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ranger Serving San Antonio College since 1926

An independent forum of free voices

Volume 88 Issue 18 • April 11, 2014

210-486-1773 • Single copies free




Parking garage fee removed

Special section on trustee candidates

Check out Pages 4 and 5 with stories and positions on district topics on each of the eight candidates running for sixyear terms for the board of trustees.

Fee would just produce profit, vice chancellor says. By Katherine Garcia

Visit for “NLC seeking accreditation for six years” and “Twenty candidates apply for president position”

district officials are backing down on implementing EDUC 1300, Learning Framework, as a requirement in the core curriculum and requiring e-book instructional materials in the fall. EDUC 1300 was scheduled to replace one of the humanities requirements in the core curriculum and be required for all degrees. “While it troubles me to write this … The controversy and divisiveness surrounding this issue have simply outweighed the necessity to push

Drivers will not be charged an extra fee to park in this college’s original or Tobin garage and the Northwest Vista garage in the fall, if the board of trustees approves a proposal at the regular monthly meeting Tuesday. The proposal was forwarded from the Audit, Budget and Finance Committee, which approved a minute order rescinding a $1 garage entry fee approved May 23, 2013. Diane Snyder, vice chancellor for finance and administration, presented an update on the $1 fee, which had never been put into effect. Snyder said the fee would have provided funding to break even on several projects, such as the debt service on the Northwest Vista parking garage and the capital revolving fund used to build the Tobin garage and maintain parking areas and parking garages and as well as provide $250,000 for scholarships. She said the fee would have started when all three garages were open, but she said she has updated calculations since then. The Northwest Vista garage opened in October, and the old garage at this college opened in January 2008. Tobin garage opened March 17. “Based on the current volumes of the campus access fees that are paid by all students, we can now break even without having to charge the dollar per use for our students

See BACKS DOWN, Page 6

See PARKING, Page 6

PENNY WISE Breaking leases costs money, hurts credit The Texas Apartment Association provides state-standard rules and regulations for renting. Along with the responsibilities of maintaining the home under the conditions of the rental contract, also known as a lease, it is a legal obligation to pay rent for a certain length of time, according to the TAA. “Students need to keep in mind that when they sign a lease, they need to read the contract,” David Mintz, communications director at TAA, said. Renters are forewarned of the potential for disagreements that might lead to the idea of breaking the lease. According to the renting basics web page, most disagreements between residents and rental housing owners or managers occur because of misunderstandings about obligations in the lease. There are very few circumstances in which you can break a lease without penalty. Only in special exceptions for military personnel or victims of domestic violence will the contract be nullified. If you want to buy a home, your job is transferring you, or you are getting a divorce, you must still abide by the lease’s length of residency. Unless you and the property owner agreed to some special provision when the lease was signed, you will still be responsible. Such charges include a reletting fee, which covers the property’s cost of getting the apartment leased again or the remainder of the rent through the end of the lease term. “Students have consequences. When trying to get another apartment, they look at prior rental terms and might decide not to allow you to rent,” Mintz said. “Plus it will make your credit bad.”

Brenda Carielo

For a direct link to, download a qr reader from the app store today

Seeing red Construction workers from Tremco Manufacturing work from a suspended swing gate March 31 to install metal panels to cover bricks on the east side of Moody. The red metal panels cost about $200,000. The project will take about four more weeks to complete. The panels are intended to make the exterior of the seven-story building look more modern. Daniel Carde

Chancellor backs down Faculty proceed “skeptically” but remain optimistic. Editor’s note: This is an updated story since it was posted online Tuesday.

By Bleah B. Patterson

Thursday Jo-Carol Fabkianke, vice chancellor for academic success said district received approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to revert to the 2013-14 core curriculum.

“We asked for reinstatement of our previous core,” Fabianke said. She explained the art and dance courses removed from the core will not be reinstated, but the second humanities requirement will be present and EDUC 1300 will not. “The decision to remove the art classes still stands. That was the Coordinating Board’s decision, they said those courses don’t fit the description of creative arts.” Chancellor Bruce Leslie sent an email at 10:40 a.m. Tuesday indicating

More than 300 students fill out e-book survey Student District Council discusses alternatives and survey with trustees. By Katherine Garcia

Two students from Student District Council recommended alternatives to the Academic Accountability and Success Committee Tuesday. The recommendations came from an email survey from Alamo Colleges District Student Council that was intended for the district’s 60,000 students and sought feedback on the instructional materials strategy. The council, composed of student government presidents from all five colleges, decided about a month ago to develop the survey to learn students’ opinions, which the group could relay to trustees.

More than 300 students — or 0.5 percent out of 60,000 students — filled out the survey, with some students answering more questions than others. Brittany Trub, political science sophomore, SGA vice president and Student District Council secretary, presented the results. The first question: “If voting were held today, would you vote for or vote against the proposed instructional materials strategy?” Two hundred and sixty four students voted against it, 24 voted for it and 23 were unsure. Question 2 — an openended question asking how the strategy would benefit the colleges — yielded various results. Some students

said the strategy is good because students would have their books before class starts, while others suggested the instructional materials be $20 or less to be beneficial. The lack of choices and how district plans to reimburse the students when a class is canceled for low enrollment were possible challenges the strategy could pose for colleges. Students ages 18-24 — or 52 percent of students — were the largest surveyed demographic and 66 percent of responses came from women and 34 percent from males. Seventy percent of responders were Hispanic, and 69 percent of responders attended college full-time. Fifty-five percent of responders attended Palo Alto. Question 9 found that 59

percent of students have an electronic device for reading e-books. Students with e-books had good and bad experiences with accessing these devices at school; some said they couldn’t access Canvas or Wi-Fi while others like using the devices for research. Seventy-three percent of students have Internet access outside of school, and 67 percent of students take face-to-face courses, 21 percent take online courses and 26 percent take both. Trub said it’s possible the 31 percent of students who do not have an electronic device for reading e-books are the same 27 percent of students who do not have Internet access outside of school. Sandra Piñeda, Palo Alto Student Government Association president, made

recommendations such as refining the process used to gauge students’ opinion guaranteeing equal participation from all colleges and having an adviser for district council. She said if the board considers moving forward with the instructional materials strategy, they should “begin it with the student voice in mind in the beginning and throughout this process and faculty as well.” Trub presented three potential solutions to the strategy: one being able to opt out of including the fee in students’ tuition if they are sure they can pay for the instructional materials themselves, but will be held accountable if they cannot pay. Another solution is having a down payment of 50

See SURVEY, Page 6

2 • April 11, 2014


Book festival

René Colato Laínez, author of “Señor Pancho Had a Rancho,” reads to an audience during the second annual San Antonio Book Festival Saturday hosted by the San Antonio Public Library Foundation at the Central Library. Melissa Perreault


Architecture sophomore Elizabeth Hall and construction sophomore Brett Schropp (not shown) present their plans for a playground Tuesday to the department of early childhood studies. Everything in the new playground will be made out of recycled earth-friendly materials. Addison Simmons

Red brick walkway Workers from Vaughn Construction stomp on an imprint Work out Kinesiology Chair Bill Richardson signals to kinesiology Professor Dawn Brooks to start her class pad to push brick patterns into the concrete April 4 in the courtyard connecting Gonzales, McCreless and Loftin. Daniel Carde

Wednesday during the grand opening of the Dean’s Backyard in the tennis court south of Lot 20. The area is named after Conrad Kreuger, dean of arts and sciences, who made a $20,000 donation for the equipment. Riley Stephens

Students who join The Ranger

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Issues on stands Mondays starting in fall Check for continuous updates.

Register for journalism classes Advising in Room 204 Fall 2014 of Loftin Student Center Journalism Program/Media Communications Department/San Antonio College


April 11, 2014 • 3

Leadership society debuts with 156 members New society offers more scholarship and networking opportunities for members.

MAY May 12

“Were planning on growing the society into more of a brotherhood where you have people you can rely on who have similar goals who want to achieve things beyond college,” Root said. Biology sophomore Kai Ybarbo said the appeal of joining the soci-

ety is that it offers him a chance to see his hard work pay off. “Belonging to the society is proof, other than my transcript of things I have accomplished,” Ybarbo said. For more information, call Bigelow at 210-486-0134.

7 a.m. 10 a.m. Noon 1 p.m. 3:50 p.m.

7 a.m.-9:30 a.m. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Noon-2:30 p.m. 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. 3:50 p.m.-6:20 p.m.

May 13

The National Society of Leadership and Success inaugurates officers President Barbara Josey, Vice President Michael Elliot, Secretary Karen Elliot, Treasurer Zakiyah Ball and team Coordinator Erica Makuk. Catharine Treviño



8 a.m. 10:50 a.m. 1 p.m. 1:40 p.m.

8 a.m.-10:30 a.m. 10:50 a.m.-1:20 p.m. 1 p.m.-4:10 p.m. 1:40 p.m.-4:10 p.m.

May 14

This college’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success welcomed 156 members and announced officers at an induction ceremony April 3 in the auditorium of McAllister Fine Arts Center. This is the first chapter at this college. Mark Bigelow, student life coordinator and chapter adviser, welcomed the inductees. The keynote speaker was Charles Kippen, president of the society, who engaged criminal justice freshman Madison Root to be part of his speech. She jumped up and stuck a card on a column in the auditorium. Her participation got her $20 from Kippen and a chance to dou-

ble her money if she completed another task. Kippen used this as an example to show the importance of determination, motivation, community support and specific goalsetting, and the importance of really wanting something. “We try to make sure the entire society experience is something that is not expected,” he said. “We want to make sure that we present leadership messages in a way that are engaging, that do give people something to think about differently than the way they may have perceived the same information before, and so I hope my speech was a reflection of that and can help people,” Kippen said. Membership has rewards, such as scholarships and letters of recommendation.


8 a.m. 11 a.m. 2 p.m. 2:25 p.m.

8 a.m.-10:30 p.m. 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. 2:25 p.m.-4:55 p.m.

6:30 a.m. 9:25 a.m. 12:15 p.m. 3:05 p.m.

6:30 a.m.-9 a.m. 9:25 a.m.-11:55 a.m. 12:15 p.m.-2:45 p.m. 3:05 p.m.-5:35 p.m.

9 a.m. Noon

9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Noon-2:30 p.m.

May 15

Evening and weekend exams are given during class hours. Chairpersons can schedule final exam dates not adhering to this schedule.

