Gay Straight Alliance drag show supports Port of Hopes
Angie Stoecklin Copy Editor
SC4’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) 4th annual drag show drew the attendance of students and community members on Wed., April 2.
Performers drove from places as far as Grand Rapids, enduring traffic backups to support a local charity.
Eva Angelica Stratton
Proceeds from the GSA drag show went to benefit Port of Hopes; a local drop in center for people with mental illnesses.
Presale tickets were sold for three dollars, and five at the door. Including the presale, tickets sold at the door, and tips given to performers, the benefit raised $900.
According to GSA president Amber Lee, the goal of the event went far beyond monetary gain.
“We want to help people gain a new perception of the LGBT community. It’s about creating and promoting unity.” Lee said.
April 26th – Lake Michigan College* (1PM)
April 29th – Delta College* (2PM)
May 3rd – Glen Oaks CC* (1PM)
May 6th – Macomb CC* (2PM)
May 8th – Mott CC* (2PM)
April 22nd – Henry Ford CC* (3PM)
April 25th – Oakland CC* (3PM)
April 26th – Delta College* (1PM)
April 29th – Mott CC* (1PM)
May 3rd – State Tournament
April 25th – SC4 Tournament (9:30AM)
April 28th – Wayne County CCD* (TBA)
May 2nd – Delta College (10AM)
May 5th and 6th – MCCAA Tournament (9AM)
bold denotes home games
*denotes MCCAA Eastern Conference game
According to the SC4 website, Free College Day is a day that provides free, one-hour sessions on a variety of topic including arts and crafts, business, computers and recreation.
Presenters include SC4 professors and staff and local residents who volunteer their time to share their expertise with the community.
Along with SC4 students and local residents, people from other surrounding areas were able to come out for Free College Day as well.
“My friend lives in Imlay City and she invited me and some other friends to come, so we registered online and I was just seeing what was available because we registered late. I took the self hypnosis class along with 3 dance classes, a photography class, and the history of Broadway class,” said Marjorie Wilson who commuted from Waterford to participate.
SC4 offered a wide variety of classes ranging from woodcarving to introduction to yoga. Other classes included hands-on clay workshops, meditation, decorating cupcakes, crime scene investigation, and lessons on how to design a beautiful garden.
Each class included an hour long session, with lunch breaks and drop-in activities.
According to Physical Science lecturer Suzanne Doherty, who has volunteered for Free College Day for 11 years, attendance was good and there was steady traffic in the science museum even while classes were in session.
“This is my first year attending. I had never even heard of Free College Day. As far as attendance, most classes have been filled to the max,” said Courtney Reckker, an SC4 student ambassador.
Free College Day took place on Sat., March 29 from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. The next Free College Day is set for Sat., March 28, 2015.
St. Clair County’s annual Earth Fair begins on Friday, April 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and continues into Sat. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Goodells Park on County Park Drive in Goodells.
Admission and parking are free, courtesy of the event’s sponsors.
According to the website, earthdayfair.com, St. Clair County Earth Fair has been a growing event for the past 11 years. Starting with a few visitors and eight vendors, the website predicts this year will draw approximately 7,000 visitors and 65 vendors.
The fun begins at the gate when each visitor will receive a map showing where everything is located.
The Earth Fair will have hands on activities for all and crafts for the little ones, all of which are included in the free admission.
On Friday, schools located all over St. Clair County will be taking their students on a field trip to attend.
According to the Earth Fair’s website, Saturday will consist more of families.
“SC4 will be showing off their bicycle generators as they have done in the past,” said Bob Hunckler, Professor of Geography.
Hunckler suggests watching the weather because all the displays are in the barns.
“If it is windy that day the barns will feel like wind tunnels,” Hunckler said. Some of the events include a live birds of prey show, presented by the Howell Nature Center, a Tree and Shrub sale, organic food and farming, renewable energy, face painting, free trolley rides, and many more.
For more information on the St. Clair County Earth Fair, visit the webpage, earthdayfair.com, for a full list of events.
Goodells Park is located at 8345 County Park drive, Goodells.
