M T H E M O N TA G E
Silence after student attack leaves campus with safety concerns, a letter of resignation and unanswered questions. Stories on pages 4 and 5
Voume 48 Issue 14
May 2, 2013
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NEWS May 2, 2013
NEA pushes for board of trustees transparancy Seven months later, faculty and staff still to receive survey results KAVAHN MANSOURI EDITOR IN CHIEF Seven months have passed since the Professional Development Day that stemmed faculty and staff to an October 2012 board of trustees (BOT) meeting, which left Chancellor Myrtle Dorsey under heavy criticism. On April 16 at the BOT meeting staff and faculty members pushed the board to be transparent. STLCC-Forest Park Associate Professor Mark Kruger cited a lack of respect and trust as the reason faculty and staff have not received the survey results of the October Professional Development Day. “What I’ve noticed since I’ve been in this particular community is that there seems to be a lack of respect and a lack of trust between different groups of the community,” Kruger said. “I have no doubt that without respect and no trust between groups, the institution cannot function in a healthy matter.” Kruger said staff and faculty have been continuously denied the results to the survey. “The next month we asked for the results of the survey and we were told the results had not been compiled yet. In December of 2012 we again asked for the results. And
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in March, last month, again asked for the results. We were denied,” Kruger said. “I suggest that trust and respect doesn’t come from suppressing information and instead opening that information.” STLCC-Wildwood Communications instructor Ellen McCloskey said no task force or movement has taken place since 2006. “As far as we know, as the National Education Association (NEA), nothing has been done since the 2006 case study and no task force has been created for the issues,” McCloskey said. “We would like to request a date and a time for a task force to be established and to begin the process of working on this.” Kruger said denying the staff and faculty of the results has created a “thorn” among staff and faculty. “There’s one thing that has been sort of a thorn among staff and faculty, and you do have the power to do something about it immediately,” Kruger said. “In October of 2012 the college asked faculty and staff to participate in a survey about success or lack of success on the professional development day.” Kruger suggested that the board release the results to begin rebuilding the
PHOTO BY: KAVAHN MANSOURI STLCC Chancellor Myrtle Dorsey listens to faculty and staff testimonials at a board of trustees meeting.
relationship between administration and staff and faculty. “I’d like you to understand that when people are expecting something and it takes seven months and they’re
Increased Security at South County Center after Student-Instructor Argument On April 29, a strong verbal argument took place in a classroom at the STLCC South County Education Center between a student and an instructor. There was no physical contact between the two and the student left the classroom. STLCC Campus Public Information and Marketing sent an email on behalf of District Chief Robert Stewart
acknowledging the incident and informed STLCC that there would be an increased security presence at the South County Education Center. Meramec Campus Police have been asked by Vice President of Student Affairs Linden Crawford to remove the student, who also attends Meramec, from class for disciplinary action.
PHOTO BY: ALEX KENDALL Sarah Keeley presents Professor Joe Schneider with a Glaux Award at the Phi Theta Kappa Glaux Awards Ceremony on April 24 in BA 105. Instructors were awarded PTK Glaux Awards through student nomination.
not responded to, they do feel a lack of respect from the organization and a lack of trust,” Kruger said. “I think you can do something about that immediately if you care do to so.”
Instructor and students aid classmate KAVAHN MANSOURI EDITOR IN CHIEF A student suffered from a seizure during foreign language instructor Jose Otalora’s April 10, 6 p.m. Elementary Spanish 2 class. Otalora and several of his students quickly came to the aid of the student. Otalora said the student was suddenly talking very fast and having trouble sitting up in her chair. “All of the sudden a student started to have trouble standing up and she was trying to tell us something but it was unintelligible. Talking very fast,” Otalora said. “She was having trouble sitting up right so we knew that she was in trouble.” Fellow students quickly came to her aid, according to Otalora. “Students near her came to her aid. So in case she was having a seizure she wouldn’t hit her head,” Otalora said. “We decided to seek for help, so I asked people to dial 911 and the janitor who works in this wing radioed for the police.” Otalora said while waiting for the paramedics he worked to stabilize the student. “Soon after the paramedics came,” Otalora said. “I was trying to stabilize her by putting her on the supine position on the floor. That seemed to help her regain her breathing and she was doing better.” Otalora said he was thankful to have students willing to help their classmate. “I was glad my students were there to intervene, without them I wouldn’t have been able to help her,” Otalora said.
4NEWS May 2, 2013
Student attacked in campus bathroom CAMPUS ATTACK SERIES BY KAVAHN MANSOURI EDITOR IN CHIEF On Thursday, April 18, Professor Linda Copeland’s ENG030 class started like any other 8 a.m. class starts, dreary eyed students sat in desks and began a day of learning. But one particular student was missing from Copeland’s class. Former STLCC-Meramec student Jevon Mallory was not among his classmates that Thursday; he had other plans in mind for an unsuspecting victim. At 8:08 a.m., student Blythe Grupe left her 8 a.m. class to use the restroom. Mallory attacked Grupe in the upstairs bathroom of the Communications South building after hiding in a bathroom stall waiting, looking for a “random person” to attack, Grupe said. Grupe said she had not noticed anyone in
at that point he had me in a headlock and was choking me with his arm.” Mallory is being charged with a class D felony and was issued a $10,000 dollar bond, which has since been increased to $25,000. He is currently being held in St. Louis County Jail. Mallory returned to the campus Tuesday, April 23 and was apprehended by Campus Police and escorted to the Student Affairs Office. He reportedly had a scheduled meeting with Vice President of Student Affairs Linden Crawford. Grupe had never met Mallory before and that the attack seemed random. She said Mallory tried to calm her down during the attack in a “gentle” tone. “He was saying things like ‘please be quiet’
PHOTO BY: ALEX KENDALL Communications South second floor bathroom, where Blythe Groupe was attacked, closed until further notice.
