New Pa. representative shares her vision for change

By Valerie Battaglia

Newly elected Pennsylvania Rep. Jennifer O’Mara (D-165) stands in front of The Communitarian newsroom on Marple campus. Photo by Valerie Battaglia

The 2018 midterm elections brought fresh faces into Congress, including Pennsylvania Rep. Jennifer O’Mara (D-165).

Disgusted by the presidential campaigns on both sides of the aisle during the 2016 election, O’Mara said she was inspired to run for state representative.

“I wasn’t running to win,” O’Mara explained. “I was running to show anyone who felt politics didn’t belong to them that it can.”

O’Mara visited DCCC’s Marple campus on Nov. 21 to discuss the issues she campaigned on. She said pursuing a change surrounding these issues is a matter of funding and requesting the right congressional committees.

Throughout her campaign, O’Mara heavily focused on education funding. She is in the process of requesting the House Education Committee to work on legislation that would proportionally distribute school funding from the state.

“The issue I heard the most about from people within our district was education funding,” O’Mara said. “I want to work really hard on implementing the Fair Funding Formula in Pennsylvania.”

The Fair Funding Formula was created in 2015 to replace the outdated formula currently in use. If fully implemented, public school districts would receive funding per pupil.

At the time of the agreement, it was decided that seven percent of funding would be distributed through the Fair Funding Formula. It is O’Mara’s goal to move 100 percent of funding through the Fair Funding Formula.

O’Mara would also like to improve public schools in zip codes where quality public education is lacking, so parents don’t have to rely on charter schools. She said this would also eliminate the issue of families having to uproot due to inadequate schools within their districts.

In addition to other changes dire to the state’s healthcare legislation, O’Mara emphasized the importance of protecting the expansion of Medicaid within Pennsylvania, as well as lowering prescription costs.

“I don’t think it’s fair that I hear from constituents that they’re choosing between getting their prescriptions filled and paying their bills,” said O’Mara, adding she also wants to make mental health treatment more accessible and less stigmatized. Drawing on her personal experiences, O’Mara explained that she lost her father to a gun-suicide.

“[My father] was a firefighter,” O’Mara said. “We now know that many firefighters, police officers, and first responders are dealing with PTSD.”

Having conversations about mental health is the first step to ending the stigma, O’Mara believes.

“We need to help people realize it’s a very normal thing to seek treatment for mental health,” O’Mara said. “It should be as second nature as calling the doctor when you have a cold or the flu.”

O’Mara discussed the importance of destigmatizing mental health issues in the classroom too. She said including this topic in the regular K-12 education curriculum teaches children how to communicate their emotions, as well as what warning signs to look for in loved ones.

The inadequacies of how Pennsylvania handles and discusses mental health are just as relevant to O’Mara as bipartisan issues, such as gerrymandering.

In politics, gerrymandering is the practice of manipulating district boundaries to favor a certain party, which disproportionately elects members of the party responsible for gerrymandering.

Pennsylvania redrew its congressional maps this year, which affected the congressional election for voters within the district O’Mara represents.

“Remember, both sides gerrymander,” O’Mara warned. “I think the way we fix [gerrymandering] is creating a nonpartisan commission to draw the maps. That is what Fair Districts PA has been working on for the past two years, probably longer.”

While on the topic of nonpartisanship, O’Mara shared her opinion on gun control as a Democrat.

“I always preface this conversation by stating that my husband and I are both gun owners,” O’Mara said. “We see both sides of the conversation.”

O’Mara wants to start with regulations most Americans agree on. According to her, 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks before purchasing a firearm.

To O’Mara, an important part of gun regulation is ensuring that only individuals qualified to own a firearm are able to purchase one. Reasonable background checks would prohibit those with a history of domestic abuse and individuals experiencing a mental health crisis from gaining access to guns.

“Other states have red flag laws,” O’Mara explained. “If a family member you know is in crisis, or expresses that they might hurt themselves, you can temporarily take [their gun] away from them. That’s been proven to prevent gun suicides.”

Drawing on personal experience from both her father and other family members, O’Mara discussed the importance of DCCC’s education for her brother, who graduated from the Marple campus with his associate degree in business administration.

“[My brother] thinks if he went right to Temple [University] he doesn’t know if he would’ve been able to handle it,” O’Mara said. “Going here first gave him the skills he

O’Mara is confident the students currently enrolled at DCCC have the opportunity to achieve the same level of academic success as her brother, Joe.

“You are in a great place,” O’Mara said. “Keep going. Set a goal for yourself. Set smaller goals to help you achieve that larger goal. If I can flip the 165th, you can do anything.”

Contact Valerie Battaglia at 

New provost appreciates community support

By Dean Galiffa

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“Hi, I’m Kelley Simone, it’s so great to meet you!” says the principle of Upper Darby High School, extending her hot-pink acrylic nails out for a firm handshake to DCCC’s new provost, Dr. Monica Parrish Trent.

“Hello, it’s nice to meet you,” Trent responds.

Both are attending the Sponsoring School Districts Appreciation Dinner on Oct. 24, 2018.

The Marple campus cafeteria has been transformed to a formal dinner setting; guests in suits carry cups of soft drinks from a soda fountain, various horderves are arranged for snacking, and a meat-carving station is being prepared in the corner.

