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Student Life Preview

Hunter Peterson

Yuyang Xiao

Yuyang Xiao

Hunter Peterson

student life From the day we step up to ring the Centennial Bell until the day we walk across the stage, we’ve been re | vitalized to believe that being a Gorilla is more than just going to classes: it’s an experience. On this transitional ledge between school and the “real world,” we know that we must keep living, and now is our time to do so in a whole new way. Whether we face new worlds by studying abroad, or at home by packaging food for Africa, discovering ourselves and the world around us begins right here.

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Amy Shaw, freshman in biology, rings the Centennial Bell during Gorilla Warm-up on Sunday, Aug. 21. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

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MAY 22, 2011 F-5 tornado ravages Joplin, Missouri


ike many days that have not ended as well as they began, residents of the Four-State area and beyond remember where they were and what they were doing the evening of Sunday, May 22, 2011. The city of Joplin, Mo., was ripped apart as the multi-vortex EF-5 tornado, which touched down at 5:34pm, tore a 22.1-milelong path through the city. Reported the deadliest U.S. tornado since Woodward, Okla.’s, tornado of April 9, 1947, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the tornado left countless homes and lives destroyed, as well as almost 1,000 injured and a final death count of 160 directly from the tornado. As soon as the disaster struck, volunteers began working around the clock rescuing and cleaning. The tornado brought President Barack Obama home from a trip to Europe, where he spoke at a memorial service held at Joplin’s Missouri Southern State Universitiy on May 29. Organizations such as FEMA, the Red Cross and the National Guard, as well as countless volunteers, poured into the city over the next months, giving time and money to the victims of the seventh deadliest tornado in U.S. history. | story by Kimber Lane

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3photo by Hunter Peterson

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Kimber Lane

Hunter Peterson

Hunter Peterson

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Kimber Lane

Kimber Lane

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Worse for the wear Tornado leaves PSU students alive, damages property


arly Shire, senior in business, was visiting her boyfriend in Joplin on Sunday, May 22. She planned to leave that evening to return to her hometown in Raytown, Mo., for her summer job. She didn’t make it back that night. After the disastrous tornado struck, Shire and her boyfriend, who were not harmed, were stranded in Joplin for several days before travel was possible. Shire’s boyfriend lived off of I-44 and suffered no damage in the immediate area. “It was incredibly scary, and the aftermath was just horrifying,” Shire said. “I just wanted to go home.” Unfortunately, Shire jumped the gun when it came to leaving for home. “I was really anxious to get back to my family, so I left before it was really safe to drive,” Shire said. “I ended up getting some pretty heavy scrapes on my car from the debris in the streets and a few dents.” Shire also said that she will have to pay more to get it fixed, because the damage was not from the tornado itself. “My insurance company would have paid up if it had actually gotten damaged during the tornado,” Shire said. “But since it was over and it was my fault that I tried to drive it when I shouldn’t have, I’m not getting much help from them.” Like Shire, students are discovering that although they may have survived the tornado, just as many risks come after the tragedy. “I used to live in Joplin a few weeks before the tornado hit, and I hadn’t completely moved all of my things out of my rental yet,” said Whitni Smith, junior in biology. “A tree fell on Kimber Lane

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Hunter Peterson

the house. I was really lucky to be out of there in time.” Smith’s house was located just off of Range Line, which was directly hit by the tornado. Smith said that although the tree didn’t damage her belongings, the thunderstorm that followed the next day did. “The house got really wet and a lot of papers and pictures and books that were important to me were lost,” Smith said. “It’s going to be a pain to go get duplicates, and some of the stuff I will never get back.” Among that stuff was a book Smith had since she was a little girl. The book was a gift from her grandmother, who had written a happy birthday message inside. “My grandma is a really important influence in my life and she’s very sick, so I treasure everything that reminds me of her,” Smith said. “That’s one of those things that’s irreplaceable.” Although the tornado may have caused headaches and financial trouble for Smith and Shire, both agree that the heartache in Joplin makes them feel lucky. “It could have been so much worse for me,” Shire said. “I didn’t lose anyone close to me and I still have a home. It really makes me appreciate what I have.” Smith says that thanks to the tornado, she now understands the real value of things. “Stuff that you think is important, like your TV and your clothes and all that, that’s really not what is valuable in life,” Smith said. “It’s the things like memories.” | story by Madison Dennis