May 16

By Juan A. Rodriguez

Spring/Start 2/Flex 2 Final Exam Schedule




PTK denies eligibility on rule not in bylaws Only community college grades or work in five years is the dilemma. By R.T Gonzalez

Up to 10 students this semester were invited to join the Beta Nu Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, this college’s honor society, then rejected for not meeting the society’s gradepoint average requirements. Invitations sent by email to about 1,000 prospective members in February did not state eligibility requirements. What has not been made clear in fliers, emails, a PowerPoint presentation shown at orientation meetings, and the local chapter’s bylaws is that the 3.5 GPA required to join now is based on grades from all colleges attended in the past five years. Roger Stanley, the chapter’s lead adviser and program coordinator of chemistry, earth sciences and astronomy, said Beta Nu works with this


college’s dean of performance excellence, Dr. David Wood, to get a list of students who meet the requirement of a 3.5 grade-point average on work at Alamo Colleges. When students on the list apply, Stanley double-checks their eligibility by calculating GPAs on work done in the past 5 years at all colleges, not just at Alamo Colleges, he said. “They provide us a list of people who they think may be eligible,” he said. “We have to double-check.” The chapter bylaws on file with the office of student life at this college specify each candidate must have completed 12 college-level hours, must have a 3.5 GPA and maintain a 3.0 GPA as a member. “Grades for courses completed at other institutions will be considered when determining membership eligibility

providing the hours are accumulated at a community college and are verified,” according to the chapter bylaws. Although it is not in the bylaws at least one student was denied admission based on a GPA including grades at a senior institution. Journalism sophomore Ansley Lewis said she received an invitation including a code to Beta Nu in November and again Feb. 4, and when she applied this semester, she was denied on the basis of her GPA. She said she has a 3.9 GPA based on 58 semester hours at Northeast Lakeview and this college beginning in fall 2012. But she also transferred to Alamo Colleges 27 semester hours from the University of North Texas from fall 2008 through spring 2010. She received an email from Stanley dated March 19 in

Test the same way you study

By Brandon Borrego

If students manage to get hyped up on caffeine studying the night before a test, they better slurp up some coffee before they step into the classroom. Students should try to recapture the mental or physical state of all their senses while they study for a test because “learned information cannot be recalled or used unless the subject is restored to the state that existed when learning first occurred,” according to the medical dictionary at Psychology Chair Thomas E. Billimek said any drug or stimulant will alter the ability to learn and can result in dependence. So if a student were foolish enough to become inebriated while studying, the student would have to maintain that state to be successful when taking the test. “The more similar the circumstances are, the better the learning and the recall will be,” Billimek said. Stimulants that can affect your learning comprehension are coffee, energy drinks, wakefulness, and, of course, any sort of phar-

maceutical or mind-altering drug, for example, marijuana, cough syrup, or Advil. There are benefits to drinking caffeine filled drinks, particularly coffee. So being alert by drinking caffeine while studying requires a student to maintain that alertness by being caffeine-filled when testing. Chewing gum also has been a test subject of context-dependent memory. A study done by Elon University in 2009 summed up all of the previous studies practiced on bubble gum and concluded there is no correlation between gum and memory retention. The scent of cinnamon has stronger studies relating to state-dependent memory. Billimek agreed that studying in a classroom exactly like the one a student will test in is a stretch. But if a study area is quiet and well lit, similar to that of classroom test session, students have a better chance of remembering what they studied. State-dependent learning has not been used in development classes yet because the research has not been clear enough to pass through to the curriculum, he said.

which he wrote that her transfer hours must be included in the eligibility consideration. “Your cumulative GPA at all colleges attended is 2.76, but you need a cumulative GPA of 3.5 to join,” he wrote. After she questioned whether eligibility rules had changed, he wrote, “The list (generated by this college’s institutional research office) does not include the GPA from prior schools attended, which is required to be considered by the national headquarters in Jackson, Miss., for membership to be validated.” Phi Theta Kappa’s international constitution, however, does not require calculating grades from another institution but reads instead, “Grades for courses taken at another institution may be considered when determining membership eligibility.” Stanley told The Ranger he did not know the bylaws of the


campus chapter read only, “providing the hours are accumulated at a community college.” Stanley said previous advisers taught him to calculate the cumulative GPA based on grades made in the last five years at any college. English Professor Jane Focht-Hansen, adviser 20082013, said basing qualifications on five years of academic work sounded familiar to her but not including academic work at other colleges. Fine arts Chair Jeff Hunt, an adviser 1998-2006, said the chapter did not consider grades from previous colleges. Stanley said the bylaw is unclear, and a revision will be available in fall 2014, but the members must vote to decide if the five-year rule he is using now is necessary. He also said he follows the five-year rule because scholarships available to the society’s honors students ask for

a cumulative GPA for the past five years of coursework when he started as lead adviser in fall 2013. “To be eligible to join the society, (interested students) should be eligible for, then, the scholarships,” he said. The Guistwhite Scholarship has that requirement but the Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship doesn’t. Students who have been denied admittance because of previous coursework can look over transcripts with Stanley. “We could review the transcript,” Stanley said. Lewis believes the academic improvement she has made since entering the Alamo Colleges in 2012 should be taken into consideration. “I think you are making a huge mistake by not letting me and other students in a similar position into Beta Nu,” Lewis said. “Clearly, we’ve gotten better.”

Walking improves lives

By J’son Tillmon

Students already have the tools to increase energy, boost brainpower and feel better going through college. These tools are legs and feet. Walking more will improve your health and make you feel better. “At the end of the semester they say, they took it mostly to lose weight. Almost all of them say ‘I feel mentally and emotionally better,’” Instructor Dawn Brooks said Feb. 11 about her students in KINE 1182, Walking 1, and KINE 2182, Walking 2. Students, who decide to take a walking class, will do more than just walk. “We do a lot of abdominal work in there as well,” Brooks said. “So we strengthen the abdominals, the core, and the back. Get them ready to jump into some of these other classes like kickboxing, physical conditioning or spinning (indoor cycling). Even though this is a walking class, students quickly realize how serious it is. “They’re a little surprised because we end up by the end of the semester doing so much. We start at about a mile, but by the time the

semester ends, we’re doing five to six miles,” Brooks said. There are plenty of other ways to walk more without taking a class, like seeing the limited number of parking spots as a plus. Brooks said students should use the distant parking spaces and benefit from a walk. “With our parking situation, whenever I have trouble parking I just park on the other side of the park,” Brooks said. She recommended students follow the “take the stairs” signs posted all over campus. She said the walking trail on campus is blocked by construction, but students can walk at San Pedro Springs Park, which is 1.1 mile around the perimeter. Brooks said the walking class is a safe way for those who want to improve their fitness. “This is a good safe environment because nobody is way far ahead. Everybody is kind of in the same boat with the same fitness level. So they kind of push and help each other,” she said. For more information on walking classes, call Brooks at 210-486-1023.

Trustee Candidates

4 • April 11, 2014

District 4

District 4

Charter school CFO, 41

City public relations manager, 44 • 210-639-2120 • 210-410-6699

Albert Ray Herrera

By T. L. Hupfer

Albert Ray Herrera, District 4 candidate, says his motivation to run for the Alamo Colleges board of trustees comes from a desire to continue the service to the community begun by his brother, Arturo G. Herrera, who died during his 1993-96 term in the District 4 seat. Herrera believes he is qualified for the position because he has been “heavily involved in school business” since he was 21. He has been the CFO of Lighthouse Charter School for 10 years. Although he doesn’t have any college degrees, he has had licenses in real estate and certification for pest control, which he believes show he is well-rounded. Herrera attended Palo Alto College and took certificate training at this college, and his wife attended St. Philip’s College and this college. He keeps up with district issues through family members who attend Alamo Colleges as well as the district website and other Internet sources. Herrera said he is familiar with the controversy of adding EDUC 1300, Learning Framework, as a core curriculum requirement and the proposal to move toward online instructional materials. Herrera said he was happy Chancellor Bruce Leslie postponed the immediate implementation of both this week. He believes handling issues of concern

to faculty and students is “what we’re there for,” referring to the nine-member board of trustees. As to the district’s goal of a faculty composed of 50 percent adjuncts, Herrera said he wants to hear the chancellor’s reasoning for working toward that ratio. He said the goal might be “saving money, but at what expense?” He said he wonders if replacing full-time faculty with adjuncts will be more of a disservice to students or whether students will be learning as much. Herrera said he would want more research to weigh the cost of saving versus the ultimate goal to support students. He agrees with the standardization across the colleges of degrees, learning outcomes, catalog descriptions and textbooks because that helps students, he said. For example, he said students would not have to purchase new textbooks if they switch colleges. Herrera also believes cuts in student services, such as tutoring labs, need to be justified. The district needs to keep focus on the classrooms and on the students, he said. Herrera wasn’t familiar with the student trustee position, which will begin in May, but he believes it is a good idea to have a student’s perspective to give trustees additional information when making decisions. “We sometimes tend to be removed from the room. If the student can bring that back, it’s a good idea.”

Lorraine Pulido

By Neven Jones

Public relations professional Lorraine Pulido’s first exposure to the Alamo Colleges was taking dual credit classes at Palo Alto College while she attended Harlandale High School. After earning an advanced degree, she returned to Palo Alto College to take additional courses such as calculus and speech for her own enrichment. Pulido has a Ph.D. in business and leadership studies from Our Lady of the Lake University. Pulido was encouraged to run for the Alamo Colleges board by Rey Saldaña, City Councilman in District 4. She is a public relations manager for the city of San Antonio. To stay informed on issues, Pulido reads meeting minutes, The Ranger and the San Antonio Express-News and talks to everyone from students to presidents. Pulido has been an adjunct at Our Lady of the Lake University, University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas A&M University-San Antonio and Palo Alto College since 2000. Since the majority of her students at UTSA and TAMU-SA come from the Alamo Colleges, she said she can relate to them as a former Palo Alto student and a university graduate. “I have been working with all kinds of administrators, faculty members and students for 14 years at the universities and at one community college.

“There is no other candidate right now that can claim that — that richness and depth and diversity of experience.” Pulido has served on the board of SAYsi, a year-round arts program for middle and high school students. She also volunteers for the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists as chair of the scholarship gala and a member of the advertising committee. Pulido is familiar with the concerns about EDUC 1300, Learning Framework, but since she was not part of the research she would not comment on it. “Something people could count on if I’m elected is that I will make my decisions in an informed manner. I will do due diligence and research thoroughly,” Pulido said. Ultimately, she will look at how issues will impact student success. That is the “litmus test to use with every single decision,” she said. Pulido is not sure if she agrees with the move to standardize the Alamo Colleges. As an adjunct, she re-evaluates the textbook she uses each semester for the public relations class she teaches because the field is always changing. “One book can be outdated within a year all because of the world that we are in right now.” Pulido likes the idea of having a student trustee. “I would welcome the opportunity, if the state allowed it, for the student to have a vote,” she said. “It would give a strong voice to the students.”

