Meet Your New Editor-in-Chief

by Collegian Staff

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The Morton Collegian is pleased to introduce Irisneida Rodriguez, our new Editor-in-Chief. We sat down to get to know her this week.

What brings you to Morton College?

I live nearby and decided I wanted to save some money. I graduated with the class of 16’ from Morton East High School. I always knew I would attend college—I excel in academics and like to learn. Today, I am pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Arts with plans to major in either Sociology or Psychology.

Why are you interested in journalism?

I would always write a lot, and honestly, meeting the word requirement wasn’t my problem because I usually surpassed it, anyway. My Sociology Prof. Mr. Drury has motivated me into considering writing for the Morton Collegian.

What are some issues that you care about?

There are many social issues that are interesting to me and worth writing and learning about. I am an advocate of Feminism, Black Lives Matter and the Defend DACA movements. In Sociology, the Conflict Theory as well as Symbolic Interactionism catch my attention. I plan to share my personal views about these topics.

Help us with that. Many students haven’t heard of Symbolic Interactionism!

Symbolic Interactionism is, in general, a study of how we interact on a day to day basis, in our interpersonal relationships, based on the meanings we give to symbols. A symbol could be a degree as a symbol of success, widely accepted by society, so we don’t really question it anymore. Another example could be red hearts as symbols of love. I’m fascinated by how these symbols develop and what they really mean.

What are your plans for after Morton College?

I plan to transfer to University of Illinois at Chicago to obtain a Bachelors in Sociology (or Psychology) with perhaps a minor in Journalism. I feel so undecided because I have so many subject areas that interest me; that explains how I went from an Associates in Science to and Associates in Liberal Arts, as that program offers more areas I could consider.

How Does DACA Affect You?

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By Collegian Staff

Will the ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals affect you, your family or a loved one? The Collegian is interested in your story. If necessary, we’ll keep your story anonymous; however, we’re very interested in what impact this legal action will have on our community, and we want to give students, staff, faculty and others a chance to be heard.

If you would like to share your opinion, story or experience, please contact our staff at this e-mail address. We’ll arrange for an interview.

Work for The Collegian

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Are you considering a career in media, or do you simply want to express yourself and learn how a contemporary online magazine works? Gain this experience at The Collegian, Morton’s student-run paper.

The Collegian is currently hiring editors, reporters and photographers. At least two positions are paid. Other positions might become paid as the paper’s readership grows.

Candidates should be self-motivated, possess outstanding writing and communication skills, and they should be able to meet deadlines and work as members of a team. To be considered, candidates must be currently enrolled at Morton College. Ideal team members will have at least two semesters of experience studying at Morton College.

For more information, please contact Karolis Zukauskas, the Collegian adviser.

 

Photo of Quill and Scroll from Wikipedia.

HLC Report Results: Is Morton College Violating its Own Mission and Core Values?

mission&valuesBy Veronica Fernandez

Morton College’s Mission statement is pridefully displayed on the second floor of the C building in bold blue and orange lettering: “To enhance the quality of life of our diverse community through exemplary teaching and learning opportunities, community service, and life-long learning.” Boldly listed below are the school’s Core Values: Compassion, Fairness, Respect, Responsibility, Tolerance, and Truth.

The mission statement is clear: the institution seeks to enhance the quality of life through “exemplary teaching”. Does this then, only apply to the faculty interacting with the students inside of classrooms? Shouldn’t there be an institutional-wide effort to be “exemplary”?

Earlier this month, The Collegian explored the findings of the highly anticipated report on Morton College’s Higher Learning Commission (HLC) visit last semester. The report included information about criteria that the college either “met” or “met with concerns.” The sections that were “met with concerns” are as follows: Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct, and Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness.

Furthermore, the HLC explicitly reports their concerns with the Board of Trustees and their role in governing the school. Among the information provided in the report was the decision-making process for the “new president” which was described as lacking transparency in hiring objectives.  The report then continues with a rather alarming statement that reads,

“…there remains a perception with employees that the board unduly influences hiring decisions for administrators and staff and that in many of these cases new hires minimally meet job qualifications.”

The report follows this statement up later:

“…there is a perception that current hiring practices support the
hiring of unqualified administrators and staff who then require expensive training to reach competency levels necessary to perform their assigned duties.”

If the aforementioned is occurring, where are the components of responsibility within the administration? How is this fair to the students who are striving to obtain an education from this college? Are “learning opportunities” being infringed upon when there are unqualified individuals appointed to crucial positions in administering the institution?  If the college is not providing the absolute best in regard to administration, is it then failing to “enhance the quality of life” for the community it serves?

Furthermore, the HLC reports that the atmosphere of fear and confusion has to do with the combination of a lack of transparency and communication that has overall affected employee morale. The HLC reported having found evidence of ineffective communication:

“Ineffective two-way communication appears to be gravely affecting the president’s ability to lead the institution.”

In addition to the report itself, there was a letter issued to the President. While affirming Morton’s accreditation to 2026-27, the letter states that Morton will be monitored in the interim, with a Focused Visit occurring by January of 2018.

Days after this communication from HLC, a letter was released by the administrative office to the Morton College community. This letter celebrated the college’s reaffirmation of accreditation, issued several statements of praise from the administration, noted some items about the history of the HLC, and finally the HLC “revisit” to Morton College in 2018.

The disconnect and violation occur with not only the results of the HLC visit but with the approach, the Administration decided to present this information to the community it serves. It seems as if truth is another eroded value, along with responsibility and fairness.

