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Qatar Hero

Rachael Krafft

Staff writer

Imagine getting to sit in on a rare personal speech made in English by one of the more important diplomats currently in the world. Not only is this diplomat a mover and shaker in the world, but he is also an SC4 Alumnus.

Monday, Sept. 27, Al-attiyah, Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar, and Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council which is an economic alliance between Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, gave an economic presentation.

Al-attiyah was a student at SC4 in the ‘60s. He was one of 8 students from Qatar who began their western education here at SC4.

Photo by Twana Pinskey

President of SC4 Dr. Kevin Pollock says “SC4 is proud to have someone of the stature of his Excellency visit our campus and speak to our community.”

David P. Goetze, Director of College Advancement, and Alumni relations said the speech was very informative and enlightening, and that SC4 is fortunate to have an alumni member like Al-attiyah willing to come back to the campus and speak.

Dr. Nicholas J. DeGrazia gave an overview of the country Qatar and SC4’s history with students such as Al-Attiyah who came from the small Middle Eastern country.

al-Attiyah delivers his speech. Photo by Twana Pinskey

“Four of those students are cousins who have since risen to great power in the world,” Dr. DeGrazia said.

Jim Leader, who became the Foreign Student’s Advisor during the ‘60s and ‘70s, said that when the first batch of students from Qatar came to SC4, the college did not have a program for foreign students.

Al-attiyah recalled that in 1969, when he and his Qatari colleagues came to Port Huron “there weren’t procedures for foreign students.” He had to find his own way to access the services that made his life easier as a foreign student.

Al-attiyah recalls managing to “blend in with the college community” and adapting to the social and cultural atmosphere in Port Huron.

Dr. Pollock says Al-attiyah’s return to SC4 is a testament to the education the faculty at SC4 provides to students. Four decades after attending SC4 as a student, Al-attiyah continues to have strong ties with the college.

photo by Twana Pinskey

Speaking for SC4, Dr. Pollock states, “We are proud that he celebrates the strong start SC4 provided him for a career as an international leader.”

Those who attended the speech ranged from community leaders, state leaders and SC4 retirees to economic students.

James A. Relken, CEO of The Common Cents Group in Port Huron said, “It is an honor to be here.”

photo by Twana Pinskey

Michigan representative, Phil Pavlov, said that he has learned from Al-attiyah the importance of International Corporation.

Pavlov would like to see Michigan take a cue from Qatar and the Gulf Cooperation Council and work with Canada to establish closer unity economically. Another country that Pavlov would like to see Michigan host educationally is China.

Leader of SC4

RAINN Day raises awareness

Twana Pinskey

It could never happen to me, right? I take all the precautions, and remain aware of my surroundings.

What do you do if the unthinkable does happen?

September 23, Saint Clair County Community College hosted RAINN Day, a sexual assault awareness, prevention and survival program in the Fine Arts building on campus.
According to their web site, RAINN Day is a national campaign, hosted on college campus nationwide in all 50 states, Canada, DC and Puerto Rico. The campaign provides information on what can be done to reduce the risks of an attack.

RAINN Day’s panel, answered questions from the audience at the fine arts building on campus. Sept 24. Shown left to right are: Detective Sandra Jacobson, St. Clair County Sheriff Department, Melissa Keyes, senior assistant prosecutor, St. Clair County Prosecutor’s Office, survivor, Sonja Merritt and , Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Tami Stapleton, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. Photo by Twana Pinskey

The SC4 presentation included; Detective Sandra Jacobson of the St. Clair County Sheriff Department, Melissa Keyes, senior assistant prosecutor of the St. Clair County Prosecutor’s Office,  Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Tami Stapleton of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Diane Baur, Director of Support Services, Turning Point and survivor, Sonja Merritt.
Detective Jacobson discussed awareness and being safe in public venues, such as bars. Jacobson suggested never leaving your drink unattended when using the restroom. Should you forget, Jacobson explained the drink should be thrown it out and order a fresh one ordered. “It just isn’t worth it said Jacobson.”
Survivor Sonja Meritt, shared that victims don’t always come forward right away. Meritt explained they are afraid to tell anyone. “It may take a long time to tell someone,” stated Meritt. According to Meritt, every victim reacts differently.
Detective Jacobson said that if the person the victims share their ordeal with overreacts, they may shut down and not ever tell anyone else.

