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Day of giving Winning pg. 4 Sudents dedicated their time and effort to helping local charities, making Saturday a Great Day of Service. pg. 8 The MSU softball team continues to dominate with its ninth consecutive victory. wichitan ht e Wednesday April 18, 2012 your campus/ your news University spends $84,000 for flowers Museum board member rakes in about $75,000; other florists get $9,447 CHRIS COLLINS EDITOR IN CHIEF A museum board member who lives in Caddo, Texas was paid nearly $75,000 to craft lavish floral arrangements for university functions over the past 10 years. Local florists drummed up less than $10,000 in university business. Most members of the MSU community didn’t get a whiff of the bouquets fashioned by Lola Pitzer because the flowers were on display at either off-campus events or at select occasions. While some of those gatherings were small, the bills for her services were not. Pitzer charged $873 to provide flowers at a Board of Regents dinner at Sikes House in August 2010. Her invoice to deck out Sikes House with Christmas flowers in 2007 came to $3,235. Pitzer, who operates as Lola Hampton Creations, was paid from the University Activity Fund, a discretionary account controlled solely by MSU President Dr. Jesse Rogers. It is made up of donor funds that come entirely from the MSU Foundation. The Wichitan obtained records and invoices of transactions with Pitzer through state Open Records statutes. Initially, the newspaper requested an accounting of money spent through the President’s Discretionary Account but was told by MSU that “no such title exists.” However, The Wichitan discovered a “President’s Office Discretionary Fund” listed within MSU Foundation filings provided to the Internal Revenue Service. Pitzer was not hired under any type of contract. No competitive bids were sought for her work. Rogers said she was hired under “organized activity” rules. In financial documents, Pitzer’s services were listed as “Other Professional Services.” “You don’t have to bid it out,” Rogers said. “It just has to be done for the best value of the university. The only thing we use her for is organized activities.” Over the years, Pitzer supplied flowers to museum functions. Rogers said Pitzer’s hiring was not a conflict of interest and defends his action. Although Pitzer serves on the museum advisory board, Rogers said that entity doesn’t possess the authority to decide how museum funds are spent. FLOWERS pg. 5 Graph by HANNNAH HOFMANN Costume virtuoso tells all Greek chapter GPAs strike an all-time low BRITTNEY COTTINGHAM MANAGING EDITOR Elizabeth Lewandowski peeks through a clothing rack in the costume storage room Monday. Photo by HANNNAH HOFMANN MSU professor becomes published author with costume dictionary GRACE HOLLOWAY FOR THE WICHITAN Have ever pondered what “Hot Pants” were or where they originated from? All you would have to do now is go to Moffett Library to the reference section and flip open The Complete Costume Dictionary. When you get your answer, you can give thanks to Elizabeth Lewandowski, the Midwestern State University theatre professor that wrote the book. The Complete Costume Dictionary is 632 pages of garment definitions and history. It can inform you about clothes by type, country and by era. It has 300 illustrations. “I wrote the book because nothing like that existed and I wanted to give my students something that I didn’t have,” Lewandowski said. It took her about 31 years to develop the contents of the book. It all began in 1980 while she was in college. Lewandowski went to Bradley University to pursue an opera performance degree. She double majored in theatre to better her odds of hav- ing a career out of college. During her sophomore year, the school built a new theatre. “We were working on the first show for it, and they said, ‘who can sew?’ Suddenly I was in charge of the costume crew because I knew how to run a sewing machine. That’s how it really started.” Whenever she learned a new sewing term she wrote it down on a notecard. “I should write this down so I don’t forget,” she would think to herself. After a long talk with her voice coach her senior year, she had to face a startling reality. She’d have to put her dream of being a dramatic soprano on hold. Her voice wouldn’t mature until her mid- to late 30s. Lewandowski was only 22 and couldn’t wait that long. She asked herself a question. “What else do I really like? I really liked costumes and at that point I had done them on just about every show. That’s how I decided what I wanted to do.” Within five years, she acquired thousands of notecards. Dan, her husband, advised her to transfer her definitions onto the computer. Later her friend LaLonnie Lehman, Costume Designer at Texas Christian