EAST PEORIA – This summer will begin a new semester for students at Illinois Central College, and with it will come a few modifications to the East Peoria, North, Downtown, and Pekin campuses.
After several meetings during the past few months, the college’s board of trustees has implemented some changes,the first being the ICC Smoke-Free/Tobacco Free campus policy, and second, an increase in tuition.
Due to the Illinois Smoke-Free Campus Act, the administration of the college has put a new smoking policy into effect. Effective on July 1, students will no longer be permitted to smoke or use tobacco products while on any property of Illinois Central College.
As defined by the policy, “smoke” or “smoking” is the carrying, using, burning, inhaling, or exhaling of any kind of tobacco product. The policy includes the use of cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco, as well as e-cigarettes and vaporizers.
“Students will see different signage coming about here soon to help them understand,” Bruce Budde, executive vice president for administration and finance at Illinois Central College, said. “We will be trying to do warnings, and those types of things, to help people get on the right page.”
The college will be introducing smoking cessation type programs as well as have information made available to students wishing to be more proactive.
“We will continue to try to do outreach programs for the students and give them opportunities, if they are really wanting to quit,” Budde said. “Our objective for these facilities is we want to create an environment that our students can come to free of distraction, and that they can come here to be successful in what they’re coming here to do.
Along with the college’s new smoke free and tobacco free campus policy, students should anticipate an increase in the costs for tuition.
Prior to this adjustment in tuition, students were paying $125 per credit hour each semester; however, with the increased rate students can expect to pay $135 per credit hour starting with the fall semester.
During their February meeting, the board of trustees discussed the administration’s recommendation of an increase in tuition. In March, the board made the decision to raise tuition costs due to several factors relating to enrollment decline and decreased state funding.
Most of the college’s funding comes from the state, tuition and property tax. Each division of support was meant to provide one-third of the college’s revenue, but state support has steadily diminished since 2000. Now, the college only receives eight or nine percent of their funds from the state.
Budde stated that in 2009, the college reached its peak enrollment at over 250,000 credit hours; since then there has been a steady decline to about 190,000 credit hours. As a result, the college receives less reimbursement from the state.
Though tuition fees will be increased, they are not expected to exceed the amount of financial assistance students receive. According to Budde, compared with the tuition costs of other community colleges in the area, Illinois Central College has relatively low tuition rates. Therefore, financial aid generally covers all tuition expenses for students.
“Anytime we make the decision on tuition, we are very aware of the impact on our students. We try to manage that to the extent that we can. We try to control our expenses and cost, but the one thing we don’t want to do is compromise quality. We need quality education and we need very qualified professors and faculty. The quality of facilities and quality of support services are hugely important and they are worth paying some for in our tuition,” Budde said.
The college’s board of trustees meets the third Thursday of every month and meetings are open for students and the general public to attend. A schedule of upcoming board meetings and an agenda can be found online at the college’s website at icc.edu/about-icc/board-trustees.
Dr. Erwin Accepts Interim President at Marion Collage, Ohio.
July 1 Dr. Erwin will be starting as interim President at Marion Technical College in Ohio after his retirement from ICC The school will proceed to look for a full time president in August 2015. Good Luck Dr. Erwin!
EAST PEORIA — The retirement of Illinois Central College President John Erwin was announced suddenly to the ICC community Wednesday, April 29, raising many questions.
Just a couple of hours before the 7:30 p.m. mass email announcement from the college’s public affairs department, Erwin mingled with students and staff at the Student Recognition Evening, where apparently no one was aware he was carrying out his last official function. When the event ended at 8 p.m., Erwin left promptly.
According to the email from Cheryl Fliege, vice president of marketing and college communication, “Circumstances in Dr. Erwin’s individual retirement plan created the need for this sudden announcement. While this announcement may seem unanticipated, Dr. Erwin has been involved in planning for his retirement since February 2014.”
Erwin’s retirement was effective two days later on Friday. It also stated that in compliance with retirement guidelines, ICC employees could not contact Dr. Erwin about official college business for the next 60 days.
The necessity to travel on Thursday meant that he would not be able to be on campus for his final day as president, but Erwin responded to questions via telephone, in an exclusive interview with the Harbinger. The responses have been edited for length.
Q: Why did your retirement come about so suddenly?
A: In February of 2014, the [ICC Board of Trustees], in closed session at the retreat, talked about my retirement. I was saying, “what can we do to mutually agree upon [a plan] that would work for the college?” We put a few dates out there, and one of them was actually earlier than this. Then what happened was the pension reform was passed, and then in about 6 months it was in effect, and it greatly damaged my retirement opportunity.
I was looking at July 1… and the counselor that I talked to said, “well, you ought to check out April and see what happens.?” And she was right; I actually lost pension by retiring in July instead of retiring in April, and that’s a quirk of the quarter system of the fiscal year. I said, “are you sure this is correct?” and she said, “this is very close to being accurate, so if you need to make a decision, you can call the same day and we can put it into effect.”
So that’s what happened basically. I then called the board chair-elect and had a meeting with her and I laid it out in front of her and we started putting the wheels in motion so this could happen: today is my last day and tomorrow is effectively the first day of my retirement.
Q: Are you saying that you didn’t know that you were retiring until the week of?
A: Yes. Governor Rauner just came out with his pension reform that he says will be effective July 1, and it greatly subtracts from my pension opportunity. And I just can’t continue to have that up on the table and be jeopardized by the General Assembly and [the] governor’s reform attempts. At some point, there will be reform in the state of Illinois for pensions, and I know it, in some way, will subtract what my opportunity currently is under the system.
And then the realization “John, you’ve got to do that this week.” I’ll be honest with you, I was in denial and avoidance. I had all those psychological things in play like “oh, this can’t be real, it won’t happen,” but, you know what, it is real, it can happen, and I didn’t want to be the victim of procrastination.
At least now I know exactly where I’m going to stand into the future. So, those are the positive pieces of it, this clarity on my future, but the tougher part is I’m psychologically not ready to step away. But I can’t help the environment, the context, that I’m in regarding this kind of decision.
Q: So you didn’t make an announcement personally because of how suddenly this came about?
A: And a little bit [because] the legality of having to be silent. I obviously was right up on the date when it became communicated, so I minimized my lame duck status to one day, and, ironically, it was a bereavement day and I actually had to go, because of a family loss, to a funeral.
It just turned out that way. I can tell you that when I woke up Monday morning to go into the office, this was not on my mind, and I had many other things on my mind. But as that day unfolded and each day and the contact with the State University Retirement System… It just became very real to me that I could be doing something very foolish if I just continued my routine. I needed to get in here and make this decision, and, actually, live with the full consequences of it.
Q: So what is the next step for ICC?
A: Monday, the board has a really important board meeting, and out of that meeting they’ll be laying some framework for the future. They’re going to have to look at an interim president, and then they’re going to need to begin a really intense selection of a search firm to establish the process [for finding the next president].
Q: Will you return to the college after the 60-day period?
A: I’m coming back July 1 and I’ll begin boxing up my office, and I’ll be pleased to work with staff on an appropriate farewell because that’s the thing that has not been done. It’s just very difficult for me because of the suddenness. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to graciously, appropriately say thank you for my privilege of serving ICC and say thank you to all of the wonderful students and staff that, over the years, I’ve had the pleasure to meet and support.
Q: Might you someday work at ICC once again?
A: I’ll put it this way: I really need some time to step back and absorb the consequences of this week and consider what options I have in front of me… I just have to be really careful with the system that I don’t jeopardize my pension because of contact with the college or any kind of reemployment.
Q: How will you feel when you wake up tomorrow as a retiree?
A: I’m still in shock. I don’t have finished business. I have a lot of unfinished business at Illinois Central College that I would have loved to have seen completed. There’s some wonderful things happening with ICC North, the move from Downtown, the sustainability center, the assessment of student learning initiative, our movement toward a better, stronger strategic plan and a “dashboard” for the college, the human resource initiative for stronger development plans for performance and the advancement of talent at ICC among our employees… I could go on and on. So I just see a lot of positive things in front of ICC.
Q: Do you wonder what will become of ICC and your unfinished business?
A: Separation has all of the same emotions for us when we invest ourselves with a sense of mission and passion in what we’re doing. How do you say goodbye? Who is going to pick these things up? How are they going to get done? Some unsureness ― the future is gray, hazy. How well can we live with that, the ambiguity of the future?
It begins to get better when you can see a clear line of sight on the change. So, if you know your successor, that begins to help, if you know what you’re going to do with yourself next, that helps. You see, for me right now this is still pretty fresh. I haven’t quite sorted it all out.
Q: If you could say one last thing to the students, is there something that you would like them to hear from you?
A: Yeah, don’t give up on your dreams. Be persistent. Continue to strive towards your goals regardless of the number of obstacles, barriers, naysayers that are out there. Be true to yourself, and reap the rewards of being a dogged and determined person who has confidence in oneself to succeed. That is my advice to students, and that would be, I believe, a lifelong rule to follow.
Harbinger recognized at ICCJA conference
EAST PEORIA – The Illinois Community College Journalism Association held its 41st Annual Spring Conference and awards banquet in Utica, IL last Thursday and Friday, where Illinois Central College’s Harbinger magazine received a total of 14 awards.
The ICCJA Spring Conference assembled community colleges from all over the state of Illinois, including Illinois Valley, Black Hawk, Heartland, Joliet and Lincoln Land, to engage in seminars headed by several renowned journalists, instructors and photographers in the area. Former advisor for Illinois Central College’s Harbinger, Mike Foster, also headed a few of the presentations.
The workshops touched on various topics including news photography, social media in sports journalism, investigative reporting, lead writing and Bigfoot journalism.
Bigfoot Journalism was the keynote speech presented by Joe Gisondi, the author of “Monster Trek: The Obsessive Search for Bigfoot.” In this presentation Gisondi discussed his traveling adventures with Bigfoot field researchers while writing his book, as well as the importance of research, integrity and reliability in journalism.
The conference concluded with the administering of awards, several of which were awarded to the Illinois Central College Harbinger magazine. The Harbinger returned home having received first place in Page Design as well as placing second for the Division II Mike Foster General Excellence Award. Additionally, the Harbinger placed third in the category of Websites and received honorable mention in Front Page Design.
Editor-in-Chief Reid Harman placed first in Multimedia and was presented with third place in the category of Reporter of the Year. Also, awarded second place was Sports Editor Justin Brown in Sports Features. Social Media Editor Megan Whitford placed third in graphics.
Illinois Central College students Kristen Switzer and Lauren Marrett placed second and third in the category of Advertising, and Lauren Marrett, a former photo editor, was also awarded third place for News Photo. Former features editor Richard Liesse placed second in News Columns.
04/16/2015 UPDATE: The Harbinger ended up winning a total of 17 awards, some of which had been delayed. Below, find a full list of awards received by the Harbinger.
First place, The Harbinger, Page Design, Division I
First place, Reid Harman, Multimedia Story, open category
Second place, The Harbinger, Mike Foster General Excellence, Division II
Second place, Justin Brown, Sports Features, Division I
Second place, Kristen Switzer, Advertising, open category
Second place, Richard Liesse, News Columns, Division I
Third place, The Harbinger, Websites, open category
Third place, Reid Harman, Reporter of the Year, open category
Third place, Reid Harman, Multimedia Story, open category
Third place, Reid Harman, News Story, Division I
Third place, Megan Whitford, Graphics, open category
Third place, Lauren Marrett, Advertising, open category
Third place, Lauren Marrett, News Photo, Division I
Third place, Lauren Marrett, Sports Photo, Division I
Third place, Richard Liesse, Feature Story, Division I
Honorable Mention, The Harbinger Staff, Front Page Design, Division I
Honorable Mention, Reid Harman, Headlines, open category
From the editor — April 2015
Oh, the end of the spring semester is nearing. Statistically, this is when about 1,500 students are going to graduate from ICC, and many of those students and others have transferring on their minds. While most students who attend ICC do not necessarily continue on to a university, those who do (myself included) have to decide where to transfer.
I have spent many, many months thinking about where I am going to continue my education after ICC. When I first enrolled at ICC, I had a list of favorites and least favorites. In two years, that list has almost reversed itself. As my graduation draws near, I am still not 100 percent certain on my destination, but I have found that one old piece of advice has proven true: before you commit yourself to years of study at an institution, you best spend some time there and feel it out in person.
I recently visited a college with my family after becoming interested in its U.S. News & World Report ranking. I was just about to put this college at the top of my list, but that changed when I visited. I walked around the campus and explored every area and building that I could. I kept looking for the reason for its acclaim, but all I found was a lack of inspiration.
Now I am not going to name the college because a lot of people do like it, and you may, too, but it wasn’t for me. This is the case with many things in life; whether it’s universities or careers or music or food, we don’t often know what we like until we find it.
Whether or not you are transferring and whether or not you are graduating, remember that statistics and popular opinion don’t determine what is right for you. Don’t settle for something because worldly indications say it “must be right.” When it comes to deciding on your coursework, career and future, explore your options thoroughly and make decisions based not on outside data but on what you decide for yourself.
From the editor — March 2015
In the last issue of the Harbinger, the article “Obama Proposes Free Community College” reported on President Barack Obama’s proposal to make a two-year community college education something that is available to Americans with no out-of-pocket cost. After unveiling the so named “America’s College Promise” via a press video in early January, the president pushed the proposal both in Tennessee and, later, in the 2015 State of the Union address.
At this point, America’s College Promise is more of an idea (dare I say dream), really, and, not surprisingly, there are plenty of politicians, columnists and news commentators more than happy criticize Obama’s latest attempt at education reform. Over the past two months, those critics have pulled no punches in saying that the plan fails to identify a source of funding, gives students something that they could pay for themselves and reinforces a dated community college system with low graduation rates. But then again, they are missing the point.
The president didn’t propose making the first two years of college free for hard-working students because it sounded like a fun idea at which to throw loose money. The whole point was that a post-secondary education, whether it be one class or a doctorate, has become nearly a necessity in our working society. And, just like taxpayers have been paying to give kids the first 12 grades of learning, maybe the time has come to enable students of all ages to freely get the specific college-level training needed to get them into a 21st century career. And community colleges may just be our best bet to get that started.
The fact that less than half of the community college students in the U.S. graduate with a degree has been misconstrued. College, especially community college, is a take-as-needed commodity. When you have a headache, you take some aspirin, but as soon as your head feels better, you stop. So too, if someone goes to college to prepare for a career and they get offered a job before graduating, they may just stop right there, and that’s okay.
While some jobs require extensive technical training (I’m an engineering student, I know), many others require less than a degree. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, 39 percent of all accolades awarded by U.S. community colleges in 2012-2013 were certificates not degrees, and these certificate recipients probably didn’t graduate, but that doesn’t mean their college failed them.
The initiative to make two-year colleges freely available isn’t a new one either. In addition to the new Tennessee Promise, which Obama credited as a great source of inspiration, we can see the more local programs of Peoria Promise, Galesburg Promise (for Carl Sandburg College), and the Chicago Star Scholarship program, which begins fall 2015. The details of these programs differ, but they all promise free community college classes to locally-rooted students who will maintain strong GPA’s. Obama’s plan simply takes this to the national level.
America’s College Promise may not be anywhere close to being a “shovel ready” project, and, like that cocktail napkin sketch of your dream house, it may be built mainly on starry-eyed optimism. But this symbolic moment has opened the doors of discussion into an area yet untamed on the national scale. Now is the time to talk about this and figure out the next big step in education. After all, with enough effort and collaboration, dreams (and promises) can become reality. Or were you not listening in class today?
Finding a better Pell Grant
EAST PEORIA ― Congresswoman Cheri Busto headed a roundtable press-conference, which involved financial aid advisors, admissions administrators and students, at Illinois Central College on Tuesday to showcase her efforts to increase financial support available to college students.
Students often rely on financial assistance from programs, such as the Pell Grant, to finance their college educations. Representative Bustos is currently working to increase the flexibility of the Pell Grant, aiding in student access to these funds.
Through several community college visits, Bustos gained better understanding of the issues many students and community colleges face with this grant.
“Through our tour, what we learned is that Pell Grants have actually taken a step back. It used to be that you could receive grants for the spring, summer and fall semesters,” said Bustos.
Currently, Pell grants are not offering support to students during their summer semesters of college, forcing students to find other means of financing any summer classes. Enrollment decreases in the summer due to students’ inability to pay.
“If a student doesn’t use all of their award during the fall and spring, then they can use that during the summer,” Dana Leman, interim manager of financial assistance at ICC, said.
Unfortunately, not all students are able to retain the awards they receive through the fall and spring semesters, and without such support they suffer.
“If they (students) don’t have the extra support, whether it’s for the textbooks or childcare or transportation, all the issues that are around life circumstances, you’re going to suffer that consequence. It might actually extend your program, and, you know, if you get an extended program, you can run out of Pell [funds before you finish],” ICC President John Erwin said.
“I receive Pell Grant; it’s helped me get through school,” ICC sophomore Dari Thompson said. “Because I’m only eligible for fall and spring, I have just one summer class. I’m lucky my parents can help me, and I’m taking out a loan. It’s a lot of money I just don’t have right now.”
ICC student Billi Casey, 50, shared similar concerns with the Pell Grant.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do that (get my degree) without the grants,’ Casey said. “Last summer I was able to take a class because I had money left, but for me, having kids and working part time, I can’t go full time during the semester. So, having the option of going during the summer is huge.”
Another issue with the Pell Grant is the annual cap that congress sets. In a student’s first year in college, they have a grant cap of $3,500, which increases as the students continues their education. However, this cap is not dependent on inflation, therefore, while the cost of tuition and textbooks increases, the annual cap does not.
“I was in college 16 years ago, and the caps were still the same,” Leman said.
Annual caps are also a problem faced by students paying with loans, according to Leman. “While year-round Pell will help Pell students, year-loan-only students will still feel the hurt.”
Pell grants also do not allow support to students who are attending four-year colleges, but taking classes at a community college for cheaper rates. Legally, aid can only be awarded to students by the school from which they are receiving their degree.
Flexibility of the Pell Grant could mean more support for students during their college career, especially during the summer semester. This could result in increased enrollment during the summer, faster completion of courses for many students, better scheduling options for students and an overall better success rate for students who rely on financial assistance.
“It is something that we believe in and that we will work on to gain sponsorship and see what we can do to make progress,” Bustos said on her efforts towards keeping education affordable.
ICC celebrates black heritage through engagement and teaching
EAST PEORIA — This February, Illinois Central College took the opportunity to celebrate Black History Month by spreading both knowledge and understanding about the Black Community through the use of various media.
At noon on February 11 at the East Peoria Campus, there was a presentation called “The Media’s Assault on Black Images” presented by visiting professor and author Bryant K. Smith, who holds a master’s degree in communications and has taught at the collegiate level for several years.
The presentation opened with Smith revealing to the audience that “what [we] have learned up until this point about [black people] may not be true” and that “the media is portraying [them] incorrectly.”
To validate his points, Smith showed the audience an edited clip from the Fox News Network where a young child of color had stated that he wanted to own a gun, implying to the audience that the child wanted to be a gangster. However, the unedited clip reveals that the reason the child wanted to own a gun was because he wanted to be part of the police force when he grew up.
Smith informed the audience that this kind of racism was not necessarily a new phenomenon in America. According to Smith, racism in mainstream American pop-culture has been a trend since Quaker’s syrup brand Aunt Jemima (c. 1893) and the book Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman (c. 1899) first made their appearances and gained popularity.
This kind of racism has evolved over time, as Smith later revealed that “contemporary pop culture says that all black people aspire to be rappers or have some sort of drug background.”
Smith also said that he himself grew up watching a cartoon called Speedy Gonzales, a show directed at children which depicts frequent racist Mexican stereotypes, and that because of this “it’s a wonder [he’s] not more racist than [he is].”
At the end of the presentation Smith provided a list of steps ICC students can take to combat these instances of contemporary racism. The first step students can take would be to reduce mainstream media sources such as Fox News or CNN and instead watch independent news sources such as Al Jazeera. It is also recommended that students try to advocate for fairness in portrayals in the mainstream media.
The second step students can take to combat this issue would be to identify biases in both school environments and places of work, where they are then encouraged to work to eliminate them. The final steps in this list would be for students to both travel more and to work to diversify their friendships and experiences.
Smith concluded the presentation by saying that “we have created an anti-intellectual society” and that “Black History Month is necessary for America if we ever hope to move ahead.”
February is a month in which Americans celebrate Black History Month, a month-long celebration originating as a week in February in the early 1900’s as Negro History Week.
Campus Police Report: February 2015
10:18 a.m. January 28 — A student reported that a computer tablet was stolen from an unattended backpack on the East Peoria Campus.
4:30 p.m. January 28 — Campus Police intervened in a domestic dispute on the East Peoria Campus between two individuals who had a prior relationship. Both subjects left campus separately with other family members.
10:22 p.m. January 28 — Damage was discovered to fixtures in a restroom on the North Campus. Maintenance was notified to repair the damage.
11:40 a.m. January 29 — A male suspect in the cafeteria on the East Peoria Campus concealed several items in his jacket and left without paying. He was confronted by a cafeteria employee who retrieved the stolen items. The suspect fled and was not located, but the employee provided ICC Police with a detailed description.
8:04 a.m. January 31 — An ICC officer on patrol at WoodView Commons observed a case of beer in a vehicle. The owner of the vehicle was located. He stated the beer was not his, it was being held for a friend. Since alcoholic beverages are prohibited on campus and at WoodView, the beer was confiscated and place into evidence storage. The resident was issued an ICC Regulation Violation Notice ($75.00 fine) for possession of alcohol and referred to the dean of students for additional action.
6:45 a.m. February 2 — A Maintenance employee clearing the sidewalk with a snow blower on the North Campus said a piece of ice thrown by the machine accidentally caused an exterior building window to shatter.
3:45 p.m. February 5 — The rear window of a vehicle parked on the East Peoria Campus was shattered. It is unknown how the damage occurred.
12:50 p.m. February 6 — A purse turned into Lost and Found contained a small amount of marijuana and a hitter pipe. When the owner of the purse came to claim it, she was issued an ICC Regulation Violation Notice ($75.00 fine) for possession of cannabis and referred to the dean of students for additional action.
5:30 p.m. February 7 — A cab company reported that their driver was having problems with a customer in the WoodView Commons parking lot. An ICC officer responded with East Peoria Police. The person appeared to be having health related issues. Paramedics responded to the scene and evaluated the subject.
2:30 p.m. February 9 — An iPhone left unattended in the Career Center on the East Peoria Campus was stolen.
10:30 a.m. February 10 — Management reported several apartment windows at WoodView Commons were damaged after being struck by projectiles. Investigation of the crime is in progress.
3:00 p.m. February 10 — A smoke detector activated in an apartment at WoodView Commons. A pan overheating on the stove had caused it to sound. There was no fire, so the apartment was aired out and the resident returned.
1:30 p.m. February 11 — ICC officers investigated a complaint of an assault at WoodView Commons. An investigation determined that two residents had engaged in a verbal argument, but no criminal violation had occurred. The matter was referred to WoodView management.
8:00 p.m. February 12 — ICC Police responded to an anonymous call of an unauthorized person living at an apartment at WoodView Commons. The subject was located and told to leave the property.The matter was referred to WoodView management.
1:05 p.m. February 20 — ICC officers responded to a complaint of an argument in an office on the East Peoria Campus. Officers mediated the dispute and referred the matter to the dean of students.
9:30 a.m. February 21 — An ICC officer on patrol at WoodView Commons observed a quantity of beer in a vehicle. The owner of the vehicle was located. He stated the beer was not his and that it was being held for a friend. Since alcoholic beverages are prohibited on campus and at WoodView, the 31 beers were confiscated and placed into evidence storage. The resident was issued an ICC Regulation Violation Notice ($75.00 fine) for possession of alcohol and referred to the dean of students for additional action.
ICC Traffic Crash Statistics – January 28 to February 23, 2015
Motorists on College Drive approaching the crosswalk at Nature Court and all other crosswalks are reminded to slow down and stop for pedestrians crossing the roadway.
Pedestrians are reminded to watch for traffic when crossing the roadway. Don’t let your smartphone distract you from being safe around traffic.
From the editor — February 2015
I know a man who is quite simply admirable. He built his own house, raised a family in it and could fill it with music. He worked honestly, was an inventor and became a tradesman in more ways than one. Regardless of age, he always keeps a youthful spirit and drive. He is one of the rare people whom I love for simple goodness and agreeability. Or, at least, he was. You see, he became discouraged with recent events in his life and decided to expedite his journey to the next world and whatever awaited him there.
Now, this may seem like a inappropriately depressing thing to mention as the cover of this month’s issue and much of its content relates to love, relationships and, specifically, Valentine’s Day. But this is actually fitting because my point is how much people can mean to each other and how important it is to be there for one another.
As Editor-in-Chief, I am periodically contacted by someone who has a concern or plight to share. Sometimes, these conversations, whether in person or in writing, lead to content ideas for the Harbinger. But often, they are simply opportunities to vocalize and process the dilemmas that are often weighing on everyday people, and I don’t mind having them; in fact, I find them very satisfying.
There are plenty of things in life that can bring down our spirits, and we should remember that even the people who we may think of as the “strong” ones can fall into the blue shades of life. Sometimes, though, all it takes to keep us going is to feel that we are truly not alone – to be taken by the hand and reminded of the best things in the world, lest the world get the best of us.
As you flip through the pages of this issue and read about love and relationships, think not just about romance. Think about the people who you truly want to keep in your life, and then consider taking the time to let them know how much they mean to you. You never know how they feel at that moment, and your attention might just pull them from the fingers of a negative outlook.
Campus Police Report: December/January 2015
3:58 a.m. November 24 – ICC officers responded with paramedics to a medical emergency at WoodView Commons. One subject was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
9:14 a.m. November 25 – A computer accessory valued at $9.00 was stolen from an unlocked classroom at the East Peoria Campus.
11:54 a.m. November 29 – An ICC officer patrolling the AIT building discovered a water leak in a room on the second floor. The water had leaked through into the first floor. The officer shut off the water source and made notifications for cleanup.
11:25 a.m. December 1 – A student reported receiving unwanted attention and harassment from another student. The suspect had been previously warned by ICC officials to leave the victim alone. The suspect was located and issued an ICC Regulation Violation Notice (ticket). The matter was referred to the Dean for further action.
12:28 p.m. December 1 – A student reported losing a wallet on the East Peoria Campus. The wallet was later found and turned in by an employee, but the cash was missing from the wallet.
12:55 p.m. December 5 – A student at the East Peoria campus reported being stalked by another student. The victim obtained an Order of No Contact through the court system and a copy was served on the suspect. The matter was referred to the Dean for further action.
4:11 p.m. December 11 – A disruptive person at the Downtown campus was escorted from the property by ICC officers and banned from returning.
1:27 a.m. December 19 – ICC officers received a report of possible possession of illegal drugs in an apartment at WoodView Commons apartments. Officers located the apartment and investigated. No illegal drugs were found.
7:28 a.m. December 22 – A Blue Ray video player was reported stolen from the East Peoria Campus. An investigation including video surveillance review was unable to identify a suspect.
4:29 p.m. January 8 – A disruptive person at the Downtown campus was escorted from the property by ICC officers and will be banned from returning.
12:36 p.m. January 14 – An electronics power cord and a laptop computer were reported stolen from the East Peoria Campus. Investigative leads are being followed up.
10:31 a.m. January 15 – ICC police officers assisted the Illinois State Police in a felony theft-of-propertyinvestigation. The suspect, an ICC student, was located, arrested and transported to Tazewell County Jail. The stolen property was recovered and returned to the owner.
12:58 p.m. January 15 – Electronic items, cash and keys were reported stolen from an unlocked vehicle in a parking lot on the East Peoria Campus.
11:16 a.m. January 16 – Criminal damage to two exterior apartment doors and one apartment window was reported by the management of WoodView Commons.
3:56 a.m. January 17 – ICC officers responded to a loud noise complaint at an apartment at WoodView Commons. Officers located an intoxicated subject who had a hand injury from hitting a wall. The subject was transported to a local hospital for treatment. The case was referred to WoodView management for further action.
10:47 p.m. January 17 – ICC and East Peoria police officers responded to a fight call at WoodView Commons. An argument between several subjects escalated into a physical altercation. Three suspects were issued ordinance violation tickets for their involvement in the fight. The case was referred to WoodView management for further action.
1:06 a.m. January 21 – ICC officers responded with paramedics to a medical emergency at WoodView Commons. One subject was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
5:02 p.m. January 23 – A laptop computer was reported stolen from an unlocked vehicle in a parking lot on the East Peoria Campus.
12:16 p.m. January 26 – An unattended cellphone was reported stolen from a room on North Campus.
7:10 p.m. January 26 – A vehicle parked in a lot on North Campus sustained damage when struck by a hit-and-run driver.
ICC Traffic Crash Statistics – November 21, 2014 to January 27, 2015
ICC Campus Police Department officers routinely patrol the parking lots on the East Peoria and North Peoria Campuses. If your vehicle becomes disabled, raise the hood and notify Campus Police using an Emergency Call Box or call 694-5111. Officers will respond to assist you.
Campus Police Department officers will provide escorts for concerned individuals to and from their vehicle at any time. Just call 694-5111.
