• 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.”

  • Celebrating family

    | Caitlin Martin reporter |

    Families and Gorilla pride flooded the city of Pittsburg on Saturday, Sept. 27, for Pittsburg State University’s annual Family Day.
    Pitt State students’ families were invited to attend a variety of events.
    The first event of the day was the Bryant Student Health Center’s “Run For Your Life Fun Run/Walk,” which began at 8 a.m. at the health center.
    After the run, or after sleeping in, “Brunch with the President,” began at 10 a.m. in Russ Hall outside the President’s Office. Steve Scott, university president, greeted students, families, old, current and future Gorillas alike during the brunch.
    Out by Carnie Smith Stadium a carnival and game day GorillaFest activities began at 11 a.m. in the Gorilla Village. The area was a bit more crowded than usual, with an ocean of crimson and gold spreading up the bikeway nearly past the McPherson nursing building.
    “Just getting to see my family was nice,” said Tanner Cusick, sophomore in biology. “I don’t go home very often, so I love every chance that I get to see them. Plus, they love to come down and watch the games.”
    This year’s carnival was fiesta-themed in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. The Office of Student Diversity in conjunction with the student organization Hispanics of Today (HOT) handed out churros and chips and salsa.
    Official PSU sponsored events were not the only attraction for families on Family Day. Many other organizations sponsored their own festivities.
    “My sorority has a tailgate beforehand, and they get to go,” said Andrea Kratochvil, junior in psychology. “They cater barbecue, so I think that’s a fun part about Family Day. Also, our sorority tries to incorporate all of our families into everything, so it’s fun.”
    No matter where the day was spent, the major attraction of Family Day was the football game against Fort Hays State University.
    “I like the game because I get to go hang out with my parents at the game, and we all love football, so that’s probably one of my favorite parts,” Kratochvil said.
    One highlight of the game special to only Family Day is the naming of the Pitt State Honorary Family. This year the Joseph family from Lake Saint Louis, Mo., received the honor. Forest, junior in graphic communications, Sara, senior in commercial graphics and marketing, and their parents Bill and Sherry, both Pitt State alumni, were all recognized during the game.

  • Visiting artist mixes media in pieces

    | Gretchen Burns reporter |

    Porter Hall, room 103 was crowded to capacity on the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 26, as students, faculty and residents gathered to listen to Colby Parsons talk about his artwork, which has been on display in the university gallery.
    An associate professor of ceramics at Texas Women’s University in Denton, Texas, Parsons’ work has been exhibited in shows around the country and the world. His exhibit at Pitt State has been on display since August and includes his ceramic and new media works, featuring glazed stoneware and projected video loops.
    Portico Bowman, professor of art, says Parsons creates ceramic forms that mimic the everyday, common shapes and scenes of his life.
    “Parsons marries a tangible matter and projected light into a seamless tango so it becomes virtually impossible to decipher where his glazed stoneware ends up and the images he is projecting onto them begin,” Bowman said.
    Parsons’ career started in animation. He created 20 0r more ceramic pieces to portray stop-motion, the style of shooting each object, rearranging it slightly, shooting again and so on and so forth until finished. The photos are then put together in order to create a video of implied movement.
    During exhibits, Parsons’ ceramics would be displayed below the projected film. Many of his projects required 90 photos to make, but Parsons says he stopped this style because he felt “too much of the magic” was lost by showing a series of his work all at once. He began to experiment with film projected onto the ceramics themselves, instead of a wall.
    One of these first experiments was a film of a blender projected onto a ceramic blender. With mirrors and the projector set up just right, the art piece creates a sense of a real blender being used.
    Another piece on display at the PSU exhibit included a ceramic cube with a video projection that enabled the cube to look like moving water.
    “We’re sometimes so interested in a reproduction of reality that we miss the real thing,” Parsons said.
    He added his work evolves and he has started to move to self-contained objects that he can create a background on.
    “Colby’s work is so intriguing,” said Rudi Rodebush, senior in commercial art. “I think, out of everything, that I admire his dedication to blending a traditional medium with technology. His work is ever-changing and evolving due to the popular culture he bases his work off of and the technology that he is adapting to.”
    Rodebush says she enjoyed learning how Parsons combines video and ceramics together, creating his unique style.
    She added the most interesting part of Parsons’ lecture for her was finding out much of his work is achieved through trial and error.
    “Our ideas seem so grand in the beginning but eventually they must change and adapt to all circumstances,” Rodebush said. “He seems like a very down-to-earth and personable guy whom I would love to see more work from.”
    Mattie Parrigon was also enchanted by Parsons’ work.
    “I think he’s really innovative to put such different media together like he’s been doing,” Parrigon, junior in commercial art, said.

