A Student Publication of Lorain County Community College

LCCC’s police academy named Star Academy by Attorney General

Lauren HoffmanEditor-In-Chief Lorain County Community College has garnered its fair share of awards throughout the years from being named the most affordable community college, to its designations as being No. 1 in the nation for success. Their Police Academy is…

LCCC swears in new Student Senate

Anthony LeyvaStaff Writer The year is looking bright for Lorain County Community College as they sworn in a brand new student senate cabinet Aug 22 during the first day of fall semester opening festivities. This is the first time that…

Levy won’t raise tax; will boost education

Lauren Hoffman Editor-In-Chief Lorain County Community College will take on the world of politics once again this November 8 ballot as the University Partnership Levy is set to be renewed before its expiration in 2023. The levy which was first…

Collegian staff shines at 44th annual Press Club awards banquet

Lauren Hoffman Editor-In-ChiefLorain County Community College’s student-run newspaper, The Collegian, again swept the floor at the Cleveland Press Club Awards on June 10, taking home eleven awards in the Trade/2-Year School category. Lauren Hoffman, editor-in-chief of The Collegian, won three awards, including…

LCCC graduates take flight for 58th commencement ceremony

Lauren HoffmanEditor-In-Chief“Today is the day that your hard work pays off and is the day we celebrate you.” Lorain County Community College President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., said as she welcomed graduates to the 58th commencement ceremony Saturday morning in the…

False fire causes campus confusion

A Elyria Fire Department truck (right) arrives to the college center to investigate alarms. College center sign is to the bottom left with the entrance to the college center in the middle.

Lauren HoffmanEditor-in-ChiefLorain County Community College experienced a different kind of emergency alert Thursday afternoon. At 2:45 p.m. Main campus’ fire alert systems blared to life urging students, staff, and faculty to evacuate the building following an “emergency situation.”  Within minutes,…

Intel breathes new life into LCCC’s DNA

Lauren HoffmanEditor-in-chief Lorain County Community College engineering students have big opportunities heading their way in the form of two new leading-edge chip factories being built in Ohio’s “silicon heartland” just outside Columbus. Technological giant Intel, a business whose computer chips run…

Collegian staff shines at 44th annual Press Club awards banquet

Lauren Hoffman 
Lorain County Community College’s student-run newspaper, The Collegian, again swept the floor at the Cleveland Press Club Awards on June 10, taking home eleven awards in the Trade/2-Year School category. 
Lauren Hoffman, editor-in-chief of The Collegian, won three awards, including two first places at her first outing for the event. Her story titled, “Post 9/11 generation learns of attacks” earned first in the Best Online Reporting section. Judge’s commented on the piece, “The use of quotes is where the reporter’s work shines.” 
Hoffman followed that, taking home first in the Best Press Feature Story category with her story titled “Covid-19 vaccine saves faculty’s life.” Hoffman’s final award was a third place in the same category for her work, “German student’s American Dream comes true.” 
Oscar Rosado, former editor-in-chief of The Collegian who graduated in May, made the event his second outing with awards earning a second place for his story, co-written by Jordan Yuhasz, titled “Local businesses revenue booms due to in-person classes returning” in the Best Print Newspaper Story category. |
Destiny Torres, a former associate editor of The Collegian who also graduated in May, also shined at the event earning two first places for her work. In the Best Print Newspaper Story section, Torres, alongside James Baron, took first for their story, Help is available for domestic abuse victims.” 
Torres followed that up with a first in Best Print Sports Story for her piece, “Stepping into the future with Esports. The judges commented, “The writer places the topic into context for the reader who may be unfamiliar, nicely setting the table for the remainder of the article.” 
The Collegian contributors Hayden Lowstetter and James Wade took home an award in the categories of Best Print Sports Story and Best Print Feature Story, respectively. Lowstetter’s article, “Jim Powers leads Commodores to the regional championship,” earned him a second place in the first, while Wade’s story “New tech in children Learning Center helps ECE students” earned him a second place in the latter category. 
Wade also took second place in the Best Radio/Podcast News Story category for his Boom Radio podcast, “Boy Scouts.” LCCC student Lily Smith followed Wade with a third place in the same category for her work, “Education.” 
Lily Smith took third place for her podcast on Boom Radio for her segment “Education.”
Finally, LCCC associate Janet Maltbie brought home first place in the Best Radio/Podcast in her Boom Radio segment titled “Blood Needles Show”. Maltbie’s work earned her a comment from judges who pointed out her “good use of subject and questions within the podcast.” 


LCCC graduates take flight for 58th commencement ceremony

Lauren Hoffman

“Today is the day that your hard work pays off and is the day we celebrate you.” Lorain County Community College President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., said as she welcomed graduates to the 58th commencement ceremony Saturday morning in the Ewing field house on campus. 

LCCC graduate Destiny Torres smiles anxiously while waiting to walk the stage at commencement to earn her Associate Degree in Arts.

