Category: Morton Campus News

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Morton Offers New Journalism Course

By Collegian Staff

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This Spring, Morton College will offer a course in Journalism (JRN 101-H1). The course will work intimately with The Morton Collegian to offer students not only training in covering events and generating copy, but also an outlet for their work, and a permanent place for them to begin developing an internet presence.

The instructor for the course is Morton Collegian’s faculty advisor, Mr. Karolis Zukauskas.

JRN 101 is primarily a critical thinking course, a media consumption course, and its goal is to prepare a student to think like a freelancer.

Mr. Zukauskas has taught English and Humanities at Morton College since 2003. He has a Masters degree in writing from Columbia University in New York, has worked as a teacher and writer in four different countries (Austria, Cuba, Lithuania and the USA), has published two novels, is about to publish a memoir, and he worked for two years as an contributing editor and content provider at The Good Men Project.

We asked him the magic question. Why should someone study journalism when it seems the profession is in decline?

“I don’t feel the profession is in decline,” he said. “Media companies are struggling to generate revenue, and the old-school model of print journalism is under serious threat. However, new models are evolving, faster than a lot of students are gathering, and there’s a great demand for professionals able to gather, process, compress and articulate information. Those professionals may not end up working for media companies. Some might end up becoming their own media company.

Journalism students may not end up working for media companies. Some might end up becoming their own media company.

“There’s a difference,” he continued, “between majoring in Journalism and taking an introductory journalism course. If we’re only thinking about money, we can rest assured that all skills are marketable, and skilled thinkers and communicators are in enormous demand. The course is certainly designed for someone interested in attending a J-school. However, it’s primarily a critical thinking course, a media consumption course, and its goal is to prepare a student to think like a freelancer while communicating with eloquence.”

The course will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:30-1:45. It starts January 16th. For more info, contact the Office of Admissions and Records.

Photo of a Press Conference from Wikipedia.

Perks of Being a Bookworm

By Mara Galeno

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“I don’t like reading” is probably a common thing we hear from others when bringing up the topic of reading. Why do people not read? Why don’t they like reading?

It all goes back to our education. In school, we are always taught to analyze and read between the lines of every single book. Some of us are told to keep a reading log and read a certain number of books in a certain amount of time to keep up with our grade.

I, for one, loathed reading back in 6th grade when I had to keep a reading log and write a page summary of every single book I read–a total of about 40 books for the whole school year.

Wanting to get over the irksome assignments, I decided to scan through the books instead of taking my time to read; ultimately, killing the joy of reading.

Unlike myself, two of my best friends loved reading. They would often read a book and discuss it in my class with each other. Feeling left out, I asked what book they were reading. They immediately handed me a copy of “The Hunger Games” followed by an enthusiastic look on their faces saying, “You have to read it!” and so I did.

I’ve never felt so much thrill while reading a book. It was exhilarating. I continued reading the trilogy and became intrigued. I wanted to pursue my new-found love for reading.

I became a frequent reader and was known as a “bookworm” in high school. My peers would often catch me walking in the hallways reading a new book or two every week (and witnessed my knack for walking without tripping as I would read).

By reading, I noticed a change in how quickly I would read, gained an extensive vocabulary, developed remarkable spelling and grammar skills, and most importantly:   a tremendous method of entertainment and stress-relief.

So why read? Reading can help for a vast amount of reasons such as improving in your academics, your work environment, health, and entertainment.

A great way to improve academically is by reading. When you read, you are reading a book the author wrote–a professional with an extensive knowledge on language arts and proficiency in writing. You tend to see words you aren’t familiar with and you create a definition from the context given. You develop the author’s use of vocabulary, and you witness how sentences are formed and how they use punctuation.

A vital skill you pick up from reading a book is comprehension. As you read, you discover what it is the author wants you to know, how certain topics and ideals made you feel, and summarize the book in your own words with your own opinion on it.

Being able to gain all those skills can really help when you’re put to the test. According to the American Library Association, “Fourth grade students who read for fun every day score the highest on reading assessment tests.”

Reading can be very beneficial when it comes to working. Before you even apply for a job, you must write a résumé. With your acquired knowledge of reading and absorbing the author’s writing skills, you can be able to write your résumé to seem more appealing in comparison to those of other job applicants.

