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A forum of free voices serving San Antonio College since 1926

Vol. 84 Issue 9

Single copies free

Nov. 13, 2009

Alamo Colleges

Student Centers


2 • Nov. 13, 2009

Contact Info Emergency 222-0911 General DPS 485-0099 Weather Line 485-0189

San Antonio College Nov. 1 - Officers assisted in locating a lost male in nursing and allied health. Nov. 2 – An individual reported a suspicious female in the bookstore in Loftin. An individual reported damage to a district sign in a parking lot. An individual reported graffiti in the elevator in nursing and allied health.

Blotter An individual reported vehicle damage because of an accident in the parking garage. Nov. 3 – An officer assisted SAISD Police with an incident at Travis. An individual reported theft of a personal laptop. An individual reported a suspicious male in the parking garage. An individual reported damage to a personal vehicle in the parking garage. An individual reported damage to a personal vehicle in a parking lot. At approximately 5:40 p.m. an individual reported an aggravated assault in Lot 2. The assault was between acquaintances. The victim received non-life threatening injuries and was treated at the

The Ranger scene then later released at a local hospital. The assailant was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and criminal mischief. Nov. 4 – An individual reported personal property being stolen from the bookstore in Loftin. An individual reported a disturbance in Chance. An individual reported a stolen personal vehicle from a parking lot. An individual reported a suspicious person in Fletcher.

An individual was taken into custody for violating an active criminal trespass warning. An individual reported locking keys in a vehicle in the parking garage. Nov. 5 – An individual reported seeing three males smoking marijuana near McCreless. An individual reported theft of personal property in Moody. An individual reported theft of fuel from a vehicle in a parking lot.

An individual reported an illness in a classroom and departed campus. An individual reported a person pacing back and forth in front of Moody. Complete blotter online.

The Ranger • Vol. 84 • Issue 9

Nov. 13, 2009 • 3

The Ranger

A forum of free voices serving San Antonio College since 1926

2 Blotter

4 People 5 World Toilet Day flush with sanitation awareness By Trey Randolph

10 Pulse Golf team places fifth at nationals

By Regis L. Roberts Photos by Priscilla Reyna-Ovalle

People slideshow

11 Calendar

How to become a police officer

12 Editorial

6 Conner retires, board spot open By Jason B. Hogan

Board fears low morale will lower student success By Jason B. Hogan Photos by Destiny Mata

Only online @

Cartoon Add students to send list College value declines with budget decreases Still a ‘community’ college

SAC Cares to engage students, faculty in community service Student-designed toys for children’s museum CIP celebration marks completion

7 Council questions confidentiality

14 Opinion iPod vs. scholarships

By Vanessa M. Sanchez Photos by Priscilla Reyna-Ovalle

By Trey Randolph

H1N1 prevention explained

International Week aims to increase cultural awareness

15 Guest Viewpoint Fall of Berlin Wall as seen from Soviet Ukraine

Skipping class for writing lab

By Zahra Farah

8 Premiere

Alamo Colleges student centers Story and photos by Laura Garcia Photos by Laura Garcia, Henrietta Mutegwaraba and Priscilla ReynaOvalle

By Aivars Norenbergs

16 Backpage Hunger issues of low-income worldwide

Letter: Biology missing at major fair

Story by Zahra Farah Photos by Deborah Harrison

Go to for news and information. The last print edition for the semester will be Nov. 20.


4 • Nov. 13, 2009

The Ranger Priscilla Reyna-Ovalle

Bon appétit:

Jennifer Garcia-Valdez, culinary arts and restaurant management sophomore from St. Philip’s College, explains her group’s recipes to judges at the 14th annual turkey tasting contest Wednesday at Central Market at 4821 Broadway.

Food drive: Business sophomore Hanna Carothers paints a box to help promote a food drive for needy families outside Loftin Nov. 4. Destiny Mata

Priscilla Reyna-Ovalle

Priscilla Reyna-Ovalle

Celebrate: Administrative secretary Corina Vera; Rosalinda Castillo, secretary in human resources; and project coordinator Edith Casias celebrate at a party for the completion of the capital improvement program Nov. 6 at Pearl Stable. Alamo Colleges completed $450 million in improvements made possible by a 2005 bond issue. See story online.

Overflow: An overflow of water drains from the pool in Candler as Professor Brad Dudney assesses the situation Nov. 5. Dudney canceled his class. The pool was opened Nov. 6 with no malfunctions. Priscilla Reyna-Ovalle

Sit back, relax: Nursing sophomore Karen Larios gets a foot massage from Shana Watkins during Spa Day Nov. 5 in the craft room of Loftin. The office of student life sponsored Spa Day and hired the Living Touch Therapeutic Spa to participate.

