Vol. 85 Issue 20
Single copies free
April 18, 2011
The Ranger A forum of free voices serving San Antonio College since 1926
Advocate steps down
BLOCK PARTY 3 TRANSCRIPT CHARGE 5 CAMPUS CATS CLIPPED 6
2 • April 18, 2011
A forum of free voices serving San Antonio College since 1926
Performance artist S.T. Shimi dances as a modern diva in “To Future Diva”at the 17th annual Multicultural Conference opening ceremony Tuesday in McAllister auditorium. Jacob Beltran
3 News Block Party for 85th anniversary of college
By Riley Stephens Photos by Tyler K. Cleveland and Chelsea V. Peacock
8 College Council to offer
By Melody Mendoza
20 Retirees best adjuncts Decide already
as presidents see it
By Daniel Perales
new signage proposal to chancellor
By Melody Mendoza
Honor society travels to Seattle for convention
Maymester, summer registration begin today
By Melody Mendoza Photo by Tyler K. Cleveland
Undocumented eligible for financial aid
By Megan Mares
4 Blotter Former English professor loses leukemia battle
By Ximena Victoria Alvarez
22 Officials & Policies
the torch after 20 years
16 Mortuary science
By Melody Mendoza
Athletes required to study
By Jacob Beltran
By Megan Mares
9 English chair passes
By Melody Mendoza
10 Anthropology professor
By Alma Linda Manzanares
Capping is not a simple decision
Trustees support fee hike, not tuition or taxes By Zahra Farah Photo by Tyler K. Cleveland
7 Employees catch and release area cats
Guest viewpoint by Shana Le
11 Calendar SGA seeks candidate applicants for 8 races
19 Time ticking on warranty
By Megan Mares
Use Denim Day to raise sexual assault awareness
12 District grows, changes
Sports programs suffer cuts By Megan Mares Photo by JungKeun Song
Online New tissue, towel dispensers By Jacob Beltran
Cover: Alex Bernal speaks about his decision to step down as chair of English at the April 12 College Council meeting. Tyler K. Cleveland
April 18, 2011 • 3
Block Party for 85th anniversary of college By Daniel Perales Eighty-five years ago, during the administration of Calvin Coolidge, this college opened its doors for the 1925-26 school year. Since then, the college has educated some of San Antonio’s biggest names and favorite sons, such as the late U.S. Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez, media personality Sonny Melendrez, CEO and publisher of La Prensa Tino Durán and Olympic gold medalist Josh Davis. Now the college is wrapping up its 85th anniversary celebration with a block party free and open to the public 4 p.m.-8 p.m. April 29 in the mall. The event will feature live music, classic cars and free children’s shows at Scobee Planetarium. Vendors include food, drink and art from the Tobin Hill Art Alliance. Local Tejano artist Patsy Torres, a former student, will headline the
entertainment with a performance with this college’s Jazz Ensemble. Others set to perform are this college’s music students and dance troupe Code Red. Student life will show the film “The Green Hornet” at about sundown. The college has established a web page to commemorate the anniversary that includes some of the accolades the college has received throughout its history. Among them are programs honored by various professional organizations. San Antonio College Online has been honored for a high level of service by the Center for Digital Education. The early childhood center offers students the opportunity to work with children of other students under the supervision of faculty and child development specialists and has been accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Maymester, summer registration begin today
G.I. Jobs magazine has ranked this college among the top Military Friendly Schools. The college newspaper, The Ranger, has been awarded the Pacemaker award from the Associated Collegiate Press 11 times and was inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame. Founded in the fall of 1966, KSYM 90.1 FM was the first community college radio station in Texas. Other events for the 85th anniversary, included speeches from Davis as well as journalist Dan Rather, CBS Evening News anchor for more than 20 years. Graduation at 10 a.m. May 14 in Joe Freeman Coliseum will be the last event in the 85th anniversary celebration. The 85th anniversary page can be found at www.alamo.edu/sac/85/index.html. For more information on the block party, call the office of the dean of learning resources at 210-486-0901.
By Megan Mares
Classes for Summer 1 begin just three days after Today, according to the Maymester ends on June 6 district’s 2010-2011 acaand last until July 7. demic calendar, students There is a holiday durare able to begin registering ing Summer 1 on July 4, for Maymester, Independence first summer Day, and the Today is the session, second college will be final drop date summer session closed. for spring classes and and an eightClasses for April 26 for week summer Summer 2 start Flex 2. session. four days after The eightSummer 1 ends week summer session conon July 11. sists of both summer one Summer 2 ends on Aug. and two sessions. 11. The last days to withRegistration will be draw are: Maymester, May available until May 14 for 26; Summer 1, June 30; and Maymester, until June 4 for Summer 2 Aug. 3. the first summer session and The last day for I grades, eight week summer session or incompletes, to be comand until July 9 for the secpleted is Dec. 10. ond summer session. To look up classes and Classes for Maymester register, log into ACES. last three weeks from May For more information, 16-June 3 with the exception call the admissions and of the Memorial Day holiday, records office at 210-486May 30. 0701.
This college’s float, titled “What I Like about Texas,” was designed by Robert Middleton of Southwest Parades Inc. For the first time in 10 years, this college participated in The Battle of Flowers Parade on April 15 and the Flambeau Parade on April 16. Carrie Hernandez, student activity specialist, said six people were on the float and 50 student leaders walked in chaps, cowboy hats, bandanas and vests in front of the float. Hernandez and work-study students hand-painted cow spots over a two-week period onto the chaps that color coordinate with the bandanas and the colors on the float. Hernandez said that 300 strings of lights also were purchased to put on the cowboy hats for the night parade. Jorge Posadas, director of student life, said the float and the costumes cost about $13,000 and were funded through the student activity fee. Tyler K. Cleveland
4 • April 18, 2011
Former English professor loses leukemia battle Did You Know?
Tailgating is a moving violation with a fine of $200.
A point is added to your license for following too closely. Points are part of the Driver Responsibility Program.The faster a vehicle travels, the greater the distance should be between vehicles. To contact the Texas Department of Public Safety, visit www.txdps.state.tx.us/contact. htm. For the point system, see www.txdps.state.tx.us/ DriverLicense/drp.htm.
Contact Info Emergency 210-222-0911 General DPS 210-485-0099 Weather Line 210-485-0189
By Melody Mendoza
To donate to the Trap, Spray, Neuter program, here, call Hilda San Miguel at 210-486-0938.
for Women named her the Texas Feminist Activist of the Year. Rita Mayer was employed Also, she was a Lawrence County here from 1990-2004, then moved Democrat and board member of back to her home state of South the South Dakota Chapter of the Dakota. American Civil Liberties Union. English Professor Jane FochtShe became a student and Hansen said, “She was an amaz- teacher of Qigong, a Chinese ing scholar, teacher energy healing pracand human rights tice, and student of activist who lived her Jun Shin Jyutsu, a beliefs and demonJapanese energy healstrated them in every ing practice. action of her life.” Claire Andres, a stuMayer was known dent in Mayer’s ENGL for her devotion to 1301, Composition Rita Mayer feminism and animal 1, class in 2000, said activism and for her she wrote a story that love of politics. Mayer suggested Andres turn into In an obituary she prepared a play. for herself, Mayer indicated that She said, “She never just said, the state National Organization ‘You should.’ She always followed
that up with, ‘I’ll help.’ “That was Rita as a teacher,” Andres said. “I will miss her dearly.” English Chair Alex Bernal said he still remembers the day he interviewed her for a teaching position. “She had a wealth of ideas for developmental education.” He described her as a private person but caring and highly intelligent. “She’s someone who you’ll never forget,” Bernal said. Mayer requested that there be no memorial service. She said to best honor her, send donations to any organization that aids animals, such as a shelter or the Trap, Spay, Neuter program at this college.
SAN ANTONIO COLLEGE
reported caused by an off-campus fire.
April 6 — Individual reported his vehicle had been damaged.
