A look back in Griffon History

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By: Christian Sarna

As commentators on both sides of the aisle warn that we are approaching the end of the world, a St. Joseph, Missouri, petition battles LGBT content in libraries and students argue that dining costs too much. 

Missouri Western students might be surprised to learn that these topics were all articles posted in the Sep. 22, 1994, edition of the Griffon News. Twenty-five years later it might seem like not much has changed.

While prophecies of meteorites and alien takeovers have largely been given up for discussions on the dangers of gun violence and climate change, end-of-days conspiracies were alive and well back in 1994. According to Marker Jones, the entertainment editor at the time, every so-called ‘expert’ making end of the world claims have been wrong so far.

 “Comets only strike in movies, role-playing games or the Mesozoic Era,” Jones said. “Like that’s really anything that can compete with present-day life or real world technology.”

 Jones said that recent claims of an incoming comet and devastating earthquake had been laughably wrong. According to Jones, one prediction that hadn’t yet been disproven at the time came from renowned scientist Steven Hawking, who did admit that he could be wrong.

A recent drag-queen story hour at a St. Joseph library was not the first time St. Joseph libraries have faced controversy and petitions surrounding LGBT content. Another article in the 1994 edition of the Griffon News titled ‘Gay sex book stirs emotions’ recounted a standing-room only public hearing on the possible removal of an LGBT centered book at the River Bluffs Regional Library. 

According to news writer Sarah Ward, the hearing was prompted by a petition with over 2000 signatures that called for the removal of a book titled “The New Joy of Gay Sex.” Those in support of retaining the book said that a removal would start a slippery slope of unethical censorship.

Some students at Missouri Western are currently fighting for food options closer to Potter Hall. According to assistant news editor Tina Janc-Hillyer, students in 1994 were unhappy with the costs of their dining options. Student Kelly Lock said that the food options in Popplewell were convenient but too expensive. Lock was one of several students who said that the food didn’t meet the quality of other dining options in Blum Student Union. The director of food services at the time, Katie Schmidt, said that prices hadn’t actually been raised that year.

Looking for another trip down memory lane? All editions of the Griffon Yearbook are now available online and most editions of the Griffon News are available through the special collections archives in the library.