Tag Archives: Campus Events

Celebrating five years

Twana Pinskey

Photo Editor

A cornucopia of talent and musical genius was evident as Saint Clair County Community College students presented “Tapestry,” the latest in the “Thursday at Noon Concert Series” April 15 at the SC4 Fine Arts Theatre in Port Huron.

This year’s presentation marks the fifth anniversary of “Tapestry” at SC4.

According to SC4 student and “Tapestry” performer, Amanda Carnat, “Tapestry” was started five years ago to offer dancers, musicians and singers the needed place to perform.

“We needed a place to perform. [“Tapestry”] is getting better every year,” replied Carnat. SC4 Visual and Performing Arts Adjunct Instructor and “Thursday at Noon Concert Series” host, Lillian Maley, discussed “Tapestry” as being a place where the students could learn.

She voiced her pleasure about the student’s performance. “I thought they were wonderful,” replied Maley.

Cello player and SC4 student, Chad Northcutt, composed an original composition entitled, “Winter Scenes” that was performed during the concert.

Accordingly pieces were performed from the SC4 choir that included 19th-20th century Folk music, Broadway as well as Classical presentations. Gasps of surprise and bursts of applause rippled through the audience as each group performed.

“The choir was wonderful,” said Jack Recor of Fort Gratiot Michigan. Recor felt the students had done a good job. SC4 students shared his sentiments.

SC4 student, Business Management major and event performer, 20 year old Sean Lathrop of Port Huron felt the “Tapestry” performance was a good way to show creative expression. “We don’t get a lot of opportunity to show off our skills and talents, so this was great,” replied Lathrop.

Upcoming events at the Fine Arts Theatre include: noon concert, “Boogie Woogie Babies” on April 22; SC4 Theatre Performance, “Young King Arthur” on May 15. Information on either of these events can be obtained by calling the SC4 Visual and Performing Arts at: 810-989-5709.

Swanson’s Future Uncertain

Rachel Olivia Kobylas

Staff Writer

   On Good Friday, Professor Craig Swanson was issued documentation for the beginning of a dismissal process from St. Clair County Community College. “This was a recommendation of my evaluating committee that I be dismissed,” Swanson said. 

   This process began with an overall poor committee evaluation from Denise McNeil, Vice President of Academic Services; Kraig Archer, Discipline Coordinator; Scott Fernandez, committee member.   

   According to Swanson, “Denise McNeil now has 10 days to make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees. Then the Board decides whether or not to dismiss me.” 

   “This came very much as a shock,” Craig Swanson said. “I’m more friendly than authoritative in demeanor, but I didn’t think it would rise to this level.”

   Swanson also said of the evaluation that it looked as though he is “forcing my opinion on [the students], like I’m a tyrant in class, trying to make them believe the way I do and my students will say that’s clearly not the case.” 

   The Board of Trustee meeting, which will decide Swanson’s fate, is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 15 and will be in room 150 of the Citizens First Michigan Technical Education Center.

   Swanson said, “I’m going to fight it as vigorously as I can. I’m trying to clear my reputation, as this is saying I’m not an adequate  professor, and I’d say I’m one of the better ones.  I will fight this dismissal and hopefully remain here.” 

   Professor Swanson has been teaching at St. Clair County Community College for two years, while his career consists of 12 years of teaching. He is the current President of LAND, The Liberal Arts Network for Development, a state-wide organization and has participated in several student organizations including speaking at a Symposium for Phi Theta Kappa.

Did You See Smoke Signals?

Savannah Wilcox

Staff Writer

   Last Thursday, SC4’s International Cultural Education Committee showed “Smoked Signals” to raise awareness about Native American culture.

   The film was entirely directed, produced, and acted by Native American individuals, which is extremely rare in show business. Sherman Alexie is the writer of the two books which formed this screenplay.

   Not only is it unheard of to write the book and the screenplay, but Mr. Alexie topped it off with also being a Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Indian.

   The movie is based around a Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Indian tribe living in Idaho. This movie provides a realistic view into the lives of the Indians whom still live on reservations in America today.

   Victor and Thomas are the main characters paired together quite oddly as Victor is more muscle, while Thomas is more nerd. Victor and Thomas have to travel into new American civilization.

   “Smoke Signals” possesses the ability to describe the Native American culture to the rest of America. It shows the way the Indians live on the reservations as well as how they live today, as well as their values.

   “This is very realistic and especially interesting because it shows people today how very different our lives are from the lives of these Native Americans who struggle living in America,” Scott Fernandez said of the film.

   Mr. Fernandez did an excellent job of describing the importance of raising awareness of the Native American culture, “These people are still here, and still live amongst us today.”

   The International Cultural Education Committee will be hosting a day to celebrate Native American history on Tuesday, April 6. It will consist of multiple activities pertaining to the culture of Native Americans.

