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Montage The

St. Louis Community College–Meramec

MARCH 11 , 2010 Vol. 45 Issue 12

‘He’s gone’

Staff and students want answers following Stephen Petersen’s removal



Students vote on the MoPIRG reaffirmation election.

Editorial Board


Students demand accountability regarding administrative decisions.


Second-hand Spring Fashion


Vice President of Student Affairs Stephen Petersen, Ed.D., talking to Georgiana Matteucci, student embassador, the first semester he took his position at Meramec. vide them. Pai, while addressing the SGC at their Carlos Restrepo According to Missouri contract law, meeting, said again that he could not men- Editor in Chief any person under a probationary con- tion the exact reason why Petersen’s conAt 9 a.m., Tuesday, March 2, president tract, such as Petersen, may not have his tract was not renewed. He recommended of the STLCC-Meramec campus Paul Pai, contract renewed “without [the board] students write a letter of recommendation Ed.D., held a meeting with all the manag- assigning reasons therefore and without for Petersen’s next job. ers who worked under Vice President of affording a due process hearing.” In other “With that [letter of recommendation] Student Affairs Stephen Petersen, Ed.D. words, no reasons need to be given for the coming from you all, that really is much At this meeting, Pai said that Petersen refusal to renew. more powerful than what I would say in “was gone.” Pai claimed that, due to privacy, Pe- my recommendation letter,” Pai said. “Dr. Pai came in and just very mat- tersen’s removal will not be discussed. Pai also said that he initiated the deciter-of-factly stated that Dr. Petersen was “Certainly, there’s really not much sion process to not renew Petersen’s congone,” said Claudia Potts, manager of that I can say,” Pai said. “This is a per- tract. the South County Education University sonnel matter; we need to protect his pri“The person who has to initiate this Center, who was at the meeting. “My first vacy. Basically, he’s gone; I’m confirming type of recommendation is nobody else reaction was, ‘Dr. Petersen had died,’ but that he’s gone. Yesterday was his last day. but me,” Pai said. “This burden falls on in his next breath he said, ‘Yesterday was That’s all I can say.” me.” his last day.’” Joann Ordinachev, the chair for the Petersen declined to comment at this With those words, Pai announced to school’s Board of Trustees made a similar time. the staff that Petersen’s probationary con- statement. tract had not been renewed. Monday was “I can confirm that Dr. Peterson is in fact his last day as vice president of stu- no longer with the college,” Ordinachev dent affairs. said. “The board is not at liberty to comBefore he was hired in 2008, Petersen “Dr. Pai asked if there were any ques- ment on personnel matters in the interest worked in different administrative positions. I was the first one to speak,” Potts of privacy.” tions throughout Missouri universities. said. “I am very proud of the fact that I Students, however, were not satisfied In 2007 he was appointed assistant vice raised my hand and said I wanted to go with this answer. chancellor for Alumni Relations at Washon record to state that ‘In the 16 years I On March 9, the Student Governance ington University. have been here, he was one of the best Council expressed their support for PeAn article from WashU’s website things to have ever happened to St. Louis tersen. At their meeting, which Pai also praised his performance. Community College.’” attended, the SGC members approved a “Steve brings a wealth of experience According to Potts, Pai did not re- statement to be made at the next board of in many facets of student and alumni respond. trustees meeting in support of Petersen. lations, as well as administrative leader“I was confused,” Potts said. “Why “As a student body, we have been ship to Washington University,” said Pawould they let the most effective person served well by the vice president of stu- mella Henson, associate vice chancellor of that I’ve dealt with in 16 years of the col- dent affairs. As an organization which alumni & development programs. lege go? I was totally confused about how also serves the students of this instituPetersen also worked at St. Louis that could happen. I felt helpless, and the tion, the SGC has lost a valuable resource University as interim vice president for only thing I knew to do was to speak up and friend in Dr. Petersen. He has earned development and university relations. to say that, in my opinion, he was one of our respect and support,” states part of SLU’s website modeled almost identical the very best that we’ve had.” the text agreed upon at the meeting. “The praise for Petersen. The reasons as to why Petersen was SGC’s hope is that the board of trustees A clean record let go have not been given to staff or stu- will reconsider the continued employdents – nor is the school required to pro- ment of Dr. Stephen Petersen.” Continued on page 3

A clean record

Montage editors find cheap, chic fashion alternatives for students.

Montage Reader Poll Should students pay the optional $7 fee for MoPIRG?




A. Yes, MoPIRG does a lot for the students B. No, I pay enough for my classes as it is C. We pay an extra MoPIRG fee?

April 1 Poll Question

How much will Dr. Petersen’s absence affect the Meramec campus? To vote, visit:


March 11, 2010

Students encouraged to vote in MoPIRG reaffirmation election Andrea Royals - News Editor -

Polls calling for students to reaffirm MoPIRG (Missouri Public Interest Research Group), a student organization working to address social problems, open March 10 and 11 at STLCC-Meramec. The election is required every two years. Meramec is home to the only PIRG chapter in Missouri. “This spring, MoPIRG student volunteers and interns are working on campaigns to address hunger and homelessness, push for more public transit, and educate students and elected officials about solutions to global warming,” said Sarah Clader, MoPIRG campus organizer at Meramec. A forum to debate the presence of MoPIRG at Meramec was held in the Student Center on March 3. MoPIRG was represented by two students, Trang Nguyen and Samantha Beiermann, who advocated for the organization’s presence at Meramec. “MoPIRG has the power to make real change

on social issues,” Nguyen said. “MoPIRG is good for the community, not just for Meramec students.” Nguyen said her work on the MoPIRG hunger and homelessness campaign has helped her improve her speaking and organizational skills, and assisted her in developing a leadership role on campus. Opposition to MoPIRG was met by student Steven Vollenweider, who said the organization funds inefficiently run projects and that the $7 waived fee students face at the time of registration is often paid because of misconceptions about the organization. “The funds students give do not fund student activities,” said Vollenweider, president of NOpirg, a campus organization committed to removing MoPIRG’s $7 fee from Meramec registration forms. Vollenweider, who previously volunteered in MoPIRG campaigns, initially agreed to pay the waived fee. He said that while first registering for classes at Meramec, he was not provided with the information required to make an educated decision

to accept the donation. Vollenweider, arguing that a negative sign-off is a hidden fee, said the MoPIRG fee is “a deceitful way to rip off students.” Student Andrew Shapiro, who previously served as a PIRG campus organizer in Colorado, said that Student Governance Council has already taken some of the issues MoPIRG advocates into thier own hands, and that they are more successful in achieving these goals. “MoPIRG will bring their mobilizing efforts to your campus,” Shapiro said, “but for a price.” NOpirg argues that the management of MoPIRG is inadequate because campus organizers frequently change, sometimes more than once per semester, and that “the results on our campus are not enough.” Professor Joseph Chesla agrees that the operations of MoPIRG may be insufficient, and he has since held back his endorsement of the organization in the reaffirmation election. On the other hand, professor Tony Frost endorses the organization. “MoPIRG allows our students the


Students Trang Nguyen and Steven Vollenweider debate the existence of MoPIRG on the STLCC-Meramec campus. Students are encouraged to vote in the MoPIRG reaffirmation election on March 10 and 11. opportunity for a broadened educational experience with activities performed outside the classroom.” Other faculty advocate that MoPIRG is beneficial to the Meramec campus and urge students to reaffirm its presence in the election. “Engaging students into real political action, mobilizing citizens to fight for what is needed, and refusing to accept the same old tired excuses is what organizations like MoPIRG are all about,” said professor John Messmer, Ph.D. “It would be another blow to student life on the Meramec campus if MoPIRG disappears.” While MoPIRG has received several endorsements from faculty members, Vollenweider says that MoPIRG campaign procedures are in violation of the ethics that prohibit faculty sponsors from endorsing the organization. MoPIRG adviser Dr. Robert Lee believes that students who do not support the organization do so because of political reasons and that

NOpirg’s contribution to the democratic process is limited. “Rather than join and make a difference, they want MoPIRG kicked off campus,” Lee Said. “I’m not convinced NOpirg helps the democratic process because it is only a one-time voice for students. If it does [help], it would have an agenda and goals.” Neither MoPIRG nor NOpirg would like to see the second option of the ballot, which provides for a voluntary fee, chosen in the election. “With a positive checkoff, there is not as much data,” said Lee. “The waived option lets us estimate how much money MoPIRG will receive for the semester.” However, at the last Student Governance Council meeting on March 2, students upheld their decision to include the voluntary fee. Polls open March 10 and 11 in the Communications North and Student Center lobbies from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and in the Communication North and lecture hall lobbies from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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March 11, 2010

