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Summer Issue 2

July 14, 2017

Likely excuse See page 2

July 4 fun See page 3

St. Louis Community College at Forest Park

Students worry about Trump

Photo by Kalia White

Janet Woodworth, secretary for the Humanities and Social Sciences department, will retire Dec. 31 after 51 years at Forest Park.

117 employees take buyout By Brian Ruth The Scene staff When Janet Woodworth came to Forest Park in 1966, Lyndon Johnson was president, the Apollo space program had yet to reach the moon and the Beatles were touring the United States. Woodworth, 74, now secretary for the Humanities and Social Sciences department, will leave Dec. 31 as part of a districtwide early retirement program or “buyout.” She has worked for the college 51 years. Zinck “I was going to stay on another year because I’m a vice chair for the Missouri Community College Association,” she said. “But since they’re giving us the incentive … That’s why I’m taking it.” St. Louis Community College offered a “vol- Johnson untary separation incentive package” to 529 employees who are 55 or older with five years of service or 54 and under with 20 years of service. That is about 40 percent of the workforce. Some 117 employees accepted the offer by the June 22 deadline. That includes five faculty and 26 staff members at Forest Park. “It was really a first step to address our whole budget situation,” said district Vice Chancellor of Finance and

Administration Paul Zinck. Employees who took the buyout could choose to stop working July 31 or Dec. 31. They had two incentive options. The first was continuing coverage under the college’s health insurance plan for two years. The second option was receiving a onetime cash payment equal to 1 percent of annual base salary multiplied by years of continuous, full-time service, not to exceed $20,000. Bonnie Meyer, secretary for the Business, Math and Technology department, accepted the offer and plans to leave July 31. She already had been considering retirement. “I was learning towards it,” said Meyer, who has been working full-time at Forest Park for 17 years. “The incentive is just a drop in the bucket. But it is better than what they may have to do (with layoffs).”

State budget cuts

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ state budget for the fiscal year that started July 1 cuts $159 million from higher education. STLCC officials have been trying to figure out how to save money. They came up with the idea of selling the Cosand Center administration building and offering a buyout to employees. “If we can lower our salary and benefit expense through a method such as this, then we don’t have to go to more drastic means (such as) cutting salaries or positions, or layoffs,” Zinck said. The college is going through an assessment to determine how to best spend the money it has available in light of state fund-

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the MoSTEM program, has economic By Timothy Bold issues on his mind. The Scene staff “I don’t see (Trump) doing anything Many Forest Park students don’t want for the economy, especially for the midto talk about how President Donald dle and lower class,” he said. “The Trump is doing six months into his term. wages seem to stay the same, leaving no Those who do are worried. progress for living.” “My grandma is thinking about her Sudanese student Gamal Rahmatlla, benefits being taking away,” said Darnell 48, is worried about Ray, 28, a general immigration policy. transfer student. “It’s He and his friends really stressing her have been negatively out, man.” affected by Trump’s Ray was refertemporary ban on ring to the proposed travel by people from Affordable Care Act six predominantly replacement, which Muslim countries. is being debated in “It’s not fair,” Congress and pushed said Rahmatlla, who Rahmatlla Piontek by Trump. came to the United Health-care experts States to study civil estimate that more engineering. “Native than 20 million peopeople aren’t allowed ple will lose their to visit this country. insurance because of They’re very peaceMedicaid cuts and ful and won’t do any that premiums will harm.” rise for others if either Photography the House or Senate major Grace Piontek, version of the law is 25, talked mostly James Tshakatumba enacted. about environmental The health-care issues. debate and other She objects to the problems since loosening of reguTrump took office lations, which helps are no surprise to corporations make Ray and his grandmoney but fails to mother. protect Americans “I can remember from pollution or (her) crying after the address climate election, being upset change. Peoples Ray thinking about the “(Trump’s) neglifuture of our country,” gence towards the environment and he said. “We’re going to be in trouble science proven factually is so disrebecause lower-class people are going to spectful,” she said. “Our public lands be left helpless.” and national parks are under threat. Ray was one of a half-dozen students American heriwilling to talk tage needs to about Trump “I can remember my grandma be preserved.” as part of a English as random survey crying after the election, being upset a second lanconducted by guage stuThe Scene. thinking about the future of our dent Thererse Like Ray, Tshakatumba, general trans- country. We’re going to be in trouble 40, is more optifer student because lower-class people are going mistic about the Tommy Jones, Trump admin21, is most to be left helpless.” istration than concerned other students – Student Darnell Ray about health interviewed. care. “He’s mak“I think the ing mistakes, not being a politician (replacement) plan is going to be hard prior,” she said. “You have to give him for the less fortunate and kill a lot of a chance from being a businessman. people in poverty,” he said, calling it “a The economy can become better or it form of genocide.” could be worse. He needs time.” Linden Peoples, 23, a student in


