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  • 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 Club.
    Various student organizations nominated one man and one woman to represent the organization as a king or queen candidate. Forty-nine nominations made it through the application process. Those 49 nominees had one-on-one interviews with judges on Sunday, Oct. 5, and 13 were cut from the competition.
    The remaining 36 nominees then participated in the fishbowl presentation Monday before the announcement of the top 12.

    Emily Mika and Brian Walker pose for photos 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.

    Emily Mika and Brian Walker pose for photos 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.

    “To be in the top 12 is obviously no easy task,” said Walker, junior in plastics engineering technology. “The people that I was up against are great leaders.”
    During the fishbowl presentation, candidates randomly selected two questions, one serious and one funny, to answer for the crowd and judges.
    “It’s one of the most horrifying experiences because you don’t know what’s about to come out of your mouth, you don’t know what’s going to be said,” Walker said.
    Once all candidates had their turn and the judges’ scores were tallied, the top 12 king and queen candidates were announced.
    “Nominated in general is such an honor and then the top 36 and top 12,” said Mika, senior in nursing. “I was the last one called, and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.”
    For some candidates, this was their second year in a row being chosen into the top 12.
    “I want this really bad. It sounds so cheesy and cliché, but Pitt State really means a lot to me and it would be amazing to be queen,” said Hebrlee, senior in general studies. “It was just a lot of excitement and a little bit of disbelief, seeing as it’s the second year in a row.”
    The 36 candidates who participated in the fishbowl presentation will represent their organizations in the homecoming parade on Saturday, Oct. 11. The top 12 will have special honors in the parade.
    “I was just excited to ride in the parade as a top 36 candidate, but I’m honored,” said Matney, senior in elementary education. “I’m excited for convocation and ready to get things rolling.”


    Round 2

    Battle of the chicken is back

    | Gretchen Burns reporter |

    On Saturday, Alumni and Constituent Relations will present its annual “Chicken Wars Homecoming Tailgate” at the Alumni Shelter House in Gorilla Village.
    The event started after the Food Network aired an episode involving the different fried chicken restaurants of Pittsburg and Crawford County. Chicken from Barto’s and Chicken Annie’s will be brought in for guests.
    “It’s really nice for guests to be able to go to one location and try chicken from two different chicken houses,” said Meagan Swafford, assistant director of alumni and constituent Relations. “There really is no competition, it is all about eating good food and socializing.”
    The event has been taking place since 2011.
    “It continues to be a success every year. It is nice for folks who don’t want to mess with tailgating or bringing in food for themselves,” Swafford said.
    The cost is $10 per adult and free for kids 10 and under.
    Despite there being more than two chicken restaurants around the area, the Alumni and Constituent Relations brings in only Chicken Annie’s and Barto’s every year.
    “Chicken Annie’s and Barto’s have always been great about being able to deliver food to us at the tailgate and they are a pleasure to work with,” Swafford said. “Also, Chicken Annie’s gives us more choices on sides and Barto’s will provide us with the famous German coleslaw and potato salad.”
    The event will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. as part of the Gorilla Fest, which will include free kids games and inflatable slides, food vendors, live music, a pregame pep rally and PSU merchandise.
    Registration is required and can be found on the Pittsburg State University website under the calendar or Alumni and Constituent Relations webpage.


