Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Campus Library Celebrates Gettysburg Address Anniversary

Above: Jeff Papier reads at the podium.
Photo by Travonte Harris.
By Travonte Harris

Various staff members gathered in front of the library on November 19 to celebrate the 150-year anniversary of the Gettysburg address.  This speech is one of the most reconized and celebrated speeches in history. President Abraham Lincoln delivered it on Thursday, November 19, 1863. The Gettysburg address marked the end of the Civil War, a war that divided our country and pitted brother against brother. Bringing an end to a painful and bloody war and at only 272 words, this speech broke down barriers and changed the world.

A few staff members took to the podium as they recited this speech. This included Jeff Papier, Michela Walsh and Sharon Fox.  The speech was documented on film by Media Services’ Mary Caldwell as a reminder of its importance as well as Florissant Valley’s place in celebrating it. Catherine Reilly from Library Services organized the event.  Various students were offered the opportunity to recite the speech. Some people stood by and watched.

The Gettysburg speech changed this country for the better and it was a very exciting thing to see Florissant Valley’s staff organizing this and allowing us to celebrate change, as well as giving students the opportunity to join in. I was pleased when they offered me the opportunity to recite the speech. I was nervous, but I accepted. It was a valuable experience to relive history and an amazing feeling.  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hoop For Hearts Scheduled For February 14 2014

BSA Running Winter Coat Drive

Florissant Valley Community College's Black Student Association will be holding a Winter Coat Drive, described in detail below. The event is running from December 2nd to the 20th and will directly benefit those in Saint Louis who cannot afford coats of their own during the harsh winter season.

Do you have extra coats in your closet? Want to help men, women and children in St. Louis that are less fortunate this winter? You can do both during the BSA Winter Coat Drive for needy families this season. BSA will be collecting new or gently used winter coats and accessories. 

Coats of all shapes and sizes are welcome and will go directly to local shelters and organizations.

Donations can be left in either the Campus Life office (SC 237) or the Career and Employment Services office (SC 257).

For more information, please contact Victoria A. Harris at 314-513-4218 or

Monday, November 25, 2013

FIRST Robotics Weekend For Dec 7-8 At STLCC-FV

Via the STLCC Now website:

St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley continues to support science, technology, engineering and math  programs for kids of all ages.
The weekend of Dec. 7-8 will see two major robotics events and more than 800 elementary, middle and high school students on campus.
The first of six qualifying events for FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC) teams in Missouri will take place Dec. 7. Thirty-six teams of students in grades 7-12 will compete for a chance to advance to the Missouri FTC Championship at Missouri University of Science and Technology on March 1.
The events are free and open to the public. Activities will run 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. both days. The competitions will be in the gymnasium on campus, 3400 Pershall Road, and FIRST signs will point the way.
This year’s game is called Block Party. The game challenges teams to move blocks into baskets, balance on a bridge, raise a flag six feet in the air, and hang from a bar. Teams have been working on the challenge since September and are eager to see how they perform.
The culmination of the FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) season for Eastern Missouri teams is slated for Dec. 8. More than 220 teams competed in the 10 qualifying events offered in October and November.
The 40 top teams will compete in the Eastern Missouri FLL Championship event. The teams will run their LEGO MINDSTORMS® robots on the competition table and present their research from the Nature’s Fury? Challenge.
Tom McGovern, engineering and technology associate professor and FIRST liaison at STLCC, said the college has had a partnership with FIRST for more than six years.
“Last year the Ashok Agrawal Robotics Scholarship for FIRST students was established for students who are attending St Louis Community College. This year marks the first time Florissant Valley, Forest Park and Meramec will all be hosting competitions,” McGovern said.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dysert Hopes to Make Holidays Picture Perfect for Families in Need

Kris Dysert. Via the STLCC Now website.

From the STLCC Now website:
As the holiday season approaches, Kris Dysert will be giving gifts to area families and individuals that simply are priceless – the gift of dignity.
Dysert, telecom support technician and system coordinator for St. Louis Community College’s Technology and Educational Support Services office, will be putting her photographic skills to work as part of Help-Portrait, a worldwide effort to simply give the gift of a holiday portrait to individuals and families in need.
On Dec. 7, photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists and volunteers around the world will gather for the fifth annual Help-Portrait event. Dysert is organizing this year’s St. Louis event, slated 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at 1001 Park Ave.
Members of the community can get a haircut, light makeup, and a professionally photographed portrait on the spot, all for free, with no strings attached.
“I’m really excited about leading the Help-Portrait event this year,” Dysert said. “People without disposable income or stable addresses are often seen as things – the homeless – instead of fellow human beings. I want to be one of the people making them feel like what they are – human beings who have feelings, relationships, families, needs and stories to tell. That’s what Help-Portrait is all about.”
More information and how you can support the event can be found at the STLCC Now site.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Oh, Snap!: Food Stamp Cuts Halted In Missouri

