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New artwork unveiled in Remington Hall by wellknown sculptor.

Western couple creates their own fairy tale on stage.

Junior gaines success as the only men’s basketball player on Dean’s List.

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Vol 95 | Issue 17

Storm closes campus Tuesday afternoon

Despite weather concerns,Western held classes Friday

Eboni Lacey | Editor-in-Chief Missouri Western made questionable calls while handling two severe snow storms that occurred on Thursday, Feb. 21 and Tuesday, Feb. 26. Due to Thursday’s storm, nearly every university in the Midwest region was closed on Friday except for Western including Northwest Missouri State University, Highland Community College as well as the St. Joseph school district. Throughout Monday, Feb. 25, another storm was predicted to hit the area from mid-afternoon Monday to Tuesday morning. According to Channel 9 News, there were 302 KC Metro area closings of businesses and schools on Tuesday morning.  However, Western held classes until 11 a.m. and then decided to close campus. “It’s always a judgment call and sometimes we hit it real good; sometimes not so good,” Director of Facilities Lonnie Johnson said. “Hindsight tells us we might have been better to shut it down because our men were out in this all day. They just kept going over and over and over the same places trying to keep it cleaned off and its wearing them down to nothing.” Johnson makes the final suggestion to administration on whether to cancel classes. He explained that his usual parameters are to call the storm center for traffic updates, as  well as contact the city street removal and the

A barricade blocked off North entrance on campus Friday after snow storm. state police for road conditions. Johnson must make his final decision at the cut off time at 5:45 a.m. “There’s a lot of factors and one of the big factors is what we decided we can do with our limited staff and our limited equipment,” Johnson said. “We’re fighting nature here and sometimes we can get on top of it

and stay ahead of it and do pretty good but sometimes it overwhelms us and we just have to stop and say ‘okay, get everybody out of here so we can get this place cleaned up.” Assistant Director of Public Relations and Marketing Kent Heier manages Western’s school closing announcements on Western’s

home page and Facebook. Heier noted that if campus stays open, students have the ability to use their own judgment of whether they can make it to and from campus safely. “Its not an exact science,” Heier said about campus closing decisions. “Our folks, our administration, tries to make to best decision they

Tevin Harris | Photo Editor can with the information that they have at the time and we hope we get it right more often than we get it wrong, but the bottom line is that our students are adults as well and they have some responsibility to make decisions in their best interest.”


Harlem Shake hits Western JQ Dever | Staff Writer

Missouri Western students found a way to shake things up a bit here on campus. Missouri Western student Cody Beyers decided to get as many students as he could to produce a Harlem Shake video after he heard about how popular it was. The Harlem Shake dance is a popular style of hiphop dancing. The Harlem Shake has taken over YouTube, with videos ranging from local church groups to

an underwater shoot of a synchronized swim team. Thanks to the video going viral, people everywhere are grabbing a ridiculous prop, looping their hands around a video camera, and doing the Harlem Shake. Once Beyers saw how popular the Harlem Shake was, he immediately got students together to start working on the video.

Matthew Hunt

Missouri Western may soon be making up to $1 million in maintenance and equipment upgrades, pending an upcoming Board of Governors vote to loosen the purse strings on a reserves budget that has grown significantly in recent years. With input from faculty, staff and administrators, President Robert Vartabedian has compiled a list of potential upgrades and maintenance that he will be sharing with the board. The board has a range it’s willing to spend on these items and agreed on one-time expenditures that won’t need funding each year. President Robert Vartabedian is reviewing the entire list for upgrades to Western’s campus before relaying his plan before the Board of Governors. The Board has a range they’re willing to spend on these items and agreed on one-time expenditures that won’t need funding each year. Vartabedian would like to see the Board willing to open the operating and auxiliary budgets between $800,000 to $1 million. He said that taking out over a million dollars out of the reserves would make him and the board uncomfortable considering the past funding problems that Missouri Western has faced with the state. The Reserves has over $8.3 million and Vartabedian would like to see a total of $800,000 taken out of the operating budget and $200,000 taken out of the auxiliary budget for the expenditures to the campus. “This is a first time in a long time that we could do something like this,” Vartabedian said. “We’re confident that the financial free-fall that we experienced is over and we can look forward to making progress to our university.”

Deferred Maintenance  Budget

1. $1 million to $800,000 

SEE HARLEM PAGE 4 Western students get down and create their own version of the Harlem Shake video. To see full video, search Harlem Shake Missouri Western on *Submitted

Albert Shelby | Asst. News Editor

Katherine Sisco SGA Presidential Candidate

BOG Looks to open $1 million in reserves

Board of  Governorʼs:

New SGA candidates announce candidacy

Mary Beth Rosenauer SGA Presidential Candidate

February 28, 2013

March is in sight and so are the elections at Missouri Western. Students have submitted their applications for different positions in hopes of becoming Student Government Association president or vice president. The Western Activities Council president and vice president will also be chosen, as well as student senators.

Katherine Sisco will be running for president of SGA, while Dillon Williams is teaming up with her as her potential vice president. Sisco and Williams will be running against Mary Beth Rosenauer, a president hopeful, and Derek Thompson, who will be running with Rosenauer as her vice president. Anthony Dougherty is running for WAC vice president and Brooke Witthaus is the candidate for vice chair. Morgan Lindgren, director

of student relations, will be conducting the election process, as well as other activities, including the debate. “As the director of student relations, I am also considered the elections commissioner,” Lindgren said. “I helped get the applications prepared and available for students. I am working on putting the names online as well.”


      in maintenance and         equipment upgrades

2. $334,000 in deferred       maintenance to  the campus

3. $120,000 in computers        for the engineering &        technology program

4. $100,000 in Degree         Works


$100,000 to bring in        consultants to create a facilities master plan



Foreign Film Series: ‘My afternoons with Margaritte’ The MWSU English, Foreign Language and Journalism will offer students on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 6:30p.m. the opportunity to view a French movie with English subtitles. The event is located in Hearnes Center 102 and its free for the entire campus.

‘Extreme Planets’ Planetarium Show

For centuries, humanity has wondered whether we are alone in the Universe. Now, we are finally one step closer to knowing the answer. With the discovery in 1995 of the first planet orbiting another star, we now know that planets are not unique to our own Solar System. The Planetarium will be held on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 7:00p.m. and it will be held in Agenstein Hall 147.

International Lecture Series: International Student Services and the Division of Student Affairs invite you to attend the lecture on Indonesia. It will be presented by Gilbert Imbiri, an exchange student from Indonesia. The event is free and open to the public. Please join us. On March 5, Campus Dining Services will prepare Indonesian Sate (a traditional Indonesian dish with meat marinated in a soy sauce mixture and grilled on skewers). A tasting will be offered as part of the regular lunch service in the Dining Hall from 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM. The event will take place in Blum Union 223.

