The online voice of cambridge campus students

Students raise awareness about

homelessness at annual Box City

by Kathy Yaeger

staff writer

Anoka-Ramsey Community—College

(ARCC) faculty and students joined the community

at the third annual Box City fund raising

event Oct. 16. People gathered at the

Isanti County Fairgrounds to set up dwellings,

raise money and participate in an evening

of fun.

A number of community organizations

were in attendance including ARCC’s own

student nurse association, student senate,

co-ed softball team and rendezvous coffee.

While participating in the events they helped

raise a total of $24,000.

ARCC’s student nurse association (SNA)

set up a dwelling and offered free blood

pressure checks. SNA member Shay Carchedi

stated, “Any one of us could wind up in financial

trouble during these tough economic

times. It is important that we make sure help

is available.”


Paradigm shift to online

 by Chris Johnson
staff writer

Some Anoka-Ramsey Community College students and faculty are concerend about the future of education as more online classes are available to students. 

"Online classes deprive students of that face-to-face value they receive in a traditional classroom setting," Anoka-Ramsey Community College faculty member Claudio Moreno stated. 

Moreno said, "The student-to-student and teacher-to-student interactions, including body language and other varying forms of communication, are not available to online students." Moreno explained that these external, as well as internal interactions, are important in education for the teacher, and for the students especially in regards to retaining information, as opposed to online courses. 

Is online education taking over? Why? Some is feared that online courses will soon take over. The reason for this according to Moreno, is "simply because it is cheaper for the administration. The administration sees it being less expensive as the need for building and mortar becomes obsolete. Maintenance for a school requires the cost of janitors and electricity, insurance, lawn care, construction and many more expenses that could be absolved if online education is heading in the direction it is." 

Mary Januschka, an ARCC faculty member, reiterated by saying, "My concern as a teacher is the lack of face-to-face interactions with classmates and the instructor. The lack of practice with the skill of face-to-face communication with others is so important in any profession." 

However, online courses are more expensive per credit than a non-online class. "It's about $5 to be exact," according to Barb Prince. This $5 increase per credit is set by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU) system for online classes.

According to an Online Education Survey taken by 30 students and conducted by the Ink Spot at ARCC on Sept. 15th, 2010, many students say that they are currently taking an online course or have in the past. When asked if they were satisfied with their online education experience, many responded no. According to their answers, the students believed that the class was too difficult and or their needs as a student were not met. These needs, according to the students surveyed, included: being able to get to know the professor, interaction with other students and the instructor, and the ability to ask questions and receive immediate responses to name a few. 

According to this survey, the majority of students surveyed said they would not like to take difficult classes online. After reviewing the data, Januschka responded, "There is nothing like face-to-face help from classmates and the instructor. Being able to talk through a problem, answer questions, and probe new ideas is done best face-to-face."

Andrew Mac, a student at ARCC who participated in the survey, complained of the degree of difficulty of navigating the online class’s website. He said, "It disrupted my learning." 

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, another student surveyed, claimed, "It was a complicated system and there were multiple issues with the online learning site. Therefore I feel I spent more time learning the site than the material." 

There were students surveyed who say they were satisfied with their online education experience. Megan Johnson stated, "It was very convenient and fits into my work schedule and still gives me the credits I need to graduate." 

When asked if they would take that particular class online if they had the option, the majority responded no. Joey Irons, another student surveyed, said, "I wouldn’t take a difficult class online because the experience would be very hands-off. The material will be very unmemorable, and there is no listening, just all reading. Also, it would be difficult to receive help with the material if I ever needed it."

According to many ARCC students who were surveyed, the fact that online classes are available is a good thing. Scott Klasen, a math tutor and student surveyed at ARCC, said, "I think many students appreciate the online education services that are available. Some students require the online education program for various reasons." 

But many of the same students also agree that they are not ready for online classes to completely take over anytime soon. 

