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Topeka High School, 800 SW 10th St. Topeka, Kansas 66612

December. 2017 Volume 150, Issue 3

Winter Woes

News 2-5

Bus crashes appear city wide

Students with mental illness face testing influx and seasonal depression blend to create a perfect storm of suffering.

Features 5-6 Sports 8-9 Winter Sports Preview

Opinion 10-11 Conceal and carry or not?

Seasonal depression and test anxiety are a few of the struggles students face as the semester comes to an end. Photo illustration by Shavo Locke.

Photo Story 12

Student Talent Show

World bus crashes plague district 2 News


by Julia Howell


ince the start of the school year, Topeka Public Schools has experienced an estimated five bus crashes with Durham Bus company. Ruby Jones, a Meadows Elementary kindergartner, was 5 years old when her bus driver missed a stop sign and ran into a car as they were on the way to school. Ruby’s mother, Marilyn Martinez, remembers how distraught her daughter was following the crash. “She was pretty upset by it. She said that she and the girl that sat next to each other cried,” Martinez said. After her child was involved with this incident, and hearing about other school bus crashes around the community, Martinez decided to no longer let her daughter ride the district provided school bus. “I was extremely upset and worried. It impacted everyone in our family,” Martinez said. ”She had asked to take a break from riding the bus, so we were going to give her a week off. We then decided to not KSNT TV captured the October 18 crash at 12th and Gage in Topeka KS. There were no injuries to the driver of the car, bus driver or the one student on the send her after the second accident happened.” bus. KSNT TV Topeka Public Schools and Durham Bus company partnership consists of transporting students to and from school, sporting events “We take full accountability for the accidents, and sincerely and any type of school registered event for the past 13 years. Misty apologize to our district partners and parents,” Walden said. “We Krueger, Topeka Public Schools director of communications said have been providing transportation to the students of TPS for 13 that no matter the occasion, the district expects the students to be years, and we are prepared to do all that we can to restore our district kept safe. partners’ and parent’s trust in our company.” “We have an expectation for the transportation service that is provided to students and families of Topeka Public Schools,” Krueger said. “With the recent incidents that have occurred, that standard is not being met. We have met with Durham officials in recent days to review current procedures and to hear from them what steps they are taking to address the accidents.” The school district and Durham Bus company are constantly in contact with one another and are currently trying to work to find • Criminal background check conducted safer solutions to prevent these life threatening situations. “Management teams have been onsite to investigate and have by third party called HireRight been conducting additional safety training, and Durham’s vice president of safety has been onsite to hold meetings with the Topeka • Motor vehicle record review from a third team members,” Kate Walden, director of communications at party called HireRight Durham Bus company said. • Kansas Department of Transportation Recent changes to Durham school buses include installing cameras into every vehicle. This device records abnormal movement pre-employment drug screen conducted of the bus and instantly sends the footage back to the Durham by a third party offices. • KDOT medical examination from a “We have equipped school buses with DriveCam—a state-of-theart camera technology. DriveCam then captures unusual events in Department of Transportation certified 12-second video clips. The insight allows us to re-train and coach physician driving behaviors that need improvement, and recognize exceptional driving,” Walden said. “This new technology is designed to provide further peace of mind for parents, our district partners and the residents in the communities we serve.” Durham realizes the uneasiness much of the community is feeling right now from the high number of recent accidents.

PreRequesites For a Durham School Bus Driver:

The World Staff

Editor-in-Chief: Julia Howell Managing Editor: Bannon Beall The Tower Website: Lillian Holmberg, Editor Abbie Cruse, Co-Editor Sports Editor: Cameron Burnett Social Media Manager: Mazzy Martinez Business Managers: Jayden Huckabay Amber Ruiz Reporters: Everett Benson Shavo Lock William Hendrix Rose Pennington Nathan Swaffar Tyler Pressler

Advertisement Policy

The World has the right to accept, reject, edit, or cancel any advertisement at any time. Advertising shall be free of statements, illustrations, or implications that are offensive based on the opinion of the staff. Ads are not an endorsement of the adviser, the administration, or the USD 501 Board of Education.

