Page 1

Vol. 85 Issue 21

Single copies free

April 25, 2011

The Ranger A forum of free voices serving San Antonio College since 1926

Race to Retire

Math Professor Ronald Coleman arrived at 4:20 a.m. and was the ninth person in line.

With only $8 million to go around, the early birds were ensuring they collected a 70 percent nest egg. As early as 2 a.m. April 18, district employees eligible for retirement waited for the 6 a.m. opening of the college information technologies office at Lewis and West Ashby. The incentive is limited to money taken out of the district’s rainy day fund, and is allocated on a firstcome, first-served basis. Only about 170 of the 449 eligible employees are expected to collect. By 6:10 a.m., 42 staff and faculty members passed through the building in 12 minutes. PAGE 5


2 • April 25, 2011

The Ranger

The Ranger

A forum of free voices serving San Antonio College since 1926

Digital design students sketch ponies Tuesday on the south steps of Koehler. Adjunct Akiko White brought her ponies, two dogs and a

rooster. This was the first time White brought animals to campus for her students to “catch the moment.” JungKeun Song

11 Student finds talents


combine in Web design By Alma Linda Manzanares

By J. Almendarez Photo by JungKeun Song

By Zahra Farah

12 Department mergers


4 Blotter

By J. Almendarez

This issue

3 News Board wants more time, options

Peeping returns to Moody

reduce chair numbers to 20

By Julysa Sosa

14 Inclusion, development

5 News

By Melody Mendoza

District employees wake early for retirement incentive By Megan Mares


May 31 deadline for study abroad trips By Ximena Victoria Alvarez

RFP overlooks pump By Riley Stephens

8 Public-private proposal

new vision for adjuncts

15 Sticky Note drawing

Watching the clock

By Dana Lynn Traugott Photo by Alison Wadley

33 Viewpoint


Annexation efforts not expected any time soon By Zahra Farah


By Melody Mendoza

By Zahra Farah

16 District adds one-year


Officials opt out of limelight

non-tenure track position

Strybos keeps light on, water running

By Melody Mendoza

By Zahra Farah

18 Evolution of an image


Fabianke’s projects bringing colleges together By Melody Mendoza

19 Project aims to help

By Megan Mares

student become independent

28 Calendar

10 Student vet shares fears

By Alma Linda Manzanares Photo by Jennifer M. Ytuarte

30 Editorials

By Dana Lynn Traugott Photo by Tyler K. Cleveland

20 Attorney, trustees start planning 2010 redistricting By Zahra Farah Photo by Tyler K. Cleveland


Drastic incentive Waive down payment Hello, kitty

sprawls over 3 blocks

in wake of shutdown watch

Carrot 0, stick 1

Novelist Mark Busby reads excerpts from his work

for summer pay lottery

By Laura Garcia

31 Letters to the Editor

Life lessons, sports on the chopping block By J. Almendarez

Librarian: Watchdog role vital Guest Viewpoint by John Deosdade

34 Officials & Policies 36 News Source awards honor best of the best sources


Ranger Web editor wins Journalist of the Year By Joshua Fechter


Editors take first place for in-depth reporting

Why are officials hiding? Higher standards, quality



By Joshua Fechter

Fee should cover student life projects

Board sets 175-mile radius for college sports

The Ranger


April 25, 2011 • 3

Board wants more time, options Trustees table $100,000 increase to auditing contract. By Zahra Farah A request from district staff to increase a contract for auditing by $100,000 Tuesday led to a vote to table the measure and complaints from trustees that big-ticket items are brought to them at the “last minute.” Trustees voted 5-4 at the regular April meeting to table a request to increase a contract with Ernst and Young LLP by $100,000, which would raise the limit on their contract to $309,140. The vote also included approval for the district to seek other bidders and compare the contracts at the board meeting. Ernst and Young was awarded the original contract of $177,945 for 1,009 hours in April 2010 to audit public accounts. Trustees who voted to table and seek competitors were James Rindfuss, District 9; Blakely Fernandez, District 7; Joe Alderete, District 1; Marcelo Casillas, District 4; and Anna Bustamante, District 3. Trustees who favored the $100,000 increase were Dr. Gene Sprague, District 6; Denver McClendon, District 2; Chairman Gary Beitzel, District 8; and Roberto Zárate, District 5. In the discussion, Fernandez said the staff rushes to the board to make fast decisions on issues, which might not be the best financial decision for the district. She argued this is a bad practice that staff does too often. Fernandez said this 50 percent increase is “too rich for her blood and too big of a change brought last minute.” The firm is requesting the $100,000 increase because they are required by law to audit six more government programs then the two they did for fiscal year 2011. Fernandez said when they first sent out the request for propos-

als the board picked the highest McClendon asked about solicitor second highest of three bidders, ing other proposals. entered into a three-year contract, Pamela Ansboury, associate vice and now they want to raise prices. chancellor for finance and fiscal She suggested going out for services, said the district receives another request for proposal and $137.6 million in federal funds, and looking at what prices other firms they have to begin planning the have to offer. “We’re nickel and dim- auditing schedule right after the ing all over district,” she said, add- meeting. She’s concerned the dising she can’t accept a 50 percent trict will fall behind and not deliver increase in a contract. She said that on single and financial audits. money could go toward tutoring. Ansboury said the district could Even though limit the work or go The board has Ernst and Young “did with Ernst and Young scheduled a special this year and look for a great job and are a meeting at 4 p.m. fabulous” this is too a new firm next year May 9 in Room 101 big of a jump, she because a 60-day of Killen Center at said. notice of termination 201 W. Sheridan. The next regular Sprague said he is required. board meeting agrees it looks expenCasillas called the is scheduled for sive, but he’s been question, seeking an 6 p.m. May 17 with the lowest firms end to discussion. beginning with a and he’s never seen a The item passed and special meeting. firm as good as Ernst trustees discussed and Young. He also staff instructions. said they did not charge the district Dr. Eric Reno, Northeast for extra work not in the earlier RFP. Lakeview College president, said a Alderete said he went through part of the audit relates to Northeast an audit with a nonprofit group he Lakeview’s accreditation and any works with and there are enough delay could push it back a year. credible companies like Ernst In other business, trustees and Young reputable and hungry unanimously agreed tuition and enough to do the job. He said the taxes should not increase in fall. $100,000 equals a faculty member. In-district students taking 12 hours Alderete said whatever they did will pay $819 in tuition and fees. extra, Ernst and Young knew what Out-of-district students taking 12 they were doing; their job is to know hours will pay $1,491. what is going on. Rindfuss said he was uncomRindfuss, said, “This is a sub- fortable with adopting a tuition rate stantial increase in an RFP I have for fall when they hadn’t discussed ever seen since I’ve been on the a possible enrollment cap. He said board.” He said trustees owe it to it was unfair for students who only taxpayers and students to see if a need a three-hour class to have to new request for proposals could register for a minimum of six hours. bring a better price. Zárate said he agreed with the Rindfuss said accounting firms principle, but based on the reality have finished tax season, and the the district is facing, they have to board could find and approve a look at increasing tuition for fourfirm for the May board meeting. He year university students who take then called for a substitute motion one or two district classes. to table the original motion and Rindfuss said he was concerned direct staff to prepare a request for they didn’t have a preliminary proposals. report on the unintended conseAlderete seconded the substi- quences that could come out of not tute motion. raising taxes or tuition.

Zárate said he understood, but trustees had to set tuition rates for fall, so students could start registering. He said they could always raise tuition rates for spring. He said they don’t have information from the state to know what to expect. Rindfuss worried colleges would cut back on classes, which could keep student out. Zárate said it’s not going to be business as usual. The former elementary principal said he wants to educate the world, but the board has a financial responsibility to the district. Trustees have to determine what level of services the district can provide, then go back to the student success agenda. Trustees unanimously agreed to increase fees for private music lessons, diplomas and transcripts. In fall, graduates will not be charged for a first diploma, but duplicates are $25. Students will not be charged for requesting a first transcript by mail, but additional mailed transcripts will cost $10 each. The first electronic transcript will be free, and subsequent transcripts cost $5. To send 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 the tuition of private music lessons. 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 for private music lessons and $30 for a half-hour. Trustees were in executive session for about an hour, but did not vote on any items when they returned to open session. For more information or to see meeting agendas and minutes, go to and click on Board of Trustees, then Agenda.


4 • April 25, 2011

Did You Know?

The Ranger

Peeping returns to Moody By Julysa Sosa

Drivers failing to use turn signals or driving recklessly can face consequences.

Not using a turning signal is a minor traffic violation. However, reckless driving is an offense that can result in a $200 fine and possible arrest. There is also potential for suspension of a drivers license. For more information, visit www. and select Transporation Code, Chapter 545 and Section 001.

Contact Info Emergency 210-222-0911 General DPS 210-485-0099 Weather Line 210-485-0189

that plate off, they drill another hole.” Deputy Chief Joe Curiel said police are working Holes of different sizes have been appearing in with facilities to monitor the activity. stalls since the fall in men’s restrooms in Moody “Part of the investigation involves social netLearning Center. working operations and plainTo report any Facilities Director David Ortega clothed officers,” he said, adding the information on reported that restrooms on the perpetrators communicate through this or any other incidents on fourth, sixth and seventh floors have chat rooms or websites. campus, call Curiel had holes since the beginning of fall. Curiel said students are responat 210-485-0184. He said this isn’t a new problem; a sible for reporting anything suspiFor more similar problem existed in McCreless cious. information, visit Hall about five years ago and “comes “They have to be our eyes and district/dps. and goes” in other buildings. ears,” he said. “We can’t be everySince 2007, four complaints of where.” sexual activity in Moody have been made to camCuriel said the perpetrators know when to act pus police, 17 in the chemistry and geology build- and when to wait; now, they are holding back and ing, one in nursing and allied health complex, and being more discreet. one in Candler Physical Education Center. Curiel explained covering up the holes is only a “We’ve been plugging them as we find temporary solution. them,”Ortega said. “It’s a bad situation.” When individuals behind the action are caught, Ortega said individuals have been going into the they face being charged with a Class A misdemeanrestrooms with drills and also removing steel plates or for public lewdness. with tamper-proof screws. “I feel if we as a community can detect that act, “They come prepared,” he said. “If they can’t get we can prevent it and make an arrest,” he said.

SAN ANTONIO COLLEGE April 8 — Individual reported her iPhone had been stolen from the restroom. No suspects were found. April 11 — Individual reported losing her cell phone. April 12 — A non-Alamo Colleges affiliated individual was robbed while walking in the area of Lewis and Laurel south of this college. The victim reported losing personal property. No weapons were used.

April 18 — Individual reported a vehicle accident damaged her vehicle. NORTHEAST LAKEVIEW April 11 — Individual reported a hitand-run vehicle accident.

April 18 — Individual reported she had active warrants and was turning herself in. No active warrant was found.

April 18 — Individual reported markings on a district fountain. No suspects were found.


Individual reported his cell phone had been stolen. No suspects were found. NORTHWEST VISTA

Individual reported his bicycle had been stolen. No suspects were found. Individual reported two district laptops had been stolen. April 13 — Individual reported her vehicle had been burglarized and personal items stolen. No suspects were found. April 14 — Individual reported her vehicle had been damaged.

Individual reported her vehicle side mirrors had been stolen. No suspects were found.

April 10 — Officer reported a broken district window. April 11 — Individual reported several locks had been cut off of lockers. April 12 — Individual reported a hitand-run vehicle accident. April 13 — Individual reported her vehicle had been damaged.

April 13 — Officer reported two women arguing in the parking lot. Individual reported his bicycle had been stolen. No suspects were found. ST. PHILIP’S April 8 — Individual reported damage to a district gate. April 12 — Individual reported his motorcycle had been stolen. No suspects were found. Individual reported her vehicle had been burglarized on campus six days earlier.

The Ranger


April 25, 2011 • 5

District employees wake early for retirement incentive Story and photos by Megan Mares April 18, as early as 2 a.m., district staff and faculty members eligible for retirement waited for the 6 a.m. opening of the college information technologies office at Lewis Street and West Ashby Place. During the April 2 board retreat, trustees agreed, in a 6-2 vote, on a retirement incentive of 70 percent of base salary for one year for employees who retire by Aug. 31. Eligible employees must be 65 years of age with a minimum of 10 years of full-time service or have a combined 80 years of age plus years of service with the district. Employees enrolled in the phased retirement program are also eligible for the incentive, at a pro-rated amount that is equal to the amount of time left on their phased retirement program. The incentive is limited to $8 million in funding, money taken out of the district’s $15 million rainy day fund, and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Math Professor Ronald Coleman, at this college, arrived at 3 a.m. and was the ninth person in line. With only $8 million to go around, the early birds were ensuring they collected a 70 percent nest egg. By 6:10 a.m., 42 staff and faculty members passed through the building in only a 12-minute time span, all taking advantage of a 70 percent base salary retirement incentive. Enough coffee and orange juice for 150 people was provided, Idalia Velazquez, human resources benefits coordinator, said. Velazquez and Linda BoyerOwens, associate vice chancellor of human resources and organizational development, both said the $8 million in funding will serve about 170 retirees. About 449 people in the district are eligible for retirement. Melinda-Jo Rivero-Lara, senior

Hope Cintron, director of organizational learning and employee development, waits for Manuel Flores, director of enrollment management, to sign in April 18 before turning in his retirement election form for the retirement incentive program.