In an election that struggled to garner student support, the claim that every vote matters is demonstrated.
One vote away from victory, Rachel Gardner lost to William Warner for the position of student government president. Warner’s running mate, James Wilson, won vice president, while Tonya Snover took secretary and Briand Heidt returns to his role as treasurer with 80 votes to back him.
Voting took place on Monday, March 31 and Tues., April 1 in the lower level of the College Center Atrium. Campaign volunteers offered stickers and suckers on Tuesday to attract more voters.
Additionally, it was predicted that the new locale would draw more voters than the previous spot in the cafeteria. However, last year’s 100 voters was not exceeded this year. According to the student activities coordinator, Sarah Finnie, exactly 100 students voted this year.
So why aren’t students voting? Many said they didn’t because student government didn’t interest them. SC4 student, Leah Simasko, 18, said she “didn’t know when the elections and voting were going to take place.”
Current student government president, Sean Lathrop, wishes there had been more campaigning throughout the election season. Especially since this year so many students ran for positions. Last year there were three unopposed positions while this year there was only two.
“There’s too much respect for the other candidates,” Lathrop said of this year’s election. While in past years some of the campaigning has gotten nasty, at least people knew about the candidates.
When they take on their new roles as student government president and vice president, William Warner and James Wilson plan to bring their marketing and management perspective to the elections to encourage student voting.
Warner and Wilson hope to stay involved with the Marketing and Management Club, but will be stepping down from their positions as vice president and president.
Warner says that he liked the new location, but would put up more flyers, add some balloons, and attempt to incorporate ads on the TV’s located around campus.
Warner said he told students, “I don’t even care if you vote for me. At least come out and vote and let your voice be heard.”
Warner believes that students who vote now will be more politically active in their community in the future.
SC4 student and voter Jeanne Palmateer, 17, agreed that adding balloons might help attract people’s attention to the voting table. When asked why she voted, Jeanne responded, “I think it’s important to be involved in the decisions that affect you.”
The SC4 board of trustees meeting on April 17 consisted mostly of budget reviews, and a PowerPoint presentation by Jim Jones updating the board on the Criminal Justice program.
During the update on the Criminal Justice program, Jones provided clarification as to why students were dropping out of the program.
“Often students may feel that this is not a program they wanted to go into. It’s a stressful career field,” Jones said.
But despite the dropouts, Criminal Justice provides an array of career opportunities ranging from law enforcement and homeland security, jobs at Blue Water Safe Horizons, or substance abuse programs.
An overview of the opportunities in Criminal Justice included getting students involved in community service. Criminal Justice students participated in charities such as Dream Catchers for Abused Children, Suicide Prevention walk, Law Enforcement torch run, and the Walk against Child Abuse.
Jones’s presentation received many approving head nods from members of the board. Trustee Robert Tanksy was one of them.
“I think you’ve made a lot of progress,” Tansky said to Jones following the PowerPoint.
The meeting continued to highlight progress made within the college. Improvements mentioned were SC4’s support services, such as the math and writing centers, the addition of the Portal and the mobile app, modern technology, and quality instruction.
Kirk Kramer, vice president of administrative services at SC4, presented on the college’s budget. Although there has been a loss in revenue from state aid, public support now makes up 68.6 percent of the budget.
The loss in state aid is attributed to the decline in SC4’s property tax, less property tax means less state aid. However, between public support and tuition, the decline in state aid is made up for.
The board carried one motion in regards to the budget overview. An account formerly identified as “Faculty Travel Fund,” is now named “Trustee Professional Development Budget.”
The board’s chairperson, Dr. Nicholas DeGrazia, says that the name was changed to more accurately reflect the purpose of the account.
“The funds are used for informational sessions, including travel, such as conferences and webinars that cover subjects relevant to trustee responsibilities,” DeGrazia said.
The Thursday Noon and Night Concert Series serves to showcase and expose a variety of artists, cultures and genres with the March 27 concert not an exception to this rule, featuring the sounds of The Moxie Strings.
