Yung Joc, Ross headline concert

The Western Activities Council has verified “It’s goin’ down” like “in the club” at the Civic Arena for Missouri Western’s annual Spring Concert. The WAC sponsored event is scheduled for April 10 and will feature rap performers Rick Ross and Yung Joc. The announcement came officially March 26 through the public relations department a week after WAC presented the performance line-up at an SGA meeting. The announcement was long awaited for students eager to hear who would be at the Spring Concert, when and if it would occur this year. “I was just wondering if they were going to get somebody. I Think I’ll go now that I know who it is,” said Joseph Franklin, Missouri Western student. WAC co-chair for music and entertainment Olin Kinsey explained that the delay had to do with time constraints, rather than irresponsible planning. In the past, WAC adviser Stan Sweeney assisted in bringing the Spring Concert acts to Missouri Western by dealing with agents and booking issues. This year WAC student organizers coordinated the event; unfortunately the students found many obstacles in booking artists, despite attending a NACA conference last summer which concentrated on concert production and organizing. Issues of reliability and positive crowd interaction were factored in when selecting the artists. Kinsey explained that of the artists that were considered initially, many times agents were not receptive to booking and were not returning calls to verify their acts. “Instead of being a bugaboo, we thought it was better to wait for them to call us. Then it became an issue of time,” Kinsey said, “also with some artists, they ran into legal issues, and we decided it was better not to invite them.” Other artists considered for the event were T-Pain and Lil’ Wayne. The concert will be held at the St. Joseph Civic Arena, which accommodates 4,200 and will be open to the public. All tickets are general admission, and at the event alcohol will be prohibited. The doors will open at 7 p.m. and the concert will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets will be available starting April 1 in the center for student engagement where each student with valid Missouri Western identification can obtain a free ticket for the event. The event is open to the public as well, and tickets will be available through Ticketmaster as of April 1st for $27.00 per ticket. Staff and faculty may obtain tickets through the CSE for $12 per ticket. Ticket distribution will cease at noon April 10, the day of the concert. Ross currently holds the number two album this week, following a peak at the number one spot the previous week for his new album “Trilla.” He is known for such hits as his debut single “Hustlin.’” Yung Joc, born Jasiel Robinson, holds the 66th position currently for his hit single “ 1st Time” which includes collaboraters Marques Houston and Trey Songz. He is also known for the hit single “Its ‘goin down,” which peaked in 2006 at number one on the billboard charts. In 2006 he was nominated in the category “best rap song” for the MTV Music Video awards, and last year in 2007 he was nominated for a “Grammy” in the category of “best rap song,” both of which for the hit single “Its ‘goin’ down.” Past performers include Switchfoot last year, and Chely Wright and Emerson Drive the previous. The most recent rapper which performed for Western was Twista, three years ago. This is in keep­ing with the WAC policy of rotating Rap/ R&B, Rock and country music artists in a three-year rotation.

