Trustee was a no-show at March 17 committee meeting.
By Katherine Garcia
District 4 trustee Albert Herrera, elected in May, confirmed late March 18 he is resigning from the Alamo Colleges board of trustees.
He did not give a reason or answer questions from The Ranger when reached by telephone.
He said he submitted a resignation but would say when or to whom
Efforts to reach board Chair Anna Bustamante, District 3 representative, were unsuccessful.
An email sent at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday from the San Antonio College chapter of American Association of University Professors, stated, “Herrera resigns leaving Board seat vacant.”
However, at 6:52 p.m., when the board of trustees began the Student Success Committee, Herrera was marked absent.
Antonio “Tony” Villanueva, chair of behavioral sciences and president of the AUUP at Palo Alto College, said he did not know where the information came from, but he heard of the resignation from several sources.
Board liaison Sandra Mora said Wednesday she did not know of any trustees resigning.
Herrera ran for District 4 trustee in spring 2014, replacing Marcello M. Casillas, who chose not to run for re-election.
Herrera was sworn in as trustee on June 26, serving for nearly nine months.
The former CFO of the Lighthouse Charter School told The Ranger in an interview before the election that he kept up with district issues through family members and was glad Chancellor Bruce Leslie rescinded the standardized textbook proposal and the implementation of EDUC 1300, Learning Framework, into the core.
He was inspired by his brother to become a board member. Arturo G. Herrera, passed away during his 1993-96 term as District 4 trustee.
According to board policy B.3.1, any vacancies by elected officials, or board members, through resignation, death or otherwise will be filled through a special election or appointment by the board.
If a special election is held, the winner will serve the remainder of the six-year term. If the board appoints someone to fill the position, that person will serve until the next election. The next board election will be in 2016.
The next regular board meeting is 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Killen Center....
Drive helps KSYM stay on the airwaves.
By Tyrin Bradley
In an effort to keep the music playing, this college’s radio station, KSYM 90.1 FM, will launch its annual pledge drive March 20.
“The pledge drive helps us fund the station,” said Dallas Williams, radio-television- broadcasting sophomore. “Everything in this office is funded by our wonderful listeners who donate.”
Williams is one of the students and staff members responsible for coordinating this year’s drive.
It will fund “everything from our annual fees that we have to pay for music licensing to new computers that we are going to be working in this year, and a new software system that is going to help us run the station,” he said.
KSYM’S pledge goal is $50,000.
To reach this goal, the station will invite local media personalities and politicians to volunteer an hour of on-air fundraising.
Those special guests can attract new, loyal listeners, Williams said.
KSYM offers shows like the blues heavy Sauce and the Americana Third Coast Music Network. It also broadcasts hip-hop, indie rock, heavy metal and even sex talk.
In 2014, the San Antonio Current’s Best of SA edition named KSYM the top music radio station in the city.
There is more to the pledge drive than just keeping on the lights, Williams said. The pledge drive also promotes a sense of community for music lovers.
“This is always a time of year where we really get to see, talk and visit with our fans and listeners, because they really do become family,” Williams said. “It’s really nice to talk to music fans in general because there is something in (a music fan’s) core that we just understand about each other.
“We can connect on this level that there is a lot of music not being played on other stations, and luckily we have KSYM to do that.”
The station also gives back to the community by donating to local organizations such as Alternatives to Hunger, which provides food for the hungry and educates the community.
The pledge drive is accepting donations March 20-27.
Donations can be made online at www.ksym.org or by calling the station at 210-486-5796....
Re: “Restroom reviews encourage ‘holding it’” Feb. 23
The information over the restroom issue should be more addressed to everyone all over the campus.
The first thing I noticed when I came to SAC is how horrible and disgusting the restrooms are. As a freshman student, the restrooms all over the campus have been treated poorly. Not all are cleaned equally.
The girls’ restrooms are a mess and it seems that no one cares. Water is all over the sink, paper towels and tissues on the floor, toilets clogged and sometimes urine is left on the seat of the toilet.