The Ranger

Nov. 13, 2009 • 5

World Toilet Day flush with sanitation awareness Courtesy photos

Worldwide 2.5 billion people don’t have access to proper sanitation systems. By Trey Randolph A toilet-shaped house in Suwon, South Korea; the world’s largest public restroom in Chongqing, China, with more than 1,000 toilets spread over 32,000 square feet; and the Toilet Seat Art Museum in Alamo Heights are a few of the diverse and sometimes humorous toilet-related items presented by engineering Coordinator Dan Dimitriu in a presentation to his students every year for World Toilet Day, Nov. 19. The presentation even includes pictures of toilets on the International Space Station. The two toilets on the station, thanks to the unique requirement of having to operate in zero gravity, cost $19 million each, according to Dimitriu shows the presentation as a lighthearted way to make his students realize the connection between engineering and toilets, as well as to highlight the world sanitation issue. “I raise awareness,” Dimitriu said. “It’s fun also. Just think about it: We go to the bathroom every day, several times a day, and we don’t think about it. “That’s one of the fantastic engineering marvels that really was made possible by engineers,” he continued. “It’s still developing with all kind of new inventions and ideas.” World Toilet Day is “to celebrate the importance of sanitation and raise awareness for the 2.5 billion people (more than a third of the world population) who don’t have access to toilets and proper sanitation,” the day’s Web site reads. Basic sanitation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is described as “having access to facilities for the safe disposal of human waste as well as having the ability to maintain hygienic conditions, through services such as garbage collection, industrial/ hazardous waste management, and wastewater treatment and disposal.” Improper disposal of human waste can lead to water-borne diseases. The CDC states 88 percent of diarrhea cases worldwide “are linked to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene.” Other water-borne diseases can cause malnutrition, skin infections and organ damage. In 2007, diarrheal diseases because of improper sanitation were responsible for more than 425,000 outpatient deaths in Ghana,

The ladies room at Shoji Tabuchi Theater in Branson, Mo., earned America’s Best Restroom 2009 award. according to Ghana’s newspaper, The Statesman, ranking it as the fifth most common cause of death in that country. Intestinal worms, another by-product of poor sanitation, ranked eighth. Upper respiratory infections — 50 percent more common in areas with inadequate sanitation — ranked second only to malaria. By comparison, of the top 15 causes of death in the U.S. in 2006 listed by the CDC, there is no mention of diarrheal diseases. The top cause of death, heart disease, claimed 631,636. The fifth, accidents and unintentional injuries, 121,599. Pakistan’s The News International reported Oct. 28 that 630 children die each day from water-borne illnesses. It added that of the 1.8 million people who die from diarrheal diseases annually around the globe, 90 percent are children under age 5. According to the U.N. Human Development Report 2006, “The transition from unimproved to improved sanitation is accompanied by a more than 30 percent reduction in child mortality.” Improved sanitation is defined by the World Health Organization as “a sanitation facility that ensures hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact,” such as a flush toilet instead of an outhouse. World Toilet Day events are in 17 countries, such as India, Libya, Zimbabwe and Cameroon,

The men’s lounge at the theater includes a billiard table. and three U.S. cities, Seattle, Milwaukee and Portland, Ore. Events include seminars on proper sanitation as well as participation in “The Big Squat.” Participants squat for one minute to acknowledge the need for proper sanitation worldwide. Since 2002, Cintas Facility Services has awarded the America’s Best Restroom award. Any restroom in the United States is eligible, and the public determines nominations. The winner for 2009 was the sumptious Shoji Tabuchi Theater in Branson, Mo.. For more information on World Toilet Day and America’s Best Restrooms, visit and

The Ranger

6 • Nov. 13, 2009

Former chairman, trustee retires

Board fears low morale will lower student success rate

By Jason B. Hogan

By Jason B. Hogan

District 7 trustee Charles Conner admitted, in hindThe Alamo Community College District sight, that the board and district administrators could board of trustees, district administrators have done a better job in establishing solid and the five college presicommunication with faculty and staff. dents gathered Saturday for an In a telephone interview Nov. 6, the trustannual retreat to collaborate ee, who resigned Oct. 28, praised the district efforts to increase student succolleges as educationally driven but called cess and achievement. employee reactions mostly miscommunicaThe problem that the board tions on their part. and administrators found He said information supplied by the ing the retreat is that enrollGo online for extended verboard and district was consistently met ment may be up well above sions of both stories. head on with nothing but incivility, unnecaverage by more than 8,000 essary harshness and constant accusations students, but Faculty Senates that created chaos. and Staff Councils have said morale across The town hall meetings being conducted at each the district has decreased along with it, of the colleges have been a positive factor in taking a and officials worry that it will affect classstep in the right direction for better communication, room productivity by faculty and student Conner said. achievement.

