Women – Social Work – Awareness: Students promote social issues

    | Audrey Dighans copy editor |

    The Oval was the place to be Wednesday, March 25.
    Besides a Greek philanthropy, “Where It’s At Wednesday” by the Student Government Association, pedestrian traffic and a puppy, students in the Advanced Practice Three course occupied much of the campus hub to raise awareness and collect donations for a variety of life issues.

    Darla Ross, senior in social work, buys some hygiene products and donates the money for Pittsburg Middle School on Empowering Women event on Wednesday, March 25.

    Darla Ross, senior in social work, buys some hygiene products and donates the money for Pittsburg Middle School on Empowering Women event on Wednesday, March 25.

    “I am collecting craft items for Unlimited Hope,” said Lannatte Wood, senior in social work. “Unlimited Hope is a shelter for women and they want to start a craft group for those they are helping. There they can provide a fun activity and have another outlet to spread information.”
    Wood says she chose her topic in honor of a friend who was killed in 2010 due to an abusive spouse.
    “She was such a free spirit,” Wood said. “She always wanted to help people, she has three lovely daughters who very much live up to her memory.”
    Wood added she was also in an abusive relationship in the past.
    “I lived in fear for many years,” she said. “He died while in Iraq and that was the end. Afterward I realized I will never be in that situation again.”
    Wood says those who are suffering from an abusive relationship should reach out and seek the help of friends, family and law enforcement.
    “Safehouse Crisis Center is Pittsburg’s local place where women can go for help if they need it,” she said.
    Wood will continue to collect craft supplies until Monday, March 30. Anyone interested in donating can drop supplies off in Russ Hall room 412.
    “Anything crafty,” Wood said. “Mason jars, tempera paint, fabric.”
    Kelsey Peckman, senior in social work, manned a booth to provide information about Down syndrome and passersby could sign up for a pool tournament she is organizing at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at The Break.
    “I chose Down syndrome because I have a 5-year-old cousin with it,” Peckman said. “I want people to know that people affected by Down syndrome are capable of so many things.”
    Peckman says all the money she raises from the pool tournament and donations will benefit the Down Syndrome Clinic of Kansas City.

    “Except for the prizes of the tournament,” she said. “First place is already guaranteed to win $100 and second will win $50. All the prizes will increase based upon participation.”
    Peckman’s tournament costs $10 to enter with registration starting at 1 p.m. Saturday. The tournament will begin at 2 p.m.

  • Pitt Briefs

    SAC executive board openings

    Student Activities Council is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 executive board. Applications can be picked up in the Campus Activities Center office located in Hartman Hall room 203 and are due back by Friday, March 27.
    For more information, visit the SAC Facebook page: www.facebook.com/psusac?_rdr.


    The T.A.G. event reminds all to Thank a Gorilla.
    A variety of statues, buildings and other on-campus objects will be decorated with red bows and tags until Friday, March 27. The tags signify how much Pittsburg State benefits from the private giving from alumni and friends.

    Early enrollment

    Early enrollment for Summer 2015 and Fall 2015 is this Sunday, March 29.
    Students are encouraged to meet with their advisers to receive their enrollment code and review enrollment time, which is based on the number of completed credit hours.
    Updating demographic information through GUS is also required before a student may enroll.
    For more information, visit the Registrar’s office in Russ Hall room 103 or call 235-4200.

    Newman Center tobacco-free

    St. Pius X Newman Center has announced it is now a tobacco-free site, including its sidewalks, driveways and parking lots.
    For more information regarding PSU’s Tobacco Policy log onto the Pitt State website at www.pittstate.edu/tobaccofree.

    Holi celebration

    The Indian Students Association (ISA) will host the annual “Holi, the Festival of Colors” at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 28, near the soccer fields of the Bicknell Sports Complex.
    Holi is a Hindu festival observed at the end of winter to mark the victory of good over evil. It is most recognizable by the participants’ use of colored powdered, water and dancing.
    PSU’s Holi is free and open to the public with colored powders and music provided by ISA.