After being appointed in April 2018, Trent became provost, vice president of Academic and Student Affairs, and chief academic officer in June.

Trent is responsible for the overall curriculum and instruction, which means she oversees all faculty and students at the college.

As vice president of academic and Student Affairs, Trent also has campus-wide responsibilities. She supervises institutional effectiveness and research, enabling faculty members to be responsible for the college.

While at the appreciation dinner, Simone tells Trent of a new schoolboard decision.

“We voted on the amount of credits a student needs in order to take dual enrollment classes,” Simone says.

Simone explains that it was a unanimous vote of 9 to 0. Before, a student needed at least 26 credits. This prompts Trent to ask how many students attend the high school.

“We oversee 3,800 students.” Simone replies, to Trent’s surprise. “There are a lot of students, and many of them are dual enrollment students.”

After a short while, Trent excuses herself to her respective dinner table. Many follow suit as social hour draws to a close and dinner is about to begin.

“Good evening, thank you all so much for coming,” says President Dr. L. Joy Gates Black, looking out into the audience. “I want to thank all of you for your partnership with Delaware County Community College.”

Next to her a large projection screen reads “Sponsoring Districts and Dual Enrollment.”

“Since last year, we had a number of retirements in our senior leadership here at Delaware County Community College,” Gates Black says. “I thought I would introduce some of the faces that you may come into contact with.”

As each name is called, a college official waves from the crowded tables, followed by applause.

“I’d like to introduce Monica Parrish Trent,” Gates Black says. “Monica is our new provost and vice president for Academic and Student Affairs.”

Trent stands up from her seat and waves to the audience with a smile.

From an early age, Trent says she had an interest in literature and writing. She attended George Mason University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in English.

After an internship at USA Today, Trent returned to her alma mater for her Master of Arts in English. While there, she followed the Teaching and Learning track and eventually began teaching as an adjunct professor at Northern Virginia Community College for course credits.

Following graduation, Trent applied for a position at Brookdale Community College, where she became a tenured assistant professor of English.

Having spent six years at Brookdale, Trent began her career at Montgomery College in 2000, where she was a professor in the English department and a member of the counseling and advising cadre at the Rockville campus.

In 2012, Trent became the associate instructional dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the college’s Takoma Park campus.

Two years later, Trent was appointed college-wide dean of the ELAP, Linguistics and Communication Studies division. She oversaw more than 150 faculty and staff in three academic departments, as well as the Germantown Writing, Reading and Language Center.

In May 2016, Trent earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in Community College Leadership from the Darden College of Education at Old Dominion University in Virginia, where she also received a doctoral student fellowship.

While attending the American Association of Community Colleges Conference in 2017, Trent met Glenn DuBois, the chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, at a restaurant by complete chance.

Trent told DuBois she was interested in becoming the provost of a college. He suggested she start applying to colleges that fit her criteria.

Not long after, Trent began her application process. She liked Delaware County Community College because of its multiple campuses, metropolitan region, and overall dedication student success.

Trent was attracted to the provost position at the college because it oversaw both student and academic affairs, including Achieving the Dream, a “national effort aimed at helping community college students succeed,” according to the college’s website. Trent was the director of the Achieving the Dream initiative at Montgomery College.

Now, Trent is looking forward to presenting revisions in the college’s initiatives that stem from Achieving the Dream, including changes in developmental math and reading courses.

Trent says she understands how busy the personal lives of students can be, but wants them to be aware of the resources the college offers.

“I would love for students to really exercise every option,” Trent says. “We have wrap-around support with our tutoring services, counseling and advising, clubs, and initiatives.”

As for faculty, Trent says an opportunity for improving student life and overall curriculum is the Middle States Commission of Higher Education Self-Study Institute.

“One of the things faculty are really beginning to work on is looking…at the ways we communicate and honor our mission,” Trent says. “[The self-study] is when we do a deep-dive into how we do that across seven standards.”

A way to accomplish the college’s mission is to recognize the support of sponsoring school districts through an annual dinner.

When reflecting on why she has chosen to remain at community colleges throughout her career, Trent offers the personal experience of her sister, who attended community college.

“My sister didn’t subscribe to being a traditionalist in the classroom,” Trent says. “The community college mission is very important to me. It is an opportunity for people from different walks of life who have had a different background…to get an education and access everything society has available to them.”

Contact Dean Galiffa at

Radio talk show host urges students to vote

By Alexia Davis

(Left to right) Tarik S. Khan, Laura Coates, Bryan Monroe, Jean Strout, and Joe Madison pose for a picture after the “America In Crisis: Handling Election Angst” symposium. Photo by Alexia Davis

The Business, Computing and Social Science division hosted a symposium, “America In Crisis: Handling Election Angst,” at Marple Campus on Sept. 25. The discussion was moderated by Joe Madison, host of ‘The Joe Madison Show” on SiriusXM’s Urban View.

The panelists included Laura Coates, host of The Laura Coates Show on SiriusXM’s Urban View; Tarik Khan, a nurse practitioner with the Family Practice & Counseling Network; Bryan Monroe, Verizon chair and professor of journalism at Temple University; and Jean Strout, staff attorney at the Support Center for Child Advocates and an Equal Justice Works Fellow.