‘Reverse your decision’


Students attend STLCC board of trustees meetings to make their case for the child care center Carlos Restrepo - Editor in Chief -

Children’s laughs, cries and high pitch voices could be heard at the administrative building of STLCC, the Cosand Center, in downtown St. Louis. It was the monthly STLCC Board of trustees meeting and, as it has been the case since the Nov. 19, 2009 meeting, parents and their children are part of the otherwise quiet reunion. On Feb. 25, 2010, student-parents and other individuals continued to raise their voices in support of keeping the child care centers at Forest Park and Meramec opened. “I come to you on behalf of the Forest Park child care center, which you have voted to close, and Meramec, which you have voted to close,” said Andrea Simmons, STLCC-Forest Park student. “I am a student; I have one more year to go to graduate of the respiratory therapy program and I need the child care center to be opened to continue to graduate. Forest Park is a stepping stone for me, and I am going to further my education, but in order to do that I need the child care center opened.” The decision to close the Forest Park and Meramec child care centers was reached by the Board of trustees at their Nov. 19, 2009 meeting in the midst of much opposition from students. The closing would save the college nearly $600,000, according to an STLCC press release. “During this economic downturn, we have worked very closely with the board to avoid cost increases, to reduce expenditures and to improve college revenues, all of which have kept St. Louis Community College in a financially healthy position,” said Chancellor Zelema Harris in a statement released on the STLCC website shortly after the decision to close the centers. “This next year will present us with significant challenges as we manage growing enrollments with no new revenue. We have to consider the best strategies to meet the needs of all of our students, and therefore came to the conclusion that the costs versus the population of students served at these two facilities compete with other critical priori-

A clean record continued from page 1 “Steve brings a wealth of experience to this position, including heading development efforts at another university,” said SLU’s President Lawrence Biondi. However, it was at University of Central Missouri where students and faculty witnessed Petersen’s work for 24 years as their vice president for student and alumni affairs. Furthermore, Petersen’s impact on Greek community at UCM was such that an award was named after him. According to the award description, “The Dr. Stephen H. Petersen Award goes to a member of the UCM community who goes above and beyond in supporting the Greek students and has demonstrated service and commitment to the central Greek community.” Jeffrey Murphy, assistant director of media relations at UCM, said he worked with Petersen since he started at UCM in 1980, until he retired in the summer of 2004. “He was always a very kind man, an individual who cares about students,” Murphy said. “He was very highly regarded by our Greek community.” In 2008, his experience led him to the vice president of student affairs position at Meramec. In an August 2008 Montage article, Pai described Petersen as the “best fit” for Meramec. “He’s sought after by many college and university arenas in Missouri, [both] public and private,” Pai said of Petersen. “What he also impresses is that he says his devotion is in the student services area. When the position here became open, he applied for it. Actually, he applied twice, once before I [arrived]. Certainly, he has proven he is well-liked, as well as him being the best fit for this position.”

ties throughout the district.” Meramec alumnus Jim Owens, who spoke at the meeting, shared a presentation with ideas on how to possibly save the college some money through the firing of unnecessary administration of the Athletic department. Owens said in the presentation that other colleges have only one athletic director and one assistant in their athletic department. The total STLCC administration head count for the 14 teams across the district is three directors, five assistants and three information directors. His proposal was to eliminate two directors, four assistants and two information directors, which he claims would save the school $500,000 to $600,000. “We are only going to have 14 teams guys...when we get rid of all these directors and information directors and assistants you PHOTO BY: CARLOS RESTREPO are going to save five to six hundred thousand dollars. Maybe you can keep child care open,” Meramec alumnus Jim Owens speaks at the Feb. 25 board of Owens said. “You are not going to keep sports, trustees meeting. Owen shows his presentation proposing the firing of some athletic directors in order to save STLCC money why not keep child care open?” As he addressed the Board of trustees, to keep the Child Care Center alive. Owens reminded them that they were elected these two centers. officials and said “not to get comfortable in “I am a little confused in regards to five months your seat.” “If you won’t support student services; if you later, if it was 693 [thousand dollars] across the disdon’t have fiscal responsibility; don’t get comfortable trict for 700 students and now is 600 (thousand dolin your seats.” Owens said. “I’ll see you on April 6.” lars) for 209 students, are you telling me that 500 stuAlso addressing the trustees was Gyla Mey- dents utilize Flo. Valley and it only costs 93 thousand ers, Meramec student and parent, who has become dollars?” Meyers said. “I am just a little confused.” (See entire video of parent complaints at the Feb. a regular at the board meetings. Meyers said there were several inconsistencies in some of the numbers 25 Board of trustees meeting at www.meramecmonthe school used to make the decision of closing of the After several other parents talked in front the centers. Meyers said that in regards to the child care cuts, board members, the meeting was adjourned and no in the June 2009 Board Minutes that were posted, it statement was made from the board members adstated that the three child care centers served 700 dressing the parents. Meyers said that she would continue to address students across the District, at a subsidy of $693,000. However, Myers said, in the Nov. 2009 press release, the board members at their meetings until she gets it states that the centers at Forest Park and Meramec an explanation regarding the numbers and figures. “I believe in change and I believe that truth alserve a total of 209 students and the college spent nearly $600,000 to subsidize the expenditures of ways comes up,” Meyers said. Kim Fitzgerald, coordinator of enrollment management at STLCC, worked with Petersen on several occasions. She was also at the meeting organized by Pai on March 9. Fitzerald said she considered Petersen a qualified individual for his position. “He was one of the best administrators I’ve ever had the privilege to work with,” Fitzgerald said. “I learned something new from him almost every day. He set a standard for professionalism that is beyond compare.”

Professors and students want transparency John Messmer, political science professor, said that although Petersen’s probationary contract does not require an explanation as to why he was let go, it doesn’t mean people cannot demand one. “That [probationary contract] shouldn’t keep people from demanding an explanation,” Messmer said. “We shouldn’t just exist in a vacuum where decisions are made either at Cosand [Center] or over at Clark Hall and no one who is affected by these decisions has any recourse - any ability to question them.” Messmer also said there was a high chance that students and faculty would be voicing their opinions to the administration. “There is a certain movement afoot, not only by students…but also by faculty and staff,” Messmer said. Juliet Scherer, associate professor of the English department, said that many at the college are frustrated by this decision. “I’ve worked closely with Dr. Petersen on numerous occasions, and I hold no other administrator I’ve ever worked with in higher regard,” Scherer said. “So many of us are shocked and frustrated by

Dr. Petersen’s dismissal because we wonder how someone like him can be relieved of his duties when we believe that he is everything our campus and STLCC needs.” Other students outside of the SGC plan to make statements regarding Petersen’s dismissal. Meramec student Vincent Hayden, vice president of communication for Phi Theta Kappa, said students should push for transparency in decision-making processes between the president, the chancellor and board of trustees. “I think most students should voice their opinion at the board of trustees meeting,” Hayden said. “Our support should be behind Dr. Petersen and in making sure that this is a transparent process of what is going on between the board of trustees, the chancellor and the college president. “ Hayden also said that students ought to be careful of how they voice their opinions. “I think we need to be careful. Dr. Pai is still the president of this college and therefore regardless of anybody’s personal opinion regarding him, I don’t think we need to attack Dr. Pai,” Hayden said. “That’s not the appropriate course of action. The appropriate course of action is to support Dr. Petersen and essentially ask the board to continue Dr. Petersen as V.P. of student affairs.” However, Hayden said that there is also the possibility that Petersen decides not to come back, even if the job is offered again. “And that’s really not the point. The point isn’t whether or not he comes back. The point is that he gets the dignity to be offered the chance to come back,” Hayden said. “And then at that point, we have done our job to support him, just like he had supported us, and we would have fulfilled our obligation as students.” Andrea Royals and Collin Reischman contributed to this article.