College may go smoke-free

by Michael Relitz
contributing writer

* Editor's note: Sheila Paul is no longer the dean of nursing.

There is a battle brewing at Anoka-Ramsey Community College (ARCC). In the midst of a country that is leaning towards "green" energy and healthier lifestyles to improve quality of life, many cities and states throughout the country have adopted no-smoking policies in public places including bars, restaurants, and even some college campuses.

After bars and restaurants shifted to become non-smoking, many people felt their rights were being infringed upon. Yet others felt that due to the harmful nature of second-hand smoke, the ban was a long time coming. 

Anoka-Ramsey Community College has been exploring the option of turning both the Cambridge and Coon Rapids campuses into non-smoking facilities. 

ARCC would not be the first Minnesota College to make the move to a tobacco-free campus. Other schools within the state that have already made the transition are: University of Minnesota Moorhead, University of Minnesota Duluth, Itasca Community College, Winona State University, University of Minnesota Crookston and University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

Sheila Paul, nursing instructor at ARCC, is heading up a smoking committee in order to explore the matter further. Paul stated that the initiative to begin exploring the non-smoking option began when Anoka County Department of Health received a Safety and Health Investment Projects (SHIP) grant from the state, which is a grant that explores community health issues. "One of the things they found was that lung cancer is the leading cause of death in Anoka County and the college age student is most at risk for smoking and increasing smoking," stated Paul. 

Paul also maintained, "One of their initiatives was to look at the two colleges, Anoka Technical College and Anoka-Ramsey that are in the county and look at to see if they would be interested and if they were ready to think about going tobacco free." 

Currently the Anoka-Ramsey campuses have four smoking areas between the two campuses (three at Coon Rapids and one at Cambridge). Up until the fall semester of 2009, the Cambridge campus had their smoking area located on the lower level outside of the faculty lounge area. The area was moved due to faculty complaints of smoke making its way into the staff offices through the ventilation system, according to Paul. The school then decided to move the smoking area outside G202 (the auditorium) on the patio area located there. 

While ARCC is exploring the option of a tobacco-free campus, the student government has been looking at ways to make the situation better for both smoking and non-smoking students.

Kirsten Kennedy, Student Government President, stated that they are looking at ways to provide two smoking areas for students while keeping them away from school entrances that other students use. A couple of options that Kennedy mentioned was moving the current location away from the theatre and forming a new area outside of the library set back away from entrances and also a possible second location near the new construction by the docks. 

Kennedy stated that she doesn’t believe making ARCC tobacco-free is the solution for better health for students. Kennedy had taken it upon herself to do some research into the Minnesota campuses that have already made the move to tobacco-free schools. She stated, "The research proves that the successful campuses are the ones that treat smoking with the cessation classes and education, and actually try and help people quit smoking, which then brings down the smoking on the campus." 

In an effort to find out what ARCC students are thinking in regards to a tobacco-free policy, Paul set up a survey on the ARCC website and sent out e-mails to all current students, both full and part-time.

Paul stated that 9,000 people were polled through the survey and that they received a 17% return rate, roughly 1,600 respondents. 

While the data has not been fully explored as of yet Paul maintained that, "The preliminary data looks like all the constituents seem to be concerned about the enforcement policy, which we have limited resources to do any kind of enforcement, and that everyone seems to think that the policy needs to be looked at and changed, just not sure of where it should be changed at this point." 

Paul also stated, "Students are saying that it would not impact if they went to college here or not, the smoking issue, there were a few that said they would but, there is a concern about the location of the smoking area and having it so close to the doors and students having to walk through the cloud of smoke. But those same students are saying that we shouldn’t necessarily limit people’s rights to smoke or their ability to smoke."

She also added, "One of the other things we are looking at is the readiness for the college to make this move, and just looking at the first run of the data I’m not sure the college is ready to make that move, but I’m not sure if the college will ever be ready to make that move."