Alpha Sigma Phi to leave campus next semester

Is it the end for Alpha Sigma Phi? For now, maybe. One of Western’s fraternities on campus, Alpha Sigma Phi, has announced it’s inactive status, which will begin next semester. Student Engagement Director Don Willis said the fraternity is not in trouble, but they just don’t have the time to keep going. “I know that they didn’t take in any new members this year,” Willis said. The issue is not that they are on probation or causing problems – they just have the highest standards of all the fraternities and sororities on campus, and they have not been able to recruit any members who meet these standards completely. This fraternity has the highest GPA requirement of all fraternities on campus, which is a 2.5 to pledge, while the group has to keep a cumulative GPA of 3.0. Even freshman are required to have at least a 2.8 GPA, and must be willing to commit themselves and constantly maintain good grades. It is a common belief that if students do not have that basic foundation, they won’t be able to take responsibility for anything else. Students wanting to become involved with this fraternity are also required to be part of at least two other organizations on campus. Membership has been getting lower each semester as the standards are raised each year. President Sean Pruitt, who is the scholarship chair and in charge of recruitment, said there are plenty of people interested in joining their fraternity. However, either their GPA is not high enough, or they are just not ready for the responsibilities of being an Alpha Sigma Phi member. He does not want to lower their standards just to get more members. “We [Alpha Sigma Phi] really value what we stand for,” Pruitt said. “We were active, we did everything we could to break the mold and the stereotype.” He would rather the fraternity become inactive while things are going well for them, and while they are living up to every one of their expectations, than watch everything they have worked for go downhill. He also believes Missouri Western has a hard time getting members involved the right way. There was the minor possibility that the fraternity could stay open next semester, but it was unanimously decided among members that it would not be a very good idea. With nine members, it would be hard to get recruitment. Also, two members will be graduating, and two are moving out of town for internship opportunities. Pruitt believes everyone in the group is basically satisfied with the decision. “Everyone has kind of come to terms with this,” Pruitt said. A couple members were hesitant to begin with, but after several long, serious discussions about shutting the fraternity down for a while, the decision was made with everyone’s approval. Luke Herrington, treasurer, was a little hesitant about shutting the fraternity down at first. “It seemed to be the easy way out,” Herrington said. He eventually realized, however, that this would be the best decision for the group. Trevor Kincaid, another Alpha Sigma Phi member, shared Herrington’s initial thoughts, but also changed his mind in the end and believed it wouldn’t be the best idea to keep going at this point in time. “With all the responsibilities, it would just be really hard,” Kincaid said. Alpha Sigma Phi could still be reactivated again someday. Ironically, the official symbol of the fraternity is the Phoenix, the mythological bird that rises from its ashes. Herrington believes this is fitting for what they are currently going through. “Like the Phoenix, we can always rise back up,” Herrington said. Pruitt also said he would like to come back in five years and see that the fraternity is up and running again, still meeting all the expectations and continuing in the direction they left off.

Triggs tries to bring peace among students

It’s a student problem, not a black problem. That was the message given by Tay Triggs, the Multicultural Education Director, during the last SGA meeting. Many of the students involved with the excessive noise, vandalism, vulgarity, and all around bad behavior at the Blum Student Union are African American. “It is perceived as a black problem, but we don’t want to segregate,” Triggs said. Triggs brought her message to the last SGA meeting asking that they address the problem because she feels the issue is a student government problem. Student Senator Tyson Malone agrees that something needs to be done.  “We (SGA) have selected a committee to analyze the problem, and are working to address it.” The expensive remodeling of the lounge area including computers is beginning to show some wear and tear along with ink doodles on the upholstery.  There are initials written and carved in some of the furniture and walls. “We spent the money to improve the area, but the job is not done yet, we need to maintain the area,” Triggs said. The bookstore is right next door, trying to conduct business.  Even customers on the phone 50 feet into the store have reported hearing the commotion through the phone. Employees of the bookstore say the noise of the students peaks somewhere between 11a.m. and 2 p.m.  Noise and vulgarity complaints have been reported to the book store employees by customers while in the store also.  One employee remembered hearing a customer say “I hope she doesn’t kiss her mom with that mouth” in regard to a student yelling vulgarity across the area.  The official comment from the bookstore is “We live with it, they are our customers.” The type of pejorative language Triggs reported includes words such as ‘fag, the n-word, bitch and ho.’  These are not anti homosexual or racial slurs “These are friends calling each other these names,” said Triggs. Trigg’s goal is to work with instructors also to help address the problem. She feels it is a matter of education as well as a student government problem. “We do not need to take punitive action, these students need education,” said Triggs “students engaged in this type of behavior need to be taken aside, one on one, and asked questions like, ‘How is this behavior helping your education?’ that way we are educating versus punishing them.” “It looks bad,” said Triggs, “ it’s a few people pushing the limit where no limits have been set.”  Limits may be set soon however, if she gets her way.  “This messes with our (MWSU) goals,” said Triggs. The area is visited frequently by prospective students and their parents during VIP tours sponsored by the admissions office.  Also many prospective employers and faculty can be seen in the area that someday may be evaluating one of these students in an interview or be asked to write a letter of recommendation.  “Many of the staff and faculty are afraid to address the problem,” said Triggs, “ but, I don’t know why as long as it is done, one on one, and with respect, there shouldn’t be a problem.”

