Apr 23

Letter To The Editor: A Response From A Registered Tier III Sex Offender

Follow Up PhotoWritten By: Anonymous

I read the article posted in The Voice, March 23, 2015, titled “Editorial: Sex Offenders Mingling With Minors” and I would like to comment on this subject.

It has taken me a few days to digest the material presented and several feelings come to mind to describe how I felt about the article. Shocked, disturbed, and frustrated are just a few. But, I also felt, isolated, lonely, targeted, and hopeless. Why? Because, I am a registered sex offender attending Tri-C.

Labels don’t work, and they never will. A label places a person under an umbrella and once labeled by society, it’s hard to move past. There are bad people out there who prey on children and the vulnerable, but not everyone is bad. Not all “sex offenders” are out to hurt people. There are plenty of people who have committed a sex offense who are working very hard on changing their lives for the positive. I served our country for 4 years in the Navy and was in a very dark and dismal place 11 years ago. I made a horrible mistake and paid my debt to society. The judge didn’t give me a life sentence, but being on the registry feels like a life sentence. While incarcerated, I volunteered to go through a treatment program because I wanted to better my life. I know several people in my situation who are doing very well and working hard to be productive members of society. Upon release I have had a very difficult time trying to find a job. I applied at Wal-Mart, but was denied the job because of my past. I applied at Chipotle and was shocked to learn that I can’t be trusted to make a burrito. The article was very tough for me to read because I felt bad that there was a victim. After reading the article, I also felt like I had done something wrong.

I have been attending Tri-C now for the last two years and love every minute of it. I am working very hard to earn my degree and it’s rewarding to see my hard work pay off. Unfortunately, most won’t see or care about how hard I’ve been working, but they will fixate on my label as a sex offender. The headline of the article places all “sex offenders” under that umbrella I was talking about. The article didn’t mention the perpetrators by name, but it was easier to say “sex offenders”.

When I go to class, I follow the student code of conduct and go to Tri-C to learn… I don’t talk to anyone, because I am not ignorant to the fact of how my fellow students feel about sex offenders. Ask Mr. Brian Grays. “It’s okay to have standards,” he says.

I work two jobs to support myself, I go to school, and I also fly airplanes. I learned to fly when I was 15 years old and earned my pilot’s license at the age of 17. I am a son, brother, boyfriend, student, musician, pilot, veteran, and sports enthusiast. That’s what defines me. Not some label society has placed on me because they think it will keep everyone safe. This is a tough battle for me, but I made the mistake and now I have to deal with it. If we want to keep everyone safe and make strides towards a more positive future, we can try to work together and find a solution. By placing a label on someone, it prevents growth and change. These days, society has found a label for everything. If one would promote a more positive atmosphere, change will happen. Continue to place labels on people, the status quo will be maintained.

Let me paint a picture, the day that 39-year-old registered sex offender decided to enroll at Tri-C, I didn’t do anything wrong. If he disobeyed his parole stipulations, he did something wrong, not me… If he took the class to be able to sit next to a young girl, he did something wrong, not me… If he assaulted someone, he did something wrong, not me… That’s why labels don’t work.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Angela Wolfe, Metro Editor-in-Chief

We have chosen to keep the identity of the person who submitted this letter anonymous for safety purposes. It was written in response to the Voice Editorial: Sex Offenders Mingling With Minors, published in the March 23rd edition. Please note, the student who wrote this letter was found guilty of sodomizing a 5-month-old girl.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cccvoice.com/2015/04/23/letter-to-the-editor-a-response-from-a-registered-tier-iii-sex-offender/

Apr 21

The Drought is Over: The End of the Cleveland Sports Curse

Cleveland

Cleveland Sky. Photo by Mitchel Guy

A Sports Column by Mitchel Guy

With the NBA playoffs set to begin, we see a familiar sight. The Cleveland Cavaliers, led by their prodigal son Lebron James, are a top seed in the Eastern Conference.  All eyes will be locked on “The King” as he tries to fulfill his commitment of bringing his hometown their first major sports championship since 1964. Expectations from this city are currently at an all-time high since the 4-time NBA MVP returned to the team that drafted him. A four year hiatus with the Miami Heat has left many fans scarred but it is beginning to appear that “The Decision” may be the best thing that could have happened to this city.

