Alicia Graves

Alicia Graves has 23 articles published.

“Murder on the Orient Express” gets derailed

in Entertainment/Review by
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    Johny Depp portrays the dubious gangster Edward Ratchett.

Agatha Christie, the queen of suspense, is arguably one of the best female authors in the past century. Known for her slight-of-hand murder mysteries where the killer is often introduced within the first chapter, her books have sold millions of copies, inspired board games like Clue and have been the basis for television episodes including “Family Guy’s” “And Then There Were Fewer” and the BBC’s “Miss Marple” series.

“Murder on the Orient Express” is one of Christie’s best-known stories. The book is inspired by the real life murder case of the Lindbergh baby in 1932. When Bruno Hauptman was convicted of kidnapping and murder and executed. He maintained his innocence until the day of his death. Hauptman is characterized in the book and played by Johnny Depp in the movie.

The story had been adapted into several made for TV movies before this newest 20th Century Fox big screen film. In all actuality, the movie resembles a car adapted into a train. The presence of a plot is there, and many of the characters boast some of Hollywood’s big named actors, but somewhere the translation of a masterpiece book falls into the snowdrifts of the mountains.

The movie opens on the desert city of Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall with a young boy running through the city streets carrying a covered box. Already, our train is a bit de-railed. We are then introduced to the rather narcissistic and obsessive-compulsive “world renowned” detective; Hercule Poirot (played by director and star Kenneth Branagh).This peculiar man with his peculiar mustache is a peculiar perfectionist, demanding his eggs be recooked over and over until the eggs are the right height, only to proclaim he blames the chicken for laying uneven eggs.

This scene drags on with the purpose of establishing Poirot as an almost Sherlock-level detective. While his quirkiness is funny at times, the emphasis on his perfectionism is so out of character with his literary counterpart that Poirot gets a bit trite throughout the first act of the two hour movie, before his obsessiveness is completely abandoned during the second and third acts.

The movie chugs along for over 20 minutes before we are introduced to the entire main cast. Johnny Depp portrays the shady soon-to-be-murdered Edward Ratchet. Television star Leslie Odom Jr. and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Daisy Ridley are the star-crossed lovers Doctor and Miss Mary. Josh Gad, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, Willem Dafoe and Judi Dench are just a few of the Orient Express’ suspect passengers. The movie’s characters are vastly different from the book characters’ descriptions, personalities and even nationalities, which caused some confusion.

While Christie created a worthwhile backstory for each suspect told in over 100 pages in her book, the movie only really explores two backstories, the detective and the murdered Ratchet. This is unfortunate as there is plenty of time to cover the other backstories as well in order to understand their personal motivation and connection to the dead man. Instead, the movie’s interviews of the suspects feel rushed, sometimes combining several into one montage. It is hard to connect with the characters in the end because of this. Honestly, by the end of the movie, the only character I really cared about was the murdered child.

Perhaps this is the biggest folly with the movie adaptation: there is a lot of wasted time spent on the detective himself and not nearly a sufficient amount of time spent on the rest of the cast, their stories or even the conclusion of the mystery. The murder in the book happens within the first 45 pages, but in the movie it does not clock in until almost an hour in, after the train screeches to a standstill in a snowy avalanche half on the tracks. With the suspects stuck together and time ticking away, the motives unfold rather quickly without much detail. Poirot’s epiphanies come as a surprise with so little detail delivered to the audience.

Poirot himself is connected to the murdered in a roundabout way, but there isn’t any reason to suspect him, and his emotional connection suffers almost until the end of the movie. The show down between Poirot and Dr. Arbuthnot is thrown in in order to drum up drama that the movie doesn’t actually need, just like the multiple crass and unnecessary sexual innuendos and statements. I understand trying to appeal to a modern audience, but Christie left any good writer and director the perfect DNA for a good murder mystery. In fact, it is my humble opinion that the “Family Guy” episodes did a better job of sticking to Christie’s literary values than this latest offering.

I will grant that the trip by train through the snowy terrain is lovely, and the sweeping landscapes certainly give a wondrous background to the grisly murder. The train itself is the true star with beautiful designs, rich interiors and ice-covered windows. Anyone who is into traveling and historical vehicles would enjoy a trip on the Orient Express, although perhaps not as a passenger in this movie. If you enjoy Christie’s work, pick up the book, but I would advise waiting out the snow for the movie. •

Rating: Snowed In!

