Cronkite show performed in DC, NY

In celebration of Walter Cronkite’s upcoming 100th birthday, the Cronkite show premiered at the Newseum in Washington D.C. on Sunday, Sept. 25. The showing of Cronkite was part of a series of events at the Newseum, an interactive museum dedicated to journalism and news, in honor of the “Most Trusted Man in America.” Missouri Western President Dr. Robert Vartabedian, who conceived and edited the show, helped introduce the show to the audience. “We’re here and we’re very happy to be here to celebrate the centennial of Walter Cronkite’s birth that was back in 1916 in St. Joseph, Missouri. We’re also here to share with you our live, multimedia show entitled Cronkite,” Vartabedian said. John Maynard, director of programs at the Newseum, said it was nice having the play performed at the Newseum. “Of course, Walter Cronkite holds a very dear spot here in the Newseum. You’ll find his work throughout the Newseum, which looks at the history of journalism…It’s been a great partnership with Missouri Western State University.” The showing at the Newseum, however, was not the only place the Cronkite performance has appeared recently. “Just Friday night, we played the Lincoln Center with the entire trilogy,” Vartabedian said. “This is one show of three. The other two acts of this trilogy, And That’s the Way It Is: Cronkite’s Journey, starts with Harry and Walter: Missouri’s Native Sons as act one and act two is King and Cronkite, and then this is the finale or third act. We’ve done this in New York and we’ve had some people ask us if we’d like to extend our run to a regional or off-Broadway venue. We’ve also done it at Union Station in Kansas City and the Truman Presidential Library, so it’s getting more and more exposed.” Missouri Western has continued to expand its memorial in Spratt Hall in honor of the famed journalist and St. Joseph native. Speaking of Cronkite after the show, Vartabedian remarked on Cronkite’s integrity and legacy. “He shared with the world the major stories or most of the major stories of my lifetime and did so with a tremendous amount of integrity. It’s easy to memorialize someone of Cronkite’s character, it truly is,” Vartabedian said. Missouri Western will be hosting its own Walter Cronkite centennial event at the Walter Cronkite Memorial on Nov. 5, a day after Cronkite’s 100th birthday.

Student Government pushes students to vote

The Student Government Association has headed initiatives to take the All-In Campus Democracy Challenge to get more students involved in the voting process this election year. SGA, along with the Division of Student Affairs and the President’s office, has planned various events, such as debate watch parties, to encourage students to familiarize themselves with the voting process. SGA is going to use these events as on opportunity to endorse a website called TurboVote. TurboVote allows easy access for students to register to vote, apply for an absentee ballot, and receive text reminders of upcoming voting dates. They’re also planning on providing transportation for students to get to their polling place on the day of the election, Nov. 8. Other events include a mock presidential debate, an international student panel on outside perspectives of the presidential race, and an election night party. “Younger voters, the turnout has always been relatively lower than older voters,” said Dr. David Tushaus, co-professor of Election Law and Voting Practices: Protecting the Right to Vote, a course which emphasizes the history and importance of voting. Last election, 75% of MWSU students were registered to vote and 41% voted. The goal of the challenge is to register more students and raise campus voter turnout by an increase of 5%. “There are many issues that are involved from the local level to the national that people from this age group should care about.” Tushaus said. Brad Stanton, assistant director of external relations, seemed to share a similar opinion. “Of course, younger people being able to vote is huge because young people are at a point in their life where there are a lot of [political] decisions that affect them,” Stanton said. “Who you vote for could in turn, in the legislature, turn into a vote of whether or not Missouri Western gets a raise.” SGA is trying to remove the obstacles from the voting process and make voting less intimidating for student voters, especially younger voters. “People who have either never voted before or very minimally voted before are now moving to another locality,” Stanton said. “Young people don’t really have the tools to know what they’re supposed to do.” To clear up any confusion, if you’re a citizen of the United States over the age of 18, you can vote from anywhere, even outside the borders. “I was in India in 2012 and I voted,” Tushaus said. If you’re already registered, TurboVote can be used as a tool to make sure you don’t miss any deadlines and to check on your registered status. Tushaus mentioned a story in which a student thought they were registered, went to the polls on election day and found out they weren’t. “If you think you’re registered, it wouldn’t hurt to check,” Tushaus said.