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Homes in days

ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition visits Joplin post-tornado

Five months after the F-5 tore through Joplin, Mo., the city would play host for the crew of ABC’s Emmy-Award winning program, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. After conducting a search for families in need, followed by interviews, seven families from all over Joplin were selected to receive new homes. With the slogan and tight deadline of “7 Homes in 7 Days,” the crew of 21 builders, led by local home builder Sam Clifton, president of Millstone Custom Homes, completely donated supplies, and the help of 13,000 volunteers, the show launched into the project on Oct. 19. Among the 13,000 volunteers were Pitt State’s own construction management and interior design departments, as well as volunteers from across campus. “It was a terrible thing that happened to those people,” said Alex Lord. “The people moving in here deserve these houses. I’m glad to help.” Finished on time on Oct. 26, the Joplin project would be the show’s largest project in its history, and appropriately marked its 200th episode. This show took on special significance, as well, after it was announced that this would be the program’s last regular episode. The special 2-hour show aired on Jan. 13 on ABC, a testimony to the story of Joplin, Mo. | story by Kimber Lane

4 Ryan Hintze, senior in construction management,

assists in the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition build in Joplin, Mo., on Thursday, Oct. 20. | photo by Kaela Williams


Adam Perkins and Hunter White, seniors in construction management, assist in the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition build on Thursday, Oct. 20. | photo by Kaela Williams

84 Alex Lord, senior in construction management, works on the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition build on Thursday, Oct. 20. | photo by Kaela Williams 88 Seniors Adam Perkins, Hunter White, Ryan Hintze and Alex Lord help rebuild Cunningham Park during the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Thursday, Oct. 20. | photo by Adela Milburn

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Photos by Adela Milburn Photo Illustration by Bethany Wolverton


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Paint The Town

RED Pittsburg gears up for new season of Gorilla football

Driving down Broadway, one can’t help but notice businesses’ participation in Paint the Town Red, an annual event encouraging the community to come together in support of Pittsburg State, its students and athletics. During the festivities, nearly all of Pittsburg is covered in Gorilla pride and colors, making students feel like a part of something bigger than just a university, but a tradition. “I really enjoy how various businesses decorate their surroundings every year for Paint the Town Red,” said Bill Stobart, HHPR professor and community member who attended Pittsburg High School and has lived in Pittsburg for many years. “You can sense a feeling of enthusiasm throughout the city due to this activity.” As businesses decorate in celebration of the first home football game, the whole town of Pittsburg gets wrapped up in the spirit of this event. Responding to the excitement and hype created by Paint the Town Red, the football team beat the Emporia State Hornets 38-14 in the home opener. “I definitely think the football players had a bigger sense of pride,” said Erica Testa, junior in elementary education. “I believe everyone that goes to Pitt felt the pride around town because the

support for the team was literally everywhere you looked.” The football game wasn’t the only focus of Paint the Town Red, though. Many other activities throughout the week kept the Gorilla spirit in the air. Jock’s Nitch hosted an autograph signing for athletes of all sports, which gave many studentathletes a chance to see how they are appreciated in the community. Other activities included a meet and greet with past championship football team members and President Steve Scott, a movie on the Jungletron and a 5k Fun Run. Through these events, along with the community and student involvement and spirit, Paint the Town Red was carried on as one of Pitt State’s proudest traditions. | story by Charissa Wall

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Holiday Inn Express on Wednesday, Sept. 7, for Paint the Town Red. | photo by Julie Huston

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3PSU’s Spirit Squad signs autographs for area students before the balloon launch at Carnie Smith Stadium on Friday, Sept. 9. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

3Gus, PSU’s mascot,

cheers with area students at Carnie Smith Stadium in celebration of Paint the Town Red on Friday, Sept.9. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

