Horror movies for Halloween
Unexpected visitor at ArtPrize
One Book One Community book announced
Page 4 Oct. 10, 2016 Vol. 64, Issue 2
Students help with millage By Leah Thomas Agora editor
Student Gunner Badillo has decided to get involved in the effort to pass the millage. He has walked the streets with President Kojo Quartey for a little over a month, going door-to-door leaving material all over the county, and speaking with anyone he meets. Badillo said it takes time and energy, but the work has immediate impact. He said he can speak to 30 people in ten minutes. “I want the community to be different, and how dare I expect it to be different if I do not want to put the effort in myself,” Badillo said. He is not being compensated for his efforts, but Badillo said he just wants to help his community. “With a productive college, you have a smart community,” he said. Badillo found out about the need for student involvement when Quartey spoke
“My entire career I have worked to try and make a difference in other people’s lives, and this is going to make a difference, not only in the lives of the students on campus but in the lives of individuals in this entire community.” Kojo Quartey President of MCCC about the millage during one of his classes. During a class break, Badillo asked Quartey when he was going out next and Badillo has been helping ever since. He hopes that when students see his involvement, they will want to help too. Students Leslie Austin and Chris Holmes also have gone door-to-door with Quartey. Quartey said usually a group of two or
three people go door-to-door. He said he works about ten to 20 hours a week lobbying for the millage. Since he still has regular hours at the college, he primarily goes door-to-door on weekends. “It’s not my millage, it’s the college millage, but I am the leader of the college,” Quartey said. “I need to lead by example.”
They have finished Milan, Dundee, Maybee, and Raisinville, but they still have twelve more cities to go, although some of them do not have a dense population. In each city, they try to go to businesses, neighborhoods, and senior centers. Businesses include gas stations, bars, and restaurants. They want to target places where many people will see the material. People are picking it up. Quartey said he has gone to a gas station in Maybee three times and every time the material was gone. Quartey also has been attending township meetings. Penny Dorsey, administrative assistant to the president, and Jim Ross, director of Data Processing, cover the meetings he is unable to attend. Several groups have endorsed the college and some have donated money.
See Three, Page 2
Grayson Bacarella elected president Joseph Abrams Agora staff
Grayson Bacarella won the election for president of the MCCC Student Government. Along with Bacarella, the rest of this year’s Student Government council was decided at a Sept. 27 meeting. Joel Spotts is the vice president, Clayton Blackwell is secretary, Javed Peracha, treasurer, Aidan Higgins, liason, and Emily Cornett, historian. There was a heated race this year for the position of president, with each of the candidates argueing they were the best fit for the job. This is Bacarella’s second year in Student Government, after being an active participant in the year prior. Bacarella hopes to use his experiences in to improve his tenure as president. “I think the skills I have learned, I would be the president this group deserves,” Bacarella said. Bacarella also said that he thought the office of president would lead to personal improvement. He said he hoped the position would allow him to develop the skills he learned last year. As for his biggest flaw, Bacarella said he worked too hard. “I tend to overclock myself and put too much on my plate,” he said. After winning the election, Bacarella said that running for this position was not a spur of the moment decision. “I’m very excited, I’ve been interested in this position for a pretty long time, for a couple months now,” he said. “I’ve been talking a lot about it with fellow Student Government members, so I just ran and it worked out.” Bacarella also has the advantage of
Photo by Vanessa Ray
Grayson Bacarella presents reasons why he should be president, as last year’s president, Jessica Ryder, listens.
being good friends with this year’s vice president, Spotts. “Me and Joel are in contact a lot, we
see each other a lot, so we can bounce off ideas and keep track with what’s going on with each other,” Bacarella said.
“And I think that does, in a way, keep us on track.”
See Student Government, Page 2
Agora hosts candidate forum Agora staff
Students and employees can meet the four candidates for the MCCC Board of Trustees at a candidate forum at the college Oct. 19. Three positions are on the Nov. 8 ballot – one four-year term and two six-year terms. Current Trustee Aaron Mason, who was appointed last December, is running unopposed for the fouryear term. Three others are running for the two six-year terms: Dr. Edward Feldman of Monroe, who also was appointed to the board last December, William Bruck of Erie, and Steven Hill of Dundee. The forum is sponsored by The Agora, the student newspaper at MCCC. Leah Thomas, editor of The Agora, will be the moderator for the event. The candidates will be asked questions developed by The Agora staff, as well as questions from the audience. All four candidates have agreed to attend the event, which will be at 7 p.m. in the atrium of the La-ZBoy Center. Two of the positions are open because Feldman and Mason were appointed, and must be elected to retain the seats. The third opening is the seat currently held by Board Chairman Joseph Bellino, who is running for the state House of Representatives in the 17th District. Bruck, a lifelong Monroe resident, is owner of Visiting Angels Monroe, a home health care agency. He also is an active Army Reservist and a journeyman lineman electrician. He graduated from Monroe High School and has a bachelor’s degree from Northland Baptist Bible College, a master’s degree from Columbia Southern University, and training from American Line Builders Apprentice Training. He currently holds the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 3 and served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also serves as president of the Monroe Aging Consortium Board of Directors. Feldman is a retired Monroe physician. He also was an adjunct instructor in Anatomy and Physiology at MCCC from 2008 to 2010. He has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, a master’s degree from the University of
See Agora, Page 2
Orphaned baby squirrels rescued near library By Miranda Gardner Agora staff
Three orphaned baby squirrels were found by MCCC students in front of the library building. Students Ryan Hurd, Ryleigh Byrne, Sarah Worrel, Casey Vanover, and Ryan Clukey were among the many who saw the squirrels Monday, Sept. 19. Clukey and Vanover were leaving their non-verbal speech communication class at 1:50 p.m. when they noticed the commotion. “I saw Ryleigh pointing at one and saw the other trying to get into the school,” Clukey said. “He wanted into the library.” The female squirrel was near the circular centerpiece between the A and C
buildings, and the male squirrel was on the mat in front of the library doors. The male was more social with the students than the female. The male had already walked up to a student, who petted him, before Clukey picked him up. Students named him Chad because he is a college squirrel, Clukey said. “He liked crawling up my left shoulder,” he said. “He liked being up at the top.” Kerry Kamalay, a DNR-licensed animal rehabilitator, agreed to pick up the two baby squirrels that day. She said they were less than 5 weeks old. Kamalay fed the squirrels a rehydration solution before traveling back to To-
ledo. “He nibbled on the ends of my fingers,” Clukey said. “Makes sense for how young they are.” Wednesday morning students Kayla Maddox and Taylor Apker discovered the third orphaned squirrel jumping frantically outside the library doors. Maddox grabbed a brown shipment box from the library to rescue the female squirrel. Both students struggled to grab the bouncing squirrel, which was headed toward the grass, but managed to safely capture and secure it in the box. They took the baby squirrel to class while they awaited Kamalay’s second rescue at MCCC.
Once Kamalay arrived, she said the orphan was very underweight and dehydrated from being abandoned for so long. A couple weeks later, Kamalay gave an update on the baby squirrels. “They’re doing really good,” she said. The last squirrel found calmed down when she was reunited with her brother and sister. “The third female was really shy, but once she realized I wasn’t going to hurt her, I could give her formula,” Kamalay said. The squirrels are on a diet of blackberries, blueberries, corn off the cob, and walnuts. They will be ready for release in two or three weeks, Kamalay said.
