Tag Archives: Patrick Sullivan

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.

Mockery of justice

Patrick Sullivan

Staff Writer

An SC4 Mock Trial produced a hung jury last Tuesday, April 20. The trial was held by the SC4 social science department to raise awareness of sexual assault for National Sexual Awareness month.

The program included volunteers from the safe horizons victim assistance agency, local prosecutors, county sheriffs, a district judge and a local law firm as well as a student jury. The trial was held between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the SC4 Fine Arts Theater.

Student turnout was excellent, according to Department Chair for social sciences Kathy Ruby, with attendance just over 200 students. The case represented a date rape at a fictional university.

Two lawyers argued their cases in front of an audience, calling witnesses, and presenting strong cases for both sides.

Afterwards a jury of students from several campus clubs deliberated, and eventually reached a majority for not guilty, with one juror’s guilty vote causing a hung jury.

After the trial’s conclusion, survivor of sexual assault, Sara Yien, spoke on her experiences and shared her feelings. When she concluded, the volunteers answered questions relating to the trial and sexual assault and how it can be presented.

Student coordinator Kristen Richardson said the event was in planning since last September, and that she was very happy with the results. “If it (the event) helped even one person it was worth it,” Richardson said. “I continue to be surprised to how responsive the community is.”

The Social Science department will be presenting a “Walking Through the System” seminar on April 28 for victims, survivors, significant others and concerned community members.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, with registration beginning at 8:30, at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Auditorium.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please call the safe horizons 24-hour helpline at: 888-985-5538.

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.

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.

SC4 to Host Mock Trial

Patrick Sullivan

Staff Writer

Soon, on the SC4 campus, in front of numerous students, an alleged rape will be prosecuted. The crime is fiction, of course, and the lawyers, judge, and jury will be acting.

The mock trial will “raise awareness of sexual assault,” according to Student Government President Dan Wiley, but some students aren’t so sure.

“It’s a bad way to raise awareness of sexual assault,” said student Adam VanBlaricum. “But a good way to raise awareness of its consequences.”

“It sounds like a play,” adds Victoria Knowles, who doesn’t understand how it could raise awareness of rape.

The trial will take place on Tuesday, April 20 between 3:15 and 6:15 p.m. It will take place in the Fine Arts building theater, and attendance will be open to all students, free of charge.

The lawyers will argue their case before the jury deliberate on-stage and finally give a verdict. Both lawyers and judge are local representatives of their respective professions.

The 12 jury members, on the other hand, will be volunteers from the student body, and represent active clubs on campus.

SC4 Alumni Sponsor Quiz Bowl

Patrick Sullivan

Staff Writer

   On Saturday, Feb. 6 the SC4 student alumni organization held the 2010 Regional high school quiz bowl, where both Port Huron Northern and Brown City schools walked away with the prize for their respective divisions.

   Both teams were presented with medals, trophies and a 500 dollar scholarship to SC4 each. The competition was organized into a 3 round format. The winners of the Regional’s may have a chance to win the state competition.

   It began early Saturday morning in the SC4 campus’ North building, where students from 10 high schools participated in quizzes for both A, B, C and D divisions.

   The tone of the day was generally light, and laughter between participators was common. The questions covered a wide range of topics from history, to mathematics, to pop culture.

   The organizers from the SC4 alumni organization were represented by 18 volunteers, including six student ambassadors. The event was coordinated by Chrystal Lilly for the sixth time in her eight years of volunteering at the event.

   The final quiz was held in the theater of the Fine Arts building, between Port Huron Northern and Yale high schools in the A and B divisions. Brown City and Carsonville-Port Sanilac high schools competed in the C and D divisions.

   The final scores were 375 to 110 for Port Huron Northern, and 240 to 140 for Brown City.

   One advisor for the Port Huron Northern team, Lisa Schleicher, an algebra teacher at Port Huron Northern for 13 years, said she was proud of her team and that she would take them out for ice cream after they had won.

   A member of the Port Huron Northern team, Kelson Thomas, said that his team mates had been a part quiz bowl for most of their high school careers, and that they met to practice twice a week in preparation since early January.

Avatar Mixed Bag

Avatar has won numerous accolades, broken world records and pioneered new special effects technology, but movie goers hoping for revolutionary writing will be disappointed. Written, produced and directed by James Cameron (Titanic, The Terminator Series), and starring Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang.
Cameron’s latest offering sees Sam Worthington (Terminator Salvation) play Jake Sully, a paraplegic ex-marine who ships out to the alien world Pandora to take part in an experiment started by his dead brother.
On the lush jungle world, a nebulous and unnamed corporation harvests the poorly named, extremely expensive and rare element ‘Unobtanium.’ The corporation hires military forces, led by Stephen Lang (The Men Who Stare at Goats) in a turn as transparent antagonist Colonel Miles Quaritch to fight the dangerous Native creatures.
The world is home to a myriad of wonderfully designed and animated creatures and scenery, and a large blue humanoid native race. The natives revere nature, which stands at odds to the corporate interests.
Jake Sully soon finds himself between the two worlds, when he inhabits the body of a genetic hybrid between the two species. Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters II, the Alien series) guides him as Doctor Grace Augustine, a cynical, but caring scientist.
The film takes much from tales like “Dances with Wolves”, “Pocahontas” and other similar tails, without adding anything substantial. Often times the characters seem flat, and the dialogue stilted, with slower scenes tending to drag on dramatically.
It does, however, showcase remarkable special effects and visual design, reminding us why James Cameron is so lauded for his films. The action scenes where masterfully done, if sometimes overly long, with a climax that is breathtaking. Those who go expecting a thought provoking film will leave disappointed, but those who know what to expect from Cameron hopefully won’t regret having seen it.