CNM stubs out tobacco use; Some students find new policy a drag

By Jamison Wagner, Staff Reporter | Photos By Rene Thompson



1.2Smokers may be put out by the changes to CNM’s tobacco policies.
As of the start of the fall 2013 term CNM will no longer allow electronic cigarettes or any other tobacco product inside its’ buildings and all tobacco-related products will only be permitted in the designated smoking areas outside away from the buildings said Christine Burroughs, Communications Manager for CNM.
This is part of CNM’s effort to make its’ campuses smoke free and this will also include a communications campaign, smoke-free signage and to help students and employees go smoke-free, she said.
Students expressed mixed feelings to the Chronicle about the changes being made to the tobacco policies.
Timothy Brito, Teaching major said that it does not bother him if e-cigs are banned since CNM will be a smoke-free campus now like UNM as it will show the freshmen coming into CNM that the school cares about them.
“The ban is going to bother me a lot at times as a smoker, but there really is not a lot you can do about it. I am sure if the student body came together the administration might do something about it but it is hard to motivate people nowadays about things like this,” he said.
Brito said this may affect him as a smoker and contribute a bit to his stress levels when he is dealing with final exams.
If CNM does try to improve the designated smoking areas smokers may be more inclined to use them, he said.
“I know this is going to mess with student, as a lot of us smoke, so there is going to be a lot of irritation around here, but I do think this is a good thing,” he said.
James Scacco, Engineering major said that he has seen people smoking the e-cigs indoors and had wondered about the health effects but did not have a definite opinion about whether or not people should be smoking e-cigs indoors.
“I do not really see the point in a policy that is not driven by purpose or data so it does not make sense to me unless CNM does have a reason for this change,” he said.
Tom Sparks, Architectural Design major said that he thinks the policy change had to happen because of the high school program being put into place. However he said he does not care for the smoking areas being completely open to the elements and disliked the ban on electronic cigarettes inside.
“I think the e-cigs being banned inside is stupid. I used to have a company where e-cigs were sold and it is not smoke, it has been proven that the liquid vapor from an e-cig cannot harm airplane electronics, so how could it harm other electronics,” he said.
It seems like a way for teachers who have been complaining about e-cigs to get the e-cigs removed completely because the teachers do not like having them around, he said.
Sparks said he has had plenty of teachers who complained about his using an e-cig while he was in class and he feels that this change in the policy is more for the benefit of those teachers.
Alexandra Fowler, Chemistry major said that since she is not a smoker the policy does not affect her, but it does seem strange that e-cigs are being banned if the byproducts are not known to be harmful as second-hand smoke.
“I do not know too much about e-cigs but if they only expel vapor, I do not see it to be a huge issue,” she said.
As of now the campus has limited areas that are labeled as designated smoking zones outside the SSC, and are exposed to the elements with no coverage from sun, rain or snow, which can make it difficult for smokers to utilize.
Students don’t know where it is acceptable to smoke, as some spots are labeled and others are not where ashtrays are located at on campus, Fowler said.
Electronic cigarettes were introduced into the U.S. market in 2007 as an alternative to traditional tobacco products, offering a variety of different levels of nicotine liquids, and because e-cigs contain no tobacco these products have not been subject to U.S. tobacco laws, according to
The conclusion of a study on nicotine e-liquids was that “For all byproducts measured, electronic cigarettes produce very small exposures relative to tobacco cigarettes. The study indicates no apparent risk to human health from e-cigarette emissions based on the compounds analyzed, according to
The smoking ban will begin in the 2013 fall semester, and will first start off with a smoke-free campaign on campus with resources, such as at, where both students and faculty can find support to help quit smoking.

