By MELINA CASILLAS
There’s a fitness class at a community college with about 20 people. The setting is like many classrooms in a community college: varying age groups, from a 19-year-old to a 40-something who also happens to be a counselor at the college.
The 14-week course takes its usual route as students learn new skills in a class with strangers. Students eventually make acquaintances, and exchange phone numbers for class purposes.
But when one text exchange goes awry, a younger student can’t help but ask, “Where’s the line?”
THE TEXT EXCHANGE
Older Guy: What’s your name?
Younger Girl: Who is this?
OG: *** from class…lol.
YG: oh lol, it’s ******.
OG: Is it weird I kept your number?
OG: If so, I’ll delete it if you want…
YG: No, it’s fine, I just didn’t save yours, ha ha.
OG: Ouch, lol.
OG: I’m trying to flirt, but I don’t know if it’s working, ha ha.
YG: Wait what? Lol.”
OG: I’m trying to flirt … Is it working 😉 lol.”
OG: Just thought you’re really cute and kinda sexy.
OG: But if I’m out of bounds, I apologize…
YG: (does not respond)
(1 hour later)
OG: I guess that’s a yes, lol.
IS THIS HARASSMENT?
Harassment comes in different forms. Many perceive harassment when they read or hear the word “sexual” spoken in conjunction.
But harassment can be more than obscene remarks. Any unwanted, persistent attention can be classified as harassment if it makes the person receiving it uncomfortable.
The remarks made by the older school-employed student could be classified as obscene and were definitely unwanted, based on the woman’s replies.
It is up to the young woman to decide whether she will report the interaction to school authorities. Her decision likely depends on how safe she felt after the exchange.
Everyone who believes they are being harassed by Pima Community College personnel or by their peers should immediately file a report.
The college will take action whether it is an employee or a student doing the harassment, according to the Personnel Policy Statement for College Employees.
PCC’s accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission, required all college employees to take sexual harassment training after a former chancellor resigned amid numerous allegations of sexual harassment.
WHAT’S THE POLICY?
Pima’s personnel policy defines consensual relationships as “amorous, romantic and/or sexual relationships entered into by mutual consent between employees or between employees and students.”
The policy says a consensual relationship must be reported, whether it is between two employees or between an employee and student.
The wording reads: “An employee who may have a conflict of interest situation must disclose that interest in writing to the chief human resources officer or designee.”
The consequence for an unreported relationship can be employee termination.
College spokeswoman Libby Howell isn’t sure how common instances of faulty-student relationships are but said, “We are not aware of disciplinary actions specifically related to faculty-student romantic or sexual relationships, at least in recent years.”
The college reserves the right to establish guidelines and determine whether a relationship presents a conflict of interest.
If the relationship is deemed a conflict of interest, it must immediately be reported to the head of human resources.
Another policy says employees who have relationships may not be involved in their partner’s work, whether they’re employees or students.
SO, WHERE’S THE LINE?
Most people have moral compasses, so it’s baffling the older student thought it was OK to hit on a teen half his age.
However, a consensual relationship would not have violated PCC policy as long as it was reported.
Bottom line: Maybe there isn’t an ethical or moral line in a handbook, but there is one in your head.
Listen to your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t pursue it.
New year. New semester. New Aztec Press.
Change has happened here at the Aztec Press. We’ve handed over the editorship to someone new and once again changed our flag and layout. Our goal, however, will always be the same: to deliver Pima news to our readers.
We’ve also welcomed new staffers to our team. They’ve been taken under the wings of our senior reporters and editors to learn the ropes of publication.
We’re all adjusting to the change of a new year, a new government and personal changes we may have faced within the weeks we were gone from Pima. While some of these changes feel like new slates, others feel scary. We must embrace what we cannot control.
Here at the Aztec Press, we’ll be covering how the changes within our local and national government affect us at Pima. Topics include the rise of minimum wage, an accreditation update and how Tucson reacted to the Jan. 20 inauguration.
The changes we write about and experience throughout the semester in the newsroom feel symbolic to the changes that happen around us at the Pima campuses at the beginning of every semester: different but with a feeling of similarity.
You, our reader, may be a returning employee or student, or a newcomer to the Pima campuses. Either way, we’re all experiencing some type of newness whether it be classes, instructors, friendships or challenges.