    Career positions/internships

    There will be a recruiting event for mathematics, computer science, engineering, statistics and economics students at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in Yates Hall room 215.
    The Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) of the U.S. Army will give a presentation for available civilian positions, both summer and career, at Fort Leavenworth.
    The summer intern salary is $13.68 per hour ($15.31 with 90 hours or more completed) and career salary is $18.96 per hour.

    PSU makes list on college guide

    The Washington Monthly has ranked PSU as No. 10 on its “Best Bang for the Buck” list out of 403 colleges and universities in the Midwest.
    The monthly’s newest college guide attempts to rate schools based on their contributions to public good by social mobility, research and service. Factors such as percentage of students receiving Pell Grants, net price for families of varying income levels, ACT/SAT scores, student loan default rates, graduation rates and percentage of applicants admitted were also taken into account.

    GIT launches packaging

    The Pittsburg State Graphics and Imaging Technologies (GIT) Department has launched a new emphasis area: packaging.
    The packaging emphasis will focus on how product packages are designed and marketed. This emphasis joins the existing five to make six emphasis areas for GIT. The current five offered are graphic design, management, web and interactive, print media and digital media. Packaging courses will be offered as part of the full curriculum starting in Fall 2015.

    National Geographic at PSU

    Albert Yu-Min Lin, explorer, research scientist and engineer for National Geographic, will give a presentation at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 27, at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts.
    The presentation, entitled “Chasing Ancient Mysteries: A Digital Expedition,” will focus on exploration and technology. The audience will travel with Lin’s photographs to Mongolia where Lin has been searching for the lost tomb of conqueror Genghis Khan.
    Tickets for Lin’s presentation are available at the PSU Ticket Office in the Weede or online at bicknellcenter.com. Tickets are $5 for PSU students with ID and $15 for the general public.

    Travel to Korea

    Spots are still available for the 2015 PSU delegation trip to Korea.
    The two-week trip will begin Sunday, May 10, and last until Saturday, May 23. Those who attend will travel to Pitt State’s three sister schools for the opportunity to learn about a different culture.
    There are currently 10 students, three faculty members and two guests signed up for the trip.
    The cost is $2,875 per person and includes airfare, hotel, meals, transportation and admission fees.
    For more information, call Choong Lee at 235-4587.

    Sally Keith to visit campus

    In celebration of Women’s History Month and National Poetry Month, the PSU Distinguished Writers Series has announced a reading of Sally Keith’s works by the poet herself. The event will be at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 2, in the Governors Room of the Overman Student Center.
    Keith is an associate professor of creative writing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. She has published three collections of poetry and her works have been featured in publications such as the Colorado Review, Conjunctions and New American Writing.
    This event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the English Department, the Women’s Studies Program and the Student Fee Council.

    The Great Debate

    Student Government Association will host “The Great Debate” tonight, Thursday, March 26, at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts. The event will feature two debates; one between SGA president hopefuls starting at 6 p.m. and the second featuring four of the five candidates for the Pittsburg City Commisioner’s race, starting a 7 p.m.
    Students will have a chance to win pizzas for their student organizations as well as a Kindle Fire and $50.

