Jan. 18, 2017 | Midwestern State University | thewichitan.com | Your Campus. Your News. | Vol. 81 No. 15
PHOTO BY JEANETTE PERRY | THE WICHITAN
Representative James Franks speaks with MSU graduates at the Midwestern State University graduation Fall 2016. GUEST SPEAKER: JAMES FRANK, STATE REPRESENTATIVE
Frank ran unopposed Nov. 8 for his third term in the Texas House of Representatives. He serves as the vicechair of the Defense & Veterans’ Affairs Committee and on the Natural Resources Committee. He took office in the Texas House in 2013 and represents District 69, which consists of Archer, Baylor, Clay, Foard, Knox, and Wichita counties. Frank grew up in Wichita Falls and graduated from Rider High School. He earned a degree in finance from Texas A&M University and began an 11-year career in banking in Fort Worth and Wichita Falls. Frank now owns Sharp Iron Group and Transland. • “No one accomplishes anything of significance without the help and support of others.” • “Today you’re taking a huge step in life — a key that unlocks opportunities that you haven’t had before today.” • “What will it take for you to achieve the goals before you?” • “While education is tremendously important, it is not the most important thing to helping you achieve your goals.” Neither is talent. It’s determination. • “Determined people achieve their goals at a higher rate than those who give up easily. Choose to work toward your goal with short-term pain. Those who quit do not succeed.” • “The only thing that really matters in life is the impact that you have on other people.”
190 Master’s earned
707 degrees awarded at fall graduation BRENDAN WYNNE AND JEANETTE PERRY REPORTER
n Dec. 17, 2016, 707 students walked the stage at Kay Yeager Coliseum and received what they’ve been waiting four years (or five for those who took a “victory lap”) to get — a college degree. “It’s the student’s day. It’s important to allow them to express themselves. It’s their graduation day. Previously, students were unable to decorate their caps, but it’s appropriate that the students should be allowed to fully express and celebrate their success,” Keith Lamb, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management, said. State Representative James Frank gave the commencement address to the thousands of teary-eyed, proud parents, family and friends of the graduates. “Today you’re taking a huge step in life
— a key that unlocks opportunities that you haven’t had before today,” Frank said in his speech. “Determined people achieve their goals at a higher rate than those who give up easily. Choose to work toward your goal with short-term pain. Those who quit do not succeed.” Graduates such as AnnMarie Bush were nervous about making the walk across the stage. “It’s exciting. I’m excited. A little nervous, but very excited,” Bush, a music graduate, said. Leanne Duran, a clinical health graduate, opened up about overcoming hardships in her college experience. “I faced a lot of personal obstacles coming up to this point, but I
• Dillard College of Business Administration | 78 • Gordon T. and Ellen West College of Education | 140 • Lamar D. Fain College of Fine Arts | 15 • Robert D. and Carol C. Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services | 335 • Protho-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences | 74 • College of Science and Mathematics | 65
517 Bachelor’s earned
August degrees awarded
haven’t let up, and I’ve overcome. I’m excited. When you start a program like this, it’s hard to foresee the end, but it’s been a personal journey and I know I’ve grown more than anything,” Duran said. “If I had any word of advice to anyone overcoming obstacles of their own it would have to be to just keep going. The hard moments are only temporary. All you have to do is get through those, and you eventually reach days like this.” PHOTO BY BRENDAN WYNNE | THE WICHITAN
Radiologic sciences major Kyle Morford celebrates after the ceremony at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016.
2 | Jan. 18, 2017 |
STAF F E D I T O R I A L
Inauguration important no matter the vote OUR VIEW: No matter who you voted for, it’s important to wish for our country’s success, regardless of the President.
s the presidential inauguration date draws closer, part of the country will be donning their Make America Great Again hats and celebrating the induction of our President-elect Donald Trump. The other part will be watching solemnly, saying goodbye to President Obama and wishing that anyone else were taking his place — or not watching the inauguration at all, protesting our President-elect in a simple way. Many anti-Trump voters have posted their opinions of him on social media, stating that they hope he fails miserably as our next President. They believe he will set our country back in terms of social issues, health care reform, and foreign policies. It’s even been posted that some wish he will be one of the few Presidents to be assassinated. We believe that while everyone is entitled to their opinion on Trump, the inauguration is still important to watch. It doesn’t matter who you voted for — Donald Trump is going to be the 45th President of the United States, and to wish him ill will in his presidency is to wish for our country to fail. It is time for the country to unite as a collective whole, even if your personal views don’t align with Trump. Those who didn’t vote for him, don’t support him, or just strongly dislike him in general can unite with those who do by hoping he will pleasantly surprise the country throughout the next four years. We all want what we believe is best for our great country — we just think this is achieved in different ways.