Protocol explained for “Umpqua Community College” brand use

in Campus Life by
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    Communication and Marketing Dept. limits use of college name.

   Editor’s Note: The Mainstream discussed new social media protocol at Umpqua Community College in Issue 44 Vol. 1. At the time of print for that issue, we were unable to provide clarification due to unforeseen circumstances. This issue we talked with Tiffany Coleman, UCC’s Director of Marketing and Communication about the new protocol and what it entails.

UCC has a Board policy that was adopted in 2011 “for creating and maintaining a professional image for Umpqua Community College to the public.” Policy 200 includes how media contact coordination should take place, press releases and advertisements as well as messages going out to the public, official publications which include, but are not limited to, the college catalog, class schedule, program brochures, view-books, websites and social media.

It also establishes who will maintain the college’s website and social media pages. The writing of the policy however, is broad and rather vague. Therefore, a new protocol based on the older policy was developed during the summer of 2017 by the senior leadership team and Dr. Thatcher, UCC’s President.

The new protocol establishes that Umpqua Community College is a brand name owned by the college and as such, anything that will use the name, likeness and logo must be cleared through the Communication and Marketing Department before that page or product goes “live.”

“Students or anyone else for that matter are not authorized to use the college’s name likeness or intellectual property as their own,” Coleman said. That means that no one can create web-pages, social media accounts/pages for any activities except for the college. According to the new protocol, if a student club or organization wants to create something sing the UCC name, likeness or logo, they must first meet with the Communications and Marketing department.

Part of the reasoning behind the new protocol’s requirement to have a “designated member of the Communications and Marketing staff [being] made a page administrator” is so dormant or dead social media pages can be deleted. When students leave school and a club dies, those who were running the Facebook page are still listed as administrators of that page, and therefore nothing can be changed about the page, including deletion of the account. That name also stays put of the options for other clubs or organizations that come afterwards.

Coleman found over 30 dead Facebook pages in her research that cannot be removed without having the proper administration privileges. The protocol enables staff from the Communications and Marketing department to make appropriate changes when needed.

Closed groups are exempt from having an administrator from the Communications department.

The duties of the administrator include adding new members and deleting members who are inactive and removing pages that are dormant. Facebook notifies the page administrator after the page has been dormant for a certain amount of time. They will not, however, be censoring any of the content on the page, even if it casts the college in a negative light. “I wouldn’t ever remove a post. I wouldn’t even recommend it,” Coleman said. “As an administrator for UCC, I’m not going to exercise censorship. I strongly believe in educational opportunities and people learning. And whenever a process hinders somebody’s ability to learn and communicate, then it becomes a problem.”

More communication and social media protocols are in need of development. The Communication Council is looking for two students to sit on the committee, provide impute and help craft these new policies.

Legacy Ball to raise scholarship funds

in Campus Life by
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    Foundation Executive Director Susan Taylor and her husband enjoyed last year’s Legacy Ball. Photos provided by the UCC Foundation.
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    Beautiful table arrangements at last year's Legacy Ball. Photos provided by the UCC Foundation.
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    UCC President Debra Thatcher and her husband enjoyed last year’s Legacy Ball. Photos provided by the UCC Foundation.
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    Guests enjoyed last year’s Legacy Ball. Photos provided by the UCC Foundation.

   The Umpqua Community College Foundation’s 2nd annual Legacy Ball will be held at Seven Feathers Casino Resort on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 at 7 p.m. “Unmask the Power of Education” is this year’s theme, featuring a masquerade ball and an after party.

   The Legacy Ball began in 2016 as the Foundation’s signature event, according to an email interview with Ellen Brown, Foundation Director of Operations. “Using the word ‘Legacy’ helps us remind donors to consider leaving a legacy by creating an endowment or remembering UCC Foundation in their estate planning,” Brown said. The Legacy Ball is one of the Foundation’s fundraising events.

   Last year’s “Honoring Our Heroes” Ball was sold out with 400 guests attending and raised over $200,000 with the majority  of the proceeds going to help build the scholarship endowments that were set up in memoriam of the nine who died during the Oct. 1, 2015 campus shooting.

   A committee of staff, students, Foundation Board members and community members decide the theme and begin planning the event right after the conclusion of the current event. “Our committee works to come up with a theme that is creative and tells our purpose,” Brown said.

   Each year the Ball features a scholarship recipient whose attendance at UCC was made possible by a Foundation scholarship. This year’s student is Jared Norman. “I am humbled and honored,” Norman said. “I love UCC.”