    Be Royal

    Advice from past kings, queens

    | Audrey Dighans copy editor |

    Homecoming week is quickly coming to an end, but a new reign as King and Queen has just begun.
    Out of 36 candidates, one man and one woman are chosen each year out of the top 12 at the annual Homecoming Convocation ceremony and crowned as the new King and Queen.
    “It was such an honor to be crowned a Pitt State Homecoming Queen,” said Alyssa Marsh, PSU alumnus.
    Marsh was nominated by Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI), PSU’s women’s music fraternity, and crowned in 2012.
    The Homecoming King for that year was Ryan Robinson.
    “I had no intention of running at all,” Robinson, senior in music education, said. “Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority members told me they wanted to nominate me and I accepted.”
    Robinson says a favorite part of his reign was meeting people he wouldn’t normally have had the chance to meet or get to know well.
    “I wouldn’t be able to talk to Dr. Scott like a close friend if I wasn’t Homecoming King,” he said.
    For Marsh, the involvement and embodiment of school spirit were the best parts of being Queen.
    “Pitt is a small school,” Marsh said. “A good school, but a small school and because of that, everyone watches you and most likely knows you. That was the best part and the hardest part.”
    Marsh says before being nominated and eventually winning, she used to not be involved in extra curricular activities.
    “My freshman and sophomore years I just stuck close to my department,” Marsh said. “Junior year I mentioned to a sister in SAI that I was interested in running. She passed it on and before I knew it I was nominated. Being Queen got me so involved at Pitt State, I was able to do so many things and winning made me so happy, I felt so honored.”
    For Robinson, Marsh and every Gorilla King and Queen, the pressures and duties of the title have a year-round presence.
    “There are several campus-wide events to participate in throughout the year,” Robinson said. “You also participate in Homecoming Day activities the year you’re crowned and you crown next year’s winners.”
    The Homecoming King and Queen ride in the Homecoming Parade, take part in the halftime ceremony during the football game, are judges in Apple Day competitions and represent Pitt State at a number of functions.
    Marsh added that the “eyes” are always on you, even after your reign has ended.
    “I remember last year at Pitt a student who was long-boarding slammed into my car while I was stopped at a stop sign and shattered my window,” she said. “ A rumor sprung up that the Homecoming Queen had hit someone with her car, which wasn’t true. He hit me, but funny thing is I wasn’t even the Homecoming Queen anymore.”
    Robinson’s advice for Pitt State’s newest King and Queen is to “be humble and grateful in knowing that you were nominated and won for a reason.”
    He added that the King and Queen represent Pitt State and should do it to the best of their abilities.
    Marsh says that it is important to know you are now a role model for students, the university as a whole and the community.
    “Keep your social media clean,” she said. “There are going to be little boys and girls looking up to you, who want to be you some day, will always want to take pictures with you. You need to value that and watch how you act during your year of service.”

  • 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 appeals. It’s leading to a lot of the bans being overturned,” said Mary Butler, senior in psychology and president of GSA. “But I also think it was kind of a cop-out because they had the opportunity to just legalize it once and for all.”
    Amber Danielson, senior in psychology, disagrees, saying that the decision to deny the appeals is silly.
    “When it comes down to it, marriage is a legal document that shows two people are willing to share everything they have,” she said. “Sexual orientation should not have a play in it.”
    Butler says she anticipates that the Supreme Court will eventually hear the appeals and the same-sex marriage bans will eventually be overturned nationally.
    “The legislation happening in regards to same-sex marriage…is exciting yet nerve wracking,” says Butler. “While I hope that bans on same-sex marriage will all be found unconstitutional, we can only hope for that.”
    Though the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals this term, Butler understands that the decision can still have an impact on the country.
    “I hope it will lead to even more states’ bans being lifted,” she said.
    Even if same-sex marriage is legalized, the LGBT community still has much to fight for.
    “The LGBTQA community could rally and stand up even higher for their rights,” Danielson said. “Those who have been oppressing the love between same sex couples, or even differently gendered or sexually identified couples, will feel empowered or, worse, feel they’ve won for the greater good.
    “My hope is the former rather than the latter. Everyone deserves to proclaim their love.”
    The road to acceptance may be long, but the LGBT community remains hopeful that it will happen soon, members say.
    “Whether people disagree with same-sex marriage or not, it’s still going to be allowed at some point in time,” says Butler. “I’m fairly certain it’ll happen in our generation’s lifetime.”