What it means to be human; Cultural Studies looks to expand

By Daniel Montaño, Staff Reporter

The Cultural Studies department plans to expand its current offerings to include sophomore level courses that will delve deeper into issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability and disability—in short, what it means to be human, Dr. Felecia Caton-Garcia, English and Cultural Studies instructor, said.
Although a strict timeline has not yet been set for when the classes will be offered, Dr Caton-Garcia said that the department’s faculty is motivated to offer the courses sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, the introductory courses, such as Pop Culture, Women’s studies as well as Chicano and Native American studies, will continued to be offered at all campuses, and can be found in CNM’s course catalog.
“There’s a lot of energy to make this happen. There’s a lot of interest on the part of the faculty for expanding the department because so many of us have various areas of expertise that are being underutilized,” she said.
Department faculty have been discussing plans to include courses that are currently offered at UNM, such as feminist studies, southwest studies and environment, science and technologies, Caton-Garcia said.
Faculty want to offer courses that are easy to transfer, which will be aided by aligning the courses offered at CNM to those at UNM, but also want to make sure that the courses are interesting, she said.
“For instance I would love to teach a class on Chicano film. I incorporate film into my Chicano studies class but I could teach easily 16 weeks on Latino representation in film,” she said.
But before the department offers classes like “Race and Gender in Hip-Hop Culture,” Caton-Garcia said the department needs to make sure that there are students who are willing to attend the new courses.
Part of that battle is getting students into the introductory level classes, she said.
“What we find is that once students take a cultural studies class, they often want to take another one. That’s very common, but getting students into the classes in the first place can be difficult,” she said.
In the fall 2012 semester, the department changed the course names, numbers and prefixes of those introductory classes in order to bring in more students, and again, to help make the courses transferable, which will help raise student interest, Caton-Garcia said.
The change in course numbers enabled the department to expand course offerings, and now the department hopes that students will see the courses, enroll in the introductory classes and see that cultural studies is the sort of program that directly informs students about issues that come up in everyday life, she said.
“Social interactions, economic interactions, political interactions, everything from who we date and why, and what our families think of that, to how we determine what is equitable for us economically moving forward, and is all part of what we study when we study culture,” she said.
While courses, such as anthropology or sociology, touch on similar subjects, cultural studies is an eclectic program that draws from several academic fields to present an in-depth and detailed view of cultural issues, Caton-Garcia said.
Cultural studies courses pull literature, psychology, history, film and many other approaches together to create a multifaceted picture of a social or cultural issue, Caton-Garcia said.
“In my Chicano Studies class for instance, I use the work of sociologists and I use fiction written by Chicano authors. I place those two in radical proximity to each other so we can speak about them, find out how they interact,” she said.
Approaching a subject from different angles allows students to gain a true appreciation for the subject, and helps move students beyond the classroom in order to participate in social change, she said.
“There’s an active thread running through cultural studies that education should not only offer knowledge, but should be a transformative experience through which we can find ways to promote equity and justice,” she said.
Caton-garcia believes that if more students realized what the impact of an education in cultural studies could do, the classes would start filling up, she said.
“I would really, encourage people to check these out. If they have any room in their schedules at all for the fall, they are offered at all the campuses and we would love to see them,” she said.

Letter To The Editor; In Response to Volume 19, Issue 10 "Surprise! You've graduated"

Dear CNM Chronicle,
As a faculty member and President of the CNM Employees Union I want to congratulate you on the fine story written by Staff Reporter Jamison Wagner on the graduation issue in the July 23rd issue of the Chronicle. Once again the CNM Chronicle broke a story of great interest to the CNM community. As a faculty member I’m astonished that a student could be awarded two degrees and a certificate without her knowledge or consent. And that the college was able to award hundreds of degrees in this manner seems truly incredible. I look forward to hearing further information and explanation from our administration regarding this issue.

Last spring, in the wake of the administrative confiscation and subsequent return of the Chronicle’s “Sex” issue, there were calls for more editorial oversight for the CNM Chronicle. More ‘training’ was apparently needed for the reporters and staff, and the ‘independent’ status of the CNM Chronicle was called into question. I think Tuesday’s story and issue decisively settles the question of whether CNM needs an independent student newspaper or not. In any community that values freedom and transparency protecting the independence of the press is a crucial concern. I hope all faculty and staff at CNM will join me in supporting the journalistic efforts of the students at the CNM Chronicle so that we can preserve the valuable perspective that only an unfettered and spirited student newspaper can provide.

Viva la Chronicle!