The Dean of Nursing also pointed out the pressure placed on colleges to enact some sort of guidelines for the health of all students. "MNSCU is really pushing individual institutions to look at this and include it in part of their policy," said Paul.

From a student perspective there is likely to be varying opinions from smokers and non-smokers alike. ARCC student Brianna Halek (non-smoker) stated that she’s not sure a ban in necessary. "I don’t smoke but I’m not bothered by it on campus. I know where the smoking areas are and I just avoid those doors," said Halek.

While non-smoking students like Halek may not be bothered with smoking, another ARCC student, Neil Bodeman stated, "I’m sure the majority of the student body would like to see a smoke-free campus and I wouldn’t protest it, but as a student here I would like to be able to have a cigarette after going to classes or doing homework."

This controversy may eventually extinguish smoking on campus, but most certainly will light up controversy for those who disagree with an all-out ban.

Ballfields coming along

ARCC is getting ready to play ball. A new field is being developed across County Road 70 from the main college buildings, on land adjacent to the Armed Forces Readiness Center. Last spring, the softball team played on fields belonging to the city of Cambridge.

Parking added over summer

Tom Levig Lane was removed over the summer for more parking spaces as the 
student body grows. The pine trees were torn down and the area was paved. In fact, the entire parking lot surface was upgraded and new lines painted. Tom Levig was the college’s first president.

Eight steps towards becoming a more successful student

by Kathy Yaeger
staff writer

Nicole Parent, a current student at Anoka-Ramsey Community College--Cambridge Campus (ARCC), didn’t know what to think when she signed up for On Course, one of the newest programs ARCC had to offer.

After successfully completing the class Parent said, "On Course was an amazing class. I never knew how much control I had over my life or the outcome of my future. On Course empowered me and made me a stronger student."

"Identifying the differences between successful and unsuccessful students is the goal of this life skills class," according to Skip Downing, On Course creator. With On Course’s second year starting at ARCC there has been quite a positive buzz from faculty and students regarding what can be accomplished for traditional and non-traditional students. 

The class shows students how to identify negative patterns and turn them into tools for success. Using eight essential steps you, too, can set and achieve goals and become a more effective communicator, Downing promises in the course textbook. Covering issues such as self-responsibility, self-motivation, self-management, interdependence, self-awareness, life-long learning habits, developing emotional intelligence, and believing in one self to transform old self-defeating habits into new ones that help a person achieve goals. According to Downing, this is possible with On Course.

As set out in the course syllabus, students will critically think about case studies, and cover such lessons as how the human brain learns, decision making, setting goals and developing a life plan. Students also learn how to actively listen and develop mutually supportive relations. Instructor Jennifer Liberty-Clark encourages students to rise to the challenge and get involved with the class discussions, reading and writing assignments and informal learning activities for optimal achievement.

Student success and retention is a focus of the On Course class and according to its instructors, students and national attention it delivers. Jennifer Liberty-Clark of ARCC’s psychology department states, "This is a success program that surpasses academics in giving a student a greater understanding of one self that can be utilized beyond the college experience." 

Clark added, "With the continued support and participation of administration this course will continue to succeed and grow."

The excitement about On Course doesn’t end with administration; it continues on to students like Deb Sjostrom, who said, "I had a great opportunity to be a student and then to help Jennifer Liberty-Clark as a teacher’s assistant. Both experiences were amazingly helpful and I have nothing but good to say about this program."

While On Course continues to grow, Liberty-Clark and Amber Severson of ARCC’s mathematics department will be presenting at the 36th annual American Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) in Boston letting other educators know how well this program has been received and how it could also benefit students majoring in mathematics.

For more information, browse ,, or enter ‘On Course Skip Downing’ into your Google search engine. Also information on the AMATYC can be found by entering the acronym into your search engine.



There are four roles available in the production "Dinner With Friends" coming in February 2011. Auditions are Nov. 17. Contact director Lisa Weaver at for more information.
See more by clicking here.