the bathroom prior to the attack. “About five minutes into the class I left to use the restroom,” Grupe said. “Right when I was about to wash my hands, and I hadn’t noticed anyone around or anything, someone had walked in and kind of slipped passed me. I realized someone was standing behind me, but
and shushing me,” Grupe said. “Not in an aggressive way or an angry way but in a weird gentle tone, like there was some other motive.” Grupe said she felt as if Mallory’s intent was to kill her. In the STLCC case report Campus Police Chief Paul Banta wrote that Mallory said he wanted to “vent his rage”
and planned on “withdrawing her from life,” referring to Grupe. Mallory attempted to cover up the attack when Grupe’s English instructor Aurora Hill confronted him, she said. “Apparently he was standing over me when my professor walked in and she started asking him what he was doing,” Grupe said. “He lied and was saying that he saw me choking and was trying to help but she knew.” Grupe said Mallory then tried to run from the bathroom. “He then ran past her and she followed him out and called for police. She knew they were around because they were responding to something different,” Grupe said. “They came in and caught him.” While Mallory has been taken into custody, Grupe said she is trying to get back to normal life. “I’m getting better about talking about it; there’s no major injuries. I’m doing okay and trying to go back to classes and finish out the semester… normally,” Grupe said as her voice trembled. Grupe said she was surprised to learn that Mallory returned to campus five days after the attack. “I heard that from a student and I was wondering why I wasn’t alerted about that,” Grupe said. “Within the next two hours I was told he was charged and that he was in jail.” An official memo from former President George Wasson was forwarded to faculty and staff at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, five days after the attack and one day after Grupe went to the media with ehr story. Assistant Professor Betsy Morris said Grupe, a former student, was brave to speak
“Blythe Grupe is a young but resilient student who bravely and gracefully chose to speak out and to be heard this past week. I hope her actions encourage other students who have been victims of violence in any aspect of their lives to find the strength to speak out, seek help, and persevere in the face of adversity. Campus Police Chief Paul Banta said he is not sure what the suspect had in mind when he came to the campus. “I don’t know what was in his mind, and I don’t want to talk about his interview with him because the prosecutor would rather not release the details of that interview to the media,” Banta said. Banta said Mallory is unpredictable. “In my opinion he’s unpredictable, I couldn’t make an educated guess what he’s going to do,” Banta said.
STLCC faces scrutiny in wake of attack, students react STLCC has received a slew of negative feedback on the handling of the April 18 attack of Blythe Grupe. After five days of silence, with two additional alleged victims of Jevon Mallory coming forward in the media and the resignation of Campus President George Wasson, Meramec faces an uphill battle to regain its former reputation. STLCC Chancellor Myrtle Dorsey said students should not have to worry about their safety at the April 26 board of trustees meeting. “The other thing that has gone out is a letter of apology from me as the chancellor of this institution telling everyone… students, faculty and staff — that this will not happen again, we will do a better job and that we value and want to protect our students and make sure that they are in an environment that is safe,” Dorsey said. Dorsey also spoke at a press conference on Friday, April 26 where she took full responsibility for the mistakes made in handling the assault. “We’ve learned from that and we will be moving forward with making sure we have safe and secure campuses and that when students come to us to learn they will be there to learn and get an education without worrying about those things they shouldn’t have to worry about,” Dorsey said. Grupe said the silence about her attack was unfair to the students of Meramec. “I definitely wish they would have [said something],” Grupe said. “I understand
they can’t give out confidential information like names and specifics. But I really think that it was important that they would have let the students know that this happened.” Grupes said her classmates were unaware of the attack, she said. “Other students I’ve seen were annoyed they just found out about it and that there wasn’t any mention of it before,” Grupe said. “I don’t think the school has addressed it at all.” Mallory’s professor Linda Copeland said she first heard of the attack on April 23, and received no notification of Mallory’s expulsion other than Drop/ Add Registration Activity on April 24. Copeland said her daughter, who lives in Kansas City, heard about the story and notified her of the attack. On Tuesday, April 30, the Student Governance Council dedicated a portion of their bi-weekly meeting to discuss campus safety, Wasson’s resignation and the events of the past two weeks. Student Natalie Smith said the college should notify faculty members when there is an incident on the campus. “There needs to be a notification within 24 hours; that’s the biggest thing,” Smith said. “They need to notify the faculty members so the faculty members can notify the students. That’s one thing that was done in a previous instance where I felt like the campus wants me to make me feel safe.” Smith said she found out about the
attack from media, rather than the school. “I found out through outside media what had happened at my school,” Smith said. Student Jared Phillips said patrols should be 24/7 on campus. “They’re doing it now [patrolling] but there’s no reason they can’t do it all the time. If it’s a matter of affordability; well you can’t put a price on our safety,” Phillips said. Smith said she feels like the campus is prepared for certain scenarios, but is not completely safe. “I feel like they’re prepared if there was a tornado, if there was a fire, if someone had a gun,” Smith said. “I feel like there needs to be something in place where [faculty] are told, even before we are, so they know how to handle the students asking questions as well. That was something one of my professors ran into.” Jumping to conclusions can be dangerous, according to student Nick Clemens. He said the college should be careful in certain situations involving campus safety and privacy. “If you look at the other side of this, what do we think everyone should be notified of ? What should they be told? If there’s anytime someone who hasn’t had a warrant put out for them yet, and obviously in this case this person messed up and there should have been something put out there, in what circumstances do you want that to happen,” Clemens said. “Just because
someone’s accused of a crime should everyone get their name? Should we get an email saying that something’s happened but who knows what and who knows who was involved or what happened.” Clemens said not every situation is clear-cut when it comes to incidents on the campus. “There are privacy concerns in something like this,” Clemens said. “This one is clear-cut. The ones in the future won’t be and that’s something you should look at before you make a blank decision, or make things overly cautious.” Student Larron Vaughn said a part of the problem is the Meramec Campus Police. “I mean no disrespect to the current security we have on campus. However, I think that it can be executed a little differently,” Vaughn said. “We call them security because they look like security. They don’t look like they’re cops, I don’t think they carry themselves that way.” Vaughn said campus police officers should be knowledgeable about the culture of Meramec. “If you’re in the Navy you learn how to swim. If you’re in the Air Force and you’re a pilot you should know how to fly a plane. If you’re on a college campus you should be very, very knowledgeable about that culture. I’d like to see police officers that speak to students, interact. I think they should be more present; I think that would help,” Vaughn said.