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2| mcccagora.com •
October 10, 2016
Study abroad still open, but not for long Joseph Abrams Agora staff
Students and community members can still apply for the spring study abroad trip to Italy and Greece, but open spots are filling fast. At last check there were only four positions left, and a renewed interest in overseas study means these spots will not be open long, said Joanna Sabo, Global Studies coordinator. Every two years MCCC hosts a study abroad program, which is a three-week study in foreign countries. This year’s destination is Italy and Greece, with five different courses offered during the trip. The trip is scheduled for May 19 - Jun 5, during the 6-week spring semester. To join the trip, students and community members must enroll in one or more of the classes being offered. Though the first two classes have closed enrollment, Poetry and Theatre, Global Marketing, and Comparative Politics are being offered for students joining now. To be admitted to the trip, students must pass a background check, get a passport, have health insurance for the duration of the trip, have a GPA of 2.0 or higher, get two letters of recommendations, and enroll by Nov. 30. The reasons for joining this trip are varied and differ for each person; some want the opportunity to see Europe, others want the edge in a competitive hiring market, and some simply want to make friends. Sabo, the director of the global studies program and professor of Political Science, is one of the professors in charge of the three-week trip. Sabo has been involved with the program since its beginning and has seen hundreds of students experience a study abroad trip. One of the things she’s noticed is the advantage study abroad gives students applying for jobs in the future. “You talk to an employer about a trip that’s 5-10 days and they think that’s just a vacation. But you say I went away for three weeks or almost a month and learned about Mediterranean culture, that’s going to impress an employer,” she said. “It’s about learning about different cultures, and being able to use that in a job interview.” Some students return from a trip only to
Photos by Dan Shaw
Tyler Lambert, center left, and other study abroad students taking a selfie on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. Lambert is planning to travel again on the 2017 trip.
join the next one two years later. On each trip there have been at least a handful of students returning for a second time. One of those students is Tyler Lambert. He went on the trip to Europe last year and is registered for the trip to Italy and Greece next year. Lambert said one of the parts he’s looking forward to most is seeing some of the friends he made on the last trip again, and making new friends with the students on this trip. “I know a lot of people who went last time are going again, so I’m excited to spend more time with them,” he said. “I’m also excited to make new friends,
Tyler Lambert and other students visit the University of Heidelberg, founded in 1386.
because I know a lot of new people are going.” While Lambert visited Italy on the last trip, he said he has never visited Greece and is excited to be able to cross that country off his list of places traveled. Lambert isn’t just going for fun, however; he’s also decided to take all three of the classes offered this time around. Another student, Rachael Lopez, hopes the trip abroad will let her learn more about architecture and help her in what she plans to do in the future. “Biggest reason I’m going is it sounds like fun, and it’ll help me in my field of interior design,” she said. Lopez has good reason to believe it will help, as students who have been on earlier trips have given testimonials on how the trip has helped them. One former student, Lauren Van Houten, works in the same field as Lopez. She said an MCCC study abroad trip gave her opportunities she would not have otherwise. “Because I had studied abroad, my resume stood out from my classmates and I was recommended by my professor for a paid Interior Design internship,” she said. One former student, Brianna LoPiccolo, went on two different trips and found the experience so impactful that it changed the way she viewed the world. “When it was time to make a Christmas list that year, I noticed my mind wandering back. I felt like asking for anything was ridiculous when I already had so much compared to the majority of the world. I had always known that before, but never felt it like I did that year,” she said.
Agora hosts candidate forum Continued from Page 1
Michigan and a doctor of medicine degree from UM. He completed his residency at the Mayo Clinic. He retired in 2014 after 33 years practicing medicine. He is a member of the Monroe Center for Healthy Aging Board of Directors. Hill is a business development executive with the EbyBrown Corp. in Ypsilanti, where he works with small business owners in southeastern Michigan and northern Ohio to increase the profitability of their businesses. He has a degree from Henry Ford Community College as a systems software engineer and has more than 20 years of experience as a small business owner. He served on the Al-
len Park Charter review commission and in leadership positions with Business Network International. He is married to Susan (Chambers) Hill, whose family are members of the Monroe County farming community. Mason, also a lifelong resident of the Monroe area who attended classes at MCCC, is a vice president at Monroe Bank & Trust, where he is group manager of Mortgage and Consumer Lending. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo in Finance and attended the UT College of Law. He has served on the Monroe Public Schools Board of Education, twice elected and once appointed. All three of his children have attended MCCC and his father taught as a Mathematics adjunct professor for 30 years.
The Agora Editor: Leah Thomas Adviser: Dan Shaw Staff:
Joseph Abrams Leigh Cole Emily Cornett
Miranda Gardner James Quick Vanessa Ray
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 Building, (734) 384-4186, firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions: The Agora encourages submissions by anyone in the college community, including free-lance articles, opinion columns or letters to the editor. All submissions must include a name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. The Agora reserves the right to edit for clarity, accuracy, length, and libel. The Agora is a student-managed newspaper that supports a free student press. It is a member of the Michigan Community College Press Association, the Michigan Press Association, College Media Association, Associated Collegiate Press and the Student Press Law Center. Story suggestions are welcome. Let us know what you would like to see in The Agora - it’s your newspaper. Email submissions to agora@ monroeccc.edu.
Two statements in a story on the MCCC budget that appeared in the Sept. 12 edition of The Agora need clarification. The college did not save money in the budget by keeping seven full-time positions open from previous years, according to Suzanne Wetzel, vice president of Administration. The positions are still on the college organizational chart, although unfilled. They included 3 faculty positions, 1 support staff position, 2 administrative positions, and 1 maintenance position. The second clarification is that the reduction in staff of two positions from 2015-16 was a result of combining and relocating multiple positions. Funding for two faculty positions created by retirements last year is included in the 2016-2017 budget, and one of the positions was filled for the fall semester.
While everyone may not have such a powerful experience, most people who go on the trip do not regret it, Sabo said. While the trip sounds wonderful, it is not cheap. The trip costs between $4,400$5,000, and miscellaneous expenses like getting a passport or buying traveler’s insurance can raise that price even more. The short time frame between now and next May also makes paying for the trip difficult; there are only a few months left, making a monthly payment plan expensive. Financial aid can help, but it cannot cover everything for most students. Those students usually make up the difference by taking student loans or asking for help from family, Sabo said. The price for this trip is actually much lower than similar trips at other colleges and universities. But several students mentioned that the main thing holding them back from joining is the cost involved. That coupled with the short deadline and the limited room left on this year’s study abroad means that many people who’d like to take part in this trip simply cannot. However, the college holds these trips every two years, Sabo said, so there will be another chance in 2019. Two years is a much more forgiving period of time to gather the money needed. Additionally, Sabo said, it is not uncommon for students to return to this college’s study abroad program after they have transferred to universities. If you are planning on going this semester, in two years, or in twenty, be prepared for an exciting time.
“The coolest thing about study abroad is the unexpected. There’ll be surprises in things that cross our paths that I can’t predict right now, and those are the moments we all remember the most,” Sabo said. The next information meeting for the 2017 study abroad trip will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 18 in Room 257 of the La-Z-Boy Center. The last meeting scheduled this semester is at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 3 in Room 173a of the A building. However, if you are interested in joining this year’s study abroad, waste no time in contacting professor Sabo immediately at email@example.com.
Tyler Lambert taking photos of the Wicklow Mountains, near Dublin, Ireland.
