By RENE ESCOBAR
Pima Community College’s Desert Vista library has reopened after being closed 14 months for renovation. The college used federal Title V grant funds to pay for the $1 million project.
The renovated library exhibits a modern look with glass walls and open floor space. It features all-new furnishings, computers and outlet stations.
The library also gained areas called Centers for Individualized Learning, which are single seats where a student can work on assignments.
“I love the spacing for students,” retiring librarian Tony Arroyo said. “We are the smallest library of all five campuses, but since the remodel we do not have that many volumes of books.”
The renovation shrunk the amount of space used to display books, because of internet access reducing the need for print publications.
“We had to withdraw a lot of books,” Arroyo said. “Ninety-nine percent of our journals are now online rather than in hard copy.”
The redesign made space for conference rooms and student work areas. The conference rooms are compact but hold a table, seats and white boards.
Assistant librarian Anne Thames-Real said the renovation emphasized technology.
“It’s integrating to tech,” she said.
Students like the more technological and modern vibe.
“It’s a cool environment,” Ivan Medina said.
Fellow student John Rowe said, “I like it, it’s welcoming.”
Faculty members also praised the renovations.
“Beautiful, spacious area,” instructor Elizabeth Gooden said.
The world is getting smaller and social media made it so.
We hear news of wars almost daily, and know what’s happening across the continents within seconds. World leaders convene to plan how to stop terrorism that threatens peace and stability.
American people are getting tired of war. Sending boots on the ground becomes an illusion. It’s a short-term strategy with short-term results.
In January, world leaders attended the World Economic Forum held in Switzerland. One speaker was U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who laid out issues we need to confront.
“We can’t shy away from reality,” Kerry said. “There is a potential threat everywhere. It has to be stopped.”
Commitment to a long-term plan is needed to eradicate threats, Kerry told the audience. He emphasized that the bottom line is getting everyone involved.
“We can’t rely on government resources alone,” Kerry said. “We need non-government organizations, foundations, corporations, philanthropists, faith-based organizations and private sectors.”
What should we do as citizens of the world?
How do we conquer fears, uncertainties and a bleak future as we try to live a normal life? How do we get involved in the community? How do we restore hope to victims of injustice? How do we confront poverty? How do we eradicate diseases and eliminate ignorance?
To be a part of the solution, we first need leadership training. It’s good to know that Pima Community College Student Life offers a Leadership Training Program. Young people, adults and even retirees coming back to school can sign up to participate.
An AZTEC Gold Program offers advanced training. Participants are assigned to make a small difference in some aspect of the community. They diagnose the symptoms and get to the root of the problem, find the need and work on social change.
These emerging leaders will be trained to treat people fairly and address issues of concern. They are the future builders of our community, our nation and the world.
I see a glimmer of hope. We can’t give up. Peace can be reached and it has to start from you and me.
Let’s be mindful. Sometimes we pass each other but we don’t see each other. Let’s fill in the vacuum. Where there’s desperation, we intervene. This is our challenge. We can’t give up.
Where there’s a need, we come in and make the situation better than before. That’s how we help fix and repair the world.
Fassler believes there’s always a solution to every problem. We just need the right tools. Education and continuing leadership training are some of the best tools to realize a vision and make the world a better place to live
By JAIME HERNANDEZ
Pima Community College men’s and women’s track teams failed to provide a national qualifier during competition at the Glendale Community College Outdoor Invitational on April 5, but did have several first-place finishes.
To date, 14 Aztecs have national qualifying marks.
Women jumpers dominate
On the women’s side, four Aztec jumpers finished with top marks for the day.
Sophomores Marlee Sherwood and Becca Harris finished in the top two in the triple jump. Sherwood took first place with a jump of 36-4, while Harris had a jump of 35-7.
Freshman Maggie Prillaman took first place in the long jump with a jump of 17-4. Freshman Vanessa Fox finished right behind Prillaman with a jump of 16-5, which was good enough for second place.
At the March 29 Puma meet, sophomore Nikki Regalado finished first in the 10,000-meter race and set a qualifying time of 40 minutes, 35.1 seconds. She also qualified in the 5,000-meter with a time of 18:26.9.
