- Same book, new chapter
Volume 96, no.26
Jay Benedict | editor-in-chief
I’ve been the Collegio editor-in-chief for about 15 months now, and my tenure is near an end. It’s a bittersweet feeling to leave this position.
This will be my last issue as the head of the paper. I’m not graduating yet, so I’ll still be around in a lesser capacity.
If anyone enjoyed my writing, don’t be disappointed.
I’ll still be here for another semester. In all honesty, it will probably make me write more. Without having the weight of the Collegio on my shoulders I’ll have more time to do what I enjoy the most: write.
The past 15 months have seen some of big changes for PSU, and I feel fortunate to have been granted inside access to them.
We have covered everything from student government referendums for the tobacco policy and fees for building construction to the 2011 NCAA football national championship.
We’ve seen two SGA elections, athletics renovations, student fee debates, the concealed-carry debate, a battle for bulletin boards and slashed collegiate budgets.
I started my collegiate journalism career at the University of Kansas. I learned a lot, but was focused on Student Senate and my fraternity more than writing.
After I left KU, I started writing for the Collegio. I still remember my first assignment. Usually, we give potential employees a softball. I was asked to talk to victims of the Joplin, Mo., tornado six months after the fact.
That story launched my career here and subsequently my rise to the position I’m about to abdicate. At times it’s made me neglect my studies and social life, but what it’s taken away it has given back in rewards, tangible and intangible.
Sometimes grades have taken a backseat for me, but I’ve got a killer portfolio of published work and leadership experiences that, hopefully, an employer will value.
As I noted, this time has seen a lot of change for the PSU community. We’re building buildings and changing policies and have seen consecutive huge turnouts for SGA elections, even though the standards for “huge” are pretty sad.
I’ve enjoyed it all and I hope PSU thinks we’ve done a good job.
I set several goals when I became editor. One of those was to cover as many campus activities as possible, and the other was to include the Pittsburg community as a whole. Our budget made it hard and we had to cut pages and color at times, but I think we did a pretty good job.
This town survives because the university is here and draws people from all over the state, country and world. We covered everything we could with the resources we have and put the voices of students and faculty in print. Our stories represent the faculty and I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a staff that’s more diverse. We’ve assembled individuals who represent many races, genders, religions and nationalities, and that helps us in our pursuit of fair and balanced coverage.
I sincerely hope that if we’ve accomplished one thing while I’ve been EIC it’s that we covered everything fairly. Many people distrust the media because of bias.
We’ve earnestly tried to let students tell their story. Our pages have been fraught with student, faculty and staff opinions and quotes. If there’s been any spin, please let me know.
One of my regrets is that we may have sacrificed some features, especially since the fantastic Val Vita left in December, for more hard news.
The bottom line is that I hope I left the Collegio, its readers and the PSU community in a better place than when I got here. I think the number of awards the staff won at the Kansas Associated Collegiate Press conference in April is a good indication.
We won awards in most categories. We’re proud of that, and we hope PSU is too.
I want to thank our adviser, Gerard Attoun, for giving me the chance and the space to make this paper my own and hire a staff that is this good.
The Student Publications Board also deserves credit for allowing me to have this much fun while gaining experience and ruffling feathers from time to time.
There were some weeks when I thought President Steve Scott or College of Arts and Sciences Dean Karl Kunkel was going to give me a call and tell us to chill out, but that never happened. There were a few times that we were at odds with Athletics and SGA, but all of those situations turned out well.
Regardless of the past, the person that Attoun and I have nominated to relieve me of my duty, Marcus Clem, is more than capable to increase the Collegio’s coverage. He’s spent time at Johnson County Community College and has been a stellar reporter and copy editor here. He has a lot to learn, but so did I.
He’ll have Attoun, this talented staff, and me at his disposal, and I hope the paper will continue to improve under his guidance. He can write better than most and is more connected on campus than my old ass.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the last three semesters and I hope everyone can appreciate the path that Marcus takes us all down. It’s been real, PSU. What this university lacks in bigger-school atmosphere, it more than makes up with the opportunities it gives students like me.
That’s why PSU’s enrollment will continue to grow and we’ll do our best to inform them.
- Scholarship money for most Pitt Points
J. Fred Fox | reporter
Scholarship money is still up for grabs for any student who collects the most Pitt Points by the end of the year.