Hawkward Excuse

Cartoon by Darryl Reece


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ing cuts, lower enrollments and reduced ence at Forest Park will not be impactcosts resulting from the buyouts. ed at all, and I will achieve that.” “If you have less students overall, you have less requirements for sections, so Next chapter in life Another employee who took the buyout you may be able to not fill those faculty positions,” Zinck said. “That assessment is Carol Foreman, secretary for the Fine will help us determine if we need to Arts department. She’s been working at Forest Park for 23 fill the position, years. or if we need to “If we can lower our salary and Foreman is repurpose those looking forward dollars.” benefit expense through a to spending time Forest Park method such as this, then we don’t on rural property has a voice in the she recently purassessment prohave to go to more drastic means chased near the cess, according Big Piney River. to Provost Larry (such as) cutting salaries or It has a fishing Johnson, who pond, vegetable was associate positions or layoffs.” garden and peach dean of academic and pear trees. affairs at Broward – Vice Chancellor Paul Zinck “I’ve been old College in Florida enough to retire when a buyout for four years, and I just kept putting it off,” was offered. “This is my first time being directly she said by telephone from the “farm.” involved in the dialogue at this level,” he “But now I think it’s time.” Meyer plans to spend her retirement travsaid. “These conversations are being had in the spirit of transparency, so Forest Park eling and visiting family, working around is definitely being represented. This is an the house, making beads and jewelry and individualized conversation taking place crocheting. for each campus.” Woodworth can still work with the The American Association of Missouri Community College Association University Professors maintains that as a retiree. One of her fondest memories when colleges leave faculty positions of Forest Park is getting so much support vacant or hire less-experienced instruc- from co-workers after her house fire in the tors, it can reduce innovation because 1990s. adjuncts have less freedom to take risks “Everybody came together, like a wedin the classroom. ding shower, and gave me stuff I needThe buyout offer at Forest Park includ- ed,” she said. “People here do help you ed managers and supervisors, not just out when you need it, but now I think faculty and staff positions, according to the morale is kind of bad. There are too many changes coming down the pike, Zinck. Johnson sought to calm fears by stat- along with this governor cutting everying, “Our student-learning experi- thing again.”

Scene THE

Managing editor: Brian Ruth Layout editor: Darryl Reece Business/web manager: Victor Paletta Circulation manager: Kalia White Reporters/photographers: Timothy Bold, Daphne Drohobyczer, Kalia White, Brian Ruth Faculty advisers: Teri Maddox, Fred Ortlip

The Scene is a publication written and designed by students at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, 5600 Oakland Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110. The office is in F Tower, Room 408. The telephone number is (314) 644-9140. The e-mail address is All text, photos, graphics and other content are property of The Scene and may not be used without permission. Views expressed are not necessari-

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ly those of St. Louis Community College, its Board of Trustees or administration. The Scene welcomes opinion pieces and letters to the editor. They should be signed and include the writer’s student or staff number. They can be mailed to the above addresses or delivered by hand. We reserve the right to edit for length and taste. The Scene will run classified ads for students free of charge. They should be submitted in the manner described above.

July 14, 2017

Campus Chatter How did you celebrate Fourth of July? By Timothy Bold Ellen Stonner, 20, civil engineering “My day was spent actually working one of my three jobs, managing the Kirkwood Aquatic Center, nothing special.”

Rob Lawson, 31, continuing education “We had drinks and did a bike ride from the Handlebar in the Grove to Fair St. Louis.”

Ashley Horseford, 24, speech language therapy “I hung out with my family, doing absolutely nothing because of their Caribbean descent. We watched a movie on Netflix called ‘Moana.’”

Victor Herrera, 19, general transfer “I went out to St. Charles to purchase some fireworks and then shot them off all night until 4 a.m. with my girlfriend.”

Autumn Thurman, 33, mass communications “Actually, my boyfriend and I went to dinner at Applebee’s because all the barbecue restaurants were closed. Then we went down to Fair St. Louis and watched fireworks.”

Brennan Edgars, 19, business “I spent the day in Cuba, Missouri, at my uncle’s farm, which has a fireworks tent, and lit up a bunch of fireworks all day long.”

Leeland Cash, 24, general transfer “I spent time with my family, eating delicious barbecue and shooting fireworks all day long.”

Megan Ryan, 35, Spanish “I had a pool party at my house with family and friends. We eventually walked across the street to Fair St. Louis.”

Jay Aziz, 29, communications “I got really drunk with my girlfriend and her friends at Fair St. Louis. We went to see country star Jake Owens.”

Herman Smith, 59, groundskeeper “Man, I made my special baby back ribs, rib tips with some bratwursts and burgers. Later on, I sat in the park and chilled out drinking.”

July 14, 2017 The Scene

Moutasin Mohammed Suliman, 41, general transfer “I sat home to catch up on my studies, especially polishing up on my English.”

Owen Kelly, 29, network engineering “My day was spent taking care of a screaming baby (scared by) the sound of fireworks. I finally enjoyed the rest of the day, swimming and eating some barbecue.”

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A Day in the Life of Forest Park Photo by Timothy Bold

Speech language therapy student Ashley Horseford, 24, puts finishing touches on a piece of pottery before firing it in the kiln.

Photo by Kalia White

Art student Connie Boston gets supplies out of her locker before heading to the design room to paint.

Photo by Kalia White

Ceramics and sculpture professor Troy Aiken pours glaze into molds in the Art Annex building.

Photo by Timothy Bold

Continuing education student Beth Miller, 42, swims laps in the campus pool.

Michael Hobbs studies for an AAS Network Engineering class during his lunch break before heading back to work in a computer lab.

Photo by Kalia White

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July 14, 2017

The Scene Issue 2 Summer 2017  
The Scene Issue 2 Summer 2017