NEWS May 2, 2013
‘He was one of us’
Meramec President George Wasson resigns in aftermath of attack STLCC-Meramec George Wasson tendered his resignation as Meramec president on Monday, April 29. Wasson’s resignation came in the wake of a physical attack on Meramec student Blythe Grupe on April 19. Jevon Mallory, a now expelled Meramec student, attacked Grupe in the second floor women’s bathroom of Communications South. At 5 p.m. on April 29 Chancellor Myrtle Dorsey sent a campus wide email announcing she had accepted the resignation of Wasson. In the email she stressed the safety of STLCC students and the appointment of Wildwood Campus President Pam McIntyre as interim Meramec Campus President. Wasson was asked to remain available for “unfinished actions” started during his time as president, and was placed on paid administrative leave until his contract expires on June 30, 2013, according to Delancey Smith, Director of Public Information and Marketing Vice President of Academic Affairs Andrew Langrehr said he was shocked by Wasson’s resignation. “I’m a little shocked; a little shell shocked right now,” Langrehr said. “It’s a rude awakening. This is someone who’s been on this campus for I think nearly 30 years in a variety of capacities. To see him exit and getting this email is going be a shock to a lot of people.” Shock spread through the campus Monday evening as faculty, staff and administration received the Chancellor’s email. Vice President of Student Affairs Linden Crawford said she could not believe Wasson had resigned. “I’m stunned. I’m absolutely stunned,” Crawford said. “I have a lot of positive experiences with President Wasson and I find this to be just shocking.” Crawford said she did not fully understand why Wasson resigned but was very sad. “I don’t understand,” Crawford said. “I think we’re all capable, strong individuals but right now I’m just very sad. I’m very sad for President Wasson and I’m … very sad.” Langrehr said that although the college is taking a beating in the media, the blame cannot be put on one person. “Sort of the aftermath of it is what the focus is getting to be. The college is sort of taking a beating in the media right now,” Banta informs Wasson, Crawford, Stewart and Langrehr. “At a time when a student is a suspect and is placed in custody the clery act of timely warning requirement is not applicable in those cases. At that time there was no further threat to the campus and the District Chief of Police did not initiate any further information. No further information was released to the campus.” 12:10 p.m. Suspect released by Campus Police from Kirkwood facility pending warrant applications. “A warrant application requires a presentation of the police report to a representative of the prosecuting attorney’s office. Suspect cannot be held longer than 24 hours without formal warrants. A suspect must also be released when it is known that a warrant cannot be obtained within that time period.”