Andy Tibble

Letter To The Editor; In Response to Volume 19, Issue 10 "Surprise! You've Graduated"

Dear CNM Chronicle,
If you hang around long enough at Central New Mexico Community College, the school’s carefully polished public image will wear thin and expose a core of half-truths and bombast.
The latest revelation surfaced earlier last week when the CNM Chronicle, the independent student newspaper, reported that a biology student, Emily Sarvis, was awarded two degrees and certificate that she knew nothing about. In fact, she only found out about her degrees and certificate when she was asked to complete a post-graduation survey.
Sarvis, by the way, is president of the CNM Executive Council of Students. I’m sure she has heard the same admonition I have as part-time faculty member: Students have to apply to graduate. It’s not automatic.
Sarvis, a biology major, told the Chronicle she did not apply to graduate and wanted to take additional courses in her major before she transferred to the University of New Mexico. However, she is now being denied financial aid to complete her degree because school records indicate she already graduated, according to newspaper.
This does not appear to be an isolated incident. Another CNM student, James Roach, who claims he lacks one math course to complete his degree, found out that he too graduated in May, reported the Albuquerque Journal last Friday.
Hold on because this gets stranger. It seems that the program that granted Sarvis her degrees and certificate is same one that “helped CNM more than double its graduation rates in the past two years, which also helped the school win a prestigious award this year for improving student services,” according to the Journal.
Many long-time CNM students are unaware they have enough credit hours to earn an associate degree and consequently never apply to graduate, so “the program uses software to find students with enough credit hours and automatically gives them degrees,” according to the Journal. A CNM administrator explained this was a “pilot project” that will improve over time, presumably to include students and inform them that the application to graduate may not be necessary.
What makes this revelation potentially more disturbing is that CNM is a lead partner in a collaborative effort called Mission: Graduate, which claims it will produce 60,000 additional two-year, four-year and graduate degrees above and beyond the norm by 2020. By boosting the skills and credentials of the local workforce, the reasoning goes, employers will be more likely expand or relocate their operations to the Albuquerque area. This initiative, which is scheduled to start in August, has the support or the active involvement of Presbyterian Healthcare Services, the United Way, the University of New Mexico, the City of Albuquerque, Albuquerque Public Schools, Rio Rancho Public Schools, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute, Intel, Public Service Company of New Mexico, and the Journal.
There was, to my knowledge, no involvement by teaching faculty from any of the partnering institutions in the development of Mission: Graduate. That would be typical of the top-down changes in public education that are driven by the private-sector and masqueraded as reform. Perhaps no faculty members will be required to achieve 60,000 new degrees under this vision, maybe that lofty goal can be reached without any more students, classrooms, or courses. Maybe the results, or most of them, will be churned out by fine-tuned software that cranks out degrees for students without their knowledge or involvement. Now that’s reform.

Not amused,
Seamus O’Sullivan, Ph.D.
Part-time faculty

Main campus bookstore settles into a new home

By Jamison Wagner, Staff Reporter | Photo By Rene Thompson

The bookstore at Main campus is now in a new location but it will continue to offer the best opportunity to students as far as book rentals in the form of cheaper digital and used book savings said Ann Heaton, Main Campus Bookstore Manager.
The bookstore is moving to the new Culinary Arts building next to the Security building across from the Smith Brasher building, and has opened as of July 29, she said. The bookstore will have less space than it did in the old location but will still offer buybacks, the same products and opportunities as it always has for students, she said.
“I am disappointed about the size of the space but that is okay, we are going to make it work, so students are going to get the same service they always do. As far as fixtures go, we are definitely upgrading to look more like your average retailer’s outlet,” she said.
With the bookstore moved, CNM will be renovating the original space for CNM Connect, so that part of CNM has the space it needs to service students effectively said Luis Campos, Executive Director of CNM’s Physical Plant.
CNM relocated the bookstore to the new Culinary Arts building to take advantage of the restaurant in the new building so students will get excited about the Culinary Arts programs new services, he said.
“Years ago in the A building the culinary arts students used to sell their baked goods to people and now the students can sell their baked products to people coming in to buy their books which is exciting to us,” he said.
Another reason the bookstore was moved is that people would have problems finding parking by the bookstore when it was in the Student Services Center and with it near the Security building it will be easier for students to park near the bookstore, Campos said.
For more information on the bookstores move or any other bookstore related questions call 243-0457.