The Griffon News February 28, 2013


Western chooses not to close campus twice WEATHER CONTINUED FROM FRONT Though Tuesday’s storm caused many student concerns, Thursday’s storm and the campus decision to reopen on Friday, Feb. 22 was also a concern. Keven L. Schneider, assistant superintendent of streets and water protection line maintenance, said that Thursday’s storm was extremely severe with several inches of snow. One of the main problems was that the there was more snow that came later on Thursday evening around 8:30 p.m. “You can’t really stop it even if you know what’s going on,” Schneider said about the additional snow. “All you can do is deal with it from a treatment sense. We just reacted to it. (Thursday) everything was looking like it was going to be alright and that snow just kind of kicked everybody in the rear.” Western’s location is a major factor regarding weather because the campus is located between two emergency routes, Faraon and Mitchell streets. Though emergency routes are always cleaned first, Schneider explained that the routes had to be recleaned due to Thursday evenings snowfall. Western is also a commuter campus and many students get to campus from I-29. On Friday, I-29 was also in bad shape due to a semitrailer that was blocking the highway. “We were contacted by the highway patrol that there was an accident,” Marsha Johnson, MoDot Northwest Distrct customer service representative said. “They asked us for traffic control. We have message boards along the interstate and because the semi was initially blocking both south bound lanes. We wanted to alert motors so that they could get off and get back to their destination

as quickly as possible.” On Friday, the north entrance on to campus from Faraon Street was closed around 9:30 a.m. and lasted for about an hour. Students were forced to drive to Mitchell to access the south entrance. Johnson noted that closing that entrance was just another measure to ensure safety. At 9:44 a.m. Missouri Department of Transportation’s interactive highway map indicated that all the highways in northwest Missouri were covered with snow. As more storms continue to hit this region, students are advised to be responsible and make decisions in their best interest whether campus is open or not. For weather updates visit

Vartabedian reviews upgrades RESERVES CONTINUED FROM FRONT

The items that Vartabedian has viewed with his cabinet have been broken down into different categories based on where the most necessary improvements must be made first to ensure the safety of the campus. He said that taking out more than million dollars out of the reserves would make him and the board uncomfortable considering the past funding problems that Missouri Western has faced with the state. Items that will be included in the list presented before the Board of Governors will included $334,000 in deferred maintenance to the campus, $120,000 in computers for the engineering and technology program, $100,000 in Degree Works, a program that would be beneficial for the Registrars office and $100,000 to bring in consultants to create a facilities master plan for Western. “The deferred maintenance

needs to be taken care of right away,” Vartabedian said. “I just don’t want to sit on any longer because it’s just going to get worst.” Student Governor Brian Shewell gathered information from student leaders at the President’s Leadership Conference last month and asked students to rate which items they believe must be taken care of now. He said the main concerns students addressed are the improvements to the student union, parking, and a need for the increasing new food items in the cafeteria. Improvements for Wilson and Potter Hall will be discussed in the next capital campaign Shewell said. “This issue is extremely important to me since I’m the voice of the students,” Shewell said. “I needed the student input on campus to bring the Board of Governors.” The information that Vartabedian and student leaders

will submit to the Board of Governors is not finalized and will need a vote of approval. Kylee Strough, chair of the Board of Governors, said that the board is waiting to hear the President’s cabinet on what the top priorities that the university must take care of immediately. The board is willing to listen but stresses that deferred maintenance is a top issue. “What we need to do is take care of the repair bills on these building and pieces of equipment that may haven’t been maintained as well as they could be,” Strough said. “We need to prioritize things that we can accomplish now and see what we can table for a bit longer.” The Board of Governors will wait for Vartabedian to come forth with the list in detail. There is no time table at this time, but Vartabedian stressed the need to begin work on the buildings that needed improvements for the safety of the students.

Candidates announced CANDIDATES CONTINUED FROM FRONT “Elections will be March 6th and 7th and voting will take place online from the Missouri Western website,” Lindgren said. “The debate will be March 4th at 6:00p.m. in the Enright building, rooms 214/216.” The election will also include 15 candidates, who have filed for student senator positions. The candidates are Taylor Enyeart, Kal Farley, Charles Flemons, Brandon Grieshaber, Daniel Hager, Brandon Hare, Travis Hart, Julie Hodson, Jonathan Hund, Shelbie Kirkendoll, Allie Mayes, Tyler O’Neill, Alexis Rivers, MonTerio Seewood and Jacob Teasley. Travis Hart, student senator, will run for senate for the second time and if elected again, he wants to build new programs for Western and its students. Hart said that he enjoys being on the senate because he knows he is doing what he can to better his school. “I would like to continue to work on various pieces of legislation that I am currently working on now,” Hart said. “I really enjoy serving as a student senator. I work with faculty, staff members and students from all across

campus. It is really humbling to be able to serve and make a difference.” Lindgren said that applications for positions were due on February 15 and candidates did have to meet certain requirements in order to be billed as a candidate. “These are all the people that turned in applications,” Lindgren said. “We sent out emails, we tweeted about it, and we even had posters hanging up around campus, allowing students to be aware of the due date. We tried to get the word out there.” “All of those names will be on the ballot,” Lindgren said. “They had to meet the GPA requirement and they also had to be a full-time student by the time next semester starts.” Lindgren encourages students to get out and vote this year. She noted that full participation from all students on campus is something she is promoting heavily so students are able to have a say on who is being elected. “We hope that all students can vote so their voice can be heard,” Lindgren said. “It would be great if they could come to the debate so they can hear the candidates’ plans and ideas for the upcoming school year.”



Friday, March. 1 “Private Lives” 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 2 “God of Carnage” 7:30 p.m.


Saturday, March. 2 Griffon Women’s Basketball vs Southwest Baptist 1:30 p.m. Griffon Men’s Basketball vs Southwest Baptist 3:30 p.m.

• •

Tuesday, March. 5 Foreign Film Series: ‘My afternoons with Margaritte’ 6:30 p.m. Extreme Planets’ Planetarium Show 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, March. 6 International Lecture Series: Indonesia 1:00 p.m.

Sunday, March. 3 Private Lives” 3:00 p.m.



1. Drug Offense 2. Stealing 3. Trespass

2:12 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9, Scanlon Hall 1:02 a.m., Monday, Feb. 11, Blum Union 10:53 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13, Beshears Hall

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

The Griffon News


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February 28, 2013

Western welcomes unique sculptures

Krista Hague | Staff Writer

Music of Spheres and Evolving Trefoil are currently what students and faculty will be looking at while entering and leaving Remington and Agenstein buildings on campus. On February 25, many celebrated the installation of the newest sculptures here on campus. Music of Spheres is the newest outside sculpture located in front of Agenstein and Remington Hall. The two thousand pound bronze piece of art, adds a new visual and elegant look for the Western campus. Nearly 70 people filled the seats at the dedication of the newest sculptures. Meaning and beauty was admired along with special remarks from the Sculptor Brent Collins, and Collaborator Dr. Carlo Séquin. “I finished the design around Christmas time in 2011, and it was originally supposed to be installed in May of 2012 and it was much harder to design and build,” Séquin. “There all of the difficulties and gravity.” With years of self- education and self-realization, Brent Collins was able to form an art piece that is mathematically and scientifically present. The purpose of installing the two sculptures was that their setting is scientific and mathematically nature. Agenstein and Remington or also known as math and science buildings serve as a great setting for the meaning behind the sculptures. While working on the sculptures, Collins feels as though the process has emerged over a lifetime of events. “It takes geometric coherent and with Carlo’s software we were able to create the objects,” Collins said. Students and faculty filled the balconies last week for the installation of the trefoil knot. The indoor evolving trefoil is disguised as a woven structure on a scale that