March 11, 2010


Interior design exhibit showing at art gallery On March 5 the art gallery held an opening reception for the exhibit, Boardwalk. Boardwalk is a collection of student work in interior design. According to the STLCC website, the Boardwalk is an exhibition highlighting some of the best student work undertaken in interior design. Categories for this regional competition will include Residential, Kitchen and Bath Design, Healthcare, Office Design, Retail, Educational, Hospitality and Global Studies.Each of these categories will be judged by interior design professionals. The exhibit runs every day through April 2 in the art gallery. Admission is free. The Gallery is located in the Humanities West building at 11333 Big Bend Rd. in Kirkwood, MO. For more information, call 314-984-7632 or visit and select the “Calendar” link for March. PHOTO BY: JEANETTA ROBERTS

STLCC-Meramec takes steps toward climate neutrality


Ranken Technical College St. Louis University Southeast Missouri State University Southern Illinois University Carbondale Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Truman State University University of Central Missouri University of Missouri-Columbia University of Missouri-St. Louis Washington University Webster University William Woods University






Bradley University Concordia University Fontbonne University Harris-Stowe State University Lindenwood University Logan College Maryville University Missouri Baptist University Missouri State University Missouri University of Science and Technology Northwest Missouri State University


Wednesday, March 31, 2010 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Humanities West Lobby



March 22


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According to Moody, it won’t be until after the inventory is completed that the school’s goals, and an action plan to reach them, can be decided. Meramec has short-term obligations which will need to be reached by Mar. 15, 2010. The school will need to create institutional structures that will guide it toward reaching its comprehensive plan. One of these structures already in place is a recycling committee. It is designed to push for recycling and encourage all campuses to get involved in “Recyclemania,” a recycling competition that more than 600 colleges and universities are participating in this year. Other task forces have been suggested. One would encourage greening the curriculum and another suggests focusing on communication and community involvement. Sanguinet needs at least five people for each task force and is currently looking for volunteers. She is also taking suggestions for other ideas anyone else might have.


The first Meramec Sustainability Organizational Meeting took place Feb. 25 in the Confluence Room of the STLCC-Meramec Library, acknowledging the signing of the “American Presidents College and University Climate Commitment.” Meramec President Paul Pai, Ed.D., signed the commitment on Nov. 13, 2009. It committed the campus to take steps, according to a specified timeline, toward achieving climate neutrality as soon as possible. Students and faculty learned details of the commitment; what the district has already done in its “green” efforts and brainstormed for ideas on what should be done. “You get to decide on how you want it to look on your campus,” said Peggy Moody, Ph.D., district sustainability coordinator. More meetings will take place in the future for students and faculty to present their ideas

Though Meramec is just now formalizing its desire to go green, it has already done other things to work toward this goal. “We have been greening this campus for a long time,” Moody said, “probably since the beginning.” According to Mike Trombly, district construction inspector and recycling coordinator, Meramec began recycling in December 2001 and currently recycles approximately six tons each month. Better energy efficiency has been sought out by replacing older windows with ones that are double-pane, smaller light bulbs and software that turns off all computers by 11 p.m. The South County Education and University Center (SCEUC) is designed to use natural light, heating and cooling, and also uses Energy Star appliances. The commitment suggests other ways of becoming climate neutral, but it’s up to Meramec on exactly how to do it. Goals like purchasing or producing at least 15 percent of the school’s electricity consumption – such as solar or wind power – are also suggested, but Moody said that given the expense, these are more difficult to achieve. According to Moody, Meramec does not want to take funding away from stuSpring 2010 dent programs to fund such Half-Term things. She said that this is the sort of “balancing-act” the Classes begin school is working through. the week of However, the school has undertaken this goal at a time when the federal and state governments are offering incentives of up to 30 percent for initial investments on many energy efficient products and services. Ameren UE is also giving incentives on projects having to do with renewable energy. Due to these incentives, Moody has referred to the Payment must be made in full at time of registration. timeliness of the commitment as a “perfect storm.” For additional information or questions, “It would be a no-brainer see an advisor in Clark Hall to get involved,” Pai said. or call “Our campus color is green. It’s only natural.” 314.984.7526

and opinions. At the meeting, Pai said he wanted “to make sure we have a very genuine effort in controlling the environment, reducing global warming and controlling greenhouse gasses.” Bonnie Sanguinet, manager of library services, prepared a PowerPoint presentation to explain what the schools obligations and deadlines are now that Pai has signed the commitment. Meramec will develop an “institutional action plan” for becoming climate neutral by Jan. 15, 2012. The plan will include targets for goals and actions that will lead to climate neutrality as well as a target date for achieving it. The campus will complete a comprehensive inventory of greenhouse gas emissions by Jan. 15, 2011. This inventory will include measuring emissions from electricity, heating, commuting and faculty air travel and will be updated every other year thereafter.


- Staff Writer -


Paul Lauer


March 11, 2010


Phi Theta Kappa recognized at Missouri regional conference Stephanie Stough - Art & Life Editor -

STLCC-Meramec’s honor society, Xi Lambda, a chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), won seven awards this year at the Regional Conference that took place on Feb. 26-28 in Independence, Mo. All four of the STLCC campuses’ respective PTK chapters traveled together to the conference. Two advisors, six officers and five members represented Xi Lambda at the convention and a total of 146 people attended the conference. Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society for two-year colleges and institutions offering associate degrees. The Missouri Region has 25 chapters. President of Xi Lambda Marina Allen said the purpose of the conference was the award ceremony on Saturday night. Xi Lambda entered its hallmarks into eight different

categories and won seven. According to Allen, the articles were approximately six pages in length and focused on goal-setting, events and activities, and the impact their projects had. “Many hours were spent from December until February as we wrote, re-wrote, edited and submitted the entries,” Allen said. At this year’s conference, Allen won the Distinguished Chapter President award and James Egan, vice president of leadership for Xi Lambda, won the Distinguished Chapter Officer award. Xi Lambda collectively won the Chapter Officer Team Award, Great Idea Award for execution of Civics Week, Scholarship Hallmark Award, 5 Star Status award, Service Hallmark Award and Leadership Hallmark Award. “We were able to really work together to put on a very successful conference. This achievement was one of the major reasons why we ended

up winning so many awards for the night,” Allen said. Vincent Hayden was also elected to serve as the Missouri regional vice president of communications. He said that he is the third member of Xi Lambda that has held that position. “[Winning] was a good feeling. There are a lot of good candidates. It’s a good honor to have someone from our chapter be a regional officer,” Hayden said. The award ceremony is the highlight of this conference, but most of the time is spent campaigning for regional offices or participating in break-out sessions. Students spent time with other chapters in their free time. “The fun part was just hanging out with other chapters,” Hayden said. “It was fun being able to meet new people from around the region and even country. It’s a good way to make connections.”


Phi Theta Kappa-Xi Lambda member Vincent Hayden accepts his new role as regional vice president of communications at the Missouri Regional Conference in February. Hayden and other Xi Lambda members contributed to a successful campaign.

Speaker Ling Thumin shares her experience in the Chinese Cultural Revolution Andrea Royals - News Edior -

Each year, STLCC libraries agree on a publication to include in the One Book, One College program and urge faculty to incorporate the book in classroom activities and assignments. This year, “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress” by Dai Sijie has been chosen and various lectures and discussions have been held to explore the novel. “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress” tells the fictional story of two city youths who were banished to the countryside during the cultural revolution of Mao Zedong in China during the

1960s and 1970s. Mao Zedong, chairman of the Communist Party of China, feared that bourgeois intellectuals and Western idealists were a detriment to society and must be re-educated. On March 4, the One Book, One College main event was held in the Meramec Theater and featured Ling J. Thumin, who presented the lecture “My Life in the Chinese Cultural Revolution.” Thumin had grown up during Chairman Mao’s rule, and she and her family were persecuted for their intellectual position in society and targeted as enemies to the Red Guards. “There are many stories in ‘Balzac and the Little


Ling J. Thumin discusses her experience as an adolscent during the Chinese Cultural Revolution under Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Communiat Party. Thumin was one of 17 million youths banished to the countryside for re-education during the 1960s and 1970s.

Chinese Seamstress’ that I can relate to,” Thumin said. According to Thumin, during the Cultural Revolution, approximately 17 million Chinese youths were “brainwashed,” and that China “was madly driven by political propaganda.” Thumin and her sister enjoyed dancing and reading books, but were soon prohibited from such activities. “There were no books to read except Mao’s book, and there were no songs to listen to except revolutionary songs,” Thumin said. Mao’s book, entitled the “Red Book,” was written in a series of four volumes. “You had to read it and remember it by heart,” Thumin said. Mao provided “Eight Model Operas” as entertainment for the country. The operas, which were performed continuously, featured proletarian heroes and attendance was mandatory. Because Thumin and her siblings were the children of Chinese intellectuals, they were labeled as “bad kids.” She and her sister, like the young men in “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress,” stole a book that contained a Western love story. “My sister and I would take turns reading it,” Thumin said. “We made a pact to never tell where the book came from... We learned that there was such a thing as individual feelings and they were cherished and beautiful. The book provided an escape from the cruel world.” When Thumin was in school, she said she took pride

in leading her fellow students in traditional dances. One particular day when Thumin was in the sixth grade, she taught her class a Western dance she had learned from her mother. Her teacher removed her from her position and she was no longer allowed to teach Western songs. The teacher said to Thumin, “Stop poisoning your classmates with bourgeois ideas.” Her family was constantly ridiculed for their position in society and her father became the victim of constant ridicule. She said she would refrain from using the public restroom in her neighborhood, for her father’s name was written as negative graffiti on the walls. Thumin said her brother faced such a great deal of mistreatment that he attempted suicide by swallowing rat poison. “That’s how they can ruin your mind, your confidence, and your integrity,” Thumin said. At age 15, Thumin was banished to the countryside to endure long hours of physical labor as part of Chairman Mao’s plan for re-education. Thumin remained in the countryside until she was 22 years old. “I wanted to go. I felt like I was a bad kid, so I wanted to be educated by farmers,” Thumin said. She worked as a rice grower and remembers her time in the southwest countryside as “my happiest adolescent-hood.” Thumin, who was the only “bad girl” in the village in which she worked, said,

