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Students: Beware of scam targeting you

A national scam targeting college students consists of someone, identifying themself as an Internal Revenue Service employee, calling students and telling them that they own money to the IRS. The call asks for banking or credit card information. The best way to protect yourself is to never give out personal information, especially banking or credit card information, over the phone unless you have generated the contact.

If you believe you have been a victim of this scam, contact your local police agency.

Gov. Snyder’s propsed budget recommends increased funding for community colleges

budget graph

Source: Executive Budget Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017, State of Michigan

By Paulette Parker
News Editor

Governor Snyder released his 2016 fiscal year budget recommendation on Feb. 11, which includes positive investments for Michigan’s 28 community colleges, particularly Washtenaw Community College.

The proposed budget includes a 1.4 percent increase of $4.3 million overall in community college operations funding, bringing total operations funding to $311.5 million. For the third consecutive year, it is recommended that WCC receive the highest operations funding percentage rate increase at 1.9 percent.

“It’s a recommendation of how well we perform according to state performance metrics,” said Jason Morgan, director of government relations at WCC. Washtenaw was involved in the creation of these metrics three years ago.

“It’s not the highest dollar increase because there are some colleges that are bigger and have traditionally received more money than we have,” Morgan said. “But this is getting us closer to being with those higher schools.”

“That is very, very impressive. I am so glad to hear this because that shows what our faculty and what everybody is doing at this institution to make this a better institution,” WCC trustee, Diana McKnight-Morton said at February’s board meeting.

With the small operations increase, coupled with proposed increased state support for the Michigan Public School Employee Retirement System (MPSERS), community college funding would grow by $29 million over current year funding, an 8 percent increase in total state appropriations.

The proposed budget also includes funding for independent, part-time student grants recommended at $6 million, representing the first time since fiscal year 2009 that the program has been funded.

This financial aid program targets part-time, adult students at community colleges. The governor encourages community colleges to use this funding to re-enroll former students who may have dropped out without earning a degree or other credential.

The governor also proposed doubling the skilled trades training fund from $10 million to $20 million. He recommended $17.8 million in the K-12 budget for career tech programs and early middle college programs focusing on skilled trades.

The expectation is that this funding comes with increased collaboration between K-12, community colleges and universities.

While this is the governor’s recommendation, the legislature will decide on its own budget.

“We are extremely pleased with the governor’s recommendation of WCC and we really hope the legislature will pass that version,” Morgan said.

Trustees talk legislation at community college summit in D.C.

By Paulette Parker
News Editor

WCC trustees Dave DeVarti, Christina Fleming, Diana McKnight-Morton and Director of Government Relations Jason Morgan recently attended the 2015 Community College National Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C.

Over the course of the four-day summit, attendees participated in sessions, met with lawmakers, community college trustees and presidents and had the opportunity to lobby about issues that concern them.

Speakers included the Secretaries of Labor and Education.

“As a new trustee, being able to meet other trustees was very valuable,” DeVarti said.

The Summit focused on legislation that is either in process or legislation that could be improved upon. The agenda was set by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT).

Topics of discussion included improving methods of measuring the success rates of community colleges, President Obama’s free community college announcement and making the Pell grant program available year-round.

“That one kind of stood out to me because it involves really giving students’ access quickly when they need it,” Fleming said.

“I learned what bigger issues are out there,” DeVarti said of his takeaway from the Summit, which will better equip him for his role as a trustee and give him new perspective to bring to board meetings.

“My takeaway, I think, was how important it is to keep these issues in front of our lawmakers,” Fleming said. She also stressed the importance of constituents writing to their representatives in Congress about issues that matter to them.

“We really need to make our voices heard; otherwise they’re just going to sit there and do whatever is on their national agenda and not really pay attention to us,” Fleming said.

 


Contact your representatives

House: Tim Walberg and Debbie Dingell

Senate: Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow

More than 50 colleges to visit WCC

Students interested in transferring to a four-year college will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from more than 55 schools on Feb. 18 during the Winter Transfer Fair.

College representatives will be stationed on the second floor of the Student Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To see which colleges and universities will be in attendance, visit http://www.wccnet.edu/services/transferresources/visits/.

For more information on transferring, contact the Counseling & Career Planning office at 734-677-5102 or stop by SC 206.