Editorial Policy

The World opinion section is an accessible public forum for the publication readers. Kansas Senate Bill 62 guarantees the same rights for student journalists as are guaranteed for professional journalists. Editorials represent the collective opinion of the publication staff. Others opinions expressed in any Topeka High student publication are not necessarily those of The World editorial staff, the student body, faculty, administration, or school district. Signed columns and letters to the editor represent the view and opinion of the writer only. The content reflects student thinking and is not necessarily in agreement with administrative policies. Letters will be edited for content and length as well as spelling, grammar, and other considerations. Letters that are libelous, obscene, or an invasion of privacy will not be printed in the paper. All letters must be signed and verified before publication. The World will not directly answer letters unless a question is posed. The opinion pages area forum for the exchange of comment and criticism, and they are open to students and others interested in Topeka High School. Typed, double-spaced letters are preferred, but legible handwritten letters are acceptable. E-Mailed letters will not be accepted (since there would be no signature.) Letters should be limited to approximately 300 words, or about one-and-a-half pages doublespaced.

Topeka High News @ths_news @THStower Email Professional Associations

Kansas Scholastic Press Association National Scholastic Press Association Journalism Education Association


Tower Trouble


News 3

by Lillian Holmberg

T-High’s Tower not safe for access


very hour on the hour from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the sound of bells ring out from the 165 foot tower that rises above Topeka High School. The intricately designed, gothic style tower is home to a Deagan chime system, and Topeka High is the only public school in the world that houses working Deagan chimes. The tower is also home to almost 150 years worth of school trophies and historical documents. While the external appearance of the tower is a source of pride for generations of Trojans, the tower is like an Egyptian mummy: its structure is beautiful and intricate on the outside, but its inside is slowly deteriorating. Students used to be able to enter the tower, and it was even common for seniors to climb all three flights of stairs on each of the three levels of the tower so they could say “they made it to the top.” It was something that had been woven into the fabric of Topeka High tradition. Now, entrance to the tower is extremely limited, and student access is not permitted. The

The gears to the Deagan chime system. Photo by Bannon Beall


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last time the tower door was opened for general access was in 2006. According to Joan Barker, secretary for the Historical Society, the stairs that lead up to the bells in the tower need to be completely replaced. Barker says that the stairs are functional to a certain extent, but are not safe for the maintenance workers to climb, and certainly not safe enough for general public. The stairs in the tower are open and wooden, and are held up by a metal wire on each side. “We want to make the stairs safe for everyone. Safety is really the Historical Society’s number one priority,” said Barker. While the Historical Society’s focus is on safety, that assurance comes at a high price. Barker said that the first phase of stair replacement would be an engineering and architectural study, at a cost of approximately $20,000, which the Historical Society would potentially be able to help fund through donations. Barker stated that even before the architectural studies are done, the school needs to gain district approval. Barker says that the Historical Society has “been invited to the table to discuss changes,” but the “TPS 501 administration simply does not want to take the project on.” The only way the Topeka High Historical Society can proceed with the stair replacement project is with the support of Topeka Public Schools. When asked if she would support the idea of the Historical Society raising money for the initial study, Dr. Tiffany Anderson, superintendent, described what steps any group must take in order to get changes approved. “Generally when there is a project that anyone proposes to do, whether it’s the Historical Society or any other organization, there’s a process that they have to go through in which the deputy superintendent who oversees facilities

The stairs leading to the second and third levels of the tower are open and wooden, and are unsafe for students to climb. Photo by Rebecca Morrisey

is approached with a proposal, and there has to be assurance that not only can a study be done, but also the project in and of itself could be done.” Once that is done, Anderson said, “Any project that goes through that process and is approved, I certainly would support.” As for projects that are not approved, Anderson stated that there could be a variety of reasons. “It could be everything from the project itself is already slated to be something that’s addressed by the district, it could be that there’s not a definitive securing of funds that an organization has to actually complete the project, and you don’t want an organization to start a project that they can’t complete,” said Anderson. “It could be a host of issues.” Anderson said that she had not been aware of the Historical Society’s intentions to replace the stairs, nor had she been informed about the stairs by deputy superintendent Larry Robbins, whom Barker claims she has spoken to on many occasions. Barker, however, remains hopeful. “Raising money does not scare us,” said Barker. “People love Topeka High and this building, and they’re always willing to step up and support projects. The community will support us.”

4 News



Christmas Traditions by Bannon Beall

by Jayden Huckabay


istletoe is a plant that grows on range of trees including willow, apple, and oak trees. The tradition of hanging it in the house goes back to the times of the ancient Druids. It was said to possess mystical powers which bring good luck to the household and wards off evil spirits. It was also used as a sign of love and friendship in Norse mythology. Now, the tradition has evolved to kissing under Mistletoe.