  • 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 the adoption decree,” Danielle Layman said, “stating Shahar was not granted an opportunity to defend himself because he could not afford to fly and appear before the USA court.”
    The court is also having Amber talk to multiple psychologists and social workers appointed by the court.
    The social worker said she received the impression that it is not in Amber’s best interest to reinitiate a relationship with Shahar and that there is a risk that doing so will open old wounds and resurface traumatic memories.
    The court then recommended Amber to talk to another psychologist, frustrating her mother.
    “I’m guessing if this one will also not recommend visitations with the biological father, they’ll keep looking for another “expert” until they find the one to give them the answer they want,” she said.
    The family intends to appeal the case to the supreme rabbinical court. However, they are also preparing for the worst.
    “Jeremy (Amber’s stepfather) might have to break out of his enlistment with the National Guard and we may well relocate to Israel for the next five years (until she’s 18) to fight this,” Danielle said.
    Danielle says that they will do whatever is necessary to regain custody of their daughter.
    “This is our daughter, so we will never stop fighting,” she said.

  • 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 loss is even more painful because Breneman’s wife, Cate, is the university’s landscape architect.
    “On behalf of the entire university community, I offer my deepest condolences to Cate and Michael’s family,” Scott said.
    Services are pending.

  • 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. The university then contacted the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which are currently investigating the procedures in the master’s of business administration program.
    “After we received word that the KBI declined, we wanted to go and get an outside agency to look at it and the FBI was the next choice,” Kelly said. “And, really, the IRS because in this particular case it’s some questionable financial procedures. So when you’re looking at that, that’s the next place to go.”
    The information release comes after The Collegio filed an open-records request with the university seeking the agency’s name involved in the investigation and, after receiving legal advice on how to proceed, sent a follow-up letter again requesting the information.
    “These types of events, thankfully, we don’t really have a lot of experience with,” Kelly said. “We’re always trying to balance the requirements and caution that go along with the investigation with how we operate at Pitt State University where we’re very open and transparent.
    “We just wanted to balance that and say, ‘This is what we want and this is where we are.’ So we decided to go ahead and release that information.”
    The university also reiterated that it also has an external auditor looking into the current financial procedures of the MBA program.
    “Once we decided we might have some questionable operating procedures going on, that’s when we reached out to BKD,” Kelly said. “They’ll come in and see exactly how things are operating and provide us with some planning and recommendations on this particular area that we can move forward with. We want to be very proactive on this moving forward.”
    The external auditors, BKD, have told the university to expect initial results at the end of December.
    Muoghalu, an economics and finance professor, resigned from his position as director of the master’s of business administration program on Sept. 19 but was on unpaid administrative leave since May.

  • Jungle Royalty

    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 to have people who believe in you, support you like this.”
    Walker was nominated by his fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha and Mika by her sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha.
    “I’m not here just for that (Lambda Chi),” Walker said. “I represent the plastics students, the Kansas Polymer Research Center, the band, the Greek organizations as a whole. I represent the core of being a student, that’s the whole point.”
    For Mika, becoming Queen represents her triumph over struggles.
    “College has been pretty hard for me,” Mika said. “My mom passed away when I was a senior in high school. I just never thought I’d be here, succeeding in school and being able to carry on doing so well with two jobs and the time I spend working with Angels Among Us (a local charity organization).”
    Walker and Mika will follow in a long and continuing line of Gorilla Kings and Queens with their first official duty on Saturday morning: waving to the crowds during the Homecoming Parade at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11.
    “I can’t believe this is happening,” Mika said. “It’s an honor.”
    Walker says to have this kind of thing happen is a big deal for him.
    “I’m from Coffeyville, and it means so much to me,” he said. “I can now represent my home on a different level than I thought I could.”
    The King and Queen will also be introduced to fans during the Homecoming half-time ceremony at the football game.
    “I feel like I’ve worked really hard to be here and I’ve earned it to get to represent Pitt State,” Mika said. “My mom was a big part of the reason I want to become a nurse. She was my motivation and I lost it, but when I came here I got it back.”

