M T H E M O N TA G E
TAKE A STAND THE MONTAGE EDITORIAL BOARD
hy do students choose Meramec? Perhaps it is the award-winning faculty, resources and opportunities. We are the best four-year experience one can find at a two-year institution. What if our teachers were so afraid to lose their jobs that they assigned a semester full of worksheets and disengaging material rather than providing their students with hands-on opportunities which could have offered them real-life experience and face time with potential employers? What if the clubs and organizations that nurture and develop personal and professional development ceased? Where would our school be if our student government had such a high turn over rate that administrators took over the resources offered to students? The truth is that these things are becoming a reality and students are standing by watching their community diminish into a corporate-run technical college. o not let this happen. Currently the full-time faculty who work hard for your well-rounded education and stay late to mentor and lead clubs and organizations are living in a cloud of fear. Their jobs are at stake and the alternative is adjunct faculty members who require less pay, less benefits, and less time
on campus. Less time on campus means fewer clubs and resources. It means the print lab is closing early. The library and cafeteria already close early, denying evening students literal or physical nourishment; thus diminishing productivity. There was once a time when acts like The Grateful Dead and The Carpenters were brought in by students and faculty. The Student Center used to be a home away from home for students to convene and assemble; now students are shooed away by 8 p.m. his is your school. Take it back. Demand to be heard. Demand your community. In 2010, a leader stepped down when the students stepped up. They stood behind the merit of their school and their educators through an unjust action. e can do this now. Do you know our President George Wasson? You should. Know him, tell him your concerns and send him your petitions. Meet your student representatives and consider becoming one. Rally at board meetings. Let your voice be heard. Our schoolâ€™s future is important and so are you.
ake a stand. See story on page 5
ILLUSTRATION BY: CORY MONTERO
Voume 48 Issue 6
November 15, 2012
NEWS November 15, 2012
Soliya ‘connects’ students worldwide Members host Media Literacy Week event JOE MAKOTO STAFF WRITER Soliya’s Connect Program, held an event at STLCC - Meramec’s library on Nov. 1 as part of the Gateway Media Literacy Partner’s annual Media Literacy Week. Attendees listened as four Meramec students participating in Soliya Connect spoke about what they have learned by participating and later video linked with a Soliya Connect facilitator in New York. The Connect program is an online video conferencing program aimed at building dialogue between students from Western nations and students from predominantly Islamic nations. “What’s fascinating about Soliya’s Connect Program is their media literacy interests,” said Meramec English professor Eric Meyer. “On the first page of their website, they mention the term media literacy twice.” Student Deborah Caby said that she “has broadened her sources of news and has learned to question the information she is getting.”
“I don’t know if [the news report] is true or not, you don’t know those sources. You have to weigh that by getting to know people,” Caby said. Soliya Connect has helped her do this by putting her in contact with people living in different cultures every week. “I meet with 8 or 9 others every Wednesday morning for two hours,” Caby said. She finds the respectful dialogue useful in developing a friendship, which Caby sees as leading to tolerance. “When you develop a friendship, you tend to be more tolerant, so I think that’s what Soliya’s about,” said Caby. Professor Meyer sees this development of cross cultural ties as integral to education, “Some of us see education as a process of getting students outside of themselves, of getting them out their own psychologies, out of their own communities, out of the provincialism
PHOTO BY: JOE MAKOTO Student Kaitlin Hayes answers a question during the Soliya Connect event while student Gretchen Daniels listens. The Honors World Literature class was a requirement to be accepted into the program.
that we sometimes hold too tightly... The Soliya Connect Program, along with media literacy, provides that opportunity for students to get outside of themselves, outside of their communities and families, outside of St. Louis,” Meyer said. For Jessica Coonrod, a Meramec student participant, Soliya Connect has taught her to dig deeper into the history of the country being reported on. “You can’t know [the truth] without knowing the background of the country you are hearing about, what’s really going on,” Coonrod said. Part of the project for Soliya Connect is for students to create their own short video segment from longer video clips,
giving them a glimpse at how TV news content is created. “Because you have to approach the video from the perspective of creating the media it really makes you stop and think about media literacy, which helps you interpret what you read and what you see on TV. That is media literacy, interpreting what you’re given,” Coonrod said. Professor Meyer sees this ability as valuable in a media saturated world. “Media scholars remind us that we are living in the most mediated world ever. Any cultural information we share with each other or get from another part of the world, all of that is mediated in some way,” Meyer said.
College Writing Center 9th Annual Writing Contest
PHOTO BY: TEGAN MAZUREK Students take advantage of the free refeshments provided at the Evening Student Appreciation Week event Nov. 12 in Communications North. “I want evening students to get the same opportunities others do,” said TRIO Director Sanela Messic.
INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION WEEK Wednesday, Nov. 14 11:00-11:30 AM Student Center 201
An Educational Experience in Regensburg, Germany Winnie Wright, winner of this yearʼs Study Abroad Scholarship, will discuss her experience in Regensburg, Germany.
First Prize: $100 gift card & Publication in Currents Magazine! (Issue theme: Therapy) Second Prize: $50 gift card
12:00-12:50 PM Student Center 201 “You are What You Eat and How You Eat”: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Eating in French Culture as dramatized in Willa Catherʼs Shadows on the Rock. Dr. Shamim Ansari will use Willa Catherʼs novel Shadows on the Rock on French culture and her own Asian-Indian background to argue how a holistic philosophy of eating can unify all the senses of our body and can create a balance between our materialistic and idealistic attitude to food. She will show how food can become a means to not only fulfill our dietary but also our spiritual needs.
Write an essay, short story or play — funny or serious — using the following prompt as your inspiration:
“If I came with a warning label…”
Winners notified Dec. 11.
Thursday, Nov. 15
Length: No restriction
12:00-2:00 PM Student Center Commons
International Entertainment Friday, Nov. 16 1:00 – 3:00 PM Humanities East 134 A story about two women who come from different religious and cultural backgrounds who forge a friendship after addressing the racism they experience.
For more information, visit the College Writing Center, CN122.
