Monday, September 30, 2013

Archers Volleyball Weaver Stays Positive

By Tommy Schall

The 2013 season hasn't started the way the St. Louis Community College Archers women's volleyball team expected. The Archers are 0-6-1 on the season, but the team is still managing to be optimistic. Freshman Sammie Weaver has been helping the Archers compete this year anyway she can. The freshman is having a fine start to the season and should continue that success for the rest of the season.

Weaver actually didn't play for her high school volleyball team. “I actually didn't play volleyball in high school. I played softball instead because the two sports overlapped,” she explained. “I played club ball though, and the competition varied from better teams than we face now to much lower.”

It was a meeting with her coach one day that led her to the Archers team. “I contacted Johnna, my head coach, and she had me come out for a tryout. She had me set (I'm a setter) and hit, and right away she offered me a position on the team,” she said. Weaver is realistic about her expectations for the rest of the year and knows that her team works hard when they step out on the court. “I'm not expecting us to finish with a winning season because unfortunately it just isn't realistic. We have a wide variety of skill level,” said Weaver. “Our team plays with a lot of heart, and because of that, we can compete with everyone we play. My expectation for our team to improve our team chemistry so we can hopefully get some more W's. For myself, I am hoping to improve my skill level to prepare me for higher level ball.”

Weaver has not let playing on a higher level affect her. “My expectations for college volleyball were about what I expected them to be. We practice very hard everyday, and the sport pretty much consumes all of my time. College volleyball is much stricter than any other sport I've played. We have a lot of rules to follow, and we very much suffer when they are broken.” It seems as if the only thing that has fazed Weaver about being a college athlete is her hectic and busy schedule. The average college athlete can't handle the workload.

Weaver admits that it has been tough but is manageable, “I used to work almost everyday, and I now can only work on Sundays because of volleyball,” she said. “It's hard committing all of my time. It's tough balancing school, volleyball, work, and a social life, but it honestly only keeps me focused on the important things. I was offered a spot on the Meramec softball team for the spring season, but I am still debating if I am actually going to play.” If Weaver continues her hard work and determination, nothing should be out of reach.

Making the best out of a free education is something admirable about Weaver. “I am in the pre-dental program, and I am on the A+ program at STLCC. I am hoping to get a volleyball scholarship to a university after my two free years are over to continue my education for orthodontics.” For Weaver, the sky is the limit.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Chancellor Dorsey Takes Leave From Duties

As reported by the official Saint Louis Community College website, current STLCC Chancellor Myrtle E.B. Dorsey will be stepping down from her position, effective immediately, until June 30 of next year. The college's Board of Trustees granted a request for Dorsey to take personal leave of her duties for the time being. 

Until an interim chancellor can be hired to take Dorsey's place, Donna Dare will serve as the college's acting chancellor. Dare is currently vice chancellor for academic and student affairs and has been with STLCC since 2005.

In an official statement by Craig Larson, chair of the Board of Trustees, he confirms the above information and expresses appreciation for Dorsey's contributions to the college on behalf of the board. Larson goes on to say that "with this great depth in leadership at St. Louis Community College, and with our strong faculty and staff, we are sure that the college will continue to serve the public as one of the area’s greatest assets . . . and will remain fully committed to moving ahead toward fulfilling the college’s mission, vision and values as we continue to focus on helping all our students succeed and achieve their goals."

Dorsey's leave of absence from the position of STLCC chancellor comes in the wake of a recent Board of Trustees vote that did not extend her contract beyond June 2014, as well as criticism of her initial handling of the Meramec campus bathroom attack that ended with one student in jail.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cafeteria Nook Reworked for New Purpose

by Kat Brewer

At last, opportunity has knocked on the Student Center doors here at the Florissant Valley campus. Campus Life, cafeteria and school board staff collaborated this summer to bring St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley a new outlet to raise funds for our clubs and organizations that have recently undergone budget cuts. After current renovations to the space, our cafe will soon open the new “nook” where club members can volunteer to sell snacks after normal cafeteria hours in an attempt to raise funds for Florissant Valley clubs and organizations.

“Our club members are very excited about the opportunity to use the nook,” said Gwen Nixon, Florissant Valley Campus Life Manager.  Many clubs on campus will be taking advantage of the nook, it will not only serve as a benefit to several participating clubs on campus, the nook will also benefit Florissant Valley night students that arrive soon after the cafeteria closes and whom may not get the chance to eat before heading to class. “We are going for something like QuikTrip, where students can grab a quick bite to eat and make it to class,” Nixon said.

More than night students will be provided this service. Any students who are on campus from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. are supplied with an inexpensive alternative to mid-day cafeteria food. “We do not have our price list set yet, but all meals selected are fairly inexpensive, our committee is putting prices together currently,” Nixon explained.

The nook will offer several food choices that are concession-style, like nachos, popcorn, cotton candy, slushies, and other various snacks. The committee that is working to set up the nook is also looking to add a few healthier options to the menu. All menu items that have been chosen play a part in the feel of the nook as a grab-and-go spot rather than a place to buy a meal and spend time to sit and eat.

As for the workers volunteering in the nook, the committee’s plan is to have two students at a time volunteer to work a two and a half hour shift. The volunteers will be trained by the dietetics technology program in safety procedures before starting in the nook. Any club members in clubs participating at the nook are urged to sign up to work. “It is a collaborative effort, we are hopeful that it will give the students a chance to build new leadership skills while working in groups and develop an entrepreneurial spirit,” Nixon said.

