Regents approve cutting-edge master’s degree

| Kelsea Renz editor-in-chief | Pittsburg State has been first in many endeavors, from sports to academic competitions to adding unusual or new programs. The university will claim another first when it implements the newly approved master’s of polymer chemistry degree program. The program is the final major step of the Polymer Research Initiative, started in 2012 to help Pitt grow in the polymer research field. “A group of us had envisioned a collaboration, a liaison, between the chemistry department, the plastics engineering technology program and the Kansas Polymer Research Center,” said Karl Kunkel, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “So we created this initiative that links these three programs on campus to…

Students vigil lights Oval

Taylor Thomas was a junior in mechanical engineering.

| Kyleigh Becker reporter | Sunday night’s candlelight vigil for Taylor Thomas weighed heavily on those who gathered in the Oval. More than 40 friends and family came together in memory of Thomas, former Pitt State junior in mechanical engineering, who passed away on Oct. 9, at the hospital due to injuries from a gunshot wound received during a robbery in his home. Taylor Dornez Smith, Darius Euell Rainey, Corbin Joseph Spragg and Bryan Levi Bridges, all of Pittsburg, have been charged in the case. Ariel Everett, junior in psychology and a friend of Thomas, organized the vigil to share his legacy. “I want Taylor to be remembered for how he lived, not how he died,”…

Tricks or treats?

Bailee Deviney, a freshman in nursing, and Lisa Zhuang from Chia, a junior in Finance, carve a pumpkin on the pumpkin carving contest during the Pitt Pal pumpkin carving event on Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Halloween holds many options for students | Gretchen Burns reporter | While many students at PSU have already planned what they will do for Halloween, freshmen often experience the holiday away from home and choose to attend parties. Not Ashley McAllister, though. She decided she doesn’t want to party. She wants to go trick-or-treating. “I’m dressing up as either Mario or Luigi and my best friend is going as the other while we trick-or-treat around Pittsburg,” said McAllister, freshman in nursing. “I’m not planning on going to any parties that might occur.” Sarah Lueck has also decided she will skip the parties this year. “I’m going to hang out with my sister,” said Lueck, freshman…

Food for less

Students set to open on-campus food pantry for students | Kyleigh Becker reporter | Students will soon have an on-campus food pantry available for those who may be struggling financially. The Gorilla Assistance Pantry is scheduled to open Thursday, Oct. 30, at 310 Whitesitt Hall. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Monday and Thursday. Elle Walker, senior in communication and creator of the pantry, says she hopes that students will feel comfortable going there. “We’re hoping that it can help students out of hard times, but that it doesn’t become … a consistent way of getting food,” she said. The Gorilla Assistance Pantry will run on an honor system – students…

And then there were 12

| Kelsea Renz editor-in-chief | | Charles A. Ault reporter | The competition for homecoming king and queen narrowed as the top 12 candidates, six men and six women, were selected from 36 candidates on Monday, Oct. 6. The men chosen are Connor Callahan representing Alpha Gamma Delta; Brian Walker, for Lambda Chi Alpha; TJ Wiebe for Phi Sigma Kappa; Ryan Matney, representing Gorillas in Your Midst; D’Juan Thomas, for Sigma Phi Epsilon; and Zack Minor, representing Campus Christians. The women are Shannon Ahlstedt, representing ENACTUS; Emily Mika, for Alpha Sigma Alpha; Jaci Gilchrist, representing Sigma Phi Epsilon; Megan Peabody, representing Residence Hall Assembly; Jaecy Hebrlee, representing Pi Kappa Alpha; and Emma Huskey, representing Newman…

Failure to hear cases raises hope

| Kelsea Renz editor-in-chief | | Tyler Koester reporter | As the debate continues on the legalization of same-sex marriage, the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) remains hopeful that, one day, this dream will become a reality. The justices of the Supreme Court assembled at their first private conference of the term on Monday, Sept. 29, where they were scheduled to consider seven appeals from decisions eliminating same-sex marriage bans – three from Virginia and one each from Oklahoma, Utah, Indiana and Wisconsin. The Court chose to deny the appeals of all of the same-sex marriage cases, therefore upholding the decisions of the lower courts that legalized same-sex marriage. “I think it’s good they didn’t hear the…

Laymans continue fight for custody

| Kelsea Renz editor-in-chief | Amber Layman’s semester abroad visiting family may last longer than her family anticipated. Layman has been forced to remain in Israel since Sept. 4, after her biological father, Shahar, claimed her mother, his ex-wife Danielle, kidnapped Amber from Israel in 2010 and has refused to let Shahar contact her. At the hearing in Israel on Thursday, Oct. 2, the rabbinical court extended the stop exit order until Dec. 1. The judges ruled that, since Amber is from Israel, they have authority over visitation rights with Shahar, though the American courts ruled that Shahar’s parental rights were stripped when Amber’s stepfather, Jeremy, adopted her. “They went for the legality of issuing…

University’s conservation specialist dies in accident

A university contract employee was killed in a one-car accident late Tuesday night on Highway 120, about 20 miles west of Lamar, Mo. Pronounced dead at the scene was Michael Breneman, 37. According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, Breneman’s vehicle traveled off the left side of the road and struck a driveway embankment, causing it to overturn and strike a utility pole. Michael Breneman worked as an energy conservation specialist with Energy Solutions Professionals and helped the university find ways to conserve energy. “The campus is saddened to hear of Michael’s death,” said President Steve Scott. “Michael was a dedicated professional who was making a real difference in our university’s sustainability efforts.” Scott said the…

PSU reveals names of probing agencies

| Kelsea Renz editor-in-chief | After weeks of remaining tight-lipped, Pittsburg State University officials on Wednesday, Oct. 8, revealed the identities of the agencies involved in the ongoing investigation of former MBA director Michael Muoghalu. “We wanted to get to a point where we felt good about it as well,” said Chris Kelly, associate vice president for university marketing and communication. “In this particular case, after reviewing everything, we decided we needed to just inform the external investigative agency that we need to be true to what we do with our open and transparent environment.” Originally the university asked the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to look into the matter, but the bureau denied the request….

Jungle Royalty

Emily Mika and Brian Walker smile at the crowd after being crowned the 2014 Homecoming Queen and King Wednesday, Oct. 8. at The Carnie Smith Stadium. Mika represented Alpha Sigma Alpha and Walker represented Lambda Chi Alpha.

Homecoming king, queen announced at convocation | Kelsea Renz editor-in-chief | | Audrey Dighans copy editor | They say a picture is worth a thousand words, which is good for newly crowned Homecoming King Brian Walker. “I don’t even know what’s going through my mind right now,” Walker, junior in plastics engineering technology, said. “I can’t thank Pitt State enough.” Walker and Emily Mika, senior in nursing, were crowned the 2014 Homecoming King and Queen at the annual Homecoming Convocation ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 8. “I was shocked,” Mika said. “Everyone here is the same, we go to school, we’ve got jobs, we’re all working hard to graduate, and here I am. It’s pretty unbelievable…