   In addition, the Ball has a cocktail hour, plated dinner, live auction, entertainment and live music, according to Brown. The After Party has dancing, a dessert bar and a lounge set aside just for the event. Portland’s Design Band will perform live music during the event.

   This year’s event is almost sold out. Tickets are $75.00 for the entire Ball and $25.00 for the After Party.

   Tickets can be purchased at:

ASUCC events

in ASUCC/Campus Life by
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    ASUCC logo


The “Name the Turkey” contest which started on Nov. 1 runs through Nov. 9 in the Student Center. The top five names will be up for a vote soon, and the winning turkey name will be announced the week of Nov.  13.


ASUCC will collect food for Thanksgiving baskets and the ASUCC pantry Nov. 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sherm’s.



Students can pick up a paper from the ASUCC office in the Student Center by 8 a.m. on Nov. 20 with instructions on 10 campus places they must find and snap a selfie at. The first 10 students who return with selfies from the correct areas  will get a Costco pie and a tub of whip cream for their Thanksgiving dinners.


From 12 to 2 p.m. on Nov. 21, students, staff and their families are invited to a free Thanksgiving meal. Guests can also enjoy games and other activities.


Healthy snacks, massage and healing hands therapy will be provided in the Student Center during finals.


Students are needed for the following committees to provide student input in campus decision processes: Academic Council; Accreditation Committee; Assessment Committee; College Council; Communication Council; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Council; Facilities Council; Housing Committee; Industrial Arts Design Committee, Institutional Effectiveness Council; Technology Council; Policy and Procedure Committee; Safety, Security & Emergency Mgmt Committee; Student Services Council.

New rules for student run UCC social media pages

in Campus Life by
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Umpqua Community College has set new protocol for students creating new social media pages using the UCC name. The protocol was sent out in the Oct. 6 Umpqua Updates sent to faculty and staff

According to the protocol, students creating a Facebook page or other social media pages with UCC’s name must meet with UCC’s Communication and Marketing Department. Students must also share the page with UCC’s Communication and Marketing staff and a designated member of that staff must be made a page administrator.

The college website at in the A-Z index has a “social media at UCC” link that takes you to a dead end.

The Student Code of Conduct handbook also is bereft of information regarding the policies now put in place.

At the time of print, the Communications and Marketing department was unavailable for questions or clarification as they were at a conference. The Mainstream will be following up with the Communications and Marketing department to clarify just what the new protocol entails

A look into other colleges and universities media policies shows a level of consistency throughout the country. Lane Community College social media standards include responsibilities for both students and staff. For Facebook, LCC’s guidelines for clubs and program pages state “Currently, program-specific pages are managed outside the Marketing and Public Relations department. Each satellite page has been created to help build awareness and engagement among a smaller group of students and learning groups.”

The University of Oregon encourages the use of the U of O brand and name by social media pages connected to the university. They stipulate only that a faculty or staff member from the division, unit or office to oversee all accounts and act as an administrator on the pages.

 Berkeley College, Cornell and Emerson’s social media policies, while providing caution and guidelines, allow for student and staff administration of their pages. Berkeley requires sites sponsored by recognized student organizations in connection with specific activities to be authorized by the Vice President of Student Development and Campus Life.

Cornell requires those setting up a new page to contact the Public Relations and Digital Content Director “with information about what type of account, a proposed title for the page that includes the name “Cornell College,” a paragraph to describe the group or department and the names of those who will administer the account. Cornell recommends at least two administrators of the social media account, if not more,” according to their social media policies packet. Emerson’s policies are very similar.

Spring Fling

in Campus Life by
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    BBQ from Spring Fling 2016 is returning.

The Spring Fling event happening on June 9, 2017, presented annually by ASUCC  on the Umpqua Community College campus commons, celebrates the end of the school year and is free and open to UCC students, staff, faculty and their families.

This year’s free activities will include the following:

  • Be-dazzled Face Painting by Ruth Ann Rountree
  • Crazy Hair by Tonya Page
  • Two Bounce Houses- appropriate for all ages.
  • Photobooth
  • Drone and Rocket Competition hosted by the

Engineering Club (12 to 2 p.m. by the Tower Bldg)

  • BBQ Hamburgers and Hotdogs from the UCC

Veterans’ Club Grill

  • Dutch Bros. Coffee Stand (non-coffee drinks, however

were provided last year on a ticket basis)

  • Phi Theta Kappa Table selling re-purposed glass and

plastic planters with plants

New to the event this year is UCC’s Got Talent, a talent competition put on by a Small Groups class team at the Swanson Amphitheater from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Students are encouraged to sign up by emailing the group at (also see bulletin boards around campus), but anyone can also just show up to compete or watch. Those participating with music must bring their own instrument. Prizes will be awarded.