Carlos Séquin gives a lecture going in-depth about the art work recently installed in Remington/ Agenstien atrium.

had to be assembled inside the atrium. The triplet of over-under crossings and rotational symmetry not only fills up space but also expresses visual mathematics. Evolving trefoil design was expected to be installed in

May of 2012, but the design was harder to build than expected. Séquin believes that all the gravity made it difficult to build, but the event was a good turnout. “It was a huge success, and it’s amazing to see what a

sculpture can do to space,” Séquin said. Marie Charmaine Banez, student and member of Tri Sigma, admired and praised the new sculpture at the dedication ceremony. She thought the art work that

was created brought something to the campus that students have never seen before. “The event turned out great and the sculptures are something you don’t see every day,” Banez said. Dr. Jason Baker, professor

Evan Roberts | Photo Editor

of Biology, feels as though the Evolving Trefoil sculpture is appropriate for the space inside of the Remington Hall atrium. “It’s an imaginative art, knitted with themes of science and mathematics,” Baker said.

Need for student employees expressed Help Wanted in Career Development Daniel Cobb | Staff Writer Students and faculty are emphasizing the importance of student employment on and off campus. Students across campus are finding that being employed by Missouri Western is definitely worth looking into. “Working on campus is incredibly convenient,” Brendan Welch, english workshop leader said. “If you have some time between classes, it’s nice to make a bit of money while helping other students.” Brandon Grieshaber, a student worker at the registrar’s office, agrees that working on campus is convenient for his often hectic schedule. “What I really enjoy about working on campus is how well they’re able to work around my schedule,” Grieshaber said. “They’re very understanding when it comes to school work and outside activities.” Whether you’re leading a workshop or helping a pro-

fessor set up a lab, there’s definitely no shortage of jobs available to students. “We have all sorts of different jobs on and off campus,” Claire Busby, program assistant for the career development center said. “From office assistants to tutors, the jobs being offered cater to virtually any major.” Missouri Western has also made the process for getting these jobs incredibly easy for students through their website as well as professor recommendations. “The process for getting the job wasn’t very complicated at all,” Grieshaber said. “After submitting my resume and applying for some jobs, I got a call within a week asking for an interview.” CSO: Jobs for Griffons will link students directly to a site where jobs in the community as well as jobs on campus are being tracked. After submitting a resume and having it reviewed, students will be able to start applying for jobs online. The cool thing about this site is that it allows stu-

dents to apply for many different jobs in a short amount of time, Busby said. Some professors are also trying to recommend some jobs to their students. One of my professors actually recommended I become an English workshop leader said Welch. There are also some jobs that require a specific set of credentials from students. “There are entry level jobs for freshman,” Busby said. “But some jobs, like tutoring, require you to be an advanced student in that area.” “I had to turn in some examples of my work and have a professor recommendation, but the whole process was pretty simple,” Welch said. Summer jobs are also available on campus. Students need to be taking at least six credit hours in the summer in order to work on campus, Busby said. Students can access employment options from Missouri Western’s career development page.

Student Employment Facts Student jobs range from workshop  leaders to lab assistants

Jobs are offered on and off campus To recieve alerts on jobs, students can go to Summer jobs are available Students must take at least 6 credit hours to  work on campus

Matthew Hunt | News Editor “Our office is completely empty,” Claire Busby, program assistant for the Career Development said. When entering the Career Development Center at Missouri Western students will notice that the doors are shut and the help is gone. The positions of Deanna Greiner, administrative assistant, Matthew Gregg, student employment coordinator and Donnell Turner, director for Career Development have left their positions over winter break. The vacancy of the two top positions became vacant when Gregg and Turner decided to enhance their own careers and families. Program Assistant Claire Busby said that Gregg had been with the Career Center for the past 5 years and he was looking for a different opportunity outside of Missouri Western. “Gregg received a job in Kansas City with a big bank,” Busby said. “It was a great opportunity that he couldn’t pass up.” Shortly after Gregg left this past December, Turner left his position as the Director. Busby said that Tuner’s family was having a difficult time adjusting considering they were originally from Chicago. She continued to say that their Administrative Assistant left a few weeks ago after receiving a better job offer. “They weren’t really conducive to the small town atmosphere here in St. Joseph,” Busby said. “He searched for a

Donnell Turner Former director for Career Development

Matthew Gregg Former student employment coordinator

job in a more metropolitan area and is now in Boston, so our office is completely empty.” Judith Grimes, associate vice president for Student Affairs, is taking the reins and leading the Career Development Center. Her position as the Assoc. Vice President requires her to look over the department but after the three positions have become vacant, she’s been spending much of her time in Eder 202. “Though it’s challenging,” Grimes said. “I’m thankful that we have some wonderful people helping out in the Career Center until we can find individuals to fill these important positions.” The offices of Director and Student Employment Coordinator will remain empty at this time until the new Vice President for Student Affairs is selected. Grimes said that the Vice President for Student Affairs is an important office to fill quickly so the individual selected for that position can fill these positions soon. The Career Center is still

up and running with the help of Grimes, Busby and Minerva Torres, Non-Traditional Center has stepped up together and are continuing the fairs and events for the spring. Busby who is a Public Relations major believes that with the three individuals gone that she can apply what she’s learned in the classroom to her job. “I kind of have to look at this as an opportunity,” Busby said. “We have two big career fairs and the education exposition this spring.” Minerva Torres has jumped from one position to the next to help out the Career Development Center with internship planning, jobs and other duties. “Minerva has run a health center,” Grimes said. “Torres’s educational background in leading groups makes her a great asset to the office.” The office is still open for students to come in and visit with Torres or Busby regarding internships, jobs or interviews until the positions are filled.

The Griffon News

Western shaking it


CONTINUED FROM FRONT “After I saw how many people were tweeting about it on Twitter, I wanted to see how many students would want to do it before the dance became unpopular,” Beyers said. Once Beyers got the students together, it took them around 30 minutes to get the video the way he wanted it. Once it was edited, it was posted it to social networks online. Western isn’t the only school jumping on this bandwagon. Schools all over the country have joined in on this rapidly-growing trend. The Harlem Shake dance has become very popular in a very short amount of time. The song that accompanies the video that everyone is talking about is by a musical artist called Baauer. It’s an uptempo song that made people all over the country, and at Western, want to get out of their seats and dance. Beyers thought that allowing students to participate in the Harlem Shake would be a great way for students to have fun on campus. “Honestly, I was just glad to see everyone dancing and

FEATURES How Two Disney Ariel in Love Characters Got Engaged Page 4

February 28, 2013

having fun. It’s a way to get people to open up and to get people to actually want to participate in something,” Beyers said. Five Australian teens uploaded the very first Harlem Shake video on February 2. In order for a video to qualify as a Harlem Shake video, it must begin with one person dancing by themselves, with a crowd of people behind them. The crowd is still for the first few seconds and everyone in the video is holding or wearing some sort of prop, like a mask, a feather boa, or another random accessory. The first person dances alone for about 15 seconds. After 15 seconds, the beat drops, and the crowd behind the first dancer starts dancing too, and the last 15 seconds of the video are utter chaos. The whole video lasts only 30 seconds. Missouri Western’s Harlem Shake video featured around 30 students in it. Just like the original video, it started off with just one person dancing, which was Joseph Bridgman. During this sequence, people just walked back and forth, acting as if there was nothing going on. After that, the students behind Bridgman started dancing like crazy.