The “Worst” Homecoming Week Ever

As the Homcoming week wrapped up, besides the annual drenched students who were out to support the Griffons, the tired organizations who have spent night and day working on the floats, and the exhausted steering commitee who have worked hard for months, most students involved with homecoming have a bitter taste in their mouth. “The Best Homecoming Ever,” was this year’s theme... More like the worst. Before homecoming week even started there were questions arising as to why homecoming was moved. Homecoming was moved one week up in the schedule from last year’s freezing mess because “It always rains.” “He moved this up a week because it always rains on us and it’s always so cold and we always miss school the next week because we have pneumonia,” says one of the student workers in the CSE who was on hand for the date switch. The intentions were good, we suppose. But because someone fancied himself the world’s best meteorologist, Homecoming was scheduled on a three day weekend. That’s not necessarily horrible in itself except that lots of college students see three day weekends as their chance to go home and reconnect with family and friends. Also, Pumpkin Fest, a known festival for children, was scheduled that same weekend, including a parade on Saturday. So at the slightest hint of bad weather, most parents aren’t going to drag their children out to two parades in pouring rain. Thats not a great way to show that Missouri Western supports the community by trying to compete with a known community event. Plus, they had advertisment constantly on the television,  we would lose that battle. So planning Homecoming for this weekend made sense how? But as Saturday rolled around, and the rain continued to fall on the cursed homecoming parade day, one thing was different. No, it wasn’t freezing rain, it was lighting. And apparently, floats are lightning rods and having people out on them is not a good idea. So for one of the first times in a long while, the parade was cancelled. We think most organizations would have taken the freezing rain and letting their hard work be shown, than lightning, no parade and working hard to line up with halfway torn down floats at the library. That is the other thing. When organization arrived for the parade line-up, with their soggy floats, they were told it was cancelled. They weren’t told until later that they were suppose to meet at 10 a.m. in the library parking lot for judging. Several organization had already taken parts of their floats down or the water had destroyed important parts. They were told to fix their float and be judged. Because after staying up for 24 hours working on a float, then driving the float in the pourng rain, they want to come back to the float site and work for several more hours fixing something that didn’t have to be fixed in the first place if a phone call had been made 30 minutes earlier saying the parade was cancelled and judging was at 10 a.m. So, besides the lack of spirit around campus with the no windows (thanks stupid people that don’t know how to clean things off properly or used spray paint), the lack of greek participation for various reasons and the overall bad timing. This homecoming has to be one of the worst homecomings in a long time. (Not to discredit any of the hard work the steering committee put out)  Thanks a lot Stan... Oh yes, he no longer works here. Also, if your going to run for homecoming king, make sure you can actually show  up and get your crown. Football players have won in the past and stood out there in their football uniform to celebrate their win.   After all of this we would say that we were jinxed from the begining. So never name Homecoming the “Best Week Ever,” you’re  just asking for trouble. 

Student-directed theatre season off to great start

The Western theatre season got off to a great start with the Steven Levi play, Angel on My Shoulder. On the opening date, Oct. 3, students, parents and even faculty showed their support and came out in a large number. The play is about a woman named Donna, who is in love with a married man and father of four children. When Paul Devilin decides that he wants to leave his wife and kids to marry Donna, her conscience finally kicks in and she turns to the one thing she thinks will take her out of her misery: get­ting wasted and then killing herself. But in her drunken state of mind, instead of actually jumping to her death, she is taken back to her home by her guardian angel, Charlie Russell who turns out to be the love of her life. The cast only consisted of three characters. Freshman Ashlynd Scott played Donna, sophomore Grant Metcalf played Charlie Russell and senior Jesse Boley played Paul Devilin. Both Scott and Metcalf are theatre and video majors and Boley is majoring in music. Seniors Candice Schrader, director, and Jennifer George, assistant director, chose to start the season with this romantic comedy. At the end of last spring one of the theatre teachers came to Schrader and George about directing the fall season’s play. George, who had already analyzed this play once before, really enjoyed it. “I knew this play inside out. I was famil­iar with this play from my script analysis class last year,” George said. When the teachers asked for some of the seniors to direct the first show of the season, George thought it would be a good idea to put this play on for the beginning of the season. “Jennifer really wanted to put it on but she knew she was going to be having a baby and she did not want to commit to such a thing should something happen,” Schrader said. “When I first read this play I wanted to direct it, but I was pregnant and I knew I would not be able to do it all on my own,” George said. The teachers ended up approaching Schrader, asking if she would mind direct­ing the play with George. “After reading it, I was like, ‘OK, I like it.’ I think its funny and I decided to direct it together,” Schrader said. ] With George already signing on as the assistant director, Schrader went ahead to take on the roll of being the director. The two women, whose majors are also theatre and video, found the time to come together and work on this wonderful play.