Three students help Quartey with millage Continued from Page 1
Quartey said he did not know the community when he tried to pass a millage the first time, but now he knows the expanse of the county and is making an effort to reach every part. “My entire career I have worked to try and make a difference in other people’s lives and this is going to make a difference, not only in the lives of the students on campus but in the lives of individuals in this entire community,” he said. “I have nothing better to do than to ensure that this millage passes.” MCCC’s proposal asks voters to approve a .85-mill additional property tax levy on Nov. 8 to pay for critical maintenance and improvement projects at the college. Last June, the college announced a reduction of the 5-year millage request from .95
to .85 mills after the state included money to renovate the East and West Tech buildings in its budget. That had been one component of the millage request. If approved, the additional tax would generate an estimated $4.83 million for the college in 2016 and would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $42.50 per year. The money would be used for needed maintenance and renovation projects throughout the Main Campus and at the Whitman Center, according to the college’s website. Included would be projects to update safety, accessibility, technology and the learning environment, as well as maintenance that has been deferred because of substantial reductions in property tax revenue over many years. A complete list of projects to be funded by the millage can be found at www.monroeccc. edu/millage.
Student Government officials elected Continued from Page 1
In Spott’s bid for the position, he said that he and Grayson would be an incredible team. “I’ve known Grayson about six years and been best friends with him for most of that. Me and Grayson work very well apart, but we’re even better together. I think if you put us together we will have a president/vice president team that will beat everyone for years,” Spotts said. Peracha, the treasurer this year, is an inter-
national student. He came from Pakistan to America last year. He said he ran because wanted the opportunity to get involved and learn about this country and its people. “I don’t know where I will be living in four or five years, so I want to make as many friends as possible. I want to learn about the American culture, American values, and everything,” Peracha said. “I want to make friends and memories and help this community the best I can.”
October 10, 2016
mcccagora.com • The Agora
Students experience ArtPrize Eight
Photos by Leah Thomas
Student Olivia Latray takes a photo of one of the artistics works, “African Grasslands,” by Forrest Miller, on display at ArtPrize Eight.
Art show gives students closeup view of candidate Leah Thomas Editor
MCCC students saw Donald Trump on a trip to ArtPrize Eight in Grand Rapids. The 2016 ArtPrize Eight is the eighth annual national art competition. Hundreds of artists from around the world compete for a cash prize and the title of the winning art piece in one of the four main categories. The event is free and open to the public. It ran from Sept. 21 through Oct. 9. Over 160 venues display the art all over Grand Rapids. People can walk into museums, galleries, bars, restaurants, theaters, hotels, public parks, and down the street to view the art. English professors William McCloskey and Cheryl Johnston organized the Sept. 30 trip to ArtPrize Eight, so MCCC students could join the thousands of people who flock to the event to admire the artwork. This year Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attended. He entered the Gerald Ford Museum for a quick interview and a brief walk through the exhibit where MCCC students were viewing the art on display. “The Donald Trump encounter was of course totally unexpected, but it was really amazing to see a candidate in full
MCCC students encounter presidential candidate Donald Trump in the Gerald Ford Museum in Grant Rapids during an unexpected appearance at ArtPrize Eight.
swing campaign mode surrounded by his entourage and Secret Service detail,” Johnston said. McCloskey is not a Trump guy. He said he will be nice, so he only mentioned Trump was taller than he expected. Student Olivia Latray was excited to see Trump. “I thought seeing Trump was awesome. No matter who you’re voting for, it’s a great experience to have,” Latray said. In contrast, student Dalton Daggett was
not thrilled to meet Trump. He called the encounter a fiasco because the paparazzi were rude. “They were running over the patrons that were there to enjoy the art,” Daggett said. McCloskey thought the trip was well attended. He said about 90 people originally signed up, but he estimated 70 people attended. Last year they took one bus, and this year they filled two buses. The ArtPrize Eight trip was open to the
students in McCloskey’s and Johnston’s Humanities 151 classes, then later open to faculty and community members to fill the buses. McCloskey said the attendees were mostly MCCC students. “It is always a challenge for students to work around work schedules and family responsibilities. An all-day field trip does require a commitment of time,” Johnston said. “Students reacted very positively to the whole Grand Rapids experience. I think the trip went very well. Considering it was a week of rather inclement weather, we were very lucky to dodge the rain showers.” Many people on the trip voted for all the
art that caught their eye during the day. Johnston said “Wounded Warrior Dogs” was her favorite piece, and it is currently in the Top 5 contenders in the 3D category. “It is an art exhibit that awed everyone who was passing by. The tribute to service dogs and servicemen and women was really touching. The artist worked on the sculptures over many years, and I was really amazed by the energy and liveliness of each sculpture. I hope he wins,” she said. McCloskey said he liked “Sand Sturgeon” and “Emoh.” The “Stand Sturgeon” is a temporary sand painting that is larger than life. It is displayed on a 16 foot-long platform. The artist, Gary Moran, said the painting was inspired by the pictures he took of the endangered sturgeon fish while he was on a sturgeon survey on Lake St. Clair. He said the sand represents the fragility of the species and its ecosystem. “Emoh” was built by Loren Naji. Naji said the sculpture represents people’s backwards process regarding homelessness, vacancy, and environment, which is why the sculpture’s name is “home” backwards. Naji used debris from abandoned homes in Michigan and Ohio to construct the sculpture. “Emoh” is covered with panels resembling yards, houses, roads, and cities. Naji is living in “Emoh” during ArtPrize Eight as a statement on the issues his sculpture represents. McCloskey said he was also glad to see drawings from Jake Zapor, a graduate of MCCC, on display. Zapor entered five drawings featuring human and animal imagery. Latray said her favorite artwork was “Windy City.” The artwork was created by Kerry Mott with thousands of pieces of duct tape hand-cut and placed.
Professor Cheryl Johnston and student Matthew Nieto look at “The Pegasus” by Robin Protz. The sculpture is made up of thousands of individual pieces of metal hanging from above.
4| mcccagora.com •
October 10, 2016
One Book One Community novel chosen James Quick Agora Staff
What happens when life as we know it comes to an end? That’s the question that 2017’s One Book, One Community novel is based around. The novel was unveiled as the 2017 reading selection in a small event at the back of the Ellis Library on the evening of Sept. 22. The event itself, however, doesn’t start until next spring, and will run from Monday, March 13 through Saturday, April 8. Though this was supposed to be the official unveiling, organizer and MCCC professor Cheryl Johnston noted there had been “a few leaks” of what they’d chosen: “Station Eleven”. It’s a post-apocalyptic novel written by Emily St. John Mandel that takes place in Michigan and the surrounding Great Lakes region following a pandemic. The novel shows that even in the wake of societal collapse, what makes us human still survives. Johnston related what the OBOC selection committee looks for in a book, which she noted is modeled after the national program. “We’re looking for a major author,” she said. “Somebody who has a body of work. Somebody who has received lasting recognition.” “Station Eleven” itself won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the Toronto Book Award, plus was nominated for the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. There’s definitely lasting recognition here. “We look for somebody where we can bring in an excellent speaker,” Johnston said. With any luck, this guest speaker is the author themselves. 2014’s author, Reyna Grande (“The Distance Between Us”), was able to visit and by all accounts was
Architecture and Design | Arts and Sciences | Engineering | Management
Cheryl Johnston announces the novel.