Obama proposes free community college
EAST PEORIA — President Barack Obama promised to make community college “as free and universal as high school” in his 2015 State of the Union address. This marks the first time that a sitting president has given a huge declaration to community colleges.
Illinois Central College President John Erwin said that this is a historic proclamation.
“I know of no other United States president that has used an entire address on community college,” Erwin said, referencing the speech Obama made in Knoxville, Tenn. in January to introduce the plan.
The plan, called America’s College Promise, calls for the federal government to pay 75 percent of the cost of community college tuition. The rest of the cost must be provided by the state.
“The plan acts as a blanket,” Erwin said.
America’s College Promise would be applied after all other government provided financial aid is given.
However, Erwin believes that the plan itself still has too many unanswered questions before it can pass the judgement of voters. Because the plan calls for states to pay 25 percent of the costs for college, a large financial burden will go onto the state.
“The question turns into if the state can support that or not,” Dr. Erwin said. “Does the state of Illinois have the revenue to pay for America’s College Promise?”
At the same time, some of the requirements to be eligible for the program are obscure. America’s College Promise requires that a student have a 2.5 GPA to qualify.
“Coming into college, student’s don’t have a college GPA,” Erwin said. “So are they not eligible on their first semester?”
Another aspect of the program is the fate of universities. Because the president wants to put emphasis on community colleges over traditional universities, there is no way to predict how the universities will respond.
“In the details reside the questions,” Erwin said, “and there may be answers to these questions.”
Other plans have been brought forth by politicians. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, in an address to the senate before the State of the Union address, stated that we live in a “K-14” society.
Erwin, however, sees the new changes as an opportunity to keep the community college structure sacred.
“We are rare, we are successful and, I believe, unique in education,” Erwin said. “Let’s preserve it, but also, let’s enhance it.”
In the end, Erwin believes that universities will respond, and all college students will benefit. He also believes that this shift in focus to community colleges brings out the better qualities of community colleges.
“It brought important national attention to the access and affordability of community colleges for our nation’s people,” Erwin said. “Community colleges and their mission will be more understood, and hopefully there will be appropriate support for our mission.”
The Powers that Be: December 2014
EAST PEORIA — In what turned out to be a pleasantly brief December meeting, the Illinois Central College Board of Trustees rapped up the calendar year by recapping recent enrollment research, pleasing the carpenters union and gaining a few hundred thousand dollars for debt reduction.
The meeting began with the board approving ICC’s new four-year contract with Carpenters’ Local #237, the local union that negotiates working contracts for more than 100 employees here at ICC. ICC President John Erwin moved this item to the top of the board’s agenda for the day to give the three union representatives who were in attendance an opportunity to speak.
Unlike many union contract negotiations that make the news, this contract was agreed upon without any prolonged union/employer conflicts. This is, according to union Field Representative Jacob Moody, due to the use of a process called interest or issue-based bargaining (also referred to as interspace bargaining).
Moody said that, compared to traditional bargaining, where each side starts with an extreme proposal and then hopes to find a way to “meet in the middle,” IBB is a more scientific approach that utilizes market data as evidence for what fair contract terms would be.
“This was just a great process. IBB is something that works. I have been a part of traditional bargaining in the past, and this was my first experience with IBB,” Moody said. “Moving forward, IBB will definitely be something that I will recommend in the future.”
ICC’s vice president of administration and finance, Bruce Budde, was equally happy with the process. Budde said that it helped the college to better understand the strengths and needs of its staff.
“We engaged in interspace bargaining throughout, and I think it resulted in a really positive outcome,” Buddy said.
This was the third contract that the union had made with ICC through IBB, and it will stand for four years. During that time, the union has the option each quarter to meet with ICC to review any questions or concerns that arise during the contract’s cycle so that the two parties can have minor periodic discussions to avoid disagreements from building over the life of the contract.
Later in the meeting, the board also viewed a presentation on the new data systems that the college is using to analyze its student demographics and success, which included using Internet-based Bing Maps to view a live map showing the distribution of where ICC students live by zipcode.
From the editor — Winter 2014/2015
Now that we are passing the mid-point of the academic year, I would like to thank everyone for being so supportive of the new form that the Harbinger has taken. Changing from a newspaper to a magazine-style publication has been a challenge for our office, financially, artistically and logistically, but we have risen to the challenge with your support.
As we enter the second half of our year, the Harbinger will continue to evolve and grow. With our first ever paid graphic designer, Jeremiah Owens, on staff, we may even be making significant visual changes to the magazine format that we have used thus far. Eventually, we will settle down with a theme that works best.
There is something that we need you all to do, however. Spread the word that we are looking to train students to be next year’s staff. Six of our seven editors will be graduating this semester, so we really do need more students to learn about the opportunities that are here for them. Most of our editorial positions even pay.
Students who are reading this are more than welcome to contact me with any questions, and staff and faculty are encouraged to share these opportunities (and my contact info) with any of their students.
Lastly, I want to bring up our new online event calendar. In addition to printing a list of many events on our Engage page, we are now using a Google calendar to give anyone access to our electronic campus event calendar that we can update in real time. If you would like to add this calendar to your Gmail account or your smartphone (Apple or Android), scan the QR code on our Engage page or follow the address listed there.
Ask Jill — Holiday gifts
The holidays are just around the corner and I have many gifts to give. Do you have any advice on how my checkbook and me can make it through this holiday season?
Child with a Christmas Crisis
Dear Child with a Christmas Crisis,
I can assure you that you are not alone in this crisis. Lucky for you I am an avid shopper and have oodles of ideas to bestow upon you!
Let’s start from the top. Coworkers are often times either really easy or extremely difficult to buy for. If you and a coworker have an inside joke, perhaps you can purchase a gag gift that coincides with the joke. If you two have no inside jokes, you could try giving them something that is not gender specific. Give them a homemade brownie or cookie mix in a mason jar for them to bake, or perhaps you could make a movie basket consisting of popcorn, candy, and a movie ticket or a DVD.
Buying for family and friends can be just as challenging as buying for a coworker even though we often times know them better. Common items to buy for girls would be a scarf, nail polish, bath salts or a fun beverage container. For guys you could buy them tickets to a local game, a popular CD, a video game, or some lottery tickets. Most of the items I have mentioned for girls and guys can all be purchased on a budget.
Please remember all of the ideas I have given you are merely general items. The person you are buying for might not like any of these items, but at least this is a place to start. Getting ideas can be very useful when Christmas shopping. Even if the suggestions don’t apply for the person you want to buy for, your brain is at least starting to think about the person you are buying for. I know gift cards aren’t very personal gifts, but they are a guarantee of getting the gift receiver a gift they will like.
Best of luck with your gift giving this season!
Winter Brings Charity at ICC
EAST PEORIA — The Central Illinois community has a long history of supporting charity works during the holiday season. Illinois Central College is a huge part of this community and continues to host events that give back to the community during this festive season.
Multiple student organizations have contributed to community outreach groups and to other charities by hosting events specifically to raise funds and awareness. The Student Government Association is one of those organizations.
SGA hosted the “Toys for Joy” event on November 13th. This formal banquet included a toy collection and a silent auction to raise money for the OSF Children’s Hospital and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Kiersten Gavin, 18, of Metamora was the SGA Senator and Committee Chair that planned the event.
“I originally came up with the idea for Toys for Joy when I was in Girls Scouts,” Gavin said.
She ran a blood drive in order to receive her Silver Award in Girl Scouts. Her idea was to replicate a similar kind of fundraiser at ICC but with one key difference.
“We wanted it on a larger scale this time and we knew we wanted to collect toys and money,” Gavin said.
Secretary of SGA Rachael DeLost, 20, of Peoria says that the event was a success.
“Overall we raised over $800 and there were about 25 toys and books donated,” DeLost said.
The Performing Arts Center is also getting into the generous spirit with two shows this holiday season that will also help give back to the community. One of these shows took place in November and donated toys to Toys for Tots. Trisha Bagby, 19, of Petersburg, a student worker at the PAC, said that the PAC’s goal is to connect arts with giving.
“We try and use different programs to relate to different Guest Artist performances,” Bagby said.
The Second City’s Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue was a holiday-themed show and seemed appropriate to pair with the spirit of giving gifts. The other show this season that will give back will be A Carpenters’ Christmas presented by Close to You. This event will be collecting donations to the Salvation Army.
When it comes to the main players in these community events, students are constantly advocating.
“The student workers at the PAC work really hard to promote and bring people to these events,” Bagby said. “We try our best to make sure the charity aspects of each event are evident.”
Bagby says that the free publicity given to the organizations is an awesome way for students to be aware and to get involved.
With a holiday season packed with opportunities for students to give back to their community, organizations are looking forward to future years of giving.
“Each event that SGA holds has all of its information saved for future years,” Gavin said. “If future students want to put on similar events, everything is ready for them to keep going,”
Gavin hopes that students in the future will use her ideas to continue to give back. DeLost is sure that if things continue, they will see greater success.
“I know that if we do it again, we could easily double the money that was raised,” DeLost said.
Flu Shots 101
It’s that time again! Have you ever had a flu shot before? If not, maybe it is time. Here are a handful of common questions individuals have around this time of year.
Q: Who should get a flu shot? A: It is typical for anyone who is at risk for the flu to have a flu shot. This includes, but is not limited to children ages six to eighteen years, adults over the age of fifty, people living in a long-term care facility, people with weakened immune systems, people with frequent exposure to the general public (ex: hospitals, nursing homes, etc.), pregnant women, anyone with a chronic medical condition, and caregivers or family members in close contact with high risk individuals.
Q: What if I do not meet any of the criteria to get a flu shot? A: It is important to note that individuals should not get a flu shot if they already have a fever or moderate-severe illness at the time of vaccination, a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome after previous flu vaccinations, previous allergic reactions to a flu shot, infants under six months of age, or if individuals have an egg allergy.
Q: When should I get the flu shot? A: The best time to get a flu shot is as soon as they become available, especially if you are at high risk for the flu.
Q: Where do I go to get a flu shot? A: There are several places to get the flu shot, including bu tnot limited to pharmacies, walk-in clinics, hospitals, and even grocery store clinics.
For further information regarding flu shots, individuals are encouraged to consult with their primary care physicians.
Employees give back $101,000 to ICC
EAST PEORIA — Faculty and staff of Illinois Central College, through the Employee Campaign, have given back $10,000 more than last year. Employees have pledged a little over $101,000 to the Educational Foundation with one time donations and even salary pledges.
The Employee Campaign starts a week before classes begin in August and is part the Celebration of Learning week. The Educational Foundation goes to each department and asks if employees would like to help give back to students.
Megan Byard, development officer of the Foundation, said that in the past years, interest in the program has increased.
“The total amount of pledges has been steadily increasing the last few years,” Byard said. “The ICC employees are extremely committed to the College and our students and believe in the mission so much that they are willing to support it with significant gifts.”
Around 250 employees donated to the campaign this year. 161 of those employees were designated as “%1 Club Members”
When making a pledge, faculty and staff choose where their gifts go. They can make donations to the Student Center at ICC North Campus, scholarship funds or, the most popular option, the ICC Excellence Fund.
“The Excellence Fund is used for whatever the college needs that comes up,” Byard said. “If it didn’t fit within the college’s budget, then the Foundation can step in and help out.”
There is even an Student Emergency Fund, where employees can donate to a fund that goes directly to students in dire need.
The Employee Campaign also helps raise money for the Heart of Illinois United Way. This year, the campaign raised around $8,500 for the non-for profit group. All of those proceeds go straight back into Heart of Illinois counties: Marshall, Peoria, Putnam, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford counties.
Byard believes that this isn’t the end for faculty and staff donations.
“I expect that the [positive] trend will continue in the same path and continue to increase each year,” Byard said.
Employees may still contribute at any time. For more information, contact Megan Byard by phone at 694-5778. Emails can also be sent to email@example.com.
A glance at the new Arbor Hall
PEORIA — Since first creating the North Campus in 2002, Illinois Central College has been systematically renovating each of the buildings left from the old Zeller Mental Health complex. After 14 years, they have now modernized Arbor Hall, which is visible from University Street in Peoria, to function as the campus’s hub for student services.
According to college purchase reports, ICC has spent about $6.5 million on this central part of Arbor Hall since last August, and while it isn’t clear when the building will be put into full operation, basic student services are being made available now.
Students like 18-year-old John Phillips, Creve Coeur, have already started coming to Arbor’s information desk to get their collegiate questions answered.
REID HARMAN | THE HARBINGER
The Arbor Hall lobby service desk is all decorated and ready for students.
REID HARMAN | THE HARBINGER
While not exactly a critical part of student services, the luxuries of new restroom designs will surely be appreciated by students, faculty and staff alike.
REID HARMAN | THE HARBINGER
Academic Services has a powerful presence in Arbor Hall. In addition to the provost’s office, it houses a complement of testing, advisement and enrollment services (shown).
REID HARMAN | THE HARBINGER
Venture off the beaten path in Arbor, and you can find a few offices reserved for faculty use.
REID HARMAN | THE HARBINGER
Another unique space is a room that used to be a small gymnasium. It is now covered with ICC wall decals and set aside for general use.
REID HARMAN | THE HARBINGER
Don’t Stop Belle-ieving
Dairy. Carbs. Chocolate. The only food-groups I eat. Yes, I categorized chocolate as a food-group.
For a majority of my life, I have struggled to live a healthy life. Growing up in a large family with four siblings, it goes without saying that eating healthy and finding time to exercise all while going to school full-time was challenging, and believe me – it still is. Whether we were at home or on vacation, dining-out (sometimes more than four times a week) seemed so much easier than having seven people trying to decide what to make for dinner.
After graduation from college, I moved back home and was faced with similar challenges in regard to eating healthy. Between home-life and taking additional classes in order to pursue a career in medicine, I came to the realization that I needed to make a life-style change for the better.
While changing the way you eat and think about food does not happen overnight, I decided to start a Facebook blog to shine light on my personal successes, struggles, and even fun and healthy snack ideas in hopes to motivate myself and others.
This week’s three tips help to correct the misconception a majority of college students have – eating well on a budget. Here are a few tips for eating well on a budget.
Buy in bulk. There are several food items that stay good for a long time that come as a low cost (such as frozen fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, rice, nuts, whole-wheat pasta, etc.).
Pack your lunch. It might sound silly, but packing your own lunch – especially for us college students – is always cheaper and healthier than any restaurant.
Carry a water-bottle. Next time you are at the grocery story, buy yourself your favorite water-bottle. Doing so will prevent you from buying water, soda or juice.
Thinking about starting the journey to a better, healthier you? Check out my personal blog on Facebook. Don’t have a Facebook, but want to learn more? Send me your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ICC showcases Transfer Month
EAST PEORIA — The month of October is Transfer Month at Illinois Central College. Throughout the month, students will have opportunities to discover the services that the college offers to help them transfer to a four-year university.
Numerous events will be held throughout the month, and all of these events are sponsored by the new Transfer Center, a collaboration between the old Connect and Transition Services. This is the first program that the group has done since its inception.
Dr. Tracy Morris, vice president of student services, describes the Transfer Center as a new program to bring the finesse of Connect’s services to a wider audience.
“We’ve been working for the past five or six months to come up with a more consistent approach to our transfer services.” Morris said.
The most important dates, according to Morris, are the on-the-spot admissions in the third week of the month. Here, students will be able to meet university representatives, transcripts in hand, to see if they are eligible to transfer to that school.
Morris is “encouraging the staff to wear gear from their alma mater” because she wants this year’s Transfer Month to not only showcase the different services that the Transfer Center offers, but also “to show the college’s educational diversity.”
Sydney Schmidt, a student worker for the Transfer Center, sees Transfer Month not only as an opportunity just for students who plan to transfer in the fall of 2015, but also for students who would transfer in the years to follow.
“If you don’t know which school you want to transfer to, such as myself,” Schmidt said, “it is still helpful.”
Schmidt plans to transfer in the fall of 2016. She plans to utilize the services of Transfer Month to narrow down which college she wants to attend after ICC.
One of those services is College Night. On Oct 15, the CougarPlex will transform to showcase numerous colleges across the area. Morris says that this event attracts a lot of high school students who want to discover their options, but that it can also serve as a great way to ask questions and discover schools to transfer to.
“Going to College Night, a[n ICC] student could find a school they didn’t know they wanted to transfer to.” Morris said.
Transfer Month ends with a full week of career exploration presentations in the Academic building. While helping students to choose a major, the career exploration week will also help students to see how their major affects their transfer decisions.
For more information, follow the Transfer Center on Twitter @ICC_Transfer.
$7.5 million sustainability project breaks ground
EAST PEORIA — Illinois Central College has symbolically broken ground on a new community facility for promoting green practices through education and practical applications in homes and businesses.
According to an official press release, the new Sustainability Center will be an academic building that will function as the new home for “programs concerning sustainability, as well as architecture, construction, and HVAC/R programs.”
At the groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 30, John Erwin, president of ICC, spoke on the general goals and purpose of the center.
“To put it simply, we hope to prepare a place where ICC can provide a quality educational experience for our students in sustainability,” Erwin said. “We also want to be a valuable resource in the community.”
The Sustainability Center will also be a long-term community center where area businesses and individuals can learn about the practical applications for green solutions. “Ten years from now, I would like to come and visit the Sustainability Center and find it relevant for the time,” Erwin said.
The $7.5 million project has its financial roots in state funding originally promised for Dirksen Hall.
“$2.63 million was originally earmarked for Dirksen Hall, one of our temporary buildings from the 1960’s,” said Bruce Budde, executive vice president of administration and finance. “We asked the state if we could use that money for the new building, and they approved the project.”
Another $2.1 million is coming from federal Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds that were accepted through the Tazewell County Government, and the final balance will come from reserves in the college budget.
Another contribution came with Charles and Carol Blye’s donation of 10 acres of land next to the college’s Illinois Route 24 entrance specifically to provide land for the Center.
“It really comes down to finding the resources, the funding and the timing to make it right,” Budde said. “All those pieces came together.”
The final design for the center has not yet been approved, but with the help of students and community input, ICC hopes to have a final design by the spring of 2015. At the groundbreaking ceremony, several ICC architecture students, including Rebecca Palmer, displayed model suggestions.
“I think it’s important that the students who are going to be using the building will be part of the process of designing it,” Palmer said.
From the editor — September 2014
I want to welcome you to the updated print format for the Harbinger. After nearly five decades of printing as a newspaper, the Harbinger is boldly taking a new magazine-style form.
The decision to make this change wasn’t made lightly, and the process to make it a reality wasn’t an easy one.
What you are holding right now is the result of months of research, weeks of design and countless conversations that were all directed towards making this the best possible resource for students at ICC and a pioneer among Illinois community college publications.
Every letter and line of this publication was created by student hands. While our college advisors gave occasional suggestions, the editorial board, and supporting students, were this magazine’s true creators.
“Deuces,” the last word in the last column on last page of the May 12, 2014 edition of the Harbinger, now has new significance.
It was meant as a fond farewell from the then-graduating editor-in-chief, Kelsey Wernsman, to the college and newspaper with which she had become so familiar, but it became the last word typed into the Harbinger during its 47 years as a student newspaper.
I feel it was a perfect way for the Harbinger to depart in peace from its past and move with excitement into its modernized future.
I am proud to be leading this new journey for ICC, and I am excited for where I know it will take us in the months to come.
Please read on and don’t hesitate to send me your thoughts on our progress.
ICC Responds to Budget Cuts Without Cutting out Students
EAST PEORIA — The state of Illinois has cut $1 million from the Illinois Central College budget. In response, the college has had to find ways to compensate.
“The discussion about the budget had been about being a balanced budget,” said Bruce Budde, executive vice president of administration and finance. “We were able to balance the budget and not compromise resources that go directly back into the classroom.”
The final budget that was approved on the August 21st Board of Trustees meeting was not the first draft of the budget.
“The overall focus should be on the final budget,” said Budde, “We did get a bit of a surprise with the million dollar reduction from the state.”
Budde explained that even in a $70 million budget, one million dollars still put a kink in the system.
The budget process starts with each department in the college appealing for a certain amount of money based on their needs and goals for the fiscal year. Then, the finance department compiles the numbers and approves or strikes down certain budgets. The college had already finished this process when the cuts were made.
“We had published a tentative budget, and then were in the final budget stage,” said Budde, explaining the situation as it happened, “So, now, we have to find this million dollar change.”
Budde and his cabinet group were tasked with finding ways to reduce the expenditures in the budget. Then, they searched for ways to increase revenue.
“We found ways to be more efficient in how we operate the facilities,” Budde said, “Fortunately, we anticipated more revenue from different property taxes. We can also utilize [the Educational] Foundation resources.”
Even with the anticipated cut, ICC hopes to be able to continue to update the college.
“For us to be competitive, we have to give [the students] the best experience possible,” Budde said, “We are focused in the investment in our facilities. [Students] will see the big capital projects continue.”
Budde mentioned that the North campus renovations and the ongoing project of updating classrooms to be technologically current will continue in light of the cuts.
EAST PEORIA — The Illinois Central College Campus Police Department has given its officers another tool of authority that, it said, will help “achieve its goal of providing a safe, secure and productive learning and working environment.”
Starting this semester, Campus Police will be able to issue Regulation Violation Notices (RVNs) to students for breaking school regulation.
Campus Police Chief Tom Larson wrote the regulation himself and saw it as a tool for Campus Police to use short of arrest.
“I want everyone to know that we are going to enforce certain standards of conduct here on campus,” Larson said. “I want everybody to be forewarned that the officers do have another tool, if they need it, to make sure that their conduct conforms to the standards that the college expects.”
The RVNs are not going to be used on first offense but would be used for continued offense.
“There are other ways of dealing with misconduct,” Larson said. “A lot of that is through tools the officers already have, that is to talk to people and give them warnings.”
These regulations are strictly applicable to the college and won’t be reported to the city or any circuit court.
“This is simply a college policy we are going to enforce,” Larson said.
A copy of the new regulations has been posted on the campus police section of the Illinois Central College web page, www.icc.edu.
Students Leading Success
When many students first enter college, their feelings of excitement are often coupled with some fear and anxiety of the unknown. At this fall’s orientation, veteran Illinois Central College students are being enlisted to help welcome these new students and ease their transition into ICC.
Abbie Alsene, manager of student activities at ICC, says that she’s been encouraging students to get involved with the leadership program to advocate the diversity of the student population.
According to Alsene, ICC officials have been selecting leaders from the student body to speak at Fall Orientation since last year, and come orientation, these student leaders will be utilized to discuss, with incoming freshmen, topics ranging from class difficulty to navigating the ICC campuses.
Alsene also mentioned that student leaders from a variety of backgrounds will also be participating in a forum where the incoming freshmen will have an opportunity to ask them questions via a moderator, who will direct the questions to the most knowledgeable person on the panel. These speakers have all gone through the enrollment process and dealt with issues similar to those new students face today.
“Even students who haven’t been involved in the leadership program in the past are encouraged to participate,” Alsene said. “Whatever it takes to make a positive difference for new students.”
When asked of her opinion about the role, Kelsie Shambaugh, one of the student leaders who will be participating in the forum, responded, “I think it’s fun! It’s great to help new students get oriented. Coming into college from high school was really scary for me. You feel like you don’t know what you’re doing at first, but I came to the tours, and just listening to where everything was and learning about the classes before I started really helped ease the tension.”
Amy Miller, a graduate student at ISU, who created the majority of training material for the guides while interning at ICC, said she focused on giving the freshmen an opportunity to relate to other students.
“It’s really important that we have people who are comfortable with relating to others so when we’re out giving tours, people can talk about experiences they had while attending ICC,” said Miller.
This year’s Fall Orientation is at the East Peoria Campus on August 5, 6 and 7. Check-in is at 4:00 p.m., and the planned activities will come to a close at 7:00 p.m. each day. Orientation will answer many of the questions new students might have regarding the upcoming year. Students can RSVP by calling (309) 694-5560.
ICC Student Elected to International Position
ORLANDO, FL ― With well more than two million members, the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is the largest honor society in the world, and now for just the third time in PTK’s 96-year history, an Illinois Central College student has been elected one of its five international officers.
On April 26 at the annual PTK convention, students from around the country voted to select ICC student Trevor Mileur to hold the office of PTK Division III International Vice President. This will place Mileur in a supervisory role over 12 states and 307 registered PTK chapters across the midwestern US according to the PTK website.
“Trevor ran against five others in this election and was recognized Saturday for winning his election,” said Lauren Hoffert, PTK secretarial director at ICC, during ICC’s Student Recognition Evening on April 30. “Serving as an international officer is the pinnacle of student leadership within Phi Theta Kappa.”
“I think everyone at the convention could tell that he wasn’t just going to focus on one chapter or another but instead would do what was best for all of the students in his region,” said Megan Small, PTK public relations director at ICC, of Mileur’s successful campaign.
Before being elected to this position, Mileur was serving a one-year term a president of PTK’s Illinois region, which contains 57 chapters according to PTK directories.
Mileur’s plans for his term, which began the week he was elected, largely revolve around creating connections between chapters across the midwest by creating more fluid communication between state regions.
“What happens is you create these borders to the regions, you’ve got all these different borders, but with that you create barriers,” said Mileur. “If you can get headquarters, regions and different chapters communicating with each other on the border, you create more of a cohesiveness between the regions and the division, and then you strengthen the division overall.”
Now that Mileur has reached the highest Phi Theta Kappa position that he will ever hold as a student member, he can reflect on how he has come to see the PTK experience as “more than just learning and transfer scholarships.”
“Initially when I joined Phi Theta Kappa it was kind of just a thing to put on my resume,” said Mileur. “Then once I started being around people from Phi Theta Kappa, I realized it’s much more than that. It’s a very diverse family. We all come from different backgrounds and Phi Theta Kappa is this mesh that holds us together. And we move forward and seek out new opportunities and seek out basically to change the world.”
His election comes exactly thirty years after the first time an ICC student was elected to this level of PTK’s administration. In 1984, ICC student Matt Jones was elected to the same position as Mileur, then known as PTK North Central Vice President.
Thirty years later, Jones, a Peoria-area resident and administrator for the State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor, still feels the benefits of his PTK experiences.
“I wouldn’t have my wife without Phi Theta Kappa,” said Jones. “I wouldn’t be the leader that I am in my organization. I have become a prosecutor where I work and in the National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators, where I serve as the national secretary. I wouldn’t be where I am if not for the lessons learned through Phi Theta Kappa.”
“I went in as a young man with a lot of political ambitions who had been involved with student government and a number of other things,” said Jones. “I went in with the attitude that I was going change the organization and what happened was the organization changed me.”
New Guidelines for New Graduates
EAST PEORIA — Illinois Central College will be required to limit the number of individuals present at the 2014 Spring Commencement. In order to do this, ICC will be issuing tickets to each student who will be walking in the ceremony.
“This is the first time that Illinois Central College has combined all of the graduating students from multiple semesters into one commencement ceremony,” said Cheryl Fliege, vice president of marketing and college communications at ICC.
Fliege attributed this recent change to a low attendance in the Winter Commencement in the past few years and to increasing costs to hold multiple commencement ceremonies.
With a change in how commencement ceremonies will be celebrated also brings forth a new obstacle.
“The CougarPlex has certain codes that permit only a certain amount of people in the building. This code is based on the size of the building and the amount of available exits,” Fliege explained. “The current fire marshal wants us to follow this code in order to provide a safe environment for students, guests and staff.”
To achieve this safety, ICC will be giving out tickets to each individual who will be walking in the commencement. To start, each student will receive six tickets in the mail.
“Students aren’t limited to just six tickets, however,” Fliege said. “Starting May 13th, students will be able to request for more tickets in denominations of three. This will work on a first come, first serve basis.”
However, there will be no guarantee that tickets will be available on the 13th.
“In order for us to have tickets to hand out, we need to have individuals send back the tickets that they don’t need. This will allow us to accumulate a pool of tickets to redistribute to those who need more,” explained Chief Public Relations Officer Valerie Welsh.
The second important aspect of this change is that the tickets only guarantee admittance and an open seat up until a specific time.
“At 9:15 a.m., we will start to admit guests in that are requesting entrance to the commencement, even if they don’t have a ticket,” Fliege explained. “The tickets say that they will only be good up until that time and we plan to keep that promise. If a guest were to show up after 9:15, we cannot guarantee that there will be an open seat available.”
On the day of commencement they will also have individuals, including a film crew, focused on making the experience memorable.
“This year, the film crew will be able to livestream the event online. This will allow any friends or family who couldn’t get tickets to watch from the comfort of their own home,” Fliege said.
Viewers who take this option will be able to add a level of ease, as the film crew will do their best to show the best parts of the ceremony, including a close up of each graduate. Guests can find a link to the livestream on the Illinois Central College website.
“Our main priority is to make this a safe and enjoyable commencement,” Welsh said, “As this is a completely new way we are handling this commencement, we are open to feedback on how we can improve the process of informing and guiding students to understand the policies.”
For more information on the new changes, head to the ICC website.
ICC: An International Community
EAST PEORIA ― Illinois Central College, while physically constrained to central Illinois, is expanding its cultural boundaries by creating offices meant to help students learn about the world beyond their native country without having to leave the Academic Building.
On May 7, ICC held a ribbon cutting event for these two new offices . The first was the broadly focused International Center, and the second was the highly specific Chinese Language Institute. They were placed right in the center of what has been known as the student activities hallway, in offices 304A and 304E, respectively.
