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St. Louis Community College–Meramec

Feb. 24th, 2011 Vol. 46 Issue 10

Administrators talk money

STLCC jobs and funding slashed by state budget cuts Joe Douglas

- Editor-in-Chief -

Consorate lid Ce

C or p o





Timorts Cha es ar n e


Montage Reader Poll Have the snow days affected your classes’ curriculi?

A. Yes, not I’m working really hard to make it up. B. Yes, but not too much. C. No. It’s class as usual; unread chapters and all.

Is STLCC making the right budget cuts? To vote, visit:

C 17% B 50%

A 33%


US teen pregnancy on the rise Shows like “Teen Mom” are putting teen pregnancy under the pop spotlight






Fiscal Constraints


Workforce Development


Pages 8 and 9 Altern atives?



Community Relations



Eliminations Board of Trustees


Page 3



Million Scholarships nd

‘Our Mission’



i chie ream t a A the D

2011-2012 lth ea

er s t n onving

As STLCC’s pool of money drains from its reservoir, college administrators are forced to make several decisions that will affect the future of the community college. On Jan. 19, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced a 7 percent cut to state funding for public colleges. The looming possibility of layoffs, cuts and changes to programs has threatened STLCC since before the announcement. From eliminating health care on all campuses in 2008 to the recent consolidation of STLCC sports teams in January, board of trustees Chair Denise Chachery said the college is looking at ways it can save money but also allocate more funds to programs that benefit education and work force development. The decisions that follow will be made by the cooperative efforts of the STLCC board of trustees and the college leadership team. At the beginning of the year, the STLCC administrators and managers hosted a general meeting to discuss the budget, and invited veterans of The Chancellor’s Leadership Academy. “We had different categories and were asked to identify three areas where each individual thought the reduction should occur so that we could identify some priorities,” STLCCMeramec Interim President Zerrie Campbell said. “So from that exercise, we got a general sense of where people felt we could make some reductions...” However, the board and college leadership team are not finished making cuts. “There may be more,” Chachery said.

Child Care Impacts

The Magic

Money Morale

Page 5 s e c i v s n lutio er

So S a Expenses i d e M


Alumnus records Zhu Zhu pets commercials James Landro uses his Meramec training to direct the latest toy commercial


Softball takes a swing at the 2011 season The Lady Magic prepares for its last season on the diamond


February 24, 2011

Meramec Campus

Meramec Campus Rinku Sen on race, feminism and economic justice At 11 a.m. on Monday, March 7 in the Meramec Theatre, keynote Rinku Sen will lead students through a wide array of topics that are currently plague humanity. Sen is a leading figure in the racial justice movement and an expert on race, feminism, immigration, economic justice and commuity organizing. She is also the author of “The Accidental American...” that won the Nautilus Book Silver Medal Award and “Stir it Up.” Admission is free. For additional information call 314-984-7695.

Globalization, Poverty and, of course, Underwear At 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, Kelsey Timmerman, author and speaker, will visit Meramec to talk about controversial issues such as outsourcing, globalization and harsh labor practices. Timmerman has written books such as “Where Am I Wearing?”and “A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes.” Admission is free and Timmerman’s book will be available for purchase before and after the lecture along with a book signing immediately following his presentation.


BRIEFS Meramec Campus

Meramec Campus The Don Robinson Project The Don Robinson Project has endowed 843 acres and a trust fund to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Don Robinson’s property will become Missouri’s 51st State Park. The property is located in Jefferson County just north of Cedar Hill, Mo. The Don Robinson Property offers Meramec students Service Projects while experiencing the environment first-hand. For more information, contact Service Learning Coordinator Donna Halsband by phone at (314) 984-7893 or by e-mail at

Denise Thimes in Concert As an accomplished performer, Denise Thimes has toured both Europe and America. She is also an eight-time recipient of the St. Louis Black Repertory Woodie Award for her musical and drama performances. At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9 in the Meramec Theatre, Thimes will showcase her jazz-based repertoire of music. She has performed with artists such as Earl May, Benny Powell, Jim and Tootie Heath, and Billy Taylor, Ph.D., in a career that spans more than two decades. For additional information, call (314) 984-7695. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Members of the Don Robinson Project are helping clear Missouri’s 51st State Park of infestive cedar trees. The new program is being offered to Meramec students as an opportunity for involvement with various service projects while experiencing the enviroment first hand.

Students with disAbilities

have Access at STLCC.

St. Louis Community College makes every reasonable effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities. If you have accommodation needs, please contact the Access office at the campus where you are registered. While accommodations may be requested at any time, some accommodations may require many weeks to arrange. Florissant Valley Access Office 3400 Pershall Road St. Louis, MO 63135-1499 E-mail: Phone: 314-513-4551 Fax: 314-513-4876 Relay Missouri: 711

Forest Park Access Office

Meramec Access Office

5600 Oakland Ave. St. Louis, MO 63110-1393 E-mail: Phone: 314-644-9039 Fax: 314-951-9439 Relay Missouri: 711

11333 Big Bend Road Kirkwood, MO 63122-5799 E-mail: Phone: 314-984-7673 Fax: 314-984-7123 Relay Missouri: 711

Wildwood Student Enrollment and Disability Support Services 2645 Generations Drive Wildwood, MO 63040-1168 E-mail: Phone: 636-422-2000 Fax: 636-422-2050 Relay Missouri: 711

St. Louis Community College expands minds and changes lives every day. We create accessible, dynamic learning environments focused on the needs of our diverse communities. Florissant Valley

Forest Park




February 24, 2011


District budget cuts force layoffs, expand work force development


Annie Patterson, copy technician for the printing department at Meramec, focuses her attention on documents heading out for distribution. The printing department is one of the many departments facing layoffs.

Shane Rice - News Editor -

Joe Douglas - Editor-in-Chief With a 7-percent reduction in state funding looming over STLCC, college officials are forced to cut further into the district’s resources by eliminating 60 support service positions throughout STLCC. “We couldn’t make a definite decision until we knew what the state was going to do, what the government recommended. So as soon as we got that information, we moved as quickly as possible to notify people that were going to be impacted,” STLCC-Meramec President Zerrie Campbell said. Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business Services Carla Chance said 48 of the 60 positions are occupied. The 48 employees received notice on Feb. 4 and will remain in their current positions until July 1. Although STLCC looked at other ways of cutting funds, Chance said the layoffs were necessary. The departments that will be affected by these layoffs include Human Resources, Technology and Educational Support Services (TESS), Continuing Education, Internal Audit, the STLCC Foundation, Purchasing and Maintenance/HVAC. “We looked at our business operations and tried to figure out our business practice because education needs to come first,” Chance said. “We tried cutting things that wouldn’t affect students, like TESS, out-of-state travel, printing, etc.” STLCC board of trustees Chair Denise Chachery said [the college] didn’t isolate groups but looked at programs, different functional areas, and which areas could be more effective and efficient. “We made decisions based on those criteria,”