  • Disconnected is the price of being connected

    | Val Vita reporter |

    A few days ago I saw a father and his two baby boys sharing an interesting scene. The kids were playing happily all around him, making noises, and trying to get his attention. The father, though, had his total attention focused on his iPhone. My curiosity got the best of me, so I got closer to see what the hell was so important in that phone. It was Candy Crush.   
    Often (more frequently than I would like) I see couples sitting in restaurants waiting for their food. Instead of talking to each other, each is checking Instagram. It’s not rare to see entire families checking their Facebook news feeds. Or then, a group of friends hanging out together, each one of them staring at that bright and addicting device: posting pictures, tagging friends, reading comments, looking for likes, giving random likes, swiping out photos on Tinder (or Grindr, depending on your sexual orientation), using Snapchat to send silly selfies to a bunch of people, or connecting Facetime to talk to someone who is not there.
    The fact that I’ve just realized that my mother would not understand many of the words I used in the previous paragraph is a clear sign of how the world is changing very fast (and in a very weird way). So did it take only one generation for our habits to change so drastically? Doesn’t it scare you when you think of what is coming next?
    I know you have probably seen these scenes, too, of people together but not actually together because everybody is entangled in this online world. But have you ever wondered why? Why do we feel we need to post a picture with hashtags before going to a party, instead of just going to the party? Why do we need to instagram our food, instead of just eating it? Why do we use our phones to make a video of the concert that we paid good money to watch live?
    Have you ever felt surprised when someone called you instead of texted you? Isn’t it ironic that you feel that way when your phone rings? A phone, which was specifically designed for phone calls, was invented years ago.
    It seems to me that all of these are symptoms of an invisible disease in a generation that is connected all the time, and, at the same time, is the most disconnected of all.
    Today, I don’t have happy solutions to propose in the last paragraph of this column. Today, instead of thinking of answers, I could only think of questions. But luckily, I might have at least been able to make you think, too.
    Val Vita is a graduate teaching assistant in communication.

  • Apple Day No. 108

    Old tradition, new digs

    | Audrey Dighans copy editor |

    More than 300 students, faculty, staff and guests filled the Linda & Lee Scott Performance Hall in the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts for the annual Apple Day Convocation on Thursday, March 5.
    This was the 108th Apple Day at Pittsburg State.
    “Apple Day is a tradition commemorating success,” said Randy Roberts, dean of library services and university archivist. “The success of the university, the success of the students.”
    The ceremony began with Jordan Schaper, Student Government Association president, welcoming the audience and introducing the day’s speakers, including keynote Andy Tompkins.
    “In many ways, he does not need an introduction,” said Steve Scott, university president.
    Tompkins, president and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents, spoke about his belief in “service leadership,” the idea that the “we” is bigger than the “me.”
    He says the idea of being in service to a broader good was more important for the good of society than simply serving himself.
    “These traits of service leadership can be applied to any situation,” Tompkins said.
    Following Tompkins was Susan Marchant, professor of music, and the PSU choirs in a performance of “Begin the Beguine,” by Cole Porter.
    The 2015 Dr. Ralf J. Thomas Distinguished Service Awards followed the music and was awarded to Jan Allai and Pete and Shirley Esch.
    Allai and her late husband, Wayne, established the university’s first capital campaign in 1985. Together they created an endowment to provide scholarships for student athletes.
    The Esches have established two scholarships for students in the Kelce College of Business and are both lifetime members of the President’s Club.
    Dylan McCollar, academic affairs director for SGA, was next welcomed on stage by Schaper to present the Outstanding Faculty Award Winners: Jeff Poe, Phil McNew and Phillip Harries.
    “He made my education feel of great value … I feel like he truly cares,” said Cassidy Barnard, of Harries in the convocation program.
    Poe’s nominator, Myka Ross, said Poe is one of the most approachable and encouraging professors she has ever had the pleasure to be taught by.
    McCollar also took the time to thank students for sending in nominations.
    The winners of the annual Apple Pie and Desert Contest were also announced during the ceremony.
    Nichole Kolarik won first place in the pie division with her “Apple Pie” and Lisa Gritz won first place in the desserts division with her “Apple Upside-Down Cake.”
    Up next were the 25 student recipients of the Golden Gorilla Award. The Golden Gorilla was established in 1997 to honor students who have made contributions to the community in service, academic excellence and campus involvement.
    Finally, 2014-2015 Homecoming King & Queen Brian Walker and Emily Mika came on stage for what many students say they view as the most important part of convocation: the scholarship drawing.
    This year was the 11th year of the Centennial Scholarships at Apple Day, courtesy of the PSU Foundation. This year’s winners were Charles Ault, sophomore in chemistry, who won the $500 award, and Christina Platt, junior in psychology, who received the $1,000 award.
    “I’m shocked and excited,” Platte said. “This is my first semester here at Pitt State. What a way to start number two.”
    Convocation ended, as always, with the audience members receiving their choice of a red delicious or granny smith apple as they filed out of the performance hall. This year’s apples were provided by the unclassified staff and faculty associations and Marrone’s.