It’s not very pleasant when going to the restroom, especially in Chance Academic Center and the student success center.
It should be everyone’s responsibility to clean up after themselves. Students should respect the property of the campus, and it should be a priority to keep the campus clean instead of depending on the cleaning staff.
The new, renovated restrooms in some of the campus buildings are great, but even a renovated restroom can get messy if the students do not keep it clean.
In reference to “Balancing life, school, work” March 2, I have grown a special interest in the topic. I read in this article that about 50 percent of the students at our school are nontraditional students.
Our academic adviser knows and understands this. I also understand this because I am one of the many students like this at SAC.
There is not enough time in our day to complete every task needed. Teachers understand this to a point but take this issue lightly. An awareness is needed for everyone including teachers, students and any other employees that encounter students that time is the most valuable thing to us right now.
While this is a public school, we need to be respectful that this is also a privilege to many and that we work hard to be here.
Working five days a week and trying to be a full-time student the other two is no easy task. If staff would move faster valuing students time, if teachers could stay a few extra moments to help without being rushed out for another class, and, if others could be being courteous to students studying or working in the halls, then managing our time here at school would run smoother.
Everyone needs to understand that sometimes this school is the only place we can get our work done.
Although just an opinion, I feel I speak for a majority of the school.
Criminal Justice Sophomore...
In response to “Balancing life, school, work” March 2:
Long gone are the days of going to school and focusing on your studies. We no longer have that luxury
With the cost of tuition, books, transportation, and the simple cost of living going up, it’s no wonder why over half our students have to have jobs. Scholarships and financial aid only help so much.
Judging from my parents and any adult I have ever spent some time around, it does not get any easier. I personally think it is a good thing that we have work and school at the same time.
It builds life skills that we are required to learn at an earlier age now. The world is only getting harder, and we have to adapt.
It is the nature of the beast, a necessary evil; however, one that eventually pays off. It only helps you in the future because when you graduate odds are your chosen career will also be a very demanding skill. But one you would have learned already.
Going to school and working is very hard but not impossible. There are plenty of resources and people around you to help.
Keep your head down, nose in the books, mind on success and you will only do good things in this world.
Music Business Freshman...
In regard to the article, “Balancing life, school, work” March 2:
As a long-time student, I found this article to be refreshingly informative. There is a huge transition between high school and college.
Primary and secondary institutions have a preset structure that students are trained to follow for 12 years. However, the environment of a tertiary institution being mature and free choice can be empowering to some or intimidating to others.
As students enter this new educational path, they are confronted with many options in choosing their degree plans. This determines the course of their college career. Among the myriad choices and distractions, people can easily lose focus of their goals.
The example of Margie Garcia’s educational journey serves as a reminder that no matter how close to our goals we are, it is important not to lose focus. The most well-planned program can be altered by unexpected circumstances. So contingencies and sacrifices can correct that path.
To read that others experience similar predicaments when balancing many aspects of life with education was very affirming. The tips provided in the article were extremely helpful as many students may not know that these resources exist to help navigate through a nontraditional, educational world.
I would like to thank Danny Geraldo Martinez for such a positive insight into a subject that students may confront at any given time, regardless of their degree of academic success.
No matter how goal-oriented a student may be or how long they have been in a higher learning environment, we can all get lost and forget our way from time to time. This article was a great note of how to get back on track.
Liberal Arts Sophomore...
I send this with regard to your article “Balancing life, school, work” March 2:
Though this article has high potential for beneficial advice or ideas for students in the circumstances described in the title, there are some things that could be modified.
I found that this article specifically identified someone who came from an extreme circumstance, and that they are a full-time employee. The article is difficult for readers that come from different circumstances to identify with.
This article should be redesigned to include three different perspectives: one representative from a background described in the original article, one perspective from a student who works part time with a family, and finally a perspective of a student that works full-time time and has a family.
