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 communitarian@dccc.edu

Radio talk show host urges students to vote

By Alexia Davis

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(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 communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Free ‘expungement clinic’ offers individuals a second chance

By Dean Galiffa 

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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
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Keeley Mitchell, director of Paralegal Studies, waits to sign in registered individuals. Photo by Dean Galiffa
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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 communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

DCCC nursing program paves way for successful nursing careers

By Comfort Queh

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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 communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Does ‘13 Reasons Why’ confront rape culture?

By Dean Galiffa

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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.”

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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 communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Food bank meets need on Marple campus

By Andrew Henry

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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.

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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.”

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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 http://www.compass.state.pa.us.

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 communitarian@dccc.mail.edu

DCCC Multicultural and Badminton Clubs celebrate the Year of the Dog

By Comfort Queh

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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 

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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 communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Phantoms men’s basketball falls short in season opener

By Caroline Sweeney

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DCCC forward Ketquan Gatewood jukes Thaddeus Stevens guard Marqel Wansley to line up for a three-point shot. Photo by Caroline Sweeney
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DCCC forward Nazir Gossette misses his only three- point shot of the game before scoring 10 points. Photo by Caroline Sweeney

DCCC Phantoms men’s basketball team lost their season opener 98-90 against the Thaddeus Stevens Tech Bulldogs on Nov 3. The Phantoms have begun their season 0-1 overall.

All five starters scored in the game along with three other players.

Top scorers of the game were starting guard Justin Gans who led the Phantoms with 27 points. Following Gans, guard Mike Mallon scored 18 points and forward Ketquan Gatewood scored 13 points.

Both De’Andray Covert and Nazar Gosssette scored 10 points; Shaquell Stokes scored seven points; Shadiniah Lino scored three points and Shannon Burnett-Pullium scored two points.

“We didn’t do what I expected to do as far as winning, but I do think my guys went out and competed and gave it their all”, said Larry Yarbray, Sr, Phantoms head coach. “We have to execute better and come out with a sense of urgency next time.”

The Phantoms and the Bulldogs were evenly matched in the first half, going back and forth with scoring. But Thaddeus Stevens was consistently ahead by a few points throughout the game.

With the first half coming to an end the momentum shifted in favor of Thaddeus Stevens. The Bulldogs went on a run to outscore the Phantoms, but the Phantoms fought back with several three-pointers to bring them within four points of the Bulldogs.

The halftime score was 46- 42, Thaddeus Stevens.

“We kind of waited till halftime to start playing the right way, but by then they were up 16 points,” Yarbray said. “By then we were stuck in a hole trying to dig ourselves out.”

At the beginning of the second half, the Phantoms came out stronger than the first, but they were slightly behind Thaddeus Stevens.

The Phantoms fought to keep the pace with the Bulldogs and eventually, after a series of mistakes by the Bulldogs, the momentum of the game began to shift in favor of DCCC.

With 6:32 left in the second half, the score was tied for the first time at 79 all. And once again the two teams were running up and down the court, keeping within several points of one another.

Coaches and players were animated about the new tone of the game and the crowd was on edge. Both teams were using up their remaining time-ups to give their players breaks and draw up plays.

After several fouls against DCCC and missing key shots in the last two minutes of the game, Thaddeus Stevens started to pull away. With a final score of 98-90 Thaddeus Stevens.

“Myself and my team played well, but we could have played better,” said Ketquan Gatewood, a sophomore business major. “I want to work on my defense, being less aggressive so I don’t get called for so many fouls, but I know we will be better down the stretch.”

The Phantoms were strong in free throw percentage at 70 percent at the line. They also made 50 percent of their three-point shots and made 43 percent of their field-goals.

“It is a learning experience and we are all looking forward to next week’s game,” Yarbray said.

The Phantoms next game will be on Nov. 10 against Harrisburg Area at Harrisburg.

The next home game will be on Nov. 15 against Del Tech Stanton.

Contact Caroline Sweeney at communitarian@mail.dccc. edu

‘Suspiria’: cult classic remake chills audiences

By Dean Galiffa

Dakota

Shake, rattle and roll.

As in: there is a scene in which a dancer’s body shakes in agony as her limbs contort, her bones rattle and her innards roll.

That is the kind of grotesque imagery running throughout “Suspiria,” directed by Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino.

The film is a remake of the 1977 horror cult-classic of the same title, but takes many liberties. Indeed, much of Guadagnino’s film is an expansion of the already outlined story by Director Dario Argento, yet translates as a convoluted, expansive, and sometimes onerous plot.

Starring Dakota Johnson in the protagonist role of Susie, a young dancer from Ohio who travels to the acclaimed Markos Dance Company in Berlin for an audition, the film’s eerie set design and arthouse camera work creates an unease that never lets up.