Jourdan Ryan | Features Editor Brad Davidson and his longtime girlfriend McKenzie Morehead are no strangers to the stage, but in this past weekend’s production of The Little Mermaid, put on by Saint Joseph’s Robidoux Resident Theatre, they both dove into new territory as a couple. Both were given the lead roles in the production, Brad as Eric and McKenzie as Ariel. They were shocked to get to play opposite each other, and even though the workload was intense, they used the opportunity to spend more time together, even if they were doing it in front of the crowd each night at the Missouri Theater. “During the first month of rehearsals, we were able to spend a lot more time than usual together to rehearse scenes and work on dance routines, but the second month was different than that. We both had little time to dedicate to practicing outside of rehearsals and our jobs, so the only times that we saw each other were during our scenes together on stage,” junior Davidson said. “Any quality time together that we might have been yearning for would just have to be shared with everyone else in the audience as well.” For McKenzie, who was cast as Ariel, getting to portray one of her favorite Disney princesses was exhilarat-

ing. It was Ariel’s spunk and sense of adventure that she was drawn to, so she jumped at the opportunity to bring her to life on stage. The only Broadway role McKenzie has ever truly desired is the very role she was given in this show. She

Brad Davidson proposes to his girlfriend McKenzie Morehead onstage during the curtain call of the last performance of The Little Mermaid on Feb 24. Both had lead roles in the production. *Photo courtesy of KQ2

decided to audition before her boyfriend did, and all it took for him to change his mind was one simple text. “I texted Brad with, ‘Would you be okay with me kissing another man in nothing but seashells onstage?’ Needless to say, he showed up to auditions,” Morehead said. Davidson, with a little boost from his girlfriend’s text, auditioned for the role of Eric. He said that he was raised on classics like “The Little Mermaid” and “Alad-

the role. Getting cast opposite McKenzie was an added bonus, one that he was very grateful for. “Acting with McKenzie takes out all of the awkwardness that comes with working alongside a fellow actor or actress on stage,” Davidson said. “Instead of being afraid to mess up, I can breath a sigh of relief because I know that McKenzie will laugh at my mistakes right along with me.” After the curtain call in the

Another student, Michaela Haag, who also spends a lot of time in Potter Hall, agrees with Noble. “He’s here like every night all night, and then during the day, I’ll see him sleeping on the couches because he has been here all night,” Haag said. Although Vasko doesn’t sleep much, he is able to maintain his grades and make the Dean’s List. When asked how he is able to put in so many hours working on projects while maintaining his grades, Vasko gives a simple reply. “You know, I’ve asked myself the same question. I guess God’s really blessed me,” Vasko said. “I just try to keep a list of stuff that I’ve got to do. I try to mark them off as I go and try to do what

needs to be done first. If it’s due later, then I can skip on that and do my psychology homework or something.” Vasko gives advice to other students who may not like their college experience so far. “Try to see the good in it and see that one element

portant decisions on campus that would affect me as a student,” Seewood said. With a GPA of just over 2.25 and a full-time student status, Seewood was able to go to three SGA meetings, put in an application, and be voted in by the Senate. Since joining the Senate, Seewood has seen several things get passed to improve Missouri Western, such as being able to play a role in continuing the tradition of rally towels at football games and new desks in academic buildings. “An upgrade of the ‘living room’ in Potter Hall for the music, art and theatre students who practically live in the building” are just a few things that have shown forward progress for our university. Although much has been improved by the student government, there is still room for more. The Senate is looking to reach out to the

students to let them know more of what they do, why they are important and how they can help with many issues on campus. “I think that will open up a channel of communication with the students that will make it easier for them to express what their concerns are and what they would like to see at Missouri Western,” Seewood said. Unlike some senates we may know, Western’s senate works well together and has developed friendships within it that make coming to resolutions much easier and faster. “We all respect each other and that’s the most important attribute when working collectively as a group.” Seewood said, and encourages other students to join the senate in making Missouri Western a better place to study. Seewood was inspired by his grandfather who taught

Sleepless Nights: Tevin Harris | Photo Editor It’s 4 a.m. in Potter Hall and everyone’s gone except for Western junior Truman Vasko. Vasko is up and alert, using one computer to export an animation, while at the same time using another computer to finish up a different project, and working in his sketch pad, drawing up yet another animation. Though some people might think he is just pulling a one time all-nighter to meet his deadline, this is actually an every night process for Vasko. Vasko has been drawing from a young age, studying his cousins’ creative skills. He also started watching cartoons and soon mim-

Junior Truman Vasko hard at work at an amination on the computer as well as on his sketch pad. Tevin Harris | Photo Editor

icked some of those designs. As Vasko looks back on the things that influenced him to pursue animation, he tells about times he watched Spiderman, and a time where he

went to an animation camp, which he says was amazing. Despite all of this, one of his biggest influences was a coloring contest he won in preschool, which he explains, “set everything off.” “It’s a weird process. I try to keep everything where it moves smoothly where I’m not stressed at all,” Vasko said about spending time in Potter Hall. Vasko understands that he has to get through the long, sleepless nights before he can make a living. Sometimes he spends all night, but is still able to produce exceptional work. “I was here until five in the morning, and that was the first time I left after Truman,” Western student, and fellow Potter native, Scott Noble said.

din.” He even recalls breaking his family’s VCR, as he would rewind the VHS tapes so much to re-sing through a song. He liked the character depth that the stage version of “The Little Mermaid” had added to the role of Prince Eric, so he auditioned for

final showing of the production on Sunday afternoon, Brad announced to the crowd that he had to make an announcement and asked everyone to stay. At this point, he walked over to McKenzie, who ironically, was wearing a wedding dress, as her character had just married Prince Eric to conclude the show. He then proceeded to tell her how special she was and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, and on bended knee, he proposed, in front of the entire audience. She said yes and the crowd cheered them on. McKenzie was speechless. “I did not see that coming! I was shocked. I thought it was kind of weird for him to be making an announcement to a couple in the audience, but ‘the director said to’, so I went with it. Little did I know he was going to pop the question on me,” she said. Thanks to this show, these two are becoming part of each other’s worlds. The Little Mermaid will always be a special production to them, the one that allowed them to perform alongside each other, to personally grow as actors and vocalists, and to take the first step into their future together. “The memories that McKenzie and I have made thus far with this show will last for the rest of our lives,” Davidson said.

