A Student Publication of Lorain County Community College

Issue 1 fails due to a lack of publicity

Owen Cooper, Lauren Hoffman, Hayden Lowstetter, Christina Yuhasz and James WadeJRNM 151Lorain resident Nancy Fly is among those disappointed over the defeat of Issue 1.  “We need to have state-of-the-art equipment in a nice location, but as of now, we don’t…

Children’s Learning Center’s new tech helps ECE students complete course work

James WadeJRNM 151 Before the pandemic, LCCC students in the Early Childhood Education courses would go to pre-schools in different communities to sign up and get their in-class hours. Students were required to have 105/120 in-class hours in ECED 283…

Victims of domestic abuse tell their stories

Destiny TorresStaff Writer “Virginia was a freshman at Southview High School, her boyfriend was a senior. Two days after her 15th birthday, he strangled her with shoelaces. He and a friend of his put her body in a plastic trash…

Avoiding abuse: do’s and don’ts to help loved ones

James BaronJRNM 151 If you feel trapped in an abusive relationship as endured by Gabby Petito, whose body was found on Sept. 19, you should know that there is always a way out. “The most important piece of the puzzle is…

NEO LaunchNET relaunches back in-person

Oscar RosadoEditor-in-Chief After a long while, the NEO LaunchNET team is back converging on campus. NEO LaunchNET Staff Associate, Lisa Mackin discussed how the process of coming back was, as well as announcing upcoming events with the NEO LaunchNET team.Mackin…

U.P. marks 25 years

Oscar RosadoEditor-in-Chief The Campus’ University Partnership celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and many have played a role in its success to help students grow beyond the Associate’s Degree. LCCC President, Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., plays an important role in the partnership…

High gas prices hit the pocketbook

Lauren Hoffman, Hayden Lowstetter, Christina Yuhasz, and James WadeJRNM 151  Amherst resident Celeste Glick drives less nowadays because of high gas prices. “I don’t know why it’s so high,” Glick said. “I don’t know if it’s because of the oil spills,…

Issue 1 fails due to a lack of publicity

Owen Cooper, Lauren Hoffman, Hayden Lowstetter, Christina Yuhasz and James Wade
JRNM 151

Lorain resident Nancy Fly is among those disappointed over the defeat of Issue 1. 
 “We need to have state-of-the-art equipment in a nice location, but as of now, we don’t have that,” argued Fly, referring to the crime lab’s location in the County Administration building’s basement on Middle Avenue.
The 0.03-mill Crime/Drug Lab levy lost by 1,561 votes — 20,290 (48 percent) to 21,851 (52 percent), according to unofficial results published by Lorain County Board of Elections. The five-year levy, costing $10.50 on a $100,000 home, would have generated $2.3 million per year. 
Judy Sheriff agreed with Fly. The Elyria resident said a new lab would help solve more crimes. “As a resident of Lorain County, where crime is on the rise, I feel a more updated and intubated facility is needed in our area,” Sheriff said, adding the levy should be publicized more in the future than it was done during this election.
Paul Adams, director of Lorain County Board of Elections, echoed similar views. “The issue seems underreported and could possibly be the reason for its failure,” Adams said. “There are committees that give out info and put out signs for the levies, and no known committee was formed around Issue 1. This is the reason for no (yard) signs.”
 Another reason for the levy’s failure was the low voter turnout. The board of elections predicted a turnout of 25 – 30 percent with a slightly higher turnout of 40 percent in Vermillion due to the contested mayoral race. 
Amherst resident Brett Thompson admitted that he didn’t know what Issue 1 was for. “I typically vote for anything to do with schools and public services,” Thompson said.
Too much taxation was a turn-off for Grafton resident Jerry Higgins.
Higgins said there was already enough tax, and “the money just hasn’t been given to the correct areas. The county should “stop coming to people for more money.” 
Elyria resident Kathy Gittinger echoed similar views. “There are already so many other taxes. It’s simply just hard to afford another,” Gittinger said.
Liz Snizek, another Elyria resident, also voted against Issue I. Snizek’s reason for opposing the issue was “that isn’t something we need to focus on right now. We have more important things to deal with first and foremost.” 
However, Katherine Viancourt voted for Issue I at the Spitzer Center polling precinct at Lorain County Community College campus. Viancourt claimed the crime/drug lab would benefit law enforcement officials. It helps with “what the officers do” and would have provided the support needed for them. 
Mary Goetz, who also voted at the same precinct, said she supported Issue 1 because it “made sense” for funds for law enforcement. Besides, it was not expensive for taxpayers considering the other issues. 