The location is almost ready, the snacks are decided and the volunteers are being recruited. Florissant Valley students are urged to support our clubs at the nook when it is open. “We are hoping to get a lot of support from the campus at large. It is fundraising [that will be] going toward our students so that they can take advantage of conferences and leadership opportunities,” Nixon said. The nook is located at the front of the cafeteria in the Student Center. It will be open Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information about the nook or to volunteer, contact Gwen Nixon by phone at 314-513-4290 or by email at 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Like Father, Like Son

By Tommy Schall 

The St. Louis Community College Archers men's soccer team has had a rough start to the 2013 season. The Archers are 0-4-1 on the season but that surely won't keep the team down. The Archers have an infusion of freshman and sophomores on the squad this season, which will help them compete. One such sophomore is forward Culan O'Keefe who is building off a strong freshman season. Culan's father is Archers head coach Dan O'Keefe. Culan had this to say about his father being his head coach.

“Most people assume it means I get better treatment, but it actually means I get to hear about my mistakes on the field and at home," said Culan. "I think it's a good thing though because he always tells me what I need to work on.”

Culan O'Keefe had a strong freshman, season scoring eight goals last season.“My first year was very new to me. The game was a lot more intense and physical, so this year I think I was more prepared for it.” Expectations are high for the Archers this season and the teams early woes should subside. “[We're] not starting off this year the way we wanted, but we can tell that we are starting to understand what to do to score. We are much more skilled than last year so we should be okay,” he added.

Culan went even as far as to say this about the Archers in 2013: “I honestly think we could make a run in the playoffs/regionals. We just need to learn to work with each other. And I hope to score some goals too.” O'Keefe has been playing the game since a very young age. “I started at a young age. Probably kindergarten. My dad taught me and I've been with it ever since.”

Culan enjoyed high success at the high school level as well. “High school soccer was good. I scored a total of 45 goals in high school. The teams I played on [McCluer/McCluer North] weren't too successful but it was a lot of fun,” he said. Culan and the Archers should enjoy a fine bounce back to the young season.

Culan enjoys playing guitar in his pop-punk band Seven Eighteen as well. He seems to have a game plan for the near future but besides that he's uncertain. "I plan to get a degree in criminal justice and possibly attend law school. "Other than that, I'm not too sure what I wanna do career wise. And of course, I want to play music for the rest of my life.” Whatever Culan O'Keefe decides to do in the future, he should be a success.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Open Mic: Despair

By Matt Swafford 

Burning, burning, deep inside
Yearning, yearning, to have something that’s mine
Turning, turning, as worlds collide
Burning, burning, deep inside

Calling, calling, “Anyone there?”
Falling, falling, from the air
Crawling, crawling, in despair
Calling, calling, “Anyone there?”

Fighting, fighting, like never before
Writing, writing, to be restored
Lighting, lighting, the fire in my core
Fighting, fighting, like never before

Friday, September 13, 2013

Flo Valley's Papier Featured On MLA Site

The face of Florissant Valley's own reference librarian and assistant professor Jeff Papier is currently sitting proudly on the front page of the Missouri Library Associate (MLA) website. Papier has been a librarian with the college since 2007; before that, he worked at various public libraries for about fourteen years.

At Flo Valley, Papier gives students lessons on research, gives informative sessions on bibliographic instruction, and develops the library's collection. He is also the library liaison to several academic departments. 

When he's not doing his library duties, Papier is one of the sponsors for the campus LGBT group, Friendly Colors.

“We help students who are fairly well academically prepared and wish ultimately to transfer to a four-year college," he said. "At the same time, we help students who struggled through high school and who need lots of assistance in realizing their goal of receiving a college education.”

You can read more about Jeff Papier's achievements at the MLA webpage as well as the STLCC News website.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Archers Soccer Kicking Towards Success

Above: Jessica Smugala

By Terence Monroe

As St. Louis Community College kicks off its fall semester, the STLCC Archers have already begun preparing for their upcoming season. Both the men and women Archers are expected to be competitive this coming season.

The women Archers are coming off a breakout season in which they finished with a flashy 16-5-1 record. Those sixteen wins are the most since STLCC became districtwide. Unfortunately the season came to end in a 4-1 loss against defending National Champions Tyler Junior College in pool play of the women’s national tournament. But this team should not feel defeated, they should have a sense of accomplishment because of the success that they achieved the beginning of last season. They should build off of that and use it as motivation to carry them through the 2013 season.

The women’s team is led by Head Coach Juergen Huettner who is entering his fifth season as the team’s shot caller. With such an impressive record, Coach Huetter was named coach of the year for the 2012 season. Since he started coaching the Archers, he has a record of 47-37-3. With such a successful coach led by their team captain and starting forward Jessica Smugala, this team is poised for another terrific season.

This isn’t the only team that is headed for a rewarding season. The men’s soccer team isn’t too shabby either. Led by second year head coach Dan O’Keefe, the men’s soccer team looks to be competitive and have a season full of more playoff games than the year before. One major difference this season than last will be the goal keepers. This season will feature two new goaltenders in freshmen Josh Hampton and Austin Golden. Both had very successful years in the high school ranks and look to continue that in their collegiate careers. This team also will be bringing back a lot of experienced players from last year, including Coach O’Keefe’s son Cullan O’Keefe. Together this team will build on what they accomplished last season.

The Archers will open the newest season on Thursday August 22, 2013 against Lewis and Clark Community College. The match will begin at 4 p.m. at the Florissant Valley Campus, which is the site of all the home games. Let’s get out and support the men and women Archers as they push for a successful seasons.