Spring Issue 3
April 7, 2017
Hardest Classes See page 3
Spying on Trump See page 4
St. Louis Community College at Forest Park
College places police chief, two others on administrative leave By Chris Cunningham The Scene staff
Forest Park students, faculty and staff still are digesting the news that Police Chief Richard Banahan has been placed on paid administrative leave, along with Anthony Russo, police chief on the Meramec and Wildwood campuses, and Mark Potratz, director of St. Louis Community College public safety and emergency management. The three men were escorted off campus on Thursday, according to a St. Louis PostDispatch story. STLCC Chancellor Jeff Pittman sent an email to employees March 31, stating that “effective immediately” the three men would “leave the college to pursue other professional opportunities.” “I value the contributions of Mark, Tony and Richard to the college and wish them well in the next stages of their careers,” Pittman stated. Kedra Tolson, executive director of STLCC marketing and communications, also sent a press release to The Scene on Friday. “We acknowledge that Mark Potratz, Anthony Russo and Richard Banahan have been placed on paid administrative leave but strictly adhere to a policy of not commenting on personnel matters at the college,” the press release stated. Tolson told the Post-Dispatch that there was never any danger to students, faculty, staff or anyone else on campus and there are no charges against any of the three men. The college has named Lt. Col. Alfred Adkins, a 35-year veteran of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, as inter-
im director of public safety and emergency management. Banahan declined comment when contacted by a Scene reporter on April 4. Police Lt. Adis Becivoric, his second in command at Forest Park, referred all questions to Tolson. Banahan was a St. Louis police sergeant before joining STLCC in 1998, according to the Post-Dispatch. He recently became police chief for the Florissant Valley campus, in addition to Forest Park. “I have known him for a long time, and I consider him a friend,” said Mary Kearny, Forest Park humanities secretary. “Like many others, I was surprised to learn he is no longer working here. … I have been here for 20 years, so you could say we grew up together in a way.” Mariah Richardson, an adjunct faculty
Real world experience
Photo by Antonio Lloyd
Forest Park photography students, left to right, Kurstian Mecey, Hawk Toole and Megan Monti take photos of a street musician, who declined to give his name, on the Delmar Loop.
Photo by Derrick Varner
At left, Forest Park police chief Richard Banahan has worked for St. Louis Community College since 1998. Above, he directs a fire drill on campus in 2012. member in communications, also expressed surprise. “I think it is unsafe not having him here,” she said. “Who’s the leader? … We need somebody on campus who other officers can be held accountable towards.” Chester Henderson, president of the Forest Park Student Government Association, had not heard about the college’s action on Banahan until a reporter told him on April 4. Atkins “I don’t know the details of what transpired, but I think that is odd,” he said. “… I hope everything is going to be OK and that whoever is brought in to replace him will do a great job.” Tolson indicated that the college would decide how to proceed with planning in public safety and emergency management based on Adkins’ evaluations and recomPotratz mendations. She referred back to Pittman’s statement, which read: “Our campuses are safe and secure, thanks to the efforts of our college police. However, we need to re-focus those efforts to adopt best practices, increase safety awareness and, finally, align our policing function with other departments to demonstrate a district culture of care for our stuRusso dents, employees and visitors. “We are, therefore, bringing new leadership to our college police to carry on this important work and bring greater
efficiency and an enhanced emphasis on community policing practices.” The Scene attempted to ask Pittman follow-up questions, but he responded by email that he had nothing more to add to Tolson’s comments and his written statement. “When asked what these comments mean and why Pittman discussed these needs for improvement at the same time three police administrators were removed, Tolson pointed to the college’s current strategic plan, which calls for ‘continuous improvement,’” the Post-Dispatch reported. “This is not a reorganization,” Tolson told a Scene reporter. “(Adkins) is going to come in and make suggestions and work with the folks who are still here.” Beyond policing, Banahan has been a Special Olympics volunteer for 30 years. He raised $34,000 for the organization in 1993 by sitting on an interstate billboard for 96 hours. In 2003, Banahan was named to the Special Olympics Missouri board of directors. He was state chairman and later regional coordinator for its Law Enforcement Torch Run. “Seeing the reaction on some of the athletes’ faces when they compete and accomplish personal goals is the purist form of giving back that I’ve ever been involved in,” he said in 2014.
On the scene Scene THE
Managing editor: Chris Cunningham Layout editor: Darryl Reece Administrative assistant: Kalia White Reporters/photographers: Garrieth Crockett, Shileha Churchill, Nana Ramsey, Niki Best, Timothy Bold, Isaiah Brooks, Serenity Ghidoni, Claudio Cobos, Antonio Lloyd, Jeffrey Richman, Daphne Drohobyczer, Kayla Arnold 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 email@example.com. All text, photos, graphics and other content are property of The Scene and may not be used without permission. Views expressed are not necessari-
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.
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Page 2 The Scene www.thescenefp.com
April 7, 2017
Campus Chatter What was your hardest Class? Vincent Day, 18, general studies “I really have had no hard courses yet. Math is about the hardest so far.”
Andrea Webb, 36, business “My accounting class is very tedious. It all ties in from the beginning to the end. Please get a tutor (like I did) to help you pass the course.”
Andy Mendoza, 20, general studies “That would be algebra. It’s hard because of my autism. Most of the professors are patient, and (there are) really good tutors on campus.”
Balu Gooden, 19, general studies “I don’t like math because of thinking and lots of problemsolving.”
Ray Blanton, 19, electrical engineering “Oral communications. The professor made it hard by setting standards impossible to meet. Calculus is also a lot of work.”
Eric Mabonimana, 20, general transfer “Composition II. It required lots of writing. Not necessarily hard, just time-consuming.”
Marian Yusuf, 23, psychology “Psychology, memorizing lots of names, different behaviors and tests. (The teacher) gave us 80 questions to study with only 50 on the test.”
Hillary Olander, 24, baking and pastry arts “Safety and Sanitation, a four-week class with only one exam (pass or fail). It dictates the next five years of your profession or unemployment.”
Matt Favre, 45, literacy professor “Nutrition. It was much harder than bananas and apples. I wasn’t expecting such difficulty.”
Jessica Hottle-Sippy, 39, sociology professor “Statistics. It was like a foreign language to me. I was very unfamiliar with the topic.”
Mike Glixman, 23, nursing “Probably political science. I wasn’t motivated or interested, but it’s a requirement.”
Mohammed Ramano, 47, science “College algebra. Not enough time to study. I already have my master’s degree from Washington University. My passion is science.”
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April 7, 2017 The Scene www.thescenefp.com
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Page 4 The Scene www.thescenefp.com
April 7, 2017
Published on Jun 25, 2017