Deadline: Monday, Dec. 3 Submit by email only: to firstname.lastname@example.org
4NEWS November 15, 2012
PHOTO BY ALEX KENDALL
Multiple military branches, united as one Veterans Club honors the men and women of the armed services ALEX KENDALL MANAGING EDITOR As the clock struck 8 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, five STLCC-Meramec students dressed in full military uniform marched in formation up to the flagpole. Jesse Gunderson, president of the Veterans Club, raised the flag in celebration and observation of Veterans Day. “You would think after being in the military that you wouldn’t be overwhelmed by certain things. But one thing you don’t really think about is that you focus on your job and just your job.” Gunderson said. “You lose that structure and it is almost overwhelming when you come back to the civilian world and it’s do whatever you want.” After the flag raising, Gunderson, a former petty officer in the Navy, along with members of the Veterans Club hosted a T-shirt sale that benefited the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that raises awareness and assists injured service members in need. The Veterans Club, an organization of student veterans, began on the Meramec campus in spring 2010 in an attempt to connect those on campus who have served in the military with one another and the community. One of the club’s sponsors, English professor and retired Army officer Michael Burke, praised those veterans who, “instead of going directly to college or work” after high school decided to join military. “[Joining the military] is a voluntary act that most people are not willing to do. Most people don’t want to leave home,” Burke said. “Most people don’t want to live on a ship or a barracks or in a tent someplace and do that for some period of time; or get shot at by people they don’t even know; or support people who are getting shot at.” Burke said that volunteering despite the challenges sets these citizens apart. “To me that makes them very special folks. It’s that they are willing to do something that other people don’t do or choose not to do,” Burke said. With diverse backgrounds and experiences, the Veterans Club gives individuals an opportunity to connect with
others who have shared the same troubles or accomplishments while also giving back to the community, according to Burke. “[The club has] two functions. One is to give a place for students like themselves to hangout with other guys like themselves because they are different; they’re older, they’ve had some really unusual experiences, some of them very harrowing experiences. So it’s kind of nice to be
veterans at Meramec, having a place on campus for these individuals to receive assistance is crucial according to Gunderson. “There are a lot of veterans out there that need help. We are in a better spot [on campus] to help them. We’re here as a liaison to help veterans who are new to the community college experience be successful,” Gunderson said.
PHOTO BY ALEX KENDALL Jesse Gunderson, along with other members of the STLCC-Meramec Veterans Club, raise the state and American flags in honor of Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 9.
able to talk to somebody else who’s had similar experiences who is at least going to understand,” Burke said. “The second function is service projects; really this is the first one we have done.” With a high population of student
After the club’s first event on campus, Burke said he hopes that the club will branch out and continue their service outside of Meramec and network with other veterans. “I wish that a lot of my students took their education as seriously as the veterans
take theirs. There’s a lot of different ways to serve your country and it doesn’t have to be in a uniform. Students ought to be preparing themselves for citizenship,” Burke said. Along with the Veterans Club, STLCC has programs to assist veterans with help registering for classes, applying for benefits, and other forms of assistance. Tracy Carpenter, the District Coordinator of Veterans Affairs and Navy medic, works with veterans across all four campuses to make their transfer from military to civilian life “a more seamless” transition. “[We need to] acknowledge the veterans presence on every campus and in that acknowledgement giving veterans a more seamless journey through their education. We want to give our veterans an avenue to network and just simply say that we are here for each other,” Carpenter said. According to Gunderson and Carpenter, the club will continue to volunteer and raise money for veterans on campus and throughout the community through organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project, Habitat for Humanities, and The Mission Continues. “There’s a lot of homeless veterans out there, even in the Saint Louis area. So we are planning on doing a clothing drive for homeless veterans, which is probably going to be our project next semester,” Gunderson said. With other campuses beginning their veterans club this year and as Meramec’s Veterans Club finishes its second year, Carpenter strives for all four campuses to reach out and connect with veterans across the area to help them in their educational “journey”. “My goal for STLCC veterans clubs is to belong to the Student Veterans Association of America, which is going to open some avenues for us as far as funding, scholarships, and community involvement, which is a big thing,” Carpenter said. “What we’re striving for is a unity across the district to emphasize that we are four campuses but one college and we are in this thing together.”
NEWS November 15, 2012
ILLUSTRATION BY: CORY MONTERO
Faculty weighs in
Campus ‘climate of fear’ expressed at president’s forum KAVAHN MANSOURI EDITOR IN CHIEF On Oct. 24, Meramec President George Wasson held a president’s forum in the wake of the board of trustees meeting where STLCC employees stated their frustration from the Professional Development day and other “grievances” from the college. Wasson fielded questions ranging from the Professional Development day to Meramec operating under a “climate of fear.” Attendees were given a chance to express their concerns in a concentrated environment. Wasson assured the forum’s attendees that he does hear their pleas and understands that the college is facing a problem with “conflicting cultures.” “I want to let you know that I am listening; I do hear you. I think that that’s a big part - we have a strong culture,” Wasson said. “What I’m hearing is that the collegiate culture isn’t being respected on this campus.” Being “released” from the college should not be something employees are worrying about,” Wasson said. “I’ve never seen someone released from the college for speaking up,” Wasson said. “I have spoken up quite often, but I think you would also see that I have been careful in how I’ve said things and tried to make sure that what I’ve tried to get across doesn’t get lost.” “Climate of Fear” Professor Sandy Brady was among the attendees of the event. Brady said the “climate of fear” at STLCC is a very real thing. “What is the work environment like if your colleagues are saying ‘you don’t want to talk in a public forum, you don’t want to say anything at this forum or at the board of trustees or get your name in The Montage and your quote.’ Why? Because what’s going to happen? What kind of environment is that?” Brady said. Wasson addressed the subject of speaking up about problems at the college and assured attendees that there would be no reprimands for speaking out against the change at STLCC. “I think speaking up in public forums has always been something that has been done here in the college. I think that it’s different if you’re speaking about an event or something, I think it’s different if you’re speaking about
a person and I think that becomes a line that is difficult to cross,” Wasson said. Wasson also defended Chancellor Myrtle Dorsey’s statement that the Professional Development day was not “unanimously negative.” “There are people who have spoken to the chancellor and people have spoken to me,” Wasson said. “Those who feel strongest and feel most negative are usually the one who respond. There’s others who didn’t have that experience.” Wasson stressed that faculty and staff should trust the college to follow the policies and procedures that protect their jobs. “I think as far as if anyone is vulnerable, it’s me. I serve, basically, at the will of the board and the chancellor,” Wasson said. “I don’t have the same policies and procedures that the staff has; I don’t have the faculty’s protections I gave up when I became an administrator. But I trust the college.” Wasson added that he believes in the college’s way of doing things. “I do believe in our policies and our procedures,” Wasson said. “Sometimes people will say I believe in them too much.” The recent problems the college has had have been a “distraction” from the main goal of STLCC Wasson said. “I want people to be happy to come to work. I’ve always said that and felt that way,” Wasson said. “I think these things distract us from what we do. We’re not thinking about teaching, learning… we’re thinking about other things and I think that it is a terrible distraction and I’d like to see that taken care of.” Wasson added the forum was one way that administration is trying to improve communication. “I think communications have to be changed for us to understand what’s going on,” Wasson said. “We’re starting here.” Wasson said he hopes the next time he holds a forum that some of the problems STLCC is facing will have been addressed. “I hope next time we meet it will not be the same. Hopefully, we can say that we haven’t cured all of our ales but we’ve made progress,” Wasson said. “The Tipping Point” Junior College Division President of the National Educators Association and
