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  • Multitasking in a digital age

    | Kyleigh Becker reporter |

    Sky Carter, senior in electrical engineering, says she multitasks as much as she can.
    “I do it every second possible,” she said. “Especially during projects of particular length.”
    While she says she isn’t on Facebook while working, she does use her computer for research, music or tutorials.

    Maddie Stewart, freshman in nursing, uses several different electronics to assist her when it comes to doing homework or studying.

    Maddie Stewart, freshman in nursing, uses several different electronics to assist her when it comes to doing homework or studying.

    “It’s really positive for me,” she said. “If I have Jackie Chan playing in the background, I can focus. If I don’t, then I can’t concentrate.”
    Her tech-toys include a phone, two laptops and an Xbox to use while studying so she can watch a movie, program robotics and draw in CAD.
    “If it’s a big group project or a long night at the lab, I’ll bring my Xbox,” Carter said.
    It’s not only technology students who bring the tech into their study sessions.
    Carlie Gernhart, senior in commercial arts, says she multitasks quite a lot as well.
    “I’ll usually have Photoshop open in one half and YouTube or Netflix in the other, and my phone just in case,” Gernhart said.
    Unlike Carter, Gernhart says she only uses two devices at once, either her laptop and phone or laptop and iPod.
    “I like music when I’m doing homework,” she said.
    However, Gernhart admits that it can be a little distracting.
    “I don’t know about academic (repercussions), but I think it makes me a little slower, less focused and more likely to make mistakes,” she said. “I have to think, ‘Am I actually getting more done doing it this way?’ It would probably help if I put my phone out of arm’s reach while I was working on the computer.”
    One thing Gernhart says she doesn’t do, however, is have her laptop or phone out during class.
    “I see a lot of people doing it, but it doesn’t usually distract me,” Gernhart said.
    Zach Mitchell, graduate student in communication, says he uses technology to multitask as well.
    “It’s a near constant thing,” he said. “And it’s even easier at home.”
    On average, Mitchell says he uses about two devices, with four being the maximum.
    “The TV’s usually off, but I’ll be using my computer and phone,” he said. “It affects my study habits, but I can’t say about my grades.”
    A second side effect of this multitasking, Mitchell says, is more in the realm of the social.
    “I just leave the house less (when I have technology),” he said.  
    Joey Pogue, associate professor in communication, says the usefulness of technology depends upon each person.
    “It’s a matter of cognitive engagement and responsibility,” he said. “It’s a matter of tools.”
    Pogue says the tools of technology are good when used to heighten awareness.
    “I graded a comp essay on my cell phone,” Pogue said. “And I edited my first thesis online this year.”
    In his classes, students are allowed cell phones and laptops, just not while he’s talking.
    “There’s no need for a technological bridge,” he said. “It’s taking us out of the present context … but it doesn’t have to.”
    And as for those who fall prey to digital multitasking?
    “There are no victims here, only volunteers,” Pogue said. “Nobody gets a raw deal unless they give it to themselves.”

  • Spring in the air

    | Valli Sridharan reporter |

    More than 100 students flocked to the Lindburg Plaza on Thursday, April 23, for Student Activities Council’s annual “Spring Fling.”
    Inflatables, snacks, ice cream, T-shirts, free goodies and games were spread out over the plaza, free of charge, for students’ enjoyment.
    “It is really amazing to see how many people came out to Spring Fling,” said Ryan Urban, freshman in communication. “Most students had a great time and I saw a lot of smiles.”
    Student Activities Council is also undergoing a name change. The organization used Spring Fling as a way to bring awareness to the campus that it is now the Gorillas Activities Board (GAB) and it would like all students to “Come GAB with us.”
    Gorillas In Your Midst and Residence Hall Association were some of the other organizations to have booths set up during Spring Fling.
    “The best part about organizing Spring Fling was getting to work with other organizations in order to provide all of the activities we had available,” said Malory White, sophomore in biology and campus stew for GAB. “SAC’s goal is not only to provide fun events for students, but to also collaborate and work with other groups in the process.”
    Students not involved in organizing the event or running a booth said they enjoyed Spring Fling.
    “It was just fun to jump around on the inflatable,” said Efigenia Pulgar, freshman in international studies. “I felt like I was a little kid again and not worry about a thing.”
    Dinner was also provided via Sodexo, outside, for students to enjoy the spring weather.
    “My favorite was the walking tacos,” Pulgar said. “They were amazing.”
    There was also music provided by “Barbados Band First Klass,” who played during the event to add to the fun.
    “It was like a festival because there was music, food and fun,” said Zhanita Assilbekova, sophomore in marketing management. “I can never forget this day.”
    Students weren’t the only ones to partake in the fun during Spring Fling.
    “There was a mom who asked me if her toddler son could run around inside the wrecking ball inflatable,” Urban said. “That was something.”
    Safety, however, remains an important concern for GAB.
    “Any student interested in using the inflatables provided by SAC is required to sign a waiver in order to participate,” White said. “We make sure that there are members of each organization monitoring the inflatables at all times in order to maintain a safe environment.”

