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SGA candidates debate over numerous campus concerns.

Student gives back after experiencing traumatic past.

Griffon men lose first round of MIAA playoffs.

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March 7, 2013

Vol 95 | Issue 18

Former athlete pepper sprayed, charged with assault

Candidates tell ideas Sisco has fresh ideas for SGA

Rosenauer plans to take on MWSU administration if elected

Katelyn Canon | Managing Editor It all started out as a joke, or at least that’s what Lavonte Douglas said while recounting the events that led to campus police pepper spraying, and later arresting him. Douglas, a power forward on the basketball team from 2010-2012, was arrested on Feb. 27 in Blum Union, and was later taken to the St. Joseph Police Department by campus police for booking. He was subsequently charged with obstruction and assaulting a law enforcement officer. The Missouri Western case report stated that at 3:10 p.m. campus police approached Douglas and his friend for causing a disturbance in Blum’s lobby. Prior to that contact, Douglas said he was “just playing around” when he swiped a friend’s earmuffs after she had jokingly stolen his phone. During this exchange Douglas and his friend were approached by Corporal Robert Bidding. Douglas’ friend was told by Bidding to ‘watch the vulgar language,’ and Douglas suggested he and his friend leave. “We walked over towards the bathroom area, and then I was messing with her to get my phone back,” Douglas said. “I had her earmuffs so we were just going back and forth and then I finally gave her her stuff and she walked towards the exit and I was walking going into the food court.” Bidding then asked Douglas to identify his friend, but he refused. When asked by Bidding for his Missouri Western ID, Douglas failed to comply. According to the Western Student Handbook, students must present and surrender their ID upon the request of a university official. Douglas entered the food

Lavonte Douglas

court, followed by Bidding and Officer Travis Fulton who, according to Douglas, had been radioed by Bidding for back up. Douglas said he has had negative interactions with Fulton during the past year. “So I’m walking and his partner [Fulton], I just see him running up to the door with a real foul look, so I just went the other way and walked the other way,” Douglas said. “He came bossing in all real tough like, like he was going to do something, so then I put my hands up.” Douglas, who has long, dreaded hair, said Fulton first grabbed him by his sweater and then his hair. The situation escalated from there. “That’s when I spinned this way to get him off of me and he fell... that’s when he started to mace me,” Douglas said. “So as I was turning away from him I see the other officer pulling his Mace out so I turned again and I ran out of there and I ran upstairs to Judy Grimes.” Chief of Police Jon Kelley and members of the administration, including Grimes, Cale Fessler, Kurt McGuffin, and President Robert Vartabedian, all declined to comment while the case remains under investigation. Synthia Tunnell, a student in the food court at the time of the incident, shared her account.


Boar d o f G ove r n o r s

pass on student re q ues ts Ellis Cross | Contributing writer Missouri Western State University’s Board of Governors are charting the same budget course as last year which resulted in an additional $3 million above expenses without the additional $1.5 million from the Student Success Act’s fees.

General operating reserves have surpassed $8 million, which is a ten-year high, and the BOG voted Thursday, Feb. 28 to spend down $1 million of it. They also voted to spend another $500,000 of the auxiliary reserves.


Katy Sisco and Dillon Williams

Katelyn Canon | Managing Editor Involvement and accountability are what Student Government Association presidential candidate Katy Sisco and executive vice president candidate Dillon Williams hope to bring to SGA. Katy Sisco introduces herself to the audience at the SGA presidential debates. Dave Hon | Senior Editor Sisco and Williams, both residential assistants, have no prior experience on senate; however, they would like to make SGA accessible to all students. “I just feel like I’m different because I’m actually on this campus 24/7 and I’m with the students 24/7. You know, I just live and breathe Missouri Western,” Sisco said. Sisco went on to say that despite her inexperience, she will bring a fresh perspective to student government. “[Mary Beth Rosenauer] has a little bit more knowledge of SGA, which I would say is a disadvantage for me, but again, I’m on the outside looking in yet I’m a fast learner and I really think that I’ve already learned a lot,” Sisco said. Although Sisco and Williams lack SGA experience, Williams is willing to undertake the responsibility of executive vice president. “I really don’t want anybody to think that just be-

cause I have no experience with SGA doesn’t mean I’m not just as capable as somebody within SGA,” Williams said. The three main topics the running mates would like to address if elected are maximizing student engagement, informing students of the Student Success Act and where the money is going and having organizations support SGA. “I just see the decline of students involved and I just want to get them more involved and let them know that SGA is an entity that they can use to their advantage. I just don’t think they know that,” Sisco said. Being involved with several organizations, such as Phi Delta Theta fraternity, Griffon Edge, the VIP student ambassador program and the Gentlemen of Color Association, student involvement is especially important to Williams. “I really want to just maximize student engagement and increase involvement with the university,” Williams said. “ As far as events and stuff are concerned, I know a lot of students that live off campus have no idea about SGA. They have no idea about WAC, WAC being the biggest organization, as far as events go on campus. I really just want to change that.”


Mary Beth Rosenauer and Derek Thompson

Matthew Hunt | News Editor “Student Voice, Student Power” is the slogan for one team in this year’s SGA Presidential election. Jacob Scott, current SGA president, asks both candidates a question. Music Education sophomore Mary Beth Rosenauer has chosen Vocal Music Education junior Derek Thompson as her running mate. Rosenauer has served on the Student Senate for the past two years and has been part of the Campus Advancement Committee as well. She started out as the Vice Chair of the committee and is now the Chair. Thompson has served the last two years as a Residential Assistant. “Derek and I have worked together in the past,” Rosenauer said. “I feel like we both have the ability to take what the students want and do our best to put it into action.” Student senator Jacob Teasely has thrown his support behind Rosenauer in her bid to become President. He thinks that her leadership and her friendship with Thompson make them a good pair who would work well with SGA. “Mary Beth has more experience,” Teasely said. “She is good at advocating good ideas and making them clear to the students.”

Communication between student leaders and the students is a top priority for Rosenauer. She said her connection with the administration sets her apart and can be beneficial. Her experience working on issues with University President Robert Vartabedian and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Judith Grimes is what SGA needs in a President. “I know how the administration likes to go about doing things and their intentions,” Rosenauer said. “I offer students my service on how to work on the relationship between the student body and the administration.” The Student Success Act, which was passed by the Student Senate last year, is one issue that Thompson would like to take a deeper look at to see what can be done about it. He believes that better communication between the students and the administration on where the funds are going is an issue that needs to be addressed. “I remember the student fee going into effect,” Thompson said. “With me not being involved in SGA, I didn’t know what the act did and that’s an issue that we must address.”


Phi Beta Sigma supports great cause Krista Hague | Staff Writer Phi Beta Sigma offered students of Missouri Western a different outlook on preventing pregnancy and premature birth defects. Phi Beta Sigma promoted safe sex and provided students with informational Mark Bush and Domonick Bell play chess against each other at the statistics about premature Phi Beta Sigma game night at the commons on Monday night. babies during their Sigma Dave Hon | Senior Editor week, March 4-8. Flowers

were passed out for Women’s Appreciation Day and Backpacks to Briefcases Day educated men about life skills and after college life experiences. Phi Beta Sigma Nu chapter teamed up with St. Joseph’s March of Dimes team to help raise money.


Vice president of Student Affairs announced Katelyn Canon | Managing Editor

Missouri Western will welcome the new Vice President for Student Affairs Shana Meyer. Shana Meyer will begin as the vice president for Student Affairs April 1, 2013. The assistant vice president of student affairs at Fort Hays State University, Meyer is looking forward to starting

her new position April 1. “I know people are there [at Western] for the right reasons and are working to serve the students,” Meyer said. “I’m really looking forward to getting to know the staff and working with them.” While at Fort Hays, Meyer facilitated a “Student Life Cluster,” which includes Greek and residential life and other non-classroom re-

lated activities. Meyer would like to continue that vision at Western. “I think from the beginning it will be important to really keep building and repairing a strong Student Affairs team,” Meyer said. “I’m interested in developing some different synergies across campus and just working towards a really comprehensive vision for Student Affairs.”