Children’s Learning Center’s new tech helps ECE students complete course work

James Wade
JRNM 151

Before the pandemic, LCCC students in the Early Childhood Education courses would go to pre-schools in different communities to sign up and get their in-class hours. Students were required to have 105/120 in-class hours in ECED 283 (Student Teaching I) or ECED 285 (Student Teaching II) classes. These hours would consist of observing the classroom and teaching the preschoolers. When the pandemic hit, there were no pre-schools available to LCCC students, and another opportunity to get hours had to be found.
In the 2020 fall semester, the Children’s Learning Center, LCCC’s pre-school, partnered with LCCC’s ECE program in order for students to receive their hours. Cameras were set upon in the classrooms so footage of the students could be recorded for students to view online. Professor and ECE Program-Coordinator Kathleen Head, Ph.D., felt this was the most logical choice to make in order to keep the learning going.
George Taylor, technical application specialist, and Will Green, video services leader, helped with the recording process for the program. Taylor and Green trained the team on operating the cameras and other aspects of the technology.
CLC Director Michele Henes, teachers Marlene Tirado and Amy Jo West also contributed to the program.
Lynette Brausch, CLC’s administrator, helped coordinate for the students to pass the class with the videos. Brausch edited, reviewed, and published the videos for the students.
Brausch said, “It has truly been a team effort to implement this new setup. There was much trial and error during the first semester.”
Professor Mia Spanu also reviewed and selected videos for her ECED 283 and ECED 285 courses. LCCC students would record themselves presenting a project about themselves or reading a book for preschoolers.
Preschoolers, after watching these videos, would discuss with their teachers. ECE students did not interact with the preschoolers live. Images of the teachers were placed around the camera and the preschoolers could leave messages and stories for the student-teachers.
Preschool teacher Amy Jo West said the preschoolers “loved” the idea of the camera. West described the camera as having a dragon shape. West said that the preschoolers interacting with the students via the camera helped convey the communication of preschoolers, as students were able to get the feeling of how it is to interact with the preschoolers. Students would tape themselves in a few instances such as reading a book for the preschoolers.
West said that the children were cooperative with the COVID-19 guidelines, and she did not hear any complaints.
With not physically being in the classroom, it could be a harder challenge to accurately show the ECE students what they needed to observe. Head pointed out that “the videos had to be authentic and relate to the content of the course.”
The idea of recording the classes was never used at the school before the pandemic. Head said that if a solution was not found for students to get their hours during the pandemic, then “it would put off students from completing their degree.”
“It was so exciting to watch the videos and see how the preschoolers greeted our students: Good morning, student-teachers,” said Spanu. “The diligent teamwork and collaboration made this novel approach to Student Teaching practicum a successful experience.”
West and Brausch said that the aspect of the closed captioning could be quite entertaining. Because the captions are based on what the technology program uses, many times the captions would not be correct.
Students interested in the ECE program may contact Head at khead@lorainccc.edu.