Meramec Professor Doug Hurst helped host an off campus NEA meeting for faculty members of STLCC to discuss concerns. “We set aside that day for feedback purposes, for a while now we had wanted to have an all faculty meeting to discuss general issues. It seemed that the Professional Development day was that tipping point that drove us there,” Hurst said. “We made available a survey for all faculty.” Before the faculty takes its next step it is important to try to find a solution Hurst said. “There’s so many issues that we have been dealing with that have kind of built up; it kind of pushed up over the tipping point,” Hurst said. “Before you’d make any kind of move in terms of asking for votes of no confidence we have to make sure we’ve identified those issues and make sure that that would be the last step.” Hurst said the meeting was a way for the faculty as a whole to figure out what the problems were at the college and also distribute a survey to collect feedback on the Professional Development day. “The idea was to have the meeting, get the comments, chart and see what those are, present them to faculty and administration and say at the board meetings ‘here’s what we found out through our feedback.’ There are problems and there are issues and we need to address those, let’s find out what they are first and get as much feedback as we can,” Hurst said. Although the college itself provided employees evaluations for the day, the NEA provided its own survey to collect feedback from faculty members. Hurst cited this decision based on some faculty members questioning the confidentiality of the surveys. Hurst said he does not blame faculty for being leery of the evaluation sent out by the school. “I met with the chancellor last week and she once again said that [the survey] is confidential and I believe her in that sense. However, people still don’t feel comfortable with that,” Hurst said. “We want faculty to be able to express themselves.” Hurst added the NEA would go public with their results at the Nov. 15 board of trustees meeting to present their results. Based on the results, the faculty will decide where to go next. “People are always leery of an evaluation,
especially an electronic evaluation and I’m not saying there’s any conspiracy there but people are always concerned about that so that’s why we wanted to make one public that we know people could do that would be totally confidential,” Hurst said. Although faculty has protection from retaliation, Hurst said the perception of fear is real at STLCC. “Unfortunately, perception is reality; people perceive that there could be retaliation so I guess it is something that is real,” Hurst said. “The faculty has protection in place but there are ways that retribution can be done. I think that fear is there.” Hurst added staff members do not share the same protections that faculty receive, resulting in staff biting their tongues about many issues at the college. ‘We’re still all in this together’ One of the fears of the faculty is that STLCC may be moving away from the innovative direction the college is currently in Hurst said. “Like some of the faculty that expressed themselves at the board meeting, I don’t want to see what we’ve built and what we’ve moved toward damaged at all and I think that’s what I want to make sure we’re not moving toward,” Hurst said. “I’m proud of where we are; we’ve always been an innovator in this country. We do things differently and we’re here to meet the needs of students and I don’t want to see that tarnished.” Hurst said the corporate vision of the college is not only hurting STLCC but also creates a “climate of fear.” “Administrators go, that’s part of their culture. Faculty are the ones that stay; we’re going to still be here,” Hurst said. “It is tangible to say that we see more of a corporate mentality in terms of administration and that’s something going all over the country. I don’t like, and faculty doesn’t like, using a corporate model in education. I think that might be where that fear mentality comes from because we know in corporate America there is less protection there.” Through all of the turmoil. Hurst said he still believes faculty, staff and administration are all still working as one to find a solution to the many issues facing the college. “We’re still all in this together,” Hurst said.
6OPINIONS November 15, 2012
We the people have the right of life, liberty and happiness
TAYLOR MENKE STAFF WRITER TEGAN MAZUREK STAFF WRITER
Heating up It is that time of year when the temperatures outside drop and the thermostat goes up. However, as the thermostat goes up so does the electricity bill. In the U.S. about 57.5 million homes, approximately half of the nation, use natural gas as a primary heat source. The shale process of extracting the natural gas is composed of 70 to 90 percent methane, a greenhouse gas which according to the EPA, has 20 times the amount of warming power of carbon dioxide and can remain in the atmosphere for nine to 15 years. With that much methane in the earth’s atmosphere, it is undeniable that people have contributed to the changing climate of the earth. Since 1850, global temperatures have shown a warming increase. In the last few decades, the pattern of warming has been alarmingly rapid. A mere temperature rise on a global scale wrecks havoc with the delicate natural order of the earth. Scientist have connected rising temperatures to the loss of biodiversity, acidification of oceans, threats to Western forests, increase of infectious disease in all parts of the animal kingdom, melting of ice and a rising sea, and major threats to humans through weather and natural disaters. But there are choices individuals can make to influence a difference for future generations. There are many ways to conserve energy and access green energy sources. To conserve the energy sources we use, make sure all windows and exterior doors are tightly sealed so excess heat does not escape. Residents can turn the thermostat lower when no one is home. Green heat sources are also available. While they are a pricey investment, solar panels save bundles in the long run. If those options do not work the home, ask a supplier about buying green power. Green power is electricity produced by renewable resources. Change starts with the individual. Any change in activity will not have an immediate effect, but it will definitely prevent future generation from being in hot water.
A 15-year-old is stabbed while waiting for her bus. A violent arson fire engulfs a nightclub, killing 32. A 3-yearold boy is beaten to death for being a “sissy.” A young man is murdered and dismembered by his stepfather. A young woman and her partner are shot several times when seen together in a public park; her partner survives, but she is not as fortunate. An 18-year-old male is beaten, strangled, stabbed, partially decapitated, doused in gasoline and set aflame. Each of these individuals were attacked because of the perceived crime of homosexuality. These were not random, barbaric incidents that occurred overseas or in another lifetime — each death, each attack, each act of hatred and indecency happened within the U.S., many in the last ten years. The list does not end there. Indeed, every day it grows longer and longer, both domestically and internationally. When politicians, celebrities and average Americans talk about gay marriage they are typically met with three less-than-desirable reactions. One, the response is a quick nod of agreement. Two, there is virulent hatred. Three, and perhaps most damaging of all, is a yawn and a sneer, because surely there are more important issues to discuss than whether two men should be able to marry? Less than a month ago, CNN published the results of a Gallup telephone poll in which 3.4 percent of respondents, on average, identified themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or another nonheterosexual, non-cisgender identity. The highest percentage of selfidentified LGBT were young, poor and uneducated, with blacks and Latinos identifying most frequently (5.6 percent and four percent respectively, compared to 3.2 percent for white Americans). “It is absurd that such a small percentage of the population has such a huge voice and is moving our country toward moral debauchery,”
EDITORS Kavahn Mansouri Alex Kendall Hans Steinert Lilly Huxhold Ashley Higginbotham Kelly Glueck Tomi Storey Spencer Gleason Gretchen Daniels Justin Villmer Shannon Philpott
Editor in Chief Managing Editor Multimedia Editor Graphic Design Editor News Editor Opinions Editor In Depth Editor Sports Editor Copy Editor Copy Editor Faculty Adviser
48% The percentage of Americans opposed to gay marriage in 2012, according to a Gallup poll.