The City of Cleveland has become a punch-line to a majority of the country over the years.  Cuyahoga County never seems to be in the spotlight for positive reasons. However, despite what people foreign to the area think, Clevelanders take great pride in their city. Anyone who has spent time here knows exactly what I’m talking about. This pride is the driving force that fuels Cleveland’s incredible sports fan-base.  The fact is, in Cleveland, sports have become a way of life for many. The community uses their beloved teams as a way to connect with one another.  Complete strangers have shared common misery and that misery has bonded the community together.

Many believe that there is a curse preventing the city from thriving and the sports teams succeeding. The last time the city saw a championship was when Jim Brown was dominating the NFL as a RB for The Cleveland Browns. Brown’s former team has not been back to a league championship game since his early retirement in 1965. Their struggles have been amplified recently. The Cleveland Browns have only been to the playoffs once in the last 21 years. The Cleveland Indians are a storied baseball franchise. The Indians haven’t won a title since 1948. The Cavaliers are Cleveland’s only major team that has never won a championship. They have been in the NBA since 1970 and there only championship appearance was in 2007 with a young Lebron James leading the way.

Lebrons decision to leave for Miami in 2010 has haunted Cleveland for a few years. Lebron has been the best player in the NBA since he came into the league straight out of high school. He is 30 years old and in the prime of his career.  James has been to the NBA Finals in four consecutive seasons, winning two, as a member of the Heat. Meanwhile, in Cleveland the perfect storm was brewing. The Cavaliers were the worst team in the league over the four years Lebron was gone. This performance coupled with incredible luck resulted in three 1st overall picks in the draft over that time. With some maneuvering the Cavaliers have been able to provide Lebron with what may be his most talented supporting cast of his career.

There are no more excuses. There is no “wait til next year”. The Cavaliers are in position to win multiple NBA Championships over the foreseeable future. Cleveland has been waiting for this for a very long time and it appears inevitable our title will come soon.  It is time to forget the negativity and enjoy it while it’s here. We are now in a championship run, eleven years in the making.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cccvoice.com/2015/04/21/the-drought-is-over-the-end-of-the-cleveland-sports-curse/

Apr 15

Entrepreneur Expro

By Angela Wolfe

Metro, Editor-in-Chief

The P.R.E.S.S. club, short for, Persistence, Retention, Excellence, Students, and Success, is a business club that flourishingly sponsored the first of its kind “Tri-C Community Entrepreneur Expo”.

The Press Club created a platform for student, faculty, and staff business owners to showcase their products and services by coordinating, marketing and setting up the expo. The crux of the function was to promote entrepreneurship by building clientele and networking.

“This exposure is an opportunity to motivate other business student to follow through with their goals.” Said faculty advisor, Professor Andrew Bajda. He also expressed the importance of supporting local businesses and our stimulating our local economy.

This first time around, vendors were prohibited to sell merchandise. But the experience gained in participating in a trade-show like atmosphere was a chance to expose the entrepreneurs to a different aspect of sales.

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Vendors of the first Entrepreneur Expo. Photos by James Whitfield

Micheal Huges, Marketing Major, and Press Club President stated, “There are different stages to put out a business. We are preparing to embarking on a journey post-graduation and this experience will serve as a memorable takeaway for when we step into the real world.”

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cccvoice.com/2015/04/15/entrepreneur-expro/

Apr 15

Cleveland International Film Festival

By Litho Freeman

Metro, Staff Writer

The Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) wrapped up here in town this past week. In attendance was a large crowd of awaiting young professional and film aficionados alike. The festival, celebrating its thirty ninth year here in Cleveland is primarily located in Tower City Cinemas with special select shows displaying and the theater on Chagrin avenue and Cedar Lee Theater.

With the majority of films being displayed at Tower City, the reassurance of downtown can definitely be felt in the traffic waiting to park anywhere near the festival. Cleveland hasn’t always been known for it’s artistic of film community, yet the Cleveland International Film Festival or CIFF has always brought out an amazing crowd of Clevelanders who rarely get to experience a bit of film Culture the likes of Sundance or Cannes.