While it seems scary or overwhelming, we eventually adapt. We’ll get our schedules down and we won’t get lost trying to find our classrooms. We’ll finally figure out after two year that coming to campus at 10 a.m. guarantees a crappy parking spot.
Welcome back to Pima and to the new-ish Aztec Press. Not much has changed, so don’t be scared and enjoy our first issue of Spring 2017.
Compiled by Melina Casillas
Wind Ensemble performs Oct. 11
The Pima Community College Wind Ensemble will perform its first concert of the fall semester on Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Recital Hall on West Campus.
Tickets cost $6, with discounts available.
The program will include a mix of new and traditional arrangements including “Galop” from the “Dance of the Hours” by Amilcare Ponchielli—made famous by Walt Disney’s “Fantasia.”
The performance will end with pieces performed by smaller wind and percussion ensembles.
For more information, call the box office at 206-6986.
Writing workshop set for Oct. 14-16
Pima Community College and professional writer Annie Guthrie will present a weekend writing workshop Oct. 14-16.
The workshop will focus on immersive reading and writing techniques.
Readings will include essays, writings and poetry from contemporary writers including Hiromi Ito, Kamau Brathwaite and G.C. Waldrep.
Sessions will be held at the Downtown Campus in Building AH, Room 140, on Friday from 6-8 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Participants will also work independently on Saturday night.
Students can earn two credits. Current Pima students can enroll for WRT 298T4 through MyPima, using CRN 14536. Non-students can fill out an online college admission form at pima.edu/admissions. Cost for Arizona residents is $183.
For more information, contact Josie Milliken at 206-7156 or email@example.com or Brooke Anderson at 206-7350 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events near final run
Two college arts events will end in early October.
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” enters its final weekend Sept. 30-Oct. 2. Call the box office at 206-6986 for information.
A free faculty art exhibit at the West Campus Bernal Gallery will close on Oct. 7. Call the gallery at 206-6942 for details.
Compiled by MELINA CASILLAS
Number of students who go on spring break each year.
Ranking for Panama City Beach, Fla., as the top U.S. spring break destination.
Number of drinks consumed daily by both men and women on spring break.
Number of students who spend their spring break in Cancun, Mexico.
Minimum number of spring breakers who die each year after falling off a balcony.
Number of Americans arrested overseas during spring break.
Dollars spent by students annually during spring break.
Percentage of annual income that local businesses earn from spring break.
Number of students who spent their spring break building houses with Habitat for Humanity.
By MELINA CASILLAS
Voting is not meant just for an older American demographic. The youth vote of 18- to 29-year-olds is important as well.
Young people must vote not only because it is our civic responsibility but also because our vote does influence elections.
Presidential candidates across the board are seeking the youth vote.
Donald Trump has enlisted help from his daughter, Ivanka, whom young Republican voters seem to like.
Hillary Clinton has used pop culture references such as Beyoncé in her speeches, and recruited pop star Demi Lovato to campaign for her. Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, has also been on the campaign trail.
Whether the methods of bringing in their children and famous figures works or not, it is clear candidates are desperate for our attention and vote.
Campaigns and rallies shouldn’t be the only places we’re heard.
Low turnout is common among youth, perhaps because young people think their vote won’t matter. In reality, it does.
Sixty-six percent of those who voted in the 2008 election for Barack Obama were under the age of 30, according to the Pew Research Center.
Young voters made an impact on the 2008 election and are expected to influence this year’s election as well, says a nonpartisan group, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, also known as CIRCLE.
In the New Hampshire primary, young voters made up 43 percent of the votes.
“Young voters braved the winter weather and came out in large numbers,” said Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, CIRCLE director for New Hampshire.
She said young people were “shattering the myth that they are unreliable voters who will only vote when it is convenient for them.”
They’ve realized the impact they can have, Kawashima-Ginsberg added.
“Young people saw the pivotal role that they can play in this election, and the direction of this country, and they responded by making their voices heard, loud and clear,” she said.
Our input matters, and if we don’t begin participating we’ll only continue in the vicious cycle of nothing being changed.
Arizona’s primary elections will be held March 22.
While the deadline to register for the primary election has passed, registering to vote is still important for the general election in November.
Registering to vote is easy. It can be done online at servicearizona.com/voterRegistration, through the mail or in person at the local county recorder’s office.
Get registered, and get to the polls.
Casillas is the sole Bernie supporter in a family full of Clinton supporters, but she plans to make them all Feel the Bern.