Dr. Thomas Cleary, vice chancellor for planning, performance and information systems, said the town hall forums have produced positives because faculty and staff have been given an environment to vent and more information has come out into the open. At the past two forums — at this college and Palo Alto College — board representatives and district administration said they realize they have the same expectations for student success as faculty and staff. The board has scheduled the final two forums at Northwest Vista and Northeast Lakeview colleges for Monday and Tuesday from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Dr. Federico Zaragoza, vice chancellor of economic and workforce development, said the district has a chance to be proactive or “continue to eat at each other.”

The Ranger

Nov. 13, 2009 • 7

Computer agreement in dispute over confidentiality Academic Council also discusses new classes, parking and end of capital improvements.

Photos by Priscilla Reyna-Ovalle

use” of computers by employees, though others found that term vague. Jorge Posadas, director of student life, said, “A lot of nice stuff comes up when we pull up By Vanessa M. Sanchez cheerleader” in a search engine, when searching for cheer uniforms. As council members A revised district computer security agree- laughed, he explained that this is an example of ment was presented to the College Academic computer use that could be misconstrued and Council Tuesday, but members still disagreed illustrates the need for clarification. with some of the language. In addition, Posadas suggested a departPsychology Chair Thomas Billimek objected ment chair or supervisor should determine to wording concerning breaching confidentialwhat constitutes negligence. ity of access codes by negligence, saying that Librarian Candace Peterson objected to it needed clarification on who decides what is what she called a confidentiality agreement in “negligence.” the document that she said had nothing to do He also protested the with computer security. Vernell Walker, dean of professional and technical educarequirement to abide by the This college’s president, tion, talks about new courses at the Academic Council district’s policies and proceDr. Robert Zeigler, said meeting Tuesday. dures that include restricadministrators will try to tions on computer use for get some answers to these The CREC report stated that the class will anything other than college concerns. be accepted by the University of or district purposes. In a report Texas at San Antonio’s transfer He said that even from the plan and is already offered at the though, “I can use my Curriculum other four colleges. home computer for work,” Review and She also said that the history employees cannot use their Evaluation and humanities department prowork computers for someDr. Thomas Billimek objects to vagueness C o m m i t t e e , posed a new Associate of Arts thing as small as online and a double standard in a draft agreement. Vernell Walker, degree, which she said will be banking. dean of profeslisted as “with a concentration in Go online to read about Billimek continued, “I’m not going to sign it sional and technical education, said the council’s discussion of history.” parking and accreditation. if it’s vague.” the kinesiology and dance departThe change, according to the Usha Venkat, director of technology and ment at this college is to add KINE report, is to help students who communication, who presented the revised 1338, Concepts of Fitness and Wellness, to the aspire to becoming a social studies teacher at agreement, said the district allows “incidental college inventory. the elementary level or secondary institutions.

International Education Week aims to increase cultural awareness Program includes film, lectures and culture presentations. By Zahra Farah International Education Week gives students at this college time to reflect and increase their awareness of different cultures and diversity, said Suzanna Borawski, counselor in this college’s international students office and adviser to the International Student Association. Events run Monday through

Thursday. well as language courses offered at The observance kicks off for this college from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 students, faculty and staff from p.m. Tuesday in the Fiesta Room of noon-2 p.m. Monday in Loftin Student Center. the board room at Killen The International Center, 201 W. Sheridan Student Association will St. sell sausages from 10 Keynote speaker a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday in will be Dr. Sara Jackson, the mall. professor of interStudents from India, Go online to read national business at Mongolia and Vietnam interviews with international students. the University of the will speak about their Incarnate Word. customs, languages and Students may learn about political systems from 11 opportunities in noon Wednesday in Room 120 of Europe, Japan and Costa Rica, as the visual arts center.

Maricarmen Esper, education freshman, will discuss her book, “How to Educate in Ethical Values,” from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday. The film, “Afghan Women: A History of Struggle,” will be shown from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday in Room 120 of the visual arts center. The film captures the resilience and courage of a group of women who risk their lives daily in the struggle for political, economic and social equality. For more information, call Borawski at 486-0116.

8 • The Ranger



Architecture sophomore Eduardo Rodriguez and nursing sophomore Rusty Covell play pingpong Tuesday in Loftin.