NORTHEAST LAKEVIEW COLLEGE
PALO ALTO COLLEGE
Individual reported found property. The item was placed in the property locker.
April 6 — Individual reported found property. The item was placed in the property locker.
Individual reported a male talking about drugs and death. Officer transported the male to University Hospital. Individual reported losing her parking permit. Individual reported found property. The item was placed in the property locker. April 7 — Individual reported a male sleeping on campus. The male departed without further incident. Officer assisted student in retrieving his personal property. Officer reported graffiti on a district sign. No suspects were found.
April 6 — Individual reported a female student was not feeling well. EMS was refused. Individual reported found property.
Individual reported found property. The item was placed in the property locker. April 7 — Individual reported found property. Item was placed in the property locker. Individual reported found property. Item was placed in the property locker. NORTHWEST VISTA COLLEGE April 6 — Individual reported another student texting harassing messages. Individual reported his iPhone had been stolen. No suspects were found.
Individual reported found property. Item was placed in the property locker.
April 7 — Individual reported a suspicious vehicle that had already departed the area.
Individual reported a student and a
A campus wide power outage was
Individual reported damage to a district bathroom. April 7 — Individual reported finding a broken windshield in the parking lot. ST. PHILIP’S COLLEGE April 6 — Individual reported two females making unwarranted remarks toward her. Individual reported a suspicious male and female in the area. The male and female were not located. Individual reported a female feeling ill. EMS treated the female. April 7 — Individual reported a student had to be removed from class for causing a disruption.
April 18, 2011 • 5
Trustees support fee hike, not tuition or taxes Operational money will no longer be used to fund sport teams and travel. By Zahra Farah Trustees unanimously agreed tuition and taxes should not increase in fall at Tuesday’s Audit, Budget and Finance Committee. Even though committee members agreed, the full board will make the final decision at the regular board meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Room 101 of Killen Center at 201 W. Sheridan. District 1 trustee Joe Alderete did not attend the meetings because he was at a public function. At the April 2 board retreat, trustees charged Chancellor Bruce Leslie with investigating capping enrollment and other savings options to avoid tuition and tax hikes. Diane Snyder, vice chancellor for finance and administration, told trustees if they didn’t accept a 5 percent tuition and tax increase, in a worst-case scenario, Alamo Colleges would have to cut $15.5 million for fiscal year 2012. She said trustees would have to reduce enrollment, some disciplines would be without permanent faculty, and Banner improvements would slow down. Trustees plan a special board meeting 4 p.m.9 p.m. May 9 in which Snyder will present a balanced budget showing what to cut to achieve $15.5 million savings. At the committee meetings Tuesday, James A. Rindfuss, District 9 trustee and vice chairman, said without a tuition and tax hike, the district could be blocking more students with a cap. Gary Beitzel, chairman and District 8 trustee, said trustees have to approve a cap now so students can start registering for fall classes. Fall registration begins May 23. Snyder said they needed to vote Tuesday because they need to set rates for fall. If trustees want to change tuition rates, they could take action in October for spring 2012. Rindfuss asked if they could charge students extra who have a bachelor’s and master’s and are coming back for another degree. Dr. Adelina S. Silva, vice chancellor for student success, said that according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, students who already have a degree cannot be charged extra if they decide to return to school. Trustees agreed they should look into charging students extra who come home from fouryear institutions to take summer classes. In other news, the trustees approved recom-
District 9 trustee James Rindfuss debates a tuition increase Tuesday during the Audit, Budget and Finance Committee meeting. Tyler K. Cleveland mending to the full board new charges to students. They include: • In fall 2011, graduates will not be charged for a first diploma, but duplicates will be $25. • Students will not be charged for requesting a transcript by mail for the first transcript, but additional mailed transcripts will cost $10 each. • The first electronically sent transcript will be free, and subsequent transcripts cost $5. • To dispatch a transcript to another institution within 24 hours will cost $35 mailed or $10 electronically. • Student IDs will continue to be free, but replacement IDs will cost $10. • The committee also agreed to increase private music lessons provided at the Alamo Colleges. Students will be charged $150 for two semester credit hours of private lessons and $95 for one semester credit hour. The colleges now charge $45 an hour private music lessons and $30 for a half-hour. At the Policy and Long-Range Planning in a 3-2 vote, trustees approved recommending to the full board that the district limit travel to students in club sports and intramurals events within Alamo Colleges’ service area. Also only student activity fee funds will be used to pay for sports. This was included in Policy F.5.2 student contests and competition. Trustees who voted for the policy were District 2 trustee Denver McClendon; Gary Beitzel, chairman and District 8 trustee; and District 5 trustee Roberto Zárate. Trustees in opposition were District 7 trustee
Blakely Fernandez and District 6 trustee Gene Sprague. Fernandez does not sit on the committee, so her vote is not officially recorded. The district’s service area is Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Kerr and Wilson counties. At the meeting, President Robert Zeigler who represented the college presidents, said they were proposing students couldn’t travel 175mile radius to compete with other sports. Zeigler said it wouldn’t increase the expense, and teams wouldn’t have to stay overnight for competitions. Chancellor Bruce Leslie said the intent is to use only student activity funds and not grants or college operating funds. He said the student activity fund is for student programming. The college budgets cannot afford to supplement them any more, he said. McClendon asked if this would take a significant portion out of the student activity fund. Zeigler said it should not. He said this college funds most of its teams with operational money and it would stop doing that and reduce the number of teams. He said student activity expenditure is approved by students. Zárate said when they first discussed the policy, his understanding was they wouldn’t use operational funds anymore. He said he received information some teams had up to three coaches or he would see in The Ranger teams playing against Victoria, so he was glad they were revisiting this policy and being more specific. Sprague wanted to hear what was the burning desire for having these programs. Dr. Adena Loston, St. Philip’s College president, said students coming to community college are getting younger. She said students have expectations when they come on campus and one is to be provided student activities. She said sports is a draw and brings school spirit, and families come to watch the games. Sprague said it was hard to believe student activity fee money could cover travel and coaches. Zeigler said it would have to. Next semester, no sport will be funded with operational dollars. Fernandez said, “Why would that be board policy? Talk about getting in the weeds on how students spend their activity fee money.” The next regular board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday in Room 101 of Killen Center at 201 W. Sheridan. For more information, go to www.alamo.edu and click on Board of Trustees and then Agendas.
6 â€˘ April 18, 2011
Two yellow cats hide in the bushes north of visual arts April 8. Cats are being spayed and neutered by SpaySA, then released back on campus. Chelsea V. Peacock
April 18, 2011 • 7
Employees catch and release area cats Cats help students relieve stress on campus, professor says. By Riley Stephens Six employees participated in the first Trap Neuter and Release Program at this college during spring break. The employees formed teams to catch and release two orange cats living around the visual arts center. Reading Professor Michelle Tippit, history Professor Jerry Poole and visual arts technician Samuel Reyna trapped the cats. Continuing education coordinator Thermajean Jones and Hilda San Miguel, executive secretary to the vice president of college services, transported and visual arts Professor Debra Schafter was the recovery team. The cats were taken to SpaySA, a center that houses stray cats at 1615 S. Laredo St. “Worked like a charm,” Reyna said. Before the trapping, San Miguel described the process. “Sunday the traps will be set side by side with just a little food in them. Monday morning the cats will not get their usual food. That evening, we’re hoping they’re in the traps. Tuesday morning, we will pick them up to take them to the center,” she said. San Miguel said the cats had to be dropped off by 7 a.m. Tuesday to get spayed or neutered, then picked up by 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. the same day. She said after the cats are spayed or neutered, they have to be kept seperate in their cages –– males 24 hours and females 48 hours. San Miguel said both cats are male. “We’re calling them ‘the twins,’” she said. All the members of the team were required to attend a free San Antonio Feral Cat Capture training before they could participate in the capture and release. The surgery was partially provided by PetSmart Grant Charities. The rest was provided by the faculty. This campus is in ZIP code 78212 and PetSmart Grant Charities is providing partial spay/neutering of cats in this ZIP code. “The surgery for the cats was provided by donations from employees,” Reyna said. “The cages are a refundable $65 upon return, provided by San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition,” San Miguel said. Reyna said he feeds the cats and one of them is very friendly. “One of the cats actually sat on my lap,” Poole said.
