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UNIVERSITY NEWS UMKC’s Independent Student Newspaper

Volume 81, Issue 25

Tuesday April 1, 2014

UMKC announces new mascot University opts out of legacy marsupial Roze Brooks Editor-in-Chief

In a closed session with the UM System Board of Curators March 25, it was decided that the University of Missouri- Kansas City would be parting ways with its beloved Kasey the Kangaroo. Chancellor Leo E. Morton announced during a press conference on Friday that the new mascot will be Penelope the Pygmy Hippo. “We feel this is a better representation of the potential UMKC has,” Morton said. “See, hippos are actually very dominant, aggressive creatures. So with the implementation of the pygmy hippo as the new mascot, it symbolizes the University’s determination to become a force to be reckoned with.” Although the kangaroo has been UMKC’s mascot since 1936, there was an abundance of support for the transition. A committee was created through UMKC’s Strategic Marketing and Communications in November 2013. It was charged with deciding what the new face of the University would be, finding support in the form of donations and creating a publicity plan. The Student Government Association has had numerous discussions during the academic year posing interest in a new mascot. SGA submitted a letter of support to Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Mel Tyler advocating for the pygmy hippo to be chosen as the new mascot. “This is the type of change SGA has wanted to see for a long time,” said SGA president Ben Campero. “Hopefully this will bring attention to the mascot and elevate school spirit. Students will not be able to ignore this.”

Chancellor Morton meets Penelope for the first time. Representatives from UMKC Penelope the Pygmy Hippo will be met with the Board of Curators adopted immediately, according to during Spring Break to discuss the Morton. The next step to filtering out logistics of changing the University’s the kangaroo includes completely mascot. The administrators voted rebranding the sports teams. During unanimously in favor of the pygmy Morton’s press conference, he hippo. addressed concerns about the cost According to the committee, and time it would take to give the other ideas pitched during the uniforms, venues and merchandise a brainstorming process were an complete makeover. elephant seal, a narwhal or a “We are pleased to acknowledge manatee. The committee relayed two new partnerships with the its final decision to Morton in University that will accelerate January, insisting that the pygmy this process,” Morton said. hippo would draw the most positive “First, the Kansas City Zoo has response. promised a substantial grant as a

Photo Superimposed // Kynslie Otte promotion for its own hippo exhibit.” The zoo will be hosting a reception event later in the semester to celebrate the partnership. Students, faculty and staff will be invited to an official reveal party and get to interact with the adult hippos. “In addition, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature has ensured full renovation of Swinney Recreation Center and will be providing a topnotch pygmy hippo mascot suit,” Morton said. All sports played in the spring will still be competing under the guise of the Roo, but sports taking place

in the fall should expect to start donning the new mascot name. “This is an exciting move for the University,” said Director of Athletics Carla Wilson. “I’ve spoken with some of the athletes, and though there are some mixed feelings about how this will be viewed by other teams, the general consensus is that this is a strategic choice.” With the looming potential of switching conferences in the future, UMKC could benefit from leaving the WAC and entering the Missouri Valley Conference with a brand new image. A national search for an official, trademarked illustration of the new mascot is currently underway. The University colors will remain the same, although there was discussion of changing to hues of coral and lime green. The bookstore has already started planning mass orders of new apparel, but must wait until a finalized graphic is chosen. UMKC will become the first university to display a hippo of any kind as its official mascot. In 1996, The George Washington University claimed a hippo as an unofficial mascot after then-President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg gifted a bronze hippopotamus statue to the Class of 2000. But UMKC doesn’t plan to let Kasey leave with a walk of shame. The University will be retiring the mascot in a special tribute during this year’s commencement ceremonies. The mascot suit will be put on display taxidermy-style in the Student Union.

Kasey takes a tumble: The former mascot’s fall from grace Kynslie Otte Production Manager

Kasey the Kangaroo was apprehended by police in Westport Saturday night after starting a fight with patrons waiting in line for the Jerusalem Café food truck. The former mascot was seen leaving Kelly’s at approximately 2:30 a.m. Kansas City Police Officer Kane Glidewell was first to arrive at the scene, and served as the arresting officer. “Kasey was highly intoxicated, stumbling around and bothering other patrons,” Glidewell said. “He was obviously looking for a fight. He told us the falafel was absolutely worth going to jail for.” Upon arrest, police also confiscated an ounce of marijuana and a small amount of cocaine found in Kasey’s pouch. The kangaroo spent the night in county jail, but was bailed out early Sunday morning by Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Mel Tyler. Monday morning, Chancellor Leo E. Morton held a press conference to confirm the arrest.

“We are terribly disappointed in Kasey,” Morton said. “We knew he would be devastated when he found out we’d acquired a new mascot, but we never anticipated such reckless, irrational behavior. As a result of police findings, the University may be forced to launch an investigation involving Kasey’s history of drug use.” Despite UMKC’s pending investigation, administrators made negotiations with the Kansas City Police Department, and all charges against the ’Roo were dropped. “We spent some time discussing Kasey’s actions with the Chief of Police,” Tyler said. “Eventually we agreed that a night in jail and the end of a nearly 80-year legacy as the University’s mascot was punishment enough.” There are rumors of rehab in the near future for Kasey, which the University has not confirmed. “Kasey was always an integral part of our UMKC family,” Morton said. “We will continue to treat him as such while he works through this difficult time. We have offered him access to all the University’s counseling resources, and wish him

Kasey the Kangaroo arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct. a speedy recovery.” after almost 80 years of unwavering There is also talk of a lawsuit dedication and service,” the attorney in the making, as Kasey met with said. “Obviously his actions on the an attorney (who chose to remain evening of March 29 were irrational, anonymous) Monday afternoon to but I have a feeling many people in his discuss his options for suing the position would do the same. My job University on the grounds of unfair is to make sure the University takes termination. responsibility for the physical and “It’s really not right for the emotional damages they have caused University to do this to the poor guy Mr. Roo as a result of his abrupt and

Photo Superimposed // Ashley Lane unwarranted termination.” An anonymous source reported that Kasey is lying low, but is also on the fast track to recovery. The ‘Roo was unavailable for comment.