Keeley Mitchell, director of Paralegal Studies, said the event was organized because young people need to understand why voting is important.

“Whatever your beliefs, whatever your party, wherever you stand on the spectrum of things, go vote,” Keeley said. “Don’t let others be your voice.”

During the discussion Madison referenced information from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). The AARP data shows that Americans over the age of 50 are the nation’s most powerful voting block.

“What this means is that the older people are making decisions for [the younger generation] about what policies are going to be put in place,” Strout said.

The panel discussed issues of concern for the upcoming election, including the Affordable Care Act, freedom of the press, student debt, immigration, homelessness, and the opioid crisis.

The panelists also addressed potential roadblocks for voters. One such issue was the belief that there is no point to voting because a single vote doesn’t really matter.

“That’s an excuse,” Coates said. “People can’t use it as a crutch to not engage.”

Another roadblock was related to logistical issues, or not physically being able to get to the poles. Monroe suggested other options for voters.

“Even if you’re home, you can get an absentee ballot and send it in,” Monroe said. Absentee ballots are mailed before an election by voters who cannot be at the polls.

Other resources for voters include early voting and free rides to the polling place from Uber and Lyft drivers.

Toward the end of the symposium, Madison and Monroe spoke to individuals who cannot cast a ballot for reasons, such as age or immigration status. The panelists explained that these persons can still affect the system by sharing information and getting others to vote.

Monroe told the audience that democracy is not “a spectator sport.”

“We cannot, we must not, be a nation of onlookers,” Madison warned.

To view a video of the symposium, click here.

Contact Alexia Davis at

Free ‘expungement clinic’ offers individuals a second chance

By Dean Galiffa 

Paralegal studies student Brittany Murphy (left) and Staff Attorney at Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania Erica Briant (right) discuss an individual’s case. Photo by Dean Galiffa
Keeley Mitchell, director of Paralegal Studies, waits to sign in registered individuals. Photo by Dean Galiffa
Staff Attorney at Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania Guy Marinari (left) and paralegal studies student Nancy Stock (right) discuss an individual’s case. Photo by Dean Galiffa

Paralegal students, under the supervision of attorneys from the Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania, assisted students and community members Sept. 23 to determine if they are eligible to have certain prior arrests or convictions expunged or sealed from their record.

Held on Marple Campus, the free “expungement clinic” was organized by Keeley Mitchell, director of Paralegal Studies. Keeley said that registration for the clinic involved the individual providing key information for viewing their criminal record.

Expungement refers to the removal of certain offenses from a person’s record. For an offense to be sealed, the court records are destroyed that would otherwise be accessible as public record.

“Each individual is assigned a paralegal student,” Keeley said. “After they’re signed in, they meet with the student and go over their record. The students were assigned nine clients each.”

Mary Taylor, a second-year paralegal studies student, said classmates who were previously involved in the clinic recommended she apply.

“They said it had been a good experience,” Taylor said. “[The applicants] were narrowed down to 10 people.”

Brittany Murphy, a paralegal studies student in her last year, said that only seven of the 10 students were selected for the clinic. Murphy said that she applied during the first week of classes.

The application process involved students meeting a certain GPA requirement and submitting an essay.

After registration, the paralegal students were given information on the individuals’ criminal records.

“[The process] is not just today,” said Lisa Laffend, a paralegal studies student in her second semester. “We spent all week working on these cases.”

Keeley said that the paralegal students will inform the individual of what offenses can and cannot be expunged or sealed.

Keeley explained that paralegal students cannot give legal advice on their own, so the attorneys from the Legal Aid approve and make the recommendations for how to proceed.

“They normally take the intake and all information to the attorney and confirm what the next step is,” Keeley said. “Then, the attorney gives their blessing.”

Despite the attorney having the final say, Keeley explained that stuents still benefit from this eperience.

“It’s a win-win,” Keeley said. “They’re getting experience that they can put on their resume. Many of them have actually landed jobs. Legal Aid has pulled some for internships.”

Erica Briant, a staff attorney at Legal Aid, said that she became involved with the clinic through Keeley.

“This is my fourth expungement clinic,” Briant said. “The opportunity to work with students is wonderful because we are reaching up to 70 folks today. There’s no way that I could do that by myself.”

Keeley further explained that if individuals are able to have their record expunged and fit the income requirements, then Legal Aid will take them on as a client. Otherwise, they are told what the next step is.

“If they can’t get expunged, then they’re explained whether they have to do a pardon.” Keeley said. “In some cases, like with a juvenile record, they’ll try to seal them.”

A pardon involves a governor or president using her executive power to remove any remaining penalties or punishments of an individual’s convicted crime. This prevents any new prosecution for the crime.

This is the sixth expungement clinic held on the Marple Campus. There has been one during each fall and spring semester since spring 2015. In addition to the Marple Campus clinic, the first clinic at the Exton Campus will be held next semester.

Contact Dean Galiffa at

DCCC nursing program paves way for successful nursing careers

By Comfort Queh

Theophile Tembe, a science for health professions major, tutors a DCCC student in the Learning Commons. Photo by Comfort Queh

Theophile Tembe, a science for health profession major, was born in Cameroon and has lived in the United States for two years. Tembe maintains a 3.74 grade point average while working part time as a chemistry tutor at DCCC and full time for the Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses as a home health aide.