Although the movie never quite tops the “shake, rattle, and roll” scene in terms of making the audiences’ skin crawl, it leaves the viewer anticipating the worst at every creek and squish.

Alongside Susie is the renowned dance instructor Madame Blanc, portrayed by Tilda Swinton, who is instantly impressed and almost transfixed by Susie’s skill.

From the start of her time at the company, Susie is groomed for the lead role in the company’s upcoming production. We come to find later on in the film that this seemingly innocent lead role is far more sinister than it appears on the surface.

A standout performance of the film is Mia Goth, who plays the supporting role of Sara, a vivacious and skilled dancer who falls victim to the dance company’s more malevolent regime.

Unlike her leading opposites, Goth’s character and performance are far more interesting than Johnson’s Susie. However, this could be the fault of poor direction or screenwriting.

Still, some major performances were notable. In addition to her role as Madame Blanc, Swinton plays two other characters, including the primary role of Dr. Josef Klemperer, a psychoanalyst who begins to investigate Markos Dance Company after sessions with a former dancer.

Without the knowledge that it is Swinton under a prosthetic nose and thick frames, Klemperer just comes off as a stiff old man with an oddly high-pitched croak of a voice.

The prosthetics hindered her performance, but Swinton’s acting chops did pay off when becoming each character.

Both costume and set design were improved by an overall clean performance of both the actors and the cinematographer.

Bearing red hair and a middle part, Johnson was able to fit perfectly in the cold bluish brown hues of Markos Dance Company.

Playing off of its predecessor, the plain lighting and clever use of color in the costumes of “Suspiria” pay tribute to the original film.

While the 1977 version often used simple costume design and vibrant settings, the remake could not be any more opposite.

Most notably, the sound design of the film was truly haunting. Along with rather graphic imagery, each individual crack, snap, and crunch punctuated the overall realism of each scene.

Defined by grotesque imagery, sound design, and experimental cinematography, Gaudagnino’s take on the cult classic leaves the audience with many unanswered questions.

The film leaves much of the plot unexplained, with some subplots feeling completely unnecessary altogether.

Nevertheless, overall, the casual movie-goer and film buff alike will be shaken, rattled, and rolled by “Suspiria.”

Valerie Battaglia also contributed to the writing of this review.

Contact Dean Galiffa at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ buckles, but does not break under pressure

By Shane Soderland

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Director Bryan Singer resurrects singer Freddie Mercury in the 2018 biopic film “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The film chronicles Mercury and his band Queen’s rise to prominence and iconization.

Rami Malek gives an Oscar caliber performance as the sensational rock star struggling with vice and indulgence capturing his mannerisms, flare, and humanity above all else. The film never goes out of its way to characterize Mercury as an omnipotent figure, which is commendable, but it never goes deep enough to match Malek’s performance.

Singer gave tight direction to cover the entirety of Mercury’s career, but the overall structure was bothersome. The film tells its story in a very traditional and formulaic way, which doesn’t suit the inventive and experimental nature of Queen.

At one point, dialogue shared between Brian May’s character and a production executive criticizes formula in music. This interaction almost feels ironic, given how conventional the film’s direction is.

Mercury’s life is examined well, but it would have benefited from more abstract storytelling. An interesting perspective would have been a nonlinear approach, with scenes from various times in his career sporadic throughout.

Similarly, a perspective such as the miniseries “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” where direction is taken by expanding multiple character’s viewpoints would have worked. In a story with a vast range of material, the film would have benefited from this format, especially considering Malek’s success on the show “Mr. Robot.”

Yes, “Bohemian Rhapsody” plays like a biopic you’ve seen a hundred times before — it’s even been parodied in “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.”

The film covers Mercury’s career in a seemingly impossible two and a half hour run time. Story threads were cut down, ignored, or glossed over for the film to work.

There are enough enjoyable aspects to make the film both watchable and endearing.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” finds ways for audience members to become invested in its larger-than-life focus, counterbalancing its duller aspects with vibrant cinematography, unique editing techniques, and a good cast with believable chemistry.

Malek’s transcendental performance as Mercury, the electric soundtrack, and the dramatic elements are all strong components.

The movie struggles, however, to authentically portray the lives of 1970’s rock stars — especially, a group as outlandish as Queen. Mercury is portrayed as a flawed and indulgent diva, while his band mates are unchanging figures with strong moral authority.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” made a conscious choice to gloss over the seedier aspects of Mercury’s life, yet it does not take away from the film’s focus — Queen and their music. The film did not need exploitative debauchery to succeed, but a single f-bomb would have been permissible.

Most disappointingly, the film’s message about Mercury’s sexuality is muddled. With the exception of the closing moments of the film, Mercury’s homosexuality is portrayed as raucous and destructive throughout. However, the characters treat his orientation and eccentricities with familial tenderness, which was poignant to see.