What does Christmas mean to you?


ift giving is one of the most widespread Christmas traditions in existence; even many non-Christians participate in the annual custom. Despite its modern corporate ties, the practice of giving gifts to loved ones at Christmas time originates from the story of the birth of Jesus in the Bible. In the nativity story, the three wise men that travel to meet the Messiah give him three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.


vergreen trees have had spiritual significance in the winter seasons since before Christianity even came to be. The ancient Egyptians believed that the sun god, Ra, would recover from illness at the solstice. To celebrate, they would fill their homes with greenery. The ancient Romans celebrated the approaching agricultural bounty at the solstice by decorating with evergreen boroughs. Its Christian origins are said to lie in a story about Martin Luther. According to the story, the night before Christmas, he was walking through the forest and looked up to see the stars shining through the tree branches. It was so beautiful that he went home and told his children that it reminded him of Jesus, who left the stars of heaven to come to earth at Christmas.

Photo by Cameron Burnett

“Christmas, to me, is about family and it’s about traditions. On Christmas Eve we always go to church and everybody gets to open one present on Christmas Eve. All five of my children will all get together in one bedroom and watch a Christmas movie and then they all sleep in that one bedroom. No other time of the year do they do that but on Christmas Eve. I don’t know who started it, but they do that. I also really love Christmas music.” -

Jennifer Womack, Math teacher


this year, Hanukkah is celebrated from december 12-20

Hanukkah roughly translates to “dedication” in hebrew

a shammash candle is used to light the other candles

Hanukkah has been celebrated since around 200 A.D.

Stiel of Topeka’s Temple Beth Shalom. While less than one percent of Topeka High students celebrate Hanukkah, they’re still leading in the population of Jewish students among the Topeka Public Schools high schools. In a survey of 104 students, 7% of students and staff answered that they celebrated Hanukkah, while 11% reported that they knew very much about Hanukkah. Many people think of Hanukkah as “Jewish Christmas.” However, the story behind Hanukkah is significantly different than that of Christmas. Hanukkah is a celebration of the conquering of Greek ruler Antiochus IV after he attempted to convert the Jerusalem Temple from Judaism to an altar honoring Zeus. Then, after two years of war, the temple was rededicated to the Jewish people. “It’s a holiday of light and joy,” said Stiel.

in israel, gifts are not commonly given for hanukkah


“It’s a holiday about miracles. It’s really a hopeful time.”

Jewish people make up 0.6% of the kansas population

News 5

by Mazzy Martinez

or the average American, when holiday season starts, Christmas is the holiday that is primarily thought about. However, when a person says “Merry Christmas,” they may be unknowingly erasing another holiday: Hanukkah. While Jewish people only make up around 2.2% of the United States population, it’s still an important holiday to a large population of the world. Every year, Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev. Lasting across the span of eight days, a candle of a nine-branch menorah is burned each night, a prayer is said every night, and the menorah is placed in the window of the home in which it is being celebrated. “When you walk down the street [in Israel], you’ll see several menorahs or candles in jars sitting on the window sills of homes,” said Rabbi Debbie

Diane Morgan, English Teacher

Hanukkah is celebrated by eating foods cooked in oil

Happy Challah-Days

what does hanukkah mean to you?

sources cited: Rabbi debbie stiel,


6 Features


Finals Countdown


Test Anxiety Increases in Students as Finals Week Approaches by Amber Ruiz


weaty palms, racing thoughts, increased blood pressure, fear; all ingredients of a growing affliction that more than half the student body suffers from: test anxiety. Anxiety is a term used to describe the intense panic an individual might feel when stressed out. In school, it is an obstacle that many students face, especially when paired with testing. Nathan Rivera, freshmen, commented on the issue saying, “I am overwhelmed by so many tests and since now they are worth even more points (because of standardized grading) the pressure of having one of your grades drop is terribly scary.” In November, The World conducted a poll that received 100 responses and found that the majority of the student body has taken more than three standardized tests so far this year, and 30% say they have taken more than five. Ryan Arnold, the instructional coach and testing coordinator for Topeka High School explains the relationship between anxiety and testing. “We recognize that students do have [test anxiety], when we administer the tests we try to tell the teachers if they do have it. It is really up to the teachers to accommodate and make a better atmosphere for the students,” said Arnold. According to Arnold, Topeka High has a high ACES score, which stands for adverse childhood experiences. Childhood trauma can elevate students’ stress levels. Administration and school authorities are aware of the backgrounds that may influence students’ school days and are countering the problem with stress passes. The counseling center provides students who suffer from anxiety with passes that allow them to leave the classroom if they feel stressed.

