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Student President discusses goals

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Lane’s student body president speaks on her plans for the school year

Bryant Everett was Lane Community College Chief of Staff last year, before being elected student government president. 

The transition from the previous student government was well designed according to Everett. She hopes to make it even easier for the next crew. 

“Where I’d like to be in nine months is comfortably knowing that the next group coming in is set up better than our group was previously,” Everett said. “We had a really good transition between the last administration and our own, and we just want to keep building on that.”

To fulfill her campaign promise of creating a well-connected college community, Everett is attempting to bridge the gap between student groups. She plans to create forums for student group leaders to allow the clubs on campus to communicate and help each other more. 

“The first one [campaign promise] was creating more connections in the college community which we are succeeding at and doing – I think – admirably at,” Everett said. 

Her focus is not only set on student clubs but for the individual student(s) as well. “We should be the student’s advocate,” Everett said. “Our biggest thing is: we’re trying to find solutions for problems that the students are experiencing that maybe not everyone knows is a big problem.” 

Finding what issues students need to be addressed is largely done by surveys. According to Everett, 27% of the student body has participated in the survey, her goal is to reach 33%. “We are trying to make sure that we survey students a lot, in the sense of we get a large representative share,” Everett said.

Her job as student body president doesn’t only pertain to on-campus issues. Often times she is asked to represent Lane’s students out of state. 

“If you need somebody to go to Washington DC and lobby our senators and our federal level legislators, that should theoretically be your president.” 

Also, branching out to other colleges in the state, she is using the same skills that she applies to campus. “The same thing that I am doing with the clubs, is exactly what we are doing with other colleges in the state,” Everett said. 

In her process, she is uncovering issues Lane may be having that other schools already solved. On the other hand, LCC is excelling in some areas that could be improved upon on other campuses.

“Our food pantry is actually much higher quality than most of the colleges and universities that we have visited,” Everett said. “That’s one of those things that we can model and show them how they can have better free resources for their students.” 

Being ambitious by nature, Everett hopes to create a position for a student to be on the Board of Education. According to LCC’s website, “the board’s charge is to oversee the development of programs and services that board members believe will best serve the needs of the people of the Lane Community College District.

“Because that is the highest ruling body of the entire organization, if we had just one student voice in that space that would be huge,” Everett said. “I’m plotting that out and there are some laws that need to change, and that’ll take the long legislative session, which is next year.”

Knowing she is president until the end of the school year, she hopes the next president will continue her plans. 

 

“Loneliness is a Monster”

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The 22 filmmaking teams at the seventh annual 72-Hour Horror Film Competition submitted pieces ranging from riveting to comical to somewhere in between. The Jury Award of $1,134 went to the film “Unwind,” produced by an all-female team from the University of Oregon Film Club. 

“Unwind” was produced by Colleen Quinn, Marissa Jensen, Sophie Ackerman and Noa Cohen. This psychological thriller with feminist undertones featured a female protagonist, hallucinating, as a coping mechanism; a perfect ‘50s housewife role that ends with a major twist. 

The teams were given a mandatory prop and a line of dialogue. The prop was a stuffed animal and the line was, “Loneliness is a monster.”

The “Unwind” team wrote their story concept in three hours and filmed it in one 16-hour day. 

As with most film projects, there are a lot of decisions to be made when editing. There are continuity errors and such that, with a longer timeline, one could reshoot or use b-roll to cover. 

“Like usual, in the editing process, you kind of, recreate your vision,” Jensen said. 

“It was really difficult to try to make the most of our time, while being controlled by, like, what props are up, and how the makeup has deteriorated so far,” Ackerman said. 

A Lane Community College team also took home an award for their film, entitled “Don’t Go.” This team crafted a story that left the audience in suspense. Their success was predicated on teamwork and improvisation. 

“For the most part,” said team leader Kyle Whitaker, “it was just everybody just kind of chips in where they can. And as far as the story is concerned, how we did it was we just kept throwing ideas around in a circle for a couple of hours and just kept taking that stone and using the chisel and making something out of it.”

