Category Archives: Walking on the Ledge

Measles, JCCC Policy, & Student Heath Center

With the media pushing the measles story and being one of the many employees at Johnson County Community College who come in contact with hundreds of students each day — many who may not have had a measles booster — I turned to the JCCC board policies for guidance.

JCCC Student Health PolicyAlright. That doesn’t really help me as an employee.

JCCC Infectious DiseaseJCCC Infectious Disease

Alright so this tells me that if I get sick JCCC can make me go to a doctor they select (and they will pay for it), JCCC can tell people who “need to know” of my illness, if someone refuses to work with me they can (but probably won’t) be disciplined, and if it wants JCCC can fire me for being sick.

It would certainly help if the college had a Student Health Center like it did a few years ago where students and hourly employees like me could drop in with questions or for help finding services. I guess it’s more important to have a building showcasing art that we don’t even own than it is to house a vital service that would benefit every student and employee of the college.

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February 3, 2015 · 5:01 pm

JCCC to raise mill levy & tuition

At their monthly meeting, the JCCC Board of Trustees voted to increase the mill levy and to increase the student activities fee per credit hour. Now some may argue that this fee is not tuition but it is assessed per credit hour, like tuition, and it must be paid at the same time one pays tuition. Call it whatever you want, but it’s a tuition increase.

According to trustees, the increase is to help  provide scholarships. Clearly the board thinks we’re a bunch of idiots because we all know that a primary focus area for the JCCC Foundation is providing scholarships.  It does that with Dollars for Scholars and Some Enchanted EveningIt also holds special events like Spice! with Wolfgang Puck.

BTW, JCCC wouldn’t need to increase the student activities fee to fund scholarships, if it didn’t keep raising tuition.

But you’re saying “What about all those scholarships that need to be funded?”

Perhaps the JCCC Foundation should  stop forcing the college to construct buildings simply to name after donors and do something more practical like seeking permission from the funders of unawarded scholarships to temporarily shift those funds to the scholarships students need most.

Let me tell you, I’ve gotten full scholarships from JCCC because I was the only one who applied. I’ve also applied for and gotten scholarships from JCCC because the people in charge of  those funds begged me to submit an application because they had money to give away — literally.

OK this was more of a rant than I’d anticipated. I just meant to offer some clarification on JCCC raising the mill levy and tuition…

Posted April 18 to the Johnson County Community College electronic mail server, Infolist: Continue reading

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Filed under budget, Calaway, Infolist, JCCC, Kansas, NEWS, The Ledger, Trustees, Walking on the Ledge

Student Who Filed Lawsuit Against JCCC Speaks – Part 2

Walking on the Ledge

Summer Vocation

Marcus Clem, former copy editor for The Campus Ledger at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan., tells how an open records request led to a lawsuit against the college.

In part two of this interview, Clem discusses the events of summer 2011. He reveals how he became separated from the student newspaper, why he secured an attorney, and the process of filing the lawsuit.

Watch Part 1 of the Marcus Clem interview

Editor’s Note: Miguel M. Morales served JCCC as a Diversity Fellow from fall 2009 – fall 2011 and is a former staff member of The Campus Ledger.

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Filed under Calaway, Diversity, JCCC, Kansas, NEWS, ODEI, The Ledger, Walking on the Ledge, YouTube

Aisha Khan’s Family to Donate $10,000 Reward

$10K Reward

A statement released today by the Khan family:

We would like to express our utmost gratitude for all the support, help, and prayers we received during this past week. To our neighbors; to the hundreds of volunteers who dedicated their time towards the search efforts; to the online community who helped spread awareness of her story and prayed for her; and to all local and national media outlets for keeping her story alive; we extend our heartfelt appreciation. Last but not least, we are tremendously grateful to the Overland Park Police Department who put in hundreds of hours into finding Aisha safely.

The last few days have been very difficult for the Khan family, especially Aisha. We are deeply thankful that our prayers were answered and that she was found safe and unharmed. The family is dedicated to giving Aisha the unconditional love, support, time, and whatever other tools she needs to work through these trying times.

This is a difficult period for Aisha and the family, so we ask for compassion and privacy as we remain committed to healing. We will be making no further statements on this matter as we hope you recognize this very public matter has now become a private family matter. We thank you in advance for your cooperation.

