College is a stressful time for most students with having to learn how to manage their time. The stress can cause all sorts of problems health-wise, with sleep deprivation being one of them.
When many students get to college, it is the first time they are on their own. There are no parents around to enforce rules, to make sure homework gets done or to make sure they get sleep.
The Residents Hall Director for Scanlon Hall and Campus Counselor, Jamie Exline, has firsthand experience seeing the students in the dorms and has observed students not getting enough sleep.
“College students don't get sleep. Freshman especially- all their friends are hanging out til 2 or 3 am. They have those social phobias and they don't want to miss cool stories,” Exline said.
Coming to college is an exciting time, but nothing should be worth losing much needed sleep over.
One of the biggest contributors to losing sleep is anxiety. Many students struggle with it as they adjust to college life. Exline has noticed that when students are not organized they develop anxiety and suggests they do something to fix it.
“Mapping out your day, staying organized and understanding what time management means. To actually sit down and figure out what that means for them. That helps a lot with helping them sleep,” Exline said.
The Resident Assistants Exline supervises are some of the busiest students on campus. Managing classes and RA work can be exhausting, and Exline always talks to them about taking care of themselves.
“I do talk with them about self care. I encourage them too and teach them about meditation and exercising. Basically just taking care of themselves; they do so much. Its important to build those habits now before you become professionals,” Exline said.
Online Statistics and Recommendations
There are a lot of suggestions on the internet and from medical professionals when it comes to good sleep habits to develop. One of the most common suggestions is to get into a schedule.
When you have a nightly routine to follow, your body and mind realize that it is time to wind down and sleep. Most internet sites say that keeping it consistent is very important.
Other suggestions include cutting back on screen time, meaning electric devices such as cell phones, TV or computers. The brightness from the devices keep your brain active. A better alternative would be a book.
Taking too long of a nap is also discouraged. Napping for too long or too late in the day will make it harder to fall asleep when it comes time to go to bed for the night.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Seven out of ten adults in the United States say they experience stress or anxiety daily, and most say it interferes at least moderately with their lives... Seven out of ten of those adults say they have trouble sleeping.”
One of the biggest, but overlooked things is avoiding caffeine later in the day. There are many foods and beverages that people don't even realize have caffeine in them such as chocolate or tea.
Many students will drink coffee or energy drinks in order to stay up later to study or finish homework, but what they don't realize is the long term damage they are doing to their sleep cycle.
Recommendations from Professionals
The counselors on campus see a lot of students due to anxiety or depression. Sleep deprivation often goes hand in hand with both of those issues.
Harold “Dave” Brown, the Director of Counseling at Missouri Western, spoke about how important sleep is for a college student.
“Sleep is essential. If you're not getting proper sleep it effects every part of your being from your physical health, spiritual health and mental health, so sleep is essential. Particularly college students, because they are in a situation just by the very definition of college; it's a high stress situation and you've got to be able to sleep in order to replenish, revitalize and recharge,” Brown said.
When someone is suffering from anxiety they might not know it immediately. Symptoms are what lead to a diagnosis, and sleep is an early indicator.
“Often times when they complain about sleep it is a symptom of something else. Sleep is probably one of the first things affected by a person's psyche and by their mental make up. If you're not healthy and you're not well, sleep is one of the first things that can be affected,” Brown said.
Brown went on to explain how the lack of sleep can physically affect a person.
“It has been shown that when you deprive a person of REM sleep over the course of several days they begin to hallucinate, they begin to have delusions and they see things that aren’t there, because your mind craves that opportunity to shut down, go on automatic pilot and work out the processes of the day. And if you don't give your brain the opportunity to do that it can affect it profoundly,” Brown said.
Students often go to the Student Health Center when they are feeling the effects of anxiety. Marti Burri, the registered nurse on campus, says that a lack of sleep can negatively affect your body.
“The immune system goes down and you get sick easier [when you don't sleep],” Burri said.
The Nurse Practitioner Beth Roderick says that it is very common for students to come see her for anxiety reasons.
“Sometimes if it's not that severe we will refer them to the counseling center and sometimes the counseling center can give them some relaxation techniques. It might just be as simple as reminding them of sleep hygiene, healthy diet and exercise,” Roderick said.
Roderick noted that during big testing times on campus she sees an influx of students due to anxiety and sleep deprivation.