Thursday APRIL 18TH
Langrehr said. “I feel like there’s plenty of people who feel like there’s blame to go around about how it was handled.” Student Governance President Philip Oehlerking said the chancellor should release a statement on why Wasson resigned. “I think what the chancellor should probably do within the next couple days is release some sort of press information about the reasons why he resigned,” Oehlerking said. “I think if it were something personal or not related to this than we don’t need to know. But if it was, the students and the faculty would like to know.” Coordinator of Enrollment Management Kim Fitzgerald said Wasson’s resignation had a direct link to last week’s events. “I think it’s incredibly unexpected. I think it’s pretty obvious there’s a direct link to the recent incidents,” Fitzgerald said. “Having been here for over 25 years you see a lot of things happen and you see a lot of people come and go. You see a lot of people go out in flames.” Fitzgerald said the campus faces many adjustments after the resignation. “I’m still pretty surprised. George has been there for a long time and unfortunately longevity doesn’t really get you a whole lot when it comes to matters like this,” Fitzgerald said. “I think it’s going to be an adjustment. I think people were comfortable with George being there – maybe to a certain extent people can be too comfortable.” Langrehr said the campus is losing someone who had a passion for all things Meramec. “You’re going to lose someone who was passionate about the Meramec campus who has been a faculty member and a variety of leadership roles on this campus,” Langrehr said. “Someone who rose to the level of president because of the support of his colleagues here on the campus.” Langrehr said the campus will be blindsided by the news. “I can’t really think of all the ways people are going to react to it – but I think shock is the best word,” Langrehr said. “I think there’s going to be some people who are sad, some who are mad, people who are kind of hurt, people who are going to want to know and from the way this looks he’s not going to be here to talk about it.” In a challenging time, and in the wake
8:15 a.m. Suspect transported to campus police station, read his rights, confessed and gave a statement. Booked by campus police. Victim transported to campus police station. Offered medical assistance, refused. Made statement, interviewed by Beverly Bevenau and offered counseling. 10:15 a.m. Suspect transported to Kirkwood Police station to be fingerprinted and photographed
PHOTO BY: KAVAHN MANSOURI
resignation that will have to be discussed. “People will have a lot of questions about the things we’re in the middle of,” Langrehr said. “We’re talking about potential reorganization of the division and we’re talking about shifting some renovation and some departments around; where they’re located. We’ll have to bring people up to speed.” Crawford said that perspective like Wasson’s cannot be replaced. “It’s a perspective that can’t be replaced with any other leader,” Crawford said. “Many leaders can come to an institution but to have the kind of history and perspective and knowledge of the campus community, the culture, the students, the course work, the state legislation, the issues facing us. I think that’s what we’re losing. I think we’re losing a significant resource for our campus.” Fitzgerald said a lesson can be learned about student safety through the events of the past week. “I think if we didn’t have procedures in place to deal with these kind of things – I think that’s pretty serious,” Fitzgerald said. “I think if we’re talking about the safety of students that should be the primary focus. I think if the lesson that we have to learn to get to that place then that’s just how it is.” GRAPHICS BY JAKE HUNN
5:30 p.m. Tony Oplid calls district manager of private investigator to inform him Post Dispatch was inquiring about campus assault. The district manager contacted Banta who gave account of incident, director sends summary at 5:47 p.m. to administration of the Meramec campus and district, chief of police requesting a confirmation of details. Upon receiving the facts a return call message was made to the STL post dispatch and a voicemail was left for the reporter.
FRIDAY april 19th
8:08 a.m. Officers responded to a call for help and apprehended the suspect
of losing a president and vice president three years ago, the campus will feel the loss of Wasson, Langrehr said. “It’s going to be hard on the campus to absorb this news, to absorb change to recognize we’re going to have to go through another [president] search when we just went through this not two years ago,” Langrehr said. “That was a difficult time for the campus. We lost a president and a vice president in a short amount of time.” Langrehr said that Wasson was a important piece to the puzzle of Meramec. “I think there’s a significant hole. He’s one of us. He’s part of the campus,” Langrehr said. “A number of people have been here a long time but having a president that has that … that’s going to be a loss. I think it’s going to be a significant loss at a challenging time.” Oehlerking said he has heard several different theories to why Wasson resigned. “Honestly, I think I would like to reserve judgment until I hear all the facts,” Oehlerking said. “There’s some theories or stories that chancellor Dorsey forced him out and there’s some that say he wasn’t even on campus when everything happened so he shouldn’t have been ultimately responsible for what had happened. Or there’s other stories that are going on that say he was directly involved trying to sweep this under the rug.” Jacob Hight, a student who works in the student life office, said the college should not look for scapegoats and instead should look for solutions. “Horrible things are always going to happen and we should do our best to make sure they don’t happen. There’s never going to be a situation that’s so perfect an individual isn’t going to circumvent the safeguard of a certain place,” Hight said. “I think attention need to be paid to what really needs to be done instead of looking for scapegoats.” Langrehr said Interim President Pam McIntyre, Ph.D. will be knowledgeable to the campus, but that Meramec must lick its wounds and adjust to the change. “People know that person pretty well because she worked on this campus for a long time,” Langrehr said. “She knows the campus and knows a lot of people here but there’s going to be some healing and some adjustments we’ll need to go through.” Langrehr added that there are a lot of issues the campus faces outside of the
2:40 p.m. The college responded to social media posts on twitter and facebook, responded immediately. 9:30 p.m. District Director of Public Information marketing was copied on an email from the Linden Crawford who was at that time acting Meramec president. Director receives emails from Wasson requesting a statement to be sent to the campus. 10:30 a.m. Director forwards statement to board of trustees.
saturday april 20th sunday april 21st 5 p.m. Reporter returns call. District Manager of information and marketing communicated with Banta to fact check details. No further contact is made with media.
monday april 22nd
5:20 p.m. Meramec Campus President George Wasson’s resignation is accepted by Chancellor Myrtle Dorsey and a campus-wide email is sent announcing the resignation.
tuesday april 23rd
monday april 29th
8 a.m. Suspect returns to campus, had an in person appointment with the VPSA at 9:30 a.m. Purpose of the meeting was to inform student that he was permanently dismissed from the college. The suspect was then transported to St. Louis County Jail, warrants were issued and he was taken into custody with bond set at $10,000. He remains in custody and is scheduled for a April 29 preliminary hearing. Also at 8 a.m. a counselor attended the class to make sure all the students were okay. 12:30 p.m. Statement was sent by Wasson to Meramec campus. 2:21 p.m. District wide email was sent to all students, faculty and staff. 2:30 p.m. A press release was sent to all media.