“For the first time I felt like I was somebody.” Thumin was able to take pride in her Western knowledge and avoid persecution. “The farmers did not know the difference between bad kids and good kids,” she said. Thumin worked very hard and was later recognized as “Young City Girl of the Year.” Her “bad girl” tendencies never left her, and she and her family later moved to the United States after the Cultural Revolution, where they were able to embrace Western ideas and intellect. She attended Southern Connecticut University and Fontbonne University, and received two bachelor degrees in literature and education, as well as a master’s degree in library science. Thumin’s story is parallel to the fictional novel “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress” and several opportunities for book discussion will be available throughout March.


March 11, 2010

Students should demand accountability Editorial Board


nstitutions of higher education are often run like businesses. Managers, accountants and business-minded officials worry about the bottom line of their respective institutions. When managerial decisions are made, though, the higher purpose of the institution, i.e. education, should always be first and foremost. The Montage editorial board believes that when administrative officials make decisions based on business perspectives, rather than educational value, good teachers and administrators suffer the consequences. Stephen Petersen, Ed.D., who has been employed in several higher-education institutions in his career, began working at Meramec as vice president of student affairs in the summer of 2008. As with most new faculty members, Petersen was hired on a three-year probationary contract, meaning that administrators reserved the right to terminate his contract at any time. Petersen has been a strong advocate for faculty, staff and students alike. Petersen was the vice president of Student Affairs at Meramec until March 1, 2010. His contract will not be renewed by STLCC, for reasons that neither Meramec President Paul Pai, Ed.D., nor other administrative officials would elaborate on due to privacy concerns. Petersen is the second V.P. of student affairs in the last three years, following the exit of Daniel Herbst. While campus officials do not legally have to provide a reason for termination during probationary periods, administrators should see that they have an ethical obligation to do so. Perhaps Petersen has done something to deserve this fate. It is possible that this decision was and is in the best interest of the students. However, the unwillingness of the board of trustees, Chancellor Zelema Harris, Ph.D., and of Dr. Pai to justify this recent change in administration leaves students and faculty at Meramec scratching their heads. “I can say with one thousand percent certainty that this was not a budget issue; this was a personality issue, and a lot of people feel that this was unjust. The swell is growing,” said one Meramec staff member who did not want to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the story. Personality issue? Can administrative officials be terminated due to a difference of opinion? “I know that [Petersen] had very strong opinions, advocated heavily for students, and occasionally, it pushed people’s buttons. I think that when someone is driven or motivated very drastically by opinions that other administrators don’t share, there is conflict,” said one Student Governance Council member, who wished to remain anonymous. It is possible, certainly, that there were legitimate reasons to terminate the contract of Petersen. The Montage recognizes that personnel issues are private, and cannot be discussed without consent of those involved. However, colleges are able to run because of the money they receive from state and federal taxes, as well as student tuition prices. Meramec would not exist were it not for the money of you, the student, or you, the taxpayer. Thusly, it is time to reconsider the issue of personnel and privacy to make a more transparent and open administrative process. The students and taxpayers pay for this institution to function and have a right to know why and how decisions are made that directly affect them. It is time to reconsider the manner in which administrators are able to conceal their decisions and motivations behind a veil of privacy. Administrators in both the Cosand Center and Clark Hall have an obligation to the students they’ve been entrusted to educate and the faculty and staff they’ve been entrusted to employ. That obligation is, and should always be, to seek to better this institution and allow for transparency for all proceedings. Accountability shouldn’t be requested, but demanded. It keeps the honest more honest, and gives the power to punish the dishonest. You, the student, pay this college for an education. You, the student, have a right to know why someone who controls and contributes to that education is hired or fired. You, the student, are the reason that this campus functions, as well as the reason it exists. You, the student, should demand to know why and how administrators can be released from their contracts. You, the student, should demand answers. DESIGN BY: CARLOS RESTREPO

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March 11, 2010



From Everyday to Time Away Joe Douglas

- Jr. Copy Editor -

For some people, including me, taking a break from routine schedules can be difficult to do, if not impossible. We bury ourselves deep in responsibilities and following predictability to the point life becomes mundane and repetitive. It’s class Monday through Friday and working when not in school. Weekends become a time to socialize, play video games, and/or catch up on homework; but whatever we do one weekend, it tends to repeat the next weekend, and the following weekend, until a pattern of “same old, same old” develops. Routine is so predictable and scheduled, it’s comfortable. But we’re so afraid of changing the routine, we become worried, scared, or lost when the routine changes. My parents scheduled a vacation for last weekend in Florida. When they told me


about it the first time, I was really worried. It’s right in the middle of school, and I thought I was going to fall behind. I thought about all of the homework I would need to make up. When vacation came, I packed all of my books for all of my classes, and was planning on doing homework all weekend. After two days in Florida, I’d made no progress on my school work. The days were packed with exciting activities and new places, and I forgot about the work I needed to do. Come Sunday, I finally took time to catch up on homework. But, I felt refreshed and energized. By turning everyday routine to time away, I saw there was much more to life than school, work, video games and television. “Time away” doesn’t mean a trip to the Bahamas or California to get away. It’s about time away from the routine, from the mundane and déjà vu that comes from same old, same old. It means trying something new or doing something you haven’t done in a while. Sometimes we are forced out of routine, and it’s uncomfortable. This comes in

the form of being given homework assignments that require interviewing someone; getting a call from mom or a roommate to pick up some flour on the way home from work or school; or even getting fired. These are all often unsettling detours from routine. Time away comes in many forms. Whether “good” or “bad,” all time away can be taken advantage of. When taking time off of work or school, you’re making time. When “forced” out of routine, you’re given time. Take advantage of these breaks in the everyday, and use this time away to dedicate to your own personal wants and needs. Don’t watch television if that’s routine. Don’t read if you read every night or every other night (but don’t neglect homework; read if you need to read). Don’t go to the bar this Friday night. Instead, try new things, whatever they may be. The experiences and knowledge that come from the variety of activities you are exposed to will make you feel reborn. You have the right to pursue happiness. Take it. Enjoy it. Be happy.


GOP to voters: Your lose is our gain Collin Reischman - Managing Editor -

Flip through the nightly news on any major network sometime, and see how many times a Republican refers to Washington as “broken.” The GOP has been using the frozen, unmoving Washington as a rationalization for its own impending ascent to power. The GOP successfully feeds off of democrats misfortune. Actually, that’s not true. What they lack is cognitive dissonance. You know, that part of the human mind that can’t hold two opposing viewpoints at the same time. Cognitive dissonance brings children to realize the truth about Santa Claus and superheroes but can’t seem to save the GOP from itself. The GOP has submitted Obama and his democratic Congress to the most filibusters in history, and routinely, without thought or consid-

eration, adopted the policy of “no” for any of the Obama medications for our ailing nation. The GOP has voted against some of its own long-held opinions, simply to further inhibit the democratic agenda. Poor Republicans, they are actually swallowing their own pill. Yes, of course Obama is a far-left socialist despite being criticized by his own party for not more strongly advocating for liberal agendas. Obama, the man whose stimulus package created 2 million jobs and included the largest tax cut in American history, is a would-be dictator, a socialist, and wants to take away your paycheck. Obama, who hesitated to push partisan agendas through when he had 60 senate votes, is an uncompromising communist. Now there is talk of reconciliation. Not the real kind where two sides can agree, but the senate-voting-rule kind. A standing rule in the senate states that legislation that is purely concerned with the budget can be voted on in a simple up or down majority vote, with 51 votes required to pass. The GOP is up in arms, calling the threat of passing

facets of the health care legislation through reconciliation a “nuclear option” and “highly dangerous.” The same GOP that has used every legislative maneuver, voting tactic and political ploy to inhibit the ability of our legislature to function is now opposed to a majority vote in the senate. Cognitive dissonance – the Republican Party simply doesn’t have it. The GOP seems poised to execute the master plan. They’ll stop the Democrats from getting anything done, and as the nation gets worse, they’ll point fingers at the White House and the party of our president. Brilliant, if it didn’t reek of cynicism. Clever and inspired, if it didn’t have to come at the cost of the American people who’ll have to wait until the Republicans want to play with the other kids on the playground to get the insurance and jobs that they need. Republicans aren’t playing fair, and the democrats shouldn’t either. The party damaging America isn’t the one trying desperately to stem the bleeding. The party doing the most harm is the one that doesn’t want to treat the wound.