Victims of domestic abuse tell their stories

Destiny Torres
Staff Writer

“Virginia was a freshman at Southview High School, her boyfriend was a senior. Two days after her 15th birthday, he strangled her with shoelaces. He and a friend of his put her body in a plastic trash container and they went to a nearby wooded area. They then doused her body with alcohol and set her body on fire. He was convicted of aggravated murder and sentenced to 20 years life.”
This is the story of Virginia Velez, whose life was cut short on Nov. 23, 1999. Her story was one of many life-size silhouettes of victims of domestic abuse being displayed at LCCC as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Though the silhouettes are the stories of those who were lost by the hands of domestic abuse, there is still hope in people like Heather Kirkwood, Emily Shelton and Claire Jett, who were able to leave their abusers.
“Everyone gushed over him. He was popular, artistic and hilarious. I thought I found the perfect man, I thought he would be my soulmate,” Kirkwood said, now 20.
But eventually, all of these girls found their boyfriends to be controlling and abusive.
“We lived together and had some shared finances,” Shelton said, “The finances were his idea. I think it was primarily to control me and steal my money. He would also gaslight me whenever I tried to break up with him, playing with my emotions to make me feel like I was crazy.” Jett said of her boyfriend, “He was really closed off in public, or really nice and playful at places like a band. But he drove me from my friends and my family. He convinced me that he would severely hurt himself if I left him.”
Most women could never imagine the thought of their relationships become abusive, but sadly that is a reality for women across the world.
“I’ve always been very independent,” Shelton said, “Never thought that I would be like all the horror stories that I’ve heard. Unfortunately, a lot of focus has been placed on physical attributes of abuse, not emotional or sexual abuse, especially when that person is your partner.”
Some, like Kirkwood, found themselves victims of sexual abuse.
“After he took my virginity, he forced me to have sex with him multiple times a week. He also started being very controlling, telling me what I could and couldn’t do,” she said.
These girls are among many young women who are physically, verbally or sexually abused.
About 26% of women and 15% of men experience domestic abuse before the age of 18, according to the U.S Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
“I had so much trouble leaving,” Jett said. “We had a trauma bond and as much as I hate someone, my love for them is usually stronger. I was young and naive, I broke up with him and got back with him and broke up with him again. I finally ghosted him, blocked him, and began living my best life.”
Life after an abusive relationship is far from the calm after the storm. The trauma caused by the abuse can leave women scarred for years afterward.
“Three years later and I’m still not healed completely,” Kirkwood said, “I still have nightmares, and am still terrified of men. Healing is a daily fight and I hope I can heal soon.”
Still one of the most important things to remember, according to Shelton, is, “It’s not your fault. It doesn’t make you impure when you are sexually assaulted. I faced a lot of guilt and felt that a lot of things that weren’t my fault at all were because I had been manipulated into internalizing everything.”
If you or a loved one is in an abusive relationship and needs help, please call the abuse hotline: 1-800-787-3224.

Resources to victims of domestic abuse:

● Genesis House (440)323-3400

● Lorain County Safe Harbour Inc. (440)244-0107

Signs of abuse, according to the hotline.org

● Telling you that you never do anything right

● Preventing or discouraging you from spending time with loved ones.

● Insulting, demeaning or shaming you, especially in front of others

● Preventing you from making your own decisions

● Controlling finances in the household without discussion

● Pressuring you to have sex or perform sexual acts you’re not comfortable with

● Intimidating you through threatening looks or actions

● Destroying your belongings or home

U.P. marks 25 years

The Dr. Roy A. Church University Center which holds the University Partnership office. Oscar Rosado | Editor-in-Chief

Oscar Rosado

The Campus’ University Partnership celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and many have played a role in its success to help students grow beyond the Associate’s Degree. 
LCCC President, Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., plays an important role in the partnership and said she was a part of the creation of it.
The drive-in its conception was how to make a program both affordable and close to home for those who wish to stay locally.
According to the census data circa 1993, Lorain County had the highest percentage of adults with an Associate’s Degree in the North East Ohio area, but the Bachelor’s Degree attainment level was last, with only about 14% of adults 25 and older had a Bachelor’s Degree. The majority of the population had only received a high school diploma.
The economic future of Lorain County was becoming more dependent on high skilled jobs that required an increased educational level. The campus began to look for an innovative approach to bring degrees beyond the Associate’s Degree, according to Ballinger.
“If we can’t offer the four-year degree perhaps we can partner with universities where we can create a model that would look at what degrees would be in most demand by our county’s residents as well as by employers in our region and can partner with the universities to actually bring the program and courses to the campus,” said Ballinger.
The campus had one example to look towards in the model building process in Macomb Community College in Michigan, which had a very similar situation as Lorain did. They had created a university center that provided a similar service as the university partnership. Ballinger recalls having trips in the early 1990s and that had sparked how LCCC could do something similar. Ballinger said they learned what they could from the model, and that was the origin of the concept of the partnership.
At its origins, the campus recruited the first five universities – Cleveland State University, University of Akron, Kent State University, Bowling Green State University, and Ashland University, according to Ballinger.
“It really was a very community-driven approach to creating the university partnership,” assures Ballinger.
Ballinger had graduated from the partnership, “I am a graduate of the University Partnership myself. I went through Kent State University and I graduated from there with my MBA. I know first hand the great value of what a wonderful resource it is to our community.”.
According to Ballinger, LCCC is the only community college that offers the University Partnership in all of Ohio, and it is the best value for a Bachelor’s Degree in the entire state.
“It’s really driven by the demand from our community, from students, and from employers’ needs and I think it’s just become part of the fabric,” said Ballinger.
Ballinger said the partnership would “forever intertwined because that educational continuum does not stop at the Associate’s Degree, so I see them co-existing in perpetuity.”