RAINN Day ‘s web site offers the following tips of prevention.
Make sure you don’t share personal information online. Avoid being alone with anyone you do not know, or don’t trust. If the hairs on your neck are standing up, you feel ill at ease, that feeling in your stomach that something is not right, get out of the situation. Contact campus security if you notice anything suspicious.
Should you or someone you know become a victim, remember, you did nothing wrong. Get help.
Further information for prevention and help for survivors can be obtained at:

Turning Point
Turning Point 24 hour crisis line

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Emergency Department
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program
Tami Stapleton

RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network)

National Sexual Assault hotline

Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down

Cody Kimball


The Port Huron Icehawks, following in the footsteps of the Flags, Bordercats, Beacons, and Flags, again, are no more. After 3 seasons, Mike Reed, Media Relations Coordinator, announced that the Port Huron Icehawks of the International Hockey League will be “discontinuing its hockey operations in Port Huron”.

Kinney Entertainment, the company that owns and manages the Icehawks, and whose name is semi-hidden in the logo of the team, expressed gratitude to the fans, staff, and members of the team, with the assurances that the Icehawks will not be going anywhere else to play.

Port Huron's hockey has "A New Hope",in the Falcons Photo by Cody Kimball

The loss of one of the largest aspects of McMorran Place’s entertainment schedule, and revenue streams, comes just 2 weeks after the announcement of the loss of the Miss Michigan Pageant, to Ann Arbor.

These losses, coupled with less than desirable attendance for events like the Third Eye Blind concert, and the questionable response to the “Blue Water Fest” have some concerned about the future of McMorran Place, and of Port Huron tourism and entertainment industries in general.

Downtown businesses are upset about the management of the Blue Water Fest, and many have signs in their windows addressing the issue.

We value you and thank you for the many positive relationships we formed here, and encourage you to participate as much as you can in the many community events at the McMorran.” said Dave Goetze, Vice President and Business manager of Kinney Entertainment, in a press release.

The reality is, we live in a challenged economy in our community,” said Goetze, “and the entertainment dollars were not there to sustain a professional hockey team long term.”

The Icehawks are being replaced by another hockey team the “Port Huron Fighting Falcons” which will play for the North American Hockey League. The team will debut in the 2010-2011 season, and season tickets are now available.

Somewhere in a sort of cyberspace-limbo, the Port Huron Icehawks website now bears a solemn message, “Thanks for all your support and understanding.”

The Justice League

Cody Kimball


Stop! In the name of the law! How many times have you wanted to say that? If the world of criminal justice is in your future, or perhaps just an interest, then disregard the command to stop and read on.

Matthew Boyd, Corporal for the CJC, takes aim at the club’s first shooting event at the Blue Water Sportsmen’s Club.  Photo By Twana Pinskey
Matthew Boyd, Corporal for the CJC, takes aim at the club’s first shooting event at the Blue Water Sportsmen’s Club. Photo By Twana Pinskey

The Criminal Justice Club is the newest club on campus and caters to those pursuing degrees in, or interested in, criminal justice.  The brainchild of Rachel Kobylas, the newly elected vice president of student government, the CJC has roughly 9 active members and a Facebook page, which, according to Kobylas, has over 60 members.

The CJC is already active and plans to continue being so through the spring and summer semesters, and holds meetings in room 317 of SC4’s Main building on Tuesdays at 11a.m., says Kobylas.

Members have already participated in one “fellowship event”, a shooting event, voted 5 officers into office, and are finalizing documentation and by-laws, said Kobylas.

Matthew Boyd, 35 is the club’s representative for the student government meetings. “We’re trying to be a community-oriented organization” said Boyd “not just a college organization.”

Boyd said that there are talks underway of planning a community event for “Devils Night” to give teens something to do instead of “T.P.-ing houses”. Nothing is definite as of yet but Criminal Justice Club members are working with the Port Huron Police Department to potentially get a bowling event arranged.

“We get stuff done” said Boyd, explaining the club’s aim for activity and efficiency. Not without some competitive attitude, though. “You get a group of alpha-males who are trying to be alpha-males over other alpha-males” Boyd added, chuckling. Boyd also said that more club interaction is going to be a focus in the coming year.