Meyer continued, saying she looks forward to her position as vice president for Student Affairs. “I would just say that in all of my roles I have been very student-focused and I’m looking forward to working for and with the students as well,” Meyer said. Student Governor Brian Shewell met Meyer at a student leader luncheon and hopes she will serve as a

voice for the students on the administrative level. “Based on her experience she had talked to us about she has done a lot to advocate for students which is what we were looking for,” Shewell said. “I think of the four, she was a good choice. She was a really good choice for the position.” Shana Meyer New VP of Student Affairs




Witnesses say Douglas meant no harm

BOG Chair Kylee Strough was absent from the meeting, but said in an earlier e-mail, “Keep in mind, reserves should not be used for ongoing expenses, but instead for one-time purchases, improvements, etc.” “What we didn’t want to do is put an expense on here that is ongoing,” University President Robert Vartabedian said while at the meeting. With Strough’s absence,

“When they went to grabbing at him he threw his hands up and kind of bounced back a little bit like he didn’t want to be touched, and he looked really surprised that they were trying to grab at him,” Tunnell said. Tunnell said the officers unsuccessfully tried to lower Douglas to the ground, and that’s when the officers tried to pepper spray Douglas. “From my perspective he was not trying to harm the officers; he was just trying to get away from them,” Tunnell said. Louis Erby, another student present during the incident, said Douglas reacted “as anyone would when someone attacks you for no reason.” “When the officer grabbed him, Lavonte put his hands up,” Erby said. “His hands went in the air and the officer couldn’t put him down after he was grabbing around his neck, and then that’s when I believe he kind of was weaving around trying to get out of the choke hold he was in, and then after he got free he stood there. He didn’t try to run away. He didn’t try to flee or anything until the police officers sprayed the Mace.” Erby added the police officer lost balance when trying to detain Douglas and fell into a booth in the food court. According to Douglas, after running out of the food court, he went upstairs to Student Affairs to speak with Grimes. There, he was arrested. At the time of his arrest, Douglas said it was unclear why he was being detained. Campus police have security footage of the incident, which was given to the administration. The campus police denied a Griffon News request for the footage because the case remains under investigation. According to the St. Joseph Police Department Douglas was booked at 4:15 p.m., and was held until he was released on bond at 8:05 p.m. His preliminary hearing is set for April. Douglas is a senior majoring in sport and recreation management, attending Western on a fifth-year athletic scholarship. He was a 2011-2012 MIAA all-confrence selection, and averaged 13.6 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game during that season.

The Griffon News March 7, 2013


BOG Vice Chair Dirk Clark officiated the meeting that allocated proposed one-time expenditures of $850,000 for roofing repairs, $120,000 for new technology, and $115,000 to develop a campus property development master plan, which will include sidewalk repairs. “The administration has looked at areas where they could spend down excess reserves in smart ways,” Vart-

abedian said. Those “smart ways” didn’t include much to directly impact student life at Western according to BOG’s Deborah J. Smith. “I’m fine with it, but I would have liked to have seen more of the things included that the students requested,” Smith said. Those requests came from three different lists submitted by Student Governor Brian

Shewell, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Judy Grimes and Special Assistant to the President Ann Pierce from her discussions with students. Nothing on the lists were discussed, except additional lighting on campus. That discussion ended with Dr. Vartabedian saying that funds for that project could come later from other sources. “I know there were things

on your lists you wanted, but in some cases, we couldn’t deliver on the lists,” Vartabedian said. The proposal passed unanimously. The meeting was quickly closed, according to Missouri state statute, to discuss legal matters and personnel issues.

fee now. Thompson said that his experience as a leader in residential life would be beneficial when dealing with students on issues like the student fee or other major issues. “Students should be allowed to know where their money is going,” Thompson said. “I think SGA would be a good place to continue my

service to the students and to hear their voices.” If elected, Rosenauer would like to continue SGA President Jacob Scott’s mission of finding out where exactly the funds are going. Under her presidency, she would like the administration to come forth and tell SGA why funding is still needed for the act. If no evidence can point to a direction

where funding is needed, then she would consider repealing the act entirely. “We need to find out if the fee is even needed anymore,” Rosenauer said. “If they can’t give us any facts or numbers as to why we need the fee, then we would definitely look into repealing it.” Rosenauer believes students think the SGA is not

seen as a student body organization that connects one on one with the students it elects. “I often feel that students believe SGA is a puppet to the administration and not really there for the students,” Rosenauer said. “We need better connection and that’s what I plan to do.”

Rosenauer takes on the big dogs

ROSENAUER CONTINUED FROM FRONT Rosenauer who voted for the Student Success Act believes at the time of the vote the administration had good intentions. The information that she received over the fee, with a proposed 10 percent cut from the state, at the time made the act a necessity. She believes that many on SGA now probably would like to back their vote in favor of the


BOG voted to spend $1 million in reserves

Sisco plans new beginning

The Student Success Act is another significant component of this year’s SGA election. While it is still unclear if the act will be repealed or remain in place, Sisco and Williams support the act. “I am for the Student Success Act in the spirit that it, as a whole, helps the student body,” Sisco said. “I mean, a lot of people will talk about the fee that’s with it, the $75, and I’m concerned with that;

PHI BETA SIGMA CONTINUED FROM FRONT March of Dimes was first established by President Franklin Roosevelt and focuses on premature birth and birth defects in infants. Educating doctors and promoting pregnancy screening are a couple of ways that March of Dimes tries to prevent premature birth and defects. Sigmas around the world volunteered to raise money for March of Dimes. Nationally, Sigma organizations made a goal to reach $75,000. Chapter Alpha Beta Nu of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity Inc. hoped to raise $500 as a starting goal this year and wanted to exceed past that goal and increase the number as the years come. Phi Beta Sigma sold wrist bands, t-shirts and car magnets to help out a great cause. Also, students attended week long events on campus to get further educated on the impor-

however, I’m also concerned with other things with it, such as the money that’s rolled over.” Williams supports keeping the fee, but said, “There is no student voice in regards to that money right now.” He would like to have SGA representation during all meetings dealing with the money that fee collects. “All in all, I support the Student Success Act. I do believe it was created for the

students,” Williams said. Regardless of the outcome of the election, Sisco said that both she and Rosenauer want to enact positive change within the student government. “I think its just different because we both are really passionate about, you know, not changing SGA. But every organization has things that just need a little tweaking,” Sisco said. “I think we are both just passionate about that.”

Supporting a cause tant cause. Phi Beta Sigma member Elie Moore feels as though properly educating women about pregnancy is the most important thing that the cause has to offer. “We wanted others to realize how important and serious premature birth defect situations are,” Moore said. The group wanted to support others as much as possible. The fraternity’s ultimate purpose and goal was to help raise enough money for expenses of equipment and supplies that are needed for operations or prevention of birth defects occurring. It wasn’t all about premature babies though. Pregnancy prevention was also a source of education at the events. Western student Samantha Asher feels that attending the events was important and that the motto “Safe sex is great sex” was

very educational. “I learned a lot of great things including how to practice better sexual habits,” Asher said. Phi Beta member Arian Duncan believes that the March of Dimes event had a huge turnout because of the purpose of the event was so important to the community. “People realized that we took donations for premature babies to help with the medical evaluations,” Duncan said. With the weekly events here on campus, Phi Beta Sigma wanted to educate students on how important March of Dimes really is, not only to the organization but to society as well. Students that attended the weekly events learned that there are children who need help with complications and helping makes all the difference.