Math Professor Ann Parsons waits in line to turn in her retirement election form April 18 outside the Ashby House.

secretary in kinesiology, is one St. Philip’s College, is part of the of the retirees, and she said that phased retirement program but was working at this college has been not on the eligible list that morning. her second job. Boyer-Owens said for him to “I’ve worked here and at Handy submit his paperwork this morning Andy,” she said. “That’s it.” anyway and she would look into it. Maria Serna, Delgado startlearning resource ed working for the specialist, has district in 1979 worked at this and became full college for 33 time in 1980. years and even “I’m excited this morning was about this,” he unsure about said. “There was retiring. no hesitation at “I said if a train all. I appreciate stops me on the the district for way, then that’s a doing this.” sign,” she said. “I At about 6:45 hadn’t even filled a.m., government John Deosdade out the forms librarian Professor Bill before I got here.” Byerly stopped by Serna decided to discuss retireto turn in her election forms. “I’m ment options with the human still nervous about this,” she said. resources staff. “We’ll see what the future holds.” “I’m still trying to decide,” he Gloria Medellin, recruiting and said. “I’m going to have breakfast employment manager, said she’s and maybe come back.” heard a lot of the retiring employAlice Mendez, academic unit ees’ names before but hasn’t met assistant, said Thursday that Byerly a lot of them. “Now to be here as has decided to retire. they sign these forms…” she said Librarian John Deosdade, has looking down, nodding. worked at this college 27 years but Jesse Delgado, a welding said he is tired of the battle. instructor at Southwest Campus of He said he would guess 300

years of experience walked through the college information technologies office April 18 right into retirement. “The people who will suffer because of this are the students,” he said. “It was very depressing this morning.” By 7 a.m., about 50 employees had passed through and turned in their retirement election form. Employees who submitted the form had to be sure before doing so. The form reads: if they decide to “rescind or revoke” their full retirement or resignation in reference to their employment with this district, they will be terminated. All election forms are due by 5 p.m. May 31 for the program guaranteeing 70 percent of base salary. As of 11 a.m. April 21, $3,571,862 remained of the $8 million allotted, and 123 employees turned in their retirement election forms. The human resources section of the district website has been updated several times since April 18 to reflect changes in a graph showing how much money remains in the program. For more information and to see the updates, visit, w w w. a l a m o. e d u / d i s t r i c t / h r / RetirementIncentive2011.htm.

“The people who will suffer because of this are the students.”

6 • April 25, 2011

The Ranger


May 31 deadline for study abroad trips

RFP overlooks pump

By Ximena Victoria Alvarez

By Riley Stephens

13 students. At a forum here, Fimmen spoke with Throughout February, students faculty from continuing education, received ACES emails about the variety English, media services and foreign lanof study abroad programs and financial guages who were interested in study aid or scholarship opportunities availabroad. She talked about costs, the proable. But the March 11 deadline came cess of a study abroad program and and went and with it, assistance her office Visit trips to Brazil, Russia, can provide in findinternational. Germany, Vietnam and ing the best program Cambodia. prices, and those that The trips were canceled for lack of include a hotel with breakfast to trim student interest, Carol P. Fimmen, direcstudent expenses. tor of international programs at Alamo Programs range from eight days to Colleges said. nine weeks; prices depend on the counFor 2012 programs, proposals are due tries as well as courses enrolled in. May 31. Each program of 15 students must be Fimmen said trips to Italy, China led by two faculty members. and Japan proved a success, but after Fimmen said small groups provide the tsunami and earthquake in Japan, a good environment for study abroad. that trip was canceled. Because of the Fimmen also talked about a $25,000 uncertainty of the situation, the decischolarship divided among 20 students sion was made to not put students’ lives of the Alamo Colleges with a 2.0 GPA at risk. Deposits were being returned to or higher.

When a bid was accepted for $8.35 million of renovation work on the chemistry and geology building, one detail was overlooked. A pump in the central plant that sends water to the lowest level of the building was here when facilities superintendent David Ortega arrived 20 years ago. “Actually, the pump needed to be replaced when the building was getting renovated,” Ortega said, noting it is beyond its life expectancy. “The pump was not included in the 2008 bid.” The $11,049 job by Bolin Plumbing Contractors cut water to the basement, and plastic covers restroom doors. “Both the men and women’s restrooms have been closed off today and tomorrow because there is no water,” Ortega said Wednesday. The water was shut off so drains would not clog. “All the waste from any water fixture drains into a lift station and, from there, to the ground level.” Wednesday, he found the pump had been left off a request for bids on the building renovation. “Somebody forgot to put it on the list during the renovation, one of the engineers probably,” Ortega said. “This equipment has to work. It’s just like using the bathroom; the pumps run continuously. We can’t afford to have them fail.”

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The Ranger

April 25, 2011 • 7



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CHECK IN YOUR RENTALS Rented textbooks are due back by May 16, 2011

SAC Bookstore

Loftin Student Center, Lower Level 50SBB11

8 • April 25, 2011


The Ranger

Public-private proposal sprawls over 3 blocks The plan closes Evergreen between Main and Howard. By Megan Mares Last spring, this college entered a conversation initiated by the Tobin Hill Historic District about a public/private partnership. The Tobin Hill Historic District is popular for many reasons. With five colleges and universities, neighborhoods, restaurants, and the zoo the district offers a variety of strengths. But North Main Avenue and North St. Mary’s Street strips specifically contain a wide variety of entertainment venues such as clubs, bars and music halls that have perhaps been the most notorious for fun, crime and heavyhitting foot traffic.

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One year after the initial public/private partnership conversation began, David Mrizek, vice president of college services, said that the plans are still in the developmental stages. The partnership will include the use of Lot 26, the space south of Luther’s Café that the college owns, and the space where the campus police department is located. The two lots would be used by a private company and would provide parking space and educational space for this college. Mrizek said the buildings would consist of five elements in three complexes — retail stores, apartments, academic space, parking garage and a central plant for heating and air conditioning. The ground level retail space would include Luther’s Café. The apartments are intended to

be private student housing for students from this college and other colleges, but the company will own the apartments. Mrizek said there will be 500 to 600 availabilities for the furnished, all-bills paid student apartments. The projected housing estimates are $925 for one bedroom, one bath; $1,400 for both two bedroom, two bath and $2,300, for all 4 bedroom, 4 bath. The estimates are all bills inclusive. Amenities in the complex could include tanning beds, pool, cyber café, HD theater, study rooms, security features, flat screens in all units, wifi and a parking spot for each resident. Mrizek said he does not know what company is interested in building the complexes, but said that in about six to eight months,

building is expected to start. He said the construction of the complexes will take about three years. John Strybos, associate vice chancellor of facilities operation and construction management, said that the No. 1 ranking response to Alamo Colleges’ request for proposal is a company called NRP Group/Balfour Beatty. According to January’s regular board meeting minutes, their recommendations for the complexes are a four-story, 150-unit, residential development on northwest corner of North Main and East Laurel. There will be a 24-unit threestory walk-up residential building at the southwest corner of Howard and Evergreen and 63 units in a third residential building at Evergreen and Main.

The Ranger

April 25, 2011 • 9


Recommendations also included in January’s minutes are for the 1,000-space parking garage and residential/retail component at Main and Evergreen. The idea is that the apartments wrap around two sides of the large parking structure, hiding the garage from public view to tie it in with the scale and design of adjacent structures and this college. NRP Group/Balfour Beatty also suggested to the board during January’s meeting that the 100,000-square-foot academic facility at Park Street and Main Avenue combine with the parking garage to emphasize a pedestrian connection along Park Street to this campus. Mrizek said he thinks the complexes will amplify the nightlife on the strips. “It’s going to be a wonderful addition,” he said. President Gabriel Sanchez of Tobin Hill Community Association

said that because of more community involvement and new developments, crime has decreased. Sanchez said Tobin Hill is a safer place to live and has become much more family-friendly. Business partners Randy Cunniff and Peter Becker, who own Heat nightclub, Sparky’s Pub and Luther’s Café, said they are really looking forward to the public-private partnership. Cunniff said they are supportive of revitalizing the Main Avenue area with more retail shops, housing and restaurants. He has met many business owners interested in space in the complexes, such as hair salons and gift and antique shops. Becker added that instead of students getting in their cars and driving to the Quarry, they could stay in the area to shop, eat and hang out. “That’s what we’re trying to

Proposed site of development

develop here,” he said. The partners said the neighborhood has been supportive of their businesses, and the addition of three new complexes would be a nice compliment. Cunniff said Carolyn Kelley, former Tobin Hill Community Association president, helped them lobby for a sidewalk in front of Luther’s Café. He recalls speaking with the

neighborhood association about helping them petition the city not to pave the nearby areas into more flat parking lots. Dr. Robert Zeigler, president of this college, said that he sees this as a great opportunity. “I see this as a ground breaking thing,” he said. “The opportunities are endless.” Laura Garcia and Julysa Sosa contributed to this article.

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10 • April 25, 2011


The Ranger

Evolution of an image ‘traumatic’ Expert wonders why “community” was left out of the name. By Laura Garcia Image is everything. This district would know. It’s seen its share of makeovers — four to be exact. Thousands of dollars have been spent renaming and branding the five colleges with a consistent logo. According to surveys presented by advertising firm Anderson Marketing Group, since 1988, not many students, government and business leaders or taxpayers could actually identify any of the colleges or district logos. Anderson found that in each of the surveys SAC was much more familiar to respondents than any of the other colleges or even the district itself. Leo Zuñiga, associate vice chancellor of communications, directed questions about the district’s branding to district director of public relations Mario Muñiz. Muñiz, who’s been with the district for about two years, said he manages the district’s relationship with Anderson and remembers when he arrived the district had just adopted its latest name, and its image was still somewhat “fragmented.” He said there were at least 15 different logos among the colleges and regional centers, and this resulted in not a lot of recognition. Muñiz said the district communications department was scheduled to do another survey on how recognizable the district’s image was, but Zuñiga opted to halt the survey because of the current budget constraints. In early 2009, the firm estimated the image change would cost $100,000. The Ranger reported Jan. 27 that the district spent almost $16,000 to prominently brand four of the colleges with the Alamo Colleges logo. Anyone with a business card or need for letterheads felt the sting when the district changed its image once again. In 2007, Alamo Community College District, still its legal name, dropped the “D” to become the Alamo Community Colleges. In 2009, “Community” was eliminated.

But what some people may not remember is from 1978 to 1982, the district was officially named San Antonio Community College District. In 1945, the district was founded as San Antonio Union Junior College District. The most recent changes have raised concern that despite a 2009 board decision to forgo combining all of the district’s colleges into one single college, Chancellor Bruce Leslie appears intent on realizing that plan. The four individually accredited institutions, San Antonio College, St. Philip’s College, Palo Alto College and Northwest Vista College, and newlyopened Northeast Lakeview College all fall under the Alamo Colleges umbrella. District has slowly garnered control of duties that were previously handled in different ways at each college, such as processing transcript, centralizing the core curriculum and a single instituting catalog of courses. Muñiz described reworking the district’s image was a balancing act because each college wants to be recognized individually. “When you change a brand, it can be very traumatic for people,” Muñiz said. He explained that marketing and branding in higher education has been kind of taboo. Dr. Mary Ann Stutts, a marketing professor at Texas State University-San Marcos, couldn’t agree more. She is a published researcher of marketing and advertising and a 2009 American Advertising Federation Distinguished Advertising Educator recipient. She remembers when Texas State University changed its name from Southwest Texas State University in 2003. “It’s a hard transition,” she said. There were a lot of irate people, she said, but many have “come around.” She agrees with the branding move because it may create more prestige and guesses that the district’s premise was to elevate the college dis-

trict’s image. However, Stutts said she isn’t sure why “community” was taken from the name. “The word community college isn’t negative.” She defended junior colleges like this one, saying they are feeder schools that serve a huge purpose. “There’s nothing wrong with that,” she said. Muñiz said that there seems to be a trend across the country to pull out the word “community” from the name and that it has a negative connotation, especially from students. Muñiz, who graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, said he took courses in the summer at this college and remembers the classes weren’t easy. He said that’s why the district communications department is pushing quality, affordability and access in advertising. Muñiz worries that even in the face of budget cuts, the district should still advertise and maintain its presence in the community. There are a lot of competitors in the city, especially for-profit schools, that may not have the students’ best interest in mind, he said. Muñiz said he hopes to conduct an inexpensive survey soon to find out how people feel about the Alamo Colleges logo but that because of increasing enrollment numbers he doesn’t think the change hurt. However, traditionally, in a down economy, enrollment numbers rise. Tammy Kothe-Ramsey, psychology sophomore and Student Government Association president, said she personally thinks the branding makes each college appear generic. Another complaint Kothe-Ramsey has with the logo is that Alamo Colleges overshadows the college’s name. “I came to San Antonio College for a reason, not Alamo Colleges,” she said.

The Ranger


April 25, 2011 • 11

International business sophomore Sara Gabel helps library science sophomore Loree Morgan with her business calculus homework in the disability services computer lab March 31. Jennifer M. Ytuarte

Project aims to help student become independent By Alma Linda Manzaneres To help someone in need, students are working together to raise $60,000-$80,000 to purchase a special needs vehicle for a student diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. The vehicle is for international business sophomore Sara Gabel who was diagnosed at the age of 13. Muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited disorders that include muscle weakness and loss of muscle tissue, which worsen over time. Gabel said once she was diagnosed, she researched at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. All of it, she found to be depressing. “I feared for my future,” she said. She said she decided she couldn’t let the disease get in her way, so she became involved in after-school activities, such as the Hearing Impaired Kids Endowment Fund and Habitat for Humanity. She also is actively involved with the American Red Cross and the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon and other awareness and fundraising events.

“She always has a smile on her face and is glad to help others,” psychology sophomore Carmen Verastique said. Verastique invited a trio of photography sophomores Juan Diego Espinoza, Destiny Mata and Leda Garcia to work on a calendar, featuring firefighters, to raise money for a vehicle for Gabel. Espinoza and Garcia partnered with Mata in February to enter the San Antonio Neighborhood Film Project 2.0 sponsored by the city. Mata won first place in the student category for the West Side with her film “Working for Mi Gente.” Once Gabel’s vehicle is purchased, more funds will be needed for modifications, such as installing a lift and rearranging seats. Last year, to fund her vehicle, Gabel organized a carwash with firefighters that raised about $1,600. This year, she thought a calendar might be a good idea. On the project, Espinoza is the photographer and everyone else assists with equipment and set up. The students have conducted photo shoots at three fire stations and want to shoot at the San Antonio Fire Academy, Verastique said. Espinoza said about 700 photos have been

taken, but of every 100, only about one shot is usable. Verastique said the project is important simply to give back to someone in need. “I feel like it’s important that I encourage her, empower her and support her in reaching this goal,” Verastique said. “If I can help one person reach their goal, maybe I can influence others to do the same.” Gabel tutors mentally and physically disabled students on campus and edits books for the Kurzweil Educational Systems, which creates audio books for people with special needs. She said she does this to give other students the opportunities she has been blessed with. She said she plans to transfer to Texas A&M University-San Antonio to study international business so she can help other disabled people around the world have the same opportunities she has. Gabel said the project is to help her become less dependent on others. “I rely on my parents for a lot of stuff,” Gabel said. “So this is an attempt to become more independent so I can achieve my goals and help others do the same.” For more information on the project or to contribute, email Verastique at


12 • April 25, 2011

The Ranger

Department mergers reduce chair numbers to 20 Duties of new coordinators and chairs remain unclear. By J. Almendarez This fall, 12 departments on campus are going to be merged into five for an estimated savings of $340,000. The savings are in light of the $20.4 million budget pressure from expenses and revenue this district faces. The mergers also are reshaping the administrative structures within each of the new departments. The merged departments have elected new chairs to represent them. Then program coordinators are selected to represent each of the programs within a new merged department. For instance, Jeff Hunt, chair of theater and speech communications, has been elected to become chair in the fall of the new fine arts department composed of the theater and

speech communications, visual arts and music programs. Current music Chair Mark Denison has been elected music coordinator; Susan Witta-Kemph visual arts coordinator; and Paula Rodriguez theater and speech communications coordinator. However, while Dr. Jessica Howard, vice president of academic affairs, said the administrators originally planned for each merged department to have a program coordinator, that idea has changed to meet the needs of each new department. “It’s not going to be a one size fits all,” she said. The division of labor between the chair and coordinators will change the role chairs play in departments. After the mergers take place, department chairs will be responsible for what newly elected English Chair Gilliam “Mike” Burton called “strategic planning.” Hunt went into detail about some of the expectations of the new chair.