The number of U.S. states that have banned same-sex marriage.
27 FIVE The number of states which allow marriage of 1st cousins.
The number of U.S. states that allow civil unions between same-sex couples, but not marriage.
The number of U.S. states that allow same-sex marriage, along with the District of Columbia. However, due to the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal government does not recognize the same-sex marriages in these states.
The approximate percentage of Americans identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA.
Information from CNN
GRAPHIC BY: LILLY HUXHOLD
one anonymous user on CNN’s website said, concisely summarizing the general attitude within the comments section. At first glance the statistics do seem troubling. For years, the LGBT community has touted the 10 percent demographic. But that number might still hold water. For one thing, the poll occurred within the U.S. and did not involve any global input or interviews, making its authority on LGBT affairs
worldwide limited. Secondly, the discrepancy between ethnic groups, political affiliation, economic status and education level indicates that the conditions for “coming out” even for the purpose of anonymous polling can be difficult to do. Who is more likely to reveal that they are gay, lesbian or transgender? A white, adult male in the upper 1 percent, or a poor, female ethnic minority whose status as a patriotic American citizen is
MONTAGE STAFF THE MONTAGE Cory Montero Joe Makoto Victoria Barmark Endya Goliday Aaron McCall Taylor Menke David Kloeckener Jake Simorka Tegan Mazurek Sam Wise Anabel Gonzalez Jake Hunn
Sr. Staff Illustrator Staff Writer Staff Writer Staff Writer Staff Writer Staff Writer Staff Photographer Staff Photographer Staff Writer/Photographer Staff Writer/Photographer Staff Designer Staff Designer
To place an advertisement, contact the advertising manager for rates, sample issues, etc., 314-984-7955. Editorial views expressed or content contained in this publication are not necessaritly the views of St. Louis Community College, the Board of Trustees or the administration. The Montage is a student publication produced seven times per semester at St. Louis Community College Meramec, 11333 Big Bend Blvd., Kirkwood, Mo., 63122. 314-984-7655. One copy of The Montage is free of charge. Up to 10 additional copies available, $1 each, at the office of The Montage, SC 220. Bulk purchases may be arranged with circulation manager. Editorial policy: All letters should be no longer than 500 words and must include identification as a student or faculty member, phone number and address for verification purposes. Phone numbers and addresses will not be published. All letters are subject to editing for content and length. All letters submitted will be published in print and online.
Proud member of
OPINIONS November 15, 2012
already questioned? Even if the number could be proven accurate, universal and objective, the amount of individuals in an oppressed group does not affect their right to enjoy civil liberties as elaborated in the equal protections clause of the U.S. constitution. 3.4 percent may be a small number, but it is still a number, and applied to the population of the United States comprises over 10 million people. To compare, there are a little more than five million Jews, three million American Indians, 500,000 individuals with autism, and 400,000 foster children under 18 living in this country. Do these “small numbers” not deserve our recognition and attention? Do they not deserve rights? Are they merely a tiny annoyance we pay dignity and respect to only when we do not have more important matters on our minds? Legally, marriage is the union of two consenting adults for the purposes of financial levity and social responsibility. There are a wide array of rights that come hand-inhand with legal marriage contracts: property and income tax deductions, immigration sponsorship, joint filing of bankruptcy, joint ownership of property, joint custody of children, family visitation rights, domestic violence protection, spousal and parental medical decisions and many more. These are protections allowed heterosexual partnerships but not homosexual ones. This is financial disenfranchisement – or in other words, making it difficult or impossible for LGBT to have the same opportunities as heterosexuals. This discriminatory policy has existed on the basis of so-called religious freedom, but religion has nothing to do with marriage as a state concept. Gays and lesbians are already free to marry in churches, synagogues and other places of worship, so long as these places approve performing the ceremony. This is because they are protected by the first amendment to worship as they choose, even if this means they are violating another individual’s religious principles. For example, two men can get married at their church if their
& CIVIL UNION
WONDERS OF THE WEIRD
Reciprocal beneficiary relationships (Hawaii) Option of jointly owning property, right to sue due to wrongful death, inheritance right, pension and insurance benefits for partners of state employees, hospital visitation, healthcare decision making. Available to any adults, opposite-sex or same-sex, who are prohibited from marrying.
Civil unions (Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Delaware, Rhode Island)
Varies state by state, usually carrying all (or nearly all) of the benefits, rights, andresponsibilities of marriage.
Civil unions (Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Delaware, Rhode Island)
Varies state by state, usually carrying all (or nearly all) of the benefits, rights, andresponsibilities of marriage.
Domestic partnerships (California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Wisconsin, Washington) Determined by state or jurisdiction, so there is no universal consensus on the definition. Not enforced, so all parts of the partnership may be ignored by hospitals, healthcare professionals, or others. State courts may find them invalid in child custody or inheritance disputes.
Same-sex marriage (Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington, District of Columbia, two Native American tribes)
Full rights and benefits allotted by the individual state.
*It should be noted that regardless of state, all laws regarding same-sex partnerships/relationships/unions/marriages/etc. do not allow for any of the 1,138 federal benefits,allowances, or responsibilities, due to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Information from The New York Times GRAPHIC BY: LILLY HUXHOLD
church is willing to officiate the ceremony. Their union, however, is not recognized legally – they will receive no rights, responsibilities or benefits from the marriage. The confusion between civil and religious marriage has caused a cacophony of grief for many people and their families. “Gay marriage” is a symbolic term. There are concrete, tangible rights and benefits associated with
AMERICA KICKS ASS
KAVAHN MANSOURI EDITOR IN CHIEF
Barack “The Rock” Obama What can you say about Barack Obama after this election? That he is the American version of the Spartan general Leonidus? That he rides a warhorse into battles with a mythical plate of armor? No, you cannot. But you can say that he is one kickass American individual who does not take any crap from anyone and wears American flag pants over American flag boxers with American flag socks that were made in America by Americans. It is one thing to serve as president for one term; it is another thing completely to run for a second term and
the union, but it is also a measure of equality. Whenever these individuals are denied their constitutionally assured rights, they are only reminded of blood, death, torture and statesanctioned bigotry. Do not let yourself be touched by this strange apathy towards fellow human beings just because the numbers are not strong enough. A minority may be a minority, but that does not lessen their right to be protected.