According to Kobylas, the CJC also plans to hold joint events with other student organizations, such as the Zombie Defense Council, for larger events.

Herman Roe, the Criminal Justice Discipline Coordinator and Professor of Criminal Justice at SC4, is the Advisor for the CJC and can be reached at (810)989-5694 for more information. For more up to date detailed information about the Criminal Justice Club, and all other student organizations, visit the SC4 website.

Student Government Gains Treasurer

Update by Cody Kimball, Webmaster

The search is over, Student Government at SC4 is no longer without a Treasurer. Jonathon Brewer, 19 of Brown City was voted in by club representatives at yesterday’s monthly “All-Club” meeting. Brewer picks up where last semester’s Treasurer, Frank Scarber , left off.  The treasurer position was filled after an interview process including 8 other candidates for the position, after no students ran for the position at the end of the Winter semester in 2010. The  other members of the Student Government are Charles King, the President, Rachel Kobylas the Vice President, and Kaitlyn Graw the Secretary.

Swanson resigns

Patrick Sullivan

Staff Writer

Craig Swanson, sociology instructor, resigned April 19 amid controversy.

Talk of his termination compelled numerous students to sign petitions, and several to speak out during the community comments section of a recent SC4 board of trustees meeting.

The student comments section of the trustee meetings allow any member of the community to speak for three minutes directly to the board.

Swanson states he “extends heartfelt thanks to students that rallied on my behalf. It lifted me up big time.” But there are “no hard feelings” to SC4 and its faculty.

Swanson’s employment was originally on a two year, temporary basis, and he was scheduled for termination at the end of the winter semester.

He originally pushed, along with some students, for a renewal of his employment. He has apparently reconsidered, and has tendered his resignation. He says he will “try to find a better fit” and “expand his career” after leaving the school.

Swanson stated, “I would hope they (my students) continue to think deeply and critically about the world around them.”

Dr. Kevin Pollock, President of SC4, couldn’t comment on the situation, due to it being a faculty issue. The students that spoke out during the meeting were mostly for Swanson’s continued employment at SC4, but both sides offered strong words.

“I truly felt I learned more in two classes than twelve years of high school,” said Alex Kramer, a senior at Port Huron Northern High School, duel enrolled at SC4. Kramer added he was “very surprised” at Swanson’s status.

Kristen Blake, a student of Swanson’s for both sociology and anthropology, said he was “very respectful,” and “Craig was someone who made me see beyond what I was learning, and apply it to the world around me.”

Not all the student turnout was positive, however. Mark Cunningham said he had a “screaming match” with Swanson, though he never had his class. Cunningham’s fiancé had Swanson’s class, and Mark confronted him after an in class argument between her and Swanson.

Other students disagree. Kristen Blake said she was “never” offended by Swanson. She also added that he was someone that encouraged open minds in his students.

College newspaper receives honors

Student Journalists from SC4’s “Erie Square Gazette” brought home 15 awards from the “MCCPA’s (Michigan Community College Press Association) Press Day” at Henry Ford Community College April 17 in Dearborn, Michigan. Students in attendance were: Front row: (Left to Right) Jessica Meneghin, Kayla Dimick, Tricia Kenner and Hope Doerzbacher; second row: (Left to Right) Donald Lierman, Patrick Sullivan, Aaron Tomlinson and Ray Robinson; back row: (Left to Right) Cody Kimball, Brian Johnston, Jenny Walker, Twana Pinskey and Danielle Kennedy. Not pictured, but in attendance was Savannah Wilcox. Photo by John Lusk
Student Journalists from SC4’s “Erie Square Gazette” brought home 15 awards from the “MCCPA’s (Michigan Community College Press Association) Press Day” at Henry Ford Community College April 17 in Dearborn, Michigan. Students in attendance were: Front row: (Left to Right) Jessica Meneghin, Kayla Dimick, Tricia Kenner and Hope Doerzbacher; second row: (Left to Right) Donald Lierman, Patrick Sullivan, Aaron Tomlinson and Ray Robinson; back row: (Left to Right) Cody Kimball, Brian Johnston, Jenny Walker, Twana Pinskey and Danielle Kennedy. Not pictured, but in attendance was Savannah Wilcox. Photo by John Lusk

Cody Kimball


“Original, thoughtful, I laughed out loud!” commented Omar Sofradzija, a judge for the 2010 MCCPA Press Day awards, on first place winner Brian Johnston’s headline “Welcome Back, Qatar.”