  • Pitt Briefs

    Nickelodeon trivia contest

    Student Activities Council will host a Nickelodeon Trivia Contest at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, in Russ Hall. Students interested in participating must register in advance at the SAC office in Hartman Hall and must sign up as a team consisting of no more than four students.
    Prizes will be awarded for best costumes and winning trivia teams.
    For more information, contact SAC.

    Bicknell Center grand opening

    Pittsburg State University invites student, staff, faculty and the public to the grand opening of The Bicknell Family Center for the Arts at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 12.
    The ceremony will feature performances by the PSU Choirs, SEK Symphony, PSU dance, PSU Theater and Gene Bicknell.
    Tickets are on sale at the PSU Ticket Office located in the Weede.

    Kanza yearbook portraits

    Thornton Studios photographers will be on campus Thursday, March 12, for student and senior graduation portrait sessions.
    The sessions are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the McCray Music Hall Lobby. No reservations or appointments are required for the free portrait sessions. All students are encouraged to have their photo taken so that they can be included in the 2015 Kanza yearbook.
    Those who have yet to purchase their yearbooks will also have the chance to do so for $35. Please make checks payable to Student Publications.
    Open Education Resources
    Those who missed Cable Green’s presentation on Open Educational Resources on Friday, Feb. 27, may now view the presentation on the Pitt State website at www.pittstate.edu/office/tltcenter/index.dot.

    Apple Day convocation now available online

    The recording of the 108th Apple Day Convocation is now available on Pittsburg State’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/pittsburgstate.
    The video features keynote speaker Andy Tompkins.
    Also available is video footage of the Champions Plaza Paver Ceremony.
    Any issues with either video should be reported to the Office of University Marketing and Communication at 235-4122.


    Early enrollment for Fall 2015 is Sunday, March 29. Students are encouraged to schedule appointments with their advisers beforehand to receive their enrollment codes and go over any necessary schedule changes.
    The Summer 2015 Syllabus Supplement is now available on the Registrar’s website at www.pittstate.edu/office/registrar. Also available is the Fall 2015 Final Exam Schedule.

    Teacher Interview Day

    Teacher Interview Day is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at the Student Recreation Center.
    Classes will continue as normal but all rec center facilities, such as the fitness center and basketball courts, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. the day of the event. The fitness center will reopen at 3:30 p.m. and the basketball courts will reopen after event breakdown is completed.

    Scholarships Available

    SGA has scholarships availble in its office, located in Hartman Hall 207. There are three scholarships that will be awarded in various amounts. Applications are due by midnight Friday, March 13th.