  • How happy are you with housing?

    | Audrey Dighans copy editor |

    It may be spring but that isn’t the only season this time of year. Signing leases and housing contracts are on many students’ minds as it’s that “time of the year” to be thinking about next year. So, what are the options?

    University Housing

    Commonly referred to as “the dorms,” Pittsburg State University is equipped with seven halls that house 1,248 students annually.
    “On-campus living has been a big component of the college experience,” said Melissa Beisel, associate director of university housing. “Living in the dorms adds to, particularly first year students, experience. A variety of studies, including ones conducted by PSU, show that students who live in the dorms have higher retention rates as well.”
    Beisel says the greatest reason students choose the dorms is convenience.
    “You don’t have to find a parking space every day,” Beisel said. “It’s a fixed cost, there are no bills, food is included, it is a great option for those on a budget.”
    Depending on the student’s choice of a meal plan, dorm rates are between $5,926 and $8,152 per year, with the cost divided up by half and paid at semester in advance. Living in Nation, Dellinger, Bowen, Trout or the Tanner Complex costs less than Willard or the Crimson Commons. There is also an additional $450 per semester if a student requests a single room.
    Beisel says PSU has the lowest rates out of all Regents schools and Washburn University and that this was determined at the annual housing directors conference earlier this year in which housing officials from all Regents schools and Washburn attended.
    “Our rooms are also the same size if not larger than other universities we compare ourselves with,” Beisel said.


    For those who choose not to live in University Housing, there is a variety of housing options available from transitional apartments such as the Crimson Villas, University Commons and, for next year, The Edge at Rouse.
    These three options are apartment-styled living spaces where utilities are included with rent. The University Commons and Crimson Villas are also pet-friendly, an added bonus for some students; however the Villas has restrictions on what pets may live on the premise.
    Rent at the Crimson Villas ranges from $395 per month for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment to $695 per month for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment.
    For The Edge at Rouse, students are only allowed the option of a four-bedroom apartment for $489 per month. The Edge however offers a private bathroom with each bedroom as well as a fully furnished apartment and amenities such as a pool and fitness center.
    And as always, students are free to search for apartments and houses throughout the city of Pittsburg, either by owner or through a rental agency such as Pro X or Pitt Realty.

    The students’ side

    When it comes to the dorms, Bailey Jones says they are “pretty great.”
    Jones, sophomore in justice studies, has lived in Trout Hall both her years at PSU and plans to live there this coming year.
    “I like the rooms,” she said. “The cleaning staff is friendly and compared to an apartment with bills and groceries, I’m getting a good deal.”
    Jones says she still thinks University Housing is the best deal for her even though she pays the added $450 a semester for a single room.
    “It’s close to campus, I don’t need a car, I can meet people here and students won’t be so reclusive when they’ve been in the dorms,” Jones said. “It’s more of the ‘college experience.’”
    Luke Walker, junior in automotive technology, disagrees with Jones.
    “The survey they give you to decide who you room with meant nothing. I had a horrible experience with my first roommate,” Walker said.
    Walker added there were several encounters with his RA he felt his RA shouldn’t have been involved in.
    He also says that now that he lives off campus he feels more connected because his house is closer to the campus than the Bowen/Trout/Tanner complex.
    “My rent at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house is $100 less a month compared to the dorms,” he said. “We also have better toilet paper.”
    Walker says there is a variety of off-campus living options for Pitt State students, many of which are cheaper than living on campus.