The usually bare and often ghost town Tower City has been transformed into a social gathering of art, one that I’ve never experienced here in primarily urban city of Cleveland. As people traveled their daily commutes through the rapid station, which is located inside Tower City, one could see filmmakers and aspiring actresses from all around the world, intermingling with a crowd that has not been exposed to such an event before.

After speaking with a number of attendees I learned that this year’s CIFF was the first they’ve heard about since being in Cleveland. One film goer said “ the (Cleveland) Film Festival is a chance for the dying art community in Cleveland to live somewhere for a period of time, and hopefully inspire all of the city’s young filmmakers to explore and reach new ideas about their craft. “

As a digital video filmmaking student here at Cuyahoga Community College, and a budding Cleveland artist, I can only attest to the gratitude I felt while viewing the original films being shown and the Q&A sessions given by some of the directors and producers. In a city where one really has to look around for cultured events, the Cleveland Film Festival has brought it to us once again, showings of films will continue around the clock until the festival’s last day which is on March 29th, hope to see you down there.IMG_9528Photo Provided By: James Whitfield

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cccvoice.com/2015/04/15/cleveland-international-film-festival-2/

Apr 15

What is Feminism? Do You Think We Need It Today?

By Saily Aloni

Is there a need for feminism in today’s day and age? Yes. It is still relevant. On a global scale, it is needed to confront and resolve issues of sexual violence, denial of education, and most importantly, for all women to be granted the most basic right – to be counted as a person, a human being. Not an Object. It is disheartening to be a young woman today and still having to battle for our right to be counted as a human being and demanding respect that is owed to every living being in the world.

Now, is every man disrespectful to women? No, certainly not. Is every single man accountable and punishable for other people’s actions against women? No, the male gender is not the evil here. The evil is the mindset that has been a part of history for the past few thousand years. As always, the status quo is important in maintaining established power structures, so wading through these age old barriers was never going to be easy. Nor was every single attempt going to be the correct one. Slow and steady wins the race; we all grow up hearing that. While not at an ideal pace, feminism has been making great strides on women’s behalf and it continues to do so today.

There is no single set in stone definition of modern feminism, so we asked people right here at the Tri-C Western Campus what it means to them as an individual or what they hope will come from it for the future generations:

1. Feminism is: as a woman, being happy for other women and applauding their success instead of tearing each other down. – Dawn

2. Feminism is: equal educational opportunities for women all over the world. – Sana

3. Feminism is: making it possible so that today I have strong female rode models in my family who I can look up to. – Michael

4. Feminism is: not having to act less intelligent to be accepted. – Angela

5. Feminism is: I should be able to turn down a man for a date without any fear of backlash and/or potential violence against me. – Ally

6. Feminism is: equal pay for women and men working the same job. – John

7. Feminism is: Not being shamed for opting to stay at home, to care for my children and family. – Emily

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cccvoice.com/2015/04/15/what-is-feminism-do-you-think-we-need-it-today/

Apr 15

Catrina’s Corner; Achy Breaky Heart

By Catrina Leone

You know that feeling. That can’t eat, can’t sleep, the butterflies in your stomach…? Those feelings accurately describe falling in love, but sadly and tragically can also describe the pain and uncertainty of heartbreak. We have all been there. We have all given our all to someone who decided to walk away. I am here to tell you that I found love, true love after my heartbreak and so can you.

As I have stated in previous articles, I had short comings in high school due to bullying and such. I did not have my first boyfriend until I was 16, and that inevitably went on and off for 3 years. Those of you who have been in that type of situation know how hard it can be to cut the ties, but it needs to be done. High school relationships can last into the future but often times do not, and that was the case with me.

College came around and I made a pact to myself to swear all guys off until I was truly ready. I was taken by surprise when I met my now ex-boyfriend, it was unexpected and something I thought I needed. A whirl wind romance, something you would find in a Taylir Swift song. It opened my eyes but also blinded me at the same time. He had a dark past, a past that I tried to break him free from. Here is the same reality, you cannot help someone who won’t help themselves. I became more of a mother figure in his life than his significant other. It drained me but I vowed to stick by him…until that warm July day.

