Student government elects new officer team

By: Daniel Montano, Staff Reporter

The Executive Council of Students has a new officer team ready to take the reins in the fall 2013 semester, said Stephen Martos, current president of ECOS.

ECOS held elections Friday, May 31 and all officer positions were filled except for that of vice president, the vote for which was postponed until Friday, June 7 because one of the candidates was unable to attend, Martos said.

Emily Sarvis was elected president and said that she will draw on her experience as a member of ECOS to establish an active council.

“Helping students is important and we have taken steps as a group toward doing that, but I feel like we could do more. We’re here for the students and we are students so I think that should be one of our main goals: to get out there and talk to students to see what they need so that CNM and its students can be more successful,” she said.

Despite the lack of a vice president selection just yet, Martos said that as president he has worked with the people who have been elected for a year and he is confident that the team selected so far will work hard for CNM students.

“I’m very happy that we have all these great people coming up into our positions and I really look forward to seeing ECOS grow. It’s been a process to bring this group up to where it can really help the students the most,” he said.

Ana Martinez was elected treasurer and said that she is excited to start her position.

She will make use of her experience in her father’s store, where she helped to manage money, in order to be an effective treasurer, she said.

“I’m good with numbers and I’m very organized. I hate to see money unorganized,” Martinez said.

Bianca Cowboy was elected into two officer positions, Public Relations and Administrative, and she is also running for vice president.

Cowboy will choose which position she will accept after the vice presidential elections are concluded, she said.

No matter which position she ends up in, Cowboy said that she will apply her experience working with students as a work study in enrollment services to help establish strong relationships between ECOS and students, faculty and staff.

“That’s just something that ECOS needs to move forward with. We need to build relationships with administration faculty and staff so that we can organize more events that will have their support as well,” she said.

The current officer team will continue to serve for the summer semester, Martos said.

Looking back over his presidency, Martos said that he is going to miss ECOS, because it has grown to be a large part of his life ever since he joined two years ago.

“Moving on is something that is part of growing and beginning new chapters, but this is always something that I’m going to look back on fondly,” Martos said.

For more information on the Executive Council of Students or to apply for membership, pick up and submit an ECOS application at Room SSC 201, Student Life Office at Main campus.

Getting involved is easy as Phi

By: Daniel Montano, Staff Reporter

Alpha Upsilon Chi, CNM’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society, is laying out a plan for the next year as well as a welcome mat for anyone who wants to get involved, said Gabriel Roybal, Paralegal Studies major and vice president of PTK.

Phi Theta Kappa is an honor society for two-year college students who maintain a 3.5 or better GPA. PTK provides scholarship opportunities for its members and helps communities through service and charity. The first general meeting will be held on Friday, June 7, Roybal said.

Although there are hundreds of PTK members, Roybal said that there has been poor participation in PTK recently, with only about 10 members participating on a regular basis. The newly elected officer board wants to change that in the upcoming year by spreading the word about what PTK does at CNM.

“I think a lot of students just don’t know what it actually is. There hasn’t been a lot of outreach on getting people to know what it is until now,” he said.

From a scholastic standpoint, PTK gives its members recognition for their hard work by inviting students to enter the honor society and rewarding them by giving them the opportunity to apply for scholarships, he said.

PTK also works with charities such as Roadrunner Food Bank and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, to give its members the chance to make a positive impact on their community, he said.

“So basically it’s two things: it’s an honor society that rewards your hard work in school and it’s also a community service organization that pools the honor students together so that they can really give back,” he said.

The honor society’s meetings and events are open to any student looking to participate, he said.

PTK will also be offering a CNM bookstore scholarship for $100 that will be granted to any non-members who participate in community service events, he said.

“A community is not just members of an honor society, whoever that is. If you’re a student at CNM and you’re interested in participating in community service activities, if you think that you can improve your community by volunteering, I encourage you to join the meetings and to participate,” he said.

Although there is a membership fee of $75, Roybal said that there is a hardship scholarship that waives the fee. The scholarship can be granted to students who want to be a part of the society and participate in the events, but don’t have the funds to pay the membership fee.

If a non-member who meets the GPA requirements participates in a few community service activities and goes to the meetings, it’s possible to qualify for the hardship scholarship, he said.

