Monthly Archives: February 2012

Lancaster Campus Gains Grounds

By Heidi Detweiler                 Staff Writer

To expand its property, HACC Lancaster has recently purchased a significant amount of land surrounding the campus building. The newly gained property will improve the quality of student services. The purchase is a result of a $5.1 million lawsuit that occurred approximately eight years ago. According to “Lancaster Online,” in the fall of 2004, Lancaster HACC faced a lawsuit against Pitney Road Partners for causing a dispute over the cost of a Warfel Costruction Co. project. Pitney claimed that HACC violated the lease agreement, approving additions for the college that had not been laid out in the original plans. Such additions included a classroom, additional windows, a radiological testing room, and brick banding, all of which led to a delay in Warfel’s completion and an overall increase in costs, reported “Lancaster Online.” Also according to “Lancaster Online,” the estimated amount owed to the subcontractors of Warfel that HACC refused to pay was $5.1 million in overruns, which exceeded the $26 million budget of the project.  The college claimed that because the building was not completed by the deadline of July 1, 2004, regardless of the fact that students were able to attend class by the scheduled start of the semester, that they were not responsible for rent payment for the first six months of the lease. HACC then proceeded to pay rent based upon the budgeted cost of the project, but not the actual cost of the project.

Luncheon & chat with the Vice-President

By Emma Carr-Gardner                 Staff Writer  

Early last October many students were able to attend an informal luncheon with Dr. L. Marshall Washington, the vice president of the Lancaster campus.  Dr. Washington holds these luncheons as a way to directly hear from the students. During this time students are able to inquire about various issues and concerns that face the average student on a daily basis.      “It’s important for me to get a pulse from students on how well the faculty is doing and what are some things that can be improved,” Dr. Washington explained. “I like to hear it straight from them… I like to get in front of [students] and interact with them because they’re the ones that are, ultimately, why we’re here.”

Most of the student concerns focused on adequate food being provided for students, and the hours in which this provider would function in order to serve both day and evening students.  Another popular issue was that of safety and security on campus. Students were interested in knowing who they can rely on, especially when it relates to the parking lot at night. And of course, one issue that always comes up is the question of whether or not there are enough parking spaces. While Dr. Washington did acknowledge that the issue is not necessarily the total number of spaces but instead the spaces available close to buildings, this issue is considered a non-issue.  “Unless HACC-Lancaster campus experiences a substantial increase in enrollment, there is no need for additional spaces,” explained Dr. Washington.

D2L replaces WebCT

By Brianna Gerber and Abreham Arehart                 Contributing Writer

On January 11, 2012, HACC launched its new online course system processor. No more freezing, glitches, or annoying browser check popups. The spring semester includes a significant improvement to HACC’s virtual campus. D2L or, Desire to Learn, isn’t only faster and more capable of handling documents, but it includes an instant messenger system and a “web app” version for smartphones. Though it still operates on Java, D2L allows students to view multiple PDF’s at a time, and it comes equipped with a reliable email and messaging system.

A team including administrators, students and faculty, chose D2L from some twenty other content managment systems. This process took place over a three to four month period. Features were compared and surveys were taken to determine what seemed to be the newest and most improved processing system for HACC.  Where the old WebCT Blackboard proved to be an outdated system, incompatible with modern browsers, D2L beat the competition.

Louis C.K. performs at Beacon Theater

By Brendan Krick                 Staff Writer

Since his first hour-long special, “Shameless,” premiered on HBO in 2007, Louis C.K.’s fame and fanbase have steadily increased. He has released several excellent specials, including a concert film that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. His newest special, “Live at the Beacon Theater,” continues his record of consistent excellence. Though his honesty is not quite as shocking as it was in “Chewed Up,” “Live at the Beacon Theater” easily meets its unreasonably high expectations.

C.K.’s career can be compared to the struggles other comedians have endured.  Rodney Dangerfield struggled for years to find an audience as a comedian, never truly making it as a performer until he was well into his 40’s. Exasperated by failure, Dangerfield decided to reinvent himself as a performer to be more relatable and sympathetic, becoming an unlucky clown who gets “no respect.” After a 1967 Ed Sullivan performance, his career exploded, and his popularity continued to grow until peaking in the 1980’s.

Louis C.K. is in the midst of a similar late-career wave of critical and commercial success. Though both men revel in self-deprecation, C.K. differentiates himself from most other comedians by presenting himself in a shockingly honest and vulnerable manner. C.K.’s earlier work found humor in surrealism and fantasy, but since his 2008 HBO special “Chewed Up,” much of his comedy springs from a dark, almost painful self-awareness. His strength lies in his willingness to explore the most frightening extensions of his thought process. He says not what we’re all thinking, but what we’re afraid to think, or are embarrassed to think.

