University says no to request for open records

| Kelsea Renz editor-in-chief | Pittsburg State University has denied access to records involving the potential questionable financial procedures of former MBA program director Michael Muoghalu after the Collegio filed an open-records request with the university on Wednesday, Sept. 23. The Collegio asked for receipts for bills paid to the state agency investigating the matter if such receipts exist and for correspondence between university officials and the agency. Although the university had announced that an investigation of the MBA program’s finances is under way, it would not reveal the name of the agency doing the investigating. The Collegio’s request was denied for two reasons, the first being that receipts of the nature requested do not…

Returning home

Heckert-Wells long-awaited renovation complete | Audrey Dighans copy editor | The doors to Heckert-Wells Hall are finally open to students and staff once more. “About time,” said Ian Perron, senior in biology. Renovation on the building began last spring. The $4.3 million project was originally supposed to be complete on Aug. 29, but was delayed when the subcontractor Corvus left the project for unknown reasons. After a new subcontractor was hired to complete the job, pre-existing issues were discovered during routine fire marshal inspections, which had to be brought up to code. Despite the setbacks, Heckert-Wells is once again open. “I’m excited to see the changes,” said Makayla Womble, sophomore in biology. The changes Womble…

‘Potential threat’

| Audrey Dighans copy editor | While highly publicized cases in New York, Virginia and California seem far away to PSU students, sexual assault is an issue closer to home than some may think. More than 15 cases of sexual assault have been reported to authorities at the University of Kansas this month. Even closer to home, the Joplin Globe posted on its website that an 18-year-old student at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Mo., only 30 miles from PSU, has reported he or she was raped early Sunday morning, Sept. 28. “We should always be aware that sexual assault is a potential threat,” said Mike McCracken, director of university police. In the Pittsburg…

To bike, or not to bike?

Students ride bikes around campus as a faster way of transportation to get from class to class on Wednesday, Oct. 1st.

Increased bicycle traffic warrants concern | Audrey Dighans copy editor | There has been some talk of Pitt State being anti-bicycle as of late. On Friday, Sept. 12, students received a Bulk-E informing them that bikes chained up and parked in places other than provided bike racks, such as railings, poles, etc., risk the chance of having their bikes removed and impounded by the university police. “It’s kind of been portrayed that we’re against bikes and don’t want them,” said Mike McCracken, director of university police. “That’s not true.” McCracken says that the department has simply received complaints of bicycles being chained up in unwanted areas and officers are responding to the complaints. As of…

Religious groups call to students

James Weatherbie, a graduate student in Physical Eduation, attends the cookout at the Campus Chrisitans house on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014.

| Caitlin Martin reporter | Students may find that room 109 in Grubbs Hall is a bit musical on Thursday evenings as hundreds of students gather to sing and praise God together during meetings for Campus Christians. “When I first went, I instantly felt welcomed,” Kimberly Yohe, sophomore in therapeutic recreation, said. “I walked in by myself and was immediately greeted and invited to sit with people.” Hanna Wright also feels connected at the meetings. “It provides a community where students can come together and share life, help serve, and grow together in an environment that tends to all needs and walks of life,” Wright, senior in nursing, said. Though Pittsburg State University is not…

Obamacare & student jobs

Alexis Hobbs, freshman in technology, works on campus for Sodexo in Sub-Connection.

Work hours not affected, director says | Kylie Becker reporter | Student employees at Pitt State will no longer need to worry about hours being cut due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “The Affordable Care Act, in all my years working in HR, is one of the most complicated and complex laws I’ve been involved in,” said Michele Sexton, director of budget and human resource services. “When you read it, it sounds pretty simple, but yet you start to apply it, it becomes very complicated. It wasn’t written with higher education in mind at all.” Under the ACA guidelines, only full-time employees, those who work 30 or more hours per week or more than…

Custody battle spans continents

| Kelsea Renz editor-in-chief | Danielle Layman went to Israel with her four daughters for an extended family visit on Sept. 2. Little did she know that she might not get to leave for a long time. “I checked and verified with my lawyer before I left that there is nothing the biological father can do legally,” Layman, PSU alumna, said. “Since the adoption is final and valid and acknowledged by the State of Israel, there is absolutely nothing he can do legally. Now it turns out that the joke was on me.” Layman’s ex-husband, Shahar Abecassis, found out about their arrival through social media and went to the Regional Rabbinical Jewish Court in Ashdod claiming…

MBA director resigns following internal review

Michael Muoghalu

Kelsea Renz editor-in-chief | Pittsburg State University accepted the resignation of Michael Muoghalu, former Master of Business Administration program director, on Friday, Sept. 19. Muoghalu has been on administrative leave since just after an internal review in May that involved the program’s finances. “We found some questionable financial procedures during that internal inquiry,” said Chris Kelly, associate vice president for university marketing and communication. “We received the resignation and I don’t have any comment on it.” Shortly after the internal review, the university asked a third-party investigative agency to look further into the program’s financial procedures. “In this particular case, when you’re looking at a situation like this, you obviously want to be very careful…

Heckert-Wells renovation behind schedule

| Audrey Dighans copy editor | Many students may not be aware of the delays in the renovation of Heckert-Wells Hall, but biology and chemistry students are still highly aware. Originally scheduled to be complete with students allowed back into the building on Aug. 29, Heckert-Wells is still zoned off with construction tape to students and staff. “It’s been inconvenient,” said Dixie Smith, associate professor of biology and chair of the department. “But we’ve all understood this is a complicated project and we are optimistic we will soon be back in a much more efficient and better building.” Smith and Paul Stewart, director of facilities planning, both say the renovation should be complete with faculty…

Fighting cancer one nano at a time

Santimukul Santra, assistant professor of chemistry, researches, in a cell culture lab, nanoparticles that act as a vehicle for delivering chemotherapy drugs directly to human cells to fight cancer, at the Kansas Polymer Research Center, on Tuesday, Sept. 16.

| Kelsea Renz editor-in-chief | The fight to eradicate cancer has taken a step forward with nanotechnology, which allows cancer-fighting drugs to target cancer cells only and leave healthy cells alone. The drugs are polymers that are packaged as nanoparticles with the cancer-fighting agents and an imaging agent so the nanoparticles will show up in an MRI. “We use imaging agents because once you inject it into a person’s body, you want to know where that nanomaterial is going,” said Santimukul Santra, assistant professor of chemistry. “Once we have the imaging agents, we can put the person in an MRI and see where the nanomaterials are.” Using organic chemistry, the researchers add chemicals together until…