District 4

District 8

COPS community organizer, 57

Retired Air Force/civil service, 73

210-218-5136 • 210-496-5857

Enedina Kikuyu

By Katherine Garcia

Enedina Kikuyu, a community organizer for Communities Organized for Public Service, first heard of the instructional materials issue from her daughter, Francisca Exon, a teaching sophomore at Palo Alto College. Kikuyu works as a community organizer and also has volunteered in the political campaigns of Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and Precinct 4 Commissioner Tommy Adkisson. She said her daughter asked her how she felt about the e-book policy and how students would sell their books back. “Alamo Community College really is the first step that the poorest of the poor get their foot in the door to go to college, and if they’re adding these expenses to their bill, it’s going to make college less affordable,” she said. “That’s why I got involved; we’re making it impossible for these students — for all students — to afford a basic need.” Kikuyu visited Palo Alto cafeteria and talked to students. Some students walked up to her and asked if she’d represent them in this campaign. “I’m not only serving them (the students), I’m serving my community,” she said. She said she does not believe the district should have at least 50 percent of faculty teaching as adjuncts, the goal of Chancellor Bruce Leslie. She said teachers should be able to teach full time if they want to. She said instead of building a new administration complex, more buildings that serve more students are needed. She referred to plans

to build a consolidated administration complex at Playland Park in a public-private venture. She said the budget cuts to the libraries at district colleges do not give students adequate time to access books and materials. “If we are a college, we should be available to them,” she said, adding students should have access to the library on Saturdays and Sundays. Palo Alto’s library is closed on Saturday, Northwest Vista’s library is open from 8:30 a.m.2:30 p.m., Northeast Lakeview’s library is open 9 a.m.-1 p.m., St. Philip’s library is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and this college’s library is open 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. All libraries are closed on Sundays. On the board’s plan to choose a nonvoting student trustee from nominees from each of the colleges, Kikuyu said a student trustee should be allowed to vote as a member of the board, and students should select the student trustee. “How can you have someone as a member of the board and their vote doesn’t count?” she said, and that students should be the ones to pick a student trustee. She said this is the first step for college students to be able to freely talk to elected officials and say “listen to us.” Kikuyu said she would like to rotate biweekly meetings with students at all the colleges and inform them of what the board will be voting on. She also challenges board members to meet with their district’s constituents — community members and students — often. “I want to make them aware of how the ACCD is taking shape,” she said.

Gary Beitzel

By Katherine Garcia

District 8 incumbent Gary Beitzel said he decided to run for re-election after two terms because the Alamo Colleges are doing some amazing things. He did not attend a community college, but he assisted with accreditation of the Community College of the Air Force. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Colorado in management services and organizational behavior. “There’s still more work to be done and I want to be around to complete progress, such as student success and zero-cost textbooks,” he said. He said e-books or open-source materials should be considered because students are going to need technology in the classroom and their future jobs. He said the cost of books could be reduced through the use of standardized e-books and open-source materials. “I also believe ‘7 Habits’ is important for graduates to have so they can be effective,” he said. He said Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” would help students manage time, study more effectively and be more successful in college and outside of college. He said building an administration complex is a good idea because administrators would have a central facility and because it will be not be funded publicly.

The district is seeking bids to build an administrative facility at Playland Park as a public-private venture. “It’s very inefficient having people scattered all over,” he said. Beitzel said he supports standardization of instructional materials and student learning outcomes because it’s not fair if a class from this college is accepted for transfer instead of a class from another college. A student trustee’s participation in board meetings and conferences will help the person find out what methods other schools are using regarding issues such as instructional materials. He said the student trustee will be able to “see both sides of the story and communicate those issues better than a trustee.” Beitzel said the student trustee will be a “good help in identifying student concerns to the board.” He said he gets information on important issues from board meetings, special retreats, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the American Association of Community College Trustees. He also gets information directly from the colleges and the citizens-to-be-heard portion of the board meetings. Beitzel said not all charges Chancellor Bruce Leslie is given by the board are completed, but he is pleased with the chancellor’s performance. “He’s doing what we (the board) ask of him,” Beitzel said.

Trustee Candidates

April 11, 2014 • 5

District 9

District 9

Process engineer, 60

Attorney, 76 • • 210-363-2100 • 210-375-2555

Felix M. Grieder

By Adriana Ruiz

Felix M. Grieder is running for the District 9 board of trustees position at the encouragement of colleagues because he believes in serving the community. Grieder said although he never attended a community college, one of his sons attended Northeast Lakeview College for two years. He has a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master’s degree in government from Southern Illinois University and a master’s in national security policy from he U.S. Naval Academy. Grieder is a former director of USO San Antonio. “I was excited when I was approached about running for this position,” Grieder said. Grieder is familiar with issues that concern students such as adding EDUC 1300, Learning Framework, to the college core and the instructional materials strategy for standardizing textbooks in electronic form. Grieder said it is important to keep the students’ first and to re-evaluate the costs for implementing a new course such as EDUC 1300. “The cost seems to be very high, and I don’t know whether it is the best use of our students’ time. Also it appears to me that something like that could be done as part of an orientation or a trial system for a short period of time and would not require a semester-long course,” Grieder said. Grieder believes students should have

access to technology, but implementing the instructional materials proposal should also be re-evaluated. “I think it’s good to have that in certain course work and certainly we want our students to be advanced in technology and computer software,” Grieder said. “We should probably re-evaluate which courses would benefit from that and which courses would not.” Textbooks should be evaluated on a caseby-case basis, he said. Grieder said it is important to prioritize student services such as library services, equipment access and access to courses students need to be successful. He also wants to review administrative salaries. “Administrative salaries should be reviewed, and I would say that I am not familiar with the details of where these salaries have gone, but certainly they should be reviewed and subject to evaluation.” In regard to adding a student trustee, Grieder said the position is a good idea and the nine-member board should take into consideration what the nonvoting student trustee has to say. “It’s a good thing as long as the student, he or she, is given a voice and allowed to present his or her opinions and insights. “All the trustees and board should listen with an open mind, open ears and hear what the student has to say and consider that in the decision-making,” Greider said.

James Rindfuss

By Bleah B. Patterson

Incumbent James Rindfuss, is running for a fourth six-year term in District 9 and is excited about the newest student success initiatives, EDUC 1300, Learning Framework, and the instructional materials policy leading to standardized e-books. EDUC 1300 was a change that was approved to take the place of a humanities core in the fall. The instructional materials policy is an attempt to standardize textbooks across the five colleges using e-books as the first step to eventually using free open-source materials. Both initiatives have been put on the district back burner until the administration can better communicate with faculty and students on how to best implement the initiatives. Rindfuss said student development and textbooks are two areas, “we as trustees recognized from various conferences we attended that students are deficient in.” “Students need skills before they start,” he said. In reference to instructional materials, Rindfuss said, “That’s one of my favorites.” “We started thinking about that over 10 years ago. I discovered a school that offered free open-source materials and wanted our students to reap the same benefits.” Rindfuss said he didn’t want to try to implement it cold turkey, cutting out faculty and heading straight for open source materials. “So, instead we adopted policy to best include faculty, allowing faculty to choose a

textbook because we aren’t in the habit of telling faculty they’re wrong. We left it openended. I can’t imagine any member not appreciating that. I would think our students would be elated.” Rindfuss joined the board in 1996 and says he has a great deal of personal insight into the needs of students and faculty. His first wife was a math professor at this college. His second wife, Marie, has been the president of two community college systems. “Because of that, I think I have an insider grasp on what’s going on in the colleges,” he said. Rindfuss also said he came from a poor background and didn’t have the grades to qualify for scholarships when he decided to go to college. “We didn’t have the opportunities back then students do now,” he said in reference to Pell grants and other forms of financial aid. “I had to work part time during the semesters and work all summer to save up for the fall and spring semester.” All of these things, Rindfuss said, make him aware of the struggles students face and what they need to succeed. Rindfuss said he is proud to work with someone like Chancellor Bruce Leslie. “I rate him as the best in the nation. I don’t think you’ll find another chancellor recognized as highly. He’s the best chancellor you could buy. Our greatest problem is people who don’t like change. But without change, we go out of business. He’s a man willing to change things.”

District 8

District 8

Civil engineer, 44

Eighth-grade math teacher, 34 • 210-499-0526

Facebook • • 210-872-8305

Steve Gonzales

By Carlos Ferrand

Steve Gonzales, civil engineer and candidate for District 8, reads the newspaper on his iPad everyday and loves it, but he doesn’t think he can study that way. Gonzales explained the reasons he doesn’t agree with the district’s stance on instructional materials, which may eventually replace textbooks with e-books and online material and standardize materials across the district’s five colleges. Some students will be able to use e-readers to study, but not every student can study that way, Gonzales said. “Some students could, but there is no way that you can say all could, and that is essential what is happening,” he said. Another issue Gonzales addressed was purchasing and finding course materials. “It’s a bad way to go about doing textbooks and providing course materials,” he said. Gonzales sees a value in students finding course materials on their own. Having options on instructional materials can affect price and accessibility. To prevent paying too much for his expensive engineering books, Gonzales said he had to get creative. “I was a student once, and I borrowed books from classmates that had taken it before me,” he said. “The choices are being taken out of a student’s hand. “Requiring a fee that is associated with your tuition structure and not being able to go out

and research how to get your course materials is limiting the student,” he said. On the issue of EDUC 1300, Learning Framework, Gonzales said he understands the need for some type of learning framework, but he does not believe it should be part of the core curriculum. “I like the idea of having some sort of learning framework where students get a real understanding of what they are up against for either two years of school, or four years of school or vocational school,” Gonzales said. “I don’t think it needs to be a whole course,” he continued. “I don’t like for people to waste time and effort,” he said. Gonzales said a seminar or an orientation would be sufficient rather than requiring students to enroll in a three-hour course that lasts a semester. The growing bureaucracy of this district’s is another area Gonzales believes needs attention. He said there should be a stronger focus on student services rather than a larger administrative staff. Gonzales questioned the impact on the budget of adding higher salaried administrators instead of tutors to work in student labs. “We are here to serve the student,” he said. If elected, Gonzales has no problem making his cell phone number available for any of his constituents to reach him. “I would be available anytime, day or night,” he said.

William Clint Kingsbery

By Cassandra M. Rodriguez

William Clint Kingsbery is running for District 8 because he wants his 3 year-old son to have the same education opportunities he had in college. The eighth-grade math teacher at Rudder Middle School graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a degree in math. A friend encouraged him to research the District 8 position the day before filing, and he learned about the issues facing the district. “I bring a faculty and student perspective to the table, and I am very logical,” Kingsbery said. Kingsbery does not agree that students should be forced to use e-books whose cost is included in tuition, referring to the proposal of having a single set of instructional materials for courses across the district. He believes standardizing the district colleges defeats what college is all about because professors teach differently and students learn differently, he said. “You are going to see a loss of imagination in the curriculum as a whole,” he said. He said he doesn’t understand why the EDUC 1300, Learning Framework, course is better than the college’s student development courses. Kingsbery also thinks the district administration is not spending money wisely when it comes to student services. “To cut student services seems counterproductive,” he said.

