Student loan debt takes political stage

| Marcus Clem reporter | American student debtors owe a lot of money, and addressing their ability to pay is steadily gaining national attention. There are several ideas on the table to help with what Forbes charts as the nation’s $1.08 trillion owed by college students. Nearly 12 percent of that amount is tied to accounts that are 90 days past due or in default. “Since the recession began in 2007-‘08, this has been a challenge for our graduates and our students who leave school without graduating, as well,” said Tammy Higgins, Pittsburg State director of student financial assistance. Higgins says that a key problem with student debt nationwide is debtors’ confidence that they will…

PSU commemorates 100 years since Russ Hall fire

Michael Bauer, editor-in-chief In the early morning hours of June 30, 1914, the Pittsburg community gathered and saw in horror what remained of Russ Hall. The Main, as the building was known then, had been struck by lightning in the middle of the night and it wasn’t long before the rest of the building went up in flames. But through perseverance and rebuilding, Russ Hall still stands and 100 years later, the community and the university gathered to honor those who helped restore PSU’s iconic complex. On Monday, June 30, the Russ Hall Fire Centennial Commemoration was held outside the front doors. “Our university has experienced many dramatic moments in the last century,” said Lynette…

World Cup Watch Students gather for world’s top sporting event

Michael Bauer editor-in-chief The world’s premier sporting event has been uniting people in supporting their countrymen. From Germany to Japan to even Pittsburg, fans have held mass gatherings to watch the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Students from Pittsburg State have chimed in, hosting their own watch parties and it’s not only international students, either. On Monday, June 16, PSU students assembled at Varsity’s Sports Bar in Frontenac to watch the United States take on Ghana in its opening match. “My son told me today that they were going to bring in 30 of his friends to watch it,” said Mike Knaup, owner of Varsity’s Sports Bar. Varsity’s is no stranger to hosting watch parties from…

PSU Theater eyes ‘professional’ spotlight

| Marcus Clem reporter | A line of people out the door and stretching down the block for Pittsburg State’s student coterie is not unexpected during any given show, and now PSU Theater is set for a stage said to be key in taking that success to the next level. The Center for the Arts will open its doors this August, and one of its chief features will be a 250-seat performance stage. “I am so excited,” said Taylor Patterson, senior in communication. “I feel so lucky that during my last year that I get to work or perform in this new center. “PSU Theater that I have known is ending, but a new era…

Saving art, saving history University to commemorate Russ Hall fire 100 years ago

Tyler Koester Collegio Reporter As she works to restore two presidential busts, Rhona Shand is learning a bit of Pitt State history. “Art isn’t necessarily made for art’s sake,” says Shand, associate professor and chair of the university’s art department. “You sometimes make art to explore history and other disciplines.” Shand has been working on busts of Theodore Roosevelt, who was U.S. president when the university was established, and Woodrow Wilson, who was president when fire destroyed Russ Hall. She is among many faculty members who are taking part in keeping alive memory of the fire 100 years ago. In commemoration of the fire’s centennial, the busts, which have been stored away for years, will…

Golf program put on hold

Michael Bauer, sports editor The Pittsburg State golf program will be suspending operations for the 2014-15 school year. On Wednesday, May 7, athletic director Jim Johnson announced that the golf team will not be competing during next school year. During this time, university administrators will be teaming with an advisory board of former lettermen as well as local golf supporters in a comprehensive study and evaluation of the long-term viability of the program. “We discussed it with Dr. (Steve) Scott and with key people in town who are golf supporters,” Johnson said. “It felt like the best way to do this was to put everything on hold rather than to just fix a hole in…

4.8 % tuition hike

| Marcus Clem reporter | Students at Pittsburg State will see a tuition bill increase if the university’s state overseer gives the final nod later this year. Under the current proposal, tuition will rise by 4.8 percent, or $113 per semester for a full-time student. With the approval of the Kansas Board of Regents, the new tuition level for full-time students will be set at $2,468. The combination tuition and fee package for the 2013-2014 academic year was $2,953. The Regents are expected to rule on the proposal some time in June. Steve Scott, university president, asked for this increase in light of the decision this year by the Kansas State Assembly to keep overall…

Campus buzzing with building projects

| Trent Becker Reporter | More than $63 million in construction projects are under way on campus, making this one of the busiest building years in PSU history. Since the adoption of the master plan in 2011, construction crews have been quickly chipping away toward PSU’s future, casting million-dollar projects all across campus. So as summer session begins with fall around the corner, students may be wondering about the current state of each construction project. Paul Stewart, director of facilities planning, is overseeing all major construction projects on campus, providing the latest developments into the university’s future. Center for the Arts The Center for the Arts, PSU’s largest investment at $33 million, has been a…

BAJA

Baja 3

Michael Bauer Editor-in-Chief For the second time in school history, Pittsburg State University hosted the Baja Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) competition. The four-day event was from Thursday, May 22, through Sunday, May 25. It was the first time since 2011 that PSU hosted it. Baja SAE consists of three regional competitions that simulate real-world engineering design projects and their related challenges. Engineering students from all over the country as well as the globe took part in the competition where they were tasked with designing and building an off-road vehicle that can survive the severe punishment of rough terrain. The static events took place at the Kansas Technology Center and the dynamic events took place…

Progress continues

Overman turns dirt on namesake’s expansion | Marcus Clem editor in chief | Many recent Pittsburg State construction projects started with a ceremonial groundbreaking, except these events mostly “broke ground” indoors on the John Lance Arena’s wooden gym floor. Finally, for the centerpiece student life destination on campus, the weather cooperated. On Wednesday, April 30, a groundbreaking was held outdoors on the planned construction site of the Jack H. Overman Student Center expansion. The radical renovation, scheduled to be finished in 12 to 14 months, will launch the building into the 21st century, university officials say. It first opened its doors in 1951 and saw additions in 1963 and 1995; interior renovations to the food…