English Professor Jane Focht-Hansen sets out cat food north of Loftin April 12. Tyler K. Cleveland
Poole, who has been teaching at this college since 1966, said the cats were a way for students to relieve their stress by taking pictures with them and scratching their backs. He said a few cats around Chance Academic Center were adopted last fall and he was sure that more have moved into the bushes. He said he remembers a cat named Chance that used to roam around the center. “He just showed up one day,” Poole said. “I got in touch with his family and when they found out he was here they came and took him home,” Poole said. “A week later he was back,” he said. Poole said Chance really loved hanging around the students and taking pictures with them. He said when they would study outside, he would be right there with them. “He was a very friendly cat,” Poole said. “The family decided that Chance must really like the campus life. They let him stay,” Poole said. “One day a student was sad that he was transferring out and he wouldn’t see Chance anymore, so I think he decided to take Chance with him, and that was the last time I saw Chance,” Poole said. San Miguel said there were dozens of cats on campus, and she plans on doing more programs in the future. “I am looking for those faculty members who are feeding the cats around their build-
A cat sits on a wall behind the visual arts center April 8. Chelsea V. Peacock
ings,” San Miguel said. Poole said there have probably been cats here as long as there have been buildings here. “We have our SAC cats. Our cat colonies,” David Mrizek, vice president of college services, said. President Robert Zeigler said he didn’t want multiplying on campus. “Well, I don’t think that if cats are spayed or neutered, they would generally cause a huge problem on this campus,” Zeigler said. “I don’t see that they’re generally bothering anyone.” Members of the team said this was the first time they have done anything like this and want to continue to catch, spay, neuter and release all the cats living near the buildings on campus. For more information, contact San Miguel at 210-486-0938.
8 • April 18, 2011
College Council to offer new signage proposal to chancellor Budget drives loss of coordinators, released time and consolidations. By Melody Mendoza President Robert Zeigler showed a photo illustration of the college sign that incorporates the seal and the new district-imposed college logo at the Tuesday College Council meeting. The Ranger reported Jan. 27 that the district spent almost $16,000 to brand four of the Alamo Colleges with the logo that features Alamo Colleges prominently. At this college, the logo was installed over the college seal adopted in the mid 1950s. Zeigler was not consulted about the placement. At the February College Council meeting, Zeigler said he would talk to Chancellor Bruce Leslie about displaying both symbols on the college sign west of Gonzales and McCreless halls on San Pedro Avenue. Zeigler said he told Leslie about the concern and was asked to submit suggestions. The new sign would incorporate smaller logos on each side of the engraved words “founded in 1925.” This allows the college seal to be displayed above the college name. English Chair Alex Bernal said, “I think that’s a beautiful rendition of what we hope to do.” The council agreed that this is what they wanted — incorporate both symbols — and passed a motion to relay it to Leslie. Public relations Director Deborah Martin presented a video on a new web content management system for the college website that is expected to go live in the fall. The new system will give the Alamo Colleges websites a similar look and be easy to navigate, she said. She and the office of technology services put together the video, which indicated faculty can edit in this system to keep the site up to date without knowing the web
President Robert Zeigler talks about department consolidations during a College Council meeting Tuesday in visual arts. Tyler K. Cleveland software Dreamweaver. At the top, the website will have tabs for future students, academics, and departments. A main page with an information site template will offer contacts and locations. In other technology-related news, English Professor Dawn Elmore-McCrary said a district committee that includes college members saw six vendor presentations of learning platforms to replace Blackboard Vista. The committee narrowed it down to two finalists — Instructure and Blackboard Learn 9.1. The council also discussed a reduction in the number of program coordinators and department consolidations because Elmore-McCrary, chair of Faculty Senate, reported the senate had concern about the effects on the college’s accreditation. Zeigler said it will not affect the accreditation, and the decision to consolidate was a college decision made to ensure long-term stability, and he wants departments to enhance things they have in common with another department. He said the consolidated
departments do not have official names yet. Consolidations include: • English with reading and education. The new chair will be English Professor Gilliam “Mike” Burton. • The recently combined history, humanities and anthropology department with the political science and economics department. Political science and economics Chair Paul Wilson is slated to serve as chair. • Chemistry, earth sciences and astronomy joins biology and will be led by biology Chair Teanna Staggs. • Theater and speech communication joins visual arts and music. Speech Chair Jeff Hunt will be chair. • Physics, engineering and architecture joins engineering technology, but no chair has been selected. • Foreign languages and philosophy merge with foreign languages Chair Tammy Perez as chair. The first round of consolidations began in fall 2009 and included the creation of the media communications department.
Zeigler said consolidations will go into effect in the fall. Emma Mendiola, interim dean of student affairs, asked the council to support the Student Affairs Council in keeping kinesiology as a core requirement. This council is made up of the heads of the business, financial aid, enrollment, admissions and student life offices, and the assessment, student development, disability services, counseling and the women’s center. Mendiola asked the council to support keeping kinesiology and dance as core requirements and to encourage students to take an activity courses. The District Curriculum Committee, made up of four representatives from each of the Alamo Colleges, is cutting requirements from the core from the current 45 hours to 42 hours because of changes in state requirements. HB 3025, an articulation of a recommendation from the Undergraduate Education Advisory Committee of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board proposes reducing the core
April 18, 2011 • 9
English chair passes the torch after 20 years Alex Bernal is honored for his advocacy of faculty and students. By Melody Mendoza English Professor Steve Badrich said he can describe English Chair Alex Bernal’s decision to step down as chair in three sentences. “Alex Bernal has done an extraordinary job as chair. He cared about the faculty, and cared about the students. And I know that Mike Burton will be a worthy successor,” Badrich said. President Robert Zeigler announced at Tuesday’s College Council meeting that English Professor Gilliam “Mike” Burton will chair the English, reading and education department in the fall. Burton has led the Honors Program for about 20 years. English Chair Alex Bernal said after 17 years as a faculty member and 20 years as chair, he is stepping down. “History is lost when one suddenly retires,” Bernal said at College Council. In an interview Wednesday, he said he is looking at the long-term vision and doesn’t want to leave the department without an experi-
Alex Bernal in 2001 File photo enced chair. Because of the budget crisis, he said he was reluctant to step down. He said it made the decision difficult, but said, “It’s time for another person to learn those challenges.” Although he tossed and turned for many months over stepping down, Bernal expressed confidence in Burton. “He will do a very fine job,” he said. Bernal said this was the second most difficult decision he has had to make. The first was his decision to resign his commission in the Army Infantry in 1974. He said he was about to receive a captain’s bar, but if he would have taken it, he would have had to stay another year and turn down a job offer here.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8 to no less than 36 hours. Bernal said that although he agrees that wellness is important, he wouldn’t support one discipline and not consider other disciplines. Manuel Flores, director of enrollment management, said he disagreed because, in terms of wellness everywhere, “We’re in dire poor health overall.” “What good is academic development if we’re not in good health?” he said. Dr. Jessica Howard, vice president of academic affairs who chairs the District Curriculum Committee, said she hoped they had more time to decide on which requirements would be reduced. The committee will decide on the reduction of hours on the core requirements April 18. Also, grants coordinator Susan Espinoza asked
Bernal still plans to teach fulltime for the next two to five years and continue to serve on Faculty Senate. “I’ll call myself 20/20,” Bernal said because it will make it 20 years teaching as well. Bernal said he attended this college in 1963 on a tennis scholarship and graduated in 1965. He said he has taught a class every semester he’s been at this college and never taught an overload, something he is proud of. Bernal established the Chairs Council in 1994, the first deliberative body solely for chairs from all district colleges of the time: this college, Palo Alto and St. Philip’s colleges.
for the council’s approval to proceed in the process to apply for a Title 5 grant of $2 million over five years available for Hispanic-serving institutions. She said this grant would fund “Inter-Acción,” which would improve the first-year experience and advising and faculty-student interaction at this college. She said this is in beginning stages, but wanted the council’s approval to continue with the grant request, which the council approved. Other dates to plan for is an adjunct town hall meeting at 10 a.m. April 30 in Room 218A and 218B where Zeigler will be answering questions from adjuncts. Howard said there will be an all-faculty forum at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Room 201 of the chemistry and geology building to discuss proposed changes in tenure-promotion.