Tuesday April 1, 2014 | Issue 25

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Breakfast with Jake:

Local designer Matt Baldwin reps KC in the fashion world Jake Newstrom A&E Editor

open a boutique with his wife in Leawood that specialized in retailing designer brands. While he wasn’t yet This week I chatted with Matt producing his own label, Standard Baldwin, designer, co-founder and Style quickly became successful and CEO of Baldwin Denim. You may in a few years a second location was have seen both men and women opened on the Country Club Plaza. sporting Baldwin’s signature selvage “We didn’t foresee the growth that denim jeans and KC hats around we had and the success of the store,” campus, but the brand isn’t limited Baldwin said. “I believe it was just the to Kansas City. right time in the marketplace that we While the flagship store is in brought relevant products to Kansas Leawood, Kan., and another location City. Prior to that we worked at the recently opened on the Plaza, the Ritz Carlton—we waited tables increasingly popular brand will soon forever while we were in L.A.—so expand across the country. Celebrity that service industry background fashion icons from Jay-Z to Olivia and that training coupled with my Wilde sport the label’s products, experience in the apparel industry which are carried in high-end stores was kind of the perfect recipe for us such as Barneys New York, Saks to open up a specialty store.” Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Baldwin had always wanted to Bloomingdale’s. start a brand, so in 2009 he took Baldwin’s success is no surprise: another risk and started Baldwin GQ called him a “denim master” Photo // and the magazine awarded him the distinction of one of 2013’s Best New Menswear Designers. Through this award, he did a limited collaboration with Gap and boosted the brand’s national recognition. Baldwin didn’t initially set out to join the fashion world. He pursued action sports before he got serious about fashion. Baldwin grew up in Wichita Matt Baldwin, CEO of Baldwin Denim. and started his Denim in the midst of a recession. career when he went to Colorado to “There were hardly any new denim snowboard. There he taught lessons brands specifically that were coming and worked in a snowboard shop. out at the time,” Baldwin said. “I’ve always been around “[Denim] is what I knew the best: sports, specifically action sports, I had launched every major denim with skateboarding, surfing and brand out of Standard Style since snowboarding being my passion ’03, so for the past 10 years [I worked growing up,” Baldwin said. “The with] all the premium designer pursuit of that led me into the brands. That was my expertise and I industry.” knew it very well, so I went into the In Colorado he met and married manufacturing process and started his wife, Emily, and the two moved Baldwin, and from ’09 to today it’s to Los Angeles where he got a job doubled in sales every year since we at sportswear brand Volcom, which started.” he described as his “dream company While it began as a men’s brand, in action sports at the time, kind Baldwin now carries a women’s of the mid-to-late ’90s.” There he collection as well. Products include found himself on all sides of the tops, bottoms and accessories. fashion spectrum, from design and Baldwin described his label as manufacturing to sales. “modern American” with form and During this period, Baldwin functionality as the two pillars of the waited tables and studied at the brand. Fashion Institute of Design and “It’s the best textiles in the Merchandising to earn a degree in industry with off-the-shelf tailoring. apparel manufacturing. In 2003, at We really work on our fit where it age 25, he got the opportunity to

comes into the form perspective that functions for people in modern day,” he said. Baldwin also takes pride in his Midwestern roots. Labels sewn in his merchandise read “Designed in Kansas City” and the brand carries KC hats and T-shirts. “The notion of the KC hat is ‘how can I do something that really shows pride for the city that I love, that I’m doing business in and raising a family in?,’” Baldwin said. “That’s really important to me.” Baldwin said the Midwest is the best place to have a family because the quality of life is ideal for raising his three young children. Baldwin and his wife work with the community, serving on charities including Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City Free Health Clinic, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Rose Brooks Center, Fashion For a Cause and Back in the Swing. “We’re very heavily involved in the charitable aspect of giving back to this community that I believe has given so much to us,” Baldwin said. “That’s been a very important aspect of [our lives] over the past 10 years in this town.” When it comes to advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, Baldwin said gaining experience and connecting with people in the industry in which one seeks to do business is key. He also emphasized that one has to be passionate in the industry, as an entrepreneur is never “off.” “It’s definitely a marathon, not a sprint, mentality, and if you have the sprint mentality you can burn out quickly, but if you have the mentality of the marathon you can really make something meaningful out of your time and your career,” Baldwin said. Standard Style is located at 451 W. 47th St. on the Plaza and at 4573 W. 119th St. at Town Center Plaza in Leawood, Kan. Baldwin Men’s Shop is located within Standard Style’s Leawood location at 4573 W. 119th St. at Town Center Plaza. Baldwin KC, which offers both men’s and women’s apparel, is located at 340 W. 47th St. on the Plaza.