Thursday, March. 7 First Thursday Noon Concert at 12:30 p.m.

Sunday, March. 10 Spring Break Week Begins (no classes)

Monday, March. 18 Faculty Panel, Presenting Research on Gender 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March. 19 ‘Extreme Planets’ Planetarium Show 7:00 p.m.


1. Property Damage 2. Disturbance

11:16 p.m., Monday, Feb. 25, Blum Union 5:31 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 27, Blum Union

3. Vandalism

1:32 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 28 Beshears Hall

If your organization would like to announce an event, email the information to

The Griffon News


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March 7, 2013

SGA candidates desire to be students’ voice Albert Shelby | Asst. News Editor

Attendees of the debate should walk away from Monday’s event further educated on both SGA president candidates. Katy Sisco and Mary Beth Rosenauer both did what they could to sway students into electing them as the future president of SGA. Both candidates spoke heavily on being a voice for students and improving the student life at Western. Rosenauer noted that she has always been interested in politics and she took that into account when deciding to run for president of SGA. “Government politics is something that I

Katy Sisco and Mary Beth Rosenauer debate against each other on Monday night. Dave Hon | Senior Editor and Brian Duskey | Multimedia Editor

have always been passionate about since high school,” Rosenauer said. “But not only that, just passionate about connecting with my students and peers. The idea of putting those two together just seem like a pretty good fit for me.” Sisco said that since she has attended West-

ern, she has been heavily involved with students on campus. She said that as a RA in the dorms she often hears complaints from students about things they hope will improve. “I have been living here for three years and I am a senior RA,” Sisco said. “I get really close to people and I find out

what their issues and concerns are. I think that with my outside view looking in, I can see that there are a few issues that need to be tweaked or hit on.” When asked about the improvement of Blum Union, both candidates seemed to be on the same page in making sure that students

where the main focus when dealing with renovations. Rosenauer noted that she has been working diligently to try and improve Blum starting with installing new TV sets and games, including pool tables. “What is more important is if that is what the students want,” Rosenauer said. “That is actually something students are looking towards to. They have come to us at senate meetings and told us that this issue is something that is important to them.” Sisco thinks that improving Blum would allow students to engage with things always set up on campus. “I believe that there

should be changes to Blum union seeing that it is a student union,” Sisco said. “People should be able to feel comfortable with going there and hanging out with people.” Student of Western Nick Brothers expected the candidates to go into more detail, but explained that he walked away with good thought on both candidates. “I appreciate both candidates passion and desire to communicate,” Brothers said. “I certainly would have liked a little bit more substance. I am fairly certain with my vote at this point and I am looking forward to working with them in the future as a student.”

Articulation agreement receives attention from high schools Daniel Cobb | Staff Writer

Missouri Western brings in business students from local, public high schools through a recently signed articulation agreement for students to earn college credit. Dr. Robert Vartabedian and Dr. Jaime Dial, assistant director of secondary education for the St. Joseph School District, signed the agreement that allows high school business students to earn college credit at Missouri Western State University. The articulation agreement signed by Western will allow students at Benton, Central and Lafayette High School to earn three credit hours after taking six semesters of courses centered around the business field.

“Students at the high school level will take various courses related to business,” David Jordan, St. Joseph School District business and marketing coordinator, said. “These courses will focus on economics, marketing, management, finance and business strategies, as well as covering all of the Introduction to Business courses.” Students will only be able to attain college credit after attending a semester at Missouri Western. “Students taking part in the High School of Business Program must earn a ‘B’ average before completing one full semester at Missouri Western in order to earn articulated credit,” Cindy Heider, associate vice president for academic affairs, said.

After planning the program for two years, Missouri Western has seen a very positive response from the local high schools. “Over 90 students from the three public high schools attended the formal signing of the articulation agreement,” Jordan said. “The number of students interested in the program from Central alone has tripled.” Missouri Western is currently taking applications from high school students wanting to take part in the High School Business Program. “We are still taking applications for any students that are interested,” Tom Williamson, assistant to the chair of the business department of Missouri Western, said. “Over 150

Dr. Robert Vartabedian and Dr. Jaime Dial sign a document that allows business students from local high schools to receive college credit from Western. *Submitted Photo

applications from two of those schools have already been received.” Both Williamson and Jordan hope that the articulation agreement between Missouri Western and the St. Joseph School District will benefit Missouri Western in a variety of ways. “We’re very excited about it, and see it as an opportunity to generate

interest in the business program at Missouri Western,” Jordan said. Williamson agrees, and believes that it will also be a great thing for the St. Joseph School District as well. “I think it will benefit Missouri Western as well as the school district, because more students from those three St. Joseph schools go to

Missouri Western than any other institution,” Williamson said. “It will benefit those students who are going to be business majors in that those students will have the exact background that they need to be successful in the Craig School of Business.” Williamson is hopeful the program will expand to other school districts as well. He said that other school districts are watching what Missouri Western is doing in regards to the articulation agreement. There are currently over 90 students enrolled in the program, and with 150 applications received from two of the three high schools involved, the number is expected to increase, Williamson said.

Final date to withdrawal approaches soon Last Day to Joyce Stevenson | Staff Writer

Withdrawal from a class can adversely affect graduation completion rate. With only two weeks left to withdraw, any student considering withdrawing from a class should seek advisement. Director of Financial Aid Marilyn Baker recommends that students familiarize themselves with their unique situation. The MWSU website has helpful information found under the financial aid tab. Students need to be aware of their status in order to retain financial aid. “We try to inform students of their options,” Baker said. Every student earns a graduation completion rate. This rate comes from data collected by the Integrated Post-

Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to provide national educational statistics on the length it takes a student to complete their graduate requirements. The rate is based on the student completing their program within 150 percent of the normal six-year completion time allowed. The better the rate, the more marketable a student is after graduation. “Many times a student may think of withdrawing as the easiest way to overcome an obstacle,” assistant provost of Academic Affairs Cynthia Heider said. Heider advises that students should seek the advice of an academic advisor, study group, the Center for Academic Support (CAS), or the Student Success Center (SSC) in order to make an informed decision.

She says there are many steps in place to assist students with reaching the best decision for their circumstance. There are federal guidelines that stipulate what is required of a student to meet satisfactory academic progress. All students should be aware of the fact that withdrawing from a class may have an effect on their permanent record and financial aid eligibility. A student must maintain a minimum 70 percent completion rate to keep their federal aid. Baker recommends that a student be constantly aware of where their money is going. Many students take out a large amount in student loans. “Students need to look at how much they have accumulated in student loans and reconsider

withdrawing so that they get their money’s worth per credit hour,” Baker said. The financial aid office counsels students, and when needed, they host a Student Academic Progress (SAP) seminar in order to help them refocus on their GPA to keep federal financial aid. The student is given an assignment to learn how to be aware of debt, salary required to repay their debt, and the different types of repayment plan programs available. “It is so individualistic, we must look at every one separately,” Baker said. At MWSU, the procedure is almost too simple. You must notify the Registrar’s Office (Eder 102) in writing (they have a form) with your name, student ID number, last date of at-

Withdraw: March 29 tendance, signature and contact information. The last date to withdraw this semester is March 29. A “W” will appear on your transcript for that class. No tuition or fee refund is available at this point in the semester. Students should seek counseling before making a decision to withdraw. If a student chooses to completely withdraw from a class, they still must fill out the formal withdrawal forms in the Registrar’s Office. According to the MWSU website, if the student is receiving financial assistance, they may be required to pay back all or a portion of

the funds received, according to federal/state regulation(s) or institutional policies. Financial aid exit counseling is required to be completed within 30 days of withdrawal. Failure to complete exit counseling will result in a hold on the student’s academic transcript and will prevent future registration in classes. There is the possibility of using an appeals process after withdrawal to be allowed to return to class. Student’s are urged to seek academic advisory before withdrawing from any class.