14 newspaper students and their advisor John Lusk attended the 2009-2010 conference at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, where they took part in journalism seminars and an awards ceremony recognizing their efforts.

The Erie Square Gazette staff won 15 awards in total in Division II of the Michigan Community College Press Association, even winning multiple awards and taking first place in the categories of sports coverage, personality profile and headline writing.

Sports writers of the ESG won every placement in the sports coverage category; Donald Lierman, the ESG Sports Editor, taking first, Savannah Wilcox, a staff writer, taking second and Aaron Tomlinson, the Copy Editor, rounding out the category with third.

The ESG staff was also honored for its originality, and use of word play in the headline writing category, taking all but the second place awards in the division.

Brian Johnston, the Editor-in-Chief of the Erie Square Gazette, personally won seven of the 15 awards, even placing second in “Student Journalist of the Year.”

“Thanks to everyone at the ESG for making that possible,” Johnston said humbly. “I wouldn’t trade this past year for anything.”

Twana Pinskey, the Photo Editor for the ESG, took home 3 awards herself, in three different categories, including photo essay, feature photo and headline writing.

“It has been a fantastic year,” said Pinskey. “My thanks to all of our staff at the ESG, who went above and beyond to help the editors make the ESG the fantastic paper that it is.”

The complete list of awards and winners is provided below.

The Erie Square Gazette will continue to strive to achieve the best, to better serve the SC4 community.

Category – Placement – Recipient

In Depth News Story – Honorable Mention – Brian Johnston
Feature Story – 3rd Place – Brian Johnston
Personality Profile – 2nd Place – Kayla Dimick
Personality Profile – 1st Place – Brian Johnston
Sports Coverage -3rd Place – Aaron Tomlinson

Sports Coverage – 2nd Place – Savannah Wilcox
Sports Coverage – 1st Place – Donald Lierman
Critical Review – 2nd Place – Brian Johnston
Headline Writing – Honorable Mention – Brian Johnston
Headline Writing – 3rd Place – Twana Pinskey
Headline Writing – 1st Place – Brian Johnston
Feature Photo – 2nd Place – Twana Pinskey
Photo Essay – 3rd Place – Twana Pinskey
Overall Design – 3rd Place – ESG Staff
Student Journalist of The Year – 2nd Place – Brian Johnston

President King

Brian Johnston

SC4’s 2010-2011 Student Government leaders: President Chuck King, left, and Vice President Rachel Kobylas. Photo by Twana Pinskey
SC4’s 2010-2011 Student Government leaders: President Chuck King, left, and Vice President Rachel Kobylas. Photo by Twana Pinskey

Editor in Chief

In elections held April 7 and 8, SC4 students voted in President Charles “Chuck” King, Vice President Rachel Olivia Kobylas, and Secretary Kaitlin Graw to the Student Government.

King is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology and associate degrees in fire science and broadcasting. Kobylas is working toward associate degrees in broadcasting, journalism and criminal justice. Graw is working toward a liberal arts degree with a minor in transcription.

“I decided it was time to step up,” said sophomore King, 50, of Port Huron. King is also the current Vice President of the Student Government.

“After talking to Rachel and seeing that she was interested, we decided that we would make a good team and we’d be able to get some things done,” King said.

Kobylas, 25, of Saint Clair Township, said of her decision to run as a write-in candidate for Vice President, “I thought about it for a while and finally came to the conclusion that I could continue to be a positive difference-making force.”

Secretary Kaitlin Graw, 19, of Port Huron said the secretary position was in line with her transcription minor.

Of his plans for the next year, King says the Student Government “still has some work to do on the constitution.” King also wishes to streamline the election process.

Kobylas said she would like to enable clubs to work together more often than they have in the past, citing the fall semester’s “Zombie Walk” event,  organized by three SC4 clubs, as a perfect example.

The Treasurer position remains vacant, although this hasn’t dampened King’s spirits. King cites current president Dan Wiley’s tenure as a perfect example. Wiley began the semester without a Vice President, Secretary, or Treasurer. The positions were filled at a later time.

Carrie Bearss, Student Government adviser and Enrollment Services & Student Activities Coordinator, said she’s “really looking forward to next year.”