Chachery said. Chance said that certain departments were vital to the operation and survival of STLCC. She said new departments like enrollment management are needed because they devise ways to attract and retain students. “It’s a brand new department but core to our mission and that’s what we had to look at,” Chance said. “However, departments like TESS are becoming more sophisticated to the point where they don’t have to send a technician to the office to answer questions; it can all be done over a computer remotely.” Chachery said the board looked at several alternatives and at STLCC’s mission, and chose selected areas with the least impact on personnel and students. “I understand that they have their own livelihood to consider, maybe the livelihood of family members. It’s never an easy decision, but we have to go back to ‘what

is their purpose for being in the job in the first place?’” Chachery said. “If there’s no demand for that labor, does it make sense to keep them employed if there’s no need?” According to Chance, classified employees have displacement rights, which help protect their seniority. However, professional employees and administrators do not have these rights, according to Chance. Instead, they are given the opportunity to apply for other positions that may open throughout the district. At the beginning of the year, Campbell said, members of the Chancellor’s Leadership Academy met with college administrators and managers to discuss plans for STLCC’s budget. The administrators and managers were given different categories, and were asked to identify three areas where reduction should occur to indentify priorities. “The recommendation from the administration was, even if there weren’t any state budget cuts, that they would still recommend these cuts because it was consistent with our mission, consistent with our strategic direction,” Chachery said. In order to make up for the 7-percent loss, college officials need to cut $3.3 million from the current operating budget for the next academic year. The consolidation of individual campus sports into one district-wide team is prepared, along with cuts from the capital budget, professional travel, and prints and document management reduction, which will total approximately $1.25 million in savings, according to Chance. “All of the cuts we’ve made and decisions amount to

about $3.3 million in savings. Some of that will go to budget shortfalls in state allocations being decreased and part of that will be reallocated to developmental classes,” Chachery said. Last year, STLCC partnered with Achieving the Dream to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the college’s developmental classes. Currently, Chachery said, 80 percent of students who attend STLCC take remedial coursework. “When this plan (to make cuts) was presented to [the board], there was a lot of discussion about the increased demand for developmental classes,” Chachery said. “We’ve got to have the resources to devote to those programs.” Chance said the revenue enhancement strategies the college has implemented include investment in outreach to new markets and expanding courses delivered through its Workforce and Community Development division, the development of the Wildwood campus, BRDG Park and the William J. Harrison Education Center. “The college also will continue to aggressively pursue funds through federal grants and private fundraising to achieve its strategic outcomes,” Chance said. STLCC officials have also invested in the construction of three new buildings targeted at work force development and improving work force responsiveness. “Our mission is educating people, and so we look at what’s the demand for labor and all of the different programs for educating people,” Chachery said. According to Chance,

the total cost for all three buildings was approximately $23.6 million, but “the expenditure was essential for both student and community growth.” STLCC officials are currently looking at other means of saving money, according to Chance. In order to save money on utilities, Chance said the board and College Leadership Team considered reducing the school week to four days. However, Chachery said the change would not be worthwhile. “There isn’t that much savings, especially when you’ve got increasing enrollment.” Chachery said the college is looking at potentially providing midnight classes. Bunker Hill Community College in Massachusetts was the first college in the nation to provide the time frame to its students. “They find that that’s attractive to a lot of students and helps them relieve some of the overcrowding in the typical daytime hours if they just offer classes at midnight. And that’s something else we’re looking at,” Chachery said. The board also has concerns about educational standards, Chachery said. “The trend across the country is increasing the number of part-time faculty because that’s a less expensive route than increasing fulltime faculty,” Chachery said.



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February 24, 2011

Circle of Concern pantry looks for ‘a ton’ of food Tim Doty

- Copy Editor -

This spring, STLCCMeramec students, staff and faculty will have the opportunity to donate canned goods in an effort to “can” hunger in the St. Louis area. The March Madness can food drive, going on until March 11 and sponsored by the Student Governance Council and Service Learning, is an attempt to raise one ton of food to benefit Circle of Concern food pantry located in Valley Park, Mo. “The goal is one ton of food. We are basing that on 16-ounce cans,” said Sharon Holt, administrative assistant for student affairs. The event was designed by Holt along with Kelly Hadley of advising and counseling. The drive will collect canned goods and nonperishable food items. Hadley said there are not many food drives in the spring, but people are still going hungry. “They [Circle of Concern] do need to have a lot replenished because of the holidays in the fall and I don’t know that they always get that all replenished because there’s

not a lot of food drives in the spring. It made good sense because people need food year round. They don’t just need it during the holidays,” Hadley said. With the economy in its current state, Holt said the Circle of Concern has had a variety of people in need for food. “Their need is constantly growing. The economy has really hit hard. There are people coming in who would never have imagined they would be going to a food pantry. There are Ph.D’s who have worked for 20 years. Since we do food drives on campus, this was something that reached out into the community,” Holt said. There is a competition added to this food drive for charity. Instead of only students, faculty members are also encouraged to compete. Rather than teams organized by class, however, the various buildings on the Meramec campus will constitute the teams. “Sharon [Holt] was the one who came up with the idea to have instead of just being the students to have the

staff compete. We never really did a competition between the buildings,” Hadley said. The ten teams are comprised of the buildings on campus, some of which are grouped together. The teams are Communications North and South; the library and center for teaching and learning; Physical Education; Business Administration; Clark Hall; Applied Science, Science West and South; Humanities East and West; Social Science; Student Center; and at the South County Education and University Center. “The number of people on the teams is based on fulltime faculty and staff. We had to come up with a number to work with,” Holt said. In order to meet the oneton goal, each building needs to collect a certain number of cans.“Based on that, you figure 16-ounce cans and this is the number of cans, to level the playing field, that each team will have to come up with in order to have one ton of food,” Holt said. For example, Clark Hall needs to collect 402 cans, while the Social Science building


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needs 74 cans. Barrels are located in locations in these buildings throughout campus. The art on the barrels was created by graphic design students at Meramec. In keeping with the March Madness theme, there are also two free-throw contests scheduled. For a four-can entry fee, any member of the student body, faculty, staff or administrators can participate in a competition of free-throws in the Meramec gym. “At the free-throw [contest], there will be prizes,” Hadley said. The first contest is scheduled at noon on Feb. 24 in the gym. A second contest will also be held at 1 p.m. on March 1. In the event of a tie, a basketball shootout is scheduled at 12:30 p.m. on March 3, also in the gym.No matter the outcome of the free-throw contests or the food drive, Circle of Concern will receive the donations from the Meramec campus. “The biggest winners will be the people who come to Circle of Concern for the pantry. That’s what it’s about,” Holt said.