Matthew Mohler:Engineering student talks robotics Megan Fritts Staff Writer

Matthew Mohler, 21, a friendly, highly energetic junior at UMKC in the electrical and computer engineering department, is a busy man. When he isn’t completing the schoolwork he helps build robots. In fact, Mohler has been roboticsminded since high school when he joined the FIRST robotics team Metro Homeschool Robotics. Formed in 1989 by inventors Dean Kamen and Woodie Flowers, FIRST, an acronym translating to “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” is an organization that gives kids ages 9-18 the opportunity to start a team to build a robot. They also get to compete against other teams and robots in local, regional and national tournaments. Being involved in FIRST made an impact on a young Mohler who was dead-set on becoming a mechanical engineer. “When I joined the team, it was all mechanical engineers,” Mohler said. “They didn’t have anyone to do the electrical stuff. So I just decided to make the best of it.” Five years later, his determination seems to have paid off. “FIRST had a huge impact on my degree and career choices,” he said

“The joy I get from mentoring comes from the impact it had on me when I was in high school.” Mohler decided that he wanted to help other students have the same educational experiences that were so formative for him. After graduating high school, Mohler immediately became a college mentor for his former team. However, his schedule soon became busier than he planned. He is now a mentor for two FIRST Robotics teams and a FIRST Tech Challenge team, an events volunteer and a member of UMKC’s robotics team. Additionally, he is vice president of the UMKC student chapter of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a member of the FIRST Tech Challenge planning committee, an undergraduate teaching assistant in the electrical and computer engineering department and on the student marketing team for the engineering school. This year, he has also begun mentoring FIRST Lego League teams, an elementary school and junior high version of FIRST Robotics that utilizes computerchipped Lego bricks instead of machine-shop equipment and complex programming. “The secret to my success,” Mohler said, “is that I just forget what sleep is at the beginning of every semester.”

Matthew Mohler Photo // As a mentor, Mohler provides his knowledge of robotics whenever it’s needed. “Mostly I just fill in the gaps,” he said. “On one team I’ve been doing some beta testing with one of the coaches. But I’ve also been needed to help with the Chairman’s Award essay.” Every February Mohler helps to host the FIRST Tech Challenge Kansas City Qualifier, which he says is a great way for anyone interested to find out more about the organization and robotics.

UMKC furniture sits pretty on ‘green’ campus Morayo Bakare Staff Writer

UMKC frequently aims to retain its status as a green campus and encourages environmentally friendly practices. Part of the University’s efforts to stay eco-friendly includes furnishing buildings across campus without creating a large carbon footprint. Campus facilities management handles furnishings and the disposal of old on- and offcampus furniture. Campus facilities management disposes of university furniture by transferring items to other departments in the school or to the UM System Surplus where it can be purchased at discounted prices. Furniture may also be stored for later use or recycled for wood and metal components. The school does not sell furniture to students. “Most furniture used on-campus is not the right type that would be used in off-campus housing,” a representative of campus facilities management said. All furniture goes through the University Surplus process. UMKC has also bought used furniture from the UM System Surplus for reuse on campus. For example, more than 100 used office chairs and 150 pre-owned chairs were purchased for the Student Union. This saved the school more than 50 percent in furniture costs. The school spends on average $600,000 to $800,000 annually replacing furniture. This amount varies year to year but replacements or new purchases usually occur in offices, classrooms, lounges and outside areas. The school also receives an educational discount from most major commercial furniture manufacturers. No standing budget exists for furniture replacement. When replacement occurs, the money comes directly from a department’s budget. If replacements come from a new construction or major renovation project, the funds used are from the project’s budget. Donations for a new construction or renovation project such as the Henry W. Bloch Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation often contain funds for new furniture. Individual donations for furniture alone are unusual, though there have been some. Pfeiffer furniture was donated for use in the third floor lobby of the Administrative Center. In general, the school tries to buy high-quality office and educational furniture that can withstand typical college use for years. Departments, however, have the ability to purchase their own goods and at times they will acquire low-quality or residential furniture. The framing and fabric of these goods do not hold up for long in a college setting. As such, most of the requests campus facilities management receives are for replacing chairs with worn fabric or failed pneumatic pumps on chairs, which help raise or lower the seat. Any part still under warranty can be ordered and reinstalled. If fabric is worn, sometimes campus facilities management will hire a vendor to reupholster. Departments can individually replace furniture from a vendor or they can submit a work order and UMKC’s interior designer can help with the process of replacing worn items. Campus facilities management intends to provide the UMKC sustainability coordinator a breakdown showing what furniture is repurposed, or purchased new or pre-owned for each project of the upcoming year.


Tuesday April 1, 2014 | Issue 25

Not so vacant

KC’s newest venue attracts varied clientele Paige Olson Staff Writer

Kansas City’s newest venue, Vacant Farm, held an open house March 8 to showcase local artists and musicians. Vacant Farm’s space fundraiser featured art by Stephen Proski, Megan Karson and Danica Wilson, as well as a collaborative performance by Quadrigarum and Gamelan Genta Kasturi. Founder Cleyre Odegard inherited the family warehouse with hopes to transform Vacant Farm into a space in which the possibilities are endless. “I want Vacant Farm to be a safe and encouraging platform for a lot of different events to happen,” Odegard said. “It’s a place for people to meet each other, see each other, and exchange ideas for projects.” Vacant Farm has morphed into an event space, artist studios, gallery and host for Kansas City Queer Feminist Collective. Odegard envisions the space as a network hub for different pockets of the community to connect. “All aspects of the community are on level playing field at the space,” Odegard said. “It’s a place where you don’t really know what to expect or who you’re going to see. It’s a lot of different people sharing the same space who wouldn’t interact on a regular basis.” Vacant Farm opened its doors early March 16 for its first community meeting. Brunch was served as guests arrived , and the open-style meeting began with a dialogue surrounding potential uses for the space. “This was the first of hopefully many Vacant Farm community meetings,” Odegard said. “I wanted active members of the community to come find out what projects are going on, how they can get involved and how they can bring their ideas to the space.” Participants addressed the