Health care freshman David Murray, computer science sophomore Ryan Ferrell, and architecture freshman Michael Gonzales play a game of Xbox Tuesday in the cyber cafe in Loftin.

A room that has yet to be renovated in the Loftin. Originally planned as a game now set to be a fitness room.

Unfinished center contrasts with othe By Laura Garcia Construction of Loftin Student Center is at a standstill and has been for almost two years. Phase 1 of renovations, which included moving the student life offices to a corner of the second floor and a modernization of the interior, began Sept. 12, 2007. Funds were spent on specialty furniture, an information desk, building curved walls with bar-height laptop seating and a new paint job. It was supposed to include a bookstore annex and game room before production halted. The project cost $170,240 in student activity fees with an additional $198,000 from district’s 2006 Maintenance Tax Notes. The project total is $352,000. John Strybos, vice chancellor of facilities, said they got a surprise once they pulled up the floor and also that the needs of the students changed. Student life Director Jorge Posadas said the floor was uneven and that would have blown the budget. Posadas said the game room that was originally to go in the now vacant space on the south side of the first floor is now intended as a mini fitness room. He says that it’s hard to get into fitness classes and that the conditioning rooms are available only when there are no classes so it is difficult for students to find time to work out. Since moving the arcade off the second floor, the video games and pool tables have occupied the north end of the cafeteria, adding to the cacophony.

A bookstore annex, conference room and a couple ing on the project, but has no idea when the of student life offices also will occupy the space next to begin. the fitness room. Posadas said he plans to have a few He said there are easily 10-15 events a wee workout machines and mirrors added to the space. from live entertainment, sporting events, w The cost has not been determined, but Posadas said to fairs and karaoke free. The 22,028 student that there are student activity fee funds available. at this college pay $1 per credit hour in stud Kinesiology Chair Bill Richardson said that if the fitity fees. ness center will benefit students then that is fine. He Even with an uncompleted student cen added that there should be a monitor present to sign are an abundance of amenities. There are in students and ensure they are using the equipment and pool tables, arcade games, big-screen properly so that they don’t get hurt. He video game use, and Bailey’s C added that students should wear workout equipped with new Macintosh clothes. ers. The café is open until 5 p. Posadas also plans to update the on Fridays when it closes at 4:30 Fiesta Room by adding theater lighting, “We’re going to take care a sound booth and mini stage similar to a Posadas said. “We want to make black box theater. A remodeled informathey get the best.” tion booth under the stairway and new A number of intramura Go online for details paint are also in the works to be added teams are beating out some of student centers in Phase 2. universities in competition, th at the four other colleges. “We are trying to use every inch of the Government Association is activ building,” he said. off-campus and other student clubs and orga Posadas said new plans are in place for Phase 2 and are fundraising nonstop. are awaiting a district architect’s designs. He said they Still students are kicked out of the buildin have the $30,000 and at this point are just waiting for p.m. even though cafeteria hours are from a draft of the blueprints. Then Strybos will send out p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m bids. Right now, there is no completion date for the Friday and won’t be extended, Posadas said, b renovations to come. would mean longer hours for housekeepers. “I hope it’s as soon as possible,” Posadas said. For information or suggestions, call stud Strybos said that district architects are currently work486-0125.

the district

Nov. 13, 2009 • 9

Loftin photos by Priscilla Reyna-Ovalle

e room, it is

Palo Alto College photos by Laura Garcia

Palo Alto College St. Philip’s College photos by Henriette Mutegwaraba

Northeast Lakeview College photos by Henriette Mutegwaraba


e work will

ek ranging workshops ts enrolled dent activ-

nter, there pingpong n TVs for Cyber Café h comput.m. except 0 p.m. of them,” e sure that

St. Philip’s College Northwest Vista College photos by Laura Garcia

al sports four-year he Student ve on- and anizations

Northeast Lakeview College

ng by 6:50 m 7 a.m.-7 m.-4 p.m. because it

dent life at

Northwest Vista College

10 • Nov. 13, 2009


The Ranger

New golf team wins fifth place in Las Vegas tourney Player success brings attention to college. By Regis L. Roberts Vegas was good to this college’s golf team. Coach Angela Olivarri said two graduating team members were encouraged by the team’s fifth-place finish in the National Collegiate Golf Tournament last weekend in Las Vegas to continue playing at a four-year university. She said the team finished only four points behind the fourthplace team. The eight-member team — broken up into two-person teams for the tournament’s format — competed against 52 teams from 37 colleges and universities in the tournament Nov. 6-8.

