Letter To The Editor: University president welcomes students

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

Letter To The Editor: A Message from Your SGA President

Fellow Griffons, Welcome to the 2016-2017 year here at Missouri Western! My name is Alec Guy, and I am the Student Government Association (SGA) President for this school year. I am a senior majoring in Political Science and Economics. I have really enjoyed my time at MWSU for many reasons, but mostly because of working with, learning with, and getting to know all of you, my fellow students and friends. That is why I intend to spend my last year here serving you and trying to make your time at Missouri Western awesome! I am Connor Samenus, your SGA Executive Vice President. I am a senior majoring in both Finance and Accounting, while also being in the honors program. This is my fourth year serving in SGA. Missouri Western has offered me countless opportunities to develop into the person I am today, which is why I am excited to dedicate my time to making your college experience the best it can be! SGA is the organization that represents all students in all matters. While we do many things to represent the student body, some of our roles are spending money to help improve campus and working with administration to pursue student interests, just to name a few - we would go more in depth, but we have a word limit! We hope to talk with you this year in order to accurately represent your interests and to serve you the best we can. As we said earlier, this university has done so much for us, and all of you have helped make our college experience great. With that being said, we want to return the favor by helping you however we can! We ran for these positions to improve Missouri Western, and we want all of you to enjoy your time here. That is why our focus this year is on you, the student. Our doors are always open, and you can come to us if you need anything. We are a Griffon Family here at Missouri Western, and we hope to make SGA the bedrock of this family. We would love to hear from you, so please contact us at aguy1@missouriwestern.edu and csamenus@missouriwestern.edu. We also have an office in Blum 217, which is open from 8 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday. We also have weekly meetings on Mondays at 5:30 PM in Blum 220, which are open to all students; we would love to see you there! We understand communication is not a one-way street as well. This year we, and SGA as a whole, are going to be proactive in seeking your opinion. We will be working hard to connect with all of you, so please be on the lookout for more from us. Have a great semester and #GoGriffs! Best Wishes, Alec & Connor Other ways to contact SGA: Website - www.missouriwestern.edu/sga Facebook - MWSU Student government Association Twitter - @SGAMWSU

Vartabedian’s Friedman Eulogy

Joe Friedman Eulogy by Bob Vartabedian   Dr. Joseph Friedman was born in St. Joseph, Missouri in 1920. And, he certainly had a remarkable life.   He was a war hero and liberator of Holocaust survivors. He also had a career as a well-respected local podiatrist. And, as we all know, he was a highly accomplished performer, writer, and researcher.   All the while, he always remembered his hometown and his alma mater, St. Joseph Junior College—now known as Missouri Western State University. All the while, he was incredibly philanthropic of his time, talent, and resources.   Events that many of us only read about in history books were directly experienced by Joe Friedman. As a hero during WWII, he helped liberate a number of Holocaust survivors.   The first time I met Joe was at a restaurant luncheon also attended my wife, Laurel; and Kim Weddle. Joe shared dramatic narratives of his wartime experiences, and there was not a dry eye in the house--including our restaurant waitperson. I knew then, as I know even more now, that this was a man who had a very interesting life-journey.   He came back from the war with what is now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But he had the wherewithal to finish podiatry school in 1949, and set up his practice in St. Joe. He had a successful practice until 1962.   Then, in his early 40s, he fell in love with acting and followed his heart first to Colorado, then to New York and Hollywood. In 1969, he married the “love of his life,” Gladys, and they were quite a team until her death in 1995.   One of his many acting claims to fame was his 2,840 performances in “Fiddler on the Roof,” which, ironically, we will be doing this summer. We will dedicate all performances to his memory.   Another of his claims to fame was his Emmy for his research for the 1986 documentary, “Secrets of the Titanic.”   Without question, Joe was a very busy man, but he has always made time for his numerous philanthropic causes. These causes include:
  • Missouri Western’s nontraditional students
  • His beloved Kiwanis Club
  • His alumni room in the Fulkerson Center at Missouri Western
  • Numerous scholarships in areas such as voice, theater, and engineering technology
  Even our graduation ceremonies have been enhanced by his generosity. The university mace, my presidential medallion, and the six processional banners were all provided by Joe.   If I were to list all of his honors in his 95 years of humane service, we would be here for a long, long time. I will give you a few examples.   His Military Awards included:
  • Seven letters of commendation
  • An Army Commendation Medal
  • European, African, and Middle Eastern Campaign Medals—with three battle stars
  • An “Army Occupation in Germany” Medal
  • WWII American Campaign Medal
  • A Victory Medal
  • and, a State of Missouri Medal for Service in WWII
  His Civic Awards included:
  • Three keys to the city of St. Joseph, Missouri
  • A Second Harvest award for furthering the mission of the food bank
  • The Jefferson Award for outstanding community and public service to our nation
  • The Walter Zeller Fellowship Award from Kiwanis International,
  • and Missouri Western State University’s Distinguished Alumni Award
His artistic honors included:
  • Nearly 3,000 performances in New York and Los Angeles of “Fiddler on the Roof”
  • The Mayor’s Award for artistic achievement from the Allied Arts Council
  • and, an Emmy Award, as mentioned, for National Geographic’s Secrets of the Titanic
  Finally, in 2013 Joe received the highest honor our university can grant: an honorary doctorate of humane letters.   The life of Joe Friedman was a wonderful gift to St. Joseph and Missouri Western, and a wonderful gift to anyone fortunate enough to know him. As Shakespeare once wrote: “Good night, sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”  