6OPINIONS May 2, 2013
KAVAHN MANSOURI EDITOR IN CHIEF
LILLY HUXHOLD MANAGING EDITOR
Endings Endings are an interesting paradox. While some can be exciting, fulfilling, bittersweet, some are painful, difficult and abrupt. It does not matter how prepared, how ready a person is for endings, it leaves a lasting mark on them forever. Whether it is leaving schools, a major shift in one’s life or the loss of a fellow person, it is what we do with these marks that define the purpose of endings. There is a reason why things do not last forever; including life, for if everything lasted, nothing would be precious or extraordinary. Think of endings as a door that has to be taken. While it is a difficult choice, one cannot stand on the threshold forever. Do not close those doors just because the outside is different, because the results are scary or the shadows of what used to be are comfortable. Human beings have an incredible ability to adapt, to flourish and to accept in difficult times. Take endings as not a new beginning, but as a point of reflection to remember what was had and what can be had. Remember that while not everything happens for a reason, these occurrences’ move us forward to what could be a stronger, better us.
ENVIRONMENTAL CHOICES TEGAN MAZUREK STAFF WRITER
Hope in the Small It is amazing how much one learns about something one loves by teaching about it. Over the past eight months, I have written about a variety of environmental issues, informed about the effects of
Readers, it has been a ride. Next semester I will be moving on to a new college and spreading the good word of freedom to a new audience. But have no fear; I will share everything we have learned together in our crusade for patriotism. We have truly explored what America is these past three years. We have discussed jumbo jets, Morgan Freeman, monster trucks and everything in between. It has been a gloriously patriotic ride, but like “Three’s Company,” it must come to an end. It has been a special experience studying here at Meramec and working at The Montage. I have grown immensely as a person and a writer and would not have had half of the opportunities I had on this campus if I had gone anywhere else. Although I am leaving in a time of uncertainty for Meramec, STLCC and with what majors you might want to go into, I hope that I can instill with you one last lesson; that you take pride in Meramec for everything that it gives to its students. There is a strong community here who cares about you and your future. So, while this will be the final America Kicks Ass, it does not have to end here. Get out there in your American flag pants and make a difference on our campus. Stand up, speak up, share what you are feeling and give a damn about Meramec, because it gives a damn about you. Because at the end of the day… Meramec kicks some serious ass too. different threats to the planet, and explained solutions that the average person can do to ease the tension. But in the end, the greatest hope for the health and welfare of the planet, and all the life that depends upon it, are the small acts of individuals. People seem to turn away from conservation because it sometimes seems like a tangled, unsolvable mess. It seems to be too big to tackle. But every small act adds up into one large result, even if it is only focused on one thing like recycling paper and cardboard. One ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees, two barrels of oil, three yards of landfill space and about 60 pounds of air pollution, according to WebEcoist, a green lifestyle publication. If
EDITORS Kavahn Mansouri Lilly Huxhold Kelly Glueck Spencer Gleason Joe Makoto Alex Kendall Hans Steinert Jake Hunn Ashley Higginbotham Gretchen Daniels Justin Villmer Shannon Philpott
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ILLUSTRATION BY: CORY MONTERO
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everyone recycled only paper, the impact would be astounding. Even making simple switches in the home, such as making sure the hot water heater is no hotter than 120 degrees, changing light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs, washing clothes in cold or warm instead of hot water, unplugging all electronics and turning off the tap when brushing teeth can all make a huge impact. There is even a mobile app called One Small Act that allows users to track personal goals and gives suggestions on how to be greener in small ways. What the planet really needs is some respect from all its inhabitants. As humans, we are a part of the Earth’s cycles
and ecosystems. By thinking we are above the natural cycle, we will lead ourselves into self-destruction. It seems like there needs to be a dramatic shift or a lifestyle change to make a difference. But in reality, small changes in daily habits, such as recycling and changing light bulbs can make all the difference. Anthropologist Margret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” It is a solid reminder that the world’s problems are not so scary with a bit of teamwork, and there is always hope for the future.
MONTAGE STAFF THE MONTAGE Cory Montero Kurt Oberreither Victoria Barmak Robert Knight Taylor Menke Cory Muehlebach Dorian Roberts David Kloeckener Nick Rousseau Jake Simorka Tegan Mazurek Cassie Kibens
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OPINIONS May 2, 2013
IN THE DARK
THE MONTAGE STAFF One of us is attacked on campus. The rest of us wait five days for an official statement from the college. We were left to believe rumors and embellished news from mainstream media outlets. We were left in the dark. We are nervous about our safety. We are questioning our decisions to attend STLCC-Meramec. Our leader resigns without an explanation. We feel abandoned. Meramec had the reputation of a safe school with outstanding faculty. Many students made a commute out of their way to attend Meramec for that reasons. So what happens when an “isolated incident” occurs where one student decides to “withdrawal [another student] from life?” The college writes it off while the media
plays it up. We are Meramec. Without the students, it ceases to exist. How about a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T? Five days of silence brought chaos and heavy damage on the reputation of a typically safe, top-notch community college. We, the campus community, deserve to know if there is a security threat and the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act recognizes this as a right. Rebuilding the trust of students and faculty depends on the administration recognizing these rights. We may be students; we may be learning, but we are smart enough to know that these things could have been dealt with better and the school is compromising its future by giving its spotless reputation priority over a real sense of security, which
are the partially the products of trust and transparency. Meramec is a place for higher education, understanding and the betterment of a community. It is not a place for petty politics nor the blame game. If decisions continue to be made based on a corporate model of control and fear, the students will be lost. We do not care whose fault it is nor is it necessary for anyone else to resign. We want what we came here for; expanded minds and changed lives. Whatever prompted former President George Wasson to resign, losing the head of our institution is a step in the wrong direction. In this time of uncertainty we as a campus needed someone who could lead us through these disquieting days. Instead we are left in the dark.