New addition to Anoka-Ramsey

by Holly Buboltz
staff writer

Heidi Haagenson is a name that may not be familiar to everyone, but it soon will be. 

Haagenson is the new Academic Support Center Coordinator at Anoka-Ramsey Community College (ARCC). She is replacing Darla McCann. 

Haagenson was hired by Brandy Eddings the Director of Academic Support & Testing Services, who stated, "Heidi struck me as a very savvy and skilled professional. She clearly brings a great deal of experience, passion, and innovation. I am pleased that Heidi decided to join our ARCC team, and I look forward to an exciting and rewarding year within the Academic Support Center."

When asked why she chose to accept her new position at ARCC, Haagenson responded, "I was looking for a new challenge." For the past 10 years she has worked at Ridgewater College in Willmar, Minn. as a special projects coordinator. 

Haagenson lives with her husband of 32 years in Willmar. She stays in an apartment closer to the campus during the week. She grew up in the Twin Cities and graduated from Augsburg with a master’s in writing. With this degree Haagenson has pursued the writing and publishing of her own book, "The Tenney Quilt." Still in the publishing process at Mill City Press, Haagenson’s book is about a small town in Minnesota and the women within it who are raising money to buy a cook stove for community events in their town.

This school years opening day of the Academic Support Center was Monday, Aug. 30. It is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays to Thursdays. The Academic Support Center Staff consists of Haagenson, two lab assistants, one in math and the other in writing. Assisting the former are 13 peer tutors who are versed in various subjects. Peer tutors provide a different option for students who need help. Students can walk right in to the Support Center at anytime when the tutor they need will be there and get help on the spot, as posted in brochures located in the Academic Support Center. 

Haagenson points out that one of her favorite aspects of her new position is working with the peer tutors. "They are bright students and neat people," she commented. When asked about how the first day was Haagenson answered, "It went great!" She offers lots of credit to those who hired the tutors in the department because of the great support they provide.

With plans to build on the existing programs at the Academic Support Center students can expect great things within the department throughout the next year. "Devotion and educational tutoring are the heart of an open door college," says Haagenson.

Future of education is here, some weary

Meet the candidates

by Kathy Yaeger
staff writer

Anoka-Ramsey Community College Cambridge Campus (ARCC) Student Senate hosted a meet-and-greet, Tuesday, Sept. 4, featuring candidates running for state, county and city offices.

Candidates were available to answer questions, and hear the concerns of the public and the ARCC student body.

Tara Clairmont, student and first-time voter, was looking for candidates who supported issues that were important to her. Clairmont stated, "I am looking for a candidate who is pro sportsman, and will give proper healthcare to people who need it." 

Merinda Christensen wasn’t looking to ask specific questions she came to gather information so she could do her research on her own time. Christianson stated, "I want to get more information before I show support for any candidates, this is helpful to find out who’s on the ballot and where I can find more information about the people running."

All candidate quotes and information were taken from their personal campaign literature.

Cindy Erickson, State Representative Candidate

"Your concerns are my priorities."

Chip Cravaack, Congressman Candidate

"Each time I was promoted in the Navy I renewed my oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies. I wish to do so again as your next congressman."

Guy Lillemo, Isanti County Commissioner

"I have always been very concerned about our community. I believe that there are ideas and solutions available too us that will enhance our county. As County Commissioner I would like the opportunity to share these ideas with the board and begin bring businesses to the county. This will help alleviate our tax burden."

Ed Hill, Isanti County Commissioner Candidate

"I believe that taxes need to be reduced and back room politics need to be eliminated. I have the time, energy and leadership experience to get the job done and serve as District 1 Isanti County Commissioner."

Karl Schreck, Chisago County Sheriff Candidate

"I have twenty two years of law enforcement experience in Chisago County and I’m a proud United States Army Veteran."

