New opportunity

Masters program created for school nurses | Kelsea Renz Managing editor | This semester saw the start of a new master’s program that combines courses from both the College of Education and the School of Nursing. The program, formally called the master’s of science in education with an emphasis in school health, was created to give extra training to school nurses who otherwise could not move up on a pay scale. “Teachers have the opportunity to earn extra degrees and move across the pay scale,” said Greg Kubler, assistant director of the Southeast Kansas Interlocal, “but nurses didn’t really have that opportunity.” Some of the nurses who work with Kubler approached him to find a…

Recycling center in need of ‘green’

| Andrea Hucke reporter | Sometimes the three little words, “reduce, reuse, recycle,” just aren’t enough, at least not for the Southeast Kansas Recycling Center. The center, located at 615 S. Joplin St., has been experiencing financial difficulties over the last several years. According to Tausha Ritz, operations manager, the center depends on money received for recycled materials. Not only has the center never fully recovered from the low market rates in 2008, but it also suffered recent setbacks with the loss of cardboard and clothing customers. “The prices have gone up and down over the last few years, but they never go up enough,” Ritz said. “This is probably the next to lowest that…

Cuts hit home

Homeless Shelter

Family emergency shelter faces losing funding | Audrey Dighans copy editor | Across the country federal funding cuts are affecting organizations from the East to the West coasts, with no possibility of hopping over Southeast Kansas. Creative Housing Opportunities – Innovative Childhood Education Services (CHOICES), the local family emergency shelter operated by SEK Community Action Program (SEK-CAP), will be one such organization to lose funding. “SEK-CAP is one of eight agencies in operation in the state of Kansas,” said Becky Gray, director of research, planning and grant development. “In our state, funding is managed by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, which then allocates the money to each of the agencies.” CHOICES is able to serve…

True gentleman’s welcome

Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Sigma Alpha Epsilon colony draws mixed Greek reactions |Marcus Clem editor in chief | Leaders of Pittsburg State’s Greek community might seem likely to celebrate a new fraternity colony, but some of them are also a bit cautious. Come on in…? Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) was announced as Pitt State’s prospective seventh fraternity chapter on Jan. 23. Joshua Packard, a member of Pi Kappa Alpha, who recently stepped down as Interfraternity Council (IFC) president, and Bryce Schuetz, a member of Phi Sigma Kappa and IFC vice president of internal affairs, are not completely confident in the colony. “Here’s the thing,” said Packard, senior in graphic communications. “This colony can be a good thing if it is done in…

Political rivals: Student partisans ready for midterm election

Marcus Clem | editor in chief Taylor Gravett, as Student Government Association president, tries to be an objective guide and consensus builder among student senators most of the time. But he may be one of the most avowed Democrats in Kansas. “When I leave this office later this year, I’ll hit the ground running,” Gravett, SGA’s president, said. “I’m going to try my best to get (Democrats) elected.” Tadd Lucian, Gravett’s best friend and SGA’s legislative affairs director, serves as the body’s arbiter in Topeka and chief lobbyist. He’s influential there, in part because he is a proud Republican and is well-connected with the GOP-dominated state government. Two men enter… SGA is all about the…

Like?

A faculty member (Mark Peterson, assistant professor of political science) helps illustrate the pressures university employees may feel when using social media, after recent action by the Kansas Board of Regents. Photo illustration.

Regents’ social-media policy prompts controversy Marcus Clem | editor in chief Kansas’ governing body for higher education has decided to review a policy that has been subject to extended criticism nationwide since its passage in December. Walked back, sort of The Kansas Board of Regents passed the policy with the goal of giving state university chief executives, including Steve Scott, Pittsburg State’s president, powers over employee social media use. Of concern was the policy’s new power to punish or fire university employees who use social media in ways the executives find harmful. As national criticism mounted, the Regents recommended on Dec. 31 the creation of a workgroup to review the policy and suggest any changes…

Food pantry in progress

Student government weighs funding charity on campus Marcus Clem | editor in chief The Student Government Association has opened this semester with a procedural step toward the sponsorship of a food pantry on campus for students in need of Chewing it out A final vote of approval next week would fund the Gorilla Assistance Pantry (GAP) for $2,200. That money would be drawn from SGA’s budget for annual campus improvements, which stands at about $19,000 after a large carryover from last year. If funded, the pantry will open in time for the fall 2014 semester, although it could open earlier, said Elle Walker, senior in communication. She has been promoting the project for some weeks…

Biking to Joplin?

Social Security office closing creates challenges for internationals Robin Siteneski | reporter Igor Gorn traveled 6,000 miles to study at Pittsburg State. After the journey from Kazakhstan, he realized one semester was not enough to get the most out of the exchange program. To stay longer, he would need to work. Gorn arrived in August with a six-month scholarship. Now that he depends on his own funds, he had to get a Social Security number, a challenge these days for international students. On Nov. 15, the Social Security office in Pittsburg closed. International students need to meet face-to-face with a Social Security representative to get a number; Americans get one soon after they are born….

Axe hours expanded

Audrey Dighans | copy editor Take a walk through the U-club in the student center or any other popular hangout on campus and students will notice new table pop-ups in PSU red and yellow announcing Axe Library’s new hours for spring 2014. “SGA has been fighting for these changes for over a year now,” said Taylor Gravett, junior in political science and president of the Student Government Association (SGA). The library will now be open from 7:30 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to midnight on Sunday. “We hope the new hours meet the expressed needs,” said Randy Roberts,…