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SWI P T U E O HUNGER 4/4/12 4:21:34 PM

3Pittsburg community members and students pull together to package rice, beans and soy at Swipe Out Hunger.


he Weede Gymnasium brimmed with energized students on Sunday, Oct. 9, creating the positive chaos resulting from people being united toward a common cause. Swipe Out Hunger started at noon and volunteers continued working until 5 p.m. as the Pittsburg community and students joined together in the fight against hunger. The organization Numana provided 20,000 meals to package, and PSU fundraised for another 30,000 for a total of 50,000 meals that were shipped to the Horn of Africa, specifically a refugee camp in Kenya. “In March I went to a hunger dialogue in Kansas City where Numana, the nonprofit organization that is donating the meals today, did a hunger awareness presentation,” said Kara Hixon, senior in nursing who started the project. “They brought together all the different groups and organizations that fight hunger in order to reach out to all the universities across the state of Kansas and inform them about what they can do for this cause.” According to Hixon, Universities Fighting World Hunger is a nationwide organization that she introduced to Pitt State. The “Swipe Out Hunger’’ packaging event was its first project at PSU, and most of the food went to Africa. In addition, they also collected nonperishable items for the Wesley House in Pittsburg. Because of this, the students involved were fighting both local and global hunger at the same time. “March was when they challenged us with the idea,’’ Hixon said. “Then in May, we started to get the wheels rolling, and we talked to all the people we needed support from here at PSU, including the Faculty Senate. As soon as the project got approved, we started organizing fundraisers and volunteer sign-ups.’’ Graciela Saldivar, junior in mathematics, said, “This event is very helpful and it will reach a lot of people in Africa, 5 Keyvin Roach, junior in nursing, works with other volunteers which is a region that is packaging food to be sent to Kenya at the Swipe Out Hunger event on Oct. 9, in the Weede Gymnasium. | photos courtesy of the suffering a lot because Swipe Organization of hunger. Each package that I helped put together today had some rice, beans and soy.’’ According to Hixon, about 10 students are members of the organization on campus, and for the Swipe Out Hunger event, they had around 400 volunteers involved, most of whom were PSU students. “I am really proud of the city of Pittsburg for showing that a small community can make a big difference,’’ Hixon said. Courtney Forkum, sophomore in international business, thought the event was a success. “There were a lot of members that showed up at noon, and every table was filled,’’ Forkum said. “They already had seven boxes done in a matter of 10 minutes.’’ Jessica King, senior in interior design, said, “I think the Swipe out Hunger event is a really good way to help people in need, because unfortunately there is such a huge problem with 5Kylie Miller, senior in nursing, uses a hunger all across the world. Taking the initiative for the students to get involved is a great opportunity for us, not only to help people in need, but to also help universities realize how funnel to pour food into each package at Swipe important it is to step up and do something about it.” | story by Adriana Perez Out Hunger.

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f o h s a d a s t e g izza parlor eets

P Pitt State art majors head to the str es loaded

rush with paint and b


heat State is getting a facelift, thanks to some PSU art students. And Jack Shelton, owner of Wheat State, couldn’t be happier. “The mural was roughly 5 years old with fading paint,” Shelton said. “And I feel that a new updated mural would be better.” Melissa Henderson says that Shelton approached her last May to design and paint a new mural. “I’d never done a project that big,” said Henderson, senior in art education. “I thought it would be better for a group.” Henderson says that the process started when she approached the University Art Association at the beginning of last semester. Henderson says that they had to incorporate Midwest hometown values into the design. “We focused on the hometown theme, emphasizing the Midwest,” Henderson said. “And we threw some pizzazz of the PSU influence in while incorporating pizza.” According to Henderson, the final design was a combination of ideas from Tyler Pinneo, senior in commercial art, and DeAnna Morgan, junior in art education. “They brought the most complete and comprehensive ideas to our brainstorming meeting,” Henderson said. Henderson says that the art association got help from Jamie Oliver, instructor in painting, and Kyle McKenzie, lecturer. She