The day eventually came where my ex-boyfriend decided he could not sustain our relationship any further. I found myself in that somewhat low place of begging and pleading. If you have to give someone an ultimatum or beg, it is not right. This break-up took place in 2013 and took until the last month of 2014 for me to accept it. Moving on is a process, similar to grieving. I was angry some days, sad the others. I wanted to hate him but knew I couldn’t, and don’t even now.

That relationship happened for me to figure out who I want to be and what I deserve. Addiction, betrayal, lies…it all happened. I am here almost 2 years later with the love of my life. Someone I would not have met without experiencing true heart break. To whomever is going through something that seems never ending, I am here to tell you that the pain does stop, the worrying fades, and the memories remain just that…memories. Never settle for anything less than you deserve. I am at peace.

God Bless.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cccvoice.com/2015/04/15/catrinas-corner-achy-breaky-heart/

Apr 15

The Multi-cultural Club

By Rashe’d Whatley

The Multicultural Club is one of many clubs at Tri-C’s Eastern Campus that seeks new and old members for 2015 and 2016. The first revival of the club was in 2010 and the second was in 2013.

Attendance at meetings and events are usually filled with ESL and International students. The ESL Dept. has been beneficial to the club but membership is often sporadic. Club President Leah Contreras, a student from Central America, and Vice President Shalini Patel, a student from India, each give a true world experience to the club.

Club Advisor Lori Brindinsi shared her thoughts on the benefits of joining the Multi cultural Club.

“The Multicultural Club is an active and dynamic studentorganization on the Eastern campus that facilitates cross-cultural friendships and helps build bonds between students from all over campus,” she said. “It has really grown in size since it was re-started during Fall semester 2013, and everyone is welcome to participate. The students really have a good time together, and it’s great to see them share and learn about each other’s cultures!”

For more info about the Multi-cultural Club, you can e-mail Advisor Lori Brindisi at lori.brindisi@tri-c.edu or go to the ESS Building in the International Student Services office.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cccvoice.com/2015/04/15/the-multi-cultural-club/

Apr 15

Students Jump into the Madness: C.A.B. March Madness Event

SONY DSC

Theresa Russo (left) and Gina Stupp (right) enjoy the big chair. Photo by Emily Donley

By Robby Fenbers

Campus Activities Board was at it again this March, as they brought students a taste of March Madness.

The annual March Madness event took place in the North Galleria on March, 18th. Students were able to enjoy large blow up inflatables, airbrush tattoos and a large blow up chair for fun photos. The event was put on by C.A.B. and Neon Entertainment who provided the inflatables, and airbrush tattoos.

The marquee attraction was the large basketball/jousting inflatable which brought out students’ best attempts at alley-oops and trick shots. Even members of C.A.B. jumped into the action in their referee shirts and whistles.

The blow up chair photos attracted a lot of students and even some faculty including Campus President Dr. Ron Liss, who took a break from his daily duties to take a photo.

C.A.B. Vice President Emily Donley thought the event was a huge success. “I thought it turned out really well, there were a lot of students that showed up,” said Donley. C.A.B. has been known to put on events that draw student’s attention and this event –because of its props– seems to always be a hit.

The event came at a time where students were just returning from Spring Break and that meant midterms were on the horizon. “I think it is really important for the students to get a break from the stresses of midterms and tests, I think this event was really geared towards that,” said Donley.

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A student attempts a slam dunk inside the giant inflatable. Photo by Emily Donley

If you would like to join C.A.B. and be a part of events like this, Contact C.A.B. President Amanda Stack at westcampusactivity@gmail.com

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cccvoice.com/2015/04/15/students-jump-into-the-madness-c-a-b-march-madness-event/

Apr 15

Challengers Men’s Basketball Season in Review

By Robby Fenbers

It has been over a month since the Challengers season came to an end in the first round of the OCCAC tournament. It was a season unlike any other for Coach Duncan and the men from Tri-C as we take a look back at their season.

