Red Flags Raise Awareness

 

IMG_1351
Photo courtesy of Matthew Hayes

Tanner Rowe

On Tuesday April 25th, red flags were put in the ground outside of building 1 in order to raise awareness about dating violence. The program known as “The Red Flag Campaign” got its start in 2005, and their goal was to “create the first statewide awareness and education campaign designed specifically to address dating violence among students on Virginia’s college and university campuses,” this according to the campaign’s website.

At the time of the campaign’s launch they were only able to spread awareness at 10 college campuses throughout the state of Virginia. To this day the campaign has made its way to hundreds of college campuses across the United States, and was even able to make a stop at Black Hawk College.

It is said that 1 and 5 college students will experience dating violence.

Jeff Schwankie, a sophomore at Black Hawk, said “This really isn’t something I had ever thought about until today. It’s crazy to think about because there is probably a lot of people affected here on campus, but it’s not something that people really talk about.”

While spreading awareness may not put an end to relationship violence, it can help to put it under the microscope. The main focus is to not be afraid to speak out against relationship violence and to encourage victims to tell a friend, a parent, or authorities, so that it can ultimately be put to a stop.

For more information on relationship violence and how you can help spread awareness, visit theredflagcampaign.org

IMG_1358
photo courtesy of Matthew Hayes

Update from the Diamond

Tanner Rowe

Baseball

The Black Hawk men’s baseball team is off to a hot start this season, having won nine of their first eleven contests. They will face McHenry County College for a double header this Sunday, while riding a five-game winning streak.

The Braves had the chance to showcase their talent out east, as they started their season by making a trip to Myrtle Beach South Carolina, where they took four out of six games.

Coach Chavera’s team has had the perfect balance of offense and pitching so far on the early season. Offensively the Braves are averaging just a bit more than seven runs per game. Guys like sophomore Anthony Smith, and freshman Pedro Alfonseca both have their averages sitting at over .400 from the dish to start the year.

Sophomore infielder Gama Martinez, has also been productive with the bat, leading the team with 12-RBI and 2 homeruns. The teams on base percentage is a whopping .435, while the team batting average is not much worse at .307.

The pitching staff is carrying their weight as well, combining for a team ERA of just 1.75 to this point. The ace of the staff so far has been Zach Erdman, a sophomore righty from St. Laurence, Illinois. Erdman has allowed just 2 earned runs during 17 innings of work. He has also thrown two complete games, as his record sits at 3-0.

Freshman flamethrower Devin Wessels has struck out 18 batters in just 11 innings of work. Wessels was one of the hardest throwing high school pitchers in the state of Illinois last season for United Township High School.

The Braves were scheduled to host Oakton Community College for two games on March 26th, but that meeting was canceled. A makeup date has yet to be determined.

Softball

The softball team is not off to quite the same start as the Black Hawk baseball team, as they have struggled out of the gate winning just one of their first eight games.

The lady Braves were not able to salvage a victory until their seventh game of the season, which was the first game of double header in which they split with Augustana College.

Freshmen pitcher/infielder Abby Young has been asked to do a lot of work so far, this season. While she is off to a hot start at the dish, hitting .421 so far, it has not necessarily translated to the mound. Young has allowed 37 runs in just 22 innings of work, which leaves her ERA 6.68. The pitching staff seems to be shorthanded, as the only other person to pitch has been Caylla Townsley, and she too has an ERA greater than 5 to start the year.

A slow start may not have been unpredictable for this group that has nine freshmen and only one sophomore listed in the stat book all season long. A learning curve is inevitable for all those freshmen as they are looking to become accustomed to playing at the next level.

Spring Cleaning

On Thursday, March 22nd the Clean Sphere club held a campus cleanup. We started the clean-up on the back-side of the Villas. The crew picked up about 12 garbage bags full behind there before moving on towards the ravine by building four.

IMG_1298The clean-up took only a couple of hours, with only 5
participants from the Clean IMG_1294Sphere. We hope that with our next clean-up we can double that number and take out the rest of the campus in just as little of time!

This effort around campus helped immensely, but we all could do our part a little better. Make sure the dumpster door is closed after you throw your trash in it (raccoons and wind will spread that trash all over the place, which was the situation behind the Villas). Check to make sure trash doesn’t fall out of your bag or car during the day. And participate in campus clean-ups whenever they’re available. It’s easy if we all take the steps needed to keep our campus beautiful for all those who walk through it now and in the future.

Cuts Continue at Black Hawk

Tanner Rowe

Matthew Hayes

At the beginning of the year, Black Hawk College officials made plans to cut 17 full-time employees due to a lack in state funding.

On February 23rd, teachers spoke out to the Board of Trustees after the final arrangements were made in making cuts that will go into effect at the end of the spring semester. Per Black Hawk college president, Dr. Betty Truitt, “this is the third phase of cuts.”

The first phase of cuts was made “back in 2015, in our small business development center out by South Park mall.”

The second phase of cuts were made at East Campus in Kewanee, when the men’s and women’s basketball teams were eliminated, along with the women’s volleyball team. These athletic programs were cut because “we did not have facilities that were Black Hawk College owned, so we were paying rental fees, and cleaning fees,” said Dr. Truitt.

“Here at the Quad Cites Campus, our athletic director (Gary Huber), has put together a very large budget plan for the athletics area, and many of those students (athletes), only get partial scholarships, so we are running our athletic programs at a profit, and it adds a lot to our enrollment numbers.”

