Tag Archives: Front

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

Webmaster

“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 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.  

Student Government positions, up for grabs

The Student Government seat held by sophomore Dan Wiley will be open for election on April 7 and 8.
Photo by Brian Johnston; The Student Government seat held by sophomore Dan Wiley will be open for election on April 7 and 8.

Cody Kimball

Webmaster

You could be the next President of Student Government! Sound interesting? Petitions are available until in the Enrollment Services Office until March 26, when they are due back to Carrie Bearss by 4:30 p.m. To become a candidate, petitions must be signed by a minimum of 40 currently enrolled students.

The elections are scheduled for Wednesday, April 7, and Thursday, April 8 in the College Center Cafe’. Every SC4 student is able to vote, and run for office if they meet certain criteria.

To be a candidate for Student Government office, you must be enrolled for at least nine credit hours and have a minimum 2.0 grade point average.

“If you don’t have a 2.0 grade point average you have bigger problems than losing an election,” Dan Wiley, the current Student Government President joked.

Potentially, Wiley will be among the current Student Government officers that will not be running for re-election. Chuck King, the current Vice President, is running for next year’s Presidency, and may be the only current officer that will return next year.

King is among those petitioning for candidacy, and he says he knows of at least three others who are running for election.

“The most important thing is the voting dates,” said King, denoting the importance of student participation in the election process. Campaigning will begin on March 29, when students will be allowed to hang campaign signs around campus.

Student Government is a group that acts as the voice of the student body, in which every student can participate, that also helps coordinate student activities and events on campus.

Every position will be available, and officers will serve one-year terms, starting with spring semester and ending at the finish of winter semester, and officers are required to continue to maintain a 2.0 grade point average in at least nine credit hours to be remain in office.

The voting will take place on April 7 and April 8, from 9 a.m. till 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. till 6 p.m., in the College Center Cafe’. Voters must show identification.

For more information contact Carrie Bearss at 989-5501 or the Student Government office at 989-5737.

Yeah, Babeeee!!

Hail to the victors; SC4 celebrates MCCAA Eastern Conference Tournament Championship.
Hail to the victors; SC4 celebrates MCCAA Eastern Conference Tournament Championship. Photo by Donald Lierman

Donald Lierman

Sports Editor

March Madness finally arrives. Let the banners be unfurled.

For the first time in school history, Saint Clair County Community College will progress to the nation junior college championships.

The Skippers defeated the Henry Ford Hawks, 83-78, at Mott Community College on Saturday, March 6 in their third consecutive tournament victory.

“Our team kept together and kept battling,” SC4 Coach Dale Vos said. “We may have led down the stretch but we trailed a lot of different times during the game. After leading 80-71, we find ourselves down 80-78. Yet, we found a way.”

The lead changed hands numerous times throughout the game. With minutes remaining, the Hawks sparked a seven point run to cut the Skippers lead to two. SC4’s Kieon Arkwright dropped three of four free throws to put the game out of reach in the final minute.

“After they cut the lead to two,” Vos said, “Kieon grabbed a big rebound. We then grabbed one, lost it, and Kieon pulled it away. Then Marquis Lee grabbed another big one, all in the last minute.

“These are small guys by basketball standards. They just went up and seized the initiative.”

Arkwright was named tournament Most Valuable Player. Eric Mack, Jr. was named to the All-Tournament team.

“I couldn’t have been MVP without the help of my teammates,” Arkwright said. “This is more than an MVP, it’s a team award.”

On his last minutes heroics, Arkwright added, “I knew if we wanted to get to the nationals, I needed to make the extra effort to bring the guys home. I wanted to come through for them.”

Vos, who has been named All-Tournament as well as MCCAA Eastern Conference Coach of the Year, acknowledged the team had to overcome a lack of team height if not heart.

“At one of our last pre-season meetings,” Vos said, “I told the guys that unless the next coming of Shaquille O’Neal walks into the room, this is your team. We’re not very big so you are going to have to overcome that. So start thinking right now how much effort that will take.”

Arkwright led the Skippers with 26 points and six rebounds. Marquis Lee added 18 points and  Mack, Jr. 16 points in the Skippers’ victory.

The road to the championship began the prior Tuesday with an 84-75 victory over the Kirtland Firebirds.

To get to the finals, SC4 defeated the Oakland Raiders, 78-73. Despite leading by 13 at the half, the Skippers were forced to scramble to pull out the win. Mack led the scoring with 20 points while Arkwright added 14.

“With four or five minutes left I thought we’re going to lose this one because we can’t make any free throws,” Vos said. “I am proud of our kids for the way they answered their runs and closed the game out.

“Give Oakland credit. They made adjustments and came out in the second half and jammed the ball inside. We weren’t able to do a good job of stopping that. We let them tie it but I don’t believe we let them take the lead.”

To set up the championship, Henry Ford defeated last year’s National Championship team, the hometown Mott Bears, by one point. Mott had the Skippers’ number this year with two defeats over SC4. Some say fate is unstoppable. Sometimes you’re just in the zone.

Thinking Inside The Box

Photo by Cody Kimball; Carrie Bearss and Kevin Thurston inspect a prototype of the recycling containers during the first day of the construction project.
Photo by Cody Kimball; Carrie Bearss and Kevin Thurston inspect a prototype of the recycling containers during the first day of the construction project.

Cody Kimball

Web Master

   When, you’re finished reading this paper, don’t throw it away, recycle it. Is the nearest recycle bin too far away to bother? Not for long. Soon, permanent recycling receptacles will be all over campus, thanks to a “green” project at SC4.

   The recycle bins, built by students and staff at SC4, are the latest addition in a trend of green additions to the campus.