Nutrition Facts

Locations throughout Meramec Serving Size: 1 ton White Barrels are for food drop-off Building Floor

AS, SW and SS BA

1st Floor 1st Floor

Clark Hall

2nd Floor

CS and CN

1st Floor

HE and HW

1st Floor

Library and CTL PE

1st Floor 1st Floor


1st Floor

SC, PP and PH

1st Floor

Nutritition based on a 1 ton diet


 Tour our 350-acre campus  Talk to our professors  Hang out with our students  Attend admissions and financial aid sessions 888-GO-2-UMSL


February 24, 2011

Tears in


‘Quick fixes’ raise concerns

Kelly Glueck - Staff Writer -

Often people say Rome was not built in a day, but that it burned down in one. STLCC-Meramec was built on the things that now define its individuality as a school. The recent permanent budget cuts made by the board and an interim administration fueled the low morale that was expressed by some faculty and students. As a result of the state budget cuts, faculty forums were created to discuss the changes in adminstration and the Meramec campus. In September 2008,

“All these things had a snowball effect. There is an anxiety and a frustration from students and faculty. Add to that budget cuts and there isn’t a single faculty member, staff member or student that isn’t affected by these things,” Messmer said. While the controversy behind the loss of Meramec’s vice president of student affairs and the president happened nearly a year ago, the school is still trudging under an interim, or temporary, administration. Meramec history professor and integral leader of the faculty forum Robert Lee, Ph.D., said that he is concerned about the

“There is a real feeling of polarization between faculty and administration. It’s not us versus them, but us and them. The forum was formed to break that down,” ­ —Robert Lee, Ph.D., Meramec history professor Meramec lost the school health administration’s “quick fix” center; in 2010, the Child Care Center, men’s soccer and men’s wrestling, and women’s volleyball were cut. July 2011, all campus sports will consolidate to STLCC district-wide teams. Key retirements and the dismissal of former Vice President of Student Affairs Stephen Petersen and the resignation of former President Paul Pai in spring 2010 continues to lower morale, according to Meramec political science professor and member of the National Education Association (NEA) John Messmer, Ph.D.

mentality in dealing with how the budget is spent. “Somebody has to make the decisions and there are certainly limits to democracy. Whether they’re interim or permanent, that’s their job. My concern, and I’d have the exact same concern regardless of who’s in charge, is that there’s no thought of tomorrow. Everything is about ‘let’s survive today,’” Lee said. Lee said survival is temporary. Meramec’s administration is still undergoing searches for a long-term president and vice president of student affairs, and the district launched a chancellor search after Zelema Harris announced her retirement in January. With multiple positions



about budget spending pending and administrative appointment and faculty contracts in negotiation, Messmer, who does not consider himself or many of his collegues as interim, said interim administration representing Meramec could be unsettling to long-term faculty members. “We worry that when we have interim leaders, whether or not they can really provide us the future that is best for everybody involved,” Messmer said. “When [they] make a decision that [they’re] not going to have to live with five years from now, let alone 10 or 15 years from now, you have to wonder about that.” The faculty’s concerns led to a series of faculty forums to address the underlying issues experienced during a transition of administration. The faculty invited Vice President of Academic Affairs George Wasson, Interim President Zerrie Campbell and Vice Chancellor Donna Dare to join the forums. According to Lee, admitting there is an error in communication is not enough to ease the tension. “There is a real feeling of polarization between faculty and administration. It’s not us versus them, but us and them. The forum was formed to break that down,” Lee said. “Though they’ve admitted that communication is not what it should be, there hasn’t been a real effort beyond the existence of the forum to improve communication.” Campbell said she keeps in touch with students and faculty through her weekly newsletter and by meeting with the student government monthly. She said she would be happy to return to a faculty forum if and when invited. She said that the offer for students and faculty to converse about the future of Meramec is available over a free lunch through her meal plan, paid for by Treat America and Auxiliary Service. To schedule time with Campbell, please call her office at (314) 984-7763. “I would welcome any suggestion for how

the communication could be better,” Campbell said. “Those difficult questions deserve answers and I really believe that if I think the communication is occurring, but someone else doesn’t, then communication hasn’t occurred. I really believe that communication occurs when the message is received in the manner in which it was intended.” While Campbell offers lunch to those willing to express their opinions, Student Governance Council President Kristen Huyett feels that while she is being heard, it might not have a significant impact on major decisions influenced by administration and made by the board of trustees concerning the school. She used the Meramec Child Care Center closing last year while Florissant Valley’s Child Care Center remained open as an example. “We talked to the board. We told them what we thought and we tried to get our voices heard because there were a lot of students upset about it. It’s kind of frustrating though because there’s only so much we can do,” Huyett said. “We have some input with administration and we can tell them what we think, and we can hear from them as well, but sometimes it’s out of our control.” According to Lee, the termination of the Child Care Center meant that some parents had to stay home or seek out alternative arrangements. In July, the loss of campus sports means a forfeit of future sport scholarships. “Those are the sorts of cuts that affect you, but also, if you’ve got younger brothers and sisters, it’s going to affect them, too,” Lee said. “It’s when students come back in the fall and look around, and some of the people they take classes with won’t be there. That is when they are going to feel it, but it’s going to be too late.”

OPINIONS Pursuit of Happiness

February 24, 2011



Politics and Media

Forgive and ‘fuhgeddaboudit’

Joe Douglas

- Editor-in-Chief -


he decisions to forgive and forget rest hand-in-hand. There’s no forgiving without forgetting and vice versa, yet both can be equally challenging. Facing guilt or regret hurts, but it’s necessary for developing strength, confidence and happiness. However, there’s a point when you have to forgive yourself and forget about the past to move forward. There are two kinds of guilt (including regrets): chronic guilt and temporary guilt. Chronic guilt is a heavy feeling of responsibility or remorse over a traumatic event that happened long ago and it continues to negatively affect the person’s attitude about him or herself. It’s someone who continues to beat him or herself up over a past relationship, job or life experience long after it happened. Feeling guilty is completely OK. It’s an evolutionary defense mechanism humans have developed to avoid eating poisonous food or hurting someone else. The stomach aches or loss of loved ones has taught survivors the dangers of certain behaviors, allowing the human species to survive to this day. Nowadays, people need to avoid potentially painful relationships and learn, for example, the boss’s expectations so they don’t get fired. Guilt protects us. In fact, temporary guilt is required for everyday life. When someone does something wrong, they suffer the consequences and hopefully take responsibility. This is a coping and survival method if done correctly. However, too much guilt


Unions don’t mean what they used to mean

is harmful. It’s a source of distress, leading to reduced confidence, and causes a chronically guilty individual to avoid taking even calculated risks if it reminds him or her of the past experience. This may lead to depression, analysis paralysis and the avoidance of risk-taking, and will cause him or her to miss out on some of life’s greatest experiences. Sometimes those experiences are the ones that hurt a little. Four years ago, I had a big crush on a girl from my church. I was really insecure then and wasn’t sure how to approach her about being “more than friends.” She threw me hints but I never recognized them for what they were. A year later, I asked her out but she’d lost interest in me and rejected me. I felt regretful about that one experience for two years and ended up avoiding relationships in general during that time. I missed out on several great life experiences because I couldn’t forgive myself. Forgiveness in all of its incarnations comes in three steps: understanding the circumstance, accepting the situation, and reflecting upon it. It requires the person to know what happened with as little bias as possible, come to terms with it, and learn from it. This process takes time to begin, from days to a few weeks for many people. In the end, each person should be content with the event, forgive him or herself, learn from it, and put it in the past. There will be times when one party refuses to forgive the other. While it’s not the best way to deal with a disagreement, it’s impossible to force forgiveness. In the end, only the individual has control over him or herself and that’s all that’s necessary to move on, enjoy life and find happiness. Forgive yourself and forget about it.