However, the school has no educational or humanitarian programs that target student anxiety. “It is definitely a problem, but we don’t have any distinct programs that help with it. We should teach kids relaxation skills,” said Arnold. Junior Nautica Embertson left a comment on the poll explaining her test anxiety. Embertson said that school is a high-stress experience which creates a hostile environment for creativity due to high-stakes testing and lack of resources for stress management.

The amygdala is a structure that is responsible for the sensor y signals and reaction to stress. It plays a role with anxiety, in the flight or fight response.

Symptoms of Anxiety

The pref rontal co r is a part of the br tex keeps th ain that e amygd Howeve ala in ch r, anxiet eck. y m ay disrup brains n t the ormal re actions.





seasonal depression The brain chemical and neurotransmitter, serotonin, is reduced when there is a reduction in sunlight. The loss of serotonin may trigger deppression.

what to look out for this winter season

by Cameron Burnett


or Nelly Schiefelbein, senior, the change of seasons and upcoming holidays mean more than drinking pumpkin spice lattes and Black Friday shopping. It means loss of motivation, increased feelings of depression and anxiety, and lack of selfconfidence. Schiefelbein, like 10 million Americans, suffers from what doctors call “Seasonal Affective Disorder” or more simply put, seasonal depression or SAD. This particular type of depression occurs at the same time each year, for most, during the winter season. “I’ve had general depression since I was 5” Schiefelbein said. “As I got older I started to notice how around the holidays and with the change of seasons, my depression would get a lot worse.” While most may just assume this drop of mood is the result of stress and simply brush it off, it is recommended that people experiencing this common disorder should take steps to ease their symptoms. Symptoms include avoiding social settings more than usual, trouble sleeping, weight gain, a decreased energy level, irritability, and an inability to concentrate. Peg McCarthy, local psychologist, board

ood gulate m e r o t y t n’s abili sion. The brai hes with depres s help diminis pressant e d i t n a , r Howeve do a the brain ing mood. iliz b at stab better jo

member of Topeka Public Schools, and graduate of Yale University, said that SAD, while can occur in high school students, is seen more frequently in older adolescents and biological females. “Seasonal depression can get to be quite severe, so it is important that people who suffer from this to recognize it and search treatment,” McCarthy said. Treatment for SAD can range from exercising more in the day to investing in a light box, or a lamp which contains specific wavelengths of light that uses polychromatic polarized light. Dr. McCarthy stated that through the use of a light box, patients will be “resetting the body” from the change that occurred during Daylights Savings Time. Because of daylight savings time, the amount of serotonin in your body is significantly less in the winter. Along with the use of a light box and exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, Dr. McCarthy also suggests therapy to help the patient combat their negative thinking and self criticism. “It [seasonal depression] can sneak up on you, so it is really important to be aware of what the symptoms are and do not wait to seek help,” McCarthy said.

Depression and Anxiety disorders increase someone’s suicidal thoughts. If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts please call:


8 Sports



WINTER SPOrts previews Mats off for wrestling E very day at 3:20, Erich Singer, coach of the Topeka High Wrestling team, pumps up his team with quirky exercises and small speeches about motivation, dedication, and the importance of trying your hardest. Singer pushes his ideas of teamwork, goal-setting, and getting his team to become familiar and comfortable with

Coach Singer has had female wrestlers a part of the team for many years now and states how it’s an idea “that’s gaining quite a bit of traction on a state level.” Photo by Cameron Burnett.