“This time of year and during finals I see a lot of anxiety and trouble sleeping because people are cramming for finals or midterms and they're drinking monster and other energy drinks. They come in and their heart rate is over 100 and they're bouncing off the walls,” Roderick said.
In a Twitter survey, 24 college students answered how many hours of sleep they get on week nights and whether or not they use supplements to fall asleep.
Out of those surveyed, 83 percent said that they get between 5-8 hours of sleep. 8 percent say they get between 3-5 hours, 5 percent say they get 8-11 hours and only 4 percent get under 3 hours.
Of those same people who were surveyed, 65 percent say they do not use any kind of sleep aids to help them fall asleep. Thirteen percent said yes they do use them, and 22 percent said they do sometimes.
Good sleep habits are something that are developed over time. College students are in a stressful time in their lives and need to make sure they are taking care of themselves mentally and physically.
Getting help when they are stressed and finding a good routine to follow are just two small things they can do to make sure they are living a healthy lifestyle.
Student fees for fine arts majors can have you grabbing your wallet and running out the door, but are the extra dollars being put to good use?
The School of Fine Arts grants degrees in art, theatre/cinema and music. Although the fees vary depending on major, the ending amount can be a big eye opener for most students and parents.
Student fees are broken down by department, class and the materials for that class. The amount of the fee relies on what materials the students will be using in the class, according to Peter Hriso, chair of the art department.
“Most of the fees are determined by the price of the materials that have to be purchased,” Hriso said.
Materials for each major vary widely, which results in different types of fees and different amounts of fees for each of the three majors.
Materials for art students can include special paints, utensils, papers, fabrics, glazes, colors, etc. Hriso explains it is impossible to have art classes without the use of some sort of material.
“All of our classes are applied classes, and they need materials to be utilized and evolved in some way,” Hriso said.
The fees for art students include a fine arts materials fee, materials and technology fee, arts program fee and computer intensive course fee.
The fine arts materials fee and the materials and technology fee can range from $20 - $150 per class. These fees are a flat rate fee, meaning they do not depend on the amount of credit hours for the class.
Other fees, like the fine arts program fee, are per credit hour and depend on the length of the course. This program fee is currently $31.55 per credit hour.
The computer intensive course fee is also a flat rate fee of $45, but the money from this fee goes to the upkeep of the computers. Hriso explains the quality of the computers and the computer software is important to the work the graphic design students can produce.
“The majority of our computers are not using just like word processing machines, we’re using the machines that have the capacity and capabilities to do graphics, and normally high-end graphics,” Hriso said.
The programs that use this sort of high-end graphics include graphic design, motion design, game design and digital animation.
Hriso says each of the Mac labs in Potter have recently been updated within the past year or so to give students the most recent programs Apple offers.
Aside from technology, Missouri Western charges student fees because the tuition and state funding for the schools are so low.
“I know people don’t like fees, but the tuition here is very competitive, and I think it’s very low,” Hriso said. “I think you have to balance looking at that with the fees as well.”
Theatre and cinema
The student fees for the theatre and cinema major focus mainly on the technology used for photography, computer programmming, lighting and stage equipment/materials.
Jeff Stover, chair of the theatre, cinema and dance department, explains how the money from the fees is used to pay for the equipment provided to the students.
“The way it has been explained to me, the fees essentially go to pay for the equipment that we keep in the cinema cage,” Stover said.
Stover explains the department has worked out a deal with the IMC, where the IMC would purchase the equipment and the department will pay them back through student fees. This way, the students can have access to the best equipment possible.
“Our cinema cage is actually very well stocked for the university,” Stover said. “We have all HD cameras in there, we have steady cam rigs, we have lighting kits, we have audio, so all of the fees go towards paying that equipment.”
Theatre and cinema major Mike Hadley says the amount of the fees didn’t hinder his decision to become a fine arts major because he is happy with the equipment he is able to use as a student.
“[The fees] don’t really bother me all that much because it helps pay for the materials, such as helping purchase or rent the scripts for the shows, help pay for the facilities and any necessary materials that we might need that are provided by the department,” Hadley said.
The fees included in the theatre and cinema majors are the computer intensive course fee, the program fee and the computer assisted course fee.
The computer intensive course fee is a flat rate of $45, the program fee is $48.50 per credit hour and the computer assisted course fee is $35 flat.
Hadley explains how the fees have helped to upgrade different areas of the department, including renovating the costume shop and providing new lights. He says there is only one thing he would like to see the fees go towards.