“It’s an incentive for people who don’t have the ability to pay. If you still have the merit and the will to do it and the desire to serve, then we’ll waive the fee for you,” he said.

PTK meets every other Friday starting June 7. For more information e-mail Vice President Gabriel Roybal at groybal23@cnm.edu, President Tracy LaForteza at Tlaforteza@cnm.edu, or visit http://www.PTK.org.

Phi Theta Kappa

Meetings are held every other Friday starting June 7.

For more information email:

President Tracy LaForteza 

tlaforteza@cnm.edu

Vice President Gabriel Roybal 

groybal23@cnm.edu

Follow-up: Cadaver practice deceased

By: Jamison Wagner, Staff Reporter

In response to a petition to keep cadaver practice, signed by more than 600 students, administration is clarifying its decision to discontinue the use of the cadavers, which is based on several different issues, said Richard Calabro, Dean for the School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering.

One of the issues is the cost involved. Ending the practice means the school will save roughly $25,000 a year, he said. Much of that money goes to paying contractors to cut open the cadavers for the students, he said.

“Students at this level do not yet have the skill to open up a cadaver so you can see the muscles and the blood vessels. In the old days we would have the faculty do it but as the demand grew it became too burdensome to ask that, so now we pay people to do it,” he said.

Another ongoing issue is finding people to cut open the cadavers, and CNM has found and hired someone for the summer term, but administration was worried that they would not be able to find someone for later semesters and that the cadavers would lie unused, he said.

CNM plans to use the savings from discontinuing use of the cadavers to replace them with high-quality, reusable models, he said. While the initial cost would be higher, this would be offset by the reusability and lack of health-related issues, he said.

The program has had a lot of problems with mold growth on the cadavers, so even though the cadavers are preserved there are some fungi that can grow even in those conditions, he said.

“In the absence of being able to identify these molds that grow on the cadavers it is not a good risk to have instructors exposed to these molds for five to 10 hours a week or students being exposed for one to two hours a week. If we are not 100 percent sure what that mold is, then I am not too comfortable with the teachers and students having to deal with it,” he said.

CNM has already seen a decline in enrollment for Anatomy and Physiology I and II Labs since students know that it is no longer required for the Nursing program, he said.

The school is not willing to spend $25,000 a year for classes that will likely decline in demand, he said.

No single issue was the deciding factor; instead it was a combination of factors that made it unappealing to continue the use of actual cadavers, he said.

“After sharing this information with the faculty, I asked them to make compelling arguments for keeping this program. No arguments were made at this time,” he said.

In place of the cadavers, CNM will use models, diagrams and software programs for student learning, he said. This will also work better in situations where the cadavers in lab could be a problem for a syllabus designed for distance learning, he said.

It is important to note that cadaver use is not essential to learning in Anatomy and Physiology I and II and is very rare not only at the community college level, it is also rare at the university level, he said. The decision to discontinue the use of cadavers will not affect future student success, especially since no disciplines at this time call for the use of cadavers at the undergraduate level, he said.

Community garden sprouts unity

By: Jamison Wagner, Staff Reporter

For Biology major Stefany Olivas, working at the International District Community Garden is a valuable opportunity to learn more about garden ecosystems and how they can affect the community for the better, she said.

The garden is located at 1410 Wellesley Drive SE and has been running for the last four years. The group Project-Feed-The- Hood likes to focus on non-GMO seeds, as well as organic and cultural foods, she said.

Olivas is a former Chronicle employee and said she has been an intern for the project for several months now. Her focus is the International District Community Garden, the surrounding community and also the schools, she said.

Eventually though, the goal is for the garden to be completely run by the community, she said.

“When we are at the community garden working with these people we can give them this fresh-picked food and it goes straight from the garden to their table, and that is how it should be,” she said.

The members grow foods in a large lot and when harvest comes around everyone who has helped tend the garden will get a piece, she said.

“A saying that we have is ‘he who puts in takes out.’ It’s kind of like, ‘you reap what you sow’ but with a more positive aspect,” she said.

Part of what the group is doing is creating a model for a sustainable farm to help support this project, she said.

The community engagement that the project creates by getting people involved also helps to get healthier foods for the local families and children, she said.

Along with supporting garden clubs, the project is also working on creating a curriculum that can be merged into the schools based on gardening, as well as personal and community health, she said.

