Category: Morton Campus News

What’s going on at Morton College?

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.

New Online Class: Survey of Film History

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By Collegian Staff

Morton College will this summer offer a new online class: Humanities 153, Survey of the History of Film.

This class satisfies most Humanities requirements. It is traditionally offered in a discussion and lecture format in the Spring. Professor Karolis Zukauskas (known by most students as Mr. Z) has been teaching it since 2006. This summer he’ll be leading the online version. The course will be available online only during the summers.

“In the summer, an online format can offer working students or students with children the ability to pace themselves in a more flexible way.”

Summer classes are taught over 8 weeks instead of the usual 16. While they offer convenience, they can also make time-management challenging, particularly because the meetings come in 3-6 hour “chunks” of class time.

“In the summer, an online format can offer working students or students with children the ability to pace themselves in a more flexible way,” Zukauskas said. “In an online film class, students can do all the homework on a computer, including watching the films. They don’t have to commute to campus at all, and the material costs for the course are low.”

The Survey looks at film from a chronological perspective, beginning with silent films and culminating with digital animation. As part of assignments, students will view classics like Casablanca, The Great Train Robbery and Blade Runner. Also on the syllabus are controversial works like Full Metal Jacket, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Her.

To register for this class, speak to your advisor. If you have questions, you can e-mail Mr. Zukauskas.

Image from Wikipedia.

Morton College Tuition on the Rise

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By Marcela Ruiz

Beginning the fall semester, tuition will increase by $7 dollars per credit hour.

This change will result in an increase between $84-$112 for full-time students who attend 12-16 credit hours per semester. Similarly, part-time students taking 6-11 credit hours per semester, should expect an increasing between $42-$77.

On March 27, 2017 President Stan Fields issued a statement to inform students of this upcoming change. The e-mail stated: 

“This change is designed to ensure that Morton College is able to offer our college community access to the very best resources including skilled faculty and staff, enhanced campus facilities, and course programming that supports your success.”

The statement briefly mentioned the new Dual Enrollment Program, which is a partnership with J. Sterling Morton High School District 201. The new program will give high school students an opportunity to enroll in courses eligible for college credit at their school.

President Fields encourages students to contact the Business Office or the Provost to inquire about the program and ask questions regarding tuition increase. Morton College’s current Provost is Keith McLaughlin and can be contacted at Keith.McLaughlin@morton.edu or 708-656-800 ext. 2277. Mireya Perez is the director of business and can be reached at mireya.perez@morton.edu or 708-656-8000 ext. 2289.

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.”

Upcoming events will bring over 20 Universities and Colleges to Morton Campus

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By Marcela Ruiz

Morton College will be hosting two events on campus for students who plan to transfer this fall.

The Annual Private Colleges and Universities Fair will take place Tuesday, March 14th from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the cafeteria. For students who are interested in transferring to a private college, this is a great opportunity to speak to representatives about their options. These colleges are members of the Private Illinois Colleges and Universities (PICU). This organization partners with community colleges to grant a minimum of two scholarships every term. The application is available on their website www.picuonline.org/scholarships.

University Day will take place Wednesday, March 29th from 10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m. Students who have more than 15 credits and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above will be eligible to receive free official transcripts. Students must RSVP before March 22nd, in order to qualify to pick up their transcripts the day of the event. Universities will also be waiving application fees. These fees usually cost $60 or more. This is a great opportunity for those who are interested to save on transferring costs.

Students who have not yet made an appointment to meet with their advisor regarding their graduation petition, should do it before the deadline on April 1st.