Reading can also improve your speech and communication skills–which is essential in the workplace, while in an interview or speaking with your boss, co-workers, or customers.

Reading can help you sleep. When you create a habit of reading every night, you condition yourself to sleep–especially if you struggle sleeping. Once you pick up a book at night, your brain will automatically relax and subconsciously get ready for slumber.

Picking up a book and reading can benefit your health. Stress reduction is one of many. Figuratively, reading has the ability to mentally transfer you to another place and escape from your surroundings.

Reading may even help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

According to the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation website, “Reading books and magazines, writing and participating in other mentally stimulating activities, no matter your age, can help to keep memory and thinking skills intact. The findings of a new study add to growing evidence that mental challenges like reading and doing crossword puzzles may help to preserve brain health and stave off symptoms of Alzheimer’s in old age.”

Lastly, my all-time favorite reason to read is for entertainment reasons! There’s no better feeling than getting sucked into a book. After reading for hours and hours as I use my imagination based off the words displayed on a book. Reading is one of the best methods for entertainment, especially when one starts binge reading and can’t put the book down (like Netflix when you can’t stop watching a show, but better, I promise!)

There’s so much detail and so much imagery in a book that you can’t quite catch when you’re watching TV.

“If you don’t like reading, you haven’t found the right book.”

(J.K. Rowling).

I guarantee that there is a book out there for you yet to love and enjoy.

Now that you know the benefits of reading, you may be wondering how you can start developing it as a hobby.

Visiting a library regularly or a bookstore can help increase your chances to read. You are offered a wide selection of books as well as a quiet space to concentrate while reading.

Keeping your book in hand, on your phone, or tablet and taking it to places with you helps promote reading; especially when you’re waiting in a long line, in a bus, train, or Uber, at a waiting room, or even when eating lunch.

Having a friend or even a blog to express your thoughts and ideas can also keep you motivated to keep reading and even gain more book suggestions from people who enjoyed the book you did.

You can also reward yourself by reading. If reading has been a struggle of a hobby you’ve been wanting to pick up, you can always treat yourself to something you want to propel reading.

Remember, don’t force yourself to read a book if you don’t like it. Read the first 30 to 50 pages of a book, and if it doesn’t catch your interest, simply put it down and search for another book.

If you really need motivation to read, check out 4-year- old Daliyah Arana’s story about reading over 1,000 books before entering preschool and hopes to read another 500 more before she starts kindergarten.

Reading is a habit worth picking up and the benefits that come with it are countless. Creating it a habit can be easier than you think, and it is a good investment of your time. Improve your test scores, gain communication skills, relax and unwind, and simply entertain yourself with a good book of your choice; you won’t regret it.

To Lean In, Or Not To Lean In: That Is The Question.

By Irisneida Rodriguez

women workingAccording to the Morton College student demographics, females accounted for 57.2 percent of enrollees for the 2016-17 school year. I began wondering how many of us have, or plan to have children? How many of us have or will be affected by maternity leave or simply any other time needed off during the initial childbearing years? How will that impact our earnings and status in the workplace?

These are all questions that I find myself thinking about because one day I want to have children but also have a professional occupation. And so, adding to my worries, lies the thought of how will I successfully balance the work and housework (which includes, but isn’t limited to childcare).

I heard of the term “leaning in” in my Sociology class. After reading a few articles on the topic I came to an understanding of what it is and if it’s the right thing for women to do. This social phenomenon has been in headlines for a few years now. The term came about from a book published in 2013, written by Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg. The book was titled, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

A quote from Sandberg’s mentions,

“I have written this book to encourage women to dream big, forge a path through the obstacles, and achieve their full potential”.

Ultimately, the goal of the book seems to be to motivate women to “lean in”, meaning, to work hard and take their role at work serious to earn a lead occupation, promotions and raises. What are the consequences of leaning in?

An article titled “The Real Reason Women Should Lean In” by Liz O’ Donnell, published by the Huffpost, presents how leaning in at the start of the career (or job) can be beneficial later. O’ Donnell goes on to present a personal anecdote of how leaning in since the start of her career has allowed her to keep her job and ask for more work flexibility. For example, she mentions joining management team meeting via Skype and later says;

“If your employer doesn’t know that they can trust you to get work done anywhere, anytime, they’re less likely to grant you flex accommodations”.