Photos by MCCC photographer Mark Spenoso
A passasge in Shakespeare’s play “King Lear” plays a vital role in the book “Station Eleven.” Professor William McCloskey demonstrated the passage first by reading it from the textbook, and then by performing several verses from “King Lear.” McCloskey drew upon his experience in the play, having played “King Lear” himself in 2014.
a delight. On the other hand, 2016’s author, Anthony Doerr (“All the Light We Cannot See”) was unavailable due to his surge in fame after winning the Pulitzer Prize. “We also want a book that’s really going to be discussable,” Johnston said. “Something that can raise some issues and some topics that are worthy of discussion.” With an event like OBOC, this is a given. The discussion and examination of ideas and issues are a staple of the program – one of its raisons d’être. Events include a kickoff event, brown bag discussions, the speaker, showings of films and documentaries that tie to the novel, a panel discussion on a related topic, and a celebrity server night at a local eatery. It’s only the second foray into science
fiction for the program. The first was Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”, the inaugural title in 2007 when the program was still called The Big Read. As such, “Station Eleven” is a marked change from the intervening nine books, such as the aforementioned “The Distance Between Us” (an autobiography) and “All the Light We Cannot See” (a World War II historical). Due to the novel’s prominent use of William Shakespeare’s famous “King Lear,” English professor William McCloskey was on hand to read portions of the book relating to the play. McCloskey is experienced when it comes to the Bard, having played the title role in “King Lear” during the autumn of 2014. He gave a spirited performance of the
scene that is featured in the book, from memory. While no events have yet been scheduled, Johnston assured there will be
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plenty coming and that they will be open to the community at large. One Book, One Community 2017 will run from March 13 through April 8.
“We also want a book that’s really going the be discussable, something that can raise some issues and some topics that are worthy of discussion.” Cheryl Johnston Professor of English One Book One Community chair
October 10, 2016
mcccagora.com • The Agora
MCCC students attend tech expo
By Miranda Gardner Agora staff
A group of MCCC students attended the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago. Professors Martin DuBois and Stephen Hasselbach and technician Mark Reaume accompanied 20 MCCC students to the 2016 show. The group left from the CTC parking lot at 6 a.m. Sept. 16 for the five-hour drive to Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center. The IMTS mission statement is to provide attendees with ideas, information, and demonstrations of new manufacturing technologies. Hasselbach, a welding instructor, said he observed presentations on many kinds of saws. He visited Cosen, a saw manufacturer, where he not only got a presentation, but also won prizes. “I ended up winning a raffle while there for a $25 pre-paid gift card,” Hasselbach said. “Later in the mail I received a Yeti travel mug.” He attended the Fanuc robotics panel, since they are used in MCCC’s welding program, Hasselbach said. “I visited several saw exhibits, since I feel the welding lab could use an upgrade,” Hasselbach said. “I also spoke with Scotchman about updating our iron worker.” He met with the American Welding Society and Lincoln Electric trainers to help MCCC students and faculty at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago’s McCormick Center convention center. him introduce online methods to MCCC the manufacturing world and to start net- metal printing was a breakthrough when brass, and gold, he said. programs, Hasselbach said. working,” Hasselbach said. he thought to use a magnetic coil, repliVader had to raise $1.3 million to push “I met to discuss web-based learning “It’s a great way to meet face-to-face cating the same concept as inkjet printing, his technology forward; he started runand virtual welders being implemented with powerful industry leaders and em- using electromagnetic propulsion from a ning the printer just last year, he said. into our welding curriculum,” he said. ployers who will be hiring people com- nozzle to mold molten metal. Alexandra Toledo, from the company The next show won’t be until 2018, ing out of our programs offered here at The printer melts aluminum and its al- THK, demonstrated linear motion and roand Hasselbach encourages students to MCCC.” loys to build parts for engines, aerospace, tary robotics. take advantage of the trip to expand their One of the revolutionary advance- golf clubs, and other metal additives in a “See the robot over there? In the neck knowledge and connections. ments in manufacturing demonstrated at process called magneto-hydrodynamics, and elbows are the parts that allow that “I believe the biggest advantage for the show was the Vader Liquid Metal 3D Vader said. movement,” she said. students attending shows like this is to Printer. The company is already moving into The company sells its gears and mechasee how many opportunities there are in Zack Vader, the inventor, said liquid higher temperature metals like copper, nisms to the automotive industry.
Photo by Adrian Womack
“Clients like Toyota and the Big Three,” said Nick Sakuma, THK’s regional manager, use the linear motion mechanics that we see in car seats moving forward or backward. Toledo said their technology also is being used in the medical field. “The way you see surgeries are being performed, definitely have to do with robotics,” she said. (Agora reporter James Quick contributed to this story).
“Break the Chain” showing Oct. 20
Break the Chain, sponsored by the Monroe County AntiHuman Trafficking Coalition, is a feature-length documentary that addresses human trafficking within Michigan communities and the United States. It will be presented Thursday, Oct. 20, in the Meyer Theater. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the educational screening will be 6-7:30 p.m. Human trafficking is often hidden in plain sight. The film chronicles two survivors of human trafficking and nearly 20 interviews with researchers, senators, non-profit organizations, legal service agencies, law enforcement officers, and several artists actively working to raise awareness for this global issue. Questions and answers will follow the screening.
Poetry night hosted Oct. 27
The Annual Writing Center Poetry Night will be 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, in the Little Theater in the basement of the C Building, Room C-3. Students and faculty are welcomed and encouraged to come and read their favorite or original written works. Peter Coomar, dean of the ASET Division, will be translating a reading of his choice. There will be several prizes for a costume contest, an original poem, and a raffle. The event offers free refreshments and is open to students and faculty. A bake sale will be held in the A Building Wednesday, Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. All profits will go to the Writing Center. Photo by Joseph Abrams
President Kojo Quartey speaks about the opening of the center.
MCCC debuts center for entrepreneurship Joseph Abrams Agora Staff
MCCC held a kickoff event on Sept. 28 for the new Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center on campus. The event was held in the CTC building, and included a tour of the building and its workshops for students, community members, and small business owners who attended. At the beginning of the event, MCCC president Kojo Quartey gave a short speech outlining the reasoning behind this new center. Quartey said there was no place in the county for small business owners to get help starting their projects. The plan is to open such a place here, so that they can get the assistance they need. While there are innovation centers elsewhere, none of them are in Monroe County, he said. “We are going to have a place here in Monroe County, here on this campus, as a part of this partnership to ensure that individuals in Monroe county can be innovators and entrepreneurs,” he said.
Afterwards, Quartey explained the types of help this center plans to provide people. “You’ll have access to mentors, you’ll have access to space, you’ll have access to equipment to help start your business,” he said. “The types of assistance include workshops, technical, business counseling, and of course access to this wonderful space and technology at Monroe community college.” He said the technology includes things such as design software, a welding lab, a laser cutter, a 3D printer, machinist lab, electronics lab, graphic design software, and a Mac lab. After Quartey’s speech, the Small Business Development Center held a financing workshop for prospective business owners. At the event, the participants were allowed to make connections and mingle with each other. One student at the event, Alex Ondus, said that he would have liked to known about this place sooner, and that it might have influenced his first years of college.
Cuisine 1300 announces opening
The second-year Culinary Arts students of MCCC along with Chef Kevin Thomas and Chef Vicki Lavalle announced the opening of Cuisine 1300 for the 2016 fall season. The fine dining opportunity will begin Wednesday, Oct. 26. Seatings in the American Bistro are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 11:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Cuisine 1300 is now taking reservations for the 2016 autumn season; call the Cashiers Office to make reservations. Please be aware that reservations book quickly. Reservations are required and can be made between 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., Monday through Friday by calling (734) 384-4231. Cuisine 1300 only accepts cash and personal checks. Final date of operation will be Wednesday, Dec 7.