The International Center is meant to be a social and cultural hub for all things international at ICC while the Chinese Language Institute is specialized to bridge the language and culture gap between the world two largest economies, the US and China.
ICC’s has been building up to this accomplishment with years of international networking with other institutions, like Xiamen Huaxia Vocational College in Xiamen, China, to which ICC students can travel as a part of a study abroad program.
“For more than a decade, ICC has worked to establish and deepen its commitment to international education, and that includes the relationships with sister colleges … ,” said Dr. John Erwin, ICC’s president, before the ribbon cutting. “In addition to these relationships and experiences, our local students really being able to experience international diversity here is critical.”
Here for the ceremony were several of ICC’s international partners and supporters, including Xiaoru Wang, president of Xiamen Huaxia Vocational Technical College. There has been a relationship between her college and ICC since 2006, but this was the first time Wang had visited ICC.
“I am very impressed. I saw your department of agricultural technologies, and I was really impressed with the labs where students can go for help,” said Wang.
One of the individuals instrumental in nurturing ICC’s international programs a Chinese women named Nancy Ou who once lived in Peoria. ICC trustee Sue Portscheller remembered the influence Ou had on ICC’s relationship with overseas colleges.
“Nancy Ow was the visionary who got all of this started about 10 years ago,” said Portscheller. “Because she wanted the college’s leadership to understand the vision of the international component that she wanted to establish, she personally took four trustees over to China to visit the schools.”
Now, both local and international students will have these office resources to learn about each other’s culture.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for students and teachers to learn about how many international students are at ICC,” said Shiho Amano, 25, an ICC student from Japan.
Out of SURSvice
EAST PEORIA ― While students are often at ICC to discover how to start their careers, changes in the state’s retirement system has left some ICC employees with this semester to decide how they want to end theirs.
Late last year, the Illinois General Assembly passed a law, Senate Bill 0001, that was intended to change the pension system for Illinois state employees in a way that would help lower the state’s deficit. An unintended consequence is that the law has been incentivising immediate retirement among state college and university employees.
The State Universities Retirement System (SURS), which manages the pension system for Illinois state colleges, interpreted the law as stating that employees who don’t retire before June 31, 2014 will suffer reductions to the value of their retirement.
Marti Bloodshaw, vice president of human resources at ICC, said that while this does affect ICC employees, she hasn’t seen a rush of people wanting to retire. In fact, at 17, the number of retires so far this year is on track with last year’s numbers.
“There are other factors that make people decide whether or not to retire, regardless of how much money you are going to get,” said Bloodshaw.
There are some employees, though, who are taking this bill seriously. Daine Weber and Tom Pilat are both retiring from the Math, Science and Engineering department after a combined employment of almost 60 years at ICC. Weber is retiring due to the legislation while Pilat is just “65 and ready.”
Now, the state is in discussions to determine is SURS is misinterpreting the way the law affects state pension.
ICC is hosting SURS consultations on May 13 in 213B to help employees determine their retirement options.
Meanwhile, Bloodshaw suggests students “invest immediately in a 401(k) plan or stock or something while you are young.”
50 Years of Community Classrooms
EAST PEORIA —This year, the Illinois Community College Act (formerly the Junior College Act) will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. In 1964, the groundwork was set for a piece of legislation that would forever change the landscape of higher education within Illinois. The Illinois Community College Act gave communities the opportunity to create an institution that could prepare students for the rigors of post-secondary life.
The ten counties that represent Illinois Central College voted in 1966 to establish the college.
“In 1966, the year after the Community College Act of 1965, [Illinois Central College was] established. We then opened our doors in 1967,” explained Dr. John Erwin, president of ICC.
“The very first and primary reason for the Community College Act, on the state level, was to establish the legal basis for a community college,” explained Erwin, “Then, on the local level, each district decided if they wanted to build a community college,”
Once passed, the act split Illinois into thirty-nine different districts. Today, there are forty-eight state community colleges in Illinois.
“The Illinois Community College Act of 1965 has a wealth of information,” Erwin said, “Much of our practices, our procedures, our bylaws, are all an outgrowth of that 1965 law,”
These laws helped establish the ICC Board of Trustees, the financial practices of the college, and much of the structural organization that keeps ICC running.
“There’s a real practical side to it,” said Erwin, “as [the law also provides] revenue for the colleges that were going to be established,”
Each district was able to take property tax from the community in order to fund their operations. At the same time, the state had promised to give money to each community college. In the years since 1965, the state has lowered its payments to community colleges, but the property tax rate has stayed the same since the act was enforced.
Illinois has a long history with pioneering community colleges. In 1901, Joliet Junior College was formed as the first community college in the nation. After World War II, returning veterans wanted to utilize their benefits to gain an education.
“Universities couldn’t handle the enrollment,” Erwin explained, “President Harry Truman formed the Truman Commission shortly after the rush of G.I.’s. One of their recommendations was to build more community colleges,”
In the 1960’s, there was civil unrest in Illinois. This further pushed Illinois to create some order in higher education.
“The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the backdrop of the Illinois Community College Act of 1965. [Those groups] wanted more access to more people, and they saw community college as an avenue to provide that,” Erwin said.
Illinois now represents the third largest community college system within the nation.
“The only two states that have larger systems are Texas and California,” Erwin said.
Boyd Moving On
EAST PEORIA — Michael Boyd, PhD. is currently a dean here at ICC, but like so many students before him, he is preparing to transfer to another college to follow the opportunities that await him there.
Boyd was a teacher at Morton High School when he first got connected to ICC back in the early 2000’s. He worked with the college as a dual-credit teacher from his position there in Morton.
In 2004, ICC began hiring him to teach here part-time, and then in 2006, he was brought onboard as full-time ICC faculty to teach reading and english classes among others.
Boyd continued to work his way up the administrative ladder, and with his ambition and enthusiastic personality, he ascended quickly.
His next advancement came in 2009 when, according to ICC’s human resources, he was among the college’s handful of Six Sigma Black Belts, who were tasked with making internal systems more efficient.
Finally, he was chosen to become the interim dean of English and language studies when the position became vacant in 2011, which preceded his permanent promotion to the position in 2013.
Now, Boyd has accepted a position as the chief academic officer at Kankakee Community College in Kankakee, IL. His last day at ICC will be May 16, and he starts at KCC on the 19.
As a dean, Boyd has had some endearing qualities that left a mark in the memory of most anyone around him.
“His way of dealing with student concerns,” said Jamie Jackson, administrative assistant in the English and language studies department. “He makes that student feel on the same level as him, and I think sometimes they leave not knowing what their problem was when they came in here because he makes them feel so good. And he’s always saying ‘you come back and let me know how it goes.’”
“He’s just stood out with his personality,” said Edie Rovner, administrative assistant in the English and language studies department. “He’s just got the fire in him that this is what he wants, and he’s very good about even sitting here with Jamie and I and talking with us about things and getting our point of view about stuff instead of saying ‘this is the way it’s going to be.’ He doesn’t do that; he talks to us.”
In his eight years, Dr. Boyd and his signature goatee have helped to better ICC and for that, students are grateful.
Another Golden Apple
EAST PEORIA — For the second time in as many years, an ICC student has been awarded a coveted scholarship from the Chicago-based Golden Apple Foundation.
This year, ICC student Hannah Sauder was one of only three community college students in Illinois to receive one of these Golden Apple Scholarships, which are awarded only to education majors who show great potential to teach in Illinois.
After being raised and homeschooled her whole life in nearby Roanoke, Sauder first enrolled here at ICC last spring.
“I’ve loved ICC, and I just felt like I jumped right in. I’ve had a great time getting to know different people … people that I would never talk to otherwise,” said Sauder.
Last fall, Sauder took the first steps towards getting this scholarship after a representative from the Golden Apple Foundation visited her Education 111 class here on campus.
“That’s when I became more informed and interested about it, and then after that I signed up for it and a few weeks later they sent me a package in the mail that had everything that you needed to [apply] for it,” said Sauder.
Receiving this scholarship puts Sauder in a prestigious group of people, but she credits someone else for the achievement.
“I think believing in God has always given me a deeper appreciation for humans … Part of my passion for being able to help open the world to children comes from Him. To me, without Him I am nothing,” said Sauder.
Receiving this scholarship means that Sauder will spend one month this summer in the Chicago area helping in inner-city schools by day and studying at Depaul University in the evenings. This is only the second year that Illinois community college students have been given this opportunity.
Pat Kilduff of the Golden Apple Foundation said, “We would love to have the kind of relationship we have with ICC with all the Illinois community colleges.”
Sauder plans to transfer to ISU in the spring.
No Smoking on Campus, Period.
SPRINGFIELD — Thanks to a piece of state legislation, the majority of Illinois college students are about to be given a breath of fresh air, even though some would rather have smoke.
In a bill that has been more than a year in the making, the Illinois General Assembly is on the verge of making it illegal to smoke tobacco or other carcinogenic products anywhere on the property of Illinois Central College or any other state-funded college or university effective July 1, 2015.
The bill, SB 2202: Smoke-Free Campus Act, has just recently passed the House and needs one more approval vote from the Senate after the House made minor changes to the bill.
The bill cites “scientific evidence that secondhand smoke causes serious diseases, including lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis and asthma.” Furthermore, it states that “separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate secondhand smoke exposure.”
The text of the bill reasons that a smoking ban will effectively “reduce secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmokers as well as prepare students for the workplace and ensure a healthy environment for all campus communities.”
While ICC already has strict policies that limit smoking to a handful of designated smoking areas, this new law will eliminate those outdoor spaces. With the Smoke-Free Campus Act, it will also be illegal to smoke in personal vehicles that are parked on college property. These changes allow no opportunities for individuals to smoke at any time in any location.
Seven of the eight state representatives that fall within ICC’s district voted against the act. One of them, Rep. David Leitch said he felt that colleges “are perfectly capable of making decisions like this one without the General Assembly telling them what to do.”
This isn’t the first time that ICC has been presented with a totally smoke-free policy. Back in 2009, the college tried to completely remove tobacco use from its campuses, but social resistance and enforcement issues soon led to the softening of the policy and the creation of the current designated campus smoking areas.
“The challenge with any of these type of things, again, is enforcement,” said Bruce Budde, ICC’s vice president of administration and finance, “so we need to know how our campus police will enforce ‘no smoking on campus’ and how will that work?”
ICC employees will be affected by this law just as much as students, and Budde said that to help people make the transition, ICC may offer services to help individuals stop smoking.
“It’s our responsibility to our student population and our employees to get the information, get fully informed to make the right decision and hopefully help them along the path to quit smoking if that’s their interest,” said Budde.
Tom Larson, chief of the ICC police department, said that he didn’t “anticipate much push-back” to the new ban.
“It’s not a college policy, we’re talking state law, which is like every other state law,” said Larson. “People may not like a particular law or its motivations, but if it’s the law, I think people understand that it’s our job to enforce it as police officers.”
Budde still had his concerns regarding the enforcement of the ban, especially keeping people from smoking inside their own parked vehicles.
“At what point are you trying to get into somebody’s car and say ‘you shouldn’t be smoking?’ We don’t want to be the ‘smoking police’ either,” said Budde.
What Quinn’s Visit Means for ICC
EAST PEORIA — Illinois Governor Pat Quinn made a stop at Illinois Central College recently to announce that the state was investing in ICC, but the real impact of the investment was never clarified.When the governor spoke on April 8 in the Student Lounge of the East Peoria Campus facing a crowd of students, faculty, staff, and reporters, he broke the news that the state was investing $2.6 million in ICC as part of his $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! state construction program. He said that it would be used to build a “24,000 square-foot addition” at ICC.
“When it’s built, this institution will particularly focus on – and it’s a large addition to the school – space for truck driver training, auto body training, and an alternative energy sources laboratory,” said Quinn. “… we want to make sure that we really take good care of all our natural resources, so there are programs at this institution that really teach folks what we can do in all of those areas to create jobs and to be well trained. Whether its solar or wind or geothermal or whatever the case may be. All of those opportunities and skills can be obtained right here.”
It was apparent that Quinn was describing a “green” construction project of some sort, but what few knew was that he was referring to a project called the Sustainability Center that ICC had been planning for several years.
According to Troy Hattermann, director of ICC facilities planning and design, the Sustainability Center will be built on the east side of College Drive near the Route 24 entrance to the East Peoria Campus, and when constructed, it will house many of the programs now housed in Dirksen Hall, including architecture and heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).
The center was already scheduled to be built in the next 18 months, so there’s no question that it is being built. However, the college does have questions regarding Quinn’s monetary “gift.”
According to Bruce Budde, ICC’s vice president of administration and finance, the state already allotted ICC $2.65 million for the same project about a year ago, so it now has to be determined if Quinn simply gave the college money it already had or if this is “new” money.
There was one more thing that Quinn left for students before he departed, a message.
“The highest office in a democracy is the office of citizen,” said Quinn. “Democracies only work if we have lots of people involved. It’s not a spectator sport. We are the government; the government isn’t some alien force “up there.” We’re the first democracy on Earth, the best democracy, and it only goes as far as our education takes us. In order to have a good democracy, we have to have a great education.”
OPINION: Butting in on Potential Smoking Ban for ICC
As stated in “No Smoking on Campus, Period,” both the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives passed the Illinois General Assembly’s Smoke-Free Campus Act, which will make it illegal to smoke tobacco or any other carcinogenic products in any place on the Illinois Central College campus, and every other state-funded college or university campus. The law will eliminate the designated smoking areas around the outside of our campus and ban smoking in vehicles parked on college property, allowing “no opportunities for individuals to smoke at any time in any location.”
My name is Richard. I smoke cigarettes. My current go-to pack is Camel Turkish Royals. I, like many, enjoy my smoke breaks in between campus responsibilities. You guys probably assume I’m pretty riled up about this bill. I’m not.
I’m into civil disobedience. I believe Dr. King and Co. set a good example, disobeying laws they believed to be unjust and willing to accept the consequences for their actions. No matter how tyrannical, immoral or laughable you perceive a law to be, you are forced to play the game of adhering to that rule of law, to society’s standards.
It doesn’t bother me to break the No Smoking rule every once in a while, to be civilly disobedient, but I don’t suppose everybody operates that way. So for the sake of those who don’t, I’ll choose a side and make a brief attempt at making its case.
This Smoke-Free Campus Act thing is bullshit.
I won’t try to tackle all the civil liberty infringements on smokers in the United States. The focus shall be on Illinois Central College and its smoking population.
Let’s look at secondhand smoke, that creeping, ubiquitous killer of innocent souls. The Smoke-Free Campus Act asserts that “separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate secondhand smoke exposure.” Sure.
Plus, there is “conclusive evidence” that secondhand smoke kills around 42,000 nonsmoking adults a year. Okay.
I have no philosophical counterpoint, and I imagine at least some of the evidence is sufficient. Is it not pretty clear, though, that without venturing into a designated smoking area, nonsmokers aren’t going to inhale a life threatening amount of smoke? Why, if smokers are expected to migrate to one of the few areas where our campus says we can smoke, can a nonsmoker not simply move out of the way of nearby smoke, or make the decision to not walk where he knows smoking is prevalent? This could be a team effort, guys. We just sort of have to avoid each other.
Let’s not forget we’re dealing with humans, either. When have total-bans on anything worked?
Alcohol during Prohibition? Guns in Chicago? Cell phones on the road?
For the issue at hand, we can look at University of Minnesota Duluth, who banned smoking altogether in 2008, and has not only had a 200% increase in tickets issued for smoking, but had to hire “at least a third” more of what was their custodial staff to pick up “cigarette butts in select areas, including University bathrooms and closets” (umdstatesman.edu). I feel that’s where ICC would be heading with the bill in place – more tickets and more secret smoking locations to clean, creating unnecessary stress for the smokers and staff alike.
I believe the Smoke-Free Campus Act isn’t only undemocratic and uncool, but almost sure to be ineffective. To go on smoking in a smoke-free campus may seem immature and spiteful, but I submit it is the post-conventional, morally sound route to take.
Are we not tuition paying, law-abiding cool people just wanting an education like everybody else? Do we not deserve the privilege to do what we want if we follow the rules?
I don’t like to toss around “freedom” and “rights” very often, but damn it, that’s what they’re taking, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to try and take those things back.
What the Tech? : Smoking
When the Smoke Free Illinois Act took effect in 2008, Illinois smokers were forced to take their habit outside. Shortly after this law was passed, Illinois saw a dramatic increase in personal vaporizers, or e-cigarettes. What makes e-cigs popular is the lack of additive ingredients found in regular cigarettes, and the release of water vapor over smoke. E-cigs work by heating a liquid substance into a smokeable vapor. Users can mix their own liquids with flavor and their own level of nicotine content in order to help them lower their addiction to the chemical.
There has been much debate on whether or not e-cigs are safer to smoke than cigarettes. Some studies have shown that the e-cig vapor and cigarette smoke produce the same amount of mutation within respiratory cells. However, other studies have shown that the lack of chemicals present within e-cigs allows them to produce a purer, safer vapor. But one thing is consistent throughout all of the studies; the data is considered inconclusive.
In light of this, Illinois Central College students represent a diverse community of users of both traditional cigarettes and personal vaporizers. With the rapid growth of the e-cig market and the passage of the Smoke Free Illinois Act, institutions like ICC have had to change their policy on smoking on campus. In addition to the proposed state ban on traditional smoking, ICC may consider prohibiting personal vaporizers, as well. The question is, how will this affect smokers who had considered switching over to e-cigs as a safer, more convenient alternative?
Remembering Prema Dua
PEORIA ― In mid-February, Illinois Central College lost one of its own when Prema Dua, a long-time professor at ICC, passed away while visiting her home country of India.
Born Prema Bhalla in Punjab, India on Aug. 16, 1944, she moved to the US in 1968 after receiving her master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Punjab. She lived much of her life in Peoria, where she raised three daughters with her husband.
Then in the spring of 1989, Dua began teaching at ICC as adjunct faculty. She then moved to a full-time teaching position in 1998. After teaching psychology and sociology at ICC for more than two decades, Dua retired at the end of 2012.
In late January, Dua transversed the Atlantic for one of her periodic trips to India. Within days of arriving, she was hospitalized for an unidentified lung infection that would lead to her passing.
“She was, I think, very proud of her heritage,” said ICC professor Stan Mendenhall. “She had family who was still in India; in fact, that’s where she was — she was visiting family when she got ill and ended up passing away.”
According to Edward Abplanalp, professor at ICC and close friend to Dua, this was a particularly saddening way for Dua to lose her life because she had retired a bit early so she could travel more.
Abplanalp will remember her for all of the small acts of kindness that she showed him over the years.
“When I first moved here, I needed to buy a lawn mower for my new house in Germantown Hills, so she and her husband brought over a lawn mower. It’s stuff like that … she was very giving,” said Abplanalp. “She was Hindu and believed in the divinity in everything. She believed every person was a god, which is pretty remarkable because there are some pretty shitty people out there, but she would try to see goodness in everybody.”
She will be missed by her friends and former colleagues in the Social Sciences department at ICC.
“She was very well known and very well liked [at ICC],” said Mendenhall. She was highly regarded in the department and was considered to be a very kind, caring person. And even though I didn’t know her well, I could just see that when I talked with her.”
“She was just here a few months ago for the winter potluck in the Social Sciences lounge,” said Abplanalp. “She was here for that and she was healthy and dynamic and laughing and all that … We just can’t believe she died. It’s heartbreaking.”
Governor Pat Quinn Announces Investment at ICC
EAST PEORIA — On Tuesday April 8, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced that the state is giving Illinois Central College $2.6 million to build a 24,000 square-foot addition to the college.
This investment in the college is funded by the Governor’s Illinois Jobs Now! program and will add “space for truck drive training, auto body training and an alternative energy sources laboratory.” Also, there will be improvements to current areas of the college. ICC will be contributing $877,900 to the renovation bring the total to $3.5 million.
Along with the improvement, the Governor addressed his intention to increase the Monetary Award Program (MAP) funds over the next five years, doubling the current amount.
USA VS. Russia: A Rematch of Two Long-time Heavyweight Rivals
Just a few weeks after the Winter Olympics came to a close in Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Crimea, Ukraine. Considering Ukraine is an ally of the USA, this caused many red flags to be raised by our government. Shortly after, President Obama made a statement in regards to the intrusion by Russia, his disagreeing assertive tone clearly reflected his objection to the invasion. It is eminent that the USA and Russia are two “National Powerhouses,” which live by the philosophy “their way or the highway”.
A comparable symbol that comes to mind in regards to these two nations would be two cocky boxers. In their minds they are the very best, and feel threatened by anybody who attempts to take their belt away from them. Well, ever since the beginning of the Cold War in 1945, USA and Russia, then known as the Soviet Union, have been trying to claim that belt.
But this fight has turned into more than just a battle between these two ever since the invention of the nuclear atomic bomb in 1945. Today the USA and Russia are the worldwide leaders in production of nuclear weapons. These weapons of mass destruction don’t just affect the two cocky boxers anymore; it is now affecting everybody in attendance.
Some attempts to establish peace between the two were made by propaganda through sports films. One example was in 1985, when an unlikely American boxer Rocky Balboa made a push for peace in the film Rocky IV.
The film begins by portraying a young 6’5, 261 pound Soviet Union Boxer, Ivan Drago. However, Drago had yet to fight a credible opponent and decides to challenge Balboa. But Balboa declines his initial challenge and claims he is retired. This irritates Balboa’s friend, former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, who seems to still be living in the past.
Creed decides to challenge Drago to a fight in America after threatening to knock him out in a press conference. This infuriated Drago, and when the bell dinged at the beginning of the first round all of America saw that anger come out. So much anger and remarkable power behind his punch, Drago literally beat Creed to death in the second round. As Balboa ran to Creed’s limp body lying in the ring, Drago says the most evil and deviant thing possible “If he dies, he dies.”
After witnessing his best friend killed right in front of his eyes, Balboa felt that it was his obligation to fight Drago. But this time due to Drago’s safety concerns in the USA, it was on Russian land in the capital of Moscow on Christmas Day.
Balboa ignored the politics and focused on his main objective, defeating Drago. As the two met in at center ring the differential in size was apparent, Balboa was not only outweighed by 45 pounds but also surrendered seven inches to Drago. Very few believed in Balboa, but all that mattered was him believing in himself. The first round of the match went exactly as everyone expected. Drago landed heavy bombs on Balboa, looking as if Drago could be on his way to causing another death. But in the second round Drago received an unexpected cut over his eye, proving that he was indeed human. The gritty American wasn’t going to go down without a fight, hanging around and exchanging blows with the Soviet all the way into final round 15.
Even more remarkable than Balboa still standing was the political change in the atmosphere, “Rocky” was being chanted throughout the arena. Through the first 14 rounds Drago seemed to be winning the fight overall, meaning that Balboa had to do the improbable and knock Drago out. With the support not only from Americans but Soviets as well, it seemed to light a deep desire within Balboa.
Heart seemed to be the only thing keeping Balboa on his feet, which proved to be enough as he delivered a combination of powerful blows to Drago’s head, knocking him down and for a ten count. Balboa barely able to stand threw his gloves high into the air in disbelief of his improbable victory.
“I came here tonight, I didn’t know what to expect. I seen a lot of people hate me and I didn’t know what to feel about that so I guess they didn’t like much nothing either. During this fight, I’ve seen a lot of changing, the way you feel about me, and in the way I felt about you. In here, there were two guys killing each other, but I guess that’s better than 20 million. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!” said Balboa.
Although Balboa’s speech wasn’t the most articulate, his overall point is heroic. This movie played a vital role in forming partial peace between the USA and Russia. It seems with the recent occurrences in Crimea, that we may be straying down the long path of war once again.
Sports do not always just represent a game or match taking place, sometimes there is a much deeper meaning than what the naked eye sees. Maybe a new hero like Balboa will emerge from the sports propaganda shadows to reinstate peace. Until then we can only hope that there will be a better solution for the opposing disagreements rather than nuclear warfare.
New VP of Students
EAST PEORIA — Students once again have an executive-level representative within the Illinois Central College administration after being without one since November.
During spring break, the college officially made its decision to hire Tracy Morris to fill the vacant position of ICC vice president of student services.
Guy Goodman, the last person to hold the position, left the position on Oct. 31 of last year, and ICC had been searching for the best replacement since.
After initially receiving dozens of applicants, some of which were from current ICC employees, the administration narrowed the field down to three candidates for the position by January according to Marti Bloodsaw, vice president of human resources at ICC.
Morris is coming to ICC after spending the last decade about 50 miles northeast of ICC as an administrator at Illinois Valley Community Colleges. It was during her time at IVCC that she first became acquainted with ICC.
“Being two nearby contiguous districts, really gave IVCC and ICC the opportunity to know a lot about what each other does,“ said Morris. “So when this position came open, that was one of the things that really interested me because I’d seen the great things that ICC does.”
Morris highly values the benefits she received from community college as a student years ago, and now she wants to repay that same benefit to current students at ICC.
“The most important thing for me is for students to know that student services, whether they’re academic services or student support services, we are all here to make them successful at ICC. I have absolutely no doubt about that – that everybody here is on board and dedicated to student success – I’ve seen that already,” said Morris. “I just want to be apart of that team and I don’t want students to be afraid to come up and say ‘hello.’”
ICC’s department vice presidents are the highest tier of ICC’s administrators. Of this influential group, the vice president of student services is the only direct liaison for students. Morris’s office is L221A.
Dr. Morris, welcome to the ICC family.
Trustee Election: What Happened
EAST PEORIA ― Every year, Illinois Central College students elect one of their own to serve on the ICC board of trustees, the group of eight people who truly decide the future of ICC. In the past, this election has, for better or worse, gone largely unnoticed by the student body. This year, though, has been different. For the first time, the election had to be redone. So let’s answer the question on many students’ minds — what happened?
If you don’t already know, I work for the Harbinger — you can find my name on the staff column. I am also currently (for a few more weeks) president of ICC’s Student Government Association. I was right amidst the events of the student trustee election, and while it is not my desire to upset anyone, I want to share with students why we had to hold the election a second time.
The official statement from the college was “The integrity of the voting process was compromised in the Student Trustee election, and due to limitations of the technology utilized, valid and invalid votes could not be determined. A new election will be held on Wednesday, March 26 and Thursday, March 27, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Atrium on the East Peoria Campus will serve as the designated polling location, and all current ICC students are eligible to vote in this election.”
I have heard student speculating about what “this person” or “that person” did that brought about the need for a redo, and I just want to start off by saying that I don’t believe it was anyone’s fault. There is nothing to blame on anyone and just many things to learn.
The issue that arose was this: the rules that ICC had in place that were supposed to insure that every candidate had equal opportunity to win were not clear or up-to-date. The guidelines would have been quite effective when they were written years ago, but they were never brought up to 21-century standards.
Not only could the rules be interpreted differently but they had some very critical “loop holes.” Each candidate was essentially operating by a different standard. This created an unintentionally uneven playing field that made it impossible to determine a winner in the election; a democratic ritual that is meant to be the epitome of equality in our society.
In our world today, though, elections aren’t often revered in the same honorable light that once lit the passion of our forefathers. It is all too common for us to now lose faith in this light of liberty with the slightest hint of corruption, injustice, or even simple unfairness.
I want to use this election as an example for why we all must not only be involved with elections but also care about them and not lose faith in them so easily.
When there is something in our society and, more specifically, our system of government that we feel is not proper, walking by with a passive feeling of silent dissatisfaction and distrust is not a way to “move on.” Our freedom is based around not only a centuries-old set of words on a page, but also the idea that we expect one another to stand up for the equality that we all-too-often take for granted.
That initial trustee election was both unfair and unpleasant, but we made it right in the end by recognizing that there were issues and addressing those issues no matter how uncomfortable the intermediate steps were. Now, we not only have assured the integrity of this election but also that of all future elections. We have changed things!
We are at ICC to better ourselves, and what better way than to foster the potential within us to truly be apart of our freedom and not just observers of it.
Tuition Hike Unrelated to Low Enrollment
EAST PEORIA ― Illinois Central College has continued its long trend of annually raising tuition even as enrollment has hit its lowest point in 40 years, but the college stated that enrollment isn’t what necessitated the price hike.
On March 20, the ICC board of trustees officially voted (6 – 2) to increase tuition from the 2013-2014 rate of $115 per credit hour to $125 per credit hour beginning this fall.
This is as enrollment has fallen to 10,060 students this semester. This is down from the recent peak of 13,078 in fall 2010 and the lowest semester head count at ICC since the academic year of 1973-1974.
One could draw a correlation between the drop in enrollments and rising tuition. However, Dr. William Tammone, Provost of ICC, said that the tuition is not what is causing the dip in admissions.
“Being an open-door institution, our [enrollment] numbers rise and fall primarily based on the economy. We adjust by either increasing or decreasing our hiring of adjunct faculty,” said Tammone. So in a sense, a drop in enrollment – like we’re seeing now – does impact the amount of revenue coming to the college through tuition, but at the same time our costs are lower because we have to offer fewer class sections and therefore hire fewer faculty to teach those classes.”
“What’s impacting tuition much more is the decreasing state support that we’ve been receiving over the years,” said Tammone. “Everywhere across the country, states are not supporting higher education like they used to. And unfortunately, the only way to offset that decrease in state support is by increasing revenue elsewhere, and the only other options we have for increasing revenue would be property taxes or tuition.”