Vol. 81 | No. 15
Midwestern State University Fain Fine Arts Bldg., Room B103 3410 Taft Blvd. Box 14 Wichita Falls, Texas 76308 (940) 397-4704 • firstname.lastname@example.org thewichitan.com • @wichitanonline
RHA hopes to make change on campus
f you’ve been on campus for a while now and you hear “Residence Hall Association” and immediately think, ‘What the heck is that?’, you’re not alone. If you’re new to campus and you hear “Residence Hall Association” and think, ‘What the heck is that?’ — well, I’m so glad Rachael you asked! Myahara Prior to common knowledge, the Residence Hall Association has been around for a while here at MSU, but over the past couple of years, things have been changing for us — big time. I’m the president of RHA, and in the past, we’ve been a very small group of students living on campus. We were pairing up with other organizations for programs, putting up a few of our own, and winning overall homecoming champion two years in a row. No big deal. But now that MSU is moving away from being a primarily commuter campus to being a primarily residential one, our priorities have changed. We’re still planning on hosting a few big programs for residents on campus, but we will mostly be working on building a foundation for a strong organization that can be the glue holding all the residence halls together. Here’s a glimpse at what you can expect from a successful RHA in a year or two: Do you hate the furniture in the lounge of your hall? RHA can immediately get in touch with the Office of Residence
Life and Housing to find a solution. Do you have a fantastic idea for a program for your hall but can’t get a hold of your RA? Call RHA. In fact, if you live in a residence hall, you’re automatically invited to be a member of RHA, so you’ve got the executive board at your fingers! Sound enticing? Now is the perfect time to join. Our RHA has just become nationally affiliated, so we’ve got resources from schools all over the United States available to us, and right now, becoming a member of will give you a voice and opportunity no other organization can offer you — because we’re right in the middle of building it. We believe everyone in these residence halls has plenty of talents and opinions, and it would be a waste not to use them. With RHA, there are so many opportunities for leadership and involvement — whether you’re running for an executive position as a freshman, or getting to represent your hall in important decision-making meetings. We’ll be hosting three informational meetings during the first two weeks of the semester, and we would love to get to know you and invite you to get to know us. Don’t go another semester without letting your voice be heard — there’s no reason you shouldn’t love living on campus! Our informational meetings will be held on January 20, 23, and 25, all from 8:00 pm-9:00 pm in the Legacy Hall Multipurpose Room. We hope to see you there. Rachael Miyahara is an education sophomore.
Make the most of spring semester
t is with great honor that I welcome everyone back on behalf of Midwestern State’s student body. I hope winter break was great Shayla and everyone is Owens ready to tackle another semester here at MSU. To the new Mustangs joining us — I hope MSU is all that you would like it to be and more. To the graduating Mustangs, we are already proud of you. Finish strong this semester.
To all students — get to know the professors, engage in conversation, make new friends, and join an organization. Enjoy the advantages of our diverse campus. Meet students from different countries. Try their cuisines and listen to their music. Look out for the opportunities to be a part of undergraduate research. Snag a selfie with University President Suzanne Shipley. Watch and cheer on our Mustangs to victory, or grab a bite to eat in Maverick’s Corner with friends. I look forward to seeing all the
great things this student body will accomplish this semester. Be advised, the SGA executives are always here to help, as well as advocate on students’ behalf. I would also like to extend a special invitation for the coming SGA meetings. They take place on the first and third Tuesday of each month. I wish everyone an abundance of success in classes this spring. Remember, MSU is my university, make it yours. Shayla Owens is a management senior.
EDITOR: Kara McIntyre
DESIGN EDITOR: Justin Marquart PHOTOGRAPHER: Jeanette Perry, Brendan Wynne,
The Wichitan is a member of the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association and the Associated Collegiate Press. The Wichitan reserves the right to edit any material submitted for publication.
ISSUE STAFF: Brendan Wynne, Jeanette Perry, Rachael
Opinions expressed in The Wichitan do not necessarily reflect those of the students, staff, faculty, administration or Board of Regents of Midwestern State University.
