A Student Publication of Lorain County Community College

Provost provides forum for student leadership

Charlotte Weiss Staff Writer At Lorain County Community College, the utmost importance is placed upon providing open and engaging forums for students to collaborate and participate in leadership initiatives. On Nov. 11, leaders of student campus organizations met in the…

Students struggle with obesity

Charlotte Weiss Staff Writer “I used to weigh 396 pounds,” recollected Norene Bohannon, a graduate of Lorain County Community College and current adjunct faculty ropes course instructor. She looked at a photograph of herself prior to her weight loss journey…

Dr. Church Retires

Keith A. Reynolds Editor-in-Chief   “It’s been a wonderfully gratifying tenure as President at Lorain County Community College. I have loved our students, I have loved our faculty, our staff, the collegiate environment is very special and we are—myself and…

College administrators assure students are safe

By Keith A. Reynolds Editor-in-Chief The nation was shaken yet again by a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in southern Oregon on Oct. 1. Such scenes of death and destruction seem all too familiar these days, but this particular incident…

Road to recovery: The aftermath of domestic violence

After enduring and surviving domestic violence for three years, Jennifer Varney is now working on building a future for she and her son. Varney will graduate from LCCC with her associate’s degree this spring.
Alex Delaney-Gesing | The Collegian

  Alex Delaney-Gesing Editor-in-Chief In the weeks that followed Jennifer Varney’s brush with death, angrily vivid, red hand marks encircling her neck served as unquestionable evidence of her experience. Though the bruises scattered across her body faded with time, the…

Collegian staffers win 5 Press Club awards

Alex Delaney-Gesing Editor-in-Chief Lorain County Community College’s student-run newspaper The Collegian won five honors in The Press Club of Cleveland’s Excellence in Journalism Awards competition for 2015. ‘Commodores complete sweep’, written by Olivia Moe and Keith A. Reynolds, featured LCCC’s…

A victim of violence: one student’s love story gone wrong

Jennifer Varney, a victim and survivor of domestic violence, lived through three years of abuse from her partner. Varney’s story highlights the somber fact that 20 people are  physically assaulted in the United States each minute.

Submitted photo

  Alex Delaney-Gesing Editor-in-Chief Legs crossed underneath her, Jennifer Varney, a Lorain County Community College social work major, sat curled in a barrel chair while staring out the glass window-covered door of room 207 in LCCC’s College Center building. Though…

Campus greets students with Welcome Week

Welcome Week will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on  Jan. 19 through Jan. 22.

Welcome Week will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 19 through Jan. 22.

Lady Commodores fall to Walsh JV

Cody Grossman
Staff Writer

Coming from back-to-back wins, the Lady Commodores took on Walsh JV Nov. 17 in a high scoring game. It was the first game of the season for freshman Angel Blakely and sophomore Alycia Mathis. Both players displayed tremendous hustle. Blakely played with a lot of heart, she showed off her basketball I.Q. on both the offensive end and the defensive end. It was a slow start for the Commodores, not much was falling for them. They were down most of the first half, however a late surge from Onyx Lopez, Emily Capers, and Blakely brought the game to single digits. The score going into the half was 39-32 in favor of Walsh JV.

The second half started off the same as the first. The defense of the Lady Commodores struggled to keep up with the high scoring Walsh team. But once again the Commodores sparked a comeback. Blakely and Brandi Holowecky led the way for LCCC. Blakely forced many turnovers along with recording many defensive stops. Holowecky brought the team back with her offensive play. Walsh however, did the same. They forced LCCC to turn the ball over often, some unforced. The offense and defense of the Commodores looked lost. They also put themselves in foul trouble, giving Walsh free throw opportunity after free throw opportunity. Madi Bonner gave her best effort to bring the Lady Commodores back, showing off her three-point shot and getting to the basket for a couple easy layups. But it was too little, too late. The Lady Commodores went down, 85-73.

After the game, Coach Granito had this to say, “Our biggest issue was shooting percentage. They shot the lights out and we didn’t. At half we were only shooting 26 percent and it didn’t get any better. It was a big difference.” He also added in regards to the turnovers that he plans on doing more fundamental drills at practice.