From a U.P. graduate 

Someone who has benefited from the University Partnership includes CEO and President of United Way of Greater Lorain County, Ryan Aroney.
When Aroney pursued his MBA, he did it through U.P. He graduated with an MBA in Business Administration, through Lake Erie College.
“It was really convenient and helpful. It was important to me that I can do something in person, I really preferred to learn that way and a lot of the options that I had would’ve been online or would involve driving a long time,” said Aroney.
“It turned out to be a great program. I just graduated in May, and already I can tell the benefits of having that in the few months since then. I have gone back and reference materials in my job.”

From Brenda Pongracz

The one responsible for its day-to-day operations is Dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities Brenda Pongracz, Ed.D.
“I oversee all the partnership agreements and make sure students have pathways to transfer both here, through the U.P. and also if they choose to transfer out and go to a different school and work with our transfer center.”
Pongracz has been with the partnership since Mar 2020. Due to the timing because of the COVID-19 lockdown, Pongracz had to adjust. “It was interesting. It was a learning curve to do all that virtually, but luckily I knew some of the Ins and outs.”
According to Pongracz, the number of enrolled students in Spring 2021 was 931 students among the University Partnership agreements. In the last graduating class of 2021, there were 365 students graduating with the partnership and the overall total number of graduates is 6870 total graduates since the start.
“Despite the pandemic, this past spring was our largest graduating class,” said Pongracz. She added, “That was a great surprise. We were very happy that students were able to persist and complete their degree, despite the hardships of having to go remote and do things differently and I’m glad they were able to accomplish that.”
Pongracz said there are more opportunities for students beyond an Associate’s Degree. “There is a real need in Lorain County for degrees beyond the Associate’s Degree. We are the only large county in Ohio that doesn’t have a public four-year institution so there really is a need within Lorain County to give people an option to complete that higher degree, and I think the University Partnership really fulfills that need.”
Pongracz said she encourages students to come to their events and meet with their partners and explore their options and not stop at the Associate’s Degree.
“There is a lot more you can do with a Bachelor’s and even more you can do with a Master’s, so I would like to encourage students to be lifelong learners and take advantage of the opportunities we offer through the University Partnership,” said Pongracz.

From Jonathan Dryden

The University Partnership falls under the preview of Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and University Partnership Jonathan Dryden, Ph.D.
“My role is to help facilitate conversations that lead to the development of partnership programs. For example, I may schedule a meeting to invite the provost of another university to come and bring his or her team with them, then we bring our team and we brainstorm what are some possibilities.”
Dryden says where there is a need in the workforce, “Where is the need for workers and people in careers that provide a good high paying career, and explore a partnership program that would lead a student to a Bachelor’s Degree that could lead them into that high paying career?” 
According to Dryden, the COVID-19 Pandemic has forced them to be creative. “It’s forced us to improve the way we deliver courses online. Ultimately that is going to benefit students even after the pandemic because we’ll be able to deliver courses in a variety of ways and make them more accessible to students who may have complicated schedules. It provides greater flexibility for students, and that’s one of the outcomes of the pandemic.”
According to Dryden, the program has helped the number of degrees given rise.
“The impact of the university partnership on the educational degree and Bachelor’s Degree attainment in the county has been significant. The educational attainment rate has risen 75% since that time, and we know that the University Partnership played a significant role in that increase.”
Dryden says it’s a very exciting time to be in this role in LCCC.
At present, the campus is partnered with 14 schools, Cleveland State University, University of Akron, Kent State University, Bowling Green State University, Ashland University, Lake Erie College, The Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, Ohio University, Youngstown State University, Miami University, Hiram College, Western Governors University, and the University of Toledo.