To O’Donnell, building a trustworthy, reliable, efficient and valuable image of yourself in the workplace will help once you’ll need those days off or flexibility whether it’s to care for children or even elderly parents, it is worth “leaning in” for.

An article titled “Recline, don’t ‘Lean in’ (Why I hate Sheryl Sandberg)” by Rosa Brooks, published by The Washington Post in 2014 she stands against the idea of “leaning in”. She mentions her hate for Sandberg isn’t anything personal, but because before she changed her ways and was convinced to “lean in”, she “had a life, had friends, family, children, hobbies, occasional vacations and eight hours of sleep.” Now, she was miserable and had spent too much time building her network that became too tired and felt “boxed in”.

In Brook’s point of view, leaning in is like a trap. It is making women tired and eventually want to drop out of their professional occupation. Brooks claims,

“If we truly want gender equality, we need to challenge the assumption that more is always better,”

She also argues that we must stand against the assumption that men don’t suffer as much as women when they’re exhausted and have no time for family or fun.”  To back up her arguments Brook’s mentions that women work that “double-shift” because they do far more housework and childcare than men do.

To lean in or not to lean in: that is the question. This corny trope came to mind, but it really is a matter that should be of concern to not only us women but men as well.

This topic is related directly to the institution of the family can be sociologically analyzed by the symbolic-interaction perspective. How will your romantic relationship be affected by having little to no time for care when your partner is constantly busy with work.

What is your take on being expected to work extra hours as a sign of being a better worker than someone else? Are you supporting her career? How will you and your household be affected if your partner is earning below what she should be?

Ladies, what are your takes on this matter? Why is parental and family leave unpaid for many in need, even if it’s highly likely and inevitable in most occasions? In my opinion, what this says about our country is that ubiquity in work valued over the personal lives of human beings.

A Pew Research Study of 2013 presents that the percent of 25 to 32-year-olds with at least a four-year college degree has been steadily on the rise since 1993 (when both gender categories lied at about 25 percent). Women have surpassed men with 38 percent compared to 31 percent.

We can expect more women to join the professional workforce and take on lead positions but will leaning in have what we consider “successful” results without damaging the family arena? Or is leaning in motivating and encouraging more women to work to their full potential and earn benefits but feeling incompletely happy in their personal lives?

Photo from Wikipedia

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

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.”

Morton College “under monitoring” by the Higher Learning Commission

Morton College

By Marcela Ruiz

On Friday, March 10th, Morton College released a letter of announcement concerning the college’s accreditation status.  The letter entitled “Morton College Earns Reaffirmation of Regional Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)” stated the next reaffirmation of accreditation to be in the 2026-2027 academic year. This statement was created by the college’s administration from the official letter delivered to President Stanley Fields on March 2nd.

The official letter was released in the HLC website. The letter states that before the next reaffirmation takes place, the college has been placed under “Action with Interim Monitoring”.  While the HLC maintains the accreditation of Morton College, a focused visit is required to determine improvement in the following areas:

“extent of Board engagement with policy development; professional development plan for the president; participatory governance; and a comprehensive internal communication plan. Additional focus on financial accountability responsibilities”.

Morton College had previously been placed “on notice” by HLC in 2005 and again in 2012 but both sanctions were removed in 2006 and 2014 respectively. The College’s faculty were concerned that during the college’s last comprehensive evaluation visit in October 17, 2016,  the outcome would be similar. Although this was not the case, the final report did conclude that HLC has:

“serious concerns with the Board of Trustees at Morton College. Specifically, how the board perceives its role in governing the college. It appears to the team that these issues still exist and are having a negative effect on the overall operations of the college. The board and faculty must come to a mutually understanding of the meaning of shared governance. The board is aware of their responsibility to address these concerns and is taking measures to address the issues.”

The College will face a focus visit sometime before January 31st, 2018, most likely this fall. The Higher Learning Commission will at that visit determine if Morton College has met the stated requirements.

A previous version of this article contained the error that Morton College had been place On Notice. That error has been corrected in this updated version.