Francisco Martinez, Alyssa Mitchell, Izziel Latour, Mike Strickland Miyahara, Shayla Owens, Jeromy Stacy, Bridget Reilly, Alyssa Mitchell, Dominick Haskins
ADVISER: Bradley Wilson
The Wichitan welcomes letters of opinion from students, faculty and staff submitted by the Friday before intended publication. Letters should be brief (250 words or fewer) and without abusive language or personal attacks. Letters must be typed and signed by the writer and include a email address, telephone number and address.
| Jan. 18, 2017 | 3
ON THE PANEL • Andrea Button | Assistant Professor of Sociology • Angel Cartwright | Assistant Professor of Education • Mitzi Lewis | Associate Professor of Mass Communication • Dale McDonald | Associate Professor of Engineering • Paul San Miguel | Assistant Professor of Accounting and MIS • Mike Shipley | Professor of Biology • Kathleen Williamson | Associate Professor and Chair of Nursing
PHOTO BY FRANCISCO MARTINEZ | THE WICHITAN
Todd Giles, English assistant professor, talks a little about Continuing Education Film Series: “Moonrise Kingdom” and some key elements to look for throughout the film in Wichita Falls Museum of Art, Tuesday, March 10, 2015.
Faculty panel to discuss practice of liberal arts education JEROMY STACY REPORTER
panel of seven professors, one from each college, will come together for a discussion titled Implementing a Liberal Arts Education; Moving from concept to practice, in Legacy Hall on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. Todd Giles, assistant professor of English and panel moderator, said, “As an institution, we should always be asking, ‘What are we doing and how can we do things better?’” Giles has noticed a nationwide decline in the liberal arts. He believes that this panel discussion will help make students more aware of, and equip the faculty with new ways to practice, a liberal arts education. “When we talk about the liberal arts traditionally, we’re talking about things like philosophy, social science, the natural sciences, the traditional educational model. Nationwide, due to budgetary cuts, the liberal arts are impacted in many ways,” Giles said. This panel is a follow up discussion from the panel held in Shawnee Theater in
September of 2015, titled From Campus to Community: (Re)valuing the Liberal Arts and Sciences in the 21st Century. Giles said, “Essentially, I put together and moderated a panel to talk about the value of the traditional liberal arts and sciences. It was incredibly well attended and got a lot of good feedback.” Giles had hoped that the first panel would spark an interest to have more discussions. “I actually kind of ended the discussion with, ‘I hope this is the first of many that will come,’” he said. “It’s a good time to do a follow-up one.” The second panel will have a different goal, according to Giles. He said, “Essentially the first one was like, ‘This is what the liberal arts and sciences tradition is and here’s why it’s valuable not only in the classroom but in society in general,’ and this one is more along the lines of how we, as professors, bring these ideas into our classes.” Giles wants to use this discussion as an opportunity to encourage professors to find new ways to keep liberal arts a practice,
not just an idea, in the classroom. “As a relatively new faculty member here, I’ve been asking myself, ‘What does that mean? Am I engaged in that tradition?’ There’s a lot of good stuff we are doing, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t be doing more,” Giles said. Giles said that, under the new leadership of Suzanne Shipley, university president, now is the time to bring up questions like these that may have lied dormant for a while. Giles hopes that this panel inspires new discussions and leads to more events like this one. “It would be great if we could, as an institution, continue through the years to have talks about it,” he said. Giles believes that continuing talks that revolve around the topic of liberal arts education is essential to keeping the liberal arts alive on campus. Giles said, “These are major identity issues. Any institution, whether it’s higher ed or a business, if it wants to maintain a sense of relevance and being in the forefront, it has to ask these types of questions.”