  • Gorilla Activities Board to replace SAC

    | Gretchen Burns reporter |

    Returning students next fall will be unable to find the Student Activities Center (SAC). The same organization will still be on campus for students, but under a new name, the Gorilla Activities Board, or GAB.
    SAC, now GAB, is the Pittsburg State University student programming board that puts on many events for students throughout the year, like lectures, comedy shows, concerts, special events, performing arts, movies and musical arts.
    “We are looking into the name change of the Gorilla Activities Board, because GAB plans to use a name that is easy to remember and impossible to forget,” said Brianna O’Neill, senior in print and digital media management. “We want to be recognized for the events that we put on and not fade into the woodwork.”
    O’Neill said that in a recent study, the majority of students didn’t know the difference between the SAC and the Campus Activities Council (CAC) and were confusing the two.
    “We felt that the Gorilla Activities Board was distinguishing and branded differently to separate us,” O’Neill said.
    The new GAB is trying to differentiate itself between all of the other organizations on campus besides CAC, including Student Government Association (SGA) and hopes to raise new membership with recruiting techniques. “Next year we’re going to have a street team that actually walks the campus and informs other students about what we’re going to do,” said Casey Steinmiller, junior in digital media and SAC vice president of advertising. “We’re still doing the same style of different events, but just with different people.”
    Steinmiller added that there is a logo change to go with the name change and that almost an entirely new board of executive members will be added next year.
    “We’re definitely looking for new members to join, especially people who want to be more involved in activities that take place on campus,” Steinmiller added. “We’ll be doing a big event on opening night next fall but we want to get the word out now for returning students.”
    O’Neill added that GAB wants to get people involved since member numbers have dropped over the past few years.
    “We want people and students to know that we are the fun part of the campus and they shouldn’t be leery of joining our team,” O’Neill said.
    To have the name change accepted, the GAB had to meet with the Board of Governors with a proposal of how their name change would benefit the students of Pittsburg State University. The Board of Governors includes a representative from every organization and department in the Overman Student Center. The President’s Council was informed afterward and it was approved.
    Steinmiller said that much of the programming and events are planned out a semester in advance, like musical artists, lectures and performances. Some of the other events are more spontaneous, like cake decorating or artistic contests.
    O’Neill said that GAB plans to have a TV monitor display in the Overman Student Center so that students can walk past and see what is happening.
    “We’re working toward having a ball pit so that students can come ‘GAB’ in the pit with us,” O’Neill said. “What college student doesn’t want to play in a ball pit?”

  • ‘Feels like game day’

    Ribbon cutting draws in crowd

    | Audrey Dighans copy editor |

    About 300 students, faculty, staff and residents joined the Pitt State Pep Squad, university President Steve Scott, the Gus mascot and more for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Robert W. Plaster Center.

    Steve Scott, university president prepares to cut the ribbon for the Robert W. Plaster Center on Tuesday, April 21.

    Steve Scott, university president prepares to cut the ribbon for the Robert W. Plaster Center on Tuesday, April 21.

    The ceremony was held Tuesday, April 22, on the steps of 154,000 square foot athletic and event center.
    “What a day to be a Gorilla,” said Kendall Gammon, director of development intercollegiate athletics. “Today is a day we have been anticipating for three years. We’ve overcome many hurdles to get here, but the most amazing part of this building is the vision for it created by the donors, university, city of Pittsburg, Crawford County and the Plaster corporation, partnerships that could have only happened in Pittsburg.”

    Steve Scott, university president speaks to the crowd during the ribbon cutting for the Robert W. Plaster Center on Tuesday, April 21.

    Steve Scott, university president speaks to the crowd during the ribbon cutting for the Robert W. Plaster Center on Tuesday, April 21.