Ending abuse: Seizing Freedom Jacob Hight

- Graphics Editor -

This column fully supports the recovery of abusers and encourages them to get the necessary professional help; to prevent confusion it will only focus on the recovery of survivors of abuse. Surivivors should not use an abuser’s choice to get help as an excuse to remain in a bad situation - their life may depend upon getting out. No one deserves to be abused. The heart and human spirit within every person is capable of so much beauty; it must not waste away in silence, darkness or in the flames of another person’s rage. There is no shame in being overpowered; every being is vulnerable. Escaping a physically and/or emotionally violent situation is truly a heroic act. Seize the day! The journey of recovery begins by reaching out to a friend, an abuse hotline or shelter (available in yellow pages and online), medical professionals, police, or even someone at a community college. “Especially for safety’s sake... if one of the students is on campus, they can come to us; we have all the [phone] numbers and we can make the calls,” said Susan Keyser, policewoman for more than 30 years, STLCC-Meramec campus officer, former court reporter and author of an abuse hotline procedural sheet. Campus police only have jurisdiction over assaults that happen on campus, but provide an open door for those that need a place to start. “The first time in a relationship, [if] there’s any kind of flare up of any kind of violence, get out then,” said Keyser. “Don’t look back; just keep going.” Keyser said the cycle of

abuse just progresses and that making excuses (ex. “I provoked it,” “I love him,” and “He didn’t mean to do it,”) is an obstacle. Survivors can also reach out on campus is through the counseling center, which provides counseling services and literature on domestic abuse. “Domestic violence is a leading cause of physical injury to women in the United States...” according to “Domestic Violence,” an educational paper offered by the counseling department. “...Men are victims of partner violence, too, though most remain silent out of shame or humiliation... Victims often feel responsible for the violence... Batterers are the only ones responsible for their behavior...” Some abusers rely on socially isolating their victims. Isolated, it’s easy to lose perspective or feel trapped. Maintaining a healthy social support network of family, friends and others can literally be a life-line. “[If a friend came to me for help], I would never think that she caused it or that it was her fault in any way,” said Krista Valdez, Meramec student in her 20s pursuing a major in chemistry. “No one deserves to be put in [an abusive] situation, male or female.” While an overwhelming number of victims are female, it’s easy to forget that abuse can happen to anyone. “It’s not just women; men get abused too,” said Keyser. In a patriarchal society where men are circumcised by the demand that they be stoic, powerful and in control, male victims of abuse might face an added layer of stigma, shame or humiliation even with friends. Though abuse statistics are measured in minutes, every day surivors begin the journey, breaking through obstacles like wildflowers through rock. Every day survivors reclaim the power that cannot be stolen. Next time, an irreverent look at Vatsyayana’s “Kama Sutra.” Until then, make love. Read The Montage online for exclusive phoGod.Music.Politics.Chants.Texting.Baseball. tos of the ‘ChalkBoyz,’ The Improv group, Smoking.Writing.Photos.Art.Bands. and Meramec Magic wrestling. Staff blogs are online. Get exclusive content, photos and videos. Only at

Spring for In-Depth



Montage editors find the latest trends for less at local second-hand shops Avalon Exchange, The Scholarshop and Plato’s Closet












Spring fashion is beginning to roll in with the spring weather. Designers recently took to the runways to display their visions of trendy for the upcoming months; and though St. Louis does not play host to such posh events, the unveiling of new products has already had an effect. In local stores, the prominent theme of Spring 2010: Classic Femininity, is on display. At last, a return to simple, clean lines and classic shapes has reappeared as the predominant motif. Classic can easily be mistaken for boring, but not this season. Fashion designers are melding the best of the ‘50s with the boldest of the ‘80s and creating some striking silhouettes. High-waisted skirts pop in neon-inspired colors which are paired with boat-necked, patterned blouses. Neutrals are taking center-stage, and though the styling seems simplistic at first glance, some subtle details are going to make all the difference. Structure, for instance, is key. White jean shorts are out, but white shorts with a hem or button detail are perfect when topped off with creams, light grays, or beige button-downs. Overly relaxed shirt dresses were nowhere to be found. Instead, a look creating some buzz is something which can only be described as farm-chic for a more casual feel. Checked (almost plaid) patterns floated down the runways with white skirts and simple cardigans. Regardless of the trend, one thing is apparent: girly is the way to go. Even masculine pieces such as military-style jackets are only on display with flirty skirts or tailored pants. The ripped jeans and textured tights of last year are out. What’s in? Timeless fashion pieces that your grandmother would have been proud of. If classic is not a preference, bold prints, intricate fabrics and blazingly bright colors can jazz up even the most austere outfits. Great news about the incoming trends is the incredible versatility of the multiple pieces shown. Bold tops can be made more demure by pairing with a simple skirt; structured jackets are softened by farm-inspired shirts and simple jeans. The best news, thanks to a few local treasures, is that an entire spring wardrobe is financially feasible. Clothing exchange stores abound in St. Louis, and most of their apparel is offered at a fraction of brand-name store prices. Shoppers can expect to find not only affordable prices, but also the latest trends. Many second-hand shops’ managers train their staff to weed out the more dated fashions. At Plato’s Closet, for example, their store buyers select styles that are either current, or only date back one year. Avalon Exchange stocks their store with more vintage styles. By bringing along some clippings from fashion magazines, shoppers can stay focused on runway looks while scouring the racks. A few fashion-conscious editors did just that recently. They were amazed at how easy it can be to piece together astonishingly cutting-edge outfits that express their individual styles. Fashion sense can be achieved in St. Louis, especially if buyers know where to look.


Julie Wells

- Sr. Copy Editor -

Sophisticated Bohemian


This bold, geometric-patterned skirt was found at Avalon Exchange. A brown, peasant-inspired shirt complements the skirt. The belt ties the outfit together, and the wooden buckle accentuates the earthy style.

The classic lines and cinched waist of this dress are figure-flattering, and its lightweight fabric embodies the femininity and comfort that characterize this spring’s persuasion. A clean, structured base leaves ample room for accesorizing. This dress and many more can be found at Plato’s Closet.

March11, 2010

Vintage Shoes

Short Shorts



Floral Dress


Avalon Exchange

(Formerly Rag-O-Rama) 6388 Delmar Boulevard University City, MO 63130 (314) 725-2760 Hours: Mon. - Sat., 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sun., noon - 7 p.m.




The Scholarshop


Two locations, the one closest to Meramec: 7930 Big Bend Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63199 (314) 961-2525 Belt

Hours: Mon. - Thu., 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Fri. - Sat., 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.










Pretty in Punk

Preppy Patriot

If this outfit could talk, it would say, “Long live the pin-up style of the ‘50s, the Woodstock-era-inspired prints of the ‘70s, and the the bright colors of the ‘80s. Avalon Exchange revives the best of every decade’s trends so shoppers can put together unique ensembles like this one.

A short, flouncy skirt is fun and flirty. When paired with a retro blazer, the combination can look sophisticated yet playful. The Scholarshop reserves a section of their stores for designer labels. Prices may be higher, but profits provide St. Louis area students with interest and feefree loans, according to their website.

Plato’s Closet

Four Locations, one nearest Meramec: 1253 S. Kirkwood Rd Kirkwood, MO 63122 (314) 821-7744 Hours: Mon. - Fri., 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Sat.,10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sun., noon - 5 p.m.