4 | Jan. 18, 2017 |
164 People who voted
did not care about the inauguration
were excited about the inauguration
Americans have little to no confidence that Republican proposals to replace the law will make things better
Believe the health-care law is a good idea
Believe the health-care law is a bad idea
Poll shows stude
Students lack enthusiasm BRIDGET REILLY REPORTER
s President Barack Obama ties loose ends around the White House office, President-elect Donald Trump prepares his inaugural speech and prepares to be the 45th President of the United States starting Jan. 20. Since Trump began running for President back in June 2015, strong mixed reviews circled the political arena, stating he was either a perfect candidate for the job, just what this country needs, or he would turn the country upside-down. Out of the 164 people who voted in our Twitter poll: 18% said they were “excited,” 19% said they “did not care,” and 63% said they were “not excited.” “He isn’t someone who is trustworthy, isn’t someone who can take it upon his hands and make it succeed as he says he will,” Mercy Yermo, mass communication freshman, said. “He doesn’t represent the United States the way it should be represented and has been represented since it was made.” Kagen Parks, exercise physiology senior, agreed. “I’m not really excited. I’m nervous for what will happen in the next four years. I am scared for the people who want to come to the United States from different countries, I think it might start turmoil and might start another war,” Parks said. “I think a lot of the Syrian refugees trying to get into the United States. I know Trump had strong feelings about how he didn’t approve of that and that he didn’t like it.” Some students remain optimistic about Trump’s presidency. “I’m excited to see what he does as a business person to see how he fixes our economy, and this inauguration is special because I voted in it,” Erica Brown, education sophomore, said. Sara Smith, athletic training sophomore, also touched on how she is looking forward to Trump as President. “Since he was my party’s nominee, I am excited. Hopefully him, the Senate, and the House of Representatives can come together and change some laws and keep some of the laws that President Barack Obama made,” Smith said. “I hope they can replace Obamacare with something that is affordable for everybody in this nation because I believe everybody should have healthcare, since I am a healthcare
Donald Trump speaking at the 2014 Conservativ major. I am excited for it. I hope they can get things done, and get it done right.” Smith added that she is ready to see some change, since Obama and Trump do not originate from the same political parties. “It has been a Democratic president for the past eight years, so I’m excited to see what a Republican president could do that’s different,” Smith said. “I’m looking forward to everybody trying to get along and come together. Hopefully he can change reforms in health, and I would also like to see the violence come down in places like Chicago as well.” The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] has being a constant talking point for Trump. His plan to trash the healthcare plan President Obama built and build his own system, fired up Republicans and turned blue voters into red. However, the American Broadcasting Network recently posted a poll stating that for the first time since the law passed, more Americans think Obamacare is a good idea than bad. Some students are not too worried
ents ‘not excited’
m for Trump’s presidency
| Jan. 18, 2017 | 5
INAUGURATION SCHEDULE Jan. 20
• 9:30 a.m. | Inauguration ceremony begins on the west front of the Capitol with musical performances. • 11:30 a.m. | Opening remarks. Religious leaders will offer the invocation and readings. Pence will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. • Noon | Trump will recite the Oath of Office, administered by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. • 12:30 p.m. | Ceremony ends. • 3-5 p.m. | Inaugural parade.
PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY GAGE SKIDMORE
ve Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. about what to expect in the future of our country. “I haven’t paid much mind to it. I feel like it will affect me later down in life,” Elizabeth Cathcart, marketing sophomore, said. “It hasn’t really hit me yet. I’m not paying taxes, and I’m not necessarily out there in the workforce. I’m sure my parents and other adults are more affected than myself at 19, living in a dorm. Whether we like him or not, you just have to support [Donald Trump] and hope that he makes good decisions with the cabinet, and hope for the best.” Lucas Veitenheimer, exercise physiology senior, said he is curious about Trump’s presidential reign. “Now that he has won and he won’t have competition to argue against, I am curious to see how he addresses the nation of both conservatives and liberals,” Veitenheimer said. “I am ready to hear him with an open mind and give him the chance he deserves as our president.” Others’ opinions remain relatively neutral. “I am indifferent,” Alec DiValerio,
physical therapy junior, said. “I just want to see if he is going to do as bad as people think, or if he is going to good with his time in office.” After many declines, Trump’s staff found singers Toby Keith and Jennifer Holliday, as well as actor Jon Voight to feature in Trump’s inaugural welcome concert. This had Mpathi Nzima, biology junior interested in the inauguration ceremony. “The inauguration ceremony has my interest particularly because of all the controversy surrounding it, such as artists refusing to perform, coupled with the amount of Democrats that have said they are going to boycott the ceremony.” Nzima said he is not impressed on how the election turned out. “The actual Trump presidency is not something I am looking forward to. I care [about the inauguration] because it is important to care about. I am not interested in the man, but rather the policies that come with the man,” Nzima said.
PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY GAGE SKIDMORE
Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a hangar at Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona.