Vacant Farm offers a unique setting for events of all kinds. Photo // Paige Olson possibility of Vacant Farm hosting the Midwest Small Press Festival Odegard has several events lined in May, as well as being a space for up for Vacant Farm including two writers to connect, have studio space senior art shows, Punish Gallery, and build a community. gardening, KCQF biweekly meetings Some ideas discussed included an and an arts and crafts show. outdoor garden, an open library, free “The value of Vacant Farm is it school classes, an arts and crafts fair is a platform for people to come and more. together, transcend from established Since the opening, Vacant Farm pockets and set up to transgress and has been anything but vacant. transform,” Odegard said. “I want the Organized Crimes, Human Traffic space to be super alive and have stuff and Metatone performed March going on all the time.” 20, which attracted more than100 For upcoming events and people to the space. contact information, visit www. KCQF hosted Queerlates at or www. Vacant Farm March 23. The event was an alternative way to exercise: with glitter and bright spandex.

‘Divergent’ dominates the box office with recycled plot Eppie O’Neal Staff Writer

The big-screen adaptation of Veronica Roth’s best-selling, youngadult adventure trilogy “Divergent” dominated the box office with an estimated $56 million during its opening weekend. The PG-13 action film directed by Neil Burger targets the same moviegoers who made “The Hunger Games” a box-office hit, but “Divergent” ultimately falls flat. The futuristic dystopian sci-fi flick starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James is set in post-apocalyptic Chicago. Civilization is divided into five factions based on human virtues: Dauntless, Abnegation, Erudite, Amity and Candor. The adage goes “faction before blood.” Woodley plays Beatrice Prior, a vulnerable and relatable character who has been raised as a member of Abnegation, the faction that dresses in plain tan frocks and prides itself on selfsacrifice. At age 16 citizens take an aptitude test that tells them which faction they’re suitable for and at the Choosing Ceremony they have the right to choose the faction they will join for life. Beatrice doesn’t fit the mold and learns it’s because she’s Divergent, a rare anomaly of fitting into multiple factions. She keeps her results a secret and joins Dauntless, the brave warriors who protect the city. The rise-of-the-savior-heroine plot lacks originality and much of it is quite predictable. Some parts do not translate well on the big screen. Without reading the book it’s hard to under-stand the significance of being Divergent. Does it mean they’re a threat to others physically or psychologically? The confusion lingers for the majority of the film until it’s revealed that Diver-gents pose a threat to society since they can’t be controlled and, therefore, face grave conse-quences— even death— if they’re discovered. The film also does little to explain why the rules are the way they are. At Dauntless, Beatrice changes her name to Tris, and the first half of the film transforms into a basic training boot camp thriller with Tris willing herself to jump aboard moving trains, fight with her bare knuckles, throw knives and shoot guns. Her progression doesn’t

Photo // transition smoothly on screen. She starts out weak and then all of a sudden she’s buff and strong. It helps that the drill sergeant Four (James) is a heart throb and badass. It’s predictable that Tris would fall in love with the absurdly good-looking Four, and the cheesy teen romance ensues. There’s also a political storm brewing led by the ice-cold villainess Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet) in an unconvincing performance and underwritten role. Matthews is the leader of Erudite, the faction with high intelligence. Matthews is convinced that Divergents pose a threat and soon chaos ensues. The film is packed with A-list stars, but they didn’t shine bright. Watching the misuse of some talents including Tony Goldwyn, Ashley Judd, Ray Stevenson and Mekhi Phifer was rather disappointing. During the 139-minute runtime it was impossible not to be thinking of “The Hun-ger Games.” The studio behind the “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” series has scheduled a sequel, “Insurgent,” for next March and the final and third installment, “Allegiant,” is scheduled for a March 2016 release.

How to survive living alone Morayo Bakare Staff Writer

In mid-March, I started searching for an apartment near campus to stay during the summer. I lived in Oak Place Apartments during the academic year, but quickly found that living off campus is a more cost efficient route than living on campus. As a Chicago native, I felt I was at a disadvantage in my search for the perfect place to live. The last few weeks of March have been an eyeopening experience about how to find the ideal living accommodation on a college kid budget:

1. Know your actual price limit

Originally I thought I had my price-point set, deciding an apartment should not cost me more than $400 to $450 monthly. After finding apartments from $349 to $400, I learned that electricity and gas were going to cost roughly $40 each. Additionally, internet service would account for another $20 to $40. Be prepared for nearly $100 in utilities. Any one-bedroom or studio in a practical location will likely cost a student somewhere around $420 to $500 per month.

2. Know exactly where you want to live

If you’re a poor, desperate student like me, being too selective is not always an option. I considered living in Waldo where I found a $349 per month apartment. However, I get lost in the vast renting market since this city is not my hometown. I still don’t know all the neighborhoods or where a building is when given an address. Though tedious, I frequented Google Maps to help me figure out how far each place was from campus. Also know how far you’re willing to live from campus. I don’t have a car so it is important for me to live between the Main Street or Troost Max bus routes. I also have no problem spending 20-25 minutes on the bus to get to campus. The closer a property is to Main or Troost, the faster I can get to a bus stop. Even if you have a car, consider how far you’d be willing to drive to get to school.


