Tag: marcela ruiz

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

Pillars

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

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.

Student Trustee Goal to Raise $4,000 for Hope Scholarship

hope-img

By Marcela Ruiz

In times when the media has been singling out DACAmented and undocumented students, The HOPE Scholarship is committed to support these students to continue their education at Morton College.

“I wanted to be the person who knows and shares with others.”

As the Student Trustee, Andrea Chavarria decided to continue The HOPE Scholarship 5k fundraiser to raise money for students who are not eligible for federal aid. She wants the annual race to become a tradition, an event Morton College students look forward to every year.

“When you don’t know the resources available, you have to ask and I wanted to be that person who knows and shares with others” Chavarria said when asked about the reasons she believes in this scholarship. “When you get involved, meet people, it motivates you a lot” she added.

In addition to filing to obtain the permits needed for the race, Chavarria has made great efforts to find additional resources to accomplish her goal. On January 25, she announced The World’s Largest Laundromat donated $500 towards the scholarship.
Since 2012 the Morton College community has also responded positively demonstrating their support by making donations in labeled boxes inside the cafeteria.

This year The HOPE Scholarship 5k will take place on Sunday, April 23 at Morton West High School. Chavarria hopes to reach her goal by the end of this semester, as she will be transferring to UIC to pursue a career in Physical Therapy.