The ceremony, the 11th in the field house, welcomed family, friends, and supporters to celebrate the 1,773 graduates as they earned a combined 2,193 Associate Degrees or Certificates. In addition to that, 351 graduates earned bachelor’s or master’s degrees from the college’s University Partnership program. 
The program recently celebrated its 25th year since its opening in 1997 and now plays host to an impressive partnership with 14 universities in the region. In honor of the program and graduates, this year’s commencement ceremony sported the theme “Soaring to New Heights” in which SOAR stands for Success and Opportunity Advancing the Region. 
“In this community, we are rooting for you, and you are never alone,” Ballinger said. “Because as you rise up, you elevate those around you. When you fly high, we all soar.” 
And the UP program is no longer comprised of just other colleges. In 2018, LCCC launched its own applied bachelor’s program in Microelectronic Manufacturing or MEMS, the first community college to do so. LCCC soon plans to add a second applied bachelor’s this time in SMART. 
During the ceremony, Ballinger enlightened attendees that among today’s graduates, over 40% were the first in their families to earn a college degree. One first-generation student, Zuleika E. Torres, shared her excitement. 
“I’m a first-generation college student, so I am proud. My dad didn’t even get to finish 8th grade when he was in school, so I know they are proud of me. But more importantly, I am also just so glad that it’s done. I am ready to continue on in life.” 
Many of the first-generation students are a part of LCCC’s Early College High School (ECHS) program, which offers students a chance to earn a high school diploma and an Associate Degree at the same time. During this year, 127 students were among those graduating, with most coming from the partnerships in both Elyria and Lorain high schools. 
“These dual enrollment programs are delivered at no cost-saving families of these 127 graduates more than $1.3 million in tuition,” said Ballinger. 
The new graduates contributed to LCCC’s 10,000 degrees of Impact program starting in 2019 in which the college plans to have offered 10,00 degrees to 10,000 students by 2025. They are now 72% towards reaching that goal. 
After the last graduate crossed the stage, Ballinger again took the podium to congratulate them one more time. “Now that you have earned your degrees, you are ready to soar. Like Birds that prepare to take flight, trust yourselves. You have built your foundation and now you are to soar. As you do, I hope you feel like you are on top of the world!” 
The graduates were showered in confetti as a final surprise, concluding their commencement and giving them a chance to relish in their accomplishments.
Graduate Emese Toth, the recipient of the Coca-Cola scholarship, said, “I guess I feel a bit overwhelmed by it all. It is a great honor to have the scholarship and I have a sense of pride because of the recognition for myself and for the campus. Overall I am proud to be an LCCC graduate.” 


False fire causes campus confusion

Lauren Hoffman

Lorain County Community College experienced a different kind of emergency alert Thursday afternoon. At 2:45 p.m. Main campus’ fire alert systems blared to life urging students, staff, and faculty to evacuate the building following an “emergency situation.” 

A Elyria Fire Department truck (right) arrives to the college center to investigate alarms. College center sign is to the bottom left with the entrance to the college center in the middle.

EFD arrives at the College Center to investigate the alarms.
Photo: Lauren Hoffman

Within minutes, the buildings emptied and Elyria Fire Department arrived to investigate the source of the alert. Two firefighters suited up in full protective gear and followed a member of LCCC’s campus security into the building. Students and staff looked on as they entered the building carrying a pike pole to breach any areas that might be deemed unsafe for even the firefighters to enter. 
After 10 minutes, the building was given the all-clear as the firefighters and campus security officer returned from the building. The source of the commotion? A defunct smoke detector in the northwest corner of the Campus’ basement tunnel systems. 
Campus Security officer Brandon Brown stated that “these kinds of things tend to happen from time to time. When one goes bad, it sets off the alarms which can cause minor panic sometimes.” 
The last time LCCC was evacuated due to a fire was about a month ago when a suppressor failed above the Marketplace Subway shop. 
This mechanical error has no relation to the devastating campus tunnel fire back in Feb. 2009 as well as no connection to the four recent bomb threats main campus received. 


Intel breathes new life into LCCC’s DNA

Lauren Hoffman

Lorain County Community College engineering students have big opportunities heading their way in the form of two new leading-edge chip factories being built in Ohio’s “silicon heartland” just outside Columbus. 
Technological giant Intel, a business whose computer chips run everything from laptops to smart cars, announced on Jan 21 that they would be building two state-of-the-art factories in Licking County, Ohio, which has the potential to be the largest foundries in the world. 
What this means for LCCC engineering students is new jobs by the tenfold. Currently, the college hosts one of the largest community college programs in Micro-electromechanical systems or MEMs. The program consists of both an associates’ and a new applied bachelor’s degree. 
The new facilities are an initial $20 billion investment into what is known as advanced manufacturing and are aiming toward creating jobs to over 3,000 individuals, 70% of which will be community college graduates of the MEMs programs. 
LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., is overjoyed by the news and what it means for the college. “LCCC and their programs that we have within our engineering area really prepared students for this,” she said of the news and added,  “We are at an inflection point right now, not only in Ohio but in America.”
But why is LCCC more ready than most? The answer lies in the community surrounding it. Ballinger said, “We are uniquely situated in LCCC because we have the technology and classes available thanks to community response.” There are a lot of manufacturing businesses in Northeast Ohio such as Nordson Corp. and Lincoln Electric that rely on the college and its MEMs programs for a highly educated staff base.