“I want to know as much as I can know, to build my career,” said Tembe, who also attends DCCC full time. Tembe will be graduating in May 2018 and transferring to Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions on an academic scholarship in September.

Tembe was awarded an acedemic scholarship of approximately $45,000 by Drexel University, under the condition that he maintains a 3.5 grade point average.

“I feel [Drexel] is the right place for me to be,” said Tembe, adding that attending DCCC helped him save money and time.

Tembe is one of many students enrolled in DCCC’s nursing program who are eager to graduate in May and pursue their nursing careers by transferring to prestigious nursing schools to finish their Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Every semester students go through multiple steps to compete for an entrance into the nursing program at DCCC. Since seating in the program is limited, admission is competitive.

To be considered for the program, students must complete the two-part application process, the first part being a general admission application that all DCCC students are required to complete for acceptance into the college.

Part two of the admission process includes a mandatory aptitude test titled “Test of Essential Academic Skills” (TEAS), designed to determine if students will be able to succeed in nursing school. Students are required to score a “B” or above on the four part component test to be considered for admission into the nursing program.

Once accepted into the program, students undertake an intense curriculum for four semesters to complete the program. The program combines clinical laboratory experience and hands-on practice.

Students are able to save money and time through the three different pathways available through the program, said Faye Meloy, dean of Allied Health, Emergency Service and Nursing.

One pathway students can take is the transfer route that Tembe took, whereby students take a majority of their general sciences and gen-ed classes at DCCC, then transfer to a four year university with their Associate in Applied Science (AAS), where they will spend two more years to complete a BSN.

Another pathway students can take is successfully completing DCCC’s nursing program to receive their AAS, then moving on to a Nursing Residency Program where they are able to practice being a registered nurse (RN).

Once successfully completing the nursing program, students are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN, a state exam that allows the student to practice nursing, Meloy explained.

A third cost effective pathway available to students in the program is the ADN-BSN [Associate Degree in Nursing-Bachelor of Science in Nursing] enrollment program, a dual admission agreement that DCCC has with Drexel University.

“DCCC originally approached Drexel about the idea, thereby allowing other schools to pursue the program,” Meloy said.

Under this program, students in the nursing program are required to successfully complete all of DCCC ADN requirements while completing their BSN general-ed classes online with Drexel.

With this option, students receive approximately 40 percent off their tuition when they attend Drexel University’s nursing program.

All Drexel University students accepted into the nursing program are required to go through a co-op program, which provides professional and clinical work experience for students; however, according to the agreement DCCC has with Drexel, that requirement is taken care of when students successfully complete the AAS at DCCC.

Students like Tembe, Alyson Lyons, Marie Basilici and others, who are enrolled in DCCC’s nursing program, have all chosen different pathways to reach their career goals. Basilici and Lyons are both completing the dual admission agreement DCCC has with Drexel University.

Basilici, a wife, mother of three and returning student, will also be graduating in May 2018 after successful completing the DCCC nursing program. She will be attending Drexel University School of Nursing with only six more credits to complete her BSN.

“I was a little worried that going to an associate degree program would present a problem for me getting a job, but the way our nursing program is set up, they begin clinical hands-on work in the first semester, and that was really important to me,” Basilici said.

With this program, Basilici’s chances of being hired at any residential hospital after passing the NCLEX-RN exam are high.

“I really love DCCC,” she added. “I’m so happy I made the decision to come here.”

Lyons, 35, works part time at an Ace Hardware Store in Drexel Hill, while attending DCCC full time and attending Drexel University part time. Lyons will be graduating in May after completing DCCC’s nursing program.

“I would definitely recommend [DCCC],” Lyons said. “It’s been a great program, and the teachers are all great; lots of support throughout the whole program.”

After graduating, Lyons will be doing her residency at Geisinger Medical Center School of Nursing while finishing her six credits at Drexel to complete her BSN degree.

Eventually, Lyons would like to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).

“Whichever paths you take you are going to become a nurse at the end,” Lyons said. “It’s a great program, with great staff and I definitely saved money because of the program.”

Contact Comfort Queh at

Does ‘13 Reasons Why’ confront rape culture?

By Dean Galiffa

In support of April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, DCCC will be holding Clothesline Project events on every campus, from April 3-19. The Clothesline Project is an organization created to bring awareness to those affected by violence. Photo by Dean Galiffa

After reading the book and watching the Netflix original series adaptation, Marple campus Career and Counseling Center staff member Chris Doyle developed “Confronting Rape Culture: 13 Reasons Why,” a workshop exploring the “pervasiveness of rape culture” within the show.

“I thought pairing the workshop with ‘13 Reasons Why’ would get people’s attention,” Doyle said. “I wanted to focus more on confronting rape culture rather than the more controversial aspects of the show, such as the glamorization of suicide.”

Eileen Colucci, a fellow counselor, approached Doyle shortly after she developed the workshop.

“I was interested in partnering with her in this project,” Colucci said. “The idea was that we would use the show as a tool surrounding an important topic.”

Throughout this semester, there have been two workshops held on both the Marple and Downingtown campuses.

The first was held on Feb. 8 on the Marple campus during Q-Time and opened with Doyle explaining the purpose of the workshop.