He doesn’t understand why cuts are being made to resources students can use to better their education. He does not see the value in a nonvoting student trustee, which will be added to the board in May. “From my understanding, the student trustee is supposed to represent all colleges. Why would they only have one student represent five different schools and have no voice or vote?” he asked. “If they have no vote, what is the point?” “I would like to be someone who can go to campuses and hear what students and faculty have to say,” he said, noting current trustees do not do this regularly. Kingsbery does not rate Chancellor Bruce Leslie highly because he believes most of the problems facing the district have occurred since he has been at the helm. “I don’t feel he has the right vision in mind for the schools,” he said, believing Leslie wants to make the district into a vocational and online school. “Leslie has proved that he is disconnected with what the schools want and need,” he said. “It is important that we recognize that each school has its own identity, and we should cherish it.” Kingsbery said he decided to get involved because the colleges are a “chance to make something better of yourself.” “If we lose that and turn it into something different, we are no longer a stepping stone,” he said.

News IN THEORY Brief history of district decision-making

6 • April 11, 2014

Fall 2011 – Core change replaces sophomore literature with Humanities (41), allowing a broader range of classes from foreign language to culture and philosophy. Fall 2012 – Core change removes one-hour lab from sciences and two hours of kinesiology credit.

Architecture freshman Jesse Gutierrez sketches Scobee Planetarium Oct. 2002 west of Nail Technical Center. File

Get your head in the stars Planetariums are used for shows projected onto a dome shaped theater. A planetarium is a theater primarily built for presenting educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and the night sky. One of its most prominent features is a large dome-shaped projection screen, where scenes of stars, planets, or other objects can move and appear realistically. The domes of the planetariums range from three to 35 meters in diameter and can hold up to 500 people. Many of these are used by schools with strong science programs. “We go to the planetarium two times a semester,” Alfred Alaniz, astronomy professor, said. “There we can compress an entire year of data into minutes.” This lets students watch a full season of the sky in minutes. He referred to this college’s Scobee Planetarium, which has been closed since March 2012 for remodeling. It is expected to reopen in the middle of May as part of Scobee Education Center, which also will include the Challenger Center. Scobee planetarium offered public showings on Fridays before remodeling. The date the shows will begin again is still being decided. “After the remolding we will have one of the newest planetariums in Texas,” Alaniz said. Other uses for the planetariums are “compressing astronomical phenomena, going to other moons and other planets, or any location on earth,” Alaniz said. The primitive planetarium device is attributed to scientist and mathematician Archimedes recovered in the early 1900s. This was the first device that could predict the movements of the sun and the moon. Planetariums are also used for entertainment purposes, which include laser shows accompanied by music. The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami starts the night with a star show, telescope observation in the observatory followed by laser music shows with a variety of artists. For more information on planetariums, visit

Mandi Flores

April 2013 — Audit, Budget and Finance Committee approves forwarding FranklinCovey contract to full board for training, licensing and instructional materials estimated at $689,539. August 2013 — Effective date for FranklinCovey contract. Training for student development faculty begins.

April 2— Board approves two-phase, $8 million retirement incentive for district employees. Those who submit election by May 31 and retire by Aug 31 will receive a 75 percent of annual pay bonus. Those who submit election by Jan. 4 and retire by July 28 will receive a 50 percent of annual pay bonus.

September/October — Student Academic Success Council tasked with designing SLOs for a hypothetical course. During the process, FranklinCovey consultants available to help. Members were not told it was for fall implementation.

April 18, 2011 — Employees begin lining up before 4 a.m. for a 7 a.m. human resources opening to submit election forms. 123 submit forms by 11 a.m.

Early December — The PVC — five college presidents and six vice chancellors —votes on implementing EDUC 1300. Though the vote count is confidential, emails confirm the presidents voted against the course but were outvoted.

Oct. 18, 2011 — Math Professor Gerald Busald, president of the Alamo Colleges Faculty Legal Association Inc., questions the board’s motive, morality and intent in requiring a gag order he characterized as illegal in the contract for the retirement incentive. Board counsel insists on its legality and the clause remains. November 2012 — District explores ways to embed materials based on Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and “Principled Leadership.” October 5, 2011 — Board approves retirement package for college presidents, four of whom are eligible to retire. Election must be submitted by Feb. 31, 2013. Feb. 2012 — Dr. Anna “Cha” Guzman of Palo Alto submits her intent to retire. March 2013 — Dr. Eric Reno of Northeast Lakeview announces retirement. In six years, he has been unable to achieve accreditation for the district’s fifth college, which continues to operate under the San Antonio College accreditation.

Mid-December — District curriculum Coordinator Christa Emig, at Leslie’s instruction, sends the core change request to THECB, asking that EDUC 1300 replace one of two humanities courses. Jan. 14 — Dr. Robert Zeigler of this college announces at spring convocation his intent to retire. Jan. 27 — Emig informs Across Colleges Curriculum Committee of EDUC 1300, SLOs and the plan to implement in fall core. ACCD members ask to vote. According to Feb. 8 email Emig sent Leslie, she told them she didn’t see what good it would do as the PVC had already approved. January 29 — Dr. Jaqueline Claunch delivers faculty concerns to Leslie in morning and her retirement announcement to trustees that evening. Jan. 29 — Northwest Vista petitions THECB to reject the core change request and complains faculty was left out of process in violation of SACS/COC rules, and THECB,

BACKS DOWN from Page 1 ahead at this time,” Leslie wrote. The instructional materials policy required replacing traditional textbooks with e-books purchased from the district with tuition in 18 courses as a pilot for the fall. Materials later would be standardized. The email was sent to the ACES accounts of all students and faculty. This decision came after months of protest and petition by students, letters sent from the Faculty Senates, and a formal investigation of the process used to implement EDUC 1300 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Leslie said he heard the students and decided taking a step back was the right choice. Jo-Carol Fabianke, vice chancellor for academic success, echoed him saying,

PARKING from Page 1 and employees,” she explained. The district instituted a campus access fee of $50 per year in fall 2012, which is charged to all students. According to the minute order, free parking means the $1.5 to $2 million cost to add kiosks to the three garages would be eliminated, and the $250,000 in student scholarships, maintenance and debt service can be funded without the additional revenue. The arms the old garage, installed in January, will not be removed, said John Strybos, associate vice chancellor of facilities. In an phone interview Thursday, Snyder

this letter was signed by 131, including Claunch and Faculty Senate. Feb. 5 — Leslie responds with an 11-page letter explaining the importance of EDUC 1300, offering faculty a chance to embrace changes, and chiding faculty for not adhering to his plan for synergy. Feb. 6 — Dr. Rex Peebles from THECB says he approved the core change “a couple of weeks ago.” Feb. 6 — THECB says official approval will be announced sometime in March. Feb. 10 — In response, the Super Senate requests Leslie rescind the change to the core. Leslie does not respond, so Super Senate forwards letter to THECB. March 4 — Faculty Legal Association files a Texas Open Records request for all correspondence, meeting notes or minutes, and financial or creative agreements between the district, FranklinCovey Co. and Pearson Publishing. March 5 — THECB approves EDUC 1300 to replace one humanities course in core curriculum. March 5 — Jo-Carol Fabianke meets with NVC Faculty Senate, with EDUC 1300 on the agenda, but has to leave early and doesn’t speak about it. March 7 — Students protest outside Leslie’s meeting with Northwest Vista faculty. March 7 — St. Philip’s receives notice of informal inquiry concerning EDUC 1300’s course content and complaints about the process for the change to core curriculum. College collects requested materials and president, Dr. Adena Loston, forwards letter to chancellor who prepares response. March 11 — Claunch receives notice of formal investigation by SACS/COC regarding EDUC 1300 course content and process

“We felt we needed to take more time before implementing anything. We plan to meet with students and faculty to clarify what they really need. We agreed to go back to the core we had this year and use it next year.” Humanities Professor Craig Coroneos of Northwest Vista College, said faculty there are “skeptically taking stock of the current situation,” and “given the circumstances it is in the best interest of the students.” Coroneos said the way everything turned out is inspiring to him. “All the groups who should have been involved did ultimately have a voice. A lot of people thought these were done deals, but we’re seeing that they weren’t. This is not a loss for Leslie or a win for faculty; democracy won.” “Obviously,” Fabianke said, “we’ve listened to students and heard what they said.”

gave another reason for the security measures to stay in the garages. She said a possible future measure would involve students, faculty and staff to present their ACCD ID at the garage entrance to deter outsiders from using the garage. According to minute orders from a May 14, 2013, Building, Grounds and Sites Selection Committee, Kratos Public Safety and Security Solutions Inc. was awarded $823,381 for the purchase of “access control components” for the old garage, $480,755 for the Tobin garage and $496,231 for the Northwest Vista garage. The full board meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Killen Center, 201 W. Sheridan.

used to implement it. March 20 — Palo Alto students demand answers and complain the chancellor is not providing any in a town hall meeting to discuss plans for EDUC 1300, district selling instructional materials to students and billing with tuition, standardization of texts for all courses across the district and a switch to e-textbooks. March 20 — Zeigler receives email notice of informal inquiry by SACS/COC and a letter announcing a formal investigation. President says the letter was addressed to him so he will prepare a response. March 21 — Confirmation Northeast Lakeview, Palo Alto and St. Philip’s also receive formal notices of investigation. March 25 — Board approves retirement incentive of 50 percent of base salary if election submitted by June 1 and retirement is by Aug. 31 or election submitted by July 1 and retirement is Jan. 9. Estimate $6.5 million will extend to about 200 of 300 eligible. This college employs about 150 of the eligible. April 2 — Confirmation FranklinCovey will customize materials for EDUC 1300. April 3 — Colleges prepare recommendations to chancellor for implementation of EDUC 1300 to show SACS/COC the autonomy of the colleges. Preparation for implementation of core change stalls. April 4 — Rick Casey of KLRN’s “Texas Week” interviews Librarian Celita DeArmond, president of this college’s chapter of American Association of University Professors, and humanities Professor Craig Coroneos of Northwest Vista about continuing controversy. 10:40 a.m. April 8 — Leslie announces via email district is taking a step back and not insisting on implementing EDUC 1300 or instructional materials in the fall.

SURVEY from Page 1 percent of the total cost of the book that would be paid at the time of registration was also suggested. If a student purchases the book somewhere else and then shows proof of purchase on the first day of class, the 50 percent could be refunded. Without the down payment, they will pay 100 percent at registration. A third method puts a hold on a student’s account if they do not have instructional materials the first day. True requested student dialogue to be improved between the board and students and that the board consider the three options. “As a leader, if you move forward but with half of your team behind, are you really moving forward or are you going to have to catch up with everyone?” asked Sandra Piñeda, Palo Alto Student Government Association president. Prior to the survey presentation, the board discussed the chancellor’s decision to halt progress on the instructional materials strategy and EDUC 1300, Learning

Framework, for now. Piñeda said an unidentified technical difficulty occurred in sending out the email, resulting in not all students receiving it. She said she had the PAC public relations office resend the email to all PAC students, which is also why PAC had the majority of responses to the survey. Piñeda told trustees the survey could have been sent out earlier, and suggested a longer response period for the next survey. She said after the meeting, PAC’s student government collected questions for the surveys more than a month ago. Piñeda said Student District Council came up with recommendations April 2 to not only present the problems, but solutions also. After the meeting Chancellor Bruce Leslie said despite sending a letter to trustees a week ago stating students were persuaded by faculty to oppose the instructional materials strategy, he listened to the student’s needs and deciding to stop progress on the strategy and EDUC 1300.