Online Columns

Keeping Them Honest

Patrick Olds


Kyle Copeland - Student -

- Opinions Editor -

s the battle of government bargaining rights in Wisconsin rages, people from around the world are taking sides. From the newly revolutionized Egypt to the parents of children in Madison, Wis. -- whose schools were closed for three days last week due to the large number of teachers who took off work to protest, people are tuned in to this battle due to the potential dominos that could fall. Newly-elected Republican Gov. Scott Walker proposed that government employees would have to sacrifice a little in order for the state to cut its budget shortfall of $3.6 billion. Walker and the Republicanled legislature are trying to pare down the collective bargaining for government employees, potentially “breaking” government unions. This proposed law would require state employees to pay 5.8 percent of their salary toward pensions and 12.6 percent of their insurance costs. This is far less than workers in the private sector who work in the same field. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and the Rev. Jesse Jackson tried to get the people fired up while leading a chant of “We Shall Overcome.” Protest leaders are arrogant enough to compare this situation to the crisis in Egypt. Let’s be clear, the people of Egypt had no rights to collectively bargain within government or within the small private sector. The government employees of Wisconsin are getting a reality check regarding benefits. There’s a large difference. It turns out the heads of the government-employee unions are willing to concede the benefit cuts after it was discovered that if they didn’t

accept, 11,000 to 16,000 employees would have to be laid off. The unions were more willing to let people go than lose their power and the benefits they had accrued. Now the unions are in survival mode. They realize that if collective bargaining is off the table, they can no longer force employees, who aren’t even part of the unions, to pay union dues. On one of the major news stations, reporters were interviewing teachers in Wisconsin, one of whom said that she didn’t want to be part of the union but she was forced to pay $1,000 in dues anyway. People who want to say the GOP is big and bad and doesn’t care about workers, do not use logic to reach that conclusion. The government employees are paid by taxpayers, not by a company that accrues profit. Any collective bargaining is not taking a part of profit from a specific company. It is just charging the bill to taxpayers. Money is not created out of thin air. Something else to consider, even while their teachers receive among the most generous benefits in the U.S., is that Wisconsin students score among the bottom five states in test scores. If Wisconsin and other states are to dig themselves out of their budget crises, concessions will have to be made. The concessions requested in Wisconsin are more than reasonable -- and even Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the man who grew the government larger than any other president before him, said it was “unthinkable and intolerable” for government unions to strike.

What’s your opinion on the consolidation of STLCC sports teams?

That’s what she said; that’s what he said

America kicks ass

Jane Bauman - Student “I can see where, financially, it would make sense. It would also be a more cohesive school. At the same time I can see where the athletes aren’t jumping for joy.”

Ramon Crayton - Student -

Kelly Davis - Copy Editor -

Shane Rice - News Editor -

Getting along with the exes Kelly and Shane try to help people with the relationship after the relationship.

Kavahn Mansouri - Art & Life Editor -

A badge of courage for every paint stain Who doesn’t love hunting while also becoming the hunted?

“I think it may promote a sense of unity through STLCC athletics and possibly spark more communication between campuses, but at the same time it may present problems with coordinating practice.”

Carl Campbell and Migmitte the rock - Instructor of Geology “I think it’s is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard. I think it detrimental to the students and the student athletes. It really diminishes the choices available for student athletes and the potential number of student athletes overall.”



February 24, 2011

Not all good with the motherhood Pregnancy should not be mistaken as a trend

Amicia Ramsey - Staff Writer -

Becoming a single mother is the hottest new trend this season. Young women across the nation are trading in their Prada bags for diaper bags, stilettos for baby strollers, highlights for stretch marks, and dream cars for minivans. Teenage girls are dying to sport the new look. The “baby on the hip” fashion statement is a growing popular trend among today’s youth. Fashion experts like MTV’s “Teen Mom” are persuading girls to be the hottest mothers on the block. To achieve the latest “teen mom” role successfully, the directions are as follows: it is strongly suggested that pregnancy be unplanned; the parents, ideally, should not have graduated from college; and for the final touch, a teen must follow a strict fashionsense diet. The media idolize young

women on shows like “Teen Mom” and ”Teen Mom 2” as celebrities. These so-called “role models” are put in the spotlight to make pregnancy look trendy. Lets take a look at the reality. According to Hollywood Gossip, MTV’s “Teen Mom” Amber Portwood admitted she was not a good mother. Portwood appeared at a child protective custody hearing in late January 2011 and admitted she’s been an “unfit mom” to her daughter Leah, 2. People fail to realize that when the cameras stop rolling, parenting isn’t as glamorous as it seems in an hour long clip. Pregnancy is very real and this trend has turned into a growing epidemic. Reality star, fashionista and media socialite Kim Kardashin also falls ill to the idea of young pregnancy becoming a trend. After seeing a headline about a high school in Memphis, Tenn. that had over 90 students pregnant in one school year alone, she tweeted to inform her fans that being pregnant at a young age is nothing to aspire to be. O n h t t p : / / kimkardashian.celebuzz.

com, she said, “Having a baby is one of the biggest, and most life-changing decisions a person can make and while I’m not saying that no teen is in the position to raise a child, having a baby so young shouldn’t be seen as the trendy thing to do.” While MTV reality stars like Amber Portwood earn a whopping $280,000 a year, the reality is that the current state of our economy leaves most people living from paycheck to paycheck and deep in debt just to survive. Young women need to be informed that they will be required to make ends meet and be held accountable for another life besides their own. Girls that take the initiative to take care of their responsibilities are making their first step towards motherhood, but without proper education, there is a very slim possibility of finding a job that pays well with good benefits. According to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, onethird of teenage mothers have a high school diploma. Even though it is easy to point the finger at the media, they are not all to blame. Young women are accountable for their