win with the prowess and cool head Obama ran with on Nov. 6. It was a day of glory for Barack and a day of defeat for Romney. And as Barack flew away from the gory bludgeoned battlefield that was Election Day in his Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter he toted Big Bird as his co-pilot blaring “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen on the loud speakers. Yes, another day saved by our president. He is the glorious Barack Obama, the man with the plan, the commander in chief, the kickass American. It is rumored he has an eagle with red, white and blue feathers clutching onto an American flag tattooed on his glorious Jean Claude Van-Damme like bicep along with the Constitution in full scrawled on his back. If you voted for him or did not, it does not really matter because America has earned itself the second term of a real American hero. The type of guy who will punch a cobra straight in the face and wrestle with a bear over a salmon swimming up the stream. He flies over football games in a Blue Angel jet releasing several thousand 100 dollar bills all over the stadium. He is not the hero America deserves but the one America needs. That is right America, you picked right and that is why America kicks so much ass.
ENDYA GOLIDAY STAFF WRITER
C re a ti v e e x c u s e s
There is a new way to call in sick! A woman in San Antonio, Texas called in to work on Oct. 10, 2012 to tell her boss she would not be coming in – she was kidnapped. She claimed that a man jumped into her car at a nearby ATM and forced her at knifepoint to escort him around the city in a string of drug deals. After several stops, she said the man bound her and left her in a field where the police found her bound with rope inside her vehicle. Upon arrival, detectives came across a lottery ticket which was purchased at a convenience store near where the woman was found. Surveillance footage showed the woman looking unharmed, healthy, cheerful and making unhurried conversation with the store clerks. After the woman was shown the footage from the store, she admitted it had been a hoax. The reason behind it all? According the San Antonio-Express News, the woman was reported saying she “simply wanted a day off from work and a little attention.” She at least gets credit for creativity, right? There is nothing wrong with wanting a little attention now and again, but to crave it to the point where you feign your own kidnapping - pitiful and sad. Her story was not executed well; she should have supported her story with believable details. Avoid the convenience store, do not buy a lottery ticket and do not get caught on tape making friends with the cashier. The smart thing would be say someone broke into the house, tied up her up warthog style, threw her in the trunk of her own car and left her on outskirts of town. Throw in props, like ear plus and a blindfold for good measure. Sound like unnecessary nonsense? That is because it is. Faking your own kidnapping cannot possibly be the cure for loneliness and sympathy. Why not take a vacation for time off or buy a dog for attention? Unfortunately, this woman did not act on those two relatively simple things. As a result of her lies she was arrested and charged with aggravated perjury (a third-degree felony). How is that for a day off and a little attention?
ILLUSTRATION BY: CORY MONTERO
8 INDEPTH November 15, 2012
Food insecurity, the term used by experts to indicate hunger, has been rising across the United States. One of the more visible signs of this has been the rise in the number of people receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a U.S. Department of Agriculture program designed to provide direct benefits. The increase in number of food insecure individuals has been felt at local food pantries and food banks as well. Sunny Schaefer, executive director of Operation Food Search, a food bank serving many food pantries in the St. Louis region, reports that the local trend is more than the SNAP numbers suggest. “Almost all of our pantries are reporting a minimum of 25 percent [year over year] increase, some of them 50 percent increase. That started in 2008 with the decline of the economy and we really don’t expect that to change until the unemployment situation turns around,” Schaefer said. Having served for 17 years in the nonprofit sector, Schaeffer has seen the nature of the need change in significant ways. “When I started, people would go because an emergency came up. Now, people are going because they just don’t have enough money to make ends meet, and so they’re visiting pantries on a more regular basis than they did many years ago. This is a trend that I think all the agencies are seeing, people come to them and expect to continue to go to them until their situation changes,” Schaeffer said. The most recent recession, which started in December 2007 and ended in June 2009 according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, has been especially rough with people who used to give to food banks and food pantries suddenly finding themselves on the receiving side of the line. “That’s very common these days. I think this is the first time in our history where everybody knows somebody who has lost their job, possibly facing a foreclosure, really needing help. Everybody knows somebody these days, whereas 10 years ago that wasn’t the case,” Schaeffer said. The Circle of Concern, a local food pantry serving the community in Valley Park, reported seeing a large increase in food needs over even the traditionally slow summer months. “We fed 500 more people this July than last July, that’s significant because we usually feed about 2,000 people a month. So we were up about 25 percent in July.” Said Sada Lindsay, director of The Circle of Concern. Kirk Care, another local food pantry serving the community of PHOTOS BY: JAKE SIMORKA AND JOE MAKOTO
GRAPHICS BY: TOMI STOREY
INDEPTH November 15, 2012
St. Louis has seen an increase in charitable food needs over the past year, part of a longer term and nationwide trend. STLCC-Meramec has been doing its part to meet these growing needs, including food drives, special events and campus activities. The Montage highlights the problem, the reaction and things students can do in their communities, both individually and through on campus activities.
JOE MAKOTO STAFF WRITER
Of the 8,468 households receiving SNAP, 59.7% have a child under 18.
Of the 41,527 households receiving SNAP, 58.9% have a child under 18.
Of the 24,125 households receiving SNAP, 55.4% have a child under 18.
Kirkwood, reports seeing a large increase, with calls for their service increasing by nearly 50 percent in 2012 over 2011. The increase over the past year was even more dramatic than the one between 2007 and 2009. Then Kirk Care was fielding more calls, “but not like now,” Denise Miller, director of the food pantry, said.
November is Hunger Awareness Month at STLCC Meramec and many activities are taking place on campus to address the issue of food insecurity. On Nov. 7, an Empty Bowls Luncheon was held, and along with a lunch, ceramic bowls made by Meramec students were given to those who attended, raising $10 per attendee for Operation Food Search. Meramec has been engaged with the food insecurity issue in a multitude of ways. Many of the efforts on campus go through the Office of Service Learning, an effort to bring academic instruction and community volunteer experience together. “At this campus food drive, hunger and homelessness have been a real priority because we believe there is a lot of need out in the community,” said Debbie Corson of Service Learning. Ceramics professor Jim Ibur, whose students create the bowls for Empty Bowls Luncheon, said the purposes of the Empty Bowls Luncheon is, “to wake up people in the Meramec college community to this reality [of hunger]... it’s also to give a connection to students in ceramics to see the power of making something and being able to give it away and have a real impact socially.” The entire month of November, students and faculty will see blue bins around campus. These bins will be used to collect canned goods for Operation Food Search.