Illinois community colleges were originally designed to be funded equally by state funds, property taxes and tuition. However, the state has slowly lessened its contributions since 2001.
“Over time, the amount of reimbursement from the state has moved, obviously, from 33 percent at its high to now down to just under 14 percent,” said Bruce Budde, executive vice president for administration and finance at ICC.
Budde went on to say that if the state began paying their full share, ICC’s tuition could be lowered to around $75.
In the 13 years since the state began to fall short on funding, tuition has increased 281 percent. Tammone insists that these increases aren’t done lightly, though.
“The board of trustees is always very rightfully concerned about increasing tuition,” said Tammone. “They don’t want tuition to be an obstacle to higher ed, but there are ongoing costs that we need to be concerned about to ensure that students are not only getting an education of any kind but a quality education that prepares them for today’s world.”
Spring Break Brings in Community
EAST PEORIA ― Most students and faculty spent spring break away from Illinois Central College, but while they were gone, several groups from the community used the time to come hold events on the East Peoria Campus that brought a variety of area youth to ICC.
The first community event actually began on Friday March 14 just hours before many began their spring break.
Over the course of 12 hours that were distributed between that day and the next, Illinois Grade School Music Association (I.G.S.M.A) Division 2 held their annual Solo and Ensemble Contest, which, according to Cindy Bridges, state advisor for I.G.S.M.A, brought about 3,000 young, area musicians to ICC.
To listen to a few of the performances from the I.G.S.M.A. contest and to see accompanying photos, check out the content page on iccharbinger.com.
Another event that brought area youth on campus was the Tazewell County Teen Conference 2014 on March 18. This all-day affair, facilitated by the Tazewell County Health Department (TCHD), gave junior high and high school students from Tazewell County the opportunity to come learn about an assortment of subjects, which range from public speaking to drug awareness.
The TCHD works with the Tazewell County Youth Board, which is comprised of area student leaders, to plan the events for the 500 or so attendees. One of their main goals is to set good role models for the kids.
“We are representatives for the youth for different schools to show an example of what being drug-free and alcohol-free can do for you in life,” said Youth Board president Emma Sauder, who plans to attend- ICC this fall.
ICC has provided the space for the conference every year for the last twelve years.
“ICC’s been great. They are great to work with,” said Sara Sparkman, TCHD’s communications manager. “It is good for the kids to come here and see the college to become familiar with it before they think about going to college.”
The last community event that occurred over spring break was the American Welding Society, Peoria Section, District 13’s annual welding competition on March 20 at ICC’s East Peoria welding lab.
Every year since 2006, area tradesmen and students, come here to put their metal welding skills to the test for a chance at winning one of a variety of prizes. This year there were 28 competitors.
Austin Cobb from Limestone High School won the high school section, and Dustin Cart won the college-level section. Cart, a Limestone High School senior, beat out two ICC students and five from Midwest Technical Institute to win the college-level section as a high school student.
Arbor Hall Update
PEORIA — In the last few weeks, North Campus’ Arbor Hall has been stripped of much of its old construction – both inside and outside, and one can begin to see the form of what will, later this year, be a new hub for ICC’s student services in Peoria.
The north and south exterior walls of Arbor have been removed by the Peoria Metro Construction as part of the $5.9 million contract that they received to do the work. They also have gutted most of the old interiors to make room for some drastic changes to the building’s layout and function.
After the remodeling is finished, Arbor will not only have a variety of student service offices, but will also have greatly modernized architecture.
“It should look pretty neat. It should look very modern and clean and functional. So I think students will appreciate it,” said Kevin Roberts, director of construction and energy management at ICC. “Departments are working out here now – we have people who are doing all those services – but you might have to hunt them down or find where their office is. [But with the new design] you just go to one place and you should get it all taken care of.”
Arbor is scheduled to be remodeled by Oct. 6 and in use by spring 2015.
Middle School Musicians Converge on ICC
EAST PEORIA ― As spring break began Friday and college students vacated Illinois Central College, a smaller-statured group of students were just starting a musical weekend invasion of the East Peoria Campus.
Large masses of children, many of whom were carrying instrument cases, could be seen arriving in school buses on campus beginning around 2:00 p.m. Friday afternoon. They were here for this year’s Illinois Grade School Music Association (I.G.S.M.A.) District 2 Solo and Ensemble Contest, where grade school students from nine surrounding counties gathered to demonstrate their musical abilities.
The events on Friday were scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. According to I.G.S.M.A. documents, these events included 840 separate performances from more than 19 different schools. Then another 540 performances from yet another group of schools were scheduled for Saturday. According to Cindy Bridges, state advisor for I.G.S.M.A., the contest would bring about 3,000 grade-schoolers to ICC.
“It all junior high kids, and they can perform piano solos, orchestra events, ensembles or solos, vocal ensembles, or band ensembles,” said Bridges.
Bridges explained that I.G.S.M.A. districts don’t always have a single place like ICC where they can meet in mass.
“We’re fortunate we have ICC or we would be doing little contests in two or three different schools,” said Bridges. “If we didn’t have ICC we would be stuck.”
ICC doesn’t charge the I.G.S.M.A. for the use of the Academic Building. ICC provides the space as a service to the community and has been for at least 24 years according to Tony Jones, ICC’s band director and coordinator for ICC’s contributions to the event.
“Try and find another spot to have 16 rooms of contests and 30 – maybe 40 – rooms for home rooms,” said Jones. “You can’t do it; it can’t be done. So we do a good thing for them.”
Although it doesn’t charge for the venue space, ICC does benefit from the presence of the kids on campus.
“We make a lot of money from those kids going to the cafeteria and buying cheese fries,” said Jones, “so it’s good for the music department and it does do something for the college – number one, exposure [to the students].”
The event was officially called a contest, and many called it a competition, but the students were really only competing against themselves. After each individual or group performs, a designated judge would give them a score on a 1-3 scale (one being the best rating). Performers who get a “one” or a “two” are awarded a medal after the contests conclude.
“Each solo performer has their own judge’s sheet.” said Bridges, “It shows how old they are and how long they’ve been playing, and the judge kind of takes that into consideration [when rating the performance].”
Jones said the he sees it as a great opportunity for the kids to get to see the ICC campus and, more importantly, to enjoy music with their peers.
“It provides us with a little bit of income from the cafeteria, but mostly it’s a place for students to come and be musical. It’s great to see these kids so excited about playing with each other.”
Fire Alarm Wasn’t False
EAST PEORIA ― Hundreds of students got to see Illinois Central College’s emergency alert system in action on Wednesday as the Academic Building was briefly evacuated due to a possible fire, and while no signs of fire could be seen, there was a legitimate hazard to ICC property.
After the automated alarm tones and evacuation message began sounding around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, it was still only moments before the courtyard was filled with masses of students, faculty, and staff, all waiting to hear that it was safe to return inside from the cold outdoors.
Then at approximately 12:50 p.m., the words “all clear” could be heard from the speakers on the building’s exterior. The whole event was over without the slightest smell of fire or sight of smoke, but there was actually a legitimate reason for the alarm.
According to ICC Facilities Operations, an electric motor in one of the Academic Building’s old rooftop air conditioning units overheated and began to produce smoke that was detected by a built-in smoke detector.
“It was not a false alarm by any stretch of the imagination,” said Jeff LaGrow, ICC’s supervisor of building maintenance systems. “Basically, [the alarm system] worked exactly like it was supposed to. We took care of it. It never became an issue because [the rooftop unit] shut down fast enough that it didn’t create a fire.”
LaGrow said that that particular rooftop unit is near the 325 office block of the Academic Building and is among a group of units to be replaced this summer. Meanwhile, the unit is receiving a new electric motor.
“The students did a good job evacuating; everybody got out pretty quickly. It all worked pretty well.” said Tom Larson, ICC’s police chief. “I was very impressed how everybody took it seriously and evacuated.”
What the Tech: Weather Underground App
Central Illinois has finally reached record numbers of snowfall for this year, or at least it feels like it. Unfortunately, there will be days where spring starts to rear its shy head before winter comes right back and piles us with snow. (I’m looking at you, week of February 24th!) One issue with unfortunate weather is how it will affect travel. ICC students come from all across the Central Illinois area, and with that comes completely different ways of handling snow removal from roads. Luckily, the new app Weather Underground, available free from both the Android and Apple App Stores, has the perfect solution for weather conundrums.
Weather Underground works by funneling local crowd reports of weather conditions into one streamlined application. This allows users to easily find what is happening within their area in terms of precipitation, temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, hazardous road conditions, or if the sun is shining bright. This works in two ways, radio and through the application itself.
Radio reports are provided by official weather services, airports, and individuals who own personal weather stations sponsored by Weather Underground. The application itself allows users to respond to the accuracy of a weather report. For instance, the application will tell me that the sky is clear, and I can verify that report or counter it with a factual description from a drop down list of provided conditions. The second option the application allows is for users to report road conditions by their location. The GPS functions on phones allows for this seamless integration and allows for other users to see where road dangers will arise on their trips.
Of course, the application leaves a lot of the details out of the picture in terms of quantitative weather analysis. However, this lack of depth in the application allows users to get their feet wet in being amateur meteorologists while also giving them accurate reports of conditions around them. My one drawback from this part of the application is the user base. As of this print, there have not been many crowd sponsored reports in the Central Illinois area besides my own and maybe one or two others. This leaves a lot to be desired in terms of its proper use. However, the relatively young age of this application can be blamed for its current lack of popularity.
The application itself is streamlined to the max and provides a key to the symbolized representations of the weather. This is a great addition because it allows the user to easily find the information they are looking for without having to spend time scrolling through the screen. The application also includes a setting to have your choice of the aforementioned the weather stations play in the background as the application is open.
Overall, this application provides an interesting avenue for anyone to be a amateur weatherman or weather woman while still giving the user appropriate and accurate weather reports to digest. One final note of warning, the application does not work so great while not connected to Wi-Fi, but as I only tested the application on an IPhone 4S with 3G from Sprint, it may perform differently on another device. As a free app, Weather Underground is definitely worth a try, especially in weather crazy Central Illinois.
What the Tech: Paper by Facebook
In the age of technology, style and function can easily be mixed together with a few lines of computer code. Take Facebook for example, a very popular social network used by millions of people across the country. Facebook is constantly updating their website in order to be more functional to the user but also streamlined and stylish to appeal to those who enjoy their technology to be clean. The same design philosophy has been seen in Facebook’s new social networking app Paper, available exclusively for the Apple App store at no cost. Paper’s goal is to create a new social networking experience based on fluidity and style, but does so at a loss of user interface and functionality.
Paper takes cues from the popular news app Flipboard and applies it straight to the Facebook model. The first time you launch the application, you are tasked with assigning “Sections” to your main board to sit alongside your News Feed. These sections range from photojournalism, cooking ideas, news, technology, business and so on.
Each sections includes posts from pages that represent the respective section. This allows the user to comment and like posts from pages that they don’t even follow, but would be interested to see because of similar interests in other pages.
In each section, you can slide through different stories on the bottom side of the screen while the top side of the screen flashes through different “Top Stories”. This duality makes the application very pretty to watch in action. By sliding the upper portion of the screen, you can move to and from the different sections.
However, these sections can’t be modified in any way, which leaves the choices of which stories you can see to become very limited. Another design quirk is that there are a finite amount of sections, around 20 or so, but only 10 can be displayed at one time in your main board. With an inability to change what stories you can see in each section, and a limit on what types of stories you can see, Paper already has me feeling constrained.
One of my favorite features is best used in the news Sections. When you want to see a post, you can “flip” it up to take up the entire screen. This allows you to read the full post and comment on or like the post. If there is a link that leads directly to a news article, it will have a thumbnail representing the article. You can then flip the thumbnail up, and it will open up the article in an in-application web browser. To go back, simply flip the stories and posts back down.
All of these movements are very fluid, but can sometimes feel forced. There were times when I felt like my inputs were completely dropped and I had to vigorously flip up for the app to register my desire to read an article.
A curious oddity of the application is the lack of notifications from Facebook. The only way to turn on the notifications is to go to application settings and turn them on. Even then, the application funneled the notifications from my already installed Facebook application. This was one reason why I kept going back to the regular Facebook app.
The second reason I constantly returned to the original Facebook app was the amount of interaction on the original app. Paper acts more like a Facebook viewer than an actual application for some of the other features of the application. Group pages are not readily displayed in Paper, and creating events is impossible on the app. At the same time, most of Paper’s user input is defined by swipes and not by touches. This can lead to some pretty sloppy movement across the application, even when you feel as if you have had plenty of time with the application.
In conclusion, Paper was a nice try to stylize a very interactive experience. Social media is all about reading, responding to, and creating information for those on your network. What Paper allows you to do is one and a one-half of these social media purposes in style. Paper does an excellent job of giving a great reading experience, but only allows partial functionality to responding and barely enough creation tools to be viable. In my opinion Paper does a great job of showing the industry how streamlined and attractive social networking can be. However, for now, Paper still doesn’t have the functionality to warrant regular use.
Innovative Professor Brings 3D Technology to ICC
EAST PEORIA — While three dimensional (3D) technologies are often used for entertainment, one ICC professor has brought cutting-edge 3D equipment to campus to help his students better prepare for their future careers.
3D can refer to many different types of experiences, and in this case it means taking a student’s creative idea from a computer and allowing them to see it in 3D and even “print” it in the form of a tangible object.
John Baggett, professor and coordinator of graphic communications at ICC, is the person behind the influx of technology. He has made it a point to bring his graphic communication students opportunities to use the latest methods from industry so they will be prepared for the modern job market.
Baggett has been interested in technology for years, but it wasn’t until last summer that he placed the orders for this equipment.
The first item to arrive was a Rostock Max 3D printer. It is nothing like a common computer printer; in fact, it doesn’t use paper at all and looks a bit like something from an arcade.
At a cost of $1000, the Rostock Max converts 3D computer files from computer aided design software, into actual objects by melting plastics and laying them down in layers. It “prints” like a bricklayer builds a house; it starts with a base layer of plastic and works up from there.
Then the second item, a $1500 pair of Oculus Rift goggles, arrived last December. While the printer is cutting-edge, the Oculus goggles are definitely something students will not forget.
These “goggles” are actually a virtual reality headset that permits the wearer to “see” as if they are in a computer- generated environment. With two glass lenses, one for each eye, the headset gives the wearer an immersive 110-degree field of vision within the virtual environment.
Once you put the headset on, it tracks your head’s position and movements and changes your simulated view accordingly. You can literally turn and tilt your head to “look around” the virtual environment.
While the headset could be used for entertainment purposes, Baggett plans to use it to allow students to closely examine their 3D computer creations.
“The first person shooter, yeah, it’s okay, but I am more interested in the educational use of it,” said Baggett.
All of this equipment is housed in the second-floor printing labs in the Agriculture and Industrial Technology (AIT) Building on the East Peoria Campus, and these investments are steps in Baggett’s plan to create a new degree program at ICC called 3D Animation and Visualization.
Introducing icc.edu 2.0
EAST PEORIA — For the first time since first going online about a decade ago, ICC is modernizing its internet presence with a whole new website that will be better tailored to both students and employees.
The new website will still have the www.icc.edu Web address but will have been made completely from scratch according to ICC’s Web Services.
Last semester, ICC invited people to submit comments or suggestions regarding its website.
Todd Irions, manager of web services at ICC, said the comments reaffirmed their concerns about the site seeming cluttered.
The new site will have an entirely different layout. The front page will no longer be the information hub that it is now. Instead, the site will focus on subsections for different groups, like students, faculty, and alumni.
One web services employee said that the design process for the new site has taken more than a year.
When Irions was asked exactly how long it has taken, he simply said, “Too long.”
ICC is modeling the new site off of what other colleges have. That way, other collegiate websites will seem familiar to transferring ICC students.
“So the idea is that it’s kind of seamless [for students],” said Irions.
Irions said that the college hopes to give students a preview of the new website before the end of the spring semester, and then the new site will officially replace the old one on July 1 if everything goes as planned.
Don’t Say That
EAST PEORIA — The relationships between students and professors at ICC are most often very professional, but sometimes those relationships could be even stronger if it weren’t for the occasional poor choice of words.
To help promote effective and appropriate communication between faculty and students, the Harbinger surveyed both groups to find some suggestions for what is better left unsaid.
Professors probably shouldn’t:
Respond to a question with “I don’t know” or “I can’t help you.”
Respond to a comment or question with something discouraging like “Wow… you are dumb.”
Say they don’t care if their students come to class or “I’ll be paid whether or not you’re here.”
Put the spotlight on a struggling student or bring up an individual’s shortcomings during class.
Make comments about a student’s physique or appearance.
Devalue their own course by saying things like “You won’t learn much here.”
Talk about alcohol or partying with students.
Make broad statements about a certain personal belief being “wrong.”
Lecture about their political opinions.
And students shouldn’t:
Go into unnecessary details about the health, family or personal issue that caused them to miss class.
Ask if they are going to miss anything by being absent from class.
Ask a professor about an email instead of simply reading the email.
Complain about poor understanding after repeatedly skipping class.
Say they are going to miss class to prepare for another class.
Recently I switched cell phones. I went from my iPhone to an old Motorola Razr.
I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time now, but I was too distracted. Why?
Because of the iPhone. The iPhone inadvertently made me anxious and upset and worried all the time. I think it happens to most people with the phone. You know, the whole “What is the world doing?” thing that makes the not pay attention to their real lives and all that? You know. And I know and I’ve known.
Anyway, without it I feel a lot better. I feel like I’m actually in a simpler time. All the things about the iPhone I’ve preached about and am preaching about (like its distracting capability) are out the window. Having a phone that only calls and texts has boosted my creativity and happiness by catapulting me into awareness and attentiveness.
Today I stood outside and thought of something to write about. In the past I would’ve put it in the Notes app and would have ignored it for a long time. Today, I rushed to my car from where I was, rushed home, and rushed to the computer to write it. I think I wanted to and was capable of doing this with a different device in my pocket. It just wasn’t easy to let the idea go. It was easy to let an idea go with a best friend phone. The listener. The documenter.
It’s different, man. I talk to people in person primarily. I ask somebody what something means or what something is instead of looking it up, and the human interaction helps the retention of that thing. I feel more able to focus. My head is clear and my head is mad. I am having real thoughts that stay thoughts. I get to live with those a little more.
There’s no application or game or network or camera filter for that.
There’s none of that on a screen. There’s none of that looking down.
You have to look up.
Sports Bar to Fundraise for Students Today
WASHINGTON — Kep’s Sports Bar and Grill in Washington is supporting the ICC CONNECT office by donating a portion of today’s profits to the scholarship fund that the CONNECT students operate.
Every year, students from the CONNECT office here at ICC raise money to fund scholarships that their office awards to three members of CONNECT. Two of these scholarships are awarded to transferring sophomores, and the third goes to an “outstanding freshman.”
The scholarships are completely funded by student fundraising efforts, and CONNECT has found many ways to raise the money for them. This year they have partnered with Kep’s Sports Bar and Grill in Washington to help boost revenue.
“The amounts for the scholarships each year vary depending on how much fundraising is done,” said Mindi Miller, coordinator of college transitions in the ICC Transfer Center, “so the more fundraising they do with the candy bar sales and the fundraising events, the more money they get for the scholarships.”
According to Miller, about $1000 was raised for the scholarships last year, a year when they partnered with Buffalo Wild Wings for a fundraising day. This year, they hope the efforts with Kep’s will be even more beneficial because, unlike at Buffalo Wild Wings, customers don’t have to show a coupon or anything to get the restaurant to donate to CONNECT.
“Ten percent of the day’s proceeds from Kep’s goes to our scholarship fund,” said Rachel Noe, a CONNECT student employee, “so basically we just need people to show up and eat there, and we will get ten percent of today’s profits.”
January and February are normally the months when CONNECT fundraises, and the scholarships will be awarded in April to three CONNECT members. Students interested in joining CONNECT should stop by the CONNECT office in 302B in the East Peoria Campus Academic Building.
Kep’s Sports Bar and Grill will be collecting ten percent of their non-achoholic profits from 11 a.m. to midnight today, Feb. 19, to give to CONNECT. Kep’s is located at 313 Muller Road in Washington just south of Gary Uftring’s Used Car Outlet.
Surviving the Snowpocalypse of 2014
EAST PEORIA — Central Illinois over the past couple of months has been bombarded with a particularly vicious winter.
This semester already, Illinois Central College has had to close its doors five times and delayed classes twice as well.
With record low temperatures and heavy snows, ICC, along with many other schools, have had no choice but to cancel classes.
According to Cheryl Fliege, they look at five factors: whether they can clear the campus, the severity of weather conditions, Illinois Department of Transportation’s road conditions, what is happening with the public schools and how much students would miss on a particular day.
Fliege said, “We go through all that and then Dr. Erwin and Bruce Budde will make the call.”
Many students clutch their phones in the wee hours of the morning, hoping for an alert from ICC when the weather takes a turn for the worst.
When hope is lost, and there seems to be no other option than to bundle up and head to class, some students debate whether or not it’s worth it.
One editor, Alexander Pabon, has his own thoughts on what could possibly be done to survive not only the snowpocalypse of 2014, but the future ones that will inevitability transpire.
By ALEXANDER PABON for the Harbinger
In the past few weeks, Central Illinois has been hit with freezing temperatures and bouts of heavy snow. What this means for the students is complete and utter torture.
Here’s the deal ICC. We all know that the weather in Central Illinois is about as stable as a certain Toronto Mayor, but that’s to be expected. We aren’t Florida or California with their ideal climate, but that’s perfectly okay. Some people love to torture themselves.
First is the distance. If you’re not the early bird on campus then you have to walk the distance between heaven and earth just to get to the front door of the school. This is unacceptable. College students should not have to walk to get to their classes! We live in the twenty first century where technology allows us to do great things. In all seriousness, with a -7 degree wind chill, the difference between getting very sick and staying warm and safe could be just a few meters.
Why not have a shuttle system where small go-karts could shuttle students from the parking lot to the school? This would allow students to stay out of the cold weather. Better yet, in the near future we could make an underground tunnel stretching from the CougarPlex all the way to every corner of the campus. It would be like Disney World!
Second, there is the issue of weather. ICC students should not have to walk through a torrential blizzard while their UGGS are getting wet. Not only that, but the weather is getting colder every single day. Students will have to spend five minutes in the freezing cold tundra that is East Peoria walking from their vehicles all the way to their classes. Students will catch colds! Students will get sick! Grades will drop! Anarchy ensues!
However, this is not a fate that we need to face. We can change this! The easiest fix is to have a big, heated tunnel that would protect us from the claws of Mother Nature. Imagine it being a big blow up bouncy house that would shelter all of us precious students from harm. No more snow. No more cold.
In a more practical solution, ICC could invest in heated lamps that could be placed on the walkways from the parking lot all the way up until the bridge. This would help keep students from having to feel the harshest parts of the cold, and could also keep the ground ice free and safe for those students who have difficulty with walking on ice.
Although most students think the old adage of “suck it up” is the proper solution to our Antarctic problem, these are some real and thoughtful ideas that could allow students to safely survive unfortunate weather mishaps.
Unfortunately, the likeliness that the college will sit down and consider heat lamps or an underground tunnel for three months of the year is pretty low. However, here are some personal solutions that could help students get through the rest of the Snowpocalypse of 2014.
Make sure to wear a coat! A coat is the first line of defense against the wind and will help keep the cold from creeping in. Wear thick gloves! Texting can wait until inside the building, and it’s far more important to keep your digits from falling off. Try out a scarf and hat. They may not be the most fashionable solution, but a hat and scarf helps cover up your head, where most heat is lost from your body.
Overall, fellow students, it is far more important to sit, talk and complain. Only together, in our communal bitterness, will Mother Nature actually listen. Or maybe that’s just me.
A New Take on Weapons
EAST PEORIA ― On Jan. 16, the Illinois Central College Board of Trustees officially adopted a new policy that outlined how “weapons” would be regulated on ICC property. This update to ICC’s policies was in reaction to the passage of the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act last July.
The previous policy for “weapons on campus” that ICC operated by was about half of a page in length while the new policy is slightly more than two. Much of this addition involved specifying what and where ICC property was, what was considered a “weapon” and who could carry a “weapon” on campus.
Overall, the policy states that weapons are not allowed on ICC property, but here are some details about the new content in the Weapons on Campus and Firearm Concealed Carry Policy:
What is a “weapon?”
Any sort of projectile weapon, such as a pistol, paintball gun, BB gun, flare gun, Taser or bow, whether loaded or unloaded. Replicas of projectile weapons are also treated as weapons due to their appearance.
A knife or blade is considered a weapon if it has a blade that is more than three inches long or always exposed.
Any explosive devises, like firecrackers, are consider weapons.
What areas are covered by the policy?
ICC property is defined as any area, building or vehicle that ICC owns or from which ICC operates.
When are weapons allowed?
When they are a required part of an ICC-sponsored event, class or activity, or when the ICC police chief specifically gives approval.
What happens if you bring a weapon on campus without approval?
If you are a student, you can be expelled from ICC.
If you are an employee, you can be fired.
If you are an individual, you can be prosecuted.
The ICC Police Department enforces the new policy.
Who has to follow the policy?
Any individual, even those with an Illinois concealed carry license, on ICC property must follow the policy except in the following cases.
Individuals are allowed to have weapons inside their personal vehicles while on ICC property as long as they are unloaded and secured in a container.
Law enforcement personnel who have business at ICC, are taking classes, or are required to carry their weapon by their employer are allowed to carry their weapons.
Retired law enforcement personnel who have maintained proper weapons training and are in compliance with all government laws may carry their weapon.
Break It Down
EAST PEORIA ― This semester saw a new 16-week certificate program in deconstruction offered at Illinois Central College, and it has already given students the opportunity to learn how much value there can be in what some would throw away.
On Jan. 21 the new deconstruction program, which has in-class instruction and online homework, began at Dirksen Hall on the East Peoria Campus. Its purpose is to teach how to disassemble unwanted buildings and sell the materials from which they are made. It is the opposite of what someone goes through to build a structure, hence the title “deconstruction.”
This is an uncommon subject of study, so ICC needed an uncommonly qualified person to teach it, and Chicago resident Anne Nicklin was chosen for the job.
Nicklin held several sustainability and architecture-related positions across the country before she was first connected with ICC a couple of years ago through her work with the Chicago-based Building Materials Reuse Association. She helped ICC when it was planning this deconstruction program, and she saw that she was literally in a good place to apply for a position at ICC.
“They needed to hire someone to come on,” said Nicklin, “and though Chicago is fairly far away, it’s a lot closer than most of the other folks who have this kind of expertise in deconstruction. Plus I thought it was a cool opportunity.”
On Sept. 4, Nicklin was hired to the full-time faculty position of deconstruction program curriculum developer. Now, she commutes to East Peoria each week to teach about the subject she knows so well, and her students appreciate her expertise.
“When I heard about her background, I thought ‘well, we’ve got the top dog in the nation,’” said Dave Kniep, 53, of Morton, one of the program’s students.
The material covered in class provides knowledge not only useful for deconstruction, but also handy for knowing how to best build a structure sustainably. Nicklin mentioned, for example, that Icynene spray-in foam insulation makes it nearly impossible to reuse the wood from a home’s walls because of the adhesive qualities of the expanding foam.
“It can be great in terms of energy performance, but it does take good wood and turn it into landfill material,” said Nicklin.
The students that comprise these first DECON classes have come for a variety of reasons.
“It’s nice that they offered the class,” said student Nick Beeney, 27, of Peoria. “The structural drafting class got cancelled, and that’s what I was trying to do. But then they offered this class, and I guess this one is more entertaining than structural drafting. This is my final semester to finish out my associate’s in construction technology.”
“I am just taking the two classes and seeing where it goes from there,” said first-time student Kyle Wright, 25, of Metamora.
“I am totally computer illiterate… and that’s kind of why I took this class,” said Kniep, “because I saw that it was [partially] online and I thought ‘this is going to make me learn the computer.’ I had never taken a college course before. My wife thinks I am going to get a job out of it, and maybe I will.”
Congressional Cuts Largely Spare ICC
WASHINGTON, D.C. ― Even as federal government funding for education continues to experience cutbacks, programs that affect Illinois Central College and its students have managed to keep most, if not all, of their financing.
During the third week of January in our nation’s capitol, The House and Senate Appropriations Committees released their bipartisan proposal for the dispersing of federal dollars to operate numerous agencies and entities for the remainder of the fiscal year. Before the week was over, the bill, H.R. 3547, was passed by both the House and Senate, and the 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act was law. This is the first such bill since sequestration cuts went into effect last year.
In this budgetary bill, which funds everything from the Smithsonian to the Secret Service, funding for the U.S. Department of Education was, according to the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), reduced by $811 million from fiscal year 2012 levels. And yet, despite these cuts, the ACCT said that “no priority community college program” will be adversely affected.
Perhaps the only item to have an increase in funding is the Pell Grant program. Pell Grants are funds that college students can be given after applying for federal financial aid, and the maximum amount receivable was just increased slightly to $5,730 due to an automatic, scheduled increase.
Other programs like GEAR UP and TRIO, which help individuals from disadvantaged or low-income backgrounds to receive an education, received the same amount of funding as before the 2012 sequestration. Although, according to Herbert DeCosta, chief grants development officer at ICC, simply maintaining funding may not be as good as it sounds.