The Griffon News

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March 7, 2013


Pepperjax, just the way you want it JQ Dever | Staff Writer

According to Pepperjax Grill, it offers America’s Best Philly steak sandwiches. Pepperjax has only been open for a few months, but it is already hitting the spot for the citizens of St. Joseph. Located right next to the library on the North Belt Highway, the huge red letters cannot be missed. Inside, the overall feel is sort of sterile, like an upgraded cafeteria. The booths are cozy though. The atmosphere is kind of noisy but a lot of it has to do with the constant sound of the employees preparing the food. Overall, the prices are very reasonable. They range from five to seven dollars. The sides cost no more than two dollars. Kids’ meals cost

around four dollars. If you aren’t feeling a Philly cheese steak sandwich, Pepperjax also offers giant wraps, rice bowls and fresh salads. The giant wraps come with steak, chicken, shrimp or veggies. The rice bowls and fresh salads offer the same options. One of the most fun elements of the experience at Pepperjax happens when you walk up to order your food. For starters, the cooks prepare the food right in front of you, behind a glass partition. When you decide what you want, the cooks work their magic getting it ready for you. If you get a Philly, your steak or chicken is grilled and mixed with onions and green peppers. Simultaneously, your bread is toasted and sent down a conveyor belt, waiting for

its contents to be shoveled in. It’s not a long wait and the food cooks very fast. You can get your Phillies anyway you want them because they have a lot of complimentary toppings and they have their very own signature sauces. If you decide to go for a spicier option, you can get your toppings marinated in jalapeno juice. This option is called a fireball, and when you order it, the employees yell, “We got a fireball!” from behind the counter. The first time I went to Pepperjax, I went with my teammates and I ordered a salad with chicken. I also got some fries and I put ranch dressing on the top of my salad. I’m not a big fan of trying out foods I’ve never had before, so I kept it simple. I thought it was cool that you

get to watch them cook the chicken or steak and it took them just seconds to prepare. There are a lot of options to choose from but unfortunately, I personally don’t eat the extra toppings they had to choose from. They also cook a large amount of food so whatever you order, you’ll get full. I personally didn’t enjoy my food. My teammates didn’t either. I’ve heard a lot of great things about the food though. Maybe the Philly cheese steak sandwiches are just better than the salads. I think that the majority of people who check out Pepperjax would enjoy it because there are so many toppings to choose from to make your sandwich, wrap or salad just the way you want it.

Pepperjacks offers fresh salads and many other delicious foods to satisfy almost anyone’s lunchtime cravings. *Photos courtesy of

Survivor and helper: Megan Wood Making life a little better for those around her Jason Ruckman | Staff Writer

At the age of three, most of us are worried about little more than the next toy we’ll come across, but for Megan Wood, the worries were much heavier when she was diagnosed with one of the rarest forms of cancer. Wood was diagnosed with cancer at two years and ten months old and is now a proud 15-year survivor. “When we first started noticing signs something was wrong, I was seven months old. I got put in the hospital as a seven-month-old baby for a week,” Wood said. Eventually things started happening to her, like random bleeding and bruising extremely easily at two-anda-half years old. “It was not like normal bruises,” Wood said. “Right away, it was black and it wasn’t from getting pushed to the ground, it could be from someone just touching me.” Eventually, Wood's mother knew it was time to take her to the hospital. Wood was taken to six different hospitals, but her mother's motherly instinct took over when disagreeing with the doctors' opinions. That’s when they

Megan Wood and her fiance Devon Zimdars pose for a picture, after he asked her to marry him at a basketball game. *Submitted photo

ended up at the University of Missouri’s hospital in the children’s ward, where she was finally diagnosed with a form of cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma. “At the time I was diagnosed with that cancer, only 18 people in the world had had it,” Wood said. The only information the doctors really knew about the cancer was that it was an extremely aggressive form and to stand a chance of beating it, they would have to act fast. “I took three different types of chemo, all adult doses, from the age of two years and ten months to a little bit past my third birthday,”

Wood said. Though she only relied on chemotherapy for a few months, the adult doses were overwhelmingly harsh on Wood’s body. As a threeyear-old, she only weighed 24 pounds. Without enough muscle mass to carry her own weight, she was confined to a wheelchair and could not eat because of ulcers in her throat, caused by the chemo. “I had taken five rounds of chemo before they actually took the tumor out,” Wood said. When the tumor was removed, it was the size of a Harry Potter book, and although the tumor was

gone, they put Wood back on chemo for another three rounds to fight any remaining cancer. While all of this was going on, Wood's mother was in the same hospital, as she was pregnant with Wood's little brother and her grandmother was in another wing, in a coma from having cancer. “My mother went down to my grandma’s room and sat next to her bed. It was the day before they were going to take her off life support. She went down there and just broke down and said, ‘Megan needs you, you need to wake up.’” Wood said. The next day, her grandma woke up and told Wood’s mom she could hear everything she was saying but couldn’t respond. She said she prayed to God to let her live another two years so she could see her grandson born and her granddaughter beat cancer; Wood's grandmother got her wish and passed away two years and three months later. Now that Wood’s disease is in remission, she is considered to be cancer free. After overcoming all of this, she went on to be an outstanding athlete in high school in Lebanon, Missouri, competing in track and volleyball.

It was at that high school where she began dating Devon Zimdars, during her sophomore year. On February 2 of this year, they got engaged on Missouri Western's campus after a basketball game, where Wood was a Western Mystic dancer. “I knew I was going to get engaged, but I didn’t know when,” Wood said. “I had had a dream like eight days in a row I had gotten engaged, and in one of the dreams, I walked out and all of a sudden, there were tons of people and this sign that said ‘Will you marry me?’. And then that’s what actually happened.” The two plan on waiting until Wood graduates to get married so she can focus on her major in education and eventually go back to the school that her mother has worked at for 19 years to begin teaching there herself. After having her life threatened at such a young age, Wood says that she is grateful for being here and gets up every day wanting to live life to the fullest, and she does. “I participate a lot with Relay for Life. I co-chaired the event as a pre-teen for three years with my mom and chaired it three more years by myself,” Wood said.

Not only has she organized Relay for Life events but she also helps collect shoes for the school her mother works at for kids who cannot afford them. “We developed this thing and it started out with 100 pairs of shoes,” she said.“What we did was during the summer, my mom and I would go to garage sales, picking up lightly worn or brand new shoes and put all the shoes in the gym at her school. We call it ‘The Shoe Shelf’, plain and simple.” Any child who didn’t have tennis shoes could pick up their size there and if they didn’t have it, Wood and her mother would go find it. One may think that all that Wood has gone through may be traumatizing but she says that if she could go back and not have cancer that she wouldn’t because it has made her who she is. The only thing she wishes is for her hair to be as long and glowing blonde as it once was, which is not too much to ask for someone who gives so much.

to their fellow players where they see the runner. However, the one player using the GamePad has a view of the entire map, as well as where everyone is. His job is to run away and not get caught for an extended period of time. What follows is a game all about communication and quick thinking. The four players have to find a way to corner the GamePad user while he runs around the map trying to keep his location a secret. Wii U’s online features are interesting, if not somewhat underutilized at the moment.  You can become friends with virtually anyone, and there are certain games where you can write or draw comments or hints into the game for struggling players. Right now, there aren’t a lot of games that can be played online.  Both Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Assassin’s Creed 3 have online components and are available for the Wii U, but the majority of players would rather experience these games on the Xbox

360 or Playstation 3 because that’s where you’ll find the larger online communities, as of right now. The Wii U is just a few months old, so it will take some time for a large online following to accrue. The features look promising, but Nintendo will have to show us how they can be utilized efficiently with some of its own games. The Wii U is a solid investment for you and your friends.  However, if you’re into more solo-oriented video games, then it’s probably best that you hold off on purchasing Nintendo’s newest console. The Wii U is definitely at its best in a social setting, and if you can’t provide it this, there’s not much to marvel at here.  Still, the clever uses of the GamePad are definitely worth experiencing, regardless of your appreciation for multiplayer games.  If “Nintendoland” is any indication of what Nintendo hopes to achieve with its newest console, the Wii U has a bright future ahead of it.