Animator spends long hours for future career where you’re going ‘Oh, this could help me with my career.’ I had no idea that would help me out but it did,” Vasko said. The other little piece of advice that Vasko gave is something quite simple; don’t procrastinate.

Here is one of Truman Vasko’s animations he did for Valentines Day to see the full thing visit m Truman Vasko | Student Animator

Reflecting struggles of an older generation Cut from the cloth of history Monterio Seewood

Jason Ruckman | Staff Writer Black History Month is known for paying tribute to

those who have affected our lives in the past, but we must also recognize those, such as student senator Monterio Seewood, who play a role in our lives now and in the fu-

ture. Seewood, a member of the student senate, became a senator at Missouri Western in September of 2011. “I wanted to be part of im-

him the value of hard work at a young age. “He always told me not to get involved with something unless I can give it my all.” During this year’s Black History Month Seewood has been reflecting on the struggles of his grandparents and their generation. He said he often thinks and appreciates how their struggles afforded him the opportunities he has today. Seewood has taken his grandfather’s advice and given the student government his all and says he enjoys having a “say-so” about important issues facing him and his peers. While here at Western he is majoring in finance and economic and plans to graduate in the Spring of 2015. Until then, Seewood will continue serving the student’s and playing a key role in the progression of Missouri Western.


The Griffon News February 28, 2013

Page 6


It’s hard to discover gold in a snow storm

e v a h e w d l u o h s y a Snow w ! l o o h c s had



How do you prepare for a big snow storm? Melissa Kaster


Tweets about it @KENN328 Anticipating #mwsu to cancel tomorrow

“We usually stock up, turn on the kerosene heater and we cuddle up under the blankets.”

@tarahew26 #mwsu needs to cancel tomorrow so I can get homework caught up

Steve Jones


@tonichiesi The fact that we have school and @MissouriWestern said "if you can't make it safely..." OBVIOUSLY CLASSES SHOULD BE CANCELLED THEN! #MWSU Joe Snapp | Graphics Editor

After a giant snow storm, discovering gold could have waited until Monday. Students were relieved last Thursday when they awoke to canceled classes, but the day after the storm, Western decided to reopen. Despite snow-covered roads and highways, Western made the decision to ask students’ to gamble their safety and make the trek to school. As reported by many students, class attendance was extremely low. Some professors even canceled classes. While on campus, students

didn’t have an excuse not to go to their classes, commuter students were not taken into consideration. If a commuter student was able to make it to campus, it was a risk they took. The Missouri Department of Transportation’s northwest region still had all the highways in their district covered with snow. Around 9:30 a.m., a semi-truck jack-knifed on I-29, shutting down both southbound lanes. Additionally, road conditions in the morning were so bad that the university had

to close the north entrance to campus off of Faraon. Besides the risk commuter students took, all students suffered from Western decision to keep campus open. It was a lose-lose situation all around. Professors that didn’t cancel classes on Friday had two choices. They could either move forward with their class content or hold their curriculum because the majority of the class didn’t show up. If they moved forward, the students that couldn’t

make it on campus suffered because they missed material. If the professors didn’t move forward, then the students risked their safety for no reason. Essentially, Friday was a wasted day. It was damaging for students to attend. We are glad that no one was injured while getting to campus Friday, but the risk never should have been taken especially since the low attendance caused the benefit of education to suffer. When so many other institutions of learning are can-

celing in our region, Western administration needs to take a cue; cancel classes. Education is important, but not worth the risk of property damage, injury or even death in circumstances that make those outcomes much more worse. In the future, Western needs to be more open to canceling classes sooner and more often. Snow storms don’t come frequently, especially ones as severe as the storm that came last week.

OUT FRONT Pay our faculty hourly WITH HUNT for the work they do

Having a Doctorate doesn’t automatically mean that you’re the best person for the job. There’s a huge difference between a professor with tenure and an instructor. Yes, a professor is one who has worked his way up the ranks to receive a doctorate and receive a bigger paycheck. There are many instructors and adjuncts hired by the university that work hard and tireless hours to ensure that their students are up to date on where they need to be. Missouri Western has a lot

of good examples of instructors and adjuncts that work not just during the school day, but when they’re off the clock as well. Thomas Hanrahan, visiting instructor of Journalism and Mildred Boring, part-time professor of Mathematics work day and night for little money. Why? Because they care for their students and want them to be successful. It just seems interesting that our part-time faculty aren’t paid fairly. It’s easy to come back with an answer such as they don’t work as many hours per credit or

don’t have tenure. The obvious solution is for universities to start paying these individuals hourly, considering their extra hours of help and dedication to the students. Those who work full-time and are dedicated to the students outside the classroom need to be paid the same as well. If they’re putting in extra time to work with the students then at the end of the day, they should be paid hourly as well. There will be arguments back and forth on this issue and that’s okay. It just needs

The Griffon News Staff Katelyn Canon Joe Snapp Matthew Hunt Albert Shelby Evan Roberts 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 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

to be stated that there are educators on this campus who work just as hard, if not harder than some professors with the highest degrees in their fields. Real-world experience is what we as a university need. Instructors, along with part-time faculty, have realworld experience as well and have been known to help their students with internships, jobs and discovering where they belong. It’s time that universities, not just Missouri Western, look at their faculty and see who works beyond the 8 a.m.

to 5 p.m. workday. Educators such as the ones mentioned work throughout the night at home and help their students on weekends. When you have a professor or instructor working with you on a project, assignment or future job, consider the fact that they probably aren’t getting paid for that time. It’s time to open up and find places where we can find funding to help pay our educators fairly..

“Make sure I am home before the storm hits. I pretty much have everything I need.” Kember Wooten


“Go to the grocery store and make sure all of the electronics are charged up.” Lee Douglas


“Make sure I have all of my homework.”

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

Page 7

February 28, 2013

Griffons fall to hot-shooting Nebraska-Kearney Kyle Inman | Sports Editor

(Top) Alfreeman Flowers, Adarius Fulton, Perry Jackson, Jordan Yurth, and Tevin Harris sport their special uniforms for Military Appreciation Day. Gilbert Imbiri | Asst. Photo Editor (Bottom) Senior Dylan Frantz struggles to get the call after getting knocked to the ground on a shot attempt in the loss to Nebraska-Kearney. Jason Brown | Photo Contributor

Western men's basketball fell victim to hot 3-point shooting by Nebraska-Kearney in the second half as it was defeated 75-70 at the MWSU Fieldhouse on Military Appreciation Day. The Griffons fell to 9-15 on the season and 5-11 in MIAA conference play. "Kearney played well and im not taking anything away from them, but in 25 years here this ranks as one of my toughest losses," coach Tom Smith said. "I'm really taken back by this. We just gave a team life that didn't think they had any life." Nebraska-Kearney hit 15 shots from 3-point distance including 9-for-16 in the second half. The Griffons went into the halftime break with a 32-27 lead, but two consecutive 3's by guard Thomas Cooper near the beginning of the second half gave the Lopers a 44-41 lead and never gave the lead back to Western. The Griffons have not had good results playing at home as their record at the MWSU Fieldhouse is just 1-6 in conference play. According to Smith, this is the first team in 25 years that doesn't play well at home. In the past, even in bad years, the fieldhouse has provided a homecourt advantage for the Griffons. "This team cannot play at home," Smith said. "They can't take all the people and they cant take the hoopla. They couldn't take it. This is pathetic when we come out and give this kind of effort in front of this kind of crowd.