Rock and roll memoirist comes to LCCC


Local musician CJ Gunn recently added author to his extensive resume that includes spending several years playing with Ramones drummer Marky Ramone. Gunn came to Lorain County Community College on November 23rd to speak to students about his memoir, Catch Me When I Fall, a gritty tell-all about the struggles of addiction and recovery.

Men’s basketball team loses nail biter to Notre Dame

Cody Grossman
Staff Writer 

Lorain County Community College took on Notre Dame JV Nov. 17, in what was a surreal game.  It was a rare sight and much more than a game. It was the Homecoming of Marvin “Chico” Coleman. Coleman graduated from LCCC last year, along with playing for the men’s team, and becoming one of the very few in the 1000 point club. Not only that, but it was one of the very rare times, that a coach gets to play against a former player. Coach Marty Eggleston, coach of Coleman both years for LCCC, held a ceremony for Coleman, congratulating him on his success. Eggleston presented Coleman with his old jersey, framed and signed by each of the players Coleman played with in his two-year stint for LCCC.

The game started off with electric intensity. Both teams exchanging baskets and getting it on the defensive end. However Notre Dame made a run and went up double digits in the midway point of the first half. LCCC sparked a comeback, led by Ouddi Hamdan, T’Andre Perkins, and Brandon Rodriguez. Perkins and Rodriguez showed terrific hustle on the defensive end. The Commodores went into the half down by one, 37-36.

The Commodores came out of the second half fired up. They went on a small run, putting them up by five early. Notre Dame came back, and it was a back and forth game from there. Kevin Jenkins was a board cleaner in the second half, collecting rebound after rebound, soaring through the air. Jenkins also collected many offensive rebounds and capitalized on second chance points. Hamdan displayed his offensive skills and showed off his ball handling skills. Hamdan made a few three point shots and got to the basket at will.

It was closely contested going into the final minutes of the game. Matthew Perkins kept the Commodores in the game with his smart passing and defensive pressure. With 56.5 seconds left in the game, Hamdan drew a foul and got to the line for a chance to put the team up, however he missed both free throws. He made up for it with a defensive stop with 41.8 seconds to go. But once again LCCC couldn’t capitalize, they turned the ball over to Notre Dame with 8.9 seconds left in the game. Notre Dame missed their shot and the crowd thought overtime was assured. But Notre Dame got their rebound and made the shot as time expired.

After the game Coach Eggleston talked about playing against Coleman, “Makes me proud. I know how much work he’s put in, and because I know, I feel like a proud father. This is much bigger than basketball. So far he’s done everything right. On the court he’s a warrior, he leaves everything on the court. In the classroom he goes just as hard. He’s a good guy and does all the right things.”


Provost provides forum for student leadership

Charlotte Weiss

Staff Writer

At Lorain County Community College, the utmost importance is placed upon providing open and engaging forums for students to collaborate and participate in leadership initiatives.

On Nov. 11, leaders of student campus organizations met in the student senate office for dinner and a discussion with Marcia Ballinger, the provost vice president of LCCC, about the current focus and priorities of students on campus and the various programs being promoted by Student Life.

With the promise of a pizza and casual conversation, the forum was designated as informal at the behest of the provost. “Students should feel comfortable coming forward with concerns,” encouraged Ballinger. One of her key initiatives this semester has been to promote the flow of dialogue and the participation among students and campus organizations with the administration.

The purpose of the meeting was primarily to check in with the student body and see where students at LCCC have set their sights in terms of goals and desires for accomplishment. “We really want some good feedback and responses,” said Ballinger. The notion of not setting any specific agenda was to inspire the concept of brainstorming in a think-tank like environment, where students could deliberate and bounce ideas for the betterment of the campus community off of each other.

In attendance was the majority of the Student Senate and many leaders of campus organizations such as Phi Theta Kappa and the Society of Professional Journalists. “I was delighted to see how many were able to make it,” said Ballinger. Acknowledging the hectic schedules of students, it was her hope to host the conversation at a convenient time for all that were given invitations to attend.

The ideas championed by Student Life that were highlighted at the meeting were the Commodore Cupboard, the CARE Center, and the various initiatives of the Veterans Club on campus. “We’re a rich campus environment for Student Life,” complimented Ballinger, speaking about her appreciation of the campus community. It is her desire to increase the publicity and involvement in these enterprises.