Shooting at Farm Show Complex closes HACC Harrisburg campus

Harrisburg Campus and The Public Safety Center closed on Feb. 3, 2011, because of a shooting at the Farm Show Complex, which is located nearby the campuses. According to the college e2campus safety alerts, classes on those campuses were canceled late in the afternoon. Safety and Security directed traffic as the campus was evacuated.  The campus alerts, sent out by text and email messages, read: “Be vigilant. Report any suspicious activity.”  At the time of the closing, police did not have a suspect in custody, according to the college’s website, www.hacc.edu.  All events scheduled for that Friday at the Harrisburg campus were also canceled.

According to WPMT, FOX 43 news, at about 10:44 a.m, “security at the Pennsylvania Farm Show complex was notified of a shooting in the parking lot at 2300 N. Cameron St., Harrisburg.  A Harrisburg City police officer responded to the scene and discovered a female gunshot victim.  The shooting victim was removed from the scene and transported to a local hospital for treatment.”  The police were looking for 62-year-old Beau Gaylord Robinson, from Springfield, MO, as a suspect in the shooting. WGAL, channel 8, reported that the victim was Robinson’s wife. Robinson was possibly traveling with two other people. FOX 43 reported, “Several people were inside the Farm Show Complex, setting up for this weekend’s Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show, when the incident happened. Streets around the Farm Show remain open, but access to the back parking lot of the complex is closed.”

Year of the Dragon celebrated

By Shawn Shaknitz             Editor-In-Chief

On Jan. 26, 2012 S.G.A. (student government association) and the Multicultural Department invited students and faculty to celebrate the Chinese New Year.  From noon to 1 p.m., students gathered in East 203 to partake in the celebration of the “Year of the Dragon.”  Students sat at tables decorated in traditional ornaments while eating Chinese food and listened to stories told by Linda Fang.

Linda Fang is a Chinese storyteller focused on folktales and anecdotes from her culture.  According to Fang’s biography, she started her career as a young child.  At the age of ten, a teacher wanted to help her with a shyness that impeded her ability to speak up in class.  The teacher handed her a book and told Fang to return tomorrow and tell her a story.  After that day, Fang never stopped telling stories, which led to her profession.

At the beginning of the event, HACC student Tina Tran gave opening remarks welcoming everyone and telling them how happy she was to be able to celebrate a part of her culture with everyone.  After a brief synopsis of the Chinese New Year, Tran introduced Linda Fang.

Christine’s Café looks to open in Footnotes along-side Subway

By Caroline Hill                 Staff Writer  

A new food and beverage option has arrived for the spring 2012 semester at the Lancaster Campus of the Harrisburg Area Community College. Christine’s Café, located on Greenfield Road, recently installed a convenient snack bar in the lobby of the East building. The stand offers reasonably priced coffee, bagels, donuts, grain bars, juices, and scones. The snack bar opened on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012. The hours are 7:30-11:00 a.m.; however, hours and prices may be adjusted based upon demand in the future.

“People are very excited about just having a different variety than Subway, and to have something in the East building because they’re tired of having to walk from East to Main buildings in between classes,” said the owner of Christine’s café, Christine Helwig.

Bri Benfer, a second year HACC student, purchased a bagel breakfast before class. “[Christine’s Café] was really fast, convenient,” said Benfer.

Anti-piracy laws cause public outcry

By Dan Myers                 Staff Writer

How would you feel if the government were given more power to shut down sites that commit online piracy? How would you feel if the government had the power to shut down YouTube as it is now? According to a large multitude of angry internet users, this is exactly the sort of thing that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would give the government the power to do if it were passed. As of now, the bill is shelved, but chances are it will be back for another round in a different form.

The Stop Online Piracy Act is a bill that was announced on Oct. 26, 2011, by members of the House of Representatives and backed by the Hollywood lobbyists to try and revive an internet “death penalty,” according to an article in CNET News. The bill itself is 79 pages long and aims to give the government the power to block or shutdown whole websites that have any copyright infringements. With so much copyrighted creative work being downloaded without a single cent of it going to their creators, the government has been exploring a way to intervene and help these musicians, actors, movie producers, etc. get proper credit and pay for their work. What ensued over the coming months, however, was a historically negative internet reaction.

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