Whole New Industry
Vice President of Strategic and Institutional Development Tracy Green, agreed with Ballinger on the levels of success these new foundries will bring. She says “this brings a whole new industry to Ohio as well as strength to the economy. Advanced manufacturing breathes new life into Ohio’s already rich history of manufacturing with the automobile factories and steel plants.” 
And this industry is more than just Intel itself. Previously, 85% of all chip manufacturing was happening in China. The Covid-19 pandemic crippled the supply chain causing many of the chips to sit in factories unable to be shipped out. By moving the factories to U.S. soil, this issue is resolved. A second common concern that Intel’s moving will solve is the risk of encrypted cyber attacks. By being manufactured here in the United States and especially in Ohio, the foundries are closer to Washington, D.C., just in case problems were to arise. 
Back in 2008, the college began looking at expanding its education in engineering in order to answer community calls to do so. Around the same time, technology hit its first major boom as the invention of the iPhone and other smart devices came to fruition. This led to an increase in technological programs such as MEMs in order to fit the future workforce and technology that was on the way. 
Besides being one of the only community colleges in the world to offer a MEMs program, LCCC also is the only one to have the cleanrooms that are needed for work in the programs. And not just one either. LCCC plays host to three cleanroom labs in The Richard Desich Business & Entrepreneurship Center and The Richard Desich SMART Commercialization Center, located across from the Spitzer center connected to the main campus.
These cleanrooms are outfitted to be as sterile as possible so no particles can enter the room and interfere with the building process of the computer chips. Students working in these labs wear white gowns and full personal protective equipment including face shields, gloves, and shoe covers in order to keep the rooms sterilized. 
Another major difference between advanced manufacturing and regular is where the work is done. All equipment sits overhead and in the open. Green added, LCCC “has been developing opportunities in the past 10 years in preparation for this. The three cleanroom classrooms are named by number and the lower the number, the cleaner it is. We here have a class 10,000, a class 1,000, and a class 100. Even the class 10,00 which is the dirtiest so to speak is still cleaner than a standard operating room.” 

Lots of success
LCCC also runs these classes on the earn-and-learn model in which students can receive on-the-job training while learning at school. For the associate’s degree students attend classes two days a week and spend the other three at the businesses. Once a bachelor’s degree is achieved, students go on to work full time during the day and continue their remaining classes at night. 
The college’s success has even led to visitors from other colleges coming to see how the cleanrooms and MEMs programs are run so they too prepare for their own. As the industry continues to develop and change, LCCC is ready to adapt to it, with many developments still to come. 
The college was founded in 1963 as Ohio’s first community college with the goal to create an educated workforce for the industries in Lorain and the surrounding area to flourish. For Ballinger, technology “continues to be a large foundation of the college. It is in our DNA and we must continue to be involved to assure their competitiveness and success.” 
As Ballinger puts it, “This semiconductor industry is to Lorain County now as steel and automotive were before.” 

LCCC closes 4th time for safety

Lauren Hoffman
Lorain County Community College’s all campuses were evacuated following the fourth bomb threat in three weeks today (April 19). LCCC previously received bomb threats on March 24, 25, and 30 with the last threat causing campus to go remote for the remainder of the week. 
At 12:15 p.m. today, an emergency RAVE alert went out to all students and staff urging an evacuation after an unspecified security threat was made to campus. 
Students, staff, and faculty rushed out of the buildings and into their cars in a mass exodus within minutes. By 12:32 p.m., the main campus on Abbe Road was closed, and fire, EMS, and Elyria Police Department were on the scene at the main campus on Abbe Road to help mitigate panic and clear the campus as quickly as possible. One Elyria Police officer directed traffic outside the main N. Abbe Road entrance to campus. 
“Campus is closed for safety reasons following a threat through LCCC connect’s chat room,” said Tracy Green, LCCC’s vice president of Strategic Design.
According to Green, the Elyria Police Department is currently working with the FBI to assess the threat.
Elyria Police Department brought bomb-sniffing dogs to check out the buildings. 


Bomb threat closes LCCC campuses

Destiny Torres
Associate Editor
All LCCC campuses were closed Thursday afternoon following a bomb threat on an LCCC online chatroom.
“We take campus safety very seriously and are allowing the Elyria Police Department to do their job. All campuses and outreach centers are closed till further notice,” Tracy Green, vice president of Strategic and institutional Development, said. “We have no proof that this threat is credible, but out of an abundance of caution we are keeping the campuses closed as the Elyria Police department and bomb squad continue to search the campuses.”
The college received the threat Thursday at about 2:50 p.m., according to Green.
All students and staff were sent Rave alerts, email and text messages, urging them to evacuate the campus immediately. The campuses were closed immediately.
An Early College student, Malac Naser, said, “I honestly feel a little nervous about the whole situation but I feel safe that they evacuated us so quickly.”