International club holds fundraiser
To fund a project bringing fresh water and clean latrines to school girls in Cambodia, the International Studies Club will be collecting change in the cafeteria on Oct. 10 and 11. This event is part of a project by a former student of MCCC, Sarai Richter. Richter visited Cambodia in the 2009 study abroad trip, and now works there in the Peace Corps. There will be collection jars in the cafeteria.
Panel will discuss anthem protest
A panel discussion about the controversy of protesting during the nation anthem will be held on Oct. 17 in the A building cafeterial from 12:30-1:30 p.m. The panel is titled, “Protests During the National Anthem Right or Wrong.” This panel will be part of the College’s Current Affair and Diversity Series. If you would like to participate in the panel, please contact Kojo Quartey at firstname.lastname@example.org
MCCC’s College Night 2016 will be held Tuesday, Oct. 18. Students and prospective students can meet with representatives of a variety of colleges and universities. The event will run from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. in the H Building. Colleges that plan to attend include: Albion College, Alma College, Douglas J Aveda Institutes, Baker College of Owosso, Bluffton University, Bowling Green State University, Butler University, Calvin College, Central Michigan University, Cleary University, Columbia College Chicago, Concordia University, Cornerstone University, and Davenport University. Defiance College, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Gannon University, Grace Bible College, Henry Ford College, Indian Tech, Indiana University, and Purdue University/Indianapolis. Kendall College of Art & Design, Lake Superior State University, Lawrence Technological University, Lourdes University, Madonna University, Manchester University, Marygrove College, Mercy College of Ohio, Michigan State University, and Michigan Technological University. Northern Michigan University, Oakland University, Olivet College, Otterbein University, Owens Community College, Rochester College, Saginaw Valley State University, Saint Joseph’s College, Saint Mary’s College, Savannah College of Art and Design, School of Advertising Art, Siena Heights University, and Spring Arbor University. The University of Alabama, The University of Findlay, Tiffin University, U.S. Coast Guard, University of Detroit Mercy, University of Michigan, University of Michigan Dearborn, and University of Michigan Flint. University of Toledo, Valparaiso University, Walsh College, Washtenaw Community College, Wayne County Community College, Wayne State University, and Western Michigan University.
Veteran’s Lounge relocating
The Veteran’s Lounge has been relocated to the East Tech Building, room 102A. The lounge is open to all veterans on campus.
National Student Day set Oct. 13
MCCC will be celebrating National Student Day on Oct. 13. This is a day dedicated to promoting and growing student social responsibilities through a variety of events. The celebration will be held in the A Building hallways by the bookstore as well as the cafeteria and runs from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Any clubs or organizations that are interested in participating should contact Amy Salliote at email@example.com.
6| mcccagora.com •
October 10, 2016
MCCC hosts Constitution Day panel
Miranda Gardner Agora staff
Political party panelists explained the U.S. Constitution to MCCC students, faculty, and Monroe residents on Constitution Day. History professor Edmund LaClair moderated the panel, held at the Meyer Theater Sept. 15. He asked the panelists their parties’ positions on key issues like the Supreme Court decision on the Hobby Lobby case, the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms, and immigration. Michael Banerian, the representative for the Republican Party who had been expected, was unable to attend. Panel members commented that his absence resulted in a lack of opposing opinions in some areas. The panelists were asked to explain their parties’ stands on the issues. Paul Homeniuk, the Green Party Michigan treasurer, said the Supreme Court did not balance government with the Hobby Lobby case, and had a role that did not address the issue. Brandon Dillon, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, said his party believes strongly in the 14 amendments, and that they should not be interpreted as a shield to discriminate against people. Ken Proctor, a Libertarian candidate for the U.S. House, said Hobby Lobby was not a good decision. Joseph Dunne, MCCC Philosophy professor, said he believed the representatives did not discuss the correct issues of the court case. The panelists disagreed with the conclusion of Hobby Lobby, but failed to reasonably justify their claims, he said. “As a teacher and professor, I find it irresponsible to simply assert conclusions — especially to students — without providing good, justifying reasons for believing these conclusions,” Dunne said. The central point of contention was not whether corporations are legally considered persons who can have or use the same rights as you and I in their business, but whether closely held corporations can
Photo by Vanessa Ray
Green Party represenative Paul Honeniuk, Democrat represenative Brandon Dillon, and Libertarian represenative Ken Proctor discuss the issues .
be said to possess religious beliefs, he said. The court case, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, involved Hobby Lobby possessing a sincere belief of moral wrongdoing by providing abortifacients to their employees based on the full range of health care coverage required by the HHS mandate, Dunne said. The government had good reason to interfere with Hobby Lobby’s belief because of an interest to provide healthcare to all citizens, he said. “The reasonable alternative protected Hobby Lobby from having to violate their closely held religious beliefs and also provided a way for their employees to still
Photo by Vanessa Ray
Professor Edmund LaClair worked as the moderator of the Constitution Day event.
get covered with the full range of health benefits,” Dunne said. The panelists, however, discussed the case as if corporations being allowed to possess deeply held religious beliefs was to discriminate against people exercising their right to freedom of speech and the pursuit of happiness. “To disregard a religion or sexual orientation, might as well hang up a sign saying we don’t sell to blacks,” Proctor said. “Taking deeply held religious beliefs to hold against people from the LGBT community,” Dillon said. “We need to strike a balance for people to exercise their faith as long as it doesn’t conflict to other peoples’ freedoms and rights.” The panelists raised points that misled and distracted the audience from the main issues of Hobby Lobby, Dunne said. Merely claiming to disagree with a conclusion without providing sufficient reasoning is called a logical fallacy, Dunne said. “Giving adequate, justifying reasons for not accepting the conclusion of Hobby Lobby would require investigating the details of the case and understanding the reasoning of the majority and minority opinions,” he said. “Unfortunately, evidence of such investigation and understanding were absent from the panelists that evening, and the students suffered most as a result,” Dunne said. The panelists also shared their views on guns and immigration. The Green Party believes strongly in our right to self-defense, but putting regulations on guns won’t help with the real issues underlying, like education, economics, and criminal justice, Homeniuk said. We need simplified policy and laws to leave immigration open because we would not have so many people wanting
to immigrate if we didn’t have all these wars, he said. “You need rules and laws governing immigration, but need control over immigration,” Homeniuk said. “It’s not about controlling immigration and more about lobbying immigration.” The Democratic Party supports the right to bear arms for hunting and self-defense because it is not only engrained into life,
“As a teacher and professor, I find it irresponsible to simply assert conclusions — especially to students — without providing good, justifying reasons for believing these conclusions.” Joseph Dunne MCCC Philosophy professor but our amendments, Dillon said. “Not a right the state can impose restrictions on,” he said. “Keep people safe, watch people who shouldn’t be getting guns, because there are common sense ways to background check.” “Issues of immigration reform are complicated,” Dillon said. “Reality is we are not going to be able to stop every person from coming into the country, and the cost of trying to round up undocumented people will not be tolerated or something to be proud of.” The Libertarian Party holds the right to self-defense without the means of selfdefense is meaningless, Proctor said.
