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[Type text] April 2011

What Do You Want To Know? By Brenda Dembraski-Marsh Help! I’m going to flunk out of my math class if I don’t get some help. What can I do?

50th Anniversary Alumni Reunion By Lori Frase Pictures of the past were displayed all around the Atrium on tables, sorted by decade. Old classmates hugged each other as they reminisced about days gone by. Anna Ehert remembers when she worked at the switchboard before transferring to the Business Office as the secretary to Dave Johnson from 1986 to 2000. Melanie from the retail marketing class of 1986 found some old pictures of herself and friends on one of the many tables. She enjoyed looking at how much things have changed and grown at the college in the years since she graduated. All the alumni and friends enjoyed light refreshments and anniversary cake before being taken on tours of the new buildings by current staff members. An estimated 500 people passed through the college doors during the open house, more than 300 of them former students.

Get to the Math Learning Center as soon as you possibly can. Located in room E206, the center offers tutoring at all levels, including algebra and statistics. Not all tutors can help in all classes, so not all subjects are available at all times, but tutors are always available for College Math, Introduction to Algebra, and College Algebra. All other classes need to check the schedule which is available on the Stark State website at Computers are also available for your use. You can go there to get help with a specific problem or just to work on your homework. The Learning Center’s hours are as follows: Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. For more information, you can contact Aaron McClure, Instructor/Coordinator of the Math Learning Center, at ext. 4032 or room E206a.

In This Issue

Cake Commemorating Stark State’s 50th Anniversary

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An Open Forum


Did you see that Flash?


Phi Theta Kappa


A Brief Analysis of SB5


Spring Fling


[Type text] Then Butch, the president of Stark State’s LGBTS Global chapter, opened the auditorium up for the question and answer portion of the program. Many students applauded how open they were about their lives and the way they have handled negative comments from the public.

An Open Forum By Lori Frase On April 7th, a group of more than 50 individuals, including students, faculty, and staff gathered in the Silk Auditorium for an emotional, uplifting, and informative forum concerning the gay/lesbian community of Stark State. The members of LGBTS (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Straight) Global conducted the forum with guest speaker Rabbi David Horowitz, the national President of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian and Gays).

Rabbi David Horowitz speaks to a captivated audience in the Silk Auditorium. Photo Courtesy of Communications/ Web Specialist, Mike Ihrig

Rabbi Horowitz started his discussion by stating that he is “the father of a gay daughter who is married to a transgender man.” Rabbi Horowitz then went on to talk about how he and his wife slowly learned of their daughter Wendy’s sexuality as they visited her at Ohio State University in June of 1990. He said that when he finally realized what his daughter had been trying to tell him for years, everything that had originally gone over his head finally made sense and became clear to him. Wendy is the one who first introduced her father to PFLAG as a way for him to have a support group available, and to help him begin to understand and accept her sexuality. After Rabbi Horowitz completed his talk and answered questions, the members of LGBTS Global made introductions and discussed the stories of how they came to realize and understand their sexuality. They also discussed how many of their families reacted to their “coming out of the closet,” and where they are now in their lives.

PFLAG’s mission statement is “ PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.” Their website can be found at (Continued on next page)

Editors Editor- Ian Cain Assistant Editor – Christopher M. Usner Staff Writers Brenda Dembraski-Marsh Connie Luthi Lori Frase Advisors Elizabeth Modarelli Nicole Herrera

Contact Us: Stark Voices c/o Elizabeth Modarelli or Nicole Herrera Stark State College 6200 Frank Avenue North Canton, OH 44720 111111111112 2

[Type text] LGBTS Global of Stark State College is made up of many different students from all walks of life who have come together to promote their mission to “promote harmony among all sexually diverse communities, end homophobia, provide a safe place for students to meet, support each other and talk about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity, and work on educating ourselves and the broader Stark State College community about sexual orientation and gender identity issues.” LGBTS Global’s website can be found at Please visit the websites for more information on these organizations.

Did you see that Flash? By Lori Frase

The team composed the original musical score to which the flash mob performed their dance moves. Students from the Digital Video Department operated the video cameras and did the photo work for the three-minute tribute to the 50th anniversary of the College. The flash mob production will be used in the final video about a student with questions concerning schooling at SSC. The 50th anniversary video is scheduled for a web launch and will also be shown during the alumni dinner on Friday, June 10. After the taping, all of the volunteers received a Stark State 50th year anniversary college t-shirt from the bookstore, and will be forever archived in the history of Stark State College.