He said in 1991, chairs had lost advocacy, and there wasn’t a chairs’ assembly. When he took over that spring, he said he was appointed to work on a district committee to look at the role and scope of a department chair. There, the evolution of the first district Chairs Council was established. He served as chair of chairs for about 15 years, stepping down five years ago. He said in the current budget crisis, the college needs to affirm the role of chair. Bernal said he thinks future chairs will redefine themselves and realize the importance of advocacy for their departments. English Professor Janice Clayton said, “I cannot stress enough what a great department chair Mr. Bernal has been in terms of his support of students and faculty. We’re so fortunate to have had his leadership.” Bernal said he will miss the challenge of being the person in the middle where there is tension — not only must a chair serve the administration but also the faculty. “It’s a unique position, but it’s not impossible,” he said. “I always loved a good challenge.”
Replacements for Blackboard Vista The Teaching with Technologies Committee has chosen two possible learning management systems to replace Blackboard Vista in 2012 when it expires. There will be an Instructure demonstration from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. May 4 in Room 218A and 218B of the nursing complex. A presentation of Blackboard Learn 9.1 will be from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. May 5 in Room 318 of the academic instruction center.
10 • April 18, 2011
Anthropology professor explores curanderismo By Alma Linda Manzanares Dr. Elizabeth De La Portilla, anthropology professor, was trained as a cuandera, a folk healer dedicated to curing physical or spiritual illnesses, but she never heard a spiritual calling to heal. Her book, “They All Want Magic: Curanderas and Folk Healing,” which explores the world and practices of San Antonio curanderas, was published by Texas A&M University Press in March 2009. “The practice of curanderismo is so much a part of the culture that we don’t even realize that’s what we’re doing,” De La Portilla said. Curanderismo is about 500 years old and was introduced by the Spanish, who combined it with many cultures. It takes ideas from European medicine; they took it
from the Greeks and the Aztecs, but heal,” she said. “I never heard a also from Indians in Texas, she said. voice telling me ‘you should heal,’ Those ideas were combined but I was trained as one because of with Native American ideas of med- working with the curanderos.” icine, healing traditions, religion De La Portilla said she became and spirituality, De la Portilla said. interested in the practice, plants Curanderismo is meant to and healing because of her grandenhance wellness through prayer, mother. “She had a huge garden, herbal medicine, healand I used to follow her ing rituals, spiritualism, around in the morning massage and psychic when she would water healing. things and send me out De La Portilla said to pick the chile pequin even though she doesn’t before the birds got it,” have a calling to heal, she said. she would be considHer grandmother ered a sobadora, a healwould prepare jams er that heals through and chiles and make Dr. Elizabeth De La Portilla massage for both physiteas to help with sickcal comfort and reaching nesses such as an out to one’s soul for healing. upset stomach. A healer wants peo“People who become healers ple to learn how to heal themselves always feel a spiritual calling to because everyone has the ability to
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heal, De La Portilla said. “Everyone can sing, but some of us sound better in the shower than we do on stage,” she said. “Everyone can heal in one way or another, but some people just have more of a gift for it.” De La Portilla said she worked with a curandera for her book and in response to the question, “What do people want from you?” the curandera replied, “They all want magic and so do you.” De La Portilla said she was looking for magic, unknowingly, to validate the things she had grown up with such as stories of magic. When she asked, “What is it that people come to you for?” the curandera replied, “They want love.” De La Portilla said people want to belong to family or community and feel accepted. “It’s not uncommon for people to have a 20-minute to an hour conversation with a curandera before the healing actually takes place,” she said. “It’s uncommon for a doctor to do that before he decides on how he’s going to treat you.” She said part of the tradition is to incorporate something that people can do for themselves, so they can take on ownership in a very different way than when a doctor gives you pills. Healers help others understand what made them ill and what they can do to help themselves, she said. De La Portilla said her book helps others understand curanderismo as a way to heal the community and themselves. “We can take the lessons and apply them to social issues and use the way people heal through plants and praying, but also through the arts and social engagement,” she said. Healers have told De La Portilla her gift is in teaching. “I grew up with this tradition and I’m just reporting what I know and what others have experienced,” she said.
April 18, 2011 • 11
SGA seeks candidate applicants for 8 races By Megan Mares This college’s Student Government Association is seeking candidates for eight offices for a term beginning Sept. 1 and ending Aug. 31, 2012. On the ballot are president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and four commissioner positions. Elected candidates who fulfill their duties will earn a $500 book scholarship for each semester they serve. The office of student life administers the scholarship. Candidacy packets are available through the 4:30 p.m. deadline Thursday in the office of student life in Room 260 of Loftin Student Center. The hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. In addition to the application, a digital photograph and transcript
For coverage in Calendar, call 210-486-1773 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org two weeks in advance.
Today Ranger Deadline: Submission of news tips for final spring issue April 25. SAC Event: Scholastic Book Fair 9 a.m.2 p.m. east of Loftin. SAC Event: South Texas Blood & Tissue Center blood drive 9 a.m.–4 p.m. in Fiesta Room of Loftin. Continues Tuesday. Call 210-486-1822. SAC Meeting: Society of MexicanAmerican Engineers and Scientists 3 p.m. in the MESA Center in Room 204 of Chance. Call 210-486-1300. SAC Performance: Guitar Ensemble 7:30 p.m. in auditorium of McAllister. Call 210-486-0255. Tuesday SAC Meeting: Campus Crusade for
must be submitted. Eligibility for a position as an elected official requires that applicants be enrolled in at least six hours at this college while maintaining a 2.5 GPA or better before and during the term of office. An applicant’s GPA must be submitted in an unofficial transcript obtained on ACES. Applicants cannot have administrative holds, or be on scholastic probation or under suspension for disciplinary reasons. When the election packet is complete, it must be submitted to the office of student life. Part of SGA’s mission statement includes that members of student government are meant to improve campus life by representing themselves as an official voice of the student body.
SGA President Tammy KotheRamsey said candidates for student government should want to make a difference. “It’s about making sure the student body has a voice,” she said. “You’re representing everyone’s interests, not just personal ones.” The duties and expectations of an SGA official are to attend meetings noon-1 p.m. on the first, second and some third Mondays of each month. Officers should also attend events sponsored by SGA such as Pizza with the President, Desserts with the Deans, Chili with the Chairs, BBQ with the Board, and Pepsi with the President events that allow students to communicate with administrators. Mark Bigelow, assistant coordinator of student leadership
and activities, said Pepsi with the President is an event for SGA members to ask questions of the president and present new ideas. In addition to leading and serving on at least one SGA committee, members are expected to support SGA representatives who speak at the regular board meetings once a month. The election committee will review proposed campaign plans Thursday. From April 25 through May 6, approved campaign plans will commence. From noon until 1 p.m. May 2 in Fiesta Room of Loftin, a candidate forum will take place. The same day, online voting will begin and voting continues through May 6. Results will be announced May 9.
Christ 1:30 p.m. in Room 113 of chemistry and geology. Call 210-486-1233.
Thursday. Call 210-458-6829.
7:30 p.m. in auditorium of McAllister. Call 210-486-0255.
District Meeting: Regular board meeting 6 p.m. in Room 101 of Killen Center, 201 W. Sheridan. For more information, go to www.alamo.edu and click on Board of Trustees and then Agendas.