“[Rape culture] is a society or environment whose prevailing social attitudes have the effect of normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and abuse,” Doyle said.

Doyle suggested that students ask questions when discussing sexual violence.

“One of our responsibilities is to educate and raise awareness about sexual assault on college campuses,” Doyle said. “This workshop is one of the more contemporary ways we’ve chosen to do that. We’re going to show scenes from the show and open up a discussion.”

Before beginning the presentation, Doyle said that the workshop was meant to explore the contributing factors of rape culture among men and women.

“This is not a man-bashing presentation,” Doyle said. “This takes into account the culture that affects women but also affects men. Pressure is put on both parties to act in a specific way.”

rape info grapic
91 percent of colleges in 2014 reported zero incidents of rape on campus. Photo courtesy of Mic Network Inc.

Jessie V. Ford’s article “‘Going with the Flow’: How College Men’s Experiences of Unwanted Sex Are Produced by Gendered Interactional Pressures,” published in Social Forces, examines 39 heterosexual men’s experiences with unwanted sex in college.

Ford’s data suggested that men typically conduct their sex lives to conform to society’s expectations of masculinity.

“Men consent to unwanted sex because accepting all opportunities for sexual activity is a widely accepted way to perform masculinity,” Ford writes. “They fear ridicule if stories are told portraying them as the kind of man who does not jump at any opportunity for sex with an attractive woman.”

A study in the Journal of Child & Family Studies titled “Sexual Assault Among College Students: Family of Origin Hostility, Attachment, and the Hook-Up Culture as Risk Factors” reports “Between one-third and one-half of college men admit to perpetrating some form of sexual assault against a woman.”

Another study in PLoS ONE titled “Sexual assault incidents among college undergraduates: Prevalence and factors associated with risk,” estimates 20 to 25 percent of college students in the United States are sexual assault victims.

These statistics prompted universities to enhance or develop policies and programs to prevent sexual assault.

According to an article by Jennifer R. Boyle in the American Journal of Health Studies, recent efforts against sexual assault on college campuses have focused heavily on the “bystander approach, [which] relies on third party witnesses to intervene in potential sexual assault situations.”

Current bystander programs, including the Mentors in Violence Prevention program and the Men’s Project, have shown some success among college students.

“There’s something called ‘Bystander Intervention,” Doyle told students during the Feb. 8 workshop. “It is a program to teach people how to intervene when they see something going on. I’m hoping to bring that training to campus.”

Rosie Long, a first-year psychology major, attended the workshop on Marple campus. She said a friend at West Chester University underwent the training.

“I think all teachers should have to attend that training,” Long said. “I’ve had past encounters with sexual assault and harassment in high school and the teachers and counselors involved did not handle it well.”

Long attended Upper Darby High School where she said she was victim of sexual harassment and assault on multiple occasions.

“In one situation, a counselor told me I could fill out paperwork, but it would probably lead to more harassment and bullying,” said Long in an interview after the workshop. “I was advised to avoid him in the hallways and sit away from him at lunch. He was an athlete, and he was very glorified and ran for homecoming king.”

Long completed her senior year through the Upper Darby School District Cyber Academy, a program offering classes to students online, after feeling too unsafe attending traditional classes.

During the workshop, Colucci said that she was shocked after hearing Long’s story. She related her experience to a scene from “13 Reasons Why,” in which a student was exonerated for sexual harassment on account of his athlete status.

Long said she read the book and saw the show before the workshop, and found it a useful tool.

“I didn’t like the book as much as the show,” Long said. “The show opened up a discussion on sexual assault, bullying, and suicide, even though it didn’t execute it very well. Using scenes was helpful, and having it be in the title of the workshop definitely appealed to students more.”

Erin McCarthy, a second-year psychology major who was homeschooled, attended the workshop on the Downingtown campus on March 6, 2018. She had not seen the show or read the book before the workshop and did not think using the show was a helpful tool.

“I went into it with low expectations and came out with even less than that level,” she said. “I thought the show was a very bad representation of rape culture.”

McCarthy added that the workshop was not about confronting rape culture, but blaming rape culture on many different aspects of today’s society.

“I thought the workshop would be about bettering the future of our society,” she added. “I expected us to be finding the root of the problem and discussing how to fix it. Instead, it was a lot of complaining.”

McCarthy said that she believes the issues surrounding rape culture can be dealt with from an early age.

“We need to teach children how to treat each other appropriately and with respect,” McCarthy said. “Parents should be teaching their kids how to act, not expecting schools to.”

In support of April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, DCCC will be holding Clothesline Project events on every campus, from April 3-19.

The Clothesline Project is an organization created to bring awareness to those affected by violence. T-shirts are decorated and hung on a clothesline display as a testimony to the problem, according to the organization’s website.

Contact Dean Galiffa at

Food bank meets need on Marple campus

By Andrew Henry

The F.E.R.B program at DCCC provides food with nutritional value such as fruit and Gatorade to help hungry students make it through their day. The snacks are packed into white bags kept in the Campus Life office. Photo by Andrew Henry

It’s no secret that being a college student can be challenging. Sitting in a classroom for more than an hour, focusing on what the teacher is saying, all the while taking notes, not to mention having to study those notes for hours on end to retain the information.

Now imagine having to do that on an empty stomach.

Some may not have to imagine. For some, this is a reality.