SC4 Program Aims to Prevent Suicide

Patrick Sullivan

Staff Writer

   Chances are if you are reading this paper, you are at increased risk for suicidal behavior. Among the 15 to 24 years old age range, suicide is the second leading cause of death, trailing accidental deaths.

   With so many students in this dangerous age range, colleges plan to make available resources for those that need help, and on March 31 they did just that with the Suicide Awareness and Prevention program.

   If you or someone you know seems to show signs of depression or suicidal behavior, the most crucial thing to do is quickly get them help.

   Listening and being empathetic are important, and remember that a suicidal person doesn’t necessarily want to die, but they may wish to end some pain or suffering on their part.

   Suicide happens along all age, racial, and social groups, and talking about suicide does not cause someone to become suicidal. If you need help, call the Safe Horizons’ 24 hour crisis line at: (888) 985-5538, or the National suicide hotline at: (888) 273-TALK.

   Above all, the event promoted awareness of suicide and that fellow students can be the first method of prevention.  If you or someone you know is suicidal, don’t hesitate to get help for any reason.

   The event itself brought together multiple experts, and groups to speak on the subject. The event was put together by student coordinator Kristen Richards and SC4’s own social science department.

   Representatives from Safe Horizons, St. Clair County Community Mental Health, Eastern Michigan Counseling Associates, and the St. Clair County Sherriff’s Department presented in turn.

   The speakers took turns informing students and faculty about suicide and resources to prevent it, and concluded by taking questions as a panel.

Reflections of India at SC4

Twana Pinskey

Photo Editor

   “Reflections of India,” the latest in SC4’s “Thursday at noon” concert series provided listeners with classical, Hindustani music, on April 1 at the Fine Arts auditorium in Port Huron.

   During the concert, sitarist Brock Dale of Toronto and Tabalist, Nicholas McKinlay, also of Toronto, performed selections from Bhairav, Kafi, Purvi, Malkauns, Bilawal and Manji Khamaj.

   Dale and McKinlay auditioned to be a part of the “Thursday at noon” series in an unusual way.

   “They had no CD’s of their music for use to audition with, so I listened to them on the phone,” said concert host Lillian Maley.

   Brock Dale was not seated in the usual position for a musician playing a sitar.

According to Dale, he was recovering from tail bone surgery, three days before performing at SC4. This made it difficult for him to perform at a traditional stance.

   Eastern hemisphere music, however, was not always embedded into Dale’s life.

   “I began as a student of western classical music and rock and roll, with jazz and blues thrown in as well,” said Dale. According to Dale, his mentor loaned him her sitar for a year. “I grew by leaps and bounds that year. I played every day,” he said.

   Dale said his life changing moment came when he saw sitarist, Ravi Shankar, perform. “He (Shankar) was 87 years old when I saw him perform with his daughter,” replied Dale.

   “I thought it (concert) was very relaxing and interesting,” said 18 year old Cody Kimball.

 Kimball, broadcasting major and an SC4 student ambassador, would like to see more of these types of events in the future.

   “It was nice to see a multi-cultural experience like this at SC4,” said Kimball.

   The next “Thursday at Noon” concert presentation scheduled is “Tapestry.” It will be performed on April 15 at the Fine Arts Theatre in Port Huron.

SC4 plan may fix parking

Patrick Sullivan

Staff Writer

   Listen to anyone on campus, and you’ll hear the biggest problem at SC4 is the parking. We all gripe about it, and with good reason.

   It can be downright impossible to find a space within easy walking distance to a class. This is no doubt to record enrollment, and an easy fix is hard to come by. SC4 has plans in place that just might solve our problems, and it will be implemented soon.

   Starting fall semester, SC4 will enact a pilot program to allow students, faculty and staff to park in the north McMorran Place parking lot, free of charge, during busy hours; Monday through Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., and possibly longer depending on McMorran staff. This will only cover the North lot, which has a capacity of 350 cars, and not the South lot.

   The program will be tested, and finally decided on during fall semester. The program itself was presented and voted on by SC4 Trustees. SC4 will lease the North lot during free hours to allow parking.

   Student reaction has, of course, been positive, but some aren’t sure that the program presents a long term solution.

   “It’s about time,” said Andrea Savage, a single mother of four and plans to complete SC4’s nursing program. “It will cover it sufficiently for now, but something long term will need to be done.”

   “It’s great,” says Jeremy Durham, an SC4 student. “It will pretty much cover it.”

   With student opinion split, it is unsure whether more steps will be necessary to accommodate SC4 students’ parking needs.

ZDC rises with the dead

Ray Robinson

Managing Editor

   SC4’s Zombie Defense Council is having an “orientation screening” of the George A. Romero horror classic “Night of the Living Dead” in an effort to raise funds to defend the world from the uprising of the undead.

   The event is taking place in room 201 on the second floor of SC4’s Clara E. Mackenzie building from 7-10 p.m. on Friday, April 16 and the cost is “a measly $5” and popcorn is included.