Town Hall Meeting: “The Fiscal State of Texas” with Sen. Leticia Van de Putte 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio auditorium, 7703 Floyd Curl. Free parking in Lots 1, 2, 4 and 6. To watch the meeting live, visit, www.leticiacandeputte.com.
SAC Performance: Wind Ensemble 7:30 p.m. in auditorium of McAllister. Call 210-486-0255.
SAC Performance: Early Music Ensemble 7:30 p.m. in auditorium of McAllister. Call 210-486-0255.
SAC Meeting: Psychology Club 2 p.m. in Room 642 of Moody. Call 210-4862887. SAC Meeting: Gay and Lesbian Association 3 p.m.-4 p.m. in Room 644 of Moody. Call 210-486-0673. SAC Meeting: Phi Theta Kappa Beta Nu Chapter 4 p.m. in Room 241 in Nail. Call 210-486-1136. UTSA Performance: “The Vagina Monologues” 6 p.m.-9 p.m. in Retama Auditorium. Continues 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
SAC Event: Earth Day celebration 9 a.m. in mall. Call 210-486-0125.
April 26 SAC Performance: Jazz Latin Combo 7:30 p.m. in auditorium of McAllister. Call 210-486-0255. SAC Event: Excellence in Writing Award Ceremony with lecture by Dr. Roxanne Henkin from 6 p.m.–8 p.m. in Koehler. Call 210-486-0125. April 27 SAC Event: Desserts with Deans and Directors noon to 1 p.m. in the Fiesta Room of Loftin. Call 210-486-0125.
Friday AC Holiday: Colleges closed for Easter. Continues through April 24. SAC Performance: Brass Ensemble 7:30 p.m. in auditorium of McAllister. Call 210-486-0255. April 25 SAC Performance: Brass Ensemble
Calendar Legend SAC: San Antonio College NVC: Northwest Vista College SPC: St. Philip’s College SWC: Southwest Campus PAC: Palo Alto College NLC: Northeast Lakeview College AC: Alamo Colleges
12 • The Ranger
District grows, changes demographi The Alamo Colleges are as diverse as the city and as divided by culture. By Melody Mendoza Demographics can shift from day classes to night classes and semester to semester, the vice president of college services here said. After 40 years of experience in the classroom, institutional research and effectiveness department and as vice president, David Mrizek said demographics make a difference in the classroom. Teaching night classes for 37 years made him realize that because those students usually work eight-hour days, have family and come into the classroom tired, he needed to put more energy into his teaching style. “It is important that you adapt,” Mrizek said. He said students have different learning styles that are inborn or learned. In addition, Mrizek said demographics, or characteristics of a population, can influence learning styles. They can be learned in high school or college. He said, for example, students coming from the North East Independent School District will come in with a different education than a student from San Antonio Independent School District. “This is purely subjective,” he said. Nursing sophomore Syreeta Redmond said she took college algebra with a professor from the Mideast who was surprised that the class didn’t know things he had learned in middle school. Mrizek said age is a demographic, and it can work both ways, in that, a student may or may not benefit from coming into college from the work force. He said, for example, a student who went to work right after high school might not have as fresh a take on math as a recent high school
Source: Alamo Colleges factbooks. Age was not reported in the NVC factbook.
graduate would. Age also can affect students’ learning styles. Business freshman Eulyses Herrera, 20, said in his business speech class, there are only two other people 20- to 21-years-old. The others are in their late 20s or 30s. Herrera said it benefits him because, “They usually do an excellent job on their projects and I’m able to learn from them.” Mrizek said for the longest time, the average age at this college was 27 to 28 years old, but because of the economy, this may have changed. He said more young people are enrolling in community colleges because they cannot afford university tuition. According to the 2008-09 San Antonio College Factbook, there were 1,664 students 17 and younger in 2004 and 2,138 in 2008. He said this spring, more students enrolled than the number in the fall. “I don’t think that has happened in the 40 years that I’ve been here,” he said. He said this may not affect the classroom, but can affect students coming to college. In the 2010 Factbook, of 58,638 students enrolled at the Alamo Colleges in fall 2009, 35 percent received a Pell grant. The demographics of the college also shift in summer, he said. In his experience teaching speech, Mrizek said he has seen a lot of college seniors who put off taking a speech class who come to this college in the summer. “Because they’ve had three years of experience, they’re academically savvy,” he said. Mrizek said demographics also change between community colleges and universities. A faculty member, for example, at the University of Texas at Austin gets students who graduated in the top 8 percent of high school. He said the demographics change in com-
munity colleges becaus types of people. Tyrell Williams, sp Philip’s College who ta 1998 to 2007, said he h academic preparation. Students at UT-Aus ers, Williams said. The library and Internet an of research in their spe Williams said the bi books. At UT-Austin, W require students to p books, but at St. Phil cheaper speech textbo never entered my mind “For whatever reas their textbook here,” W Williams added tha students how to use te never happened at UTHe said he’s also se dents’ personal lives. “SPC students ha problems,” he said. “Mo drug problems, domes work problems, child c “I love helping peo said. “I grew up with issues and have the in motivate our potential Demographics chan leges in this district. St. Philip’s is a his but this is changing, M centage of black stude as it once was. This college is a serving institution. Mr Also, there are gend colleges focus on rec because fewer men ar more are dropping out
April 18, 2011 • 13
SPC students will need more support
se the door is open to all
peech instructor at St. aught at UT-Austin from has seen a difference in . stin were good researchey knew how to use the nd saw the importance eeches. iggest difference is textWilliams said he could purchase multiple textlip’s, he had to find a ook. “That would have d at UT,” he said. son, students don’t buy Williams said. at he’s had to teach older echnology, and that had -Austin. een a difference in stu-
Dr. Adena Williams Loston, president of St. Philip’s College, said demographics don’t change the students’ priorities but may change the services each college offers. For example, 90 percent of first-time-in-college students at St. Philip’s will require developmental math, Loston said. This will change the resources directed toward those students where another college may only SPC President Adena Loston have to address such a need in 60 percent-70 percent of its population. She said St. Philip’s has a career ladder to help students develop a career path. Once a student has taken developmental courses, the learning environment in transfer classes is not going to be affected, Loston said. “I believe the students are going to need more support before they get to the transfer level,” she said. “And we provide that.” She said it’s getting students through those transfer courses, and “our role is to get them where they want to be.”
SAC services shifting
ave complex personal oney problems, divorce, stic abuse, car problems, care problems. ople become better,” he people who had these nsight and patience to lly wonderful students.” nge, too, among the col-
storically black college, Mrizek said, and the perents is not as high there
designated Hispanicizek said it still is. der shifts, he said. Many cruiting male students re entering college, and t.