    Jordan Schaper, former student body president, was invited to the podium after Gammon’s remarks for “one last speech.”
    “There is a strong sense of family and community between PSU and the city of Pitt,” Schaper, senior in political science, said.
    Schaper spoke of the referendum vote held in 2012 when he was a freshman and the attitude of students at that time.
    “I’m not sure any of us understood the scale of this project,” Schaper said. “To see all this grow (the Bicknell Center, Overman Student Center expansion and Plaster Center) in such a short time is special to me. The students who paid those first fees knew they would not be undergrads when this was finished but they cared about future Gorillas and that is why they voted yes.”
    Steve Scott followed Schaper.
    “We decided to wear Gorilla wear today,” Scott said. “With the flags and the band, it feels like Game Day, a day to celebrate.”
    Scott continued to speak about the events leading to the funding of the Plaster Center and thanking some on the long list of people that made the project possible.
    “We really need to thank Russ Jewett,” Scott said. “It was him who agreed to take out the indoor track in the Weede to make way for the renovated floor. He said he knew we would build a new indoor track and I thought that was crazy. But you know, if Russ hadn’t done that, we wouldn’t be here.”
    Others to speak included Monica Murnan, former mayor of Pittsburg, Bill Feuerborn, Shawn Naccarato and Dolly Clement.
    “Dad would be so excited to see this building,” Clement, executive director of the Plaster Foundation, said. “Dad would want everyone to know that the ‘American Dream’ is still alive and this is what we can accomplish in this country under the free enterprise system.”
    After Clement, it was the moment everyone was waiting for: the ribbon cuttings — three to be exact, enabling speakers and attendants to officially open the center.
    Once the giant scissors were put away, the crowds flooded into the new center for self-guided tours. There was a rush to sign the guestbook and a race up the stairs to view the Harvey Dean Track from the second-level observation deck as well as catch a glimpse of the ProMaxima Strength and Conditioning Center.
    Overall, 10 areas within the center were highlighted for viewing, including the locker rooms, TV screen on the eastern wall, meeting rooms and offices.
    “Today has been extremely emotional,” said Darien Stancell, junior in plastics and student athlete. “It is so exciting for the track team and all the student athletes who will benefit from this center. It will be a great recruitment tool and we are all so thankful.”

  • You can’t dance with us

    | Gretchen Burns reporter |

    Student Government Association senator Marcus Clem is investigating claims that the Crimson and Gold Dance team tryouts were biased and based on looks, not talent.
    “These girls came to me as a member of student government and indicated to me that they felt the process of choosing members for their team was unfair,” Clem said.

    In the name of responsibility

    Clem says the situation is within SGA’s interest if the complaints brought to his attention turn out to be true.
    “We are partly responsible for regulating the Athletic Department’s funding,” Clem said. “As such, it is appropriate for us to step in and express our opinion on the situation should that moment arise. We can’t tell them to do anything, we can only say that we disapprove or approve, depending on the situation and that such an action would require a vote.”
    Formerly, the Crimson and Gold Dance Team had been under the Department of Music. From the 2015-2016 year and forward, it will be under the Athletic department.

    The reasons why

    The claims of bias were brought to Clem’s attention by outgoing dance captain Sara Joseph.
    “Basically, the new coach (Shelly Grimes) picked the new team entirely on looks,” Joseph, senior in marketing and commercial graphics, told the Collegio. “That’s not just an assumption, it actually happened.”
    Grimes refused to comment on Joseph’s allegations.
    Joseph says technique auditions were held on the first day of tryouts. This portion of the tryout is used to judge where the girls are when it comes to skills at dancing. Scores received from this portion are used as tiebreakers when it comes to final scores and decision time.
    Joseph claimed that on the first day of tryouts, Grimes said that she (Grimes) was basically judging them on “how they look and how pretty they are.”
    Joseph says she tried to explain that this portion of tryouts was technique based and that the team is not worried about what the girls look like, but are more focused on their skills; how high they reach on kicks, etc.

    Less isn’t more

    The outgoing dance team coach Natalie Jepson-Kundiger also declined to comment on the tryouts, as did current members of the squad.
    Joseph claims Grimes chose nine girls to join the dance team when traditionally 12-15 are selected.
    “Twenty-four girls tried out,” Joseph said. “There was no reason why she shouldn’t have more girls on the team. She cut three returners, all of whom should have made it.”
    Joseph added one of the cut girls is an outstanding dancer who, in her opinion, should be captain for the 2015-2016 year.
    “She didn’t make the team based on how she looked,” Joseph said.

