Letter to the Editor: 04-29-2010

In recent weeks, the Griffon News has published several articles belittling the last SGA Administration. This saddens me. My executive board worked around the clock throughout this last year, and I believe it is time to give credit where it is due. This year we: -Created a parking, recycling, health, smoking, and technology committee. Each of these committees was ran by a student leader, and open to the entire student body. -Held MWSU’s second largest Spring Concert: Puddle of Mudd. - Increased organization unity and growth, and over doubled the number of participants in the SGA year end awards from last year. -Helped fund and bring the national Resident Assistant Heartland Conference to MWSU’s campus. -Doubled the amount of student forums held with Administration from last year. -Over doubled the amount of legislation that went through SGA Senate from last year, and furthermore encouraged dissent in the Senate instead of groupthink. -Organized a community service project called Murals for Minds that united the MWSU campus. The event’s planning committee consisted of over 6 independent organizations on campus. On Saturday April 10 & April 17 over 100 volunteers helped paint 13 murals on Mark Twain Elementary’s school walls. -Created the first student written proposal in over a decade called the Technology and Recycling Fee to further advance technology and recycling initiatives on campus. (The students voted and the proposal failed. Does that make SGA a failure? No. If the students never got to vote, then SGA would have failed. If everyone voted one way, then SGA would have failed. But that was not the case. We gave students what we promised when we came in this year: a voice!) SGA’s 2009-2010 Executive Board, Senate, RC, and WAC members should be very proud of themselves for their accomplishments this past year. I love each and every one of them, and hope they look past the last few Griffon News articles that have called SGA an “utter disappointment.” I have a feeling this will be the last letter I’ll ever write to the Griffon News since I’m graduating very soon; so to everyone I’ve ever met or worked with at this University, it’s been a pleasure. The people at this school are amazing, and are going great places. It is awesome. Joshu Todd Former SGA President

Letter to the Editor: April 22, 2010

To whom it may concern: In response to the April 15, 2010 issue of Griffon News Editorial. In the recent election (opportunity to vote) much like elections in the community at-large; the votes of a few determined the outcome for everyone. Why? Was it student lack of interest? Or is there a larger question at hand? I found it interesting that you quoted Abbie Hoffman “Democracy is not something you believe in or a place to hang your hat, but it’s something you do. You participate. If you stop doing it democracy crumbles.” Considering that quote, perhaps it is the lack of interest by those students that could vote on these issues. I think we should look more to the example set by John F. Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” The Students ought to get involved. Meetings are held every Monday to debate and formulate solutions to issues such as the technology and recycling program. I’ve got news for you, the doors have always been open to the students to watch and even participate. In the community at-large the newspapers and television stations do much to disseminate information on issues. Where was the Griffon News? When and where were the articles and coverage of positions published? I wasn’t interviewed. Where was the news room staff during the debate? I didn’t see any of you trying to get the vote out on Election Day. Are SGA officers supposed to go door to door begging students to take an interest and vote? What is the mission of the campus media? Must the SGA beg the Griffon News to cover the issues? Just as happens in most communities, the votes of a few have decided an issue. Perhaps the outcome actually represents the opinion of the majority since the economy is so poor. However, can we accurately make this claim since only a fraction of the students voted? What scientific methodology did the Griffon News staff use to confirm that the fee would have passed if only SGA officers had been more “prepared”? Did the Griffon News effectively inform the public? Let me offer my solution to the issue; let’s create a better relationship between the SGA and the Griffon News. Let’s embrace a cooperative effort to achieve positive outcomes and refrain from deceptive discourse. Thanks for your commentary and support, Jacob Scott Parliamentarian & Student Senator Student Government Association

Staff Response

Jacob Scott Thank you for submitting a letter in response to the April 15 editorial. The Griffon News respects your position and obvious disagreement and we appreciate your pro-addictiveness in student politics. The fact is though, Jacob, that not all students are as willing to engage themselves as you are. Students either don’t have the time or interest in the issues to get involved. This is where the Student Government Association plays one of its major roles. The SGA, spear headed by the president, are solely responsible for educating the public on any issues they wish to pass. This is called a direct line of communication—which has been lacking all this year. As far as The Griffon News’ duty to the public, three stories were published on the proposal (Feburary 5, March 5, and April 2, which can also be found online). The final story’s headline read “Western students vote on technology recycling fee April 7th-9th.” It was the most detailed, describing how much the fee would cost and the provisions that the proposal called for. The article mentions Gordon Mapely, the Dean of Western Institute, who helped co-author the proposal, stating why the technology fee is needed. No doubt, the fee had support from the administration, especially in this current economic climate, but the administration is not enough to convince students why the proposal was important. The Griffon News can only educate the public so much; at the end of the voting day only the SGA can be blamed for a failed vote. A failed vote can occur for several reasons, but it is the opinion of The Griffon News that the major contributing factor was the lack of communication from senior members of SGA to the public and in some places even within the SGA. Government should never rely on newspapers to be their direct line of communication with the people they represent. As mentioned in the editorial, a public forum directed and advertised toward students to ask questions and respond to the fee would have been an appropriate response to opening the communications channels between SGA and the students. Senate meetings are held for senators and are not primarily for students to voice their opinion. The Griffon News never attempted to speculate how the voters would have voted if SGA had been more pro-active in their communication. It is logical to conclude though, had SGA been more prepared (held more forums, prevent political divide among the senate, educate the students, and open the lines of communication between students and SGA) then voter turnout would have been higher than roughly 10 percent. In response to your final sentence, The Griffon News and SGA have a healthy relationship as is proven with the coverage of the Technology and Recycling fee. Jacob, the issue though isn’t the relationship between The Griffon News and SGA, but instead SGA and the public. The Griffon News will always “refrain from deceptive discourse” but to be clear, The Griffon News is not a propaganda tool for the SGA. The Griffon News in a student outlet and open forum for everyone on campus. The Griffon News will not “embrace a cooperative effort to achieve positive outcomes,” because that is not our duty to Western. It is instead, SGA’s duty to convince both the students and The Griffon News that your positive outcomes are indeed positive. Once again, thank you for responding to The Griffon News editorial. We encourage every student to speak their mind. Respectively The Griffon New Staff