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He said the new chairs will be responsible for strategic planning for each discipline, annual planning to evaluate if the department has fulfilled divisional and college goals, faculty evaluations, second-level student grievances; the analysis of productive grade rates, retention of students, and transfer rates; and overseeing advising. They also will be responsible for overseeing a five-year academic review, which will be made easier, he said, because of the new yearly reviews that will be required by the chair. He said program coordinators will “be responsible for more daily operations,” which include scheduling classes, evaluation and hiring of adjuncts and staff, first-level student grievances and logging faculty course loads to ensure they are paid correctly. However, other chairs seemed less sure about what the new role of the chairs and coordinators will be. Paul Wilson, political science and economics chair, has been elected chair of the merged

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The Ranger political science and economics, and history, humanities and anthropology departments. He said, “The division of labor is very vague at this point.” Burton confirmed that duties for each coordinator and chair have been discussed, but there has been no clear definition of the expectations of each role by the administration yet. Howard said a list that outlined the division of duties was sent to chairs weeks ago, and she will look into why some of the chairs did not seem to get the information. “We talked to a lot of departments for their feedback,” she said. Another aspect that will change within merged departments next fall is release time. Released time is the amount of time allotted to a chair or coordinator to complete administrative duties. Currently, the amount of released time given to chairs and coordinators has many variables, which include department size, faculty, program hours and number of coordinators within a department. Howard said when the administration originally considered merging departments, released

April 25, 2011 • 13

News time was expected to remain intact. However, she said the board of trustees and chancellor are now discussing changing release time options for chairs and coordinators. While she said a reduction or elimination of released time is possible, special pay may be considered for those who are adversely affected. “A lot of this is still uncertain,” she said. Effects from the mergers are not limited to administrative and faculty changes, though. Students also will be affected if coordinators do not have the time to work with them because of their day-to-day duties. Denison said if coordinators handle daily responsibilities, he would be left with “less time available for certain issues.” For instance, he said the music department has a high-profile status on campus and throughout the community, saying that students in the music department regularly perform on campus. “I’m not going to be able to be the designated middle man anymore,” he said. He said this will require people and organizations interested in booking performances

to work more directly with students to organize rehearsals, plan events and decide which resources are available for performances. “It’s going to have a significant impact because I will no longer be able to be the arms and legs for the music department,” he said. However, he said he felt “lucky” that Hunt would be able to help with tasks the coordinators would not have time for. Other chairs are concerned their time will not be allotted to help coordinators with large tasks. Wilson said the administration should “be careful to protect the time for the chairs to do those things if that’s the role they see them playing.” He is concerned that chairs will have to take on administrative duties because of a “lack of other administrative resources.” He said as the district changes and has fewer faculty members and more students, duties likely will be added to many positions, including the chairs. “It happens in any academic position,” Wilson said. “It will take us a while to discover operational efficiencies.”

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14 • April 25, 2011

Spring, Flex 2 Final Exam Schedule Monday, May 9 (MWF and MW)



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

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

Tuesday, May 10 (TR) Class Time 8 a.m. 8 a.m.-10:30 a.m. 10:50 a.m. 10:50 a.m.-1:20 p.m. 1 p.m. 1:40 p.m.-4:10 p.m. 1:40 p.m. 1:40 p.m.-4:10 p.m. Wednesday, May 11 (MWF and MW) Class Time 8 a.m. 8 a.m.-10:30 a.m. 11 a.m. 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. 2 p.m. 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. 2:25 p.m. 2:25 p.m.-4:55 p.m. Thursday, May 12 (TR) Class Time 6:30 a.m. 6:30 a.m.-9 a.m. 9:25 a.m. 9:25 a.m.-11:55 p.m. 12:15 p.m. 12:15 p.m.-2:45 p.m. 3:05 p.m. 3:05 p.m.-5:35 p.m. Friday, May 13 (MWF) Class Time 9 a.m. 9:30 a.m.-11:30 Noon noon-2:30 p.m.

Note: Final exams for evening and weekend classes are given during class hours. Department chairs can schedule final exam dates that do not conform to this schedule.


The Ranger

Inclusion, development new vision for adjuncts Saturday meeting set to apprise adjuncts of effects of budget cuts.

are rejected. “We don’t have a voice,” he said. “There is no one at the table.” By Melody Mendoza By forming councils across the district, adjuncts can build to form a district group like An adjunct town hall meeting at 10 a.m. Super Senate, the gathering of representatives of Saturday is to relay information about the bud- the Faculty Senates from the colleges. get’s effect on adjunct faculty, President Robert Townsend said this college’s council is about Zeigler said. six years old and English Adjunct Amanda An all-college meeting last week was an Martin has served as president. inconvenient time for most adjuncts, Zeigler He said there was a council once before, said, so he hopes this meeting will but disappeared for a couple of accommodate more adjunct facyears. ulty. “The next stage, as I see it, is Zeigler said he foresees concern maturation,” he said. about the demand for adjuncts Townsend said he wants to try increasing as full-time faculty opt for to build links between the Chairs the 70/50 percent retirement incenCouncil, Faculty Senate and Staff tives being offered. Council, other employee represenThe district decided on a 70 tative bodies at this college, and percent retirement incentive for meet at least once a semester. Jerry Townsend faculty who retire before Sept. 1 and This week, Townsend said he is a 50 percent incentive for those who retire by working on getting a list of adjuncts from the Jan. 1. department chairs so he can build an adjunctBy 6:10 a.m. April 18, 42 employees had sub- all email list before the semester is over. mitted retirement election forms. Because of the recent consolidations, As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, 121 employees Townsend said the representatives on the coundistrictwide had applied, leaving an estimated cil are no longer valid. $3,628,549 of the $8 million of the rainy day fund Townsend hopes to conduct elections in the available for this incentive. fall to ensure representation for the new departZeigler said adjuncts might want to know ments. what this college will offer to ensure profesA council member serves two years but can sional growth as the district relies on them be re-elected to serve up to four years. more. There are nine available positions. He said the college is trying to make an effort After the council creates an email list, to work with the Adjunct Council to inform Townsend said he wants to take a survey to find adjuncts of available workshops on teaching out adjuncts’ needs and priorities. techniques and technology training. Eventually, Townsend said he wants to be Adjunct Council Chair Jerry Townsend, able to have monthly recognitions. media communications full-time adjunct, said He also has an idea for the first collegewide he was named the chair March 23 and plans adjunct social event, suggesting a Christmas to include adjuncts in convocation and colleg- party. ewide meetings. With the new Web content management He said adjuncts tend to be treated as a system, the website that district is launching separate group when it comes to things they this fall, Townsend said the council will have a could benefit from, such as faculty develop- Web page. ment. There, each possible council from the Alamo The council has been working on a video to Colleges could post information for adjuncts encourage the other colleges in the district to districtwide. form their own adjunct council, he said. For more information, call Townsend at Townsend said because “we are only one 210-486-1780 or email him at gtownsend@ college,” issues taken to the board of trustees

The Ranger


April 25, 2011 • 15

Sticky Note drawing for summer pay lottery English chair calls game-of-chance drawing a “morale buster.” By Melody Mendoza English professors and instructors were assigned a number written on a Sticky Note, folded similarly and drawn from a cardboard box to see which professors would be paid at the full-time pay rate or the adjunct rate this summer. Chancellor Bruce Leslie, vice chancellors and the presidents of the colleges decided that summer pay would be decided in a lottery to ensure a 50-50 full-time to adjunct pay ratio in a budget-driven decision. English Chair Alex Bernal said there were 32 of 39 faculty members participating because they wanted to teach this summer. Before the lottery, he said everyone was assigned at least one class taught at the fulltime pay rate. Then they drew numbers from a cardboard box. Although Bernal said he is proud of his colleagues, he said the lottery system had unintended consequences. He said the lottery is a “morale buster” because it doesn’t matter if a faculty member completed hours to get a promotion, received tenure or did extra work to earn a Ph.D. “None of it matters; it’s a game of chance,” Bernal said. He said it may have been a good system but was limited. “It doesn’t make the best of shared governance,” he said. He said district administrators are micromanaging departments by telling them exactly what to do to save money. It seems that loyalty and seniority do not matter to the district, he said. Bernal said if his department had done it by seniority, it would have gotten the same results. English Professor Janice Clayton said she has taught here for 40 years but hasn’t taught in the summer in the last five years. She said because she isn’t teaching this summer, it gives her colleagues an opportu-

Number of sections taught by full-time faculty in 2010 Summer 1 and 2 that would be paid at adjunct rate in Summer 2011 to achieve a 50-50 ratio. nity to increase their pay to meet some of their obligations. Clayton said she believes in “equal pay for equal work. “I think adjunct professors are being ripped off because they do a fantastic job teaching,” she said. She added that administrators take advantage of their expertise and hire them as cheaply as they can. Sooner or later, this college will be a “shopping mall of adjuncts,” she said. Although she said she hopes she is wrong, she sees this coming, especially with the decision to hire new librarians as professional staff instead of faculty as they currently are. The librarians at this college have been advocating since March 2010 to retain faculty status. The chancellor’s decision in February to hire new librarians as professional staff is expected to save about $300,000. “This is all part of diminishing power and status of faculty,” Clayton said. In 2010, 619 sections were taught at this college during Summer 1 by 489 full-time faculty, 79 percent, and 130 part-time faculty, 21 percent. During Summer 2, only 278 sections were offered and were taught by 223 full-time, 80.22 percent, and 55 part-time, 19.78 percent. Therefore, the 50-50 ratio greatly impacts this college where 180 full-time faculty members would need to be paid at the adjunct rate during Summer 1 and 84 during Summer 2. At St. Philip’s College, 356 sections were offered during Summer 1 and were taught by 243 full-time faculty, 68.3 percent, and 113 part-time faculty, 31.7 percent. There were 94

sections during Summer 2 taught by 52 fulltime, 55.32 percent, and 42 part-time faculty, or 44.68 percent. This means that during Summer 1, 65 fulltime faculty would need to take the adjunct pay, and five during Summer 2 to achieve the 50-50 ratio was done. Palo Alto College offered 249 sections during Summer 1 taught by 160 full-time faculty, or 64.3 percent, and 89 part-time faculty, or 35.7 percent. In Summer 2, there were 150 sections offered taught by 79 full-time faculty, 52.67 percent, and 71 part-time faculty, 47.33 percent. For that college, 36 fulltime faculty would need to be paid at the adjunct rate for Summer 1 and four for Summer 2. There were 618 sections offered at Northwest Vista College during Summer 1, which were taught by 301 full-time faculty, 48.7 percent, and 317 part-time, 51.3 percent. During Summer 2, 132 sections were taught by 43 fulltime faculty, 32.6 percent, and 89 part-time, 67.4 percent. At Northwest Vista, only eight full-time faculty members would need to take the adjunct rate for Summer 1. For Summer 2, it would have to add 23 full-time to attain the 50-50 ratio. At Northeast Lakeview College, 157 sections were taught by 84 full-time faculty, 53.5 percent, and 73 part-time faculty, 46.5 percent. There were 150 sections offered in Summer 2 taught by 60 full-time, 40 percent, and 90 part-time, 60 percent. And the 50-50 ratio would affect Northeast Lakeview the least. Six full-time faculty would need to take the adjunct pay rate for Summer 1. And for Summer 2, Northeast Lakeview also would have to add 15 full-time faculty to be at the 50-50 ratio.

16 • April 25, 2011


The Ranger

District adds non-tenure track Non-tenure-track will be hired on a one-year appointment.