University, told her that she should create a book. “So I started getting serious about collecting terms,” Lewandowski said. “I had about 10,000 and submitted it to a publisher. I had multiple contract offers and picked the one I liked best, Scarecrow Press.” Lewandowski started spending her summers reading foreign language dictionaries and work on research while she traveled with her husband to different cities for his job. “When I finished I had over 20,000 terms from around the world and throughout history. Nothing of that magnitude had been published before.” The Complete Costume Dictionary’s official publication date was Oct. 24, 2011. “I didn’t actually know it had come out until one of my students who had pre-ordered it told me she had gotten an email from Amazon saying they had shipped it. My publisher didn’t even tell me!” She celebrated her accomplishment with friends and family at the winter solstice party they throw every year on Dec. 21. She will be working on her next project this summer with friend William Henshaw, associate professor of theatre at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark, on writing a book about the history of drag. National data boasts that members of fraternities and sororities have higher GPAs than the average non-affiliated student. But Greek Life coordinator Kevin Bazner said at MSU that is not necessarily the case. Last semester, over half of the reconginzed Greek chapters on campus saw its grade point average drop. Some chapters dipped below national standards. Six out of 12 Greek organizations even have a 2.5 or below. Last fall, one posted a 1.64 chapter GPA and another acquired a 1.44 grade point average. No Greek chapter earned an average GPA of a 3.0 or above. As of fall 2011 the average GPA for a Greek chapter at MSU is a 2.53. All Greek chapters GPAs are below the overrall undergraduate GPA of 2.79. Bazner said he has not seen an academic issue with fraternity and sorority life. He believes they are advancing. “You look at the different numbers, whether it be academics or impressions of the community, for the most part they are good,” Bazner said. “Numbers will sway up and down, but you see a general trend of improvement. I think that is best thing that anyone can hope for is improvement.” According to the fall 2011 grade report, the average sorority GPA is 2.69. The average fraternity GPA is 2.2. Kappa Sigma, Tau Kappa Epsilon and Sigma Nu fell below national standards, 1.64, 2.08, 2.20, respectively and are required to participate in weekly educational programs. Until Bazner became coordinator in 2010, community grade reports were not posted online. “That was surprising to me because organizations that say they are about scholarship and academic achievement do need to prove that,” Bazner said. “I do empathize with the chapters, especially those who may not meet that average and it may not look good for them.” Every Greek organization does have a minimum grade requirement, but some have higher standards than others. Midwestern does not mandate a university GPA standard for Greek students, unlike some Texas schools. Angelo State University, which requires all Greek life students to maintain a 2.5 grade point average, and Southern Methodist University chapters must maintain a 3.0 or above GPA. “I don’t feel right now as an university administrator that we need to be imposing that extra requirement on a student,” Bazner said. “But it is obviously something I’ll look at and something that as a community we need to challenge ourselves to constantly seek out improvement and be better than the average.” GREEK pg. 3 Segregation era students recall days at Midwestern KYLE EGAN FOR THE WICHITAN In 1951,18-year-old Helen Thursby tried enrolling at Midwestern, but was denied entry because of the color of her skin. Thursby was one of six students who was denied registration for classes because Midwestern informed them that their applications were not filed correctly. Actually, Midwestern was not letting the students in because they were black. On Friday, Phi Alpha Theta honored Thursby and other students to degregation at MSU. “I filled out an application to enter Midwestern and they turned us away, we were rejected,” said Thursby. “I had to leave and attend school at Jackson School of Nursing in Dallas. It was unfortunate.” The case Battle, et al v. Wichita Falls Junior College District, et al in the fall of 1951, provided the NAACP with a perfect scenario to challenge Texas segregation laws. The NAACP never challenged segregation laws; instead they challenged Midwestern’s “separate but equal” laws claiming Midwestern was not giving equal treatment for black students. They convinced Thurgood Marshall DESEGREGATION pg. 4

April 18, 2012

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