Wednesday, April 17, 2013

When Social Science Changes, Adjuncts Lose

By Sarah Hayes
Discrimination. That is what Social Science department adjuncts are calling a move by department officials after finding themselves keyless for the first time in recent history. The Social Science department’s decision to take office keys out of the hands of adjunct professors after a change of locks in the building have some professors - full-time and part-time - seeing red.

    The change in policy was first initiated in December of 2012 and was put in motion this January while students were on winter break. When Social Science instructors came to pick up their new office keys the week before classes started, those who were not full-time found themselves facing a new obstacle: no keys and no easy access to their office or supplies. 
    Many felt like they had been relegated to second-class instructors, especially since full-time professors still had their keys.
    In a memo compiled and released by Doctor Margaret Tyler, both full-time and adjunct professors voiced their displeasure with the decision to take keys away from adjuncts. Anonymous quotes from a variety of Social Science professors suggested an overall atmosphere of displeasure with adjuncts not being able to access their office as easily as other instructors. Some adjuncts are even considering leaving the college, saying that lack of respect trumps bringing in a paycheck in this scenario.
    Among the complaints in Doctor Tyler’s memo include adjuncts’ now limited access to equipment within the Social Science office, such as office supplies, printer, Scantron machine (used to grade Scantron tests), and official college forms. Adjunct instructors find themselves facing delays in starting class as getting into their office when a secretary is off duty means waiting for Campus Police to unlock the door for them - or hoping a full-time professor is around with a key. 
    Another issue for adjuncts without keys is safety. Because of access issues, adjuncts now must carry all their belongings around with them instead of leaving them in their locked office, for fear of theft. This means lugging to every class their purse/bag, laptop/tablet, exams, coats, class supplies, car keys, et cetera because they cannot keep them in a safe place. Having adjunct’s belongings out in the open means having it more vulnerable to theft. The policy that was meant to make campus safer seems to doing the opposite for the ones hardest hit by it.
    For Doctor Tyler, enough was enough. She made her position on the loss of adjunct keys very clear in a January 12 email to campus president Marcia Pfeiffer, in which she declared that “every faculty member, whether full-time, temporary full-time or adjunct, should have keys to the Social Science Department, their offices, and their classrooms”. Tyler went on to formerly request a reversal in the adjunct policy so that those in Social Science could “continue to provide the quality instruction and academic counsel . . . (they) are known for”.    
    Doctor Nancy A. Linzy has a different take on the Social Science scenario. Doctor Linzy is Academic Dean of the school’s Liberal Arts Division and she sees the decision to take away the adjuncts’ keys as a correct one and that it “brings us in line with the predominate practice on this campus and in the district”. Linzy’s comments highlight the fact that, until this year, Social Science was the only department in which adjunct professors had keys to the offices and classrooms. The adjuncts of Social Science’s neighbors, Communications, to date have never had possession of such keys for their offices.
    When asked if she believed that adjunct professors are valued on the same level as full-time professors, Doctor Linzy said they are “absolutely essential to accomplishing the STLCC mission”. She then went on to clarify that adjunct instructors do not have the same status as those instructors who are full-time, thus the difference in who does and does not get keys.
    This idea does not sit will with some of the professors who spoke anonymously with Doctor Tyler. In her memo, one professor says the decision is “humiliating” and has made them feel “alienated” in their workplace. Another calls the measure “exceptionally insulting and seems discriminating” against part-time instructors. 
    “If adjuncts are entrusted to teach,” an anonymous instructor said, “they should be entrusted to have keys. End of story.”
    Currently, there are plans to re-key the other departments on campus but none of them save for Social Science has been touched. Doctor Tyler is adamant on pressing forth about this issue and making sure her adjuncts get back their keys and their mobility - “no matter what”.

Guest Article: Border Collies Come To Put Geese In Line

Hello Campus Students and Staff:

My name is Dorene Olson, and my two Border Collies, Quill and Anna, and my Scottish Deerhound, Gulliver, come slinking about your campus this time of year, every year.  We are a Canada Goose Management team, and we work on your campus when your geese go broody and lay on their nests. There is an early, a middle and a late nesting season, and we work right on through from mid- March to roughly mid-June, when the last brood is done.