The tales tattoos tell

Lauren Hoffman

Tattoos. Some love them, some hate them, but whatever the opinion, the act of permanently inking works of art into one’s skin has become quite the phenomenon in recent years. Tattoos have given people the chance to retell stories and have them live on more than just in memory especially here at LCCC.
Twenty-year-old Hayden Lowstetter, a journalism major from Elyria, sports two tattoos that for him have two very different meanings. His first, a smiley face with X’s for eyes on his right middle finger, he says “was just for fun”, but his other, a black and white ghost on his left inside bicep holds a deeper meaning like most tattoos.
He says of the tattoo, “Growing up I was called “boo” because I was very clumsy and would get scrapes and bruises all the time which my family called boo-boos.”
Lowstetter wanted to carry the fond childhood memory with him by memorializing it in ink back in September.
This wasn’t always the case, however.
When the practice first began commercially in New York in the mid-19th century, popularity lay with sailors, particularly those that had traveled to the Polynesian islands because of the artwork they experienced there.
First, it was tattoos of anchors or ship names, mixed with tribal designs from Polynesian work. After news of King Edward VII, then Prince Edward of Wales, getting body art on a trip to Jerusalem in 1862 and later his sons getting tattoos of dragons in Japan, Americans were keen to follow in their footsteps.
Soon, Martin Hildebrant opened the first commercial shop in New York where he gradually saw his clientele change from fishermen and sailors to the general public, particularly women.
While women in the 19th century would not be seen at parlors, tattoo artists would often make house calls to ink the cheeky ladies, promising them that their tattoos were as fine as extravagant gowns and shiny jewelry. The women would late go on to perform at circuses, letting their body art tell tales of mysticism and adventure in the late 19th century.
In the early 20th century, tattoos continued to gain popularity as a way to express freedom and liberation for men and women alike as well as continue the storytelling. Celebrities like Janis Joplin, one of the first to sport tattoos, readily picked up the torch in bringing the storytelling to life.
Today, tattoos are seen everywhere and on everyone from nurses to music stars and the average college campus like
LCCC is no different. According to comparecamp.com, “36% of US citizens ages 18 – 29 have at least 1 tattoo”. Of those numbers, “30% of US college students have tattoos” and “32% of higher education have tattoos”.
But why all the fuss still? Well according to local tattoo artists Jay Spaeth and Matt Cirino of “Tried and True Tattoo” parlor on Abbe Road  in Elyria, “it’s all about the stories.”
When Cirino first started in the business over thirty years ago, he said “it used to be pictures on the wall and now it’s their own artwork.” For Cirino, tattooing can have intense moments, “but it is a very rewarding career,” and he “always loves seeing people’s reactions” when he finishes one.
While Spaeth and Cirino will get requests of the most common tattoos like flowers, skulls, and clocks, they also get many requests for the more meaningful designs. Cirino says, “I’ve had people with meaningful tattoos that are brought to tears when they see it.” Spaeth quickly agreed, saying, “I think most meaningful is a card with “love mom and dad” and something like that with the actual signature”. For Spaeth and Cirino, the memorial tattoos tell the story better than words. As for who’s asking them to help spread stories, Spaeth and Cirino said that it’s the everyday American.
According to Cirino, “when I started it was bikers and sailors, but now you get nurses, police officers, doctors, lawyers, basically the same people that you would see at your local supermarket, including college kids.”
On LCCC campus, there is no exception.
Journalism major Ethan Lindenberger, 21, from Norwalk follows suit with Lowstetter in meaningful tattoos. Lindenberger has four tattoos ranging from his lower left leg to his right outside bicep. His first, a tiny stick and poke tattoo of the symbol from Pierce Brown’s Red Rising acts as a fond reminder of a good night with his friend. He says of the tattoo, “it’s a good memory of a fun time my friend and I had once. It’s definitely good for the memories.”
Lindenberger continued the Red Rising love with his latest tattoo, the infamous skull and snake from the series, on his right bicep. For him the art “lets me connect with my want to be a writer.” Lindenberger’s third tattoo also aids in his quest of writing, a suit-clad couple with TV heads from Neil Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves to Death.”
Finally, Lindenberger’s first tattoo, a Hermes’ Caduceus on his inside right forearm symbolizes the vaccine work that he’s done, while also serving as a good reminder of the craziest story of his life back when he was 18. For Lindenberger “tattoos are a form of art, one of the most expressive, you can’t take them off or change, instead you are wearing your heart on your sleeve. I just think self-expression is beauty.”
For those that have never gotten a tattoo and are nervous to do so, Matt Cirino assures that “you’re not gonna die, it will hurt a little, but more annoying than pain really” and that the old saying of “once you get one tattoo, you will want more” definitely rings true.

Online vs. in-person? Students weigh in

Lauren Hoffman

Covid-19. A word that has come to plague our generation and thrust the world into chaos. In the beginning, many businesses were forced to close and multiple jobs were lost. Now entering year three of the pandemic, many are still struggling.
The educational system is among the worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, closing schools and sending many worn-out teachers into early retirement. After the initial fallout, many schools were forced to go online in order to continue bringing students to graduation.
Even now, many in-person classes are still being forced to go virtual, including here at LCCC.
During last fall semester according to information gathered from enrollment advisor Marisa Vernon White, LCCC had 64% of the student body taking blended, online, and online live(BOW)\classes to 36% in-person. During this spring semester, the numbers have changed slightly to 63% BOW and 37% in-person. Still, many students on campus prefer in-person classes over remote learning.
LCCC student Anthony Levya said in a recent interview that he preferred in-person classes as opposed to virtual ones. “In-person classes build relationships with people, and I do not enjoy sitting behind a screen,” Levya said.
Ty Quintana, another student, expressed similar views. “It is much easier to stay focused and not get distracted in the middle of your (in-person) class,” Quintana said, adding that he often found himself waiting until the very last minute to do homework and exams in virtual classes. He expressed that virtual classes were a lot more challenging than in-person.
However, Jessica Stewart, another student, has a different view. Stewart said virtual classes are a safe bet from contracting Covid-19. Still, being an online student is a struggle because she now has to discipline herself to stay on schedule with her assignments. Stewart said in-person classes enable her to focus on her schoolwork better. In virtual classes, she has to learn to focus more and set time aside for her virtual classes.
Another student Eddie Rychel agreed. “I’m not a fan of online classes because I find it harder to focus in that environment,” Rychel said. “Online classes are not as engaging as in-person classes to me. I have to rewatch the videos wasting more of my time.”
International students Charlotte Novotny and Megan Yoong said they don’t want to be stuck in the same routine every day, preferring to go to the campus and make new friends rather than being stuck at home.
Regardless of whether students prefer online or in-person, the pandemic is on the rise once more, threatening online classes to become the new normal for many students.
JRNM 151 students Sean Burns, Pierce Eavenson, Kaelin Jenkins, Aiden Matta, and Aeshah Owaydhah contributed to the story.