In addition, many campus clubs will staff booths scattered around the lower campus.

Those planning to attend should wear comfortable clothing appropriate for the weather. If the bouncy houses are on the list of things to do, do not wear anything that could tear the plastic. Socks or bare feet only in bouncy houses.

Soldiers to Scholars: the quiet strength

in Campus Life by
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    Illustration by Christina Morrow

They give their lives, limbs and peace of mind so that we can taste a measure of freedom. They spend time away from their families, and if overseas, see horrific things while in combat. The scars veterans have, whether seen or hidden, may be borne in silence.

Some soldiers return to school. There they face complications that most students would never think of. With this in mind, we are proud to present our new feature “Soldiers to Scholars.”

Rhys McMahon
Rhys McMahon, Veterans Club president
Alicia Graves / The Mainstream

Soldiers are often hailed as the heroes in a battle situation. But when the battle is done, the war is over, and it’s time to come home, they must discover who they are. Returning to civilian life is by no means easy for most.

When visitors enter the Student Center and approach the information desk, they may be greeted by a tall young man with a warm smile and arm tattoos. Rhys McMahon, as an ambassador for Diana Kelly at the front desk, happily greets, directs and assists those who call in or stop by. As the president of UCC’s Veterans Club, McMahon is a newcomer to the campus who began his schooling here in 2016.

However, McMahon’s journey didn’t begin here. He describes his life prior to attending UCC as “a whirlwind of experiences.” Born in California, raised in the Ohio state foster care system from the time he was two months old, McMahon is no stranger to struggles. He remained in the system until he enlisted in the U.S. Army. State-side, he was with the 101st Airborne Division for seven years. “My first deployment was from 2007 to 2009 in Iraq, a little south of Baghdad. In Afghanistan, I was part of the main surge that went in and took control of Kandahar, Afghanistan during 2010- 2011.”

As a combat engineer in Afghanistan, McMahon saw the battle of life and death take place right before his eyes. His voice shakes with emotion as he relates the events that still take a toll on him today. “It was a big operation that was there. My brigade alone lost 65 service members. I personally lost my team leader.”

Like many survivors of a traumatic event, McMahon suffers from survivors’ guilt, especially from the loss of his team leader. “I was actually the person who pronounced him dead in the combat zone,” said McMahon. As a result, McMahon was diagnosed with “fog of war,” a term used when a soldier has trouble remembering events during combat. “When I jumped into the room and I rolled him over, I knew right then that he was dead. I’m pretty sure he took the blast to the face, but I can’t remember it. My mind can’t comprehend it. He was my friend, my mentor and leader. I’ve had to overcome that everyday.”

Coming back state-side, the trauma continued. Now dealing with brain damage and PTSD, life is very different for McMahon. Mental health professionals say that post-traumatic stress disorder doesn’t simply vanish once soldiers return home. “Hearing kids cry would be a trigger. Those things that most people don’t realize veterans struggle with,” McMahon said. “It is very, very difficult. And we won’t talk about it unless it is to one another.”

After returning state-side in 2011, McMahon continued in the military service until he was honorably discharged in 2104. He attended Universal Technical Institute where he studied automotive technology as part of the Tech 1 program. Since the VA had yet to approve the Tech 2 program, he was placed in a program with all veterans. Being around the 11 other vets helped him feel more comfortable, and he graduated with a 4.0 GPA. “I was motivated,” McMahon said. “I was with friends, people who understood.”

McMahon, his fiancée Crystal and their almost two-year-old son Thomas then moved to Oregon in August 2016. Before starting school at UCC, McMahon was a stay-at-home dad, an experience he said “taught me patience.” His other son, nine-year-old Owen from a previous marriage, will be out to visit soon. McMahon describes his family as “my rock. It’s what keeps me grounded.” With a glowing smile, he says, “Being able to raise my son is a fantastic experience.”

Upon entering school again, McMahon found that the experiences here were different from his previous classes. “You can feel very hopeless as a veteran,” McMahon said. “I’ve wanted to quit on multiple occasions.” He related that he had to walk out of his Speech class a few days ago due to anxiety when on-the-spot speeches were announced.