6 | Jan. 18, 2017 | JAN. 16 - JAN. 21 | STAMPEDE WEEK
2017 Spring Planner
UPB CRAFT BREAK 11 A.M. CSC ATRIUM
UPB POPCORN BAR 11 A.M. CSC FOOD COURT
DIY LETTER ART 11 A.M. CSC ATRIUM
FREE LUNCH WITH BSM | NOON BSM
ARTIST LECTURE SERIES: REPRECUSSION 7 P.M. AKIN AUDITORIUM
BSM GAME NIGHT 7 P.M. BSM
UPB: MOVIE NIGHT: SPACE JAM 8 P.M. LEGACY MULTIPURPOSE ROOM
UPB BINGO NIGHT 9 P.M. CSC COMANCHE
RHA MEET & GREET 8 P.M. LEGACY MULTIPURPOSE ROOM
FEB 10 |
MARCH 11 |
MARCH 27 |
APRIL 12 |
MAY 5 |
MAY 6 |
MAY 13 |
WHICH LIVES MATTER
LAST DAY FOR “W”
LAST DAY OF CLASSES
FINAL EXAMS BEGIN
CRIME LOG Nov. 29
Disorderly Conduct | 2:43 p.m. | Sunwatcher Village | Officer was dispatched to Apartment 224 of Sunwatcher due to roommates fighting.
Non-Criminal – Informational | 2:43 a.m. | Sundance Court Apartments | A visitor to a dorm room had a panic attack.
Assault: Misdemeanor | 6:22 p.m. | Midwestern Parkway | Victim was assaulted by suspect and then broke victim’s glasses.
Disorderly Conduct | 12:47 p.m. | CSC | Officer was dispatched to the Clark Student Center due to a student causing a disturbance and arguing with a Chartwell Food Service.
Criminal Trespass | 10:59 a.m. | Sunwatcher Village | Officer was dispatched to Sunwatcher Apartments, due to a male entering the apartment and room without the residence consent. The male also caused criminal mischief.
Alcohol: Administrative | 0:50 a.m. | Killingsworth Hall | A student was believed to be intoxicated in her dorm room. Ambulance respondedtudent was sleeping and had been vomiting.
Criminal Mischief | 8:14 a.m. | Legacy Hall | Several walls and windows were shot with BBs.
Weapons: Places Weapons Prohibited | 3:13 p.m. | Legacy Hall | Officer was dispatched to dorm due to a student being threatened by his roommate who was in possession of a sword.
Public Intoxication | 12:50 p.m. | parking Lot #2 | intoxicated student located in lot #2.
Theft | 6:34 p.m. | Killingsworth Hall | Victim reported his bike was stolen within the past month.
Burglary: Habitation | 12:37 p.m. | Pierce Hall | Student reported having his wallet stolen from his dorm room.
Drugs: possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia | 1:17 p.m. | Sunwatcher Village | Drug paraphernalia was found in a school apartment by housing.
Drugs: possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia | 4:17 p.m. | McCullough-Trigg Hall | Housing Authority was inspecting a room on a complaint of mold when they came across drug paraphernalia.
Information | 1:52 p.m. | Dillard | A female MSU student came to the MSU police department to report that she was being harassed and followed by a male MSU student.
Drugs: Possession or Delivery of Drug Paraphernalia | 1:56 p.m. | Legacy Hall | MSU Police were dispatched to Legacy Hall to a drug complaint.
Second Polar Plunge Jan. 28
| Jan. 18, 2017 | 7
KARA MCINTYRE REPORTER
or the second year in a row, Special Olympics Texas will host its Polar Plunge at the Wellness Center on Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. Whoever is ready to freeze for a reason can register online — $60 for adults and $30 for youth (under 19 years old), either registered individually or in teams. All proceeds go toward providing world-class sports training for more than 460 children and adults with intellectual disabilities in the North Texas area. “It is a great honor to work with Special Olympics Texas and it is a great opportunity for us to give back to our community in return for what they give us,” Caleb Hannon, acting director of recreational sports and wellness center, said. “Luckily we have a perfect pool for the event as it runs year round, is shallow enough for all participants, and has a great atmosphere for spectators to watch and enjoy the event.” Mike Strickland, Special Olympics Texas North Texas area director, said Texas adopted the Polar Plunge more than a decade ago from cities up north. “Dallas was the first area to do it from Texas, and I jumped on board because it’s a pretty unique fundraiser,” Strickland said. “They now make every area in the state of Texas participate.” An average of $3,000 is raised each year that the Polar Plunge is held, and 91 cents of each dollar raised goes directly to Special Olympics Texas. “Some of the difficulties and trials that our athletes have to go through when jumping into the cold water, like your senses being taken away and the first struggle you have with your muscles hitting the cold water, while of course is nothing compared to what those with special needs go through, is still a brief look into that hardship,” Strickland said. Additional funds raised will qualify participants for various incentive prizes, including a six-pack cooler, stainless steel water bottle and a fleece blanket for each donation level they meet. If participants are brave, they can wear a costume and jump into the cold water to have a chance to win Best Cos-
PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY MIKE STRICKLAND
Athlete Wesley Darnell, sister Jordan Darnell and brother Chris Darnell dress in costumes for the Polar Plunge. tume. Other award categories include Top Fundraising Plunger and Top Fundraising Team. The Polar Plunge allows Special Olympics Texas and the Wellness Center to work together in a way that they normally wouldn’t get to, according to Hannon. “Special Olympics is much like our department in helping
individuals find their ‘wellness’ in life. We strive to provide our students, faculty, staff and community the essentials to reach the five sections of wellness as the Special Olympics does for their athletes and volunteers. Working with their organization allows us to overlap our missions and put together events that will reach deeper in to the community.”