You will probably have noticed orange snow fencing with CAUTION - NESTING GEESE signs around campus.  Florrisant Valley Community College, under the guidance of John Ferlisi and the tireless efforts of Steve, is very progressive in their handling of the geese.  They employ a tactic endorsed, by among others, the Humane Society of the United States, Geese Peace and PETA doing egg addling practices.  The eggs are tested by floating them in water (a yolk sinks, a baby fetus goose rises to the top) and when they are still yolks - just as one buys in the grocery store - the eggs are coated with environmentally friendly corn oil. This blocks the aqueous transfer of oxygen to the embryo and stops its development.  The hen is let to sit on the clutch for a 2 week period, which effectively stops her ability to re-lay a second or even a third clutch if the first one fails.

In the meantime, Daddy is hanging about, fiercely guarding his hen and his nest.  It is the gander that causes the attack problem, and I would like to point out several safety tips.

First of all, avoid the nest site if possible.  Your campus is a highly trafficked area, and the ganders' stress levels are higher than ganders in non-trafficked areas.  The gander and fence around the Social
Sciences building is the most aggressive one on campus, at present.  He tends to behave himself when he is lounging in the grassy oval of the driveway, but BEWARE of him when he is on the sidewalk or the grass near the sidewalk near the buildings.  So far this spring he has damaged several humans.

If you must travel this area, try to approach the doors from the inner campus, not from the driveway side. Carrying an umbrella or one of those sun shades for your car's windscreen can be very helpful.  Just pop them open and use them to deflect the blows from the wings of the gander - the hen won't leave her nest, and I don't make her leave by using the dogs - she needs to sit for those two weeks so that the nest can be taken down and they will harmlessly return to you pond area.  The umbrella or sun shade also make you appear larger to the gander, and he will back off.

My website, listed below, has Channel Fox 2 news footage listed under the Canada Goose Management section, there it is depicted on video some handling techniques, I allowed an 8 year old gander to beat me up on film to show how to handle him, normally I am unmolested.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact me at the number listed below.

Dorene and Canine Crew

Dorene Olson, BA, APDT, AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator 9706 TARA 
Training and Behavior, LLC WyndSong Border Collies and Canada Goose 
Management 314.956.1310

Major League Baseball's Annual Holiday

By Terence Monroe

New Year’s day, Easter, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. If you haven’t figured out by now, the list above just happens to be all the national holidays that are celebrated in the United States. But there are certain days that could get the holiday tag just like the others. One that just passed was Major League Baseball Opening Day that is already considered a holiday by most avid baseball fans. Every year usually around the first of April, baseball celebrates its Opening Day. It is very significant to some, most being sports fans. This is the first day of baseball season, when fanatics get to watch their beloved teams play ball. This is the day that signals the start of a new baseball season, one where everyone’s favorite team has the same chance to win the World Series. It’s only later in the season when fans of poor teams realize there team isn’t going to win the big one, but when opening day is here that thought doesn’t cross anyone’s mind. Opening day is usually when teams send out their best pitchers to face off against other teams best pitcher to try and get a heads up on their first win. True baseball fans will really enjoy the fact that aces will be set up across the board to battle each other, in what is known to baseball aficionados as a pitcher’s duel. Usually that means that it’s going to be a well-pitched game, with little to no scoring game. One where the suspense gradually builds up toward the ninth inning when the game is usually on the line, unless it’s a tie game and in that case the fans enjoy extra inning baseball.

The St. Louis Cardinals were guess to the Arizona Diamondbacks on opening day April 1. The Cardinals had their ace Adam Wainwright facing the Diamondbacks ace Ian Kennedy. It was a great duel, but eventually after nine innings the Cardinals were defeated. Even though Cardinals fans didn’t get to see there team win on opening night what they did see was a game of Cardinal baseball, something St. Louis fans have salivated for since the devastating series loss to the San Francisco Giants last fall. The regular season usually ends in September and if teams are lucky they go to the post-season, which is usually completed in late October after a team has been crowned World Series Champions. If you do the math that is roughly five months without baseball. Baseball is something that brings people together, to enjoy a game with one another. This is why baseball’s inaugural Opening day is a holiday to some. But what classifies the others as holidays and not this special day?