Graphs by Alexandra Nelipa
President Robert Zeigler said According to the U.S. Census, this college is changing in several the Hispanic population grew by ways — there are more women, the 43 percent between 2000 and 2010. Hispanic population has dropped He said if the district caps slightly and the need for develop- enrollment, there will most likemental math has grown. He said ly be more students enrolling at although a Hispanicthis college than at Serving Institution, the Northeast Lakeview college population has or Northwest Vista, changed enough to which also will shift the lower the percentage demographics because of Hispanic students. students in those areas He said the college is start at a higher level or making an effort to need less remediation. reach out to the comSince 1971, when munities of the central Zeigler started teachSAC President Robert Zeigler city, resulting in “our ing history here, he said neighbors are sending he’s seen the focus shift us more students.” from transferring to being part of Also, Zeigler said the state the large comprehensive programs indicates a growing population of offered here. Hispanics in the future, which is For example, he said more likely to shift demographics here. women are coming into the nurs“We’ll see the Hispanic popula- ing program; therefore, the college tion grow,” he said. “Then, we’ll see is trying to find ways to attract this new Hispanic population need men. our services” because this college is accessible and affordable. CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
14 • April 18, 2011
Demographics: as the presidents see it PAC adapts to working students Dr. Ana “Cha” Guzman, president of Palo Alto College, said the most important demographic to consider at Palo Alto is students who qualify for financial aid. “I think that is what tells us apart,” she said. PAC President Ana “Cha” Guzman “Palo Alto has the largest proportion of students who need financial aid; who qualify for financial aid.” Also, she said probably about 98 percent of students at that college work full time to be able to afford college, which “makes a big difference (in) what you do with those students.” Another thing that’s important is age, she said. The average age of Palo Alto students is about 25. “I think that the Alamo Colleges have different demographics,” she said, “and that is something we need to pay more attention to when making decisions.” She rated her college as doing a good job with outreach to area high schools, but not so highly on workforce development. One of the goals of the South Side college when it was established in 1985 was to increase the number of male students through the work force program. She said the college has succeeded, and the number of women has decreased from 68 percent to 61 percent. She said she has been at Palo Alto for 10 years and before that Texas A&M University in College Station where Hispanic students were 8 percent of the student population. At Palo Alto, 67 percent of students are Hispanic. “We know Hispanic students really value family,” she said. “So in SDEV (student development) courses, we talk about the value of family.” She said the college also helps students understand the importance of studying to educational success. In the class, she might say, “Some Sundays, you have to say to your parents, ‘I can’t go to abuelita’s house this afternoon because I have to study.’”
NVC partners with public schools Dr. Jackie Claunch, president of Northwest ally have older students. Vista College, added that the public school Claunch taught for 23 years at Richland system around her far West Side college also College of the Dallas County Community is growing, which would bring in younger College District. students to that college. She said despite similarities, the Dallas She said her administration system was planned to be the has established partnerships with same across the district, howarea public schools to acquaint ever, this district “grew up doing potential students with their serthings differently.” vices. Now, as transcripts are comClaunch, who joined the bined and courses aligned, not district eight months before everyone likes the change, but in Northwest Vista opened its the long run, it will be beneficial, campus in October 1998, said she said. St. Philip’s offers technical proEveryone has opinions that NVC President grams that often bring in stumay bring conflict, she said, but Jackie Claunch dents older than the population there also is an opportunity to at Northwest Vista. hear new ideas. She said the average age of her students The most important thing, though, is to is similar to that of Palo Alto College at about engage students in the classroom no matter 22-23; St. Philip’s and this college traditionwhat the demographics, she said.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 Zeigler said older students are interested in short-term training through continuing education. Also, there has been a growing need for developmental education where 87 percent of first-time-in-college students need some level of developmental education in reading, English or math. He said the demographics here have shifted to a younger audience as evidenced by growth in dual credit, Gateway to College and early college programs. Zeigler said the college has offered dual credit for about 10-12 years, the Gateway program for five years and early college for three years. He said services here are shifting to accommodate younger students so they won’t need developmental courses and can get through the system faster.
‘One size does not fit all’
NLC President Eric Reno
Dr. Eric Reno, president of Northeast Lakeview College, said the Northeast Side is one of the fastest-growing parts of San Antonio, and as more families move in, younger students will attend Northeast Lakeview. At a March 28 district strategic retreat, he said, “One size does not fit all.”
The district should consider each colleges’ diverse demographics when making decisions, he said. If enrollment is limited districtwide, Northeast Lakeview would be impacted the most because it has been growing at a rate of about 25 percent per year, Reno said.
April 18, 2011 • 15
Undocumented eligible for financial aid By Ximena Victoria Alvarez On July 29, the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act: Arizona Immigration Law SB 1070 went into effect. Ten years earlier, Texas signed HB 1403 into law effective Sept. 1, 2001, which enables immigrant students, including those who are undocumented, to qualify as Texas residents to pay in-state tuition rates. As the SB 1070 took effect on Hispanic undocumented residents, the debate on education continues. Nicolas D. Silva and Daniel Sustaita, off-site coordinators of the College Connection Team from the evening, weekend and distance education division, have devoted
themselves to educate the community and inform undocumented students that they can pursue an education. Sustaita and Silva and the College Connection team go to 13 high schools and inform undocumented students how to apply for college and what resources are available. They visit Fox Tech, Edison, Lanier, Jefferson, Lee, McArthur, Churchill, Madison, Reagan, Johnson, Navarro Academy, International School of the Americas and Alamo Heights. The SB 1070 has caused a decrease of undocumented students registering on campus. “The school reaches out to us; there is a certain apprehension with students,” Sustaita said. Silva said, “High schools have
undocumented students identified to them. We tell them there are still opportunities for them.” The team encounters 20-25 students per year from the schools they visit. “Thirty to 40 students are recommended to us from the offsite centers; undocumented students aren’t sure if it’s safe for them to talk to us,” Sustaita said. “A lot of times they hear they need Social Security numbers. Student can file their application without a Social Security number.” Silva said the team “works in conjunction with off-site centers and specializes in helping undocumented students with financial aid.” Silva added that the teams utilize all the services that are available here on campus, such as the Seguir Adelante Center. The team also encourages stu-
dents to participate in the San Antonio Educational Partnership, César E. Chávez Scholarship and the Texas Grant. These resources do not require students to be citizens. Scholarships are based on attendance and satisfactory grades. “Counselors at the school tell us that most undocumented students are very hard workers,” Silva said. “We don’t ask, but for the most part that the majority of students we encounter are working class. They are good kids for what they are going through. They are social. Students have a community in these schools. They feel welcome,” Sustaita said. For more information on financial services at this college, call 210-486-0600.
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16 • April 18, 2011
Mortuary science raises standards Students complain the bar is set too high. By Jacob Beltran Since August, the mortuary science program has required a grade of B for students to pass any required course, but a B in mortuary science means a minimum final grade of 84. Mortuary science Chair Felix Gonzales said a committee of five faculty members from the department unanimously decided to raise the minimum grade requirement to make students better prepared to pass the National Board Examination. The decision was approved by Vernell Walker, dean of professional and technical education, then by Dr. Jessica Howard, vice president of academic affairs, and ultimately, by President Robert Zeigler. To become a funeral director or embalmer, students have to pass the National Board Exam with a score of at least a 75 on each of two sections, funeral directing and embalming. The exam costs $400 and is administered by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards. The mortuary science department has 220 students enrolled. The test is taken upon completion of MRTS 1191, Special Topics in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science, and MRTS 2286, Funeral Services and Mortuary Science, which are considered exit courses for the 70-hour degree plan. The American Board of Funeral Service Education, the board that accredits the mortuary science department, imposed the stipulation in 2004 that students must take the exam to earn an associate degree. Students have to take the exam within 30 days of the last day of the semester.
In a meeting with Zeigler before spring break, Gonzales said the pass rate is up to 75 percent from 50 percent, which was below the accreditation agency’s minimum. In 2009, half of the 20 students from this college who took the exam passed, lowering the percentage to 50 percent. In 2010, three of the four students who took the test after the minimum B requirement was implemented passed, raising the percentage to 75 percent.
Other students say the change brings more stress and hardship. “We’re all having difficult times with that change,” mortuary science sophomore Deon Thompson said. “For example, if we take a test and we get an 82 on it, your average student is fine with it; in our department, you get an 82 and the first words out of your mouth are … ‘I failed!’” Thompson said the decision should have been to gradually raise it up over time or that incoming students should have been made
In mortuary science courses, students must score a certain number of points on each test. Gonzales said although students may need to retake a course, students still receive credit from the college. “A C is still worth the quality average so students will still qualify to receive financial aid,” he said. “It does not impact them adversely; we wouldn’t do that to people.” Gonzales said that although a C is still passing in course stan-
According to accreditation standards, programs must maintain at least a 60 percent annual student pass rate of first-time takers on the exam for each calendar year. “Our plan does appear to be working,” Gonzales said.
to adhere to the change while current students were grandfathered into the old system. Other students, such as mortuary science sophomore Alison Garcia, wish the department would require only a B average on all courses.
dards, students who do not pass a course the second time have to deal with the ramifications of the three-peat rule. Three-peat courses are courses a student registers for a third time and cost $1,475, the same as outof-state tuition.