Hopes were high for the Challengers with new head coach Michael Duncan at the helm, but the season began with tragedy. Their first game as a team was to be a simple scrimmage at the Owens Community College Jamboree on Oct. 12., second year guard Antonio Mason had to sit out the scrimmage that day because of being involved in a fight with some teammates. It would be a devastating day for the Challengers as Mason was involved in a car accident in the early hours of that morning. He had a cracked sacrum, spinal injuries and a broken manubrium. It was questionable whether he could ever walk again. “When Tone called me and told me he was in a car accident, it took everything out of me. I couldn’t do nothing but cry,” said Coach Duncan.

The team banded together with heavy hearts as they headed into the Kennedy-King tournament in Chicago, IL. The team won both games and Coach Duncan got to experience winning as a head basketball coach for the first time. When asked his feelings before the tournament Duncan said, “I was excited, couldn’t wait for the season to finally start and to finally be a head coach.” The Challengers continued their winning ways, stringing together six consecutive wins to start the season, including two overtime wins.

Coach Duncan was beginning to get a feel for his team and his star players. “It was early, I was trying to learn their habits. I had a decent feel for them but it wasn’t great because we didn’t lose yet,” he said. The Challengers faced adversity in the form of tragedy, but were yet to taste that losing feeling, that would soon change. Cairo Brown, their leader and starting point guard was suspended for three games which likely led to three consecutive losses, including two overtime losses. Coach Duncan was especially upset after the Niagara Community College game, where the team welcomed back Antonio Mason to the sidelines. Duncan gave a passionate speech in the locker room after the OT loss. The team was 6-3 and a few weeks away from Conference play.

The Challengers welcomed back Cairo Brown and with him came three consecutive wins including dominating defensive performances against Mercyhurst North East and CC of Alleghany County. It seemed that they had righted the ship heading into their final non-conference game against Lansing Community College. It was a disappointment, as the Challengers fell 99-91. The team hung in there but couldn’t overcome the three point shooting by Lansing, who shot a consistent 11 of 22 from deep. Heading into conference play with a 9-4 record, the Challengers had already been through a whirlwind of adversity yet they had no idea how much the next few months would test them both mentally and physically.

It was conference play and Coach Duncan prepared the boys to step up their game in the following months. The team began wearing their “Stand up for Tone” t-shirts in support of their teammate. They also had a new emerging star grabbing attention all around the conference. Robert Fomby was putting up consistent numbers and seemed to be getting better and better as the season went on. In the conference opener against Columbus State he showed just why he was getting all that attention, recording 27 points 15 rebounds and 4 assists, he put the conference on notice. The Challengers went on to win 92-76. The 10-4 record seemed to put the Challengers in discussion as one of the best in the conference.

The Challengers then went toe to toe with one of the conference’s best, Owens Community College, as the game was pushed into overtime. Robert Fomby had another solid performance with 29 points 11 rebounds and 3 steals, but it was not enough. The Challengers fell 93-91 in OT. The team regrouped and came out with a three game winning streak with three consecutive double-digit victories including a huge win over Cincinnati State. They were confident and started to believe they could be the conference’s best teams. They waited for another shot at the top of the conference, they didn’t have to wait long.

In the game of the year, the Challengers (13-5) faced the Lakers of Lakeland Community College (14-5). The men from Tri-C came out on fire in front of their home crowd, building a 24-9 lead early in the game. But Lakeland, as expected made a run and the Challengers found themselves in a dogfight down the stretch. With a small lead, the attention turned to a scuffle at midcourt which resulted in multiple ejections for the Challengers and, even more damaging, an unbelievable seven technical free throws. The packed stands were stunned as the Lakers hit their free throws and went on to take the commanding lead. The Lakers then defeated the Challengers 99-95 in a game that was marred by that moment. Momentum had shifted and so too did the Challengers season. “We were never the same after that Lakeland loss. In practice, with the guys, nobody ever had that spunk again, that we had going into that game,” said Duncan. Due to the ejections from the Lakeland game, the Challengers would have to win without Darrell Parker, Isaiah Bennet and Jalen Stewart who were suspended for two games. The team defeated Edison on the road, but were completely outmatched against Owens at home. The month was long and full of ups and downs. The Challengers beat who they were supposed to beat but couldn’t overcome the conference’s best teams when it mattered most. They finished their regular season with a complete dismantling of Edison who came in having lost 13 in a row.

