December 18, 2007

NEWS: JCCCPD

Community college aims for police presence
Gunning for an Armed Campus

by Miguel M. Morales

As Johnson County Community College moves towards arming its security officers, it's also considering a more drastic option.

A message posted Dec. 18 on the college's electronic mail server, Infolist, reveals that beginning in January, the college will house an Overland Park police officer while trustees consider establishing an armed campus police force.

OVERLAND PARK POLICE OFFICER ON CAMPUS BEGINNING IN JANUARY

Beginning in January 2008 there will be an Overland Park police officer working on campus for a portion of the school day. The officer will be working with JCCC Public Safety and will assume some of the duties the Public Safety officers have been performing up to this point. This interim step, in the evaluation of whether or not our Public Safety department should become a police department, will last for three to six months. If there are any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Gus Ramirez, Public Safety Director.

Further cementing the idea of an armed force on campus, the college has also scheduled an "active shooter" training this week.

PUBLIC SAFETY TRAINING EXERCISE

The Overland Park Police Department will conduct an “active shooter” training exercise for JCCC Public Safety officers and dispatchers in the Carlsen Center on Dec. 19. There will be 2-3 hours of classroom training and then an exercise scenario for JCCC Public Safety officers to observe. The purpose of the exercise and training is to familiarize OP PD with Public Safety operations and the JCCC facilities and to make Public Safety aware of OP PD response procedures. This training and exercise will prepare both groups for a timely and organized response in case of a campus emergency.

Students at the college have mixed feelings about the proposed changes. A current student and former Marine testified before the college's Board of Trustees asking them not to arm officers.

Watch his testimony here.

Read about him and the issue in the campus paper, The Campus Ledger, here.

December 10, 2007

INFOLIST: JCCC's Reorganization

From: InfoList [mailto:infolist@list.jccc.net]
Sent: Mon 12/10/07 3:35 PM
To: InfoList
Subject: Instructional flowchart

Colleagues,

Below you will find a link to the reorganizational plan for the Instructional area that the three of us have developed and intend to implement. We hope that this chart reflects the amount of listening to your suggestions, ideas and insights that we have done. It would have been, of course, impossible for every specific recommendation to be incorporated into a comprehensive plan for restructuring; however, we strongly believe that the major themes arising from your comments set the parameters for the basis of this reorganizational plan. You have proffered to us robust and engaging advice, and for that we are thankful.

Except for the Evening and Weekend position which recently has been filled, all of the deans’ positions will be filled first. Currently, job descriptions are being revisited, and we expect to post these positions internally by February 1. Any subsequently vacated associate deans positions will be opened for application later in the spring. Our continued commitment is that no one should be fearful of job loss. One feature of the plan that particularly appeals to us is the establishment of a Division Council for each dean’s area that is intended to strengthen lines of communication throughout Instruction.

We are also committed to the creation of faculty-chair posts. We still need to work with faculty and academic leadership in order to determine the number of discipline chairs, the method of their election, required skills and tasks, and a compensation formula; however, we are certain that establishing chairs will help integrate faculty involvement more inclusively into college processes.

Again, we wish to thank you for your ideas, and we will continue to welcome your comments. The success of any plan of action rests on the commitment of those involved. With your support, this reorganizational plan cannot help but achieve its principle goal which is to promote continual quality improvement at JCCC.

December 6, 2007

NEWS: Sunflower Seeds

JCCC ventures into KU territory
Desperately Seeking Students

video
Video courtesy of 6News

By Miguel M. Morales

Johnson County Community College will offer late start classes in Lawrence, Kan. beginning Jan. 30.

The college’s venture into Douglas County comes at the request of University of Kansas and the Douglas County Career and Technical Education Consortium. A 40-member task force featuring these groups, the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and Lawrence Public Schools began meeting in 2004.

“JCCC’s focus in Lawrence is on technical/vocational education and workforce training that does not duplicate what KU offers,” said Bill Osborn, dean of Community Outreach and Media Resources.

Officials form the community college said the initial course offerings will focus on basics such as Fundamentals of Math, Introduction to Writing, Job Search Skills, Career Life Planning, and Workplace Skills. The college will also offer Business Math, Technical Math, Industrial Safety, and Certified Nurse Aide and Certified Medication Aide labs.

Lawrence joins Eudora as the second location in Douglas County for JCCC’s outreach program, College Close to Home (CCH). The college has eight CCH sites throughout Johnson County.

JCCC College Close to Home locations

View Larger Map


“The College Close to Home site in Douglas County is a huge benefit to the Lawrence business community, the Lawrence Public Schools and its students, and, ultimately, to Johnson County Community College,” said Loralee Stevens, assistant dean, Community Outreach for Credit Instruction.

KU ventured into Johnson County in 1993 with the Edward’s Campus just south of JCCC. Since then, the two institutions have developed a symbiotic relationship with JCCC renting class space at the Edwards Campus.

The two institutions along with Kansas State University are working to develop a research triangle in Johnson County.

JCCC will offer it’s courses at the Lawrence Virtual School also known as the Centennial School. For more information, contact Loralee Stevens at 913-469-8500, ext. 2750.

December 4, 2007

NEWS: JCCC or JZzz ...?

The (Real) Science of Sleep
Some students may soon pull all-nighters studying sleep technology

By Miguel M. Morales

Johnson County Community College announced today it will create a polysomnography/sleep technology program.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, polysomnographic studies, or sleep studies, focus breathing disorders such as Sleep Apnea, and set Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) levels. Studies also help diagnose narcolepsy and examine violent sleep behaviors.

