Everyone at one point or another has had something mean said or written about them. In the age of cyber bullying, it seems that every time you turn your back, there's a new way to anonymously be rude to someone via the Internet. It's gone from chatrooms and IMs to Facebook accounts dedicated to "confessions." The newest version? Yik Yak. Yik Yak is an app. It is categorized by schools. It uses your location to determine your school. You can view any school's feed, but you can only up/down vote and post for your school. So, basically, it's an app version of MoWo Confessions. We give it some credit though. It's not necessarily a place to bully one specific person, it's more of a place to gossip and vent about dumb things. The problem is, we are in college. This is four (or more) years where we are supposed to grow up into fully functioning members of society. Last time we checked, there was no confessions page for corporate businesses. In fact, if a business finds out about an employee speaking rudely about their company, that person is terminated. Prospective employers are not going to want to hire you if they look at your Twitter feed and see nothing but complaining. So, why are we spending our time talking badly about our university? We get it, there's lots of small annoying things that we can rant about: the overpopulation of geese, people who hog the entire sidewalk and walk at a snail's pace or even the food we are offered. But, we can all handle those issues on a mature level. No need to vent about it on every social media outlet available. Just get over it. Stop antagonizing the geese, say "excuse me" and walk around the person hogging the sidewalk and if you honestly cannot find a single thing to eat on campus, fork over some dough and eat off campus. Simple solutions. Yik Yak serves no purpose for Missouri Western. If you are about to post something that you would not want your grandparents to see, does it really need to be said? No. So, grow up and deal with the annoying things in life like an adult.
When you think about domestic violence, plenty of images can flood your mind. A battered Rhianna after a fight with Chris Brown or Ray Rice dragging his unconscious fiancee out of an elevator. Those are just the instances that stick out in the media over recent years. Recently, two events focusing on domestic violence have been held on Missouri Western's campus. Last week, Curt and Christie Brungardt spoke out about what their lives have been like since their daughter was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Earlier this week, Senator Claire McCaskill came to speak about ways to protect yourself and get help. When we say domestic violence, we aren't just talking about the abuse that leaves marks on the skin, but all the other ways abuse comes about. Whether it's physical, mental or emotional, love is not supposed to hurt. You are, under no circumstances, required to stay with anyone who does not give you the love that you are deserving of. According to LoveIsRespect.org in 2011, 20 percent of college women, as well as six percent of college men, will be victims of sexual assault, and 57 percent of students reported being in an abusive dating relationship while in college. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, domestic violence is one of the most underreported crimes. Approximately one-fourth of all physical assaults, one-half of all stalking instances and one-fifth of all rapes are reported. Those are scary numbers, right? Do something about it. Report the situation to authorities. There is no form of abuse too small that they cannot intervene in. Do not accept any form of contact from the abuser. An apology is nowhere near enough to fix the damage they have caused. If it is necessary, file for a civil protection order. If they won't listen to your demands to leave you alone, they will listen to the demands of the law. Most importantly, get help. Reporting the situation is just the beginning. Talk it out with friends or family; a support group can help you get past the trauma. No one deserves abuse. No one. If you or anyone you know is suffering from an abusive relationship, call the YWCA at 816-232-4481.
Missouri Western administrators have recommended that the Board of Governors refund a tuition increase to undergraduate students that are residents of Missouri. This seems to be because Western finally received state funding that wasn't budgeted. Now, there is an adjustment, leading to a possible refund - however small - to students that paid the increase in tuition for the fall. All we at the Griffon News have to say: YES, please. We think it is fantastic that the administrators are pushing for the students to receive money back, whether their hands are being pushed by Jefferson City politicians or not. We aren't oblivious to the fact that there may be multiple reasons for this refund, if it happens. There may very well be an order on the table from Jeff. City saying that the refund has to happen. However, that doesn't mean we aren't grateful. We know the administrators didn't know if we were going to get the state funding or not. Students could always use more money. Some students want money to spend on video games, sure. But, some students need money to pay bills like utilities, gas and food. Some students really just want money. Any amount of money - whether it's $5 or $50 - being refunded to students is going to make a positive impact on campus. College is expensive. We, as students, are constantly bombarded with fees of all kinds. Books are ridiculously priced, and more are required every semester. It seems like things just keep adding up. With that being said, Griffons are going to be happy no matter how much money they get back. As long as it's green and can be used to pay for a McChicken, we're lovin' it. So Board of Governors, when you are polled, make the right decision. One, because it's the best thing to do for the students; two, because it was the intention of the governor when he gave that money back for it to benefit the students; and three, because it may very well affect our future state funding if we tick the wrong people off in the capital.
In case you haven't heard, the master plan project sounds pretty important. Just the name, 'master plan,' indicates that this isn't just a normal, routine improvement plan - this is the comprehensive, big deal, will-affect-the-campus-for-a-long-time, master plan. This plan is going to affect almost every physical aspect of our campus - landscaping, building improvements (including the possibility of new buildings or additions to old ones) and the all-important parking. With that being said, it is pretty dang cool that Western administrators are asking - virtually begging - for student input. Not only are they having three different forums (by the way, GO TO THE FORUMS!,) they are creating the student ethnography project, where students get to take pictures throughout their day on campus and visually illustrate what they like and don't like about the campus. So now, instead of just complaining that you hate *insert whatever you hate on campus here,* you have the opportunity to let your voice be heard and show the administrators and the master planning team why the thing you hate should go or be fixed. We at the Griffon News believe that something will be done about that thing you hate, even if it is after we are graduated and gone (the plan is going on for ten or more years, people.) Even if taking pictures isn't really your thing, you can go to the forums and hear what the master planning team has to say about what they, as an outside team looking in, see as problems on campus. The team has already completed a walkthrough of the entire campus, or very close to if not the whole campus, and have started creating ideas about what they think should be changed. Once you hear what they think, you can voice your opinion and how you think the problem areas on campus should be handled. And it's not just that you can - it's that you are being asked to. They have also created a master plan steering committee that includes the one and only SGA President Daniel Hager. Another great way to get your opinion into the master plan ideas - tell Daniel what you think and have him pass the word along. With all of that being said, it is a really exciting time to be a Griffon. We, the current student body, get to be part of a huge plan to help shape the future of Western's campus. Take advantage of that.
This year, the School of Fine Arts is doing something that benefits the students and hopefully themselves. They are giving away tickets to their musicals and plays free of charge to any Missouri Western student who presents an student I.D. Yeah. That's right. Free. Every college students favorite word. Originally, students had to pay about $8 to attend a show in Potter. SGA also used to fund for them to hand out 25 free student tickets per show. The School of Fine Arts is doing this to promote the shows they will have for the upcoming season, which are "Of Mice & Men," "The Pirates of Penzance," "Three Days of Rain" and "Urinetown." Of course, the shows will have a limited number of tickets to hand out, so students are asked to reserve tickets if they would like to attend. Otherwise, community members will be able to buy the tickets that the theatre has available. The number of tickets available is limited to Potter Hall due to reserved seating, and for Kemper Hall because of limited seating. The administration is hoping it will allow the students to come and see the productions regardless of whether or not they can afford it. So, if your friend is in the show you don't have to worry about not being able to come support them. Or if you have to come watch a show for class, no need to pay some silly ticket price. If you know you really want to see an upcoming show, reserve your ticket in advance to assure that you are going to get to see it. Because, regardless of you being a student, it is still first come, first serve.