“Maybe helping provide more opportunities for students,” Hadley said. “[The department] already provides a ton of stuff for us, and our professors are always willing to help us out. It’s mainly just using the money for the opportunities that we can get.”
Stover says the program is able to offer unique experiences to their students because of the equipment they have and are able to use.
“The fact that our students are getting a hold of the equipment literally in their first year here is huge,” Stover said. “We are the only cinema program in the region, so if you go to another school and you try and do cinema stuff, you’re probably not going to have a camera in your hand.”
Students generally don’t complain about the amount of fees they are paying out per semester because the quality of the equipment makes up for the amount being paid.
The department of music currently comes in first place with the amount of fees students are being charged for. The department currently has six different fees being applied to certain classes.
The flat rate fees include: a $50 music equipment fee; a $100 music major general fee; a $100 music major instrumental fee; a $100 applied music fee; and a $25 music material/concert fee.
The last fee, a fine arts program fee, is $31.55 per credit hour.
Not all fees are applied to every class. The department currently offers the most courses to students, and generally has two to three fees per class.
The department chair was unavailable for comment, but Willenbrink explains the money from the fees goes to the upkeep of the instruments and towards purchasing new equipment.
He also explains that fine arts majors cannot complete their degree without the use of certain materials. For example, the students must have the music in order to sing or play.
“I think when you take a fine arts major, you’re under a certain understanding that there’s going to be supplies that you have to buy,” Willenbrink said.
The fees are applied to students in order to make up for Missouri Western’s lower tuition and state funding.
“Some schools have much higher tuition, so that’s what budgeted, but here the fees charge you for what you will use, the consumables that you will use, and nothing more,” Willenbrink said.
The goal with student fees is to keep them at a flat rate, so students will not have to worry about an increase of price in the near future.
“My goal as dean is to keep them strictly at a cost that is necessary, not to inflate them,” Willenbrink said. “We’re very conscious of that, and we are very conscious that those fees are in place.”
For students who have questions on how much they are paying in fees per semester or year, those rates are available for viewing through their Goldlink account.
A growing trend across college campuses is the use of social media. Missouri Western has many different social media accounts in use, from main university Facebook and Twitter pages, to the pages dedicated to specific sports. Keeping up with the trend, Missouri Western has now incorporated a geofilter on Snapchat.
Geofilters are filters that can be added to a picture on Snapchat that can only be accessed at a specific location. These filters are a way Snapchat users can share their location with their followers in a unique and creative way.
Alex Atkinson, a student worker for the Office of Admissions, was beginning to plan Griffon Edge, a three-day orientation for incoming freshmen, when he learned that many other universities used geofilters on Snapchat to help students interact with each other. Wanting to give incoming freshmen this same opportunity, he took it upon himself to begin the process of creating a geofilter for campus.
Creating this geofilter was no simple task. With the help of the Campus Printing and Design office, Atkinson was able to design and submit a geofilter for Missouri Western to Snapchat.
“When you submit your geofilter to Snapchat, they don’t accept or reject your application directly,” Atkinson said. “Awhile after we submitted, we received an automated message that told us our geofilter was rejected. But for some reason, they didn’t tell us why we were rejected. It took a few weeks of trying to finally submit a filter that was accepted.”
After many hours in the design room, Missouri Western finally had a geofilter on Snapchat.
Adding a geofilter for Missouri Western was more than just something to keep the university up-to-date with popular social media trends. This allows anyone on campus to share their location with their followers in a new and exciting way. With this geofilter, anyone can share their experience on social media, and show others they had this experience at Missouri Western.
This geofilter has been more than just a fun way to share experiences at Missouri Western. It has become a tool used to help recruit new students.
“Lets say a student comes to Missouri Western for a tour,” Atkinson said. “They post the geofilter on their Snapchat Story. Then their friends from high school see the Story and the filter, which in turn will give them a sneak peek into life at Missouri Western.”
Unfortunately, there is no way to quantify whether or not this geofilter has brought new students to campus; however, most students are pleased with the geofilter option.
“I love it,” Drew Crist, a sophomore at Missouri Western said. “Now anytime I use Snapchat, I can show my friends I’m on campus. I’ve actually found out my friends were on campus because of their using the filter and it’s made me seek them out so we can chill. So I really like it.”
So next time you send a Snap while on campus, make sure you add the Missouri Western geofilter.