BUCKET BOYS by Cameron Burnett


icking up from last year’s season, the Topeka High Trojans Men’s Basketball team has a lot to promise from their 6-7 record from last year. The team is led by the starting five: Ky Thomas (soph.), Marques Hidalgo (jr.), Davonshai Harden (soph.), Keeandre Smith (jr.), and Larry White (sr.) and coached by Patrick Denney. When asked about his outlook on the upcoming season, Marvelle Yates, shooting guard, is hopeful. “We have a great chance to bring home a title this year,” Yates said. “We have a great group of guys, and I’m excited to see what this year brings us.” When asked about working with Coach Denney, Smith said, “It’s nice working with

For the entire team is getting at least one of the wrestlers to state. Photo by Cameron Burnett

wrestling, and their teammates. “I’d really like to focus on the individuals we have this year,” Singer said, “Obviously the team concept is very strong.” Singer is building his team from the ground up this year. Singer hopes to bond with his new set of wrestlers, as well as his past wrestlers. Singer hopes to not only get his wrestlers excited, but he also hopes to help them find their passion. “I do believe that, as a team, we have something positive to offer for everyone that comes out for the team, and so I want to be able as a wrestling team to focus on meeting the goals that individuals have for themselves,” he said. With obvious differences, the female wrestlers often times face challenging and

by Tyler Pressler

uncomfortable situations. “There’s definitely a lot of guys that think girls still shouldn’t wrestle, and so they purposely hurt you, and make sure you stay off the mat,” says sophomore Lauren Meier. “Guys have told me to my face, You need to get out of this sport. The sexism of it is still very present. There’s a stigma.” Meier is one of three girls on the wrestling team. “In coming together, and building that team unity, I really think we can help individuals find out what they’re about in ways that they can more positively impact those around them.” The wrestling team’s first match will be an away match against Mission Valley and Emporia on Dec. 2.

him, I can say he has helped me a lot in improving my game and gave me a better understanding of it.” Hidalgo is excited about his opportunity to be in the starting five as a junior. “It’s pretty nice,” Hidalgo said. “I just want to be in a position that’s benefiting us, no matter if I’m starting or not.” The Trojans face off against Leavenworth next, on December 7 in Leavenworth. Patrick Moss, senior, is one of the three student section leaders. Moss is looking forward to getting the students excited and hoping to see the team go far. “I’m looking forward to being able to interact with the student body in a way I have never been able to do and getting to enjoy a front row seat to watch our basketball team dominate this year,” Moss said. Da’Vonshai Harden, sophomore, warms up for the Black and Gold scrimmage. Photo by Phillip Canady.

Carlos Escobel, sophomore, goes up for a shot. Photo by Phillip Canady.



WINTER SPOrts previews


he Lady Trojan Basketball team will try to rebound from a 9-13 season last year. The team is led by senior leaders Kyia McWilliams, Morgan Carranza, Jasmine Wheeler, Sierra Stanley, Kalyn Sales, and Jillian Mongold. Head Coach Hannah Alexander said the team should do well this year. “We will be very competitive in our tough league,” said Alexander. “Our main goal is to get a winning record this year.” This year’s team is young with talent with three different freshmen making the JV/V in Ja’Neysha Hendricks, Lilly Smith, and Zoe Caryl. The team’s top returner is Jaryn Benning, with whom Alexander has high expectations for this year.

by Nathan Swaffar

“Jaryn Benning had a great year last year, so we’re hoping she carries this over to help be our leading scorer and rebounder.” Manager Danielle Schiefelbein, senior, has been a manager since her sophomore year when she found out she could no longer play due to severe chronic migraines. Schiefelbein is still excited about being apart of a team growing with fresh talent. “Definitely look for the new talent we have. I feel like this year’s team is going to be amazing by how the girls are capable of understanding one another during the game and with all the talent we have plus how hard working all of the girls are,” Schiefelbein said. The Trojans’ first three games will

be at Topeka high will freshman, JV, and Varsity all in action against Lawrence High, Seaman, and Highland Park.

Jaryn Benning, junior, practices shooting during warm ups. Photo by Nathan Swaffer.

Ja”Neysha Hendricks, freshmen, dribbles down the court at the women’s basketball scrimmage on November 28. Photo by Nathan Swaffar.



he Topeka High men’s swim team is gearing up for this year’s season with hopes of a solid year. When asked about last season, Joseph Ramirez, senior, said, “We had some people go to state and we did really well. We did not place very high but, it went really well.” Ramirez has been participating in men’s swim at Topeka High for four years and believes to be stronger than ever. He is, however, still unsure of the team. “The team will do really well because we have a lot of good

Bradley Palmer, sophomore, releases from the starting block for the 100 backstroke race. Photo by Bannon Beall.