says Oliver helped with the color theory, which includes picking the colors that would be needed, what paint could be mixed and what color scheme to use. Shelton says he is delighted with the design. “It blew me away when I saw it,” he said. “It’s so much more detailed than the last one and more elaborate.” Shelton says he supplied the 20 gallons of paint, the brushes and the buckets with help from a small donation from Coca-Cola. Shelton says he’d like the mural to be completed by spring break. “Because of the weather,” he said, “it may or may not happen.” Henderson says they had to special-order paint. “It is ultraviolet safe, will not fade and will last for several years,” Henderson said. “For the paint to dry properly, the weather must be at least 55 degrees outside.” The mural was begun in October, but cold weather has limited progress. Henderson says that aside from priming the wall and adding a few colors, they’ve been able to work on it only twice in February. Henderson says she hopes to gather a group of people who will stay over spring break and finish it. “I’m glad to have an opportunity to share what I love with the community and the city,” Henderson said. | story by Gretchen Burns

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z 5 Rachel Bishop, junior in art, assists the University Art Association in painting a mural on the side of Wheat State Pizza on Thursday, Feb. 23. | photos by Kenzi Jordan


Melissa Henderson, senior in art education, works with other members of the University Art Association, painting a mural on the side of Wheat State Pizza.


of the University Art Association spend a sunny afternoon painting a mural on the side of Wheat State Pizza.

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A l p h a Sigma Alpha members p e r f o r m their routine during Yell Like Hell at Carnie Smith Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 13. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

H 4Nicole Fiorentino and

her Alpha Sigma Alpha teammates play Tugof-War at the Gorilla Games in the Weede on Tuesday, Oct. 11. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

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3 Callie Wheeler and Hal Rivard are crowned 2011 Homecoming Queen and King during Convocation at Carnie Smith Stadium on We d n e s d a y, Oct. 12. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

Hom ecoming Week K

nown for being the biggest and busiest event for Pittsburg, this year’s Homecoming stayed true to its theme, Gorilla Strong. Throughout the week of Oct. 10-15, students, faculty and communitycelebrated with camouflage covered banners, signs and T-shirts; the crowning of ROTC royalty; and the Gorilla Football team claiming a 69-6 victory over Lincoln University. | story by Stephanie Rogers

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Monday, October 10 Presentation Night


n Monday, Presentation night kicked off the week by introducing the King and Queen candidates with a Q&A event held in the Overman Student Center in the packed Crimson and Gold Ballroom. Emily Smith, senior in family and consumer sciences and candidate nominated to represent the Student Government Association, was asked how she would eat her Oreo cookie as her introduction. “Since an Oreo is the most diverse cookie, you would have to eat the middle first,” Smith said. “Then douse the rest in milk until it is gooey; that is how I eat my Oreo cookie.”

52011 Homecoming Queen candidate Kyla Henderson,

junior in biology, answers a fishbowl question in the Crimson & Gold Ballroom of the Overman Student Center on Monday, Oct. 10. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

Tuesday, October 11 Gorilla Games


tudents gathered at the Weede on Tuesday to participate in the Gorilla Games, including activities such as a water balloon launch, tug of war and an obstacle course, in which team members donned military uniforms and carried their “soldiers” to safety.

5Sigma Chi gears up for its next Gorilla Games battle. photo by Srikanth Korlapati


Wednesday, October 12 Convocation


onvocation was held the following day at Carnie Smith Stadium, where Callie Wheeler and Hal Rivard, both seniors in psychology and members of ROTC, were voted the 2011 Homecoming Queen and King. “The whole experience was nerve-racking,” Wheeler said. “I knew a lot of people from other organizations and, to me, those people were really deserving of it.” Wheeler also said the Homecoming theme, Gorilla Strong, signified a lot for her. “It showed, not just the students, but the community, and how they were able to recognize people that served our country,” Wheeler said. Rivard said the Homecoming experience was an eye opener for him because he didn’t realize how important it is to a lot of people. “I’m very honored and flattered,” Rivard said. “I think the fact that it was with Callie and that I’ve known her since freshman year made the experience really neat and fun.”