Priscilla Reyna-Ovalle

Only two community colleges entered, including this college, Olivarri said. Schools came from all over the United States, she said “from Hawaii to New York.” Jorge Posadas, director of student life, said he was impressed with how well this college did compared with such prestigious schools as the University of California-Los Angeles, Rutgers University and Syracuse University. Because the team bested many well-established teams from bigger schools, Olivarri said members are more confident that they will qualify for those teams when they transfer. The format of the tournament was a two-person scramble, meaning that teams are divided into two-person teams that play together. Both players drive the ball four times each, and the members play

Director of student life Jorge Posadas introduces this college’s golf team at the Academic Council meeting Tuesday in Room 228 of nursing and allied health complex. from the best lie, or where the ball lands, Olivarri said. Players were given a day to practice at the Silverstone Golf Course, allowing them to become comfortable with the intricacies of the course, she said. Silverstone was a challenging, beautiful course, she said, but the day of practice got them accustomed to it. She also said the weather was

good for the most part, aside from an hour or so of cold and windy conditions Sunday. The team is finished competing for the remainder of the semester, but Olivarri said another tournament is expected in the spring. Tryouts will be next semester, and the young team’s success has garnered interest from three high school seniors who have asked about joining the team, she said.

The Ranger

Nov. 13, 2009 • 11

Calendar For coverage in Calendar, call 486-1773 or e-mail two weeks in advance. Today SAC Election: Student Government Association voting deadline at midnight. Vote at Call 486-0667. SAC Drive: PEOPLE Club “Teddies for Tots” teddy bear drive benefiting Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, dropoff in Room 124 of Chance. Continues through Dec. 4. Call 486-0022.

Saturday SAC Event: “Women 4 Women” Relationship Retreat 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in Room 105 of the empowerment center. Call 486-0455. SAC Tourney: Racquetball benefiting kinesiology scholarships 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the racquetball courts, $5. Call 4861029. District Event: PC clinic 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Port of San Antonio, 312 Clarence Tinker. Call 486-3412. Monday

SAC Drive: Peer Educators peanut butter donations benefiting San Antonio Food Bank, drop-off in Room 120 of Chance. Continues through Nov. 20. Call 4860022.

SAC Registration: Early online registration for spring 2010 at 8 a.m. Visit www.alamo. edu/sac/sacmain.

SAC Event: United SAC Drive: Cheshyre Methodist Student Cheese Club third annual Movement worship service Thanksgiving Food Drive 11 a.m.-noon in Methodist Complete calendar online. benefiting student famiStudent Center, 102 lies. Drop-off boxes in Belknap. Call 733-1441. Loftin help desk, Moody library, Fletcher welcome desk, English, music and history SAC Meeting: Mexican-American departments. Continues through Nov. 24. Engineers and Scientists 2:30 p.m.–3:30 Call 771-2571. p.m. in Room 144 of Chance. Call 4860125. SAC Writing Center: New tutors, operation hours and more appointments 8 SAC Concert: Guitar ensemble 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday and Thursday, 8 p.m. in the auditorium of McAllister. Call a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 486-0255. 8 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Friday in Room 203 of Gonzales. Call 486-1433. District Event: “International Week Kick-Off” noon-2 p.m. in the Sheridan SAC Event: “The Twilight Saga: New board room, 201 W. Sheridan. Call 486Moon” voucher pick-up 8 a.m.-10 a.m. in 0116. the craft room, after 11 a.m. in the office of student life in Loftin. Call 486-0125. Tuesday SAC Event: Student Talent Show noon1 p.m. in the Fiesta Room of Loftin. Call 486-0125.

SAC Meeting: Black Student Alliance 2 p.m. first and third Tuesdays in Room 624 of Moody. Call 486-0589.

SAC Event: Outdoor movie “Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince” 7:20 p.m.10 p.m. in the mall. Call 486-0125.

Calendar Legend SAC: San Antonio College NVC: Northwest Vista College SPC: St. Philip’s College SWC: South West Campus PAC: Palo Alto College NLC: Northeast Lakeview

12 • Nov. 13, 2009


The Ranger Juan Carlos Campos

The Ranger

Editor Jason B. Hogan Managing Editor Vanessa M. Sanchez Calendar Editor Henry A. Chavarria Photographers Leda Garcia, Destiny Mata Priscilla Reyna-Ovalle Photo Team Antonio Cabriales, Sarah Day, Deborah Harrison, Henrietta Mutegwaraba, Zachary Sutherland Production Manager Laura Garcia Newsroom Assistant Zahra Farah Illustrator Juan Carlos Campos Staff Writers Mario Anguiano, Emilio Davila, Lorraine Gomez, Sharon Hensley, Steven L. Moya, Trey Randolph Digital Imaging Technician Tyler K. Cleveland Web Editor/Circulation Regis L. Roberts

©2009 by The Ranger staff, San Antonio College, 1300 San Pedro Ave., San Antonio, TX 78212-4299. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission.