By Melody Mendoza A new category for hiring faculty — a oneyear full-time non-tenure-track appointment — is being proposed in Alamo Colleges to give colleges more flexibility in hiring, President Robert Zeigler said Tuesday in a faculty forum. This addition was among revisions of eight district procedures discussed with about 40 faculty members concerning changes applying to faculty. Zeigler said the procedures would go before the board in May to be executed this fall. Dr. Jessica Howard, vice president of academic affairs, said a district Promotion and Tenure Committee made up of two faculty representatives from each college has been reviewing these procedures for about a year and a half. Then, a college team made up of Howard, Zeigler and the two members of the district’s Promotion and Tenure Committee from this college — Thomas Billimek, psychology and sociology chair, and Vernell Walker, dean of professional and technical education — reviewed the changes to see “what we thought was a deal breaker,” Howard said. The revised draft for procedure D.2.5.1, Hiring Authority, Status, Assignments and Duties, states that “non-tenure track appointments may be for no longer than one academic year at a time and are limited to situations where the program’s long-term sustainability is uncertain.” Howard said this category is intended for unproved programs. Zeigler said these faculty would not be eligible for tenure or promotion and would be paid at the adjunct rate. He said, for example, student demand for Japanese classes forces the instructor to teach beyond the 11 hours required; therefore, a nontenure track faculty member would provide more flexibility in such a small discipline. Attendees suggested that district develop a review process so non-tenured faculty wouldn’t be hired year after year. Zeigler said he would take it to Chancellor Bruce Leslie to develop more specificity. Howard said Wednesday that a full-time adjunct has at least 12 course hours with no expectation of them working beyond the given semester. Non-tenure-track faculty would have

Dr. Jessica Howard, vice president of academic affairs, discusses proposed changes in tenure and promotion Tuesday in chemistry and geology. Tyler K. Cleveland an annual contract. Concerning proposed changes in tenure and promotion procedures, Howard said this college’s team response to proposed changes includes supporting: • Members of promotion and tenure committee should be tenured. • Chairs should not have to do an excessive number of faculty evaluations. • Academic requirements for promotion should remain the same and a portion could be in continuing education units for both arts and sciences and professional and technical faculty. • Full professors should require Class 5 status — master’s degree plus 36 hours. First, “We felt it’s very important to have every one on the committee to be tenured,” she said of the department’s tenure committee. “How can you bestow something if you haven’t been on tenure?” She also said the college’s team had a general concern that chairs would have to do a lot more evaluations, a procedure that came from the Promotion and Tenure Committee because chairs already have so much to do. Although program coordinators may be available to help with evaluations, she said they are expected to receive little, if any, release time beginning in the fall. The district committee proposed evaluating tenured faculty every other year instead of the current policy where only chairs evaluate them every other year. The committee’s proposal would add classroom observations and peer evaluations every other year, and the majority agreed. For adjunct evaluations, the group discussed evaluating adjuncts more frequently than the classroom observation in each of the first two

semesters and annually after that. English Instructor Frances Crawford argued that the concern is the number of adjuncts to be evaluated. But she said if chairs don’t evaluate adjuncts as other faculty, then they might feel that they’re not as important. Other faculty argued that the ability to not rehire adjuncts after a semester is an evaluation of sorts. The Promotion Tenure Committee formed a chart in Procedure D.7.1.2, Faculty Performance Evaluations, which shows the current five evaluations for adjunct faculty, full-time tenure track faculty, full-time non-tenure track and full-time temporary faculty and full-time tenured faculty. The five evaluations are student evaluations, classroom observations, peer review evaluations, faculty self-evaluations and faculty evaluation by chairperson. The changes to current practices are requiring classroom observations every other fall and peer reviews for tenured faculty every other spring instead of the current requirement of only when necessary for promotion applications. Another change is requiring classroom observations each fall for full-time non-tenure track and full-time temporary faculty. They also would have to do a faculty self-evaluation and have an evaluation by the chair each year. Every semester, students in all classes will continue to evaluate the instructor or professor. Three-year growth plans have been discontinued. Howard discussed the Promotion Tenure Committee’s change to procedure D.8.2.1, Faculty Promotion Process, that the qualifying degree for a full-time professor must be 36 semester hours or equivalent credit above the qualifying degree.

The Ranger She said the college’s team disagreed and said it should be what it is now — a professor should be Class 5 or have a master’s degree plus 36 hours because, otherwise, a person with a bachelor’s degree might be qualified to teach as a professor. She said the qualifying degree for some professional and technical programs is an associate degree. In a related concern, astronomy Professor David Wood disagreed with a faculty member’s suggestion to have a person with a doctorate degree begin employment as an assistant professor. Currently, Howard said, there is no consistency in whether a new faculty member with a doctorate is given the rank of instructor or assistant professor. He said he was hired as an instructor even though he has a doctorate degree, so he would need to be promoted also. Howard said it would be difficult to accommodate current instructors with doctorate degrees. Therefore, the group decided that the promotion procedure should stay constant between new hires and current instructors. Zeigler said under procedure D 2.5.1, Hiring, Authority, Status and Duties, that if a faculty member applies for a non-faculty position, like as an administrator, the faculty member would keep their tenure for two years and then have to choose to go back to the classroom to maintain it or stay in the administrative position and lose their tenure. Zeigler said this might discourage faculty from applying for an administrator position because of the pressure on job security. Howard said Wednesday that this would be effective starting in fall. Then faculty questioned interim positions, and Zeigler said the district hopes to limit the length of time for an interim position. Faculty argued that this was another one of district’s attempt

The Ranger

News to discourage faculty, which “is all that seems to be on their agenda,” Susan Witta-Kemph, chair of visual arts, said. Jeff Hunt, theater and speech communications chair, added that, “It’s a control issue.” Also, the Promotion Tenure Committee objected to a change to Procedure D.8.2.1 that would allow arts and sciences faculty to use 25 percent of their academic requirements toward promotion in continuing education units and professional and technical faculty using 100 percent. Howard said the team wanted to keep it with the current 50 percent for both groups. Hunt suggested clarification of the responsibilities of the Department Tenure Committee in Procedure D.2.5.5, Faculty Tenure Process. The procedure states that the department elects the committee and then goes to the chair to be approved. Hunt asked if chairs can vote even thought they cannot serve on the committee. Although Howard said it is not clarified, Zeigler said the cleanest way would be for chairs to abstain from voting because they get their vote when they approve or disapprove the department’ election. Even if the chair disapproves, the candidates still go forward are reviewed by the dean or appropriate administrator, Howard said. Then, a faculty member asked how consolidations would affect the outcome of voting for the department tenure committee. Howard said this would be difficult for unrelated disciplines such as the merger of foreign languages and philosophy, under Chair Tammy Perez this fall. “There’s no reason people should vote on the others in another discipline,” she said. She suggested changing departments to “discipline-program.” Howard said if faculty have questions or concerns, they can contact her at 210-486-0950 by next week.


April 25, 2011 • 17

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18 • April 25, 2011


The Ranger

Student vet fears potential shutdown By Dana Lynn Traugott When Amanda Justice separated from the U.S. Army, she returned to civilian life with benefits to pay for her college education. But on April 8, while the people of the United States awaited news of a government shutdown, the radio-television-film sophomore sat on the edge of her seat because the Department of the Treasury pays her monthly military veteran’s benefits. During the last hour before a budget decision was made, the government experienced its seventh stopgap measure, or a continuing resolution, before agreeing on a federal budget for the 2011 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. When Justice joined the military, she signed a contract agreeing to pay $100 per month under the GI Bill into her benefits. With the contract, Justice was promised $1,200 per month to get through college, but with tightening of the budget, that amount has been reduced to $1,147 per month. “We don’t have enough money in this country,” Justice said, adding she fears budget cuts will continue, creating an obstacle to finishing college. The contract states the soldier’s beginning pay, rank, bonus (for special duty), residence, military occupation specialty and an option to receive GI Bill benefits. She said length of service determines the benefits amount for college. If a soldier signs a three-year contract, the military will pay 100 percent of college tuition, and for a two-year contract, 80 percent. Justice served two years and eight months, so she receives 90 percent. She signed the post-9-11 GI Bill contract, Chapter 33, which increased benefits and dropped the $100 per month for 12 months requirement. In 2005, the military allotted her $56,000 with a $6,000 sign-on bonus for college tuition because of her experience as a saxophone player. Soldiers typically begin at $36,000 per year. Justice, who served as specialist E-4, played the saxophone for the Army Materiel Command band. Her military occupational specialty name was 42 Romeo.

Radio-television-film sophomore Amanda Justice Tyler K. Cleveland

She played at funerals, homecomings, deployments, Fourth of July ceremonies, community events, and with a general’s recommendation, she wrote the Army Materiel Command band’s unit march, which begins and ends every ceremony for the command. The Army Materiel Command builds equipment for the Army, such as bulletproof vests, uniforms, ammunition, weapons and aircraft. “If the Army uses it, the AMC makes it,” she said.

She said she feels it would be a complete breach of contract if the military stopped paying her benefits in the event of a shutdown. Had the government closed down, her tuition would be in jeopardy. If she couldn’t attend school, she would have to find a mediocre job. “I’m glad they didn’t. I fulfilled my part of my contract honorably. It’s asinine that they would revoke the benefits that I already earned,” Justice said.

The Ranger


April 25, 2011 • 19

Student finds talents combine in Web design Digital design student wins honors at SXSW in student interactive category.

site, Video Production Emoticons. Computers with art seemed like a “good fit,” That earned her scholarships that totaled she said. $1,500 and a $2,000 internship with Northwest “It’s harder than what I thought it would be, Vista College’s workforce education and train- and there were times when I didn’t know if I By Alma Linda Manzanares ing department. liked the creative pressure,” Campa said. “But She interned at Sharkmatic Advertising, an when I’m not doing it, I’m craving it.” Judy Campa, who has an associate degree ad agency that uses edgy and traditional ways She said she admires and finds ideas from in Web design, found a “craving” in creating art of marketing to enhance a client’s the interactive art of Big Spaceship, though computers after bouncing back and forth image and the way the image is a digital creative agency that spebetween competing interests for her major. communicated to customers. cializes in interactive marketA panel of judges confirmed her decision “This internship has taught me a ing and communications. Clients when she was named a finalist this year in the lot because these people are already include Sony Pictures, Coca-Cola South By Southwest Interactive awards, in the experienced so I can ask them anyand 20th Century Fox. student category, for her portfolio website. thing, and they always know the The agonizing part of her work The interactive awards focus on the most answers,” she said. “They also give is filling up a “blank canvas,” she innovative trends, products and developments me advice on my personal work.” said. in the new media industry in several categories Howie Nespel, owner of “Fifty percent of my work is Judy Campa including art, business, film and music. Sharkmatic Advertising, said Campa coming up with designs and ideas, In 2010, she won a Gold Addy award from is positive and friendly. and the other 50 percent is implethe local chapter of the American Advertising “(This internship)is going to bridge the menting them.” Federation in San Antonio gap between what she Campa is exploring the technical side of for her interactive website learned from school web design by attending this college to obtain Judy Campa’s portfolio can be “Sagmeister” and a Bronze and what is required a web programming Level 1 certificate in hopes viewed at www.sabluetoast. Addy in the regional level in from advertisers in the of transferring to Texas State University’s comcom/judycampa. competition with students real world,” he said. puter information systems to minor in comfrom Texas, Oklahoma, Campa said she puter science. Arkansas and Louisiana. knew she wanted to take courses in art after “It’s interesting because I started with the Later that year, she was awarded a New attending St. Francis Academy, a high school art, but now, I’m going to the technical side Vistas in Media’s Best in Show, Best Web and geared strictly toward education. Art opportuni- which brings it all together in a nice way,” she Interactive and Design for her interactive webties were limited. said.

20 • The Ranger


Attorney, trustees start pl Trustees plan for a public hearing on redistricting July 19 before the regular board meeting.

Moving lines The boundaries of the nine districts are expected to rotate counterclockwise and move toward the northwest to reflect population shifts demonstrated in the 2010 U.S. census. A consultant will draft new district boundary lines to reapportion the county population within the nine districts. The shifts show the tremendous growth on the Northwest side. BickerStaff Heath Delgado Acosta will present revised boundaries in a public hearing before the July board meeting, and trustees are expected to approve a new map in the August regular board meeting.

By Zahra Farah District trustees started the redistricting process by voting 8-0 at Tuesday’s special board to approve guidelines for public participation in the redistricting process and criteria for adopting a plan to be used by Alamo Colleges. District 6 trustee Gene Sprague was late to the meeting and did not get to vote on the redistricting criteria. David Méndez, attorney from Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta, presented to the board guidelines they and interested community members need to follow to avoid a lawsuit and develop a plan that will be accepted by the U.S. Department of Justice. At the March regular board meeting, the firm was awarded a contract of $54,190 to redraw the nine single-member districts of the Alamo Community College District based on the 2010 adjusted U.S. census. Méndez said he hates to intrude in the middle of budget problems, but they would need to finish close to the end of August, so the plan can be looked at further in Washington, D.C., and used for the 2012 presidential election. Some of the criteria the district must adhere to are: • Easily identifiable geographic boundaries must be followed. • Splitting communities and neighborhoods should be avoided. • Districts should be drawn in a way that permits precinct voting as much as possible. • Any district plan should be based on existing districts. • Consideration may be given to incumbents and their history representing an area. • Each of the nine districts’ population, based on new numbers from the 2010 Census, must be fairly equal with one another. • The difference between the districts cannot be more than 10 percent. District 1, represented by Joe Alderete, is the least populated district, Méndez said. It is about 18.59 percent underpopulated compared to the other districts. Ideally, there should be 190,530 people per district to meet the 10 percent requirement, but District 1 only has 155,114 people.


April 25, 2011 • 21

lanning 2010 redistricting This means they need 35,000 people to get back to district size. District 7, represented by Blakely Fernandez, has the highest population of 247,475 people. District 6, represented by Gene Sprague, has the second highest population of 247,105. Méndez said for those two districts, there are 100,000 extra people that need to be included in Districts 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9. To reapportion among the nine districts, the current boundary lines have to shift counterclockwise and to the northwest to acquire more territory to rebalance. “Fairly simple and straightforward if it didn’t get to the politics and avoiding splitting communities,” he said. Districts 1, 3, 6, 7, 8 and 9 need the most work, Méndez said. District 2, represented by Denver McClendon, is the most racially diverse. The district’s population is 178,622 and has about 51 percent Hispanics, 19.42 percent Anglos, 25.53 percent blacks and 1.72 Asians. Méndez said the district must follow Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. It states any changes to redistricting, voting standards, practices or procedures must be “preclear” before they become legally effective. This includes changes in trustees district lines and location of polling places. Preclear is to request approval by a federal court or the Department of Justice for changes to voting regulations in certain states. The fastest way to get it cleared is to submit the redistricting plan to the Department of Justice for examination. Méndez said the review focuses on if minorities are any worse off with the new redistricting lines offered. He said the new lines shouldn’t drastically decrease minority populations like Hispanic and AfricanAmericans. He said they don’t want to have a discriminatory action, but fortunately in San Antonio, there is sufficient minority population across the city for each district to have enough minorities. Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act forbids a voting standard, which has the effect of reducing the opportunity of a covered minority to participate or run in the political process. Méndez said the Department of Justice laid ground rules so minorities wouldn’t be “cracked” or “packed.” Cracking would be drawing lines where minorities would never be the majority and never elect a candidate of their choice. Méndez said it’s impossible to crack the minority population of San Antonio because the city is predominantly Hispanic. In the 1996 case Bush v. Vera in Harris County, lines were purposefully created to elect African-Americans and Hispanics, and this was considered racial gerrymandering. Méndez said the lines were redrawn, and there were still counties that vote predominantly Hispanic and black. He said the priority should be how trustees can successfully conduct college business in their district. Lines have to be identifiable so citizens know where their district is, and they need use the current district lines as building blocks, he said. Méndez said they should keep board members in their districts, so incumbents don’t lose votes. District 4 trustee Marcelo Casillas asked how citizens could work on

David Méndez, attorney from Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta, shows trustees the Alamo Colleges nine districts Tuesday during a special board meeting at Killen. Tyler K. Cleveland

the redistricting map. Méndez said the most common method is for citizens to go to state representatives to draw a plan. The Texas Legislative Council provides maps and reports, so citizens can draw maps. Sometimes his other clients would allow citizens to draw lines with them. Méndez said the board can decide if they want citizens to draw lines with them. McClendon said he worried if they could finish the project by the end of August for it to be in Washington, D.C., by September. Méndez said once they have a redistricting plan, it takes 120 days to adopt. Fernandez wanted to know the timeframe to get public comments and start redistricting. Méndez agreed it’s good to get the community juices flowing and to have a public hearing before a regular board meeting. Trustees agreed to a call a public hearing the same day as the July 19 regular board meeting. A time for the public hearing has not been set. The next regular board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 17 in Room 101 of Killen Center at 201 W. Sheridan. For more information, go to and click on Board of Trustees and then Agendas.