The Moxie Strings take traditional Irish and string music, and in the words of the band, “try to make it as non-traditional as possible.” The band consists of Diana Ladio on violin, Alison Lynn on electric cello, and Fritz McGirr handles drums and percussion.
A Kalamazoo local, Ladio is a University of Michigan honor graduate with a bachelor’s of music in music performance with a teaching certification.
Ladio has nearly two decades of teaching experience. She now tours the country with The Moxie Strings, performing and teaching.
Lynn is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree of music in cello performance. She has over 20 years of teaching experience and has performed with artists such as Kanye West, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Ragbirds, and many others.
McGirr holds a bachelor’s of music in percussion performance from University of Michigan.
He plays a wide variety of percussive instruments, the most notable being the Irish bodhran, a type of goat-skin hand drum, for which he holds a performance certificate. McGirr spent time in Ireland studying a variety of music topics.
Celeste Skalnek, Coordinator of the Arts, found The Moxie Strings through the Michigan Humanities Foundation.
“They have a touring directory of different artists for performance and education. We are on that directory and thank goodness ‘cause we had an amazing day. Late February of next year we’ll be back, and we’ll be featuring students from SC4,” Ladio said.
Donn Campbell, who attended the night concert with his wife, remarked, “we’re in our seventies and we dug it.”
Ann Endelman, another spectator, said “Just thought it was a great concert. I didn’t know what to expect. I was really impressed with their talent and personalities.”
SC4 Student Recognition Ceremony honors 168 students
Erick Fredendall Editor-in-Chief
Rachel King’s parents looked on proudly as she walked onto the Fine Arts Theatre stage alongside other students recognized at SC4’s annual Student Recognition Ceremony.
“I felt surprised that I received those awards. I felt a little embarrassed being talked about but it is nice to know my efforts are noticed. The recognition means a lot to me,” said King, who anticipates graduating with an associate degree in science at the end of the winter semester.
The college presented 156 Achievement Awards to students. According to Dr. Kevin Pollock, President of SC4, the Student Recognition Ceremony began in 1981 as a way to recognize students in four categories: academics, leadership, service, and personal goals.
Other academic honors included in the ceremony were, Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges, the All-SC4 Academic Team, the Del James Blessinger Outstanding Student Award, the Faculty Memorial Award, and the St. Clair County Association of School Boards Scholarship.
Many of the scholarships came with financial contributions, such as the Del James Blessinger Outstanding Student Awards, which awarded nine students in different departments with $250 stipends.
The Faculty Memorial Award is selected by the SC4 faculty based on a student’s character, ability to overcome personal obstacles, academics, and leadership.
Each department can only nominate two students. The award included a $250 stipend.
The St. Clair County Association of School Boards Scholarship gifted one student with a $600 stipend.
The event concluded with Student Government raffling away five Kindle’s to students who received recognition at the ceremony.
“We see every day student’s juggling the demands of work, family, and other responsibilities along with their academics,” said Pete Lacey, president of Student Services and master of ceremonies. “Those of you sitting here are proof of what can be accomplished,” Lacey said.
To see a full list of award recipients from the Student Recognition Ceremony, go to the SC4 website under the community tab in “news.”
Instructors raise concerns over early admission students
Erick Fredendall Editor-in-Chief
A recent discussion between SC4 educators over an email chain highlights a growing concern amongst faculty over the increase in high school students on campus.
The question at the heart of the discussion: are high school students mature enough to handle college courses?
SC4 high school college attendees, or early admission students, are divided into four categories: the Blue Water Middle College Academy (BWMCA), Croswell-Lexington Early College (CL5), dual enrollment, and high school guest students.
According to Martha Pennington, SC4 Marketing Manager, out of the 4,151 enrolled students in the 2014 winter semester, 19.4 percent are early admission.
A recent prediction by Student Services estimated that percentage to rise to above 20 percent of the student-body in SC4’s fall 2014 semester.
Many educators, including Jeff Torricelli, Professor of English, are concerned.
“I believe it is implicit in a college teacher’s contract that we reasonably expect to teach either high school degreed students, GED’s, or students old enough to have experience in the adult world, said Torricelli, “20 percent is unreasonable.”