Lastly, this article identified two of the three topics mentioned in the title, work and school. Therefore, there could be an addition of information in a future article describing the personal life of student(s) to help give an idea of how to balance the time one needs to be successful.
Liberal Arts Freshman...
While I personally am not at the mercy of child care services, your cartoon “Drop The Class” Feb. 9 caught my attention and made me think about my current situation.
I am currently over the limit (five) classes dropped and am consequently ineligible for financial aid. While this seems like a fair agreement, there are many factors that contribute to situations similar to mine, which ultimately hinder a student’s ability to be successful.
Shortly after I began my first semester of college at Northwest Vista, an immediate family member fell terminally ill.
After a few semesters of trying to balance work, school, a girlfriend of five years and caring for my family member, I found myself in a helpless position. Unable to pass my classes, I dropped the courses I could not juggle.
The thing is I never accepted financial aid. From my first class at Vista in 2012 till now, I have paid my tuition in cash that I have earned working.
I am currently in the ridiculous process of appealing for my eligibility for financial aid so I can afford to continue my education. I know I am not alone due to the long wait one must endure.
Why does the state only allow you to appeal drops after you have reached the limit? It seems more practical that they should allow you to appeal for a drop as it happens when in hardship situations so students won’t become stuck in this horrible situation.
I pay taxes so that I can have access to things such as financial aid. Beware the drop, kids.
Liberal Arts Sophomore...
“Restroom reviews encourage ‘holding it’” Feb. 23:
After reading your article about the cleanliness of the school bathrooms, with the remarks from the president of the school, I must say that I disagree with his comments.
He stated,“Keeping restrooms clean is everybody’s responsibility. If you see something, report it.” This is right to an extent, but further into reading your article you stated that it was a contracted job and that the bathroom cleaning sheets have not been updated in months.
So if we as student sit here and report the issues and write articles about it in the school newspaper to get attention to the matter and still nothing is done about it, when does it become the school’s job to fix it?
We as students can only do so much to keep the bathrooms clean. We do our “responsibility.”
When will Dr. Robert Vela do his responsibility? When will he go into the bathrooms that we as students have to use and realize if he won’t sit on the dirty toilet, why he would think we would?
If this a group effort, then maybe we should do something about it instead of passing it along to someone else to fix.
Jaime E. Terrazas
Network Administrator Freshman...
It is truly an astonishing moment when one opens up a time capsule and revisits the past for a brief period. And this is especially true when the time capsule includes a younger and more innocent version of the opener.
The article, “Time capsule opened to celebrate 30 years at Palo Alto College” March 2, really showed the true potential of what a time capsule can do to motivate one’s mind for a brighter future.
It gives the opportunity for a rebirth toward certain goals or achievements one saw themselves accomplishing as they entered adulthood.
Many people tend to sometimes stray from the path they saw themselves taking as a kid, and it can be very depressing. But when you are given mementos such as handwritten notes from your childhood depicting the career aspirations you dreamed of at that time, it can be tremendously invigorating to one’s mindset.
And even if you became exactly what you wanted at an older age, it is still beyond satisfying to revisit the past and know you followed your dreams. I love how more and more schools are doing this for kids as they continue through elementary school. It’s a situation that creates the right mindset in kids at an early age.
It gives them the drive to succeed in their life so they can come back one day when it is time and know they made their dreams reality.
Students are urged to take action on their beliefs.
By Matthew Reyna
Local organizations gathered to recruit student talent at the Volunteer Fair Feb. 18 in the Fiesta Room of Loftin Student Center.
The event, which ran from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., attracted as many as 25 students at any given time.
Eighteen organizations participated, including the San Antonio Children’s Museum, Child Advocates of San Antonio, Big Brothers Big Sisters and One World Conservation.
Organizations brought volunteer sign-up sheets and small gifts, including gel stress-reliever balls and posters, for visitors and volunteers.
The American Heart and American Stroke associations shared a table loaded with health pamphlets, lapel pins and even mini-cookbooks.
AHA/ASA volunteer Ray Hernandez handed out items and discussed the organization with curious students.