WCC Dental Clinic open

by NATALIE WRIGHT
Editor

The Washtenaw Community College Dental Clinic began offering treatment to students, faculty and staff on Feb. 3, and will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning at 8:30 a.m., through April 16.

WCC dental students assist University of Michigan students, under the supervision of community dentists, with the basic dental services offered at the clinic including cleaning and exams, X-Rays, Amalgam (silver) restorations and composite restorations. Those in need of treatments not available at WCC are referred to other dental professionals.

To make an appointment, call 734-973-3332 or stop by the clinic in OE 106.

Eco-friendly competition pits Washtenaw against colleges nationwide

by NATALIE WRIGHT
Editor

Through March 28, Washtenaw will be counting bottles and cans and weighing its waste in hopes of beating out more than 600 colleges in the annual RecycleMania competition.

The colleges and universities competing track and report waste figures from Feb. 1-March 28. Winners are chosen in several categories including waste minimization, paper used per person and grand champion.

WCC has done well in the waste minimization category in the past, landing in the top ten several years in a row. The category is judged on the ratio of total recycled materials to total amount of waste (trash and recycling).

For more information, visit http://www.recyclemania.org.

Click here to check your knowledge on what you can recycle

100 years of celebrating black history

by TAYLOR ROBINSON
Staff Writer

For the last 100 years, the United States has celebrated black history during the month of February. However, it hasn’t always been known as Black History Month.

In 1915, two school teachers from Washington D.C. would change the way African American history and culture was viewed. Carter G. Woodson and William B. Hartgrove attended the national celebration of the Lincoln Jubilee, which also marked 50 years since the Emancipation.

After the event, the two men held a meeting focused on creating an organization that recognized the significant contributions to society that African Americans had made.

They formed an organization called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). This year, the group celebrates their centennial with a dedication to the founders.

In 1926, Woodson originally established the holiday as Negro History week. Since then, the week has progressed into a month-long celebration, but why choose February?

Abraham Lincoln, the president in office when slavery was abolished, was born on Feb. 12, 1809.

The first African American to hold a high U.S. government rank was Frederick Douglass. He was a former slave and a strong believer in human rights. Douglass was born on Feb. 14, 1818.

Other events have occurred throughout the month of February that add to the celebration, such as the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People  in 1809.

Since 1976, the celebration of black history has extended throughout the entire month of February instead of just the second week.

 

Black history month events at WCC

The Spirit of Harriet Tubman

When: Wednesday, Feb. 18, noon-6 p.m.
Where: WCC, ML Building, Towsley Auditorium
Price: Noon show – free
6 p.m. show – $5 for students, faculty and staff, $10 for the public Performance details

The Other Tradition of Race Relations: History of Interracial Cooperation

Richard Thomas, a Michigan State University history professor, will be leading a discussion about dispelling racial segregation.

When: Thursday, Feb. 19, 11:30 a.m.
Where: LA 375
Price: Free

 

5 unknown facts about black heroes

  1. Martin Luther King Jr.

    MLKKing certainly left his mark when he was assassinated on Apr. 4, 1968. An avid social activist and Baptist minister, he led the U.S. Civil Rights Movement throughout the later years of the 1960s, until his death.

    You might not know:King was a big fan of Star Trek and a big fan of Nichelle Nichols, an African American actress who played a lieutenant on the USS Enterprise. Nichols’ role was one of the first in which a black actress portrayed a character other than a servant. When she considered leaving the series, King personally reached out to her and urged her to stay.

  2. Rosa Parks

    Rosa ParksIn the winter of 1955, Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man. She was arrested but as a result helped to create an event, the Montgomery bus boycott, a catalyst to the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.

    You might not know: In a 1995 interview with Parks, she cleared up a some widely held misconceptions. Her story is often told with her sitting in the front of the bus. She was actually sitting in the “black section” which was toward the back of the bus. When all of the seats reserved for white people were taken, that’s when Parks was asked to stand up. Many also believe that she claimed her feet hurt. Instead, she simply stated that she “did feel determined to take this as an opportunity to let it be known that I did not want to be treated in that manner and that people have endured it far too long.”

  3. Louis Armstrong

    Louis ArmstrongArmstrong, also referred to as the “the Great Satchmo” or “the Father of Jazz,” was mostly known for singing and playing trumpet.  In the late ‘60s, he released one of his greatest hits, “What a Wonderful World.”