Student Senate president juggles events, classes during the pandemic

Dylan Rice
JRNM 151

LCCC Student Senate President Zarai Aquino’s biggest challenge is “managing my classes and my job.” Aquino is majoring in Organizational Leadership at the University Partnership with Cleveland State University.
Aquino said during a telephone interview that she got “into my position the same way all senators get in. I gathered 100 signatures from students and then started to campaign.”
When asked what she does in her position, Aquino said, “As student senate president I attend council meetings. Give insight on behalf of the students. I reach out to students so they can voice their opinions, then I make a report and give it to the higher-ups.”
Aquino added, “I saw it as an opportunity to make changes.”
Aquino said that “gaining student participation during COVID-19” is another challenge. “Now that everything is online, we don’t have a student data base. Now with coronavirus everything is online, the meetings are on WebEx. We have been promoting them on our social media.”
Some of the upcoming events include a Facebook costume contest, Instagram scavenger hunt, and RealTalk meetings.




No Welcoming Week events due to pandemic


As the fall semester begins, the LCCC campus is missing many excited and eager faces as it used to seeing around this time of year. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the look of LCCC during the Welcoming Week.

No Welcoming Week festivities at College Center. Photo: Mackenzie Jonke.

“In the six years I’ve worked here, no other year has looked like this,” explained Marketplace cashier Leanne Failing. “I was aware of the changes, but having segregated entrances and your temperature taken was surprising.”

Covid-19 screening stations have been set up in select entrances to the campus. After the screening, students and faculty have to walk through connecting buildings to get to their classes.

With many classes opting for online learning and the strict precautions to provide a safe environment for students, College Center and other buildings were bare. Even with all the modifications, Failing was eager to return to the school.

“I was looking forward to coming back, but it definitely has a different vibe. I think this is just a time for us all to be patient”.

Campus Security Chief Kenneth Collins, who was working at the temperature check station in CC building on the first day back to campus, said the pandemic has left people confused on many new rules and regulations. He said there are a lot more students on campus than he expected. Many students have chosen a community college as opposed to a four-year university because of the coronavirus in an attempt to save money or preserve health.

Collins, who is also a criminal justice graduate, explained there is an influx of telephone calls his department was receiving due to most entrances being closed.

Collins said he was pleased that “everyone was pretty patient and polite” to him and to his coworkers at the screening areas.

Six feet distancing signs are posted in the bookstore. Photo: Mackenzie Jonke.

Peyton Kellick, a psychology major and a Commodore Bookstore staff, said she wasn’t sure what to expect on the first day of the class, but she was definitely excited to see people at the campus again. As she works in the bookstore, she is used to seeing a lot of foot-traffic. She said she thought a lot of people would order their books online, and she was surprised to see as many people as she did in the bookstore and it was a “pleasant surprise.”

However, the first day back was still nowhere near as busy as it was in years past.

Ana Marzan, a Student Life staff and a criminal justice major, said she also saw more people on campus than she expected to see, but the amount of people present today was nowhere near the amount of people that are usually seen roaming the CC building. In addition to there being fewer people, she said that she did not expect the temperature checks when she walked in at CC, and while she was expected to wear a mask, she said it felt “weird.”

Journalism students Taylor Anderson, Courtney Crell, Anthony LaRosa, Madison Leon, Dylan Rice, and Alyssa Watson contributed to this report.

Issue 17 levy passes regardless of covid-19 quarantine

Oscar Rosado

Despite social distancing and other covid-19-related restrictions, LCCC’s Issue 17 levy passed by 27,650 (59.5 percent) to 18,809 (40.5 percent) votes, according to unofficial results released by Lorain County Board of Elections on April 28.

The goal of renewing the existing 1.8 millage as well as adding a 0.5 millage won by 8,841 votes.

LCCC will receive an estimated $15.6 million per year with the passing of the levy. This levy amount will run until the next decade, lasting until 2030.

“We all won, together!”

“We all won, together,” exclaimed Vice President for Strategic and Institutional Development Tracy Green.“We are humbled by the results and by the confidence this community has and what LCCC means to the lives of the people here. Issue 17 has passed at about 60 percent and that is a phenomenal testament to how this community values higher education and the impact that LCCC is making on our community and our future.”

Won regardless of the coronavirus outbreak

Regardless of the initial setback of the election pushed from Mar. 17 due to the coronavirus outbreak, the levy has passed.

“It is absolutely remarkable, and I am so grateful for the continuation of the community’s support. It was this community that built LCCC as the first community college in Ohio in 1963,” said Green. She went on to say, “That tradition of investing in ourselves and in the best hope of our community’s future continues today. So this result just really reflects that continued commitment for our local access to affordable quality higher education and all the gratitude goes to our community. We are the community’s college and we will continue to fulfill that mission.”

Going forward with the future, Green said, “This is a ten-year renewal levy, so it keeps a foundation of support that has been part of LCCC since 1963. It is instrumental to making LCCC who we are and what we’re able to deliver to this community.”