own actions. This is not to condemn anyone, but more seriously to draw attention to the issues that babies are having babies. It is safe to say that some young women have been hurt in their life one way or another. There may be a case of sexual molestation, absent mother or bad run-ins with their father, neglect, and a number of other reasons to contribute to such decisionmaking, but it just seems as if some young girls are getting pregnant because they want to feel needed, wanted and loved. There is probably a young woman out there right now thinking, “If I have a baby, there will finally be someone in this world that loves me for me.” There is nothing wrong with pouring love into the heart of a child, but if it is under the wrong circumstances, then it is not a good idea. A young woman with an unstable life can not expect to see different results just because a child is brought into her world. She can expect her life to become even more unstable. It is sad to think that young women are having kids to keep men around. They figure if they have

a man’s baby, then they are entitled to the man as well. Many women are naive enough to believe just because a man says, “I love you” that it is okay to have a baby with him. He might not even be fit to have a child but young women looking to be loved get caught up in their emotions. All of a sudden a young teenager is stuck with a baby and there is no man to be found but possibly a teenage boy. There are plenty of single mothers who can testify to the tails of a deadbeat father. To add to it, a lot of women get pregnant for a meal ticket. That’s when women are exploiting their pregnancy to benefit from welfare, child support checks and tax claims. According to http://, “The United States has the highest rates of teen pregnancy and births in the western industrialized world. Teen pregnancy costs the United States at least $7 billion annually.” Very realistically, women have the potential for life. Choices for pregnancy should depend on how prepared a woman is to care for another life.

I’m ready for a real one!


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Getting to the meat of the budget St. Louis Community College has undergone several changes and cuts, most recently, due to state budget cuts. On Jan. 19, Gov. Jay Nixon announced that state funds toward Missouri community colleges would be reduced by 7 percent. STLCC needs to cut the budget by $3.3 million to cover the loss. STLCCMeramec has faced consolidation of sports teams that goes into effect July 1. Below are the actions the board of trustees have taken since 2008 to meet each year’s projected budget.

July 2008 Health services closed on the Meramec campus. The health services cost the college $76,762 for the 2008-2009 academic year.

August 2009

November 2009

March 2010

July 2010

Administration reviewed the college’s community relations operation. They assessed the positions and a review of marketing and communications materials. The board of trustees made adjustments, such as creating new media positions. Adjustments saved the college approximately $600,000.

STLCC administrators discontinued Meramec’s men’s wrestling, men’s soccer and women’s volleyball. Each campus was reduced to five sports each and STLCC saved nearly $200,000.

The board of trustees reconsidered their decision to renew Treat America’s contract for two more years. The contract was set at one year while they discussed alternatives. Treat America has cost Meramec $43,860 since July 1, 2010.

Meramec’s Child Care Center closed. The closing of both Meramec’s and Forest Park’s child care center saved the College almost $600,000.

Projected Expenditures The total projected revenue for STLCC in 2010-2011 is $164,522,043. The projected expenditures for the college equal the projected revenue. The pie chart below presents the percentages of how the money is divided.



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Student Aid


Staff Development

Leasehold Bonds

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Institutional Contributions

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February 24, 2011


Stephanie Stough - Managing Editor -

It started in July 2008 when STLC offices at STLCC C closed the heal -Meramec. th services Rom er said. The following ye ar, STLCC made In addition to adjustments to co relations’ and m the athletic an edia services. M mmunity STLCC d capital cuts, en’s wrestling an is laying off pe women's volleyb Romer said d so ople in variou ccer, and Cosan all were discontin s departments d Center. These ued. Last year, Meram in the cu ts will come from ec’s and STLCC “Downtown they the Center’s budg -Forest Park’s C Centers closed. ar et. e go hild Care are go On Jan. 27, Cha ing to be losing ing to lose som ncellor Zelema purchasing. They announced the e H au ar di ris, Ed.D., of ou consolidation of t and human re r TESS people ar sources and som sports teams for The most rece e going to be cu e fall 2011. nt budget cuts to t,” Romer said. tal cuts are $3.3 affecting STLC announced in th “… m Th ill io e n for STLCC and C were from th e State of the St most of them ar e Cosand Cente ate address, whi STLCC to cut 7 e r.” ch required percent from th C ar la e 20 C ha 11 nce, vice chance -2012 budget. Ron Romer, man llor of finance ager of business for STLCC, said and budget said approximat services at Meram the board of tr ely a third of ST ustees made an ec , av oi d cu tti LC ng effort to C fr ’s money comes om resources th the state, district from student’s ex at could affect a officials have to pe M re eramec ri duce spending ence. this cut, said to suit “We didn’t cu t anything th “What has hist registration, fin at’s in admis orically been ou sion, ancial aid, libra r budget is a th of it is tuition, ries, tutoring, yo ird the content of another third of u know, things that stud it is from taxes another third co ents deal with on and day basis. N mes from the st a day-toone of that was ate. But now the really hurting an touched. In so m state is the effort d the state is re an w y ways, as to du minimize the im cing so we have reduce,” Romer pact of the stud to Chance said. said. ents,” In 2010, Meramec Romer said he ag received $42 mill $152 million bu rees that the bu ion of STLCC’s af dget. STLCC m dget cuts didn’t fect students’ ed ust reduce spen uc at by $3.3 million ion, but they will ding who wants for the fall 2011 affect anyone to participate in semester. Meramec is the at hl et ic s an on yo campus or ne who thought largest STLCC they were going approximately campus with sc 11,000 students to get a sports holarship. and has the larg budget. Romer est said the only “…The good th cut made to th ing is our teac Meramec campu e steady and w hing is kept s is the cut to th e are hiring ne e sports teams. “The athletic team w te ac te hers as old ac hers retire. I th s are the only on ink they went out of our 42 m es co m in g di in re the right ction in the sens illion dollars. A ll other cuts are e that they kept coming from th ed uc al e Cosand Cente l of the ation things an r,” Romer said. d that’s the impo The sports cu of the college an rt an t part ts will save d I do agree with the college said approximately that,” Romer . $668,000, of w hich $230,000 comes from Mer Starting next ye amec’s budget. ar, tuition will “The only thin fr increase om $83 per credit g I know we hour to $92 do are losing St. Lo next year is $230 lla rs for uis County resi ,000 out of athlet dents, Romer sa ics…We are also going from 15 te id . He said that there ams to seven te will be a com ams and we next don’t know wha m itt month to discus ee t’s going to be at s which campu Meramec. facilit No one does. W s will ate which sports e think we will . have our baseball team, “… I hope the but we don’t kn ec onomy comes ow other teams are what and the st back ate can come ba going to be here ,” ck with more Romer money to said. keep our third bu t I don’t know There will be so how our econom me cuts to the ca y is go in g to run. If the pital economy do budget, Romer said. Capital is esn’t get bette th r, even the e fund buildings where departm are going to ha ents can reques ve t new Romer sa to stop,” computers an id. “I think the d other educ state did very ational well in on resources. ly cutting 7 perc ent, but they were considerin “It used to be g cutting 15 pe 1 million dollars rcent. now it’s half , But if they had cut another 15 pe a million dolla rcent, rs,” I’m scared w hat would have gone.”