The Ranger The mortuary science department grades zero to 65 as an F, 66 to 74 as a D, 75 to 83 as a C, 84 to 92 as a B and 93 to 100 as an A. The grading scale of the department has been set for several years. The minimum of 84 to pass is new. “All we’re asking is a letter grade higher,” Gonzales said. “One more point for students making an 83.” He said students are just now beginning to speak up about the change. “This was nothTiffany Serrano ing new, and it was not mortuary science secret,” Gonzales said. Mortuary science sophomore Tiffany Serrano, 23, and single mother of one, is another student feeling pressure from the change. Working full time at a funeral home, taking courses full time and raising her child makes it difficult to study, Serrano said. Serrano is in her third year here, with two
years in the mortuary science program. “I’m terrified. I’ve been working so hard and now I might not pass,” she said. “It’s a lot of extra stress that people don’t need.” Serrano asked if there was anything that could be done to meet students in the middle. “Nursing students save lives, but they don’t have this problem,” she said. The course MRTS 2286, Funeral Services and Mortuary Science, requires at least 588 points out of 700 on tests to pass the course. Students must make sophomore an 84 on seven tests to stay at 588 points. Serrano scored an 80 on a retest March 30, which means she fails the course because she could not score an 84 to complete the 588-point minimum required. “We’re allowed one retake, and this was that retake,” she said, “I worked hard and passed the first several, but this is one I just couldn’t pass.”
“I’m terrified. I’ve been working so hard and now I might not pass.”
April 18, 2011 • 17 Gonzales said that with retests, if a student does not pass with a sufficient grade on the first exam, students who do no pass a second time might not completely comprehend the material. Other students say the change sets the bar higher. “I think it’s a higher standard for students,” mortuary science sophomore Lori Nunberg said. Mortuary science sophomore Chris Dotson said, “It’s pretty high, and some classes are pretty difficult, but you’ve just got to try that much harder.” For students who require extra help, Gonzales said the computer labs in Room 204 of Nail Technical Center are equipped with tutorials and practice tests for the classes and even the state exam. “Every so often … I’ll peek my head in and see students there,” Gonzales said, “but several times I’ve seen them only on YouTube looking up funny videos or checking Facebook and email.” For more information about the mortuary science department, call 210-486-1157.
18 • April 18, 2011
Capping is not a simple decision Trustees and district and college administrators discussed capping enrollment at a board retreat April 2 as one way to cope with a massive loss of state revenue. Before making a quick decision, the board should carefully weigh the pros and cons. The board ultimately will have to choose among three options — raising tuition, raising taxes or capping enrollment — or some combination of the three. Any of these will deeply affect the community that populates, benefits from and supports the district’s five colleges. By law, the district must maintain an open-door policy. A cap effectively closes that door. No financial crisis should ever steal the opportunity for education. Education is the way out of crisis. Because this district’s service area includes all of Bexar, Atascosa, Bandera, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Kerr and Wilson counties, this decision can impact much of Central and South Texas. If you cap enrollment, you are precluding the American dream for a population already behind. The Alamo Colleges prepare students who never envisioned themselves in college. Dedicated faculty and staff work hard to give opportunities to students in college for the first time, and many of them are the first in their families to attend college. If they are denied access to the Alamo Colleges, many of these students will never achieve the dream or close the
gap. Instead of becoming productive citizens, they may wind up contributing to more problems. On the other hand, however, is the great need to make sure the opportunities community colleges offer are not wasted. No one denies there are students who probably are not mature enough to be in college. They skip class, don’t buy textbooks or don’t bother to read them, procrastinate or think they can skate without putting in any effort as they did in high school. With limited support services, such as labs, tutoring and class seats, it is frustrating to see students who simply take up space and energy. Should precious resources be reserved for those most likely to make use of them? Who decides and how? The issue becomes much more complicated because many students who slack off a semester or two, do figure it out and begin to apply themselves. Many eventually succeed. Maybe we should stop trying to snare every high school graduate and let those who don’t have any idea what they want to do with their lives go find out what life is like without an education. This could be their wake-up call. Trustees need to think long and hard on this one. With so much at stake and so many things to consider, we don’t need a rash decision to fulfill a short-term need. We will be living with the results of these decisions a long time.
April 18, 2011 • 19
Time ticking on warranty Brand new buildings have been experiencing problems with leaks and mold, making some wonder about how careful the district really is when it comes to spending. Sure, the budgets are getting tighter than ever, and it’s becoming more crucial to watch the bottom line more closely. Funding is being cut everywhere and someone has to enroll these students. Education is a basic necessity. Awarding the low bid for construction and remodeling is fiscally responsible, but contractors will cut corners to save a few bucks or to complete a project on time. Cheaper is more attractive when you are watching your spending, and the colleges are growing faster than the district can keep up with. However, if the low-bid contractor is the winner, the district has to provide tighter oversight of its project man-
agement company, which is also hired on bid. The Ranger has reported on leaks in Longwith Radio, Television and Film Building just a few years after it was built. The academic instruction center suffered similar water problems just after opening as did the nursing and allied health complex. Now the chemistry and geology building has mold and leaks from faulty pipes. The building had to be gutted to renovate. The warranty will expire soon so we should have experts checking everything to make sure the building doesn’t sustain any more damage. If we can’t ensure more quality in construction, then we at least need to keep a close eye on facilities and quickly make fixes before they grow into expansive and expensive repairs.
Use Denim Day to raise sexual assault awareness On April 27, wear your favorite cried out over the injustice of the pair of skinny jeans. verdict. Don’t do it because they make Women donned tight jeans in you feel good but for what they say protest and in support of sexual about sexual assault awareness. assault awareness. Denim Day commemorates outApril is Sexual Assault Awareness rage over an injustice. Month and a time to remember In Italy in 1998, a 45-year-old the travesties women experience driving instructor raped an 18-year- around the world, like the Italian girl old girl. whose story inspired a worldwide The man reportedly took her to protest. an abandoned Wear those road, forced one of “dangerously” tight April 27 is Denim Day, a her legs out of her jeans Wednesday sexual assault awareness event. People are asked to tight jeans, raped and let everyone wear jeans in support. her and threatened you meet that day to kill her if she told know tight jeans anyone. are not an excuse She told; he was convicted, how- for rape. ever, after a series of appeals he was Some people find themselves in found not guilty because “the victim abuse situations but deny it, others wore very, very tight jeans; she had don’t see the warning signs in sigto help him remove them, and by nificant others. removing the jeans, it was no longer You could make a difference in rape but consensual sex,” the Italian someone’s life simply by wearing chief justice ruled. tight jeans and talking about sexual Tight jeans means a rapist can assault for one day. walk free? For talking points, visit rainn.org. Led by the women of the Italian To register for Denim Day, log Parliament, people the world over onto www.safeplace.org.
20 • April 18, 2011
Retirees best adjuncts Typically, retiring means to permanently stop working at one’s place of employment upon reaching a senior age. The retirement incentive program approved April 2 by the board gives 210 full-time employees — faculty and staff — until May 31 to decide if they will accept a 70 percent incentive and give up the option of employment with the district for two years. The Ranger reported that Dr. Gene Sprague, District 6 trustee, said he didn’t care if retired employees came back 12 hours after retiring if they were going to be adjunct. We agree, but think it’s sad he doesn’t care. Students do. The retiring faculty members, who district officials think of as too expensive, are considered experi-
enced, well-read and well-respected teachers and mentors to students. Why not let these valuable resources return immediately as adjuncts? It won’t cost anymore than new adjuncts, but it will mean a higher quality education. These men and women who have dedicated themselves to higher education take with them much institutional memory as well as knowledge of the quirks of the college and the district that new hires will be unaware of. Students who attend the Alamo Colleges need a great deal of help, usually much more than those entering freshmen at universities. Who better than those who have passed the learning curve of the material, the technology and the procedures?