High gas prices hit the pocketbook

Lauren Hoffman, Hayden Lowstetter, Christina Yuhasz, and James Wade
JRNM 151

 Amherst resident Celeste Glick drives less nowadays because of high gas prices. 
“I don’t know why it’s so high,” Glick said. “I don’t know if it’s because of the oil spills, or the holidays coming up.”  
Gas prices range from $3.09 to $3.25 in Amherst and from $3.02 to $3.09 in Lorain as of Oct. 26, according to GasBuddy.Com.
Nationwide, the gas price at the pump has gone up to $3.38 per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. During the same period last year, gas cost only $2.14 per gallon, which is $1.24 less, according to the EIA.
Many motorists such as Glick are not happy with the price increase.
Kayla Marta, a nursing major at Lorain County Community College, said the high gas prices had hit her pocket. “It really affects my income to have to pay more money for gas,” Marta said. “I don’t go out much besides to school and appointments.” 
Paige Kay, another student, used to drive home in between class breaks. “Now I stay (on the main campus) between classes, so I don’t waste gas,” Kay said.
Elyria resident Michael Benetto finds the rising gas prices “pretty bad.” Benetto, who delivers pizzas, said, It is more than a hassle to spend up to $30 on gas two times a week.” When your job involves driving frequently, it can be frustrating as a large portion of your hard-working pay goes right back into paying for the gas, according to Benetto. 
Tammy Singleton, who drives from Medina to LCCC’s main campus in Elyria for work every day, is also not pleased. To cut down her gas consumption, Singleton said she runs all her errands in one trip.
Gas prices across the country haven’t been this high since back in 2014, according to American Automobile Association. It is due to the rise in crude oil prices. It has “increased to the highest price point ($80 per barrel) in 2 1/2 years, according to AAA. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced it might increase crude production. If OPEC executes its plan an “this could lead to a decrease in crude oil prices.”


Social media posts don’t reveal the truth

James Wade
JRNM 151

 “You could drive past a beautiful home, but you don’t know what goes on behind its closed doors.”
Maria McConnell, professor of Business, made this comparison with social media posts and the true emotions that are not revealed social media postings as seen with the Gabby Petito case.
Petito, a Long Island resident, had been posting cheerful photos of her cross-country trip with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie. The couple had argued and she was reported missing after Laundrie returned home without her. Petito’s body was found on Sep. 19.
Laundrie and Petito were believed to be a perfect match for each other on their social media posts, but recent police video cams show a completely different story.
What seemed to be a happy couple online, turned into a homicide case, has led many across the internet to see that social media does not always bring out the real side of life.
“Nobody wants anything bad to show up on social media,” said McConnell. “Everyone has their fantasy. We all have an ideal goal of life, and that we must live up to that idea even if it is not there.”
Mary Murphy, manager of Accessibility Services, said, “It is so easy for people to be courageous or negative as they are not face to face.”
With social media, people can send an instant message to a loved one in a minute to express an emotion that could not be seen. Murphy said that social media can let people be courageous or negative on any platform to get their point across, but deep down that person would not say anything in the real world.
Kelly McLaughlin, a Learning Specialist at LCCC, said, “It’s so easy to compare yourself to other people, even if the comparisons aren’t real.”
Many social media posts often focus on a beautiful or elegant way of life. McLaughlin said much of social posts leave out the “day-in and day-out” part of people’s lives, and that much of what is posted are just highlights. The highlights show a life that the person may not actually live, or emotions they may not feel. Highlights can also be edited digitally.
With relationships, McLaughlin said that “good” relationships posted online could receive attention from peers, even if it is a toxic one.
Michael Reiss II, an LCCC student, said a lot of students’ anxiety result from social media. Reiss said that anxiety comes from certain people that someone may follow, showing a life that the viewer wishes for but cannot achieve. |


Make your writing needs write at the Writing Center

Josh Kesterson (right) helping Samiat Adebayo (left) with an english paper at the writing center.    Lauren Hoffman | JRNM

Christina Yuhasz
JRNM 151

Mohammed, a computer science major at LCCC, stopped by the Writing Center recently to get help with writing an essay, so he got guidance from one of the tutors at the center with his assignments. Like Mohammed, students can take advantage of the services offered by the center.
The Writing Center, located in Room 217 in Stocker Center, is supervised by Justin Sevenker, English professor with Arts and Humanities Division.
“The main purpose is to help students, who are most likely in an English class, with their writing,” Sevenkar said. “There are many things that students need help with their writing. Here are some examples: organization, introductions, and conclusions citing sources,” Sevenker said.
Sevenker added the most common challenge students have trouble with ]citation style. There are many other people who work in the Writing Center including an English tutor at the academic support center, Carrie Krucinski; two Writing Center associates, Josh Kesterson and Donna Hunt; and two coaches, Kurt Fawver and Kevin Hoskinson. The center opened last year but ran only online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Students will receive guidance on the following writing skills, such as thesis statements, organization, summary, analysis, synthesis, and research assignments, clarity, content development, introductions, and conclusions, citing sources, and grammar, mechanics, and other sentence-level concerns.
The Writing Center is open Monday through Friday. Walk-ins are welcome, but advance appointments at tutoringcenter@lorainccc.edu are encouraged. Students also may contact the Academic Support Center at (440) 366-4057.