“Bad people use guns in bad ways, and good people use them in good ways,” he said. “Reform to immigration — to be able to extend visas to people who can pass background checks, work and pay taxes to be a part of our economy,” Proctor said. Joe Bellino, chairman of the MCCC Board of Trustees and a candidate for the Michigan House, noted that it’s important to remember that Americans have the power of the vote. “We make decisions, we push majority through, we make our rules, and then if we can’t get along — we vote somebody else in — and get that person to make the rules,” Bellino said. “I think it’s very important we don’t get too far left or far right in our decision processes,” he said. “If I’m Republican, I’m supposed to hate Democrats, but I love a lot of Democrats; I believe a lot of democratic values, and I’m a Republican myself.” Bellino ended by saying we should be able to talk our problems out, work through the legislative system, make our own laws, and get along together. “Right now, there’s about 60 million people between the ages of 18-29,” Homeniuk said. “The last election for president was decided by about 60 million.” If everyone between the ages 18-29 were to vote, we could sway this country any direction we wanted if we realized how much power we have, he said. “If you’re unhappy with the results and you didn’t vote — blame yourself,” Homeniuk said. The next president will be appointing the next Supreme Court justice, and possibly two to three, Dillon said. “This election will have significant consequences, not just for the Constitution, but for what kind of country we stand for,” he said.
Students organize political information event Vanessa Ray Agora Staff
An MCCC student-organized political information forum was held on Tuesday, Oct. 4. The event was created so students, many of whom will be voting in their first major election, could talk to candidates face-to-face. The event was put together by MCCC Political Science students Grayson Bacarella, Justin Keck, Drew Lorenzo, Tyler Lambert and Angela Carter, who was also the group leader. Everything from contacting the candidates to securing the balloons (which were donated by North Monroe Floral Boutique) was done by the students. There were representatives from the Democratic and Republican parties, the city fire millage, the college millage, the Board of Trustees, as well as both sheriff candidates. “We created this forum in an effort to get the word out,” Carter said. “In a large setting, it can be intimidating to ask a question. We have it set up so that anyone can come here and speak to the candidates face-to-face.” The importance of being informed was echoed by both the student organizers as well as many of the candidates and their representatives. “Forums like this are important because students get to learn their candidate’s positions,” Lorenzo said. Erin Bozec, who represented Democratic nominee for Congress Gretchen Driskell, spoke on the importance of voters educating themselves. “Get involved and vote. Do your best to learn about your candidates and representatives,” Bozec said. For those who could not attend the event, many of the candidates and their
Photo by Vanessa Ray
Students Alexa Angel and Avery Hanes represent Joe Bellino, Republican candidate for state represenative.
reps spoke candidly in regards to what students can do to ensure that they are getting the most out of the election process. “Ballots have two sides. It’s important that you learn about the judges,” said Ernie Whiteside, a representative for the Democratic Party. “People think that judges rule without political bias, and often that is not the case. It’s important to look at the non-partisan candidates. Political biases from the bench are a big problem,” Whiteside said.
Many of the tables were manned by students. Alexa Angel was at the event in support of Joe Bellino, Republican nominee for the 17th District Michigan House seat. “I work for Mr. Bellino and can attest that he is nice, respectful, and loves people,” Angel said. She went on to say students should vote for Bellino because education and working in the best interest of students are among his top priorities.
Niko Mantas, an MCCC student, encouraged fellow students to support Gretchen Driskell. “She has a more local perspective on issues as well as new and creative ideas to take with her to Washington,” Mantas said. “Finding jobs for Monroe County and keeping them here are a top priority of hers.” Both of the candidates running for sheriff addressed the heroin epidemic, an issue that either directly or indirectly affects
many MCCC students. Dave Uhl is the Republican nominee for sheriff. He spoke on how law enforcement cannot arrest their way out of this problem, and that combatting the issue requires community involvement. “The wall between the Sheriff’s Department and the community needs to be taken down,” Uhl said. As sheriff, he would like to implement a county wide VIPS, or Volunteers in Police Service program, where members of the community volunteer their time and skills to the police force. “We need to think outside the box,” Uhl said. Dale Malone is the current sheriff of Monroe County. A Democrat, he is running for re-election. Due to his current schedule, Sheriff Malone could not stay for the entire forum. In his absence, he was represented by Major Troy Goodnough, director of Jail Operations. Goodnough also agreed that the heroin problem was not something that could be stopped by the sheriff’s office alone. “We can’t police our way out of this problem,” Goodnough said. Goodnough went on to list the ways in which the problem is being tackled, such as keeping Narcan — an antidote for opium overdoses — in every police car. “We’ve partnered with Community Mental Health to monitor all addicts who are dual diagnosed with mental illness, and we’re providing addicts with treatment options as opposed to jail time,” Goodnough said. Regardless of how students decide to vote, encouraging them to get to their polling location and cast a ballot on Nov. 8 remains an important focus. “Your voice is going to be heard,” Carter said.
October 10, 2016
mcccagora.com • The Agora
Construction to continue through spring Geothermal installation nearly 75 percent complete
Students frustrated by relocation of offices Emily Cornett Agora Staff
Many students were confused by the relocation of faculty and administrative offices and classrooms around campus. During the installation of the new geothermal heating and cooling systems, the Financial Aid, Admissions, and Registrar Offices were moved to the La-Z-Boy building. Grayson Bacarella, president of Student Government, said the change is confusing because many students are not familiar with the Z building, which makes locating specific offices challenging. Student Samantha Bartley agreed. “I’ve been a very involved student since 2014, and found myself feeling lost when trying to find an office that’s been moved,” she said. Jessica Ryder, a student assistant in the Registrar’s Office, said the move has made organization and communication more difficult. Student Victoria Welliver said she wished construction would have started earlier, so everything was back to normal at to the beginning of the fall semester. Although many students were confused by the relocation, others said they did not find it challenging. Students Nathan Betway and Michael Simms both agreed that the relocation overall was fairly smooth. “Hopefully, it went fairly smooth for the college,” he added. Bacarella noted that it’s only a temporary problem. “Despite these gripes, it really isn’t a huge deal as long as they’re back to their normal spots soon,” he said. Mark Hall, the Director of Admissions and Guidance Services, said he is glad to be moving back to the A building soon. Hall also said there was no noticeable change in the amount of students helped in the admissions office. All offices should return to their normal locations toward the middle of October.
Emily Cornett Agora staff
Art by Leigh Cole
Construction has left students feeling as though they are attempting to navigate through the desert
Photo by Leah Thomas
Photo by Jack Burns
A transformer is delivered to the MCCC campus.
Installation of the new geothermal heating and cooling system is approximately 75 percent complete. The installation is finished in the East and West Tech buildings, according to Jack Burns, MCCC director of Campus Planning and Facilities. The A Building is in the final stages of completion, he said. The Registrar’s Office, Admissions and other administration offices are scheduled to return to the building in mid-October. The geothermal system installation is expected to be complete in late spring/ early summer of 2017. “Things will get back to normal and better once we are complete in the end of spring/beginning of summer,” Burns said. After winter “Things semester is over, the project will will get back pick back up as normal work begins in to the L Building, and better the final geothermal connections once we are and the switcho- complete in ver, he said. Much of the the end of electrical work s p r i n g / b e will take place of over the winter ginning months. summer.” There was a Jack Burns slight delay with transformers due MCCC director of to the natural Campus Planning and Facilities disasters in the southern region of the country. The government will often buy out all electrical transformers for cleanup. MCCC’s large transformer was delivered during the week of Oct. 3. Once the transformer is received, lots troubleshooting begins, Burns said. Some minor shipment delays, construction coordination scheduling issues, unforeseen developments that alter original ideas and design can cause setbacks in the installation process, Burns said. The accidental hit of the main natural gas line for the A Building on Sept. 13 and the subsequent evacuation has been the only major issue as far as the construction and installation process, Burns said.. The gas leak lasted about 90 minutes, effecting both students and employees. Monroe Township Fire Department and Michigan Gas arrived to turn off the gas.
HVAC construction has extended to the parking lot of the A Building.