22 • April 25, 2011

The Ranger

Watching the clock Employees are trained to adjust McCreless timepiece. By J. Almendarez On March 7, The Ranger reported that the clock on McCreless Hall was stopped at 4:42. The clock faces San Pedro Avenue and is visible to passersby as far away as San Pedro Springs Park. David Mrizek, vice president of college services, said he was unsure whether the clock was connected to this school’s atomic clock system. Atomic clocks are programmed by an electronic transmission from Boulder, Colo., which provides official U.S. time. However, Mrizek said large amounts of metal and electronic devices within this campus can interfere with signals coming from the system, which explains why many of the clocks on campus are out of synch. Facilities superintendent David Ortega recently discovered that the large clock on

McCreless is not an atomic clock. It is connected to a master clock system in McCreless, but power outages in the building caused the clock to stop. “There’s no battery backup for it because it’s an older device,” Ortega said. He suspects that local power outages in February, caused by low temperatures across the state, caused the clock to turn off. At this campus, at least four buildings experienced power outages and Northeast Lakeview College also reported power outages. Ortega said electricians generally ensure the clock stays accurate, but the electricians currently on staff are new and didn’t know they had to set the clock manually. Ortega, who has been on staff with Alamo Colleges for 20 years, said his past duties have not required him to work directly with the clock on McCreless and so he also was unaware that it needed to be manually set. “This is the first time I have worked on that clock personally,” he said.

This exterior clock needs manual adjustments after power outages and time changes. JungKeun Song Ortega said after he realized the upkeep involved with the clock, he made sure the electricians on campus were taught how to set it to be accurate. He said doing so prevents the clock from being inaccurate for an extended period of time in the future. Now there is no excuse for being tardy to class.

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The Ranger


April 25, 2011 • 23

Novelist Mark Busby reads excerpts from his work Multicultural Conference session offers insight into Vietnam War. By Dana Traugott The draft and the Vietnam War in the 1960s, gave then-college students a reality check for what serving one’s country is all about, a Texas novelist said. Tales of the era may seem like fiction to most modern college students, English Professor Mark Busby of Texas State University-San Marcos said April 13 during the college’s 17th annual Multicultural Conference. The native Texan is director of the Center for the Study of the Southwest Regional Humanities Center, which promotes the interchange of knowledge among communities, institutions and individuals. The program draws focus to regional humanities issues across the four-corner region of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas. Busby read excerpts from his first novel “Fort Benning Blues,” published in 2001 by Texas Christian University Press, and his upcoming novel “Cedar Crossing.” “Fort Benning Blues” follows a young Army soldier going into training in 1969 at Fort Benning, Ga., before being deployed to Vietnam. He said the purpose of the Vietnam War was to “convince our enemies that what we had in mind for them was good for their hearts and minds.” Busby reminded students to prepare themselves for the profanity included in the excerpt. “I can assure you the language is accurate to what it was back then,” he said.

Mark Busby, English professor at Texas State University, reads excerpts from his novel, “Fort Benning Blues,” April 13 in visual arts. Busby’s novel is based on the Army during the Vietnam era. Alison Wadley Busby was drafted the day he finished his master’s thesis in 1969; however, he volunteered for Officer Candidate School to avoid the draft. The two novels he began writing at Fort Benning took him 30 years to complete. Busby’s second novel, “Cedar Crossing,” is set in 1964, the year after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and the year President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law ending racial segregation. The book, modeled after much of Busby’s experiences, is about a college student who is assigned to interview a family member who remembers something vivid about his or her past.

Like the lead character in “Cedar Cross,” Busby interviewed his grandfather. The fictional student decides to interview his 80-year-old grandfather, who recalls the 1964 boxing match between black Cassius Clay and white Sonny Liston. Racism surrounded the event. People were shocked when Clay knocked out Liston in the seventh round because the imposing white boxer was favored to win, he said. The day after the fight, Cassius Clay announced he was changing his name to Muhammad Ali, who went on to defeat Liston a second time in a one round match in 1965.

24 • April 25, 2011

The Ranger


Annexation efforts not expected anytime soon Board may see draft plan for contiguous counties in summer.

bond issue. Bexar County generates $92.4 million based on this combined effective tax rate. District 9 trustee James Rindfuss, chair of By Zahra Farah and Laura Garcia the board’s Legal Affairs Committee and a local attorney, said as he understands it, if a county Six months ago, Chancellor Bruce Leslie wants to be a part of the district, they would approached the board with the possibility of take on the same share of the taxes even though annexing seven neighboring counties to bring in they joined the district after the district incurred additional revenue and balance the overwhelmthe debt. He said if the county was a part of the ing budget shortfall. At the December regular district, the board could lower taxes because an board meeting, trustees unanimously approved increase in the number of property taxpayers a motion allowing Leslie to develop an annexawould increase revenue. tion plan for the counties in the district’s service Rindfuss said what could also happen is the area to become part of the Alamo Community board could decide to lower tuition or even taxes College District’s taxing district. by a certain percentage because more property If community members agreed from owners would be paying taxes. Atascosa, Bandera, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, He said it’s not like the board is trying to creKerr and Wilson counties, they could one day be ate a big pool of money; if counties do join, their a part of the Alamo Colleges. students don’t pay out-of-district tuition and But annexation of these fees of $1,479 for 12 hours. counties may not come anyTuition plus fees for intime soon. When questioned district students enrolled in Tuesday, Leslie replied, “Nope, 12 semester hours is $807. nothing has happened.” An entire county does not District officials and trusthave to be annexed. School ees have been focused on baldistricts or even a city within ancing fiscal year 2011 buda county can choose to be get and preparing for addiannexed. Rindfuss said 15 tional shortfalls in fiscal years percent of eligible voters in 2012 and 2013. The district is a county have to petition to Dr. Bruce Leslie facing a $20.4 million projectget annexation on the next chancellor ed gap between revenue and election ballot. A majority has expenses for fiscal year 2012. to vote for it; if it doesn’t get a Leslie said the district’s been so busy with majority vote, the item fails. the budget, before he does anything with District 2 trustee Denver McClendon said annexation, he needs to go before the board to normally, the administration addresses the present ideas. community about a possible annexation. The Legislature determines the counties in Leslie said it took 10 years for Austin a college’s service area. Leslie said annexation Community College to build a relationship with is a long and complex process, which requires communities to finally annex neighboring counmultiple complex documents and begins with ties. “It’s a long process; maybe it won’t happen building a relationship with each community next year, or the year after, maybe not in our and its leaders. Leslie said he has not contacted lifetime.” county leaders about annexation. Leslie said he might look at annexation in For annexation to happen, residents of each the summer. “Even if it takes 10 years, we have county interested must vote to decide if they to start somewhere,” Leslie said. want to be annexed and are willing to be placed District 1 trustee Joe Alderete was emphatic in under a new taxing entity. opposition. “I am completely against annexation.” The Alamo Community College District tax In this tough economic time, no one wants rate is $0.141623 per $100 of assessed value for an extra tax, he said, adding the district shouldn’t fiscal year 2010-11. At that rate, the tax assessed pursue annexation because it has enough to deal on a $100,000 property would be about $141.62. with as a district. He said annexation means new This tax rate includes $0.096873 for maincounties will demand services in their areas. tenance and operations and $0.04475 for debt McClendon said he doesn’t lean one way or levy on the $450 million capital improvements the other and he doesn’t have enough details to

“Even if it takes 10 years, we have to start somewhere.”

Alamo Colleges Service Area

Potential revenue at current tax rate Bandera County $2.52 million Atascosa County $2.67 million Comal County $14.37 million Wilson County $3.14 million Kendall County $5.97 million Kerr County $5.67 million Guadalupe County $11.79 million Total $46.14 million Bexar County tax revenue is $92.4 million. speak intelligently about specific communities. Gary Beitzel, District 8 trustee and chairman, and District 7 trustee Blakely Fernandez agreed everyone’s been too distracted with the budget to even think about annexation. Neither voiced opposition to annexation, but Fernandez said it’s on the backburner because officials have been focused on the budget process and laws affecting higher education in the state Legislature. Beitzel said trustees will have to see a draft plan, and the board can’t introduce annexation; the counties have to vote. District 6 trustee Gene Sprague and Rindfuss agreed the budget was the main priority. Sprague said there is demand in those service areas. For example, Central Texas Technology Center in New Braunfels and the Westside Education and Training Center continue to grow. Rindfuss, who favors annexation, said some of the centers have higher enrollment than private institutions here. District 4 trustee Marcelo S. Casillas said, “I think it was bad timing. That’s why I was against it at the very beginning.” District 3 trustee and board Secretary Anna Bustamante said she wasn’t too happy to hear it was even being considered. “I would consider it if I felt my constituents’ needs were being met,” she said. “Let’s take care of our area first.”


The Ranger

April 25, 2011 • 25

Top officials opt out of limelight Only three of 11 top officials have interviewed for profiles. By Ranger Staff

Robert Aguero, VC Academic Success $181,029.60

Thomas Cleary, VC Info. Systems $181,029.60

Adelina Silva, VC Student Success $181,029.60

Diane Snyder, VC Finance/Admin. $181,029.60

Federico Zaragoza, VC Workforce Dev. $186,185.70

The Ranger planned to publish profiles on each of the vice chancellors and associate vice chancellors of the Alamo Colleges to acquaint readers with their duties. Along with the presidents of the five colleges, these 11 administrators rank just below the chancellor in the administration of this public community college district with 64,149 students and an annual budget of $284,589,000. The district employs five vice chancellors and six associate vice chancellors. The Ranger has successfully interviewed two associate vice chancellors and one vice chancellor. John Strybos, associate vice chancellor of facilities operation and construction management, and Dr. Jo-Carol Fabianke, associate vice chancellor for academic partnerships and initiatives, were interviewed April 8. Dr. Adelina S. Silva, vice chancellor for student success, was interviewed Thursday. Go online for the story. Dr. Cynthia Mendiola-Perez, who as associate vice chancellor for student and program development also oversees the center for student information, said at the April 19 board meeting that she would participate. A meeting has not been confirmed. Dr. Federico Zaragoza, vice chancellor of economic and workforce development, said he received an email and a phone call but asked for another email to remind him. An interview is tentatively scheduled for this week. Pamela Ansboury, associate vice chancellor for fiscal services, misunderstood the request. She’s attempting to schedule an interview this week. At an April 12 board committee meeting, Diane Snyder, vice chancellor for finance and administration, said unless The Ranger sent her interview questions, she could not participate. She said she supports The Ranger, but she is too busy to stop for a 20-minute telephone interview. Dr. Thomas Cleary, vice chancellor for planning, performance
 and information systems, also wanted the questions beforehand, but The Ranger does not provide questions prior to an interview. However, when The Ranger needs data, reporters generally request it in advance of an interview. He said he would think about participating but did not commit. Leo Zuñiga, associate vice chancellor for communications, said he didn’t understand why The Ranger wanted to do a profile on him. He said there are 63,000 students at the Alamo Colleges that the

publication could profile. Zuñiga is responsible for crafting the public’s image of the district. April 5, Zuñiga said via email he was, “undeserving of a story that focuses on my personal assignments.” The Ranger clarified that all vice chancellors and associate vice chancellors were being interviewed, and he replied April 8, “I am undeserving of such attention. No, thank you.” Dr. Robert Aguero, vice chancellor for academic success, said via email April 5, “I would be happy to visit with you.” Then the following day, his secretary scheduled an interview for 10 a.m. April 13, but on April 11 called to say, “Dr. Aguero apologizes, but he will need to cancel your interview with him,” and requested questions via email. When approached at an April 12 committee meeting, Aguero said he preferred to conduct the interview through email because he is busy and would be better prepared for email questions. When told The Ranger does not conduct email interviews, Aguero said he would not participate. He said The Ranger has written erroneous things about him, and he did not want to talk to the publication. In fact, Aguero has never been interviewed by The Ranger, and this was the first time he had responded to requests through his office. When sources encounter errors in reporting, The Ranger requests immediate notification so that corrections can be made when warranted. Aguero did not report any erroneous information. He referred to the Oct. 12 article, “Faculty Senate sets third meeting with Aguero for Wednesday,” which said Faculty Senate had tried and failed to meet with Aguero twice, but he canceled both times. Aguero said April 12, he rescheduled the first time, and the second time, the senate couldn’t pick a date to meet. The Ranger said if the publication made an error, editors would be willing to write a correction. He said that’s fair, but the damage has been done. Linda Boyer-Owens, associate vice chancellor of human resources, scheduled an appointment for April 13, but executive assistant Rosalinda Castillo called to reschedule to April 14. Then Castillo called a second time to cancel, saying Boyer-Owens would not be available for at least two weeks. At the 6 a.m. April 18 retirement election form submission at this college, Boyer-Owens said she was really busy with the retirement incentive program. “I’m double- and triple-booked,” she said Thursday.

Pamela Ansboury, AVC Fiscal Serv. $137,700

Linda Boyer-Owens, AVC HR $147,901.02

Jo-Carol Fabianke, AVC Acad. Partner.


Cynthia MendiolaPerez, AVC Dev.