  • 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 exist, according to Jamie Dalton, the university’s records custodian, in a letter addressed to the student newspaper.
    The correspondence between the university and the investigative agency does exist, however, but Dalton, in her response to the Collegio’s request, says those documents “are exempt from disclosure under Kan. Stat. Ann. Sec. 45-221 (10)(B).”
    That statute requires that records be open to the public as long as they “would not interfere with any prospective law enforcement action, criminal investigation or prosecution.”
    However, Adam Goldstein, attorney advocate for the Student Press Law Center in Arlington, Va., says the university is misinterpreting the exception to the open-records law.
    “The agency’s subjective desire not to be named does not constitute an exception to the open records law,” Goldstein said. “There’s so much information that’s just not protected by anything and that’s an example of it.
    “Nothing about the investigation is going to be jeopardized by knowing that the agency exists and is there.”
    Under this statute, the university may deny part of the request by refusing the Collegio access to the details of the investigation as disclosed in the correspondence.
    However, under the university’s own open-records policy, “if a record is only partially exempted from disclosure, the designated record custodian shall delete the exempted materials and make available the material that is subject to disclosure.”
    The material subject to disclosure, in this case, would be the letterhead of the correspondence.
    While denying The Collegio’s request for the name of the investigating agency, Chris Kelly, associate vice president for university marketing and communication, says the university is providing as much information as possible but is complying with the investigating agency’s request for anonymity.
    “We’re working with and secured the outside help of Kyle Fleming, who is an outside counsel, and he has hired the accounting firm of BKD to come in and perform an independent external audit of the entire area there,” Kelly said. “They’re still in the early stages. I’d love to tell you when we’ll get the results but they just started so I don’t have a date on that.”
    Although the university will not release the name of the agency, officials have stated that members of the department under investigation are welcome to speak freely.
    “Obviously there are details they can’t have, but they’re more than open and free to speak if they feel comfortable with it,” Kelly said. “We never said you can’t talk about personal relationships or anything. That may be their personal choice.”
    The Collegio has continued to attempt to contact Muoghalu with no response.
    Muoghalu, an economics and finance professor, resigned from his position as director of the master’s of business administration program on Sept. 19 but was on unpaid administrative leave since May.
    The Collegio has also attempted to contact prospective state law enforcement agencies that may be involved in the investigation. All agencies have said that involvement is not something they can state to anyone.

  • 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 refers to are the new HVAC and exhaust systems installed during the renovation. Before the changes, students working on lab projects were often in poorly ventilated areas.
    Dixie Smith says the building will be much safer now that the renovation is complete.
    “There were conditions that needed attention prior to this project,” Smith, associate professor of biology, said. “In the end, we have a better building.”
    Womble says she agrees.
    “These renovations are definitely going to give us a better learning environment,” she said. She added that anyone who has had classes or works in Heckert-Wells could easily tell the building needed some work and that these renovations will certainly be an improvement.
    Perhaps the only negative element of labs and classrooms finally being accessible is students now have to remember that their classes are back in the building and not in the temporary areas they are used to.
    “I won’t be too affected because I don’t have a class in Heckert-Wells this semester,” Womble said. “But I have several friends in the department who will leave for class, get there and the space will be empty because they are now back in Heckert-Wells. I think the professors will be understanding of that, though.”
    Smith says that while Heckert-Wells was zoned off, labs were the most affected area of study for biology and chemistry students.
    “It was stressful for some courses to not have access to everything and we had to alter those ones a bit,” Smith said. “For some, class continued normally.”