“Costs increase every year as employees get raises or the price of materials rise, so normally every program needs a certain increase [in funding],” said DeCosta. “Even if you keep funding at the same level, that is already kind of a cut.”
One program that did get a cut in funding is a Title III grant program that awards funds to institutions of higher education so they can make significant improvements. ICC has applied for these grants in the past, but it is a very competitive application process and the grants are difficult to obtain.
“This may affect us,” said DeCosta, “because it means next year it’s going to be even harder for us to get one because there’s less grant money to apply for.”
The financial plan laid out by this congressional bill is intended to last until the end of the government’s fiscal year on Sept. 30. after which it will be up to congress to once again reevaluate federal funding.
ICC Invests in Infrastructure
EAST PEORIA — In the past two months, the Illinois Central College Board of Trustees has approved two different expenditures that add up to a bit over seven million dollars. The two expenditures laid out are renovations for Arbor Hall at North Campus and a change in equipment at document services at the East Peoria campus.
The first of these expenditures, the Arbor Hall renovations, was approved at the December board of trustees meeting. According to Bruce Budde, the executive vice president of administration and finance, these renovations will be beneficial not only from a financial standpoint, but from a student perspective as well.
According to the expenditure report, the Arbor Hall renovation cost slightly under six million dollars. Budde said this “pretty significant” renovation will allow different services such as financial aid, testing centers and even child care to be housed within Arbor Hall.
“We’re also building out a lot of classrooms and adult education areas,” Budde said. “It’ll really update it… and really give the campus a feel of being modern and upgraded.”
Budde mentioned that this will be the biggest step in the Arbor Hall remodel. Later this year, the south wing of Arbor will be remodeled to help accommodate the dental program’s move from the Downtown Campus.
The second big expense, approved at the Jan. board of trustees meeting, is an equipment lease for document services with supplier Konica Minolta. This lease allowed for updated printers to be allocated across the East Peoria Campus and brought more high-tech equipment to document services.
“This will allow printing services to support the bookstore lab packets that students buy, as well as support the faculty and printing work they need to do,” Budde said, “This will also allow students access to color copies.”
“[The new machines] do better quality of work,” said Jill Kern, a student worker at document services, “I think it was a very wise shift.”
Although the expenditures may seem to restrict future spending, in the long run these changes will be more economical for Illinois Central College.
“With the copier purchases, we get better technology and better quality with lower costs,” Budde said. “In addition, we will be able to manage our utility bills more effectively [with the Arbor Hall remodel]. That design itself has a minimum energy conservation of 20 percent. So we know we are going to receive an upgrade of 20 percent efficiency.”
Kevin Roberts, director of construction and energy management, has stated that the Arbor Hall remodel has started on schedule. His hope is to have everything finished by Oct. 8.
Meanwhile, the transition to Konica Minolta is still in progress. Look for more updates on Arbor Hall and how the new copiers are being received in future editions.
Local Debate Touches on Education
PEORIA ― On Jan. 23, while in Peoria for a televised debate, the four primary Republican candidates for governor of Illinois discussed numerous topics, some of which are relevant to both Illinois Central College and its students.
When the four candidates came to Peoria’s WTVP public television station, they weren’t planning to focus on education, but the conversations of that night couldn’t avoid the subject either.
The four Republican gubernatorial candidates were State Senator Bill Brady (Bloomington), State Senator Kirk Dillard (Chicago area), State Treasurer Dan Rutherford (Chenoa) and wealthy Illinois businessman Bruce Rauner (Chicago area). They were questioned at the debate by a panel of four, one of which was a student journalist from the University of Illinois Springfield.
In his opening statement, Rutherford compared himself in college to the college students of today, and acknowledged the financial challenges they face.
“I was able to do it without any student loans. A kid can’t do that today anymore,” said Rutherford. “You can’t go to a university and work making pizzas and shoveling asphalt… and be able to afford to go to school without a student loan.”
Rauner also touched on education in his opening statement saying that he wants to ensure that “education and job training is world class in Illinois.”
When responding to a question about reducing government spending, Brady listed eliminating the State Board of Education as one of his three priorities.
“Partly because it saves money,” said Brady, “but mostly because it will end the bureaucratic red tape that harms our childrens educational opportunities every day.”
When the student panelist asked a question relating to educational funding in Illinois, these are, in part, the responses of the candidates.
Rauner said that we should look how other states fund education and “steal” their best ideas.
“Education should be the top priority when we spend taxpayer dollars,” said Rauner, “… That’s our future, that’s our competitiveness, that’s our income level for our young people and that’s how we really raise wages, through educational and vocational training.”
Rutherford said that he would give the local school districts the options to create their own funding plans, including the optional collection of funds through local sales taxes rather than the traditional real estate taxes.
Brady stated that Chicago had “played games with our funding.” He called for the fair distribution of funds among the state’s schools. He once again called for the elimination of the State Board of Education. He also said that he felt there would never be “enough money for funding education until we rebuild Illinois’ economy.“
Dillard said that he felt Illinois has been prioritizing welfare over education.
“The foundation level of school funding in this state is way, way below what a panel recommends it needs to be,” said Dillard. “… and the best way to close that gap between the haves and the have nots is to have the state do its share on education.”
After the debate, the Harbinger asked Rutherford, as State Treasurer, how he thought community colleges, like ICC, could get more financial support from the State of Illinois, which is almost always behind on funding. He said that correcting those issues and others will require adjustments to areas like Medicaid and taxes.
“It’s going to be about cash flow,” said Rutherford, “… It’s going to take a comprehensive package to put it together.”
Several students from Bradley University’s College Republicans were in the studio audience, and their opinions were asked for immediately following the debate.
Regarding Brady’s calls for the elimination of the State Board of Education, Beth Knapinski, 19, of Peoria, said, “I think any time you can make state government more efficient and more effective, you should definitely look at all the options to do that. I am open to it.”
“Coming into the evening, I had two candidates I wasn’t too fond of,” said Jason Blumenthal, 19, of Peoria, “and after tonight it really solidifies who I am actually going to be voting for.”
Sitting Down to Get Louder: How to Really Get a Valentine
Guys, let’s be serious. What do you really want for Valentine’s Day? Duh! A Valentine.
Don’t be so content to assume that if you already have a significant other you have a valentine. That is unbelievably false.
Valentine, according to dictionary.com, is a sweetheart chosen or greeted on this day, Feb. 14. Let’s be more romantic than to say that “greeted” means saying “What’s up?” on the way to class.
But before we get into all of that, let’s make sure you know how to get a valentine.
1) Don’t. DON’T. Wear pajamas to school. Believe me, if whoever you are chasing wanted to see their sweetheart in pajamas everyday, they’d be married already.
2) Pull up your pants. Guider: If you bend over and feel a burst of cold air rushing over your buns, you might want to consider wearing a belt.
3) Speak up! Don’t wait until someone else tells your lovely they are wonderful. Before you can receive, you must ask; so ask!
4) If they reject your romantic offers more than once, walk away. When I say walk, I mean run.
5) Smell good. Brush your teeth, take a shower, FLOSS, wear deodorant.
Then Feb. 14 rolls around, the infamous Hallmark Holiday. What to do? What to say? Simple.
1) Buy her flowers. Swallow your pride and do it.
2) “Be Mine” candies are a must have.
3) Try to think outside of the realm of lingerie, ladies. Romantic can mean thoughtful too!
4) Make sure you start a trend of thoughtfulness that might include appreciation and acknowledgment of your sweetheart’s qualities.
5) Most importantly of all, don’t forget Valentine’s Day. If you do… Just don’t.
The Powers that Be: New Trustee, Gun Laws
EAST PEORIA ―At their December meeting, the ICC board of trustees guided Illinois Central College through two influential moments as they filled the board’s vacant trustee position and discussed how the college should react to Illinois’ new concealed carry firearm laws.
About 10 minutes into the Dec. 19 meeting, Michael Everett of Washington was appointed to fill the seat formerly held by Tim Elder, who resigned from his trustee position earlier in the fall due to his moving to Florida. This came about two months after the board began searching for candidates for the position.
A Peoria native, 60-year-old Everett was never a student at ICC, but he did develop connections with the college over the years. He collaborated with ICC in many professional settings, including at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the trade union where Everett worked for 25 years. Furthermore, his daughters and wife all ICC graduates, and his wife’s employer once operated from ICC.
“In real strange ways I find myself always connected to the college,” said Everett, “so now that I am to the point in my life where I get to pick what I work on, this seemed like that it would be a very interesting thing to go for.”
Everett will carry out the remainder of Elder’s 6-year term, which ends in the spring of 2015, but he is not sure if he will seek to be elected to another term.
“April of 2015… At 60 years old that’s kind of out there,” said Everett. “It’s definitely open. It looks like a very exciting and very worthwhile endeavor so I am not going to discount it, but a lot of things would factor into that decision – my family situation, health and things like that.”
Everett said that his wife, who coincidentally was to retire the day after he began his role as an ICC trustee, would also play a key role in his making that decision in 2015.
Elder had been a trustee since March of 2008, and the board officially recognized the contributions that he had made in that time.
“Timothy Elder has used his unique perspective as an ICC alumnus to help guide the actions of the ICC board of trustees while acting as a tireless advocate for students in the areas of academics, services and college costs,” said acting board chair Sue Portscheller at the meeting.
After Everett’s appointment, the board moved on to the meeting’s next point of business, how the college should adjust its policies in reaction to Illinois’ new laws allowing the the concealed carry of firearms.
In February 2011 the board adopted a half-page “Weapons on Campus Policy,” which basically stated that no one, except law enforcement, may carry firearms on campus without the approval of the ICC police chief.
Since the July 2013 passing of the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act (FCCA), the college had decided to update their policy. Now a revised policy is being proposed, and it is roughly ten times the length of the current policy.
Tom Larson, the ICC police chief, helped write the revisions and explained why he thinks they are needed.
“I just think that it’s in everyone’s best interest to rely on people like our officers to protect them,” said Larson. “I think that it’s going to be controversial, I think that there are going to be problems along the way, but my professional opinion is that even though folks should have the right – by the state law – to carry, I don’t think the campus is an appropriate setting for bringing weapons unless you’re a trained professional.”
The board of trustees and the college administration will be further discussing what the new policy should be, and the board plans to have it ready to vote on at the January meeting.
A College Calming Chaos
EAST PEORIA — Three weeks after tornadoes paved a destructive path through neighboring communities, Illinois Central College has been continuing to do it’s part to ease the pain of the victims hurt by this storm.
Within hours after the Nov. 17 tornadoes, WoodView Commons at the East Peoria Campus both the college and human resources office began taking in those displaced by the twister. While this was actually initiated by Campus Living Villages, the independent manager of WoodView, it did get the community spirit kick- started here at ICC.
In the days following the storm, the college’s administrators spent their time in and out of meetings to make plans on how to help the community get through this trying time. By the time 48 hours had passed, ICC had a compiled list of tornado relief resources – many of which were created in-house – on its website.
One of these in-house resources was an on- campus collection of material goods to give to those in need, especially affected ICC students or staff. The human resources office in Academic Building room 339G served as the collection point, and after a week, staff claimed that they had a partial room filled with collected supplies.
ICC President Dr. John Erwin released a video statement on the 19th, where he discussed the “immeasurable” losses that the community was facing and offered words of support, “To those who have been victims of the tornado,” said Erwin, “please know that your ICC family will be here to support you in any way we can in the coming weeks and months, and know that our thoughts, and indeed our prayer, are with each one of you.”
Immediately after Erwin’s statement, a message of support came to ICC from it’s sister college, Xiamen Huaxia College, more than 6000 miles away in China.
“Hearing that the tornado has attacked East Peoria, Pekin and Washington, on behalf of President Wang Xiaoru and the staff from Xiamen Huaxia College, we send this letter to express our sincere relief and condolences to all the victims involved.”
The CougarPlex began functioning as a base of operations for the disaster relief group Americorps St. Louis on Nov. 21. According to William Burks, Americorps field team leader,
they were able to come and organize at the CougarPlex quickly and efficiently because ICC already had a relationship with Illinois emergency agencies. Once here, they became the official coordinator for debris clean-up volunteers for Tazewell County.
“We are doing more than just moving debris – a bulldozer could come in and do that faster than our volunteers could,” said Burks. “We are bringing financial aid to these communities that will help them in the long term.”
On Nov. 22 the college’s marketing department worked with the Washington Police Department to give a small group of ICC students the opportunity to help distribute emergency information to residents in the hardest- hit areas of Washington.
As college outreach has continued, ICC has kept track of the number of students and staff members who have been severely affected by the tornado. At last count, there were about 40 students and 20 staff members and they continue to receive assistance from the college and, of course, the community.
One of these students, Jennifer Hirsch, was able to get temporary lodging arrangements at WoodView after she lost her apartment in the Washington twister.
“I ran for the bathtub, and as soon as I got in there – well, the power went out as I was running towards it – I could just hear everything being torn apart,” said Hirsch. “ You could hear breaking and twisting and creaking… It just sounded like destruction.”
She said that since then, she has received a lot of help from everyone. “I have never seen such kindness and outpouring of a community,” said Hirsch. “The people have been amazing, and I seriously want to be a Red Cross volunteer now.”
Art Gallery Relocates, Offices to Follow
EAST PEORIA — The East Peoria art gallery will soon be moving across the Academic Building as part of a larger reorganization project designed to give better office access to students at Illinois Central College.
The art gallery is moving from the open space in room 305A to a space in 336B that has been in use as a classroom until now. The existing 305A space had a front wall made entirely of windows that made the artwork visible from the hallway, but the new location in 336B has no such windows. For that and other reasons, 336A is undergoing remodeling in preparation for the move.
At their November board meeting, the ICC board of trustees approved a budget line of $48,958.00 for this remodeling of 336A, and the construction contract was awarded to Morton- based Core Construction.
According to Troy Hattermann, ICC’s director of facilities planning and design, once the remodeling is complete, the new gallery space will have a glass wall and door that will allow viewing and access from Cafe Breve. Where there used to be a door to access 336A from the hallway, there will instead be a slender window to allow passersby to see into the gallery. Hence, all gallery access will be from inside Cafe Breve.
While the gallery has been in 305A for a number of years, Christopher Gray, dean of arts and communication at ICC, said that this is not the first time that the gallery has moved. Gray said that he is glad to see this change occurring after having been discussed for about a year.
“I think that this new location will be seen by a lot more students than the old one, and that’s really what we care about – traffic,” said Gray.
The relocation of the gallery will be the first step in the total reorganization of the spaces in the 300- 306 hallway. According to Hattermann, the offices and classrooms in that area will be reorganized in a way that places all of the offices related to student services and activities, such as the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement, the Transfer Center, Emerging Leaders and Veteran Affairs, down to the spaces closest to the Student Lounge.
During this shuffling, a new office will also be created. Room 304A, which is now a classroom, will become an international center. Currently, International Studies and the Chinese Language Institute occupy two small offices in the 302-303 area.
Another part of the relocation plans is to convert the old computer lab in 308B, one of the Academic Building’s largest spaces, into a “student media center,” where the Harbinger and the ICC-based WAZU radio station could share a common operating space.
Hattermann said that the art gallery’s relocation should be completed by the end of this calendar year, and then the other relocations will occur as the new year progresses, with the international center being the priority so it can be ready for a visitor coming from China in May.
Sustainability at ICC Part 3 of 3: Teaching Green
EAST PEORIA — Sustainability is a developing focus at Illinois Central College. It is in the buildings, landscape, technology and policies. However, in the end, sustainability is a belief and a human practice, and the way to truly encourage an idea like that is to do what ICC is designed to do, teach about it.
Over the years, ICC has had to work to build up it’s sustainability initiatives because there was a time when sustainability, especially environmental matters, weren’t seen as a collegiate priority.
ICC biology professor Kristin Jacobson-Flex has seen some ups and downs in the sustainability progress that ICC has made over the years.
“When I started working here in 1992, I was adjunct, I as they say,” said Jacobson- Flex. “I tried starting an environmental biology class in the 90’s here in the biology department, and I was told then that there was no need for an environmental biology class. At another point they were supposed to put in dishwashers when they redid the cafeteria and that got pulled from the budget and they decided to keep using styrofoam dishes. It seems like we have good ideas but they get pulled from the budget regularly and then we move along until finally at glacial pace things get changed.”
She has seen a change in recent times, though.
“I feel that finally we are putting our money where our mouth is,” said Jacobson-Flex. “We have a committee with faculty and administration that is taking it more seriously than they did in the past. I feel like finally the glacier’s melting and the tides changing.”
In the past few years, ICC has been taking more official actions to make sustainability an official part of the educational structure. ICC President Dr. John Erwin has signed commitments pledging that the college will meet certain goals in sustainability, and there is a group here at ICC called the Greening the Curriculum Committee that has been working towards integrating sustainability into the general teaching styles at ICC.
Michelle Nielsen-Ott, a reference librarian at ICC, leads that committee, and she hopes to give students a real world feel for sustainability.
“It’s so important that students realize that sustainability is kind of an interconnected topic,” said Nielsen-Ott, “and that’s not just about recycling and it’s not just about saving the planet from an environmental standpoint – it’s about being sustainable in how we spend our dollars and how society is structured and things like that.”
For the college’s role in this, she wants professors to realize that they can promote sustainability in practically any of their classes.
“Sustainability is a theme that can go across curricular. It’s not just only in this class and only at this time. It’s something that you can apply to all facets of your education and your life.”
Extending Services to Boost Enrollment
EAST PEORIA — The student service center at Illinois Central College has been increasing their level of service to students this semester by offering more convenient enrollment processes and extended weekend hours in student service offices.
ICC’s department of Advising and Counseling Services has always been a place for students to come get advice. Often, students meet with advisors by appointment, but for about a year and a half, these offices have been setting aside every Wednesday as a day when their office calendars were clear of appointments. By doing this, they kept those days open for students to just walk in to get help – no appointments needed.
They called these days Walk-In Wednesdays, and these appointment- free Wednesdays became popular enough with students that the other student service departments decided to join advising and counseling in their practice.
Before the beginning of this semester, the student service hallway held its first collaborative rendition of Walk-In Wednesdays.
Pam Wilfinger, director of advising and counseling services, said that what really made these updated Wednesdays different from the ones of the past was the testing center taking walk-ins. This enabled students to go through the whole registration and enrollment process in one day without any appointments. Wilfinger sees more room to improve the concept in the future.
“It has been successful; we’re getting a lot of people through here,” said Wilfinger. “The purpose of these media blitzed Walk-In Wednesdays, though, are to try and get new enrollment, and we’re getting some and that’s good, but we’re also getting a lot of current students who are still just coming in on the Walk-In Wednesdays. So we’ve talked about in this office if we should have First-Timers Fridays or something separate from the Walk-In Wednesdays just for first time students.”
In preparation for the spring semester, Walk-In Wednesdays new hours, and the Campuses are following were brought back in November, but ICC expanded services even more this time around. At the encouragement of ICC President John Erwin, the student services have now expanded their office hours, as well.
Previously open until 4:30 p.m. Monday- Thursday and 2:00 p.m. on Fridays, the East Peoria Student Service Center is now open until 4:30 p.m. each weekday except Wednesdays, when its open until 6 p.m. The largest change, though, is the new addition of Saturday hours. On Saturdays, the offices will be open from 9 a.m. till noon.
To maintain student service, the East Peoria Bookstore is matching or surpassing these new hours, and the student service offices at North and Downtown Campuses suit are following suit where they can.
Game Show Coming to ICC
EAST PEORIA — In January, ICC students will get the chance to have some fun and win some cash by participating in a game show called ThinkFast.
ThinkFast is fast-paced trivia game show that is run by Michigan-based TjohnE Productions, and it is being brought to ICC by the student-run Campus Activities Board (CAB). It will taking place in the cafeteria at the East Peoria Campus on Jan. 22. There will be one round at noon and another at 1 p.m., and the winner of each receives $100 cash.
This event is part of Welcome Days, the larger series of events that are scheduled to kick-off the spring semester. Other organizations that have planned Welcome Days events include Sigma Kappa Delta, the learning labs, the Cougar Karate Club, the Vagabond Art Club and the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement.
TORNADO UPDATE: Where to help and get help
EAST PEORIA — In an attempt to provide the ICC community with some focus amidst the aftermath of the Nov. 17 tornadoes that crossed our region, the Harbinger has compiled a list of local resources and locations that individuals can use to help in the relief efforts or get assistance when needed.
There are many ways for groups and individuals to help the affected communities. When volunteering for the relief effort, one should come prepared for the job they intend to do. If you will be working in the areas of destruction, wear durable, outdoor clothing and protective wear on your eyes, hands and feet.
(1) East Peoria — ICC CougarPlex @ 1 College Drive — Americorps St. Louis
This is the official organization coordinating volunteer clean-up efforts for Tazewell County and is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. everyday. Individual volunteers: (309) 698-5002 Groups or large equipment contributions: (309) 698-5003
(2) Washington — Farmhouse @ 27625 Dutch Lane — Bethany Community Church
Teams of volunteers depart daily until 2 p.m. Check their Facebook page for current volunteer needs. A link can be found at “www.bethanycommunitychurch.org.” Or call (309) 508-1755 for 24-hour assistance.
(3) Washington — Storefront @ 2 Sunnyland Plaza — Washington Chamber of Commerce
Volunteers needed daily from 8:30 a.m. till 5:30 p.m. for at least the next two weeks to help sort donations and distribute them to tornado victims as they arrive. No need to register; just stop by the converted storefront behind Papa John’s Pizza to help out.
(4) Morton — Grace Church @ 1325 East Jefferson Street — Samaritan’s Purse
Volunteer teams depart Monday – Saturday at 7:15 a.m. each day (noon on Sundays) and are gone until 5 p.m. Individuals must commit to the whole duration. Volunteers do not need to register; just come to the address at the correct time.
(5) Pekin — HOPE Chest @ 1106 Derby Street — Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce
Volunteers are needed to help receive and process donations. Call (309) 620-9043 and ask for Dave of Lynne to sign up.
Some organizations are taking donations while others are not. Here are local groups that are still taking donations in the form of money and/or goods:
(1) East Peoria — ICC @ 1 College Drive — Illinois Central College & Red Cross
Goods can be donated at Human Resources in office 339G for future distribution.
Monetary donations can be delivered in person to the ICC Foundation in office L411 or electronically to ICC’s “tornado relief fund” under “special funds” on “www.icc.edu/iccfoundation.” Also, Red Cross monetary donations are being collected in the cafeteria’s food court, the ICC bookstore, and Cafe Breve.
(2) Washington — 403 James Parkway — Highview Christian Church
Accepting donations of anything but furniture for distribution to other relief organizations. Open Tuesday Nov. 26 (10 a.m. till 5 p.m.). Call (309) 256-8099 with questions.
(3) Washington — 2442 Centennial Drive — Highview Church of God
Accepting all donations except clothes. Donations of gift cards, cash, and household goods perfered. Open Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. till 7 p.m. (309) 745-9247
(4) Washington — 474 Grange Road — Hopewell Grange
After Thanksgiving, this local organization will be collecting more food and home goods to distribute to anyone in need. Location hours are 9 a.m. till noon Monday through Friday. Monetary donations are always excepted.
(5) Washington — 2 Sunnyland Plaza — Washington Chamber of Commerce
Taking non-clothing goods donations at their converted storefront behind Papa John’s Pizza from 8:30 a.m. till 5:30 p.m. for at least the next two weeks. Monetary donations not accepted.
(6) Washington — Washington Community Bank @ 1895 Washington Road — City of Washington
Monetary donations to the City of Washington are being collected at all Hometown Community Banks, including the Washington branch. Donations can be made to the City as a whole or specifically the Washington schools via the Washington Schools Tornado Relief Fund, #568-511.
(7) Pekin — HOPE Chest @ 1106 Derby Street — Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce
The HOPE Chest is a collection site for non-perishable food and drink items as well as clothes, flashlights and tarps. (309) 620-9043
Monetary donations can be made to the Red Cross’s relief efforts by making an online donation and typing “Central Illinois Tornado Relief” with your donation. To donate, you can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text Redcross to 90999 to donate $10 automatically.
To Get Help:
Those seeking help can reach out to these local resources for assistance with things such as shelter, food, clothing and other needed items. It is good practice to carry some form of identification with you when seeking assistance.
(1) East Peoria — ICC CougarPlex @ 1 College Drive — Americorps St. Louis
This is the official organization coordinating volunteer clean-up efforts for Tazewell County
Homeowners are asked to call (309) 698-5001 if they need clean-up assistance. Call are taken 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. everyday, and messages left after hours will be responded to.
(2) Washington — 2442 Centennial Drive — Highview Church of God
Giving out food items as well as clothes and home goods. Open Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. till 7 p.m. (309) 745-9247
(3) Washington — Crossroads Church @ 1420 North Main Street — Salvation Army
Free lunches are being served at Crossroads Church daily at least until Wednesday.
(4) Washington — Five Points Washington @ 360 Wilmor Road — Multi-Agency Resource Center
Dozens of public and private organizations have converged at Five Points to offer affected citizens a single location to get all of their legal, social, and non-emergency medical needs taken care of. Tuesday Nov. 26 is the final day for victims to utilize this centralized location for resources. The center is open 8 a.m. till 7 p.m. Meals are served there at noon and 5 p.m.
(5) Washington — 474 Grange Road — Hopewell Grange
This local organization has clothes, food, and home goods to distribute to anyone in need. Location hours are 9 a.m. till noon Monday through Friday, but victims can call (309) 232-1478 at any time to get personalized assistance.
(6) Washington — 705 East Jefferson Street — St. Patrick Parish
Open seven days a week 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. to give away food, clothes, and general goods to those in need. Also providing hot meals as needed.
(7) Washington — 2 Sunnyland Plaza — Washington Chamber of Commerce
Distributing clothing, food, and general goods at their converted storefronts. One is behind Papa John’s Pizza and the other is next to Dollar General. Open 9 a.m. till 5 p.m.
(8) Washington — Washington Community High School
WCHS is attempting to assist in transportation for children to and from the school. Affected families can call (309) 444-5505 to inquire about assistance.
(9) Morton — Grace Church @ 1325 East Jefferson Street — Samaritan’s Purse
Homeowners in need of general clean-up assistance can call (828) 358-0339.
(10) Pekin — HOPE Chest @ 1106 Derby Street — Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce
The HOPE Chest is distributing non-perishable food and drink items as well as clothes, flashlights and tarps to Pekin and East Peoria residents in need. (309) 620-9043
Flags Over Washington
WASHINGTON — Eight days after an EF-4 tornado cut across their town, many of the nearby residents of Washington are still picking up the pieces of what were once their homes. As they go about this task, some residents have made it a point to keep America’s colors flying high in their neighborhoods.
During a visit to Washington on Friday, the Harbinger captured the following images in which our nation’s flag can be seen amid the scenes of destruction that are now so unfortunately common.
Woodview Shelters Tornado Victims
EAST PEORIA — Washington, IL mayor Gary Manier said earlier today that he estimated the EF-4 tornado that struck his city yesterday had displaced at least 200 residents. Here at Illinois Central College, Woodview Commons has stepped up to give some of those victims a warm place to stay at no charge.
Chad Dillon, the general manager of Woodview Commons, attempted to offer his assistance immediately after the tornado struck yesterday around 11:00 a.m. When he was unable to connect with relief efforts via telephone, Dillon drove down to the Red Cross staging area to let them know in person.
At about 1 p.m., Dillon offered up the commons’ open rooms to displaced persons again, this time via an interview on local radio network WMBD, which was then broadcasting on numerous local frequencies.
When Sunday night came, two Washington families came to stay at Woodview. Then two more families came today – one of which is that of an ICC staff member. So far, this amounts to 17 people that Woodview is housing.
One of the groups that came in today was three members of the Bachman family, Alecia Bachman, her daughter Alexandra, and Alexandra’s daughter Audriana. The three of them had been living at Georgetown Commons in Washington since moving back to the area from Hawaii in April. Yesterday, their home was torn apart while Alecia was inside.
“When all the sirens started going off on our phones, me and the neighbors were all out on the balconies going ‘Well, what should we do? There’s no place really to go.’” said Alecia. “And then I saw the neighbor across from me pointing behind my house and going ‘There it is! There it is right there!’ and then everything just got weird.”
“I opened the door and crawled in the kitchen and then the house started ripping apart. The roof all fell on me and then our glass doors just blew in. Everything was sucked into the house. It was weird. Our stuff isn’t on the lawn. Our stuff is all against the walls of the house. Then all the neighbors that I was talking to before it hit came and dug me and my neighbor out.”
Alexandra, a team leader at Sam’s Club, was at work in Peoria at the time, and she didn’t know about the tornado hitting Washington until she received a call from Alecia.
“She called me freaking out,” said Alexandra. “Then I just thought of my daughter and I dropped to my knees. She was with my grandma and grandpa, and their phones went straight to voicemail. I finally called my friend who lives in Sunnyland because Audriana was at a church in Sunnyland, and he said ‘It’s fine, Sunnyland’s fine.’ Then I could breath again.”
Now, they are grateful to have a place to stay. They said that they were going stay with Alecia’s sister in Washington, but the Bachmans were unable to reach her house when the city limits of Washington were closed.
As Alexandra pulled 5-year-old Audriana from a fresh bath, the family’s spirits were surprisingly high in their temporary home. They said that they just hoped they would find Sprinkles Pumpkin, Alecia’s black and white pet cat who hasn’t been seen since the tornado.