  • Students prep for MCAT as much as possible

    | Gretchen Burns reporter |

    Kalee Woody has given up her social life to spend her free time studying for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) exam in June.
    The MCAT is a national standardized test designed to gauge medical school applicants’ knowledge of basic science concepts, as well as their skills in problem-solving, critical thinking and writing.
    “I spend my weekend working and studying,” said Woody, senior in biology. “It’s extremely hard. I work 25 or more hours a week and then spend all day Sunday studying. It’s difficult to focus on everything I have to study for.”
    Jayden Bowen, junior in biology, says when he takes the exam in April it will be the first time the new MCAT is debuted.
    “The trick part is knowing what is going to be on the exam because they are going to be issuing a new test that no one has ever taken before,” Bowen said. “The test is being extended from four and a half hours to seven and a half hours and psychology and sociology are being added.”
    Bowen added he and other students preparing for the exam can’t afford to not study because this test is so crucial to students applying to medical school.
    Bowen says his current classes take precedence over studying because he still has to keep focused on his grades. He says studying for the MCAT shows his dedication to sit down for an hour or two to study each day.
    “I know quite a bit of the science already,” Bowen said. “But I haven’t taken psychology since high school or freshman year. It’s a lot of material. Fortunately, a lot of the classes that I’m in this semester are major subjects on the exam.”
    Many students preparing for the MCAT take advantage of purchasing the online study guides that contain lessons and useful books covering MCAT topics. These online packages also contain practice tests and videos.
    Trista Dugan is one Gorilla who decided to purchase such a package.
    “I appreciate the syllabus because it gives me deadlines I have to meet,” said Dugan, junior in biology. “The access to the books, questions and practice tests have helped me improve the most.”
    Dugan says studying for the exam takes over most of her free time and she often plans her weeks long in advance to know how much time she will be able to set aside for studying.
    “Some weeks are definitely easier than others,” she said. “I try to get ahead in my normal coursework when I have the opportunity.
    “Meetings are planned out in advance, so I am able to work around them. Otherwise, I have to prioritize and make the best use of my time. I tend to schedule out my week to figure out when I am going to work on what task and for what amount of time. This makes me feel like my ‘to-do’ list is possible.”
    Josh Yeomans says that because the MCAT determines the future of medical students, he spends between 25-30 hours a week studying, and has been doing so since December.
    “My exam score will play a large role in whether or not I am admitted into medical school,” said Yeomans, junior in biology. “It’s comparable to having a good ACT score in order to be accepted into some undergraduate institutions.”
    Dugan added that while some admission boards look at more considerations like community service, involvement, GPA, shadowing and work experience, the major factor is still what her test score will be.
    “If I have a non-competitive MCAT score, my chances of getting in are much slimmer,” she said. “The trick is to have friends studying for the same exam. You will help keep each other going and give each other confidence when needed.”

  • Women of Pittsburg

    | Gretchen Burns reporter |

    Although the night was chilly and the audience was sparse, Beverly Clarkson shared the story of Ella Buchanan, first director of the Pittsburg Public Library, to help observe Women’s History Month at Pittsburg State University on Wednesday, March 4.
    After a large donation was made to the library, the librarians wanted to create a permanent art collection and showcase the talents of local artists.
    Buchanan, though originally a director at the library, later became one such artist featured at the library.

    Beth Clarkson talks about Ella Buchanan and her historical influence in Pittsburg.

    Beth Clarkson talks about Ella Buchanan and her historical influence in Pittsburg.

    Buchanan was hired by the city of Pittsburg to direct the library in 1901. She was the daughter of newspaper editor J.C. Buchanan of The Kansan. A socialist paper that portrayed the environment Buchanan grew up in.
    She served as the director of the library until 1908. Although a good librarian, Buchanan had always wanted to be an artist. Her sister Lavinia was already studying at the Chicago Art Institute and Buchanan wanted to take a six-month sabbatical to take a sculpting class there.
    The library board turned down her request for her sabbatical. Buchanan, in turn, turned in her resignation and followed her sister to the Chicago Art Institute.
    She learned that her passion was sculpture and took classes at the institute in that field from 1908 to 1911. She went on to teach classes from 1911 to 1915.
    “It took a lot of courage for Ella to leave Pittsburg and go out to Chicago,” Clarkson said.
    Buchanan became the protégé of artist Charles Mulligan. A piece of Mulligan’s is also on display at the Pittsburg Public Library.
    Buchanan’s first sculptures helped her tone the anatomy, but what she was really known for was her works on themes with women’s rights, poverty and war. “Captivity’s Captive” was one of her more famous pieces, showing a woman shackled to a stone.
    “The Altar of Nations” was another piece based on the start of World War I, and showed a man’s torn body draped over a cannon, while a woman kneeled in front of the cannon with her arms raised above her head, asking for help.
    “But what Buchanan was probably most known as was the woman who designed suffrage,” Clarkson said.
    The sculpture that Buchanan created was known as the symbol for all the suffragettes’ movements. A suffragette is blowing her horn and is surrounded by figures representing vanity, prostitution, conventionality and wage earners.
    It was so famous that postcards were made and sculptures were recast and sold to further the cause of the suffragettes. The postcards are so rare now that an original postcard will be sold at around $200. At the time of printing, the postcards sold for one cent each and the actual sculptures were sold for $10.
    Buchanan gained national and international notoriety not only as a talented sculptor, but also as a leader in the movement for women’s suffrage, for which her art served as a powerful symbol.
    She left Chicago in 1915 for Hollywood, where she also made her mark in the motion picture industry.
    Buchanan is just one of the famous and influential women to come out of Southeast Kansas. Maria Thompson, assistant director for student diversity programs, says she hopes that more presentations on women will be planned so students can learn about the history of the area.
    “We are always willing to try to put on these programs so students can benefit from them,” she said.