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.” 


Avoiding abuse: do’s and don’ts to help loved ones

James Baron
JRNM 151

If you feel trapped in an abusive relationship as endured by Gabby Petito, whose body was found on Sept. 19, you should know that there is always a way out. 
“The most important piece of the puzzle is you need safety planning,” Virginia Beckham, executive director of Genesis House, “Making a big announcement of leaving is never a good decision.” Beckham continued, “Plan to exit carefully, leave when the other person isn’t present. Do it safely. You don’t need to let them know you’ve left.” She said that informing the abuser of your exit could lead to severe danger on the horizon.
When asked whom to reach out to when a person might feel like a victim, Beckham said, “The answer is different for everyone, but this may include a parent, neighbor, or counselor. Tell someone who is trusted. Someone who also doesn’t have an allegiance to the abuser. You don’t want them telling the abuser. It could cause greater danger.” 
Beckham emphasized the importance of not telling someone close to the abuser, saying, “Most people don’t understand domestic violence. They endanger them (the victim) by accident. They don’t want to, they just kinda say “Oh they came to me and said something isn’t right with their relationship. Maybe I should try and help by talking to the other person (the abuser). In their mind, it might be helpful but all it does further endanger the victim.”
However, there are numerous ways you can help a victim as a concerned friend or loved one. Consider if you’ve noticed any of the red flags that may appear while you see the couple in question. Beckham said, “There’s a bunch of red flags; isolation (having fewer friends), jealousy (being often accused of cheating), and verbal abuse (name-calling, insults).”
There are also certain habits that may indicate someone is capable of harming a victim. Beckham said, “There are some actions that indicate that an abusive person is capable of killing. One that indicates both is cruelty to animals. If they harm the animals and show cruelty to animals It shows they’re capable of hurting the victim or even killing them”
When asked about the safety of cutting someone out of your life for good, Beckham referenced the author, Gavin Debezker. He wrote, “Make swift decisions about who you remove and very slow and careful decision who you allow into your life.” Beckham said, “Most often homicides take place when a victim tries to or just did leave a relationship.” 

If you worry someone you care about is in an abusive relationship, there are steps you can take to help. Consider the following do’s and don’ts when approaching a friend, family member, co-worker, neighbor, or other loved one. 


• Approach the other person at a time and place that is safe and confidential. • Start by expressing concern (i.e., “I am concerned someone may be hurting you, and I am worried about your safety.” 

• Connect them to domestic violence resources. In Dane County, you can give them the number to the DAIS 24-hour Help Line: 608-251-4445 (800-747- 4045). If your area does not have its own Help Line, you can direct your loved one to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.

Do not: 

• Do not pressure your friend to leave the abusive relationship. There are many reasons they may be choosing to stay. It is possible their abuser has threatened to hurt them or their children if they try to leave. The abuser may control all of their finances and may have isolated the victim from friends and family, leaving the victim with very few resources of their own. The abuser may have promised to change, and the victim may still love him/her. It is never as simple as encouraging a victim to “just leave”—but by all means, communicate to your loved one that help does exist, and that people in their community care about them and their children and want them to be safe. 

Source as well as more info via: https://abuseintervention.org/sandbox77/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/How-to-Help-a-Loved-One.pdf

NEO LaunchNET relaunches back in-person

Oscar Rosado

After a long while, the NEO LaunchNET team is back converging on campus. NEO LaunchNET Staff Associate, Lisa Mackin discussed how the process of coming back was, as well as announcing upcoming events with the NEO LaunchNET team.
Mackin spoke about how everyone was working remotely when the lockdowns came upon the campus back in March of last year. She said everyone was working virtually for about a year since, with different people and at different times.
Everyone converged back in August and have exploded with a ton of activities to do in the upcoming weeks.
“We are trying to pick up our old schedule, we had a whole calendar of things we wanted to do that had naturally had to be shelved,” said Mackin. “What can we still do and be meaningful that still gets our message out, and still connect with the students, and faculty and staff? That’s what we’re focusing on now, and we are trying to get back to our regular events we used to have pre-COVID, and just try to do them in a different way.”