Without answers, our students, faculty and staff members are disrespected yet another time this academic year. These tendencies toward fear-based management, if left unresolved, will have a lasting effect on the campus, faculty, staff and, most importantly, the students of this institution. Action must be taken in the right direction; resolving problems through constructive discussions, not taking short cuts to resolve the college’s problems, making good on promises made to the faculty and staff, working together as a college and not a corporation and most importantly standing beside STLCC students, not on their shoulders.
As far as I can tell from the media coverage both on campus and off, the main criticisms concerning the attack on Grupe was that there wasn’t a plan in place to handle such a situation (which given Meramec’s long-running track record of being a safe school is perhaps understandable, but easily fixed), and the great delay in time notifying the students of the attack (and I’m sure there were a number of people involved in making that call). Dorsey’s explanation that they wanted to take the necessary steps to protect the judicial rights of Grupe by having a thorough investigation and wanting to know what was going on are all reasonable excuses (and I think protecting Grupe’s legal rights against the person responsible for attacking her is worthy of applause), but
all that needed to be said initially was that there had been an attack, the suspect had been apprehended and taken into custody by police and that students will be kept informed as information becomes available. I don’t know if there was red tape standing between administration and students, but in times of crisis, red tape must be thrown aside if it prevents administration from taking necessary and appropriate actions to benefit the students/school. Despite there not being an official plan to handle the situation, the actions of the teacher and campus police did prevent the situation from running whatever horrible course it might have run; that much of Dorsey’s letter is legitimate.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR Dear Editor, I think students have a right to know why Wasson is resigning. STLCC may have been paying his salary, but ultimately he worked for the students, he was our president – I think the students should expect as much transparency as (legally) possible; his responsibility was to us just as much as the school. There is only one person that was responsible for the attack on Blythe Grupe and that was her attacker. It is still not entirely clear to students who was responsible for the decisions that were made in handling the situation – and that... I think is a big problem. This sort of vagueness ensures the people responsible won’t be held accountable, and runs the risk of the wrong people being held
accountable. Hypothetically, Wasson could easily be resigning because he knew the right way to handle the situation, but wasn’t allowed to do so – his resignation sheds no light on who is responsible for how the situation was handled. Where publicly saving face for the college is concerned, accepting the resignation of the president after a mismanaged crisis looks good rhetorically, but accepting the resignation of people that could be part of the solution, when there is no evidence they were the source of the problem, is ridiculously backwards; instituting interim leadership and new leadership at a time when the campus needs to move forward to handle the situation effectively sounds like more mismanagement of the situation to me.
Jacob Hight Student
8 INDEPTH May 2, 2013
ALEX KENDALL PHOTO EDITOR GRAPHICS BY JAKE HUNN
Why did you get your ink? “I think I was 18 when I got it. It was because me and my boyfriend broke up and I was totally bored and thought maybe if I got a tattoo I would feel better so I got a dove for peace and love.” -Becca Menendez, Photography “Well it’s kind of a weird story, but in high school I watched the movie ‘Dead Poets Society’ and the whole theme behind the movie was Carpe Diem, or seize the day. Make your life what you want it and don’t listen to whatever anyone else has to say.” - Shannon Foshe, Film
“The one on my foot is for my grandpa who die when I was younger. Just in remembrance of him. And ‘fortitude’ means the ability to hold on when others let go. I got that one because I was struggling with some personal issues and was overcoming a lot.” - Kate Naccarato, General Transfer “I honestly just like the look of them, and had been wanting to get a tattoo since I was 13 or 14, and by the time I turned 20, I realized I still hadn’t gotten any and just randomly got it as a birthday present to myself.” - Jessica Welikson, Graphic Design
WHICH MAJORS HAVE TATTOOS Photography-5 Music-2 Theatre-1 General Transfer-6 Education-1 Graphic Design-3 Graphic Communication-1 Philosophy-1 Math-1 Pharmacy-1 Computer science-1 Business-2 Culinary-1 Biology-3 undecided-3 teaching-1 communications-6 english-2 physical therapy-1 nursing-1 international relations-1 criminal justice-1 history-1
In some of the earliest societies, tattoos have been an integral part of culture including the Egyptians and ancient Icemen. It has been a way for people to communicate class, religious affiliation and social structure throughout their culture in a means to differentiate one’s self from others. Today, tattoos have taken on an entirely new meaning: individuality. Just as the clothes one wears and the activities one participates in define who they are, tattoos take this to another level and create a permanent individual identity according to history professor Dr. Kay Blalock. “Tattooing, piercings and how we dress are all forms of self-expression,” Blalock said. Jim Honey, tattoo artist and shop manager of Iron Age Studios, has seen the trend change over the years.
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Blalock. “I think there is still a distinction between ‘artwork’ and just a tattoo,” Blalock said. “I think it is an art, or at least it can become an art. And the wall in which that art is shown is your body.” According to another study performed by the Pew Research Center, 40 percent of those questioned said the impact of more people getting tattoos is a turn for the worse. Blalock, who has three tattoos, said that it depends on the generation issue of the acceptance of tattoos. “It doesn’t have to do much with one’s age, but with the acceptance of society,” Blalock said. “I think we are going to get to a point where you don’t notice it.” With the rising numbers of tattooed individuals, Blalock said seeing someone with a tattoo will be commonplace in the coming years. “I was in Toronto and it was funny
seeing someone without a tattoo. You get to the point where the people who don’t have one are in the minority. That makes not having one [seem] off,” Blalock said. As the designs have changed, so have the meanings behind them. According to Blalock, the thought behind the tattoo is just as important as the artwork itself. “I think there is more to it than ‘I want to be a rebel.’ I think often they have special meanings,” Blalock said. “Some of the stuff I’ve seen is just amazing.” For those looking to get a tattoo, Honey recommends researching into different artists and styles for the perfect tattoo. “Research. Look at the portfolios of artists so that you know their work. You can walk into a shop and say this is what I want and they will do it, but it may not be exactly what you want. So make sure it’s the style that you want,” Honey said.
