A New Perspective

Story by

Devonny Grajeda

Staff Reporter

A full-time English instructor, Tammy Wolf, said that teaching online can be difficult because there is still work to be done explaining concepts of online classes.

In-person classes allowed her the ability to explain topics face-to-face, which can be easier, she said.

She added that teachers do not like sending students “out of the shell” because an ad can pop up, making it hard for students to stay focused.

“It’s not fair to the students either in some ways because if you don’t love reading, now you have to read all your instructions, you have to read all the support materials… which can be harder for students who don’t read as much,” she said.

The two groups she thought that were the most affected were students who have never learned online and teachers who have never taught online, she said.

She said her biggest obstacle has been isolation. Most of the time, she is at home in her office, grading, which she said could be overwhelming at times.

Wolf said it was not until Christmas last year that she realized the pandemic would not end quickly, and class would not be in person for a while.

She said she misses seeing students challenging one another’s ideas or getting that aha moment when everything starts to make sense. She said that is why she wants students to reply to one another on discussions and ask questions.

She also mentioned how students do not get to see the passionate side of their teachers.

“We just turn into this robot that you’re emailing.” A massive disconnect is present between teachers and students, she said.

Wolf adds that students are tired, and everyone is dealing with so much amid a pandemic, she worries about students who are losing their drive to continue.

Compared to in the beginning when she believed that students as well as teachers may have enjoyed having a break and being online for a little bit.

“Now we’re over it,” she added, “but students need to just keep going, it’s going to get better, just keep going were all in it together, and I know there’s a real divide between faculty and students, but we’re cheering you on, and we want to see everybody succeed.”

Construction on Catering/Brewery Enters the Black Phase

Story and Photos by

Mark Graven

Staff Reporter

Construction on the Catering Brewery Facility at Robert P. Matteuchi Hall continues, and has entered the Black Phase, as pictured on September 28.

The project has already passed through yellow and light blue phases, but must undergo a metamorphosis into creamy white, before it is complete, according to architectural renderings prepared by FBT Architects of Albuquerque.

A rendering of the project, as finished, is displayed on a fence at the construction site on University Boulevard, just south of CNM’ s newly constructed Market Place.

General Contractor for the project is Brycon Construction of Albuquerque.

Vacant Homes Now Belong to CNM

Story and Photos by

Mark Graven

Staff Reporter

Behind sturdy fences, the former UNM student housing units, located on Buena Vista Avenue, await their future.

The units are located on a 13-acre parcel, that was recently sold by UNM to CNM. CNM has approved the acquisition for a price of 1.5 million, and UNM has approved the sale, according to CNM.

When the CNM Governing Board approved the acquisition in July, CNM officials said that they had not determined how they would use the property. At recent CNM meetings the idea that has been presented is to demolish the housing units, and build a state-of-the-art space for the applied technologies and trades programs.

But, as pictured on September 28, from Buena Vista Avenue, these unoccupied housing units, will have to wait to find out their precise fate.

UNM Pond starts to Get Ducks in a Row

By Mark Graven

Staff Reporter

On a brilliant sunny afternoon of September 15th, at the UNM Duck Pond, the duck population is growing, and calling itself to order.

In midsummer, the duck population had fallen below 20 ducks. Now ducks are returning from their summer vacations in northern latitudes, and beginning to settle in for fall and winter.

Today there are more than forty ducks, paddling about, or watching from the pond’s edge, where they naturally line up in rows to observe the turtles, sunning on pond rocks, and humans who recline in the shade of trees, or sit on benches surrounding the water.

It’s a far cry from the hundreds of ducks the pond regularly hosts in the winter, and certainly not enough to impress the turtles, who are rock-solid residents of the pond year around. Yes, indeed, the turtles are hard to impress.

Vaccination Mandate Approved by CNM Governing Board

By Daniel Johnson

Editor in Chief

The Zoom Governing Board meeting held on Wednesday August 8th which consisted of Chairman Thomas Swisstack, Pauline Garcia, James Chavez, Annette Chavez y De La Cruz, Nancy Baca and Robert Schoenfelder voted, in a roll call vote, to approve CNM President Tracy Hartzler’s plan for a vaccine and mask mandate as presented on the CNM website– A Vote to Affirm the Mandatory Covid Vaccination Policy for Faculty Staff, and Students.

In casting his vote, Swisstack said the measure was necessary to protect folks at CNM from “the more contagious Delta Variant” (of the Covid-19 Virus.)

 Baca applauded President Hartzler for her hard work in putting together the policy.

No other questions, comments, or discussion, on the mandate were discussed at that time measure.

