Academics and Gender Equity key to athletics

Dear Eagle,

The athletic department has challenges and goals to attain during the 1997-1998 calendar year. We will try to attain these goals and meet these challenges with an appreciation of the present and a vision for the future.

Our greatest challenge for all student/athletes and athletic programs is in the classroom. We always look forward to competition, but our wins and losses are more important in the classroom than on the court, field or track. The students who attain a balance in their academics, athletic and social lives usually excel in the classroom and on the field or court.

Our athletic programs include Women's Volleyball, Men's Basketball, Baseball, Football, Men's and Women's Track and Field, and Women's Cross Country. All athletic programs are funded equally. Individual sport programs can "fundraise" through the Mendocino College Foundation to supplement their budgets. The athletic department at Mendocino College will add Women's Softball in the spring of 1999, and continue the pursuit of gender equity and excellence in athletics.


Kevin Smallcomb,
Athletic Director

Editor's note: This above letter previously appeared on the Eagle web site. The following letter is a response from a member of community.

College Athletic program out of Compliance

Dear Eagle,

The letter to the Mendocino College Eagle from Kevin Smallcomb is not relevant to the problems of the athletic program at Mendocino College because he ignores the most salient facts about the athletic program.

1. Approximately eight years ago, the Board of Trustees at Mendocino College was warned by the Community College Chancellor's Office that the college athletic program was out of compliance with Title IX of the Education Code which states that money received by the college for its athletic program must be spent equally on credit courses for men and women students.

The College responded by hiring three instructors for the women's athletic program. One instructor resigned in protest against gender discrimination. The other two instructors were later transferred to classroom programs.

2. The Mendocino College Budget is available at the Mendocino College Library. The funds spent in the athletic program are distributed throughout the budget with considerable obscurity requiring some research in order to arrive at the precise use of the funds spent on the athletic programs. However, even a cursory analysis by an interested accounting student reveals that approximately 90% of the funds are spent on men's sports.

One-hundred and sixty eight male students are the primary beneficiaries of the Athletic Department Budget.

3. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of the students at Mendocino College are women and there has been no effort on the part of Mendocino College to develop, recruit, or implement significant athletic programs for the women students.

In fact, the Board of Trustees and the college administration has ignored the problem for years and has given the distinct impression that they do not care that Mendocino College is not and never has provided significant athletic programs for the women students who are the majority on campus.

4. Mr. Smallcomb's rather incoherent and decidedly irrelevant letter of explanation states that "individual sport programs can fund-raise through the Mendocino College Foundation." It is preposterous that Mr. Smallcomb should offer such an idea for public consumption.

Why would the Mendocino College Foundation subsidize individual sports when the funds currently being spent by the Athletic Department are not being spent in accordance with the Education Code?

Al Pierce, Ukiah

Former Eagle editor checks in

Dear Eagle,

My name is Michael Johnson and I was a student at MC in 1975-76. I was Managing Editor of The Eagle and Associated Student Body President.

The circumstances that led to my assuming this dual task is a good story in itself. I won't tell that one. In fact, given the apparently fluid nature of the current staff, it's possible that whoever reads this will have little or no interest in my observations or reminiscences. I'll try to be brief.

I still live in Ukiah and have followed the recent events at MC regarding Susan Bell and The Eagle through the Ukiah Daily Journal. I was disheartened (but not surprised) to see that little progress has been made in almost 25 years. However, it was immensely gratifying to find the Eagle at the center of this controversy. The publication of Dean Bell's letter in the Eagle was in the true spirit of its founders. Clearly, the administration and the board are intent on maintaining their little fiefdom. The recent "independent" investigation found no 'significant improprieties.' Apparently the cronyism that inspired the publication of the first issue of the Eagle still exists.

Volume 1, No. 1, of The Eagle was written, edited and printed by Stephen Caravello. It was a supplement to the June 1, 1974 issue of The Mendocino Grapevine, a now defunct county weekly. The lead article was about education versus athletics. The author was not alone in questioning the decision to field a football team (with all the requisite accessories) when the shelves of the college library were mostly occupied by bookends. The main campus itself was in portable buildings and trailers at the Fairgrounds in Ukiah. The site selection process would eventually drag on and on and on...

Our first issue wasn't until June 1976. We reprinted an (unfortunately) edited version of this two year-old article for two important reasons: As a tribute to the original, and a commentary on the past/current debate regarding academics/athletics. The relevance of the piece was amazing, and its publication successfully defied the logic and rules of journalism. And so it goes.