   “The college has recycled office waste for decades now, since the early ’90’s,” said Bob Hunckler, advisor of the Engineering Club, and a leader of the project. “This is the first time we’ve made it open for the students.”

   Students of all levels of construction experience were invited to participate in the construction of the recycle bins, throughout last week in the Acheson Technology Center.

   Those involved were assigned one of four stations to build various components of the bins, in a sort of assembly line. The materials to build the four components: tops; walls; doors and backs, were pre-cut to be identical sizes to ease construction.

   “Sort of an easy jigsaw puzzle,” as Hunckler put it.

   The receptacles are built out of decking materials, made of recycled plastics. The decking materials are durable, even in the elements, and these boxes are intended to be used indoors. So they are expected to be on campus for years, even decades, to come.

   Each box will have two containers on the inside, separating bottles, such as water and soda bottles, from papers, like unwanted homework, and the print you’re holding now.

   “They’re not for material from your homes, but materials that are on campus: plastic bottles and such,” Hunckler said through his dust mask during the construction of a piece of assembly equipment.

   Even the construction of the containers was done with the environment in mind. Tool boxes and part containers were fashioned out of juice jugs and other recyclable items. “Reuse and then recycle!” Hunckler stated.

   The project was sponsored by the Student Government, and managed by members of the SC4 Green Team, comprised faculty, students and staff, in the interests of promoting an eco-friendly campus environment, and college pride, through a bit of “sweat-equity.”

   On the first day of the project, members of many different student organizations were represented at the construction. Officers of Student Government, like Frank Scarber and Chuck King, (along with the help of his daughter, Cassie King) helped construct doors, walls and tops to the bins.

   Twana Pinskey, a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the Zombie Defense Council, and the Erie Square Gazette helped build doors. Students from virtually every club and background were represented in the effort. Even Carrie Bearss, SC4’s Student Activities Coordinator, pitched in, helping the process of building.

   “This is what the college needs to do,” said Hunckler, whose family members, including his daughter Katie, had come to assist with the project. “It’s part of our society now.”

   Upon completion, the recycle bins will be placed in areas to service the entire campus, as another step toward a greener cleaner environment.

SC4 puts cigarettes out

Brian Johnston

Editor in Chief

   Smokers at SC4 will soon face new rules which move the designated smoking areas even further away from where they’re used to smoking.

   In a policy adopted on Feb. 18, the Board of Trustees “recognizes the health dangers created by smoking and hereby prohibits smoking in all College Buildings and vehicles.”

   The policy bans smoking on campus within 20 feet of any entrance or exit, and “areas of the campus where non-smokers cannot avoid exposure to smoke.”

   Smoking would also be prohibited where it might come into buildings through “entrances, windows, ventilation systems or by any other means.”

   SC4 President Dr. Kevin Pollock said that SC4 is also adding “the correct signage and smoking receptacles” to make students aware of the new policy, “in the hopes of promoting better health.”

   In addition to second-hand smoke, the Board of Trustees also addressed the litter situation on campus, with the growing number of cigarette butts being a key issue.

   Dr. Pollock said students could help simply by making sure that cigarette butts were extinguished in proper receptacles.

   “Rather than a total smoking ban, this is providing an opportunity for our students and staff to make campus a little cleaner and healthier,” said Pollock.

Clubbin’

Photo by Aaron Tomlinson; Two students talk with Zombie Defense Council members, left to right: Jeremy Case; Nigel Elliot; Cody Kimball.
Photo by Aaron Tomlinson; Two students talk with Zombie Defense Council members, left to right: Jeremy Case; Nigel Elliott; Cody Kimball.

Aaron Tomlinson

Copy Editor

   During the week of Feb 22, SC4 students in the cafeteria were greeted by representatives from different college clubs.

   Club Awareness Week had clubs on the search for new and interested students. From Phi Theta Kappa, to the Drama Club, to even the new Zombie Defense Council; clubs were prepared to advertise their interests before students.

   “Club Awareness Week is an opportunity for clubs to advertise what they are about to students,” Student Government secretary Paul Prax, said. “It is more of giving the students an option to join instead of recruiting.”

   Each day had a designated two or three clubs around lunchtime to show off what their club was about. Not only was it a benefit for unsure students to join, but also an opportunity for newer clubs to reveal themselves officially to the public.

   Two new clubs on campus are the Gay Straight Alliance and the Zombie Defense Council. Both clubs plan to launch themselves into the melting pot of student-campus interaction.

   “Our goal for the year, aside from fortifying our defenses against the impending zombie apocalypse, is to have students gather and speak freely about zombie concerns,” said Bob Kroll, faculty adviser for the Zombie Defense Council.

   The Zombie Defense Council plans on having a screening of “Night of the Living Dead,” as well as filming their own movies.

   The Gay Straight Alliance also intends for the students to become aware of who they are.

   “We are trying to bring out gay awareness,” said Sean Lathrop, treasurer of the Gay Straight Alliance. “We want to inform students of events that focus on the gay community. We aren’t the gay club; we encourage any student to join, whether gay or straight.”

   The Gay Straight Alliance plans on hosting a ping pong tournament on campus, as well as theatrical shows in the future.

   While the newer clubs are taking a leap into the pool, many clubs are already swimming.

   “The Student Government acts as the formal spokesperson for the college students,” said Dan Wiley, Student Government President. “We have many activities throughout the year like stress breakers, raffle drawings, candy giveaways and we are always interested in newer ideas.”

   The cafeteria filled with relieved students on break could sense the lyrics of Yung Joc through the club members’ mouths: “Meet me in the club, it’s goin’ down. Anywhere you meet me guaranteed to go down.”