Country and rock are set to collide onstage at the 2016 spring concert with the second opening band, Nine Miles to Nowhere.
The country trio is an all male group located right here in St. Joseph, with all three members being current students here at Missouri Western.
Lead guitarist and political science major, Garrett Shuck, says the band formed after their drummer, William Bryant, and he moved into Scanlon Hall and met their then RA and now lead vocalist, Drew Miller.
Miller explains he had asked Shuck to play guitar for him on one of his shows, and after convincing Bryant that country music wasn’t all bad, recruited him for drums.
The band played their first show late last March, and Shuck says their sound is country with some rock roots to it.
“We don’t really sound like anybody else, so I guess we are a little more edgy-country,” Shuck said.
The group is influenced by country artists like Randy Houser and Brantley Gilbert, but Miller says they have also been inspired by rock musicians such as Blink-182’s drummer Travis Barker and American rock band Van Halen.
“I’ve got a plethora of different stuff that has molded me to what I am,” Miller said. “Randy Houser is a big one for country, and as kind of a writing style that I go with, I’d have to say a little bit of Skillet, which sounds a little weird, but I like their style.”
Shuck says the mashing of genres stemmed from their love of hard rock and heavy metal before college and forming the band.
“It was kind of weird, you know, I listened to country a little bit, but [Will] absolutely despised country,” Shuck said. “Drew sang Christian rock and stuff like that, but started doing country before we got here.”
They decided to head down the country music lane mainly due to Miller’s voice and background.
“My vocals are straight country and it took a lot of convincing, more with Will then Garrett, but I was like there’s a way we can capture the rock guitar sound and kind of get that with country vocals unlike anybody else does,” Miller said. “So we just kind of went for something different.”
According to Shuck, the band has been described as the ‘white Nickelback of country music’.
“Our producer has done a pretty good job of really capturing the influences that we all drew off of different genres, and it comes out to be really edgy, so it’s southern rock country,” Shuck said.
Currently, the band does not have a single out, but headed to Springfield, MO over the weekend to finish recording their first EP. The EP does not have a release date, but should be available around the time of the spring concert.
The concert is set to be one of the biggest shows the band has played to date, and Bryant explains their excitement at being one of the openers for headliners Maddie and Tae.
“I’d have to say playing in front of a ton of people,” Bryant said. “We usually get a good crowd, but probably not as big of a crowd as we’ll have there.”
The concert is an opportunity for the band to expand their number of listeners to a wider audience. Bryant explains what he sees happening for the future of the band.
“Living the dream,” Bryant said. “Living the dream and playing music.”
To see the band perform at the spring concert, be sure to arrive at the St. Joseph Civic Event Center around 6:30 p.m. on April 16.
Also, be sure to follow Nine Miles to Nowhere on Facebook for future events, upcoming shows and the release of their EP.
Four international students from the Nwe Mozart Studio in South Korea spent two weeks at an intensive Western music camp; attending recitals, participating in master classes and sharpening their language skills with intensive English classes.
Three pianists, a female vocalist and their instructor Ok Sok Choi participated in Westerns musical workshop.
The concert kicked off at 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb 6, in the Kemper Recital Hall, with twelve-year-old Jeongwoo Byeon playing Sinfonia No. 15 in B flat by Bach and Sonata No. 8 in A by Mozart; Byeon was followed by pianist Haejeong Kwon playing Sonata in C by L.v Beethoven and Etude in C# by Chopin. Vocal soloist Ye sol Shin then performed Quando M’en Vo by Puccini and the German love song, Rastlose Liebe by Schubert. The concert concluded with Dae Han Lee’s performance of Sonata Ot. 57 by Beethoven and Etude No. 9 by Rachmaninoff.
Interim Assistant Dean Melody Smith was excited to help bring the musicians to campus and to be a part of the students’ experience at Western.
“They arrived on the 24th [of January] and began classes on the 25th. They have studied English for three hours in the morning, and had private lessons in the afternoons; rehearsals in the evening, and even went bowling with the international group. They have worked very, very hard,” Smith said.
Although the 2016 music camp was established through the professional relationship between Ok Sok Choi, Director of the Mozart Studio for performing arts in South Korea, and Western professor of keyboard studies Matthew Edwards; Edwards has declined to comment on the impact of the international students’ visit.
Western has had two previous international camps, in both 2009 and 2013 with the program expected to continue in the 2016-2017 academic year.