Dillon said that he and Campus Living Villages, the company that manages Woodview, will continue to give beds to those who need them as long as they are available. He said that there are still 12 beds unoccupied at Woodview, and displaced ICC students, staff, and faculty have first rights to the spaces.
“Campus Living Villages is proud to support ICC and the community,” said Dillon. “We’re definitely happy to help out in any way that we can.”
Tornado Disrupts Power But Not Swap Meet
EAST PEORIA — As tornados tore through several nearby communities Sunday, the Peoria Train Fair was held at Illinois Central College’s East Peoria Campus despite the violent weather and even a lack of electricity on campus.
The Peoria Train Fair is an event where railroad enthusiasts come to exchange words, ideas and merchandise that relate to railroads, whether they be model railroads or the real thing. The biannual event is held every February and November, and it has been held at here ICC for at least the past 20 years according to event participant Mike Shockley, superintendent of the Illinois Valley division of National Model Railroad Association.
The event began on schedule at 10:00 a.m. Then, during a 40-minute window that began at 10:55 a.m., tornadoes struck several of ICC’s neighboring communities — including Pekin, East Peoria, Washington and Roanoke. Then at about 11:30 a.m., the campus lost it’s electricity and joined much of the community in a powerless state.
“I had a table right here when all the sirens started and when all the alarms started going off,” said Shockley, “and then we lost power a little after that.”
However, the sudden darkness inside the Academic Building, where the train fair was held, didn’t deter the event’s 30 vendors or their customers.
“The show must go on — as they say!” said Shockley with a laugh.
The vendors half-jokingly said that their only complaint was that the building’s backup lighting system — that came on when the power went out — didn’t extend into the restrooms. One vendor laughed about having to lend his cell phone to a woman so she could use it as a flashlight to see in a restroom.
Ron Brown, the event’s coordinator, said that he and the event’s co-sponsors, the Illinois Valley Railroad Club and the River City Railroad Club, appreciate having ICC as a location for their events. He said that the money collected from vendor registration goes towards paying ICC $150 for the use of the space, and then any left-over funds go to the event sponsors and local charities.
The event ended at 3:00 p.m., and the vendors were packed up and gone by 4:00 p.m. Even then, ICC remained in darkness. At that time, ICC Campus Police was the only department still in operation, and they had no information on when the campus’ electricity would be reconnected. They said that it was solely dependent on how quickly Ameren Illinois could repair the power lines.
Ameren Illinois was not estimating when areas would regain electricity on Sunday due to the magnitude of the outages. At 2:15 p.m., Ameren stated that 130,000 Illinois customers were without power. This number dropped to 80,000 in a 10:35 p.m. statement.
Despite this progress, the East Peoria Campus was still without power as of 11:15 p.m. Perhaps it was just as well then that, shortly before 6:00 p.m., ICC had announced that all ICC campuses would be closed on Monday “out of concern for the members of our community and for those staff and students who were affected by the devastating tornadoes.”
Peoria Conference Teaches and Entertains
PEORIA — This past weekend, some Illinois Central College students and staff attended a conference in Peoria for the purpose of learning new ways to get students involved on ICC’s campuses.
The fact that the National Association of Campus Activities’ (NACA) annual Mid-America regional conference was held at the Peoria Civic Center this year made it convenient for ICC to have a presence there. Two ICC staff members and nine students attended the conference, which began on Thursday, ended on Saturday and involved about 36 hours of programming.
“All different programming boards from different institutions go there to see showcases of artists that will perform at schools, whether they’re a hypnotist, magician, comedian or educational speaker,” said Rhonda Elmore, coordinator of student leadership and engagement at ICC. “So our students can actually go view these people and determine if we want to bring them on campus. They can also form blocks with other schools in the area and get the artists for a cheaper price.”
The conference was attended by dozens of entertainment and activities companies and more than one hundred schools from across the US. The ICC members that attended had the opportunity to learn about these different organizations and institutions and how each of them worked to make college campuses a more engaging place for students.
“NACA was an extraordinary experience to network with other students and hear what they were doing across mid-America,” said attending student Trevor Mileur, 20, of Peoria. “I thought it was really interesting to see what other schools were doing, and it had a sort of competitive drive.”
One of the ways the different groups shared information with each other at the conference was through numerous educational workshops that each gave attendees the chance to learn from a host group about a unique topic, and ICC members actually led two of these sessions.
A large part of the conference was devoted to showcasing the talents of various performers to attendees. These “showcases” amounted to 16 hours of the conference’s total length, and they gave ICC students the chance to preview performers ranging from folk bands to comedians to inspirational lecturers.
The student attendees were all associated with either the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement or Campus Activities Board (CAB), the student organization at ICC that focuses solely on hosting fun events for students on campus, and they felt that their time was well spent.
“I really liked the opportunity of going and seeking out good talent for Campus Activities Board [to bring to ICC],” said student attendee Jessica Chanto, 19, of East Peoria. “We met some cool people there.”
Check below to listen to a song by The Speedbumps, one of the conference’s dozens of performers.
Collecting Coverings for Children
EAST PEORIA — The ICC Rotaract Club, which is a local youth affiliate of Rotary International, is currently partnering with the East Peoria Youth Council to collect articles of winter clothing for underprivileged area children.
Since this is the first year that ICC has had a Rotaract Club, it is the first time for this event as well. According to Rotaract Club member Caity Thomas, the collection program–called “Socks for Santa”–is collecting hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, socks, pajamas, and other warm articles to give to local kids from the ages of five to 17.
Items are being collect through Thursday Nov. 21 from the East Peoria Campus. Items can be dropped off at the small Christmas tree that stands in the second-story lobby of the Technology Center under Cafe Breve. Items are picked up from that location each night.
Questions regarding the ICC Rotaract Club or Socks for Santa can be directed to Scott Paulsen at (309) 694-5505.
25 Years of Paying Our Way
EAST PEORIA — It was 25 years ago that a donation to Illinois Central College lead to the creation of the ICC Educational Foundation, and today it has grown into an enormous resource for assisting both the College and its students achieve their goals.
In 1988 local resident Mabel Dingeldine, who had donated land for the formation of the East Peoria Campus back in 1966, left ICC a sizable monetary donation upon her passing. According to Stephanie Holmes, manager of resource development at ICC, the college created the Educational Foundation to manage this sudden windfall.
The foundation was designated to manage these funds to be used for student scholarships and college improvements, and this meant separating these dollars from the rest of the College’s money.
The foundation is now 25 years strong, but it has not survived solely off of that original donation from Dingeldine. The Educational Foundation has continued to grow because members of the community have never stopped contributing to its cause. Foundation papers show that during 2012, these contributions amounted to $2,942,178.90, of which 89.8 percent was set aside for scholarships.
On Oct. 24, ICC hosted its annual community celebration, where the College shows its appreciation to all those who donate to support the foundation, at Embassy Suites in East Peoria. At the beginning of the “Silver Jubilee”–as it was called in reference to the anniversary–ICC President Dr. John Erwin spoke on this milestone.
“It’s been a great 25 years,” said Erwin. “The foundation has assisted the college in acquiring new technology, purchasing much needed supplies and resources and assisting in campus projects, as well as providing, of course, numerous scholarship opportunities for our students. And all of this could not have been accomplished without the continuous, generous support of our community.”
The Foundation is now stronger than ever.
“We are the largest endowment in the state of Illinois for a community college. (An endowment is money that’s invested and we get return interest on.) It’s over $15 million now,” said Holmes.
Holmes explained how the College doesn’t necessarily get to decide how to use these funds.
“Donors have put restrictions on what it can be used for. We keep databases on what the donor purposely gave that money for so that we make sure we use it properly.”
Holmes said that these donations have assisted ICC in projects like building the CourgarPlex, upgrading classrooms with SMART technology, and offering students more than 900 scholarships.
Regarding the future, Holmes said that the foundation trying to raise funds to assist in the construction of ICC’s new sustainability center that is slated to be built next year. And regarding the past, she said the foundation has come a long way since that original contribution from one of ICC’s greatest supporters.
Sustainability at ICC Part 2 of 3: Shrinking the Footprint
EAST PEORIA — Every now and then, a large project at Illinois Central College attracts attention and gains notoriety as something sustainable, but it may just be the small things the College does on a daily basis that makes a larger contribution to ICC’s efforts towards sustainability.
Facilities Services contributes a lot to the daily sustainability efforts of the College. Facilities Services is the department tasked with keeping ICC’s environment clean and healthy. Every day, this department physically cleans the College as well as empties all trash and recycling cans in building interiors.
This recycling aspect of Facilities Services operation might be one of the most utilized sustainability efforts that ICC has. According to department records, 40,000 pounds of recyclables, 85 percent of which was paper and cardboard, were collected from the East Peoria Campus in January through June.
With time, John Vogelsang, director of facilities services, hopes to see the volume of recycling go down to indicate that the college is producing less waste materials.
Since Facilities Services also cleans, one might wonder if they “clean green.” Well, they have a machine called an Orbio 5000-sc that turns water into a mild cleaner for the cleaning staff to use. Vogelsang’s point was “How can you get any greener than water?”
Facilities Operations, a division of Facilities Services, has a similarly important role both inside and outside. Facilities Operations maintains the ICC’s land and buildings, and they have a few sustainability practices of their own.
Whenever they do building updates or construction, they recycle any waste metal that is produced in the process–17,500 pounds so far this year.
They also recycle in their outdoor operations, as well. Each year, community Christmas trees are ground and reused as wood chips for landscaping. And old asphalt millings are saved to be reused as material to build access roads and trails on campus.
Other departments with sustainable practices include Food Services with their use of compostable dinnerware, energy-efficient appliances and locally sourced food products and Document Services with their upgrades to less hazardous and more efficient printing equipment and their dedication to buying paper stock only from US companies that use sustainable forestry practices.
To ensure that ICC continues to improve its sustainability practices, the ICC Sustainability Committee is in the process of forming a climate action plan that would send the College on a path to being “carbon neutral” in the years to come.
ICC is hosting a series of small group meetings this week where students, staff, and members of the community can share ideas regarding the formation of an ICC climate action plan. There are twelve meetings, and individuals can learn more at www.icc.edu/green.
U of I Still at ICC
PEORIA — The University of Illinois Springfield’s Peoria Center has moved its offices to the second level of ICC’s Perley Building in downtown Peoria after spending the last four years on the ground floor.
The UIS Peoria Center has had a presence at ICC in some form since 1975, and it offers students the opportunity to earn a U of I degree without ever leaving Peoria. Its partnership with ICC is fitting because the Peoria Center does not offer freshman or sophomore level classes. Students must transfer there after completing their first two years at another institution–like ICC.
The Peoria Center continues to offer bachelor’s degrees in both accounting and business administration, as well as a masters degree in business administration.
Information sessions on their MBA program are being held at the Perley Building at 5:30 p.m. on both Nov. 14 and 19. For more information on the Peoria Center, call (309) 999-4847 or visit their office in the East Peoria Academic Building in office 238C.
Forget About Money
EAST PEORIA — Earlier this year, the journal Science published a study that suggested a link between poverty, mental capacity and the act of worrying about one’s finances. It stands to reason that a connection like this, if real, could affect students as they attempt to succeed in college.
In this study, which was led by a Princeton University psychologist and a Harvard University economist, scientists tested the mental function of individuals under varying conditions.
They found that when people who were financially strained thought about money issues, their mental performance dropped by more than 25 percent. This is the same amount of mental decline suffered by someone who stays up all night before a morning of work.
The point of the study wasn’t that poor individuals had lower mental abilities–it was that when financially strained individuals have finances on their mind, it lessens their chances of succeeding by clouding their minds.
Since college students are stereotypically under financial strain, could they unwittingly be harming their chances of success by thinking about money? The Harbinger sought to find an answer to that question by seeking professionals at ICC to weigh in on this subject.
ICC psychology professor Paula Ahles said that she sees stress as the main threat to students’ success. She said that chronic stress, whether it be over finances or something else, lessens your quality of sleep, and lack of sleep can make learning more difficult.
Pam Wilfinger, director of advisement and counseling services at ICC, shared her opinion as well. Being in the counseling department, she meets many students in difficult situations. She said that she doesn’t often hear students acknowledge that they worry about money, but that many times money is still involved in their issues.
She said that students often become academically unsuccessful because of having their attention divided away from their classes. She said that the first question she asks students seeking counseling is “How many hours a week are you working?” because student often prioritize earning money. She said that it comes down to the hierarchy of human needs.
“Why did we start serving children in the public school system breakfast? Well, because it’s hard to come to school and concentrate if your stomach’s growling. This would be similar. It’s very hard to put all of your effort into concentrating on a subject and doing well in a course if you’re having to worry about ‘How am I going to pay for this? How am I going to survive? Where’s my next dollar coming from?’”
She said that she suggests that students make a long-term plan for their college finances so they don’t find themselves in a sudden financial predicament.
“I think those are the kinds of conversations that parents and students need to have. I think you need to look at ‘What I am going into? How much money am I going to owe when I come out? How many years is it going to take me to pay that off if I start out working at a certain salary?’ The more you learn, the better off you’ll be, and the more informed you are, the better you can make decisions.”
So regardless of whether or not this study applies to students, it seems that the more students can reduce stress by minimising distractions and stabilizing their finances by having a money plan, the more successful they will be at ICC or any other place of learning. That should get them off to a good start for the rest of their lives and help them overcome the financial worries of college life.
Write Proper Resumes
EAST PEORIA — On Nov. 20 ICC alumna Anne Follis will be at the East Peoria Campus to teach how to write a professional resume.
Follis has been professionally writing resumes for 23 years, and now current students and paid members of the ICC Alumni Association will have the opportunity to learn a few of her methods for using a resume to get a job interview.
Those wishing to attend must RSVP on www.icc.edu/alumni by Friday Nov. 15. The event will be in room 212C/D in the East Peoria Academic Building from 1 p.m. till 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 20. There is no charge to attend.
Always Faithful to His Brothers: George Colburn
EAST PEORIA — George Colburn once enlisted in the United States Marines and served in a war. That was more than twenty years ago, but regardless of the passing of time, he is now and forever will be a Marine. Now, he serves his country by being there for those that need him most, fellow veterans.
After he graduated Peoria’s Manual High School in 1986, Colburn didn’t hesitate to join the Marines. He saw it as a way to move on to a better environment.
“I grew up in the South End of Peoria,” said Colburn. “It was either join the military or join a gang and be incarcerated by now, which are what my options were.”
After two years, he was got out of active service only to go back in less than a year later for Operation Desert Storm. When he was finally discharged in 1991, he came back to Peoria to try and adjust back into civilian life. He did it, but he wouldn’t tell you that it was easy.
He has worked for several companies since his tours of duty, but now he is focusing on his studies back here at Illinois Central College. He still makes time though for his favorite veterans’ group, the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club.
Colburn got involved with the Leathernecks a couple of years ago after getting his first motorcycle. He wasn’t sure whether a motorcycle club was for him, but when he met the members, he immediately felt a brotherhood because all of them were Marines.
The Lethernecks don’t get much good publicity because of the negative stereotype that accompanies motorcycle clubs, but Colburn said that their club doesn’t approve of any of the violent actions of some other clubs. The Leathernecks have more philanthropic motives–holding veteran fundraisers in cooperation with local businesses and organizations.
“But no one hears about that,” said Colburn. “They hear about bikers beating up people in New York. They see these guys on these crotch-rockets terrorizing highways. That’s not us. That’s never been what any of the true bikers do. True bikers … they just want to ride. They don’t go out to cause trouble.”
The Leathernecks partner with local institutions to hold events that raise funds for Toys for Tots, the Wounded Warrior Project, and other veteran or community causes, and they always raise money–even if it’s from themselves.
“It’s just one of those deals where we don’t care to make a profit. If we’re in the hole, we would much rather be in the hole and have [the money] come out of our own pocket because we know what it’s going to,” said Colburn.
The chemistry of this unique group of veterans has helped Colburn to find stability, even this long after his time of service.
“Yeah I’ve earned the title of Marine and no one can ever take that away from me, but once you’re out, there’s no Marines. So you lose that; there’s an emptiness, and the Leathernecks actually filled that emptiness that I had–where there’s now somebody that I can count on like family.”
Now he would like to see ICC help returning vets get this sort of social medication. He would like to see ICC offer free group counseling classes for returning veterans, where they could reconcile their conflicts while also learning of their college options.
“You just came from a place where people are shooting at you daily and you’ve seen things that no person should ever have to see, and you come back here with no true assistance,” said Colburn. “The government doesn’t help and there’s no place to go for these guys to go and punch a punching bag or talk to somebody who actually understands [what you’ve gone through]. That’s where ICC could help.”
Temporary Student Jobs Available
EAST PEORIA — This week only, the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement (OSLE) is choosing students to hire as orientation leaders for new student orientation in the spring.
About ten students are being selected now, and they will work Jan. 7, 8 and 9 to help organize and execute the event. Abbie Alsene, manager of student activities, said that the students will be paid $8.25 an hour and work for 15 hours or possibly more.
Candidates must be in good academic standing with ICC and be enrolled in at least six credit hours of classes. Prospectors can visit OSLE in office 305B in the East Peoria Academic Building, call (309) 694-5201 or email email@example.com .
Student Project Showcases Local Farmers
EAST PEORIA — Professor Paul Resnick’s English 111 classes and Professor Anastasia Samoylova’s Photography-1 Art 140 class have come together on a Service Learning Project.
The purpose of the project is to combine classroom learning objectives with real-world applications to benefit the students.
Students from both courses went on field-trips to interview farmers as well as photograph their operations and produce. Students will be collaborating on creating posters that feature the farmers and their farms.
Twelve posters will be displayed in the Student Lounge at the East Peoria campus on Thursday, Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., with the poster judging contest at 11 a.m. Members of the community are encouraged to visit.
Word on the Street — ICC Visited by a Deer Friend
At 8:00 a.m. on Saturday Nov. 2, a young male deer wandered into the courtyard of ICC’s East Peoria Academic Building and jumped into and out of the building through the glass of two closed windows. The biology lab in 222A was wrecked in the process. The deer was then corralled away by several individuals and was last seen bound for Centennial Drive. The Harbinger asked students who they saw as the victim here–ICC or the deer.
Roberto Zorob (right), 18, of Washington
“I would say ICC because the students had their projects smashed because of the deer, and even though it wasn’t the deer’s fault, he or she or it was still the one who caused the incident.”
Lynn Carr, staff, of East Peoria
“Both. The poor deer–they kicked the deer off and it was all bloody. I live up in this area so I know there’s a lot of deer that happen to use ICC’s wooded area, but the poor thing got lost and confused. I feel sorry for it. So I think that both the deer and ICC were victims.”
Anthony Awada (left), 18, of Peoria
“I have to go with the [window] glass. I really feel its been the victim. It gives us beautiful views of the world and then all of a sudden it just gets beat up like this. It tears me to shatters. ICC’s campus security is not doing a good enough job if they can let a deer come in here. Where are all of the security guards that are supposed to be walking through ICC ensuring that none of us get harmed. Where are they? Where are they?”
Darius Ross, 22, of East Peoria
“I will probably say that the school’s the victim even though there’s supposed to be security here to make sure stuff like that doesn’t happen. Security may have not been 100 percent doing their job well. They may have been on break in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Tyler Siegrist, 19, of Peoria
“I would say it could go either way. It’s an inconvenience for both of them. There’s no specific victim. I mean, they’re both kind of victims.”
Emily Donnelly, 20, of Chillicothe
“I guess I would have to go with the deer because the college can always pay for new stuff, but the deer’s probably traumatized. The college gets new windows and maybe new lab equipment, too.”
Bucky, 3, of ICC Woods
“I’ve known Larry since he was a young buck. He started going crazy around August and I guess he just finally snapped. I tried to reason with him, but he assured me the glass was no match for him. Ever since the incident I’m terrified of being out alone after dark.”
Pantry to Fight Winter Hunger
EAST PEORIA — Beginning Nov. 1 ICC will be hosting a food pantry to collect food for those who may need it come December.
The Pantry will be sponsored by Sigma Kappa Delta, the Human Services Club and the ICC Intercultural Diversity Committee and will be intended to be source of sustenance for any underprivileged students.
Donations will be collected throughout November, and organizers hope to receive non-perishable, nourishing “items like meal helpers, pasta, peanut butter and canned meat.” Drop boxes will be placed at 12 locations across three campuses, including near East Peoria’s Student Lounge, Downtown’s Library and North’s Cedar 44 reception desk.
Food baskets will be distributed on Dec. 4, 5 and 6 in select ICC locations.
More information on the pantry can be found at www.facebook.com/iccfoodpantry or by contacting Joe Chianakas at firstname.lastname@example.org or (309) 694-5548.
Sustainability at ICC Part 1 of 3: Wind Turbine Still Up In the Air
EAST PEORIA — Eight and a half years ago, Illinois Central College paid to have a study done on whether or not the East Peoria Campus could support a wind turbine generator as a source of “renewable energy,” and after all this time, it is still unclear what the future holds for a windmill on campus.
To be clear, this “windmill” isn’t the kind that you might have in your backyard; it is taller than a football field is long and weighs more than two million pounds according to records of the study. It is the same type of structure that you see advertised in commercial wind farm applications for the generation of electricity.
According to Michael Sloan, dean of agriculture and industrial technologies at ICC, back in 2005, grant writer gave ICC the money to look into installing a wind turbine and that brought about the feasibility study.
The study involved a detailed examination of the environment around ICC to determine its potential as a site for a turbine. It looked at numerous factors ranging from the area’s wind speed to the noise impact a functioning turbine would have, and despite the somewhat suburban setting of the East Peoria Campus, the study found that it would be a suitable location for a windmill.
This suitability has some faculty and students wondering why ICC hasn’t followed up on the project in the years since the study’s completion.
ICC chemistry professor Billy Cook has always hoped the wind turbine would become reality. After all these years, he still brings a copy of the feasibility study with him to every sustainability meeting he attends at ICC. Regarding his relationship with college administrators, he describes himself as a “burr under their saddle” because of his persistent advocating.
Biology professor Kristin Jacobson-Flex feels that ICC has recently been giving more focus to sustainability. She said that she also sees benefits to a wind turbine on campus.
“It looks bad that Heartland and all these other schools have them,” she said. “Seriously, it can’t be great that everybody else is ahead of us. … and we’ve got a great site for wind!”
Cook and Jacobson-Flex aren’t alone in their support. ICC student Cory Whittaker, 23, of Mapleton, is also a strong advocate for the turbine. President of the Student Association for the Environment (SAFE) at ICC, Whittaker feels that ICC should invest heavily in renewable energy.
“That feasibility study that was conducted was only an estimate for a 1.8-megawatt system,” said Whittaker. “If we were going to do it, whether it be wind or solar, we need to invest in a large enough system to not only completely offset our utility bill but also support our local community.”
Bruce Budde, executive vice president for finance and administration at ICC, expressed both support and concern for the project. Budde said that cost of the project would be difficult for ICC to absorb on its own. Grants could make the project more economical, but ICC hasn’t received any thus far.
Statistics defend Budde’s concerns. Back in 2005, the turbine installation was projected to cost $2,040,150 and take 25 years to pay for itself. Today, ICC’s conventional electricity costs have actually declined according to Budde while the cost of wind turbines has risen.
Denmark-based Vargas Wind Systems Inc., the manufacturer of the turbine that was recommended to ICC in the study, told the Harbinger that the recommended turbine would today cost ICC about $2,250,000 before installation costs. Meaning the total cost would be around $2.7 million. This means that it may now take significantly longer for ICC get a financial return on a wind turbine.
ICC is pursuing other forms of renewable energy though. According to professor Steve Flinn, ICC has, with the help of grants, purchased materials for a solar panel installation on roof of the AIT building. The equipment for the 15-kilowatt setup is currently in storage, but ICC has everything they need to someday assemble it.
Flinn said that the project has been a few years in the making, and he feels that “no one’s dropped the ball on this.” He is unsure though exactly when ICC will assemble and install the system.
Sloan is still hopeful for wind in the long run though.
“I think we’ll see a utility-scale wind turbine in the next generation, in the next twenty years,” said Sloan. “That’ll be after I retire, though,” he chuckled.
Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks: Larisa O’Keefe
EAST PEORIA — People tend to turn and look as Larisa O’Keefe walks by in the halls of Illinois Central College, but it is not her that catches their eye, it is O’Keefe’s four-year-old, Ember. While any four-year-old would attract a bit of attention in a college, Ember is especially noticeable because she’s a little pit bull, literally.
Perhaps the reason that having a dog in the halls of ICC seems odd is that, frankly, it’s prohibited by Campus Police. 25-year-old O’Keefe isn’t at risk of getting in trouble though because Ember is no ordinary pooch. She trains public-access service dogs for people with special needs, and Ember is one of these special canines.
O’Keefe said that she feels the public sees service dogs as companions for the sight or hearing-impaired, but she trains most of her dogs for another group of individuals, children with autism.
“The autism service dogs are as much a tool for the parents as for the child they’re servicing, actually,” she explained. “It’s kind of like having an extra set of eyes, especially for kids that have trouble being restrained or don’t interact appropriately.”
These autism service dogs can be in-home companions or be further trained to the public-access level, where the dogs have the right to go into any public area with their owner.
A large part of a public-access service dog’s training is teaching them to maintain their composure in a variety of environments. That is why O’Keefe brings Ember to ICC, to expose her to an unfamiliar setting.
“It’s pretty much getting them comfortable in new situations,” she said, “and allowing them to feel discomfort but not to feel fear over it. It’s okay for them to be hesitant and uncomfortable as long as they recover quickly from it.”
The training of just one of these dogs requires months of dedication from O’Keefe, but she has managed to balance this effort while taking classes at ICC and working a full-time, third-shift job. In fact, even though she has a decade’s experience training dogs, she didn’t begin training service dogs to the public-access level until after she had enrolled in courses here.
During her first semester at ICC in fall 2010, it was an incident with her young cousin Zaria that prompted her to try training dogs for public-access. Autistic Zaria would run uncontrollably when she felt overwhelmed by what she literally sensed around her.
“There was one time when she almost ran into traffic,” said O’Keefe, “and that’s when they decided that they needed help; they needed something that could keep her from running. They had tried just holding her hands or holding her, and she didn’t want to be held or confined.”
So to address this concern for Zaria’s safety, her family bought a dog from a shelter to be trained as a service companion. This presented O’Keefe with the opportunity to train a true public-access service dog for the first time.
O’Keefe trained the dog to be tethered to Zaria and keep her safe by laying down whenever she would start to run. And she said that when that 70-pound Pit Bull Terrier lays down, “It’s over, she’s not going anywhere.”
O’Keefe feels that, contrary to public opinion, Pit Bulls are very friendly and trainable dogs–ideal candidates, she feels, for service dogs.
“I know they get a bad reputation,” she said, “but I’ve had the most success with Pit Bull Terriers and Pit Bull mixes.”
Service dogs are very valuable, both monetarily and functionally, and training them can be a lucrative business. O’Keefe, however, isn’t getting rich off it. She couldn’t, seeing that she trains these dogs only to give them away to area families who are in need of such a companion.
“I guess that I just noticed there is a huge need for it,” she said. “Families that are already affected by autism or developmental disorders, they’ve got medical bills, they’ve got extra therapy costs, they’ve got educational concerns that all affect their financial situation and they can’t always afford $20,000 or $50,000 for a service dog.”
All of these experiences helping the autistic lend themselves well to O’Keefe’s intended career field, special education. She
plans to graduate from ICC in the spring and then attend Illinois State University and enroll in the program of “Special Education: Learning and Behavioral Specialist.”
She also plans to keep training dogs, on a limited basis, as the need arises, and while she doesn’t charge for her services, she’ll always feel rewarded for her work.
“The kids, they come alive!” said O’Keefe. “There’s these kids that have no communication skills and then they see the dog and it’s just joy on their face, and that’s rewarding enough.”
For questions about her training services, which are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, O’Keefe can be contacted at Shelters2Service@gmail.com.
L.E.A.D.ing Students Into the Future
EAST PEORIA — The Office of Student Activities is undergoing a slight facelift this month, sporting a new title while continuing to reach out to students.
For decades, ICC’s Office of Student Activities, located in office 305B in the East Peoria Academic Building, has been a place for students to go for tasks like joining student organizations or getting approval to advertise on campus. The office was functioning well, but Manager of Student Activities Abbie Alsene said the College decided that it would benefit from a name change. Hence the new title of Office of Student Leadership and Engagement (OSLE).
“We are changing our office title to better encompass all the things that we do offer in this office,” said Abbie Alsene, manager of student activities. “By changing it to Student Leadership and Engagement, we are illustrating that it’s much more than just student activities that we do.”
Alsene went on to say that she thought students saw the Office of Student Activities as a place to go to get involved in “primarily clubs and organizations,” but she hopes to use the office’s new title to show students that they aren’t limited to those typical options. There are also volunteer and leadership opportunities that she wants to see students better utilize as time goes on.
That’s not to say that the office’s atmosphere and relationship with students will really be changing. Raymond Holloway, one of the office’s student workers, feels that students shouldn’t feel alienated by the new name.
“We encourage students to come in and talk to us,” said Holloway. “We actually hope that it encourages students to want to be more engaged or become leaders on the campus.”