Hoping to plant seeds for future ideas and input, Ballinger has plans to make these discussions a regular occurrence. “We’ve done this the past several years. It’s creating more engagement with students,” remarked Ballinger. She expressed hope to be able to host two or three more discussions similar to the one that took place during each semester at LCCC.


Students sell shirts, positive message

Danthea Redwood

JRNM 151 Student

Lorain County Community College Broadcasting students Nick Fink, 24, and Tyler Atwell, 23, decided to follow their dreams and become entrepreneurs when they created Positiva T-shirts in July of 2014. Positiva is a clothing company that is dedicated towards spreading positivity.

“We’re not planning on being millionaires,” Fink said. The two friends raised the money to start this company through a combination of working day jobs and doing freelance video work on the side.

“When I think of someone who wears a Positiva t-shirt I see a strong minded individual, someone who doesn’t let life get them down. They see a brighter future and they’re working day to day to get there,” said Atwell, “We made this brand for those people.”

When the friends were roommates living in Chicago, they each lost a loved one around the same time. This led them to look for an outlet to get through their hard times.

“When we actually came up with the idea we were both going through a really hard time,” said Fink, “It was a time when it was really hard to be positive.” Fink, who is a motivational speaker believes this business started on a very strong friendship.

“It really is something that we had as a goal for ourselves and we never lost sight of it,” explained Fink. Fink gives motivational speeches at high schools and colleges across the country. After the speeches Positiva t-shirts are available for students to buy. The duo will be at LCCC this spring.

“I had a saying of my own, ‘why not me,’” Fink said, “It’s saying that all things are possible. Someone has to do it, so why not me?” During the past three years, Fink has led motivational speeches to help inspire kids to set goals and achieve their dreams.

“We’ve raised about $400 between close friends and family,” said Atwell. They are just now starting to implement marketing strategies and getting a clearer message for their brand.

“With a message like this we would really like to see them go viral,” Atwell said. The co-founders currently have four shirt designs available to the public. The goal for Positiva is to raise funds so they can get back on the road and speak to students across the nation.

“We’re two people with a dream and we’re getting closer and closer every second along the way,” Fink said.

Men’s Basketball dominates Westmoreland 83-65

Cody Grossman

Staff Writer

The defense was there at the beginning, middle, and end of the game against Westmoreland County Community College on Nov. 24. Lorain County Community College used their size to their advantage against the smaller Westmoreland team. Will Ybarra used his size to punish Westmoreland. He scored many baskets in the post, and on the defensive end he blocked nearly everything in his path. Ybarra was a defensive presence that Westmoreland wished they hadn’t seen. Also playing well in the first half was Kevin Jenkins, grabbing rebound after rebound, capitalizing on second chance opportunities. Guards Matt Watkins and Ouddi Hamdan also showed up in the first half. Hamdan shot the ball well and Watkins displayed great ball handling. Watkins was able to get to the basket at will and made Westmoreland pay for their sloppy defense. The Commodores displayed terrific defense, communicating well, and overall dominated the first half. With the help of Kwevon Corn, LCCC jumped to an early lead. Corn shot lights out, scoring on just about every three point try. The score at the end of the first half was, 45-26.

During the second half, Ybarra and Jenkins made their presence felt on both sides of the ball, using their size to score inside along with not allowing anything inside on the defensive end. In the middle of the second half, Ybarra had another trick up his sleeve. He caught back to back alley-oop slams, nearly tearing the rim down. He got the crowd into it, giving all momentum to LCCC, this was their game. From that point on it was all Commodores. Andrew Bragg chimed in with more points inside. LCCC’s bigs punished Westmoreland’s undersized team. Corn also punished the defense by taking advantage of the space they gave him. Corn hit three after three, LCCC were firing on all cylinders. Westmoreland had no answer. And despite many late turnovers, the Commodores maintained control, along with the lead. They won big, 83-65.

Coach Eggleston after the game, very pleased with his team’s play today, said, “We needed that, that was huge. We lost two straight at home, so we needed that.” When asked what he felt about the performance of his big’s, Eggleston said, “I hoped and planned they would show up the way that they did. I’m happy about the way they played as a team. Today was about identifying ourselves as a defensive team.”