We are actually intimidated by our own fans." Cedric Clinkscales led the Griffons with 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting and added 10 rebounds. Clinkscales twisted his knee in the first half and was forced to sit out the last seven minutes before coming back to start the second half. "We got players who can step up and do their job, but it may have hurt us," Clinkscales said. "We have to defend their shooters. They got a lot of open 3's in the second half and then we gave up a lot of rebounds too. We have to execute,make shots and get defensive stops." Dylan Frantz scored 13 points on 5-for-9 from the field and added three assists while Reed Mells scored 10 points and dished out six assists. Kalvin Balque scored seven points while providing the highlight of the night when he dunked home a lob pass from Mells. Alfreeman Flowers scored eight points and added five rebounds. Western shot 51 percent from the field and 9-for-22 from 3-point distance. They struggled at the free-throw line, connecting on just three out of eight attempts. There are only two games left in the regular season for the Griffons and Smith in his final season as head coach. The final is a home game Saturday against Southwest Baptist University at 3:30 p.m. The Griffons are in need of a win to secure their spot in the 12-team MIAA conference tournament field.

Griffons came ready for combat

Gary Smith | Staff Writer Western Women’s basketball cranked up their defense to run out to a win against Nebraska-Kearney and clinched a MIAA tournament birth. The women won 71-36, wearing their pink camouflage jerseys to show their support of breast cancer awareness and Military Appreciation day at MWSU Field House. With this win, the Griffons improve to 14-10 overall and 7-9 in the MIAA and snapped a three-game losing streak. The Griffons put NebraskaKearney to 6-15 overall and 3-11 in the MIAA. Western started off slow, losing against the Lopers 7-3. After that, the Griffons turned up the pressure and went on a 21-2 run, forcing the Lopers to 20 first-half turnovers. After the Griffons trailed by 4 points in the opening minutes, they never looked back, not trailing at all in the entire game. Coach Rob Edmisson knew that the defensive intensity was going to be a factor to the Griffons winning the game. The Griffons’ de-

fense made the Lopers uncomfortable the entire game, grabbing 13 steals in just the first half. “Our defense intensity was really good and this was a much needed win,” Coach Edmisson said. Western forced the Lopers to 39 turnovers. It’s a fun way to play, getting points from our defense and we needed this really bad. It lifted our spirits,” Western forward Heather Howard said. Western had 28 steals from the Lopers leading to many points.With the Lopers under the Griffons stifling defense there pressure was to much to overcome. The Griffons were energized from the 2071 in attendance, with the crowd roaring when the Griffons went into halftime, leading 37-13. In the second half, the Griffons didn’t let up, outscoring the Lopers 34-23. The Griffons held the Lopers scoreless from the three-point line in the entire game. “We played comfortable tonight and this win got us back where we need to be,” Western guard Denis White said. Denis White was great

coming off the bench, shooting 5-6 with 10 points and 2 steals. Western allowed the Lopers to have only eight field goals in the second half. With this win, Western was able to complete their season sweep over Nebraska-Kearney. Western’s largest lead of the game was 37 points at the 4:23 mark in the second half. With the Griffons outscoring the Lopers in bench points 35-8, the starting five had plenty of help. Sharniece Lewis had 12 points, nine in the first half with three threepointers. Heater Howard stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, four rebounds, four blocks and three steals. JaQuitta Dever was another spark off the bench, adding 12 points and four steals. Missouri Western shot 42.4% field goal and 27.6 percent behind the 3 point line. Western shot 70% free throw. Missouri Western was able to showcase their talents in their first televised MIAA Network home game. The Griffons next matchup is against Fort Hays State on the road. After that, the Griffons’ last game is next Saturday at home against Southwest Baptist.

Western senior Alicia Bell makes the decision to go for the lay-up in Saturday’s blowout against the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers. Tevin Harris | Photo Editor

No snow in Hilo; softball heats up in Hawaii In the wake of one of the worst snowstorms of the year and numerous cancelations of games across the Midwest, the Griffon softball team was soaking up the sun while they played in a three-team tournament in Waimea, Hawaii. The Griffons came out with a 4-2 record, playing three games each against the University of Hawaii-Hilo and Western Oregon University. Their two losses were split from the two schools as the

Griffons came out on top of both of them, winning two of three. The two losses were combined for 19 runs as freshman pitcher, Janie Smith gave up 12 hits, 11 runs, and seven walks in six combined innings. Her relief, senior Emily Moe, allowed 13 hits and eight runs in just four innings. Despite the two off pitching games they had, the Griffons allowed just seven total runs in their four wins.

Western’s bats were lighting up during their four good defensive wins, as they pounded out 22 total runs. Hitting has been one of Western’s biggest strengths so far this season, more specifically, their power hitting. The Griffons have hit 20 home runs so far in their early 11-5 record. It has been a huge improvement from the 29 home runs Western hit all last season in the 55 games they played.

The Griffon softball team visited Akaka Falls State Park while in Hawaii. *Photo courtesy of @gogriffons


The Griffon News

Page 8

February 28, 2013

Clinkscales takes advantage of second chance Kyle Inman | Sports Editor

Junior Cedric Clinkscales was the only men’s basketball player to be on the Dean’s List. He was one of five Griffon men to make the honor roll. JQ | Staff Writer

Cedric Clinkscales is focused on creating a positive legacy for himself on and off the Western basketball court. The 6-7 230-pound bigman leads the Griffons in points and rebounds while being the only member of the team to make the Dean’s Honor Roll, which requires a 3.5 grade point average or better. “It’s big for me,” Clinkscales said. “That’s the first time it’s ever happened. It’s just showing that I’m trying to be committed to school for real this time. I’m serious about it.” In the past, basketball was his main focus and he didn’t put as much emphasis on academics. It was fatherhood and time away from the game that transformed his outlook to classroom first. Clinkscales, father of two, put his basketball career on hold when his first son was born. He knew he needed to work and be there for support. Once he was able to save up some money, he gave school and basketball another try. He came back a much more mature person than before. “I have kids that are going to look up to me now so I have to set a good example,” Clinkscales said. “When I had my son, I noticed how much he looked up to me so I didn’t want him to see me doing anything bad.” Clinkscales hails from Anderson, South Carolina, which is a very small town. He attended T.L. Hanna High School, which is famous for being the setting for the movie Radio. He played at Roane State Community