Students interested in getting involved have several options. Kirk Care delivers food to those in need, and are always looking for drivers. Circle of Concern is looking for volunteers to stock shelves. If you are a gardener, Circle of Concern also accepts fresh vegetable items, “That’s a cool way to introduce different fruits and vegetables to the clients,” Sada Lindsay, said. “We’ve even had people bring in fresh herbs from an herb garden,” said Lindsay. “They’ll bring in a big basket of tomatoes and it’s a nice little treat. That’s a way to bring in those fresh ingredients.”
*according to www.fns.usda.gov
“Almost all of our pantries are reporting a minimum of 25% increase, some of them 50% increase. That started in 2008 with the decline of the economy and we really don’t expect that to change until the unemployment situation turns around.” Sunny Schaefer Operation Food Search Executive Director
10 ART&LIFE November 15, 2012
Weaving through St. Louis
Meramec’s Yarn Club visits local STL yarn shops
KAVAHN MANSOURI EDITOR IN CHIEF Standing between aisles and aisles of knitting and crocheting materials STLCC-Meramec students oohed and ahhed at the massive collection of yarn in the South City store Knitourious. Hundreds of colors and materials lined the store while an entire bookshelf of patterns and designs kept the students eyes glued to knitting and crocheting magazines. On Saturday, Nov. 10 the Yarn Club visited Knitorious, Kirkwood Yarnery and Unit Yarns. As members of the club wandered the shops, the club’s president, Samantha Tohtz, searched for the perfect material for her next project. Tohtz said the club is a perfect atmosphere for students to learn a new trade and unwind. “Basically, just to create an environment for people to come and relax and just decompress from the stress. Which is kind of ironic when you consider knitting and crocheting bring a lot of stress with it,” Tohtz said. “It’s basically a way for people to come and do a hobby and find people with like interest and have some chill time.”
Tohtz said the craft was a cheap and easy way to keep herself busy when money was tight. “When I was younger my mom was always knitting or sewing or something, and I tried to learn crocheting when I was younger but never put the effort into it,” Tohtz said. “A couple years ago I was living out in Kansas City, and I didn’t have a lot of money at the time so I was thinking this would be a really cheap, easy hobby for me to do.” The Yarn Club meets every other Friday in Meramec’s cafeteria where the club has a “stitching circle,” a place to work on projects and discuss everyday subjects. Meramec students Julie Nguyen and Jessica Young were among the attendees on the field trip. Young said the club was exactly what she was looking for when she moved from St. Charles Community College to Meramec. “It was one of the first things I looked for when I came to Meramec,” Young said. “I’m really happy there is a yarn club because I was one of the
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PHOTO BY: KAVAHN MANSOURI Yarn Club co-adviser Becky Helbling and Meramec student Julie Nguyen look through different selections of yarn at Unit Yarns in Webster.
only people I knew who knits or crochets. Now I’m teaching my grandma to knit.” Nguyen said the club was a good place to work on projects and talk about the craft. “My mom taught me how to knit and crochet but she isn’t really into in anymore so I’m glad this club exists so I have someone to talk to about it,” Nguyen said. Tohtz planned the field trip by looking up several local yarn shops in an attempt to promote knowledge of local business and provide a learning experience for newer members of the club. The club promotes the DIY (Do It Yourself) movement. “People want to get back to being able to make things themselves, maybe it’s a reaction to all this technology we have,”
Yarn Club co-adviser Becky Helbling said. “It is cool to see a lot of young people want to do that.” The club was first launched by adviser Janis Hovis and former Meramec student Emily Spotche. Hovis helped start the club and co-adviser Rebecca Helbling joined soon after. “I was team teaching a library research class with another librarian and I brought something I knitted one day. One of the students was really interested in learning how to knit and asked if there was a club, and found out there was no club and decided to found a knitting club on campus,” Hovis said. “At first we were the Nifty Knitters and Emily asked me to be the club adviser. When she graduated we didn’t know if
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the club would go on but Sam stepped in.” Helbling said the club helps her connect with students outside of the library. “I just think it’s another way to get to know some students outside of the classroom,” Helbling said. “It gives me another chance to interact with students in a maybe little more relaxed setting.” Hovis said the club is growing and has come far in the past year. “We’ve actually had a lot more active members this semester and it looks like it really is growing now,” Hovis said. “I enjoy our conversations; I enjoy teaching people knitting and crocheting. We learn from each other too because some of us aren’t good at stitches and some of us have ideas to share.”
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ART&LIFE November 15, 2012
Life in America
Meramec holds annual Empty Bowls Luncheon
International Education Week hosts womens panel
JOE MAKOTO STAFF WRITER
PHOTO BY ALEX KENDALL International Education Week began Nov. 13 with a panel of women, moderated by Dr. Amanda White, that answered questions staff and students had about the transition to the United States including questions about marriage, civil rights, education, and military life. The panel featured Shirley Damti from Isreal, Erika Abou Nader from Lebanon and Zeina Shehadeh from Jordan.
AMERICA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL ART AND DESIGN SCHOOL
pottery to the table and food made it natural,” Meramec professor Jim Ibur said. The well attended event occurred just as pressure on people’s food budget is ratcheting up, “They’re predicting about a 4 percent food price increases next year due to the effects of the drought, it really hits people hard, especially the most vulnerable citizens. About a third of those we serve are children,” Klaus said. Professor Ibur’s larger goal is, “to wake up people in the Meramec college community to this reality. it’s also to give a connection to students in ceramics to see the power of making something and being able to give it away and have a real impact socially.” “We have had a tremendous amount of people, and everyone is happy and smiling and generous. I think it’s an exceptional event because it shows the overwhelming generosity of the students and faculty at Meramec,” Klaus said.
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The Empty Bowls Luncheon was held at STLCC-Meramec on Nov. 7 to benefit Operation Food Search, a local food bank. Attendees who made a $10 donation received a lunch and chose a ceramic bowl created by Meramec ceramic students. “An effort like this really impacts our ability to reach out and help people,” said Karen Klaus of Operation Food Search. Over $1600 and canned goods were donated at the event. “[Hunger] is very real and people don’t really recognize it is going on,” said Meredith Boyer, a ceramics student who has participated in the past three Empty Bowls Luncheons. “It’s a good cause, a real good cause,” Ahmed Habib said, another ceramics student who is a first time participant. He said he heard his ceramics class professor Jim Ibur speak about it and thought, “Sure, go help.” “I wish for students to participate in healing the world. obviously, the relationship of
MUS 101,102,201,202 MUS 103 MUS 113 MUS 114 MUS 115,116 MUS 121,122,221,222 MUS 128 MUS 130 MUS 138,139,216 MUS 141,142,241,242 MUS 143 MUS 211,212
Music Theory I,II,III,IV Basic Music The History of Jazz The Enjoyment of Music Class Voice I,II Class Piano I,II,III,IV Survey of Rock Music Beginning Guitar Jazz Improvisation I,II,III Applied Music (Lessons) I,II,III,IV Introduction to Desktop Publishing Music History I,II
Interested in performing in an ensemble? All Meramec students may participate. No audition is required!