At its Public work meeting of August 4, the board had asked President Hartzler to consult with legal counsel as to whether a board vote was necessary to make the mandatory vaccine policy effective, or whether she had authority to implement the policy on her own.

The meeting on August 8th was originally scheduled for in person at Smith-Brasher Hall, but Swisstak said he switched it to remote, because, under President Harztler’s policy, the board members would have been required to wear masks, and that he has a hard time hearing people speaking through masks.

ECOS Makes Contact with Letter

Story by

Mark Graven

Staff Writer

The president of the Executive Council of Students (ECOS) Alex Crossland, says he believes that the CNM Administration will respond positively to the ECOS Board’s call for improvements to its remote learning program.
Crossland offered the opinion after the Board’s December 11th meeting– at which it was noted that ECOS had received a response from CNM President Tracy Hartzler to a letter that ECOS had sent out through email the previous week to Hartzler and a half a dozen key people in the administration, calling for reforms to remote learning.
Crossland said he was “encouraged” by Hartzler’s response, but that he did not expect the administration to react precipitously. 
“I believe that our letter was effective, and that the administration is listening to us,” said Crossland, adding that he expected that administrators would give ECOS ideas careful consideration, and not just slap a “bandaid” on the problem. 
He said he is hopeful that the process will result in improved remote learning during the upcoming intercession and the conduct of Spring Semester.
Kristopher Gaussoin, director of student life and discipline at CNM, also the advisor to the ECOS board, said that the ECOS letter has already been taken up at an administrative meeting.  Gaussoin has been urging the board to frame its concerns about remote learning in a constructive manner to get good results with the administration– which he predicted would welcome input from ECOS, the voice of the student body.
Remote learning has been the main topic of discussion for the ECOS board at meetings held over the last two months. The ECOS letter to CNM administrors was drafted by ECOS Vice-President Imane Bahji, and then approved by the full board on December 4th.  
Bahji has consistently criticized the fact that many remote learning classes lack a lecture component, wherein students can ask professors questions in real time, and clarify difficult concepts or processes.  
She has said that there is a danger that when student’s don’t understand, they might quit classes, or even drop out of school.
Crossland said that, in fashioning its letter to the administration, ECOS got input from students through conversations, and through a Suggestion Box, set up on its CNM web page.  The Board also considered information from surveys conducted by CNM that included questions about remote learning.
CNM turned to a largely remote learning format during Spring Semester, after the onset of Covid-19 cases in New Mexico,  although some classs were allowed to meet on campus during the fall.
Linda Martin, a representative of CNM’s Office of Data Strategy, appeared at Friday’s meeting.  She said that the most recent information on student enrollment and retention is still being processed, so that the statistical picture of the impact of remote learning on enrollment numbers and finances is still unclear.
Crossland said that ECOS would not immediately release for publication the letter to the administration, or the administration’s response, although it might do so at a later date.  Such an approach could be more productive in the short run, he said.

CNM Students React to Transition to Online Learning

Story by

Staff Reporters Chloe Fox and Olawale Oluwakoya

Photo illustrations by Olawale Oluwakoya

Cameroonian student Pul Gual said he perfectly understood the decision made by the school to suspend all in-person classes.

Switching to an online only format for the rest of the semester makes sense, he said

“I think it is the right decision to help slow down the spread of the virus,” said Gual.

Environmental planning and design student Sonia Cabrera agreed with the decision to convert all classes to an online only format.

“At first I thought it was pre-mature and reactionary, but with how quickly the virus spreads, I think they made the right choice,” said Cabrera.

Alexis Botello full-time radiologic technology major said the most difficult thing about working from home is “Just all the distractions mostly. I feel like it’s harder to stay focused and get everything done if you’re not in the right environment.”

“I have to be more responsible and dedicate more time from my home life that I’m not used to doing,” she said.

Having to be more responsible and trying to dedicate more time while at home is something that takes some getting used to, she said.

Other students described difficulties in the transition to online classes, like Gisselle Rascon, who said “It makes it more difficult for me to keep up. So many things are being switched up and it’s difficult to know what’s going on in each class.”

Ysabel Solis, a part-time cosmetology student said it can feel like work isn’t getting done because it’s easier to ignore stuff online and it could result in more students failing.

Cortez Martinez, a full-time liberal arts major said, all of his teachers have reached out and been extremely helpful in this process of switching the format to online.

Cortez also said that the transition has been made easier by Blackboard, saying it is “definitely a big help for the time being.”

Additional up to date information regarding COVID-19 and CNM can be found at www.cnm.edu/covid-19.