John Strybos, AVC Facilities $157,971.48

Leo Zuñiga, AVC Communications $109,185.90

26 • April 25, 2011


The Ranger

Strybos keeps lights on, water running Twenty-eight years experience led to oversight for 24 new buildings. By Zahra Farah Before John Strybos became associate vice chancellor for facilities operation and construction management and responsible for an annual operating budget of $20 million and 300 personnel, he was a developmental math adjunct at this college. He worked at this college from 1989-1998 and was hired by the district as an associate vice chancellor in 2003. This semester, he teaches a freshman communication engineering class at the University of Texas in San Antonio on weekends. He finds the most important part of teaching is communicating with students. Students may not want to learn, but they have to learn to move forward from whatever roadblock they’re facing in life, he said. Strybos said people would come to his class not because they wanted to, but they couldn’t move forward in their lives with their problems in math. He said he would use real-life scenarios for his students to understand the basic concept of math. Strybos would ask students: If you had $5 and wanted to buy a soft drink for $2.50, how much change would you get back? Today, his job still influences students, as he is responsible for construction, remodeling and maintenance of the district’s 130 buildings on each of the five campuses. Strybos has had more than 28 years of experience in engineering/project management, construction management and education facilities construction and design. His biggest accomplishment is overseeing and implementing the $450 million capital improvements program from 2005 to 2009 at the Alamo Colleges. From the bond, the district was able to build 24 buildings and renovate buildings at the oldest colleges. At this college about $79 million went into the renovation of 10 projects, which included new building and a parking garage. At St. Philip’s College about $67.5 million went into 17 projects, which included four new centers. At Palo Alto College $55 million went into 13

John Strybos at 2006 groundbreaking at this college File photo projects, the major ones being three new centers and additional surface parking. Northwest Vista College had $106 million in 11 projects, which included five new centers and additional surface parking. Northeast Lakeview College’s entire campus was built with the bond, which amounted to $125 million. He also explained in the facilities world, they have to deal with a number of budget constraints and local, state and federal policy and procedures. They also have to follow laws such as Americans with Disabilities Act. New buildings go through a series of inspections and follow city codes to start building. Strybos said they jump through hoops to start and finish construction projects.

He said it takes a long time to build because most of the time funding is not available or there is not enough funding. For a project to start anyone from the college or district have to notify Strybos, he then has go through the college administration or district depending on the project. If it’s a major project, Strybos has to get board approval to advertise, once they get board approval on what firm can do the project he has to work on a specific contract. Strybos said most of the buildings he works on are at the older campuses like Moody Learning Center at this college. Moody was built in March 1968. Strybos said renovations for Moody cost about $4 million, and they have about $18 million worth of renovations to do on the building. Before renovations on the fifth floor of Moody, contractors discovered asbestos in the building. Strybos said they now have to inspect each floor of the building. The asbestos abatement on the fifth floor costs about $100,000. He said sometimes, people don’t think things are getting done, like when faculty, staff and students have to deal with leaks in buildings. For example, a leak in Longwith Radio, Television and Film Building, was actually coming from the second floor and not the roof. The district hired Tremco Commercial Sealants and Waterproofing to fix and update all the problems with campus roofs. It cost $77,000 the first year and $50,000 each subsequent year. Strybos said to increase student success the district wants to incorporate smart classrooms into buildings. More lecterns, down screens and current computers need to be in classrooms, so professors can keep up with technology. The lecterns have the ability to control video and audio in the classrooms and control printers in classrooms. He said this generation is more in tune then ever with technology and the college has to keep up with the students to better communicate with them. He said his job requires him to keep the campus running, and without it students wouldn’t be as successful. For more information about Strybos, visit


The Ranger

April 25, 2011 • 27

Fabianke’s projects bringing colleges together Associate vice chancellor hopes to avoid enrollment cap in district. By Melody Mendoza Jo-Carol Fabianke, associate vice chancellor for academic success, said her department is probably the smallest in the district, while her duties include bringing the colleges together to make decisions on student academic success. Although she doesn’t get to make things happen directly, she helps bring people together who can. Fabianke takes pride in the colleges’ participation in Achieving the Dream, an initiative to help low-income students of color earn a college degree. The program is funded by a grant the district applied for seven years ago. She said she helps the colleges gather the best practices and strengthen how the district serves students. Fabianke said, “For the first time, we shared information from across the colleges.” The district used to focus on enrollment, she said, but now, “We’re saying, ‘How can we make this better for students?’” She said a student academic success team meets twice a month to carry out Jo-Carol Fabianke the Achieving the Dream initiative. The associate vice chancellor team includes the vice presidents of academic success and of student services from the colleges, institutional research personnel and chairs and faculty from English, reading and math departments. Fabianke plays another role on the Dual Credit Committee established two years ago to bring consistency across the colleges. Out of this, the e-catalog was created with the intention to better serve students who want to see classes offered at all of the Alamo Colleges in one online catalog, she said. Also, this committee found that the grading scale between dual credit classes offered at high schools and the colleges were different; therefore, the committee decided that faculty would have to state the grading scale on the course syllabus, she said. Fabianke also does a lot in the area of developmental education. This includes combining developmental reading and writing and linking them with college-level, reading-intensive assignments. She said a group is also looking into accelerating how the district can offer math and reading for those who test high but may need a refresher course. Through the many meetings Fabianke attends each week, she said she hears what is going on at the colleges through initiative groups and individual calls. She said her biggest challenge is trying to stay focused on what’s really important. “It’s so easy, in the personalities and emotions, to get really frustrated,” she said. “Everyone’s got to give their opinion and everyone’s got to vent, but remember, this is not whether we agree. It’s student success.”

She said this is an emotional business because she deals with people, not just a product. Although she said students are in a good place, this district is also complex. “We’re in a lot of change.” She said the district used to be five “rockin’” colleges that were doing well, and now “we’re innovative” and “making changes that are best practices across the county.” She said the internal struggles and upheaval makes the district better because no one is sitting back being complacent. Over the 30 years Fabianke has been in this district, she has seen the colleges expand across the city to now struggling in this budgetary battle. She said she was teaching at this college when Palo Alto College was built in 1985-86. Then she was working at the district when Northwest Vista College was built in 1996-97. She moved to Northwest Vista in 2000, then returned to the district in 2006 just before Northeast Lakeview College was added. “In each of those cases, there’s got to be more financial requirements,” she said. Fabianke illustrated the district’s growth using the mailroom. She said she could imagine a person trotting back and forth between this college and St. Philip’s College when for academic success the two were joined in a district in 1945. And as another college was added, the mailroom personnel also grew. “Isn’t it going to take more people to deliver the mail now that we have all of these colleges?” she said. She explained that there was a demand for the colleges to be built when they were. “Could we have planned it better?” she said. “You can always plan better.” She compared it to her daughter who is planning the arrival of a baby. “She thinks she’s planning, but does she really know?” But growth cannot continue unrestricted in this economy. Trustees and district and college administrators discussed the big question of capping enrollment at a board retreat April 2. Fabianke said, “I’ve been in this for 30 years, and we’ve never talked about capping enrollment because we’ve never been in this financial state.” But this district practices an open-door policy. “We want to take everyone in who would want to have education or think they might,” she said. The solution? She said maybe colleges offer refresher courses instead of so many developmental courses. She said advisers need to be smarter in advising and maybe direct students to get certificates. Then, after having been in college for a while, they’ll be focused enough to go on to earn a degree rather than turning away students. “I hope we don’t have to cap,” she said. “I hope we can help everyone in a different way.”

“Everyone’s got to give their opinion and everyone’s got to vent, but remember, this is not whether we agree. It’s student success.”


28 • April 25, 2011 For coverage in Calendar, call 210-486-1773 or e-mail two weeks in advance.

Monday SAC Event: HALO Reach, League Play 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Cyber Cafe and Game room of Loftin. Call 210-486-0125. SAC Performance: Brass Ensemble 7:30 p.m. in auditorium of McAllister. Call 210-486-0255. 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 Lecture: “Sexual Violence in the Media: How it Supports a Rape and Domestic Violence Culture” by Rick Gippric noon-1:30 p.m. in Empowerment Center. Call 486-0455. Event: Free financial education course 1 p.m.-2 p.m. at Generations Federal Credit Union-Balcones Heights Branch. Call 210554-3516. SAC Meeting: Hispanic Heritage Committee at 2 p.m. in Room 100 of Gonzales. Call 210-486-0681. Tuesday SAC Meeting: Campus Crusade for Christ 1:30 p.m. in Room 113 of chemistry and geology. Call 210-486-1233. SAC Lecture: “So You’re the New Teacher” by Sylvia C. Lovelace and Pat Johnson 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. at Methodist Student Center, 102 Belknap. Email Call 210-733-1441. 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. Trinity Concert: Handbell Ensemble

7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Ruth Taylor Recital Hall. Call 210-999-8212.

The Ranger

NVC event: 12th annual New Vistas in Media Festival 7 p.m. in Palmetto. Call 210-486-4405.

May 7 Classes: Last day of classes for spring semester.

SAC Event: Xbox 360 free play 2 p.m.3:30 p.m. in the craft room of Loftin. Call 210-486-0125.

Event: March of Dimes at Sea World San Antonio Walk 7 a.m. registration, 8 a.m. walk. Call 210-696-1030.


May 9

Event: Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Lot C of the Alamodome, 100 Montana, 6 a.m. registration, 8 a.m. race. Visit www.komensanantonio. org.

AC Finals: Examinations continue through May 14.

Wednesday SAC Meeting: Psychology Club 2 p.m. in Room 642 of Moody. Call 210-4862887. SAC Meeting: Gay and Lesbian Association 3 p.m. in Room 644 of Moody. Call 210-486-0673. SAC Meeting: Kinesiology Club 3 p.m. in Room 142 of Candler. Call 210-588-1936.

Event: Meditation in Japanese Galleries 10:15 a.m.-11 a.m. San Antonio Art Museum. Free with admission. Call

SAC Meeting: Phi Theta Kappa, Beta Nu Chapter, 4 p.m. in Room 241 in Nail. Call 210-4861136.

AC Book Event: Rental check-in and book buy back in campus bookstores. Continues through May 14. May 13 Event: Second Friday Artwalk with Tobin Hill Art Alliance begins in visual arts 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Call 210-486-1030.

210-978-8151. SAC Event: Desserts with Deans and Directors noon to 1 p.m. in the Fiesta Room of Loftin. Call 210-486-0125. SAC Event: “Surviving an Active Shooter” 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in Room 120 of visual arts. Continues 1 p.m.-3 p.m. May 11, June 15, June 28, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. May 24, June 29, 2 p.m.-4 p.m. May 25. Call 210-486-0930. SAC Event: Architectural computeraided drafting graduates portfolio show 7 p.m.-9 p.m. lobby of Chance. Call 210486-1482.

May 14 SAC Sports: Baseball vs. Lone Star College-Montgomery 10:30 a.m. at Lone Star in Conroe. Continues at 1:30 p.m. April 30 and 10:30 a.m. May 1. Call 210260-6348.

SAC Event: Commencement 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Freeman Coliseum with columnist Cary Clack, Outstanding Former Student. Ticket required. Call 210-486-0700.

May 2

May 16

Bexar County: Early voting. Continues through May 10. Election May 14. Visit

SAC Tutoring: Math PASS program 9 a.m.-noon or 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Register at Room 202 in Fletcher. Call 210-4860289.

SAC Concert: Choral 7:30 p.m. in auditorium of McAllister. Call 210-486-0255.

May 19


May 3

SAC Performance: Jazz Ensemble 7:30 p.m. in auditorium of McAllister. Call 210-486-0255.

SAC Concert: Orchestra 7:30 p.m. in auditorium of McAllister. Call 210-486-0255.

SAC Event: 10th annual Women Empowered Conference 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the auditorium of McAllister. Call 210486-0455.

May 6

May 23

Event: Spring carnival 2 p.m.-6 p.m. at Travis Early College High School, 1915 N. Main. Call 210-733-1911.

AC Deadline: Fall registration continues through Aug. 20. Call 210-486-0200.

Reading: Caroline Kennedy from her book “She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems,” with Q-and-A followed by book signing 7 p.m. in Laurie Auditorium at Trinity University. Call 210212-9539. Friday PAC Event: Horticulture Club plant sale 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in the new greenhouse at on the southwest side of campus. Call 210486-3073.

Event: Zoo-La-La, 16th annual Feast with the Beasts, 7 p.m.-10 p.m. at San Antonio Zoo, 3903 N. St. Marys. For 21 and older. Tickets $40-$110. Call 210- 734-7184, Ext. 1045.

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

April 25, 2011 • 29

The Ranger


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30 • April 25, 2011

The Ranger


Juan Carlos Campos

Why are officials hiding? Journalists have a reputation for being too invasive. Many more are mistaken for public relations practitioners or, at the other extreme, paparazzi. News flash: Journalists are trying to find the truth and report it to the public. They pore over documents to keep an eye on elected officials handling public money. Of course, nobody wants scrutiny when a situation is less than positive, but if public officials don’t like the pressure of answering to the public about public funds, then maybe they shouldn’t hire on as public servants in the first place. Journalists do a public service just like the officials they cover. We ask the hard questions and stand up to glares, intimidation and doublespeak to protect the public’s right to accurate, timely information about their hardearned tax dollars. There is a reason for federal Freedom of Information and state Open Meetings and Open Records laws. It’s called checks and balances. Lawmakers know human

nature is to highlight good news and downplay or hide the bad, so they made public officials accountable. Especially when we are facing such large shortfalls, the public deserves to know for what and for whom they are footing the bill. So it was disturbing to discover the vast majority of the top administrators in this district refused to be interviewed for short profiles of their jobs and duties. (See the story on Page 25.) The 12-member team of vice chancellors, associate vice chancellors and the chancellor is a combined expense of more than $2 million annually, not counting district-paid cell phones, Internet service, health insurance, benefits, car allowances or office staff and supplies. Daily schedules, travel plans and expense accounts should all be made available online. The public should know what these administrators do all day. When public employees ignore requests from the news media, they reject their own responsibility to keep constituents informed.

Higher standards, higher quality As of August, the mortuary science program requires a minimum score of 84 to pass any required course toward the major. The department has 220 students enrolled, but for those students to become funeral directors or embalmers, they have to pass a $400 exam, the National Board Exam, with a score of at least 75. By raising the standards in the 70-hour degree plan, students have to take their studies seriously. By doing so, they waste less time and money getting through the program. Higher standards means greater success across the board, enhancing the program’s reputation. As a student, you are invited to bask in the reflected glow. Instead of complaining, students should be grateful the program is ensuring the excellence of their education. Take advantage of tutoring and study groups to help one another. Your program, professors and peers can only help so much before it’s all up to you. Correction: In the April 18 article, “Block Party for 85th anniversary of college,” the dancers were incorrectly identified as Code Red when it should have stated that the dance performance class would be performing.