New to CNM; Physical Therapy Assistant Program

By Nick Stern, Staff Reporter

CNM is offering for the first time a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) program of study for students interested in becoming Physical Therapy Assistants according to the current myCNM course catalog.
The 2013 to2014 CNM catalog describes PTA as an Associate of Applied Science degree program that gives students the knowledge and expertise to attain and maintain a career as a Physical Therapy Assistant.
The program requires six terms of courses with proficiency in English 2, Math 2, Reading 2 and Biology, which can all be completed by placement exam, scores, or course work. The programs description can be found in the current 2013-2014 CNM Catalog under Programs of Study.
Associate Dean of Health, Wellness and Public Safety, John Blewett said, “It is a long process to start a brand new program of this size at the college because they don’t want to launch something like this unless it is really something that will be a benefit to the students in the community.”
The PTA program has not been offered before and has been in the works for several years beginning with input received from the community that the program would be beneficial to students in the community. A needs assessment survey in which CNM sends a questionnaire to local hospitals, clinics, rehabs and any business’ which employ physical therapy assistants-was done in the local community, Blewett said.
“The needs assessment is meant to get a sense of whether a program would be valuable to companies and if there is student interest. It was clear that there would be no trouble filling the seats,” Blewett said.
Following the needs assessment, the idea had to go through the dean’s council who looked at the information based on the assessment and from there the new program had to be approved by the governing board.
The PTA program also had to become accredited through an accrediting agency, in this case the Commission on accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), Blewett said.
“I attended a CAPTE workshop for administrators who anticipate starting a program and was soon very educated on their accreditation process which is a very thorough and good one,” he said.
CAPTE has very specific standards that programs must be held to, where there must be a minimum of two full-time faculty, one of which has to be a physical therapist, while the other can be a physical therapy assistant, he said.
“Recruiting can be challenging, but the good side is that people who do apply and gravitate towards the community college environment tend to be people who are out in the industry and are subject matter experts who really want to teach,” Blewett said.
Before students would start the full-time PTA program, they would have to take two terms of required courses which include PTA 1001-Introduction to Physical Therapy Assistant.
“PTA 1001 is an open-entry course which will be offered frequently so students who are interested in starting into term three, which is a coordinated full-time program, will take that first to make sure it is something they are well suited to. It is a degree required course but does not mean students will be starting in to the full-time program,” said Blewett.
Term three in the catalog will most likely not start until the fall of 2014 so that students will have the opportunity to take the first two terms of required courses and so faculty will have time to develop the curriculum, he said.
“Physical therapy assistants are very highly skilled, highly knowledgeable, hands-on, patient care specialists who help patients that need physical therapy. They cannot do everything a physical therapist does, but they have an impressive and vast scope of knowledge,” Blewett said.
A physical therapy assistant has to be able to make a good assessment of what a patient needs, make a decision whether or not therapy is working for a patient, make correct recommendations based on assessments, and be highly skilled in psycho-motor procedures done on patients, he said.
Any student interested in pursuing a career as a physical therapy assistant would benefit greatly from the new program, Blewett said.