Sports 9

Joseph Ramirez, senior, comes up for air during the 100 yard butterfly. Photo by Bannon Beall.

by Cameron Burnett

swimmers this year but we did lose a lot of good seniors so it could go either way,” Ramirez said. Bradley Palmer, sophomore, spoke about how the loss of some key teammates from last season was hard but victory with new team members has already been achieved. “Our goal this year was to beat Hayden, which we did the first meet of the season. It should be a great season for us though, even losing some good seniors last year I’m looking forward to this season and more meets.” If there is anyone with undeniable faith in their team, however, it is coach Kenneth Bennett. “They’re all young yet we show a lot of promise,” Bennett said. “I’m looking forward to seeing them grow and I’m looking for my seniors to show some good leadership qualities. I’m excited for the season.” On Wednesday, Nov. 29, the swim team had their first meet. Fischer Carr, senior, and Bradley Palmer, sophomore, each placed four times in out of the teams 16 rankings. The team’s next meet is Tuesday, December 5 at 4 p.m. at Emporia High School.

10 Opinion


Hunting the Truth W ith winter seeming like it’s already here, an annual tradition for many Kansans and other Americans, is hunting wild game. As a hunter of many species, I have heard about many of the misconceptions about hunters and hunting in general, and I know first hand that these misconceptions put a negative light on hunters like myself. One of the biggest misconceptions about hunting is that we harm the population of an animal. In today’s modern hunting, there are many rules and regulations regarding this. When it comes to the ring-necked pheasant, in the state of Kansas you can only harvest a maximum of four cocks (males) a day. Hunting these animals is also good for the environment. In Kansas you find the pheasant in the tall grass and farmed fields in the western part of the state. Without hunting the populations of many animals in the state pheasant, deer, and different species of waterfowl, the population would get too big and more resources would be required for these species to live. Deer eat crops, that are grown by farmers and who need these to have a sizable income. If the deer population increased too much, crops harvested by local farmers would be destroyed. Not to mention deer collisions could increase

Upland Birds

Ring-Necked Pheasant Population 50 million


by Nathan Swaffar

killing of more people in crashes. Another huge misconception in that we spend taxpayers money on wildlife conservation. This is completely untrue. In the state of Kansas the price for a hunting and fishing license for a permanent resident is $47.50. For a non-resident for the same license costs $137.50. Kerry Zimmerman, science teacher and hunter, says that hunters pay the biggest contribution to hunting and conservation. “I could show them videos, websites, articles with scientific proof with what hunters do for conservation,” said Zimmerman. “How all the animals most species that we hunt in this country are flourishing in numbers that are as high as they’ve ever been due to hunters’ conservation efforts, and a lot of that is because we have hunting and how much it costs to do it goes back into conservation.” Along with this misconception is that some hunter are reckless. Ethical and responsible hunters are not trigger happy. Hunters take good care of a firearm and only use it when we know we have a safe clean shot at an animal. Hunters are put under a negative view too much. We need to inform the public about the great things that hunters do for conservation, and the country as a whole.

Species to Hunt


BobWhite Quail

Canada Goose

Population No set Population

Population 3 Million

Big Game

Mallard Duck Population 10.5 Million


White-Tail Deer

Mule Deer

Population 28.6 million

Population 3.6 Million

Tom Turkey Population 79.5 Million

Hen Turkey Not permitted to hunt

Infographic by Shavo Lock

concealed campus O n July 1, 2017, the Personal and Family Protection Act was passed, allowing any person 21 years or older to conceal carry on Kansas college campuses. While some students feel that the law could make campuses safer, others are fearful. Connar Gigous, a 2017 Topeka High graduate and current KU freshman, is frightened by the inherent risks of the policy. “It’s scary. You never know who has a gun and who doesn’t,” said Gigous. “Earlier this semester, there were gun shells found outside of the building Strong Hall. I don’t believe it is necessary on a college campus.” The college experience is often marked by reckless behavior of newlyfound adults binge drinking, going to fraternity parties and doing drugs. Why are we giving students lethal weapons to casually walk around with? Why in the world does it make sense to give them guns? Decreasing regulations on concealed carry will only make matters worse. Jade Groobman, a University of Kansas freshman who plans on majoring in Political Science feels that, had she known about the policy, her college choices may have changed.

by Abbie Cruse

“When I first came, I didn’t know about [concealed carry] until syllabus week. I think that if I knew before I was committed to University of Kansas, it would have heavily affected my decision and I don’t think I would’ve came KU,” said Groobman, who came from Boulder, Colo. where there are more restrictions on guns. Groobman was on Massachusetts Street in Lawrence in the early morning of October 1, 2017, when a drive-by shooting that took three lives occurred. “It was all really scary and very traumatizing, and to think I could’ve been there,” said Groobman. Kevin Bethea, senior, who is preparing to attend Kansas State is not bothered by the concealed carry policy if a background check or other regulatory test is involved. “I am completely for owning guns.. You own a gun to not shoot it,” said Bethea. According to Everytown Research, 93 Americans are killed with guns on an average day. Every 34 hours, a child is killed unintentionally due to concealed firearm in a house. Giving people more lethal weapons will not decrease violence. The topic of gun control needs to be addressed and now is the time for the conversation.


