Category: Community College News

Who’s doing what in American community colleges?

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.

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.”

Open Forum: Knowing the Rights and Needs of Undocumented Students 

20170308_111133By Veronica Fernandez

An open forum was hosted on March 8th in the Student Union that allow the Morton College community to be informed of the rights of undocumented individuals, along with having the opportunity to voice their needs.

Prior to the forum’s start, available to students were an array of documents that included lists of rights written in different languages and lists of immigration attorneys.

First to present in the forum was student trustee, Andrea Chavarria. She guided the audience through a sideshow with information on the recent shift of policies and laws, what can be done if ICE comes to your home, the validity of arrest and search warrants, and constructing a family plan. Students were attentively listening and actively participating by asking questions.

After the informational portion of the forum sociology professor, Benjamin Drury, lead an interactive discussion on the particular needs of undocumented students of Morton College. Here students gathered into groups and discussed the different ways in which undocumented student’s fears and apprehensions could be alleviated when in school. A student suggested that professors discuss and perhaps become knowledgeable about immigration here in the country. Another student suggested that students should take it upon themselves to learn about the topic and to live with caution rather than fear.

As the forum came to a close, professor Drury encouraged participants to “Continue the conversations that you started here today.”

Re-purposing the Second Floor of the Morton College Library Continues

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By Veronica Fernandez

As the two-year plan of the re-purposing of the second-floor of the Morton College Library rapidly occurred last semester, students and faculty were left to wonder what exactly was going to be placed in the newly appointed Student Success Center.

Several student forums also took place last semester to notify students of the changes to the second floor of the library. Students were given the opportunity to ask questions and gave their opinion on the matter.

Last October, initial statistics released by the library stated that the second-floor collection of books was going to be reduced by 50%. However, in newly revised statistics, it was shown that of 55,000 items, less than 18,000 were “weeded” or pulled from the shelves, less than the percentage reduction originally released. The weeding process was done in the span of three weeks. The whereabouts of the books pulled are in an unknown storage location on campus, it is still unclear what will be done with them.

Cristal Aranda, a library student aide, led a petition of nearly 500 signature to halt the process of the re-purposing. She noted that not enough light was shed on the plans for the transformation. “Students still don’t know this is going on” she commented.

A Student Success Center Committee has been developed to further develop proposals that students will be given the opportunity to comment on. Leading this committee is psychology professor and ILC (Individual Learning Center) director Robert Wood. The committee consists of seven members that include a reference librarian, full-time faculty members, an adjunct instructor and tutor, a testing and assessment specialist, a dean, and finally the director of ILC.

The second floor of the library currently consists of an open space with study tables and study rooms that are available on a first come first serve basis.