Decide already Registration starts today for summer and students need to know if there will be an enrollment cap or another tuition hike for fall. People know they will have to suffer through drastic cuts of resources. What many will not be able to understand is why everything takes so long. Get it together and make decisions. Many students — contrary to some district administrators’ beliefs — do not receive full financial aid and have to save for months to pay tuition. All spring the district has kept employees waiting on decisions. Now students are waiting to learn their fates. And they are waiting to schedule child care, classes, transportation, work, extra hours to cover this spring’s tuition increase and higher fees. We have known these cuts were coming for at least 15 months. What are you waiting for? The clock is ticking.
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April 18, 2011 • 21
Honor society travels to Seattle for convention What do you get when you combine high GPA, lots of service hours, a sense of duty and responsibility, and good moral character? A Phi Theta Kappan. And what do you get when you combine the Guest Viewpoint by Shana Le energies from more than 3,300 Phi Theta Kappans from 50 states and seven countries? A crazy bunch of Phi Theta Kappans dancing, running around with signs and having a generally good time. The 93rd annual Phi Theta
At the first general session, we heard renowned astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium of New York City, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. He spoke of skepticism in the modern age and joked about everyday subjects such as UFOs, conspiracy theories, Pluto, 2012 and the “supermoon.” At the end of Tyson’s speech was a question-and-answer session with former Phi Theta Kappans, the most famous being Fred Haise, Apollo 13 astronaut. During the second general session, we heard from Hilary Pennington, director of education, postsecondary success and special initiatives at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Her
ferry to explore the harbor but ran out of time because we had to get ready for the awards gala. After dancing the night away, Beta Nu was packed and ready to leave for a 6 a.m. flight. My own experience at this convention is that one can go far with this organization, learning new things, forming connections that could last a lifetime and friendships that can last forever. Rebecca Ross, historian and vice president of leadership, said she felt she “had the opportunity to grow as an individual as well as part of the chapter.” Ross said she has learned “to use caution when coming to a conclusion, not all sources are valid and (that her) own curiosity will help to
Kappa International Honor Society Convention was in Seattle. Five chapter officers and one adviser from this college’s PTK chapter, Beta Nu, left the city on a Thursday. Because of bad weather, our flight was canceled, we missed the opening ceremonies and didn’t get to our hotel until after midnight.
speech focused on higher education in the U.S. dropping from leading the world to being ranked 12th in the world. After Saturday morning forums, we took the monorail to the Space Needle, where we took pictures and bought souvenirs. We explored the famous Public Market, where the original Starbucks is on Pike Place. We wanted to take a
weed out the truth.” If anyone is interested in more information on Phi Theta Kappa, please come to our meetings every Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Room 241 of Nail Technical Center, or visit www.ptk.org, or our Facebook page, Phi Theta Kappa-Beta Nu. Shana Le is a forensic science sophomore and public relations officer of PTK-Beta Nu.
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22 • April 18, 2011
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April 18, 2011 • 23
Athletes required to study By Megan Mares For the past three years, all athletes who play sports here are required to study five hours a week at any tutoring lab on campus, Jorge Posadas, director of student life, said. All athletes must sign in at each tutoring lab they visit. Posadas said athletes must maintain a 2.5 grade-point average or they become ineligible to compete. The office of student life checks grades at midterm. In the future, Posadas hopes to be able to check athletes’ attendance via iPads student life purchased last semester. Then, Posadas said he would be able to see each time athletes check in and out. Posadas said this requirement affects about 180 to 200 players from 10 sports teams. All 10 coaches are limited to a maximum of 19 hours weekly for practice and games. Desiree Crawford, women’s basketball coach, said before the grade and study requirements, athletes might not have aspired to do well academically. “Eighty percent of the girls playing for me also work.” Crawford said some athletes are stronger than others in certain subjects. “I tell these girls ‘you know what? you can do this,’” she said. “I don’t just coach basketball.” Math sophomore Andres Gonzalez plays baseball; he said his grades rose because of the required study time. “Study hours help,” he said. “I get a lot of my homework done during that time.” Students on teams except baseball players are required to take nine hours a semester. Baseball players are required to take 12 hours because the National Club Baseball League-Division 2 Gulf Coast Conference requires it. Posadas said academia is important and being on a team offers encouragement to do well in school, while teaching athletes other valuable life lessons.
“Sports build character and leadership. That’s something you don’t typically learn in a classroom setting.” Jorge Posadas student life director “Sports build character and leadership,” Posadas said. “That’s something you don’t typically learn in a classroom setting.”
Jordan Lecroy, radio-television-film sophomore, bumps the ball in Monday’s intramural games. The games were 3-on-3 matches with iPod Shuffles given to the winning team. Abiel Rodriguez
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24 • April 18, 2011
Sports program suffers cuts BY MEGAN MARES
Photo illustration by JungKeun Song
The operating budget for the sports program at this college will decrease from about $125,000 to $70,000 and will be funded entirely from the student activity fee in 2011-12 President Robert Zeigler said Wednesday. Zeigler said that 85 percent of the sports operating budget has come from the college’s operating budget and as of the past three or four years, 15 percent has come from the student activity fee. Because of a reduction in funding from the state, the district made the decision in May 2009 that the college should fund sports programs from the student activity fee. Zeigler said that he; Jorge Posadas, director of student life, and Dr. Robert Vela, vice president of student affairs; will plan how to reallocate the funds. As long as they stay within the parameter set by the board, Zeigler, Posadas and Vela will not have to present their plan to the board of trustees. “There will be some cuts. There’s no doubt about that,” Zeigler said. “Final decisions will be made for certain this week or early next week.” On Tuesday, a proposal to amend the May 2009 policy was made by the Policy and LongRange Planning Committee. The committee’s proposal suggested that sports teams be allowed to travel only within the district’s service area, which consists of eight counties: Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Kerr and Wilson. Zeigler proposed to the board that the athletes be able to travel with a 175-mile radius to compete with other teams. He said when making the cuts, the following will be taken into mind: the involvement and level of participation of each sports team and the cost it takes to run each sports team. Posadas said there are 10 sports teams at this college. Each has one coach. About 180 to 200 student athletes are on the teams. Zeigler said the operating budget of the student activity fee is about $450,000 and is based on a $1 per semester hour fee. The Student Activity Fee Committee decides how the fee is used. The committee is composed of nine
members. The members include five students appointed by the Student Government Association and four faculty or staff members are appointed by Zeigler. Zeigler said that he has the right to veto, but Posadas heads the committee. Posadas said that according to Texas law, a maximum of 25 percent of the student activity fee is allowed to be used for sports. Clayton Henicke, physical therapy sophomore and baseball player, said he would be upset it they couldn’t travel beyond the service area to play. “It would be lame,” he said. “A lot of the guys like to travel and play away from this area.” The farthest the baseball team has traveled this season is to Austin. As of April 11, baseball coach Sam Gallegos said he’d only heard rumors of the cuts. On April 9, Gallegos led the baseball team to a victory against Texas State. The number of games varies from season to season, but Gallegos said that this year, they will play 30 games. In the conference this year, the baseball team at this college, part of the National Club Baseball League-Division 2 Gulf Coast Conference, has won six out of nine games. He said they are nine games away from winning the conference, and if they do, they will go on to play in the College World Series. The College World Series this year is at the end of May in Johnstown, Pa. Zeigler said that unless the team receives a waiver, they will not be able to compete. Pre-pharmacy freshman Austin Atwood said if the baseball program at this college were cut, he would no longer attend because he is planning to transfer and play for a team at a university. There have been no plans to cut them. “It looks like we’re going to be keeping baseball and boxing for sure,” Zeigler said. Zeigler said the reason for keeping the two sports is student participation and student interest. Boxing is a club. The team of about 15 students trains with boxing coach John Lee for several months before competing each semester in an Olympic-style boxing event in the mall. As for the other sports programs, no final decision has been made.