Over time, I've casually picked up issues of The Eagle just out of curiosity. I've been on campus exactly once since I was a student. Two years ago, I stopped in the office and chatted with a woman who was the editor/advisor. I was amused to find that it was as chaotic and unsettled as ever. There was still some debate over whether the paper should be part of the curriculum or an extracurricular activity. From reading the paper's web page, I can see that the debate continues. As I noted at the beginning, the fact that the Eagle's website is apparently not linked to the MC site is significant.

Hopefully, this message will be of interest to someone on the current staff. I am somewhat sedentary these days, and would be delighted to furnish more history and unsolicited opinions via e-mail.

Thanks for your time and attention. I look forward to further communication.

Keep fanning the flames.

R. Michael Johnson
anarchist archivist

Carpool a solution to air pollution

Dear Editor:

Air pollution has become a serious problem in America. Much of it can be traced to the massive use of automobiles in our society. For the survival of Earth, and ultimately our own survival, we need to reduce air pollution. By making use of alternatives that reduce the number of automobiles on the road we can help reduce pollution, save money and develop a sense of community.

In order to reduce the amount of pollution, it is worth giving rides or taking buses; people should appreciate and become concerned about the transportation they take. There is a lot we can do for our own good as a community, but we often ignore it. There are many people who have to come to Mendocino College from different counties, such as Upper Lake, Willits, and Booneville. These people should share rides instead of burning too much fuel for just one person.

However, it is not only students from outlying areas who should share rides. All students who have room in their cars should tell classmates that they are more than willing to give rides. This would reduce the number of cars on the road and the amount of pollution. If you give rides when there is empty space in your car, you are making a difference for the environment as well as helping that person. There are many different kinds of arrangements that can be made. For example, the driver can charge a decent amount of money or take turns with the other person giving rides or buying gas. By doing such a small thing, you can make a big difference for your community.

You can find other forms of transportation besides automobiles. Many students ride bikes to school or take the MTA buses.

Besides reducing the pollution, this will reduce the demand for gas and bring the community closer together. With less traffic on the road, less money would be spent on gas. This would save us money. Working as a community as a whole can make us stronger people; by giving a helping hand to each other, we can boost our self-esteem and sense of togetherness.

The people of this beautiful community can make use of many alternatives in order to reduce air pollution. We should start riding bikes, like in other countries, and drive less. We should put new alternatives into action for our own survival; our health and Earth's health are getting worse every second. By helping the earth, we help ourselves. The warning shout of our souls and the earth's shouts have been ignored in the favor of our own convenience for far too long.

Trino Fuentes, student

Thank You, Mendocino College, for Outstanding service

Dear Eagle:

I am writing this letter to encourage students to take advantage of the available campus resources. Also, I want to give credit where credit is due for helping me.

In the fall 1997 semester I took the College Success Guidance 40 class instructed by Ms. Diane Sloan. When I enrolled in the class I was at a crossroads in my life and I felt directionless about changing careers. Emotionally, it was a difficult place for me. Previously I had always known what I wanted to do career-wise and was very successful. However, it was time for a change, and I relocated to Ukiah to regroup. Within the first couple of weeks of the class, and with Ms. Sloan's direction, I reacquainted myself with pieces of my wants, dreams, and sense of self.

I had gone to colleges in several locations and usually took classes which helped my career path at that time. However, I never sought a college counselor for help. I think I was embarrassed because I thought I should "just know these things." With Ms. Sloan's advice about using the college resources available, I finally got the nerve to ask for help. I set up an appointment with Mary Holcomb in the counseling department. I had decided that even if I had to take all 60 units, I was going to do what it took to get my AA.

When I saw Mary, I found her to be an excellent resource. She understood my dilemma, and wanted to help. After discussing the five colleges I had attended in the past, we decided to send for the transcripts. Upon receipt of the transcripts, they were forwarded for accreditation evaluation. When Mary retrieved the results, we set up a follow-up appointment to discuss where I was with my requirements and what I needed to do to get on track. So, I nervously went to her office, completely expecting the worst. When we went over the documentation, I found out that I only needed 16 units to graduate with a Liberal Arts degree! I even have 15 transferable upper division units, so I will be transferring this fall to complete an undergraduate degree! I was ecstatic that my hard work hadn't been wasted over the fact that I never had a particular course plan. If it weren't for Ms. Sloan, I'm not sure when it would have occurred to me to do something as simple as ask for help!