Harris and Sherwood once again finished in the top two of the triple jump, but this time their roles reversed. Harris had a jump of 36-9 and Sherwood’s jump was 36-2.
Sophomore Briana Rodriguez took first place in the long jump with a jump of 17-7. Fox finished second with a jump of 17-3 1/4.
Sophomore Ericha Edwards took first place in the 400-meter with a time of 1:03.75.
Snead takes top 100-meter spot
The men’s team had one top finisher at the Glendale meet. Freshman Kevin Snead took first place in the 100-meters with a time of 10.67.
At the March 29 Puma Multi-Meet, freshman Anfernee Alexander set a national qualifying mark in the discus throw with a distance of 152-2. The throw won him third place.
Sophomores Eddie Wilcox and Deante Gaines and freshman Luke Ross finished in the top three spots in the high jump. Wilcox took first place with a jump of 6-6 while Ross and Gaines both had jumps of 6-4.
Sophomore Justin Garms took first place in the triple jump with a jump of 39-7 1/4.
PCC next competes at the Mesa Classic Invitational on April 11.
By ANDREW PAXTON
Its 3 a.m., you are hungry, thirsty, and tired. Your car also needs a quart of oil, your cat needs food and there is a new movie on DVD you really want to see.
Why isn’t there a store on every corner of Tucson that can solve all those problems while only slightly overcharging in the process?
Well, there is. Circle K, located about a half mile or less from where you are currently reading, has everything the average consumer needs with only a modest markup. But how can you put a price on convenience?
By enabling consumers to purchase 144 oz. sodas and lukewarm hotdogs while pumping 40 gallons of fuel into their SUVs, Circle K is an embodiment of the America lifestyle we all know and love.
Dante Hicks, who has worked in convenience stores for more than two decades, explained the exciting life of a Circle K clerk.
“I have been robbed at gunpoint twice this year so far, and I get to eat all the nachos I can handle,” Hicks said.
“Hey, did you pay for that candy bar?” he yelled as a 13-year-old kid ran out the door. “Man, I’m not even supposed to be here today.”
Randy Lyon, who has been standing in front of a Circle K asking people for spare change since 2008, said he wouldn’t panhandle anywhere else.
“People that come into the store almost never spit or curse at me, unless it’s a hot day, which it usually is,” Lyon said. “But the Reptilians haven’t found me here yet, so Space Jesus must be happy with me.”
“I answered your questions, now where’s that 50 cents for beer you promised me?” he added.
So the next time you need some late-night munchies and are too impaired to drive to a fast-food restaurant, stumble on down to your local Circle K.
Buy some Slim Jims, the biggest ICEE they have, and tell the clerk a random life story as you pay with quarters.
You will fit right in.
By ZACH ARMENTA
The Pima Community College women’s and men’s tennis teams returned to action March 25 after a week off for spring break.
Women’s team gets back on track
Pima Community College (3-3, 1-2 in conference) women’s team returned from spring break firing on all cylinders.
PCC crushed Glendale Community College 8-1 on the road March 25.
“They only have four players,” coach Gretchen Schantz said when asked about Glendale. “The key is to win every match regardless of opponents.”
Heading into the match, PCC had already won three matches by default because of Glendale’s limited number of players.
In doubles play, PCC owned all three matches.
At No. 1 doubles, sophomores Amy Beeston and Cayla Cordova won a dogfight 9-8 7-2.
At No. 2 doubles, sophomore Helena Meyer and freshman Cassidy McWhorter won 8-0.
PCC went 3-1 in singles play scoring two automatic wins by default.
No. 2 singles Cordova won 6-2, 6-1. No. 3 singles Meyer and No. 4 singles Watts won 6-0, 6-0.
“Confident,” said Meyer after the match. “I was really confident in all my shots and that is what helped me win.”
The women’s team defeated Grossmont College 5-4 in El Cajon, Calif., on March 11.
The Aztecs continued to struggle at doubles, scoring one victory.
No. 3 doubles Watts and Alameda won 8-2.
The No. 1 doubles team of Beeston and Cordova lost 8-3.