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Advising Center, Clark Hall Call 314-984-7575 for an appointment.
May 2, 2013
‘Dr. McD’ retires after 41 years Students, faculty reflect on Dr. Larry McDoniel’s impact in the classroom ROBERT KNIGHT STAFF WRITER The official retirement of Dr. Larry McDoniel, aka “Dr. McD,” rapidly approaches after roughly 41 years of teaching in Meramec’s English department. McDoniel’s spirit and philosophy of teaching is readily apparent to many his students and colleagues. Those themes include mentoring, empowerment, process and patience. McDoniel describes his teaching style as “student-centered rather than teacher-centered” where he acts as more of a facilitator rather than a lecturer. His students agree. “I never had to write papers before and he helped me learn to write papers,” student Kayla Tulay said. “He really wants to see everyone succeed and he takes his time, and is very patient with everyone, and he likes to get to know everyone as an individual and what we are like at those levels according to our own personalities.” McDoniel’s personalized approach with students serves as an example for
students and other instructors. “He gets to know us individually. It seems like he really cares about us as an individual and is extremely supportive to the individual,” student Taylor Perkins said. “[McDoniel] has interesting personal stories for every paper,” student Vesna
“He just sort of makes the class fun, and he has a good sense of humor,” student Brian Stoverink said. Even though McDoniel includes humor among the multiple tools in his teacher’s toolbox, his primary focus is on developing students’ writing skills. “I mean, I’m teaching writing, what
“Teaching two-year college students has been and still is his life’s work…It’s a calling. Larry is the real deal.” Eric Meyer STLCC-Meramec English Professor
Knezevic said. This helps McDoniel build rapport and personal connection with his students. Another skill McDoniel employs to connect with students is building trust and incorporating humor into his class with personal stories.
am I going to do, sit up there and lecture about it? Am I going to stand up there and talk to students about this is how you do it, you know this is, this usually turns into the song of myself, this is how I do it. I wasn’t interested in that,” McDoniel said. His personable approach has left a
PHOTO BY: TEGAN MAZUREK Using a workshop approach with his students, Larry McDoniel critiques a students final paper in his Tuesday afternoon class. “I introduce the topic and I critique as they work on it.”
PHOTO BY: TEGAN MAZUREK
lasting impression on many of his students this semester at Meramec. “I like the fact that he treated us like adults. He didn’t hold our hand or anything. He also is very professional,” student Donald Marschall said. Student Starisia Finney said McDoniel’s teaching approach was helpful to her. “Once I got into this class, I was able to find out how much I grew as a writer,” Finney said. “He helped me to be able to grow and be able to see what I didn’t see in my writing at first. It was just a good experience to know that I could know that I can work on these things and still become a good writer, and how it’s a good process also.” Colleagues also attest to McDoniel’s theme of process and empowerment. “He is the professor who is the most committed to the writing process of invention, planning, drafting, revising and editing. He just has that down,” English professor Timothy Little said. “He can communicate that road to success in the writing process. He gives them a road map that breaks the writing process down so students of any level can apply it; even students who don’t think they can write.” According to English department professor Eric Meyer, McDoniel did not limit his mentoring to students. “As a mid-career colleague, when I think of some of the most influential people in my teaching life over the past ten years Larry has been an unbelievable mentor — not just me, to many other people in this department, and in such a genuine and subtle way too,” Meyer said. “He’s really thoughtful about his mentorship. He is like a physician who wants to know more about your question or your problem or your issue before he can really give you advice and that advice is very often empowering.” McDoniel’s “real” approach with students and faculty has left a lasting impression on the Meramec campus community, Meyer said. “Larry McDoniel is the real deal,” Meyer said. “Teaching two-year college students has been and still is his life’s work. It is not a job for Larry; it is who Larry is. It’s a calling. Larry is the real deal.”
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ART&LIFE May 2, 2013
John Bul Dau speaks on his journey to US ‘Success and struggle is a package that cannot be separated.’
PHOTO BY: CASSIE KIBENS John Dau, author of Lost Boy, Lost Girl, talks with students after his presentation Thursday, April 25. Dau and students talked about his first Christmas in America and other cultural shocks.
