Each election season seems to bring in a plethora of insults from both presidential candidates. After the first presidential debate, I’m sure some individuals have a few choice words for their opposing party. And while I personally love to swear, I think it’s more important to talk about the other F-word that’s been buzzing around this election: Feminism. The Webster dictionary defines feminism as the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes. Simply put, feminism means equality, not a preference towards women. Our country has become incredibly polarized by our views on gun control, education, immigration and healthcare, but when it comes to issues directed at women, some issues seem to hit a little closer to home. Despite all advancements women have made over the last century, there still seems to be a constant push back on women’s rights. In 1920 women were granted the right to vote in a presidential election, after 33 elections without representation, but have had very difficult time with legislative advancements since. Currently, one of the most debated topics in the United States is the morality of abortion. In 1973 women were granted the right to safe and legal abortions. However, in the state of Missouri, several abortion clinics have been stripped of their funding, causing the drastic reduction from 29 abortion clinics to a single abortion clinic in St. Louis, MO. Equal pay is another hot button issue of the election; the 21 cent wage discrepancy has been causing waves in the election since early April, leaving room for an endless debate for a solution. In addition to the financial inequality and debatable body autonomy, American women are faced with the growing threat of physical and sexual abuse. Rape -- it's not an easily approachable subject, but it's a national issue that seems to be growing rapidly. Sexual assault is a growing problem that can physically and emotionally damage both men and women. However, there is no national standard for disciplinary action in cases of rape. It is predominately left to the state's jurisdiction. On Sept. 23, Netflix released the documentary 'Audrie and Daisy,' the story of two girls that were sexually assaulted and then aggressively harassed by their communities to the point of attempting suicide. Personally, after watching the documentary, there was feeling beyond gender oppression; for the violation of women to go unopposed and the naivety some might have to deny that rape and violence against women isn’t a huge problem in the United States makes my stomach turn. This election will not only determine the new leader of our nation, but it will also determine who will be named the next Supreme Court Justice, affecting the legal precedents for decades to come. Please make it a priority to vote on Nov. 8.
On May 28, 2016 the world shook with collective grief and screams of anguish were heard across the world. On that day, all people wept. Some call the events that transpired negligence, while others suspect a more sinister plot, but the one undeniable fact is that the entire world entered a state of mourning. What began as a typical day in Cincinnati will now go down in infamy and be forever burned into the minds of all people in the civilized world. On May 28, 2016, the most beloved creature in recent memory, Harambe, was murdered in cold blood.
I remember that morning well, a scenic drive in the country, when the news came across the radio. My heart sunk to the Mariana trench -- I did my best to keep from going off the road, the grief blinding me. As my car skidded into the grass on the side of the road, I fell from my still running car, barely bringing it to a stop. My stomach heaved, my vision clouded -- I could do little but curl into the fetal position and wait for the paralyzing throes to subside. The video that emerged soon after did nothing to quell my emotions. I went into a stupor of whiskey and prescription Xanax to try and dull the pain. I was not successful; the images still play in my head to this day. Harambe's murder has brought me immeasurable sorrow.
To my great dismay, some jive-ass turkey has decided that the message of our homecoming is to "grill the gorillas," which makes my stomach churn. Who could be so insensitive in the wake of this tragedy? Who would have the gall to bring up such a fresh wound? What kind of person lacks that much empathy? I am disgusted, to say the least, at our school's lack of foresight in letting this horrifying tag line stand.
While some people may be able to forget, many others cannot. I can understand wanting to instill school spirit, but to do so in such a disrespectful way is unacceptable. I stand with the gorillas, even if they are a rival institution. I can only hope that somewhere Harambe is smiling, applauding me for my courage, and waiting patiently for the day when we can meet again. See you at the crossroads, my one and only love, Harambe.