Food insecurity is defined by Merriam-Webster as “unable to consistently access or afford adequate food.”

In other words, some students do not eat because they simply cannot afford to.

This issue is quite common on college campuses, according to a report published by Students Against Hunger, which reports the rate of food insecurity among college students as four times greater than the national average.

DCCC offers programs that help those struggling with food insecurities.

Kathy Schank, an associate professor of social work at DCCC since 2008, is also the faculty advisor to the Social Work Club.

food 2
An instructional placard outlining how to gain access to the food provided by the F.E.R.B program stands behind a sample of what one might find in a bag acquired from Campus Life on Marple campus. Photo by Andrew Henry

The club, along with Campus Life, noticed an ongoing problem on the Marple campus and other DCCC branch campuses.

Students are hungry.

Counselors also took notice and began bringing food to their offices, according to Schank.

Water bottles, snack bars, and other small snacks were brought in to help students make it through the day, but staff saw that it was not enough.

At a meeting with the Social Work Club during the 2011-12 academic year then Campus Life director Amy Williams Gaudioso suggested a solution: creating a food bank on DCCC’s Marple campus.

The Social Work Club agreed, and within one and a half years a program called the Food Emergency Resource Bank, or FERB, was created in spring of 2014.

“We asked for donations toward the food bank from the college community,” Schank said. “And we have been getting a great response ever since.”

Food bank items are selected based on nutritional value, and what would best help students make it through their day.

The food bank at DCCC is located in the Student Center, Room 1180.

Students can approach a counselor and simply tell her that they have a “food emergency.” Students will then receive a ticket that is to be taken to the front desk at Campus Life. They will be given a bag of food from the food bank with no questions asked.

The next step for the food bank is to expand into a larger facility and have it be manned by student volunteers. A team is actively working on the expansion and finding space to do it.

The food bank is also linked to a program called Keystone Education Yields Success, or K.E.Y.S, located in Room 2170 on DCCC’s Marple campus. The program is directed by Susan Bennett.

K.E.Y.S is designed to help recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) succeed in community college, according to their page on DCCC’s website.

The program supplies lunch vouchers, financial assistance, and rewards for students based on their academic achievements.

“There are students that are eligible for K.E.Y.S, and just haven’t signed up,” Bennett said. “If you received the Pell grant, you are more than likely eligible.”

food 3
An instructional placard outlines how one might gain access to the food provided by the F.E.R.B program. Photo by Andrew Henry

The program also provides free transportation, childcare, and gives students information about other programs for which students may be eligible.

If a student wants to check his eligibility, he can visit

A questionnaire takes about two minutes to complete.

“[Food insecurities are] one symptom of a larger systemic issue,” said Allyson Gleason, director of Campus Life. However, she does feel that the food bank has made an impact on students’ lives.

If you or someone you know is struggling with finding your next meal, contact the Career and Counseling Center on Marple Campus.

Contact Andrew Henry at

DCCC Multicultural and Badminton Clubs celebrate the Year of the Dog

By Comfort Queh


In celebration of the Lunar New Year, a traditional holiday in China, DCCC’s Multicultural and Badminton Clubs joined together to host their first fundraiser of the year on Feb. 14 to celebrate the year of the dog. The event occurred from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 2520 in Founder’s Hall and raised $287.

The celebration featured Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, Henna tattoos and handmade Valentine’s Day cards and gifts for students and faculty members to purchase while enjoying the decorations and festivities that members of the club had organized.

All the proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward the clubs’ future events and equipment needed for the Badminton Club, said Chayawan Sonchaeng, who has a master’s degree in TESO (Teaching English to Students of Other Language), teaches ESL at DCCC, and is one of the co-advisors of both the Multicultural and Badminton Clubs.

Sonchaeng explained that the fundraiser is used as a platform for the Multicultural Club members to “raise awareness about others culture so we can learn to respect one another.”

“We would like to use this as a way to educate people about other cultures so they can learn about it and embrace it,” Sonchaeng added.

The Lunar New Year is celebrated in countries with a significant population of Chinese heritage. In other countries, this holiday is called by a different name: The Vietnamese refer to it as Tet, and the Tibetans refer to it as Losar. In Japan it is referred to as Shogatsu, and the Koreans refers to it as Seollal.

The fundraiser began with five different stations, each offering different items and foods for purchase.

Students at the first station sold summer rolls, a Vietnamese dish prepared by Hang Tran, the president and founder of the Badminton Club. Tran and other members that manned the station were dressed in their Ao Dai, a traditional Vietnamese dress.

Students and faculty were able to purchase $2 for one summer roll or $3 for two. “It’s very good and tasty,” said Jiajun Huang, a first year mechanical-engineering student at the college. Huang attended the event for the first time with his friend Charles Yang, a statistics major.

The second station displayed different Henna tattoos that students and faculty could purchase for $5.

“I really like it,” said Idalis Lloyd, a second semester business student after getting a full hand henna tattoo for the first time.

The third station offered $1 spring rolls and dumplings for purchase.

The fourth station sold $1 hand-made Valentine’s Day cards, teddy bears, and heart shaped pillow.

“The decorations are beautiful,” said ESL tutor Bobbi Morris.

