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The student voice of Midwestern State University The Wichitan page 7 ‘Fame’ falls short Revamped version of ‘80s classic fails to recapture magic of the original. page 9 Stumbled up No. 23 MSU falls to Angelo State 20-17 due to last second field goal. WEDNESDAY September 30, 2009 Ranked number one on the American Library Association’s (ALA) list of most frequently challenged books for 2008 was a story allegedly containing material that was anti-ethnic, sexist, promoted homosexuality and anti-family messages, contained a religious viewpoint and was unsuited to its age group. T h e book? “And Tango Makes Three,” a children’s book by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell that tells the story of two male penguins who care for an orphaned egg. The MSU Literary Society will be protesting banning books tomorrow in Sunwatcher Plaza and at the Bolin Fountain by reading passages from frequently challenged books. The protest will take place between 12:30 and 1:30. Censorship isn’t something that only happens in other countries, Literary Society president Brianne Jamison said, responding to feedback she heard concerning a display the club set up outside the MSU book store. She said people were asking if the display, which showed several frequently challenged or banned Photos and photo illustration by Brittany Norman Brittany Norman Editor in Chief See BOOKS page 3 Enrollment on the rise Chris Collins Managing Editor MSU has reported its enrollment is up four percent. The largest increase was in the junior classification, Janus Buss, director of the office of public information and marketing, said. She attributes the increase to transfer students who have finished taking basic courses at other colleges and are enrolling at MSU for the first time. “A lot of people will transfer in after completing community college,” Buss said. She also noted more students from Wichita county are attending MSU this year. “This may reflect that more stuPhoto by Julia Raymond Big Sister Hannah Knauss and Little Sister Brittney Shrum chat under a tree during their weekly mentoring session. Little moments, big impact Big Brothers and Sisters program offers bright future Jamie Monroe For the Wichitan This year, 11-year-old Brittney Shrum’s grades have gotten better, school has gotten more fun, and her dreams have gotten a lot bigger. The reason: Hannah Knauss, Brittney’s “Big Sister.” But the two aren’t related by blood. Knauss, a 25-year old accounting major, is Brittney’s mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters. The two meet twice a month, three hours at a time, to window shop at the mall, go out to eat, bake cookies or just hang out together. The difference it has made in Brittney is evident, even without compar- ing her report cards. She’s become the “cool” kid in the neighborhood, especially when Knauss visits. Neighboring kids flock to Britney’s front yard, chattering excitedly about what they want to do with their future Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Brittney herself is shy and quiet, with a big smile that lights up her whole face. Brittney has three real sisters and two brothers, and she’s the second oldest of her siblings, which means she often ends up taking care of everyone else. Though she likes helping her family, Brittney also likes having a mentor all to herself. “I have another friend,” she said, tucking her hair behind her ear and smiling. Knauss said that she’s seen a definite change since the pair first met. “She’s become more open with me and easier to talk to. She seems to have more confidence.” Knauss originally began mentoring through the school’s Partners In Education program. She and Brittney were paired up at random. “Brittney was on the list of girls who’d asked for a mentor, and they put us together,” Knauss said. Brittney said she asked to be put on the mentor list so she could have someone to talk to. She and Knauss started See MENTORS page 4 dents are staying closer to home than they have in the past,” she said. The number of college-aged attendees (ages 18-24) has stayed about the same. About 65 percent of students are in that age group. Fifty-eight percent of attendees are female; 42 percent are male. Buss said about 69 percent of students are full-time. She had another explanation about why enrollment has gone up. Her hypothesis: unstable job market. “It seems to be pretty true that when the economy is down, people go back to school,” Buss said. “Maybe they’ve lost jobs, maybe they thought, ‘I need to get my education before I get back out in the workplace again,’” she said. Web site, workshops to help students prep for Writing Proficiency Donace Wilkinson For the Wichitan A new Web site has been launched and workshops planned to help students pass the Writing Proficiency Exam. According to Jacqueline ArroyoFields, writing proficiency assistant, of 707 students who took the exam this year, 196 failed, approximately 28 percent. A failure rate of 25 percent is average. All students must take the exam after they have completed ENGL 1113 and ENGL 1123 and have between 60 and 89 credit hours. Students who fail must enroll in ENGL 2113 and make a passing grade in order to graduate. The exam, which costs $25, has been required at MSU since 1983. Statistics compiled by Institutional Research show that final grades made in ENGL 1113 and ENGL 1123 often have no relation to a student’s writing ability. From spring 2006 to spring 2009, more than 15 percent of students who scored A’s in both English courses failed the writing exam. Approximately 24 percent who made B’s in those courses failed and approximately 35 percent who earned C’s did not pass. English Department Chair David Rankin said that part of this discrepancy in scores might be attributed to a lack of See PROFICIENCY page 4

Sept 30, 2009

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