The Ranger


Fee should cover student life In May 2009, the district decided that the 3-year-old student activity fee should fund sports programs. At this college, 85 percent of the sports operating budget has continued to come out of the college’s operating budget. The student activity fee provided only 15 percent of the $125,000 sports budget. Why has the college been funding a student life project anyway? For fiscal year 2010-11, the revenue from the student activity fee was about $450,000. By law, those funds are supposed to fund clubs and organizations, health center, staff, campuswide events, student publications and the student center. While this college faced cut after cut after cut, more than $100,000 was going to a handful of students who could have been funded with the student activity fee. Repeatedly, the director of student life has claimed the Student Activity Fee Committee rejects proposals of an academic nature because of the criteria imposed by the state. Who knows — their meetings are secret. Now, after two years of “academic” funds being siphoned off, President Robert Zeigler is finally closing that tap. And in the process, sports funding is being cut from $125,000 to $70,000, leaving two sports at this point — boxing and baseball. In addition, sports teams may be able to travel only within a 175-mile radius to compete. Once more, it’s the students who suffer. Some athletes compete here hoping to be picked up when they transfer. And how tragic for those athletes whose team is the only family they may know. The office of student life always seems able hire new staffers out of the student activity fee. It’s the best-staffed office on campus. But what good is that to a student in need of tutoring? There’s been plenty of money since the student activities windfall began in fall 2006. Money for flying in massage therapists from New York; a ballet folklorico troupe and Día de los Muertos artist, assistant and supplies from Mexico; buying iPads and iPods; spending a fortune on catering and travel for student life staff.

There also has been a decidedly lopsided disbursement of funds. Each year, the same organizations and academic departments appear on the list of approved proposals. Despite claims that no funds can be spent on academic pursuits, quite a few approved proposals certainly seem to be closely aligned with the classroom. The president has said he has the final word on the Student Activity Fee Committee spending recommendations, but perhaps he also should be reviewing the rejected proposals. There certainly doesn’t seem to be any oversight coming from the vice president of student affairs or the interim dean of student affairs. If you only take night classes at this college, forget about seeing a dime of that $1 per semester hour you pay. They can’t even get regular college services, such access to a cafeteria on break, library, labs or the gym. Nobody welcomes them to new semesters as day students are. Summer and Maymester students pay that same $1 per semester hour, but what benefit do they get? A grand scheme for a summer swim party involved buying a pool, even though there’s one in Candler Physical Education Center. (Sort of like spending a fortune on a fitness room in the student center only a hundred yards from the gym.) Then student life staffers were told that while the pool slowly filled, they would have to spend several overnight shifts standing guard because a pool in the middle of campus is a little bit of a liability. But that wasn’t enough: a truckload of sand was to be hauled in and dumped on the mall for beach volleyball. As expected, the whole ill-advised plan was scrapped. But when an established activity makes a request for $500 as last week’s 17th annual Multicultural Conference did, student life and the Student Activity Fee Committee decline. It’s time to eliminate all student life spending from the college operations budget. Stop letting student life drain the precious little resources we have. Staff it and fund activities from the fee and leave the ever-shrinking college budget for academics.

April 25, 2011 • 31 Letter to the Editor

Carrot 0, Stick 1 Editor: For the last few weeks, full-time employees have been receiving ethics training update emails from Eddie Cruz. These emails congratulate those who have already taken the ethics training. However, the emails also go on to state that any full-time employee who has not completed the training by April 1 will be put on a list posted on the ethics website for supervisors and employees to see their status. (These words are highlighted in yellow, I might add). Since the deadline to complete the training is given as May 31, and more than eight weeks away from April 1, when names will be posted, this action seems rather unethical. According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, the definition for ethical is “1. of or conforming to moral standards. 2. conforming to professional standards of conduct.” Neither of these definitions seems to fit Cruz’s email campaign, which appears to be more of a bullying tactic with an undercurrent of you’ll-get-introuble (putting my name on a list for supervisors, other employees, and if so desired, the general public, to see). If I were to employ this tactic in the classroom to get students to perform a task, at the very least, I would take a hit on my student evaluations (and rightly so), but more to the point, I would be guilty of bad teaching practices. Intimidation and public humiliation went out of style around the time lawyers started running the world. To be honest, I probably would have gotten around to it in those last few days before May 31 because deadlines are usually seen as a way to prioritize what needs to be accomplished when and in what order. Instead, I went ahead and did it last week just to get it done. And that is the pity of it all — that I, as a fulltime employee of this institution, was forced into making a decision based on the stick rather than the carrot. It makes me all the more resolved to sit firmly in the middle of the road. Isabel B. Garcia Architecture Professor

32 • April 25, 2011 Letters to the Editor

represent quite a chunk of reward. On the other hand, each additional administrator and supporting staff that is employed would subtract from that generous pot. The potential to win the lottery by cutting administrative costs should serve as quite an incentive, seems to me. Victor L. Garza Chemistry Professor San Antonio College

Waive down payment

Dr. Bruce Leslie

Drastic incentive Editor: I thought The Ranger editorial “District: Get out of the Classroom” of March 7, 2011, was interesting and informative. If the figures are correct, it’s shocking to learn that it takes $97 million for 1,000 employees to run district offices. This may be a bargain, according to the “UlibarriMason Global HR that shows the Alamo Colleges with the most efficient administration” memos that were sent out by email in response. There would appear to be a lack of incentive to reduce administrative costs for all colleges across the state. It seems as if cost reductions appear to be at the faculty and student ends of the organization.  What we need is a more drastic incentive to reduce administrative costs, it seems. Maybe one possible solution would be to offer the chancellor a personal stake in the process. Perhaps that could be done if the chancellor were offered a $10 million contract, highest in the land. The stipulations would be that he could keep only what is left of the $10 million after all administrative costs have been taken from that generous pot. So, if the chancellor can run the whole thing with only a few executive secretaries that would

The Ranger


Editor: First, the processing of Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants was done improperly. Now it’s summer grant processing. Just as an update, several of my family members, including myself, had our SEOG grants taken back after we received them. I got mine back, but we were told my other family members did not qualify. Well, after talking to several people throughout the Alamo Colleges, we eventually all got them back. We never did get an explanation or an apology for the improper handling. My girlfriend’s refund was also deposited into my account, which we did not authorize. Depositing her money into my account because we paid part of her tuition with my card is not legitimate. She specifically listed her account for refunds, and that is the only account which the colleges should deposit her money.

 I have been attending SAC since 2008, and summer grant processing has always been done after you were registered. Last year, I tried to do it after I registered and was told I still had to wait a week or two because they were not accepting applications yet. This year, the date was apparently changed to March 1. I received no emails about this through ACES. (What happened to everything ACES?) So I registered today, yesterday was the first day, and I was told that I missed

the processing deadline and would have to make payment arrangements before my aid would be processed. I have never done a payment plan. I figured I could go in and pay what I can now so my classes wouldn’t get dropped. I found out I have to pay half immediately. I do not have $400 to pay.

 To some extent I can understand saying that students are responsible for knowing information that pertains to their situation. But the Alamo Colleges employees do not even know how things will be done. This is proved by the fiasco that happened with the SEOG grants and refund deposits. The financial aid employee I worked with said I should have had to list SPC on my FAFSA last semester since I was not enrolled in any classes at SAC, but I did not and I still got my aid. He said that wasn’t supposed to happen. So if the colleges cannot even control their own procedures, how are students supposed to know them? 
The structure is in place to have distributed this information to every student to whom it applies: ACES email. I get hundreds of meaningless emails that do not apply to me in any way, but I do not get the one piece of information that I needed. I am extremely busy and do not have time to search the various Alamo Colleges websites looking for every update that may pertain to my situation. I do all of my college-related activities through ACES as “everything is ACES” (registration, payments and refunds, class maintenance, timesheets for work-study). I do not go around campus reading fliers.
 Given all of the prior misappropriations by the colleges, I do not think that asking for a waiver of the 50 percent down payment is unreasonable. So why not go through the proper channels? Simple. They do not work. I have spent way too

much valuable time standing in lines for hours to get no assistance whatsoever. Employees are either powerless to help students, unwilling or improperly trained. The only useful methods seem to be going to a dean, the president of one of the colleges or SACALL. 
Being that I know no one else in my family was aware of this, I would recommend a waiver of the 50 percent down payment rule for all summer students this year. Anything less is a failure of the colleges to appropriately support its students.
 Mark R. Mayfield CIS work-study

Campus cat

Hello, kitty Editor: Thank you for the article concerning cats on campus. Chelsea Peacock’s pictures of the “twins” are excellent. I want to reassure everyone that there is nothing to indicate “dozens of cats on campus” at the present time. So far in 2011, I think I could count on my fingers the number of cats I have seen at SAC. I did tell reporter Riley Stephens that spaying is essential to avoid having dozens of cats on campus. A sign I saw at the vet’s office says that one female cat can give birth to 18 kittens within one year. We are working to prevent that on campus and to make certain SAC cats remain healthy and are protected from disease. J. R. Poole History Adjunct San Antonio College


The Ranger

April 25, 2011 • 33

Life lessons, sports on the chopping block Slide tackling a person twice your size in the middle of winter is one way to learn bravViewpoint by J. Almendarez ery. The frozen blades of grass slice into your thigh like icicles and teeth are ground together while waiting to be kicked in the ribs, face or chest. Athletes grinding gravel under their sneakers at a track at 6 a.m. are not reading about discipline or scribbling notes in day planners. They’re actually pulling them-

selves out of bed, shoving clothes into a gym bag and dedicating themselves to a team. Losing a playoff game with grace, shelving pride to pass the ball to a teammate who may have a better chance at making the basket and pulling a newbie aside to show the correct way to swing a golf club are not just about sports. They’re about character. This campus is cutting the sports budget nearly in half next semester from $125,000 to $70,000. Texas law allows for 25 percent of the student activity fee to be allocated for sports. This campus’ student life budget is about $450,000, meaning $112,500 of its budget cold be used

for sports. People who were unable to participate in sports throughout high school should now have the opportunity to learn invaluable lessons through sports at a college level. Cutting funding for sports takes away that opportunity. Especially if cutting is based on “student participation and student interest.” Boxing, which took place in the middle of the day on a Friday this semester, will, of course, have more students attending than a soccer game being played at Texas State University-San Marcos on a Saturday morning. But it doesn’t make it more

important. The news of budget cuts in sports was inevitable and unsurprising, especially coming from a district that uses 34 percent of its budget on district administration. That is more money than is spent on any one college within this district. Yet again, the Alamo Colleges has demonstrated neglect for the enrichment of students while keeping their pockets padded. Perhaps next, they will opt to light night classes with lanterns instead of fluorescent bulbs in the name of cost-cutting. After all, most students “participate” and are “interested” in day classes.

Librarian: Watchdog role vital In the 1776 Virginia Bill of Rights, George Mason wrote “… freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty and can never be restrained by despotic governments.” Two hundred and Guest viewpoint by John Deosdade thirty-five years later, those words remain a fitting description of the vital role played by The Ranger in reporting the inner workings of San Antonio College and the Alamo Community College District. This is evidenced by the 13 Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker awards conferred on this student publication and its online counterpart. The Ranger has maintained the highest level of professionalism in its reporting on campuswide and district activities, budgetary planning, news events and other education-related issues. When I first arrived at San Antonio College some 26 years ago, I soon learned that The Ranger was (and still is) the most reliable source for basic information on SAC and the ACCD. In the intervening years, various student editors, reporters, photographers, and illustrators have come and gone.

Yet, The Ranger’s tradition of excellence has remained constant — the product of the dedication and skill of the hard-working journalism students and the journalism faculty and staff in the media communications department who teach and mentor them. The newspaper business is a difficult one to master. Oftentimes, the college community does not recognize the intricacies involved in publishing a weekly newspaper. It is by no means a simple task to compose the online version and also have a fresh printed edition on the newsstands every Monday morning. Compiling a viable newspaper involves planning news coverage, researching potential stories, attending various college and district meetings, writing and editing stories, composing galley proofs, soliciting advertising, editing photographs, illustrating sketches, and much, much more. In addition to attending their regular college classes, students spend countless hours putting in extra time to ensure that the news information is both timely and accurate. Those journalistic efforts have not gone unnoticed. Tom Orsborn, a former SAC journalism student and sports reporter for the San Antonio

Express-News, stated it quite well: “I learned things at SAC that I still use and practice today, things I have taught my own reporters and students. I’ve been to graduate school, but SAC remains, I believe, the best single academic investment I ever made.” Through the years, the students’ enthusiasm and diligence have proved invaluable to me in my own work here as a librarian and faculty member at the San Antonio College library. As I prepare to end my career at San Antonio College, I will fondly remember the hard-hitting news reporting, incisive editorials and often humorous illustrations. I have often said that The Ranger serves a vital role in keeping the campus informed of and alert to the various machinations of the Alamo Community College District and San Antonio College. As an example, the Feb. 14 article on the effect of the college health center closing on disabled students brought a serious problem to light. The watchdog function that The Ranger has zealously pursued is needed even more in the current fiscal climate. May The Ranger keep up the great work. John R. Deosdade is a librarian and repeated nominee for and winner of The Ranger’s “Mother Hen” Source Award.