February 24, 2011

Alumnus James Landro directs Zhu Zhu commercial Kurt Oberreither - Staff Writer -

James Landro is an STLCC-Meramec alumnus, entrepreneur and artist at heart who has kept his company, Pulltab Productions, local while reaching audiences around the world. In the early ‘90s, he was working a blue-collar job when he decided to change his career path. “In my late 20s, I just decided it was never going to be enough for me if I didn’t at least explore the world of creative arts and actually support myself that way,” Landro said. “Can you imagine if someone gave you a list in like sixth grade and said, ‘Here pick one of these jobs: manager at UPS, work at Sam’s Club, or write and direct toy commercials.” Landro’s higher education began at Meramec where he made long-term friends like Susan Hunt-Bradford, assistant professor of mass communications, and began his life in media. “I felt nurtured, like they were nurturing my creative potential there, and I’ve never regretted it for one second,” Landro said. “Everything there was very stimulating for me. I was like a kid in the candy store.”

After earning his associate degree from STLCC, Landro moved on to Webster University and earned his degree in film production. “I knew I was going to go into film, but that’s not really a practical job category in St. Louis,” Landro said. “How many job fairs have you been to where you see Warner Brothers, NBC and 20th Century Fox? I mean you don’t.” After college, Landro worked his way through the ranks from toy tech to casting at Russell Hornsby’s St. Louis-based toy company, Trendmasters. “As fate would have it, I ended up in television which is about the best you can do here unless you’re going to be a starving artist,” Landro said. In 2007, Landro formed his own company, Pulltab Productions. Hornsby’s Clayton-based toy company, Cepia, turned to a Californiabased company for producing an ad for Zhu Zhu Pets, but because of their past relationship, Hornsby came back to St. Louis. Pulltab uses the facilities at Visiontracks, Inc. in Fenton, Mo. to shoot Hornsby’s diverse range of children’s toys. “What’s interesting about


STLCC-Meramec alumnus James Landro directs a Zhu Zhu pets commercial. Landro studied film at STLCC-Meramec.

Pulltab is Pulltab is like the ad agency and production arm all rolled into one. It’s just an interesting business model. I mean it’s something about St. Louis where you can do this kind of stuff,” Landro said. Hornsby credits Landro for the toys’ success. In December 2009, the high demand for the interactive hamsters caused shortages in stores nationwide. Landro said the initial excitement of seeing

his commercial on television has worn off. He said now he compares and contrasts his advertisements with others around it to analyze how the ad fared. “At first it was super cool because I’m not just the production. That is literally my words that those kids are saying that I wrote,” Landro said. “Now it’s more of a critical exercise to make sure that my media that I’m producing for

my client is cutting edge and does stand out.” Hunt-Bradford met Landro in a communications class where they found they had some commonalities like an affinity for rollercoasters. “I tell my students all the time it’s all about networking. That’s one thing about Jim...

Alumnus directs commercial See page 14


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February 24, 2011

Television band The Blanks to perform on campus Rory Sullivan - Staff Writer -

Live music, four-person harmonies, skits, choreography, autographs, and a chance to meet four cast members from the show “Scrubs” will be available when the a cappella quartet The Blanks are scheduled to put on a free show at STLCC-Meramec as part of their 2011 tour. The Blanks will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 24 in at the Meramec Theater and are expected to draw a large audience. Steve Brady, manager of student activities, looks at the concert as an opportunity for students to get involved with more campus activities. “The reason why it’s free [is because] we want to encourage students to come to programs in the theater, not just this program, but all the offerings that we have throughout the year,” Brady said. “The concert is covered by an activity fee, “ Brady said. The Blanks made their name on the television series “Scrubs” where they appeared in eight seasons. Sam Lloyd, who played Ted on the show, would appear on screen with the rest of the group, Paul F.

Perry, George Miserlis and Philip McNiven, to perform their versions of songs ranging from popular music to television show themes. In 2008, The Blanks decided to turn the quartet into more than a running gag on “Scrubs” by taking their show out on the road. The group will arrive in St. Louis from Edinburgh, Scotland first to meet at the conference for the National Association of Campus Activities, and then to put on the show at Meramec. The Blanks are expected to sing mostly television show theme songs, but their website also features versions of “Hey Ya!” by Outkast and “I’ll Be Seeing You” which has been covered by artists like Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday. After the show, members of the group will stick around to meet with audience members, sell merchandise, and sign autographs,” Brady said. The group has played at many college venues including Truman State University in 2009. Alec Sydlow, member of the Student Activities Board at Truman, was there to see the show and believes that the show will appeal to more than


The Blanks are to perform at Meramec Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. The band gained popularity through the television show “Scrubs.”

just “Scrubs” fans. “The show was a great mix of music and comedy, and you definitely don’t have to be a ‘Scrubs’ fan to appreciate it,” Sydlow said. “Anyone who enjoys a cappella will have a great time, but what made the show so enjoyable was just how fun and outgoing the guys are.” Sydlow said that the band takes occasional breaks between songs to crack jokes and interact with audience

members. Highlights of the show included the group’s rendition of “Superman” by Lazlo Bane and the Israel Kamakawiwo’ole version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” “I was really glad I went, and I know the reaction was overwhelmingly positive,” Sydlow said. Brady said he is is confident that the show at Meramec will be a success as well.

“Students I talk to say ‘Oh yeah, I remember them, that’s cool. I used to watch that show all the time, those guys are funny.’ There have been a few people who have said ‘I’ve never watched that show so I don’t know who you’re talking about,’ and when I hear that I just say ‘Come on out.’ They are an a cappella singing group, they are funny, and they get the crowd going. It’ll be a good time,” Brady said.

And the Oscar for the best celebrity look-alike goes to... Kelly Davis - Copy Editor -

Walking the halls of STLCC-Meramec can often result in running into a few look-alikes. Several students’ faces resemble those of famous celebrities. Of course, the students here are not dressed up in fancy ball gowns or tuxedos; they are strutting their stuff with books and backpacks. PHOTOS BY: LUELANA BUSTAMANTE

Will Black vs. Clifford Harris (T.I.)