Ask around

At first I kept my apartment search mostly to myself and a few friends. This didn’t last long. I began to talk about my annoying apartment search to my supervisors at the NelsonAtkins Museum and to more of my friends. That’s actually how I found the apartment of my dreams. Surprisingly, many of them live

in one-bedroom apartments. My supervisor helped me search for any available properties in my desired location. Lo and behold, he found one two blocks away from the Troost bus. Discussing apartment hunting is a way to learn about rentals that Google and Craigslist don’t bring to your attention. I Googled “Midtown apartments” or “apartments near Westport” and searched Craigslist numerous times. Before asking my supervisor, I had even taken the bus to 39th and Main St. and hunted for “now leasing” signs because I had a feeling I was missing out one something. Talking to the people I know saved me lots of time. Even if you look every day at Trulia or Zillow maps of properties up for rent, you’ll never find everything available if you don’t ask.

4. Know your “Living Space Tolerance Level”

I recently explored an apartment in the Valentine neighborhood on the second floor of a house. It was dark, everything seemed old and the walls were dirty. The space seemed tinier than I expected and it only had three doors: one for entering the apartment, one for the closet and one for the bathroom. Also, the kitchen was the size of a small closet. It had a narrow, old stove with a small

sink and a barely-there counter. The bathroom was under construction but looked like it came out of a horror movie. I was more concerned than impressed and began to wonder whether all apartment viewings would be this disconcerting. This experience made me question if I would jump at an apartment regardless of how dark and small it seemed. I still haven’t explored enough apartments to answer that question, but I’ll safely say that it’s alright to have standards as long as they’re not too high and you can finally decide upon a place to stay. Knowing the difference between a studio and a one-bedroom apartment makes the selection process easier and ties in to the “tolerance level.” A studio is a large room that connects the bedroom with the kitchen and living room area. It’s the simplest accommodation you can rent and tends to be the cheapest. A onebedroom apartment has walls to separate the living room, kitchen and bedroom. Becoming familiar with your personal space requirements will help in selecting the right apartment. If you have the money to support yourself or have parents willing to help until you get a sustainable job, I recommend looking for an apartment as soon as you’re ready.

Tuesday April 1, 2014 | Issue 25



Lorde takes the world by storm

Indie artist makes her mark in Kansas City, Denver Kansas City: Dan Moreno Senior Beat Writer

Seventeen-year-old New Zealander Ella Marija Lani YelichO’Connor, better known by stagename Lorde, appeared in front of more than three thousand roaring fans on March 21 in Kansas City. One thing can be said about Lorde: she is an artist who attracts people of all ages dancing to her electropop beats and singing along to her profound lyrics. This talented young woman has a bright and promising career ahead of her. After releasing her debut album “Pure Heroine” last year, Lorde has already won two Grammys and is now headlining a sold-out world tour. At 9 p.m. the lights dimmed. Lorde, with her signature long hair and black lips, emerged on stage as she bellowed, “Hello, Kansas City” before singing for approximately 65 minutes.

Not even threats of the Westboro Baptist Church’s plans to protest the event were significant enough to keep a crowd from gathering at the Midland to see this generation’s heroine. Only a drummer and a keyboard player accompanied Lorde on stage. The keyboard player also provided back-up vocals as Lorde sang songs from her album and “Swingin’ Party” by The Replacements. “I am scared of growing up,” Lorde said in between songs. “I write my songs to feel safe. We get to share this beautiful feeling. You want to listen to me and I want to talk to you. I am so lucky, so so lucky.” Songs like “Tennis Court” and “Glory and Gore” prepared the ecstatic audience for the climax of the evening when she sang the hit that shot her to the top of the charts. “This next song was inspired by you, Kansas City,” she said. “Thank you so much.”

Her No. 1 single “Royals” was inspired by a photograph of former Royals player George Brett. Lorde saw the photo of Brett wearing his Kansas City Royals home jersey in the July 1976 issue of National Geographic. Brett sent her his autographed jersey with the words “You are a royal to me” inscribed in his number. When on stage, Lorde depends entirely on her voice, hypnotizing the fans with her presence. Before the night came to a close, the notes of “Team,” which is number one on the pop charts in the U.S., filled the room and mesmerized everyone in attendance. After the show, hundreds of teenage fans awaited their idol chanting, “Praise the Lorde” when she walked out of the theatre and waved to everyone.

Lorde performs in Kansas City, Mo. at the Midland Theatre.

Ella Marjia (Lorde) burst onto the indie music scene with her hit single ‘Royals.’

Photos // Dan Moreno

Denver: Roze Brooks Editor-in-Chief

Lorde continued her tour east, playing at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, Colo. March 22. The venue resembled a large-scale country dancing hall. The crowd was an interesting mix of preteens clearly accompanied by their parents and indifferent males seemingly dragged along by their significant others. The opening band, Lo-Fang, established a feel-good mood but with minimal high-energy songs to prep the audience for the headliner. Its music was infectious—the kind that’s appropriate for a road trip soundtrack. The band rounded off its set with a far-reaching cover of “You’re the One That I Want” from “Grease.” The cover was impressive but hard to catch onto right away. The lax feeling of the opening

act wasn’t enough to bog down the audience, who immediately became energetic the moment Lorde walked on stage. She opened with her recently popular song “Glory and Gore” and proceeded to file through the entire “Pure Heroine” album. Unfortunately, since Lorde only has one album to pull from, the entire set wasn’t incredibly long. Whether this was due to a limited number of songs or the possibility of some audience members breaking curfew is not entirely certain. There was an unfinished feeling to the concert, especially since there wasn’t an encore performance at the close of the show. Admittedly though, Lorde wrapped up on a powerful note with an impeccable performance of “Team.” Lorde’s vocals were full of depth and security, adding some soulful grunge and rasp when performing

her better known tracks. Though she has received some criticism in the past for her outlandish and spastic dancing, these moves and motions are taken out of context. Her unconventional stage presence adds to the ominous yet childlike feel of her music. There is a freeing sense to her music that is accompanied well by her unrestricted twists and turns. The lighting was minimal but appropriate, and each burst of neon light seemed perfectly choreographed with Lorde’s lurches and hair flips. Based on the successful completion of back-to-back shows in both Kansas City and Denver, it seems Lorde has stirred up momentum to continue her tour throughout the U.S.