Not a typical election

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, celebrations have been put on hold. “First and foremost is the health and safety of our community. So while prior election years when we had an issue on the ballot that has been up for renewal, we’ve had wonderful celebration times with large gatherings, but we want to protect the health and safety of our campus and our community,” said Green.

It was not a traditional celebration nor a watch-party to see results come up on April 28, according to Green. She went to say, “It was not a typical gathering, we were just watching the results come through with Lorain County Board of Elections.”

“It was a little quieter, but that doesn’t make the celebration any less enthusiastic just because we weren’t able to do it in that way. There is such sincere gratitude for the support of this community,” said Green.

Thank you to all students

Green also paid tribute to students. “Thank you to all the students. Our students are the reason why we exist and what we do every day, and it is their stories that I believe demonstrate the impact that we make,” said Green.

Green believes statistics are just half of what reflects the success of students and the college. “Certainly, percentages and numbers say one side of the story, but when you really tell the story, like the story of yourself and other students and the impact that our college was able to make on the individual lives, that is when it becomes real, and that’s when it becomes meaningful. We are grateful to our students for entrusting us with their futures and choosing us as their higher education providers.” 


College honors student veterans

Anthony Leyva
Staff Writer

Concern for improving obstacles in the veteran community have improved across the United States over recent decades from the rise in VFWs to veteran suicide awareness. Still, veterans are confronted by a vast and imposing list of problems every day upon returning from service. 

Thankfully, the leaders of Lorain County have been working hard to improve the quality of life for military veterans, especially at Lorain County Community College. 

The Panel
Over the summer the LCCC Veterans Service Office hosted an event to assemble other local Lorain County veteran organizations. The event consisted of 5 panelists each providing a perspective indicative of their professional and personal experience.

Jose Torres from Ohio Means Jobs, Kennyth Glynn from Adult Outreach at LCCC, Jacob Smith from the Lorain County Veterans Service Commission Office, Rick DeChant a retired USCG Commander, and  student Anthony Leyva, a recently separated Air Force veteran.

Discussed Subjects
Will Jones, a Disabled Veteran Outreach Specialist, says he was very pleased with the outcome of the event.

 “I’m very hopeful. I’ve been doing this for 11 years and with what we have planned; this is going to be groundbreaking. Many organizations are coming together. And a buddy program will help a lot of the recently separated veterans.”

Discussed at the event were a variety of ideas including a ‘Welcome Home’ meet and greet for recently separated veterans, which are those that have just recently left th military. 

Support options for incarcerated veterans and ramping up veteran outreach at the LCCC Veterans Office were also discussed. 

All panelists unanimously agreed that increased communication and collaboration between each organization would be beneficial to student veterans; emphasizing on leading and helping individuals find available opportunities.

LCCC Veteran Office
Ryan Murphy, the Military Veterans Service Officer for LCCC, aims to grow connections with local organizations. He is passionate about helping each individual veteran. 

According to Murphy, “You don’t want to focus merely on numbers. If you came to my door, maybe you want to discuss things that’s more important than going to English for the moment. I want to be that organization that says, what can we do as an office to help you reach those organizations that you might need.”

The office which is located right outside the library on the second floor of the College Center has seen a steady increase of visitors since campus has fully returned. 

Another opportunity available for veteran students is the veterans lounge located across the hall. The lounge, which was dedicated in November of 2015, provides a safe, relaxing place for veterans to destress in between classes. 

Marisa Vernon-White, Ph.D., Vice President of student enrollment services also attended the meeting and agreed with Murphy.

“Were an education provider but LCCC does more than that, it’s not just about supporting people’s education pathway, that won’t happen if all the other things don’t fall into place.”

This dual approach to identifying the needs of LCCC students is just one of many ways the college is striving to increase quality of life on and off campus. 

Currently, the veteran service office is assisting the relaunch of the Veterans Club, an amazing opportunity for veterans looking for help or looking to help other members of the community.


LCCC’s police academy named Star Academy by Attorney General

Lauren Hoffman

Attorney General Dave Yost stands center with LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., right, and Commander Rick Thomas, Left. Behind them stand the 22 cadets of the academy.
Attorney General Dave Yost stands with LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., Commander Rick Thomas and the 22 young cadets of the newly appointed STAR Police Academy at LCCC Aug 25. 
Lauren Hoffman|The Collegian

Lorain County Community College has garnered its fair share of awards throughout the years from being named the most affordable community college, to its designations as being No. 1 in the nation for success.

Their Police Academy is no different either. On Aug 25 Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost visited the college to award the police academy a STAR Academy Certification for its accomplishments of outstanding education and service. 

“Injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere”
Yost first took the stage alongside Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., president of LCCC, to talk of the importance of law enforcement in today’s world and the troubles they sometimes face.

“Injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere, and what happened in the summer of 2020 was some members of our agency forgot they have a job to protect and to serve,” he said.

Yost continued by explaining how public safety is the very basis of government and that the 11.7 million people in Ohio need the law enforcement for their everyday lives whether they realize it or not. 

“It doesn’t matter how good your schools are, or how beautiful your parks are if people are afraid of going outside,” he said. “What matters is that the rest of us know we need people like you, and we are thankful for your ability to serve.”

World Class
Ballinger agreed with Yost stating how proud and grateful she is for the 22 student officers led by Commander Rick Thomas in the Police Academy.

“I think it’s a tremendous recognition by the attorney general for our world class academy, and it’s a great honor for our college,” she said.