By Andrew Kuhn

            On October 24th in Jefferson City, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced the withdrawal of a proposed rule to modify the state's waiver under Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The proposed cuts would have eliminated 9% of the states budget, leaving local food pantries to serve meals at $1.30 per person.
            "Ensuring state-administered food assistance programs operate as effectively and efficiently as possible is an important priority of my administration," Governor Nixon stated in a press release "With greater certainty about what the federal funding level for the food stamp program will be after last week's budget agreement, we have made a determination that the appropriate course of action is to maintain the policy that is currently in place."
            These cuts were proposed to adjust for the planed $40 billion in SNAP cuts over a 10 year period across the United States. Two Farm Bills worked through the House of Representatives, H.R. 2642 was passed to the senate on a 216-208 vote and H.R. 1947 was passed on a 36-10 vote. On June 10 the 2013 Farm Bill passed 66-27. Roy Blunt (R-MO), voted in favor of the bill, while Claire McCaskill (D-MO) voted against the bill. 
            Debbie Stabenow, the author of this legislation states “Reforming agriculture programs will save taxpayers billions of dollars while helping Michigan farmers, ranchers and small businesses create jobs, because we worked across party lines to streamline programs, we were able to save tax dollars while investing in initiatives that help boost exports, help family farmers sell locally and spur innovations in new bio-manufacturing and bio-energy industries." Ironically, Stabenow was born, raised and educated in Michigan. These innovations she refers to are loopholes for Monsanto. Section 735, dubbed The Monsanto Protection Act is an anonymously introduced provision, not seen by all Senators before voting, that gives the bio-tech giant immunity from federal courts halting the sale or planting of genetically modified crops and prevents activists from persuading courts to force US farmers to abandon and destroy Genetically Modified Organism crops already stamped with the United States Department of Agriculture's safety approval. What it does not include are any requirements or regulations that GMO be labeled for consumers.
            Center for Food Safety has accused Senator Mikulski (D-MD), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee of a  “backroom deal” with the biotech industry, who donated $372,000 to this committee alone as reported by the Washington Times. In that same report it was noted Monsanto has “donated” 7.5 million to the Capitol Hill revolving door since 2009.
            “Only an evil genius could have dreamed this up,” claims Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group.
            Monsanto gained infamy in the 70s for their patent product, Agent Orange, a bio-weapon that has done irreparable damage to Vietnamese farms and citizens. Now their patent GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” saturate 80% of processed foods in the US today. These are plants or animals, genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. This genetic variance is otherwise not possible in nature.
            The environmental impact of these crops, pesticides and herbicides on our soil and water could persist for generations. “Despite bio-tech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit,” reports
            The sale of these products have been banned or regulated in over 20 countries, including five US states.
            The Farm Bill is one example of how the “Federal Government favors the big guy over the little guy … an egregious example of cronyism,” said Senator Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin, as quoted by Missouri Association for Social Welfare (MASW) in a release written by Glenn Koenen Chair of MASWs Hunger Task Force. 
            Monsanto's global headquarters is here in St Louis on Olive and Lindbergh, where several participated in Marched Against Monsanto twice this year in step with some two million worldwide.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Looking For Interesting Spring 2013 Courses?

Looking for classes to fill up your spring 2013 schedule? Maybe one of the courses being offered below will tickle your fancy. Remember: seats fill up fast, so sign up as soon as possible! Also, visit an academic advisor to make sure your classes fit into your requirements for graduation and fit best into your schedule/degree requirements.

·      British Literature After 1800 (ENG 211): Tuesdays/Thursdays, 12:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Instructor Katherine Gordon.
·      Chinese 101 (CHI 101): Tuesdays/Thursdays, 5:00 p.m. – 6:40 p.m. Instructor Harmony Bell.
·      Introduction to Physical Anthropology and Archaelogy (ANT 101): Mondays/Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Instructor Taryn Pelch.
·      Introductory Horticulture (HRT 101): Mondays, 11:00 a.m. – 12:50 a.m. Hybrid Internet course. Instructor: Mark Manteuffel.
·      Poetry Writing (ENG 225): Mondays/Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Instructor Katherine Gordon.
·      Psychology of Homicide and Crime (PSY 521): Mondays/Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Instructor Steven Christiansen.

Note: this is not an official academic advisement. For professional, hands-on assistance with filling our your spring 2013 schedule, visit the administration building during office hours between Monday and Friday. Official contact hours can be found here. All course above are subject to cancellation before the start of the semester.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Flo Valley Wants To Make You A Finals Survivor

DCS Club Trivia Night This Saturday

The Deaf Communications Club will be holding a Trivia Night this Saturday, November 16 at the Greater St. Louis Association of the Deaf (GSLAD). The GSLAD is located on 2190 Creve Coeur Mill Road, Maryland Heights, MO 63043.

Doors for the event open at 6:15 p.m.; the competition starts at 7:00 p.m. The cost is $12.50 per person and $100 per table.

There will be a first place cash prize, afifty-fifty raffle, silent auction and attendance prizes. Attendees are invited to bring their own food/snacks. Soda, beer and mixed drinks will be available for purchase at the GSLAD bar.

For reservations, contact Tom Flynn at (314) 513-4122 or at Time is running out!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Book Review: "If Life Was A Game"

By Sarah Hayes

Keyan Mianji’s debut non-fiction book, “If Life Was A Game,” asks of its readers a simple question: what if life was, in fact, a game? How would you play this game and are there any strategies for winning such a long game? It seems like a rather weighty question for such a slim volume – this book barely breaks a sweat at fifty pages and is heavily illustrated at that – but Mianji perseveres in providing the cliff notes version of his answer to that titular question.

If life is a game and the end result is to win, Mianji says, then the ultimate objective of winning is to end happier than when you started. Mianji lays out his solution to a happier life through an acronym called HALF, which focuses on health, personal achievements, love and fun. As long as someone keeps in good health, completes their own goals and achievements, maintains healthy relationships with their loved ones, and has fun, then they are winning the so-called game of life.

The core of this book is based on Mianji’s personal life philosophy but also draws from a number of better-known self-help tomes, such as the blockbuster novel “The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. “If Life Was A Game” probably won’t join the ranks of such best-selling novels any time soon, and its practical, common sense-based advise may not change millions of lives, but it’s a smart, slick primer towards being a better player in the game of life. For students stuck in the mire between studies and personal life, Mianji’s words will be the booster shot required to break out and become better.