More than 150 attend housing’s waffle night ALYSSA MITCHELL REPORTER
he housing staff hosted a late night waffles session in Sunwatcher Clubhouse on Jan. 16 at 9 p.m. Angie Reay, associate director of residence life and housing, said, “During our move in week programming, we usually end the week and night before classes with our late night waffle dinner.” There were toppings for the waffles like peanut butter, M&M’s, chocolate syrup, chocolate chips, and the regular waffle toppings like butter and maple syrup. More than 150 students went to eat late night waffles. Reay said, “We usually have about 150 to 175 students come. We can usually tell by how many waffles we have to buy. We just get some waffles and toppings and have a place for people to socialize and relax in a stress free environment before classes get going.” The housing staff has put on the waffle night for four semesters now and they say they have always seen a good outcome. Reay said, “It’s a way for students to relax, we know that classes are starting everyone loves to have a late night snack and everything so this is just kind of something to bring ev-
PHOTO BY ALYSSA MITCHELL | THE WICHITAN
Students stand in line in Sunwatcher Clubhouse for waffles on Jan. 9. eryone together.” The waffle night budget, combined with the cowboys playoff watch party and movie night budgets, came in at approximately $200. Reay said, “I bought for this program and the playoff program that we hosted in the Legacy multi-purpose room and a
movie night that was Saturday. For all three programs I spent right around $200.” Some students believed that the waffle night was actually going to be pancakes. Kaytlyn Boyett, art junior said, “I was originally expecting pancakes, which I am not a fan of, but I went anyways to be social. Once I noticed they were waffles, I got excited considering that I like waffles.” For the people who were expecting pancakes, it could be upsetting to see a different item on the menu. Boyett said, “Just like I don’t like pancakes, someone who was expecting them but instead received waffles could be upset.” Other than the miscommunication, students enjoyed the waffle night. Whitney Atkinson, English sophomore said, “I liked the waffles and it was fun to get out of my room for a little while before I’m stuck doing homework all the time.” The fun was all in hanging out with friends and being social. Boyett said, “It brings everyone together over food and that definitely makes me happy. So many people can create bonds and even small memories from just a small get together.”
