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THE WICHITAN The Student Voice of Midwestern State University FEELING GROOVY Honors course relives the ’60s Wednesday Dec. 5, 2007 Graduating stressful for many DEON NEWSOM FOR THE WICHITAN CHRIS COLLINS STAFF REPORTER About 10 a.m. on a Monday morning, students file into Dillard 131, some by themselves, others in groups of two or three. Most can hear music drifting from the classroom’s speakers before they enter. Some take notice of the tune and hum along as they shuffle up the aisles to their seats. Some talk quietly over the din. The song – cult ’60’s rockers The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Daydream” – casts an interesting soundtrack over the beginning of another day in Dr. Mark Farris’ Honors Introductory Seminar. This semester the course dealt with every aspect of the 1960s, from music to mental health. The sunny lyrics and feel-good vibes from the 1960s have seen students to their seats every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Watching the students file into the classroom, Farris sits silently behind his desk at the front of the room, wordlessly enjoying the juxtaposition of a decade long past and the decade that is. A subtle comparison between an age of idealism and a culture of apathy. Over the course of the semester, Honors students have been subjected to a wide array of speakers from many academic disciplines at MSU. Professors representing the geosciences, psychology, mass communications, history, English and education departments have spoken on how the decade affected their respective fields of expertise. Freshman Meagan White ROBERT REDMON | THE WICHITAN MSU through The Third Eye P JESSICA COODY FOR THE WICHITAN eace rallies, anti-war protests and union marches. These all sound like scenes from a 1960s movie. Who would have thought they all occurred on MSU’s campus 40 years ago? Events that today’s students only imagine happening at colleges like Berkeley in California and Columbia University in New York. Well, it happened. Here. Hidden stories and treasures have been unearthed, thanks to MSU alumus, the late John Saxon. Saxon was a student at Midwestern State during the late ’60s and early ’70s. He collected a set of underground newspapers that were being distributed in the parking lots of MSU and has saved them for nearly four decades. Among the turmoil of the Vietnam War, racism and the women’s movement, See Honors page 5 “They will neglect to tell you that in the past our Board of Regents has allowed itself to be swayed, in matters concerning YOUR academic freedom, by groups of local businessmen who have no connections with the University.” students at MSU did their part to make their voices heard. Back then, several self-proclaimed “hippies” set out to get their beliefs and opinions out to the public. The Word and The Third Eye were two underground newspapers printed and distributed across campus. They covered topics from the draft to students’ rights. By conservative MSU standards of the day, the content was shocking. Headlines such as ”Where Do You Stand? Twenty Questions on Civil Liberties” and “Up Against the Wall, Commies” jump out from these once-banned papers. Explicit phrases such as “Fuck The Draft” are scattered throughout almost every issue of both The Word and The Third Eye. A common tie between MSU students of that time and the today’s students is war. 1969 found the United States in the middle of the controversial Vietnam War. Thirty-eight “They will neglect to tell you that there is an OffCampus Speaker Policy here that denies the right to speak on the campus to anyone who ever has or PROBABLY would advocate the breaking of a law or the overthrow of the government. Under this policy neither Thomas Jefferson, nor Martin Luther King nor even George Washington would have allowed to speak here.” years later the U.S. is once again in the midst of a dubious military operation. Only this time around, those students who are against the war protest quietly, if at all. On Dec. 24, 1969, the Student Mobilization Committee and other MSU students took their opinions to the public by holding a peace rally and marching in downtown Wichita Falls. Sound like a scene from some hippie flick? Well, it happened here. When there’s talk of racism, hatred is often assigned to the South. What may shock many is that hate crimes occurred right outside of the safe MSU community. On Sept. 11, 1969, three black students from Hirschi High School were arrested for allegedly assaulting a white teacher. There was talk of a lynching. The trial drew the attention of the NAACP. The controversy led to a public rally in support of the See Newspaper page 5 “The existing Student constitution at Midwestern, although it provides the students with many grandiose phrases, does absolutely nothing in the way of allowing any actual student participation.” – THE THIRD EYE Sept. 16, 1969 Graduation. It’s the time when decisions have to be made. The question of what to do next or where to go keeps many new grads looking into a crystal ball, trying to figure out an unsure future. “The first year out of college is a big year for young adults,” MSU Counseling Center Director Pam Midgett said. “Many experience anxiety about job interviews, graduate school applications, moving to a different city, beginning to support themselves, a number of issues.” According to Midgett, students should feel hopeful and positive about a new beginning. “Often times, people hear the statement, ‘College is the best four years of your life.’ Those years are great but expect great things in the future, too,” Midgett said. “In many ways you have your whole life ahead of you.” Of course, to the majority of graduates, career comes first. “A career offers the opportunity to have financial freedom and independence,” Career Management Director Dirk Welch said. Welch said one of the biggest mistakes graduates make is putting off the job search. “It’s very easy to lose sight of preparing early when the end is two or three months away,” Welch said. “Obtaining employment can take a long time. It involves a lot of work, energy and effort.” Welch encourages recent grads to be realistic. “The more realistic graduates are about entry level positions, salaries and work environments the less apt they will be to have unmet expectations. It helps to alleviate dissatisfaction and disappointment,” Welch said. Welch said graduates can expect to feel uncomfortable at their new place of employment during the first few months. “You may feel like you’re under a microscope,” Welch said. “Coworkers will be paying close attention to your performance. It can be kind of intimidating.” Welch said having a positive attitude, being a team player and taking initiative will help ensure a successful launch. “You have a clean slate, so to speak,” Welch said. “This is the time you get to showcase your skills and talent in a whole new arena. Although jobs and careers are the main focus for those finishing college, other concerns also come into play when it’s time to pack up. Losing a well-established social See Graduating page 5 Fantasy of Lights shines on DAVID BROTT FOR THE WICHITAN INSIDE The children, who had previously been chasing and swatting at the soap bubbles exhaled from the brightly lit robot suddenly redirect their attentions. The smell of freshly baked gingerbread has wafted past their red, frost biten noses. It’s Christmas time, 1963. Mrs. Lillian Burns emerges from her home on the corner of Clarindra and Harrison, a home most Wichitians call a mansion. She is carrying a platter heaped with treats for the children. Christmas time is the kindly woman’s greatest joy. Surrounding her home is a colorful fantasyland of Christmas and holiday displays. Surrounding her yard is an endless stream of people on foot and whole families in their Studebakers and Hudson sedans driving past slowly. More children’s faces fill the rear windows as tiny hands busily try to keep the breath-fogged glass clear. Even the adults are smiling, enjoying the wonderful holiday diversion, momentarily pushing aside thoughts of the young president assassinated only two weeks before. December’s cold bites at her cheeks but the hot cookie platter warms Mrs. Burns arthritic fingers. She is no longer the young bride, who in the early years of the Depression, set up a Christmas tree with a single blue bulb on the front porch of her modest home on 10th Street to share a little holiday spirit with those that could not afford such luxuries. And she continued sharing. Over the years, the oil business had been very good to her and her husband, L.T. The mansion on Clarindra was his gift to her and together they gave Wichita Falls the gift of the Christmas spirit. And each year PATRICK JOHNSTON | THE WICHITAN Santa’s Workshop is one of the many exhibits at the Burn’s Fantasy of Lights. The Fantasy of Lights kicks off Friday at 6 p.m. See Lights page 5 Senior art exhibit Against Me! Heartbreaker in Semis “Indulge” displays graduating seniors’ artwork. The punk band makes what could be the most important album of 2007. After advancing on penalty kicks, MSU soccer loses in semifinals. page 4 page 3 page 7

Dec 5, 2007

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