As the OCCAC conference tournament was set. The Challengers found themselves at the spot they had been all year, the middle of the pack. Going in as the #4 seed they drew a matchup against a scrappy Sinclair team that gave them trouble in their game just ten days earlier. The Challengers had a size advantage and seemed to be the better team on paper. They jumped out to a 9-0 lead early but could not pull away. Sinclair hung in the game and as they did their shooters grew more confident, then one of them became almost unstoppable. Manny Powell Jr lit up the Challengers as he went 8 of 9 from the 3-point line. The deciding moment came when he hit a three pointer to put Sinclair up 74-73 with seven seconds left.

Tri-C had one last shot but they missed and just like that, the season was over. Last season the Challengers finished 7-19, this season 18-10. It was a huge turnaround for Coach Duncan and the team. The excellent season was capped off with Conference honors for many of the Challengers including Robert Fomby who was voted 3rd place for Conference MVP and first team all-conference. Other honorable mentions went to Cairo Brown and Marquis Jackson.

The Challengers were 1-5 against the conference’s top 3 teams, a statistic that Coach Duncan believes sums up their season. “It means we couldn’t win the big game,” he said.

Though they were defeated in the first round of the OCCAC tournament, the Challengers grew this season, not only as athletes but also as men. They laughed, loved and even cried. They experienced triumph, tragedy and everything in between. This was no ordinary season, this one was special.

Antonio Mason, surrounded by teammates during a basketball game. Photo from a Plain Dealer article by Lisa DeJong

Antonio Mason, surrounded by teammates during a basketball game. Photo from a Plain Dealer article by Lisa DeJong

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cccvoice.com/2015/04/15/challengers-mens-basketball-season-in-review/

Apr 15

Antonio Mason Set to Receive Electric Wheelchair

By Robby Fenbers

Months after his tragic accident, his Tri-C community is still finding ways to lift him up.

By now you have probably heard of Antonio Mason, the young man who had his life change in the blink of an eye, after he was hit from behind by a speeding vehicle. Mason suffered devastating injuries including a cracked sacrum, spinal injuries and a broken manubrium. All but gone are his hopes of playing basketball again, now that he spends his time recovering and longing to walk again.

Mason has received an overwhelming amount of support from the Tri-C community, including recent bake sales that have raised money for him and his family. Coaches and players have also kept in contact with him, keeping his spirits high. “The support has been great. I appreciate that I got people willing to help me however they can, whether it’s a wheelchair or a prayer,” said Mason.

It was a chance encounter, much like the awful one he had on that tragic day that may bring him a fresh start and a new push to keep on fighting. Student Support Supervisor Michael Bistak was at the Rec center, as a basketball player walked past him. Bistak was talking to his sister Cathy Manson and seeing the basketball player prompted him to tell her that one of the basketball players was in a car accident and is paralyzed from the chest down. “The next words out of her mouth were, could he use the chair?” he said. Manson had lost her husband Fred, who struggled with ALS and passed away in April 2014 due to esophageal cancer, leaving her with an electric wheelchair.

Both Bistak and Manson believe this is yet another kind act from their beloved Fred. “Fred was always giving and willing to help people throughout his whole life and you know he is still giving, he is giving the chair.” His generous and giving personality has always touched Cathy. “If I couldn’t nail it down Fred would give it away,” she said.

Antonio uses a regular wheelchair now as he continues his rehabilitation in a nursing home. Although, don’t expect Antonio to look at this as a permanent upgrade. “I push myself and do everything to keep my upper body strong for when my legs come back, because they comin’,” he said.

Though plans are in place to give Antonio the $13,000 electric wheelchair, the process was slowed by the complications of building a ramp onto his Mother’s home. Recently, Tri-C, Health Aid of Ohio and Ozanne Construction came together to build the $5,000 aluminum ramp.

From Manson to Mason this generous act will surely touch the lives of Antonio and his family, as he continues his road to recovery, with perhaps now a little smoother road.Cathy Manson

Permanent link to this article: http://www.cccvoice.com/2015/04/15/antonio-mason-set-to-receive-electric-wheelchair/

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