Miles Spearman vs. Sonic the Hedgehog

Tiffany Wischmeier vs. Justin Bieber

Wiley Howell vs. Tom Cruise


February 24, 2011

“I have always loved designing. I have always thought it to be an art.” -Darren Thompson, Theater Supervisor/Designer


Bringing the script to life

A day in the life of a scene designer and technician Clinton Borror - Staff Writer -

Audience members enter the theater and find their seats encircling a dead tree. There is little on the stage but a dead tree. The lighting goes low and the tree seems to glow, the light shining off it like polished ivory. The man responsible for designing this set is scene designer and technician Darren Thompson. Thompson designs the scenes for two of the four plays presented in Meramec’s theater each year. In 2005, Thompson undertook a two-week fellowship with Ming Cho Ling and Constance Hoffman and has recently been awarded the 2010 Kennedy Center National Teaching Artist Grant in Lighting Design. Meramec’s other two plays are designed by theater manager and scene designer Richard Willmore. When Willmore designs scenes, Thompson designs props, and vice versa. Willmore said Thompson has a talent for bringing a play’s concept out. “He can draw, plan and explain his ideas. He knows how to explain the director’s concept. He knows how to bring that concept out,”

Willmore said. During his early years in college, Thompson’s primary interest was acting. “I wanted to work originally. I got to about my junior year and realized ‘I don’t think anybody is beating down my door to cast me,’ so I started thinking more along the lines of being a technician,” Thompson

and research, both online and in the real world,” said Thompson. Thompson said that the next step in production is sketching the drawing. “You’re sketching. You’re meeting with the director. You’re drawing at work. You’re drawing at home. Any idea that comes, I take it,” Thompson said.

that very fast. I can change it up. I can show the director what it looks like from almost any seat in the house. After the computer model is done, then it’s working with real models,” Thompson said. His next step is the construction of the set itself, some of which is built by Thompson. He works with shop foreman John Houston

“He can draw, plan and explain his ideas. He knows how to explain the director’s -Richard Wilmore, Theatre concept.”

Manager/Scene Designer

said. After reading each play, the director must determine a generic view of what the play scenes will be like, frequently consulting the scene designer. Once this is determined, Thompson begins a preproduction process. “For me, the earlier I begin, the better. Right now I am already started on next year’s play,” Thompson said. After preproduction, Thompson starts the research phase. “You do this through meetings with the director

Thompson said that after several drawings, a better view of the play is formed for those involved. “Finally, I get to the point throughout various production meetings where you find what some people call ‘the world of the play.’ What that is, not only the physical environment but what the play is trying to get across,” Thompson said. Thompson said that a computer-aided drawing phase helps his set come to life. “I try to create it in real life. On a computer, I can do

to build scenes, he shares his goals through models, drawings, and computeraided imagery so Houston can determine what is possible to build. Thompson said that Houston is a very talented shop foreman. “He is obviously very creative, but he is smarter than he gives himself credit for. I never do anything without the approval of the shop foreman. If he can’t build it, it won’t do any good. I’ve given him some difficult work which he’s pulled off extraordinarily,” Thompson

said. A scene designer’s job also includes researching paint, texture and lighting, instructing some aspects of scene production the moment it is being produced, and doing several other unmentioned activities. The next step is the lighting design phase. Thompson said that lighting design involves everything in the physical set design. “I know the design. The design is mine, so I will sculpt the design by placing lights around it,” Thompson said. Thompson described the last phase of his duties as a technician and scene designer, before the show begins. “Finally, you get into the technical process where you are actually making the show happen. We usually do a week of technical work, which means that everyone is working from eight in the morning till midnight. In day you finalize the set and at night you rehearse the show,” Thompson said. Design is something Thompson has always been passionate about. “I have always loved designing. I have always thought it to be an art,” Thompson said.


February 24, 2011


Students flock back to Meramec’s outdoor areas after the temperature rose to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. PHOTO BY: KAVAHN MANSOURI

Sunshine returns to Meramec Kavahn Mansouri - Art & Life Editor -


Wade Sehaffner listens to music while on the lawn in front of the Student Center.

Temperatures rose to 72 degrees Fahrenheit Thursday, Feb. 22. As the temperature rose, student’s re-explored Meramec’s outdoor areas. Student Sean Linhares said that although the weather was great, it needs to be more consistent. “Well the weather was a tease if anything. One day I’m playing golf and the next I’m wearing a winter coat walking to my car. Whatever happened last week needs to happen

more often,” Linhares said. Students around campus ate lunch outside, played frisbee, gathered in groups, and the drum circle even reemerged. Student Courtney Hertz said that the weather was a dream come true. “I thought the weather was beautiful. It was nice to finally go outside and not have to worry about putting on a jacket,” Hertz said. Hertz said that she and friends spent the day driving with the windows down.

“We drove around a lot that day because it had been so long since we actually got to drive around with our windows down. We spent a lot of time outside,” Hertz said. Hertz said that constantly having to wear a jacket is getting old. “I hate that I can’t go outside with out a jacket on. Yes, it is sunny but it’s not warm at all. I want to be able to sit outside without my jacket on. I miss wearing just T-shirts and shorts,” Hertz said.

“Whatever happened last week needs to happen more often.” -Sean Linhares


Cassandra Siebert and Micheal Holmes sit on Gulliver outside the Student Center.


Micah Usher studies and drinks coffee in the cafeteria’s patio area.


February 24, 2011

Alumnus directs commercial


STLCC-Meramec alumnus Jim Landro directs a Zhu Zhu

Continued from page 10

that sets him apart from a lot of people. You can’t just sit and be satisfied with sitting in a classroom and getting a degree in any type of creative field. You have to eat, breathe, live media,” Hunt-Bradford said. In Landro’s newest endeavor, he is teaming up with Visiontracks to reach new audiences with his skills in youth advertising and Visiontracks’ range. One way Landro serves St. Louis and his clients is by using local actors. Landro said he has seen some of his friends from Webster move into the film industry and he would like to move in that direction as well. “I do feel like I’m so busy that I’m

losing time I could be using to work on movies,” Landro said. “I really want to do a feature film.” Hunt-Bradford said although it is hard to pursue a film career in St. Louis, she would support him. “I’d love for him to one day do a film,” Hunt-Bradford said. Hunt-Bradford said that for media students, learning and leaving are the two challenges to working in the Midwest. “It seems as though you have to be willing to get a good foundation here but be willing to leave the Midwest because there’s still a stereotype of what the Midwest and it’s not good media-wise. People think that even though there’s so much talent here,” Hunt-Bradford said.

Mike Ziegler - Staff Writer -


Student Robby Suozzi, left, and Theatre Manager Richard Willmore reherse Waiting for Godot on Friday, February 11 in the Meramec Theatre. The show ran from February 16-20.

‘Waiting for Godot’ Meramec presents Spring play by Samuel Beckett


February 24, 2011

Color doesn’t matter

Setting race aside, sports lead the way on and off field Kurt Oberreither - Staff Writer -

From fans packing the seats to root for their favorite teams to athletes working with each other, sports provide an opportunity for race to be set aside. Meramec Magic head baseball coach Tony Dattoli said the competition that drives sports is one way

athletics brings people from all walks of life together. “Athletics have the ability to be a unifying factor and a synchronizing force amongst all. You’re all going for the common goal. In the real world that’s what we’re trying to do. Everyone’s trying to be happy, everyone’s trying to be successful, and productive. On the grander scheme of things athletics teaches us a lot of those


Toni Dattoli, Meramec baseball head coach, directs his players during a 2009 practice. Dattoli is entering his eigth season as the Magic head baseball coach.

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little things,” Dattoli said. Magic outfielder Donald Stevenson said knowing and accepting each other’s differences is important.

