Beach bash brings banging beats

Kate - Phi Delt ConcertWebsite
There are a lot of mixed reviews concerning the concert which was put on by one of MWSU’s social fraternities, Phi Delta Theta, and held in Kemper of the Fulkerson Event Center on Wednesday, Sept. 2. The beach-themed event was coordinated by Phi Delta Theta member Alec Smith and featured DJ Apollo who entertained the students with his “club banger” beats. Phi Delta Theta is the only fraternity on campus to put on an event like this and it marks the third year that Phi Delta Theta has done it. “It shows that we’re a force on campus so basically come check us out,” Smith said. “If anything, it’s a big recruitment tool. We’re the only ones who do something like this; but in reality we’re still Greek and hopefully a bunch of Greeks will be there intermingling with the freshmen.” He hoped to get the new students interested in joining Greek life this way. “It was a giant thing for me when I was going through rush,” Smith said. “Phi Delt had this really fun concert that I enjoyed so I kind of want the same idea. I want freshmen guys to come in and have good time and see that Greek life likes to have a good time, too.” The theme, chosen by Smith, was beach-party social and he explained why. “I just wanted something fun and easy. People can just come in in their Hawaiian clothes, flip flops and trunks and have a good time like a day at the beach.  Definitely a fun welcome back to school; a ‘Welcome to Western’ to the freshmen." The music, also chosen by Smith, was mixed by DJ Apollo and is classified under the genre of “club bangers.” “It’s club music. Today’s music mixed with a little bit of old school hip hop rap. It’s gonna get people dancing and moving, it’s gonna be a ‘hey start having fun now type of thing.’” Smith said. “We had the room cut in half this year so it’d be tighter and more compact to really give it that club-type feel.” Also part of the event was a surprise beatboxing performance by Terin Wade, also a member of Phi Delta Theta. "The experience was kinda cool. The mic was hooked up to the DJ’s equipment and he was able to control the frequency so it was a little more crisp," Wade said. Outside of the concert Wade was able to interact with the DJ a bit before it started. “I beatboxed and he actually rapped over it. He’s a pretty cool dude,” Wade said. When asked about his thoughts on the concert Wade said, “It was a pretty good turnout for the most part. A good way to get out of the dorm and go do something.”     While some students weren’t particularly feeling the music and atmosphere that night, there still remained those who genuinely had a good time. A common complaint from students who didn’t really enjoy the concert was that there were  “people just standing around everywhere not really doing anything.” Among those who enjoyed the concert was student Doug Deering. “It was cool,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting anything big but I liked it. It had a real party feel to it.” Further information on events and happenings with Phi Delta Theta can easily be found on its twitter page @PhiDeltMOWest.

Rush numbers released

GreekLettersWebsite

The second week of class is over, which also marks the end of rush and recruitment week for Western’s two fraternities and three sororities.

64 girls and 33 boys received bids from their Greek organization of choice on Sunday’s bid day.

While fraternity Phi Delta Theta (called “Phi Delt”) welcomes 26 pledges, seven new members join Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE).  TKE president Taylor Bryant offers a positive summary nonetheless.

“I’m happy with the amount and quality of the guys we got. The whole week was pretty fun.”

According to him it’s “quality over quantity” and he looks for “ambition, dedication and energy” in TKE members.

“We pride ourselves in diversity as well,” Bryant said.

Phi Delt’s president Colin Rosenow is equally happy about the tunrout of rush week.

“26 news guys makes this the the biggest pledge class since 2010. It was definitely a stressful week – and a big chapter effort. We put a lot of activities and events on, and a lot of actives attended, which definitely helped. I’m very happy.”

Still, Rosenow agrees that numbers don’t define what is a good or bad fraternity.

“Both fraternities are pretty similar. TKE is definitely a competition for us,” he said.

Overall, it is about having a “great Greek community” on campus, Rosenow said.

“The more Greek organizations the better. When Phi Sigma Kappa left campus it changed the aspect of recruitment. A bigger community attracts a bigger crowd of PNMs [Potential New Members]. Less competition is definitely not better,” Rosenow said.

