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WHEEZYBABY The Birdman Jr. releases his ninth studio album with Tha Carter IV, his first album following a year-long prison stint. READ pg. 6 HOT AS HELL An MSU staff member lends a helping hand at the annual bike race. READ pg. 7 wichitan ht e Wednesday August 31, 2011 your campus / your news New housing project slated for 2014 CHRIS COLLINS EDITOR IN CHIEF MSU administrators will go before the Board of Regents November to discuss building a new campus residence hall. Dr. Keith Lamb, associate vice president, and Michael Mills, director of housing, went before the Board in August to make the initial proposal. A representative of Brailsford and Dunlavey, a nationally recognized campus housing authority, accompanied them. They proposed a $15 million project that, if approved, would be completed by the Fall 2014 academic year. They argued that demand for oncampus housing was exceeding supply. In August, Lamb said, the occupancy rate was 103 percent. That means some potential students were turned away. Brailsford and Dunlavey conducted a market analysis on housing with a few hundred MSU students last spring, asking how much they would pay for a certain type of room. The firm’s conclusion: the university should build a residence hall that’s nicer than Pierce and Killingsworth, but less expensive than Sundance or Sunwatcher. “We need to plan for our future,” said Dr. Jesse Rogers, university president. “Every time we’ve built a dorm, our enrollment has gone up.” Since the building of Sunwatcher Village in 2003, administration has been playing catch-up, trying to meet student demand for housing. The de- mand has grown every year, said Mills. He currently estimates housing demand at 350 beds. “Your housing system has become a victim of its own success,” the Brailsford and Dunlavey representative said during the meeting. “Demand in housing has overcome supply.” He said one trend at MSU is a growing freshman class, which is having an unpredicted effect on housing – it’s pushing the older students out of dorms. “The upper-class students are starting to move toward the off-campus apartments,” the representative said. Given that the project is completed, Pierce and Killingsworth would become even more heavily occupied by freshmen. “The upper-class students were taking up more of the traditional-style beds,” the representative said. “An initiative has been put in place that will reduce the number of beds that are being taken away from freshmen. As a result of that, the freshmen constraints will be addressed.” He also said to expect an increase in the number of junior and senior students who are looking for on-campus housing. “This will be more expensive than Pierce or Killingsworth, but less expensive than the apartments on campus,” Mills said. The rooms proposed to the Regents were semi-private, single- or doubleoccupancy quarters. Each room would have its own bathroom, but stovetops and some other amenities would be shared with other occupants on the floor. Room and board charges for the potential occupants of the residence hall would fund about $12 million of the project. MSU would need to come up with $3 million in funds to complete the building. The prospective project also includes plans to move the housing administration office into the new residence hall, freeing up space for classrooms. “We need to use (the housing office) as academic space, and it would be more logical to have our pg. 3 office on the ground floor of the new residence hall,” Mills said. English profs say no more D’s in classes DONACE WILKINSON FOR THE WICHITAN As part of a new policy adopted by MSU this semester, a ‘D’ will no longer be accepted as a passing grade for students who take freshman English. The policy was approved last spring after the Academic Council voted unanimously to hold students to a higher standard. As of Fall 2011, students must earn at least a ‘C’ in ENGL 1113 in order to move on to ENGL 1123. Students who take ENGL 1123 must earn a ‘C’ or better in order to be eligible for the Writing Proficiency Exam. Dr. David Rankin, chair of the English department, said the new policy will only affect freshmen and transfer students. Rankin, who proposed the change to the Academic Council, said the new policy is “a plan at Midwestern to prepare students to do more and better writing.” “These courses help students to be competent writers,” Rankin said. “This policy raises the expectations for writing ability.” “If a student makes a ‘D’, that student would still receive GPA credit,” Rankin said. “As far as moving on to the next level, the student would have to retake the class.” Students who earned a ‘D’ in either of these courses, prior to this semester, will not be affected. Those grades will still be considered passing and will allow those students move to the next level. “But if someone made a ‘D’,” Rankin said, “my advice is you really should take that over.” Rankin said a lot of students who get ‘D’s do not pass the Writing Proficiency Exam and tend to avoid courses for which they have to write papers. According to data collected by the Writing Proficiency Office, over the past 10 years, the average failure rate has been 26 percent. Of the 1,039 students who took the exam in the last academic year, 337 failed, a rate of about 32 percent. “A lot of those are transfer students who did not do their writing courses here,” Rankin said, “but our students should not be failing the writing proficiency.” Rankin said the new policy will encourage students to work harder. “Academic Council would not have passed it if they didn’t think it was in the best interest of students doing well in school and the pg. 3 work place,” Rankin said. ENGLISH DORM Photo by Kassie Bruton Nancy Hunter Denney motivates incoming students at the New Student Convocation Tuesday. New Beginnings Speakers share words of wisdom with new students BRITTNEY COTTINGHAM MANAGING EDITOR Fellow students, faculty, administrators and even the mayor of Wichita Falls officially welcomed new students to MSU last Tuesday at this year’s New Student Convocation ceremony in the Fain Fine Arts Theater. Dr. Jesse Rogers, university president, reassured students that they were not there by chance. According to Rogers, 3,800 new students applied to Midwestern for Fall THINK FAST! Students were pitted against one another in a dodgeball tournament last Wednesday in the Wellness Center. Photos by Kassie Bruton Illustration by Chris Collins 2011, but fewer than 2,500 were accepted. Tuesday’s convocation marked a rare appearance Glen Barham, mayor of Wichita Falls, was in CONVOCATION pg. 3

August 31, 2011

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