APL donation drive 

One of these upcoming events is the NEO LaunchNET is setting up a week-long donation drive from Oct 25-30 for the friendship APL of Elyria.
They have done this before, with many activities with people being able to interact with the pets, but now due to COVID-19, they are worried about people converging.
“We can’t do that right now because we don’t feel comfortable with pets in the office and everyone converging. Even though we would love to do that, we just can’t right now, so we’re going to do a donation drive.”
Items needed include kitty litter, cat/kitten dry food, dog food (pedigree brand preferred), soft dog treats, gently-used towels, blankets, and toys.
“People can come to donate as they want all week long, and we’ll take it over the APL, that way we can still do something to benefit them, and keep them in mind. As times change hopefully we can have them back on campus, I’m sure people understand,” said Mackin.
The donation drive will be in the last week of October, to tie it with Halloween.
For any donation drop-offs, please bring them to the NEO LaunchNET office located at PC113 during regular business hours from Oct 25-30 or call them at (440) 366-4900 to learn more.

NLN hosts GEW 

According to a press release, NEO LaunchNET will host Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) from Nov 8-12 with a series of events: 
On Nov 8 there will be a Hackathon Kick Off. In partnership with LCCC’s International Initiatives and Student Senate, NEO LaunchNET will host their annual business Hackathon that will focus on the theme, “What the World Needs Now.” This “Shark-Tank Style” business competition will be held virtually. Video submissions are due by Nov 9. It can be done individually, or up to a group of five people. 
Mackin adds, “It’s a broad theme, whatever people can interpret, such as the whole globe or it can mean a person what they think the world needs now, a broad theme that they can interpret as they wish. We are trying to keep it optimistic.”
“All LCCC students, regardless of major, are invited to participate in this event,” said NEO LaunchNET Program Coordinator Matt Poyle. “Students can present a business idea by themselves or as part of a team of up to five people. Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges for the opportunity to win gift certificates to LCCC’s Commodore Books & More bookstore. First place will win a $500 gift certificate, second place will earn $250 and third place will be awarded $150.”
On Nov.  9, there will be the Microgrant Award Winners Ceremony where NEO LaunchNET is proud to honor their inaugural class of Microgrant recipients. The announcement of the award winners will be revealed via the NEO LaunchNET newsletter later on.
On Nov.  10 there will be food trucks on Campus. Visit local food trucks Steel Magnolia, Barrio, and Mimi’s Munchery at College Center between 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
On Nov  11 the Hackathon Winners will be announced by the end of the day.
More information about NEO LaunchNET and the Hackathon can be found at www.lccclaunch.com or by contacting our department at (440) 366-4900. To participate in the Hackathon, fill out the information requested on the “Hackathon Competition Sign Up” tab on our website.
According to Mackin, “That is probably the biggest event we have for our office every year,” and added, “In normal years we would have people gather in presentations, and have the judges there. This year it will be submitting a video.”

Microgrants program

NEO LaunchNET is also proud to present a new microgrants program.
This new program offers current and new NEO LaunchNET clients grants ranging from $100-$400 to assist them with their entrepreneurial endeavors. If you are not a current NEO LaunchNET client, register to become one at: www.lccclaunch.com For grant consideration, fill out an application by visiting: www.lccclaunch.com/microgrant For more information, contact NEO LaunchNET Program Coordinator Matt Poyle at: mpoyle@lorainccc.edu.
“What we realized is that all of our clients could use a helping hand, so we are giving out this tiny grant that can help them accomplish something and take them to the next step,” said Mackin. She added those interested have to be clients of NEO LaunchNET or register to be considered. There is a review process where they must submit an application. 
Mackin announced there will be five or six winners for the initial class, and then they will reevaluate and see how many more people are taking advantage of the opportunity and how else they can help others.

Readjusting back

There have been more virtual meetings according to Mackin.
“Usually before we would meet with them but then when we were off-campus we started doing it virtually and found out that it worked a lot better because people are not physically worried about being here, so that’s one major thing.”
There haven’t been a lot of walk-ins there used to be, but Mackin comments how this is the norm now all over campus.
Business for NEO LaunchNET has not adjusted much, but Mackin mentions “If anything we are trying to keep top of mind health precautions and safety and not have people converge, but we are still trying to accomplish things like having our business competitions.”
Mackin assures if anyone does want to contact the NEO LaunchNET that they call ahead of time so that they can give their undivided attention.