College last season in Tennessee and averaged 13.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while being an allconference selection. He was recruited by Western assistant coach Mike Nicholson and committed after taking a visit because he liked the people and the campus. “We thought we had a pretty good player and several other coaches in the league felt like we got a pretty good player,” coach Tom Smith said. According to Smith, some coaches won’t recruit players with children of their own, but that issue isn’t of any importance to him when looking for prospective athletes. That policy is paying off for Smith with Clinkscales as he’s shown to be very reliable in doing the things he’s supposed to do. “I think having kids changes the outlook on things and puts things in perspective for what you focus on,” Smith said. “Some guys in college fool around and have a good time. I don’t think that’s Cedric.” Clinkscales has been the big man in the paint for the Griffons this season, averaging 13.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and impacts the game defensively with steals and blocks. His great spin move and soft touch around the basket

often result in him getting double-teamed by the opposition. “It’s all about trust, my teammates trusting me and getting me the ball in a position to where I can make some plays,” Clinkscales said. Smith knows that Clinkscales is going to have to come up big if the Griffons are going to get hot at the end of a losing season. “He’s shown that he’s as good as big man as there is in the league,” Smith said. “The only thing that has affected his overall performance a little has been some injuries.” Clinkscales is the only Griffon to start all 25 games so far, but he’s played through several injuries including a hurt hand, shoulder and a sprained ankle that kept him out of action during part of the first half of Saturday’s game. He came back and fought through the injury to finish out the game and relies on trainer Myron Unzicker to help him be at his best physically. “Myron is my lifeline,” Clinkscales said. “I go to him for everything and he helps me stay on the court. Myron is my best friend right now.” Clinkscales has learned that MIAA competition is tough and any team in the league is capable of fighting for a win on any given night. He’s seen some pretty good big men this season, but none that he’s scared of. He plans to earn his degree in Sports Management with hopes that it opens up the door for him to pursue a coaching career in basketball. Until then, he plans to finish out this season strong with a tournament appearance.

Student-Athletes strive for academic success Andy Garrison | Opinions Editor

There is a trend at many universities that shows that, counter to what some may think, student-athletes maintain a higher average GPA than regular students do. The most important things that seem to facilitate athletes’ high grades are structure, time-management, drive and a very strong support network. Head coach of baseball at Western, Buzz Verduzco, has

witnessed regular students coming into the studentathlete world and explains how the changes in work ethic and time-management manifests in the students. “Sometimes you will have students who will come in and they are in the library. The first few times, they may not get a whole lot done because they are not used to setting aside time,” Verduzco said. “Then, it just becomes a habit for them that they are there for that reason [studying], and it starts to

ATHLETE of the WEEK Heather Howard #13 - Forward


Heather Howard impacted the game in every statistical category with her 12 points, four rebounds, four blocks and three steals in the Griffons blowout win over Nebraska-Kearney at the MWSU Fieldhouse on Military Appreciation Day. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Griffons. Howard leads the Griffons in scoring and rebounds at 13.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.

Heather Howard

Andy Inman and Chad Hammontree | Design Artist and Graphics Editor

work its way out where, you know, I’m in the library so I might as well get my work done; then the habit starts to change, and once the habits change, the grades change.” Missouri Western sophomore, and volleyball player, Sarah Faubel explains how important solid time-management skills are for her. “Being an athlete, I feel like you have to work on being organized and you have to be prepared in a lot of different aspects,” Faubel said. “Your time management is just…I don’t know how to pin-point it, you just are really focused and you Western students were honored notice your time.” against Washburn University. Athletes work year-round to stay fit and play the best ics. that they can and so the pres“I think we had a volley sure to work hard both in ball program that averaged a and out of the classroom is 3.5, you know, I think that’s pretty steady, even in the pretty good for 14 people,” off-season. McGuffin said. “I think we “For volleyball, we have had another program that workouts at 7:30 a.m. until was right under them that close to 9,” she said. “Then was a 3.48. So there are some we’ll have individuals battles going on there; we [workouts] for right now, but have kind of made it a big yeah, it seems just as busy.” thing internally.” Adopting the work ethic The word “time-managethat is a must in college-level ment” comes up often when sports and then applying it talking about why studentto their studies is another athletes do so well academipossible explanation for ath- cally. lete’s academic strength. Verduzco explains why he “Being an athlete, I think feels it is a critical skill for that you have to work hard students who are in athletat things in life,” Faubel said. ics and want to do well in “So I think from there your classes. work-ethic from the court “If you have solid timecarries into the classroom.” management as a student Missouri Western’s athlete, I think that you have Director of Athletics Kurt a better chance of being able McGuffin says that a lot to stay organized and busy of the sports programs at and on top of things,” he Western compete for highest said. “Maybe more so than over-all GPA that it contrib- the common student who utes to the student-athlete’s sometimes might have a drive to succeed in academ- tendency to procrastinate

for their academic achievements at Western’s basketball game Jason Brown | Photo Contributor

maybe because they have a little more time on their hands.” Equally as important as management is having a strong network of people around them that can make sure that athletes are living up to their potential and staying on track with their classes and grades. The coaches at Western work very closely with the athletes, providing them with a lot of chances to study and also providing structure and guidance. “Well, we have mandatory study tables for the baseball team throughout the course of the fall for sure, anywhere from two to three times a week,” Verduzco said. “The biggest thing that we are concerned with, especially when you might have a student who comes in with poor study habits or study habits that you have to improve, those are the things that we want to be able to change

right away.” Another reason that athletes exceed over non-athletes could be related to scholarships. Even among athlete groups this group of students stands out academically. Eric Kramer, Western’s NCAA compliance officer, explains how he thinks scholarships may affect athletes who have them, in the classroom. “As someone who is on scholarship, you feel that, okay, you know the school thinks enough of me not only as an athlete but also as a student,” Kramer said. “To bring me in here, to put me on scholarship, it’s kind of that added level of responsibility that hey, I need to make sure that I am taking care of business in the classroom to show that I deserve to have that scholarship.”


The Griffon News February 28, 2013

Page 5

“Lives” proves to be witty, ridiculous comedy Katelyn Canon | Managing Editor Love can make people crazy, and also deliver a firm, back-handed slap every now and then. In the 1930s throwback, the cast of “Private Lives” demonstrated the confusing complexity of relationships and their psychotic side effects. The play opened with two couples, Elyott and Sybil, and Victor and Amanda, honeymooning in Deuville, France. Unlike the typical honeymoon however, Elyott and Amanda, who were previously married, wind up in adjacent suites with their new partners. For the remainder of the play, wonderfully hilarious, and at times heart breaking, awkward situations unfold. The most impressive aspect of “Private Lives” was both cast and crew were showcased. Typically, the crew goes unnoticed behind the scenes. Between the first and second acts, the crew came on stage and did a scene change. The play is a must see, and it would be worth paying for another ticket to see the crew dress the set. It was a stylistic choice that made “Lives” a unique experience. Although the beginning of the first act lacked energy,

the pace quickened as both women’s screams echoed the theatre. After that, “Private Lives” found its stride and became truly engrossing. The cast, although comprised of only five members, did not lack talent. The two stand-out performances of the evening belong to Matt Wright, as Elyott, and Sebastian Smith, as Victor. Not only did both Wright and Smith maintain convincing English accents, but they also delivered their lines candidly and their comedic chemistry was on point. Wright and Smith demonstrated that they were seasoned actors that have found their bearings. While the men of “Lives” were the highlight of the play, the women cannot go unmentioned. Nerissa Lee, as Sybil, and Lauryn Roberts, as Amanda, held their own with the more experienced Wright and Smith. Both Lee and Roberts have had prior stage experience, but “Lives” is the first major role in a play for both. The fifth member of the cast, Sharon Rodriguez Benarroch who played the maid in the second and third acts, was delightful to watch. Rodriguez Benarroch spoke only French throughout the scenes, but her energy was most memorable. Exasper-

ated, with the two couples and their absurdities, the Rodriquez Benarroch’s character served as an important foil character to the rest of the cast. “Private Lives” finishes its run on March 1 and 3. It would be a shame to miss this witty, ridiculously funny play.