Transitioning from being a stay-at-home dad hasn’t been easy. McMahon says that finding a purpose and helping others has kept him grounded and moving forward. He commends the atmosphere towards veterans here on campus. “The people who have helped me, Diana Kelly and other people here at campus, have really gone above and beyond to help me transition. If there is something I feel like I can’t do or I can’t control, I definitely have that resource that I can go to faculty or staff and say, ‘Hey, I don’t know what’s going on,’ and they will drop everything they are doing to help me cope.”

In addition, the veteran community has helped McMahon deal with personal issues. “They can relate, and we can also talk it out,” McMahon said.

An entry management major, McMahon feels that the military helped him find his niche in the business world. “I’m tired of working for people,” McMahon said. “The military helped me realize what a leader I was, not [just] leading people, but guiding and mentoring people.” McMahon has brought his leadership skills to UCC as the president of the Veterans Club. “Helping people is what I thrive on.”

In that spirit, he advises other campus veterans: “Get started. Utilize your resources. And don’t give up.” He recommends being active and “finding your niche, what motivates you.”

Cheating Students experience cheating accusations

in Campus Life by
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Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series about academic cheating.

What do the New England Patriots, former president Bill Clinton and students have in common? All three have been accused of cheating at one time or another. Whether unfair or dishonest methods are used to win a football game, to advance a political means or to get better grades in a class, the accusation of cheating  does  not  affect  just the accused.

And the ramifications can be far reaching. Loss of employment, opportunities in academic programs, integrity and reputation are only a few of the potential impacts accusations can have.

Unfortunately, the act of cheating is becoming more prevalent among students, not only in the lower grades of academics, but also in college and university levels. Ohio State University veterinary school disciplined 85 students in 2016 for “wrongly collaborating on online, take-home assignments,” Reuters reported. Those involved were doctoral students.

In a recent study conducted by Kessler International of 300 college students, 86 percent of those polled admitted to cheating during their college career, and 97 percent revealed they had gotten away with it.

With stats like that, several questions come to mind: why is cheating so popular, even with the understanding that, if we are caught, the consequences are almost always dire?

And speaking of consequences, what are they? Are the accusations of cheating almost as detrimental as a cheating conviction?

What are the policies and processes of discipline here on campus for cheating?

Can instructors help reduce cheating? Should instructors be held partially responsible if poor  course management facilitates cheating?

Should students who are not involved directly be held responsible if they know about cheating but fail to report it? Who has the onus of proof when making accusations and convictions of dishonesty?

And finally, in regards to cheating incidents, how can further deceit be prevented?


The Motives Behind Academic Dishonestly

The motives most often associated with academic cheating are grade-driven.   Of those 300 students surveyed in the Kessler study, 54 percent believed that it was acceptable to cheat, and a number of those went on to say they believe it is necessary to stay competitive.

We are taught as early as elementary school to be competitive with our grades. The coveted talented and gifted program, for example, selects those who excel in their schooling, often looking at their grade point average as part of the selection process.

Instructors, advisers and parents also habitually emphasize that the higher the grades, the more doors will open, while disregarding individual learning styles.

Accolades and scholarships are frequently offered to those students who are considered exceptional, again regularly based on their grades.

Parents push for their children to bring home higher grades, possibly forgetting that grades, after graduation, are almost always obsolete. When was the last time an employer asked for your grade report from first grade?

So, one might wonder if the race for the almighty grade pushes more and more students into the corner of cheating. Do students, especially those in competitive programs like the medical and media fields, become so overwhelmed by the constant drive to be on top, to compete for spots, that they will sacrifice their integrity and possible future advancement just to stay ahead? Yes, according to statistics.

I am concerned that we are so conditioned by the letter grade, that we have forgotten the importance of real world experience and hands on class work that gives us invaluable knowledge.

Please don’t mistake me. Book knowledge is very important as well. But when the call for book knowledge is the majority that a test is based upon, it can be the driving force for some students to simply learn or gain that information for the test, only to pass without a true understanding or retention of that knowledge.

And, with that call for passing, is it possible that some instructors might add to that competitive nature by only showing extra attention or offers of aid to the students who excel in their class or program, thus inspiring a sense of do or die among those who are behind? And for those students who are falling behind or need help with the subject material and are sent to student tutors for assistance, do educational institutions bear the responsibility of ensuring that the tutors’ information is correct? Students are relying on other students for instruction who often have limited training compared to instructors.