Historical inaccuracies, exaggerations, and Meta-references are abundant in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” but do not detract from its entertainment value or message about family and teamwork. This film is a flawed take on a legend, but as a concert film it will rock you.

Contact Shane Soderland at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

LOVE Park trumps hate

Members and allies of the trans community gathered at Love Park on Oct. 23 for a rally to protest the proposal made by the Trump Administration, suggesting that gender is assigned at birth.

Photos by Dean Galiffa

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Protestors gather at Love Park to rally against the proposal made by the Trump Administration.
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A protestor holds a sign reading “Gritty Hates Bigots” in protest of anti-trans rhetoric of the Trump Administration.
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Protestors hold cardboard fists reading various pro-trans exclamations while at the rally.
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Rally-goers hand out signs featuring the names and faces of trans martyrs.
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A rally-goer holds a sign protesting the proposal made by the Trump Administration.

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A pro-trans rights sign.
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Two signs promoting trans equality are held high above the crowd at Love Park.

I was at the Springfield Mall shooting

By Caroline Sweeney

While typing in the rewards information for a young woman I was ringing up at Aerie in Springfield Mall, I was suddenly interrupted by my frantic manager, who demanded her store keys resting in the draw under my keyboard. I tossed her the keychain and continued ringing up the customer.

Handing her the large Aerie bag, I smiled before bidding her goodbye and moving on to the next customer.

Once again, I started to type in the rewards information of my new customer when she asked me, “Why are the doors on the store closing?”

I quickly looked up and watched as the gate of Aerie closed; then I looked through the archway connecting Aerie and American Eagle and also saw their glass doors being slammed shut.

I slowly shook my head no at the new customer before a young mom rushed at me. She had an iron grip on her young son’s hand and had an exacerbated look on her face. “Can I take my son and hide out in your fitting room?”

Unsure of what was going on, I nodded at her; she then turned to the line of people in front of me and said that there was a shooter at the mall.

Shootings have become something people hear about fairly regularly, and even though events like this happen all over the world, people don’t think about what they would do if it happened to them.

Now I found myself in that position.

I live in a middle-class suburban area of Delaware County called Ridley Park, about 15 minutes from the Springfield Mall. Events like this are something that I only hear about on the news, and never imagined it would happen so close to home.

I have worked at the mall in Aerie for about two and a half year and never considered that a shooting is something I would need to worry about. It is something that doesn’t happen in my neighborhood.

I was terrified.

The mother quickly turned around, making her way to the fitting room. I had no idea what was happening or what to do. I was hoping that someone would have said something over the headset all the employees wear, but it was silent.

Out of reflex, I continued ringing through the line that had accumulated. I also kept looking around to see if other store had closed their doors and gates as well, but people did not seem to be panicking.

Finally, my manager informed the employees that we would being going into lockdown. She ran to me, saying, “Finish everything you’re doing, grab everyone in your store and get over to the American Eagle side.”

At this point I was shaking a little. I rushed back to the mother and took her to the other side of the store. I could tell she was extremely upset and scared, so I tried to keep my emotions under control, so I wouldn’t upset her further.

In fact, my coworkers and I all had to hide our emotions as we rushed to move people to the back of the store and check out all the remaining customers in line. There were about 30 customers in the store and 10 employees. Once everyone was in the back of the store, we just had to wait.

I watched as my three managers rushed around making phone calls and explaining the circumstances to annoyed and confused customers. My coworker Kelli, who had just returned from her break, came up behind me. “What is happening?” she asked. “Someone said there is a shooter? This is insane!”

At this point, I had a better idea of what was happening in the mall. I knew that there was someone with a gun, but they he was outside of the mall. The knowledge of that seemed to have spread through the store and added a small sense of security for everyone.

After answering several questions from customers and replying to concerned text messages from friends and family, a police officer violently knocked on the front doors.

The officer began escorting us out of the store and through the empty mall. Armed police lined the sides of the corridors, creating a walkway for us.

When everyone was finally outside, our customers rushed to their cars while the rest of my coworkers and I waited for our managers in the cool October air. The parking lot was littered with police officers from several townships, onlookers watching the chaos, and news reporters with their camera crews.

Despite the intense circumstances, we were able to relax. Our manager eventually came out carrying all of our personal items that we were not allowed to grab when we were evacuated.

Eventually, management announced that the mall would be closed for the rest of the day and reopen the next morning. We were informed that no one was injured, but the idea of “What if…” kept creeping into my thoughts.

Once I was finally home, I found out that a result of a fight between two groups of people. The exchange began in the mall before moving to the parking lot, where multiple shots were first fired.

Several cars were hit by bullets; those involved in the shooting fled the mall, and no arrests have been made.

But my heightened adrenaline did not subside until the next day. I found myself more anxious and stressed than usual. I never thought I would have this experience until I did.

Contact Caroline Sweeney at communitarian@mail.dccc. edu