If you've gotten this far and are a regular reader of the Griffon News, you may have noticed a change in design this semester. New people bring new changes, and I am one of those new people. New in this position, anyway. Starting this semester, I am the Editor-in-Chief of the Griffon News. Before that, I was a staff writer, assistant lifestyles editor and lifestyles editor, so this might be where my desire to create a visually new paper came from. Although The Griffon News looks different this semester, we still adhere to the same core values that we have always tried to stand by: We report the news and nothing but the news. We are dedicated to bringing the student body and anyone who takes an interest in Missouri Western unbiased and relevant news. We want them to know the things that they need to know about what happens in this community of ours. While our mission is to bring people the news, we understand that there is a give-and-take relationship. We appreciate input and criticism from all sides. If we report something wrong or inaccurately, we want to know and we will make corrections as needed. The Griffon News also welcomes feedback. We want to hear from our readers. Letters to the editors and story ideas from our readers are welcome and encouraged. Stop by the newsroom in Eder, send an email to one of us, or even tweet at us to let your voice be heard. Again, while much is changing, the core of the paper remains the same. I am looking forward to a semester full of news and improvement to the paper. Thanks to a great staff of experienced editors and fresh reporters I am convinced we can accomplish this goal.
Another school year has begun, which means new classes, new friends and, above all else, new opportunities. If you didn’t like the way last year went, felt like something was missing from your college experience or you’re just up for a new adventure, the new school year provides you with just the opportunity to change your experience for the better. And now, during the early weeks of the semester, is the absolute best time to make those changes. Commit yourself to trying new things. Talk to people who you’ve never talked to before. Make new friends. Explore the Saint Joseph community and see what’s out there (plus, there are discounts for MWSU students out there, folks). Also, dedicate yourself to getting involved. There are plenty of ways for you to do that. One solution is to join a club or two on campus. From student government, to fraternities and sororities, to religious, political, hobby-related, or just social clubs, there is a place for you to get involved, make new friends and have an impact on your college community. Furthermore, this November provides a great opportunity to get involved on a larger scale with your community with one of the most important elections of your lifetime. Talk about the issues surrounding this election with your friends and family. Watch the news and upcoming presidential debates. Get informed and when the time comes, vote. Lastly, make the most of your time here. College is exciting, eye-opening experience. Each year has the possibility to be something more than the year before it. So, don’t just sit around and let this school year or those opportunities pass you by. Grab ahold of them, hold on tight, and have some adventures along on the way. You owe it to yourself and your community to do so.
Greetings, and welcome to Missouri Western! Or, if you are returning, then welcome back! It is an honor to be entering my ninth year as the President of Missouri Western, and we have a lot of good news to celebrate this fall. Just yesterday, we took a moment to open the newly renovated pool complex. This would not have been possible without the many partners who supported this project: The City of St. Joseph, Buchanan County, the St. Joseph School District, and your Student Government Association. On Thursday, we will celebrate the opening of the new Spratt Stadium and our new video scoreboard, which can be summed up in one word: massive. Students in our School of Fine Arts may notice the face lift that Potter Hall received over the summer, and all students will appreciate the great work that has been done on the second floor of Blum Union. Over the past year, our academic programs have been the example of excellence. Just a few of the many examples would include the Craig School of Business working with leaders from the St. Joseph community to develop and approve our first Master of Business Administration degree, while our Center for Entrepreneurship has already served over 250 clients in its mere two year existence. Faculty in our School of Fine Arts continue to demonstrate excellence in teaching, with Teresa Harris and Dr. Elise Hepworth recognized at the state and local level for their efforts. In the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a team led by Dr. Todd Eckdahl and Dr. Jeff Poet with an emphasis in undergraduate research has resulted in a grant worth over one million dollars for synthetic biology research. In the College of Professional Studies, growth and prestige in our health related programs encouraged us to create the brand new School of Nursing and Health Professions. Of course, these are merely a sample of the amazing work our faculty do every day. Whether you are just beginning your journey, are on the path towards graduation, or nearing the finish line of your degree, I encourage you to take full advantage of the many resources available on our campus. The Center for Student Involvement, the Center for Multicultural Education, the Center for Academic Success, our Counseling Center, the Career Development Center, and all of our faculty and staff are here for one purpose – to help you succeed. Nothing makes us happier than when students first arrive on our campus, and nothing makes us prouder than to see those students graduate and change the world. Have a great year, and Go Griffons! Bob Vartabedian