on MCCC’s radio station, Dream 97-5, WYDM. “I enjoy seeing my students get excited about broadcasting the games,” Beaudry said. Beaudry has been teaching radio and television broadcast at MCCC since 2003. This is the first semester a radio communications course is focusing on sports. “We are working with Monroe Public Schools to cover their sporting events,” Beaudry said. Fleming, Diehl, and Hoppert are enjoying their experiences broadcasting the local sports games. “It’s just fun,” Fleming said before the
game. “This is one of my favorite things to do.” Fleming has been taking communications classes at MCCC since he started in the Fall of 2008. He thinks this will be his last semester at MCCC, and is considering transferring to Eastern Michigan University to continue studying broadcasting. For Diehl, going into broadcast journalism has been a dream of his for a long time. He began taking broadcast courses last fall, when he started at MCCC. He has enjoyed the classes and made new friends as well. Along with broadcasting Monroe High’s basketball games, Garrison also does games at SMCC for fun and the extra experience. He plans on pursuing a career in broadcast journalism. Hoppert has
been involved with Dream 97-5 since his sophomore year at Monroe High School. So far he has broadcast four seasons of football and is in his third season of broadcasting basketball games. Students who are interested in trying out their broadcast skills can get a feel for the job without taking a communications class by joining MCCC’s Broadcasting Club. “The club helps promote events going on at the college and in the community,” Beaudry said. Beaudry also said the club allows students to explore broadcasting and see if it is something they would like to do. Club members will get to be on the air and do remote broadcast, but have limitations to what they can do without taking the MCCC courses. Students interested in radio or television broadcasting courses or who are interested in joining the broadcasting club can contact Milward Beaudry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone intested in joining should contact Milward Beaudry or any of the officers. Meetings are at7p.m.
(From left) Ben Flemming, Garrison Diehl, and Andrew Hoppert give play by play on the Monroe High girls Winterfest basketball game against Saline on Jan. 22.
Jessica Werstein - President Andrew Hoppert - Vice President Alan McKee - Secretary Julie Bogi - Treasurer The next meeting will take place on Feb. 25 at7 p.m. in the Subway located at M-50 and Telegraph Rd.
Agora photo by Marissa Beste
Earthquake in Haiti affects MCCC Continued from page 1 After the quake, they walked to the nearest city—a distance of about 15-20 miles. Babycz and Lay learned of the destruction through a text message sent by a professor at the university. The quake occurred 15 miles west of the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The city of Fondwa is located 35 miles west of Port-au-Prince. “There’s so much devastation, so many deaths, and you just have to imagine the worst,” Lay said. “I hope that they can pull their lives back together and recover and reuse what was there. Because they were trained, they might be able to salvage some of the equipment and reuse it.” The earthquake personally touched other MCCC employees as well. Jo Ellen Locher, assistant professor of English, saw her niece, a four-year medical student, travel to Haiti after the quake and wanted to do something to help.
“I had read about Haiti when I was in college,” Locher said. “They had said that it was the poorest nation in the world and showed pictures of the extreme poverty there. It was always a country that I had an interest in.” Locher collected supplies like bottled water, personal hygiene items, and canned goods in a box outside her office to deliver to ISOH/IMPACT, ������������������������� an organization that sends relief supplies to disaster-struck areas. ISOH ships donations via freighter, so the supplies reach Haiti faster than if flown in. So far Locher has received enough donations to give ISOH six “trunk loads” of contributions, including two from outside MCCC. “One man from a local church gave 1,500 to 2,000 tubes of toothpaste all boxed and ready to go,” she said. “Now that they’re getting food and water in to people, the need has shifted from food and water to things like money, shoes, medical supplies, painkillers, crutches, and sleeping bags,” Locher said. Medical supplies seem to be the country’s major need.
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“Their hospital is more like a first aid unit,” Locher said in an e-mail asking MCCC employees to help with the Haitian effort. “They don’t have fancy CT scan and MRI equipment to help those who are desperately ill.” “I hope people don’t forget that rebuilding this country is going to take years.” Locher is inspired by the people of Haiti’s resolve in the midst of this disaster. “The people just have such a wonderful spirit; it’s just inspiring,” she said. MCCC’s Student Government is also getting involved in the effort to aid Haiti. They will be hosting a fundraiser called, “A Hand for Haiti” through Feb. 4. During the fundraiser, people can purchase a cutout of a hand and write a message
of hope for the people of Haiti on it. The hands will be displayed on windows around campus. “All monies collected go directly to the people of Haiti either through the American Red Cross, Partners in Progress, or Partners in Health,” Thomas Ryder, Events and Student Activities coordinator at MCCC, said. All of these efforts seek to offer the country of Haiti one thing: hope. “We are just hopeful that from the devastation they can move forward,” Brian Lay said. “It’s going to be a very difficult, very tough, very long journey.” Jacob McLaughlin and Tara Hubbard work the Hands for Haiti table. Agora photo by Ashley LeTourneau