Sorority recruitment leader Caitlin Edwards is happy with the past week as well.

“I thought it was a very successful year, especially with such a small incoming freshman class.”

Sororities Alpha Sigma Alpha (ASA) and Sigm Sigma Sigma (“Tri Sigma”) both have 22 new members while Alpha Gamma Delta (AGD) has 20.

Edwards also agrees with Rosenow and Bryant that it’s quality over quantiy.

“The amount of members in my opinion does not and should not matter. I would rather have five girls who are involved, go to events and run for positions than 500 who join for the social aspect and just to show off the organization letter,” she said.

The same goes for Greek life on campus in general.

“I love Greek life on campus. Having a small Greek life, in my opinion, is more beneficial. I love being able to know everyone in my sorority and the other sororities. It makes our friendships and chapter that much stronger,” she continued.

Although each sorority looks for different aspects in a girl, there are some values they all share.

“[They look for girls] who they can communicate with easily, possess the values of their sorority, hardworking, value school and involvement in high school,” Edwards said as she explained the selection of new members.

Joining a sorority is a great way to get involved on campus, as Edwards explained on last Tuesday’s sorority info night.

“It is a great way to get to know people and make friends. And there are also opportunities to run for positions.”

According to Edwards, it’s worth it to make an effort.

“You get out what you put in and your experience is much more rewarding when you go beyond what is asked and stray away from the bare minimum requirements.”

Western introduces food bank for students

Missouri Western’s campus will be seeing a new addition in the form of a food bank this month.

The food bank is located in Blum 214 and opened on Thursday, September 8. The official ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Thursday, September 24, and anyone is welcome to come.

The food bank will allow students to fill up two bags of food, free of charge. This is limited to twice per month per student. It will be open to full- and part-time students on campus who will need to show their student ID.

The food bank will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. during the entire year. It will be run by volunteers, and anyone is welcome to volunteer including faculty, students and staff.

One of the volunteers and organizers involved is Elise Hepworth, the music director at Western.

Hepworth is no stranger to volunteering. After working with Rotary International and working on projects with Big Brothers and Big Sisters – as well as doing food drives for the food pantry – she is very excited to see the Missouri Western food bank take off.

“The Rotaract club wanted to host a project that was meaningful and impacted our student body.  A food pantry didn’t exist on our campus prior to this project, and we were happy to fill the void,” Heptworth explained the club’s motive.

Hepworth said that Rotaract saw a opportunity to help students and that the food pantry would be a great way to start. Their ultimate goal is  to reach out and to help others.  She can’t estimate yet how many students will take advantage of the opportunity but they will be collecting data over the next six months to see the impact of the food bank.

Western’s volunteers work closely with Second Harvest, St. Joseph’s community food bank. Executive Director Chad Higdon thinks that college students can profit from a food bank as much as people from any other age group.

“Second Harvest finds hunger through all ages and college students are just starting their career and they study long hours. This food bank will be a great opportunity for students to get food, no questions asked,” Higdon said.

Hepworth adds that “Our area has a high percentage of food insecurity, and it carries over into college.”

But volunteering, helping others and “remembering that we are human”, as Heptworth said, is not only giving but also about building a community.

She said the greatest rewards she has gained through volunteering is the “family” she has met.

Part of this family is Mashel Keplinger, a student volunteer.

When asked what advice she might give someone looking to volunteer, Keplinger said “don’t hesitate: go for it.”

Keplinger is the president of Rotaract, which is a branch of Rotary International. Keplinger is also part of the group Lingering Melodies, which visits hospice patients and sings to them.

Another student on campus, Jackie Mott, commented on the food bank.

“It could help both traditional and non-traditional students. People who don’t have a lot of money can go out and get groceries but want to still get their degree... the food bank can help them,” Mott said.

There is often only a main focus on students in grade school and high school or older adults, and college students often get overlooked. While trying to balance school and food, sometimes the need for food gets left behind. This will also be an opportunity for students to get out there and volunteer and get involved.

