A Student Publication of Lorain County Community College

Issue 10 wins with a comfortable lead

Caitlyn Ujvari JRNM 151            Issue 10, a 2.1-mill renewal levy, won with a comfortable lead. The levy, which will fund the Lorain County Community College’s University Partnership program, garnered 72,250 (67 percent) votes against 35,719…

Lt. Gov. Husted Lauds college on MEMs Intel Partnership

Lauren HoffmanEditor-In-Chief “Our students are why this program exists,” Marcia Ballinger , Ph.D., president of Lorain County Community College told Lt. Gov. Jon Husted following his visit to LCCC’s Desich SMART Commercialization Center Sept. 13.Husted’s visit comes as part of…

How Biden’s Student Debt Relief Bill will affect LCCC

Lauren Hoffman Editor-In-Chief Student debt and loans is something that continues to plague college students well after graduation, haunting their dreams and hindering their ambitions for life. For the nation’s leader, U.S. President Joe Biden, the student loan crisis needed…

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…

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…

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 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.

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Collegian staff shines at 44th annual Press Club awards banquet

Lauren Hoffman 
Editor-In-Chief
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.” 

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LCCC graduates take flight for 58th commencement ceremony

Lauren Hoffman
Editor-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 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.” 

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False fire causes campus confusion

Lauren Hoffman
Editor-in-Chief

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. 

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Intel breathes new life into LCCC’s DNA

Lauren Hoffman
Editor-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 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.” 
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LCCC closes 4th time for safety

Lauren Hoffman
Editor-in-Chief
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. 

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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.”

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Bomb threats investigation underway, LCCC not alone

Destiny Torres
Associate Editor
“LCCC campus security is currently working with the Elyria Police Department and the FBI to find the source of these threats,” LCCC President Marcia Ballinger, Ph.D., said of the three threats that rocked the Elyria campus recently.
LCCC is not alone in these threats. Five other Ohio schools and universities have received bomb threats since the beginning of 2022. According to the ATF and FBI, about 5% of bomb threats in the United States were to schools and universities, with threats having increased by 33% since 2014.
In 2018, there were 285 bomb threats to educational facilities with 19 being to colleges and universities. This has seen a sharp increase since then. A study conducted in 2015 found that most bomb threats have been made more frequently via electronic tools on international proxy servers. And, of the 800 violent school threats made, more than 70% included bomb threats. Also in 2015, more than 46 states received bomb threats, with Ohio being the number one recipient.
All the worry and fuss have left some students and staff feeling losses both academically and financially.
Margo Solis, a graphic design major, said that she was lucky enough not to be on campus during the threats.
“The whole situation just made me super anxious,” said Solis. “I was genuinely afraid that it would turn into a ‘boy who cried wolf’ situation. The threats would keep happening, we’d let our guard down and then BOOM.”
As anxieties rang high for some, others suffered scholastically. With the campus evacuated and classes canceled for an entire week, students who took in-person classes took a hit.
“I waited for the campus to be back open again after the pandemic,” Zander Taylor, a first-year student, said. “I prefer in-person classes since it’s easier for me to learn in person. So doing it all online wasn’t pleasant for me.”
For some students, like Taylor, they rely on in-person classes. “Academically, I took a real hit. It was difficult since I have issues with internet access at home. I’m a little behind because of the bomb threat.”
“I think the school took the right precautions; they did what they had to do. They’re doing their job, I don’t have to appreciate it, but I do have to accept it being a student here.”
The bomb threats did not just harm the education of the students, they had negative effects on the staff and faculty as well.
“We took a hit,” Tara Porter, an employee at the Marketplace Subway, said. “With campus closed, I missed a week’s worth of a paycheck and had to waste product.”
Making terroristic threats is a felony in the third degree.
If you see anything suspicious or have any information, please contact Campus Security at 440-366-4043.
Lauren Hoffman, editor-in-chief, contributed to this report.

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Masks begone! Students hesitant to rejoice

Lauren Hoffman
Editor-in-chief
Lorain County Community college students got to have a taste of Covid-19 freedom for the first time since March of 2020, but not everyone is ready for the change.
March brought a game changer to students on LCCC’s campuses as the mask mandate that previously covered campus was lifted for the first time since the fall of 2020 when it went into effect. While many students are elated to be able to show their full faces for the first time in two years, not all are as quick to jump for joy.
“Just not there yet,” Arts major Margo Aziza Solace says she does not agree with the mandate being lifted. “I don’t think it should be,” she explains, continuing, “Even though Covid-19 numbers are slightly down, it’s going to spike without the mandate. We’ve tried this before and again the same results.”
Solace wants to make it clear that she is not firmly against the mandate lift stating, “I would love to get back to normalcy, but we’re just not there yet. We need to get vaccine rates up, not just a dip in the numbers.”
Student senate president Zarai Aquino voiced similar concerns saying, “I actually feel weird without the masks, everyone can see my face.” Aquino laughed slightly before continuing, “I enjoyed the masks because I wasn’t being told to smile more and I enjoyed the sense of privacy they gave.”
English major Destiny Torres echoed Aquino’s mixed feelings saying, “I am so used to wearing my mask that it feels weird to take it off. I’m not quite ready yet.”

Safety protocols
Jonathan Volpe, vice president for Administrative Services and Treasurer, sat on LCCC’s Covid-19 task force. He says of the mask decision, “Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have followed the guidance as issued by the CDC, the Ohio Department of Health and Lorain County Public Health Department in order to establish safety protocols on campus.”
Because of the CDC’s recent decision to designate Lorain County as an area that is no longer experiencing a high level of infection, the Covid-19 task force ultimately decided to lift the mandate. For Volpe, “the LCCC community has demonstrated that we can live with the virus in a relatively safe manner by making knowledgeable decisions about our individual health.”