“I think it’s a positive move in the right direction,” said Rhonda Elmore, who was recently hired to the new position of coordinator for student leadership and engagement to help the office achieve its ambitions.
Elmore and Alsene are now working on the next evolutionary step for OSLE, and that is the implementation of a new student program called Leadership Education And Development, or “L.E.A.D.”
“It’s something that we feel like we need to offer as an opportunity for students,” said Alsene, “and when I say students, I mean all students, not just those who are currently involved. … Any student can come and join and be a part of it. That’s our way of reaching out to more than our typical audience.”
The L.E.A.D program will focus intently on building leadership within students, and Alsene said that those students who enroll in and complete the unaccredited program will be recognised for their efforts on their ICC transcripts. Alsene plans to have the program up and running for students in the spring semester.
Meanwhile, the office will continue to uphold the mission of ICC’s Student Affairs Division to help students be “confident, prepared, and empowered to meet their personal and academic goals.” Now, they will just be doing it with a new name above their door.
Today’s Struggles, Tomorrow’s Treasures
As college students, aspects of our personality and personal struggles can greatly affect our performance in classes, activities and life. Throughout these dilemmas, sometimes we make mistakes and need a helping hand or a friendly piece of advice.
From personal experience, one important lesson to live by is, never get in over your head. At times, your going to feel like you can take on the world. “Heck yes, I can hold down two jobs, have an incredible social life and also take 16 credit hours at school.” I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that is not the case. No one can do it all. So pace yourself. Something is going to have to give. You may have to sacrifice your social life.
The Harbinger, for instance, takes a huge toll on the life of us editors. We are constantly working for each edition. Whether we are searching for stories, interviewing interesting people, or basically living our lives through words on newspaper print. For most of us, this means that we take exorbitant amount of time away from our homes, families and friends.
But in the end, we wouldn’t trade it for a thing. The joy of finishing each issue, showing it off to our friends and demanding our parents to stick it on the fridge is the rush that we live for.
Together, we’ve created something that we are sincerely proud of. We know that the Harbinger isn’t perfect, and that we can improve in so many different ways, but it doesn’t change the fact that we give this paper everything we’ve got.
The real lesson that I hope you can see from our dedication is that even when we, as college students, continue to strive for perfection, there will always be parts of us that we leave behind. It’s not that we lose, it’s what we leave behind that matters. We learn of great leaders and thinkers in our history classes. What makes them great is the legacy that they leave behind. That’s what we as college students should strive for: leaving a legacy.
Through all of the hardships, long nights, blood, sweat and sometimes tears, we continue on. You, as a student body, continue to submit us awesome pieces that we can display in this paper. The work that you do is something to be proud of, and we want to celebrate it with you. The community that we can create will be the everlasting legacy that we can leave behind.
Word on the Street — Government Shutdown and Congressional Change
For 16 days in October, the United States federal government was in a state of indefinite, partial shutdown because of gridlock in Congress. During that time legislators had been failing to compromise while hundreds of thousands of government employees went without pay, but on Oct.16 Congress came to a temporary agreement on the federal budget. ICC students were asked if they felt that, with this crisis resolved, the political climate in Congress will change.
Lindy DeFord, 42, of East Peoria
“I don’t think they’ll come out changed. They haven’t changed too much over the course of the last several years, so I don’t think they’ll change too much.”
Neil Devlin, 66, of East Peoria
“I don’t think it’s going to be changed, but I don’t know. Politics has been around a longtime. The Founding Fathers had terrible political arguments and fights, and it got very personal… I hope it would be better, but I fear it won’t be.”
Eric Johnson, 19, of Peoria
“I don’t know–it might [change]. Because they’re not working together, so people might get upset with different things, and then the politicians might get upset with each other and start making different things happen. I don’t know… I’m not really sure.”
Tiahan Scovil, 19, of Pekin
“Well they need to be changed! I don’t think it’s okay just to do a shutdown because a lot of people lost their jobs for that amount of time. I think it will be changed. I don’t know how, but I think it needs to be changed.
Josh Portscheller, 26, of Metamora
“I think it’s going to make the American people appreciate the government more than what they did before it shut down. …It’s kind of a way to just say ‘Oh, look what you don’t have, and now you’ll be happy when you do have it back.’”
Rachel Noe, 19, of Metamora
“I highly doubt it. I think the Democrats are still going to be for the Democrats and the Republicans will be for Republicans. No, I don’t think it’s going to change. The Republicans are still Republicans; Democrats are still Democrats.”
Coming Back to Give Back
EAST PEORIA — A relatively new facet of Illinois Central College, the ICC Alumni Association has been drawing past students back to ICC this semester to give them the opportunity to give back to their alma mater.
These alumni are returning to give back to the College and its students in ways ranging from artistic to financial, and it is all due to the efforts of the ICC Alumni Association.
Fourteen of the fifteen colleges and universities within 50 miles of ICC have associations for alumni, some dating back more than 100 years. ICC, however, just began to put forth an official effort in that area during the last eighteen months, said Elaine Goslin, coordinator of alumni relations at ICC.
It was in May of 2012 that Goslin was hired by ICC to spearhead the creation of a new department at ICC, Alumni Relations, that would focus on building a network to connect past students, current students, and the College itself. And it was with this act that ICC began its commitment to its alumni. Now, they are acting on that commitment.
“We know from our research and from surveys people have filled out that people want networking opportunities.” said Goslin. “Current students want the opportunity to be around alumus who are successful in [their career] fields already.”
This semester, Goslin and the association have managed to give current students the opportunity to meet and even benefit from a few notable alumni. On Sept. 12 Tabatha Dragonberry, a 2006 graduate of ICC’s respiratory therapy program, gave a presentation in the East Peoria Academic Building’s lecture hall on how students can prepare themselves for job interviews. She wanted to share her experiences with ICC students to help them be more successful after college because she felt that ICC benefited her in the past.
“I got my associate’s here,” said Dragonberry. “I was able to get a job; I started working. If it wasn’t for Illinois Central College, I wouldn’t have gotten that job. And then I continued on and got a bachelor’s degree, and now I am continuing on to get a master’s degree.”
During that same September week, Alecia McClain, another ICC alumnus, was preparing a different sort of presentation for students. McClain, who was an ICC student back in , returned to ICC for the sole purpose of beautifying the campus with a painted mural inside the East Peoria’s cafeteria food court, a project that is even a learnin
“I usually paint on very large canvas, but nothing of this size.” said McClain. “It’s a good opportunity for me in that regard, too. It pushes my boundaries–literally and figuratively.”
To wrap up the eventful month of September, the Alumni Association hosted a webinar featuring another successful alumnus, millionaire businessman Kim Blickenstaff. Blickenstaff gave a lecture titled “Changing an Industry: The Power of Market Research,” in which he shared about the financial power of properly utilizing the free market system in business.
Next, the Alumni Association plans to hold an event here in East Peoria on the afternoon of Nov. 20 that will focus on teaching students the ins and outs of writing a professional resume.
Goslin said that the Alumni Association was just opened to membership this June, and she is encouraging alumni to join not just because of the social benefits but also because of financial ones. She said that Alumni Association members receive discounts and incentives at more than 25 local establishments.
For more information on the Alumni Association, membership, and upcoming events, Elaine Goslin can be reached at (309) 694-5282 or email@example.com .
SGA Reforms and Engages
EAST PEORIA — The Student Government Association (SGA) here at Illinois Central College is looking to expand its influence this year by focusing in on membership, and digging deep into its agenda.
According to Trevor Mileur, Student Trustee on the ICC Board of Trustees and an Executive Officer of SGA, student involvement is the first priority.
“We have the framework down, the by-laws set, [and now] we need people to fill those positions,” Mileur explained.
SGA is a student-run, government organization that is built around the concerns of the students of ICC. If any student has a problem that they wish to convey, they can reach out to any member of the SGA, and the problem can make its way up to the administration of the school.
It’s a practical system on paper, but, in recent years, it hasn’t been implemented to it’s fullest extent.
“SGA, a year ago, was a great idea,” Mileur joked. “It was always there, but actually having people to fill the positions was never there.”
That is where SGA President Shawn Scott sees the change.
“It feels like we have gained a lot of momentum from the beginning,” Scott says. “Implementing senators this semester where we didn’t have them last semester, getting people actively engaged in their roles, having weekly meetings–It’s just been great to see this grow.”
Along with filling the framework that has been set out, SGA wants to be known for being a strong group that can help the students.
“I started thinking more along the lines of, ‘What can I do to help students in this school?’ and that is what SGA is directly related to, working towards the students and [the] issues,” Scott explains.
SGA Secretary Raymond Holloway see this momentum as an opportunity for students to get involved.
“We want to get more students involved,” Holloway explains. “We want more students to get out of their shell, and do different activities.”
“This next semester and spring semester will be about student government activities, and making ourselves known that we are here, available, not just as an organization, but for the students,” Mileur describes. “Within the next year, we want to capture the attention of other students on campus.”
Senatorial elections have already been held for this term, which lasts until the end of the spring semester. If you still want to get involved, stop by the office in 305B for more information.
ICC Prepares to Fire Up New Boilers
EAST PEORIA — Starting in October, the East Peoria Campus may start to feel a little more comfortable as Illinois Central College finishes installing five new boilers in the heart of the Academic Building.
ICC’s facilities services director Kevin Roberts said that these new boilers will be the future source of warmth for the majority of the campus’s buildings, but right now they are still just working to get them connected.
This process began back in May when the ICC Board of Trustees approved the financial investment that this project was going to require. Peoria-based Mechanical Services, Inc. was awarded the job of acquiring and installing the boilers after their low bid of $746,550 to complete the project.
According to project records, the three old boilers that have helped make the East Peoria Campus livable since its creation in 1974 are nearing the end of their life cycle. It could be assumed that the new boilers would be much like these old ones, but, in reality, they have hardly anything in common.
Firstly, the old Kewanee boilers are bright orange and about the size of a large SUV, while, as Roberts attests, the new grayish-blue L.E.S. boilers are relatively compact.
“After removing a couple of pieces, the new boilers actually fit on the elevator.” Roberts said with a smile.
Secondly, more versatile power settings offer greatly improved efficiency with the new boilers. As explained by Ryan Holmes, vice president of mechanical engineering at Midwest Engineering Professionals Inc., a design firm working with ICC on the project, the old boilers had the power settings of “100 percent, 50 percent, and off” while the new ones have, in combination, dozens of possible output levels. This will allow ICC to get just the right amount of heat to match any level of need, eliminating wasted energy and improving heating quality.
According to Holmes, this precise control will come into play especially during summer, when a small amount of heating is needed to prevent the buildings from becoming too cool from air conditioning.
Additionally, the new boilers have a different way of transferring warmth to the building, explained Holmes. In fact, it is somewhat ironic to even call them boilers because they are designed NOT to boil water. Rather, these new units are built to circulate 130-degree heated water throughout the campus to provide warmth.
This, said Holmes, is a much more cost-effective method for the College. According to him, only huge college campuses like the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign can justify the use of steam systems anymore. So this is just another form of modernizing at ICC.
However, this change from steam to warm water requires more than just changing the boilers–it requires that old steam-focused infrastructure in the buildings be replaced, too, but I this will take years to fully accomplish. Meanwhile, two of the old boilers will stay to operate during the transition. Ultimately, every building on campus, minus the CourgarPlex, which was build with its own modern system, will be serviced by the five new boilers.
“It will improve comfort levels…so that will be a good deal,” said Roberts, “but that’s a little ways off, so we’ll get that accomplished in the years to come. It all really does depend on making sure that we do have funding set aside to make that happen because it is a big undertaking.”
On Oct. 10 the new boiler setup is scheduled to undergo its first start-up as Roberts prepares to “run it through its paces.” But he joked that even as they get tested, the building should stay comfortable. The only ones to feel the heat will be the boilers themselves.
Word on the Street — Feeling Safe on Campus
In recent weeks, the State of Illinois has suffered several violent incidents at or near institutions of learning that are normally considered safe. These events ranged from the discovery of a gunshot victim at Peoria’s Manual High School to several hospitalizations after a party near Eastern Illinois University. Given these violent outbursts, ICC students were asked how they felt about the current level of safety here at the College.
Carlie Geike, 19, of Mackinaw
“I feel safe on campus. I mean I take classes in the mornings and everything, so I feel really safe on campus. I don’t have a problem with anything.”
Jessica Chanto, 19, of East Peoria
“I feel really safe, yeah. There’s a bunch of [police officers] walking around even now. It’s not an unsafe location or area or anything, so yeah I feel safe.”
Andrew Funk, 28, of Peoria
“I think that the current safety of the campus is great. Students need to have a lot more discipline in their lives, and especially on a college campus like this. I think safety is great so far.”
Marisa Pfoff, 19, of Peoria
“I feel really safe here in my opinion. I feel like there has never been a problem, so I feel very comfortable. I would say we have better security than most schools; you always see security guards, which is a positive thing too.”
Gia Short, 20, of East Peoria
“I think we need some type of system with cameras everywhere around the building, outside and someone always monitoring. I don’t feel like anyone can get away with hiding bombs or coming in with guns if their was someone with a camera watching their every move.”
Tracey O’brien, Staff, of Peoria Heights
“I would tell you that regarding improvements, a lot of improvements have been made promoting campus safety. I know some people are concerned about the change from Campus Safety to Campus Police, with armed personnel being on campus, but I feel comforted by that.”
Inaam Abuelsoud: From Egypt to East Peoria
EAST PEORIA — In August, Egypt-native Ms. Inaam Abuelsoud began a two-semester stint of teaching Arabic here at Illinois Central College as she strives towards her lifetime goal of helping the uneducated back in her home country.
Brought to East Peoria by a coveted scholarship from the U.S.-based Fulbright Program, 23-year-old Abuelsoud was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt’s capital and largest city, where she focused on learning to teach English to Egyptians. It was this desire to teach the English language that ultimately lead to her being awarded the international scholarship.
Now, Abuelsoud is teaching Arabic here at ICC for this academic year; in fact, she’s the only person teaching Arabic at ICC.
“The program that I’m on is called Foreign Language Teacher Assistant,” Abuelsoud explained, “so basically I should be assisting the main teacher, but here there’s no main teacher for Arabic so I’m the main teacher.”
Abuelsoud explained that she had a variety of experiences, both at home and abroad, that led her to this point in her life. All this is spite of being confined to Cairo for most of her years due to the social environment of the region.
“My family’s not so familiar with traveling,” Abuelsoud explained, “and it’s not that common for a girl to travel alone back in Cairo or, I think, in any Arab country. It’s not that common for a girl to just start roaming around all by themselves.”
So, without leaving Cairo, Abuelsoud said she began her collegiate education in 2007 at Ain Shams University, where she majored in English.
In 2008 she received the opportunity to work with a local nonprofit called Better World Foundation to help do exactly what she had been wanting to, teach English to underprivileged Egyptians. For several years, she said that her role in the program was to do simple tasks like “take attendance and stuff like that.” Then things suddenly changed in 2010.
In 2010, tension began to build in Egypt between the citizens and authorities, and this led to the departure of many of Better World’s American teachers. Now, Abuelsoud herself was faced with teaching English to these students in need.
“I kept the program going as if nothing had happened,” said Abuelsoud, “and I actually took care of three classes at a time. So I was running three classes right next to each other at one time.”
Abuelsoud said the next 18 months was a very busy time for her. She continued to further her education at the university and paid for it herself by working both as a translator for internationals, and as a customer service representative for Vodafone, a telecommunications company. All while continuing her efforts to help the underprivileged.
Then in June 2012 while on a trip to India, she tried applying to the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program, which would pay for her to come teach her native language, Arabic, in the U.S. and allow her to study English in its native environment.
“I didn’t actually have the feeling that I would be accepted by any chance because it’s so hard to get through,” admitted Abuelsoud.
However, after a long application process, she was informed of her selection in January 2013.
She has now been teaching here at ICC for more than a month and seems to be doing fine.
“I think its really rewarding,” said Abuelsoud. “I am really having a blast in my classes!”
Standing in front of her class, she asks students to recall Arabic words and then explains their social usage with first-hand knowledge, something that her students appreciate.
“So far it’s awesome,” said Arabic student David Thompson, 33, of West Peoria, “I didn’t figure that I’d get a professor that’s from Egypt and is a native-speaking professor, so that’s pretty cool to have that live connection to another culture.”
When Abuelsoud returns to Egypt next summer, she has a dream of applying her educational skills, with the help of a friend and fellow teacher, to the turbulent region of Sinai, she explains.
“We want to have some schooling system for girls there because the community that lives in this area… they’re Bedouins and the majority of their girls there are illiterate because they don’t go to school. So this is one way we can better their situation. I think I can better their situation.”
Word on the Street — New Cell Phone Laws
The State of Illinois will soon be enacting a new law regarding the use of cell phones while driving. While texting and driving is already illegal in Illinois, this law, signed by Governor Pat Quinn in August, will make it illegal to talk on your phone while you drive. The use of hands-free devices will, however, still be allowed. The law takes effect on Jan 1 of next year.
Steven Eldridge, 34, of Pekin
“I think it’s a great idea, just from the simple fact that with both hands [on the wheel] you’re obviously going to be paying attention…Hands on the wheel, eyes on the road.”
Elizabeth Brunner, 19, of Peoria
“I guess overall I support the law, but I think they need to stipulate very clearly what is and is not okay…Does it mean hands-free is okay in a construction zone because that’s a little different.”
Ashley Wages, 20, of Wyoming
“I do agree to an extent that it should be illegal, but then again whether you make it illegal or it’s not illegal, people are still going to do it regardless. I think it’s hard to say talking on the phone should be illegal.”
Theodore Johnson, 21, of Peoria
“I think it is a great idea also. Too many people are just causing too many accidents… They are pretty much putting themselves and other people in danger on the road if they are worrying about who is on the other line.”
Zack Gilbert, 22, of Deer Creek
“There’s still distraction involvement no matter what. You’re still not completely focused on the road …[Even] if you’re having a conversation with someone in the car with you, …your still capable of distraction”
Madu Pangemanan, 20, of Peoria
“I support it because that is one of the main causes of accidents in today’s modern society…Is that call really [so] important that you [are willing to] cause someone else’s death or maybe even your own….Make it illegal.”
Mr. Bryson: Sowing Seeds of Success
EAST PEORIA — This fall, although many new faces are visible at Illinois Central College, it is the absence of a familiar one that some students are noticing. In July, Mr. Agbara Bryson retired from the ICC Counseling Department after more than sixteen years of service, and he is leaving behind a legacy of having supported some of the most disadvantaged students.
According to Bryson, he first came to ICC as a counselor in 1997 so he could work somewhere where he could really help people, but this was by no means the beginning of his counseling career.
After being born and raised in Peoria, he worked as a probation officer, community therapist and then senior vocational counselor. “My connection to the community… kind of just led me over here,” said Bryson.
Bryson mentored to every student that he could, but over the course of his career, he came to see that African-American males in particular needed the kind of guidance that he was offering.
“Most of [these] guys think moment to moment, day to day,” said Bryson. “They don’t see themselves even alive five years from now. So we have to take what I call that ‘war mentality’ into expanding themselves to be a productive member of society.”
As it says on ICC’s website, the counseling department is there to give students a place to come to get help with “personal problems,” but Bryson admits that he didn’t confine himself to his office. He would often walk around the campus checking up on the students with whom he had built bonds to make sure they were staying in class. He referred to this practice of his as “intrusive advisement.”
This persistent counseling style may seem like it would make students uncomfortable, but in reality it did the opposite. Bryson said that they came to trust him because they saw that he cared about them.
The pinnacle of his counseling career began in 2009 when Bryson founded Harvesting Dreams. According to its Facebook page, this community program, which meets at ICC, was created to “enhance personal, academic and career success for African-American students through advising, mentoring, community and college involvement.” Or as Bryson put it, “We are planting seeds so they can harvest their dreams.”
Many of the students that Harvesting Dreams targeted were very likely to become college dropouts, but Bryson reported that after they joined they not only got involved on campus but also had a higher retention rate than the average ICC student.
Harvesting Dreams became known for its success not only at ICC but in the community as well. For its positive impact, it was recognized by both Peoria mayor Jim Ardis and Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon. Now, Harvesting Dreams has chapters in two Peoria schools and Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg.
As great as this success was, Bryson explained that the increase in the number of students seeking counseling led to some new stresses within his department.
“I didn’t feel that [the students and I] were really getting the support that we needed, so those issues kind of led me to my retirement,” said Bryson. “The College as a whole, [was] a very strong supporter… but a little tense in my department.”
Bryson’s sudden departure saddened many of his students and left them questioning what the future held for Harvesting Dreams.
“A lot of people were looking for him…They didn’t know that he’d left,” said Raymond Holloway, 21, of East Peoria, who was one of the many students mentored by Bryson. “I think that the young men in that program and the incoming boys need him or need someone like him.”
While Bryson has heard those concerns, he doesn’t feel students should worry.
“Now the program’s been absorbed [by the ICC Diversity Department],” said Bryson. “I’ll be coming back and working with them to help through the transition component and try to usher students back into Harvesting Dreams. So it will be going on, which is a good thing, and under a different department, which is an even better thing. So my retirement worked out perfectly.”
We the Students…
The first thing I would like to do is welcome all of the students, new, old and in between, back to another year at Illinois Central College. From the freshman just graduating high school to our sophomores applying for transfer and our veterans of ICC who just love it too much to leave, I’m sure everyone has something to look forward to this year.
For those of you that don’t know me, this is my first semester as Editor-In-Chief of the Harbinger. I’m a sophomore myself and am very excited to be a part of this wonderful paper.
With that, I would like to do a little “promotion” for the Harbinger. I’m not trying to advertise per say, I just want everyone to know who we are exactly and what we can do for all of the students of ICC.
Some of you might not know this, but we are completely student run. Sure we have our advisors there to keep us in check, but the decisions and articles we make are ours. The one thing that I want to stress in this article is that we are a STUDENT newspaper. Student, as in all of you guys out there sleeping in class, cramming for tests, hunting for parking spots and I’m sure working a job on the side.
The thing we have been very much lacking in the recent years is input and contributions from you, the students. I also want to mention this is not because we have been lacking content, it’s because what you all have to say is relevant, important and informative to the student population as a whole.
The one thing that I would like to try to do this year, as my contribution to this paper’s legacy, is see the student contribution rate increase significantly. I know for a fact that there are so many students out there that are unique, talented and, in my opinion, aren’t getting credit where it is due.
So, are there any of you out there that have just gotten frustrated in class and drew something humorous about a professor, friend or parent? Send it to us! We would love to put it in the paper. (Uncaptioned of course.)
I’m sure there are plenty of aspiring poets, artists and others out there who have some work they would like others to see. Why not submit it to our Arts and Entertainment Editor, Zach Langloss? I’m sure he would be happy to see some amazing pieces from students who wouldn’t normally get that recognition.
Are there any photographers out there? Why don’t you start building up your portfolio by snapping a few pictures and sending them to our Photo Editor, Alissa Hastings?
What about all the social media addicts? I know you guys are out there. Have you followed us on Twitter or liked our Facebook page?
I’m sure that there are plenty of sports junkies roaming around these halls. Why don’t you come watch a game with our editor Jason Ellis and see what it is like to report on site?
Love hunting down a good story? Well, Reid Harman would love a partner in crime to dig up the best stories he can find on this campus. Submit an article to us or even just a story idea. Maybe you heard someone whispering in the halls? Tell us and we will investigate!
The Harbinger is one of the voices for the students of ICC, so take advantage of the opportunity you have to make a difference to the paper and ICC as a whole. Maybe you’re an introvert and don’t really want everyone to know what you’re submitting. You can remain anonymous and still contribute to the Harbinger.
All of us here at the Harbinger have worked hard to get where we are and to add to the legacy of the Harbinger that began back on Nov. 1, 1967. We had to submit work and earn our place on this paper, and I know that I can speak for all of us in saying we are honored to be here. We are following in the footsteps of some incredible writers and it is an incredible feeling.
Here at the Harbinger, we want the students to have a voice. So just remember that the possibilities of what you can contribute to us are pretty much endless. We are in our office 315B (not the English Department, no you can’t drop a class here, your teachers mailboxes are next door in 314C) all year, when you’re in class, late nights when the only other people on campus are the security trying to kick us out, weekends, holiday and even sometimes snow days just because we all believe that this paper is capable of great things. We want to be this student population’s voice, but ultimately it’s up to you.
Still Expanding, North Campus Celebrates 10 Years
PEORIA — It has been ten years since Illinois Central College first held classes at North Campus, and on this special anniversary it looks like things are going nowhere but up for this growing component of ICC’s future.
As ICC President Dr. John Erwin explained, the North Campus was initially developed to solve a problem that ICC was facing.
“In 2001 and 2002 ICC experienced a burst of enrollments, and that enrollment pressure for this original East Peoria Campus was tremendous,” said Erwin. “I personally parked over by Quail Meadow’s driving range, that gives an example of how we were bursting at the seams. It was pretty evident to me I needed to look at a location that would complement the growth of Peoria and also obviously the growth that we were experiencing in enrollments.”
In 2002 when ICC first showed interest in North Campus, it was just an old medical facility. The last entity to operate from the property, the Zeller Mental Health Center, hadn’t maintained the property.
“Out of the eight buildings, seven of them had been just pretty much closed down,” remembered Erwin. “It was in a lot of disrepair.”
To ease the financial burden of moving into North Campus, Erwin said the state gave ICC a year lease at the cost of one dollar, and then the college was able to purchase the property outright for five million dollars the next year.
December of 2002 saw the first class offerings at North campus, but according to Erwin, these classes only consisted of two or three winter minimesters. As time went on, more and more classes were offered at North Campus, and while still in its early years, it even saw the formation of a complete new program, Massage Therapy. These additions continued through the years, and they were heightened in 2011 when ICC began phasing out the Downtown Campus by beginning to relocate its classes to North.
Now, according to ICC’s fall schedule, it is home to more than 250 classes. That’s 75 percent greater than the number held at the Downtown Campus, which has been operating for 40 years. And Erwin said that doesn’t even include the activities associated with North’s regional police training center, Professional Development Institute, or continuing education courses.
Lately, North campus has continued to improve in the form of building renovations and parking lot additions. Four of the seven buildings have been renovated, and every student parking lot on the property is completely new or newly resurfaced. The remodeling of Poplar Hall was completed just in time for it to house classes this semester, and more campus improvements will soon be underway. Most of Arbor Hall, the largest of North’s buildings, will be closed beginning October 1 so it can begin to undergo modernization.
To celebrate North’s ten years, ICC is hosting an “ICC North Update” on Sept 10 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Poplar Hall, where the Peoria community can come learn about what ICC has been doing and will do at North Campus.
Seeing North develop has been a great pleasure for Dr. Erwin. “It’s a topic that’s close to my heart. It’s one of the real satisfactions I’ve had being president here is to watch that campus mature and evolve.”
ICC’s “Go West!” Offers Classes in Brimfield
EAST PEORIA — Illinois Central College is implementing a new program this semester to offer accessible college classes to the western part of its district by making two general education courses available at a local high school.
This program, “Go West!”, offers the courses Psychology 110 and English 110 at Brimfield High School, which is roughly 25 miles northwest of ICC in East Peoria. These classes, taught by ICC faculty, are available to anyone who can regularly apply to ICC.
According to Dr. William Tammone, Provost of ICC, these classes are meant to extend ICC’s accessibility to the western part of the district.
“Coming all the way from Brimfield or Elmwood can sometimes take 45 minutes or more,” explained Tammone. “These classes bring convenience for those who want a face-to-face educational experience”.
Tammone hinted that the Go West! program isn’t stopping there, “We are currently in the talks of offering a welding course [both] at Princeville High School and in Brimfield through Kress Manufacturing, but no word on when we can offer those classes.”
ICC may be going even farther in their outreach to these western communities. At the August 2013 ICC Board of Trustees meeting, an idea was raised to hold a Board of Trustees meeting in Brimfield or Elmwood, bringing the direction of ICC to these communities.
For years, students had to come to East Peoria to attend ICC. More recently, ICC offers classes at the Downtown and North campuses in Peoria and South Campus in Pekin, expanding the educational possibilities for students in Central Illinois. Now, the “Go West!” program is ICC’s next step to becoming totally accessible to the population of its district.
The “Go West!” classes will continue on into the spring semester as well, and ICC has high hopes that the enrollment for these classes will rise as more students learn of their availability. For more information on these classes, students can contact Enrollment Services at (309) 694-5600.
Summer Proved Productive for ICC
EAST PEORIA — Over the course of the summer, ICC had multiple construction projects that it had planned to have completed before fall classes, and as ICC Facility Services Director Kevin Roberts, recently stated, “It all went quite well.”
According to Roberts, the summer projects covered three campuses and ranged from drinking fountain upgrades to total building renovations to landscaping.
The summer began with hallways being blocked off in the East Peoria Academic Building for the purpose of installing new HVAC equipment. This project occurred in three stages, each of which required closing off a new section of hallway. This began May 20 and finished in mid-July when a helicopter was used to place three new air conditioning units on the roof. Roberts said the spaces from 314A to 319E and the rooms on floors directly below should now be more comfortable due to improved heating and air conditioning.
Another noticeable summer project at East Peoria was the excavation and landscaping that took place in front of the library. In late May, the project began with crews excavating a four foot deep trench along the front of the building. Roberts explained that this was so waterproofing could be installed to keep rainwater from affecting a recently relocated data center on the first floor.