Social gaming brought to a new extreme Daniel Cobb | Staff Writer

Nintendo struggled to keep up with its competition in the last generation of consoles. Though the Nintendo Wii sold incredibly well and became somewhat of a phenomenon, its low quality graphics, terrible online functionality and focus on motion controls were detrimental to its overall progress in the gaming world.  With consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3 offering stunning HD graphics and phenomenal online capabilities, the Nintendo Wii was at a steep disadvantage when it came to quality.  Developers also found it much easier to produce games for Microsoft and Sony, leaving Nintendo to survive on video game franchises like Donkey Kong and Mario to keep its console afloat. Though financially successful, the Nintendo Wii was a huge disappointment for many gamers. Released on November 18,

2012, The Wii U is Nintendo’s newest console, geared specifically toward social play. It’s also Nintendo’s first HD console, showing off vibrant colors and animations that rival the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.  Unlike the Wii before it, the Wii U is being sold in two versions.  The “Basic” white model, which costs $299.99, comes with limited memory (8 GB), along with all of the necessities for the console.  Meanwhile, the “Deluxe” model carries more memory (32 GB), along with everything in the “Basic” model. The blackcolored “Deluxe” Wii U also comes with a few add-ons like stands and a charging station, as well as “Nintendoland,” a game designed to show off the Wii U’s most enticing feature: the GamePad. The GamePad is Nintendo’s most recent innovation, and arguably the Wii U’s best selling point.  Incorporating features from modern tablets, the GamePad features a large touch pad along with a camera and microphone,

The Nintendo Wii U is a social platform for you and your friends to explore. *Photo courtesy of allowing you to communicate with others online or be shown on the television as you play a game. Of course, it also acts as the primary controller, containing face and trigger buttons along with two analog sticks. The Gamepad is surprisingly light and anything shown on its screen looks very crisp and clear. Yet, it’s the way that Nintendo has incorporated it into video games that makes it so appealing. It’s true that the Wii U is a social platform.  Though it does contain online capa-

bilities, the console is at its best when everyone is in the same room. For example, in a minigame from “Nintendoland” called “Mario Chase,”  five players can play at once. Four players wield Wii remotes, (which must have Wii Motion Plus) while one player uses the GamePad.  The goal for those using the Wii remotes is simple: they must catch the one player that is using the GamePad.  Those using the Wii remotes have a limited view on the television and must communicate

FEATURES Transition | Involvement | Persistence | Success

The Griffon News March 7, 2013

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Black Heritage Ball sets high standards Joyce Stevenson | Staff Writer Take an action, make a change, be an example, this was the advice given in speeches delivered as part of the 2nd annual Black Heritage Ball Wednesday evening Feb. 27 held in Blum. Nearly 70 students attended the formal event. Some performed the Waltz and the Cha Cha, others delivered moving speeches, and others gave stirring vocal performances. A scholarship was awarded to the best speechwriter. A dinner was catered and enjoyed by the students and special guests, Dr. Robert Vartabedian, Dr. Judy Grimes and Manerva Torres. Hosted by the Black Student Union in celebration of Black Heritage Month the theme was to carry out Martin Luther King, Jr’s vision. Rodney Roberts, MWSU Black Men’s Association founder and co-host, gave a speech encouraging students to lead their peers in exemplary action and language. He asked that they show respect towards each other and all students by helping to set the example. “Be the example, not the majority.” Roberts said, “Do you want to see change?”

Brianna Watkins was the winner of this year’s scholarship based on her speech citing the power of education. With several references to King, Watkins encouraged the crowd to continue their education and set the example for their generation. “Human progress requires education.” Watkins said. Freshman Jordon Fitzgerald co-hosted the event. With a major in accounting, Fitzgerald is helping to set the example stated by Watkins. He is involved in many organizations on campus in addition to BSU. “The Ball is held to acknowledge students and their goals.” Fitzgerald said, “I recommend students get involved in activities early in their college career.” Miss Black Student Union Kenya Miller’s speech focused on why she chose to run for the position. “I saw my generation not doing anything on campus and I thought about transferring schools,” Miller said, “we are a generation of people addicted to twitter and partying.” Instead, she got involved with the Black Student Union. Her goal is to empower and guide young women. She helped form the Society of Distinguished

Black Women (SDBW). They are dedicated to helping campus women and doing community volunteer work. “We are only as strong as our weakest link.” Miller said in her closing remark, citing a popular proverb. Tobius Pointer, president of BSU challenged students to do better as a culture. He encouraged them to break down stereotypes. “We can do better brothers and sisters,” Pointer said, “not only as African Americans but as a community.” He encouraged students to make a change. “Please remember these four words: transition, involvement, persistence, and success.” Pointer said. BSU recognized Manerva Torres and presented her with roses. “You help us get through problems,” Pointer said, “when sometimes it seems no one else cares.” Leah Hayes, senior, was also recognized by Pointer and Roberts for her unending dedication to BSU. “Without you we wouldn’t be here, you are an unparalleled asset to this campus.” Pointer said, “you have touched everyone in this room for the betterment of all students.”

Elie Moore and Brehanah Watkins dance the night away during the the Black Heritage Ball celebration. Joyce Stevenson | Staff Photographer

English alumni take on the real world Former students recall Western’s impact on their lives Jourdan Ryan | Features Editor We all know about the four year degrees, the stresses of college life, and the constant anticipation of graduation. What we don't hear enough about is what happens after college, after the graduation party is over and real life begins. For three English alumni students, their journeys into the professional career world are underway, and it's Western and its professors that gave them the tools to get there. For Mercedes Lucero, who graduated in May of 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English literature and a minor in creative writing, her background at Western definitely prepared her for her new life in Evanston, Illinois, a college town not far from Chicago. Lucero is currently a graduate student at Northwestern University, where she is in their Master's of Fine Arts program on the fiction track. Her roots at Western are what made her the motivated graduate student she is today. "Bill Church and Dana Andrews really had the greatest impact on me during my time at Western," Mercedes Lucero said. "At the time, I was really unsure of which direction academically I wanted to go. These teachers really reached out to me and genuinely cared about my success as a student. I feel like they believed in me before I really believed in myself." In her free time, she makes a little money on the side by working as a private tutor in the Chicago community. The tutoring company that she works for is called Nurturing Wisdom. Lucero works there part-time. She did a Skype interview with the com-

pany the summer before she moved to the Chicago area and was given the job, which she found through Northwestern's career website. The job was a definite bonus, especially since her new school is much bigger and much more expensive per year than Western. "I definitely miss the familiar faces at Missouri Western," Lucero said. "I miss the small community of the English department and being able to drop by a professors office with ease. Now, I attend a much larger school where it's not always easy to schedule time with professors or find a familiar face on campus." Another alumni student who is using his Western education to pursue his dreams is Levi Smock. Smock graduated from Western in 2010 with a literature degree and a minor in video production. He is currently a graduate student at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, California and he is pursuing a career in screenwriting and filmmaking. "Living in LA is expensive. For a young filmmaker, living in LA is simultaneously overwhelming and exciting," Smock said. "You have all of this access to talented people, equipment, anything seems possible. At the same time, it's a very competitive place." Currently, Smock is filming his twelfth short film. He has produced all of his short films over the course of the last three years. Simultaneously, he is developing and beginning to work shop a number of feature-length scripts he is working on. For Smock, it was his professors at Western and his drive to succeed that gave him the confidence to move to LA and get moving on his goals. "I have a great support

system at Western. It's really nice to have people who root for you and wish you well," Smock said. "So many professors at Western really supported me. Patricia Donaher was my adviser and was there for me, no matter what I needed. Kelly Wittenberg pushed me to look outside of my comfort zone for success in the world. Bill Church is a real mentor and friend. Dana Andrews continues to dispense advise and guidance. Stacia Bensyl helped change the way I analyze media and text. Don Lilie, I could go on and on." The English department professors at Western also made a lasting impact on English alumni student Brett Kiser. Kiser graduated in December 0f 2010 with a degree in English Literature.

