Friday, July 19, 2013

Release: STLCC, Better Family Life Partner for St. Louis Metropolitan Area Amnesty Project

For the third year in a row, St. Louis Community College is teaming with Better Family Life Inc. to offer St. Louisans with misdemeanor warrants an opportunity to move past these issues through the 2013 St. Louis Metropolitan Area Amnesty Project.

The Amnesty Project was established in 2002 as a one-day event to help citizens clear their records of outstanding traffic-related warrants. The program has expanded to include all misdemeanor warrants, and this year, for the first time, outstanding child support cases. However, the child support warrant relief hours will take place only at the Better Family Life Cultural Business and Education Center.

The program at STLCC will be conducted over three days, and allow individuals to resolve outstanding warrants with more than 33 city and county municipalities at three campuses from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.:

·         Saturday, Aug. 3, in the Student Center at the Meramec campus, 11333 Big Bend Road.
·         Wednesday, Aug. 7, in the gymnasium at the Florissant Valley campus, 3400 Pershall Road.
·         Saturday, Aug. 10, in the Mildred E. Bastian Center for the Performing Arts at the Forest Park campus, 5600 Oakland Ave.

The Amnesty Project provides participants the chance to resolve situations that may be preventing them from getting or keeping a job or moving ahead in their lives and thus, build more productive futures for themselves and their families.

Participants will be assessed a $10 processing fee to cover all warrant vouchers. STLCC representatives also will be on hand to discuss educational opportunities available to participants.

“We’re very excited about this program. Everyone deserves a second chance,” said Aaron Jimenez, police chief of St. Ann, who also represented  the North County Police Chiefs Association.

The Amnesty Project is part of Better Family Life’s annual Family Week. Their goal is “Back to the Basics – Faith, Family and Neighborhood.”

“We believe that the family is the single-most important unit that makes up society, and we are dedicated to finding internal solutions to the ills, to the obstacles and conditions that plague our neighborhoods,” said James Clark, Better Family Life’s vice president of community outreach. “We are dedicated to changing families through empowering individuals.”

The Child Support Warrant Relief program will be held on Saturday, Aug. 17; Wednesday, Aug. 21, and Saturday, Aug. 31, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Better Family Life Cultural Business and Education Center, 5415 Page Blvd.

For more information, visit or call 314-381-8200.

Established in 1962, St. Louis Community College is the largest community college district in Missouri and one of the largest in the United States.  STLCC has four campuses – Florissant Valley, Forest Park, Meramec and Wildwood – that annually serve more than 81,000 students through credit courses, continuing education and workforce development programs.  For more information about STLCC, visit

Friday, July 5, 2013

Film Review: "Much Ado About Nothing"

Shakespeare Meets “The Bachelor”

by James Hess

The works of William Shakespeare are rarely adapted into other mediums like film or television. One such work, however, has crossed the line into a world that can almost be compared to television programs such as “Desperate Housewives” or “Jersey Shore”.  

“Much Ado About Nothing” (at least this adaptation of it) is a story of romance, deceit, and humor in one movie. It is based on William Shakespeare’s 15th century play concerning two people, a man and a woman, with different positions on love and romance. For those unfamiliar with this story it goes like this: Don John (Sean Maher) plots to ruin Officer Claudio’s (Fran Kranz) wedding out of revenge for losing a dispute with him. He uses his own two allies, Boachio (Spencer Treat Clark) and Conrade (Riki Londhome), to deceive them both of infidelity against the other. Don John does this in the hopes that the marriage will break up before it begins. 

In the midst of this, Don Pedro’s other officer, Benedick (Alex Denisof) tries to sweet-talk his way into the heart of Beatrice (Amy Acker), the Governor’s niece. The wacky events and treachery in this movie can leave the viewer wondering what will happen to both happy couples. We can only assume that love will prevail or hearts will be broken.  

As far as the movie itself goes when compared to Shakespeare’s story, director Joss Whedon has done a wonderful job at bringing the 15th century into a modern setting. The Governor’s castle can be compared to King Arthur’s in the original play, but the newest adaptation brings the humor and treachery into a Latin-influenced California mansion (which in reality is the director’s house). The costume designs are all well done dressing the characters to emulate upper class fashion of the original play. 

Most importantly, the characters all throw a party like they did in the original play, but what separates this from Shakespeare’s version are the music, dancing and drinking games that play out. Excessive drinking as well as skinny dipping is shown and even drinking games involving cards and apples are shown. Much of these things are what some would not have dared talked about in Shakespeare’s time. 

There is even a lovemaking (non-graphic) scene between Borachio and Hero’s bridesmaid Margaret (Ashley Johnson). Something like this would have sparked a national outcry in Shakespeare’s England, but we in America have come a long way in terms of what we can tolerate and what we can’t on the big screen. 

For your average moviegoer, this movie requires at least three or five more viewings before one can completely understand this film’s significance. The dialogue is kept as close to the original Shakespearean tongues as possible (parallel to 1998’s “Romeo and Juliet”) so your modern American would have a tough time understanding some of the dialogue, whether or not they have read Biblical texts which display the same linguistics. So if you do not understand Shakespearean style English, you might want to think twice before paying $6 to $10 to see this. 

Otherwise though, if you are an avid lover of Shakespearean folklore, then “Much Ado about Nothing” is your perfect Saturday night treat!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

STLCC Ranks Among Nation's Schools In Associate Degrees For African-American Students

Saint Louis Community College was the only Missouri community college to make the cut of the top 100 U.S. institutions that confer the most associate degrees to African-American students. In 2011 and 2012, STLCC conferred 474 associate degrees of academic various disciplines to African-American students. Those degrees made up nearly a quarter of the total number of degrees conferred during the 2011-12 academic year; this is a 19% increase from STLCC's 2010-11 academic year. Local programs such as Gateway to College, Commit to Complete, and TRIO are attributed to the rise in degrees awarded to African-American students.

The total number of associate degrees conferred to minority students in the United States increased by 15% between these two academic years. The top school on the list is the University of Phoenix-Online, an Internet-orientated college based in Arizona.

This list was first published in Diverse: Issues In Higher Education Magazine, and is based on information gathered by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Blackboard Student Help Desk Change

As of today, the Blackboard Student Help Desk will be run by Collegiate Admission & Retention Solutions (CARS). Students who need assistance with issues on Blackboard can contact CARS at their toll-free number 866-822-8748, although the college's Blackboard Help Wizard can still be accessed at the STLCC website; if the Wizard cannot assist students with their problem, they will be redirected to the CARS number.

Students will only be redirected to the number number through August 1, at which case the previous technical support company will officially cease running any part of the Help Desk.