Many of the students are already working alongside local law enforcement agencies as unis in order to gain experience in the field. 

Women in the field
Academy student Brittney Clink-Miller agrees with Ballinger and Yost.

“I am very proud to see women in law enforcement and to be a young woman entering the field,” Clink-Miller said. “I worked with the mounted police as a trainer and developed a quick interest in being an officer myself.”

Officers from Amherst, Avon Lake, Ohio State Highway Patrol and other surrounding areas were in attendance for the presentation to show their support for the young men and women.

High Honors
LCCC’s Police Academy is designated as one of five colleges to offer the peace officer training program and has become one of the first in the nation to receive star certification.

In order to earn STAR certification, academies must have a higher than normal passing rate for their students as well as graduates who go on to active work in the fields.

The STAR certification by the Attorney General continues to show the educational prowess of LCCC. For Ballinger, the college, “may be a community college but we are aimed at providing excellence on a university level.” 

The young officers are expected to graduate May 2023 where they will then go on to continue working in the field all across Northeast Ohio. 


LCCC swears in new Student Senate

Anthony Leyva
Staff Writer

Members of the student senate pose with LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., following the swearing-in ceremony.
The six new student senators are excited to bring new activities to LCCC’s campus and are looking forward to the new school season ahead.
Submitted photo

The year is looking bright for Lorain County Community College as they sworn in a brand new student senate cabinet Aug 22 during the first day of fall semester opening festivities. This is the first time that the student senate has had an official swearing in ceremony, adding to the many new and exciting changes coming to campus.

 With new leadership comes new plans and new opportunities. The new senate is filled with a diverse group of members with a wide range of knowledge and expertise.

Meet the senate
Luis Hernandez, Student Senate President, is a first-generation LCCC student. He intends on graduating Spring 2023 with an associate in English and Fine Arts. Hernandez wants to increase representation for every LCCC student. 

Hernandez says, “As the learning center representative last year, I wanted to expand my horizons and represent the student body fully. As president I plan to bring 100% students. Student voices, student representation and student faces 100%. Nothing matters more to me than that.”

Brenda Hitchens, Vice President, is also a first-generation student with an Associates of arts degree. She is currently working towards completing her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. According to Hitchens,, “I wanted to get more involved with the student activities and learn more about what the college has to offer. I wanted to grow and learn more about leadership and I hope to bring more fun activities to campus.”

Brittany Kramer, Financial Secretary, has three associates in business management, real estate, and an associate of arts. She is working toward her fourth degree through the Miami science of commerce partnership. When asked why she chose to join student senate she replied, “I think the leadership aspect of it really. I know I have a lot to say and being a leader for PTK and in my own department, it really felt like a must.”

Nashalie Nieves, Event Coordinator, is a first-generation student majoring in Associate of Arts, Universal Arts, and Medical Assisting. Nieves enjoys helping others and organizing events.

 “I have always been a multitasker; I love setting up events. I wanted to show first year students that you can graduate and still participate in activities.” Nieves says she likes to focus her time on working with first generation students. “ We help them by mentoring them, providing them with resources, and with English lessons here at LCCC,” she says. 

Autumn Menzie, Learning Center Representative, is pursuing her Associate of Arts, business marketing, and management. She enjoys photography and being an advocate for students with disabilities. Menzie says, “When I first saw the student senate in 2018 and how much fun they were having I knew then that I wanted to join. I couldn’t at the time though, so I decided to join now.”

Danelle Johnson, University Partnership Representative, is a first-generation college student with an Associate of Arts degree. She is also currently pursuing a BA in Psychology through Cleveland State. She is passionate about leading and encouraging students to participate in college events. 

“I have a lot of experience with leadership and students. I want to be a voice for the students here at LCCC because I feel a lot of students go unheard. I want to help students of color engage and participate in campus events,” says Johnson. 

Future Goals
As the senators are settling into their new roles, they are also preparing for the hard work ahead. The team plans to improve dining options, campus tours, and student participation among others.

The Student Senate is having a general meeting on Wednesday Sept. 28th 12am – 1pm. All students are welcome to attend to voice their concerns or engage in campus events. The Student Senate will also have a ‘Real Talk’ meeting on Wednesday Oct. 5 from 12am – 1pm. ‘Real Talk’s’ are casual meet ups where students can talk to senators about anything on campus. General Meetings and Real Talks alternate every Wednesday.

Real Talks and general meetings alternate every other Wednesday and topics include hot button items to get students involved.


Levy won’t raise tax; will boost education

Lauren Hoffman

Lorain County Community College will take on the world of politics once again this November 8 ballot as the University Partnership Levy is set to be renewed before its expiration in 2023. The levy which was first introduced in 1991 supports the University Partnership Program at the college. 

A Crucial Decision
The $2.1 mill levy will not increase taxes, but rather is being introduced to keep, update and expand affordable LCCC and University Partnership programs that help lead to lifelong careers in growing fields at half the cost. 

Since its conception in 1993, the University Partnership Program has increased the educational attainment of Bachelor’s degrees by over 14%. As of right now, 53,855 Bachelor’s degrees have been awarded through LCCC’s UP program.
Lauren Hoffman|The Collegian

LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., sees the levy as crucial. “This levy, which must be renewed every ten years, is what continues to make our college as special as it is. Without it, we would not have the University Partnership and the various bachelors degrees our college offers.” 