  • Dinner and a song
    Food was served by students wearing colorful dresses with beautiful songs from different tradition in the Madrigal Dinner with PSU choirs on Friday, September 26

    Food was served by students wearing colorful dresses with beautiful songs from different tradition in the Madrigal Dinner with PSU choirs on Friday, September 26

  • Celebrating their culture

    Hispanics add spice to diversity ‘salad’

    | Gretchen Burns reporter |

    Hispanic Heritage Month has been going strong on the campus of Pittsburg State University, with various activities from homemade lunches to comedians to speakers and upcoming family weekend activities.
    But to Lynzee Flores, the month-long celebration isn’t near enough time to touch upon the major role that Hispanics have played in history.
    “Hispanic Heritage Month helps me reconnect to my heritage and get back to my roots,” said Flores, junior in Spanish and communication. “My family claims to be Hispanic but we don’t really practice it. This is a way I can go back to that and celebrate my ethnicity.”
    Flores flaunts her Hispanic heritage with pride, from her job as a resident assistant when she interpreted the check-in process to a mother who spoke only Spanish to being a member of Hispanics of Today (HOT) to being the president of the PSU Spanish Club.
    “Part of me feels bad because I don’t look Hispanic,” said Flores, as she gestured to her blond hair. “A lot of people don’t think I look Hispanic or wouldn’t guess it.”

    In Plaza day organized in Oval on September 18, 2014 booths with information on countries represented by students of PSU, who shared their culture, music, some foods and dance.

    In Plaza day organized in Oval on September 18, 2014 booths with information on countries represented by students of PSU, who shared their culture, music, some foods and dance.

    Flores is Hispanic on her mother’s side of the family, but both of her parents are fully American. Her mother grew up in Colorado, and her Spanish influence comes from there.
    “My family is not a traditional Hispanic family,” said Flores, “but we do have a lot of authentic Mexican art and pieces hanging in our house, like authentic Mexican masks and tapestries from Chile lining our walls.”
    Karen Cruz was also excited to be able to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with her friends this year at Pitt State.
    She said that, for the first time, she got to experience Mexican Independence Day, held on Sept. 16, and loved the opportunity.
    “I get to celebrate my culture,” said Cruz, senior in psychology. “I’m able to experience things I don’t experience on a daily basis. It’s part of my culture and makes me who I am.”
    When it comes to Hispanic Heritage month, Flores is grateful for her heritage.
    “The month dedicated to Hispanics is a wonderful time for me to reflect on my roots and embrace the differences between me and other Americans,” she said. “It’s a time for me that I can spread the joy of being Hispanic.”
    Lynzee Flores added that Hispanic Heritage Month was important to the United States as a whole because of the connection with bordering Hispanic countries.
    “The United States has a lot of Hispanic influence,” L. Flores. “They need to celebrate the link between the two countries.”