April 11, 2014 • 7

Center brings editor of compilation

Sci-fi takes over Northwest Vista

By Pam Paz

By Adriana Ruiz

“Esperanza” is the Spanish word for hope. The mission of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, 922 San Pedro Ave., just south of this college, is to “dream of a world where everyone has civil rights and economic justice, where the environment is cared for, where cultures are honored and communities are safe,” according to the center’s website. The center will host “Book Reading and Platica: ‘Until Rulers Obey: Voices from Latin American Social Movements’” with Clifton Ross, who co-edited the compilation, at 7 p.m. today. This reading is free and open to the public. The book was released in January by PM Press and was edited by Marcy Rein. It is a collection of interviews and stories from South and Central American rural and urban poor, youth, women and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning communities. The center’s program coordinator, Itza Carbajal, said the book sheds light on 20th century social movements in South and Central America. Carbajal said Ross contacted the center a few months ago because he is doing a cross country book tour through Austin and asked if he could stop by. The center was founded in San Antonio in 1985 as a social justice organization that drew attention to the conflicts in Central America. As a result, community members began organizing and speaking out against this country’s involvement in Latin America. Since then, the center has grown into an organization that promotes cultural arts and social justice. “Basically, what that means is that we’re

an art performance space and present different mediums of art, from art exhibits, book readings, concerts and many other different things,” Carbajal said. “We incorporate culture as the root of our programming versus art for aesthetic reasons.” The center focuses on minority groups. “Our personal roots are tied to Latino heritage, but we incorporate African-American, African-Caribbean, Arabic, Arabic-American and indigenous peoples,” Carbajal said. La Voz de Esperanza is the center’s monthly news journal. It includes stories, news, poetry and artwork submitted by the community. The journal can be picked up at the center or found at www.esperanzacenter. org. The events hosted at the center are listed in this publication. On April 2, a sold-out concert with more than 300 attendees featured Las Cafeteras, a Los Angeles based Afro-Mexican fusion group. On April 18, the exhibit “Frack-Aso” will open. This exhibit will present visual arts, installations, literary arts and performance arts focused on the fracking of Eagle Ford Shale. The Eagle Ford Shale is a gas and oilproducing site in South Texas. “We have a long history of different artists coming in, and each event varies because they’re so diverse,” Carbajal said. Every November, the center has the Mercado de Paz, or Peace Market as an alternative to retail holiday shopping. The 24th annual Peace Market brought more than 10,000 people, Carbajal said. The market is a family-friendly event with hundreds of vendors, handmade gifts, art, food, and music For more information about the center, visit

Do you enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero, comic book villain or extraterrestrial being or reading fantasy and science fiction? The Geek Week committee at Northwest Vista College will host a series of science fiction activities Monday-Thursday. Amanda Gorrell, Northwest Vista College librarian and Geek Week committee member, said Geek Week started as a simple anime and manga book section at the Redbud Learning Center. Gorrell said the idea of starting Geek Week came about when students and faculty members mentioned they really enjoyed the sci-fi book display but would like to participate in other sci-fi themed activities like card games, costume contests and board games. “The response from students was very positive,” Gorrell said. She said last year, the Geek Week committee came up with the idea of an anthology contest in which students would submit written work in Klingon, a mythical language spoken by characters of the popular science fiction television show “Star Trek.” Gorrell said writing in Klingon might have been difficult because they did not receive many entries.

This year the committee changed the rules of the anthology contest and asked students to submit written work or artwork centered on science fiction. Students who submitted entries have an opportunity to be published in a book that will feature other student art and written entries, Gorrell said. The contest is closed, but students can enjoy a week of activities. For more information call Gorrell at 210-486-4513. Monday Contest: Anthology contest winners announced 11:30 a.m.- noon in Cypress.

Franchesca Ruiz

Contest: Science fiction themed costume contest 12:30 p.m.- 1 p.m. in Cypress.

Tuesday Event: Game truck, student groups and vendors selling goods 9 a.m-2 p.m. on lawn of Cypress. Wednesday Event: Arcade games 9 a.m- 2 p.m. at Lago Vista of Cypress. Sale: Student groups and vendors 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. on lawn of Cypress. Thursday Event: Low-tech game room, board games and information from San Antonio Public Library, Bibliotech and the NVC library 10 a.m- 2 p.m. in Lago Vista of Cypress.


8 •

Not just the same old farm and dance By M.J. Callahan


Vertical farmer Mitch Hagney of Local Sprout, an entrepreneurial urban farming startup, harvests Monday from the vertical kale field at his farm in a food-grade railroad container in a warehouse in downtown San Antonio. He delivers within one hour after harvest. Hagney currently uses 1 percent of the water other farms require without pesticides and no fertilizer runoff into ground water. Paula Christine Schuler

tuce and four tomato plants a month,” Shawn Kurth of Texas Hydroponics and Organics said April 3. “When I was growing in my backyard last year in this rundown old college house, I had a small greenhouse with a deep water culture system, set in 32 lettuce plants and then didn’t check on them for two weeks, I came back and they just popped up, so it’s not very difficult to do at all.” Hagney said a hydroponic system without a greenhouse could be built for about $120, using a planting container that floats in a tank of water with a little bit of the nutrient solution. Leafy plants are the most common to grow hydroponically. Hagney said it’s important to make sure the plants get the right amount of nutrients and the PH of the water is not so acidic it damages root chemistry. A indoor hydroponic garden consists of a 2-foot-by-4foot tray; 45 liters of grow rocks for the plant to root in but not cling to; a quart of Biothrive, a nutrient solution that feeds the plants — only 2 teaspoons are needed for every gallon for two to three weeks — a reservoir; a pump to circulate the water; a air pump and a mini sunburst bulb to supplement available light if necessary. For aquaponics, an air stone cylinder to filter the water for fish is required. At Texas Hydroponics and Organics, this collection costs $316.83, all of which is reusable, Kurth said. Chemistry becomes more interesting once you can use it, Hagney said. “I think if you give kids a problem, and they can solve it with chemistry, they are going to learn it a lot faster than just

giving it to them in the abstract,” Hagney said. He said he plans on developing an urban farming course starting this summer for the nonprofit Venturelab, a handson academy focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship in youth through programs in science, technology, math, art and engineering, and entrepreneurship combined with mentorships in the community. “If I wanted, I could grow hydroponic lemon trees, but I would make terrible margins and get killed in the market. Gardening and farming is all a question of scale,” Hagney said. Aeroponics is another alternative growing technique that uses only an air or misting environment instead of soil or water. Hagney said that system is not suited to his operation. “I just came to agriculture because I thought resource scarcity problems were important. I feel like I am making a difference by improving agriculture by using less resources,” Hagney said. “Growing things that are tasty and beautiful is fulfilling, and kids experience this the same way without that ideology. Anything that kids can build or make themselves all of a sudden becomes much more appreciable,” Hagney said. Hagney said he thinks of farming as magic. “It does seem like magic; you put a seed in the ground and food pops up. “All it takes is dirt, light and water.”

Alexandra Nelipa

t’s easier than you think to produce fresh vegetables at home. When he was in college, Mitch Hagney, 22, looked for a way to help the most people. In agriculture, using non-traditional farming, he found he could help people more than in politics, his original interest. Hagney graduated from Trinity University in May 2013 with two bachelor’s degrees, communication and international environmental studies, Originally from New Hampshire, Hagney enrolled in Trinity on a debate scholarship, intending to go into politics. Then he found his passion in sustainable resources. “I didn’t grow a plant till I was in college,” Hagney said. He’s the CEO of Local Sprout, an urban vertical hydroponic farm in San Antonio. Designing a growing space that stacks plants reduces the need for square footage and creates a large return in a small space, he said. Hagney’s whole operation includes a farming area in a food-grade shipping container, office, compost and a walk-in cooler that he has yet to use. Housed in an old warehouse in downtown San Antonio, his entire company uses only about 1,000 square feet. Hagney and his partner, Pat Condon, co-founder of Rackspace, opened up shop in September and started producing in February, averaging 800 heads of lettuce a week. “I built Trinity’s first hydroponic system and also built one in the back of my house. When I was throwing ‘keggers’ my senior year, people would come in to check out my lettuce,” he said. Hagney’s indoor hydroponic system at Local Sprout eliminates fertilizer runoff, pesticides and exposure to the elements. Hagney keeps LED red and blue lights on the plants for 18 hours daily, allowing plants to sleep the remainder of the day. Hagney said the system is not hard to operate. “If I can do it, anyone can do it; the hardest part is setting up the pipes,” he said. Hagney has a system on a drip or natural film technique, allowing the plants to do what a hydroponic system helps them do best: It uses less than 1 percent of water that traditional farming operations use. The water just needs to stay around 70 degrees, the magic number for the perfect growing temperature, he said. Local Sprout’s design is more complex and high-tech than necessary for a home garden, but for their large-scale use, it’s ideal. A detachable hanging system allows water to feed the top plant, drip down to the roots and catch in a run-off drain to be filtered and recirculated. “The reason people buy from me is not for environmental reasons; it’s because it’s hyper local, but most important, it tastes better because it’s fresher,” Hagney said. He harvests a minimum of once a week and delivers fresh produce within one hour to local juice bars. The taste is the biggest difference, Hagney said. Hydroponic farming at home is easy with help from the only local hydroponic supply store, Texas Hydroponics and Organics. Texas Hydroponics and Organics sells the nutrients needed to properly feed plants hydroponically and the equipment needed to set up hydroponic production. Hydroponics is the practice of growing plants without soil dissolving the nutrients needed. The company also can outfit an aquaponic system with the exception of the fish and seeds. Aquaponic farming uses fish waste with additives to fertilize the plants. Fish can be ordered online, and seeds can be found at any local hardware store or nursery. Vertical hydroponics like that of Local Sprout is usually constructed of PVC pipe or food-grade PVC pipe. Food-grade PVC prevents toxins from leaching out, Hagney explained. The pipes are slit down the center lengthwise. After plants have germinated, Hagney slides plants into the slit and lets water and gravity do the rest. LED lighting mimics the sun’s rays needed for growth. “A 2-feet-by-4-feet garden could produce 20 heads of let-