Big changes for the FAFSA

The time to get the Free Application for Federal Student Aid completed is now Oct. 1 - Feb. 1. Though FAFSA can now be completed anytime before February, it is advised that students fill it out as quickly as possible. This change is to better help first-year college students when they are choosing possible institutions by allowing them to know how much financial aid they will need months prior to their enrollment. The change also helps continuing students. Instead of getting it done in January when students don’t have school on the mind, they can get it done during fall break when Missouri Western is top priority. FAFSA will now be using the tax forms of two years prior, so students and parents won't have to wait to file their taxes before submitting. If a parent loses their job during the year, they are able to go onto Missouri Western’s Financial Aid website and find the Special Circumstance Appeal Request form so that the student will receive the right amount of aid needed. Due to the changes to the FAFSA, the Missouri's Access Grant deadline has also changed from April 1 to Feb. 1., along with scholarship deadlines and priority Financial Aid deadlines. For continuing first-year students, financial aid packaging deadlines are still due in May, after grades are posted. First-year students will receive their financial aid the first week of December as opposed to March or April. “The FAFSA date change will not affect the amount received," said Paul Orscheln, Associate Vice President Enrollment Manager. Marilyn Baker, Director of Financial Aid believes that this will be a positive change for students. “Before [students] leave for Christmas Break they can talk to Financial Aid staff and ask questions or use our computer lab to fill out questions. This is better than doing it during the summertime when we are here but students aren’t,” Baker said. “I hope it helps students. I hope it allows students to get their applications done before student break." Baker hopes to open up a couple of workshops at some point before Feb. 1 to try to help students with the changes. Students can make appointments to meet with Financial Aid if they have questions. Central High School’s graduating seniors are preparing for the FAFSA application changes already, and will be having Missouri Western’s Financial Aid department come and talk to the parents and seniors. “Families with older siblings may stumble at this change, because they had dealt with FAFSA in the past and were unaware of the new changes. However, for first-time freshman the change should be very simple,” said Megan McCamy, a student counselor at Central High School. All students are advised to deal with the new changes by checking their Goldlink accounts, student emails and completing FAFSA as quickly as possible