Stark State College is celebrating its 50th year of educating Stark County and the surrounding communities. In celebration of this moment, a video has been produced by our very own Digital Video and Media Technology students. Maria Bleahu, the head of the department, oversaw the filming and production of the commemorative video. Three weeks ago, a group of 20 volunteers, which included students, faculty, and staff, met in the Student Center and to film the “flash mob” video. For those who might not be aware, a flash mob is “a group of people coordinated by email to meet to perform some predetermined action at a particular place and time and then disperse quickly.”

Above and below, Individuals take part in the Flash Mob

Canton Ballet Choreographer Angelo Lemmo donated his time and talents to choreograph and direct the flash mob scene. Angelo is credited with choreographing original ballets for the Canton Ballet Theater, among them Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wizard of Oz. Some other key talents involved in the behindthe-scenes work of taping and editing the video were Jason Blanda and Julian Salem, commercial music students at the Timken campus, and James Leatherboarrow, head of 111111111113 commercial music for SSC. 3

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Phi Theta Kappa By Brenda Dembraski-Marsh Many people have asked, “What is Phi Theta Kappa?” Contrary to what many students think, it is not a fraternity or a sorority. It is an honor society for two year colleges, similar to the National Honor Society in high schools. And why should students join? One very good reason is because there is $37 million available in transfer scholarships, and there are also other scholarships available for current students enrolled at Stark State. However, students are only eligible if they are a member of Phi Theta Kappa. Membership in Phi Theta Kappa is by invitation only and is based on a student’s GPA. A student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.75 and 16 college credit hours completed to receive an invitation. There is a one-time fee of $65 for a lifetime membership. Established in 1918 by eight two-year college presidents in Missouri, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society serves to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and provide opportunities for individual growth and development through honor, leadership and service programs.

Cherie Barth is the advisor for Phi Theta Kappa at Stark State, and she keeps things running very smoothly. She is a dynamo, always busy and involved, but available. The officers run the show and she is their sounding board. In addition to her Phi Theta Kappa duties, she is the Advisor of Student Activities. Her main job is to be there for the students. Cherie is a 25-year employee of Stark State, and has been in this position since 2001, and she loves her job. She gets to work with the students, and there is something new to do every day. In her opinion, “What more could you ask for?” Stop by and see Cherie Barth on the third floor in S311f for more information on Phi Theta Kappa. Her door is always open.

I’m Out of Place. What Am I? By Christopher M. Usner

In 1928, the American Association of Community Colleges recognized Phi Theta Kappa as the official honor society for two-year colleges. Today, Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society for higher education in the world, with more than 2.25 million members and 1,250 chapters. Their presence is worldwide, with chapters located in 50 U.S. states, various U.S. territorial possessions, Canada, Germany, the British Virgins Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Island, the Federated States of Micronesia, the United Arab Emirates, and the Republic of Palau.

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Kenneth Hubbard guessed that the image pictured in last month’s issue was in fact part of a water fountain and won a $25 gift certificate to the bookstore. Now, try your luck. Can you guess what is out of place in the image above? Send your best guess to for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to the bookstore.

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A Brief Analysis of Senate Bill 5 By Ian Cain Recently, there’s been a lot of news and controversy over Senate Bill 5 (SB5) and its provision to deny state employees, including college teachers, the right to have unions. For all the sound and fury, however, it’s hard to get a clear view of exactly what SB5 is really about. What are the actual provisions of the bill, and why are the Republicans (who are probably not actually servants of Satan out to destroy teachers and policeman, even if it sometimes seems that way) pushing so hard on this issue? For that matter, why did not only every single Democrat, but even a number of Republicans vote against SB5? This article aims to perform a brief analysis of these issues, with the focus on how the bill will affect teachers, especially the teachers of Stark State. Given that SB5 runs hundreds of pages, this analysis will be far from exhaustive, but hopefully it can at least touch on some of the main points. Most of the focus in the news has been on how Senate Bill 5 will deny public workers the ability to have unions (although its modified form will allow collective bargaining over wages, hours, and working conditions), but none of the instructors I spoke to at Stark State considered that to be a crucial issue compared to some of the other provisions. There are three basic provisions in SB5 that seem to be the biggest concerns to the instructors I spoke with. First, full-time instructors will be required to teach one extra class every two years. Second, instructors will have to pay 12 percent of the money that goes toward their retirement fund. Finally, instructors will have to pay 15 percent of the cost of their health insurance, where currently they pay none of the costs of health insurance or retirement. These figures might not seem like all that big a deal until one considers that for many years, the faculty at Stark State has been accepting health and retirement benefits in place of raises. The actual salary at Stark State is pretty low; it’s the benefits that make it worthwhile. The exact figures will vary, but overall this will result in something like a $600 per month reduction in pay and a significant increase in workload.