Bah, Humbug.


don’t let phrasing ruin your holiday

by William Hendrix nce the Thanksgiving season is over, it’s time for the year end nationwide debate over whether we should be saying “‘Merry Christmas,” or “Happy Holidays.” A lot of the time, most people would see this as not really being an issue. It’s a time of good tidings, family gatherings, and all that sort of stuff, so why does it really matter? Well, for obvious reasons, other religions and cultures celebrate this time of year differently. With Christians, you have Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. With the Jewish, Hanukkah is an 8 day celebration commemorating the rededication of the second temple in Jerusalem after they revolted against their Greek-Syrian oppressors. And Kwanzaa is a week long celebration by African Americans, celebrating African Heritage and unity. But now to reiterate the question; should we be saying “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays?” With many different cultures celebrating very different things at around the same time, this could cause some societal friction when someone says “Chag Sameach!”


to someone who doesn’t celebrate Hanukkah, or someone says “Merry Christmas!” to someone who isn’t Christian. A mostly unspoken compromise has people of all walks of life saying “Happy Holidays” as an alternative to make sure everyone is covered, but there’s always a few holdouts that think this threatens their freedom of religion, or they just prefer their saying over a compromise. Personally, I believe that the argument that says “Happy Holidays” threatens the freedom of religion is a crass argument that could very easily be refuted. In a country like the United States, you should feel lucky that you do have those freedoms, rather than making a big stink about it. When all said and done, there’s no sense in making a fuss about having your freedoms taken away when that’s not the case. It’s a simple proposition that’s kind of for the greater good. It settles any potential arguments. A poll conducted in 2016 by the Public Religion Research Institute shows that a 67% majority of Republicans think it’s not an issue and should not be changed, whereas on 30% of Democrats think the same thing. This poses an obvious divide between parties, when it shouldn’t. If it’s gotten to a point where there’s a tense divide between people, doesn’t that just defeat these celebrations? This is a time of celebration, good tidings, and family gatherings. It’s no time to have petty feuds over terminology, and you should definitely not let it ruin your holiday.


What Do you say “merry Christmas” or “happy Holidays”?

“I say Merry Christmas. It’s probably more well-mannered to say happy holidays, but I think saying Merry Christmas is just something people are used to and it’s a tradition.” -Savanah Jackson, senior

“I say Merry Christmas because it’s around the Christmas time and that’s what you’re supposed to say.” -Gabriel James, junior

“I just say happy holidays because there’s more than one holiday.” -Joshua Mullinix, senior

“I say Merry Christmas because it’s just how I was raised. I do say happy holidays as well but my family is very centered around religion and for us it’s the birth of Christ, so we say Merry Christmas.” -Alayna Stevens, junior Photos by Jayden Huckabay

Sro 2017

The annual student run talent showed ran from November 14-17. The show, directed by Aja Gamble and Staayli Walker, was titled “We’re Better Together” and was campinspired. The show contained acts from singers to dancers to student ensembles.

Women’s ensemble performs choreography by Tierra Jones.

Leah Starbuck and Keiana McMillian dance in the hip-hop ensemble.

“We’re better together”

Tierra Jones performs an interpretive dance.

Jamaria Phillips raps her own writing.

Paul Cabilli performs “Taylor the Latte Boy.”

Photos by: Cameron Burnett, Kaitlyn Brown, Olivia Palma, and Tanuelle Jackson

Julia Johnson sings with her ukulele.

Jalen Blackwell performs as Dr. Worm in Men’s Ensemble.

Emcees Jayden Hucakabay, Peter Sandquist, Sam Mazas, Adreon Horn, and Kara McClendon perform skits.

Shaayli Walker sings “Nothing” by Whitney Houston

The World, Volume 150, Issue 3, December 2017  
The World, Volume 150, Issue 3, December 2017