Music 132 – Orchestra Music 133 – Jazz Lab Band Music 134 – Symphonic Band Music 135 – Concert Choir, Chamber Singers and Voices of Magic jazz choir All ensembles hold a seat/part assignment hearing during the first rehearsal. Members of the Concert Choir may audition for the Chamber Singers and/or the Voices of Magic jazz choir.
For more information, contact the Meramec Music Department Gary Gackstatter, Director of Instrumental Music, firstname.lastname@example.org, (314) 984-7636 Dr. Jerry Myers, Director of Choral Activities & Music Theory, email@example.com, (314) 984-7638
12ART&LIFE November 15, 2012
A year later: An Illustrating legend’s work contines to inspire Archive Photo
“His line work was exquisite. He was one of the best. I would see his stuff in the newspaper when I was young and I would say ‘Oh man I want to meet this guy!’ and I did,” Shay said. ALEX KENDALL MANAGING EDITOR Almost a year has passed since William Van Hoogstraat, known to his friends, colleagues and students as Bill Vann, passed away at the age of 71 on Dec. 5, 2011. In remembrance of Vann and his work for STLCC-Meramec and his career as an illustrator, graphic communication professor Bob Shay hosted some of Vann’s original artwork in the Meramec Gallery. “What makes [Vann’s work] remarkable in my eye is that he had no fear. There was no job he was ever afraid of,” Shay said. “His versatility was amazing.” The gallery features numerous pieces from various points in Vann’s career from sports illustrations, black and white line work, and advertisements created for local and national companies. “He could do anything,” Shay said. “He did McDonalds boxes, Pepsi cola, Coca-Cola. You name the product he did something for it.” Shay, a long time friend and colleague of Vann’s, first met Vann in 1971 at his studio on the sixth floor of the Railway
exchange building in downtown Saint Louis. “His line work was exquisite. He was one of the best. I would see his stuff in the newspaper when I was young and I would say ‘Oh man I want to meet this guy!’ and I did,” Shay said. After Vann’s death, Shay visited his studio. As he went through Vann’s artwork, Shay said he began to catalog the hundreds of pieces that he had in there. “Bill cataloged everything he did. He has thousands and thousands of transparencies and slides. The man was the most organized man I have ever met.” As Shay went through Vann’s studio, he discovered an unfinished project on his drawing board. “When he died, he had an illustration on his drawing board that I finished for him. I didn’t really do much; he had it drawn out. All I did was put the color in. It was an illustration for a big company out of Chicago and there were twenty-three caricatures he had done. Twenty-three. I
called them after Bill died and said ‘did you still want this’ and they said ‘yes we do’,” Shay said. “It was bittersweet working on his [final] piece.” Doug Ross, a student of Vann’s and a long time friend, received a surprise at the gallery opening that he thought he would never see again. Ross attended Vann’s illustration class for about ten years, only missing one day. For an assignment, Ross dressed himself as an old sea captain and photographed himself as a template to paint during class. “Bill saw the photograph and said can I paint that for a demo and I said sure never knowing that I would get the original.” As a student, Ross said that Vann had the patience for questions and knowledge and expertise to show you the answer instead of simply just telling you. “[I respect his] willingness to be so open, Bill would give you a positive 45 minute step by step way of doing it and that’s what was so wonderful about Bill he was so gracious and so willing to open up.
He would share his soul willingly and that’s just the way he was,” Ross said. “I would hit one of those points where I was stuck and Bill would come by and put his hand on my shoulder and say ‘Hey you know Doug, I’m expecting a lot more out of you and I know you can do it’ and that’s just the way he was an encouraging instructor.” The future of Vann’s work looks to continue as Shay and Vann’s family are working with licensers in Saint Louis to market Vann’s work, especially his sports art. “This is our philosophy ‘Nothing extraordinary happens from nine to five everyday because you have to live your life. It’s what you do during you free time, your personal time. That is going to define you as a creative. If I find you working at midnight on a Saturday night while all the other guys are out partying and clubbing and smoking dope and drinking, and you’re drawing, you’re going to go someplace,’” Shay said.
ART&LIFE November 15, 2012
PHOTOS BY: ALEX KENDALL TOP: STLCC-Meramec displays late illustration professor Bill Vann’s artwork in the Meramec Gallery in celebration of his life as a teacher and artist. MIDDLE LEFT: Doug Ross holds up a self-portrait that Bill Vann painted during one of his illustration sessions. MIDDLE TOP RIGHT: Bill Vann’s pen and ink piece of the Saint Louis Cardinals. MIDDLE BOTTOM RIGHT: Bill Vann’s diverse work includes sports paintings, airbrushed ads for companies such as Anheuser Busch, and portraits of famous CEOs. BOTTOM: The showcase, put together by illustration teacher and long time friend Bob Shay, will be featured from Thursday, Nov. 10 through Wednesday, Dec 5.
FOR MORE CONTENT VISIT MERAMECMONTAGE.COM Gallery dates & times, original memorial and a video presentation of the life of Bill Vann
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SPORTS November 15, 2012
SPENCER GLEASON SPORTS EDITOR
PHOTO BY: SPENCER GLEASON Kalah Martin, 3, and the Lady Archers battle the Southeastern Illinois College Lady Falcons for the basketball under the basket during their home opener on Nov. 8. The Lady Archers beat the Lady Falcons, 88-69. The Lady Archers began the season ranked 19 in the NJCAA.