April 11, 2014 • 9

Conserve water for clean future By M.J. Callahan


The red and blue LED lights that produce the perfect light for optimum photosynthesis require Mitch Hagney to wear sunglasses to harvest kale in his shipping container vertical farm. Paula Christine Schuler

an Antonio is in Stage 3 water restrictions and Uvalde has been in Stage 5 restrictions since March 28. If the citizens of San Antonio want to preserve the clean water that is left, they need to conserve now more than ever according to conservation advocates. Water conservation is not just the responsibility of the government and corporations; it’s also the responsibility of the individual. If the community as a whole does not work together, there might not be a green future. Terri Herbold, spokesperson for the Edwards Aquifer Authority, said, “It’s everyone’s responsibility no matter where you live.” The Earth’s surface is 71 percent covered in water, and the human body is made up of 60 percent water according to edu. Char Miller, who studies Southwest water issues, taught history and urban studies at Trinity University for 26 years and now teaches environmental and urban study courses at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., said, “This is the time to get serious.” Eighty percent of all fresh water goes to agriculture, Miller said, so the farming industry needs to change farming and conservation methods Miller said he has done extensive research on water conservation and usage on the West Coast. Water conservation efforts were not taken seriously in the past, leading to nearly 30 California cities having to truck in water, Miller said. But Miller is optimistic about San Antonio’s progress. He explained, in 1981, the average water usage per person per day was 240–250 gallons. In the beginning of 1999, San Antonio Water System got involved, pushing for things like low-flow technology. This reduced the usage today to an average of 140 gallons per person, a savings of roughly 43 percent. Taking advantage of water-saving technol-

ogy, low-flow technology, such as soil moisture sensors and irrigation controllers, could reduce individual water usage, Miller said. Children are taught at a young age to do their part in conserving water by turning off the faucet when not using it. Many middle school students are sent home with indoor water conservation kits containing low-flow shower heads; sink stoppers and timers to raise awareness of water use. San Francisco’s population has proven current averages can be lowered. They use an average of 110 gallons per person per day. The Edwards Aquifer Authority offers free indoor and outdoor conservation kits. To obtain a kit, message the authority at More then 300 gallons per person per day is what the population of Sacramento, the capital of California, uses. “They have no meter, no controls over the water use. So everyone goes ‘well, OK, I can use as much as I want,’ Miller said. For more information and conservation tips, go to

Stage 3 rules Thursday, the 10-day average for the aquifer was 639.7 feet, triggering Stage 3 restrictions. If the levels do not improve after 30 days, San Antonio will go into Stage 4 restrictions. Watering is only allowed 7 a.m.-11 a.m. and 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Lawn watering is restricted to every other week on the day of the week coordinated with the last digit of the address. Monday 0 or 1, Tuesday 2 or 3, Wednesday 4 or 5 Thursday 6 or 7 Friday 8 or 9 None on weekends. For more water restrictions and ways to conserve, go to


10 • April 11, 2014

Women’s empowerment supports scholarships This year’s Women’s Empowerment Conference will award $10,000 in scholarships for this college in the fall. By Mandi Flores The 13th annual Women’s Empowerment Conference is planned May 22 to motivate and inspire individuals to pursue personal and educational goals, a continuing education specialist said April 3. The one-day motivational conference for women will be 8 a.m.-3 p.m. May 22 in the auditorium of McAllister Fine Arts Center. It is sponsored by H-E-B and Network Power/Texas, Abby Gonzalez, a specialist with this college’s empowerment center, said. Network Power/Texas, formed in 1978, was the first networking group in San Antonio and one of its purposes is to provides scholarships to students in Alamo Colleges. “Thirteen years ago, we realized there was not outreach for the population of nontraditional students who are 24 or older trying to return to school,” Gonzalez said. This conference will provide information and help regarding GED preparation and testing, college enrollment, financial aid, overcoming fears and gaining confidence to reach personal goals. The goal is to reach out to individuals who have not been in school for six or more years, Gonzalez said. “Last year, we had a little over 350; this year we hope to get 400 or more.” Because these individuals have not been in school in years or only have

high school diplomas, many are fearful of getting back in school, Gonzalez said. This conference gives them a chance to sit down and talk with current nontraditional students. “There is going to be lots of positive energy and motivation at these events, and the motivation helps get rid of fears of fitting in,” Gonzalez said. “The most exciting part of the event will be the presentation of scholarships.” Scholarship totals have not been finalized because donations are still coming in. So far $10,000, will be awarded for attendance at this college in the fall. To receive this scholarship, an essay needs to be submitted by April 21. The topic for the essay is “Imagine you have been asked to speak to a group of young women. What personal experiences or stories would you share in this group to help them understand the importance of a college education, career, and being a leader.” The essay is submitted online, 400 word maximum, at sac/swans/. The deadline for registration for this event is May 10. Registration can be done online at For more information about the scholarships or the conference, call the empowerment center at 210-4860455.

You’re a fashion genius.

APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUG Today AC Enroll: Registration is open. Deadlines for Maymester, May 11; Summer 1, June 1; Summer 8 week, June 1; Summer 2, July 6. Register at aces.

SAC Ranger: Last print issue for spring semester. For news updates, visit theranger. org. NLC/SPC Deadline: Registration open for the fourth annual EMBODI Men of Color Conference 8 a.m.-3 p.m. May 3. Register by April 17 at www.alamo. edu/spc/EMBODI. April 18 AC Holiday: District colleges closed through April 20 for Easter. April 27 Event: Festival de Cascarones 2 p.m.-7 p.m. Texas A&M-San Antonio, One University Way. Call 210-7841000.

You don’t floss enough.

May 1 SAC Event: Dr. Robert Zeigler’s retirement celebration 3 p.m.-5 p.m. McAllister auditorium. RSVP at ZeiglerRetirement. May 3 Dance: Alice! A Ballet Wonderland 7:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. May 4 Palo Alto performing arts, 1400 W. Villaret Blvd. $25. Visit May 6 Online: The Big Give S.A. all day at www. Donations start $10. Visit www.thebiggivesa. org. May 10 SAC Event: Commencement at 10 a.m. in Freeman Coliseum, 3201 E. Houston. Free event. $7 parking, limited seating. Visit May 17 Event: America’s Armed Forces River Parade 6 p.m.-8 p.m. horseshoe bend of River Walk. Visit

You pay all your bills on time.

June 7 Spor ts: San Antonio Weightlifting Championships 8 a.m. 210 CrossFit, 226 W. Bitters. $35. Call 210277-8771. June 13 Sports: 5K Texas Zombie Run 6:30 p.m. National Shooting Complex, 5931 Roft Road. Continues June 14. Free admission. Competition $10-$80. Visit June 20 Concert: Stockdale Watermelon Jubilee with Josh Abbott Band 7 p.m. Stockdale City Park. $20. Continues June 21 with Randy Rogers Band 7 p.m. $20. Visit Event: Texas Comicon noon-9 p.m. Norris Conference Center, 4522 Fredericksburg. Continues 10 a.m.-9 p.m. June 21 and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. June 22. Tickets $7-$25. Visit

July 4: Event: Celebration and H-E-B Fireworks show 9 p.m. Woodlawn Lake Park, 1103 Cincinnati. 10 a.m. and o p e n i n g parade at 11:30 a.m. Visit www.

Aug. 3 Event: Primer Sabado Y Domingo! Back to School noon-6 p.m. Market Square, 514 W. Commerce. Continues noon-6 p.m. Aug. 4. Call 210-2078600.

July 18 Event: San Japan at the HBG Convention and Grand Hyatt Hotel, 600 E. Market. Early registration $50 until June 13 at

Aug. 8-10 Savings: Tax-free Weekend. State practice to help families save on back-to-school needs.

July 31 Event: Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure, Emily Morgan Hotel, 705 E. Houston. $39.20 for team of 2-5. Call 805603-5620 or visit www. urbanadventurequest. com.

Aug. 11 Sports: Twin Peaks Golf Tournament 7 a.m.7 p.m. at the Dominion Country Club, One Dominion Drive. $500 foursome or $150 individual. Call 512-5841753 or visit

a sc




Aug. 16 Sports: 5K Lyte Run times vary 7:30 p.m.- 9 p.m. Retama Park, 1 Retama Parkway. $55. Register at



You play a mean ukulele.


Do you understand how essential your credit report is to your financial health? Watch the news on KSAT ABC 12 in San Antonio on Wednesday, April 16, and call TG between 4 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. C.T. at 888-311-8881 to gain a better understanding of how and why to get a free credit report!

Visit our website to learn more. TG would like to thank KSAT ABC 12 for hosting the Financial Literacy Credit Report Telethon.


April 11, 2014 • 11

Aspiring opera singer discovers new calling By Ty-Eshia Johnson

Felix Gonzales, mortuary science department chair, has been working as an undertaker for 41 years, but music was his first love and he aspired to be a worldfamous opera singer. Gonzales pursued opera singing in college, participated in opera productions and sang in the San Antonio Mastersingers. That dream didn’t work out so he took up teaching music in public school. In May 1973, Gonzales quit his public school job without any job prospects in teaching or elsewhere. “At that point in education, money was very, very tight,” he said. Music and art were being defunded, adding “What little funding there was, was being reduced, and it was very demoralizing,” Gonzales said. “The fact that, you know, try as hard as you may … you didn’t have the support of the school district where I worked and … I didn’t want to go through it again,” he said. Gonzalas said he wasn’t making much money to begin with and,“It got to a point where I wound up having to spend a lot of my own personal money to buy (sheet) music for the students to use. And I said ‘no, this is not for me,’” “I loved it. I loved the students, but I just couldn’t go on in that kind of environment so I quit.” After quitting his job — where, he won’t say — Gonzales said he sought employment at other school districts, but they were in

the same situation. “I enjoyed being in education and I enjoyed being in music,” Gonzales said. “I think that if I’d been in music education anywhere else, I would have been happy as well,” he added. “It wasn’t leaving that school necessarily but leaving that type of environment because the students were responding so well,” he said. Gonzales said the school never had any achievement or success in artistic endeavors, but he got enjoyment from seeing the drive of the music students. “Apparently, the educational system at that time didn’t think it was important, so I didn’t mind leaving that.” In their most obvious aspects, teaching music is considerably different from undertaking, but Gonzales’ church spanned the gap. During choir rehearsal at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church downtown, the choirmaster made an announcement about Gonzales’ situation. There were no available positions at the church but he thought his choirmaster wanted to help in some way because of the diversity of the choir. “It was probably the best thing he ever did for me and didn’t even know it,” Gonzales said with a chuckle. After the rehearsal, two women approached Gonzales with an offer. Their parents owned a funeral home and could use help. He accepted the offer and began working there the following week. “It was supposed to be temporary,” Gonzales said. He had no intention or desire to work in a

funeral home and planned to only work there for a few months but began to enjoy his job. “I was hungry for food,” Gonzales said about his career choice. He didn’t worry about the kind of job he was going to do but felt anxious about the place he was going to work in. He felt OK with the skills but lacked knowledge of how funeral homes operated. “I guess because I was just so ignorant…what it is that we did… how much we did,” Gonzales said. “I didn’t realize the challenge it was working in a funeral home.” He worked part-time in the funeral home during the summers doing paperwork. Gonzales believed he was very proficient in office skills but never thought of working inside a funeral home. Gonzales said he was quickly exposed to other aspects of the business after having to assist bereaved families with inquiries regarding funeral services and other related subjects. Gonzales saw it as an opportunity to learn more. There were constant learning opportunities and he was never uncomfortable experiencing the other side of funeral homes. “I grew up in a barrio in the ghetto … and we had deaths occurring,” he said. “We had a lot of real elderly people in the neighborhood and people back then died a lot at home,” said Gonzales. Gonzales, his mother and other relatives would visit the homes of neighbors who were not expected to live much longer.