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5Homecoming Queen candidate Li Shin Chang, senior in finance, answers a fishbowl question in the Crimson & Gold Ballroom of the Overman Student Center. | photo by Yuyang Xiao


52011 Homecoming Queen candidate Hannah Hunsinger, senior in nursing

and member of Campus Christians, draws a question from the fishbowl in the Crimson & Gold Ballroom. | photo by Yuyang Xiao



Kunshek and Jordan Tessa Coronado, senior in marketing, cheers Jacqueline Kelley and her teammates, members of Sigma Simoncic, members of Student Activities on her team. | photo by Srikanth Korlapati Sigma Sigma, play Tug-of-War. | photo byYuyang Xiao Council, shoot down toy army men. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

5The six Queen semi-finalists are presented during the 2011 Homecoming 5Hal Convocation at Carnie Smith Stadium. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

Rivard, newly appointed 2011 Homecoming King, is crowned by 2010’s queen, Jessica Berberich, during Convocation. | photo by Yuyang Xiao

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Thursday & Friday, October 13 & 14 Parade and Yell Like Hell


hursday evening brought the most physically competitive event, which some students consider to be the best night of the entire week: Yell Like Hell. Students, faculty and community members filled Carnie Smith Stadium to watch organizations show their spirit and battle against each other with their dance and cheer routines. Jason Ramirez participated in the Lambda Chi Alpha Yell Like Hell performance and said the atmosphere and energy the people bring to the stadium is unlike anything he has ever experienced. “You only get one shot to do it and do it right, and that’s what I would tell the guys in my fraternity,” said Ramirez, senior in physical education. “That’s the best feeling.” He also represented his fraternity as a candidate running for Homecoming King and said he didn’t realize how important and how much work is put into the entire effort. “You just have to make sure you can stretch yourself that far and keep yourself motivated as well as keep people positive and their spirits up, and that’s sometimes a struggle,” Ramirez said. Yell Like Hell was divided into three divisions: women’s, men’s and coed. Sorority Alpha Gamma Delta took home the first-place position for the women’s division. Fraternity Sigma Chi won for the men’s and the Dance Team reigned first in the coed division. On Homecoming day, the final day of celebration, the Pittsburg community gathered together on Broadway Street Saturday morning to enjoy the parade before the football game. Students from all organizations, as well as community members, participated, showing their spirit and dedication to Pittsburg and its university. Overall, Lambda Chi Alpha won Homecoming week by taking first-place awards in Spirit Art, the Float and Gorilla Games. Ramirez added that his initial reaction to his fraternity winning was surprise. “Last year we talked about goals and what we wanted to achieve this year as a fraternity, and Homecoming was one of them,” Ramirez said. “It was kind of our mindset, we knew what we needed to do to win and we did it.”

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Yuyang Xiao

Kansas Association of Nursing Students

Alpha Sigma Alpha

Yuyang Xiao Dance Club

Yuyang Xiao Lambda Chi Alpha

Yuyang Xiao

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Alpha Gamma Delta

Yuyang Xiao

Sigma Sigma Sigma

Yuyang Xiao

Yuyang Xiao

Campus Christians

Yuyang Xiao Sigma Phi Epsilon

Srikanth Korlapati

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Srikanth Korlapati

Sigma Chi Crimson and Gold Dancers

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“We wanted them to

be prepared mentally,

and with condoms.”

|Grace Strouse 4Bea Cidoncha, Tanner 6Freshmen Bobby Adams-Buckner, Alex Wiltz

and Chelsea Vanleeuwen show their winning human tic-tac-toe positions during Tanner Complex’s SexTac-Toe All-Hall event held on Sept. 7. | photo by Sara Liming

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Annex resident, tries to stretch a condom as far as she can during a side event of Sex-Tac-Toe held on Sept. 7. Cidoncha came in second place in the competition. | photo by Sara Liming