“It’s a great way for them to work together,” said Morris. “I think it’s absolutely terrific that I could buy a Valentine’s Day card.”

The fifth station was a selfie station where students and faculty could take $1 selfies. Heart-shaped sunglasses, colorful beaded necklaces, and heart-shaped Mickey Mouse ears were some of the available props.

“It’s very good, friendly people and it’s cheap,” said Daiki Ito, a second semester ESL student. “I can get to know different countries and cultures. I like this.”

The Multicultural Club meets every Friday in Room 1180 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Students can share information about their cultures with each other. Some of the countries that the club members have discussed include India, Madagascar, Albania, Bangladesh and Vietnamese.

“It’s very special and interesting because we are from different cultures,” said Premisa Kerthi, the president of the Multicultural Club. “We talk in English to help build our confidence because most of the students are from ESL classes.”

Contact Comfort Queh at communitarian@mail.dccc. edu

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Financial aid administrator Ray Toole is about to take a bite of his summer roll at the Multicultural Lunar New Year fundraiser on Feb. 14. Photo by Comfort Queh
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ESL tutors Bobbi Morris and Lynn Maharaj show Valentine’s Day spirit by purchasing handcrafted cards made by the Multicultural Club at the Lunar New Year fundraiser on Feb. 14. Photo by Comfort Queh
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Yen Le wears an Ao Dai, a traditional Vietnamese dress at the Multicultural Lunar New Year fundraiser on Feb. 14. Photo by Comfort Queh

Black History Month: how a week became 28 days

By Andrew Henry 


February is Black History Month, but why?

When 10 students on Delaware County’s Marple Campus were asked, nine of them admitted to having absolutely no idea.

“Isn’t is because February is the shortest month of the year?” asked Angel Goins, a criminal justice major.

The reason February was chosen has nothing to do with the length of the month. It was chosen by a black man named Carter G. Woodson, the second black man to earn a doctorate degree from Harvard University, according to Daryl Michael Scott, a professor of History at Howard University and vice president for Programs of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

In 1915 Woodson went to Illinois to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the emancipation of the slaves in the United States. The event commemorated the progress black people in America had made since the abolition of slavery. Approximately 6000 to 12,000 black U.S. citizens attended the three-week event, according to Scott.

Due to the overwhelming turnout, Woodson formed an organization known as the Association For the Study of Negro life (ASNLH), which promoted the study of African people’s history and genealogy, and the sharing of those findings.

Woodson thought that sharing the historical facts about Africans would help to improve race relations by changing the way that Africans were perceived.

In 1926, Woodson established that a week in February would be known as Negro History Week and would be used to promote and teach the history of black people, writes Scott.

The Month of February was chosen because it holds the birthdays of Frederick Douglass, a former slave turned abolitionist, and President Abraham Lincoln, the president who wrote the Emancipation Proclamation to free the slaves.

In 1976, 50 years after the establishment of Negro history week, the ASNLH finally had enough influence to establish Black History Month, and since then every president has acknowledged February as Black History Month, according to Scott.

DCCC’s Marple campus will be holding events all throughout the month February.

Allyson Gleason, director of Campus Life at DCCC expressed the importance of promoting diversity on campus both during Black History Month, and all year long.

“It’s important to acknowledge and celebrate different cultures,” Gleason said. “We try to reach out to everyone, which is why we had the play ‘Tres Vidas’ in October for Hispanic Heritage Month.”

Contact Andrew Henry at

Cell Phone addiction plagues today’s collegiate

By Victoria Lavelle

Smartphones and earbuds are as trendy as the sneakers and book bags that adorn students streaming in across campus parking lots and walkways, yet today’s morning college goers are more an accessory to their mobile device than vice-versa. 

Jamming out to a variety of beats from iTunes, while tapping into Snapchat or Facebook might spruce up the dreaded morning stroll to class, however, plugging into your phone for the routine walk down the halls doesn’t exactly put the bounce in your strut as one might think. 

The odds of a college student being struck by oncoming traffic increases while listening to music with earbuds or chatting away on their phone hasn’t helped curb the reckless behavior by the majority of young adults.

A recent study on college students found that the mere presence of a cellular device is enough to impair a student’s sense of awareness about their surroundings, according to research published in Elsevier’s Science Direct Journal of Computers on Human Behavior.

The 2018 study also found that smartphones have the tendency to divert attention and memory, even when they are tucked away or silenced. 

Moreover, distracted walking incidents are on the rise and every college student with a cellphone is at risk. An estimate 6,000 pedestrians were mowed down and killed by motor vehicles in 2018, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association report.

Yet, the grim reality that the number of cell phone-related pedestrian injuries has surpassed texting-while-driving ones hasn’t deterred many young adults from doing so anyway. 

Research based from an online survey of 164 college students, probed 24 cell phone activities and discovered that time spent on 11 of those activities differed significantly across the sexes.

The 2018 study found that women college students spend an average of 10 hours a day on their cell phones, while men students spend nearly eight hours, according to researchers at Baylor University. 

Additionally, the study reflects that roughly 60 percent of young adults admit they may be addicted to their cellphones, while others suggest that they grow anxious or frustrated when it is not within reach, according to the findings published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions. 

Let’s face it, there’s nothing more annoying than a “phone-zombie” shuffling through the college parking lot, face glued to their screen, while you sit waiting impatiently in your car to turn into a parking spot.