    Hispanic Heritage Month is time for Reflection

    | Caitlin MArtin reporter |

    Music was played and soccer balls were kicked throughout the Oval on Thursday, Sept. 18, as students represented their home countries at the Plaza de las Americas event.
    “Today is Plaza de las Americas and the main goal for this activity is to sort of go around and show the other students that Pitt State has a lot of international students from everywhere,” said Maga Li Chase, student in vocal music performance. “This is an opportunity for them to go to each stand and learn about these countries by showing them about their traditional foods, drinks and just to learn more and even to get to be able to see some pictures of how the country looks.”
    Li Chase is from Paraguay. Students from Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Spain, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela were also participants at the event, which was sponsored by the Office of Student Diversity, International Programs and Services and Hispanics of Today (HOT), to kick off and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
    The event served as a way to show how different and how alike the featured countries are from the United States.
    Marianna Berselli, junior in international business, provided an example.
    “These are flip-flops from Brazil,” she said. “They are very common there. In Brazil, they are very cheap, but here they are very expensive.”
    Several students had booths set up representing their countries with food for sale or sample. Students from Mexico provided chips, salsa and jalapenos while the Venezuela booth let visitors sample candy that can be found almost anywhere back home.
    The Venezuela students added that the name of the candy roughly translated is “milk potato,” but there is not trace of potato listed in the ingredients.
    The Brazilian student also had candy samples for passersby to try.
    “I think events like this are important because we’re teaching people what our cultures are about: traditions, culture, food, everything,” said Gloria Lopez, senior in communication. “People are asking questions and we’re answering.”
    The international office The international office puts on many events like Plaza de las Americas throughout the year.
    “One of the things I really like about this university is that the international department is really good,” said Raul Pulgar, freshman in commercial arts and international student from Venezuela. “I was surprised about how many people of different countries are at this university. The first time I arrived here, it was just like a place in the middle of nowhere.”
    “I was surprised. I met people from Finland, from France, Paraguayans, Brazilians, so it’s kind of cool. We’re here. We’re proud of where we’re from.”
    Li Chase added that events put on by international students and organizations are important to Pittsburg State University.
    “We need to show everyone that Pitt State is not only about people that are from America,” she said. “What makes it more interesting and valuable as a university is that it gives students the opportunity to come from all around the Earth to come and share from their country and to bring the spice to this ‘salad’ in a way.”

  • Student center to include terrace

    | Tyler Koester reporter |

    Many students are familiar with all of the construction currently in process on the PSU campus. Bypassing all the ruckus on the east side of the student center has become part of the day to day for anyone on main campus, but many may be surprised to learn that some of that ruckus is not only on renovating Overman on the east, but on adding a new outdoor terrace to the building on the west.
    The terrace will include outdoor furniture and tables for socializing, studying or simply enjoying a new view of the Oval.
    “I just want a place outside where I can socialize and maybe study in the sunshine,” said Seri Jun, senior in political science.
    Jun and others will soon have just that.
    The 14- by-67 -foot area will be accessible from the interior of Overman’s main level. A low wall of brick, capped with cast stone and a rail, will surround the perimeter of the terrace. To enter the terrace, one must go through the student center. An overhead trellis will also provide shade to the area, with the intention of creating a more comfortable atmosphere when it’s still hot during the day.
    The idea for the terrace sprang up after the removal the southwest main level outside doors and the steps that lead up to them. Lindell Haverstic, architect, and his team saw potential for a previously unthought-of extension to the student center
    “We had an opportunity to do something new with this space,” Haverstic said. “We didn’t want to just brick it over, we wanted it to be visually interesting from the outside.”
    The terrace will not only make the south side of the student center look more appealing, it will also introduce more natural light into the building and create a better flow between outside and inside.
    As construction progresses, students passing by the site look on in curiosity at the possibilities of what is to come.
    Seated on a bench and texting not far from the site, Ryan Taylor, junior in finance and economics, says he looks forward to an expansion of the lounge area.
    “More seating to socialize with my friends would be nice,” he said.
    Quinn Morris, sophomore in communication, agrees with Taylor and says she sees the possibility of another setting for networking as a result of the expansion.
    “More tables and places to sit outside with other students would be nice, I wish we had more places outside to sit,” she said. “I feel like it would be a great way to meet other people.”
    The completion date of the terrace is still up in the air at this time.
    Haverstic says he and his team are working with the project’s contractor to gather materials and manpower for the project.

  • Company day sets records
    Owner of PDG+Creative, Andrew Oleson, gives a presentation about his company to Pitt State students at Company Day Wednesday, Sept. 24 at The Kansas Technology Center. PDG+Creative attended on behalf of the Graphics in Technology department.

    Owner of PDG+Creative, Andrew Oleson, gives a presentation about his company to Pitt State students at Company Day Wednesday, Sept. 24 at The Kansas Technology Center. PDG+Creative attended on behalf of the Graphics in Technology department.