  • ‘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 State University Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, available on the Pitt State website, there have been nine reported cases of sexual assault either on campus or in student housing in the past three years.
    “Sexual assault has gone down here at PSU,” McCracken said. “Yes, it could still happen. The easiest way to keep it from happening is to be safe.”
    Be safe. That is something McCraken and many students say Pitt State is good at.
    “PSU has a very low rate and that’s great,” said Lindsay Ong, senior in biology and member of the Student Government Association (SGA). “I personally have always felt safe on campus here.”
    Ong added she believes sexual assault will always be an issue until the number of victims is zero.
    “Since we don’t have a problem per se with it here, we can make sure we keep maintaining a safe environment, provide education and tackle the reality that sexual assault can always happen, but we can keep it from,” Ong said.
    Katie George, senior in graphic communications, says she feels the odds of sexual assault happening are much less at Pitt State for a variety of reasons.
    “When we go out, we are never alone,” George, a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma (Tri Sigma), said. “As sisters, as women, we watch out for each other.”
    George and several other Greek students at Pitt State agree that rumors of date rape drugs and sexual assaults are often and unfairly targeted at Greek organizations.
    “I think it’s easier to put a name on it and blame an organization, us, as a whole,” said Kaylee Wiggins, junior in marketing and member of Tri Sigma.
    As far as date rape drugs and their use at PSU goes, it is really more of an un-use.
    “We’ve had no reports or findings of date rape drugs in the past several years,” McCracken said.
    George, Wiggins and Ong all say they have never heard of anyone being victimized by date rape drugs at Pitt State, or being sexually assaulted for that matter, either.
    “Honestly, I feel like I’d be more likely to find date rape drugs at a house party than a Greek party,” George said.
    Jose Contreras, senior in communication member of Sigma Tau Gamma and president of the Inter Fraternity Council, says his house and all the frats at Pitt State are responsible when it comes to parties.
    “This year we have started using guest lists to get into parties,” he said. “It takes out the ‘unknown’ factor, to get into the party someone from the house has to know you, you have to be on the list and have ID.”
    George and Contreras added that when drinks are served at a party, they are premade with supervision and a “bartender” is always on duty while serving.
    “The lid is taped down so you can’t mess with it in the cooler,” George said. “There’s really not even a question of a date rape drug being put in it. I’ve never not felt safe at a fraternity.”
    Pittsburg State University encourages all students to report sexual assault, and any crime, to university police, city police, PSU authorities, residential assistants and/or area coordinators. For more information on whom to contact, what to do after an attack and safety information, students may refer to the annual safety and crime report.

  • To bike, or not to bike?

    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 last Friday, Sept. 26, no bikes have been impounded by the university police, however with the email out, rumors of bicycles being banned on campus have started to pop up.

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

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

    “Riding my bike is how I get around every day,” said John Dallas, junior in exercise science. “I don’t have a car. If the university were to ban bikes I wouldn’t be able to get around as easily.”
    Dallas says he is always careful when riding his bike around pedestrians and he hasn’t noticed a problem.
    “I feel like the university should definitely have looked into rectifying the problem of having a lot of bikes and not enough racks before sending the email out that they will be removed if not parked at a rack,” Dallas said. “There was no warning. I’d be upset if I came back and found my bike gone. It’s my bike, you can’t take my bike.”
    Steve Erwin, associate vice president of campus life and auxiliary services, was quoted by the Pittsburg Morning Sun as saying that he knew of no major collisions between cyclists and pedestrians, but a look at controlling Oval traffic may be warranted because of construction on campus compressing foot traffic.
    “There is definitely a safety concern of people riding bikes, not looking or paying attention and lots of people all walking through such a small space,” McCracken said. “But as of now, there is no intention to remove bicycles from campus.”
    McCracken says it is good to see the number of students cycling increasing, “it’s great even,” but university police are looking to find high-intensity areas of bike usage and parking to try and solve the problem: lots of bikes, not a lot of bike racks.
    “Go ride a bike,” Dallas said. “It’s good for you, cheaper than driving, and if you don’t have a car like me, it’s the only option for quick transportation.”
    Robert Clark, junior in psychology, wrote an opinion article to The Collegio in the Sept. 18th edition and suggested the university look into taking less-used bike racks at places such as the Kansas Technology Center and moving them to the main campus.
    “I’m not chaining my bike up to a pole or a railing because I want to get in anyone’s way,” Clark said in the article. “It’s because I don’t want to fight to pull my bike out of the bike rack and I also don’t want to have to park it too far away from the building where I’m going to class.”
    Dallas says he likes the sound of Clark’s idea and hopes the university will look into it.

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