Improvisation was crucial in overcoming the huge obstacle of securing a filming location, as every first choice fell through. Teresa Hughes, an instructor in the Media Arts Department at LCC, offered the team use of her house for the filming. Not having their first choice in location certainly altered some aspects of the story, such as why the character was even in the house, to begin with.

Eugene Film Society is the organization responsible for the event. They pride themselves on being a grassroots film culture and cultivating a growing knowledge of visual literacy among local youth. 

Other events the Eugene Film Society holds are coming up in the spring, such as the 72-hour music video competition. 

These events are not closed off to just students but to any production team willing to sign up. The Eugene Film Society will plan to bring back the 72-hour horror film competition again next October for the eighth year in a row. 

 

On your marks, get set, ghoul!

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EugFun Second annual Coffin race.

To any non-Eugenian, the frightening and wild visions seen at the top of Skinner Butte Loop on a misty October morning would have certainly caused alarm. 

Bloodied doctors, magical ponies and other spectral ghouls sat snugly in hand-built, coffin-shaped box cars, who are then shot screaming down the sloping Skinner Loop.

The EugFun Coffin Races marked their second year of success Saturday, Oct. 19. Numerous Frankensteins, monsters, mummies, witches and other spooky folks gathered on either side of the Loop, corralled by bales of hay, cheering their favorite racers on. 

While last year’s numbers drew in a little under 3,000 people, this year’s event boasted over 3,600 attendees which included families, students, police and firefighters, and, overall, freaked out visitors. 

Coffins were sent reeling over the hill, speeding down toward plush cushions, hay bales and helpful volunteers. 

The coffin racers themselves represented businesses and individuals. Each group’s box-car coffin was carefully crafted to win the race and the hearts of their viewers, meaning some were built for speed, and others for the humor alone. Giant shark coffins, Viking coffins, and even a suped-up bathtub found themselves at the starting line sporting clever tags likeDeath to All but Metal,” “Grave Mistake, Abby…Abby Normal,” “Millennium Coffin,” “Coffin n’ Sneezin’” and the “Corpse Ride” to name a few. 

A team needs to have a nimble coffin, a smart driver, a strong team of “pushers” and an energetic and supportive crowd.

While the coffin racers were setting up and shooting off, the hungry audience helped themselves to hot dogs, waffles, pizza, Thai food and adult beverages. 

To bridge the time between races, a plethora of games and crafts were either set up or donated to placate excited little monsters and ghosts. There were pumpkins to carve, cookies to decorate, bouncy houses to bounce in and many more family-friendly activities.

EugFun prioritized the safety of the crowd and the thirty-nine drivers. 

Volunteers were at nearly every opening and closing down the loop to prevent disaster. These were hypothetical coffin-cars after all. 

Besides a few skid marks and broken egos, not a single soul was sent careening into the great beyond.

 

Carving out a legacy

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Master Carver Tom Lindskog shows Halloween spirit by carving two huge pumpkins

On the final weekend of October, a timely tradition of pumpkin carving was carried out by Eugene’s own master carver, Tom Lindskog, at the 5th Street Market. This year he carved two pumpkins in two days. The first on Saturday was 600+ lb and Sunday’s was 1200+ lb.

Lindskog has been doing this for the 5th Street Market for five years. He got into carving by watching someone else show off their own skills at the 5th Street Market about 10 years ago. “I’m a woodcarver as well, and this just seemed like a lot of fun,” Lindskog said.

Lindskog is Willamette High School’s Shop teacher. He has been teaching there since 1997. He has also been on the Food Network’s “Halloween Wars” as well as “Cake Wars: Christmas.” Lindskog has done carving with fruits and vegetables, cakes, chocolate and more.

Expectedly, carving massive pumpkins takes lots of time. For Lindskog, some of his carvings have taken over 12 hours to finish. “When I get into the zone, I skip eating.” 

He methodically uses his tools to carve only the tiniest bits to allow for his details to really shine.

With the first pumpkin, he decided to start with one side as the Addams Family and The Munsters on the other side. “If I have enough time, that is,” Lindskog said. 