Students gather to watch 2016 Presidential Debate, with varied support

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the two front-runners in this November’s presidential election, exchanged heated words during the Debate held Monday night. Several arguments were contrived, many opinions were voiced and a lot of students listened intently as Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton tossed verbal jabs at one another. A room packed with Missouri Western students watched the debate at a party hosted by Student Government Association and the Politics Club. There was a firm division in upstairs Blum Union, room 222-223, with many students pulling for either one or the other. However, quite a few students aren’t fully convinced these candidates are the best choices for this country. Engoma Jerry stated his opinion. “In my opinion, these two should not be our presidential candidates,” Jerry said. “I’m not one to judge one or the other, because they both have their mistakes, but I definitely think they both just belong in Congress. As far as the voice of our country, I just don’t feel comfortable with either.” Clinton started off strong and looked to keep her cool throughout the debate. She covered such topics as job creation, minimum wage and equality between men and women. She also discussed affordable childcare and debt-free college. Many students popped at this, and justifiably so. To continue with Clinton’s main points, she pointed out that trade is an important issue. We need smart, fair trade deals. We need a tax system that isn’t just lowered but rewards hard work. As far as the legal system, she is fighting for criminal justice reform. She believes everyone should respect and should be respected by the law. Caleb Rhodes, freshman, offered his ideal perspective on the debate and the content that took place before his eyes. “I just feel that Hillary knows more about how to handle political issues and she's not a racist or a sexist,” said Rhodes. “And she does not want to ruin all out treaties and is not a walking American stereotype.” In retort to Clinton, Trump went on record to state that he would reduce taxes and create millions of jobs, which are currently “going to Mexico.” Trump claims to be the best job creator since Reagan. In his words,“When we sell into Mexico, there’s a tax, but we get taxed. That isn’t a fair deal.” Trump went on to mention that the trade deal about NAFTA was “the worst trade deal to ever be signed off on.” In response to criminal justice reform, Trump acknowledged that Clinton “refused to use the words” law and order. Trump claimed this country needed law and order, and that he was the only sensible one to bring it. How this would happen wasn’t specifically outlined, which drew a lot of controversy on social media. Trump lashed out as well, calling out Clinton for being “way more temperamental” than him. Freshman student Derek Guyer says the debate didn't change anything for him. “I'm conservative and I still am after that debate,” said Derek Guyer, freshman. "There really isn’t any argument as simple as that. As unprepared as people claim Trump apparently was, he still gains tremendous support everywhere he goes." Verbal barbs at this point were clearly being traded, with Clinton calling out Trump’s tax returns being withheld and Trump nagging on Clinton’s huge email scandal. Trump was visibly struggling to answer some questions at some points, and both contenders were berated and praised respectively by partisan crowds. When asked if the candidates would accept the outcome of the election after November, the two focused on the future rather than their individual campaigns. “I believe in democracy,” said Clinton. “So whatever happens, yes I will support the decision.” “I want to Make America Great Again,” said Trump. “Whatever that takes, I will support.”

Komastu Ramen is as good as it sounds

komastu_ramen_20161 When college students think of ramen, the first thing that typically comes to mind is the 99 cent packets that can be bought at any supermarket in America. Komastu Ramen shows St. Joseph what ramen is truly supposed to be. Komastu Ramen is downtown at 724 Felix Street. This restaurant has a beautiful atmosphere, between the hanging lights and upbeat music played in the background. There are no tables, but booths that are surrounded by a wooden canopy that resembles a canoe tipped on its side. Another unique facet of Komastu is the way you order. I was greeted by a waitress and then told how to use their iPad to order off the menu. Meals, drinks and desserts were all ordered by iPad. They have a wide variety of ramen, all with different types of broths, noodles, meats and vegetables. They have Tonkostu style ramen (pork broth), Shoyu ramen (soy broth) and Miso style Ramen which is made with miso broth. There wasn’t just ramen though; they also had appetizers that were gluten-free, such as the cucumber salad and seaweed salad. Some specialty items include oysters, as well as olive and cheese carts. I went with my friend and we both ordered the miso style ramen. She ordered the vegan ramen which came with tofu, cabbage and enoki mushrooms. I ordered the oishi ramen. This ramen had pork belly, roasted chicken, and a hardboiled egg as well as a plentiful amount of veggies. The portion sizes were very hefty. The chopsticks available were unlike traditional chopsticks. They were thicker and white, with carvings to help grasp the thick noodles easier and fit more comfortably in your hand. The actual ramen was amazing. The broth brought the perfect amount of savory to the dish; between the pork belly and green onions, the ramen flavor was divine. The vegan ramen was just as excellent. The enoki mushrooms gave it a nice flavor, and the consistency of the tofu was high quality. Everything was very high quality considering the affordable price. We also splurged on Japanese soda since we were there. The type of soda you could buy from a comic convention or at select grocery stores around St. Joseph. The brand of soda, however, I had not found in town before. The bottles had marbles inside that fit in the lid. You had to press down firmly on the marble and pop it into the glass in order to drink from it. It’s a really fun experience to drink it. Overall my experience at the restaurant was very good. The only negative aspect of the restaurant I’d say were the flies. As we sat there were about two or three flies buzzing around our table, they would leave and come back throughout our meal. Despite this, the quality of the meal was very good and the atmosphere was one I’d love to take a group of friends to. I would recommend Komastu to my friends and I will definitely be going back.