There comes a point when you just want to roll down your window and scream, “Get off your phone you imbecile!” 

The thing is, you’ve probably been a phone-zombie yourself. Perhaps you’ll think twice after learning that phone zombies are easy prey for pickpockets and thieves, according to Campus Safety magazine.

When your mind is preoccupied with the internet or a phone conversation, there is little room to absorb what’s transpiring around you and others in the vicinity.

It’s time to face reality. As sweet as it might be that grandma now knows how to Facetime, it’s time to wake up and admit that the cell phone era is shaping more than just our conversations.

The smartphone generation is invading our culture in ways that may be unhealthy for us, mentally, and dangerous for our physical wellbeing.    

Though our cell phone habits might ultimately keep us amused and connected, they aren’t worth sacrificing the hefty cost of personal safety and learning skills in college.  

Next time you hear the annoying sound coming from one of those loud, vibrating cars riding through the student parking lot with the bass all beefed-up, don’t roll your eyes at the driver,because at least he’s already cut the cord.


‘Think 30’? I think not!

One student’s perspective on a college initiative designed to help students succeed

by Alexia Davis

The photo of a student in a graduation cap and gown that accompanies the DCCC “Think 30” initiative. Photo courtesy of Delaware County Community College


I think about numbers a lot. The number of meals I will prepare for my family in a year is 1095. I will wash, fold and put away approximately 730 loads of laundry in a year and spend at least 104 hours running errands.

Then, there are the smaller numbers. I have one home with a mortgage and maintenance needs. I have two children, ages 6 and 7, for whom I have an enormous responsibility.

The numbers don’t stop, which is why I refuse to buy into the “Think 30” initiative at DCCC.

The message of the program seems clear. Students should take 30 credits per year so they can complete their degree in two years. In the end, students will be like the photo accompanying the initiative, graduates smiling in their caps and gowns.

When I began my journey at DCCC almost four years ago, I knew what I wanted. I also understood, having been in the workforce, that a degree is nothing if it stands alone. Only growth and knowledge can make it meaningful.

My success, I decided, would always be measured by the knowledge I acquired. If I wasn’t learning, I was failing, regardless of what my grades reflected. That is why I have never taken more than three courses per semester.

I remember sneaking back to the computer to work on assignments while my kids napped or became preoccupied with an activity. Then, after tucking my babies in at night, I would again return to the computer, hoping for enough energy to get some more school work done.

I am not alone. In my time at DCCC I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know many individuals. I learned that the majority of them are also raising a family, working fulltime jobs or both.

Those on the “Think 30” path admit to doing the bare minimum to get through and pass their courses. Even if they wanted to be getting more from their education, they couldn’t because there’s simply no time. Their academic career must always run parallel to the responsibilities of the real world.

Of course, it would be ideal if all students could manage and maintain the momentum needed to get their degree in a fixed amount of time. But at what cost?

There is an underlying message, whether intentional or not, in the DCCC “Think 30” initiative. That message is “just push through and get it done.” It is a message that shows no concern for the process of learning or the real success that comes from quality education.

It is a message that no educational institution should ever support. It is also a message that lacks any regard for the importance of maintaining a high grade point average (GPA).

Students who take on more than they can handle risk sabotaging their GPA, and in turn, their educational opportunities when it comes time to transfer. I can say with certainty that my GPA, currently a 4.0, would not have been possible if I had been on the “Think 30” path.

The goal of every student should not be to “just get it done.” It should be growth and knowledge, two things which drive momentum and motivation. That is the path to success, at least in my experience.

It’s time to rethink “Think 30.” We have enough numbers in our lives. What we need, is to “Think Success.”

Contact Alexia Davis at communitarian@mail.dccc. edu

A sign on the DCCC Downingtown campus conflicts with schoolwide “Think 30” initiative. Photo by Alexia Davis


DCCC Engineering Club

DCCC Mechanical Engineering majors Joe Iademarco and Zaid Hawatmeh show their latest project at the Engineering Club held on Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Center. Photo by Victoria Lavelle

Engineering Club at DCCC

PTK honor society seeks eligible students

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Phi Theta Kappa was founded in 1918 and is recognized as the official honor society for two-year colleges by the American Association of Community Colleges.

Students have many opportunities to be involved in scholarly research, fellowship, community service, and leadership roles, in addition to scholarships at nearby colleges and universities.

To be eligible for membership:

• you must be enrolled in a regionally accredited institution offering an associate degree program;

• you must have completed at least 12 hours of coursework that may be applied to an associate degree (part-time students may be eligible);

• you must have a grade point average of 3.5;

• you must receive an invitation to membership;
PTK honor society seeks stellar students

• you should adhere to the moral standards of the society.

If students think they are eligible, but they did not receive an invitation letter, they should contact PTK faculty adviser Professor Tanya Franklin by e-mail  with their names and P00 numbers.

There is a one-time membership fee of $100. The induction ceremony will occur on Tuesday,  March 5,  2018 at 7:00 p.m. in the Large Auditorium, Room 2225.

Students who have questions should not hesitate to visit and contact Professor Franklin. Tanya H. Franklin Associate Professor of English Phi Theta Kappa Advisor Delaware County Community College  610-325-2752

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