    Backing it up

    Joseph is not alone in her complaints.
    Jessica Lowery, senior in early/late childhood education, helped add the scores of the girls who tried out for the dance team. She says she was disappointed by the comments on the score sheets.
    “The strange thing was that I started feeling more self-conscious about myself,” Lowery said. “I saw a lot of beautiful girls out there who may have been curvy but were by no means overweight at all. It was disheartening to see (the comments) for sure.”
    Lowery added that in her opinion, not many of the girls at the tryouts need to lose weight.
    “This doesn’t directly affect me on what happened since I’m graduating, but it affects people that I care about so I think it’s important that people know about what happened,” Joseph said.
    Joseph says it is unfortunate that this has happened in the first place and Lowery shares her opinion.
    “That’s not the kind of school we are,” Lowery said. “If this were some big huge D-I school where there were hundreds of girls trying out, this wouldn’t be such a big deal because you have to start looking at qualities like that, but here at Pitt State, I’ve always prided us on how we’re a small community. How we always present ourselves as a big family, and it was just not in Pitt State’s nature. I don’t think that it reflected Pitt State well at all.”

  • Night of firsts

    “Walk on the beach every chance you get”

    | Kelsea Renz editor-in-chief |

    Former first lady Laura Bush made a brief but momentous visit to Pittsburg State as part of the inaugural season for the Bicknell Center through the Women in Government Lecture Series on Wednesday, April 22, talking about such issues as education and reading.

    Former First Lady, Laura Bush, gives a speech over women in government in the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts on Tuesday, April 22.

    Former First Lady, Laura Bush, gives a speech over women in government in the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts on Tuesday, April 22.

    Mrs. Bush noted that former President George H. W. Bush celebrated his 90th birthday last June by jumping out of another airplane and former first lady Barbara Bush will celebrate her 90th birthday this June with a two-day party that will benefit the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
    She also noted that, even at 89, the elder Mrs. Bush still walks her dogs on the beach every day while summering in Maine.
    “George and I believe they’re showing the way to age with grace,” Mrs. Bush said. “(We) have learned from them that all we have is now. So take advantage of your life as it is, and walk on the beach every chance you get.”
    In an interview with the Collegio before her speech, Mrs. Bush mentioned that this is the advice she would give to young women pursuing the best their career fields can offer.
    “See what your special characteristics are that can help you and just remember that you have now to work on it,” she said. “So work on it now.”
    Mrs. Bush also talked a bit about her new life as a grandmother and the process of choosing a grandparent name.
    “Now it’s sort of like choosing a name for your cat,” she said. “ Barbara and Jenna recently emailed … that they think my grandparent name should be Mimi Maxwell. George just wants the baby to call him ‘Sir.”’
    Mrs. Bush’s main focus, however, was on education and literacy and how they have influenced her, as well as how she has affected them.
    “Books don’t just shape us individually,” she said. “Books shape our journey as a nation. Reading is one of the guiding passions of life.”
    Mrs. Bush advocates for all people to have access to books and education, and believes that this goal will soon be achieved.
    “I think women always will, in every country, really, still have a little bit of a struggle to succeed at the highest levels,” she said in the interview. “But I think your generation will break that glass ceiling and the numbers will increase every year.”
    Mrs. Bush finished her presentation with a question-and-answer session mediated by Robba Moran, member of the Kansas Board of Regents.
    The evening was the result of months of work by Kathleen Flannery, interim vice president for university advancement, and the Women in Government team, which has been planning Mrs. Bush’s visit for almost a year.
    “When we constructed the Bicknell Center we had the hope of attracting the very best,” said Steve Scott, university president, in his introduction. “We not only met those expectations, we exceeded them.”
    According to the contract representatives for the organization signed with Mrs. Bush, Women in Government cannot say exactly how much they paid to get her here, but most speakers of her caliber can run anywhere from $60,000 to $170,000.
    Mrs. Bush’s fee, though, was donated through the Helen S. Boylan Foundation and from Ken and Debbie Brock from Names and Numbers, in addition to ticket sales.
    Flannery has worked closely with the Secret Service and Mrs. Bush’s advance team since signing the contract in August.
    She says she worked to keep the value for students at the forefront of the visit.
    “I think she understands the educational process,” Flannery said. “She’s a teacher at heart, she’s a librarian, and she wanted to make sure our students had the full impact of her visit.”
    Some students had never been exposed to this level of fame before.
    “The only thing I knew was before her being the first lady was her being a librarian, but otherwise all the stories were completely new,” said Lauren Geiger, sophomore in history. “It’s very impressive to be able to say that I have seen and listened to a first lady of the United States.”
    Others had the experience of being around influential people, though they thought her visit was unique.
    “It felt personal,” said Tadd Lucian, senior in communication and marketing. “It felt like she was really here to kind of address things that mattered to us and to take the time out of her day, which was nice.”
    Overall, though, many agreed that a visit from the former first lady was something to remember.
    “To have former first lady in Pittsburg, Kan., on our stage and to give such a wonderful address,” said Chris Kelly, associate vice president of university marketing and communication, “it just made you proud to be from Pittsburg, it made you proud to be from Pittsburg State University.”