8 | Jan. 18, 2017 |
Athletic administrators work to improve athletic departments GPA DOMINICK HASKINS REPORTER
o improve the cumulative GPA for all 312 student-athlete members of the athletic department, university administrators have developed two ideas to help motivate and organize student-athletes so that they are better suited for success. First, coaches are going to be receiving bonuses on top of their normal salaries depending on the academic success of their teams. In addition to this, Mustang360 will help studentathletes with time management and other issues they may encounter as a student-athlete. MSU has traditionally been near the top of the leader board in most sports in the Lone Star Conference, but it is West Texas A&M and Texas Women’s College that has been atop the leader board in the classroom. The Lone Star Conference Academic Excellence Award presented by Balfour is given to the university with the highest academic performance as determined by a point system. WTAM has taken home the men’s title the last two years while TWC has taken home the women’s title the last three years, sharing it with WTAM in 2015 The point system works by giving the team with the highest GPA in a respective sport five points, the runner four points, and third place three points. Any team with a cumulative GPA above 2.0 automatically receives one point. Points for each member institution are added up by gender and then divided by that schools number of programs in that gender to given the comparative value. WTAM took the top spot in seven different men’s sports while TWC took the top spot in two different women sports. MSU did not take the top spot any sports. Bonuses are sought to give the coaches an incentive to recruit student-athletes that are better suited to thrive in the classroom, and to get coaches to push the student-athletes they currently have harder in the classroom. Athletic Director, Charlie Carr said he is always looking for ways to communicate to both the coaches and student athletes that academics are always the highest priority. “We’re always striving to do better. Traditionally we have done well both on the field and in the classroom and we certainly want to keep those traditions up,” Carr said. The coaches will receive bonuses on top of the salary that they already earn according to the cumulative GPA that their athletes produce. Last years cumulative GPA for all sports combined was 2.72. For all sports not including football, head coaches will receive $1,000 if the GPA is at least 3.00, $1,500 for a 3.25 GPA, $2,000 for a GPA of 3.5 and $2,500 for a 3.75 GPA. Football however, is held to a lower academic standard. The bonuses for the football team are a $1,000 bonus for a 2.5 GPA, a bonus of $1,500 for a GPA of 2.75, $2,000 for a 3.0 GPA, and a bonus of $2,500 for a GPA of 3.25. But the bonuses don’t stop there. A head coach can earn an additional bonus of $1,000 if a team’s academic success exceeds the national average for the sport. And a head coach can earn a bonus of $2,500 can be earned if a team is in the top 25th percentile for the sport. The Lone Star Conference, the athletic conference Midwestern State plays out of, also gives a cash bonus to the coach of the team with the highest GPA in the conference. These bonuses are in addition to the bonuses that the coaches may receive due to performance on the field. Jeff Ray, former athletic director and current men’s and
Chris Norrie, mass communication senior, playing the MSU invitational tennis tournament on Sept. 17. women’s golf coach thinks that the will get coaches attention not necessarily because of the money but because it reinforces to coaches that academics mean just as much as athletics does. “We as coaches try to recruit kids that will not only succeed in their respective sport, but in the classroom as well. There’s a reason why student comes before athlete. Athletics are great, but it all starts in the classroom,” Ray said “Not that we don’t know that, but giving bonuses is basically like a reminder that the way our student-athletes perform in the classroom means just as much as the way they perform on the fields.” While giving bonuses for good performance in the classroom may be new here at MSU, it is nothing new in the college athletics world. Programs have long used monetary incentives for coaches as ways to motivate coaches to get their players to raise their GPA. There are plenty of examples of this. Many major Division 1 head coaches can receive major pay days for good performance in the classroom. It is much rarer for Division 2 coaches to receive these benefits, and even if they do the pay cowers in comparison to a division 1 school. According to data from the schools obtained by USA TODAY Sports, both Kentucky and Rutgers give their head football coach $25,000 for a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75. Central Florida offers even more, give their head football coach $55,000 for a cumulative GPA above 2.5. Smaller schools like Kent State, which gives their head football coach $1,000 for a GPA of 2.5 fall more in line with MSU’s pay scale. Other schools choose to give bonuses based off of a teams APR rate, which stands for Academic Progress Rate. Smaller Division 1 schools like Appalachian State and South Alabama give out bonuses of
PHOTO BY IZZIEL LATOUR
$10,000 and $5,000 to their head football coach for an APR above 930. Bigger schools like Alabama and South Carolina give out $100,000 bonuses to their head football coach for APR’s above 930 for Alabama and 950 for South Carolina. On the hardwood, George Mason University will pay their head basketball coach $52,500 if his team has a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher. Some schools choose to give bonuses if a certain percentage of their players graduate, take Kentucky for example. Kentucky basketball coach, John Calipari will receive $100,000 if just 75 percent of his players graduate. Another program, Mustang360, is being developed by Carr and Foster. The program, which features internet based content as well as an app for cell phones is being put in place to help college students with every facet of their day to day life. “Mustang 360 is web-based interactive individual life skills program. In the past, the way we’ve done life skills is that we’ll bring in speakers, or we’ll do workshops, but that’s always difficult to do because it’s tough with timing as it’s hard to get all of our sports together,” Reagan said, “Being able to program to them on their phone or computer on their own time is really a good way to do this.” MSU is still working to get the program underway according to Carr. “It’s been a little slow getting it developed. They had to get the software part of it squared away so we’re just finally getting it online. We want our student-athletes to have all the tools they need to succeed and this will certainly be nothing but a positive thing,” Carr said. Read the rest of the story online.