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Tuesday April 1, 2014 | Issue 25

ZZ Ward delivers at the Midland Theatre

ZZ Ward performs at the Midland Theatre on March 26. Dan Moreno Senior Beat Writer Zsuzsanna Eva Ward returned to Kansas City last Wednesday as a part of her Last Love Tour and performed for about 800 enthusiastic fans at the Midland Theatre. Ward has visited Kansas City four times in the past year and a half, and she even played a free show at UMKC last spring. Her fan base has grown exponentially since the release of her debut album “Til the Casket Drops” from October 2012. The full-length album features a mix of genres from blues and rock to soul and pop, with sounds similar to Big Mama Thornton, Etta James and Amy Winehouse.

The fans sang along during each of the 16 songs she performed but the climax came when she sat down, grabbed an acoustic guitar and played “Last Love Song,” which talks about the tough breakup that inspired most of her songs. As expected, Ward saved her best tunes for the end. “Criminal” a groovy and slow song and “Move Like U Stole It” were saved for last, the latter of which included a long harmonica solo that astonished everyone in attendance. Ward ended her show with “Blue Eyes Blind,” a song full of energy that absolutely Photos // Matt Cook delighted her fans.

With a big smile on her face and her characteristic fedora, Ward set foot on stage accompanied by her band at about 9:30. She opened with her version of “Be My Husband” by Nina Simone and mixed it with “Overdue,” one of the first songs she wrote. “Let us have a great night Kansas City,” Ward said in between songs, before receiving a loud roar from her passionate fans. “Let’s make Wednesday the best night of the week from now on.” The set list included songs like “Cinnamon Stix,” her version of Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” and “Charlie Ain’t Home.”

ZZ Ward

Young the Giant returns to Kansas City Kynslie Otte Production Manager

Young the Giant gave a mindblowing performance to a large, eager crowd at the Midland Theatre March 19 as part of its “Mind Over Matter” tour. “Mind Over Matter” is the band’s second full-length studio album, best known for the single “It’s About Time.” They began the show with three upbeat tracks from “Mind Over Matter” including “It’s About Time” and “Anagram,” immediately capturing the attention of the crowd and setting the tone for the evening. The band’s set featured a pleasant balance of tracks from each album, satisfying fans both new and old. However, the biggest hits from their self-titled debut album “Cough Syrup” and “My Body” were saved for

the encore. Young the Giant has a knack for keeping things interesting. No two songs sound the same and even during less upbeat songs the band’s distinctive sound in combination with the light show left the crowd entranced. Lead singer Sameer Gadhia’s stage presence is phenomenal, constantly demanding the attention of everyone in the room. Paired with a voice as smooth as glass and a strange, but adorable method of dancing Gadhia proves to be an extremely dynamic performer. The band also established itself as a supporter of equal rights, which sparked a roar of approval from the crowd. The infamous anti-everything Westboro Baptist Church posted outside the concert venue is protest of Young the Giant.

Young the Giant performs in Kansas City, Mo. at the Midland Theatre.


According to the congregation’s website, “songs about fornication and lust are the only things that these young men can muster.” In response Gadhia announced that a portion of proceeds made from merchandise at the show would be donated to the Ally Coalition. In Gadhia’s words, “…they [Westboro] have the right to convey their message, and we have the right to respond with our own.” The band played a solid 90 minute set, and it was clear that the crowd was very much engaged, even during songs that were less familiar. Young the Giant will continue its tour across the U.S. and Canada, and will play Lollapalooza in Chicago, Ill. on Aug. 3.

William Trowbridge reading wraps up Midwest Poets Series

William Trowbridge Megan Fritts

Staff Writer

The final installment of this year’s Midwest Poets Series was held March 11 in the Mabee Theater at Rockhurst University. William Trowbridge, Missouri Poet Laureate from 2012-13, was the guest of honor. Opening for Trowbridge was Dr. Robert Stewart, UMKC professor, editor of New Letters journal and founder of the Midwest Poets Series. Addressing the crowd of approximately 100, Stewart described Trowbridge as distinct in his ability to blend the humorous with the horrific. Following the introduction, Trowbridge walked onstage looking casual in jeans and a baseball hat next to Stewart’s suit and tie. The first poem he read was titled “Unofficial Missouri Poem,” a long list of strange facts about the state. The crowd warmed up to the endearing nod to its home state. Trowbridge moved on to selections from his book “The Book of Kong,” a collection of poems written from the perspective of King Kong. These poems feature Kong dealing with common struggles of humans, including dating, insecurity and even appearing on the game show “Let’s Make a Deal.” Between poems, Trowbridge told childhood stories to explain the inspiration behind certain poems. In these stories, lines such as “My father and I never really had a great relationship” were followed up with “His main problem was not knowing how to use hand tools.” The crowd’s reaction was split, half giving in to laughter and the other half remaining

Photo // respectively quiet. Stewart’s original description of Trowbridge began to make sense. Near the end of his set, Trowbridge read a poem titled “Who’s on First?” after the Abbot and Costello skit. The poem had a rollicking beginning, mimicking the skit with its wordplay and confusion. It took a nosedive in the last stanza, revealing that the confused party in the poem was actually the author’s father succumbing to dementia. The longer Trowbridge read, the more crowd members caught on, and the laughter died down slowly until the auditorium was engulfed in uncomfortable silence. And, as Stewart predicted, it was exactly this feeling that made Trowbridge’s presentation impactful. His poems caught the audience off-guard. Just as listeners were beginning to enjoy themselves, something awful would happen. Off he would go, launching into the next poem featuring giant gorillas, stray puppies or prostate examinations. His poems connect with readers and listeners because they fearlessly confront the everyday dwelling of the joyful and the terrible. Afterward, the crowd appeared emotionally shaken yet revived. The Midwest Poet Series will begin again next semester. All readings take place Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. in Rockhurst’s Mabee Theater. General admission tickets are $3. UMKC and Rockhurst students are admitted free of charge.