Martos’ Metamorphosis; Student body president leaves CNM life

By Daniel Montaño, Staff Reporter | Photo By Daniel Montaño5

Stephen Martos, president of the Executive Council of Students and member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, can sum up his experience at CNM in two words: growth and change, he said.
Although Martos graduated in the spring 2013 semester with degrees in Psychology, Criminal Justice and Liberal Arts, he is staying on as president of ECOS until the beginning of the fall semester when he will hand over the reins to Emily Sarvis, Biology major, as he moves on to UNM to earn his bachelor’s degree in psychology, he said.
“CNM is my life. I don’t work school around my life. My life is all at CNM, my friends and everything. So I’m excited about going to UNM, but I’m nervous because it’s such a completely different world,” he said.
Martos entered CNM unsure how to approach his future, which classes to choose and what career to go into, but grew up, gained responsibility and found direction while at CNM, especially through ECOS, which motivated him throughout his college career, he said.
“Being president of ECOS is something I never thought I would do when I graduated high school, and now the goal is to continue on and see what other trouble I can get myself into,” he said.
Martos plans to move on to Law school after finishing his bachelor’s degree, but isn’t setting anything in stone just yet, because he wants to make sure he is able to put to good use the empathy and willingness to help that he has gained through ECOS, he said.
He plans to minor in political science while at UNM, and if he gets the opportunity, he hopes to get involved in local government to make a positive change in the political process, he said.
“Whenever I find out that there is something someone is struggling with, my first reaction is ‘How can I help’ and what can I do to make this better” he said.
Martos has always had an internal drive to help people, but ECOS refined that feeling, he said.
ECOS was also the motivation to actively pursue positive change in his future and gave him the drive to become the person who he is now, he said.
“I think that I’m a lot more responsible, and I feel like I’m a greater person overall. Looking back I didn’t have an idea of the greater things happening around me, but I don’t know if that’s just what happens when people get older — they look back and want to say, you have no clue what’s coming up,” he said.
Although he is now working towards a future where he can help people and make changes for everyone’s benefit, Martos had originally planned to become an aerospace engineer before coming to CNM, he said.
“I looked at New Mexico Tech, and realized that I hated math, which isn’t good for an engineer, so I switched over and came to CNM,” he said.
Martos said coming to CNM was the best choice he made in his quest to find direction because from that point on things began to fall into place on their own and organically evolve.
After feeling his way through introductory classes and remaining largely uninvolved, he was introduced to Phi Theta Kappa and ECOS through friends, he said.
“I kind of stumble right into it. Having people who drug me along to meetings gave me a lot more purpose and a lot more focus. So I became much more involved and from that point it made me grow up from being a high school kid,” he said.
Once involved with student organizations Martos began getting into volunteer work, and as president of ECOS he was directly involved with helping students overcome obstacles at school, he said.
“That’s one of the best feelings that I’ve had, standing up for student issues and student rights, just being there as a venue for the students,” he said.
As far as regrets go, Martos doesn’t have any besides wishing he could have been even more involved than he already was, but he is satisfied with the differences he did make, he said.
“There’s always room for improvement. I wish I could have done more somehow, made more of an impact,” he said.
As the outgoing President of ECOS, Martos wants to encourage as many students as possible to find direction in the same way he did, he said.
“Join ECOS!” Martos said.
To join ECOs students must be enrolled for at least three credit hours and have maintained a 2.5 GPA. For more information students can go to student activities in the SSC to pick-up and submit an application.

Sports too costly for school

By Deborah Cooper, Staff Reporter
The state of New Mexico has two junior colleges that belong to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), but CNM is not one of them. The colleges that do have sports teams are New Mexico Junior College and the New Mexico Military Institute.
Communications and Media Manager, Chris Burroughs said, “there are no sports teams at CNM and there have never been any, even when it was TVI.”
Burroughs who has been in the communications and media office at CNM for the last four months said the reason why there is not a sports program is because sports teams are expensive, and that money would most likely come out of student pockets, she said.
“The money would have to come from somewhere, the students’ fees, and the tuition would have to go up. The whole intent of CNM is to keep tuition low and make it affordable for students in the community to attend,” she said.
Jessica Ortiz, Veterinary sciences major said, “Sports at CNM would be cool but in order to get programs started as well as facilities built would cost a lot of money. This would mean higher tuition costs for everyone.”
Business major Jesse Salazar said, “We have a mascot, where’s the teams? They developed a mascot at the request of the students.”
Salazar said people at the school just wanted something to rally around when it comes to having a mascot.
“It really had nothing to do with sports. Even grade schools and middle schools have mascots,” Salazar said.
Burroughs said that she recently had a conversation with the president of UNM, Bob Frank that explained about the high costs of running athletic programs.
“He was talking about the high costs of running athletic programs and the high cost of paying the football coach. He’d recently gone to a meeting with other college presidents and they were all talking about the same thing,” she said.
Burroughs who is from Canton Oh., the home of the “Football Hall of Fame,” has also worked at UNM for 8 years in Public Relations and has been a New Mexico resident since 1984, she said.
Burroughs said she is also aware of the positive side in having sports teams at a college.
“Sports are really important as they build up community and spirit. It helps in fundraising and helps in recruiting really good students, but that’s for research institutions. Community colleges typically don’t have athletic programs, some have intramural sports,” she said.
According to the National Junior College Athletic Association, benefits for a college and students while being members could consist of being accredited by the appropriate state and/or regional accrediting agency, and there could also be opportunities for student-athletes to participate in structured conferences, Regional tournaments and National Championships which provide increased exposure and publicity.
Burroughs agrees that sports are important, but she said, “The goal is to keep costs down.”
There is a really good survival rate of 2-year schools without sports that just focus on academics, but more than likely CNM will never have sports teams because the whole goal is to keep costs low, Burroughs said.