“Pitt Points is an incentive program started in 2011 to encourage students to attend campus events,” said Tyler Edwards, SGA campus affairs director, and head of the Pitt Points program.
$1,000, $500, and $250 scholarships and other prizes, including an iPad, are awarded to the student who has the most points.
“I attended ‘iPod Man’ last night, football games, and some other events. I didn’t know I was doing so well,” said Lynzee Flores, freshman in communication and Spanish.
Jacob Rudolph is currently leading the Pitt Points program with more than 2,000 points.
“I didn’t realize I was winning until (they) informed me,” he said. “I was oblivious that I was leading. Now that I know I’m leading, I’m going to a lot more events to keep my lead. I started out collecting points at choral events I was already in. I also go to ‘treat night’ movies and of course football games.”
About 10,000 points have been able to be earned so far this year and about 3,000 points are still eranable before the end of the year.
“Any school organization can come into the SGA office and ask to get sponsored by Pitt Points,” Edwards said. “Students’ progress and the top 10 leaderboard should be visible on GUS.”
Edwards has been fundraising, but ended up having to use leftover funds from Pitt Points’ first allocation to pay for prizes. Future funding for Pitt Points will come from the Educational Opportunity Fund.
- iPads enter the art world
Gretchen Burns | managing editor
There are 55 artworks displayed on the second floor gallery of Porter Hall, but to the unknown viewer, the gallery would seem empty.
This semester began a new set of art techniques for students taking the Drawing III class.
Although the class itself takes place in a room full of paint-splattered easels, life forms and still life setups, as well as a wide array of traditional art supplies, students use only an iPad.
Janelle Kranker has become accustomed to using an iPad to create artwork, but she didn’t like using the new technology at first.
“But I’m glad that I learned how to use it,” said Kranker, senior in art. “It’s nice to have the new knowledge with technology. Using an iPad definitely has more convenience and it’s more versatile.”
The Drawing III class, taught by Jamie Oliver, associate professor of art, is one of many classes throughout Pittsburg State University using technology to learn centuries-old concepts.
The Office of the Provost and the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology has created the project, which placed iPads in student possession for the semester.
The project is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the technology as a teaching tool. Oliver says that the Art Department has started using iPads during the Life Drawing II class.
“We had previously used iPads in Life Drawing II wholeheartedly as a sketchbook,” he said. “It was a test run on how to integrate that technology into the classroom.”
Oliver says he wanted to flip that idea in the Drawing III class and have the students make all of their artwork on the iPad. He thought it would be a nice mediatory between the traditional techniques of art and the new, as sort of a hybrid.
To create their work, students use multiple apps. Most are free, but others are relatively inexpensive. Each app comes with special features that they wouldn’t normally have in a traditional setting.
“It’s really quick and easy,” said Jacob Miller, junior in art. “On paper, you have to go in and erase it and take the chance of smudging the whole thing, but on an iPad, you can work in layers. You can blend so much easier and get a better gradient than you would if you were using pencil.
“The ‘undo’ button is a favorite of many of the students, including Alana Utterback.
“The fact that if I make a mistake, I can fix it,” said Utterback, senior in art. “But sometimes if you make a mistake 30 moves back and go back that far, you erase everything you’ve done. I tend to be less careless with my mark making.”
Oliver says that the department has written a proposal to purchase iPads for the Art Department.
Other classes could benefit from the use of new technology.
“The art-education students really need to know how to use this kind of technology,” Oliver said. “There are some schools that are teaching all of their classes through an iPad and we want to send our students out into the workforce prepared, and give them an advantage for job opportunities.”
Utterback enjoys using the iPad due to its portability.
“You can use this anywhere,” she said. “With my watercolors, I can attempt to take them places, but it doesn’t really work. It’s like a walking portfolio. I can put all my work on it and show it to anyone. I could put it in my purse and take it anywhere.”
Kranker says that although she will continue to use the technology and techniques to create art, she will never really fall away from the traditional techniques.
“I’ll probably use both,” Kranker said. “I’ll use an iPad more than I have before, but I’ll never abandon the old traditions of art supplies.”
- Cadets undergo grueling tests for German badge
Marcus Clem | copy editor
On a breezy afternoon and early the following morning, Pittsburg State’s military officers-in-training gave up their weekend for a chance at some international recognition.