By the time classes began on August 19, the trench was refilled, sod was laid and much of the area was covered with concrete, including the addition of two new sidewalks connecting the building and the circle drive.
Several classroom improvements also took place over the summer. Roberts stated that 80 new whiteboards were installed in 40 classrooms on the East Peoria Campus, replacing the last of the old chalkboards. Troy Hattermann, director of ICC’s facilities planning and design, stated that ICC also upgraded eight classrooms, the majority of which were in the Academic Building, with SMART technology. Additionally, Hattermann mentioned that the Mac Labs at East Peoria have all been combined into one space in AIT 255 and that AIT 122 is the newly organized TV & Photo Lab.
Lastly, eight new drinking fountains have been installed across the East Peoria Campus that allow students to get a drink either directly from the fountain or from a port that will fill a drinking container with water. In eight seconds, they can fill a water bottle with chilled, filtered water.
“I think they’ll be pretty popular,” said Roberts. “The water will taste better than [that from] the other water fountains. We’ll see how this all works out, but I think it’ll be something that the students appreciate.”
Sitting Down to Get Louder: Let Your Voice Be Heard
Dear reader, there’s going to be an election on campus really soon, in less than a month.
On Mar. 6 and 7 the students of ICC will elect the Illinois Central College student trustee for 2013-2014 school year to represent the actions and opinions of all us.
It probably doesn’t matter though, right?
A lot of times I hear students around campus making snide remarks about how ICC is a “fake college” or about how they can’t wait to move on to their “real college.”
Oh, that drives nails into my skin.
A very unique thing about attending a community college like ICC is we all have a voice. Each and every one of us that chooses to voice his or her opinion can be heard in one manner or another. Whether or not we choose to be heard or not is another thing entirely.
There is this thing called the Illinois Central College Board of Trustees who make all of the big decisions around here. They hold almost monthly meetings to discuss matters such as school purchases, new hires, fires and retires and examine the integrity of the school as a whole.
A very important member of that board is one of us – a student! That student’s job is to sit on the board as a representative of how we, the students of ICC, are doing as a mass population. They cast a vote on all official ICC business and are given the opportunity to voice concerns and to suggest resolutions for our college.
For you, dear reader, that means this person is directly affecting the environment in which you will be learning and living during your time at ICC. This is your future. This is your chance to be heard by the people that have the power to make change happen.
The student trustee is given an office on campus so that they are available to any student who has a voice to be heard.
The time has come to decide the student trustee for the 2013-2014 school year, and since the trustee will be representing us, we are the only ones who get a vote.
According to Abbie Alsene, manager of ICC’s student activities, only about 100 students voted for their choice in student trustee last year. Out of 12,000 students who attend three campuses and come from 10 counties, that is pitiful. This year let’s improve this number! There are four candidates which means every vote counts. Take the time to read the profiles of the candidates, look for them on campus and see who’s opinions on student life at ICC match yours. If you’ve sat back and thought to yourself that ICC is boring for the last however many months or years you have been here, this is your chance to change the things that bother you.
Vote for student trustee. Take the five minutes to let your voice be heard, because that’s what “real college” is all about.
Bleeding for a Cause
EAST PEORIA — It is a rare opportunity when a person can save a life from the comfort of a bed, and everyone at ICC will have the chance to do just that at the end of the month.
From Feb. 27 to 28, the Illinois Central College’s womens softball team will be hosting a blood drive in the Student Lounge from 9a.m. to 3p.m.
While blood drives might not be commonly associated with sports, it is nothing new for the women’s softball team here at ICC. After being previously sponsored by other student groups, the tri annual blood drive on campus has been overseen by the womens softball team for the last five years.
ICC’s head softball coach, Heather Doty, explained that the team has been holding the blood drives as a community service opportunity. “Which is great,” said Doty, “because it’s not only saving lives, it’s a great way for the softball players to interact with the student body.”
ICC’s Womens Softball Team will be there to make donors comfortable. They will greet them as they enter and give them a drink, t-shirt and pizza when they are ready to leave.
While the girls of the team play an important role in the blood drive, they won’t actually be drawing the donations. That’s where the event’s co-sponsor, The American Red Cross, comes in. Staff from the Red Cross will be there to handle the medical side of things.
Over the many years since the first blood drive at ICC in 1989, the event has been privileged with meeting their donation goals. The Red Cross has set the goal of about 50 donating persons for each day of the drive.
The typical person takes fifteen minutes and donates about one pint of blood, and their donated blood can possibly save three lives in a hospital. It is possible, however, to donate more.
To make an appointment, can call Heather Doty at (309) 694-5494.
EMT Program Gains National Accreditation
EAST PEORIA — Illinois Central College’s Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) – Paramedic Program has received national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
According to Mike Dant, program director, only students who come from a nationally accredited program can take the National Licensing Exam to be recognized as a nationally qualified paramedic.
“It gives our students huge mobility when going from state to state,” said Dant.
ICC has one of only six paramedic programs in the state of Illinois and is the only college or university with an accredited program.
In order to become accredited, a program must meet a very high standard of academic excellence while preparing students, said Dant.
Justin Siekmann, 19, of Dunlap, who went through the ICC’s EMT program is currently completing his paramedic internship, testified to the program’s excellence when he said, “The program, while tough, is fair and is hands down one of the best programs available to prepare an individual for a career. Their relationship with top-notch agencies, area hospitals and EMS systems is outstanding. Their hands on training is excellent, and their didactic teaching far surpasses base minimums.”
There are 200 students currently enrolled in ICC’s Emergency Medical Technician Basic and Intermediate level programs, making it the largest program in central Illinois. It prepares students to work on an ambulance or hospital as a technician.
While ICC has taught basic EMT training since the ‘70s, it wasn’t until 2005 that the most advanced portion of the EMT paramedic program was established. It currently enrolls only 20 students.
“Back in the early ‘80s when I went to school to be a paramedic,” said Dant, “you couldn’t get a degree in paramedics, so none of my training counted for anything except for being a paramedic. When I came here in ‘94 one of the things I wanted to establish was a degree so that people could have a career path.”
To enter the program, students start at the basic level and must be 18 or older, a high school graduate or equivalent and pass basic drug screening.
For more information on the EMT program at Illinois Central College, contact Mike Dant at (309) 999-4667 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Computer Lab Closing, First of Many Changes
EAST PEORIA — At the end of the 2013 spring semester, Illinois Central College will be closing the computer lab located at the East Peoria campus in room 308B.
Currently the ICC library and the computer lab share the duty of having computers available for student use.
“We’ve done some studies of computer usage,” said Chris Frautschi, ICC’s Desktop and Media Services Manager, “and we’ve found that both locations have not been using the computers to full capacity.”
ICC has been cutting the hours the computer lab is open since summer of 2012 and, according to Frautschi, has received no negative feedback from either faculty or students about the reduced hours.
So far, the closing has not been made entirely public to students. Beth Boyer, 38, of Washington, says even though she is graduating in the spring, she doesn’t feel closing the computer lab is fair to students. She said in her experience as a student, computers were hard to find in the library.
“I like to come here (the computer lab) better than I like to go to the library,” said another student Nikkie McDowell, 21, of Peoria. “It’s smaller and quieter.”
Of the more than 40 computers that are currently available in the computer lab, about half will be moved into the library as part of what school officials are calling the “Student Success Center.” The other half will be moved to the new computer lab in Poplar Hall at North Campus.
According to Susan Wheeler, Director of Technology Services at ICC, the Student Success Center will incorporate the Learning Lab, Math lab and Studio, all in one central location in the library.
Housing each of the help labs tools in the library will require remodeling ICC’s East Peoria campus, costing the college roughly three millions dollars, said Troy Hattermann, ICC’s Director of Facilities Planning and Design.
He stated, “The schematic plans for the Student Success Center are completed however that project has been put on hold because of more pressing needs at the North campus. I hope that we can be under construction sometime next year, but we may be able to phase in some of the changes before that.”
According to Wheeler, once the North campus relocates its library from Cedar to Elm, a similar center for student success will be installed.
Currently the plans for 308B after the computer lab closes are still uncertain. “I know there has been some various discussions with the provost and some deans about what the needs are, but nothing has been decided as of yet,” said Hattermann.
ICC Celebrates Chinese New Year
EAST PEORIA — On Feb. 11, Illinois Central College got to celebrate the Chinese New Year by hearing some traditional Chinese music.
Ariel Zedric performed around ten pieces on a guzheng, or Chinese zither. She performed for an hour in the cafeteria in a flowing Chinese purple dress.
The guzheng is played by plucking strings and has a very unique tone. The pieces Zedric performed varied from slow and melodic to fast and powerful.
Overall, the students and faculty really seemed to enjoy the performance. There were a lot of applause after each song and many students would stop when passing through the cafeteria to hear the unique instrument.
At the end of the performance, a few students went up to Zedric to talk to her and some others went to look at the guzheng. It was a very suiting way to celebrate the year of the snake.
Community Workshops at ICC
EAST PEORIA– During the spring 2013 semester, Illinois Central College will be offering adult community workshops in language and culture.
Workshops meet once a week at ICC’s North Campus for six weeks and are designed to provide conversational skills in language and a basic understanding of the culture.
Languages being studied include Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and French. Cost for the six week session vary between $75 and $120 according to language.
While instructors for the workshops were not made available for comment, Diana McKinney, Coordinator of Adult Community Programs, issued this statement: “Adult Community Programs offer community members opportunities to learn about other cultures and languages. Participants have fun while learning new skills and investigating interesting topics.”
To register or for more information, contact www.icc.edu/acp, phone (309) 690-6900, or visit the ICC North Campus, Hickory Hall.
Campus Security Promotes Emergency Preparedness
EAST PEORIA — The slaughter of 20 children and six adults at a Newtown, Conn. school has affected almost everyone’s perception of violence in schools, said Illinois Central College’s Campus Police Chief, Tom Larson.
“Its really raised the level of awareness,” Larson continued, “and it has really made people think twice.”
ICC student Kim Donley, 26 of Peoria, said, “It’s frightened a lot of us, because you never know if the same thing could happen where we’re at. It’s scary to go to school everyday and know that it could happen anywhere.”
Thus far, ICC has been fortunate not to have a so-called “critical incident” occur on campus, one that would endanger the lives of many. Larson commented, saying, “We can’t predict when one of these things is going to affect our campus, so we are taking steps to be as prepared as we can in the event that a critical event does happen.”
So far in the spring semester, several steps have been taken to make the campus as safe as possible, including the implementation of a new emergency alert system, contracted by Rave Alert.
According to ICC’s Dean of Student Services, Guy Goodman, the system will generate notifications via text message, email or phone call, to students and faculty per their request. Cases of emergency would include snow days, power outages on campus and worst case, if a critical event were to occur on campus.
“This is a unique opportunity to spend money hopefully never to use a service,” said Goodman. “It’s part of emergency preparedness.”
Chief Larson believes another part of emergency preparedness is establishing a partnership with other police forces in the area. “We’re working with other police departments and agencies to try to standardize response. We would set down some guidelines so that if we had an incident at ICC, they would already be prepared to respond with assistance.”
Attempting to hire more armed, sworn police officers to work on each campus when there are students or employees present is another facet Larson believes will enhance campus security. Currently ICC has six armed, sworn police officers, a significant improvement from four years ago when ICC had none.
“We have a very good campus security program with a lot of very fine campus security officers,” said Larson. “However, in a critical incident, such as an active shooter, there is no substitute for an armed, sworn police officer to be on campus and ready to respond to it.”
Before the start of the spring semester, Larson gave a security update to all faculty members in which he recommended that all faculty members take precaution by implementing preparedness in the classroom.
Ken Mellendorf, instructor in the Math, Science and Engineering Department, took Larson’s recommendation seriously by taking the time at the beginning of the semester to point out the nearest exit route out of the building, the closest landline telephone and the AED machines to his students and assign them roles in the case of any type of emergency. “I figured it would make the students a little more calm in such a situation if they knew that somebody was already covering the problem,” said Mellendorf.
Larson petitions students and faculty to do their part in keeping the campus safe by reporting any person who seems troubled to an officer immediately.
“Students, staff and faculty can feel confident that the campus safety and security department is taking steps to enhance that security that we already have,” said Larson. “We’re not static; we’re not just sitting still and hoping something doesn’t happen.”
Striving to Make a Difference
EAST PEORIA — Sigma Kappa Delta, ICC’s English Honor Society, is currently hosting their “Food and Stuff Drive” to benefit the South Side Mission.
They are not only collecting all types of canned and boxed food, but also items such as hair brushes, combs, toothbrushes and toothpaste. The boxes are arranged next to the Student Activities Office under the SKD bulletin board. They will be collecting until the end of February.
According to Tonya Keen, President of SKD, this drive is just the beginning of the charitable events that will be hosted by SKD throughout the rest of the spring semester.
Feb. 4-8 they will be selling raffle tickets in the cafeteria for a parking spot in the visitor’s lot or a free bus pass for a month.
All proceeds will benefit the South Side Mission or the Center for Prevention of Abuse. For more information, please contact the Student Activities office.
Make It or Break It: Finals
EAST PEORIA — Gone is the cool factor that came with mid semester, as students pushed through their weekly routine with all the usual procrastinating calmness. With final exams beginning on Monday, Dec. 10, study rooms are fuller than ever and there are eraser shavings on every desk.
Not-so-trending topics such as chemistry tests and western civilization projects suddenly begin to dominate lunchtime conversations. And the computer situation in the library lately? Impossible.
The seriousness that comes with end of semester is not completely unexpected. ICC student Nick Cochran, 21, of Peoria, says students have and always will have a major problem with procrastination. He says, “Students are trying to balance social life with school work and we’re poor at it for the most part.”
As time stands, there is not any room for would ofs, should ofs, could ofs. Students want to know how they can improve their chances of getting a better grade on their finals.
Here is real life advice coming from members of the ICC community who know what it takes to be successful during finals:
Tom Whitworth, Coordinator for Supplemental Instruction says, “Study early, study often. Food. Eat. Drink a lot of water. Oh, and coffee. I lived off coffee in college.”
“There is scientific proof that if you are positive you will do better if you stay positive,” says Margaret Tordoff, Learning Lab Tutor.
First year student in the Interpreter Program, Adam Reisch, says, “Don’t stress, because stress only makes it harder, even though it’s the make it or break it point in your semester.”
“My tip would be to not let the stress of your peers rub off on you… It is possible to work hard and go into finals prepared and to let all of the stress of other students fall to the side,” says Sue Sanders, coordinator for the Interpreter Program.
For students who are looking for even further support during finals week, ICC is hosting a De-Stress week that will help students to lighten up during finals.
New Program Tailored to Diversity
EAST PEORIA — Starting Dec. 10, the Emerging Leaders Program, a new diversity retention and success program, will be active among Illinois Central College students.
The program is designed to give extra support to African American students in both their academic and personal lives. According to Rita Ali, ICC’s executive director of diversity, there is an approximate 15% gap between the success rate of African American students and all other students at ICC.
Ali attributes the gap in success rates to students’ previous educational experiences. “They need study skills and some additional discipline and support in order to be successful,” says Ali.
Each of the three newly hired Emerging Leaders advisors will monitor primarily the success of about 150 students with a GPA of 2.59 and lower, says Ali. They will encourage students to visit the help labs and to make the necessary connections with their instructors and academic advisors in order to be more successful during their time at ICC.
Advisors will contact each student who falls in the category, and it will be up to the individual student to participate. “Students who do choose to participate,” says Ali, “that will be their Emerging Leaders advisor, and really kind of a mentor.”
High school students from the traditional Peoria high schools Manual, Peoria High, and Richwoods, will also be in the interest of Emerging Leaders advisors. They will assist seniors who are interested in coming to ICC make the transition as smoothly as possible and start college on the right foot.
Each advisor will be given an iPhone so that they are always available if emergencies or important matters come up in a student’s life. “We want the advisors to help the students address personal issues as well as academic issues,” says Ali.
Hired advisors are Catherine Moore, Ericson Beck, Jolonda Young, all residents of Peoria. While unable to give any personal information about advisors at this time, Ali was able to say, “[The advisors] have a lot of energy. I think the students will relate well to them.”
The federal funds that are supporting Emerging Leaders will support the program for one year. Ali says everyone involved hopes funding will be filtered to ICC for this purpose again in years to come.
North Pole Visits Campus
EAST PEORIA — Illinois Central College students had the opportunity to get into the Christmas spirit on Nov. 26 as two reindeer paraded around the East Peoria campus courtyard.
ICC’s Campus Activity Board put together the event as part of the fundraising that helps support the Salvation Army. Christmas music and both free hot cocoa and candy canes brought students out into the cold to pet Santa’s friendly reindeers.
“I’ve never actually seen a reindeer before,” exclaimed Austin Lewis, 19, of Metamora. Lewis was among a crowd of students that were all smiles, waiting to get a picture with the reindeer.
“When they’re not living at the North Pole, they stay at Summerfield Zoo,” says their caretaker Rick Anderson of Belvidere.
The two reindeer, Dancer and Sugar Plum, attend approximately 75 events during their season that lasts from the second week in Nov. until Christmas Eve, says Anderson.
CAB president Patricia Sturdigant highlighted the underlying meaning of the event by saying, “We got Christmas around the corner, we just got rid of Thanksgiving so it’s just a giving holiday. We’re asking donations for the Salvation Army. We’re trying to help the kids that can’t afford Christmas presents, so everything we’re doing today, fundraising, goes straight to the Salvation Army.”
Volting Into the Future
EAST PEORIA — The Illinois Central College Board of Trustees has approved the purchase of a new 2013 Chevrolet Volt for the GM-ASEP and Automotive Technology Programs.
The Volt has been purchased from Graue Inc. in Lincoln for the price of $36,368.00.
According to the Agricultural and Industrial Technologies Department, the Chevrolet Volt will provide the latest technology in extended range electric vehicles and will keep ICC’s automotive programs up to speed with National Automotive Teachers Educational Foundation (NATEF) standards.
The NATEF standard for 2012 includes safety and disabling procedures for the high voltage battery pack.
“There’s a lot of new technology and safety features on the vehicle that students need to be aware of,” say David Morgenstern, coordinator and instructor of the GM ASEP program. He equates working on a high voltage car without proper training to nonchalantly playing with power lines. “Our biggest thing is familiarizing and teaching students some safety procedures of the car to be safe when working on the car.”
Currently, ICC uses a Toyota Prius, which is a Hybrid, similar, but not exactly like a high voltage car, to demonstrate such procedures to their General Motor students. “It’s a GM ASEP program,” says GM ASEP student Jake Grass, 19, of Lincoln, “why do we have a Prius?”
Alex Stein, 20, of Pekin, also a GM ASEP student, says, “I think getting the Volt for the program is going to help out a lot. It’s a huge step as a teaching aid, because as of right now we don’t have anything to learn the batteries or the motor technology that GM uses.”
The AIT department believes the purchase of this vehicle will provide students the opportunity to gain experience with cutting edge technology and make them more employable post-graduation.
According to Morgenstern, the Volt has been ordered in Topaz Blue and will hopefully be on campus by Jan. 14.
ICC Adds Eight New Certificate Programs
EAST PEORIA — “One of the plights of a community college,” says Illinois Central College graphic arts instructor John Baggett, “is we have really low completion rates. People come, take two classes and then might go to another college… That makes us look like our programs are not performing very well.”
In solution to this concern, the ICC Board of Trustees has motioned to approve interest specific certificates that will be more accessible for students with busy lifestyles and direct interests. Certificates now available include Page Layout, Print, Digital Imaging, Multimedia, Fire Science Technology, Digital Publishing-iMedia, Law Enforcement and Graphic Design.
Students pursuing a degree in Graphic Communications or a higher certificate in Digital Publishing can make special use of the certificates. As they stack credentials, students are able to showcase their skills in different areas.
Baggett agrees, “As you go, if you want to grab a job doing photography while you’re in the process of getting a degree, you have a certificate that says, ‘Hey! I really know how to use photoshop!’ and ‘Hey! I understand how to use a digital camera for doing image capture.’”
About half of the certificates are obtainable in one semester, while others take about year, says Baggett. There are no entry requirements for the certificate programs.
Sitting Down to Get Louder: Thankful Stillness
With the exception of concerned voters’ obnoxious Facebook rants, election jargon seems to have been put to rest for the season. Does anyone else hear an eerie sort of stillness?
After so many months of intense babble, I’m not sure what to think about simple silence. Not even the Christmas spirit, in its red and green glamour, has completely taken over yet. This momentary ripple in time should not be wasted!
It’s a great time to get ahead on studying, right? Finals are coming up!
Probably, but it’s also Thanksgiving, people!
It’s amazing to me how we seem to skip straight from flip-flops and swimsuits to Christmas shopping and sweaters without taking a moment’s notice of the season of thanks.
There were pilgrims and Native Americans and they celebrated. I mean, what else is there to tell? Well, they were thankful for their plentiful harvest and the friendships they had cultivated.
We carry on their tradition by indulging in our own Thanksgiving feast, which may or may not be so great on our figures (ladies…), and by gathering with friends and family in thanks for the life we have been given.
For every person, Thanksgiving will be represented differently. Some will be thankful for enough food for one day. Some will thank the Lord for the healthiness of their loved ones. Some will be thankful to be alive.
Personally, I will be thankful for the small things; for the ones I love and that love me back. I will be thankful for the opportunity to further my education and to progress in life as a successful adult.
What will you be thankful for?
AIT Department Acquires New Machinery
EAST PEORIA — To replace an outdated piece of equipment used to harvest crops on the Illinois Central College campus, ICC has purchased a newer combine for the school’s use.
According to the agricultural and industries department, the combine is a 1993 Case IH 1666 and was purchased for the final price of $36,300.
“There is a lot of newer combines,” says Peter Fandel, agricultural instructor at ICC, “but obviously it’s a lot newer than what we had here before… It’s got enough [technology] to be able to teach the students what modern equipment and how it works, but yet it’s not the real expensive stuff.”
Besides being essential for agricultural research conducted by the college, the combine will provide new ways for students in the ag program to be involved in the harvesting work.
“Harvest, Drying, and Storage” is a class offered in which students learn how to harvest, how combines work and how to repair them, says Fandel. “We go through this machine piece by piece part by part, how you set the different settings in the machine to harvest different crops.”
Getting the students as much hands-on experience during their study of agriculture is crucial to the department. “We teach the students not only the coursework in the classrooms but then get out here in the real world show ‘em how it’s done… Basically [the students are] work ready when they get into the workforce,” says Fandel.
Brian Kenser, 52, also an ICC student, says of the combine, “To be able to operate it and understand all the functions that go into it is just I think for any student is pretty important if they’re going to go ahead with an ag degree.”
ICC Approves New Certificate Programs
EAST PEORIA — The Illinois Central College Board of Trustees motioned to approve the following certificate programs: Page Layout Certificate, Print Certificate, Digital Imaging Certificate, Multimedia Certificate, Fire Science Technology Certificate, Digital Publishing-iMedia Certificate, Law Enforcement Certificate, graphic Design Certificate.
These certificates require between nine and 30 credit hours, depending on the program. Each program is designed to give students specialized skills in the field without much focus on general education courses.
Look for more information in the Nov. 12 Harbinger edition.
First-time Voters Concerned About Student Debt, Getting Jobs After Graduation
EAST PEORIA — It is obvious by attitudes around college campuses that students are less engaged in this election than in the 2008 election that sent young voters swarming to the polls in support of President Obama’s “hope and change” campaign.
According to a report released by the Center for the American Electorate, youth voter turnout is predicted to drop significantly in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election due to the not- so-sexy topics of the economy and healthcare looming as key issues.
“We as college students want to hear about issues that matter to us right now. We want to know if we’re going to have a job in four years, and we want know how we’re going to pay back this massive student debt,” says RJ Judd of Lacon, first-year student at Illinois Central College.
Governor Mitt Romney and Obama both claim to support students and promise to provide them with jobs after college. The candidates’ policies, however, promise completely opposite solutions.
“Education is the surest path to the middle class,” says Obama. According to Obama’s official website, his main goal in education is making sure all Americans have the opportunity to pursue higher learning regardless of their financial stability.
Acting upon this goal, Obama has invested billions of dollars into Pell Grants, which provide federally funded assistance in paying for college. He has established a college tax credit for students and their families worth up to $10,000 over four years of college.
Over the last four years, Obama has invested $2 billion in community colleges like ICC and proposed forging new partnerships between community colleges and employers to train two million workers for jobs that already exist.
Under the Obama Administration, students could qualify for the “Pay As You Earn” program, in which students would repay their student loans monthly, using only 10 percent of their monthly income. If students make payments diligently for 20 years, their remaining debt will be excused.
Romney agrees that higher education is the heart of America’s educational system but feels that the federal dollars that Obama has invested is driving up tuition and burdening too many young Americans with substantial debt and too few opportunities.
According to Romney’s official website, he wants to strengthen and simplify the financial aid system and welcome private sector participation.
“He’s wanting more of the American Dream enforced, as compared to Obama who is wanting to provide more government assistance to college students,” says Joe Eberle, 23, of the Peoria area.
Under Romney’s administration, students would be looking for the implementation of Romney’s Five-Point Plan for more jobs and more take home pay. The plan would support America becoming more energy independent, give Americans the skills needed to succeed, strengthen trades with other countries and champion small businesses.
Jimmy Zerbonia, 20, of Peoria, Treasurer for College Democrats of ICC, shares his opinion about the candidate’s policies. “As far as community college goes, if you can get a Pell Grant, it’s more beneficial to the student because it mostly covers your whole tuition and your book costs, if you get the right one, of course…. The Romney plan is more about being self-sufficient and getting a job afterwards. It’s like an after the fact thing.”
Obama believes that manufacturing is an essential building block of the economy because it sparks innovation, generates higher-wage jobs and strengthens entire communities. If re-elected, he plans to create one million new manufacturing jobs by the end of 2016.
In choosing which candidate to vote for in the 2012 election, first- time voters will have to choose which leader they feel will create the best future for our country.
ICC Student Indicted by Tazewell County Grand Jury
EAST PEORIA — While many are still grieving the loss of Illinois Central College student Mario Reyes, 23, of Elgin, Joseph W. Owens, an ICC student, is facing up to seven years in prison for the charges he acquired after the crash that killed Reyes.
Owens, 19, of Niles, has been indicted on four charges by a Tazewell County grand jury: aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in a death, driving under the influence, illegal transportation of alcohol, and improper lane usage. He is currently free on $50,000 bond and will appear in court again on Nov. 9.
According to court records, Reyes was ejected from the car at the time of the crash, landing under the vehicle and ultimately crushed to death. Surviving passengers of the crash include Stephen E. Davidson, 19, of Hyden, Brandon J. Saylor, 18, of Salyersville, and Wesley H. Stamper, 18, of Buckhorn. All are ICC students.
Police were called to the accident scene shortly after 4 a.m. Sept. 22 and found the vehicle near the intersection of Farmdale Road and Bittersweet Road in East Peoria.
At the time of the crash, Owens’ blood-alcohol content was 0.154 percent; nearly double the 0.08 percent legal limit to drive in Illinois. He allegedly told police he had drank a “couple beers,” while an open bottle of vodka was found inside the vehicle.
Dr. John Erwin, president of ICC comments, “Our heartfelt sympathy continues for the family of Mario Reyes, and our thoughts continue for the other students in the accident. This is a tragedy for all involved.”
Poetry Reading Oct. 17
EAST PEORIA – As part of Illinois Central College’s English and Language Studies Department’s Visting Authors series, ICC’s East Peoria Campus will host a public poetry reading by Dr. Stephen Frech.
Frech is not only a poet and English professor at Millikin University, but also co-publisher of the Oneiros Press poetry broadside series. The poetry reading will be held Wednesday, October 17, at 3 pm at ICC’s East Peoria Campus in the Tranquility Room.
For further information, contact Dr. Jim Sullivan at (309) 694-5357.
ICC to Host Energy Smart Workshop Oct. 11
EAST PEORIA – Illinois Central College will be hosting a workshop for building owners, managers and stakeholders entitled “Act Smart, Save Energy – Making Your Building More Energy Efficient.”
The event will be held on Oct. 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at ICC North Campus Hickory Hall in Peoria. Admission is free and ICC will serve a continental breakfast and lunch.
Attendees will learn about the importance of energy in buildings and the statewide energy efficiency opportunities available. Session topics included in the workshop are energy importance, energy and buildings, economics of efficiency and how to get it done.
This workshop is held in conjunction with the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) workshop series.
SEDAC is know for providing Illinois private and public facilities free energy advice and technical services and is sponsored by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in partnership with Illinois utilities.
To register for this event visit http://go.illinois.edu/sedacworkshops.
For more information, contact Frank Thomas at (309) 690-6915.
Fair Trade Coffee Tasting
EAST PEORIA – As part of the Hispanic Month Celebration, ICC will be hosting a fair trade coffee tasting to support the Godinez School of the Northwest Highland region of Guatemala on Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. at the East Peoria Atrium at ICC’s East Peoria campus.
There will be fair trade coffees from Peru, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Columbia.
The coffee is free, but ICC is asking for a 25 cent donation per cup of coffee to continue projects carried out by the ICC Educational Foundation in Mayan Schools.
For more information contact Barbara Burton at 694-8817.