SGA President Letter

My Fellow Griffons,

With the kickstart of the centennial anniversary, now is the time to look back at Western’s first 100 years and to imagine the next century to come.  How will we change over the next century? What new buildings & programs will we add, how will student needs change in that time?

We in the Student Government Association are looking back on how our student government has supported our peers on campus over this last year.  We have made some big changes already - for example, we’ve put forward a new system in which our senators have been able to propose legislation that’s easier to submit and much more detailed than before. The new NOA/resolution system has been a great start for better transparency in Student Government.

In keeping with being the voice for our student constituents, we have a request to the readers of the press. This issue of the Griffon News will feature a poll, and we would like to hear back from you at dhager2@missouriwestern.edu regarding a possible funding shift. Our question to you is this: should we continue to provide the students on campus with the College Readership Program--free student newspapers (St. Joseph News Press, KC Star, and USA Today)?

With your participation, Student Government can better respond to your needs, and serve our students.  This is the first of many questions we have for you, so please remember to stay updated weekly with all of our Griffon media - including next week’s issue of Griffon News that will also have a poll. And as always, you can reach me at dhager2@missouriwestern.edu or any representative with information that can be found on our website.

We are looking forward to hearing back from you. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

Best Regards and #GoGriffs,

Daniel Hager

Banning tobacco to allow alcohol hypocrisy at its finest

Having always been one to avoid politics and drama at every turn the recent news about the tobacco and alcohol policies have me concerned. It would appear to the average student that the School is purposely catering to outside sources while cracking down on the students who live here. For instance the smoking ban is not only a carpet ban on every place on campus but makes no “safe environment” for smokers themselves. The University is “supposed” to provide a less than hostile environment for learning. How can a smoking student learn when they are stressed from withdrawals and busy hating the school for it? It scatters the focus of the student and therefore inhibits learning, which last time I checked was NOT the mission statement of any upstanding university. Now the lifting of the alcohol ban is laughable but is also a cause of great agitation to on-campus residents. The ban being lifted in every academic building and yet the residence halls are to remain dry? It’s complete crap. Having been to a few events here that were well catered by our on-campus food service I was shocked to see alcohol being served in Fulkerson Center to alumni. It was and still is my belief at this time that allowing any alcohol on campus for any reason and not allowing the students to partake is hypocrisy. I know at some point in life the vision of fairness that is pursued by every individual is shattered due to some reason or another but extending a beer to an alumni while telling a student over the age of 21 no is a major double standard. I think the School senate and faculty have forgotten that WE THE STUDENTS are the reason that; they are employed, the school exists, they enjoy their position of power, and the reason that alumni are created in the first place. Without WE THE STUDENTS the Faculty would be unemployed and/or seeking employment, the school would be closed, and what would a Missouri Western alumni be?. In Closing I would like to take the time to remind the faculty senate and the school board that trying to ban tobacco to control the behavior of students while promoting alcohol to alumni can and may very well get messy once people see the double standard