According to Bearss, the trio will be working throughout the summer to ensure a smooth start for the 2010-2011 school year.

No-hitter for Skipper

Aaron Tomlinson

Copy Editor

   Freshman Jessie Smith made SC4 baseball history when he pitched a no-hitter against Concordia University on March 24.

   Smith struck out four while walking two, one of them being the lead-off hitter. He quickly cleared the bases with a pickoff move from the mound to catch the runner.

   “I felt very comfortable on the mound during the game,” Smith said. “The only reason for that was because I knew that I had a great defense behind me, and they put that on display throughout the game.”

   The Skipper defense seemed to be seamless throughout the game, not allowing anything past them.

   “[Smith] kept his pitch count down and was helped by an excellent defensive play by shortstop James MacMillan,” said head coach Denny Dwyer. “Jesse was in control the whole way with some excellent defense behind him.”

   The Skipper ace also had help from the SC4 bats. Freshman shortstop James MacMillan went 1-3 with a homerun, sophomore Patrick Pierce hit a two RBI double and freshman Devon Wiegers supplied three hits for the Skippers.

   The routine of striking out batters and forcing fly ball outs and ground balls is completely different than Smith’s pregame ritual.

   “The first thing I do is run one lap of the outfield fence while listening to specific music,” said Smith. “Next I go back to the dugout to change into my cleats and get my game ball.

   “After I get the game ball, I take it over to the field dirt and ‘doctor it up.’ Once I finish throwing, I go back to the dugout just before game time. At that point I have a certain order in which every single person on the team must touch the baseball.”

   Whether it is a superstition or if there really are “angels in the outfield,” Smith’s routine keeps him at ease on the mound. And it has been with him since his first start as a freshman in high school.

   “One of the other pitchers, who was older than me, stood with me while I was throwing,” said Smith. “When I was done he grabbed the ball from me and rubbed it.

   “He said it was for good luck. Once one of the other guys saw him doing it, he wanted to do the same exact thing. After that I gave the ball to every single guy on the team and coaches. It got to the point my senior year that everyone on the team had their own ritual with the game ball.”

   Between the offense, defense and pregame routine, Smith pulled off a no-hitter to open the season at Sanborn Park.

College Tuition: Priced Right?

Twana Pinskey

In-district students will pay $2.50 a contact hourin tuition increase at SC4 beginning fall of 2010. Photos by Twana Pinskey
In-district students will pay $2.50 a contact hourin tuition increase at SC4 beginning fall of 2010. Photos by Twana Pinskey

Photo Editor

   Despite recession declines, tuition costs are on the rise all over the United States. Michigan, one of the hardest hit states is not immune to these rising costs.

   St. Clair County Community College’s Board of Trustees voted to approve a tuition increase at their March 18 meeting.

   As a result, students registering for in district fall classes will pay $89 per contact hour, up from $86.50 per contact hour. This is only a $2.50 per contact hour increase for in district students.

   Out of district students will pay $170 per contact hour up from $165 per contact hour. Out of state students will face only a $7 per contact hour increase.

   SC4 alumni Kenda Pakulski, of St. Clair, feels that as a community college, the continuation of raising tuition has been ongoing since she was a student.

   “It is outrageous that instead of promoting and making the [acquirement] of an education easier, SC4 is making it harder to get an education for those of modest monetary means,” replied Pakulski.

   “A $2.50 per contact hour increase? Does that include parking costs?” asked freshman student, Carrie Sass of Port Huron.

   Ivy League schools such as Harvard are not immune to tough economic times either. According to, Harvard Law School had to suspend their free tuition program for students willing to work five years in public service areas after twice as many expected signed up.

   “No one wants to pay higher costs,” replied Shawn Starkey, Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing at SC4. Starkey sited lost state aid and a decrease in millage revenues as being part of deciding factors in the minimal tuition increase.

   SC4 Student Government vice president, Chuck King, echoed Starkey’s sentiments. King said, “As much as we all hate to see increases in any form, with Michigan’s current economy all of us are going to have to bear the brunt of increased costs.”

     There does appear to be a silver lining in this cloud after all. King explained that with the passing of H.R. 4872 Healthcare and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act 2010, riders for scholarship assistance will be offered in health professions for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.