Quitting ain’t easy

Possible cutline: Faculty and students that smoke will have to start smoking off campus next semester as Pittsburg State University goes tobacco free.

| Audrey Dighans copy editor | Jan. 1 marks the beginning of a new year, a fresh start and a smoke-free Pitt State campus. The university’s tobacco policy will begin its “soft implementation” at the start of the year, when the school’s smoking bins, currently labeled “I’m leaving,” will leave campus … forever. The university will be entirely tobacco-free, all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, will be prohibited. Although many non-smokers are excited to walk across the Oval without breathing a whiff of smoke, for students who do smoke, the change means a change in their lives. “Honestly, I am not bothered by it,” said Richard Trezza, junior in automotive technology. “I use an electronic…

Laura Bush coming to Pitt State

Laura Bush

| Audrey Dighans copy editor | The Pittsburg State Women in Government Lecture Series announced that former First Lady Laura Bush is scheduled to speak on campus next semester. Bush will talk about education, literacy, volunteerism and other topics on Wednesday, April 22, at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts. “With the arrival of the new center of the arts we wanted its inaugural season to be outstanding,” said Kathleen Flannery, executive director of university development. Flannery says the lecture series contacted Bush’s staff with a proposal for her to speak at Pitt State and the people in charge of the Series were thrilled when Bush accepted. “She is joining a long line of…

Straddling studies and sleep

Seamus Hamilton, senior in communication, hits the books in preparation for finals at the Axe Library on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

Students buckle down to study for finals | Kyleigh Becker reporter | Finals week is the most dreaded few days for many college students. It is the last challenge faced before a month of relaxation and “you can’t make me get up before noon” mornings. The key, however, is to survive dead week’s sleepless nights and finals week’s stress. Some students, however, aren’t too worried. “I’m not really preparing,” said Blake Smith, sophomore in information technoloy. “I don’t really have to study (for my math final). It comes easy to me.” Smith has two finals left: a paper for politics and a comprehensive math final. Both are on the same day and Smith says his…

Gorillas got game

Blake Bullinger and fiance Carly Stene show off her ring after their engagement on Oct.9.

Boyfriend’s proposal raises bar; goes viral | Kelsea Renz editor-in-chief | Most girls dream about the day she gets proposed to, of her heart racing as her boyfriend gets down on one knee and asks to spend the rest of their lives together. She wants it to be romantic and special. She wants it to be meaningful to both of them. And of course she’d have to tell her family immediately. On Oct. 9, the bar for a proposal like this was raised high when Blake Bullinger presented Carly Stene, his girlfriend of two years, with a handmade jewelry armoire filled with little presents of her favorite things and, of course, the ring. “As soon…

Celebrating family, friends, food

International students in PSU are take their food in Thankgiving dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 19.

| Haley Riebel reporter | Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for family, friends and food. Especially food. The holiday can be a time to reflect on what really matters in life and gives everyone a chance to make things right in the world. For many students, Thanksgiving is a time to reunite with family and catch them up on college life. “It honestly doesn’t really bother me when they ask, it’s kind of their way of showing they care,” said Megan Davis, freshman in biology. Davis says she believes Thanksgiving is also not just about the food. “To me, Thanksgiving means spending time with family and being thankful for the family you have…

Cold can’t kill celebration

Lt. Col. Kenneth Hutchison, instructor of military science, salutes the flag during the National Anthem played at the Veterans Day service on Tuesday, Nov, 11. The program was moved from the Veterans Memorial Amphitheater to the National Guard gym because of the extreme cold.

Veterans Day service celebrates peace | Kelsea Renz editor-in-chief | More than 100 veterans, families, students and sixth-graders from area middle schools, bundled in coats, scarves, boots and hats to keep away the chill from outside, packed into the National Guard Armory gym to celebrate the many men and women who have served their country at the Veterans Day service on Tuesday, Nov. 11. The service was moved indoors from the Veterans Memorial Amphitheater due to weather. “I was excited when I thought it was going to be out in the memorial, but it was still very nice today inside,” said Lt. Col. Kenneth Hutchinson, instructor of military science. “And the memorial is always there….

Pledge against sexual assault

Grace Geiger, a freshman in accounting, and Taylor Mercier, a freshman in recreational therapy, and Dakota Dudash, an undeclared freshman, take a picture with a frame of The Pledge during the It's On Us event in Lindburg Plaza on Thursday, Oct. 30. It is held by SGA to raise the sexual assault awareness.

| Valli Sridharan reporter | The Student Government Association conducted the “It’s on us” campaign for sexual assault prevention on Thursday, Oct. 30. This is a national level campaign that was initiated by President Obama about two months ago to end sexual assaults on university campuses. “I think it is a wonderful initiative,” said Kamakshi Singh, graduate student in mechanical engineering technology. “I feel that victims of sexual assault need and deserve the support of the community.” SGA wanted to raise awareness on the burning issue of sexual assault in a way that would attract people to the cause. “When it came to organizing it, we just reached out to organizations and people we thought…

SURVIVOR TO CHAMPION

Alex Wary, a senior in exercise science, passes the flame to Amber Davish, a senior in therapeutic recreation, for representing the hope for the people caught in human trafficking during Dinner and Candlelight Vigil event in Justice Week in the Oval on Wednesday, November, 5. It is held by IJM to raise the awareness of Human Trafficking.

Holocaust experience leads to human-rights activism | Audrey Dighans copy editor | Whitesitt room 103 was filled past capacity on Thursday, Oct. 30, when more than 100 people gathered to listen to activist Hedy Epstein, a Holocaust survivor and champion of civil, women’s and human rights. “I don’t always have a standing-room only audience,” said Epstein. “I must have something neat to talk about.” Epstein’s lecture was part of the Women’s Studies Lecture Series. “Originally we planned on only bringing one speaker to campus a year,” said Laura Washburn, professor in English. However, after the initial success, she knew the series had to host another speaker. “While in the process of searching, Ferguson happened,” Washburn…

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…