“Very often we were at a death scene,” he said. “I was taught never to fear the dead; always fear the living. So I never grew up with any fear of dead people.” Though Gonzales struggled when his parents died, he thinks dealing with an anonymous death is different. “It’s always easier to deal with somebody else’s loss when it’s removed,” he said. It’s not the same dealing with the death of someone unrelated. “Last summer, right before the semester started, I had a stroke,” he said. Gonzales remembers receiving a call from a former student and friend working in northern Texas at the time who was devastated after finding out through others. “It was nice to know that people appreciate what you’ve done for them and to actually care that much,” he said. “Not so much for the ego but to see the influence that you have in making somebody else’s life better,” he said. The mortuary science program provides educational and training opportunities for students seeking careers in the death-care industry. Students who meet the curriculum standards are awarded an Associate in Applied Science in Mortuary Science but must also pass a state board exam by the completion of their last semester. The mortuary science department teaches students early in the program that life is too short. Gonzales said he likes to emphasize living, and no matter what the situation, people should make the most of their lives.

For total lunar eclipse, professor invites sky watchers to garage By Mandi Flores

The first of two total lunar eclipses in 2014 is early Tuesday, and astronomy Professor Alfred Alaniz will be watching 1 a.m.-4 a.m. from the roof of the parking garage. District police will patrol and close half the garage. A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth, and moon align, causing the Earth’s shadow to fall on the moon and darkening it to dark red or brown, sometimes called a “blood moon.” “I will be on the roof of the original parking garage with telescopes,” Alaniz said Wednesday for the three hours. “During this, we will be viewing Jupiter and its four moons, Mars since yesterday was the best day to be seen, and Saturn in the early morning,” Alaniz said. “We hope it will be clear, so we can see anything that we are able to see.” The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles will stream the event live, so in an area that is cloudy, the event can still be viewed. These eclipses — the second is Oct. 8 — are part of a tetrad, a sequence of four eclipses over a year and a half. Some Christians believe the “Blood moon prophecy” signals the end of time, “The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come,” Joel 2:31. The first tetrad since the Middle Ages happened in 1493, and saw the expulsion of Jews from Spain by the Catholic inquisition. Local pastor John Hagee has written a book on the phenomenon he believes marks a ‘hugely significant event’ for the world. There have been 62 tetrads since the first century A.D., eight coinciding with both the Jewish feasts, making this not as unique as some believe. The “opposition of planets” happens every 788 days. For more, call 210-486-0060.

12 • April 11, 2014





Editor Mandy Derfler Managing Editor Katherine Garcia News Editor Cassandra Rodriguez Premiere Editor Adriana Ruiz Opinion Editor Bleah B. Patterson Social Media Editor T.L. Hupfer Web Editor Carlos Ferrand Web News Editor Neven Jones Staff Writers Manuel Bautista-Macias, Brandon Borrego, Brenda Carielo, Ian Coleman, Maria Duran, Mandi Flores, John D. French, Marina Garcia, R.T. Gonzalez, Ty-Eshia Johnson, Ansley Lewis, Pam Paz, Juan A. Rodriguez, Marie Sullins, J’son Tillmon, Adrian Yancelson Photographers Daniel Carde, Belinda Hernandez, Riley Stephens Photo Team David Guel, Siobhan O’Donnell, Melissa Perreault, Paula Christine Schuler, Addison Simmons, Catharine Trevino, Eric M. Valdez Video Team Daniel Arguelles, Robbin Cresswell, Steven C. Price Illustrators Alexandra Nelipa, Franchesca Ruiz Production Assistant M.J. Callahan Advertising Manager Patricia McGlamory Franchesca Ruiz

©2014 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 news outlets, which serve the Alamo Community College District, are laboratory projects of journalism classes in the Department of Media Communications at San Antonio College. The Ranger is published Fridays except during summer, holidays and examinations. The Ranger Online is available at News contributions accepted by telephone (210-486-1773), by fax (210-486-9292), by email ( or at the editorial office (Room 212 of Loftin Student Center). Advertising rates available upon request by phone (210-486-1765) or as a download at The Ranger is a member of the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association, the Associated Collegiate Press and the Texas Community College Journalism Association. 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 double-spaced, 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, emailed to or faxed to 210-486-9292. Letters must be signed and must include the printed name and telephone number. Students should include classification, major, campus and Banner ID. Employees should include title and telephone number. For more information, call 210-486-1773. Single Copy Policy: Members of the Alamo Community College District community are permitted one free copy per issue because of high production costs. 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.


Always check the facts Reporters strive to get the news out as quickly as possible, but the story must be accurate. For example, there may be multiple sources claiming one set of circumstances is true, while others provide contradicting information. Also, people provide constant information updates through social media outlets that may be true or rumors or wishful thinking. How do you find the truth? That’s where journalists come in. It’s our job to report a story as accurately as possible. This may include asking several sources for the same information for confirmation purposes, checking a quote for accuracy or calling a source in advance to confirm plans for an event. People may see, hear or interpret information differently, and journalists have to sort through varying accounts to determine what actually happened. When several people present differing versions as the truth, the real story can get lost among assumptions, mistakes or even lies. Repeat a falsehood often enough and people

begin to accept it as truth. In the age of the Internet, news — errors included — lives forever. So when we get something wrong, we take a deep breath, search for the correct information and print a correction. As hard as we try to be accurate, people make mistakes. Readers are encouraged to call the newsroom to report errors. We would rather run a correction and admit our errors than let incorrect information stand. Of course, with the Internet comes the flood of social media 24/7/365. Sometimes, the truth feels like a moving target. In the pre-PC history of the Watergate era, constantly changing stories caused Bob Woodward to describe the news as “the best obtainable version of the truth.” In an effort to teach professional news gathering and reporting methods, the journalism program demands accuracy of student reporters on The Ranger. A story with a fact error earns a grade of F, ensuring students learn what it means to be responsible journalists.

Learn before casting vote The Alamo Colleges have nine districts represented by a trustee. Three district trustee positions with two incumbents are on the May 10 ballot. Early voting begins April 28 for the six-year terms. District 4, covering the Southwest Side of Bexar County, has two candidates: • Lorena Pulido, a public relations officer for the city of San Antonio, • Albert Herrera, CFO of Lighthouse Charter School • Enedina Kikuyu, community organizer for C.O.P.S. District 8, which covers the North Side of Bexar County, drew three candidates wanting to help plan the future of this college district: • Gary Beitzel, retired civil servant and the incumbent, • Steven Anthoney Gonzales, civil engineer • William Clint Kingsbery, a Northside Independent School District teacher Northeast Bexar County is District 9, which has two candidates in the race: • Felix M. Grieder, processing engineer • James Rindfuss, attorney and the incumbent “A trustee is an individual person or member of a board given control or power of administration of property, in trust with a legal

obligation to administer it solely for the purposes specified” according to the dictionary. When a person or collections of people elected as representatives are put in charge with the responsibility to decide where our education is going, attention and focus are needed. If you don’t vote or research the candidates before voting, you have only yourself to blame if you don’t like the representation you get. Voting without knowledge of the issues is a big mistake. Learn each candidate’s stance on current events and topics, such as the tabled attempt to add EDUC 1300, Learning Framework, to the core curriculum, standardized e-books across the colleges and the adjunct-to-faculty ratio. Check out for coverage of these topics throughout this semester and turn to Pages 4-5 to find out which candidates share your opinion. You can cast your ballot right here on campus in early voting at William R. Sinkin Eco Centro at 1802 N. Main at West Locust. To find a complete listing of early voting sites, visit The best thing to do to ensure your views are represented is to vote and make it an informed vote.

Survey needs better try A District Student Council e-book survey presented to the Academic Accountability and Student Success Committee Tuesday represented only 0.5 percent of the entire student population of this district. A range of 304-311 (or more) students completed some part of the survey. The deadline to respond to the survey, sent via ACES April 1, was April 4, but many students hadn’t received it by then and some still haven’t. The only explanation offered was that mass emails are sent in batches that could clog the system. The council decided to send the survey a month ago, so why did they wait until the week before it was due to send it out en masse? The last survey sent by this college’s Student Government yielded a pitiful 3.6 percent turn out of the 39,000 students it was sent to over the course of a week. SGA’s officers even set up a voting station

in Loftin Student Center, encouraging participation. Given the extra effort and lack of response, this college’s representatives to the council could have shared a cautionary tale. Wouldn’t it have been more effective to send it immediately, giving the 60,000 students of the district a chance to educate themselves on the issue, consider the open-ended questions and respond throughout the month? On top of that, even though the questions were meant for student feedback only, some faculty members received it and were able to respond, skewing the results further. Considering the immense population of the district, emailed surveys are the most viable way of reaching the bulk of students. However, something more needs to be done to get a better response. Allot more response time; set up voting stations or polling sites; promote the survey on digital signage players. Make the effort to get the response necessary to take an accurate report to the committee.


Small space but big harvest Gardening has become increasingly popular. Many people who garden have a large space to work with, either a raised garden bed or a Viewpoint plot of land. by Mandi When it comes to livFlores ing in an apartment, students may think planting sac-ranger@ a garden is out of reach. My gardening experience really took off last spring when I squeezed about 40 plants onto a small apartment patio. The price to get started can be expensive if you go to a grocery and home improvement stores or nurseries where one pack of seeds costs almost $4. Look for seed packets for about four for $1 and also check for sales. Each of those stores usually has sales on plants through the season. When buying plants, look under the leaves for aphids, oval light-colored bugs, which kill a lot of plants. Tomato plants, in my experience, are unlikely to have these. Cheap seeds and pots can be found for $1 at dollar stores. They will grow just as well. While retailers will try to sell you on expensive soil or products, those are not necessary. A decent garden can be started with $20 and be a big success. Once you harvest your plants, their seeds can be used in the next growing season, and they are more likely to grow and do well in the same climate. When picking out an area to plant, look for the place where your plants can get at least six hours of light.

April 11, 2014 • 13

More viewpoints at

Faculty are our real leaders Guest Viewpoint by Michael


Change begins with an understanding of reality the chancellor lacks, allowing him to fail us as a leader.