CASSIE KIBENS STAFF DESIGNER He woke up one night to his mother yelling, “Children, children, get up!” He ran. He ran all the way from Sudan to Ethiopia with the other lost boys. “I drank urine to stay alive, I ate mud to stay alive.” John Bul Dau said to the audience. Dau, author of “Lost Boy, Lost Girl,” and featured in the documentary “God Grew Tired of Us” spoke about his journey from Sudan to America and the challenges in-between at STLCC-Meramec on Thursday, April 25. “Do not let you be hold hostage by what happened in your life,” Dau said. “Success and struggle is a package that cannot be separated.” Dau’s journey took him across Africa and eventually to America. Dau traveled with upto 1,200 other lost boys, ranging
from 5-15 years old. They faced dangers along the entire journey: military attacks, animal attacks and disease threatened their lives every day. The group traveled by night in order to help avoid the military. “Today is bad, tomorrow will be ok,” Dau said to the younger lost boys. “We didn’t give up, we kept going.” After the presentation, Dau and select students attended a luncheon for students to further discuss the cultural differences and Dau’s journey. Dau spoke about his cultural transition into American and how his first Christmas was a large cultural shock. During some points in his life, Dau worked two to three jobs to make ends meet. Dau then realized he needed an education in order to better his life. “All of our students go through change in their lives,” Diversity Committee
PHOTO BY: ALEX KENDALL Tori Spencer (center) and student Jonathan Tweedy (right) browse through homemade goat’s milk soap and local honey from Hanley Fold Farm during STLCC-Meramec Earth Day on Wed. April 24, 2013 in the Student Center. The Meramec Earth Day celebration consisted of organizations and groups whose topics ranged from recycling, healthy living and environmental responsibility.
member Linda Nissenbaum said. “I think John spoke to that, he’s just a great example for our students.” Robert O’Davis, originally from Liberia, attended the luncheon. O’Davis came to America about 16 months ago to get an education. He will be attending University of Missouri - St. Louis and Washington University in the fall in order to study civil engineering. O’Davis hopes to use his degree to help development in his country. “He’s an example for we Africans,” O’Davis said. “We have to give back to our community.” Denise Sperruzza, Associate Professor of Communications, and Nissenbaum wanted to bring Dau to Meramec because of his message and because some of the professors show the documentary “God
Grew Tired Of Us.” Sperruzza and Nissenbaum also had to scrape up the funds to bring Dau to campus. “I knew in addition to hearing a message that needs to be heard it would personally connect with professors who show the movie in class and the students that have seen it,” Sperruzza said. Some students who attended the presentation came because it was a class requirement, some attended because it intrigued them. “We have it easy and I knew it was going to be inspirational,” sophomore Jennifer Daeumler said. Dau told students at the end of the presentation that he survived because he did not give up, and God helped him become who he is today. “Every problem has an end,” Dau said.
PHOTO BY: JAKE SIMORKA Faculty, students and the community attend the opening of the STLCC-Meramec Student Showcase on April 19, 2013 in the Meramec Contemporary Gallery. The gallery showcases work by students throughout the fine arts program.
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SPORTS May 2, 2013
Gone floatin’ PHOTOS BY: CORY MUEHLEBACH Members of the Camping and Floating class at Meramec canoe down Sampson Lake during their weekend trip April 20-21. Sampson Lake is located in Richwood, Mo., 59 miles away from the Meramec campus. Students spent the weekend canoing and camping at Greenfield Camp Ground. The course is taught by Physical Education instructor Colin Maag. At the end of the weekend, Maag helped the students understand all the ins and outs of being in the wilderness. Student Erin Kiely enjoyed the class this semester. “We had such an awesome group of people,” Kiely said. “The ending helped wrap things up.”
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16 SPORTS May 2, 2013
Taking a crack at a Regional Title Lady Archer softball comes away with a 2nd place finish in the Region XVI Tournament SPENCER GLEASON SPORTS EDITOR
After starting the season 3-14 in their first 17 games, the STLCC Lady Archers softball team found some momentum heading into the second half of the regular season. Going 9-7 in their final 16 games, the second half surge helped give the Lady Archers a 12-21 regular season record. Although the Lady Arches finished nine games below a .500 winning percentage, STLCC was able to turn the page midway through their 2013 campaign. “At the beginning we were kind of all over the place and by the end we figured out how to play together,” Lady Archers’ freshman pitcher Katie Harper said. “We figured out how to hit. We played for each other. Once we figured that out, we were really good.” As they headed into the Regional XVI Tournament during the weekend of April 2728, the Lady Archers took the No. 3 seed out of four teams. In the first round, STLCC split two games winning the first game, 10-6, against the No. 4 seeded Mineral Area College Cardinals. The second ballgame, the Lady Archers fell to the East Central College Falcons, 6-0. The following day, the Lady Archers again outlasted the Cardinals, 8-6, but lost in the Region XVI Championship Title game, 12-2, to the Falcons. The Lady Archer softball season ended with a second place finish. “We had played all of the teams in the tournament, so there wasn’t anybody new that
we were going to play,” Harper said. “We knew what we were going into.” Once the final out was made in the Region XVI Title game, the reflection of the 2013 season began. According to Harper, the camaraderie grew throughout the season. “We were all friends and that helps,” Harper said. “It’s different in college because you have to stick together.” In addition to the four sophomores, the 2013 team had nine freshmen to round out the 13-girl squad. After having a year of college softball under her belt, Harper found the intricate differences between high school and college ball. “College is so much more intense than high school. In college you work on the tiny little things that you don’t do in high school. It takes just as much energy out of you,” Harper said. “In college, the coaches look at where I put my hand when I throw a curveball compared to high school, where they just want you to throw a strike. In college, you have to flip your hand harder and push harder.” Aside from the wins and losses, the one thing Harper will take away from the 2013 season is the friendships. The Lady Archers teammates became a family away from family spending their free time together from August 2012 to this past Sunday. “We were together pretty much every day,” Harper said. “It was fun.”
Top: Maggie Wright takes a swing against the Mineral Area College (MAC) Cardinals on April 22. Middle: Wright slides safely into home later in the game against MAC. Bottom: Head coach Glen Ellis talks to the team in between innings. PHOTOS BY: DAVID KLOECKENER
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY: JAKE HUNN