Students struggle with obesity

Charlotte Weiss

Staff Writer

“I used to weigh 396 pounds,” recollected Norene Bohannon, a graduate of Lorain County Community College and current adjunct faculty ropes course instructor. She looked at a photograph of herself prior to her weight loss journey as she spoke, reliving the struggles and explaining the realities of coping with obesity. “I was so unhealthy. My house is a one floor with a basement, and to even get from the back of the house to the basement I had to stop to rest first in the kitchen, and then I would stop again at the bottom of the steps before I would do laundry. I didn’t think I’d make it.” After the revelation of the severe damage to her health that was occurring because of obesity, Bohannon’s determination to lose weight brought her to the point she is at today which is a mere 15 pounds away from her goal of 196 pounds.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that any weight that is higher than what is considered as a healthy weight for a given height is described as overweight or obese and this is determined by an individual’s Body Mass Index (BMI). If you have a BMI of less than 18.5, it is qualified as underweight. If your BMI falls between 18.5 and 24.9, you are within the normal or healthy weight range. If your BMI is 25.0 to 29.9, it falls within the overweight range. If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obese range.


Spreading epidemic

Bohannon is not the only student who has undergone the tribulations that correspond with the plight of obesity. According to the CDC, about 5.2 million college students in our nation are obese, the Midwest having the highest prevalence of obesity (30.7%), the South coming in a close second at (30.6%), then the Northeast (27.3%), and lastly the West at (25.7%). African Americans have the highest rates of obesity (47.8%) followed by Hispanics (42.5%), whites (32.6%), and Asians (10.8%). The Journal of the American Medical Association states that 32.0%-37.9% of adults aged 20 years and older were obese in the years of 2011-2012 alone. Gaining awareness of the issue is the first step in remedying the epidemic that seems to be taking our country by storm more so than any other rampant trend.


“It affects all age ranges and causes so many diseases, and people’s mental health,” said Natalia Parkanzky, a Certified Nurse Practitioner at Neighborhood Family Practice in Cleveland, Ohio. “I would say it relates to depression. People don’t like being obese.”

Bohannon can attest to the emotional turmoil that coincides with obesity. “I had a child at a later age and I kept thinking that there was no way I was going to get to see her play games,” she said, “I was ruining my life.” Embarrassment and self-esteem are commonalities that run alongside obesity and can lead to more serious aspects of depression and anxiety for sufferers. Bohannon now takes her daughter to the zumba classes she instructs and encourages a healthy lifestyle for her as well, never wanting her child to have to undergo the struggles she experienced.


Contributing factors


Obesity proves to be an ugly monster that rears its head for many that exist in society today for a variety of reasons. Studies report that chances of obesity increase because of environmental factors, emotional stress, social and family ties, and even genetics. With these odds stacked against a countless number of people, it seems nearly an impossible feat to overcome.

This is not the case, as proven by Bohannon, a truly dedicated now-fitness expert who knows the struggles of weight loss first hand. “There were a lot of challenges,” agreed Bohannon, “First of all, when you’re a student, you’re constantly studying and trying to strive for A’s and B’s. It was hard concentrating on your work as well as concentrating on losing weight because you wanted to get exercise in there at the same time but you had studying to do.”

Especially at a community college, time is a rare delicacy that many of us seem to hold in such high regard, as there are not hours in the day to accommodate school, work, and to add exercise on top of that seems an unlikelihood. “You just have to want it,” said Bohannon, “Once you want it, then you’ll take the necessary steps.”

The balance of work and school is a precarious thing, remaining ever-teetering on the seesaw that many students struggle to balance on a daily basis. Bohannon offered some advice concerning small improvements individuals could take towards becoming more physically active, “Even just thirty minutes of walking a day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or park further away on campus. Make sure to take advantage of the fitness center.”


Improving lifestyle


Keeping up with a weight loss routine can prove to be a challenge, but Bohannon has found the perfect balance. “I started exercising more than anything,” she said. “Right now I exercise at least five days a week. Always twice on Mondays because I teach Zumba too. I also watch what I eat more now than I did before.”

Lifestyle change seems to be the most prevalent form of decreasing the numerous negative effects of obesity. Parkanzky swears by the advice she gives her patients, emphasizing the importance of knowing that a pill is not magic and cannot fix anything for you if the effort and desire to change your health status is not there. “Having positive energy and motivation is key,” she said.