White fountain sweetened? Viewpoint by Paula Christine Schuler

The author’s garden on her apartment patio Mandi Flores


Plant sale 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 17 at greenhouse benefits Palo Alto Horticulture Club. Call Kirk Williams at 210-486-3073.

Try to fit in as much as you can and still be able to use the space as well as allow room to water, prune and harvest. There is never a guarantee of what will grow. Starting seeds in small containers and then transplanting once they grow will save you time, dirt and money. These are just a few important tips that made my garden successful. Since this was my first garden, I didn’t know what to expect.

Organic tomatoes were my biggest crop with about 40 from one plant. Banana peppers also produced a bumper crop. Other vegetables that did well were carrots, peas, potatoes, fennel plants and tomatillos. Fruit trees planted in pots yield lemons, blood oranges and grapefruit. The amount of fruit and vegetables that were harvested kept me from buying almost any produce the whole summer. Gardening also can be a real stress reliever. I’ve heard many stories of people dealing with problems or illnesses and healing through gardening. Gardening changed my eating habits. Now I try to cook at home with the freshest veggies possible. It has also helped me keep a healthy diet by enjoying all of the interesting flavors that fresh fruits and veggies have to offer.

Viewpoint by Pam Paz

A child’s logic in illogical times gives insight into the thoughts of people of other cultures.

Distracted drivers deserve our shaming One in four accidents involve distracted drivers, TXDOT reports.

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April 11, 2014 • 15

Pirates snatch championship from Wildcats 83-78 Fouls bench three key Northwest Vista players. Victoria College Pirates celebrate after winning the championship for a second year in a row. They defeated Northwest Vista College Wildcats Sunday in McDermott Convocation at Incarnate Word. Eric M. Valdez

Lady Pirates defeat Lady Wildcats for league championship 73-67 Victoria College wins league tournament championship two years in a row. By R.T. Gonzalez

In an aggressive championship game featuring three technical fouls, the Victoria College Lady Pirates beat the Northwest Vista Lady Wildcats 73-67 Sunday to win their second Texas Collegiate Club Sports League tournament. With championship in mind, both teams contributed to a nail-biter contest in McDermott Convocation Center at the University of the Incarnate Word. The Pirates went on a 12-0 scoring run in the first 11 minutes of the half. However, the wildcats were unfazed and able to pull back within 5 points at the 6-minute mark, making the game close 25-21.

With five minutes left in the half, Pirates center Elissa Beaudoin took Wildcat kinesiology sophomore Mercedes Garrett to the floor with a controversial foul, getting the crowd on their feet. The hard impact left Garrett on the court with Northwest Vista’s coach Daniel Johnson tending to her knee. Beaudoin was not fouled with a charge. Instead, Garrett got charged with a controversial blocking foul, and she was called out the game with an injury. The halftime score was a close 40-36 with Victoria College in the lead. Northwest Vista was finally able to gain the lead 46-45 within six minutes of the second half.

Even with the change in the leading team, Victoria College’s coach Allison Peters said the Pirates were able to keep their head on straight and continued to play with authority. “We handled it well, stayed calm and just played our game,” Peters said. With only four minutes left in the game, the Pirates went on a 14-2 scoring run, slipping away with the championship game. “The game went great,” Johnson said. “I’ve got a very good talented defensive team.” Northwest Vista’s defense helped them keep the game close until the end, but Victoria College’s ability to stay calm and fight gave the Pirates a victory over the Wildcats 74-67. “We had a lot of heart and we wanted it more than the other team,” Peters said.

By R.T. Gonzalez

The Victoria College Pirates won their second Texas Collegiate Club Sports League tournament 83-78 against the Northwest Vista College Wildcats Sunday in the McDermott Convocation Center at the University of the Incarnate Word. The game featured 30 fouls and three foulouts by Northwest Vista, and two fascinating dunks including a 3-point play by Pirate sophomore Shannon Winston and another by Wildcats’ liberal arts freshman Desmond Hines. Despite the fouls, Northwest Vista managed to keep the lead for the majority of the game. Both teams traded the lead for the first 10 minutes, but Northwest Vista went on an 11-6 scoring run, which featured the dunk by Hines, to creep away from Victoria College. The Pirates came back on a 10-7 scoring run of their own to bring the scoreboard to 39-33 with two minutes left in the first half. The Wildcats, however, still maintained the lead. Fighting on but still behind, the Pirates trailed at the end of the half, 43-37. Going into the second half, Northwest Vista continued where they left off for the first seven minutes. Victoria College managed to catch up with a 12-point scoring run, tying the game at 49-49. Within the next 11 minutes of the second half, Northwest Vista’s liberal arts sophomore Tory Prusak and business sophomore Turundus Luckett both fouled out of the game. This left the Wildcats to face off against one

Liberal arts freshman Desmond Hines soars to score for the Wildcats but is called for a charging foul against Pirates freshman James Murphy III. The Wildcats lost possession of the ball after the referees discussed the play. David Guel of the Pirate’s key players — Winston. “I went hard on defense,” Winston said. “In the clutch time, we put pressure on them and created turnovers.” With one minute left in the game, Winston was able to pull off a 3-point play, which included a dunk that fouled out Hines. “It was a hard fought game,” Victoria’s coach Jesse Ortega said. “We just dug deep and pulled out a victory.” With three of the Wildcats’ main players on the bench, Northwest Vista left no contest for Victoria College who went on a 6-0 scoring run to end the game 83-78. “Key players fouled out of the game made the difference,” Northwest Vista’s coach Irving Thomas said. A P P LY O N L I N E T O D AY


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16 • April 11, 2014

Earth Day

Learn what can be recycled By Adriana Ruiz

In the U.S., 100 million trees a year are cut down to make paper, about 15 million sheets of paper are used every five minutes, and about 2 million plastic bottles are emptied every five minutes, reports. Recycling is important because it will help ensure environmental sustainability for the future, Tiffany Edmonds, public relations manag-

Monday NLC Deadline: Earth Day poetry contest submissions due noon. Prizes for top three. Email Tuesday NLC Lecture: Albert Cantu of CPS Energy 9:30 a.m. in Room 109, literary reference center, in library.

Thursday NVC Event: Celebration 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at south entrance of Live Oak. For schedule, visit and look under Events. April 22 SAC Event: Service learning/ EcoCentro scavenger hunt 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in mall. Free with prizes. Call 210-486-0125. SAC Event: Generations Bank shredder truck by service learning 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in mall. Call 210-486-0125. SAC Opening: EcoCentro dedication and mural unveiling 9:30 a.m., Eco Fair 10:30 a.m.-noon, and sustainability workshops 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. at 1802 N. Main. Visit Event: Wildflower hike by San Antonio River Authority 6 p.m.-8 p.m. at Jackson Nature Park, 9284 CR 401, Wilson County. Call 866-345-7272. Event: Wildflower hike at Mission Reach by San Antonio River Authority 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Confluence Park, 310 W. Mitchell. Call 866345-7272.

Alexandra Nelipa

NLC Lecture: Doctoral students, UTSA Environmental and Engineering 10 a.m. in Room 201 in student commons. NLC Film: “Dirt: the Movie” and popcorn 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. in Room 201 in student commons.

er for the city’s Solid Waste Management, said. Edmonds said recycling at school can be easy and students should remember not to automatically look for a trash can. Instead take a few extra steps to recycle. “Paper from leftover tests and assignments can be recycled instead of throwing them away,” Edmonds said. Some items that she said everyone should recycle are paper towel and toilet paper cores. Styrofoam meat trays can be recycled, but be careful because meat trays must be rinsed and dried before they can be placed in the recycling bin. Edmonds mentioned the plastic wrap-

ping around meat trays is not recyclable, but starting Aug. 1, the city will be changing recycling processes and plastic bags and film will be allowed. For now take plastic bags to a retail shop to reuse. Collecting retailers include H-E-B, Target, Walgreens, J.C.Penney and Walmart, according to Edmonds said, “Stuff them and then stuff another 20 to 30 bags inside to make it fat and big. They would have to be completely clean with no leftover receipts and dry.” The website explains,

“Recycling plastic bags and wraps provide raw material for making durable backyard decks, building and construction products and new plastic bags.” In 2007, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban plastic bags at grocery stores; other cities have adopted similar bans. City Council will discuss one April 16 for San Antonio. Edmonds said to ensure all items placed in recycling bins are dry because the processing machine is sensitive and may reject wet or foreign items. Cardboard is

allowed but only if it is clean. “You shouldn’t recycle pizza boxes. You should tear off the clean part and you can recycle that part of the box,” Edmonds said. People shouldn’t think recycling is hard, but instead should start off with paper, plastic and aluminum. “Start with the easy stuff that you always know, and as you become more comfortable, add more things,” she said. Edmonds recommended the MyWaste app, available for iPhone and Android devices, which answers recycling questions. For more information, visit

Earth Day kicks off early at Woodlawn Park By Ansley Lewis

As Earth Day approaches, environmental activists are planning events to promote conservation. Up first is the 11th annual Earth Day, co-sponsored by the Earth Day Committee and city of San Antonio, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Woodlawn Lake Park, 1103 Cincinnati Ave. District 1 trustee Joe Alderete Jr. has been the Earth Day chairman since 2003. Alderete said every day is Earth Day and it is important for youth to understand their impact on the environment. “The purpose of the event is to save the land, air

and water — the land we use; the air we breathe; the water we drink,” he said. Thousands of items will be given away to help encourage people to become more involved, he said. Among the giveaways are 1,500 T-shirts promoting conservation; 1,500 indigenous low energy-consuming trees, such as elms, oaks and pecan; 1,500 low water-use plants; and 50 bicycles and helmets. Along with trees, tree planting demonstrations are scheduled. Alderete said the nation is producing more trees than it consumes and pointed out the Alamo Colleges

are nearly 80 percent paperless. “We have done an outstanding job in producing more forestation and more forests in the United States,” he said. The event is vegetarian-themed with food provided by local vendors. “When I said the food would be vegetarian, people were like, ‘what?’” Alderete said. “It’s amazing how many people don’t realize that even a burrito with tomato sauce, beans and vegetables can be considered vegetarian.” He said San Antonio has among the highest U.S. rates of diabetes and obesity, and he hopes to pro-

mote a healthier lifestyle in conjunction with a 5K run. “Saving the human species is keeping ourselves ‘in shape’ and teaching people to eat right,” Alderete said. Other activities include recycling, water and energy conservation workshops as well as pet spay and neuter programs. For more information, call Alderete at 210-434-6967 or visit the website and look for Earth Day on the events calendar. Alderete noted the time on the website is incorrect; the event is 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Congratulations to SAC’s 2014 Distinguished Graduates!

Combined 4 11 14  

The Ranger news outlets, which serve the Alamo Community College District, are laboratory projects of journalism classes in the Department o...

Combined 4 11 14  

The Ranger news outlets, which serve the Alamo Community College District, are laboratory projects of journalism classes in the Department o...