State funding is simply not available like it was in the past. Vice president of finance and administration, Steve Frommelt said, “The state funding that we normally receive for the school was cut down by 6 million dollars in 2016, and 4 million dollars in 2017. “

“We would have had to have raised tuition 60 plus dollars per credit hour to cover the absence in state funding.”

One of the departments that was hit the hardest by this was the art department, and many people were left wondering how specific programs and professors were selected. According to Dr. Truitt, these were instructional decisions coming up from the five point six committee (includes both administration and faculty members), which has been meeting for months, with input from the deans and the vice president of instructions.

“In times of budget crisis some of those plans had been laid, this has been in discussions for quite some time with that committee which involves both faculty and administration.”

Board of Trustees member, Douglas Strand said, “These are not decisions that we like to make, and while a lot of people want to put the blame on us, it really comes down to the state not having enough money.”

“With how much money we have lost there is nothing else we can do, and unfortunately we are left to make business decisions that have a negative impact on people’s lives.”

The programs that have been cut will no longer be available to future students at Black Hawk, but students that were lucky enough to already be enrolled in these programs will get to finish them.

As for the possibility of the programs returning someday, Dr. Truitt said, “As soon as budget funding comes through it would depend on the amount and consistency of (funding) before the programs would be considered for reinstatement.”

The state of Illinois has been without a budget now for more than 600 days in a row.

There are ways that this could be prevented from happening again. Make a call to our state representatives, senators, or even Bruce Rauner himself, and tell them why you think state run community colleges should receive more funding. If state funding continues to fall at this rate, then this may not be the last time that we see cuts that hurt our school.

The Daytrotter Experience

I hear this almost every weekend… “There’s nothing to do around here.”. Well, if you’re one of those people who thinks there’s nothing to do around here, have I got some good news for you! There’s a nightclub in Davenport called Daytrotter that offers live music multiple times throughout the year that even us on a college budget can afford.

I decided to and check Daytrotter out the other weekend when they had a show with three groups; Sister Wife, Naked Giants, and GGOOLLDD.

DSC_0038 (2)The opening act was Sister Wife from our own Rock Island. Pictured to the left is their lead singer, Samuel Carothers, playing some of their fresh songs. Their music is available on Spotify and other places on the web if you’re trying to check them out!

The next group to come to the stage was the psychedelic rock group, Naked Giants. They played a long set that had the crowd rocking out to their new age style of music. Their hit track, Pyramids, had the crowd jumping around that you’d have to see for yourself to believe.

 

The headlining act of the night was a band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, called GGOOLLDD.

DSC_0400 (2)
GGOOLLDD performing one of their hits.

GGOOLLDD is a bit more popular than the other two groups and have singles that I’m sure a some of you reading this have heard before. They put on an AMAZING show. Their front-woman, Margaret Butler, was one of the most interactive people I’ve ever seen on stage ( She reminded me of when Big N Rich came to fair a couple years back the way she got the crowd going). She would go out and dance among the crowd during her set, and even kneeled on the ground and sang directly to one of the audience members.

DSC_0529 (2)
GGOOLLDD’s front-woman, Margaret Butler.

GGOOLLDD is an electro-pop group made up of 5 people, with major hit single Undercovers (that I suggest all of you look into) along with many other bangers.

The atmosphere at Daytrotter is the exact one many of us college kids are looking for. A personal venue that allows for only about 100 people. They even have a full bar, for those of us who are over twenty-one, to make the dancing come a bit easier. I would HIGHLY recommend crossing the river and checking out this place if you haven’t already! They have a show coming up next month on the 15th. I hope to see you there!

ICC Tuition Forum

The Inter-Club Council held a meeting February 2nd which opened with a tuition Forum by Dr. Truitt, BHC President and Steve Frommelt, VP of Finance and Administration. They came to discuss with students a possible tuition increase for next semester and other financial issues the campus is facing.

20170209_140951
Mr. Frommelt showing  students graphs of BHC operating funds

First on the agenda was Steve Frommelt who explained where the differences in revenue for the college are coming from. The main problem he said that we were facing was a large decrease in funding from the state. Dr. Truitt added, “If you have any energy left at the end of the day, contact your legislatures and ask them to put more money into higher education.”

20170209_142308Mr. Frommelt went on to talk about the tuition increase of around two-dollars per credit hour to keep the institution where it needs to be.  After the presentations, they turned it over to a Q & A portion for students. A large majority of the questions asked were about the possibilities of which professors and classes would have to be cut. Dr. Truitt answered, “We want the least amount of staff reductions as possible.” She continued, “We will not be taking away classes that are having hundreds of credit hours a semester.”

20170209_143606
Dr. Truitt answering student’s questions

They closed the meeting after answering dozens of questions from students, who seemed content with the answers given.

Basketball Live Stream

Image result for bhc athletics

With the busy schedule’s of college students, it sometimes makes it hard for them to go and support the schools athletic programs throughout the week. For those of you that can’t catch the games in person, but still want to see the action, are in luck.

Black Hawk College now offers a live stream for all men’s and women’s home basketball games on a YouTube channel titled “BHC Athletics”. You can catch the games while they happen, or go back and watch them later.

This feature will not only benefit fans, but players who have aspirations to transfer and play at bigger colleges. Assistant men’s basketball coach, Keith Sutton, had this to say about the games being live streamed,”I think this is great for our guys. I wish there would have been a way for every game to be put online back when I was playing. It really changes the whole landscape of recruiting.”

Hopefully other programs at Black Hawk will follow suit, and start live streaming games to gauge more interest from fans, and to also give more national exposure to the athletes.