I want to publicly thank Ms. Sloan for her efforts, and I highly recommend the College Success Guidance 40 class. It proved to be a good confidence builder for me and a place where students learn about the different types of intelligence and aptitudes. She covers great information on study tactics, how to read textbooks, and how to gain a sense of control over the material. We learned about values and beliefs, time management skills, and keeping a balance in life. Again, Ms. Sloan and Mary Holcomb, thank you for your empathy, patience, and professionalism!


Melissa Hughs

Lyme Disease - a serious issue

Dear Eagle:

Yesterday I found a tick on my little son. What does this mean to you? It means that the spring tick season is beginning and it's time to check your children and yourself more carefully for ticks. Lyme disease is widespread in our area.

Most people know that lyme disease causes joint and muscle pain but not everyone realizes that it can also causes dementia, blindness, deafness, paralysis, heart problems, seizures, personality change, and an almost endless list of other possible symptoms.

If caught early, lyme is curable. Look for a bull's eye rash, a fever and chills flu-like illness, stiff neck, and headache. Later there is joint and muscle pain that feels like a bad injury, but comes and goes. Not everyone gets the same symptoms. For some people, the first symptom is discovering that they know longer know their name.

Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's, mental illness, multiple sclerosis or chronic fatigue syndrome. Lyme is a difficult diagnosis to make. Symptoms vary wildly and there is not yet a reliable test for lyme. Reasonable doctors will prescribe antibiotics when lyme is even a possibility. Left untreated, lyme disease can turn horrible.

My husband and I and two of our children have lyme. It's a very painful and endless disease. I have been blind in a world of welding- torch brightness. I've had my legs unexpectedly stop working at all sorts of inconvenient times, leaving me often barely able to crawl. But, as a mother, watching my children suffer has been worse. Lyme causes learning disabilities, depression, and such pain. If not treated early it can become a life- long problem. You WANT to protect your children and yourself from this!

Tick check at least every night before bed. Prevention is so much easier than cure.


Marigold Klein


Kudos for Mendocino College

Dear Editor:

I would like to share with the other students my comments on the Mendocino College teaching staff. I have been taking classes at community colleges throughout California over the past 16 years and have utilized four campuses from which I can compare. Out of the four campuses I have attended, I have found that Mendocino College, which is quite a small campus, offers a commendable selection of faculty and administrative staff.

The faculty that I have dealt with have used professionalism, life experience and common sense in their teaching practices. Each teacher has taken the time to listen to my concerns, learn more about me as an individual, and to interact with the sole intent to promote my academic goals. That makes me feel valued as a human being.

Thank you, Mendocino College, for hiring supportive and professional role models who benefit the community as a whole.

Jo Ann Young-Myers

Financial aid office not up to par!

Dear Eagle:

I am a full-time student at Mendocino College. This is my second semester and I am very frustrated by the financial aid department here. My first semester, some information didn't get requested by financial aid from Admissions; then when it was transferred, my Social Security number was incorrect. This semester I was given advice for the FAFSA that was blatantly incorrect and I am thankful I had the sense to question that advice and figure it out by myself. This information was given to me by one of the employees "with an office," not just answering phones or working at the counter.

I have previously attended a community college and it was an excellent facility with a competent financial aid department. Frankly, I am disgusted with Mendocino College in this respect and am glad to be graduating. There are too many other options, such as Santa Rosa J.C, for students to put up with this sort of un-professionalism.

On the other hand, I have had a great experience with the instructors, particularly part-timers, and would like to thank them for their dedication.

Thank you,

Jessica S.

Athletic spending

Dear Eagle,

The Mendocino College Athletic Department has spent more than 6000 dollars on long distance calls out of the Mendocino-Lake County area. This money has been spent during one month. This is more than the Mendocino College Library receives for operation for an entire semester.

· Who is making these calls?

· Are coaches recruiting outside the district? (highly illegal)

· Are athletes being allowed to call home at the expense of the college (a serious violation of NCAA rules)

The president of Mendocino College and the vice-president for business affairs must know this is happening. If they do not know about this, who is minding the store?

It has come to my attention that the football coach and the president of Monterey Community College were both fired in a similar situation for subsidizing individual athletes.

And yet the Board of Trustees of Mendocino College does nothing but stonewall when questioned by the public?

How many Sonoma County athletes should be at Santa Rosa Junior College have been recruited and then subsidized at Mendocino Community College with the full knowledge of the athletic coaches, the college board of trustees and the college administration?

B.G Davis

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