  • Speaker touches on leadership differences across generations

    | Tyler Koester reporter |

    A dozen students were schooled in the importance of possessing leadership skills in these times by motivational speaker Corey Taylor in Yates Hall on Thursday, Feb. 19. Taylor spoke at Pitt State as part of the school’s celebration of Black History Month.
    Taylor is a producer, speaker and author. One of the films he helped produce is The Wayman Tisdale Story, which tells the story of the late NBA player and jazz musician. He was awarded an Emmy Award and three Telly Awards for the film.
    Taylor has also directed federal grant-based programs and worked as a school board member. His other titles include the co-founder and president of Conquest Inc., and former member of the National Speakers Association.
    Taylor, who had the energetic and vivacious delivery of a preacher, started the evening off with a funny anecdote about his time as a Pitt State student. He even said he remembered having a physics class in the room that he was speaking in that night. On the first day of class, his professor came in, dropped a ball on his desk and told the class, “OK, for your homework tonight I want you to tell me how fast that ball was going.”
    “I said ‘what?’” Taylor said. “So, needless to say it was my first time coming and my last because I went to him and said, ‘I’m not going to be able to do this, I thought I could do physics but I don’t understand that’.”
    Besides sharing college stories other students could relate to, Taylor’s main purpose was to talk about the importance of recognizing leadership differences across generations. That recognizing those differences may help someone understand why their parents or grandparents act the way they do.
    “Leadership evolves,” Taylor said. “Leadership from one generation to the next is never the same.”
    With a PowerPoint presentation as his aid, Taylor discussed the various traits of the Baby Boomer, Generation X and Millennial generations. He laid a heavy emphasis on the “chain of command” and “respect from each other’s loyalty” qualities of the Baby Boomers, the “desire for mentoring” and the “necessity for personal values to matter” qualities of Generation X and the “value of involvement and self-promotion” and group think qualities of the Millennials.
    It was Taylor’s breakdown of these qualities that stood out to Kasey Ruark, freshman in accounting who attended his speech as part of a class assignment.
    “I never really took the time to think about that like he did,” Ruark said.
    In the context of Black History Month, Taylor’s discussion of different leadership qualities could help explain the motives of such leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X. They both advocated solutions to racial inequality and they accomplished this through their own unique leadership styles. Martin promoted a peaceful style, while Malcolm promoted a more aggressive style.
    Speaking of unique leadership styles, Taylor concluded his speech by expressing the necessity for the attendants to adopt their own leadership style.
    “Going into the future, you all need to understand your own leadership.”

  • ‘Breakfast at Night’ at Gorilla Crossing

    | Charles A. Ault reporter |

    For Jordan Riggs, the event’s main attraction was bacon.
    “The bacon was good, the eggs were delicious, the hash browns were great, the pancakes were pancakes, and pancakes are always good,” said Riggs, senior in music education.
    Riggs was just one of a number of hungry Gorillas to attend the “Breakfast at Night” dinner at Gorilla Crossing in the Overman Student Center on Friday, Feb. 20.

    Ali Aldawood and Mohammad Alidarous, juniors in electronic engineering, garnish their food with provided condiments at the Student Activities Council's Late Night Breakfast event on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015.

    Ali Aldawood and Mohammad Alidarous, juniors in electronic engineering, garnish their food with provided condiments at the Student Activities Council’s Late Night Breakfast event on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015.