Normally, holidays bring people together and that is something that Opening day has in common with other holidays. Everyone wants to enjoy a game with family and friends around the television set, jumping, clapping and cheering, as if they where at the game when their team scored a run. Usually on holidays most people have the day off and to some extent the same can be said for Opening Day. On Opening day, especially home openers, fans take the day off. They even pull their kids out of school so that they can enjoy the day. This day is usually an all day event. The home teams have parades before the big game and other special events to get ready for the first pitch. If anyone is lucky to have gotten their hands on tickets then they have taken off work and are ready to celebrate for the day. Going to the ballpark on opening day is special; it’s the first time in months that you can enjoy an outside atmosphere. This day is usually accompanied by nice comfortable spring weather. Opening Day seems to have a lot in common with a national holiday.

With that being said there are other things that define what a holiday is, but are there really a set of rules that classify what a holiday is and what isn’t? If there is one I haven’t came across it. What needs to be said is that this day is a special day regardless of if it has that holiday tag or not. It’s something that only happens once a year and should be enjoyed. 

Chemical Technology Program Hosts Battle of Burets 2013

by Adrienne Mazdra

On Wednesday, February 20th, twenty teams from 10 local high schools braved frigid temperatures and the oncoming snow/ice storm to participate in the Battle of the Burets competition sponsored by the St Louis Section–ACS and St Louis Community College–Florissant Valley.

Teams of two students competed to accurately determine the normality of an unknown acid solution within a six-minute time period. This year’s competition was fierce, with over half of the participating teams scoring within 0.5% of the known, secret value. As the phenolphthalein-pink hues diminished, teams from Parkway West High School, Villa Duchesne, and Westminster Christian Academy advanced to this year’s title round. Rachel Arnold and Mary Hogan from Villa Duchesne took top honors.

Rachel Arnold and Mary Hogan
Villa Duchesne
Kathleen Danzo
Daniel Pollman and Nathan Cherian
Westminster Christian Academy
Andrew Shaw
Laura Santanagelo and Ryan Schlueter
Parkway West
Jan Keller

The Junction Between College Students and Alcohol

by Andre Bunn

Alcohol is one of mans’ most daunting enemies yet one of his most loyal confidants. The aura of alcohol has long since been a popular way to enliven the lives of many since their teenage years.  It is a time when one is of the age to detach from their parents just enough to experiment with that burning taste of vivacity or for others nausea. 

And when such teenagers move out of the house and attend college they are no longer a simple whiff away from their parent’s noses and consequently they are unbound by their restrictions, free to operate under their own will to do and experiment as they please. So the question is, “How much do college students really drink?” as posed by Washington Post writer Valerie Strauss. Her article examines the effects college students submit themselves to when drinking their beloved alcohol.  

Students attending college may be at their most vulnerable. They are on the cusp of adolescence and adulthood, halfway out the door of their protective parents’ home; near the threshold of the competitive dog eat dog nature of the real world. They really don’t need any more stress and all they want to do is fit in. So why not knock a plastic cup together with their dorm mates, mellow out and have a night to remember (or not) with their peers? It certainly seems harmless but this in where the problem may begin to fester and irritate its participants. 

Strauss ascertains many statistics that she gathered from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, but here are just a few.
  • ·      Over 1800 college students from the ages of 18-24 die from alcohol induced injuries that were unintentional.
  • ·      Date rape and Assault are other complications that arise from the cloudiness that alcohol use instigates. There were 97,000 reported victims of sexual assault and another 696,000 were some type of physical assault from persons that were intoxicated.
  • ·      400,000 students were even reported as participating in unsafe sex and a quarter of those students say their judgment may have been too obscured to know if they even consented to having sex.

And it’s no surprise that a quarter of college students say that their academics endure the blunt end of the consequences from their drinking escapades.

Please note that these numbers are all estimations but their reality is real no matter how big or small the number.  These aren’t just statistics; they are tangible people. The lives and mental stability of our young adults face a serious challenge of willpower when they are enticed to drink, often times beyond the legal limits, in which case they may harm themselves or others as a result.

The use of alcohol is glorified in Hollywood films and commercials market it in association with a good time but it has an immeasurable impact on our young adults.  It may be seen as cool to drink, it may get the party started, it may “loosen up” an otherwise uptight individual, and it may be part of the natural progression of life but whatever the purpose there are serious and life threatening affects to those that choose to participate. 

So, if you do choose to drink please know your limits and stay in control of yourself and the situation so you are always mindful of your actions. If not, someone else may be in control of them for you and their plan of action may not be to your liking. As they say: “Please drink responsibly”!