Regardless of what’s done, something has to happen

Everyone loves having a pool. It was a desired thing to have with every house when we were younger. But how many of you actually know that we have a pool? Regardless of how many of you think, "I know we do," the number of you that actually go and use the pool is pathetic. On average, seven people use the pool per day. On top of the rate at which the pool is draining, the up keep of the facility is $1.5 million. Is it really worth the money to have a pool that no one really uses? We understand that this pool is important to some people. There is a swim team and a few classes that use it. However, going in there and seeing it empty on a daily basis makes us wonder if we could be using the space for better purposes. Now we have three options that we are currently aware of: keep the pool we have and fix the leak, build a new one in its place and traffic better or just shut the whole thing down and make a rec area. We are not selling one option over the other. We just think that, regardless of what is actually done, something really needs to happen. Option one is keeping the pool we have now. With the current leak and the unknown location of the leak, the cost of repairs is still unknown. If it's relatively cheap, fixing it and continuing the promotion of use of the pool would be easy for the university to accomplish. However, if the repairs are more expensive than the pool is really worth, maybe option two is the better way to go. Building a new pool is probably our most expensive option, but let's face it, people love new pools. Having a nice updated pool would attract more attention than we have now. Plus, with all of the other renovations going on on campus, a new pool only adds to the image that Missouri Western is constantly updating the university. But, there's another update-style option. Closing the pool altogether and building a new rec area in its place also shows that Missouri Western is willing to update aspects of its campus that might otherwise be overlooked. The upkeep of a rec area is far cheaper than that of a new pool and it provides another practice area for athletics and PED courses. These are the three options we are aware of right now, but there are plenty of people on this campus that could have even better ideas. If having a pool on campus is something that you believe is important, then make your desires known - attend the pool forum on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 11 a.m. in Blum 218. But, if you believe that a rec area is appropriate, let the administration know and voice your opinion at the forum. This forum is one of your last chances to have your opinion on the matter voiced.

Thumbs up to Admissions

First off, we would like to welcome any new students to Missouri Western. Congratulations on your decision to become a Griffon.

Second, we would like to extend a huge two thumbs up to the Admissions office just a little ways down from our newsroom. Everyone in that office kicked some serious butt with enrollment numbers this fall.

With the number of graduating seniors in Missouri dropping, most would figure that in-state colleges would take a pretty big hit in terms of enrollment.

But what did Missouri Western do?

They raised out-of-state enrollment by leaps and bounds.

They completely combated one of the hardest things a university has to overcome. Let’s face it, if a school’s enrollment number drops it is usually the beginning of a quick domino effect.

Before you know it, your tuition gets higher, random fees start popping up on your bill and the university starts to spiral.

Anything to get that extra buck back.

Which would lead to unrest among the student body, and that never ends well for anyone.

But, thankfully, that is not what’s happening.

It is so refreshing to walk down these halls and across this campus and see an abundance of new faces, along with the familiar.

While we in the newsroom are not exactly sure what all goes into being in admissions, but we know it is far from easy.

The fact that they were able to fight against a trend that can sometimes be the downfall for most schools is incredible.

So, here’s a huge shout-out to the Admissions office on recruiting so many new Griffons.

If you stop by the Admissions office anytime soon, make sure to say congrats to those hard working people. That new friend you made might have been someone they were able to reel in.

We hope this is just the beginning of numerous things that go right this school year.

Safety is Not Top Priority

Last Tuesday at 3 p.m. a Griffon Alert was sent out to students advising everyone to shelter in place drill to simulate an active shooter on campus. Instructors were told to close their doors and turn off the lights in their classrooms, and anyone not in a class was advised to seek shelter where possible. The email sent out the day before to students said the drill would last no more than 30 minutes: however, after only four minutes the all clear was given. Did this “drill” actually make campus any safer or more prepared for an emergency? The easy answer no this drill proved absolutely nothing except that it was half-assed like a lot of other things on campus. Emergency beacons sounded, professor closed their doors and turned off the lights. We expected someone to come see if the doors were locked, but no one ever checked. After checking with students in Blum later in the day, most didn't even have time to know what to do before it was over. It’s strange that on the Missouri Western website the link for the university’s response for an active shooter is down. Compared to Northwest Missouri State and Missouri State University in which their responses are easily available yet our site gives an error message. We appreciate the effort the school is trying to put into being proactive especially after recent shootings across the country, but it’s not enough. It just could not have been thorough enough to know that everyone was where they should be and that staff and students didn't really learn a lesson from it. There seems to be a feeling of invincibility that Missouri Western is in St. Joseph where nothing happens so we can relax. This can be a dangerous mindset because after other university and school shootings, faculty and students shouldn't let their guard down and think nothing will ever happen. Of course we are not saying that we should have police officers in every classroom or necessarily have metal detectors at every door. However, to successfully prepare and handle an emergency situation students and staff should be better educated, take drills more seriously and make sure a plan is ready and available for all to study. Just as a suggestion to the school, maybe we could use a larger campus police department, but that will probably never happen because a big screen TV on the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex and enlarging the Cronkite Memorial are obviously more important.