    The dinner began at 8 p.m. and lasted until midnight, when students were treated to a free full “brinner,” door prizes and Nickelodeon trivia.
    The meal’s price of $0.00 was a big draw for many students, such as Jamellia Rothschild, sophomore in communication.
    “I needed some food and who doesn’t love breakfast, especially a free one, so why not stop by,” Rothschild said. “And we got some prizes, some free things to take home with us, too.”
    Besides being free, many students say they came just for the good food.
    Jesse Blake, sophomore in music education, says he heard about the event on Facebook.
    “I got a picture one of my friends shared with me and I got really excited because I like breakfast food,” Blake said.
    Breakfast at Night was catered by Sodexo and organized by Student Activities Council (SAC). Jordan Simoncic, graduate student in business and member of SAC, was the event’s student director. He says Breakfast at Night was put on as part of SAC’s “Jungle Night” series, nights in which SAC sponsors events designed to give students alcohol-alternative options on how to spend an evening.
    “Tonight, in addition to partnering with Sodexo to do breakfast at midnight, we partnered with the bookstore who is doing a flash sale,” Simoncic said. “Since we were partnered with them they helped spread the word about tonight.”
    The bookstore’s flash sale featured all clearance items marked an additional 50 percent off. However, the sale was not as well attended as the breakfast, and also ended at 10 p.m. whereas breakfast was served until midnight.
    Drew Mitchell, sophomore in nursing, says he attended previous Jungle Nights and always enjoys the hypnotist show SAC puts on at the beginning of the year.
    “I enjoy events like these,” Drew said. “But this is a freaking awesome idea. I’m not going to lie, free food is always a win.”
    SAC will host its fourth and final Jungle Night of the school year later this semester.
    Simoncic says students should expect a “game show night and a pop culture clash.”

  • Making memories

    | Gretchen Burns reporter |

    Gorilla Nation got a bit more ‘family-ier’ during the university’s annual Family Night at the Pitt State basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 12.
    While PSU took on the University of Nebraska-Kearney on the court, families took in the thrill of the game and some fun during the Alumni Center hosted event.

    Kindergartener Zoey Howard wins a pink bike in a raffle at family night that took place at the Weede during the women and men's basketball games Thursday, Feb. 12.

    Kindergartener Zoey Howard wins a pink bike in a raffle at family night that took place at the Weede during the women and men’s basketball games Thursday, Feb. 12.

    “Every year we try to do better than the year before,” said Jon Bartlow, director of the Alumni Center. “We worked with both the athletics department and Sodexo to make it better than last year.”
    To increase family attendance, fliers were sent to area elementary schools so pupils could take them home to their parents. A ticket covered the cost of the game and a meal.
    In conjunction with the university, Craw-Kan became a sponsor of Family Night this year as well and provided a boys and a girls bike and an iPad Mini, the three prizes ticket purchasers were eligible to win.
    Children were also invited to help make cheer signs for the Gorillas behind the student section.
    “The majority of people who come to Family Night are alumni,” Bartlow said. “We wanted to change that.”
    Overall, 191 tickets were purchased.
    Rusty Flack says he was grateful the university was reaching out to the community to attend the games, especially the elementary school pupils.
    “This is really awesome for the kids,” said Flack, whose daughter Rhian, participated in the event. “It’s just really nice to see everyone get out there and see the interaction between the university and our elementary schools.”
    Rhian says she was excited to attend the collegiate game and watch the Gorillas play.
    “My favorite part about this is watching the Gorillas kick the other team’s butt,” she said.
    The first prize was given away during the women’s halftime show and Zoey Howard was the lucky winner of the girl’s hot-pink bike.
    “I’m going to wait a while to ride it,” she said. “I’m super excited to get a new bike. I can’t wait to tell all of my friends.”
    Zack Howard, Zoey’s father, was also excited that his daughter had won.
    “It’s pretty cool that the school and Craw-Kan worked together to bring out these prizes for the kids,” Zack said. “The school has created such a good event with the community. It would be nice to see more events like this.”
    Mona Spencer says she bought tickets to Family Night so she could take her granddaughters to the games.
    “My daughter and her family live in Pitt and it’s nice to come for Family Night and it gives us something to do,” Spencer said. “My husband and daughter both graduated from Pitt and my husband is in the Hall of Fame from here.”

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