The family will be donating the $10,000 reward offered during her search. $5,000 will be donated to the Overland Park Police Department or a related law enforcement charity, and the remaining half will be given to other charitable organizations.

via Help Find Aisha Khan.

Aisha Khan’s family made a plea tot he public when she disappeared last Friday and the public responded. They invested time, energy, emotion into the search for Aisha. Now to be told it’s a “private matter” is a bit insulting to the thousands of friends, volunteers, non-profit organizations, journalists, and other professionals who all took time out of their lives to help #FindAisha.

Clearly, Aisha and her family aren’t legally obligated to share the details but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a moral obligation to help the rest of us — and maybe themselves — deal with how this situation was abruptly resolved.

The Khan family says it needs to heal, well, so do we.

If we don’t heal together, what happens when the next Aisha Khan goes missing?

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Filed under facebook, JCCC, Kansas, NEWS, Walking on the Ledge

Student Who Filed Lawsuit Against JCCC Speaks – Part 1

Walking on the Ledge

Spring Forward

Marcus Clem, former copy editor for The Campus Ledger at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan., tells how an open records request led to a lawsuit against the college.

In part one of this interview, Clem discusses the events of spring 2011 and how he became involved in a story focusing on the college’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI).

Editor’s Note: Miguel M. Morales served JCCC as a Diversity Fellow from fall 2009 – fall 2011 and is a former staff member of The Campus Ledger.

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Filed under Calaway, Diversity, JCCC, Kansas, NEWS, ODEI, The Ledger, Trustees, Walking on the Ledge, YouTube

Night Falls on JCCC Knight Watch

Walking on the Ledge

JCCC’s Evening Students Continue to Lose Support

JCCC WEA

I was disappointed to learn that JCCC plans to end its Knight Watch or WEA (Weekend/Evening Administrator) position. As someone who has worked at JCCC in the evening and who has also taken evening classes (not at the same time), I can tell you this change will adversely affect students.

Here’s the information as posted today on the JCCC electronic mail server, Infolist:

Knight Watch program as it currently exists ends June 30

The services provided by the Knight Watch program will end on June 30 in the format you have experienced it the last two years.

There is a possibility, however, that the services Knight Watch has offered may be available in a somewhat different format or venue beginning in the fall.

As soon as additional information is available, the college community will be advised of the results of current efforts to provide some alternative evening and weekend assistance to students, faculty, staff and visitors.

OK so let me be blunt, this talk about this program possibly coming back, well, that’s what they said when they closed the Student Health Center in 2009 — and JCCC has been without one ever since.

Why will ending this program will hurt students? Continue reading

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Filed under budget, Infolist, JCCC, Kansas, NEWS, Walking on the Ledge

Gift of the Fields

Writers Workshop for Migrant Youth

I’m always proud and humbled to participate in the Latino Writers Collective’s writers workshops for migrant youth. It’s one of the events I look forward to each summer.

In those workshops migrant youth find their long-silenced voices and speak of hidden truths. For many, it’s the first time they’ve ever spoken aloud about being from migrant families.

Just when their stories of pain, injustice and heartache are about to overpower and drown our souls, the hope these incredible students have for the future lifts us all to a place of beauty.

Anyone who has worked the fields knows that it … it takes. It takes everything you have and everything you are. It takes time away from your family. It takes time away from your school. It takes your childhood by making you become an adult sooner than you should. It takes your friends. It even takes the lives of people you love.  That’s a hard reality to accept as we witness these young people stand and share their stories.

But then, something extraordinary happens, it’s the moment I wait all year to experience.

Those magnificent students remind me that while the fields take so much from us, they also offer gifts. The gift of a bond that unites us all as migrants. The gift to see truth with young but experienced eyes. The gift to sense danger and to protect our families long before others could discern the threat. The gift of silent introspection that comes from physical labor. The gift to strive for a better life for our families and for ourselves. The gift to know that no matter how high we rise or how low we fall, we are of the fields … and we take care of our own.

When I was young, I hated summer because it meant going to work in the fields. Now, all these years later, I can’t wait for summer because it means I can spend another day with my migrant brothers and sisters.

And that is another gift of the fields.

Thanks to the writers and poets who donated copies of their books, many of them autographed, so that we could give the students a small gift for sharing their stories. You work will serve as a reminder of the session and will continue to inspire them as you do us. Thanks, again.

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Filed under Diversity, Kansas, Latino, Walking on the Ledge