On-campus resources


LCCC offers many resources to students who wish to make positive changes in the health and fitness aspects of their lives. The on-campus fitness center is free to all students currently enrolled in at least one class, and there are a variety of classes and programs available upon interest of any individual.

“Almost 90% of students I’ve talked to set goals of getting more physically fit,” said associate professor of the Health, Physical Education and Recreation department Lisa Augstine, when speaking about students who enroll in her classes. Positive motivators are what she prioritizes in her teaching, stressing that with a positive attitude and goals in mind, anything you put your mind to can be accomplished.

“Don’t let anybody discourage you,” agreed Bohannon about the importance of motivation. She emphasized that the desire of the individual needs to be present in order for any improvement in lifestyle and health to take place. “Sometimes you need help from somewhere or somebody else to give you that push,” she encouraged, professing that she participated in Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and even gave acupuncture a try. Although these can be helpful avenues to pursue, studies and physicians agree that the change has to be made internally before long-lasting progress can be made. “You can have everybody talk to you as much as they want to, but it’s you who needs to make that commitment,” encouraged Bohannon.

Lady Commodores win in overtime 88-85

Cody Grossman

Staff Writer

On November 24, the Lorain County Community College women’s basketball team took on Westmoreland County Community College in what was an incredible game. At the start, it was a defensive game. The Lady Commodores forced many turnovers, thanks to the help of Angel Blakely and Onyx Lopez. Emily Capers also made her presence felt, blocking every shot that came her way. It was a solid defensive effort. On the offensive end Madi Bonner was able to get in the paint at will and score easy lay-ups. Lopez showed off her three point shot, while grabbing rebounds and capitalizing on second chance opportunities.

The second half was a struggle for the Commodores. Their shots weren’t falling and while the defense made up for it, eventually Westmoreland started scoring. Westmoreland took a ten point lead and the Commodores looked flustered. While the shots weren’t falling, Westmoreland put LCCC at the foul line, giving them a chance to get back into the game. However, Westmoreland got their lead back up to ten with just a few minutes left in the game. Capers then drew a charge, followed by a Bonner three. This was the boost the Commodores needed. Brandi Holowecky hit two clutch free throws followed by a two-point shot. Capers then steals the ball and Molly Linn drew the foul, she hit both free throws.

With 56.6 seconds left on the clock and down 74-71, Lopez makes it to the foul line. She made both free throws. Westmoreland came back down to put them up 76-73. LCCC missed their shot and were forced to foul, but Westmoreland missed both free throws. Lopez make a layup, cutting the lead to just one! LCCC fouled and Westmoreland knocked down one out of two shots. Bonner missed the go-ahead layup and the Commodores were forced to foul again. Westmoreland knocks down both free throws making the score, 79-75. With only 15 seconds left, it looked like the Commodores were getting ready to hit the showers. But then, Lopez made a layup making it a one possession game, which followed by a Commodore steal! Lopez made a layup and ties the game at 79! Westmoreland missed the game winner as time expired. The game headed to overtime!

The overtime was all Lopez and Holowecky. Lopez put the Commodores up with a layup, and Holowecky kept them up with clutch free throws. Westmoreland didn’t make any of their shots. The overtime was in favor of the Lady Commodores. With 14.7 left in OT, Westmoreland made a costly turnover, causing them to foul Holowecky, She made one of two and sealed the win for LCCC, 88-85.

After the game, an excited Coach Granito shared his thoughts on the victory, “We just gutted it out at the end. Three out of four times we should of lost this game and being down four with 15 seconds left, to come back and win. Just incredible. My heart can’t take those games, but I love it!” Onyx Lopez also gave words about the game today, “Today was all about team ball. We did a great job moving the ball and working together. We were able to work through the adversity of only having two people on the bench and overall it was a fun game and I’m glad we were able to come out with the win.”


Female athletes face unique challenges

Olivia Moe       

Online Editor

Within recent years sports have seen a growing surge of female participation in coaching, refereeing and overall professional athlete positions. Despite the growth, an estimated more than 150,000 college female athletes since the 1970’s and the passing of Title IX, a piece of legislation included in the Education Amendments that requires schools that receive federal funds to provide girls and women with equal opportunity to compete and coach in collegiate sports, there are still some minor hiccups in the way women’s sports are seen at the collegiate level.