The History
The University Partnership first launched in 1993 following a 1990 US Census, which indicated that Lorain County had the highest percentage of adults with Associates degrees, but ranked last for Bachelor’s Degree attainment and Graduate’s Degrees by 40% under the national average. 

To combat this issue, then LCCC President Roy Church, Ph.D., worked alongside Ballinger to build the concept which would become known as the University Partnership. Following the joint support of citizens of Lorain County three separate levies were passed in 1995, 2004 and 2013 establishing the first University Partnership in the state of Ohio. 

Humble Beginnings
“At its beginning in 1996, the UP had 5 colleges and universities offering 12 bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Since then the partnership has continued to grow with the help of our levies into the educational giant it is today,” said Ballinger. 

As each levy has been passed the cost to the average $100,000 homeowner has remained the same since 1995, sitting at about $5.25, making it one of the most affordable. LCCC Vice President Tracy Green said the program and its levy helps promote the college’s mission as well. 

“Our mission for the college and especially for the partnership is to obtain the five “A”s for students. We want to help Ohioans be Academically prepared through Affordable and Available opportunities that are Attainable and Aspire students to enroll. Succeed and advance in college,” said Green. 

Meet Chip
In order to generate support and interest in the upcoming midterm, LCCC has reintroduced Chip, a friendly robot that students can scan and interact with virtually. “Chip was introduced through LCCC votes a couple of years ago and has really helped bring information on how to register for voting to the students of LCCC,” said Ballinger. Students can find Chip outside the student life office in the College Center as well as information including mail in absentee ballots for the upcoming November 8 election.

Education Growth
Since its implementation, the University Partnership has increased the educational attainment in Lorain County astronomically. Between 2006 – 2010, 22% of Lorain County adults ages 26 – 64 held a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Then in 2015 – 2019 the estimate for the same population increased to over 25%. The program currently offers over 100 bachelor’s and master’s degrees through 15 partner colleges and universities and helps students say an average of $74,000 or 70% of the cost of a degree. 

In 2022, 351 graduates out of the more than 7,000 earned their associate, bachelor’s or masters degrees through the University Partnership. Lorain County Community College has also become the first community college in Ohio to offer their own Bachelor of Applied Science in Smart Industrial Automated Systems. 

“It is essential to our school and our community that this levy passes to keep the programs and services available for our students and continue to help them grow on their pathway in education,” said Ballinger. 

If the levy should fail in November, the college will still have two more chances to pass it before it expires in late 2023. The University Partnership recently celebrated 25 years in May of 2021.


Gen Z and their climate anxieties

Destiny Torres
Associate Editor
Generation Z, those born in the late 1990s and early 2000s, was brought into a dying world. They have had to watch as hurricanes devastate the southeast, fires rage through the west and tornadoes tear through the south.
But what is causing this to occur? The culprit behind Earth’s downfall is abnormal climate changes. Global Warming is a name given to the long-term heating of Earth’s climate system since the onset of the Industrial Revolution due to human activities. While the planet naturally goes through periods of heating and cooling, the increase in humans burning fossil fuels and other greenhouse gases has caused the Earth’s temperature to skyrocket, wreaking havoc on the planet.
According to climate.gov, the Earth’s temperature has risen by 0.14° F per decade since 1880 with the rate of warming over the past forty years doubling since 1981. This warming of the atmosphere doesn’t just make Earth hotter; it makes weather more unpredictable as well. Devastating droughts, freak snowstorms, and drowning monsoons are now a common occurrence in this day and age, terrifying those that are trying to grow up in them.
Anna Novak, a mother of two, remembers learning the bare minimum about global warming. “We talked about the ice caps melting and polar bears not being able to find enough food. Aside from that, it was more of a reduce, reuse, recycle kind of talk.”
Although Gen Z had been taught the basics of what global warming is, they were not taught how to stop it.
“Exposure to climate justice was very passive, not active,” Jocelyn Nunez Colon, a political science major, said. “I didn’t really learn about it until my freshman year of college, which was unfortunate.”
As young adults face the natural disasters that dare to tear apart their planet, anxieties wreak havoc on the outlook of their futures. According to a study done by Thomson Reuters Foundation, four out of ten young adults fear what lies ahead.
“The huge part of global warming is that the actions don’t compare to the consequences,” Nunez-Colon said. “I just started living my life but I’m worried if I’ll even have a future.”
For others like Axel Irizarry Negron and Anna Novak, the effects of climate change are affecting both their mental health and personal lives.
“I try not to think about it too much,” Negron said. “The more I think about it, the more anxious I get. It especially worries me for an island like Puerto Rico, where I’m from. With the ice caps melting, causing the water level to rise, what hope does a small island like Puerto Rico have?”
For Novak, she has her children to worry about, “I know it’s getting worse every day and that scares me. I’m afraid of what the world will look like for my children, with no sustainable air, food and water. That’s the worst part of it.”
With the world falling apart at the seams, Generation Z is calling for the government to do something, though most believe that their calls for help are falling on deaf ears.|
“The US has done nothing to work towards helping global warming,” Irizarry Negron said. “We’ve known about this since the ‘70s and nothing has been done. Besides the fake ‘going green’ propaganda. This problem won’t get solved with us switching from plastic to paper; it won’t until the world comes together to make a plan and act on it.”
“There are so many facets to global warming, there’s so much to learn about,” Nunez Colon said, “If you’re looking for a sign to learn more and help with ending climate change, this is it.”