Greek Week, a week-long celebration by the sororities and fraternities of Missouri Western, took place just last week, finishing off with a Greek Awards Banquet on March 31. At the Awards Banquet it was announced that the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority took first place, the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity took second and the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority came in third. Phi Delta Theta President Colin Rosenow explained that the week wasn't just about competition, but about the community of Greek Life at Western. “We celebrate Greek Week as a week for unity within all the Greek organization to get together and to basically compete and have fun with one another and to get to know the members more on a personal level,” Rosenow said. Greek Week invites all fraternities and sororities to take part in the various events that took place during the week. On Monday, March 27, a dodgeball tournament was held at Looney Complex. This dodgeball tournament was a competition between the fraternities and the sororities, simply for the fun of playing the game and competing against one another in a friendly challenge. Julia Buescher, member of the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, participated in the tournament. “It’s dodgeball and I like athletic things so I signed up to represent my sorority on the court,” Buescher said. The next event took place on Tuesday, with a '90s trivia match between the different Greek groups. The '90s was this year’s theme for Greek Week, as it is different every year. The trivia, as stated by the theme, was over various '90s facts. “Tuesday was trivia so they asked all '90s questions, like who are the members of clue, what games came out,” Rosenow said. This event was attended by several sorority and fraternity members. On Wednesday, March 25, there was a guest speaker, Jes Baker, who talked to the students about body image. Jes Baker had just took on Abercrombie and Fitch, a popular brand of clothes and style, by changing their title to “Attractive and Fat” in a way to challenge their branding efforts. Following this event was a dance competition on Thursday, March 26, held in the Looney complex. Teams would be formed between the sororities and fraternities to come up with a choreographed dance and compete against each other. Students got to show off their dance skills to fellow Greeks, as well as represent their sorority or fraternity by showing what they could do. Reyhan Wilkinson, a member of Phi Delta Theta, explained that the dance is competitive, but fun. “it’s usually a sorority and a fraternity that pair up and they choreograph some type of dance and this is just usually one of the favorites because everyone comes up with all types of different things and it gets really competitive, and it’s just a lot of fun seeing everyone do their themed dance,” Wilkinson said. On Friday, March 27, the last event before the Greek Awards Banquet was held at the East Hills Mall Shopping Center. The Greek groups had to build some kind of structure out of non-perishable food items that they collected, and the structure had to be '90s related like this year’s Greek Week theme implied. These non-perishable items were later donated to Second Harvest Food Bank, which is a non-profit food pantry organization.
Two votes determined the Western Activities Council vice president, while the Student Government Association president and executive vice president ran unopposed.
Ashley Filipelli, WAC vice president-elect, and co-chair Candice Jenkins secured 143 votes against Jacob Hoppe, Jacob Robertson and Nicole Lucas, who received 141 votes. Filipelli is excited to begin her new position.
"It was a very close race and I am happy for everyone who won," Filipelli said. "Candice Jenkins and I put our all in this election and it paid off. We both look forward to next year and are always open to suggestions from students and organizations."
Ida Haefner will serve as SGA president for the 2015-2016 year. Current SGA President Daniel Hager was Haefner's running mate and will fill the executive vice president role for the coming year. Haefner, said she is ready for the challenges that come with being president.
"I am excited to become SGA President and to have this opportunity to be a voice for the students," Haefner said. "I do know that this job is a great responsibility and I believe I am ready to take on this challenge."
Haefer added that she wants to ensure student opinion is heard.
"I want to be sure that all students' voices are heard on what they would like to see happen with their campus," Haefner said. "Missouri Western is our home away from home and I want to be sure that it stays that way. If any student has any comments or concerns, or just wants to talk, I am always willing to listen and learn."
The senators for 2015-2016 will be Connor Samenus, Eli Dodge, Alec Guy, Megan Helt, Montra Qualls-Woods, Ravyn Highsmith, Haden McDonald, Dominick Busby, Charles Flemons, Dylan Barnes, Gillian Brundin, Austin Catron, Cierra Edwards, Tannis Hamilton, Brad Stanton, Breanna Bland, Nicholas Miller, Donald Plesser and Dhieu Atem.
There will be a run-off election for Rodenic Byrd and Kennedy Byers, who tied at eight votes each. According to the SGA website, the run-off election has yet to be determined.
According to fall enrollment data, Western has 5,742; however, 293 students voted in this year's election, approximately five percent of students. Although the proportion of student voting may seem small in comparison to the total number of students, this year's was an increase from last year's 209 total votes.
Hager was pleased with this year's election turnout. "The numbers have remained rather steady over the last five years. This year we had an increase of voters from the previous years," Hager said.
Sophomore Kiyale Walker felt obligated to vote in the election.
"I never understood why people didn't vote," Walker said. "I mean, the voting is for us, the students; maybe next year things may turn around. I only voted because I want to have a voice on our campus, albeit little."
Sophomore Elizabeth Leroy was one of the students who did not vote.
"I didn't know there was voting going on. But next year I might," Leroy said.
The inauguration and SGA Awards Banquet will be held on Thursday, April 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Fulkerson Center.
An extraordinary opportunity for current and future Missouri Western students took place Sunday, Feb. 22. Directed by the financial aid department, the Fasfa Frenzy held in Spratt Hall .