March 11, 2010

Living rich with coupons Jeanetta Roberts

- Photo & Online Editor -

Imagine walking out of the grocery store with 128 rolls of toilet paper and spending only little more than $2 for all of them. Impossible, right? Wrong. Every week, millions of people simply toss their Sunday newspapers in the trash along with hundreds of dollars in savings. What these people don’t realize is how each coupon they throw away is like throwing away real money. With only a few minutes each day, one can learn to find big savings on everyday items that could not only save hundreds of dollars, but maybe even make money. Collecting coupons is the first step in saving. While coupons can be found anywhere, the best place to start is with the local Sunday newspapers. Papers can be purchased almost everywhere, but perhaps the most inexpensive place is The Dollar Tree, a dollar store where a Sunday paper costs as little as $1, versus $1.50 at most other retailers or newspaper stands. Another great place to find money saving coupons is on the internet by checking out or, or in many different magazines such as “All You” or “Parents.” Some extreme coupon collectors buy multiple papers each week or even order coupons online from different coupon clipping websites, such as, for a small handling fee. An important thing to know when collecting coupons is that there are two different types of coupons:

store and manufacturer. Store coupons are released by a specific store and can only be used at that store (unless accepted by a competitor). Manufacturer coupons are released by the company who produces the specific item. When shopping, it is okay to use both a store and manufacturer coupon per item. Once the coupons are collected, it is extremely important to keep them organized. Many money-saving offers surface unexpectedly and last a short amount of time. In times like these, being able to find coupons quickly is key to scoring the deal. One time-saving option to coupon organization is to file the shopper’s favorite coupons in coupon-sized file accordions. These are fairly inexpensive and can be customized with labels for easy organization. They can also be carried either by hand or in a purse or book bag so they are always on hand. Frequent coupon collectors can’t stand the thought of throwing away a single coupon for fear of missing out on any deals that may come along. To avoid throwing away expired coupons, these collectors might use a more elaborate form of organization: the coupon binder. Binders like these usually contain baseball card inserts that hold every coupon. After gathering and organizing the coupons, the collector can start searching for deals. This process usually begins by gathering store ads and matching coupons that can be used on sale items. If someone does not have the time to do this on their own, there are many websites that can assist him or her, such as http:// and



MoPIRG On Campus With a $7 Waivable Fee on the Term Bill



Alice in Wonderland Jacob Hight

- Graphics Editor -


http://thegrocerygame. com. Some stores offer rewards programs for smart shoppers. These can range from CVS’s “Extra Care Bucks” to Walgreens’s “Register Rewards.” Some grocery stores offer items called “Catalinas” and can be either money off of the shopper’s next transaction, or even just another coupon off a certain item to be used during the next shopping trip. These rewards usually surface on certain deals in specific stores, sometimes unadvertised, and can help a smart shopper make money on their transactions. For example, during the week of March 8, Target has Sobe Life water for $1 each. Pair this sale with an online coupon from worth 50 cents off one and a buy-one-get-onefree Target coupon from for two free bottles. While some people use coupons as a way to make ends meet between paychecks, others actually make it a hobby. No matter what the reason is, the money that can be saved (and made) is well worth the time and effort. So this Sunday, look at those papers in a new light. Instead of tossing those coupons, start collecting them. Wallets everywhere are begging to be fed.

Last Friday, Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Lewis Carroll, fell down a rabbit hole and landed in theaters everywhere. Complete with 3-D glasses, Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” returns to the big screen, revived by Burton’s distinctively morbid and not-so-Disney spirit. Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” derived from the book by Lewis Carroll, is worth the price of admission, but is ultimately miss-able. Burton’s Alice (played by Mia Wasikowska) is a young woman who discovers she’s on the verge of an arranged marriage at her surprise engagement party; her wouldbe fiancé pops the question in front of a crowd of party guests and family. Due to the weight of duty and expectation upon her, Alice asks for just a minute to think things over and runs off. Tumbling down a rabbit hole, she embarks on a journey to find herself and an answer she can live with. Upon tumbling into “Underland,” the shadowy story book characters interrogate her to discover if she is “the right Alice,” who will free Underland from the Red Queen’s evil reign and restore power to the White Queen (played by Anne Hathaway). Only the insane Mad Hatter (played by Depp) believes she is “the right” Alice. As Carroll’s Alice might put it, the movie was very original and contrary-wise, derivative. There are many moments that are reminiscent of other movies such as, “The Wizard of Oz,” “Chronicles of Narnia,” and “The Addams

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Prof. Vikki Ritts (Psychology) Prof. Karen Olson (Education) Prof. Karen Hizer (Education) Prof. Susan Hunt-Bradford (Communications) Prof. Tony Frost (Chemistry) Prof. James Ibur (Fine Arts) Prof. Joseph Chesla (Sculpture)

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Alice in Wonderland, directed by Tim Burton, brought in more than $116.3 million in it’s opening weekend. Family” to name a few. Overall, however, there is enough innovation in plot and character that a question arises: how are Carroll’s characters and Wonderland indispensable the story that screen writer Linda Woovlerton is telling in her screenplay? The movie isn’t the original story, nor is it a satire like Carroll’s original work. Setting everything in the context of “Alice in Wonderland” comes across as a gimmick, like showing it in 3-D. Going out on the limb a little further, the movie could easily have become an original work. One of the curious points of the movie is how much humanity and depth is given to the Red Queen (played by Helena Bonham Carter, the mother of Burton’s son). The Red Queen is a fully developed character, making it difficult to believe she’s as evil as she needs to be for the movie to truly work. Meanwhile, the White Queen seems to fill only one role: to provide somewhere for the power to shift if the real Alice is found and fulfills her destiny. In this fantasy of good vs. evil, the White Queen falls tragically short of representing the forces of good at a fantastic scale, seeming too reminiscent of the world of obligation, white-washed cruelty and false perfection Alice lives in. Like Alice’s sword and armor, thematically, the movie shines. It affirms believing in the impossible (six things before breakfast at least), the dreamer taking charge of his of her own dream, and being true to oneself. One of the movie’s brilliant, refreshing and spiritually invigorating moments comes when Alice is faced with an archetypical heroic dilemma: “how to get past the guard dog.” This PG movie runs 108 minutes and is sure to leave audience members pondering impossible things and “Why does Johnny Depp look like an acid tripping Madonna?”



March 11, 2010

A woman fighting for a change A Day in the Life of Gyla Myers Steph Stough

- Art & Life Editor -

In November, the STLCC Board of Trustees voted 4-2 to close the Child Care Center facilities at Meramec and Forest Park on July 1, 2010. Two hundred and ten students currently have children in child care, and one woman is not ready to give up on the chances for a turnaround. That woman is Gyla Myers. Myers, 35, is an STLCC-Meramec student who currently has two children attending the Child Care Center. Her children, Lauren, 4, and Lola, 3, spend their days in Meramec’s child care every day while Myers attends class. Since the decision was made to close the Child Care Center as part of an effort to cut one million dollars from STLCC’s budget by July 1, Myers has become an active advocate, along with other women, to try and convince the Board of Trustees to re-

close the Child Care Center has been anything but easy and has even affected her studies. Myers said she recently dropped a course due to the strain from the decision and the grief she is experiencing from the loss of her mother. “It’s been devastating. It has affected me emotionally. I struggle academically with the strain. I think, most importantly, what has affected me the most is the 209 women that I witness. Their stories are much worse off than mine could be. I am fortunate in a way,” she said. Myers, who grew up in southern Illinois, started at Meramec in January 2009 in the court reporting program but is now a political science major. “My husband and I decided when the economy started to head for the worse that one of us should go to school to get further training. Even though my husband has a good

“I refuse to be silenced. I am going to continue to express my First Amendment rights.”

-Gyla Myers

open the center. She said that she and the some other mothers keep in contact on a regular basis to organize information to present to the board. “We talk about strategy and what we can do. We have brought a lot of facts to the table in regard to the decision to close Meramec and Forest Park,” Myers said. “I think it’s a wonderful thing to have these 209 women as a support system, as women should support women. It’s so unfortunate that there was one male and five women on the board and three of those women voted against [keeping the Child Care Center open].” She said that the Board’s vote to