The Ranger, the student newspaper at San Antonio College, is a laboratory project of the journalism classes in the Department of Media Communications, published Fridays except during summer, holidays and examinations. News contributions accepted by telephone (486-1773), by fax (486-1789), by e-mail ( or at the editorial office (Room 212 Loftin Student Center). Advertising rates available upon request (486-1765). The Ranger is a member of the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association, the Associated Collegiate Press, the Texas Community College Journalism Association and the Associated Press. Guest Viewpoints: Faculty, staff, students and community members are welcome to contribute guest viewpoints of up to 450 words. Writers should focus on campus or current events in a critical, persuasive or interpretative style. All viewpoints must be published with a photo portrait of the writer. Letters Policy: The Ranger invites readers to share views by writing letters

to the editor. Space limitations force the paper to limit letters to two doublespaced, typewritten pages. Letters will be edited for spelling, style, grammar, libel and length. Editors reserve the right to deny publication of any letter. Letters should be mailed to The Ranger, Department of Media Communications, San Antonio College, 1300 San Pedro Ave., San Antonio TX 78212-4299. Letters also may be brought to the newspaper office in Room 212 of Loftin Student Center, e-mailed to or faxed to 486-1789. Letters must be signed and must include the writer’s printed name, classification, major, Social Security number and telephone number. For more information, call 486-1773. Single Copy Policy: Because of high production costs, members of the Alamo Community College District community are permitted one free copy per issue. Where available, additional copies may be purchased with prior approval for 50 cents each by contacting The Ranger business office. Newspaper theft is a crime. Those who violate the single copy rule may be subject to civil and criminal prosecution and subject to college discipline.

The Ranger


Senate is wrong to equate Playland, Park Place plans At the Faculty Senate meeting Nov. 3, Carolyn Kelley, president of the Tobin Hill Community Association, proposed a deal that would add two additional five-story buildings to this campus. The first building would be strictly used as a parking structure, and the second would be a multipurpose facility for nonchain restaurants, office or class space, apartments, student housing and an event venue. Political science Professor Christy Woodward-Kaupert said she opposed it as it would be hypocritical because of the senate’s opposition to development on the Playland Park site proposed for a new district headquarters. Faculty Senate Chair Jeff Hunt said he agreed, in part, but liked the idea.

The two proposed construction sites are entirely different affairs. Board members and district officials will use desperately needed district funds to develop the Playland property, while the Tobin Hill plan is a donation to the college to be built on the Park Place lot owned by the college. This will benefit students, not a bloated district administration. No one can argue with our need for more parking. The 1,000-space garage we have didn’t add much space when buildings replaced three student lots. And classroom space is at a premium in the morning hours. Of course, we will incur some expense either in finish out or maintenance, but don’t be so quick to say no.

Give students a little notice Students get wind of events and important dates by clicking through Web sites for the district, college, student life, The Ranger and Facebook or MySpace accounts for individual clubs and organizations. Sometimes, they hear through word-of-mouth or stumble across a flier on campus bulletin boards. Hopefully, by that time, it’s not too late to actually attend an event. The college and district need a better communication system to alert students of services and opportunities available to them as well as a reminder for drop dates, applications for graduation deadlines, speaker series and sports schedules. The campus has an abundance of events planned, but often, students are unaware of them unless they trip over them. For example, a sexual heath talk Oct. 29 in Loftin Student Center drew only five students — two were Peer Educators who surely knew the

risks of STDs and two were covering the event for The Ranger. A speaker from the UT Health Science Center said that more than half of all sexually active people will have an STD by age 24 with most unaware they are infected. With information this important to get out, it seems a pity that no one knew. We need a unified calendar or message system to reach all students, online, evening and San Antonio College students attending Northeast Lakeview College in addition to our traditional students. Don’t expect students to check several sources daily to get the information they need from their college. Get the information out there quickly and in one place. The district has been harping about customer service for years but can’t seem to master the basics of communication, publicity or advertising.