Within the first 30 minutes of the event, over 40 families were seen and helped.
Senior Coordinator of Financial Aid Jessica Hills believed that the event would not only help the students, but the parents as well.
"We host it so that it can help students in the area, whether they're going to Missouri Western or going somewhere else," Hills said. "It is a great resource for students and parents."
The Fasfa Frenzy has been at Western for many years. Although the name of it has changed, along with its location, the importance behind it has not.
Financial aid Administrative Assistant Connie Myers felt very pleased about the event.
"It has been very nice, so far it has been a larger crowd than usual," Myers said.
In addition to the Fasfa Frenzy, Western, along with many other schools, are taking part in random selections for drawings in scholarships. The scholarship opportunity is for families who completed their Fasfa for the 2015-2016 year.
Director of Financial Aid Marilyn Baker felt deeply confident about the scholarship giveaway.
"The Fasfa Frenzy is a state wide initiative; there's about 80 other sites that are holding the event today," Baker said. "So all of the students participating in the Fasfa Frenzy in the state today will be able to have the opportunity to register for one of the 16 $500 dollar scholarships."
The families and the students that were in attendance felt very appreciative of the amount of effort and dedication the financial aid department put in for free.
"Parents and students should never have to pay anyone. It's a free application for federal student aid, so they shouldn't pay," Baker said.
The financial aid department at Western is located in the bottom level of Eder Hall.
"We at Missouri Western will allow students to make appointments for after hours as well, it's not a problem," Baker said.
The goal for the financial aid department at Western is to assist students and their families by helping them receive a college education, while keeping student loan debt to a minimum.
"The turn out has been great. The Fasfa Frenzy is an event that Missouri Western usually hosts every year for anyone that needs help completing their Fasfa," Baker said.
Candy and giveaways highlighted Heart Your Union, as 16 various student organizations and services gathered on the second floor of the Blum Union to show students what they have to offer. This free event was put on by the Student Government association and headed by Senator Brian Shewell, who serves as the Chairman for Campus Advancement Committee. It took place on February 12 from noon to three in the afternoon. Organizations present included recreational services, sororities and fraternities and student clubs and organizations. Gifts included fleece blankets from Student Affairs, folding chairs from the SGA and hair care products along with teddy bears from the Nontraditional and Commuter Student Center. Students were also able to take part in free massages, henna tattoos, cookie decorating and H.I.V. Testing. “We looked at what events and what groups we did last year,” Shewell said. “We decided to change it up this year. During International Fair, we saw that henna was a huge hit.... The massages are always a huge hit and last year we actually ran out of cookies.” The Student Affairs office had perhaps the most important issue for students to consider. With the university moving in the direction of executing a master plan, which was formulated by by independent master planners, the pool area in the Looney Complex was a major area in need of improvement. Student Affairs asked students to fill out a survey about their personal usage of the pool. These form will be available for any students who were unable to attend Heart Your Union in the Student Affairs office in Blum 228. The forms ask if you knew their was a swimming pool for students on campus, if you have ever used it, and if you think the university should keep the pool or replace it with other form of recreational space and what you would like that space to contain. Joe Nash, a student helping with the Student Affairs booth, believes that events like these help to keep students aware of their union. “I have class with some people who don't even know there is a second floor to the union so its important for people to 'heart' their union, by knowing it exists,” Nash said. The event grew substantially from the previous year when they were not able to fill the tables that they were provide and this year they had to bring in extra tables according to Jessica Frogge, Administrative Coordinator for SGA.
Western students came out in packs to witness the talent that their fellow peers were capable of. On Thursday, Feb. 12, Western Activities Council (WAC) held their annual talent show in Blum 218.
Many students and family members were in attendance to support the contestants. The WAC Talent Show was hosted by junior Mike Rose who entertained and amused the crowd.
In between acts, Rose picked out raffle tickets and the winners received two free tickets to the annual spring concert, featuring Ludacris, in April.
Vice President of the Student Government Association Julia Buescher was very proud of the amount of students that were in attendance.
"The acts just keep improving as the years go on. This is actually probably the best talent that we've had on our show since the years I've been here," Buescher said.
The auditions for the talent show were held over the course of two days.
Buescher explained that the candidates were chosen based off of how many people of the same talent auditioned.
"For example, if there were 10 singers but we don't want a whole act being just 10 singers, or 10 dancers, we would try and mix it up and then choose the best of three or four of those. So that way we can add a little variety to the show," Buesher said.
The talent act included poetry, dancing, singing and even beat boxing.
Sophomore Kiyale Walker was in attendance and was amazed at the acts that took place.
"Everyone did an amazing job, I think I might try out for this next year. I did not know you could do stuff besides singing," Walker said.
The talent show was judged by SGA President Daniel Hager, Multicultural Education Coordinator Latoya Fitzpatrick and Administrative Coordinator Dana Heldenbrand.
Ivory Cohens, winner from last year, preformed a duet with Romello Clark. Cohens and Clark danced a romantic piece together and as a result won the $100 first-place prize.
"It feels really rewarding, like all of my hard work paid off, and best of all getting to keep my title," Cohens said.
Missouri Western has held talent shows for its students for over 10 years and WAC does not plan on changing that anytime soon.