“Is that the Addams Family?” passersby commented. “Oh, I forgot that show!” and “Wow, look at that pumpkin, it’s massive!” are just some of the things people wondered aloud while walking past his work.

The tools he uses for carving are not meant for pumpkins but for clay. Using clay tools allows for more control over the shape of the pumpkin than an actual carver’s knife does sometimes. With more control comes more refinement and ease of access for beginners as well as professionals.

“The pumpkins out here will last about a week before rotting,” Lindskog said. “Sometimes they will put them in the breeze-way and those will last for two weeks.” 

 

Preparing for the Big One

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Oregon joins nation in readying for Earthquake.  

At 10:17 a.m. on Oct. 17, 2019, Lane Community College participated in the Great ShakeOut. Students, staff and administrators took part in a simulation of a significant earthquake event. Overhead, in buildings throughout campus, some heard the announcement to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” from the speaker system. 

The Great Oregon Shakeout tabletop exercise was designed to prepare for an 8.0 Cascade seismic event. Currently, public safety has 10 cases of meals-ready-to-eat which isn’t enough to feed the campus. 

The drills are to get people on campus thinking and discussing emergency preparation. Lisa Rupp, Interim Director of Public Safety said “It’s a work in progress. We all can do better by being a part of emergency preparedness.” There’s definitely a desire, she mentioned, for student and staff engagement.

Dawn Barth, who started the Great Oregon Shakeout at LCC, is a stakeholder in Lane’s emergency preparedness drills. Other stakeholders include Public Safety Officer Ben Bowers and wilderness EMT Trainer Cory Minors. 

The team is piloting a certification in emergency response to encourage people to get prepared for a major earthquake event. 

Khristina Fuller, Administrative Coordinator for High School Connections sits relatively close to the large round overhead speaker. During the Great Oregon Shakeout, she heard muffled directions. Poor quality sound is reportedly waiting to be addressed through a pending service order. There was a mixture of participation from staff as portions of the office were out of range. Unclear directions left staff and some students with more questions than answers. Some were not entirely sure why lights were flashing overall. 

The college is currently seeking funds and equipment to help with the cost of emergency food and water through the state-funded Spire Grant. At the time of publication, the school does not know if it has received the award. 

Students, staff, visitors and persons with disabilities are encouraged to educate themselves by getting a hold of information and keeping supplies on hand. There are supply checklists, tips, handouts and posters available online that can be shared in the community. Interested people can go to the Great Shakeout website for more information.

Measles discovered in Lane county

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One reported case of the measles virus in Lane county

Lane County Public Health has issued a health report confirming two cases with the measles, also known as rubeola, virus. One of these individuals resides in Lane County.

The Lane County resident has been partially vaccinated after both individuals flew into Portland on the same flight. Lane County Public Health has entered its “incident command system” and is investigating potential exposure cases. 

Measles is so infectious that Lane County Public Health says nine out of ten people around the one infected individual will become infected if they are not properly protected. 

There are a few places that have been reported to have come in contact with the virus. According to Lane County Public Health, there is no ongoing risk at the following locations, but there is a two-hour window after an infected person leaves when people could have come in contact with the virus.  

Monday, Oct. 21: 

  • 10:30 am – 1:00 pm, Creswell Bakery, 182 S. 2nd St., Creswell
  • 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Bier Stein, 1591 Willamette St., Eugene

Wednesday, Oct. 23: 

  • 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm, Blu Mist, 1400 Valley River Dr., Suite 130, Eugene
  • 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm, North Fork Public House, 2805 Shadowview Dr., Eugene 

According to Lane County Public Health children in pre-school who have had vaccinations, children in K-12 who have had two vaccinations are immune along with those that were born before 1957. 

It is critical that those experiencing symptoms seek professional medical advice before going to an emergency department, doctor’s office or urgent care. Symptoms of measles are as follows:

  • Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots.
    The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body.
  • When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104° Fahrenheit

 

 

Higher wages, Smaller Classes

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The teachers union undergoes contract discussions

The Lane Community College Education Association – which represents faculty – is pushing for new, improved contracts. Faculty members are currently under an expired contract as of June 30.