Distinguishing between the different programs, Torricelli also concluded that one of the prominent issues with early admission students is coming from the St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency’s (RESA) sponsored program, the BWMCA, and its open acceptance procedures.
In an overview of the BWMCA found on the RESA website, the document states no minimum grade or assessment criteria must be met to be accepted into the program. A recommended 2.75 GPA or higher is suggested to be indicative of whether students are capable of handling introductory college level coursework, although the synopsis concludes that the decision falls down to a well-informed student and the parents or guardians to enroll.
To Torricelli, the lack of standards for acceptance into the program is detrimental for the college.
“The CL5 was constructed much better. They selected the students, they were honor students, and they were prepared,” said Torricelli, “in the middle college, these parents and students see the words ‘free college’ and push straight ahead.”
Korren Phillips, a fifth year BWMCA student, agrees with Torricelli’s assessment on the BWMCA.
“I think there should be better testing. I’ve been in it for three years now and I see the younger classes falling behind. They don’t take their education as seriously because they’re not paying for it,” said Phillips.
Current enrollment in the BWMC is 394 students, who cumulatively possess a 3.0 GPA and a 95 percent year-to-year retention rate.
Dan McCarty, Instructor of Business Administration, sees the issue, but speaks positively of the early admission students he has been exposed to.
“The question is ‘is their behavior appropriate and should we do something about it? I have had nothing but good experiences with the high school student in my classes,’” McCarty said. “If you ask an English instructor or someone who deals with younger students, you’ll probably get a different answer.”
According to McCarty, avoiding lowering academic standards should be a main priority for the college, but competing for the early admission students is crucial to SC4’s fiscal wellbeing.
“Financially, we need them here. They are a large portion of our student base.”
A faculty meeting was scheduled for Wed., April 23, after press time, to discuss ways to address early admission students.
SC4 student newspaper honored at annual press convention
Erick Fredendall Editor-in-Chief
A delegation of editors and writers of from the Erie Square Gazette traveled to Central Michigan University on April 5 to participate in the Michigan Community College Press Association (MCCPA) annual convention.
At the conference, students from the Gazette participated in workshops, informational presentations, and an award ceremony celebrating the highlights of Michigan community college publications for the 2013-2014 year.
Awards cover 31 different categories covering various aspects of student press such as writing, photography, production design, and multimedia. The Erie Square Gazette left with 11 awards.
Additionally, our publication received a second place Turkey Award, for most humorous mistake made in Michigan community college media for the year.
The event was hosted by Central Michigan University’s Department of Journalism. Jiafei Yin, chairperson of the department, opened the ceremony by commending the attending student groups for being the next step in a bold new direction of journalism and multimedia.
Erik Simon, CMU Assiantant Director of CMU Career Services, presented on personal branding and using multimedia to impress employers.
Other professional guest speakers included Brian Manzullo of the Detroit Free Press, Chad Livengood and Ameila Eramyam from the Detroit News, Betsy Rau, a journalism professor at CMU, and Ken Stevens of the Muskegon Chronicle; who presented on various topics such as in-depth reporting, utilizing social media, photography, and finding jobs in the multimedia market.
MCCPA 2014 awards presented to Erie Square Gazette are as follows:
• Overall Newspaper Design, third place: Erie Square Gazette Staff
• General Excellence, honorable mention: Erie Square Gazette Staff
• Turkey Award, second place, Erie Square Gazette Staff
• In-Depth Reporting, third place: Jenelle Kalaf, Angela Stoecklin, and Erick Fredendall
• Sports News Story, third place: Donald Lierman
• Sports Feature Story, honorable mention: Donald Lierman
• Sports News Photo, second place: Kaylee Bert
• News Photo, honorable mention: Elizabeth Whittemore
• Cartoon Editorial, honorable mention: Rebecca Kelly
• Cartoon Editorial, first place: Matt Olack
• Student Journalist of the Year, honorable mention: Erick Fredendall
• Humorous Columns, second place: Erick Fredendall
A public forum by and for the students of St. Clair County Community College since 1931