After returning from Gallatin, Tenn., the Lady Archers basketball team returned home from their season-opening weekend with a 1-1 record. Facing off against two National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I teams, the Division II Lady Archers’ final scores nearly looked identical — beating Jackson State University, 69-45, and losing to Volunteer State Community College, 69-43. “Overall it was a good weekend because the first game we came out real hard and aggressive. We knew that the second game was going to be the tougher game,” Lady Archers’ head coach Shelly Ethridge said. “However, it was a win-win situation for us because we got to play against that competition. We realized what we really need to focus in on and work on.” Since then, the Lady Archers’, who were ranked 19 in the NJCAA Division II preseason polls, have gone 2-0. While lighting up the score board in their home opener, 88-69, over Southeastern Illinois College, the Lady Archers reached the triple-digit plateau when they traveled to face Shawnee Community College. The 104-59 final was a feat not even the Region XVI Champion Lady Archers could accomplish last year en route to a NJCAA National Tournament appearance. “We had a really good crowd that drove all the way down to Shawnee and they enjoyed seeing everybody lighting it up,” Ethridge said. “I did too. I didn’t have to do too much because the kids just took over
and we let them play. When they’re playing like that and they’re all playing together, it’s really fun to watch.” The 2012-2013 roster has eight returning players from last year’s team, along with three transfer sophomores and four freshmen. Sophomore forward, Lauren Maclin, who suffered a broken left foot during preseason conditioning, has had a unique vantage point watching the team gel. “I definitely think we have a lot of potential. We’re a new team right now, so of course it’s going to be different, but I think we’re starting to get it together,” Maclin said. “It’s hard for me sitting there and being on the bench when I want to be out there playing, but when you can see your teammates having so much fun, you can’t help but be happy for them.” The inaugural Lady Archers season, last year, saw the team reach the 20-win plateau and took Ethridge and assistant coach Melanie Marcy to their second consecutive NJCAA Tournament. In the Lady Archers second time around they look to keep that ball rolling. “I think that that’s one thing that us as returnees really want to do. As a team though, we just need to take it one day at a time. We still have a long season ahead of us,” Maclin said. “Right now, we’re just going to focus on one game at a time and just try to get the wins going, so we can start getting our rhythm together and that chemistry and just be a team.”
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16 SPORTS November 15, 2012
On the brink of war Ken Libby, assistant basketball coach, served in South Korea during the Vietnam War SPENCER GLEASON SPORTS EDITOR
“I just knew. I called my mom and it was a letter from Richard Nixon. I was to report within 14 days and I was inducted into the United States Army.” Ken Libby, Asst. Men’s Basketball Coach
PHOTO BY: SPENCER GLEASON STLCC men’s basketball assistant coach, Ken Libby, helps coach practice on Nov. 8. Libby was drafted during the Vietnam War in the fifteenth round. He served as a medic in South Korea for 18 months of service from August 1970 to February 1972.
A few years ago, assistant coach for the STLCC men’s basketball team, Ken Libby, visited Washington D.C. He went to visit “The Wall” — the Vietnam Memorial. Libby had a friend that was drafted around the same time he was in August 1970. Libby found his friend’s name. “That is when it kind of gets you,” Libby, now 64, said. “There were a couple of other guys that I taught at school with in Moberly, Mo., too — one grade school, one high school — and I see their name on “The Wall.” That will kind of move you. That was the more serious side of that stuff.” Libby, who grew up in Moberly, Mo., was drafted into the military in the fifteenth round during his first year of teaching and coaching basketball, but his superintendent gave him a lifeline. He made a deal with the draft board by saying, “it would be too hard to find somebody to coach and teach” in the middle of the school year. Summer came — June, then July. Libby still had not heard back from his draft board, so he kept living life normally. “I was not going to go knock on her door,” Libby said. “I was expecting to hear from her since this was just a favor with my superintendent to leave me alone for a little bit.” As the dog days of summer in 1970 drew on, Libby, then 22, went to Chicago to spend time with a friend from college. There were good job opportunities and the two of them planned to get an apartment together.
“I got an interview teaching freshman social studies and coaching freshman basketball at a good high school in suburbia Chicago and I got the job,” Libby said. “I was told to come by the next day and they would have the contract typed up for me to sign.” After a night of celebrating, Libby and his friend returned home to be greeted by his friend’s mom. Libby was not going able to sign on the dotted line for the teaching job after all. “She is still awake and she tells me, ‘You need to call your mom. She has called me a hundred times. You have some important mail that she needs to tell you about,’” Libby said. “Well, I knew. I just knew. I called my mom and it was a letter from Richard Nixon. I was to report within 14 days and I was inducted into the United States Army.” Libby reported 418 miles away from his home of Moberly, Mo. for basic training at Fort Campbell, Ky. and his journey had begun. Following basic training, the army sent Libby to Fort Sam Houston in Texas for medical training to become a medic. “Being a medic, they all went to Vietnam every single week,” Libby said. “My week was the first week in several years that every medic was not assigned to go to Vietnam.” While Libby saw friends being sent to Germany and Hawaii, he was sent to South Korea. Before he was sent to South Korea, Libby stopped at Fort Louis, Wash. to prepare for the trip across the ocean.
“The army changed their mind,” Libby said. “They need more medics in Vietnam, so half of [the medics that were with me] went to Vietnam.” Libby continued on his way to South Korea. “Then I get to South Korea and they put us in a holding company of 200 guys and half of them get to Vietnam,” Libby said. Libby stayed in South Korea. “Then four of us go to the 125 medical detachment in Ouijongbu, South Korea up in the mountains real close to the Demilitarize Zone (D.M.Z.),” Libby said. “Of the four, within two days, two of them were told they were going to Vietnam.” Four different times Libby was on the verge of being sent to the news capitol of the world at that time. Four different times, Libby lucked out. “The odds from going from hundreds down to four and I am one of two that did not go,” Libby said. “I thought that I had won the lottery already by doing that.” Libby’s job with the 125 medical detachment was doing whatever needed to be done. He worked in the shop room, in the records and the supply room. “I was kind of like Radar O’Reilly for that medical detachment,” Libby said. “The only real treatment of gunshot and buck shot was when some South Korea soldiers were mad at their commanding officer and they threatened him with a tank mine that they had found,” Libby said. “They got into pushing and shoving and it blew up and killed about three or four
of them and then a bunch of them were injured. They brought those guys into the dispensary and picked out pieces of shrapnel.” Libby’s closest call was when he was driving a pregnant women in the back of his ambulance. “A Korean woman who was married to a U.S. soldier, that’s why she got our treatment, was in labor and she was in the back screaming and yelling,” Libby said. “I’m thinking, ‘Oh gosh, I’m not ready to be birthing any babies here.’ I had seen a film. That was it. I got her to the 43 [Mobil Army Surgical Hospital] M.A.S.H. unit on time, though. That was my only scare in the ambulance.” While living in a country that was always on the cusp of breaking out into war, Libby saw jets fly at a low trajectory toward the D.M.Z., but they would never fly over the border, crossing the line. “They would just screw with each other,” Libby said. After witnessing being on the brink of war, Libby was finally able to go home after 18 months of service. “I got out Feb. 29, 1972. It was a leap year that year,” Libby said. “I had already enrolled at Northeast Missouri State to be a grad assistant for basketball and get my masters [degree] in guidance and counseling.” As much as it could be, a normal life could start again.