Faculty have yet to receive any cost of living increases according to Adrienne Mitchell, LCCEA president.

“So, we have a contract that exists, but it expired,” Mitchell said. “We’ve been negotiating for many months and essentially working without a contract since July first. So, faculty members are not receiving salary increases.” 

The LCCEA is asking that contract salaries be increased by 1.55% each year. They derived that number from the inflation index provided by the United States Department of Labor.

“In the grand scheme of things, we would love to of course love to have a part-time salary where we have full pay equity, but we are nowhere near that,” Mitchell said.

Compared to full-time faculty, part-time faculty are currently getting paid 60.6% of wages per credit hour.  With their proposal, the union hopes to increase the part-time salary schedule to be raised this year to 68% of full-time equivalent wages. Additionally, the union would like to increase small increments of 1% every year to part-time salaries until they reach the 75% mark. Mitchell recognizes full pay equity is a far reach but not impossible. 

“There is one community college in the state, Columbia Gorge, that does have pay equity. So it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility for what colleges can afford,” Mitchell said. 

Another heavy issue the LCCEA is tackling is the faculty compositions. 

“We have seen a significant and dramatic decrease in full-time positions,” Mitchell said. 

As faculty members retire or leave their position, their job is being replaced by part-time faculty. Over the past five years, the full-time faculty has been reduced by 20%.

The proposal from the LCCEA is to apply a minimum number of full-time faculty. 

“What we are trying to do is essentially stabilize the faculty number and ratio so that we don’t continue to have a decreasing number of full-time faculty,” Mitchell said. “We have a majority of part-time faculty indicate that they need and want full-time jobs. That results in the part-time faculty who need to work more than they are able to at Lane having to go to other jobs.”

Many part-time faculty members struggle to find extra work at Lane and need to find a second job, according to Mitchell. In many cases, wages are so low it could be more beneficial to find a full-time minimum wage job. “It’s not a living wage for part-time faculty salaries,” Mitchell said. 

The third major stake Mitchell is fighting for is to increase funding for faculty professional development. Professional funding is used to help train and teach teachers as their fields’ respective expertise advance. 

“Because of the requirements of our contracts, we are paying for other things. Some of the funding is paying for instructional time, paying for substitute teachers and paying for staff time,” Mitchell said. “So, even though it might appear that we have a substantial amount of funding, our contract requires that we also pay to support our own program and all of the administrative cost of the program.”

According to an independent audit, the LCCEA has found that LCC’s expenditures on the category of instruction have been under the national average. “That’s a concern for us,” Mitchell said. “This is really the core of our mission, and we think that it’s critical that the college invests appropriately and amply fund the instructional mission of the college.”

The audit also found that over the past five years, from fiscal year 2015 to the fiscal year 2019, LCC had decreased spending on faculty salaries by three million dollars.

Mitchell feels it is important to note that the LCCEA, along with the Oregon Education Administration, played a crucial rule in pushing for increased educational funding. The outcome of their efforts in the 2018-2019 school year resulted in an increase of $2.25 million per year for LCC. 

“We think it is important that that funding is invested in the mission, in instruction,” Mitchell said. “We’re not seeing that any of that funding is going yet, in the level we think would be fair and appropriate for faculty.”

During tough budget years when LCC was receiving less funding, faculty salaries fell eight percent behind the inflation rate. In 2014, when the college had a 12 million dollar budget deficit, the LCCEA agreed to increase class sizes. Now the teachers are still feeling that burden of extra work while their contracts have remained stagnant. 

“We think our proposal is imminently reasonable. It doesn’t come anywhere close to making up for all of those various pieces,” Mitchell said. “We’re not going to suddenly be caught up with inflation.”

The Torch reached out to LCC administration for comment but they responded saying “To preserve the integrity of negotiations we are not giving interviews at this point, but would like to share that negotiations have been collaborative and respectful and we believe we are collectively moving toward a reasonable outcome for the college.”