"The professors that helped me the most were Dana Andrews and Bill Church. They always seemed genuinely eager to assist their students. However, the professor that had the greatest impact on me was my adviser Dr. Ian Roberts. His classes were always the most intellectually stimulating, and under his tutelage, I developed an interest for writing critical essays." Kiser tries to find the time to write when he can, though after he graduated, he had to focus on something other than his own pursuits. His grandfather became unable to run the family farm alongside Kiser's father, so he had to step in and "take to the trade of tractors," he said. For Kiser, who says his a "pursuit of leisure," he

doesn't have a lot of time to get lost in his dreams. Instead, he takes a more realistic approach, knowing that even though farming is his priority right now, he can still chisel out some time to do what he loves, write. He has published a few freelance works. His most notable work was published last spring. It is a baseball reference volume titled "Baseball's War Roster." "Farming is my primary occupation, however, I have earned a small income via freelance writing," Kiser said. "As a freelance writer, my time at Western removed some of the rough edges I had on my writing. Whether we care to admit it or not, we all, as writers, have room for improvement and much of the improvement I received

came in the classrooms at Western." Ultimately, Western was a launching pad for each of these creative writing alumni students to succeed, in whatever form that may be. Their stories are different, but the lessons they learned are somewhat synonymous. They learned that life beyond Western isn't without its struggles, that making time to write is crucial, and that pushing full force into their futures can be scary, but that in the end, it's worth it. "I think that being a writer requires growth, that if you're writing, you're growing," Lucero said. "I think that you are never the same writer as you are today, that you were yesterday, or will be tomorrow."

Bill Church discusses the Mochila Review, Western’s annual literary journal, with the students in his class. Tevin Harris | Photo Editor


The Griffon News March 7, 2013

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Editorial: What do they actually protect and serve? VOICE

It’s pretty safe to say that we are not 100 percent confident in our school’s police staff and that is quite sad. It’s not that students don’t want to trust police officers - especially the ones that ensure that the campus we attend is safe. It’s simply because there are too many problems and too many difficulties that make us weary. We have all heard the stories of our peers getting arrested, being kicked out of a building or having a police officer invade their personal space. Every single time, we must automatically assume that the police officer is right. Unfortunately, we never hear the students’ side. There are some big problems with our campus police and it goes well beyond what any student did or was accused of. All we can say is that they write tickets, drive around our campus and park next to one another to

chat for long periods of time. But, there is one thing that the officers do amazinglygive students the runaround. First, the campus police don’t utilize their security cameras. There are cameras in some of our buildings to ensure safety and, in essence, reduce crime. Yet, the cameras aren’t being fully utilized. Students that would need the footage to prove a theft or a specific problem would often get the run-around and end up spending so much time talking to one person that directs them to another person that they would grow frustrated and forget about the problem. Second, they don’t frequently update the campus crime log. The campus crime log that is supposed to be updated daily was neglected for almost a month. So those proactive students that want to remain safe are left in the dark about the crimes that

occur on campus. This is completely inconsiderate to the students. Another problem is that we never hear from them. Simple things, such as informing students about the panic buttons on campus or the proper thing to do when being robbed, are not being being done. Though we do have self-defense programs such as Green Dot, and Western Activities Council and the Center for Student Engagement have done a great job in hosting events that discuss student safety, the funny thing is that these events are never held by officers nor do the officers ever vocally contribute to them. Discussing student safety shouldn’t have to be WAC or CSE’s responsibility. It should be done by the police officers. They are police officers, not standing security guards that don’t move unless they specifically

If money was no object, what would you do for spring break?





Jerrica Brown Senior

Done! Now all I need to do is wait for St. Joe P.D.! Joe Snapp | Graphics Editor

have to. It’s time they start acting like it. After tragic events took place at places like Sandy Hook, Columbine and Virginia Tech, it is more important than ever to make

sure our campus is safe. It’s time we stop discussing small incidents and look at the big picture. What do our police officers do? Do they really protect and serve or do they just look the part?

SGA candidat e c o l u m n s :

S isco address es critical issues My name is Katy Sisco and I am from a small town in Nebraska. I have lived on Missouri Western’s campus for three years. Throughout those three years, I have made friendships that helped me develop into the strong individual I am today. I am running for president to make a positive difference for the students of this university. I want to see students, and the university, reach their full potential. I will address critical issues including: maximizing student engagement to ensure students receive the most beneficial experience at MWSU, informing the student body about the student success act, and branding the SGA name. As president, ensuring the money SGA allots to student organizations is being used in the most beneficial way is paramount. This includes money being properly budgeted and allocated by the organizations. Programs that organizations hold should reflect their outlined objectives. Many students may ask, what is the student success act? The student success act is funded by the student body of MWSU to support the university, in the light of the expected budget cut. However, the expected budget cut never came to fruition, yet, the act is still active. The money from the fee will still go to the expected departments outlined in the act. I support the student success act in the spirit that it will go

Katy Sisco

*Submitted photo

towards improvements and other university needs. During my last three years as a resident, it has come to my attention that many students do not fully understand SGA’s function and its relationship to WAC. I want to see WAC become well known to the students as the programming entity of SGA. Promoting the function of WAC will help with the division of branding SGA as its entity. Issues critical to the students are not limited to those which are publicly apparent, but include the private concerns of every student. I am passionate about the success of this university and I know that successful students are part of a successful university. So, in turn, I am determined to make sure that the student body gets the most out of their college experience at MWSU through the means of SGA.

Rosenauer targets communication

Mary Beth Rosenauer, Bachelor of Music Education, Hometown: Savannah, MO, Student Senator, Campus Advancement Committee Chair, Founder of Western Appeal: MWSU a cappella group Sigma Alpha Iota Treasurer, National Association for Music Educators Treasurer, Missouri Girls State Counselor, St. Joseph Youth Alliance Board Member, Starbucks Barista When you announce your candidacy for SGA president, people ask one of two questions. The first is one of concern: “Are you crazy?” The second is one of curiosity: “What’s your platform?” My answer to the first: Yes, of course, but one has to be a little crazy to do this. And the second? Allow me to explain. For the past four semesters, I have served as a student senator under two SGA presidents, first Alison Norris and now Jacob Scott. My Monday nights have consisted of weekly senate meetings where I’ve discovered the right way to pass legislation, the “could’ve been better” way, and all the headaches, office hours, late nights and nasty articles in between. Every year, we seek bigger, better and more, as university students should. Sometimes, though, the good intentions of student leaders are not so widely accepted. This causes one to wonder what could have been done more effectively. My answer: better communication. Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once claimed, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” This is a concept that per-

The Griffon News Staff Katelyn Canon Joe Snapp Matthew Hunt Albert Shelby Tevin Harris Gilbert Imbiri Kyle Inman Christian Mengel Jourdan Ryan Andy Garrison Brian Duskey Lauren Dillon Hanna Greenwell Mika Cummins Dave Hon Bob Bergland