  • Meyer named Student Employee of the Year

    | Audrey Dighans copy editor |

    Megan Meyer, senior in graphic communications, is the 2015 Pittsburg State University Student Employee of the Year.
    Meyer was granted the award on Monday, April 13, in recognition of her work with the Technology and Workforce Learning department. Those on the decision panel say it was a close selection process, as many of the 26 nominees this year were excellent candidates, such as Emily Mika of Campus Recreation and Austin Parker of the Registrar’s Office, who tied for second runner-up and Kavita Sharma of the Kelce College of Business who was first runner-up.

    President Steve Scott presents the Kansas Student Employee of the Year award to Megan Meyer, nominated in technology and workforce learning, during the Student Employee of the Year banquet in the Alumni Center on Monday, April 13.

    President Steve Scott presents the Kansas Student Employee of the Year award to Megan Meyer, nominated in technology and workforce learning, during the Student Employee of the Year banquet in the Alumni Center on Monday, April 13.

    “It’s impossible to overstate the important role that hundreds of student employees play on our campus,” said Mindy Cloninger, director of the Office of Career Services, in a PSU press release available on the Pitt State website. “Every day students are taking on responsibilities and completing tasks that make this large organization run.
    “At the same time, they are demonstrating a work ethic and honing personal and professional skills that make them very desirable for employers who hire our graduates.”
    In addition to receiving a framed certificate and the honor of being Student Employee of the Year, Meyer also received a $75 check from the Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators.
    “Oh, my gosh, I was speechless when I won,” Meyer said. “I’m so glad we didn’t have to give a speech, my mind was jumbled with words. I’m honored and blessed that I was chosen, especially since there were so many good candidates and employees.”
    Meyer has worked for the Department of Technology and Workforce Learning for more than a year. She says her main task this year was organizing the Great Gorilla Games as well as a conference many PSU individuals attended last fall in Branson, Mo.
    “I already work at Pitsco and they work with the technology workforce department on a daily basis,” Meyer said. “I helped bridge that together, made schedules and a website.”
    In addition to organizing Great Gorilla Games, she created an online registration form and all the print media/signage.
    “I was the program director for Great Gorilla Games this year,” Meyer said. “It’s run mostly by graphics majors, I was in charge of delegating all the tasks, organizing teams to get it all done, supervising the event and I did all the invoicing afterward.”
    Meyer says she discovered she was nominated by Michael Neden, associate professor of technology and workforce learning, her employer.
    “I felt very proud and honored when Mr. Neden told me he was nominating me,” Meyer said. “I really appreciate that he recognized me for all the hard work I have done. It has been stressful since I have been in charge of so much, but I took it on and accomplished it all.”
    Meyer advises other student employees who aspire to be the employee of the year to focus on time management and organization skills.
    “Don’t be afraid to step out of the box and go beyond what your duties are,” Meyer said. “Take charge, put yourself out there, let your employers know you are responsible and can take more. Build your leaderships skills and thank your employers.”

  • Banana Party to lead SGA

    Hostetler, Herring new president and vp

    | Audrey Dighans copy editor |

    Students, faculty and staff gathered at the foot of the marble staircase in Russ Hall at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 10, for the announcement of the new student body president, vice president and Senate members.