Photos // Matt Cook

Above: Young the Giant lead singer Sameer Gadhia.

Tuesday April 1, 2014 | Issue 25


KCFW ends with gold glitz and glamour Morayo Bakare

Staff Writer

Kansas City Fashion Week (KCFW) came to a close on Sunday with its final runway show for upand-coming designers to showcasing their work. External light poured beautifully onto the pristine white runway as “Titanium” by David Guetta played in the background. Holding the fashion show at a train station was peculiar but with Union Station’s allure, it was the only suitable setting for the occasion. Ringing in the spring season this year were five designers from across the nation. Sophie Hines, Heidi Herrman, Kimberly Ann, LB Glam and Zohreh Zarrabi showered the runway with impressive designs featuring pastel colors, 1940s silhouettes and athletic wear.

encouraged the crowd to try loose and flowy clothing for spring.

LB Glam

Sophie Hines

and the darker fabric was used to create a pencil skirt and a capelet. The outfits were retained a level of professionalism with the models’ vintage hairstyles and makeup. Herrman revisited shades of blue and red print in several pieces. For example, the sixth look revealed a green-and-red spotted fabric with black panels to create a well-fitting pencil skirt. The same spotted fabric was used for a figure-hugging knee length dress in the next piece. The final outfit in her collection also used this fabric but in an unexpected way. She covered the fabric with off-white chiffon in a long-sleeved blouse. At first the green and red fabric wasn’t clearly visible and the audience had to look closely to see it. It was likely Herrman’s intention to make all eyes focus on this top—and she succeeded. Herrman’s construction of the garment was impeccable which made the blouse look more expensive. Smartly paired with a plain black skirt and deep red tights, this final outfit left a positive impression.

Piece by LB Glam

Piece by Sophia Hines Photos // Morayo Bakare Hines’ opening look was a sheer, glittery blouse paired with gray pants. It immediately captured the audience’s attention. Hines’ first look also implied that messy up-dos could be the new hairstyle for spring. The look made the outfits seem more relaxed and informal. Flashy yet polished gold was a stable of the following look. The model sported a gold flowery lace top with a satin gold skirt. Throughout the designer took advantage of yellow with a drop-waist daffodil dress paired with a beige cardigan. The pieces to follow borrowed from the same color palette. Many of Hines’ tops were pale beige and

LB Glam, a male duo jewelry design label, shocked the crowd when its first model appeared in a gold rose corset and headband while holding a golden rose as a scepter. LB Glam, known for its flashy but tasteful jewelry, showcased chunky necklaces, large pendants, chain harnesses and tiaras. The collection also served as a tribute to strong women. The music combined with the slow but fierce models who wore bold makeup and leotards to celebrate the female form. Their figures were framed with many of LB Glam’s long necklaces. Each model had a special tiara and a golden or off-white cape. LB Glam even combined a pearl-clustered necklace with a single gold chain that wrapped around the model’s waist.

Heidi Herrman

Herrman’s collection was the most refined out of all the collections. The designer took authentic West African prints and transformed them into modern 1940s-inspired clothing. Her first piece was a simple yet exquisite ‘40s dress cut from a gorgeous pattern. Her next three pieces utilized the same fabric but in different styles. The second outfit was a business casual look with the print used in a tucked-in top. Dark purple high-waisted pants matched her arm-length gloves. The third look incorporated into another top

Piece by Kimberly Ann designs on the sleeves coupled with a knee length high-waisted brown skirt. Overall, the line drew from a dark color palette filled with golds, browns, blacks and hints of blue. A black cape appeared later in the show, becoming one of the most prominent pieces in the lineup. It billowed from behind the model as she walked and had a small dip in the back similar to the neckline of kimonos. The accessories were minimal. Models occasionally wore gloves but gold-rimmed glasses or small gold hairpieces were primary additions. The brown skirt was revisited and worn with a well-sewn motorcycle jacket that had leather paneling sleeves and an upturned collar.

A black headscarf sat neatly underneath the hat. The garment had an intriguing silhouette despite the addition of pants. The model exuded a casual yet confident air. The fourth garment resembled a steam locomotive engineer’s typical work-wear while the fifth design made the model look like she was prepared to work in a steel plant. The following garment in Zarrabi’s line was pleasing to the eyes, offering a refreshing perspective. The model portrayed a woman taking a stroll through the park. Her wide-brimmed hat sat atop a sheer, lavender headscarf. Pastel colors in the garment conveyed the idea of springtime. The next ensemble contrasted this cheery, feminine mood almost as if one represented night and the other day.. The model either looked like she was supposed to be walking in the rain or as though she had just come from a funeral. The headscarf and the wide-brimmed hat were black. A long, dark-gray coat hung on the model’s body. The last piece of the show was similar to the first one. The model carried a large black-and-white tasseled parasol with the designer’s