JCCC's program builds on the nine polysomnographic courses the college currently offers.

The Kansas Board of Regents awarded JCCC $5,300, which with other funding, will go towards hiring a part-time faculty coordinator of the program. When the program begins in fall 2008, it will stands as Kansas’ only polysomnography/sleep technology A.A.S. degree.

According to the college, the program will prepare “skilled entry-level polysomnographic technologists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.”

As polysomnographic technician, a program graduate can then take the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists national exam in order to become Registered Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT).

Partners participating in this grant project include Pro-Tech Services, Inc., and Sleepmate.



Just for Fun: "The Science of Sleep"

December 1, 2007

COMMENTARY: WORLD AIDS DAY

Walking on the Ledge:
Silence = Death

By Miguel M. Morales

After 26 years, AIDS no longer devastates or threatens the life of the average American.

While there is no cure for what is now known as HIV disease, it’s become a manageable chronic illness in the United States.

In fact, a report released last month by the United Nations and the World Health Organization cut the global number of estimated infections by approximately 7 million. This 16 percent reduction comes from improved methods of tracking infections.

Unfortunately, a similar revision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is Ivexpected to increase the number of HIV infections in the United States as much as 50 percent.

But we’ve clearly established, PWAs, or People With AIDS, can live long productive lives.

While I am not infected with HIV, it has affected my life.

Deciding to write this column for World AIDS Day, I searched the Internet only to discover that many of the friends I parted ways with have died.

In the early 1990s, I served as a member of the radical AIDS activist group called the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, or ACT-UP/KC.

I remember my new friends inspired me to fight for more treatment options at a time when AZT was the only drug used to manage HIV infection and when the only answer was to identify “AIDS victims” though mandatory testing of all patients.

That fight included three arrests for civil disobedience.

The first arrest came in a demonstration at the annual American Medical Association conference in Chicago. We were protesting the AMA’s proposal to support mandatory AIDS testing. As we the police processed the arrested protesters, I saw them beat a young man as he tried to assert that he had rights. I quickly looked away as not to be noticed by the officers. As I stared at the white linoleum floor, I saw blood fall like rain sprinkles and the young man’s screams grew louder until he was sobbing uncontrollably.

The second arrest came in Washington DC in protest of the murderous policies of George Bush. I guess I should be specific -- the murderous policies of George Bush, Sr.

Hundreds of AIDS activists marched through DC chanting their way to the White House. During the march, I met Nurse Bush -- a drag queen dressed as a nurse wearing a Barbra Bush wig and carrying a bloody hammer. Nurse Bush said she was simply carrying out her husband’s AIDS policies. And of course, she was hilarious.

Once we reached the White House, my group helped chain PWAs (People With AIDS) to the White House fence. We then chained ourselves. Naturally, the parks department revoked our permit and began arresting people. In teams of two, officers approached each protester along the fence asking him or her to leave. When the protester refused, officers notified the protester that he or she was under arrest and ask him or her to come willingly or be carried.

After the bloody mess in Chicago, I was ready for anything. But these officers surprised me. Obviously, they deal with protesters all the time and have worked out a system that ensures respect on all sides. Some protesters tried to resist, you know for the cameras, but the officers simply carried the protester to the arrest wagon or whatever its called. When it came my turn, I refused to leave but when the officer asked me to walk or be carried, I didn’t know what to do.

If I walked, I’d be the first one to do so. If they carried me, would I get charged with resisting arrest?

What’s an AIDS activist to do?

“If you carry me, is it an extra charge?” I asked the officer.

I guess no one had ever asked that before because he looked confused.

“We ... don’t charge,” he said.

“No, I mean is it an extra arrest charge like resisting arrest?” I explained.

“No.”

“OK, carry me.” I said.

When I arrived at the police wagon, he searched my pockets. That’s when I froze.

During the march, an elderly Mexican woman asked me to carry her jacket. I tied it around my waist and thought nothing of it -- until that moment.

My poor officer, he pulled out a little pink teddy bear from a pocket of the jacket. Then he pulled out some tissues and a lipstick tube.

“Is this yours?” he asked as he twisted the lipstick tube revealing a shade of red that would have make Nurse Bush drop her hammer.

I paused for a moment trying to decide if I should explain about the old Mexican woman but that big hulking man wearing riot gear suddenly looked like a confused nine years old boy. I don’t know why, but I lied and said they belonged to me. You should have seen his face.

My final arrest came at a protest. at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Mo. Secret Service agents arrested me because they though I was someone else, a man named Mark Chaney who was my AIDS-infected hero. They took me to the KCMO police department where they found I had a warrant for not paying a $10 parking ticket when I attended classes in Texas at Tarrant County Community College. The Secret Service was trying to get me extradited to Texas but the campus police refused. A female Secret Service agent seethed as I paid a $25 fine and walked out of jail.

Soon I became a respectable and worked as one of the first HIV educators in Kansas City -- but that’s a story for another time.

As I learn uninfected friends are now HIV positive and friends who were positive are now dead, all I have left are stories and the knowledge that AIDS no longer devastates or threatens life of the average American -- unless you or someone you becomes infected.

Twenty-five million people have died from AIDS since 1981. Currently, there are more than 38 million people infected with HIV.

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