Eboni Lacey Editor-in-Chief

Managing Editor Graphics Editor News & Online Editor Assistant News Editor Photo Editor Assistant Photo Editor Sports Editor Assistant Sports Editor Features Editor Opinions Editor Multimedia Editor Design Artist Design Artist Ad Manager Senior Editor Faculty Advisor

tains all too well to Griffon Country. All of us have questions about the appropriate use of student fees. Too much is collected that offers too little benefit for students. And that’s the result of poor communication between campus administrators and the SGA executive board. The root of our problems boils down to this: Student leaders aren’t communicating with those they represent. As a current representative of the student voice, it has become my mission to question the effectiveness of SGA and how it could improve. Leaders often assume students will come to them with their interests and needs even though many students aren’t even aware of the ways SGA can assist them. As a result, MonTerio Seewood, vice-chair of campus advancement, and I are currently working to pass legislation that would ask each senator to represent specific academic departments. Instead of waiting for students to find us, we want to reach out to them. If elected, I promise to continue that essential need for better communication. Here are a few suggestions. First, the SGA will do a better job announcing its agenda, sharing clear minutes of its meetings and giving students ample opportunities to speak to issues that concern them. Second, the SGA will make effective use of both its website and campus email. The website should highlight important current issues and make it fast and easy for all students to access news and information. Moreover, we should send weekly emails to students informing them and giving them easy ways

Mary Beth Rosenauer *Submitted photo

to respond. Third, we should work more closely with The Griffon News. While it’s their job to report the news, it’s our job to make it readily available and to work with them to connect to students. Finally, of all the things we must communicate better, among the most important is the SGA budget. Our current budget is online. More than $400,000, but I challenge you to clearly determine exactly where your money goes. And don’t get me started with the Student Success Fee. There are still numerous questions from students concerning what those funds are being used for. We must not only make clear where the money is going but also give students more input into where it should go. As SGA president, my mission would be to keep students better informed of the ever-changing issues on our campus. More importantly, I would find ways for Missouri Western students to inform me. Communication in my administration will be two-way.

“Oh my God, I would go to Paris!”

Taylor McDaniel Freshman

“I think I would go on a tour of South America.”

Taylor Mathias Freshman

“I would go to Disney Land and meet Eeyore.”

Matt Ausberger Senior

“Not a damn thing!”

The Griffon News is written and published by students of Missouri Western State University during the fall and spring semesters. The first copy of each issue is free; additional copies are 50 cents. Content of this paper is developed independently of the faculty and administration, or other campus organizations or offices. Readers are encouraged to submit story ideas, information and advertising to The Griffon News office, Eder 221, 4525 Downs Drive, St. Joseph, Mo. 64507, or by phoning (816) 271-4412 (advertising and news room). You may also e-mail Copy and advertising must be received by noon Friday, the week prior to publication. Guidelines for letters to the editor: • All letters to the editor must be typed and double spaced. Letters must be no longer than 350-400 words and guest columns no longer than 500 words. Letters and columns will be edited for style. • All letters must include signature and identity verification information, such as phone number. The Griffon News reserves the right to edit all letters for length and Associated Press style. • The Griffon News will not withhold names under any circumstances. Anonymously submitted letters will not be published. • Views expressed on the opinion pages are not necessarily those of The Griffon News staff or Missouri Western State University.


The Griffon News March 7, 2013

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Griffon men send Smith out with a win Kyle Inman | Sports Editor

The Griffon men came together to send coach Tom Smith out with a 72-58 win over Southwest Baptist as he patrolled the sidelines for the last time at the MWSU Fieldhouse after 25 years of calling the building home. “I was really relieved and it felt petty good,” Smith said. “I just felt like I was in the dentist chair all game. I thought we had some pretty good possessions at the end and it was good to win this last game. I tried to tell myself it didn’t mean anything, but it does.” The win also guaranteed Smith would get to coach at least one more game as it clinched the final seed in the 12-team MIAA postseason tournament. Western improved to 10-16 overall and 6-12 in conference play. Fans stayed in their seats after the game to pay tribute to Smith as he took the mic and thanked everybody in an emotional moment. A large group of ex-players made the trip to Saint Joseph to celebrate with their coach. “The teary eyed stuff isnt because I’m leaving necessarily, but from seeing all of the players here,” Smith said. “It means a lot because we are talking about kids who don’t have a lot of money and everything else.” The Griffons have played at a higher level on the road than at home this season, with a 1-6 record coming into the game. Smith stressed to his team before the game to ignore all the hoopla and celebration of his career and focus on the outcome of the game. “He wanted us to come out here and just play,” guard Kalvin Balque said. “Amongst all the stuff that was going on today, he just wanted us to come out and get the win. If we would have lost, it would have hurt him.” The Griffons wasted no time taking control of the game as they were up 22-11 after a Balque dunk, one of

three on the afternoon. Western went into halftime with a 33-19 lead. Southwest Baptist was able to close the gap after some cold shooting from the Griffons, and cut it to 47-42 with five minutes to play. The Griffons got their focus back and made some big plays down the stretch to pull away for the win including two highlight-reel worthy alley-oops flushed home by Balque. “I get real amped after catching the oop and it gets the crowd and my teammates into it,” Balque said. “I know I can go get it and dunk it, so that’s what I do. Coaches want me to show off my athleticism.” Cedric Clinkscales posted a double-double for the Griffons with a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds. Clinkscales was named an honorable mention on the MIAA all-conference team. “Again, it’s my team-

mates,” Clinkscales said. “Once they seen that I was scoring then they kept getting it to me. Baptist wasn’t playing me as aggersiive as some of the other teams in the conference has. They were on their heels.” Balque added 17 points off the bench on 7-for-9 shooting and stole the ball two times. The game was also the last home game for seniors Alex Tuluka-Mfumupembe, Dylan Frantz. Both seniors made some strong hustle plays on the offensive glass and impacted the game on their final night at the Fieldhouse after spending two years in a Griffon uniform. “We always felt like we were the team that could beat other teams in this league,” Clinkscales said. “It just wasn’t happeneing for us, but now we need to seize this momentum going into the tournament.”

(Top left) Head basketball coach Tom Smith waves to the crowd before his final game in his last season before his retirement. (Top Right) Kalvin Blaque slams the ball in the hoop as the Griffons defeated Southwest Baptist University. (Above) Seniors Dylan Frantz and Alex TulukaMfumupembe pose with their departing gifts on senior night. Gilbert Imbiri | Asst. Photo Editor

Tevin Harris | Photo Editor

Women turn up defense on senior night Gary Smith | Staff Writer On an emotional night, Griffon seniors won their final home game against Southwest Baptist 71-64. “I’m glad our seniors could go out on a good note,” coach Rob Edmisson said. “Our kids played with a lot of intensity and every one of our seniors did something special tonight.” Western had five seniors playing their last regular season game: KC Clouser, Alicia Bell, Heather Howard,

Brittany Griswold and Kallie Schoonover. With the win, Western was able to finish the season 15-11 overall and 8-10 in MIAA play. Heather Howard got a double-double, she has 13 on the season. Every time the Bearcats inched close in an overall tight game, the Griffons had an answer. In the first half, the Griffons were trading baskets with the Bearcats until the 12:58 mark, when Western went on a 7-0 run after the game was tied 7-7. After that run, the closest the Bearcats

got was two points, but the Griffons never lost the lead. “Our kids showed some toughness and our speed led us to force turnovers,” Edmisson said. Going into halftime, the Griffons forced the Bearcats to 13 turnovers and held a lead over the Bearcats 32-26. After an Alicia Bell layup and a Sharniece Lewis 3-pointer, the Griffons jumped out to a double-digit lead over the Bearcats, 37-26. Southwest Baptist took their first lead of the second half after a made 3-pointer,

but the Griffons responded right back with their own 3 from Heather Howard, making the score 48-47 Griffons. The Griffons pulled away, going on a 7-0 run, making it 55-47. The Griffons didn’t look back the rest of the game and outscored the Bearcats in the second half, 39-38. Western never let the Bearcats’ offense get comfortable, forcing 20 turnovers throughout the night. Sharniece Lewis came off the bench and went 4-for-6 from the 3-point line, scor-

ing 12 of Western’s 34 bench points. Heather Howard had 14 points and 13 rebounds. Alicia Bell added 8 points and five rebounds. “I don’t know if it has sunk it yet and I love all these girls; this is my home. Having my whole family be able to be here, it feels really good,” Bell said. “We all knew we had to get this win when we are getting down to the nitty gritty.” Missouri Western was able to convert on 22-for-30 from the free-throw line, which was more than double what

the Bearcats made the entire night. Brittany Griswold added six points and fellow senior KC Clouser was able to add three points and three rebounds. Kallie Schoonover added six points and two rebounds. “Tonight was pretty emotional and of all the gyms to choose from, I wouldn’t chosen anything else than Looney Arena,” Schoonover said. “Everyone came out and did their part and contributed.”