   Future orientation screening titles may include “King of the Zombies,” “Revolt of the Zombies,” “White Zombie,” and other titles could be brought up in the future

   The Zombie Defense Council’s Prime Minister Cody Kimball and Advisor Overlord Robert Kroll hope that these events will raise money so that they will be able to hold “bigger and better” events in the future.

   Planned events for the future include a campus wide capture the flag competition during stress breaker week.

   The Zombie Defense Council is looking to produce instructional DVD’s to help aid the general public in their survival of  the overrun world of undead.

   If forced to renegade tactics in efforts to survive every possible scenario of zombie death and mayhem, ZDC hopes to aid those in need.

   If anyone is interested in joining this cause or learning more about the ZDC’s mission, you can contact Bob Kroll at rgkroll@sc4.edu

College news for the 21st Century!

Cody Kimball

Webmaster

   The Erie Square Gazette has entered the new millennium – with its very own website!

   www.esgonline.org is now available for students to get up to date information and news from around the campus and in the community. Students will be able to comment and discuss the topics that affect them, from any internet connection.

   Videos and photos not available in the paper editions of the Erie Square Gazette will be accessible for a whole new news experience.

   The newspaper also has its own Facebook page, www.facebook.com/eriesquaregazette,

and its own Twitter feed, twitter.com/esgonline, to allow for even greater interactivity.

   Be sure to add the ESG as a friend and follow us on twitter.

   The ESG has also secured a Myspace page and a Youtube channel for future use.

   This advancement is a big step forward for the future of college journalism which calls for quicker coverage of events and wider access to the news as it happens, as well as the versatility that accompanies being web based.

   More updates to the site are coming soon, potentially including podcasting, video features, photo slideshows, and other features.

   Be sure to visit the site and send us your feedback. Tell us what topics or features you would like to see.

   For more information, send an email to eriesquaregazette@gmail.com.

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 www.newser.com, 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.  

Keepin’ it real

Mallorie Krul as Annie and Owen McIntyre as Henry, on stage in SC4 Theatre Discipline’s production of “The Real Thing.” Photo by Kaya Dimick
Mallorie Krul as Annie and Owen McIntyre as Henry, on stage in SC4 Theatre Discipline’s production of “The Real Thing.” Photo by Kaya Dimick

Kayla Dimick

Staff Writer

    The stage lights weren’t the only things that shone brightly as the SC4 Theatre Discipline presented their latest show, “The Real Thing.”

   Students, friends and family members packed into the Fine Arts Building Theatre the weekend of Friday, March 26 to see the comedic, yet serious take on “real life.”

   Written by Tom Stoppard, “The Real Thing” spins an intricate web involving love, infidelity, art and politics.

   Set in London in the 1980’s, the play examines the lives of Henry, a playwright, played by Owen McIntyre; Annie, an actress and activist, played by Mallorie Krul; Max, an actor, played by Dan Williams; Charlotte, an actress, played by Ashley Szymanski; Billy, an actor, played by A.J. Rank; Debbie, Charlotte and Henry’s daughter, played by Kami Misch; and Brodie, an imprisoned Scottish soldier, played by Jeremy Antilla.

   Stoppard provides an interesting view on life, paralleling what the audience sees as truth and what is the actual truth, using the “play-within-a-play” mentality.

   For example, the first scene is what the audience believes to be an argument about infidelity between characters Charlotte and Max, only to discover later they were actually performing in a play written by Henry. 

   While “the Real Thing” challenged the audience’s perception on reality, it also seemed to please.

   “I thought it was a great show,” SC4 freshman Zach Parkhurst said. “Many of the characters were very well done.”

   Although the actors may have made it look easy, portraying someone vastly different from oneself can prove to be quite challenging, according to director and adjunct instructor Tom Kephart.

   “A big challenge for any actor is getting familiar with their character, a task that’s made especially difficult when there are age and life experience differences. This was true of nearly all the characters in ‘The Real Thing’,” Kephart said. “It wasn’t easy, but the cast was up to the challenge and was wiling to work hard and stretch themselves as actors to make their characters believable, even if not always likeable.”

   Stepping up to “The Real Thing’s” challenge was SC4 sophomore and general education major Mallorie Krul, who played Annie.

   “‘The Real Thing’ was probably the hardest play I’ve ever been in. Annie was very different than any of the roles I’ve had,” Krul said. “Most of the roles I’ve had are people my age or maybe younger.”

   In order to cope with the differences, Krul said she had some help from Kephart, as well as tried to get to know her character inside and out.

   “I just tried to put myself in Annie’s shoes and tried to do things the way I thought she would do them,” Krul said.

   If you missed the Real Thing, you can catch the SC4 Theatre Disipline’s next production, “Young King Arthur” by Clive Endersby at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 15 in the SC4 Fine Arts Theatre.