Studying in Costa Rica

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A 3-week trip to Costa Rica seems like the perfect vacation for students after this rough semester. For 18 students, that trip is happening. The foreign language department has organized a three-week study abroad trip for Spanish majors/minors. Dr. Ana Bausset has organized the trip, with the help of Assistant Dean and Director of Professional Development Peggy Ellis. Bausset picked Costa Rica for several reasons. “I wanted to look for a place, a safe place, where I could take students,” Bausset said. “I had directed two study abroad trips to Mexico at a different university, and I always want to go to Mexico, but it’s not safe right now. I thought maybe Costa Rica would be fun; everyone is going there, so I went to check it out as a scouting trip. I like the country. It’s a peaceful country and the people speak very clear, and I thought this is great for our second year students. You can’t learn more culture than going to a foreign country.” This would be the second time a study abroad group has gone to Costa Rica, but it will be with more students. Bausset has been organizing this trip since last semester and has everything planned for this summer. The trip’s purpose is to get students to continue to use their Spanish language and learn about the cultural aspects of a different country. For student Kelsey Hulett, this is her first time studying abroad. She feels prepared, but nervous at the same time. “The closer the trip gets, the more nervous and excited I become,” Hulett said. “With this being my first study abroad trip and the date getting so close, the reality of the situation is really setting in. I have prepared as much as I can, but I think this is a situation where I just have to jump in headfirst and experience the trip.” Each student will be living with a native family for the whole trip. The students have a schedule made for each week of the trip. Hulett is hoping that she will not offend her host family during the stay. “Living with another family, let alone a foreign one, is difficult to fathom,” Hulett said. “I have tried my best to listen to the stories of others and imagine what my host family will be like. I know that they will likely be very kind, helpful and understanding but I cannot help having some jittery nerves.” While the students will explore the different tourist attractions at Costa Rica, like the Baldi Hot Springs and the Arenal Volcano, they are also taking Spanish classes. The students arrive on May 11, where they will meet their families. On May 12, the students are given an orientation followed by a level test. The test will indicate how much Spanish they know so the classes can be based on their level. Despite having some nerves, Hulett is thrilled about the Costa Rica trip. “I am very excited to be going to a new place,” Hulett said. “Costa Rica is a beautiful country and I cannot wait to experience it first-hand. Although we will be staying with our families and attending school most of the time, we will also be getting out and about a bit to see the coast, jungle and volcanoes among other things.” As with any trip, there are dangers that the students have been advised to look out for. The three most important things students are advised to pack are binoculars, sunscreen and insect repellent. They were also advised to pack light and only take what they need. This also works well if they plan to buy souvenirs and gifts. The trip is all set and the students, as well as Bausset, are all exited for a wonderful time in Costa Rica.

Run for the cupcake

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Have you ever thought about cupcakes or desserts while running? If so, then this is the perfect 5K for you. The sweetest race in town is coming. Every mile you complete, you are rewarded with a cupcake from Delish Bakery and Coffee Shop, here in St. Joseph. I don’t think it could get any better. This will be the third year Alpha Kappa Psi will host the Cupcake Run. This one-of-a-kind experience will be Sunday, April 26, at the Remington Nature Center. The race will begin at 11 a.m. if you have already registered, and 10 a.m. if you still need to. This is a non-competitive race and is family-friendly. All those who register before April 20 will be guaranteed a free t-shirt. Early bird registration for community members costs $25 and only $20 for students. The money raised goes towards assisting the chapter’s members with registration fees to attend leadership and business conferences and their national convention. Brittany White, the vice president of fundraising for Alpha Kappa Psi, believes the conference will greatly benefit the chapter. “Not only will this help our fraternity, it will help chapters throughout the world grow as a team,” White said. The business fraternity was trying to think of a unique but fun way to help fundraise and get the community involved. They spoke about “The Color Run” and wanted to do something similar. The Cupcake 5K is a fun way to exercise or train for your next race. Victoria Byerley, member of Alpha Kappa Psi and participant of last year's Cupcake Run, thinks it’s a really great time. “It’s a unique 5K that’s fun for the whole family. Who doesn’t love cupcakes? There’s also no pressure to run, so people should bring strollers and pets,” Byerley said. So grab your appetite and running shoes and join the third annual Cupcake 5k.