    You might not know: His home, located in Queens, New York, was deemed a national landmark in 1977. Today, it is also a museum.

  4. Harriet Tubman

    Harriet TubmanOne of the famous “conductors” for the Underground Railroad, Tubman helped at least 300 slaves journey to their freedom. She made 19 trips from the North to South to rescue as many people as she could.

    You might not know: Tubman gained notoriety among many “conductors” on the railroad because she was so successful.“I can say one thing most other conductors can’t say,” she said. “I never ran my train off the tracks an I never lost a single passenger.”Slaveholders offered a $40,000 award to anyone who captured Tubman.

  5. Jackie Robinson

    Jackie RobinsonAt the age of 28, Robinson became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball. He received the Rookie of the Year award in 1947.

    You might not know: Although Robinson shined when he played baseball, he partook in a few other sports during his college years. When attending the University of California Los Angeles, Robinson became the first student to have letters in four different sports in one season. In addition to baseball, he played basketball, football, and was a long jumper in track and field.

 

5 overlooked African-Americans to celebrate

  1. Hattie McDaniel

    Hattie McDanielIn 1940, McDaniel made waves on the big screen when she became the first African American woman to win an Academy Award for her performance in “Gone With the Wind.” Ironically, she sat at a blacks-only table during the Oscar event.

    In her acting career, McDaniel appeared in more than 300 films during the ‘30s and ‘40s, though she was only credited for about 80. She was also the first black woman to sing on the radio in the U.S.

  2. George Crum

    George CrumIn 1953, Crum, a chef of Native American and African American descent, stumbled into history when he attempted to satisfy a fussy customer at Moon Lake Lodge Resort in Saratoga Springs, New York.

    After the customer complained that his french fries were too thick, Crum made an order cut so thin, that it became a new dish all together.

    Later on, Crum opened his own restaurant and his invention became known as the potato chip.

  3. James “Cool Papa” Bell

    James BellAlthough Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play Major League Baseball, he was not the first to get the chance.

    In 1951, Bell received the offer to play in the big leagues. Already 48 years old, Bell turned down the position. Bell is regarded as one of the fastest baseball players in history. His career began in 1922 and lasted for more than 25 years. Bell once stole 175 bases in a 200-game season, according to the “Baseball Library.”

  4. Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman

    Bessie ColemanWhen Coleman could not gain admission to any American flight schools because she was a black woman, she did not let her dreams of becoming a pilot subside.

    She taught herself French and moved to France, where, in just seven months, she received her license from the Caudron Brother’s School of Aviation in 1922. She was the first African American to hold an international pilot license.

    When she returned to the U.S., her career specialized in parachuting and aerial stunts. In 1926, at the young age of 34, her life abruptly ended during an accident that occurred during an aerial show rehearsal.

  5. Madam C.J. Walker

    Madam C. J. WalkerAfter enduring many hardships at a young age, Walker became the first African American female millionaire. Widowed at the age of 20, Walker started working with her four brothers at barbershop.

    Overcome with a scalp condition that caused her to start losing her hair, she invented a product that would thicken her hair and wallet. After trying several homemade concoctions, she found a cure to her hair loss and dubbed it Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower.

 

RELATED ARTICLES:  Voicebox

WCC trustees to vote on changes to investment policy

by PAULETTE PARKER
News Editor

The WCC board of trustees had their first reading of an amendment to board policy 6020, pertaining to permissible investments for the college’s funds at the January board meeting.

In January, the Michigan Community College Act was revised to reflect changes related to permissible investments as a result of legislation proposed, drafted and supported by Washtenaw’s Chief Financial Officer Bill Johnson and Director of Government Relations Jason Morgan.

Previously, the act allowed investments in bonds, bills or notes only of the U.S. Treasury or the State of Michigan; the modifications allow for community colleges to invest their money in local governments, municipalities, school districts and other qualified, local investments to attain higher rates of return. Local investments can yield a differential of 1-1.5 percent higher, Johnson said.

In addition to changes in the types of investments allowed, further investment policy structure was added to reflect the overall intent of WCC investment goals and related guidelines to insure that WCC administration achieves these overarching goals.

Investments must meet certain allocation guidelines. The target percentage of our investments locally is 35 percent of our funds. All investment-grade bonds must have a credit rating of BBB- or better, with a maturity of 10 years or less. Short-term investments require an A- or better rating, with an initial maturity of 3-12 months.