Those cadets who attempt this challenge train hard for a month in a variety of athletic and professional areas for a chance to earn an award ordinarily reserved for the German military.
Cadet Paul Heartfield, senior in computer information systems, and the overall student-leader of the Gorilla Battalion, as PSU’s ROTC unit is informally known, says that the tests can be grueling.
“We get a lot of cadets through this,” he said. “We have built a lot of unit cohesion and team building to meet this challenge. It’s an individual competition, but we have done this as a team.”
On Friday, April 12, PSU’s cadets and guest ROTC units from several regional institutions assembled at the Weede Athletic Complex for their tests. They continued the following day at Pittsburg High School and at the Pittsburg Police shooting range.
To prepare, cadets get in top physical condition. They attempt to master the technicalities of several skills that they are not normally required to maintain: Examples include the shot put, long- and high-jump as well as endurance swims.
Mastery of abilities that the cadets are typically used to, such as shooting, marching with a heavy rucksack and running, was also tested.
Several cadets reported that track and field events were the most technically challenging. For example, the high jump required a clean full-body unassisted leap over a 1.35-meter (about 4.5 foot) bar.
Shorter individuals had to get more power out of their legs, and taller people had to lift their limbs and arch their backs enough to keep from touching the bar, which signified a failed attempt.
“It’s a way for cadets to test themselves,” said Cadet Stephen Cuff, senior in military science who earned his badge two years ago, “to see if they can essentially compete and earn something to show for their hard work.”
Serving in the German Army Liaison to the Combined Arms Center of the U.S. Army War College in Fort Leavenworth, Command Sgt. Maj. Matthias Lueck supervises the various tests.
Cadets who meet his standards are awarded one of three grades (bronze, silver or gold) of the Abzeichen für Leistungen im Truppendienst, which in German means “German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency.”
This unique emblem depicts an eagle in a style similar to the coat of arms of the Federal Republic of Germany.
It is highly admired within the ranks of the U.S. military, as it is uncommon, represents a significant personal and professional achievement and is visually distinct, placed on the Army service uniform on the opposite side of most awards, medals and ribbons.
“It distinguishes you from others in the service,” said Cadet Silas Minkevitch, sophomore in automotive technology. “It’s a source of extra pride. It looks cool on your uniform. It’s unique, not everybody has it. Not everyone in the military even knows what it is.”
Grading for each test area was performed by U.S. Army “cadre” personnel, who are active duty soldiers attached to PSU’s Department of Military Science.
However, Lueck observed all of the tests, and was known to occasionally require cadets who barely met standards on any given attempt to do it again.
“Usually 15-20 percent don’t make it,” Lueck said. “What is difficult for the guys is the technical disciplines, the long jump and high jump … For some guys, it is pretty hard, (but) they are young and well-trained guys.”
- ‘A failed state’
Robert Clark Jr.
The North Korean government is a failed state.
Let me first give you a few facts that have inspired this opinion: China is the only reason North Korea still exists.
Without aid from China, many experts agree that North Korea would have faded a long time ago, not to mention the military intervention that China provided in the Korean war.
Many in China are starting to detest the North’s reliance on their government, which is starting to have an effect on the Chinese government.
It is true that North Korea’s gross domestic product (GDP) is $40 billion, of which $10 billion is spent on military.
To put this in perspective, the South Korean economy sits at about $1.57 trillion.
This is leading to the land in North Korea being underdeveloped: Because of this, people in North Korea are dying from starvation.
The doctors are being educated with textbooks from the ‘50s. The North Korean economy is slowly being eaten up, which will lead to its destruction either from within or outside forces.
All of this leads me to conclude that North Korea will go the way of the dinosaurs, and soon, if we just let it. There is no way a nation can remain as isolated as North Korea and survive in this day and age.
Economies need to grow, people need to be fed and educated. If the people cannot flourish, the state can’t flourish. Let the North Korean government destroy itself.
So how do we handle the North? Simple. We ignore them, while making it clear that we support the South and will continue to do so.
The last thing we want is a mistake to happen, and we go to war with the North again.
We also don’t want to keep legitimizing the North Korean government by antagonizing it. If you take away the threat to the North that they perceive, then you take away the legitimacy of the government.
That’s because the North Korean people are starving not just for food, but also information.
The North is a failed state; there are no two ways about it. There is nothing that the current regime can do to save it.
All we need to do is offer the current regime a window to save itself.