Within his team, Dattoli said one thing he tries to influence upon his players is to wake up make the most of that day.

Major League Baseball was able to “bring negro baseball out into the light.” With players from other nations like Albert Pujols,

In addition, Stevenson said unity is all about playing together and “everyone getting along, feeding off of everyone’s energy and knowing how everyone plays.” According to Dattoli , strong role models are needed for everyone, but athletes are not always the place to look. “Far too many times they come in the form of an athlete,” Dattoli said. “I think with that being said, it’s the lack of a father figure at home.” Stevenson has played under Dattoli for two years. He said Dattoli keeps things “comfortable” and in the end “it’s all baseball.”

“No one has asked us to be a role model,” Dattoli said. “We should know that’s just what our role is.” Furthermore, Dattoli said it’s important that youth educate themselves on civil rights history and figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and specifically to baseball, the story of Jackie Robinson. “No one could have handled what he [Jackie Robinson] was going through,” Dattoli said. “What he was able to withstand off the field and on the field from players, that’s what makes him legendary.” Also, Dattoli said as the number of African-American athletes in baseball “diluted,”

Dattoli said the diversity can inspire youth to look into other cultures and accept them.

“Athletics have the ability to be a unifying factor and a synchronizing force amongst -Tony Dattoli, head baseball coach all.”

“I love the fact that my kids have learned more international geographics from international players,” Dattoli said. According to Dattoli, responsiblity is an important part setting a good example as an athlete. “We as AfricanAmericans who are into sports, regardless of what level we’re on, we should be intelligent enough to identify that we know what our young men are going through. So we should lead by example,” Dattoli said.

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February 24, 2011

Swinging toward a ‘magical season’ Softball team looks to build off second place finish in 2010 Region XVI Tournament Spencer Gleason - Sports Editor -

After finishing the 2010 regular season with a 17-42 record, the Magic softball team highlighted their year when they returned home with a secondplace trophy from the Region XVI Tournament. Looking to keep that momentum alive, head coach Kim McCall has recruited players across Missouri. McCall’s 12-woman roster is the youngest team of the five STLCC-Meramec sports, with 75 percent of her studentathletes in their first year. “We took our successes that we had toward the end of the tournament and toward that last game,” McCall said. “And we built

“I look at each piece of the puzzle to be a magical piece to lead up to a magical season.” -Kim McCall, head coach

it into a team that has more talent, more aggressiveness and more hunger to get that regional title this year.” Freshman pitcher Erin Riley will be at the top of the rotation. While pitching for the Trojans of Trinity High School last season, Riley threw 11 complete games and struck out 53 batters in more than 76 innings pitched, helping lead the Trojans to a 12-10 record. “Those are pretty normal numbers [for me],” Riley said. “College is tougher. I’ll shoot for my goal and we’ll hope I can reach it.” Riley’s repertoire of pitches feature a curveball, change-up, screwball, rise ball, drop ball and a fastball that hits 52 mph on the radar gun. “[Drop balls] start out up, so when it’s coming in it looks like a strike,” said slugger and Magic catcher, Ally Kubel. “Then all of a sudden it’ll drop and it tricks the batter. You have to keep the batter guessing.” For the past two summers, Kubel has played for the St. Louis Illusions select team in the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), traveling across

the Midwest. In 2010, she batted .262 with seven extrabase hits for the Illusions. In 2009, Kubel played for the St. Louis Metro Amateur Softball Association (ASA) 18-andunder championship team. When standing in the batter’s box, the trick is to “watch the ball from the hip,” Kubel said. “It’s all about timing. It’s a lot more complicated than people think.” On Feb. 26, when McCall’s Magic has their home opener against North Iowa Area Community College at 1 p.m., all the recruiting and practicing will begin to payoff. As competitive as the sport of softball can be, Meramec’s history speaks for itself. Since the days of National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Hall of Famer Celeste Knierim, who started the softball program at Meramec, Meramec softball has never failed to place in the NJCAA Championship Tournament at least twice in each decade—back-toback top-10 finishes in 1978 and 1979, three times in the 1980s, six times in the 1990s, and three times in the 2000s. Moving toward the

Karl honored for Hall-of-Fame career


The Magic softball team plays soft toss in the gym during practice. The Magic look to build off of a strong finish last season with three returning players and by mixing in local talent.

2011 season, the Magic softball team is hoping to continue a winning tradition. “I look at each piece of the puzzle to be magical piece to lead up to a magical season,” McCall said. “There’s going to be some times when our spells aren’t going to work and our wizards aren’t going to perform the way we want


MONTAGE .COM for video of the Magic softball team

Baseball team looks toward 2011 season - Staff Writer -

During halftime of the women’s basketball game against Jefferson College on Feb. 9, women’s soccer coach Jeff Karl was presented with a plaque from Bob Bottger. Karl retired after the 2010 season. Karl has been the head coach for the Lady Magic for the past 28 seasons and has been the only women’s soccer coach Meramec has ever known. Karl has 330 career victories and is in the Magic Hall of Fame and St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame. Visit for video of the ceremony.


A sign of spring Nick Herrin


them to, but each piece of the puzzle that we get; we want everything to work up and to the final piece of the puzzle to make it one complete picture.”

The outfield grass is as rough as sand paper, the infield harder than concrete, and a runny nose quickly becomes a popsicle around an upper lip. No matter which way it’s looked at it, baseball simply isn’t ideal in the winter. However, the cold hasn’t stopped the STLCC-Meramec Magic baseball team from preparing for the upcoming season this spring. The squad has hired trainers and has been meeting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at St. Louis Baseball and Fastpitch Academy, working out and taking batting practice. Individually, players like catcher Ben Smith have been taking things one step at a time and are trying to stay healthy. “I’ve been working hard, eating right and trying to take care of my body,” Smith said. According to Smith, The Magic seek the most improvement this season from their pitching staff. Former triple-A pitcher for the Texas Rangers Lance Sherman has been hired as the Magic’s new pitching coach and has been crucial to the development of pitchers such as Nate Goeke. “He knows his stuff.

He broke all the pitchers mechanics down and in doing so made them more mechanically sound and consistent,” Goeke said. Pitcher Hank Williams Jr. agrees that Sherman has been a heavy influence. “My personal goals are to be a solid, all around better pitcher, because we’ve been working on my change-up,” Williams said. For now, the Magic will continue to work out and practice baseball drills, preparing for their first game at noon on Feb. 27 at Meramec against the Webster University Gorloks. In the short term, Ben Smith said the team is looking ahead to upcoming games against Maple Woods Community College, Baton Rouge Community College and Jefferson College, adding that Jefferson College “is a big game, not one we want to lose.” “Obviously, the ultimate goal is win the national championship,” Smith said. “There’s not a player on this team who doesn’t think we can do it.” Visit


MONTAGE .COM for this issue’s sports column, “For the Love of the Game”


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