Kien Phan reports.
By Natalie Villarreal, Ranger Reporter Amarillo College’s East Campus is growing thanks to donations from the Amarillo Area Foundation and the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation. The construction on the East Campus began July 11, 2016, said Megan Eikner, dean of technical education. The new additions will include a new diesel bay for the Automotive Building as well as an airplane hangar. “One of the biggest things for us is that we will have additional space for the diesel program that will allow us to apply for our National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation Certification,” Eikner said. This addition will greatly improve the East Campus, according to Eikner. “It will also open doors to more students, since we currently do not have enough room.” They are also planning to build a concrete taxi way and a helicopter pad. Terry Smith, aviation maintenance program coordinator and instructor, said the new additions will provide a safer learning area for students. “This will offer us a greater opportunity for safety, and provide a more conducive facility for our students.” With the new additions and increased room, Smith said he hopes to enroll veterans who can build upon their military pilot experience. “This will provide them with training for the things that they may or may not have done in the military,” said Smith, adding he is optimistic for the future of the Technical Education Program. “Some of our politicians are starting to see how important the vocational and technical education program is. They are starting to push Technical Education and it’s a great place to start.” Claudia Arnold, program adviser for East Campus said she is excited about the expansion. “We hope to see more aviation students and more diesel students to grow East Campus for the technical education we want to give to our community,” said Arnold. AC officials say they expect the construction to be completed by the fall of 2017. Read more [...]
By EMILY PRISK Ranger Reporter An era of hatred and war; a love story reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet; a conflict about race and cultural identity … the 2016 Common Reader plunges students into the story of Chinese and Japanese immigrants living in Seattle in the 1940s. Common Reader Coordinator Courtney Milleson encourages students to explore the best-selling novel “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford. Reading the book will help students realize the importance of discussing difficult topics, such as racism and family arguments, said Milleson. “I want them to engage with conversations and understand that sometimes those conversations aren’t fun to have and are uncomfortable, but they have a voice, and their voice needs to be heard.” The college uses the Common Reader to bridge the gap between students and faculty members, said Milleson. It is aimed especially toward incoming freshman, but also brings together the entire AC community. Several faculty members will incorporate the book into their classes. From analyzing the characters’ relationships to listening to the Seattle jazz music featured in the novel, professors will be using the book to engage students in critical thinking, said Milleson. “When cracking open your copy of the book, don’t be surprised if you find a few notes written inside,” she said. As the first effort to making students feel a personal connection to the AC family, faculty members have signed various pages, many with encouraging notes. Incoming freshman should receive a copy of the book at Badger Bootcamp and New Student Orientation. Other students will be able to pick up Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet at the Ask AC counter on the Washington Street campus or from their instructors. Several Common Reader events will be held throughout the year, including a visual arts competition and an appearance by the author. Ford will be speaking about the novel at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, in Read more [...]
By JENNA GIBSON Ranger Reporter Put down those vape pens, cigarettes and tobacco, Amarillo College is now smoke-free. As of Monday, Aug. 1, smoking is no longer permitted on Amarillo College campuses.The AC Board of Regents passed this ban Jan. 26 after a proposal initiated by the Student Government Association (SGA). All AC campuses are entirely smoke-free, both indoors and out. This prohibits the use of all cigarettes, vapes and tobacco products on AC grounds, and smoking is banned within 20 feet of any building entrance. According to the Board of Regents the policy states, “Smoking of any tobacco products and the use of electronic or vapor smoking devices are prohibited on all Amarillo College property and in buildings and facilities on all campuses and locations, including parking areas, green spaces and walkways. The use of tobacco products which are smokeless and vaporless is prohibited inside any College building. This policy does not apply to East Campus Housing.” Students and faculty have kept quiet about their thoughts on the ban so far, though that may change come the beginning of fall semester. Bob Austin, vice president of student affairs, said he thinks it will take a while to communicate the smoking policy to everyone; however, he does not expect to see any protesters. “I suspect that I will be required to address a few smoking issues in the upcoming semester but it definitely won’t be the most significant work that I do,” Austin said. “Frankly, I think that most faculty and students have forgotten about the change. Signs regarding the new policy are posted, so I expect that there will be renewed interest in this topic. That being said, I fully expect smokers to find the most convenient locations where they are allowed to smoke and that, in some cases, they will stand directly on the line,” he added. David Lovejoy, a mass media major, said he has heard little from people about the ban. “Vaping is more of an issue than tobacco Read more [...]
By STETSON SMITH Ranger Reporter Amarillo College Student Government Association officers say this school year will be “super.” Following tradition, the SGA executive board members have chosen a theme symbolizing their plans for the year. This year SGA officers have chosen theme of “super heroes” with a quote “not just a team, but a family.” “Our super hero theme came up last minute,” said David Robles, SGA vice president. The E-board members were joking about a “Justice League” theme and wondered if there were any good quotes from the show. After a quick Google search, Robles found the quote, “That’s what we are, not a team, but a family” and adapted it to meet their needs. Robles said the theme relates to the students because, “SGA wants them to feel that they have a family outside of their family at home, and there are people here who want them to succeed.” He added, “We want everyone we encounter to succeed and be the best that they can, regardless if we know who you are.” Payton Nelson, an SGA officer, said the theme appeals to her because, “We need to become more of a family around the college, not just in SGA but between all clubs and students.” She said the SGA plans to work to unite the clubs and organizations, noting, “I think we all need to be more involved, even at Badger Boot Camp. It needs to be all of our faces not just SGA.” Nelson went on to say that the clubs need to be better recognized so students may be more involved. “Just show up and get involved,” she said. SGA President Logan Nelson said the Student Government exists to boost involvement. “It’s to help students to get connected before moving on to something else. It’s there to find a support system and to have that support while here at AC.” “Like our slogan says, ‘not just a team, but a family,’ SGA is my family, we know each other, we talk about everything,” Nelson said. She encourages students to get involved in any Read more [...]
By SALVADOR GUTIERREZ Ranger Reporter Pokémon Go has taken over parks, churches, malls… and Amarillo College. Every day, groups of students and nonstudents of all ages meet at the Washington Street Campus to achieve the goal people have chased for thousands of years—to catch a Pokémon. Pokémon Go rolled out July 6, 2016, as an app for iPhone and Android devices. It gives users the opportunity to play the popular Nintendo franchise in the real world and it has been a hit since the first day. The app has enjoyed record popularity and Apple recently revealed that the game has been the most downloaded app on the App Store--beating Twitter and Tinder on the first week released. Many AC students are regular Pokémon Go players. Maggie Tinoco, a mass media major, said she plays the game every two or three days. “I’ve caught around 35 Pokémon by now and I am really excited about the new updates,” Tinoco said. “I really like how this new game encourages people to go out and interact with other people while doing something funny.” Mimi Tayong is not an AC student but she comes to the Washington Street Campus every day hunting for Pokémon. “My husband and I come to AC since we found out there are more than 10 pokestops around campus. We used them to increase our level in the game, I am level 20 by now and he is level 25,” Tayong said. Aaron Hernandez, Tayong’s husband, said that they have made new friends since they started playing. “A lot of people come to AC around the same time every day. You can see the same guys and families walking around every day. They are like neighbors to me.” The Washington Street Campus pokestops are located around the main buildings including the Amarillo Museum of Art, the Experimental Theatre and the Engineering Building. Players can battle users from different teams at gyms. One such gym is located in the center of campus, at the clock tower. Many students who have enjoyed the game over the summer Read more [...]