Turn in and turn out: SGA needs both candidates and voters

We at The Griffon News have a confession to make.

We didn’t turn out to vote in March’s Student Government Association election.

All eight of our editors failed to do our civic duty when it came to choosing the coming year’s student representatives. In all fairness, the election at the top of the ticket -- the SGA president and vice president slate -- wasn’t contested. The slate representing the Western Activities Council also wasn’t challenged.

Even though we didn’t exercise our university-given privilege to vote, at least we’re in good company.

Only 209 other students chose to log in to their Goldlink account and click on their representatives at the top of the ticket. With a university that boasts a student body of around 5,500, that’s a pretty apathetic constituency.

Now, if none of our top-ticket races aren’t contested, then why vote?

That’s the wrong question. A better question would be, “Why aren’t we running?”

It’s hard to believe that there aren’t two other qualified upperclassmen that care about our university on this entire campus.

Maybe some of the candidates that ran for Senate (there were 25) could have, at the very least, given us a bit of a show as they competed for SGA’s executive positions. We just wish we would’ve been given the opportunity to make a choice between four qualified candidates.

It was refreshing to see a slew of Senate hopefuls on the ticket. The highest vote count received by a candidate was 63, a number attained by both Elie Moore and Tobias Pointer. Eric Toliver came in close to the top with 61. These students deserve serious recognition for getting out in their school community and reaching out to the students they’re supposed to represent.

At the bottom of the barrel sits four students who tied, bringing up the rear of the Senate heap. Austin Catron, Shae Fannon, Brandon Grieshaber and Jacob Teasley all earned 13 votes each. It’s sad that these students came in 50 votes behind their high-achieving counterparts, yet they still get the same reward -- a seat at the table.

Alexis Rivers, Brad Stanton, Charles Flemons, Katlynn Willard and Felecia Voss were the five who didn’t win the race. They all scored 10 or fewer votes. It would have been interesting if at least one of these candidates had received 13 votes as well; then we’d get to see what would likely be the lamest run-off of all time.

We hope that, next Spring, our entire university will take these elections a little more seriously. We’re bummed that the top of the ticket was so thin, and we think that Senate candidates should’ve worked harder to reach out and secure the votes of their peers.

Maybe the problem was a lack of advertising. Maybe it was a lack of candidates. All that matters is that our student representation matters, and we, as a unified constituency, should make the most of it.

All parties at fault: fallout from fundraiser disaster could’ve been better handled

When we heard about the incident at the Wyeth-Tootle mansion, we had a hard time believing that a night in St. Joseph could sound so much like a rough draft script of “The Hangover: Part 4.”

Although, at first, it seemed like the party’s patrons were solely to blame for the thousands of dollars in damage and gunfire outside the mansion, it turns out there’s more to the story.

Yes, a partygoer did damage a priceless painting of St. Joseph’s founder, but the painting was left sitting on the ground by the door of the building, which the museum clearly knew in advance would be rented out.

Not only that, but the museum’s director acknowledged that the painting was surely damaged after a gun was fired outside the building, as attendees rushed back into the building for safety.

We’re sorry, but we would probably be a little more concerned about dodging bullets than being cautious of priceless artwork left lying around like dirty laundry.

Not only that, but the shooter was unidentified, and both the police and museum understand that there it’s possible that he was not affiliated with the party whatsoever.

Now, the sorority is culpable when it comes to other damages, which ate up their entire $200 deposit. However, the damaged painting alone is estimated to cost upwards of $3,000.

After looking at the facts of the matter -- if we were the Deltas -- we might take our chances in civil court against the museum. The evidence is not especially compelling for either side, and both seem to be somewhat at fault, but a coin flip is better than paying for something that your organization is not necessarily responsible for.

It’s important to note that the Deltas have already agreed to work out a way to pay for the damages by May 31, and they’ve already surrendered the damage deposit and an additional $300 in good faith.

They also claim they purchased event insurance, though the Griffon News was unable to substantiate that claim after requests for documentation were not answered.

In addition, they hired security for the event and did not serve any alcohol, even though the mansion’s policy does not ban alcohol at their events.

When looking at this case, there is a more removed third party involved: Missouri Western as a whole.

Western’s response to the issue has been to suspend the sorority and asking to be kept in the loop when it comes to the group’s payment to the museum.

It’s kind of like spanking your children in public -- nobody else really wants or needs to see a display of discipline; they’d prefer your kid just stop behaving badly in front of them.

The museum, which is managed under the umbrella of the St. Joseph Museums, and therefore serves as an extension of Western’s relationship with the community, already has a bad taste in their mouth after the experience. The museum director has gone on record stating that they won’t be renting to any Griffon Greeks, and that’s a real shame for all the other Greek organizations on campus.

The point is, dragging along the museum after agreeing to cover the bill is bad PR for Western, and we’d feel more comfortable if the university nipped the problem in the bud by paying the tab upfront. They can worry about collecting from the sorority on their own time, but it’s not a good practice to drag such a prevalent community organization along for months.

And what happens if the sorority can’t come up with the dough to pay the piper when May 31 comes around?

Let’s hope this issue is resolved as promptly as possible, and that Western isn’t afraid to step in to mitigate the situation.