Adjunct professors reach milestone years Leah Thomas Editor
The construction on campus canceled the fall meeting that recognizes the adjunct faculty who reached milestone years teaching at MCCC. Brenda Kraus said a friend called her and told her about a French teaching position at MCCC. She said the job was hers if she wanted it, and they would work around her schedule. “So here I am, 25 years later,” said Kraus. When Kraus was in fourth grade, she had a French substitute teacher. The teacher taught the French class in addition to the other subjects. Kraus said her fourth grade experience made her love French, and she knew she was going to include it in her career. She double majored in French language and literature and European history. She taught at high schools and private schools before MCCC. Kraus said she has her students write down their goals for the class on the first day. During the semester, she helps them meet their goals. “I’m here because I care about people. I want to help people, not just teach them French, but be available if they need someone to talk to,” Kraus said. She said when she runs into her students who have continued in French at universities or other colleges, they have also said they loved her class and said it was the foundation for their French career. She also loves books, music, church, and traveling.
“I’m here because I care about people. I want to help people, not just teach them French, but be available if they need someone to talk to.” Brenda Kraus MCCC adjunct professor “I play the violin, but not well,” Kraus said. She teaches Sunday school at her church and advised a Christian group on campus called Oasis for many years, but now the group is inactive. She has traveled to several Frenchspeaking countries. She has taken high school students to Quebec and Monreal, but she has never been able to travel with the study abroad groups at MCCC. She promotes the Global Studies degree, since her class counts toward the degree. “I have my dream job, and I still have family, friends, and church too,” Kraus said. Daniel Stewart has taught art at MCCC for 25 years. He teaches to a majority of students who are not pursuing art as a career. He said many students come in nervous about art because they think it is not their thing.
“The main goal in my class is to make sure that everyone understands that art is not magic,” he said. Art is for anyone who is willing to try. It is not only for the people who are naturally artistic, Stewart said. Stewart was trained in school as a painter. He shows his paintings in galleries and sell them. He started at MCCC right after graduate school. He applied for an adjunct position and MCCC responded first. He was interviewed by Art professor Ted Vasser and has been teaching at the college ever since. “I’ve been there long enough that it feels like home,” Stewart said. Jennifer Miller has been teaching a criminal law class at MCCC for ten years. In addition to teaching, she also has been an attorney for 17 years and runs her own law office in Carleton. “I am proud of the fact that I have my own business, and I have been able to do that for ten years, too,” Miller said. She graduated from MCCC in 1992 with an Associate Degree and transferred to University of Toledo to get bachelor’s and law degrees.
“The main goal in my class is to make sure that everyone understands that art is not magic.” Daniel Stewart MCCC adjunct professor
“I always wanted to come back to MCCC to teach, so when the criminal law class needed an instructor, I applied right away,” Miller said. Miller said she wants to give her students the same experience she had at the college. She aims to get students excited about school and career goals. In the past, she has offered students internships at her law office and a chance to work on real cases. “I try to help them with the real world stuff,” Miller said. “I really enjoy it too because it helps me as well as them, so it’s a win-win.” She also co advises the Criminal Justice Club on campus. Miller is getting married soon, and she is proud to watch her future daughter follow in her footsteps by attending MCCC. Tinola Mayfield has taught several Sociology classes, and she currently teaches online. She graduated from University of Toledo with degrees in Sociology and Philosophy, and in August she obtained an MBA from The Ohio State University. “Students are able to obtain a world class education here. I am committed to the notion of community colleges because I truly believe that community colleges allow students to explore academic possibilities and to gain access to the world of higher education without needing take our private loans and to go into insane amounts of debt,” Mayfield said. She hopes she can teach her students to be critical thinkers by encouraging them
“I enjoyed my two years here so much that I’m just hoping that I can be a role model for my students, like my teachers were when I was here.” Jennifer Miller MCCC adjunct professor to explore the relationship of self in the social world and understand how to apply the things they learned in class to real world events and circumstances. She also wants to inspire curiosity, academic ownership and instill in students a love of learning. “Community colleges really support learners at all levels. That is the beauty of the community college, there is a real sense of community,” Mayfield said. In addition to teaching, she is an artist, cellist, and the mother of two sons. She also collects toy robots. As an artist, she works in mixed media encaustic and does what is known as altered Barbie Art. She started playing the cello as an adult, and she is determined to learn the Bach Cello Suites. Gina Baker has taught several speech classes at MCCC for ten years. She is not teaching this semester. Diane Rosenthal has also taught at the college for ten years.
8| mcccagora.com •
October 10, 2016
Five horror movies you should check out Sawyer Jackson For the Agora
Halloween is right around the corner, so obviously that means the time has come once again to recommend a single list of horror films in a varying pool of lists of horror films. Horror, to me, is like a rollercoaster. I am not fond of them, but having been on a few, I’m sure those of you who enjoy them will attest to this. Much like a rollercoaster, horror is not always exactly what’s in the shadows, but the build-up to that scare. It starts slow, but calculated. It puts you in a state of alert so you are aware of your surroundings. Just when you think it’s safe to catch your breath or blink, something horrific reveals itself. You can either scream or you can laugh. That rush of adrenaline is so much fun that going through all that again is enticing. This list is not about the greatest horror films of all time (there’s plenty of those on the internet). This is about the more recent outputs in the genre. Horror today is thriving at a much better rate than it has in previous years, so I thought it would be a good time to look at some of them. Here are five recent horror films you should check out this October, if you dare.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
This one comes to us from director/cowriter Drew Goddard (“The Martian”) and co-writer/producer/god of geeks Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Firefly”, and “The Avengers”). This film is about a group of stereotypical college kids who head up to a cabin deep in the wilderness for a weekend of
fun. And that’s about all you should know. It seems weird to recommend a film without going too much into detail, but “The Cabin in the Woods” is a film that is best enjoyed knowing as little as possible going in. Just when you think you have it figured out, the film subverts your expectations again and again. It may not be quite so scary, but it makes up for that by being incredibly funny in how it deconstructs horror film tropes and clichés. Again, without giving too much away, the third act is absolutely bonkers and its payoffs are just an absolute delight. I wish I could say more, but if a meta-textual horror film is what you seek this Halloween, then “The Cabin in the Woods” is for you.
mother struggling to process her grief over her dead husband while also desperately trying to take care of her ill-tempered son. The monster of this film, Mr. Babadook (an anagram for “a bad book”) is a manifestation of this woman’s pain, suffering, and resentment towards her son. He may not appear in the film much, but his presence is clearly felt. In the end, this is a brilliant character study about how we deal with our grief and how much we let it define us. This is writer/director Jennifer Kent’s directorial debut and I’m eager to see what she does next.
The Witch (2016)
Drag Me to Hell (2009)
After spending almost a decade making a series of films about a certain wallcrawling superhero, director Sam Raimi finally made his triumphant return to horror that is so gleefully spooky, it feels like he never left at all. Much like his “Evil Dead” trilogy, “Drag Me to Hell” strikes a perfect balance between horror and comedy that very few filmmakers can pull off. This is a film where a scary old woman pops from the shadows in a frightening manner, and then an anvil falls on her head and her eyes cartoonishly pop out of her skull and fly into the mouth of the main character. It’s so terrifying, absurd, and gross that it is hard to resist it. “Drag Me to Hell” is a pure delight, which is a rare thing to say about a horror film. It’s a film I’m eager to watch every Halloween because I have so much fun with it every time. It may not have done well at the box office, but its place in the genre has been cemented. “Drag Me to Hell” will either make you scream or make you laugh. It will probably do both.