    Kyle Hostetler, junior in graphic communications, and Rachel Herring, sophmore in Spanish and political science, pose for a photo with President Steve Scott after being annouced as the SGA President and Vice President for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    Kyle Hostetler, junior in graphic communications, and Rachel Herring, sophmore in Spanish and political science, pose for a photo with President Steve Scott after being annouced as the SGA President and Vice President for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    Steve Scott, university president, began the announcement with congratulations to the Student Government Association for “a tremendous year.”
    “It has been a great year of moving things forward,” Scott said. “I want to congratulate all of SGA for a wonderful year, a great campaign season. You all did a great job, ran a high-level campaign and stuck to the issues.”

    And the winners are…

    Scott began by announcing the new Senate members from Pitt State’s five colleges and senators-at-large. Then, the moment everyone was waiting for: the announcement of who would lead SGA, the Banana Party or A Gorilla League.
    In the end the Banana Party was triumphant, with Kyle Hostetler, junior in graphic communications, as the new SGA president and Rachel Herring, sophomore in Spanish and political science, as the new SGA vice president.
    “I feel motivated and grateful,” Hostetler said. “I wouldn’t say I was shocked to win, I would say I was moved by it. If you look at the numbers it was a close race and my opponents were very competitive.”

    Breaking it down

    Overall, the Banana Party received 497 votes for the president and vice president race, a 54.1 percentage compared to A Gorilla League’s 45.9 percent.
    Hostetler says the debate between the Banana Party and A Gorilla League was the most trying part of the campaign for him.
    “It was my first ever debate and I was nervous,” he said. “I feel like Rachel and I, throughout the campaign, got our voice out to the students.”
    Herring, too, says she was happy to achieve her goal of becoming elected.
    “I felt a few things all at the same time when the announcement was made,” Herring said. “Relief that it (the campaign) had come to an end, disbelief it was actually real.”
    Scott had a few more words to say to all the candidates before ending the traditional announcement ceremony: “Thank you for caring enough about this university to get involved.”
    With that, the elected officials posed for photos and climbed down the marble steps to shake hands and hug friends in celebration.
    “They’re going to do well,” said Jordan Schaper, outgoing president of SGA. “Rachel is organized and Kyle is creative. Together they make a great team. I think they will continue to build on the foundation Jaci (Gilchrist) and I laid out this past year for SGA.”
    Schaper added that Hostetler and Herring will also have a wonderful new SGA office space in the remodeled Overman Student Center to attract more students to get involved in student government and keep SGA easily accessible to students.

  • Regents president to retire

    | Kelsea Renz editor in chief |

    Andy Tompkins, president and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents, publicly announced his retirement at the Board meeting on Wednesday, April 15, after holding the positions for five years.
    “The Board simply could not feel more positive about the job Dr. Tompkins has done,” said Kenny Wilk, Chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents, in a press release from the Board. “We are so grateful for his dedicated service to this Board and to the State of Kansas.”
    When Tompkins was first approached about the position in early 2010, he wrote in a letter that he has held mainly leadership roles in education and feels that such a role is “best served by those who see this as an honor and who lead from a perspective of servant leadership.”
    He described this type of servant leadership as putting others’ needs before his own in a leadership position that would affect much larger groups of people.
    “Being in service to a broader good was much more fulfilling,” Tompkins said at the Apple Day Convocation on March 5. “In essence, ‘we’ became more important than ‘me’.”
    Before Tompkins served on the Kansas Board of Regents, he represented Pittsburg State as the interim dean of the College of Education from 1995 to 1996 and later the dean from 2007 to 2010.
    “I have the great fortune of being able to call Andy Tompkins a mentor, colleague and friend,” said Steve Scott, university president. “He is an extraordinary person and the very model of a servant leader. Our university is proud to be able to call him a Gorilla.”
    The Board has already selected a replacement for Tompkins, unanimously voting at its meeting on Wednesday, April 15, to appoint Blake Flanders, vice president of workforce development at the Kansas Board of Regents, as the next president and CEO.
    Flanders has held his position on the Board since 2008 and has worked with issues involving postsecondary education and the Kansas economy.
    “Dr. Flanders is a man of Kansas, with great accomplishments,” Wilk said in a second press release from the Board of Regents. “He will provide continuity and stability as we continue to move higher education forward in Kansas.”
    Flanders will start July 1.

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