Russ Monson, Isanti County Sherriff Candidate

"I have been involved in community events and programs for 15 years including running the Neighborhood Watches in Isanti County."

Kurt Daudt, State Representative Candidate

"Get our economy moving again and put Minnesotans back to work by promoting small business job growth through tax and regulatory reform."

Bob Barrett, State Representative Candidate

"I’m making life less taxing."

Rick Olseen, State Senator Candidate

"I’m a proven leader who gets results."

Tom Emmer, Gubernatorial Candidate

"Let’s restore prosperity by putting Minnesotans back in charge of their futures and put government back in the position of serving us."

Pete Marker, 10th District Judge Candidate

"I’m committed to community and service."

George Larson, Isanti County Commissioner Candidate

"Reliable and dedicated to fiscal responsibility and quality services."

Tom Horner, Gubernatorial Candidate

"I am running for governor and asking for your vote to make Minnesota better for all Minnesotans."

Greg Kranz, Isanti County Sherriff Candidate

"I truly believe the badge is more a symbol of public trust than of authority."

Jim Oberstar, House Candidate

"America’s challenges call for decisive action, not empty rhetoric. I’m fighting to ensure that every Minnesotan has the opportunity to succeed."

"The Cambridge Campus Student Senate is dedicated to creating a strong, sustainable relationship between the community and college members," says Kirsten Kennedy, Student Senate President. "We are beginning the year with an entire week dedicated to educating and providing opportunities to register and learn about the candidates, and voting processes here in Minnesota. We believe that transparency is the foundation for all successful leadership models and invites students, staff, faculty and community members to participate in creating a better Anoka-Ramsey Community."

Get educated on voting

by Kathy Yaeger
staff writer

Anoka-Ramsey Community College—Cambridge Campus (ARCC) student senate was hard at work organizing an informational forum, providing the public and students valuable information on proper procedures and voter rights for this election year.

Sarah Goodspeed and Walker Bosch, representatives from the Minnesota Secretary of State Office’s, Voter Outreach Program spoke at ARCC’s voter forum, Thursday, Sept 16 and they were available to answer questions. "Voter outreach is focused on students’ rights and reaching young voters, keeping them informed on the process of voting," Bosch stated.

Visit to find a polling place, gets sample ballads, and finds links to find information on the candidates running for office in your district.

Voter’s Bill of Rights

1. You have the right to be absent from work for the purpose of voting without reduction to your pay, personal leave, or vacation time on election day for the time necessary to appear at your polling place, cast a ballot, and return to work.

2. If you are in line at your polling place any time before 8 pm you have the right to vote.

3. If you can provide the required proof of resident, you have the right to register to vote and to vote on Election Day.

4. If you are unable to sign your name, you have the right to orally confirm your identity with an election judge and to direct another person to sign your name for you.

5. You have the right to request special assistance when voting.

6. If you need assistance, you may be accompanied into the voting booth by a person of your choice, except by an agent of your employer or union or a candidate.

7. You have the right to bring your minor children into the polling place and into the voting booth with you.

8. If you have been convicted of a felony but your felony sentence has expired (been completed) or you have been discharged from your sentence, you have the right to vote.

9. If you are under a guardianship, you have the right to vote, unless the court order revokes your right to vote,

10. You have the right to vote without anyone in the polling place trying to influence your vote.

11. If you make a mistake or spoil your ballot before it is submitted, you have the right to receive a replacement ballot and vote.

12. You have the right to file a written complaint at your polling place if you are dissatisfied with the way an election is being run.

13. You have the right to take a sample ballot into the voting booth with you.

14. You have the right to take a copy of this voter’s bill of rights into the voting booth with you.

Cindy Gilbert, ARCC student senate member states, "Students have access to the information that was presented, if they were unable to attend the event. This information is located on the voter registration table outside the student activities area E203. Of particular interest is the voter’s bill of rights, everyone should check this out."

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