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x e S c a T

e o T


race Strouse, sophomore in math education and resident assistant, told the residents of Tanner Complex that “satisfaction was guaranteed” on the night of the much-anticipated All-Hall event, Sex-TacToe. Hosted by the staff of Tanner Complex, this event gave students an opportunity to participate in an educational game of tic-tactoe, with all the questions focusing on the topic of sex. Noelle Kownslar, resident assistant and junior in communication education, started the night by asking several “sex questions” to each team in turns. “They had questions I didn’t even know the answers to,” said Blake Shaffer, freshman in actuarial science. If the team got the answer right, they had the opportunity to place one of their pieces on the giant Sex-Tac-Toe board. If they didn’t answer the question correctly, the opposing team had an opportunity to score. When a team had successfully placed three pieces in a row, it was declared the victor of that round and claimed the prize: condoms. “It was interesting to know that so many guys don’t know how to put on a condom,” said John Lednicky, freshman in automotive technology. The residence hall team created this event to promote safe sex and help residents understand the effects of sex, physically and mentally. “We have to do All-Halls as a part of our jobs, and one of them has to be educational,” said Strouse. “Because we know that most college students have sex, we wanted them to be prepared mentally, and with condoms.” Despite being a game lasting only a few hours, many residents left having learned something new. “I thought it was interesting,” said Raymond Page, freshman in criminal justice, “and a nice educational experience for our peers.” | story by Samuel Pester

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“Anything you can do, I can do better”


barrage of arrows, bullets and BB’s routinely fill the air each morning and evening during December. It’s hunting season. Most consider the month of December preparation time for Christmas, but for some female students at Pitt State, December is a time to kill because the month hosts several of Kansas’ wild-game seasons. “I go whenever I can,” said Michelle Embry, sophomore in nursing. “It’s mostly on the weekends because of work and school, but I can’t wait until I have more free time for it.” As long as the appropriate licenses are acquired, hunters can pursue wild turkey, deer, fur-bearing animals such as beavers and foxes, doves, ducks, geese, pheasants, quail and squirrels and there is even a season for crows. However, most hunters focus on ducks and deer. Paige Fletcher says hunting is about more than trekking off into the wilderness to pursue prey. For her it is a new hobby. “I didn’t have any sports to play after high school, and after my boyfriend introduced me to shooting, I got into 3D targets,” said the sophomore in nursing. “I shot for the competition until he started taking me out with him.” Fletcher says she also has a competition with her family and friends to see who can be the most successful. Embry agreed that her family was an influence on her hunting. “I started hunting youth seasons at 12 or 13 because my family convinced me to,” Embry said. After my boyfriend Embry says her family remains a steady influence introduced me to and it’s one reason she enjoys hunting so much. “It was something to do with my stepdad, and we always go together,” Embry said. “It’s just as much about spending I shot for time with family than whether the until or not we’re successful.” Jordan Dickey says that the he started taking me out family bonding resonates with .” | Paige Fletcher with her, too. She says she’s not an avid hunter, but her husband is. “I live with a man who hunts every day that it is possible,” said Dickey, senior in education. “I’ve learned a lot about it from living with him.” Fletcher says she has yet to tag her first deer, but Embry has been successful. She says she’s gotten a buck every season except two. “I’d eat wild game over beef any day,” Embry said. Fletcher says there’s also a spiritual aspect to hunting. She says her favorite experience was seeing something called a bachelor group, which is a group of young male deer that move together. “This is my first season, but there is something about blending in and seeing animals in their natural environment,” Fletcher said. “The bachelor group with eight huge bucks just hanging out together was something I don’t think many people have seen.” Kansas offers hunters a great chance to experience the outdoors. While some people protest the activity, the fees that Kansas’ hunters pay fund some of the state’s conservation efforts. Regardless of the motive or outcome, some PSU students are proving that hunting is not just for the boys. | story by Jay Benedict

shooting, I got into

3D targets.

competition him


Fletcher, sophomore in nursing, uses the Mathews Passion bow while hunting around Columbus. | photo by Chris Medved

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Student Life  
Student Life  

Preview of the student life section in the 2012 Kanza.