The No. 2 doubles team, Meyer and McWhorter, lost 8-4.
The match came to the wire in singles play.
No. 1 and No. 2 singles Beeston and Cordova both lost their matches.
No. 3 singles Meyer won 6-4, 6-2 and No. 5 singles McWhorter controlled the match and won 6-4, 6-0.
Alameda continued to destroy her opponents at No. 6 singles, winning 6-1, 6-2.
The match was tied at 4-4 with Watts playing her singles match at the No. 4 singles spot. She clinched the win in an epic three-set victory, winning 6-3, 3-6, 10-5.
“It was fun,” Alameda said about the San Diego trip. “It was a good experience.”
Men’s team dominates Glendale
PCC men’s tennis team beat Glendale 7-2 at Glendale on March 25.
In doubles play, PCC won two of three.
Sophomore Brian Soto and freshman Richie Foitik won No. 1 doubles 8-2.
At No. 3 doubles, freshmen Gabe Ortiz and Aldo Amaya also won 8-2.
The No. 2 doubles freshmen, Josh Henkel and Carlos Medina, lost 9-8 (7-3)
In singles play, PCC went 5-1.
At No. 1 singles, Soto won 7-6 (7-2), 6-2. Henkel played No. 3 singles and controlled the match 6-3, 6-2.
No. 4 singles Medina won 6-3, 6-3. No. 6 singles Ortiz won 6-2, 6-2.
No. 5 singles sophomore Trey Terry won 2-6, 7-6 (7-2). Splitting the first two sets forced Terry and his opponent to play a 10-point tiebreaker. which Terry won 12-10.
“Gratifying,” Amaya said about the match. “Doubles portion was relatively easy. Singles we had to show the best of us to pull it out, and fortunately we got a vital win.”
Up next will be a shorthanded Paradise Valley team in Phoenix on March 27.
By CHELO GRUBB
Each of Arizona’s three state universities have written letters assuring Pima Community College that transfers will still be accepted even if the college is placed under probation.
The letters from Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University are available on the college’s accreditation page.
“The joint role that the UA and PCC play in meeting Tucson and Arizona’s higher education needs is one of our communities strengths, and one that must remain well coordinated for our educational missions to be successful,” Ann Weaver Hart, UA president, said in a letter dated March 25.
“As Pima completes its search for permanent leadership, your students and faculty can know that they have a steady partner in the University of Arizona,” the letter said.
College administrators have been working to reassure students that, from an academic standpoint, the college is still functioning normally.
The college held a series of information sessions for students with questions about Pima’s accreditation.
During an April 2 information session at Downtown Campus, Pima Provost Jerry Migler noted that academic concerns were “notably absent” from the Higher Learning Commissions’ report.
“Are we going to lose accreditation? If we did nothing, I guess theoretically that could happen,” Migler said. “If you want a personal opinion, no, we’re not going to lose our accreditation.”
Migler said he has spent about 20 years doing peer reviews with the HLC. From his experience, he thinks it is unlikely Pima will be in serious jeopardy.
“The HLC doesn’t want to take our accreditation away, they want us to fix our problems,” Migler said.
“Our issues are serious but fixable,” Migler said in the meeting, echoing a statement that has been prevalent among administrators since the problems became public.
By ANDREW PAXTON
The faculty and staff of Pima Community College have lost confidence in the governing board that is responsible for running the college, according to resolutions passed by representatives of each group.
The Faculty Senate, in a 51-1 vote with two abstentions, approved a resolution stating the instructors have lost faith in a majority of the board members. The resolution calls for the board members to resign.
“The Faculty Senate does not have confidence in the four current board members of the PCC board who were in office during the Dr. Flores administration to effectively guide the college out of its present crisis,” the resolution read.
The four board members are Marty Cortez, Brenda Even, David Longoria and Scott Stewart, who all where on the board while Roy Flores was chancellor. Sylvia Lee, the fifth member of the board, was elected in November 2012 after running on a platform of openness and change.
“Faculty Senate believes that these four board members have contributed to the present crisis by their failure to recognize and act ethically and prudently upon problems, and believes that these four board members constitute an impediment to change,” the resolution said.