34 • April 25, 2011

Officials Chancellor: Dr. Bruce H. Leslie 201 W. Sheridan, Bldg. B, San Antonio TX 78204-1429 Work: 210-485-0020 Fax: 210-485-0021 E-mail: District 1: Joe Alderete Jr. 1602 Hillcrest Drive, San Antonio TX 78228 Cell: 210-863-9500 Home: 210-434-6967 E-mail:, District 2: Denver McClendon 3811 Willowwood Blvd., San Antonio, TX 78219 Work: 210-281-9141 E-mail:, District 3: Anna U. Bustamante 511 Ware Blvd., San Antonio TX 78221 Work: 210-882-1609 Home: 210-921-2986 E-mail: District 4: Marcelo S. Casillas 115 Wainwright, San Antonio TX 78211 No telephone number provided Board of trustees liaison: 210-485-0030 E-mail: District 5: Roberto Zárate 4103 Buffalo Bayou, San Antonio TX 78251 No telephone number provided E-mail: District 6: Dr. Gene Sprague 14722 Iron Horse Way, Helotes TX 78023 Work: 210-567-4865 Fax: 210-520-9185 E-mail: District 7: Blakely Latham Fernandez 755 E. Mulberry, Suite 200, San Antonio TX 78212 Work: 210-244-8879 E-mail:, District 8: Gary Beitzel 15403 Forest Mist, San Antonio TX 78232 Home: 210-496-5857 E-mail: District 9: James A. Rindfuss 13315 Thessaly, Universal City TX 78148 Home: 210-928-4630 Work: 210-375-2555 E-mail:

Presidents San Antonio College, Dr. Robert E. Zeigler 210-486-0959, Northeast Lakeview College, Dr. Eric Reno 210-486-5484, Northwest Vista College, Dr. Jacqueline Claunch 210-486-4900, Palo Alto College, Dr. Ana M. “Cha” Guzman 210-486-3960, St. Philip’s College, Dr. Adena W. Loston 210-486-2900,

The Ranger

The Ranger Editor Zahra Farah Managing Editor Melody Mendoza Sections Editor Megan Mares Photographers Tyler K. Cleveland, Alison Wadley Photo Team Carla Aranguren, Jason B. Hogan, Rennie Murrell, Chelsea V. Peacock, Abiel Rodriguez, JungKeun Song, Ingrid Wilgen Illustrators Juan Carlos Campos, Alexandra Nelipa Staff Writers J. Almendarez, Ximena Victoria Alvarez, Jacob Beltran, David Espinoza, Joshua Fechter, Alma Linda Manzanares, Julysa Sosa, Riley Stephens, Dana Lynn Traugott, Jennifer M. Ytuarte Web Editor Laura Garcia ©2011 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 Mondays except during summer, holidays and examinations. The Ranger Online is available at News contributions accepted by telephone (210-486-1773), by fax (210-486-1789), by e-mail ( or at the editorial office (Room 212 of Loftin Student Center). Advertising rates available upon request by phone (210486-1765) 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 sac-ranger@alamo. edu or faxed to 210-486-1789. 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 singlecopy rule may be subject to civil and criminal prosecution and subject to college discipline.

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April 25, 2011 • 35

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Source Awards honor best of the best sources Enjoy some fellowship and laughs while we name names and explain. At the end of each semester, the staff of The Ranger stops to recognize sources who have suffered through numerous phone calls, questions and confirmations from cub reporters. Students look back through stories to find the best of the best among sources who have helped train them as journalists and prepare them for careers in public service. Nominations are due this week so there is still time to butter up a reporter to get a nod in this semester’s competition. Certificates will be presented at our annual Source Awards Social at 9:30 a.m. May 2 in the newsroom of The Ranger, Room 212 of Loftin Student Center. Award categories highlight the characteristics most helpful in training young editors, reporters and photographers. Most of all, these sources remember they are working with students who are learning by doing.

Though categories change with circumstances, many are old standbys. The first is The Informant, which recognizes a source we don’t have to meet in a dark parking garage. Patience is a Virtue recognizes a source who responds promptly, politely and efficiently to repeated requests for information, often daily. Mother Hen thanks a source for nurturing a new reporter on a first beat. The next category honors a Defender of A Free Press, one who not only can identify the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment but who protects them. Leaders of The Ranger’s cheering section are presented a Booster Club award. Typically, these individuals show their support by referring new students, sharing news tips and sending words of encouragement. The Big Tipper thanks a source who most

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consistently provides news tips — and not only about themselves — but also ensures that this publication serves the interests of students and taxpayers. The Sure Thing recognizes our most reliable sources who always returns phone calls, provides accurate and complete information, directs us to other sources, if necessary, declines comment politely — on the rare occasion they have to — reads the published story and provides feedback. Forgive and Forget trumpets our shame at unnecessarily wronging a source and our relief at the absence of a grudge. Overexposed notes a source often photographed published. Underexposed notes a source photographed often but without the satisfaction of appearing in print. For more information, call editor Zahra Farah at 210-486-1776.

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April 25, 2011 • 37

Ranger editor wins Journalist of the Year TCCJA offers award for lowerclassmen.

this college, but her transportation fell through, and she moved out of her parents’ home, which meant she had to pay for school herself. By Joshua Fechter Garcia briefly changed her major to psychology before switching back to journalism. Journalism sophomore Laura Garcia was Because she did not receive financial aid or named the Texas Community College Journalism scholarships during this time. Association’s Journalist of the Year 2011. “It just wasn’t the right time,” she said. As part of this award, Garcia will receive a Through blogging, Garcia found that she 10-week paid internship to the Corpus Christi loved and missed writing. Caller-Times this summer. With encouragement from her family and The award was announced at the Texas friends, she resumed classes in spring 2009 and Intercollegiate Press Association Convention enrolled in COMM 2311, Reporting 1, where she April 2 in Fort Worth. earned an A. Media communications Chair Marianne During this time, she also served as producOdom said she only found out about the award tion assistant for The Ranger, helping to lay out the week before the convention, which left no and design pages. time to fill out district paperwork The following semester, she allowing the department to send became the production manager. Garcia and an adviser. In spring 2010, she served as Odom said the department also managing editor but was promoted would not have had the money to to editor during the course of the send Garcia and an adviser. semester. “We have to be very careful From May to August 2010, Garcia about how we spend our money,” served as an intern at the Longview Odom said. News-Journal reporting as a genLaura Garcia Garcia said she feels very lucky eral assignments reporter. For this to receive the award. “I applied for it semester, Garcia applied to be web thinking I wouldn’t get it,” she said. editor of The Ranger. Garcia said she does not feel entitled to The stories that earned Garcia the state recreceive the award, and she is sure there are ognition were her coverage of a no-confidence other student journalists who are doing just as vote in the chancellor and the chancellor’s allegood a job. gations against the faculty. The Texas Community College Journalism Jeff Hunt, theater and speech communicaAssociation, an organization of 17 community tion chair and former Faculty Senate presicolleges with journalism programs and student dent, said when Garcia reported on the connewspapers, has presented the award every flict between Chancellor Bruce Leslie and the year since 2005. Faculty Senates of four of the five district colBob Bajackson, executive director of TCCJA, leges, she reported the facts in a professional said the association came up with the idea and objective way. because most newspapers only offer internships The Ranger reported Sept. 17, 2009, that the to upperclassmen and ignore lowerclassmen. Faculty Senates of this college, Palo Alto and Bajackson said the organization tried several Northwest Vista issued a vote of no confidence newspapers before the Caller-Times signed on. in the chancellor. The editorial board of the Caller-Times On Feb. 25, 2010, Garcia reported the chandecides the recipient of the award. cellor’s allegations that faculty had procured Garcia said she became interested in jourfalse documents in support of their vote and nalism because she loves art and photograadmitted the documents were false. phy, and journalism combines them effec“I was always impressed by how accurate her tively. reporting was,” Hunt said. “It was as balanced as In 2004, she attended the Urban Journalism it could be.” Workshop for high school students at this colOn April 8, 2010, The Ranger printed a letter lege and won a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund to the editor from Leslie in which he claimed to scholarship for photography. have never said Faculty Senate leaders admitted In fall 2005, Garcia began taking classes at to making false claims.

An accompanying editor’s note said The Ranger stood by its reporting. Garcia said the incident was frustrating because she was not sensationalizing Leslie’s comments. “He said it and I reported it. Why would I make it up?” she said. Garcia said it was a personal blow, but the incident did not affect her reporting. “I’m not going to let anything stand in my way,” she said. Hunt said having her integrity called into question made Garcia a stronger reporter. District 7 trustee Blakely Fernandez said Garcia always maintains a professional balance and that she is very careful with her facts. Fernandez described Garcia as a tough reporter. “Lots of reporters want to be hard-hitting, but when you don’t have the facts, it’s difficult to be hard-hitting,” she said. “Laura is certainly a good example of a hard-hitting reporter.” Fernandez said Garcia has a bright future ahead of her, and the district should be proud of her achievements. Garcia covered Fernandez’s election campaign for District 7 trustee in spring 2010. Garcia said she does not think journalism is for the faint-hearted and that people need to really love journalism to succeed in it. “You have to be serious, have drive and passion for what you’re doing,” she said. “You wouldn’t see me in the math or music department because I want to be here.” After she graduates in May, Garcia will transfer to Texas State University-San Marcos to pursue a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Garcia said she wants to get a master’s degree in journalism but she does not know where she wants to go for graduate school. Garcia said her experience working for The Ranger has been rewarding, and the program is nurturing. “If you’re struggling, faculty, staff and students involved with the program can help you,” she said. “Whatever level you’re at when you enroll in the program, they can help you get to a higher level.” She said the program has helped her learn to work with other people on a newspaper team. After her experience at the Longview NewsJournal, Garcia said The Ranger is very similar to a professional news organization. For more information, visit

38 • April 25, 2011

The Ranger


Editors take first place for in-depth reporting 10 10, 20 Two Ranger editors took first Sept. e pies fre ngle co Si place in in-depth reporting in 1 Issue Vol. 85 Division 2 of the Texas Intercollegiate e 1926 ge sinc o Colle Press Association annual competiAntoni TES 3 g San servin KE NO A voices T e fre of forum A 6 tion for student publications from SERVE ON RE 2 two-year and four-year colleges. RS 1 SOLDIE FFALO U B Web editor Laura Garcia and managing editor Melody Mendoza aced the category for their coverage of the trial of Alan Godin, a Northeast Lakeview College librarian, who was convicted of ds first-degree murder and sentenced to 25 elihoo nd Liv ing series a s e iv years in prison and a fine of $10,000 for L ntinu of a co Part 1 the Oct. 13, 2008, shooting death of colleague Donald “Devin” Zimmerman. Division 2 is for two-year and four-year colleges with large enrollments and student newspapers published once or twice a week. The Ranger for spring and fall 2010 placed third in overall excellence. Garcia was editor in the spring and fall. In other individual awards, Ranger photographer Julysa Sosa won second place in the feature story category for a story on immigrant laborers seeking work in New Orleans. She also won third place in news photo for a photograph of a Ballet Folklorico performance. Honorable mentions went to Ranger editor Zahra Farah for news story, journalism sophomore Riley Stephens for sports news story, Mendoza for feature page design and Ranger photographer Alison Wadley for news photo and picture story. In other awards presented this spring, The Ranger for spring and fall 2010 placed second in best all-around student nondaily newspaper in the two-year college category of Region 8 of the Society of Professional Journalists. The Ranger Online also nabbed second in the best affiliated website category for two-year colleges. Region 8 covers Texas and Oklahoma. TIPA awards were presented at its annual convention April 2 in Fort Worth, and the SPJ awards were presented April 9 at the Region 8 spring conference in Norman, Okla. No one from The Ranger staff attended These pages are among The Ranger’s 2010 contest entries. either conference to accept the awards.

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April 25, 2011 • 39

Board sets 175-mile radius for college sports teams Student activity fee and fundraising will pay for sports. By Joshua Fechter The board of trustees Tuesday approved a measure that limits college sports teams’ travel to a 175-mile radius from the district service area. District 9 trustee James Rindfuss cast the lone dissenting vote. The measure also reaffirms board policy that forbids using operational funds to support college sports programs and instead requires use of the student activity fee funds along with privately raised funds. The policy as first proposed would not have allowed teams to travel and play teams outside of the district or use private funds raised by the teams. Men’s volleyball coach Henry Hines said after the meeting he is grateful for the board’s decision to allow teams to fundraise, but he does not know how the teams will be able to compete regionally and nationally. Both the men’s and women’s volleyball teams at this college are part of the Southern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association, which has 19 participating colleges and universities, including Palo Alto College. All the members are in Texas except Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La. “We don’t know what the limits are. We don’t know if we’re going to be able to compete nationally,” he said. Women’s volleyball coach Marisa Martinez also expressed concern after the meeting about how the teams would be able to compete outside of the radius because the team has previously competed in Waco, outside of the 175mile radius. Hines said the men’s volleyball team has played in Dallas about 300 miles away. Martinez said the teams are willing to fundraise. Men’s basketball coach Curtis McGlown said after the meeting he is relieved the board allowed the teams to raise money privately.

Lady Rangers volleyball coach Marisa Martinez, Ranger men’s volleyball coach Henry Hinesand intramural specialist Patricia Patten listen to trustees discuss the possible elimination of out-of-county games for club sports Tuesday in Killen. Tyler K. Cleveland “We stood up there and fought for the students,” he said. Ernesto Olivares, social work sophomore and volleyball player, spoke during the citizensto-be-heard segment of the meeting. He said athletics exposes students to universities and motivates them. “It keeps me motivated to stay in school, knowing that I have to keep my GPA over a 2.5 in order to play,” he said. Olivares said his team tutors one another and studies five hours a week. He said the athletic programs give college athletes an opportunity to grow academically and athletically as well as giving them an opportunity to do what they love. Hines, Martinez, McGlown and women’s basketball coach Desiree Crawford also spoke during citizens-to-be-heard. Crawford said during citizens-to-be-heard the programs are integral to creating an environment for academia. She said 90 percent of her athletes work to support themselves or a household, which shows how much drive they have to do well in school and athletics. “For our students to perform not only academically but athletically speaks a lot for them, and ultimately, it speaks well for the institution,” she said. During discussion of the policy, District 7 trustee Blakely Fernandez said she did not understand why the board was taking action to limit sports activity when other campus organizations and teams are not limited. “We wouldn’t limit the cyber or academic teams’ travel,” she said. “Why would we get involved?” District 2 trustee Denver McClendon said the motion was to clarify existing policy, which disallowed colleges from using operational

funds for sports programs and allowed teams to compete only in intramurals with other colleges in the district. Confusion arose during board discussion of the policy of what constitutes intramural and intercollegiate sports, which prompted audible protest from the coaches. Intramural sports involve playing teams from other colleges within the district. Intercollegiate sports involve playing colleges and universities outside of the district. “They need to do their homework,” Hines said from his seat in the crowd. Fernandez introduced a friendly amendment that extended travel to the 175-mile radius and allowed teams to fundraise. District 1 trustee Joe Alderete seconded the motion. Rindfuss was the only trustee to vote against the amendment. The board then voted on the measure, which Rindfuss also voted against. Rindfuss disagreed with allowing travel. “Students can still have fun within the district,” he said. Baseball coach Sam Gallegos said he does not know how the radius will affect the team’s ability to play the College World Series if they win the National Club Gulf Coast conference. “Right now, we’re just focusing on one conference at a time,” he said. President Robert Zeigler said he does not know how this policy will affect the baseball team. Zeigler said for the 2010-11 academic year, $70,000 of the sports operating budget came from the college’s operating budget. He said $14,700 came from the student activity fee. The Student Activity Fee Committee decides how the student activity fee is spent.

40 • April 25, 2011

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