job and has a degree, we opted that I would go forth,” Myers said. “I stumbled across a political science class. Between taking those classes and becoming involved with the child care back in June 2009, I knew then there was something else down the road for PHOTO BY: NASHARA RICHARDSON Gyla Myers.” Myers hugs her children, Lola, 3, and Lauren, 4, outside the Child Care Center. The Myers said she is on the Dean’s list, girls spend their days in the Child Care Center every day while Myers attends class. is an honor scholar and a member of Ever since the Board of Trustees voted to close the facility on July 1, Myers has Phi Theta Kappa. She said she doesn’t become an advocate for keeping it open. have much spare time between taking 11 credits this semester, being a moth- Center reopening because the caliber her education, she said she might er and a wife and even studying in the of care is so high. have to move back to Illinois so her library for hours each week in the eve“There’s nothing not to like to be father can assist with child care. nings. On top of all that, she said she quite honest. I like the convenience “Not only myself, but the 209 spends hours each day researching and seeing my children thrive in women will have to figure out what the minutes of past Board of Trustee this environment because mommy’s we are going to do as a solution to meetings from at school and so are the girls. Not keep going to school. I think for the recently to years only am I bettering myself and gain- most part, at least the majority that I back. ing knowledge, my girls are gaining have talked to, can’t or won’t be go“The board knowledge. I hear a lot of people ing to school,” Myers said. “That’s agendas and state that it is economic, that’s a price what’s sad. As an active member of the board min- point,” Myers said. “For me, it’s not. I PTK, honor society and being on the utes are posted would pay more to send my children Dean’s list, I am receiving letters in online. I even here because it is quality care.” the mail now in regard to transfer opwent back to Myers said she attributes her chil- tions, and if I have to stop going to 2005, and if I dren’s development to the Child Care school, everything that I have worked can’t find the in- Center. for is lost.” formation there, “I have watched my girls, espeAs for now, Myers said she is goI make a formal cially Lauren, go from ‘I’m not going ing to continue to hug and kiss her Sunshine re- to use the potty,’ to wearing big girl daughters every day as she drops quest under the undies and going to the potty. Her vo- them off before class. Missouri State cabulary has expanded by thousands “I have my eyes set on the prize. Law,” Myers of words, so I’ve seen remarkable I have my goals set forth, and I think said. Myers said change and a confidence,” she said. that’s another reason why I continue PHOTO BY: CARLOS RESTREPO she is a strong Regardless of Lauren’s and Lola’s to go forth with the Child Care CenMyers speaks at the Board of Trustees meeting on Feb. 25. believer in the progress, as of now, the Child Care ter,” Myers said. “I refuse to be siShe said she spends hours each day researching minutes of possibility for Center is still scheduled to close in lenced. I am going to continue to expast Board of Trustees meetings in an effort to convince the the Child Care July. In order for Myer’s to continue press my First Amendment rights.” Board to re-open the center.


March 11, 2010

Engineering students race for final grade Shane Rice - Staff Writer -

“On your mark! Get set! Go!” is what the students of Tim Pedersen’s Engineering and Design class heard as their fall 2009 finals began. The class assembled and raced three go-karts for their final project. “All three karts

fun for his students. He said this particular project had more to do with luck, only because of the balance between students who he considered entry level and those who are more advanced in the fields of fabrication, welding and assembly. “I envisioned a lot of work, and it was, but the

on display by midterm. Pedersen said the class prepares students for the realities of the engineering field. “From the outside, things may seem simple, but what you find out, very quickly, is that it’s not as easy as it looks. It takes more time and more effort,” Pedersen said.

“The students will surprise you, as to what they know and what they can accomplish.” -Tim Pedersen

made it around the track. ”I was very impressed with the outcome,” said Pedersen, Ph.D. “Watching those who had little to no mechanical skills actually get their karts, put them together, run it, and seeing students succeed was what I liked the most about this project.“ Every semester, Pedersen said, he tries to come up with both different projects; challenging and

satisfaction of doing it outweighs any extra effort you have put into it. The students will surprise you, as to what they know and what they can accomplish,” Pedersen said. This semester, Pedersen’s students will be reliving the life of inventor Heron of Alexandria from 60A.D by remaking some of his most famous illusions, or “pranks” as Pederson calls them. He said he is hoping to have some

However, he said the hard work pays off in the end. “Anything of value isn’t achieved without hard work, and if it comes easy, it’s not of value,” Pedersen said. “Don’t be afraid of it; if I can do it, anyone can do it. It’s easy to get scared off because it’s easier to take the road of less work. Take the road of harder work because it has value. In order to achieve success, [first] you have to fail.”


The students that were enrolled in Tim Pedersen’s Engineering and Design class pose by a go-kart raced as a final project. The students in his class created three go-karts to prepare students for the realities of the engineering field.

Explore Webster University by attending Transfer Day

Join us for Transfer Day at Webster University. /ÕiÃ`>Þ]Ê>ÀV…Ê£ÈÊUÊ££Ê>°“°qÓ\ääÊ«°“° Our faculty, staff and students will give you a close look at our exceptional academic program combined with a personal, individualized approach to education. You and a guest can enjoy lunch, a tour and learn all about Webster’s: UÊi˜iÀœÕÃÊÌÀ>˜ÃviÀÊ«œˆVˆià UÊ*ÀœviÃȜ˜>ÊV>ÀiiÀÊÃiÀۈVià UÊ6ˆLÀ>˜ÌÊV>“«ÕÃʏˆvi

UÊ"««œÀÌ՘ˆÌˆiÃÊ̜ÊÃÌÕ`Þ abroad It’s a day you won’t want to miss. Find out how Webster University can transfer you to a brighter future. For reservations or more information, reply online at or phone the Office of Admission at 314246-7800 or 800-753-6765

{ÇäÊ °ÊœVŽÜœœ`ÊÛi˜ÕiÊUÊ-̰ʜՈÃ]Ê"ÊÈΣ£™ÊUʭΣ{®ÊÓ{ȇÇnää © 2010 Webster University

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8:58:18 AM


March 11, 2010


Clothesline project hangs abuse out to dry


Shane Rice -Staff Writer -

Every minute of every day, a woman is raped in the U.S., and every 14 seconds a woman is battered, according to Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF). Also, according to the FVPF, nearly one in four women in the U.S. reports being abused by a current or former spouse/boyfriend at some point in her life and one out of every five women in their first four years of college will be sexually abused or raped. “Violence against women in this country is at proportions that can’t be ignored anymore,” said Karen A. Olson, chairman for the STLCC-Meramec Diversity Committee and Coordinator for Early Care/Education. The Meramec Diversity Committee will host the Clothesline Project March 23-26 in the Library Quad at Meramec to bring awareness to domestic abuse. Olson said that the goal is to show that abuse has to stop and that this behavior is not acceptable. This will be the first annual event with hopes to

continue it in the future, Olson said. “What’s going on in our culture that supports this abuse and allows this to happen to almost one half of our population? It’s a big problem that we need to address as a society,” Olson said. The Clothesline Project was started in Cape Cod in 1990, by a small group of women that were interested in drawing attention to the violence against women in America. According to the Clothesline website, Rachel Carey-Harper was inspired by the movement of the AIDS quilt and suggested using shirts strung along a clothesline as a way to raise awareness about this abuse. The AIDS Memorial Quilt Project was created 1987 to increase awareness of HIV and AIDS. Carey-Harper used this idea and made it unique by adding pictures and words with hopes that this process would help women heal and give them a way to tell their own story. The Clothesline Project has since grown from 31 shirts to more

than 60,000 shirts across the nation with more than 500 projects worldwide. Olson said anyone who wants to make a T-shirt is more than welcome, especially women. “There will be private and public cubicles for female students and faculty to come and write their story on shirts that will be hung along the line for people to see, as well as, counselors and other resources for those still trying to heal,” Olson said. Olson said that the goal of the project is to do something that would make people pause and notice how often this is going on in our society. “Making the shirt is a form of empowerment for those who were victimized or abused,” Olson said. “There’s a fear fence that blocks us, in our lives, and we need to tear it down in order to be free.” The diversity committee is not the only group on campus promoting awareness of domestic violence. Donna Zumwinkel M.Ed.,

transfer to Rockhurst. transform your life. A great education paves the way for tremendous opportunities, and Rockhurst University offers the knowledge you’ll need to find them. So if you’re ready for a degree that will do more for you, transfer to Rockhurst.

LPC and counselor at Meramec said that intent of The Clothesline Project is to raise awareness, but if a woman feels she needs more assistance with the healing process, there are several resources available for them. “I would like to say to women who have experienced violence in their lives, it’s not their fault, and I know that you’re scared, but there is help available,” Zumwinkel said. “Reach out to someone and let them know you want help. We have a great counseling staff on

campus that will listen and help deal with the pain and humiliation.” Additional resources are also available for Meramec students, faculty and staff. “We want to help people be aware of the problem and know that there are resources out there to help. Crisis lines, counselors, and TANF are just a few ways to escape the abuse,” said Zumwinkel. “There are all kinds of success stories where women have broken the cycle of abuse.”

Want to know more about the project? Students and faculty can make colored Tshirts to hang on a clothesline. Each color signifies a type of violence against women.

-White: for women who have died because of violence -Pink: for survivors of rape and sexual assault -Yellow: for battered or assaulted women -Blue: for survivors of incest and sexual abuse -Purple: for women attacked because of their sexual orientation

Featured Speakers Thursday, March 25 Don Conway-Long, Ph.D

Men’s Responsibility to Gender Violence

Student Center Room 200/201 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Andrea Miller, Ph.D

How U.S. Society Supports Gendered Violence Student Center Room 200/201 from 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. ILLUSTRATION BY: STEPH STOUGH

To learn more about transferring to Rockhurst, join us for Transfer Day on Thursday, March 25, or Thursday, April 15, or call (800) 842-6776. We’ll be there to answer questions about a Rockhurst education, transfer credits, financial aid and your major. Bring your transcripts to apply for on-the-spot admission and scholarships.