North Korea and the U.S. have been at odds with one another for decades now. The only thing that appears to invigorate the North Korean regime is when the U.S. conducts its training practices with South Korea in the South China Sea.
What the North Korean government needs and wants is for the U.S. to continue these practices, because it helps boost their credibility with the people of NK.
The only way the current regime holds on to its power is by being constantly insulted by the South and the U.S.
If you ignore a child throwing a temper tantrum, eventually the kid is going to realize that it’s not working and move onto more productive means of getting what it wants, as will the North Korean regime and people.
There are some who say these missiles are a big deal. I say, no they aren’t. They can’t hit anything America has control over.
South Korea has never instigated an attack on its own, and for the most part follows our lead, but should they get hit they have enough defense to block it or retaliate and they would have full American support.
There is nothing that America could do to prevent North Korea from existing, so why not just pretend it doesn’t exist at all? Just wait until the NK government collapses upon itself: That would reunite the families of Korea.
Robert Clark Jr. is a junior in psychology and political science.
Keep Kim on his heels
More than anyplace else in the world, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, known more commonly as North Korea, represents a sick combination.
That is one of irresponsibility, disregard for the welfare of its people and for its neighbors, instinctive aggression, recklessness, abuse of international law and the laws of human decency.
The Republic of Korea, or South Korea, is one of civilization’s most successful societies.
The people there get on with their prosperous daily lives despite a regime that threatens to kill them all with a predictable pattern of aggression and relaxation that, in a certain light, is almost humorous.
It’s been this way ever since the end of hostilities in 1952.
Today, perhaps more than at any other time since then, a crisis exists on the Korean peninsula.
That crisis is entirely of North Korea’s making.
Some would argue that the easiest solution to this is to simply pretend like North Korea doesn’t exist. The state is inherently unstable, and will eventually collapse or burn itself out, and meanwhile, there’s nothing to be done, they say.
Unfortunately, the North’s behavior has already produced bodies in the last five years, and the United States has an unavoidable responsibility to protect freedom and security in the region that extends beyond any such calculation.
Disregarding “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-Un, whose qualifications for governing stem from only 29 years of a life where just about everyone he has associated with regards him as the descendant of a god, is a dangerous thing to do.
Almost without interruption, for the last month, Kim’s government has poured on insulting invective that the rest of the world should be accustomed to, but not on this level or with this feverish pace.
Credible analysis of the situation indicates that with this course of action, Kim has intended to solidify his position as a leader and show that he can stand up to the west.
However, Kim has erred. He does not have the sense that his father did of knowing when the rhetoric and provocations have gone too far.
The U.S. government has begun to respond on a tit-for-tat basis that, in North Korean eyes, requires additional escalation.
There’s one problem with that: You may threaten aggressive and total nuclear war on your enemies only so many times, before even your own people start to doubt you.
If one studies what the North has done in the past, it can be predicted that the next step will be an active military provocation.
But, South Korea has buried enough of its people already, after losing a warship with dozens of men, and having an outpost shelled in 2010 and 2011.
The new, more aggressive government in Seoul, South Korea’s capital, has vowed that any military action from the North will be returned tenfold. If they keep their word, the situation is likely to quickly spin out of control.
While Kim’s grand, million-man Korean People’s Army is actually laughably out-of-date and, in a true war situation, would almost certainly lose to the modern, elite force the South possesses (never mind American support), the price would still be very high.
Allied forces would respond to any North Korean attack, but probably not quickly or efficiently enough to prevent Kim from executing his “insurance policy,” and destroying much of the South with chemical- and biological-warhead equipped artillery.
While we should try to avoid a full-scale war, some means to pre-empt the North Korean government should be put into place, so that there can be no doubt in the North that additional escalation will be highly costly, if not suicidal.
What’s been done so far, such as the deployment of strategic assets, is a good start. Additional shows of force are warranted.
If North Korea tests another missile, shoot it down.
If they shell a South Korean target, blockade the country and begin a full court press to sever Kim’s last remaining lifeline, in China.
If they proceed with plans to restart their largest nuclear-weapons production facility, it should be destroyed.
The same old cycle of diplomacy, incentives for peace, and currently, disengagement isn’t working, and has only fostered additional misbehavior from the North.
It is time for that, and North Korea, if Kim decides to roll the dice, to end.
Marcus Clem is a sophomore in communication