The Conjuring (2013)
At this point in his career, it’s safe to call director James Wan the modern day master of horror, what with creating the “Saw” franchise, Insidious, and now “The Conjuring”. This success has even allowed him to venture outside horror with films like “Furious 7” and the upcoming “Aquaman” film. But “The Conjuring” feels like
a culmination of all the skills and tricks he honed up to this point. It’s not a revolutionary film nor does it take many unexpected twists or turns. However, it knows how to effectively utilize old-school techniques to conjure (no pun intended) up thrills. It’s not flashy and it’s not gory. It so thoughtfully restrained and crafted that it feels like a horror film from the 70’s or 80’s, but without standing on the shoulders of those films. But the real revelations here are Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Ed and Lorraine Warren, respectively. Horror films, particularly slasher films, are remembered for their villains. “The Conjuring” will be remembered for its heroes. Not only are the Warrens rational and effective at what they do, they are also portrayed with such warm intelligence and humanity.
Not to mention that Wilson and Farmiga have great chemistry together. You believe these two care deeply about each other and would do anything to help others in need. Seeing as how this film was a huge hit at release, I’m sure a lot of you know how good this one is, but in case you forgot or have never seen it, now is the time to check it out.
The Babadook (2014)
These last two films are more obscure than the others. This one in particular is from Australia. However, I will say that if you go in expecting an all-out horror film, then you will most likely walk away disappointed. This one is more in vain of a psychological thriller with a boogeyman thrown in for good measure. This film is ultimately about a single
This is the most recent release on this list. Unlike the other films here that has comedic flashes or happy endings. “The Witch” is relentlessly dark. It is not a fun or crowd-pleasing film. For starters, it takes place in puritanical times, the one era of history absolutely nobody wants to revisit. It’s about a family that is exiled from their community due to the patriarch’s conflicting views of the New Testament. Now located in a secluded forest, their troubles are made worse when the newborn mysteriously vanishes. What happens immediately after is ghastly. Over the course of the film, this family is slowly turned against each other while dark forces threaten to destroy them. The one thing I took away from “The Witch” is how it makes the case for why religious fundamentalism is bad. The family’s strict adherence to the Bible’s teachings is what ultimately leads to their undoing. For the record, the film is not anti-religion. Rather it shows how following the literal interpretations of dogma is a fruitless endeavor. This film was a victim of its own marketing. It was sold as a pure horror film rather than as the horror/drama it is, which is probably why many people were displeased with it at my screening. If you go in mind knowing the film’s intent, you will probably walk away more fulfilled. As a horror fan, I loved “The Witch”. So much so that it is guaranteed a spot on my top 10 list at the end of the year. On a final note, its final shot has stuck with me more than any other film this year.
Where do the candidates stand? Leigh Cole Agora Staff
As election time draws near, it is time to look at Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s positions on the issues that matter. Lost in the cacophony of personal attacks, media hype and cult of personality are the true issues. What do the candidates really stand for? What is at stake for America? While many voters this year are considering a third party candidate, realistically only Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton have a chance to win. The candidates are separated by a wide philosophical gulf and it is time to explore the differences between the two. First, here are the key issues. Clinton opposes free trade and is in line with the Democratic Party on the issue. She favors raising taxes on the wealthy and corporate America in order to make them pay their fair share. Trump also opposes free trade and this runs counter to the Republican platform. He favors lowering the corporate tax in order to position the country as business friendly and hopes to make corporations who have gone overseas because of America’s high tax rate return, and thus bring back more manufacturing jobs. When it comes to education, the two candidates are opposite each other. Clinton has recently stated she believes in taxpayer-funded community college education, but she has no track record of this stand before the election. This may be to appease the Bernie Sander’s voters. Clinton strongly opposes school vouchers. She believes public schools are an important component of American society. She wants to improve public schools, rather than using vouchers. Clinton believes America needs more teachers and smaller classes. She advocates more funding — then parents will choose public schools. She believes vouchers are unconstitutional, but charter schools are acceptable. This is in line with the teacher unions and the Democratic Party. Trump strongly favors school vouchers. This position is conservative and is in line with general Republican Party policy. Trump believes the federal government should not be in the business of running schools. State-funded vouchers should pay for privately-run education at private schools, parochial schools, charter
Artwork by Leigh Cole
The presidential candidates for the 2016 election differ on many views.
schools, home-schooling, or whatever schools parents choose. The two are widely separated on the Immigration issue. Clinton believes immigration restrictions are racist because they keep out Hispanics and other non-whites. She wants to reform U.S. immigration laws and use them to increase diversity and cultural tolerance. Social services should be offered to all residents of the United States regardless of immigration status. Many illegal aliens should be offered amnesty. Based on past statements, Clinton strongly favors immigration reform. Her position is liberal and is in line with general Democratic Party policy. Trump believes America should enforce existing immigration laws by increasing border patrols, and we should crack down on illegal immigrants already in the U.S. by deportation and by removing all their social benefits. He has proposed building a wall along the border with Mexico Trump’s position is conservative and is in line with general Republican Party policy. On the issue of crime, the two are opposite in view. Clinton opposes stricter sentencing and believes there is a systematic racial component to the American justice system. She is also for stricter gun control, and wants to close loopholes and ban assault weapons. Clinton is in favor of after-school programs for inner city youth to combat crime. Trump favors mandatory sentencing and enforcing the three strikes program. He is for the death penalty and maintaining strict enforcement of current laws to
make sure violent offenders stay off the streets. He is in favor of the 2nd Amendment and enjoys the endorsement of the NRA. On the issue of same sex marriage, Clinton is liberal and Trump is somewhat liberal. The major difference is Clinton favors full government support and Trump would leave it to the states to vote on. On the issue of religion in America, both also hold similar views. The main difference is Clinton supports prayer in school but no official school endorsement. Trump wants to keep government out of this area completely. In this case, it is Clinton running against her party’s norm. On stimulus policies, Clinton strongly favors them as a way to stimulate the economy, while Trump strongly opposes stimulus policies, preferring to allow the market to remain unfettered by governmental interference. When it comes to taxes, Clinton believes in a progressive income tax. She contends that the wealthy should contribute proportionally more than those with lower incomes. Trump believes the income tax and the IRS should be abolished. He has proposed a national sales tax, like the FairTax, as a replacement. Lastly, the military. Donald Trump favors a military buildup to increase the strength of America’s forces in a dangerous world, while Clinton has stayed relatively silent on the issue. She doesn’t seem to prefer the idea of any increase in defense spending, and that would be in the general line with current Democratic Party values.
An example of Leigh Cole’s work: Agora adviser and Journalism professor Dan Shaw as the Hobbit Frodo Baggins.
Vote for faculty caricatures Leah Thomas Agora Editor
Here’s your chance to see your favorite, or least favorite, professors dressed up in Halloween costumes. Have you ever imagined what professor Sabo would look like as a witch? Or professor Kerste as a mad scientist? How about professor Naber as Dracula? Students can vote for a professor on the poll on The Agora website, http:// www.mcccagora.com. Agora artist Leigh Cole is going to draw caricatures of five faculty members as Halloween characters for the next edition. The Agora staff put together a list of names of 25 faculty that we think will
make the best Halloween characters. If students want to vote for a professor who is not on the list, they can email their request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Students can get involved by voting, and by encouraging their friends to go to the website to vote. If students want to see the professor they selected win, they may want to campaign for that professor. The more people who vote for that professor, the more likely he or she will appear in the next paper. The next edition will reveal the five “lucky” professors. Voting closes on Oct. 28, so have your votes in by then.