Category Archives: Opinion

Appropriation versus Appreciation

Halloween is my favorite time of year. It excites me more than Christmas, an epic birthday celebration and celebrating my Irishness on St. Patrick’s Day combined. The pumpkins are out, horror movies are on every channel and the air is as crisp as the leaves on the ground. But there is something we need to talk about: costumes.

In the past few years, fraternities across the nation have been reprimanded for throwing parties with themes like: “Bloods and Crips” at Dartmouth, “Conquista-bros and Nava-hos” at Harvard and “Asia Prime” at Duke University. While wordplay is fun, racism is not. Parties like these are not some relic of a past that has since been corrected. The following are two examples from this month alone.

read more

Engagement critical to student success

This last year at LCC, I met inspiring people, learned that I can claim my identity through personal narrative and have lasting impact on our community.

Flashback to 2012, Mario Parker-Milligan, our ASLCC President during the time when students paid 50 percent of the total revenue resource to the overall college budget. LCC is funded in a multi-faceted way, however student dollars are still the lion’s share, followed by a close second from the state of Oregon’s contribution and the remainder is a combination of other resources. What is significant is that as the major contributors to the college budget we are not fully present within our governance system where major decisions are made about us.

read more

Welcome back to school

As president of Lane Community College, I am honored to welcome you to fall term 2015. You are the reason I come to work every day.

This fall, we get to enjoy our fabulous, newly remodeled Center Building. The heart of main campus for 50 years, it now offers great new places to study, relax and get something to eat. The project is open three months ahead of schedule — an uncommon feat in construction. There is a “punch list” of tasks to complete before our official grand opening in January, but you can take advantage of the amenities now.

read more

Fight the fear of free speech

 Illustrated by André Casey // theTorch
Illustrated by André Casey // theTorch

It is helpful to have a curious mind when you are trying to learn the skills to run a newsroom in a span of three months. Between workshops, seminars and talking to news managers across the country, I discovered something that gives me hope: truth always prevails.

This may be hard to believe given the endless stories of deceit in the media the past few months. Whether it’s the Ashley Madison leak revealing the identities of men secretly seeking extramarital affairs; the email scandal plaguing presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton; or the recent Volkswagen fiasco where a device intending to cheat emissions tests was discovered to affect 11 million cars worldwide. There is no shortage of attempted trickery in the world.

read more

Too Close to Home

In April 1999, I was a 5th grader in a suburban town in Delaware. Without much explanation, my entire school was immediately released with a half-day. As your average 11-year-old who loves spring weather I was elated. Until I got home.

My mother and high school aged brother were glued to the news, watching the black and white security footage of Columbine High School in Colorado reel over and over. At this age, the idea of school being anything less than a safe haven was jarring. Littleton was a small town just like any other American town. That familiarity perhaps is what made it even more disturbing. Despite this, it still seemed so far from my backyard.

read more

Money saving tips

College is where you equip yourself with skills for a well balanced life. Developing a realistic budget is the first step in becoming a money smart college student. Start by recording all of your expenses for a week or two. Once you know where exactly your money is going, plan accordingly.

  1. Budgeting your money is a good way to start planning ahead mentality. This principle can be applied in some way to the following tips. From planning that awesome trip to Mexico a year from now, to planning a dinner out once a month, reward yourself for sticking to your budget.
  2. If you can buy in bulk, buy in bulk! Keep in mind, however, that if you buy ten water bottles at full price, you won’t save much. Search for bundles and two-for-one deals on key items such as toilet paper, toothpaste or coffee. Also, learn how to use coupons.
  3. Plan one night a week and cook a big quantity of your favorite dish. It could be chicken breast or macaroni and cheese, but make around five meals worth of food, and refrigerate it for the coming week. This will save you a lot of time on deciding what to have for lunch, which will keep you in you budget. If you run out of your pre-made meal, the Student Snack Shack offers a $2 meal deal. “[It includes] a burrito, a hot pocket or a hot dog with a bag of 50 cent chips, and a 75 cent soda,” said manager of the Snack Shack Brandon Schmidt. “Also, we have free coffee Wednesdays, and spend two dollars and get a 75 cent item for free.”
  4. From Macklemore’s rap anthem, “Thrift Shop,” to GQ Mens magazine naming Portland’s Red Light Clothing Exchange on Hawthorne as one of the best thrift stores in the country, the Northwest’s thrifty style is gaining popularity throughout the United States. Right on campus, the No Cash Clothing Stash, located on the lower level of the Center Building, allows you to take up to five clothing items a week. You can also trade similar items as often as you’d like. Fall term hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Friday from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  5. If you find yourself killing time in the financial aid line, look right above their office to see the banner. “Salt Money is a company that Lane pays in order for students to have an additional resource to managing loans. The website has more features than just loans, such as landing your dream job and budgeting tips,” said Briselda Molina, financial aid advisor. Because it is paid for by the college, Lane students sign up for free.

read more

People matter

Public Safety Badge
image courtesy of Lane’s Public Safety Dept

Commentary by Penny Scott

When I see I’ve made an error, it is only right for me to correct it when possible. Even though the error I am about to correct is a small one in the scheme of things — to one man it just might not be so small.

For more than two months The Torch has provided in-depth coverage and analysis of administration’s plan to close the Electronics Technology and Automotive Collision and Refinishing programs.

I’ve done my best to present all viewpoints and to explain and clarify what’s been happening and, just as importantly, I’ve tried to clear up miscommunications and help correct any mistakes.

read more

College year ends in acrimony: More grist for the mill

Board of Ed June 10-2015_Screenshot
LCC board members address gallery at the June 10 Board of Education meeting held in the Center for Meeting and Learning on Lane’s main campus.

Commentary by Penny Scott

It was a less than happy ending to the school year at Lane Community College when the closing remarks of some board members were geared towards chastising their critics and those of President Mary Spilde.

The setting was the June 10 Board of Education meeting where the 2015-16 college budget was adopted. Closure of the Electronics Technology and Automotive Collision and Refinishing programs was included.

Speaking with the greatest intensity and length, was board member Gary LeClair. He complained about what he described as a constant parade of people who come before the board every month. “I’m reminded of the little kids that go up to my wife and go mom-mom-mom-mom-mom. They don’t stop until you finally say something to them,” he said.

read more

Faculty evaluations of college administration and board

The report below was submitted to The Torch by the Lane Community College Education Association. According to the LCCEA, the report contains responses by some LCC faculty members to a survey about the college president, vice presidents, administration and Board of Education. This information has not been verified by The Torch.


The first two pages of the report provide tables displaying the responses to the quantitative questions, the first page in the form of percentages, the second displaying the actual numbers of faculty members responses to each question/response option.

read more

Center Building Reunion; Part Two

Tiya Craven’s mother, Naomi Duncan Ason, holds her granddaughter in her arms.Photo courtesy of Tiya Craven

Tiya Craven’s mother, Naomi Duncan Ason, holds her granddaughter in her arms.
Photo courtesy of Tiya Craven

Part one of this story was published in edition 25 of The Torch on May 29, 2015.

She emailed me the next day expressing interest in meeting with me. I emailed back with the time and place. I chose a church. She had to meet me in a crowded sanctuary, a place of comfort for me.

We hugged an awkward hug and waited through the service until we could have an awkward talk. She invited me out to breakfast after the service, and we spent two hours catching up. She was composed and confident and said she had been clean and sober for a year and was getting her life on track.

read more

Proudly powered by WordPress