“We’re trying to get back into the groove of all of us being together and being on campus. However this is also going to depend on students feeling comfortable coming back to campus, people wanting to participate in some way in our events,” said Mackin.  
She adds, “We are all adjusting work-wise, home-wise, so it is going to be us offering services and hoping people take advantage of them. A lot of these events we have done for years, so we are trying to get back into it and tweak them a little bit here and there to make them safer and make them more conscious of the times we are living in.”
Regardless of the lower number of students on campus, Mackin assures everyone on behalf of NEO LaunchNET, “We are here.”

Bi-polar ionization technology offers safer air on campus

The Bi-polor ionization air filtration ventilator in place on campus to ensure reduction of the spread of COVID-19.                                                      Submitted Photo

Anthony LaRosa

Before classes began this fall, new air filtration technology was installed throughout every building on campus. This is another step Lorain County Community College has taken to provide students and faculty with the safest environment on campus.
This new technology that has been introduced at LCCC is known as bi-polar ionization, and has been used in the healthcare world for many years.
Leo Mahoney, director of Physical Plant and Construction Management, said, “In areas that required an extreme tolerance for cleanliness, this already existed, and it was considered a luxury.”

Mitigating COVID-19

After the rise of the pandemic though, bi-polar ionization technology became more common at facilities such as LCCC. “Since this was a known technology and it had the ability to have a mitigating effect on COVID-19, certainly then we had all sorts of vendors that were proposing this as an option,” Mahoney said.
This bi-polar ionization technology is an energy component that can be added to an already existing HVAC system. Using the HVAC system as a way of transportation, the energy component cleans the air of allergens and viruses by releasing ions that bond with the harmful substances. This in return allows the filters to easily detect and eliminate unwanted particles and provide cleaner air.
In an interview with Business Insider on the effects of bi-polar ionization, Philip Tierno, a clinical professor at the NYU School of Medicine, said, “[Bi-polar ionization] can reduce 99.9% of microbes in a matter of minutes.”
LCCC worked with Weber Murphy Fox, an architectural firm, to design the project, and they partnered with Rabe Environmental Systems, an HVAC company, to fulfill the installation process.

Maximizing safety

“This isn’t a flash in the pan technology, and if it increases the safety of the facilities, then it is a worthwhile investment,” Jon Volpe, vice president of Administrative Services, said. “We were looking for any ways that we could enhance the environment for campus safety. Are we going to ultimately eliminate COVID on our campus? Obviously not, but if we can do anything to maximize safety on campus, then we will.”

Jokester brings smiles to campus

Lauren Hoffman
JRNM 151

While the stress of being back on campus and almost a month into classes is weighing down the spirits of some peers, one student is not letting college blues get to him. Freshman and sociology major Landen Maderia has taken to the courtyard with a hula hoop in an attempt to bring smiles to passing students.
“I just like to bring smiles to people’s faces,” Maderia said, noting he is starting to feel the weight of responsibility being a college student. “I know others are feeling it too and I don’t like that. I don’t like to see people upset.”
The hula hoop isn’t the only tool he’s using to bring joy. A long-time jokester, Maderia can recall multiple times throughout grade school at Amherst’s Nord Middle School, of his class clown stunts and personable personality bringing smiles to people’s faces. 
“I guess I just have that way about me, I don’t know, I can just point at someone and say ‘hey you! Smile’ and they will.”
 Recently, Maderia spent his free time in the courtyard with the hula hoop throwing it to others and asking them to join in on the fun. LCCC student Alyssa Szabo said of the encounter: “My initial reaction was what is he doing and why is he doing it, but I thought it was fun and reminded me of high school gym when we used to play with hula hoops.” Szabo continued by bringing up mental health across campus and said it’s “definitely beneficial because a lot of people our age struggle with mental illness” and thought that “if he can make a person smile for even just a second it can make someone’s day.”
In between studying for classes, and cramming for tests, on top of his full-time job, Maderiasaid he’s glad to be able to “remind others to take it slow and smile.” He plans to continue to do so “as long as it makes others happy.”
 As Szabo put it, “After all, it is something different to do than just sit and do nothing in your free time.”