Nov. 13, 2009 • 13

College value declines with budget decreases The Alamo Colleges work on a budget that consists of many factors, some items we need and some items we want; still, there are guidelines that need to be followed before one can obtain some extra money for technology. This college, especially because it houses the largest group of the 60,000plus students in the district, needs money for technology to improve student success. But, for some reason, we cannot get funding because there isn’t enough to go around the five colleges and district. The faculty and staff at this college, however, are singing and dancing for it, literally. Employees of this college are putting on a talent show and silent auction to raise money for technology. Three winning departments will each get a projector valued at $2,000. This is sad. Once again, the faculty and staff are doing something proactive while the district does a song and dance. These people work hard in the interests of our students, but because the district shorts this college when funding, they have to give up what little free time they have to perform in a fundraiser in which they hope to cover the cost of three projectors. What’s efficient about that? Other colleges do not have as high a ratio of tenured faculty members and are housed in newer campuses than this college, but the district always seems to find money for those colleges. Here many of our needs go unmet. Northwest Vista released 45 computers once their warranties had expired; how much did it cost to replace them? Something has to change. For years, there was no money for equipment, but plenty for technology. Now that well has dried up also. The students of this college deserve more. The chancellor wants the Alamo Colleges to be national models. Well, this isn’t the way to achieve it. What’s the value of a college that cannot fully support academic and student success anyway?


14 • Nov. 13, 2009

The Ranger

iPods provide background entertainment, not educational support The office of student life will host the annual student talent show from noon to 1 p.m. today in the Fiesta Room of Loftin Student Center. Students will once again show off their talents, ranging from Viewpoint by Trey Randolph singing to dancing and more, for the chance to win one of four iPod Nanos. The question has been raised again and again by The Ranger – what do iPods have to do with education? They are given away as prizes for seemingly every event on campus these days. Did an Apple truck drive by campus and lose a box? Are we getting them at a discount since we apparently buy so many? Who decided iPods were the end-all solution for prizes across campus, and more valuable to the average student than financial assistance? With my love of music, I often say I’d be lost without my iPod, but does it really help

me navigate through the years of school? The answer, quite simply, is no. Sure, it’s nice to be able to walk across campus lost in my own thoughts with any number of my favorite musicians providing the soundtrack. It helps me mentally organize my day and even relax before or after classes. Last year, as in many years prior, the prizes for winning the student talent show were scholarships. Last year’s winner, former communications major Jon Coker, was awarded a $500 scholarship. Who made the decision that iPods were more worthwhile to a student than money? An 8-GB iPod Nano retails for $149, according to the Apple Store Web site. Four cost about $600. Why not use the $600 toward scholarships for the winners? Who can’t use a little help with tuition? Considering that many students attend community colleges such as this one to save money on basic courses, the availability of scholarships for performing well in the talent show should be an obvious choice.

Check out the

Department of Media Communications Where Creativity and Technology Meet

/Programs in Digital Design Journalism Music Business Photography Radio-Television-Broadcasting

/Student Media KSYM Radio The Ranger/The Ranger Online For more information, contact: Marianne Odom, Chair Department of Media Communications Loftin Student Center 204 Department: 210-486-1765 Office: 210-486-1786 Fax: 210-486-1789 E-mail:

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, a division of the U.S. Department of Education, 66 percent of all undergraduates received some type of financial aid in the 2007-08 school year, including grants, student loans, veterans benefits and work-study jobs. While an iPod is a nice prize, it is a luxury item. Basic economics states luxury items are purchased once all other needs — food, shelter, bills, etc. — are satisfied. Education is not a luxury; in this day and age, it is almost a necessity for success. Awarding scholarships instead of iPods would help students toward furthering their education instead of just providing background noise. Student life’s Web page says its mission is “to foster student learning and student development.” Providing scholarships instead of iPods would be the first step, by hopefully, taking some of the mental strain away from paying for college. Every little bit helps, right?

The Ranger


Nov. 13, 2009 • 15

Fall of Berlin Wall as seen from Soviet Ukraine Courtesy

The unified German nation this year is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In Germany, festivities to honor this event have been planned throughout the year startGuest Viewpoint by Aivars ing back on May 7. Norenbergs To me personally, only one date drastically changed my worldview — Nov. 9, 1989. It was the date when the Berlin Wall fell. I was a senior sergeant in the Soviet Border Guard Forces of the former Soviet KGB. At that time, we were stationed in the beautiful city of Odessa in Ukraine (not Texas). After the evening guard duty and a hearty meal, I and some of my comrades were watching TV, and we could not believe what we saw on the nightly evening news: the Berliners with hammers and pick axes in hands were knocking down the Wall! Some of them were actually climbing on the wall and were waving to the people on the other side, West Berlin. The East German police this time around did not aim their guns at anyone. On the contrary, they didn’t do anything. They appeared unarmed and were simply watching what was going on. One of our officers walked in and said to us, “Comrades, the Wall is going down! Who knew it would happen in our lifetimes!” Soon the whole room was filled with other border guards — very good friends of mine. Everyone wanted to see this benchmark of history.