Why am I asking all these questions, you may be wondering by this point. Unfortunately, UCC is not exempt from a cheating scandal. Recently, a program on campus suffered from accusations of cheating, impacting current students not only in the program, but also potentially across campus.

Considering the seriousness of the accusations and its effects, The Mainstream will be examining these questions and more in coming issues.

If any student impacted in the current situation would like to talk with us, we offer you as much anonymity as we are able and a chance to  discuss  how  a  program’s cheating  scandal has impacted you.

We would like to hear from you. You can reach us at

86 percent of those polled admitted to cheating during their college career, and 97 percent revealed they had gotten away with it —Kessler International

Tuition, fees set for possible increase

in Campus Life by
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On an average, students pay approximately $200-$300 per term in fees, not counting tuition and books. Some of these fees are specific to the field of study, while others are added on for online classes.

As budgets are in the planning stage for next year, an increase in tuition and student fees is almost a guarantee. The amount of the increase often determined by the increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Most students already pay a substantial amount of their income for their schooling, even if they are fortunate enough to have financial aid. Therefore the idea of fees increasing can bring about concern, anger and even despair. However, understanding what fees are being raised and why can help still some of those fears and uncertainties.

There are many factors that the administration and boards look at before making decisions to increase or decrease the fees that will affect students. Which fees face increases are determined by the CPI, the number of enrollment and the needs of the campus.

Economic downturn and the loss of jobs in Douglas County a few years ago caused a spike in enrollments. With that increase, there was a sudden influx of money, which created a nice reserve that the college has since been dipping into. However, now that reserve is depleted.

“There are costs that we can’t control, like the PERS, that will go up close to $400,000 a year. For a small college that is a huge amount,” said Dr. Debra Thatcher, UCC’s president. “Right now if the legislature will fund community colleges at the same level they did last year we would have a $1.2 million shortfall and we couldn’t operate.”

In order to increase funds and bring in more revenue, UCC is currently looking at what cuts can be made in the budget for next year and beyond. “There are ways we can cut back that won’t really have a negative affect on the college (including) some of our traveling, some of our supplies,” Thatcher said. The new sports programs have the potential of attracting students that might go elsewhere to play their particular sports. “You invest a small amount up front, and you get a return behind the students that wouldn’t usually go here because of the athletic activities,” she said.

However, fees will still rise. Tuition faces a $2 increase during the 2017-18 school year. Compared to other colleges around the state, that is a small increase. “Every community college in the state is looking at tuition increases. At last week’s president meeting, about one-third had already made decisions to raise tuition by anywhere from $5- $7,” Thatcher said.

The Distant Education fee, which covers the use of Canvas, is supposed to be self-sustaining. That fund is now falling short. Administration now faces two options to increase the fee, including charging everyone an increased global fee or just increasing the current $25 distance education fee by $10. As of March 9, the board is considering the $10 increase over the global fee, according to Rebecca Redell, UCC’s Vice President and CFO. The increase would make the DE fund self-sustaining.

The registration fee may also return. Prior to 2014, students paid a one-time application fee of $25 when registering for classes at UCC. With this fee in place, of those who applied, approximately 73 percent came to school immediately, with 90 percent following later. In 2014, the fee was eliminated.

Since then, the amount of fraudulent applications that are submitted only for the gain of financial aid has increased dramatically while the gap between those who apply and those who actually attend classes has decreased by 58 percent. Fraudulent applications not only cause a deficit in the budget, but also can hamper some students from being able to take classes they need for their career path, as those spots are already filled. With the return of the fee, now a proposed $10, Dr. Thatcher hopes to see less fraud. This one-time fee will not be charged to returning students.

The Student Activities fee or SAFEE is also being reconsidered. This fee is used to supplement student run clubs, The Mainstream, bus passes for Umpqua Transit, the backpack program, Spring Fling and other activities held on campus throughout the year. The fee as of now is $2 per credit. Students, including ASUCC officers have asked for an increase of $1 per credit to help to continuous sustain both the position of Director of Student Life and currently funded clubs and programs, as well as potentially allow for the set up of scholarships, and emergency grants, according to Ali Lape, ASUCC’s president.