Hernandez said the 2015 Heart of Gold Gala on April 25 and the 2015 San Antonio Heart & Stroke Walk on Oct. 24 are events that can always use extra volunteers.
Molly McKenna, an AmeriCorps digital literacy program designer working at the San Antonio Library, said the library needs more volunteers for its adult digital literacy program.
The Central and Las Palmas branches of the library both have begun programs in teaching adult digital literacy. The library is looking for students who can teach basic computer skills, McKenna said.
“It is a good way to get your foot in the door for many jobs,” McKenna said.
Metha Haggard, volunteer for the Mitchell Lake Audubon Society, described the wide variety of opportunities her organization offers volunteers.
“Everything (from) chopping weeds to educating fifth-graders,” Haggard said.
She invited students to participate in community events sponsored by the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, including “Astronomy Nights” and “Owl Prowls.”
The next event the organization will host is the “Spring Break PICNIC-PALOOZA!” 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 10-14 at the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center. The series is meant to educate children and their families on insects, birds and wetland ecosystems.
Many organizations stressed the value of student volunteers.
Getting students more involved is the most important aspect of this event, said Andrew Moncada, a work-study student working at the sign-in table.
The office of student life’s center for civic engagement sponsored the event.
For more information, call the center at 210-486-0157 or visit student life’s OrgSync page....
Lab coordinator says the college’s new tutoring program — and SLAC’s on-site tutors — can assist with any classwork.
By R. Eguia and Te Keyshia Johnson
This semester, the student learning assistance center, or SLAC lab, is helping introduce students at this college to “Brainfuse,” an online tutoring program through their ACES and Canvas accounts.
Students can access Brainfuse by clicking the ACES “Student” tab, scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking the “Brainfuse tutoring” link.
The Brainfuse page includes a variety of flash cards, targeted lessons, quizzes and live tutoring through the Leap Learning platform under the “Study” tab.
Dr. Thomas Cleary, vice chancellor for planning, performance and information technology services, said he purchased Brainfuse after reviewing different vendors whose prices varied based on each individual college’s use and preference of platform.
The district purchased 3,000 hours of the service for $72,000, Cleary said. Tudor.com, which students previously had used, cost $40 an hour while Brainfuse costs $24 an hour.
Brainfuse covers the most challenging courses for students, determined by the faculty: reading, writing and math, Cleary said.
The lab is testing the waters for Brainfuse by seeing how students are adapting to the program, SLAC coordinator Geraldo R. Guerra said.
In addition to the three most challenging courses, the program helps students with other types of homework assignments, he said. Although the district purchased Leap Learning platforms for reading, writing and math, flash cards also are available for all academic disciplines, Cleary said.
“I enjoy using Brainfuse,” liberal arts sophomore Miranda Pacheco said. “It’s helpful when I’m struggling on my Spanish compositions. Brainfuse helps me determine the correct words I’m supposed to be using in past or present tense.”
When students are having trouble with their assignments, they can use Brainfuse at the lab, which is open outside the normal hours of the various tutoring centers on campus, Guerra said.
Located on the seventh floor of Moody Learning Center, the SLAC lab also provides tutors for students who need help with an especially challenging assignment. A total of eight tutors can assist students with any subject.
“We provide tutors here for all subjects, math, astronomy, Spanish, accounting, statistics, some chemistry and biology, which is a big range,” Guerra said.
He said if students want to practice PowerPoint presentations, they can use a room in the lab. Each room has projectors students can connect to their own laptops, tablets or even smartphones. Students can reserve a room by going to the front desk.
“Our challenge for this lab is always trying to convince students that they need to seek out assistance,” Guerra said.
He said students shouldn’t procrastinate on their homework because those assignments will only build up.
By working with lab tutors and taking advantage of the Brainfuse program, students won’t be overwhelmed with assignments, and they will begin to see an improvement in their work ethic, Guerra said.
The SLAC lab is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, call 210-486-0165....