The Griffon News

Page 8

March 7, 2013

Griffons downed in first round of MIAA tournament

Kyle Inman | Sports Editor

No. 12-seed Western men’s basketball was blown out in the first round of the MIAA post-season tournament 6646 by No. 5-seed rival Northwest Missouri State University. The loss ended the season for the Griffons, who finished with a record of 10-17. It also sent coach Tom Smith into retirement after 25 years at Western and 38 years total coaching basketball. The Bearcats came out hot right from the opening tip, getting out to a 8-0 lead. The Griffons tried to fight back, but everything was falling for Northwest as it extended the lead out to 25-6. “It’s incredibly hard to come back,” Jordan Yurth said. “You really have to come together as a team -- Griffon men look concerned as even when you do that -- it’s season. still hard to come back. We really weren’t hitting shots out hot once again to start like we were supposed.” the second half. The Bearcats The Griffons went into the pushed the lead out to an inhalftime break down 35-14. surmountable 41-14. Northwest guard Alex SulWestern never gave up and livan outscored the Griffons continued to battle, going on by himself in the first half a 9-0 run to make the score 18-14. 40-23. However, that was Western was forced to the closest the Griffons got to abandoned their zone de- the Bearcats in this one-sided fense in the second half, but affair. it was Northwest who came “It was tough to come back

Northwest remained in the lead the entire game in the first round of the MIAA playoffs. The men lost 66-46, which ended their Gilbert Imbiri | Asst. Photo Editor

from how they were shooting in the first half,” Dylan Frantz said. “It felt like they had all the confidence and momentum in the world every time they shot it. They were on our throats from the beginning and it was tough.” The Griffons shot just 4-for-20 from 3-point distance while the Bearcats hit a scorching 15-for-29. Western

Beware of the bear: Christian Mengel | Asst. Sports Editor

turned the ball over 13 times to Northwest’s six. Cedric Clinkscales and Reed Mells were the only players to score in doublefigures for the Griffons with 10 points each. Dzenan Mrkaljevic added six points and four rebounds, but couldn’t connect on either of his attempts from distance. The Bearcats were led by

Sullivan who scored 27 points on 8-for-16 from 3-point distance and DeAngelo Hailey who went for 21 points and six rebounds including 5-for7 from distance. Northwest shot 44 percent for the game and 51.7 percent from 3-point range. An obnoxious Northwest crowd of over 2,000 people played a factor in helping the

Bearcats sustain momentum and worked to disrupt the Griffons. “Just when they are making shots, they feel the momentum,” Frantz said. “If we would have made some shots, it would have quieted them down, but it didn’t happen tonight.”

Senior strives for excellence on the court, enjoys being a mother off the court

Some people may argue that the best leaders are people who don’t have to say anything in order to make an impact. In Missouri Western’s case, one basketball player in particular has done exactly that her whole career. Senior guard Alicia Bell first developed a hungerdriven work ethic when she started playing basketball in fourth grade, in order to impress her father. “I didn’t have a close relationship with my dad growing up,” Bell said. “I thought it would be something to get him to really notice me, and have something for us to share.” Bell isn’t the first athlete in her family to play at Western. She followed the path of her two uncles who both played basketball. Her aunt was even on the volleyball team.

Bell was considered the team baby when she was always hanging around the team in the locker room and around campus while her aunt was playing. It wasn’t long after that, when her uncle taught her how to do a crossover. That crossover ended up being what propelled her basketball career. “I was picked up for an

ATHLETE of the WEEK Sharniece Lewis #23 - Forward 23

Sharniece Lewis scored 12 points in the Griffons 71-64 win over Southwest Baptist. All her attempts came from 3-point distance as she shot 4-for-6 from deep in just 22 minutes of action. Lewis leads the Griffons in 3-pointers made with an average of two per game. Lewis is averaging 7.2 points and 2.8 rebounds per game in 17.6 minutes of action.


Andy Inman and Chad Hammontree | Design Artist and Graphics Editor Andy Inman and Chad Hammontree | Design Artist and Graphics Editorr

AAU team, which is the most competitive basketball for girls,” Bell said. “I would go away on tournaments literally every weekend. I would go to places like Florida, Louisiana, Texas and other places. Once I went to those tournaments and saw how well I stood against the competition around the country, I really started taking basketball seriously.” When it was time to play at the collegiate level, she decided to venture away from her home town of St. Joseph, Mo. and attend Northwest Missouri State University. Although she liked the whole situation there, it would be an injury that would make her transfer to Missouri Western. “After tearing my ACL at Northwest and not getting to play, I just went through something that athletes go through when they get hurt,” Bell said. “I just felt lost and wanted to be home. I went to Northwest to play basketball and I wasn’t playing because of my season-ending injury.” Tearing her right ACL at Northwest was her second season ending injury, after tearing her left ACL just two seasons before. Those two injuries combined didn’t compare to the pain she had when she gave birth to her daughter, Kamiyah. Returning home may have been the only thing that could have made being an athlete, student and mother at the same time possible. With what Bell had to go through, she was forced to take off three years of bas-

(Left) Bell’s daughter Kamiyah smiles for the camera. *Submitted Photo (Right) Alicia Bell drives the ball to the hoop against Washburn University. Tevin Harris | Photo Editor

ketball, which is enough to make most people quit. Senior teammate Kallie Schoonover believes it’s Bell’s heart and intense work ethic that is incomparable to others and inspires her team to sacrifice everything they have on the court in order to succeed. “She definitely sets the tone for everyone and is a difference maker,” Schoonover said. “She leads by example and sometimes it’s like, ‘Wow, she has been through so much and still plays with that much heart.’ Everyone should play that hard. She plays with more heart than any teammate could ever find or ask for.” Schoonover isn’t the only one who sees what a special person Alicia Bell is. Western’s coach Rob Edmisson believes that athletes with that much heart are irreplaceable. “She’s just such a hard working, dependable person,” Edmisson said. “She’s all about her team, and not about individual accolades. She’s had so much adversity in her collegiate career with raising a child, going to

school full-time, playing basketball and injuries. It’s just a testament to her toughness and her character.” After a long, tough collegiate career, Bell finally found what fighting through all the pain would mean for her future. “I have been a basketball player since fourth grade. That’s what I identified with, that’s who I was and I know it’s what people think about when they think of me,” Bell said. “Now I am a mother. I’ll put my shoes up and use all that I have in me to be the best mom I can be for my daughter. That’s my number one priority. I love basketball and it will always be a part of my life and it made me who I am today. The last six years have been a struggle, but I know after going through everything it has prepared me to be Kamiyah’s mom.”

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Griffon News Issue 18  

The Griffon News is the university newspaper ran by student editors at Missouri Western State University