 

In memoriam

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Leila Olson’s Memorial

On a rainy Saturday morning on Oct. 19, a solemn group of about 40 people gathered at Springfield Memorial Park. With heavy hearts, friends, family and fellow students came to pay their respects to Leila Fawn Olson.

At first, a few humble flower arrangements surrounded pictures of Leila. As loved ones arrived they contributed more and more to the display that grew eventually into an eloquent floral alter. With every person came additional flowers to be placed near her photo. Standing under a tin roof in the rain people huddled around and said prayers. 

As her father Jeremy Olson began to deliver the eulogy the rain subsided. 

“Leila was an angel, everyone who met her knew it,” Olson said, fighting back tears. The mourning crowd stood in peace as family members comforted him.

Leila, who graduated from Thurston High School in 2018 with honors then continued to graduate from Lane Community College with a certificate in phlebotomy in 2019, will be remembered for her love of animals especially cats.

As the clouds parted and the service came to an end, the family invited everyone to the reception to celebrate Leila’s life. 

Leila’s legacy will be carried on by her mother Fawn McClung, father Jeremy Olson, stepmother Amy Olson, stepfather Jeff Choate, brothers Lucas and Michael, and sister Mikayla. 

Available Resources

James Croxton

Copy Editor

Whether on Lane Community College’s main campus or elsewhere, there is a multitude of resources in the case that someone is overwhelmed by emotion and needs someone to talk to or they are suffering suicidal thoughts. 

On main campus is the LCC Counseling Center where drop-in counseling is available in Building 1, Room 103, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Off-campus — and available during irregular hours — is the University of Oregon Crisis Line where a live person can be reached from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m., Monday through Friday and 24 hours on weekends.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be called at (800) 273-8255. 

For survivors of sexual assault, there is a local hotline that can be called at (541) 343-SASS (7277). There, a twenty-four-hour crisis support worker can be found that also provides medical and legal advocacy for survivors.

Victims of domestic abuse can find help through the Womenspace Shelter. The shelter can be reached at (541) 485-6513 and a 24-hour companion hotline can be contacted at (800) 281-2800.

YouthLine, found at 1-877-968-8491, is a statewide peer-to-peer confidential hotline for teens in crisis. For text, message “teen2teen” to 83986. There, a peer will respond to talk with people in need. 

 

Titans primed for grudge match

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Lane’s volleyball team looks to settle rematch

The volleyball team has been on a tear through the back half of the season. After a six-game win streak, they will rematch the only divisional opponent to deliver them a loss this season The Rogue Community College Ospreys.

Rogue, one game ahead of Lane, is the only team in the Southern region to clinch a playoff spot.

Heading into their game against Rogue, Lane carries considerable momentum. On Oct. 25, at Titan Court, Lane dominated the Clark Community College Penguins. 

The first set of the match started neck-and-neck. After a mid-set timeout by Clark, The Titans took the lead and never gave it back.

Starting the second half of the set for Lane was Taylor Russell with a devastating service ace. Russell currently leads the team with 22 service aces on the season. 

Fighting through six attack errors, Lane allowed Clark one kill to their nine in the second half of the set. Lane won the set 15-25.

The second set did not get any better for Clark as Lane repeated their 16 kills and managed to hold themselves to only four errors. 

Clark nearly bounced back before the Titans scored another six straight points. Four came from kills, one service ace, and one attack error by the opponents. 

The demoralized visiting team struggled to fight back and Lane won the second set 14-25.

Set three began with Clark taking a three-point lead with a score of 7-4. They committed two crucial momentum-altering errors before Lane’s Maggie Blair delivered a kill for the tie at 7-7.

The Titans had nine errors that kept the game close but Clark showed fatigue and had seven of their own errors in the set. 

Lane’s Cassidy Herbert ended the set with a kill making the end score 21-25. 

Clark was sent packing three sets to zero. 

Next for the volleyball team, standing in second place in the South Region, are their division rivals, Rogue Community College. They will play at Titan Court on Nov. 1.

The competition for playoff positions is heating up, as the Linn-Benton Roadrunners are only two games behind Rogue.

Lane is primed for a spot in the playoffs but still has five post-season games in November.