“In the end it’s about making it fit right for us,” Johnson said.

 

RELATED LINKS: Board of Trustees

Ready to give?

by TAYLOR ROBINSON
Staff Writer

Pumping through the veins of the human body are approximately 10 pints of blood. Dr. John Rinke, director of support services at Washtenaw Community College, lost eight pints in the early spring of 1981.

In the early 80s, Rinke was a very busy man. He was balancing being a full-time student, teaching, a new house, and a newborn baby. Although it was an exciting time, it was also stressful. Due to poor diet and stress, Rinke was rushed to the emergency room after tearing the lining of his stomach. If not for gracious blood donors, Rinke may not be serving WCC today. Because of that day, Rinke has donated over three gallons of blood since 1982. “I had to give back,” Rinke said. “It saved my life.”

According to the American Red Cross website, 38 percent of people in the United States are eligible to donate. Yet, only 10 percent actually do. WCC holds two blood drives per semester, organized by coordinator of student activities, Rachel Barsch. “It seems like such a small thing, but one pint can actually save up to three lives and that’s amazing” Barsch said. “Why don’t more people do it?”

Between the years of 2006 and 2014, the highest number of pints collected in a single drive was 124. WCC currently has over 1300 students. If every eligible person attempted to donate blood, multiply that by three. That’s how many lives could be saved in exchange for about an hour of someone’s time.

The next WCC blood drive will be held on Tuesday Mar. 3 in the Health and Fitness center. Participants will receive snacks and shirt after donation. Appointments can be made through the American Red Cross website.

WCC Blood Drive

When: Tues. Mar. 3
Where: WCC’s Health and Fitness Center
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
To make an appt.:

www.redcrossblood.org and use sponsor code: WCC13
Walk-ins also accepted
Questions: Contact Rachel Barsch at rbarsch@wccnet.edu

Are you eligible to donate?

Some who attempt to donate blood are turned away for various reasons. In order to be eligible to donate, you must:

  • Weigh at least 110 pounds
  • Be in good general health and feel well
  • Be at least 17 years old or have parental consent

Even if you meet all three of those requirements, you cannot donate blood if you:

  • Have low iron or vitamin levels
  • Are currently or have recently been sick
  • Have gotten a tattoo or piercing in the last 12 months from a non-regulated entity (See redcrossblood.org for more information)
  • Have been outside of the U.S. or Canada in the last three years (further questions will be addressed)
  • You have had major surgery within the last six months or pregnancy within the last six weeks

5 tips before you donate blood

  1. Maintain a healthy iron level

    Eating iron-rich foods, such as spinach, raisins, red meats, beans, fish, poultry and iron-fortified cereals can keep you at a healthy level.

  2. Hydrate

    Drink an extra 16 ounces of water or other nonalcoholic fluids.

  3. Sleep

    It’s crucial to get a good night’s sleep before donating. Your body needs to be well rested.

  4. Eat healthy

    It’s important to eat a healthy meal before the donation, and to avoid fatty foods.

  5. Identify yourself

    Make sure to bring two forms of identification to donate blood. A driver’s license, passport, donor card and student I.D. are all acceptable.

5 tips after you donate blood

  1. Continue to hydrate

    Drink an extra 32 ounces of liquids and avoid alcohol for 24 hours.

  2. Rest

    Avoid any heavy lifting and vigorous exercise for the rest of the day. Lie down if you experience dizziness or lightheadedness.

  3. Clean up

    Remove the wrap bandage (if you have one) within the next hour. Wash the area with soap and water to avoid skin irritation.

  4. Stay protected

    Keep a Band-Aid on for the next several hours.

  5. Contact the Red Cross with concerns

    Call the American Red Cross at 1-866-236-3276 to report health information that you forgot to share, or if there are any problems and you need medical care after giving blood.

Source: The American Red Cross http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements.

SAT replaces ACT in Michigan schools

by MYISHA KINBERG
Staff Writer

Michigan high school students will no longer take the American College Testing (ACT) standardized test for free. The Michigan Department of Education planned to sign a three-year, $17 million contract with the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the state announced on Jan. 7.

In 2016, schools will start providing the SAT to junior students. Students will still have the option to take the ACT, but will have to pay for it out of pocket and take the test outside of school.

Soon after the announcement, the ACT launched an appeal, but educators are preparing for the SAT to take over next year.