And don’t forget to check out the review on God of Carnage at

Matt Wright (top left and bottom), Lauryn Roberts (top right and bottom), Nerissa Lee and Sebastian Smith rehearse for the play “Private Lives”. The play will be Friday night, March 1st at 7:30. Evan Roberts | Photo Editor

in a drug scam. John knows that his son is an innocent man and is willing to do anything to set him free. He works out a deal with the DA (Susan Sarandon) to be able to work as an informant. Basically, the deal is that if he can get information on the top drug-lord that was behind the scam towards his son, then they will set his son free. The story itself is pretty basic and not really complicated. That is a good thing and a bad thing in different situations. In some cases, it works well because they don’t try to overcomplicate the story and throw in random subplots to create intrigue. In other cases, the story can be a little too simple and lack an extra set of complexion. The film is pretty much carried by Dwayne Johnson. It’s probably his best acting that he has put forth in

his career. There aren’t any scenes where he grabs you, but he is very convincing and you do feel for his situation. It also is the first time where he is playing a character that isn’t feared. Instead, he is the one living in fear. This creates some solid drama. He definitely shows potential to move on to a solid acting career, if he can be paired with the right script and proper director. Saying that Johnson carries the film is not an understatement. His performance and the intensity that he brings to the character is really all that stands out. The directing wasn’t anything special. There were no huge mistakes in the film, but there also wasn’t anything that stood out. The pacing of the film wasn’t unsteady, but it could have been pushed a little higher. The cinematography and lighting were actually pretty weak. A lot of the scenes were

Go see Snitch or ditch? Brian Duskey | Multimedia Editor

The object of a film isn’t always to be a gripping, raw, emotional masterpiece. Sometimes they just want to entertain the audience. In the case of the actionthriller “Snitch,” that is exactly the case. There is an old theory saying that, no matter what you think of the film, if the movie accomplishes what they set

out to accomplish, it is then a successful film. “Snitch” is never trying to be a strong narrative with a deeper meaning to it. It’s really just trying to entertain movie-goers in an old-fashioned way, and because of that, it actually becomes one of the bigger surprises of the winter season. The film follows John Matthews (Dwayne Johnson), a father whose son has been imprisoned for being set up

We give this movie 3 out of 5 stars


The movie Snitch is based off a true story

In this still, Melina Kanakaredes and Dwayne Johnson act alongside each other. *Photo courtesy of

very low lit, when they probably shouldn’t have been. There also wasn’t anything dazzling about the camerawork or framing. It could have gone through a major adjustment. Not a real strong effort from the cinematographer. As stated, the film works for what it is. It’s entertain-

ing, much more entertaining than expected, but basic writing and poor technical specifications of the film ended up holding it back from being anything truly special. It wouldn’t be a terrible decision to go see this film in the theater this weekend, but it’s not really the end of the world if you miss it either.

First lady helps Western behind the scenes Joyce Stevenson | Staff Writer Creative. Intelligent. Spirited.  Tireless. These are a few words that describe Dr. Laurel Vartabedian, wife of Missouri Western State University President Dr. Robert Vartabedian. Mr. and Mrs. Vartabedian met while they were graduate students at Wichita State University.  He had just moved there from California.  They married in 1978 and have two grown children and one grandchild.  They have collaborated on several published articles.  They agree that the purpose of Missouri Western is to enrich the community. “The origin was as a community college and the community should continue with that buy in,” Mrs. Vartabedian said. The Vartabedians have

traveled extensively and taught at many universities. Mrs. Vartabedian grew up in a small rural Kansas town. “A small town gives you a deeper respect for differences,” she said. Professionally, Mrs. Vartabedian is most proud of her work as a mentor for the Cherokee Nation and the Black Theatre Ensemble while at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. “I’m very proud of some of my students,” Mrs. Vartabedian said. “Being an adviser for the Black Theater Ensemble was very gratifying.” A gifted writer, playwright and educator, Mrs. Vartabedian has been an educator all of her adult life. She has taught 16 different undergraduate courses and four different graduate courses. She currently is teaching a hybrid graduate course at

West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. “Having been a faculty member for my professional life, I see myself as seeing how crucial faculty is to the university,” she said. Mrs. Vartabedian has been very helpful in fundraising for the Missouri Western campus. She is called the visionary ‘Goldcoat’ of Missouri Western Arts by Karen Graves, St. Joseph community organizer. Vartabedian helped restructure fundraising for the Missouri Western arts and theater department by creating the Missouri Western Arts Society.She and Graves worked together during the 100th Anniversary of the Pony Express Celebration as well as several other fundraisers. “She has great leadership skills so you don’t even realize you’re being led,” Graves said.

Dr. Laurel Vartabedian the Presidents wifetv

“What drives her most is her strong passion for students and the arts,” Western’s director of development Gary Pickman said. Pickman and Vartabedian have worked together raising funds to offset costs in the art and theater departments. They host the yearly “Lights and Tights” fundraiser that highlights theater

department students. “We are really making a lot of progress and it is attributed to Laurel,” Pickman said. Her love of the arts is reflected in two plays she has written. Her first, ‘American Story’ is a musical about the conflict between coal miners and the Rockefellers that came to a head in the Ludlow, CO strike and subsequent massacre of 1914. The play won the “Best of Festival” award at the Midtown International Theatre Festival in New York in 2000. The second play is ‘Mother Divine’ a musical based on the real-life exploits of an African-American Harlem evangelist named Father Divine.  Inspired by a story written by one of Dr. Vartabedian’s students, this play debuted in New York at the 2003 Fringe NYC festival. It has been performed by both regional and community the-

aters. Vartabedian has collaborated on nearly 20 original written works. Her dissertation received national recognition.  Her convention presentations have touched hundreds of people.  She has appeared on numerous radio shows and in countless newspaper and magazine articles. However, Laurel is soft spoken and humble. “She doesn’t do anything for personal recognition,” Pickman said. The Vartabedians have no plans to slow down soon. They both plan to continue to be active in education and Mrs. Vartabedian will continue to teach and write. “It is so fortunate that the university has a first lady who is such a tremendous role model for our students,” special assistant to the president Ann Pearce said.

The Griffon News Issue 17  

The Griffon News is a student run newspaper by the Missouri Western State University.

The Griffon News Issue 17  

The Griffon News is a student run newspaper by the Missouri Western State University.