Spring Break moves to February

By Chandra Smith

With Spring Break pushed back to February, students next fall will be forced to rethink their vacation plans.  A wardrobe change may be in order.

With Spring Break pushed back to February, students next Spring will be forced to rethink their vacation plans. A wardrobe change may be in order.

College of Marin students will soak up the Spring Break sun for the last time this April. Starting next year, COM will be doing away with the week-long break in April. Instead, students and faculty will be joining Marin’s schoolchildren and high schools, and taking off for what traditionally has been called “Ski Week.”

Additionally, the winter recess will be extended by a week, giving students four full weeks away from school, testing, and classes. Students are ambivalent about the subsequent short time between vacations, to be implemented in January and February of 2015.
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What will happen to the media center?

By Brady Meyring

Nancy Kutcher, who runs the Media Center, is set to retire by the end of the month. Her absence leaves some uncertainty about the Media Center’s immediate future.

Nancy Kutcher, who runs the Media Center, is set to retire by the end of the month. Her absence leaves some uncertainty about the Media Center’s immediate future.

When speaking about her 15-year career at the College of Marin, Nancy Kutcher’s passion for helping students is clearly evident. What is unclear is exactly what will happen to the Media Center after she leaves. She is set to retire on December 31st of this year. According to VP of Student Services, Jonathan Eldridge, “[Kutcher’s] position will not be filled, at least not in the short term.” The most likely scenario is that the Media Center computers and other resources will be moved into the library.

Eldridge says that the process of moving the Media Center, if it goes through, will not be completed by the start of Spring semester but should be done soon thereafter.

The Media Center, on the top floor of the Learning Center Building, offers 18 computers networked to printers for student use. Many of these computers are loaded with specialized software that students need for certain classes. In addition, teachers often place DVDs and other media on reserve in the Center for students to access. Kutcher is present to manage the Center and help students troubleshoot issues with the Microsoft Office suite, printers and other equipment.
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COM Celebrates International Education Week

By Brady Meyring

COM President David Wain Coon congratulates Jason Lau, director of International Education, for overseeing the growth of the college’s International Student Program.

COM President David Wain Coon congratulates Jason Lau, director of International Education, for overseeing the growth of the college’s International Student Program.

With the flags of  34 nations forming a semi-circle on the lawn in front of the Student Services Building, COM President David Wain Coon stepped up to hit a giant gong and officially declare the opening of the college’s first International Education Week. The flags represent the nearly three dozen countries that COM’s 100 international students come from.

Approximately 75 guests attended the event, which signals the growing role that ethnic diversity plays at the college.

This  is a  breakout year for  International  Education at College of Marin. As recently as three years ago, programs for enhancing international student life and retention were sparse or non-existent. International students contributed to college life and academics but with little formal recognition or centralized support. There was also no office coordinating the effort to infuse global perspectives and intercultural exchange into post-secondary education at COM.

When Jason Lau was appointed  the director of International Education, in September 2011, all of that began to change.

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IVC’s organic farm offers nutritious alternatives

By Sophia DeFelice

Henry Wallace, who teaches organic farming classes at IVC, chats with Nanda Schorske, dean of the campus.

Henry Wallace, who teaches organic farming classes at IVC, chats with Nanda Schorske, dean of the campus.

If Marin County isn’t at the forefront of bringing organic foods to school children, it certainly is a contender now. The College of Marin has been leading the charge with its Novato-based organic farm, aimed at teaching children and adults alike about a lifestyle of healthy eating.

Nanda Schorske, Executive Dean of Indian Valley Campus and Workforce and Economic Development has been at COM for 8 years.  Schorske oversees the Organic Farm and Garden at IVC.

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This land is not your land

Visitors, businesses and students affected by government shutdown

By Nash Kurilko

Point Reyes National Seashore was one of 59 national parks that were closed during the 16-day government shutdown. Public beaches like this one were off-limits to the public.

Point Reyes National Seashore was one of 59 national parks that were closed during the 16-day government shutdown. Public beaches like this one were off-limits to the public.

When the Republican-controlled House shut down the government, nobody knew how long it would last or what the immediate effects would be. It was only when 59 national parks across America began closing that most citizens—and tourists—realized the full ramifications of the shutdown.

Marin Headlands, Muir Woods National Monument, Bolinas Ridge, Stinson Beach, and Point Reyes National Seashore were among the Bay Area parks included in the closure. Of Marin’s 332,928 acres, 118,669 are parks, reservoirs, or conservation areas. When the national parks closed,  nearly 30 percent of Marin was off-limits to  the public.

The effect on local tourism was devastating. According to a February 2013 report issued by the National Park Service, Point Reyes, Muir Woods and the Golden Gate National Seashore generate $445 million a year in total revenue, and employ roughly 3,400 people.

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Summer classes announced

By Cecilia Jordan

Children in lion costumes pose for the upcoming summer course catalogue while raising awareness for the Marin Chinese Cultural Association.

Children in lion costumes pose for the upcoming summer course catalogue while raising awareness for the Marin Chinese Cultural Association.

During the summer most students want to be as far away from campus as possible. They want to enjoy the summer and maybe get the chance for a vacation away from the tedious life we live. But this is an invitation to do something a little differen – to try a community education class offered here at the College of Marin. These non-credit classes are offered with a fee to students ages 13 to as old as 90, on a seven to eight week quarterly basis.

Jason Lau, Director of Community Education Life Long Learning and International Education, encourages everyone to take advantage of these classes. Last year alone, the community education program at COM served over 10,000 students at the Kentfield and Indian Valley campus and Lau hopes with the addition of 16 new classes, this number will only go up.

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