  • Restorative justice

    | Kelsea Renz editor-in-chief |

    | Madie Kirch reporter |

    Imagine a court proceeding in which the criminal is faced with what he or she had done and what he or she could do to fix it. The victim is given a chance to explain what he or she needs from the criminal to heal. The criminal is able to give the victim what he or she needs and the two parties gain an understanding for each other.
    Students were given the opportunity to learn about such a system, called restorative justice, and apply it to situations such as Ferguson, Mo., at a presentation by Thea Nietfeld and Joanne Katz on Thursday, Sept. 11.
    “The presenters took time to let us sit down and converse with the ones around us about our thoughts on this,” said April Adams, junior in art education. “That helped us individually find out what the other people were thinking as the presentation went on.”
    The process offers an alternative way to discipline people who commit crimes.
    “Instead of asking what rule was broken and what the punishment should be, the questions would be what harm was done, how can the person who caused the harm make it up to the person who was harmed, or the property, or whatever it may be,” said Nietfeld.
    The presentation, the first of the Tilford lectures on race, was to increase awareness of racially charged issues. The presenters gave a background of it and gave examples of how it can be and has been used in real life.
    “I really believe everyone should know a little about everything,” said Roderick May, junior in biology. “If everyone knows more as a society, I think a lot of our problems would just go away.”
    The presentation also included group discussions, during which the groups applied the concepts to the situation in Ferguson.
    “In Ferguson, the reason they are acting out in the first place is because of situations from the past, like all of the other killings of young black people by police officers. They’re acting out of fear and they’re acting out of anger because it happened to someone in their community,” said Raven Williams, junior in biology.
    “Restorative justice system could…bring everyone together in a way where everyone can talk about what happened, figure out how they could resolve this, figure out how it shouldn’t happen again and why it shouldn’t happen again.”
    The restorative justice system does not only apply to racial justice issues, but also issues that are faced on a large scale.
    “A lot of stuff that happens to us in those communities people might say, ‘Oh, they need to figure this out. It’s a black problem,’” said Darrell Chism, senior in business management. “But it’s really a whole United States problem.”

  • Casino night hits jackpot

    | Tyler Koester reporter |

    It was a “full house,” so to speak, at Jungle Nights’ Casino Royale on Friday, Sept. 12, in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom of Overman Student Center.
    Poker, blackjack, craps pinwheels and a smorgasbord of snacks, including strawberry daiquiri “mock-tails,” all added up for an evening of free entertainment.
    “I personally had a lot of fun meeting new people and playing blackjack for a few hours,” said Ryan Urban, freshman in communication. “It was a really fun night.”
    Urban and fellow students had the chance to win $400 in prizes.
    The event was the first Jungle Night to be hosted by the Student Activities Council (SAC).
    “I think this year is a transitional year for everybody,” said Jordan Simoncic, member of SAC. “Student Activities Council inherited it because of time commitments and Campus Activities felt that Jungle Nights should be a student-driven program.”
    Students say the decision to have SAC sponsor Jungle Nights was a success.
    “I felt like the turnout was fitting for the number of tables that were set up for the event,” said Drew Mitchell, sophomore in nursing.
    Mitchell and others say they felt the setup of this year’s event to be inviting and accommodating with such a large attendance number. Even those who professed gambling was not their strong suit said it was a fun night, win or not.
    Simoncic says the attendance number matched students’ love and appreciation of the event.
    “SAC is trying to follow the same format these events are used to from previous years,” he said. “Instead of one event per month, SAC plans to host two per semester.”
    Simoncic added the changes in events every semester are intended to improve Jungle Nights for students.
    “We want to increase the amount of events and attendance per event,” he said.

  • Cut your lettuce
    Student Etiquette Diner hosted by the Office of Career Service and the Office of Alumni and Constituent Service in Crimson and Gold Ballroom on 15th September, 2014 where students learned appropriate dinner etiquette from Dr. Peggy Schneider.

    Student Etiquette Diner hosted by the Office of Career Service and the Office of Alumni and Constituent Service in Crimson and Gold Ballroom on 15th September, 2014 where students learned appropriate dinner etiquette from Dr. Peggy Schneider.

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