“I came to Rockhurst for its smaller campus and class sizes.” Melissa Harris, marketing major Kansas City, Mo.

Rockhurst University admits students of any race, color and national or ethnic origin.


March 11, 2010

Men’s Basketball team ends on a Magical note Joe Ray

- Assistant Online Editor -

The 80-70 win over STLCC-Florissant Valley Fury pushed STLCC-Meramec Magic Men’s Basketball team into the Region XVI Championship Mar. 6 against the Penn Valley Scouts of Kansas City, Mo. Meramec hosted the Region XVI Championship for the first time in 30 years. The Magic were coming off a 20-10 season, while clinching their 25th consecutive winning season. As the season came to a close and tournament play started three Meramec players who had a magical season were named to the All Region first team: Dietrick Sooter, guard, Josh Dale, forward, and Dallis Johnson, center. The Magic went into halftime leading 33-30. Coach Albrecht stressed the importance of better play. “If we play well we can get over the hump here. We need to do a few things, finish around the basket: we need to take better care of the ball, and we need to defend them a little better around the three-point shooters,” Albrecht said. After halftime the Magic started off rough and allowed the Fury to make it a close game. The Magic started to give away costly turnovers and their defense, which ranked second in the Region, started to foul. Forward John Alexander of the Magic was one of the starters that fouled out early and

Josh Dale, forward, would eventually four out. Their rebounding on both ends kept them in the game against the Fury, though. Albrecht expressed his concern on lack of ball control, “We haven’t played for ten days. That’s part of the reason. When you don’t play for ten days, you lose a little edge.” The transition defense started to slow down and the Fury continued to make lay ups as they went across court. They would also pressure the Magic with a full-court press, which would cause the Magic to miss easy shots. Albrecht was walking up and down the sideline prompting his team to make good shots. With less than three minutes left in the game, the Magic started to pull away with the win. The Magic started to make accurate passes and were making the easy shots. The Magic’s resilience slowed the Fury’s offense down. The Fury kept fouling with less than a minute left to slow the game down, but wouldn’t inch any closer to tying it up. The Magic knew they would move on to the next round and extend their season. The five freshmen and four sophomores on the team showed team effort and good team chemistry. The young Magic showed this chemistry when they landed the number one seed in the tournament. It was an indication


The Meramec Magic defeated the STLCC-Florissant Valley Fury 80-70 on March 5. Their season came to an end on March 6 when they lost 63-62 to Penn Valley. of their success throughout the season. “I think it was a whole team effort. We got some good bench play. Whatever we get off the bench, it supported us pretty good,” Albrecht said. The Magic eventually would play the Scouts on March 6, but it would be the last game for the Magic. They lost

63-62, to the team they beat, on Feb. 6, in a very close game that came down to the last seconds of the game. Visit




For video of the basketball team


March 11, 2010


A history of success comes to an end Meramec wrestling rich in honor, tradition Spencer Gleason - Sports Editor -

Throughout the years one name has been connected with STLCC-Meramec wrestling— Ron Mirikatani. Mirikatani never wrestled in high school because his school didn’t offer a wrestling program, but he became head coach of the Meramec Warriors in 1970. Only a month prior to Mirikatani taking the position, Mirikatani’s wife, Janet, gave birth to their son, David. The Warriors were in their infancy and just coming out from the direction of Head Coach Paul Daker, who led them to an 8-3-3 record their initial season. After an 8-6 record in the 1969-1970 season, Daker moved to Colorado, which opened a coaching vacancy in the already prominent wrestling program at Meramec, and in stepped Mirikatani. Although a February 1971 issue of The Montage described the 1970-1971 season as “bleak,” Mirikatani soon had the Warriors wrestling their way to the top of the rope. In 1973, six grapplers made their way to nationals. Early on, however, Mirikatani realized that the lack of a “big man” presented an adversity for his Warriors to battle through. “We’ve had some boys wrestling in heavier classes than they should be in,” said Mirikatani in a 1977 Montage article. “We just don’t have the big wrestlers. Most of them are football players, and with no football program, we lose them to the bigger schools.” Enter Mitch Shelton. Shelton stood 6’3” and weighed 365 pounds. As a freshman,

Shelton had a record of 20-4 and finished third in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournament. As a sophomore, Shelton’s wrestling ability continued to soar to 43-2, and a fourth place finish nationally in 1981 led him to transfer to the University of Oklahoma. When the 1990s started, the now grown-up David Mirikatani had made a name for himself in the world of wrestling, becoming one of the most highly talented high school wrestlers in Missouri. He decided to begin his college wrestling career at Meramec. In 1991, Mirikatani beARCHIVE PHOTO gan to learn the difference The first Meramec wrestling team formed in 1968 under the direction of coach Paul Daker. The team between the two levels of finished 8-3-3 in their season. wrestling. ics. The Warriors became the wrestling career is an all-time the sounds of echoes of past “We’ve been going over school record. wrestlers’ cheers as the lights technique, mostly because Magic. In 2002 and 2003, All In October 2009, Mirika- go out in the now locked what works in high school doesn’t work in college,” said American wrestler Nick Vogt tani was relieved of his head practice gym. Posted on the Mirikatani in a Nov. 1991 finished runner-up in the NJ- coaching duties. Former Mag- double doors are signs namMontage article. “But you can CAA national tournament. ic wrestler Nick Vogt resumed ing this year’s All Americans: Craig Chiles, Quinten Hayes, lose before you hit the mat if Vogt also received the Sports- the duties. And so the moment has Tyler Holloway, Anthony you’re not in control mentally. manship Award and was electThere are no easy matches at ed into the Meramec Magic come. There are no more Saulle and John Vogt—and Hall of Fame in 2006. Vogt’s grapplers, no more Warriors this year’s last champ, Deron this level.” Mirikatani finished his 77 wins during his Meramec or Magic. All that is left are Winn. freshman year with a record of 31-7. His second year proved to be even better in the win column with a record of 42-3-1. Both years Mirikatani reached the achievement of NJCAA All American. At a level where there are “no easy matches,” Mirikatani won nearly 87 percent of his bouts. Hindsight is twenty-twenty. In 1998, both Mirikatanis entered the Meramec Magic Hall of Fame together—father and son. When 2000 started, with the new millennium came a new name for Meramec athlet-

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March 11, 2010

Deron Winn scores a national championship victory for the wrestling team in its last season



Carlos Restrepo -Editor in chief-


(ABOVE) Deron Winn, Meramec student and national wrestling champion, at the number one spot in the podium of the NJCAA National Wrestling Championship in Des Moines, Iowa. (BELOW) Winn wrestling against his final championship opponent, Celic Bell, from North Idaho College.

Des Moines, IA - In their last season ever, the STLCC-Meramec wrestling team finished fifth at the NJCAA National Wrestling Championship, with Deron Winn as the champion of his 184 pounds weight class. Out of the other seven wrestlers that competed in the championship, four also made it to the winning podium:, Quinten Haynes, 149 pounds weight class, finished third; Anthony Saulled, 165, also finished third; John Vogt, 174, finished fourth and Craig Chiles, 133, finished seventh. “It’s nice to have someone like Deron on the team this year. We had a lot of guys who wrestled really good, but he’s just an incredible wrestler,” said Nick Vogt, head coach, who took over the command of the team last year after former coach Ron Mirikitani was removed from the position. “It’s been a lot of fun with him.” Adding to the emotion of the tournament, Winn’s victory will become the last one ever for Meramec’s wrestling program, due to the decision by the administration to cut wrestling, men’s soccer and women’s volleyball as a result of budget constraints. Vogt said this did not affect the performance of the team at the championship. “We knew we had to wrestle. We came to practice every day; we worked hard and at the end of the year it turned out alright Vogt said. “You deal with controversy all the time, maybe you don’t agree with all the decisions that are made, but you have to deal with them, and that’s what happened.” Winn said what kept them motivated throughout the year was their team unity. “We were like brothers,” he said. In making a case for the continuation of the wrestling program at Meramec, Winn asserted that this was “the best team in school.” At the podium ceremony, Winn climbed up to the number one spot as parents, coaches and media took photos. He, as all the other Meramec wrestlers, was wearing a jersey with Japanese letters Visit written on it. Meramec On the back it read “never, .com ever give up.” In front, “Mirikitani For video and photos on the wrestling tournament trained.”


March 11,2010 Print issue of The Montage  

The March 11,2010 Print issue of The Montage Student Newspaper at St Louis Community College - Meramec.

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