While the faculty “appreciates the efforts” of the four board members, the resolution said “the greatest service that they can now perform” to rebuild trust in the college is to resign.
“We have tried to be patient, but the board has not acted,” said senate president Joe Labuda during statements before the vote.
The resolution also requested the postponement of Pima’s ongoing chancellor search until the four board members are replaced.
“We are not alone,” said Labuda, referring to others who have called for board members to step down.
The Staff Council, a group representing nonteaching staff at Pima, unanimously passed a resolution expressing comparable views. It stated “Staff Council believes the named Board members lack the integrity and ability” to support Pima and included a call for resignation.
Labuda said he personally believes the board members should announce when they plan on stepping down and stagger their resignations, because “one person can’t run the college.” But he concedes there are some faculty that “want them gone yesterday.”
The faculty and staff did not call on Lee to resign. Lee, a former Pima administrator, was one of the first to demand others on the board step down during a March 20 meeting.
“There is a way that we, on this board, can prevent probation now today, and that is for three of our longest-sitting board members who have served this college to the best of their ability over the past decade and beyond to step down and allow new community leaders to come and help us heal.
“This is our greatest hope for our Pima,” said Lee, who received applause from the audience following her comments.
Numerous other community groups have also called for members of the board to step aside, including the Coalition For Integrity, Respect and Responsibility.
“It is time for you to recognize that continuing to cling to your position no longer serves the best interests of the college and our community,” C-FAIRR wrote to the four embattled board members.
News publications, including the Aztec Press editorial board, have called for resignations as well.
Not everyone believes the board members should resign. College administrators point out that the board members are not paid, and are designated to their positions by the citizens of Tucson.
“They’re all elected officials. They have an obligation to the people who voted for them,” said administrator Jerry Haynes. “If the people who voted for them want them gone, there’s a process for it.”
The four governing board members have not responded to any of the demands for their resignation and continue to push for a new permanent chancellor by July 1, despite requests for the search to be suspended.
“The faculty has voted no-confidence in this board. They shouldn’t be hiring the new chancellor,” Labuda said.
Four of Pima Community College’s five board members served under the college’s previous chancellor.
12 years on board
Up for re-election in 2014
3 years on board
Up for re-election in 2016
14 years on board
Up for re-election in 2016
18 years on board
Up for re-election in 2018
Desert Vista food drive starting
Desert Vista Campus will hold an ongoing canned food drive starting Sept. 12 and running through Nov. 16.
Canned donations will be accepted at the Student Life office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. until the drive ends in November.
For more information, contact Guadalupe Caballero at 206-5026 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
-By Miki Jennings
Downtown campus hispanic art display
Downtown Campus will celebrate Hispanic Heritage month Sept. 15-Oct. 15.
There will be displays of Hispanic cultures with flags and Dia de los Muertos art in the library.
There will be films and discussion of the term “Hispanic” on Sept. 26 at noon in the Amethyst Room. Musician Salvador Duran will perform Sept. 27 at noon in the Amethyst Room.
-By Gretchen Patze
Mariachis to perform at East Campus
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, East Campus will host a traditional mariachi performance on Sept. 18 at noon in the library courtyard.
Mariachi Las Aguilas will perform, led by musical director Jaime Valenzuela.
East Campus Student Life will host a blood drive Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Community Room.
-By Bruce Hardt
Health at Northwest Campus
Northwest Campus has two health events coming up.
• Sept. 17-18: American Red Cross Blood Drive. Sign up to reserve a bloodmobile blood donation between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
• Sept. 18: Health and Wellness Fair. Local businesses that promote healthy lifestyles will be on campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Contact 206-2131 for more information.
-By Liam McInerney
Latino trivia coming at West
West Campus celebrations for Latin@/Hispanic/Chican@Heritage Month include:
• Sept. 18: Mi Familia Vota and a Latin-American voting workshop, Room CG-06 at noon.
•Sept. 19: Latino entertainment in the cafeteria, 11 a.m. to noon.
•Sept. 25: Latin-American trivia in the cafeteria, 11-11:30 a.m.
•Sept. 26: Latin-American bake sale outside the bookstore, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
-By Celeste Orendain