Mixed concern
Aquino and psychology major Danelle Johnson see the mandate lift as creating a possible whole different kind of problem. Aquino says, “One thing I can sense a problem with is the vaccinated against the unvaccinated. It is definitely something to keep an eye on as a student senator.” Johnson expressed similar concerns, but with a positive twist. She says, “I know everybody is still leery, “I know everybody is still leery but I like that I can see people’s faces. Despite the anger and fear that might arise regarding vaccination status, I feel like it’s more warm and inviting now and gives us a chance to be more inviting and personable.”
Volpe does understand the concerns that students like Solace, Torres, Aquino and Johnson have and asks students that “as we enter this new phase, please be patient, understanding and respectful with each other.” LCCC has been preparing for this changeover since last fall when it installed air purification systems across campus to purify the air and reduce the ability of the virus to spread.
Despite those students that are hesitant, many are also relieved. Elizabeth Tutak says she feels “pretty good, it’s just kind of uncomfortable because I’m not used to making proper facial expressions, but overall, I like it.”
Early College High School junior Katy Paige agrees with Tutak claiming, “I am so happy to feel free. I can breathe again without feeling stuffy all the time.”
Even still, some students and staff don’t have as firm of an opinion on the mandate being lifted.
Student Senate representative Julian Ortiz says, “I didn’t think it was that big of a deal except for the fitness center. It was a lot nicer to work out without a mask on.” English 162 professor Martha Williams concurs with Ortiz. She says, “I feel mixed. Sometimes I have it on, sometimes I have it off. I know it can prevent illness and honestly, I’m not too sure I want to invite germs back into my life.”
As we travel into this new phase in our world of education, the hope is that by demasking, students can get back to being themselves and classes can aim to have a sliver of their pre-Covid days.
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Students talk about anxieties of a possible World War III

Anthony Leyva
A Correspondent

History moves forward, but war never changes. Throughout time man has sought dominion over man. The ensuing effect has brought about a vicious cycle of war and peace.
Within a century, America has participated in various wars and skirmishes. The most devastating instances of war were WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the war in the Middle East.
Now after a reprieve from the most severe effects of war, America is facing another challenging situation, this time in Europe. The war began
On Feb. 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin began his invasion of the former Soviet Union country, Ukraine, in an attempt to overthrow their President Volodymyr Zelensky and reclaim Ukraine as a Russian satellite state.
On the day of the invasion, Putin stated, “Whoever would try to stop us and further create threats to our country, to our people, should know that Russia’s response will be immediate and lead to such consequences that [the world] has never faced in its history. We are ready for any outcome.” This subtle threat hits home to NATO and its allies, who are seeking to expand their influence in Ukraine.
As we near the 80-year mark since the end of WWII, Putin’s threat has caused many to fear a third world war. Students at Lorain County Community College are amongst those concerned and anxious of the threat.

Today we are more connected than ever.
Thanks to social media, it is easy to receive up-to-date news on current events. Some like Payon Regal, a student at LCCC, often come across memes chronicling current events.
Regal explains, “I was on Tik-Tok one night and saw what happened, but I didn’t think it was real. It’s shocking and upsetting to see everything that’s happening in the media. It just doesn’t seem real.” The surreal and unimaginable thought of war in today’s world is a common feeling among many young LCCC students.
For some students between classes, work, and personal time staying informed can be difficult. The conflict is a dynamic and elaborate situation.
Marissa Brigger, a Business Management major at LCCC, first heard about the situation from a friend on a phone call. Brigger followed the conflict intently for the first week, however; she said, “I’m not following the situation as much as I was early on, but I should because it’s important to stay informed.”
Furthermore, Brigger says she doesn’t blame the citizens of Russia but instead blames Putin. “Putin is acting like a bully to other countries.”

A war no one wants
The threat of the situation expanding into a global war is a fear of many individuals. An anonymous veteran student stated, “Obviously things have been tense for a while, we’ve had small skirmishes but nothing this big. I think things could potentially escalate, but it would take a lot to get there.”
The veteran was extremely concerned with the military actions taken by the Russian government. They would go on to say they hope that the soldiers would realize how horrible the invasion is. “Some of them joined to hurt people, but others joined to defend their country, not all of them are bad. I would hope Russian troops would know right from wrong.”
This idea coincides with videos of Russian soldiers who have defected or surrendered in Ukraine. Many of which state that their orders were vague and that they too want the invasion to end.
Some are skeptical of global war, however.
Kyle Offutt, a Computer Maintenance major at LCCC, says, “Everyone was expecting that Ukraine would fall within a week but obviously it hasn’t happened.”
Offutt has faith that Ukraine will be able to stave off the Russian occupation, at least for the time being.
Offutt does not disregard the threat of a global war, however. He explains, “It’s the nuclear threat that prevents us from getting involved directly.” Offutt believes if Russia were to succeed it may only be the beginning of their expansionary conquest.

Not sure how to cope
Of the students interviewed, should the situation escalate, many said it would be difficult to manage finances and cope with a global war.
Our anonymous source points out, “If the issues with the supply chain escalate, most people won’t know how to provide for themselves.” They also emphasized that stress management would be key to keeping a level head in such difficult times.
Marissa Brigger explains, “When I was young I was very active in scouts and I have some basic skills to help prepare me, my family is also well prepared. If there is something I can do to help others as well, that is something I would do.”

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