“In the athletic world, women are seen as inferior. In every sport there is always some boy or man saying ‘you’re pretty good for a girl’, as if that were some kind of compliment. These kinds of people don’t realize how much time and effort it takes to prepare for a game.” Jen Al-Ghaben, midfielder and reserve goalkeeper for the Lorain County Community College women’s soccer team, stated on the topic.

“Other activities pull you away from the sport, especially for females where sports aren’t viewed as high of a priority as for males,” explained Katie Marquard, the athletic director at LCCC. “It can be hard to balance school, sport, and life (work, family, friends, etc). But participating in athletics teaching you what is necessary to succeed in life, if students apply what they learn to be successful in sports to the rest of their life than they will be successful. Set priorities, time management, do what is your passion, and not listening to what others or society thinks you should do.”

Whether it is running on a field or dribbling down a court, women athletes practice just as hard as their male counterparts, they devote their time as much as their male counterparts, and can win just as much as their male counterparts. The only difference between the men’s teams at LCCC and the women’s teams are the amount of spectators that attend games.

“Not many people come out and support,” Taylor Savarino, who played on the women’s and men’s soccer teams at LCCC for two years, said when asked about the differences she sees while on the field. “We are just as equal as the men, just as it should be. I would like to continue to see everyone being treated equal and fan support.”

“Soccer isn’t a popular sport around here at the best of times,” added Al-Ghaben, “It was sad seeing so few people at the games. There’s this stereotype that women can’t play sports as well as men, but if people took the time to watch a game they’d see women play just as tough, or more, than men do.”

Molly Linn, shooting guard and point guard for the LCCC women’s basketball team, sees the connection between a winning season and the amount of fans that attend matches and games. “I would like to see more spectators and more players but that comes with time and winning seasons. The more you win, the more people want to watch.”

A trend throughout the 2014-15 women’s basketball team’s season was a majority of spectators showing up only towards the end of the game in order to find seats for the men’s team’s game that followed. The women’s soccer team also saw this with the exception of their matches held on different days than the men’s team.

There are currently four  women’s teams offered at LCCC (soccer, volleyball, basketball and softball). The cross country and tennis teams are coed, but do have several female athletes recognized for their abilities on the track and court.

The 2014 LCCC women’s volleyball team finished second in the NJCAA National Tournament with a seasonal record of 24-11. Since some of the other teams have had difficult seasons it can reduce the amount of fans who come to their matches.

There is also a growing trend in how many of the women athletes at LCCC. Since the beginning of the 2015 fall semester five women have been acknowledged by the college and athletic department. During the 2015 spring semester three women were named on the Honor Roll list and eight on the High Honor Roll list. Despite this rise there is little to none in regards to scholarships for the student athletes, male or female. ““It can be stressful being a full time student and also playing a sport.” added Linn. “Hopefully soon LCCC can start offering its student athletes scholarships to come play so that the variety of athletes can be unlimited.”

What the student athletes want the most is for the future of the women’s teams at LCCC to filled with new and  hopeful athletes, understanding, and respect. “I’d like to see more understanding for female athletes,” Al-Ghaben said. “To play a sport takes dedication and hard work well before the season starts. Women play with sprained knees, severely swollen feet, bruises everywhere, and sometimes worse injuries; all because they love their respective sport. I’d like to see more respect for soccer players, even if it’s not as popular as volleyball or softball.”

“If anything that makes us work harder,” added Al-Ghaben. “My last year playing for the men’s team made me realize the men have their strengths and females have theirs but together it’s a great combination, being a female athlete and being compared to men a lot just makes us work harder but that should never be a bad thing. Maybe men should start being compared to how great females are at sports.”

There are the more personal blessings that the athletes enjoy despite the lack of fans at their games.“The biggest positive of being a female athlete is being a role model for my daughters,” Al-Ghaben mentioned. “They watched a couple games and thought it was so cool that their mommy was playing college soccer.”

“I would like to continue to see everyone being treated equal and fan support,” Savarino added. “My team and I would like to thank the fans that did come out and support us.”