There has been some reluctance by the administration to pass the increase, due to “how some other fees were spent,” Dr. Thatcher said. She states, “We are really rethinking that now. Because students should know about the increase in other fees first. If the fees raise $2, a $1 increase isn’t so bad. But if it goes up $5, do you still want that $1? Maybe you do; I just want people to make that decision knowing about the other fees. I don’t want people to be surprised.”

The conversation will continue throughout the next few weeks, as all the current and upcoming fees are examined. Students will have an opportunity to voice their concerns during upcoming open forums.



Faculty attend historical women’s march

in Campus Life by
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    The Mainstream
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    The Mainstream
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    Portland hosted approximately 100,000 participants on Jan. 21. Provided by Susan Rochester
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    Provided by Susan Rochester
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    A supporter held a sign of thanks. Provided by Susan Rochester
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    The Mainstream

Progress is not always an easy road to travel. Many roadblocks stand in the way, hampering some voices. In a show of solidarity on Jan. 21, 2016, five million worldwide marched regarding many of the issues facing America. The Women’s March on Washington extended throughout the world with every age, gender and race represented. What started as a movement in protest of President Donald Trump’s lack of respect for women and their rights became a symbol for additional neglected issues, including constitutional, civil and minority rights.

Paula Usrey, associate professor of communication, was one of over 100,000 people who marched in Portland, Oregon Saturday, Jan. 21. “I saw it as a ‘people’s march’ for dignity, respect and social justice.  The causes were as diverse as the individuals who marched. Yet we marched in solidarity,” Usrey said.  “One of the chants that we kept repeating was ‘This is what democracy looks like.’ To me, that was very true. The marches encouraged people to get engaged and hopefully stay engaged by being more politically aware and active. I personally think it would be wise for more students to take Charles Young’s U.S. Government class.”

Usrey dressed for the march as Susan B. Anthony, a pioneer of women’s rights in the 1800s. Anthony lived during a time in America when women had limited rights, including not being able to vote. “My skirt and cape were vintage – worn by women from another time who did not have the right to vote. I also marched for them.”

Judith Osborn, associate professor of history, Melinda Benton, journalism, Susan Rochester, art, and Nancy Nowak, developmental educational, retired, joined Usrey in Portland’s streets. “I marched for the first amendment, the foundation for all our freedoms. I also marched for kindness because the language of abusers shouldn’t come from government,” Benton said.

Rochester echoed Usrey and Benton. “Why did I march? Because women’s rights are human rights. Because it’s important to be active participants in our democracy. I chose to march in Portland because women’s rights have, in the past, marginalized women of color. I wanted to march with a diverse crowd and hear the voices and concerns of as many people as I could” Rochester said. “It is essential that we all speak our truths and advocate for the betterment of all. Nothing is taken away from any of us if someone’s life improves or if they gain more rights. Human rights aren’t like a pie, where giving a piece to someone means less for you.”

Jan Woodcock, associate professor social science, went to Washington D.C. to march. “This 2017 march seemed so positive and hopeful and I am pro a lot of things. I am pro-student, pro-education, pro-UCC, pro-Douglas County, pro-kindness, pro-underdog, pro-happiness, pro-second chances, and pro-social justice,” Woodcock said. “I went to Washington D.C. because I love my students and I want them to have every possible chance at success.”

Freddy D Gompf III, The Mainstream alumni and TOP program assistant attended the march in Eugene Oregon. “Attending the march, and seeing the all the marches worldwide, re-affirmed something that I have been hanging onto since election day: That the election of Donald Trump does not reflect who we are as a nation. The marches that occurred the day after his inauguration are a better reflection of who we are,” Gompf said.

In a post-truth era, where “objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief,” the facts stand as is. History and progress was made in a peaceful fashion.

Reports indicate that out of the over 3 million U.S. participants, no arrests were made. The Portland police stated the march was 100 percent peaceful. Gompf noticed this as well in Eugene. “I was struck at the march by how happy, hopeful, and peaceful everybody seemed. I actually joked to the friends with whom I attended the march that I felt as though we should be angrier. It reassured me that we can effectively oppose this administration and create meaningful change.”

“I saw it as a ‘people’s march’ for dignity, respect and social justice.  The causes were as diverse as the individuals who marched. Yet we marched in solidarity,” Usrey said.  “One of the chants that we kept repeating was ‘This is what democracy looks like.’ To me, that was very true. The marches encouraged people to get engaged and hopefully stay engaged by being more politically aware and active. I personally think it would be wise for more students to take Charles Young’s U.S. Government class.” -Paula Usrey

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