Moving forward, students and faculty should be taken into consideration with the matters that directly affect their environment, communities, careers and futures.

An Introduction From the New Student Trustee

By Estefani Hernandez

Hello everyone,

It is a true honor to be the 2017 elect student trustee. My motivation to run for student trustee was my desire of wanting to make a difference. Therefore my campaign was focused on the change we all want to see. As a student and employee of Morton College, I’ve learned to see that there is always room for improvement.

DuFullSizeRenderring my term, I would like to improve communication between staff, faculty, and students. As first generation college student, I’ve learned that communication is key for success. Improving communication will be a challenging project to work on, but I know that it is possible and definitely worth it.

I am also looking forward to increasing the exposure of Morton College. With that being said, I’d like to work on creating and increasing community activities. Exposing the college will bring many great changes and increase student involvement with more enjoyable experiences.

Another direct goal I have is to increase the opportunities for students who do not qualify for financial aid. A lot of students in our community do not have enough resources to pursue their education and as a student trustee, I will love to find ways to help open more doors.

Although there are many things I will like to do as a student trustee, these are my main goals. I am aware that I represent the student body and I will like to encourage every student to send me their ideas/needs to Estefani.hernandez@Morton.edu. I will try to work on everything I can to make our student experience the best.

 

 

 

Students Learn about Sexual Assault Awareness and How to Be an Active Bystander

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By Marcela Ruiz

Morton College has been hosting a series of events regarding sexual assault awareness during this month.
 On April 12th, the Sexual Assault and Bystander intervention workshop took place at the student union at 1:00 p.m. Kevin DeMarce, outreach coordinator for Pillars; was the guest speaker. He began his presentation by showing the video Dear Daddy.
 “I will be born a girl”, the main statement presented in the video indicated that a woman’s biggest danger is her vulnerability.
 DeMarce discussed how sexual assault awareness begins with educating men. He believes point of views and attitudes towards women are formed from childhood. In turn, during teen years these attributes can manifest themselves in either a positive or negative manner.
 “How can we change these messages? Do these attitudes change in college or do they become more discrete?” he asked the audience, referring to how people express about women in a sexual manner.
 A student commented that she believes these types of conversations are taboo in most cultures; which makes it more difficult to prevent the assault or for victims to come forward.
 According to the department of justice 1 of 5 women and one of 16 men are victims of sexual assault while in college.  Surprisingly, 90 percent of these victims do not report the assault. In part, “because they are fearful of their attacker”, said DeMarce. He added that, “Victims may also be ashamed to go to trial and having to deal with people’s perception of them, or feelings of guilt. But the most prevalent reason remains to be the belief that no one is going to do anything anyways.”

“no one is going to do anything anyways.”

DeMarce mentioned that people tend to help when they are alone rather than in a group. To be an active bystander means that if someone presence a comment or abuse he/she: “does not wait for someone else, a person alone has to be the one stepping up”.
Lastly the video “Who Are You?”, was presented to help students visualize when is the possible right time to intervene to prevent sexual assault and how the outcome can be different.
For further questions about Pillars and the available programs, outreach coordinator Kevin DeMarce can be reached at kdemarce@pillarscommunity.org

Local Politician and Activist Come to Morton College to Talk Politics and the Importance of Being Involved

20170405_112448By Domingo Xavier Casanova

On Wednesday, two local Latino politicians and activists spoke to college students at a Morton College Open Forum on the importance of becoming involved in politics and being aware of what’s occurring in the world.

Chicago City Council Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, (who is Alderman of the 35th District and one of the youngest Alderman at 26) said he was drawn to politics because of his love for Chicago and because he wanted to ensure that “the people in the neighborhoods were the ones represented in City Hall.”

Ramirez-Rosa was joined by Angelica Alfaro, a community organizer, and former Illinois State Senator candidate. Alfaro grew up in Humboldt Park and emphasized her decision to come back to Chicago after college to work for change, saying: “A lot of people say you made it when you leave, you made it when you stay.”

The two sat side-by-side as they spoke to the crowd of students, answering questions about politics and the political process curated by Professor Drury, a Sociology professor. Veronica Fernandez, a Morton College student, assisted in gathering questions from students to ask aloud.

Both Ramires-Rosa and Alfaro agreed that the political process is not being actively pursued by American citizens, and some may be turned off by American politics, especially, as Alfaro noted, “after what happened in November,” referring to the election of Donald Trump as U.S President.

However, both emphasized that American citizens, especially minorities, such as the Hispanic community, need to let their voice be heard by either getting elected to public office or pushing for change. Ramirez-Rosa said, “We need to get more people from our generation to have a seat at the table…” in order to ensure positive change for their communities.

As a result of having the forum, students reported feeling more knowledgeable and had positive approaches to getting involved in political affairs.

Christian Operza said that the event enlightened him to the fact that they [politicians] are not just white people running for office and made him “want to volunteer for some campaign or something.”

Angel Sanchez said that he was impressed with Ramirez-Rosa, who is openly gay, and said it was “Pretty cool” that someone in the LGBT community was in Chicago politics. However, he did add that although he found it interesting, “it didn’t really motivate (him) to become part of politics…”

The debate and continuing need to get young adults involved in the political process will continue into the foreseeable future. Alfaro had a simple answer when asked what piece of advice she would give to a student who is interested in doing politics: “Do it.”