Understandably, many instructors view this as unfair, especially since they won’t receive the increase in salaries that they gave up in return for health/retirement benefits, even as those same benefits are taken away. The impact this will have on the quality of instruction at Stark State (both with current instructors leaving for greener pastures and added difficulty of hiring new ones) is unknown, but potentially extreme. So what has possessed Republicans to pass such a bill? Are they just against quality education? Well, not quite. There’s another side to the issue, as there so often is, and the Republicans were up against some tough constraints. First, it should be noted that there are a few other provisions in SB5 that get considerably less attention. Notably, salary increases are no longer based solely on seniority, but are instead to be based on merit. So the highest salaries go to the teachers (and police, etc.) who produce the best results, not just the ones who have been around the longest. Likewise, it requires that health care benefits to management level employees be the same as that provided to other employees of a given public employer. It should also be noted that many lawmakers have seen a growing problem with the unions themselves. As Chris Littleton, co-founder of the Ohio Liberty Council, which represents a coalition of 60 Tea Party groups, said, “In ultimate irony, money from these unions is then funneled to political advocates and candidates to lobby on their behalf, in order to perpetuate the level of government spending from which they benefit.” And that, of course, brings us to the final and in many ways most crucial reason for SB5. Money.

An analysis by the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), who work for Gov. Kasich, estimated that SB5 could end up 111111111115 saving the state as much as $1.3 billion. 5 (Continued on next page)

[Type text] Democrats and Unions dispute these figures, claiming that they are based on poor assumptions and that actual savings will be considerably less. Sadly, the non-partisan Legislative Service Commission has yet to release an estimate, so no party-neutral figures on exact savings are available, but even Union representatives don’t dispute that SB5 will save the state some money; however, they feel the amount that will be saved isn’t worth the price that will be paid by the teachers, police, and other government employees. Or as Stephen Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association put it, “the squeeze isn’t worth the juice.” So why are the Republicans so focused on cutting spending that they’d push through such a controversial bill? The issue for many Republicans was to either make cuts now, when the economy is weak, and with the possibility of raising benefits and/or pay later when the economy recovers, or go further into debt. Of course, the deeper into debt the state goes, the more of its income it has to pay to interest on that debt, and the less it has to do other things, such as pay teachers and other public employees. In the end, SB5 was seen as a short-term harm in order to prevent a greater, longerterm harm. So is SB5 a good thing, or should the state have done something else instead? Ultimately, each of us must decide that for ourselves. Nor is this decision a meaningless one – the We Are Ohio Coalition, a group that opposes SB5, is working to collect signatures in order to have SB5 placed on the ballot this November. They’re likely to succeed, too, which means that it will be up to voters to determine this bill’s future.

It’s too soon to tell how things will turn out, or what the final bill we vote on will look like, but one thing’s for sure: it is likely to mean big changes for the teachers and students of Stark State in the years to come.

Spring Fling, the Greatest Event of the Year, Just Got Better! By Connie Luthi Spring Fling 2011 will be held Thursday, May 5th from 11:00 – 3:00 in the Courtyard. The Spring Fling committee and the Globalization Taskforce have teamed up this year to bring us the best party ever! Throughout this festive social gathering, Stark State is “celebrating Global Unity” with food, music, dance, a fashion show, and artifacts from across the globe. Sanese Services will be hosting a cookout, and many of our own faculty, staff and students will supply a diverse assortment of food. DJ Ricco will set the mood with music and will be taking requests. The Raja Group will give a belly dancing performance at 2 p.m. and provide a free lesson after their performance. The Fashion Merchandising class is producing the fashion show featuring an international theme. The countries being represented are Australia, Japan, England, Mexico, and Africa. Don’t miss the half hour show scheduled to begin at 11:30. Also keeping the international theme, the artifacts display will feature items from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Native America. Faculty, staff, and students will also offer their private collections for the exhibit. Other activities students can participate in this year are FREE massages, a Cornhole Tournament, Pet Adoption, Rock Wall, Vern the Balloon Guy, and many more.

Of course, the Republicans are trying to put Bring the kids: admission is free for everyone, and large portions of SB5 into the state budget there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Spring is in DAY to a vote), but they (whichMONTH isn’t subject the air! Come join in the fun. probably won’t be able to get the whole bill YEARA into the budget, so our votes will determine Have an opinion, comments or concerns? Send what becomes law. them to Because 111111111116 6 ultimately, this isn’t our paper; it’s your paper. The Stark Voices

Stark Voices April 2011 Edition  

Stark Voices is the Stark State College student newspaper.