New beginnings mean new opportunities

 During  the strange period of human history called the 1980’s, there was an outbreak of inspirational posters that found their home on the walls of many a high school counselor’s office. A favorite that garnered a following was the phrase “today is the first day of the rest of your  life.” It means that each day is new beginning and every ending chapter should simply be viewed as the start of a new story. Western has said good bye to a number of familiar faces this last year and  is now opening its doors to new names and positions with an incoming President of the university and the Griffon News has a staff made up almost entirely of students who have never manned the helm of a college newspaper. It seems at the start of 2008, there are more than a few new beginnings that could help shape the state of academia at Missouri Western. It is in the name of new beginnings that we, the editorial staff of the Griffon News, want to give a tip of the hat to everyone who sees this as an opportunity to start fresh and boldly begin again, this time hopefully for the better.  King Whitney Jr, president of Personal Laboratory Inc., made a statement about change at a sales meeting that is appropriate and it was later quoted in the Wall Street Journal in June of 1967. He said, “Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.” At Missouri Western the question must be asked, will we view these new beginnings with hope, confidence or fear?  There are always those individuals that would rather face an existence of mundane banality than open themselves to new experiences because new things can be scary. Mankind has always been afraid of what it does not understand, However we at the Griffon News feel that this should be seen as an opportunity to raise ourselves to a new standard. Missouri Western is facing a new dawn that ushers in the great light of knowledge to a community that could only stand to benefit from having a more collegiate environment. By seizing the new day with eager and willing hearts and backbones choke full of hard work, the students and administration could use this new beginning to propel our university into an era of greatness in this ever advancing society. We could build brilliant minds for tomorrow.  Heraclitus was a Greek philosopher who lived from 540 B.C. to 480 B.C. but even as early in human history as he lived there was already one truth that proved constant and still does in this constantly changing world. That truth is elegant and simple. “Nothing endures but change.” Heraclitus was right about that. So with change comes new beginnings and new chances to do better or worse that was done before. We at the Griffon Newsroom are ready to do better. Are you?

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor-in-Chief, I am writing to let you know that the American Dream is alive and well thanks to our brave men and women in uniform overseas. When the World Trade Center buildings fell on 9/11, the American way was emboldened. America is thriving as the world’s superpower and is far from rotting. The Republican toy, known as George W. Bush was elected because America wanted to get out of the immoral shadow that Bill Clinton had cast over it. Yea, I remember the good old days when Bill Clinton looked America in the face and lied to us. Is this what America wants? Would we rather have an immoral president than one who will actually defend us? George Bush never deliberately lied. He was told by his intelligence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. President Bush’s ratings may be bad, but only because liberal news stations plaster our television screens with negative reports of how or soldiers are being killed. These news stations try as hard as they can to hide the success of the war on terror. Successes like millions of Iraqis and Afghanis being saved from brutal regimes, and having a chance to vote and experience freedom. America hasn’t been attacked in five years, and Bin Laden is hiding in a cave. Maybe if President Clinton would have killed Bin Laden when he had the chance to, we wouldn’t have experienced 9/11. And yes Clinton did have the chance, this is fact. This war is a war that has to be fought now, and President Bush has decided to take the fight to the enemy. Radical Islam knows no boundaries. There goal is to create a world of tyranny where freedom no longer exists. Lets say a Democrat is elected in 2008 and they withdrawal our troops. Will this make the terrorist leave us alone? I think not. We didn’t ask for this war, it was brought to us on our front door step by cowards who hate our western culture and the freedoms that we enjoy. With every war comes sacrifice. The question is: Are we willing to make sacrifices in order to protect our nation? Ask our military men and women who are fighting if this war is worth it. They’re the ones who fight for your right to say you don’t believe in this country anymore! George Bush is not a mistake. Brandon Boswell

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor, In a recent letter to the editor, a student decried the fact that faculty have reserve parking. “I have utmost respect for professors…but why do they get the privilege of parking closer to their office?” Actually, respect could properly translate into allowing faculty to park closer to their offices, akin to addressing the professor as Doctor, but the author did not make this connection so I won’t. Why would this student want to be closer to his classroom? Because it is more convenient; the “cost” of being further from the building would be greater. I assume this would be equally true for faculty (if you discount youth versus older faculty and creaky bones). And how many years would this student have to bear this cost? Four years? And how long would the faculty member have to bear this same cost? I am in my twenty-eighth year at Missouri Western. So, if this freshman were to graduate in four years, I would at that point have born 800% more pain than he. Contrary to the student’s charge of discrimination, it is just simple cost-benefit. Patrick H. McMurry, Ph.D. Chair, Dept of Economics