I asked, “If the wall is going down, will there be nothing to guard anymore? We should all go home!” Some shouted in agreement; some exclaimed that they wanted to get married, and this event would be a good cause to do it sooner. Usually, in the military, there was always an answer to every question one might ask. This time, many of my comrades were looking at me and each other in disbelief. Nobody said anything. Nobody knew what to say. My brave comrades in arms, who could assemble and disassemble the AK-47 assault rifle in 20 seconds; who made a decision in a split second; who would run into fire to rescue another soldier, on that evening, did not know what to make of the new reality. The fall of the Berlin Wall affected us not only collectively, but also personally. From the collective point of view, it is important to note that the whole doctrine of the Soviet border protection scheme was replaced. Many personnel stationed in western Soviet Union were moved to the eastern parts of the country to guard borders with China, and to the South, borders with Iran, Afghanistan and Turkey. On a personal level, everyone had to decide what the Wall’s fall meant. Some, who lived more in Soviet mainstream culture ­— Russians and non-Russians alike — became angry because they feared the end of the Soviet state, the only socio-political order they knew, might come rather quickly, but everything new they viewed with suspicion. Others, who came from the peripheries of

Aivars Norenbergs in Soviet Border Guard 1988-90 the Soviet empire, like myself, where ethnic minorities prevailed, held more nationalistic views on how things in the future should be done in the country. The common denominator was the following: The fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989, marked the new time during which to welcome social, political and economic changes in the Soviet state in order to undo the wrongs that the Communists during the regime’s 70-year rule committed politically, economically and ecologically toward Russians and non-Russians alike. Aivars Norenbergs has been a reserve learning resources specialist in the library since 2003. In the early 1990s, he studied English at the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base. In 1995, he emigrated from Latvia, and in 2000, became a U.S. citizen.

16 • Nov. 13, 2009

The Ranger Photos by Deborah Harrison

Participants in the Hunger Banquet, a benefit for the college food pantry, eat in groups separated by income levels.

Rich land, poor man Hunger not only a Third World problem Hunger Banquet illustrates health, nutrition, access issues of low-income worldwide.

$12,000 or more a year … the middle-income population make $987-$11,999 a year,” he said. As participants entered, they donated either $5 or five cans of food. Then they randomly By Zahra Farah picked a card from a basket indicating which class they would be representing. The wealthy t the first Hunger Banquet at this sat at a table placed in the center overlooking college, more than 60 students the poor audience members who had to sit on experienced what life is like for the floor. The middle-class audience members the wealthy, the middle class and sat at tables placed to the sides. people who barely get one meal a day. The banquet collected 126.7 pounds of food “Fifty percent of the world’s population and $259 in donations toward the Phi Theta makes $2.70 or less a day,” said theater arts Kappa Food Pantry, said service-learning coorfreshman Sebastian Carter and dinator Audrey Grams. emcee for the Hunger Banquet While the majority of audience Nov. 5 in the visual arts center. members waited for the presentaBanquet participants from this tion to begin, the wealthy audience college and Texas A&M Universitymembers were waited on immediSan Antonio were divided into ately, served fresh salads on china groups ranging from the wealthy, plates, cold glasses of iced tea or middle class and the poor. water, and bread. The poor audiGo online for an extended Carter told the audience the ence members sitting cross-legged version of this story. wealthy class makes up only 15 on the floor watched intently. percent of the world’s population, while the “I feel the inequality here,” said Debbie middle class compose 35 percent of the world’s Benavides, psychology junior at A&M-San population. Antonio. “It’s weird I didn’t get food at a food “The high-end population make up to banquet.”


A five-course meal, at top, was served to the participants representing the wealthy; beans, rice and tortillas were served to the middle class; and the poor had to line up for a bowl of rice. Carter told the audience that for 50 percent of the world’s population, it is not uncommon to walk 5 to 10 miles a day to get water. Many children never attend school, and tenant workers have to give 75 percent of their income to the land owner. “This is awkward,” said Rose Torres, sociology-psychology senior at A&M-San Antonio. “Being Hispanic, we normally had rice, beans and tortillas — not a five-course meal like this.” Jon Lugo, a premed sophomore at this college, said, “I think if you look at our plates, we are still ungrateful. Some of us are unhappy to get what we got.”

KSYM 90.1 will have its 12th annual Alternative to Hunger drive starting at 7 p.m. Nov. 21 at Casbeers, 1150 S. Alamo. Call 486-1374.

Nov. 13, 2009, issue of The Ranger  

The Ranger Nov. 13, 2009, print edition

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