Zohreh Zarrabi

Piece by Heidi Herman

Kimberly Ann

Kimberly Ann’s line was the sportiest of the designers. Her first model strutted out in a cropped sweatshirt and baggy navy sweatpants. A male model followed wearing a sweatshirt with the sides cut out and an intricately designed diamond on the back. He wore fitted trousers instead of sweatpants. There was a relaxed vibe to this collection but it was not comprised simply of sweatshirts and sweatpants. Her third look was a cropped black top with gold brocade

Zarrabi’s outfits promoted modest dressing in today’s culture. Her collection started with an eyecatching nod to the past. A model walked out with a parasol, a highwaisted plaid skirt supported by a large hoop skirt and a black headscarf wrapped neatly around her head. The other collections in the show began with modern-looking woman, but Zarrabi’s started with an outfit similar to those worn centuries ago. However, the line also incorporated styles relevant to the present. The next outfit was a loose, gray and ivory combination. It was menswear inspired and resembled Grecian drapery. Zarrabi added a burst of deep red into the third ensemble. A long-sleeved drop-waist dress graced the runway paired with burgundy, loose-fitting pants and a hat.

Piece by Zohreh Zarrabi initials on it. She wore a black-andwhite period dress. A gray capelet rested on her shoulders as her black headscarf perfectly framed her face. This was a genuine statement piece and an ideal ending to KCFW for spring 2014.

Tuesday April 1, 2014 | Issue 25


Uldis Gaismins and Mike Psarros:

Men’s tennis recruits find themselves far from home in Kansas City

Left and Center:Uldis Gaismins Dan Moreno Senior Beat Writer

Both Psarros and Gaismins have struggled adapting to American culture since they moved to Kansas City. “Everything is different: the environment, people, communication,” Gaismins said. “I feel like people are warmer here than in Latvia. My first semester was really hard but I think I have finally adapted to Kansas City and the way of living.” “Life is completely different here,” Psarros said. “I am not used to being alone in a dorm and to this environment but every day I feel more comfortable.” In Latvia Gaismins also competed in soccer, floorball and national folk dances, but he decided to pursue a career in tennis. “I was six years old when my

Photos Courtesy // UMKC Athletics every match,” Gaismins said. “I can’t stop thinking about improving my game so I can help the team at the WAC Tournament.” Psarros said he also wants to be a good team player. “I want to forget about my defeats and start adding wins to my record,” Psarros said. “I need to change my mentality and remember it is a team sport here in college so I want to contribute as much as I can to my teammates.” Next up, the men’s tennis team will head to St. Louis to face the Saint Louis University Billikins this Friday before hosting Bradley University on Saturday at the Plaza Tennis Center.









Tennis Head Coach Kendell Hale recruits talent from all over the world and this year UMKC added Uldis Gaismins from Latvia and Mike Parsons from Greece to its men’s squad. Freshman Gaismins was the Latvian champion in his age group in singles, and he won the doubles national championship three times before making the move to UMKC. “I had a great opportunity of coming to UMKC and I got in contact with Coach Hale,” Gaismins said. “I knew I wanted to continue playing tennis so I was looking at different schools and well, here I am.” Freshman Psarros played for the Greek National team from ages 14-18.

He was the national school champion in 2010 and he won the Hellenic title three times. Psarros also won the Panhellenic title four straight years from 2008-11, which earned him a no. 12 ranking in Europe. “I chose UMKC because I have an uncle who lives in Kansas City,” Psarros said. “I think that is the main reason besides Coach Hale who is a great coach and person. I also really like UMKC’s engineering program, which is my major.” On March 12, Psarros joined senior Tomas Patino to defeat Juuso Laitinen and Michael Feucht in a doubles competition against the Lamar Cardinals. Gaismins joined sophomore Andrey Smirnov to defeat Grant Taylor and Lucas Fumagalli against the Air Force Falcons in Wichita, Kan.

Mike Psarros parents started taking me to tennis practices,” Gaismins said. “I started developing a love for tennis and decided I wanted to be a tennis player soon after that.” Psarros discovered his talent at a young age as well when he started playing for fun with his mother in Athens. “My mom and I used to play when I was five and I started getting obsessed with tennis,” Psarros said. “My family decided to enroll me in a professional camp which gave me the opportunity to represent my country.” Gaismins and Psarros are wrapping up their inaugural season with the ’Roos as the team prepares for the WAC Tournament at the end of April in Las Cruces, Nev. “My one goal is to show my best in


March 27 4:22 p.m. Greek letters “sigma,” “epsilon” and “chi” found on top of the Cherry Street garage spelling out the word “sex.”




March 28 8:32 p.m. An intoxicated student was removed from the roof of the Student Union after attempting to sing “Let It Go” on top of the railing.

March 26 2:54 a.m. A student crashed their l vehicle into “Go Chicken, Go!” at 51st and Troost.

March 25 y 1:17 p.m. Linda Hall Librar Students reported an open briefcase full of $100 bills in Bloch Executive Hall with a sign that read “Free, take it all! – Love, Henry.” E 52 ST


E 51ST







Rockhurst Universit y



March 25 3:26 a.m. Greek letters “sigma,” “epsilon” and “chi” reported stolen from the 5300 block of Rockhill.









E 53RD





E 52ND



Tuesday April 1, 2014 | Issue 25



You should maybe wear a jacket.

Wednesday April 2

Wear a jacket. Maybe also grab an umbrella.

Thursday April 3

Perhaps a longsleeved shirt. Don’t forget the umbrella.

Friday April 4

Still not tank top weather.




EDITOR-INCHIEF FOR THE 2014-2015 ACADEMIC YEAR Contact for more information

Saturday April 5

Summer’s probably not coming.


Sunday April 6

Your umbrella is your best friend this week.

Monday April 7

They don’t call them April Showers for no reason.


University News // April 1 // Issue twenty five  
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