Another issue the project is looking into is food deserts, how long it takes for someone to get to a grocery store where they can buy fresh produce, and also what it takes for a consumer to get fresh organic fruits and vegetables, she said.

“This kind of situation falls into food justice. What are the inequalities in our food system? How do we raise awareness about that? We are trying to make healthy food more accessible,” she said.

The group focuses on raising awareness about our food systems, she said.

“We support garden schools, we work at getting engaged with the community, and we get involved in creating overall total change to the food system. So it is very proactive. We want to work on the solution and not just talk about the problems all the time,” she said.

According to projectfeedthehood.org the group has helped three schools in Albuquerque with making gardens and has two farms in addition to the International District Community Garden location.

Olivas said this job is perfect for her because she gets to work with UNM Service Corps and Southwest Organizing Project in communities where she can put her studies to use.

As far as her Biology degree goes, Olivas said she wants to eventually pursue plant and soil sciences, then agriculture, but right now she wants to study garden ecosystems and how they can have an effect on the community and its health.

For more information on Project-Feed-The-Hood or to volunteer, go to projectfeedthehood.org.

Upcoming Events:

Come to Unity Yoga:

  • Thursday June 13 from 6:15 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

Saturday June 15:

  • Work day and trellis building workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Saturday June 22:

  • Volunteer Training Day from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Saturday June 29: 

  • Art, TBA
International District Community Garden
1410 Wellesley Drive SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

Editorial: Why student involvement in the community is beneficial

The Chronicle salutes people like Stephany Olivas, See Story titled “Community garden sprouts unity” on page 8, Project Feed the Hood, and growing awareness urban farming, who work hard to make sure children in underprivileged communities have the information to make better choices with the foods they consume, which will hopefully have a lasting effect on future generations.

Nutritional education has not been a priority in the American education system since the simplifying and changing of the national food pyramid.

It is such a great thing to see that organizations such as Project Feed the Hood are helping to educate children in school and community gardens on the nutritional value of fresh whole organic foods.

Families and children are empowered when they are taught how to plant and care for organic fruits and vegetables. Giving the community a chance to learn about genetically modified foods and the importance of proper nutrition is truly invaluable.

Unfortunately, only prosperous American schools teach or explain the differences between GM foods and organic whole foods, and it is commendable that non-profits are going out into deprived communities and teaching these children about proper sustenance.

Column: How to deal with summer boredom

By: Shaya Rogers, Managing Editor

In the wintertime, many of us wish there was more time in the day to get everything done; there just never seems to be enough daylight. As the summer rolls around, we find ourselves bored, trying to fill the longer days. Of course, most of us are still busy with our normal responsibilities like work, school, family, etc, but summer does provide us with the time to take care of what we need, and then some. If you are bored this summer and need something to do, take a look at the options I have put together.

Learn something new 

Have you always wanted to learn how to play the guitar, but have never gotten around to it? Now is the perfect time to get with a friend, or schedule some lessons with a local music school or store. Starting now ensures that by August, you will probably have some sort of grasp over your craft, which is exciting to think about.

Get active 

New Year’s resolutions are an excuse to take better care of our bodies, but why not start in the summer? Something as simple as walking around a local park and getting some Vitamin D can change your whole mood. Consider making small changes. Start by walking for ten minutes a day, and gradually either add more time or speed up. Before you know it, you will have added an activity that helps you look and feel better.

Get outdoors 

There are many great places all over New Mexico to stay, whether it is a day trip or an overnight trip. The Sandia Mountains are a thirty minute drive from town and provide a backdrop for a beautiful day, surrounded by nature. In most national forests, they charge a fee for parking or for camping, but it’s always reasonable, especially if you split it between friends. If camping is not your cup of tea, there are also many options around town that will excite your senses. The BioPark is a great example of adventure without the commitment. Sharks, gardens, and elephants are all just a short drive and 9 dollars away.

Become an activist 

Summertime is when many organizations are planning events and making things happen. Whatever you are interested in, call and ask what you can do. Many places will be more than happy to have a helping hand, even if all you can spare is an hour here and there. Project Share and The Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice are just a few of the places around town currently looking for volunteers. This is the perfect time to make a difference in the community, get experience, and do something important to you.